We're all done with UFC on FOX 21, and the card ended just about at 10 PM ET thanks to Demian Maia's swift rear-naked choke of Carlos Condit in the main event. It wasn't the slightest bit competitive. Condit getting taken down right away wasn't a shock, but nobody just dummies Condit on the ground without resistance and finishes him like that. Pat Healy is the last guy to submit Condit and that was in June 2006, when Maia had a whopping 2 pro MMA bouts under his belt.
Maia has been sensational, particularly in these last 4 fights, which includes a trio of rear-naked choke stoppages of Neil Magny, Matt Brown, and now Condit. A title shot surely should be next. "[Fighter] has earned it" is something of an empty phrase in the UFC these days, but it's a travesty if Maia's next fight isn't for the welterweight title, which evidently will be contested between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson.
More thoughts on tonight's card:
- Adding on the whopping 1 strike Condit landed tonight, Demian Maia has only absorbed 13 significant strikes over the past 4 fights. Incredible.
- I won't lie, the outcome bummed me out. It has nothing to do with Maia and everything to do with the possibility that tonight was the last fight of Carlos Condit's career. He's been very public about it since the Lawler loss, and it feels like the end is near. Condit has been one of my favorite fighters and he was one of the first people I watched when I really got into this sport. I hope I'm wrong and Condit at least has one more fight, but the thought of this being Condit's finale is very much something to take into consideration.
- In case you're wondering, this card marks the beginning of Joe Rogan's "North American PPVs only" deal. Brian Stann was alongside Mike Goldberg, and Stann was his usual excellent self.
- Anthony Pettis and Charles Oliveira put on a hell of a show. Oliveira looked cooked after the thumping body kicks in round 1, then Pettis tired in round 2 and Oliveira appeared to have the edge on the ground. When Oliveira took Pettis down in round 3 I had that feeling that Pettis was going to throw away what seemed like certain victory. It was only a few moments later that Pettis, whose own submission prowess shan't be forgotten, dropped down for a tight guillotine that had Oliveira gasping for air and tapping. Evidently Pettis was up 20-17, 19-18, 19-18 on the scorecards, so he wasn't going to lose unless he got finished, but make no mistake about it, this was a massive victory for "Showtime."
- Some of you on Twitter called for Pettis vs. Max Holloway. How many more fights do you want Holloway to have before he fights for a title? Pettis has so many options at featherweight, and Holloway is one of them, but please let Holloway fight for the belt next.
- The UFC heavily promoted CM Punk's UFC 203 fight with Mickey Gall, including a painfully boring satellite interview with Brian Stann. Two weeks left until we see CM Punk in the Octagon.
- Paige VanZant threw a lot of jumping and/or spinning kicks vs. Bec Rawlings, which look aesthetically pleasing and otherwise weren't scoring points. I had her losing the 1st round to Rawlings' better, more effective striking. The jumping kick worked in the 2nd round, and Rawlings was done. It's great highlight reel fodder for VanZant, but I don't think that was representative of her performance as a whole. Anyway, a win is a win, and VanZant keeps herself in the top 10.
- I thought Joe Lauzon deserved the decision against Jim Miller, but this was a really really close fight. I have no issue with Miller getting the win, especially since I thought he had gotten the better of Lauzon on the feet. Lauzon also doesn't help himself with the way he reacts to getting hurt. Taking punches while reverting into a shell guard doesn't look that visually appealing to judges, and Miller's body work and combinations were giving Lauzon problems. On the ground, Lauzon had the advantage and was so close to an armbar at the end of the 3rd, but the margins were slim, and Miller is 2-0 against Lauzon. Can't wait to see them fight again in 2020.
- Sam Alvey presumably finished off Kevin Casey's UFC career with a 2nd round TKO. Almost nothing of note happened in the 1st round before Alvey punished Casey in the clinch with knees and elbows. Casey isn't exactly known for durability, so Alvey getting to Casey eventually was pretty much inevitable.
- I won't pretend that Kyle Bochniak vs. Enrique Barzola was incredibly compelling viewing, but two judges giving Bochniak the win is pretty disagreeable. I had it 29-28 Barzola and could've seen an argument for 30-27, but 29-28 Bochniak? Nah.
- Alessio Di Chirico (who sported a black armband in tribute to victims of the earthquake in Italy earlier this week) took a fairly wild split decision over Garreth McLellan, whose face was a bloody mess after Di Chirico busted him open with big elbows. McLellan did well to survive the onslaught but was too out of gas to mount a big enough comeback to get the win.
- Mike Goldberg informed us pre-fight that McLellan is from "South America" and not South Africa. You learn something new everyday.
- Felipe Silva badly hurt Shane Campbell to the body, then to the head, and recorded a great 1st round stoppage in his UFC debut. I always love a good body shot, and Silva delivered it, much to the disappointment of the Canadian fans.
- Chad Laprise missed weight (which he profusely apologized for) against Thibault Gouti, but inside the Octagon he was great. A quick knockout of the Frenchman gets him his first finish in the UFC, and he's going up to 170 from here on out.
- Jeremy Kennedy brought a solid fanbase to the Rogers Arena, as JBC (which actually stands for Junior Bacon Cheeseburger) got the unanimous decision over late replacement Alessandro Ricci. Not really a scintillating contest worth revisiting. Having a nickname based off a Wendy's burger sure is something out of the box, that's for sure.