It looks like the time has finally come. It seems as if the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association is actually happening and that can mean some very, very big changes moving forward in the sport. The Association promises some pretty bold, pretty intriguing offerings for those who looking for some security outside of the major mixed martial arts promotions, namely the UFC.
It’s finally here. UFC 205 is an event that will forever change the complexion of mixed martial arts as the biggest MMA promotion in the world has it’s first major event in the state of New York. Throughout the week there will be plenty of topics to talk about, but you know I’ll be salivating at the chance to breakdown the event fight by fight. Each match would be a potential main event attraction on any other card, which means there’s going to be high level bouts throughout the night. First up for analysis: the welterweight match between Ultimate Fighter winner Kelvin Gastelum and perennial contender Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
So, much in the fashion of the current UFC and MMA landscape, talking seems to be the best way to bring in the dollars. While many want to denounce Conor McGregor for his tactics, the reality is that he’s been able to get paid a considerable amount of money based on his fighting skills as well as his equally impressive skills on the microphone. As such, more and more fighters are speaking out letting the masses know exactly what’s on their minds. Now granted these fighters have always remained true to themselves, but racking up a pile of cash like McGregor isn’t easy and it requires fighters to turn themselves into a brand.
In Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson vs. Rory “I Refuse to Write His Nickname” MacDonald, we were expecting one of the more technical battles you’ll ever see in the octagon; one was a kickboxing and karate master with a wealth of experience behind him, the other an archetype of the modern MMA fighter whose only losses had come to the top 1% of his division. Suffice it to say, a sloppy haymaker-fest it would not end up being (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Our predictions, as it turns out, were mostly spot-on. What we might not have expected, however, is that Thompson would almost completely shut down MacDonald’s attack over the the course of five rounds and reduce his face to the mashed-up pile of blood and gore that only Robbie Lawler before him was able to do.
It was quite possibly Thompson’s best performance to date, and one that cemented his name as the next title contender (after Tyron Woodley, for whatever reason). As for the “Red King” (dammit, I said it!), well, it looks like it’s back to the drawing board, by which I mean that he may very well have to hire a team of scientists and graphic artists to draw him up a new nose, because he won’t have much of a fighting future left with the one he’s got.
Head after the jump for a complete recap of Fight Night 89.
While the triumphant freakshow that was Bellator 149 may be getting all the coverage, the UFC put on a decent little show of their own over the weekend. Though not without its fair share of unfortunate, injury-related withdrawals, Fight Night 83 wasn’t the worst night of fights by a long shot. And hey, no one almost died! (Too soon? Too soon.)
In the evening’s main event, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone dueled with late replacement Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira in the former’s first trip up to the welterweight division. Word had it that the loser of the match would have to change his nickname to “Ranch Hand” per a gentleman’s agreement made in the locker room, but that’s neither here nor there. In an effort to once again remind us that it’s not all head kicks and “fuck you kicks” when it comes to Donald Cerrone, the former title challenger took Oliveira to the mat early and, for lack of a better word, just tooled him from there.
The triangle that Cerrone locked up just over halfway through the round had Oliveira tapping faster than that time Sage Northcutt put on an uncomfortably tight, ab-smothering turtleneck, so check out the full highlights from the fight above.
After the jump:Chris Camozzi obliterates Joe Riggs‘ arms & face and the world feels sadder for having witnessed it.
Welterweight Tim Means might be best known for once getting KO’d by a sauna, but it turns out that he’s actually a pretty talented fighter in his own right (and boasts one of the best nicknames in the game to boot). Since returning to the UFC in 2014, “The Dirty Bird” has put together a respectable 5-2 record, with wins over TUF 19 finalist Dhiego Lima and George Sullivan among others.
Fresh off a second round starching of John Howard at Fight Night 80 in December, Means was set to welcome Donald Cerrone to the welterweight division at Fight Night 83 later this month in a fight that had “fireworks” written all over it. Unfortunately for us, Means’ recent out-of-competition test happened to have FAILURE written all over it as well, resulting in “The Dirty Bird” being pulled from the card and yet another main event being placed in jeopardy.
The UFC has rematch fever, babayyy!! Thankfully, this one actually makes the smallest bit of sense.
Nearly three years after they first clashed horns at Fight Night 27, Donald Cerrone and Rafael Dos Anjos will do battle again, only this time, the lightweight title will be on the line. Fox Sports’ Damon Martin broke the news of the Dos Anjos-Cerrone rematch earlier today, which is scheduled to transpire at UFC on FOX 17 in the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on December 19th.
Look at it. It’s glorious, isn’t it? In a UFC landscape currently being dominated by complaints of oversaturation, dwindling fan interest and rampant PED use, along comes a card to finally set us straight, or at least distract us from said oversaturation and rampant PED use for a little while.