clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UFC 208: Holm vs. de Randamie - Post fight analysis in six easy tweets

New, comment

UFC 208 was a maligned card on paper that turned into a maligned card in practice.

MMA: UFC 208 Silva vs Brunson
Everyone’s reaction to this card mercifully ending.
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

UFC 208 was universally panned as a mediocre card. Except this time, fans chanting “the fights will decide the quality” weren’t as loud because sometimes, quality sort of speaks for itself. Germaine de Randamie won the inaugural women’s featherweight title, Anderson Silva took a close decision win, and Jacare tore a man’s shoulder to death. Despite some fascinating conclusions, even victories were tainted by uninspired behavior.

Even worse, bad refereeing and bad judging helped keep the theme of fight inertia, and half baked decisions alive for UFC 208.

Like an episode of True Detective Season 2, there some insight once you looked past the incongruous action. As Frank Semyon so insightfully instructed us; a good women mitigates a man’s baser tendencies, so maybe we should cool down our raw contempt for this underperforming, aggressively mediocre PPV and celebrate the new dawn of Women’s Featherweight. A division that itself will spawn new and interesting possibil-

Featherweight Paroled

Well, I thought we were getting possibilities. As soon as Joe Rogan started talking to Germaine de Randamie about fighting Cris Cyborg, GDR had a Homer Simpson fade into the bushes moment. For the record, I don’t believe de Randamie is “scared”. Not by any stretch. But I do believe that fighters are, in fact, humans, and know more or less how to calibrate their health, and winning typically confers greater health. Her response was oddly specific. She needed surgery on her hand for torn ligaments from a 2015 March fight against Larissa Pacheco. It was kind of like telling your teacher how you lost your homework by standing too close to a Baileigh Industrial PL-1022VS Bench Top Lathe. And this isn’t even counting Cyborg’s USADA violation. Speaking of, where’s Johny Hendricks to help us clarify this situation?

The Lady Eve

Focusing on the positive, since we’ll get back to the negative shortly, GDR gave a solid, technical show. She had answers for Holm’s overpursuit all day, chambering her overhand right for any and all situations. It was a better defensive effort than offensive one, however. She controlled the clinch with better tactics even when Holm was the one initiating, and displayed patience over the five round duration.

What she did not do, was rule by law. Twice de Randamie attempted and scored punches after the bell. And twice, referee Todd Anderson (whose appearance I totally nailed), told de Randamie “no more”. The fact that it was sternly worded made no difference. Worse, he meekly stepped in between the two fighters seconds before the fight ended. His decision making tree looked like a toppled Jenga tower by the end of the night, and the sooner he’s not reffing big fights, the better.

As for Holly Holm, bad decisions and worse adjustments doomed her for the majority of the fight. I didn’t find the bout particularly compelling. Holm gifted GDR those counter right hands by overstaying her welcome, and chopping oblique kicks does not clear and present danger make. When she appeared to crack GDR with a sneaky left hand, she clinched instead of attacking on the feet.

Music TeleTuition

I gotta give it up to Kalyl. In a sport where STEMM, Irish Noises, and Ralek Gracie, posting music videos showing his crew break into a building to have a jiu jitsu party (don’t worry, I’ll spare you guys from linking to it), have become MMA’s musical torch bearers, Anderson Silva’s son sounded kind of professional.

In that way it was fitting for his dad’s performance: a performance that felt inspired even if the outcome wasn’t authentic.

On first watch, I’m sure I had it for Derek Brunson but I couldn’t bring myself to grow outraged. Brunson fought a very tentative fight, paying too much respect to Silva’s admittedly still dangerous punching (though his left has been unusually absent in recent fights), and never committing to a gameplan Silva was only able to suppress in moments. Plus Silva gave a pointed postfight speech. Even when his comments were wonderfully lost in flatulent translation.

Lake Placid

Jacare ripped Tim Boetsch’s shoulder to shreds, and that’s about all that’s worth analyzing. It wasn’t a great matchup, and Jacare, despite still needing head movement, quickly argued why. Still, it’s fun to see Jacare on the ground. Grappling has become so dynamic that it’s become defensively dynamic. Not for Souza. He made a brilliant move to post himself up high while Boetsch tried to pivot, leaving himself options for mount, back control, and ultimately, the choice he went with, a kimura. Wonderful stuff, even if he’s still beyond an earshot of the title.

Light Heavygate

The less said about the Glover Teixeira fight the better. Glover took the path of least resistance, to the chagrin of everyone watching. Honestly, I was impressed by Jared Cannonier’s survivalist jiu jitsu. Glover has an excellent pedigree on the ground, and Cannonier did a really good job of making economic and desperate scrambles work in tandem to avoid getting smothered and submitted.

The Big Cackle

Judge Eric Colon had whatever you call that scorecard for the Dustin Poirier vs. Jim Miller fight. The fight was action packed, but both guys looked like they were on action movie autopilot. It was fun, but not fresh. Moreover, neither guy looked ready for a step up in competition. Now for some stray observations:

  • On the PPV, Anik and Co. praised Jared Cannonier’s efforts as a full time airway transportation systems specialist. Can we not do this? On a broadcast, this reads too much like the UFC boasting its promotional diversity when in reality, it’s an example of its lack of welfare. Credit to Cannonier (and since we’re on the topic, Tecia Torres). But Cannonier’s opponent was the #3 ranked light heavyweight in the world. If he had won, a ranked fighter in the world’s biggest and most garish mixed martial arts promotion in the world needs to work a full time job in order to be financially secure. Try as I might, I can’t imagine NBA commentators fawning over Kevin Durant taking time away from his practice and training schedule for his second career as a health informatics specialist. Especially when he’s already made it clear he’s doing it precisely because the UFC isn’t a sure thing.
  • I was kind of in and out during the prelims so let’s skip those and talk about more important things, like:
  • Jon Anik. I think Anik is pretty good, despite the Cannonier comment, which is why the three man booth is all the more awkward. You forget Anik is even there sometimes. It’s a lot better than Mike Goldberg, even if some are waxing nostalgic over him now that he’s turned into phone phantom vibration syndrome.
  • Doug Crosby. As a friend of Nik Lentz, he got to decide his fate against the superior Makhachev. Guess who he gave the fight to? This is a guy who justified his narcissistic response to criticisms, complete with what seems like an explicit aversion to Penn’s fandom while comparing himself to the Pope, over his Edgar vs. Penn decision as a “social experiment”. I don’t know what this says about the NYSAC except to reflect its total lack of ethics.