Conor McGregor talked a metric ton of trash over the weekend which is pretty interesting stuff to dissect. But while all his talk may be interesting there are still some interesting topics to tackle as far as this past weekend’s fights are concerned. The main and co-main event of UFC Denver saw a pretty dominating victory and an unforeseen upset cap off a night of fairly entertaining fights. Valentina Shevchenko and Jorge Masvidal left the event in considerably higher standings than when they first arrived in Colorado.
If you’re a harcore MMA fan, chances are you like Jorge Masvidal. He’s one of those sadistic fighters that not only like to hit, but get hit. If you knock him down, he’s right back in your face, if you take him to the brink, he’s thirsty for more – the man loves to scrap. Unfortunately for these “every man” fighters, this business involves more that just heart. Dropping two close fights via split decision and never really breaking into the creme de’ la creme of the UFC, it seems Masvidal is back with a chip on his shoulder and he says Donald Cerrone is part of the problem.
UFC 206 was in some real trouble. The loss of the Daniel Cormier/Anthony Johnson main event made it seem like the event would be less than stellar. When Anthony Pettis and a number of other fighters missed weight the day before the event it seemed like UFC 206 was doomed (more on that later). But after all was said and done the show ended up being one of the more exciting events of the year, namely for some featherweight action at the top of the card.
The new co-main event will likely be just as exciting as the featherweight featured bout. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is set to do battle with Matt “The Immortal” Brown in a welterweight match up that could answer a great deal of questions about each man’s future in the division. Where a win for Cowboy could thrust him into title contention, a loss for Matt Brown could possibly spell the beginning of the end of a career that has been a true roller coaster ride.
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.