The Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Virginia was home to a solid night of fights that featured lackluster prelims followed by a tremendous main card. The event as a whole saw four TKOs, one submission and eight decisions, including two split-decisions. One of those split-decisions— McGee vs. Strickland— was originally announced as a majority draw before later being corrected to a split-decision victory for Strickland following a “scoring miscalculation.”
Matt Brown came out with something to prove in what was advertised as his retirement bout and man did he prove it. The “Immortal” came out swinging and even a shot to his Achilles liver couldn’t stop him tonight. The finish was insane, but the live feed didn’t actually show it. One second Brown was holding Sanchez’s leg, the next, Sanchez was face-down exploring the spirit realm.
I’ll defer to my wondertwin Iain Kidd for an explanation about what actually happened: “Matt Brown elbowed Diego Sanchez so hard, he broke the time-space continuum. That wasn't a production glitch. Matt Brown f**ked reality up.”
Matt Brown received a $50,000 bonus for creating an error in the matrix.
Raphael Assuncao took on highly-regarded prospect Matthew Lopez and taught the youngster a valuable lesson in leg kicking. Namely, don’t let Raphael Assuncao kick the inside of your leg for 12 minutes, or he’ll fly towards you knee first before knocking you out with a punch at the end. Which is exactly what happened. It was pretty awesome and the UFC gave the Brazilian veteran a cool 50 G’s as a reward.
Fight of the Night: Dustin Poirier vs. Anthony Pettis
This fight was bananas. B-a-n-a-n-a-s. It started with a flurry of punches and a flying knee attempt and never slowed down. Knees, punches, elbows, spinning stuff… You name a striking technique, these guys threw it at each other.
What started off as a fireworks display turned into something altogether more gory in the second round. The fight went to the mat, which usually signals a slowing of the brutality. Somebody forgot to tell that to Pettis and Poirier, who continued to go hell for leather. Some massive elbows from Poirier opened Pettis up midway through the round, and by the last minute, his orbital sockets were acting as blood-filled portals to the demon realm.
The ref stopped the fight and it took, without exaggeration, the better part of a full minute to wipe Pettis’ eyes clear. That’s not a minute to seal the cut or have it examined, that’s a minute just to towel away the huge quantities of blood. Then, the official reset the fighters in the same position. And they went back to beating the hell out of each other.
At one point, a practically blind Pettis caught Poirier in a triangle choke, but it turns out blood is a hell of a lubricant and Poirier’s crimson head popped out of Pettis’ thighs like a newborn baby.
As if that wasn’t crazy enough, the fight even had a bizarre ending. Poirier was riding Pettis in a bodylock while the former lightweight champ bucked and twisted in an attempt to escape. Then, suddenly, he tapped. Evidently the Wheaties poster-boy thrashed so hard he popped his own ribs, leading to the tap and an official verdict of TKO due to injury. Madness.
Poirier stormed up to Sean Shelby cageside and demanded the right to fight the winner of Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gathje, as well as a $50,000 bonus. The UFC made good and also threw Anthony Pettis the same amount, presumably to cover the costs of transfusing an entire body’s worth of blood back into him.