I'm absolutely gutted. I'm a "journalist" and I'm supposed to be impartial and all that. But I'm also a huge Carlos Condit fan. As some of you know, I named my dog after him. He went out there and engaged in battle with UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler for five insane rounds, and when it was all said and done, I truly believed he had won the strap. I had it 48-47 Condit.
I was ready to celebrate.
I understand the actual result. I can see the third round going to Lawler. The second and fifth certainly did. Logically, a Lawler split decision win makes sense. But emotionally? I'm torn up. I feel terrible for Condit. I really felt like he was victorious tonight.
Regardless though, what a war. Lawler gets dropped. Condit gets dropped. Crazy counters. Flying knees. A nutso volume attack from Condit. Lawler picking his counters well. That was the first four rounds. And then the fifth came along, which is right up there with Cerrone/McCullough for best round in MMA history in my eyes. Excuse my language here, but they beat the shit out of each other for the entire five minutes. It was truly captivating. I can't really believe I saw what I saw.
You know what though? I want to see it again. And again and again and again. Please let us see it again, UFC.
- Stipe Miocic has to be the number one contender for the heavyweight title. Yes, there are other guys that might be "in the mix". But Miocic just brutalized Mark Hunt and knocked out Andrei Arlovski in under a minute. Give the man his damn shot.
- Albert Tumenov and Lorenz Larkin put on one of my favorite fights in a while. I really appreciate technical mastery, whether it's on the ground or on the feet. While it wasn't non-stop action, it was beautiful to watch. Tumenov's body shots were devastating. Larkin ate up Tumenov's leg. Those spinning hook kicks to the knee? So sick. I really didn't care who won, I just want to see it again. Over five rounds next time. Because it was amazing.
- Brian Ortega is a beast on the ground. Being down two rounds didn't mean a thing once he finally got a hold of Diego Brandao. He chained together a bunch of beautiful submissions before settling on the triangle, and got the tap with it. And the T in T-City stands for triangle apparently. The More You Know.
- Tony Sims paid for leaving his neck out. Abel Trujillo isn't exactly a submission master, but that was a gift. He said as much in the post-fight interview.
- Michael McDonald was getting worked...and then he wasn't. Opponent Masanori Kanehara looked awesome for seven minutes, getting takedowns and schooling Mayday on the ground. McDonald showed some stones getting out of an arm-triangle choke though, and nine seconds later, he had secured his own choke to get the finish. Not a great performance at all, but the result is what matters for McDonald. I'm not sure where he goes from here though.
- I thought Kyle Noke won that fight. Alex Morono busted open his nose and landed more head strikes, but Noke was the one pressing the action and connected with a lot of his offense. Morono closed with the armbar that probably won him the third, but not giving Noke the first two seems strange to me. That wasn't the worst card of the night though...
- Because we already have a candidate for worst scorecards of the year, and there were two of them. That's not to say it wasn't possible that Justine Kish won the fight - the second was pretty close and she dominated the third with her grappling. But there's no way she won the first over Nina Ansaroff. She walked into about 25 hard strikes over the first half of the round. It was super sloppy. Terrible, terrible cards there.
- Drew Dober and Scott Holtzman put on a pretty good lightweight fight in the first televised bout. Both men scored takedowns and worked over their opponent with GnP, but Dober just did it more often. There was lots of blood too, which is always a bonus.
- Dustin Poirier was the underdog going into his bout with Joseph Duffy, but he proved the linemakers wrong with a dominant performance. Duffy did hurt him early with strikes, but he fought back with his own offense to win the first round. The second was all Poirier, who overcame a broken nose to batter Duffy on the ground for the full five minutes. Duffy did have a couple of submission attempts in the third, but Poirier deftly avoided them and cruised to a very important win.
- It's still dumb that they were on Fight Pass though, Irish audience or not.
- Michinori Tanaka and Joe Soto engaged in a spirited bout that saw action standing and on the ground. Rogan completely ignored Tanaka's formidable offense in the first round, but Soto did have a nice gogoplata attempt at the end of the round. Tanaka mostly controlled the second other than a guillotine attempt, and Soto beat up a tired Tanaka in the third. It was a close fight, but I had it for Tanaka and so did the judges. Hardly a robbery.
- Sheldon Westcott dominated Edgar Garcia in the first bout of the night. Westcott needs to win quickly because he has a limited gas tank, and he got it done against an overmatched Garcia. The ref could have stopped it way earlier than he did though - Garcia was done a good 30 seconds before it was called off.