It’s not everyday that we’re treated to “the biggest fight in the history of the sport”, and even rarer that a single gif covers the pre-fight warm up, the bout, the post-fight celebration, and the after party at Ghost Bar. That calls for a GIF party. Though the sole focus of last night’s UFC on FOX event yielded precious little in terms of motion-picture awesomeness, the fighters relegated to the dark corners of social media came through in spades.
Join us after the jump for an incredible collection of throws, slams, submissions, knock outs, spinning everythings, and even some good old fashioned mid-fight showboating.
In the weeks leading up to last night’s Heavyweight Championship bout, Dana White trumpeted that “whether this fight goes 30 seconds or 30 minutes, this is going to be a fight right here.” It was a fight, and it was slightly longer than 30 seconds, but in the post fight analysis Dana appeared frustrated and was searching for a reason that his champion went down so quickly. With all of the buildup and hype, I can’t help but think that first time viewers were equally confused and found the whole affair to be anticlimactic. Were that all the action we got to see last night, we’d probably be disappointed as well, but thank god for Facebook.
With regards to the main event, there’s not a lot to say, really. Junior Dos Santos hits hard. Cain’s game plan has been under attack, but it’s not like he got butchered on his feet for two rounds while doggedly refusing to shoot for a single. Velasquez got nailed with a huge overhand right just 55 seconds into the bout after already trying unsuccessfully for a takedown. Obviously, getting Dos Santos off of his feet quickly would have been Cain’s best option, but for a versatile heavyweight fighting under the brightest lights ever shone on a UFC fighter, shooting in for a Couture-Toney ankle pick with the opening bell still ringing wouldn’t do. Props to Dos Santos for getting it done quickly and violently in the Knock Out of the Night. It wasn’t the most epic fight that the UFC and FOX could have hoped for, but it was a memorable one. That Dos Santos did it with a torn meniscus is all the more impressive.
("This big horsemeat-eating motherf*cker is next.")
There’s been a veritable orgy of UFC fight-bookings happening over the last couple days, and we might as well throw them all at you in one lump sum. We’ll start with one that might not be the biggest of the bunch, but definitely struck us as the strangest…
Jim Miller vs. Kamal Shalorus - UFC 128: When Dana White proclaimed that Miller’s impressive kneebar submission win over Charles Oliveira at UFC 124 put him in the mix of lightweight contenders, nobody figured that would mean that he’d be paired with an Octagon newcomer in his next bout. But this is the UFC, and sometimes the organization’s MMA math just doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense. The Sparta, New Jersey native will attempt to increase his winning streak to seven when he takes on (7-0-2) WEC veteran Shalorus at UFC 128 in his backyard in New Jersey.
Dan Miller vs. David Branch - UFC 128: Considering that his brother is on the card and they can save on cornermen hotel rooms and plane tickets, it’s a no-brainer that the UFC would have another local fighter like Miller on the card for UFC 128. The fact that they now have to pay Chuck Liddell’s seven-figure salary, bar and strip club tabs has not been lost on the accounting department who have undoubtedly suggested some cost cutting measures that will be implemented in 2011. Wait until you see the beat-up budget ex-strippers they bring in to replace Arianny and Chandella.
Filipovic will attempt to prolong his rapidly shortening career by defeating the up-and-coming fighter who is riding a three-fight winning streak which includes a "W" over Gabriel Gonzaga — the last man to put Cro Cop to sleep prior to Frank Mir turning his lights out in his last outing at UFC 119.
(Kyle Watson, Michael Johnson, and John Danaher join host Stephan Bonnar to run down last night’s fights on the latest episode of "The Aftermath." Warning: Danaher drops a "retard" joke within the first 30 seconds of the interview. Anybody else getting a Lanny Poffo vibe from this guy?)
Michael Johnson is one of those dudes who can’t appreciate the sheer hilarity of being sprayed with water. When Sako (or was it Sevak? one of those guys) rigs the sink to blast the next person who uses it, MJ is on the losing end and freaks out. So immature, you guys! Michael is convinced that Alex Caceres is to blame, I guess because he saw Alex pull the same prank the day before. Their quarterfinal fight can’t come soon enough.
But first, Kyle Watson and Aaron Wilkinson will have to face off. GSP says Aaron is a better striker than Kyle, so Kyle needs to get the fight to the ground. Kyle’s plan is to take Aaron down from the clinch, rather than shooting in. Logically, Coach Koscheck advises "English" to keep the fight standing. After three fights in the house, Aaron’s right eye is looking rough. And it’s go-time already…
(…Only I didn’t say "fudge." I said the word. The big one. The queen mother of dirty words. The f-dash-dash-dash word…)
Team GSP is basking in Michael Johnson’s victory, and Mike Tyson is in a reflective mood. Iron Mike says the fight game is about who’s smarter. "Confidence breeds success, and success breeds confidence…confidence applied properly surpasses genius." Also, how you conduct yourself in the cage reflects on how you conduct yourself in life. Between him, Greg Jackson, and John Danaher, the team is stacked with philosophers.
After two losses, Team Koscheck is fired up to get revenge on Team GSP. "The harder you work now, the later you get rewarded," Josh Koscheck says, probably meaning to say "the more you get rewarded later." He also pronounces "especially" as "ekspecially" at one point. We’ll see if these Titoisms become a trend.
During the Johnson/Wilkinson fight, Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres was a little too supportive in the bleachers, screaming "Beat the shit out of him! Fuck him up!" to MJ. Some of the guys don’t like how Caceres seemed to wish harm upon one of his housemates. I mean, they’re all in this together, right? They all came to the house to make friends? Anyway, the guys have a little shit-talking session about it. "That’s disrespectful, bro," says Sevak "The Armenian Stereotype" Magakian. "He’s a stupid, ignorant kid," Jeff Lentz says, bitterly.
(Crappy, TV-shot video of the Alex Caceres vs. Jeff Lentz fight, courtesy of TheMMAResource.)
After last week’s trial by fire, it’s time for the 14 UFC hopefuls to move into the house and get comfy. And boy is the new TUF house classy. The dining room has a chandelier in it and everything.
Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres and Jeff Lentz down some shots right away. They’re both characters. Jeff’s a chain-smoker from Jersey with a dye-job, and says he’ll never tap, not even to an armbar. (Pay attention! This will be important later!) The guys are apprehensive about the cigs and booze that Lentz is constantly consuming, but Jeff says he’s just playing with them, and he actually has gas for days. I mean, he’s clearly a nicotine addict and probably has a drinking problem on top of that, but it’s all just a persona, y’know? As for Alex, he can play the harmonica, he once killed a gator with his bare hands, and he nearly murdered a deer, too. But as they say, man is the most dangerous game.
In advance of the team selections, Coach Josh Koscheck has every guy in the house ranked, 1-14. He’s got Michael Johnson at #1, Marc Stevens at #2, Sako "Psycho" Chivitchian and Sevak Magakian at 3 and 4. Koscheck loves those Armenians, bro.
Greg Jackson has been here before with Rashad Evans on TUF 10, and now he’s Georges St. Pierre‘s consigliere. He advises Georges to go after the first matchup rather than the first fighter, if possible. GSP knows that Koscheck likes Michael Johnson, so he gets an idea to try a little gamesmanship. "We’ll see if he’s smart," GSP says. Koscheck, as it turns out, is not smart.
No need for a lengthy preamble — you’ve already seen the first five minutes of theUltimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck season premiere, and you know how these things generally go down. We’ve got 28 lightweights, battling for 14 spots. Dana White addresses the troops, Bruce Leroy giggles with anticipation. It’s the elimination round, where the RFFs (real fucking fighters) are separated from the pretenders. Let’s get it.
Marc Stevens vs. TJ O’Brien Stevens wrestled at the University of Buffalo when Josh Koscheck was the assistant wrestling coach there. Kos calls him an "okay wrestler." Stevens immediately lands a huge overhand right, then jackhammers O’Brien on the ground until the ref steps in. We later learn that the 13-second TKO is the fastest stoppage in TUF history. "Remember me now?" Stevens asks Koscheck.
Spencer Paige vs. Steve Magdaleno Paige’s striking is as good as advertised, as he lands a mix of attacks in round 1. Magdaleno ends the round on top, working some ground-and-pound, but it might not be enough to steal the round. They start round 2 swinging for the fences before Paige starts blasting Magdaleno with knees. Magdaleno shoots on Paige and dumps him. Magdaleno looks for an arm triangle, then goes back to abusing Paige from the top. Magdaleno drops to guard when the action goes standing again, and possibly blows the fight, as Paige finishes strong with strikes from the top. Paige takes the unanimous decision.
We’ve already gotten a glimpse of TUF 12 castmember Alex Caceres, the afro’d cut-up who brought his own Bruce Lee costume to the set. Alex sports an MMA record of 4-2 — not including the unsanctioned backyard brawls he had in Perrine, Florida back in the day, hosted by Kimbo-esque fighter/promoter DaDa 5000 (of Dawg Fight fame). UG’er joe bruce found the above video of Caceres in one of those fights, scrapping with a gentleman named Chocolate in a 12-foot-square patch of grass. Chocolate is a handful at first, throwing wild punches and slamming Caceres on more than one occasion, but once Alex sets up the triangle choke, it’s only a matter of time before he gets the chill-dog tap. Afterwards, "Bruce" informs us that he takes slams all day, and basks in his instant celebrity. Not bad for a guy whose fight skills come from a delinquency prevention program.