UFC Fight Night featured a heavyweight main event against the surging Derrick Lewis and hit or miss Travis Browne. Now that description of Browne isn’t to insult the man. He’s still one of the best heavyweight fighters out there. But lately he hasn’t been able to hit the mark. At first everyone and their momma blamed Browne’s downfall on the training he’s been receiving. But with another loss under a different coach, one has to wonder if Browne is simply declining.
Another great UFC card has come and gone, and as usual I will be the killjoy to send you crashing back to reality from the high heights of last weekend’s events. Today’s candidate will be Derek “The Black Beast” Lewis after his heroic performance against Travis Browne at UFC Halifax
So UFC 203 was pretty crazy. No, not the Mickey Gall domination of CM Punk, that played out pretty much how many had predicted. No, what was crazy was all the chaos in the final two fights of the night. For my money the heavyweight division is perhaps the least interesting weight class in combat sports. Sure, the big guys can produce some pretty devastating knock outs and moments straight out of a Rocky movie, but it’s usually at the expense of clean technique. With that said, the final two fights of the night produced the most fireworks on the main card.
Before the main card action was underway this past Saturday night, we had a pretty eventful weekend already.
The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale saw a new women’s strawweight champion crowned, as Carla Esparza submitted Rose Namajunas in the final, after a string of pretty decent fights.
Then came UFC on FOX 13, headlined by a heavyweight fight featuring Junior dos Santos against Stipe Miocic. The prelims were strange but sufficient, Henry Cejudo winning his debut, younger-than-he-looks Joe Riggs suffering an injury in his Bellator superfight against Ben Saunders, John Moraga being dropped by Willie Gates after complaining about a low blow to the official, last-minute food poisoning for Derek Brunson, Jamie Varner retiring after a loss with hopes of starting a fighter union, Ryan Jimmo’s terrible seats, Phil Baroni’s shlong, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk outpointing Claudia Gadelha (who pulled a Paul Daley in the heat of the moment, but apologized right away) to go on to face Esparza in the near future.
For a highly anticipated fight card marred by injuries to its premiere fighters and an ongoing crisis in Mexico, UFC 180: “Werdum vs. Hunt” turned out to be quite the showcase.
UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, who had a card built entirely around him for the promotion’s first trip to the country with support from Diego Sanchez and Erik Perez, had to bow out of a title fight against Fabricio Werdum a few weeks removed from the championship encounter. This was after both Perez and Sanchez were already out with of their respective scraps with wounds.
When it comes to the champion, there’s always a lingering concern about his injuries. Multiple setbacks which required surgery (including his latest) has seen Velasquez fight six times in four years, against three different opponents.
But the show must go on, which means the attention turned to Werdum and a combat sports legend serving as an unexpected title challenger in an interim heavyweight championship bout.
Former NCAA Division I collegiate wrestler and former ADCC world submission champion Jeff Monson has fought MMA professionally for nearly sixteen years now. He’s fought some of the best in the world, put together incredibly win streaks and even challenged for the UFC heavyweight belt.
And yes, the forty two year-old is still fighting. Up until Thursday night, in fact, “The Snowman” was riding a seven fight unbeaten streak. That streak ended at the hands of Alexey Olenik in the Ukraine when Monson lost via submission for the first time since April of 1999 to David Dodd.
Monson tapped out in the second round against Olenik to a rear naked choke but the damage was really done on the feet. From the get-go, Monson got tagged over and again by the longer Olenik.
In the first round, the American was dropped with a left. He was unable to secure a take down despite many attempts and at the end of the first period, found himself on his back. For some reason, the round was allowed to continue for a good twenty seconds past it’s five minute allotment, during which time, Monson ate about ten punches from his back and had his guard passed.
Wondering if you’re “big” or just “average?” Just how big is average for a UFC fighter? Well that depends on the weight class obviously. Here’s the current UFC roster of fighters put into divisions with average (mean) height and reach (mean averages based on UFC Roster as of June, 2013). Next time someone says a fighter is “big for their weight class,” check the facts first.
The range of UFC divisions spans 140 pounds, which on average translates into about one foot of additional height and reach from the Flyweights to the Heavyweights. It’s important to note there is plenty of variability that occurs with in each weight class. Bodies are tall and lean or sometimes short and stocky. And the larger the division is, the wider the range of maximums and minimums. Just think of heavyweights Stefan Struve and Pat Barry facing off with over a one foot height differential in the same weight class.
(It took Roy 45 minutes and three chipped teeth to realize that his TUF trophy was not made of rock candy.)
This town ain’t big enough for the two of them. Literally. The town we’re referring to, of course, would be the UFC’s heavyweight division.
Let’s face it, we are currently in the era of TRT-jacked-up super Goliaths, and aside from making us common folk feel more self-conscious about our own physiques, these monsters are putting forth the idea that you have to be sculpted by the Gods themselves in order to be a successful athlete. How dare they. But there is hope, because one man has been vigorously doing the work that the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance could never even dream of doing in between trips to the buffet line. Mainly, proving that obese individuals are capable of doing more than legally stealing electrically powered wheelchairs from crippled people at the supermarket. That man is Roy “Big Country” Nelson.
Obviously fearing that fellow portly contender Mike Russow is beginning to encroach on his Burger King and Taco Bell sponsorships, as well as the “Lifetime Achievement” distinction he was set to receive at next year’s Cici’s Pizza Awards, Nelson has thrown down a good old fashioned “loser leaves town” challenge to Russow over his Twitter. The winner gets to continue eating pull pork sandwiches until they look like the gluttony victim in Seven, and the loser must drop to the land of rice cakes and milk without chocolate syrup that is the light heavyweight division.
By now, you’ve probably heard the big news of the day: Anthony “Hey Yo, Is That My Tummy Rumblin’?” Johnson missed weight today in historic fashion, tipping the scales at 197 pounds. According to some research that I absolutely did not just do, twelve pounds is the most that anyone has ever blown weight anywhere ever, and you can feel free to correct me in the comments. Vitor Belfort has agreed to fight a catchweight at 197, but has asked that Johnson weigh-in again tomorrow at no more than 205.
Now, maybe I’m not shocked by this — but damn brotato, how do you miss — how do you go UP a weight class because you have a nightmare cut at 170 and the boss has said you belong at 185, then proceed to bulk up like you got a call from Vince McMahon?
Serious question: is Anthony Johnson dyslexic with numbers or something? Just checking.
Here’s a weird story from the weekend out of Washington that we missed.
According to a story in the Bremerton Patriot, a drunk woman was choked unconscious while driving by a friend of her boyfriend, which would be commendable if he successfully prevented her from committing a DUI. Unfortunately he simply did it to be an asshole.
Apparently the trio had been out drinking and the girlfriend was nominated to drive home as she was the least intoxicated of the group.
Halfway to her boyfriend’s house where the men were staying for the night, the friend, who had been arguing with the driver about how loud and belligerent he was being while she was trying to concentrate on the road and who happened to be a heavyweight MMA fighter from California, thought it would be funny to choke the chick out. Fortunately for the three idiots, she was able to bring the vehicle to a complete stop before blacking out and pissing her pants as a result of the expertly-applied rear naked choke.