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Cutting Through The Bullsh*t: UFC 178 Edition

(Photo via Getty)

UFC 178 is in the books, and it was arguably the best UFC event of the year. Leading up to the extravaganza at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the fight card looked promising, even though the cancellation of Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier for the light heavyweight championship had us pretty bummed out.

With Demetrious Johnson and Chris Cariaso stepping up to the plate, nobody was truly interested in their flyweight title fight, simply because the rest of the card had more compelling stories, alongside fights deemed a little too difficult to call in order to bet the house, Coleman style.

That being said, let’s take a look at the biggest scraps, and what to make of it all after we spent the last eight hours shadowboxing, binging on dollar store mini donuts, and obsessively searching the web for that CRUZ sweater.

Welcome to “Cutting Through The Bullshit,” UFC 178 style:

Demetrious Johnson Is Incredible, But So Was Jesus Christ

Look, it’s pretty obvious Johnson is a spectacular combatant, the most dominant champion in the organization, and a fighter so technically sound he generates silence throughout the arena because the fans are simply in awe of him.

Well, no.

It’s apparent “Mighty Mouse” isn’t really a pay-per-view star, and he’s suited best for FOX broadcasts moving forward. He’s definitely capable of generating interest in a co-main event, much like he and Cariaso were supposed to do at UFC 177, yet headlining the whole PPV shebang may not be his forte.

But that really isn’t his fault. He’s more so a victim of consequence here. The flyweight title fight wasn’t supposed to headline this card, however, a title fight should have enough power to generate interest on its own. You can say he’s still in a transitional phase, yet UFC 174 is still pretty fresh in our minds.

Anyhow, his win over Cariaso was like watching Sid Justice maul a jobber on Saturday mornings, and it’s funny to think that even though the champ was in a relatively easy fight, nobody is mentioning that it’s his third stoppage victory in his pas four title defenses. He was also asked one question at the post-fight presser (well, two, but from the same person … so, one).

Donald Cerrone vs. Eddie Alvarez Was One of The Best Main Events Of The Year

2014 has been fairly good to us in the main event department. If Johnson vs. Cariaso lacked that particular oomph, then Cerrone vs. Alvarez was straight up going to be some deep-fried organized violence.

It turned out to be a great fight, one all too familiar for “Cowboy.” After a difficult and lopsided first round, Cerrone turned it on in the second and started to hack away at the Bellator champion’s legs, eventually breaking that tree down and earning the unanimous decision victory.

Cerrone’s been through the thick and thin, and by defeating Alvarez, he’s either going to be in another title eliminator bout, or finally challenge for UFC gold. As for the “Underground King,” it wasn’t the worst of debuts, yet that’s just what UFC wanted … another Bellator guy stifled by a golden boy employee who takes on all jobs.

Conor McGregor Is The Next Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre, Michael Jordan, And Walt Disney

If you watched the post-fight press conference, you noticed the Irishman sitting there glowing in his ivory elephant trunk suit, with every member of the media asking him the same three questions he’s been asked for the past year. Hell, he even got a post-fight media scrum.

Don’t get it twisted; “Notorious” truly is the biggest prospect in the UFC right now, and to be honest, he pretty much surpassed that status last night with a first-round TKO over the always-game Dustin Poirier. Did that shot hit “Diamond” in the back of the head? Did McGregor land more shots to the back of the head when following up?

It’s kind of subjective at this point. Whether he did or didn’t, it shouldn’t overshadow his performance. He was awarded the victory after all, and we’ve seen a lot more clusterfucks than that in the past.

UFC’s legendary Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Goldberg compared him to Michael Jordan, not to mention Uncle Dana saying he was bigger than Brock Lesnar, the biggest draw the sport had ever seen. McGregor is going to Brazil to sit cageside with his homies at UFC 179, so don’t be surprised if he’s slotted in the Octagon as the next contender to the featherweight strap. We’re not going to assess if he deserves a title shot or not … we’re just going to predict what we think will happen, seeing that UFC as a whole thinks he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Yoel Romero Sitting On His Stool, Giving Less Fucks Than Ricky Rozay

Romero’s battle alongside Tim Kennedy was pretty good while it lasted, and subject to a boatload of controversy. Romero was basically out on his stool, and after “a UFC employee put too much Vaseline on him,” he sat there for about half a minute while his corner “attempted” to leave the cage.

There’s no question that if any of us were the American, we’d be pissed. “Soldier of God” was dazed, and it looked like he was prepared to vomit at any moment. Still, he comes out in the third round and completely torches Kennedy in the biggest win of his career.

Sorry UFC, but victim blaming won’t work here. That one was on “Big” John McCarthy, and it’s puzzling to think one of the best officials in the game let that one slip by. Like, dude, at least tell the guy to stand up and ask him questions.

Then again, maybe he missed this, too?

Cat Zingano Win Inspiring, But Please, Leave Her Alone

“Alpha” has been through a lot in the past year. Joe Rogan hinted at in her post-fight interview after her comeback win over Amanda Nunes in the third round, but failed to say what happened, which led to an honest assessment of Zingano saying she just wanted to go home, spend time with her son, and happy she got that shit over with.

Zingano’s third-round stoppage over the Brazilian was ultra inspiring, with the majority of the sport’s observers feeling genuinely happy for the next women’s bantamweight number one contender. However, let’s give it a rest, and leave her alone. I’ve always felt indifferent when it comes to exploring one’s personal circumstances in a difficult time, and unlike the next fighter on the list, Zingano went through hardship that nobody deserves to go through. So for next time, let’s not hint at her troubles multiple times (Rogan & Goldie) without mentioning what happened, and let her enjoy possibly the biggest win of her life?

It could be worse, though. Cue Ben Askren in 3 … 2 … 1 …

Dominick Cruz Is The Best Pound-For-Pound Athlete In The Universe, Currently Sitting In CRUZ Control

Imagine what you live for is taken away from you for three years. We’re not talking about being abstinent, you horny pervert. In Cruz’s case, we had no idea how he was going to look. He never lost the bantamweight championship, yet his last bout was three years ago, and there was a plethora of questions regarding his physical and mental state.

Call it a travesty that his fight against Takeya Mizugaki was on the FS1 prelims, although it was the best-case scenario. Dozens of thousands of viewers witnessed DOMIN8TION for free, with Cruz mauling Mizugaki after landing a takedown which may or may not have given most of us at this website an instant erection.

Credit the brass for booking Cruz against T.J. Dillashaw next, because frankly, that’s the only sensible option. “Dominator” could have fought Urijah Faber, too, especially after his post-fight jab, but let’s not pretend last night’s winner lost his title and didn’t beat Faber in convincing fashion three years ago.

All In All …

It was a perfect night of fights. Truth be told, it was the type of card we live for, and the reason we still wake up at freaking 5AM to watch putrid battles featuring foreign fighters with 2-0 records. Honestly, it felt like 2007 all over again.

In the end, we got a main event that had less drawing power than a George Lopez sitcom, a superstar’s official coming out party, #stoolgate, and two competitors that were granted guaranteed title shots (with two others in the championship limelight, also). That’s the UFC we know. That’s the pain we face. That’s why after all this time, we still put up with Stemm.

Enjoy it while you can. It’s not like we’re treated to these gifts every weekend anymore, however, something tells me the rest of the year heading into the next could be something special.

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