Guillard choking, in every sense of the word. (Photo: UFC.com)
While the ‘UFC on FX’ debut may have lacked the big names of UFC 142, the fights themselves packed just as much fire-power. For the second straight week, six fighters were able to put away their opponent and double their earnings in less than a round. Punches, chokes, and a torrent of brutal hellbows were all used to send grown men into la-la land, and we’ve got the GIF’s to prove it.
Barry didn’t check on Morecraft, but it’s safe to say he got some fans. Props: UFC.com
Overall, the UFC’s fourth biggest debut on a television network, which showcased two of the best lightweights coming off of losses and the organization’s second best announcing team, was as successful as it could have been. Sure, there were some long pauses in between the fights, but that’s to be expected when you draw out 60 minutes of actual fighting into a five hour television broadcast. The rattling punches and tapping hands that signaled an early end to many of last night’s fights kept a perfect rhythm with a drum we’ve been beating on CagePotato for quite some time now: The key to victory in mixed martial arts is evolution, not regression. If a fighter wants to stay relevant- or even employed- within the UFC, he needs to develop himself into the most complete fighter he can.
For an example of this, look no further than Melvin Guillard. Both fans and pundits were calling his performance “Vintage Melvin” while the dynamic striker aggressively pursued Jim Miller, arguably coming closer to knocking out the submission specialist than anyone else has. However, after one flying knee attempt too many saw Miller putting Guillard on his back, “Vintage Melvin” demonstrated the same ground game that has always been his kryptonite. An impatient Melvin Guillard did everything he could to get back to his feet, which resulted in Jim Miller taking his back and sinking in the fight ending choke. “The Young Assassin” is now 10-6 in the UFC, with all of his losses coming by submission. While permanently relegating Guillard to the undercards may be a bit drastic, it’s obvious that Guillard will never be a contender unless he fixes those holes in his ground game- something far easier said than done at this point in his career.
Jim Miller did exactly what we knew he needed to do to win. He weathered the storm against Guillard’s attack, he was persistent with his takedown attempts and he kept the fight on the ground once it went there. While a quick submission wasn’t exactly unexpected, it was still impressive enough to earn him Submission of the Night honors.
(Is that who we think it is? No wonder Guillard always chose “Thong Song” as his walkout music.)
Tonight marks the UFC’s fourth biggest debut on a television network, so how appropriate is it that I, CagePotato’s fourth or fifth best writer, would be assigned to such an…assignment? Damn it, I really had something for that. Anyway, both Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller will be looking to rebound from tough losses and reestablish themselves amongst the UFC’s ever-growing 155 lb. division in tonight’s main event. Elsewhere on the card, Pat Barry and Christian Morecraft will likely be fighting for their jobs, and Jorge Rivera is calling it a career regardless of how his battle with Eric Schafer goes. Everyone raise your glass of Dos Equis in his honor.
So whether you’re watching the fights from your local watering hole or the privacy of your two story, five bedroom & three bathroom brownstone in the sky, join me, Jared Jones, as I recap the action round by round starting at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT, all whilst trying to find the perfect balance between Maker’s Mark, Yellow Tail, and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Allow me to preemptively apologize for any grammatical errors, delayed updates, and possibly racist, anti-semitic, or chauvinistic remarks that may or may not find their way onto this liveblog as a result. LETS DO THIS!!!
(I got blood on my hands and there’s no remorse, I got blood on my…well, you get the point.)
We’ll be completely honest, folks, it has been awhile since the official CagePotato Parlay has shown us a return worth getting excited about, or any return for that matter. Bill collectors were ignored, drugs were peddled, and we even had to turn a trick or two to solve our gambling debts, but as they say, it is always darkest before the dawn. Last week, we actually managed to end up in the green, so what better opportunity to keep the ball rolling than the UFC’s debut on FX tomorrow? Check out the betting lines, courtesy of BestFightOdds, along with our advice below.
Nick Denis (-240) vs. Joseph Sandoval (+200)
Daniel Pineda (-120) vs. Pat Schilling (EV)
Fabricio Camoes (-325) vs. Tom Hayden (+265)
Kamal Shalorus (-135) vs. Habib Nurmagomedov (+115) Charlie Brenneman (-300) vs. Daniel Roberts (+250)
Eric Schafer (-155) vs. Jorge Rivera (+135)
After weeks of height-related gags, Struve still wasn’t done rubbing his length advantage in Barry’s face. (Photo: Tracy Lee via Yahoo Sports!)
Sandwiched between two marquee UFC cards, last night’s UFC Live flew under the promotional radar. It’s understandable that Zuffa would focus more on two stacked pay per view cards than a Versus broadcast, but in a time when fights are hyped for months only to fall short when the bell rings, it’s rare to see a card that delivers so much action from Facebook to the main event. Add to the mix that there was gold on the line and the lack of promotion for this event is borderline criminal. Only two fights on the card were decided by the judges—though just as many were decided by the referees—and either of them could have earned FOTN honors. We’ve got a lot to cover, so hunker down.
First off, I’d like to welcome back an old friend. Elbows, we’d nearly forgotten about you, but last night you were ushered back into society like the queen of a violent debutant ball. Bored with simply working on teeth, “The Dentist” performed a full-facial extraction via elbow on Keith Wisniewski during the Facebook broadcast. Cut stoppages aren’t my favorite, but these ‘bows we’re seeing from the clinch are brutal, damage inflicting blows that you’ve got to stop before they stop you, and I like them. Speaking of which…
Keeping those words from the first collection in our hearts, we’ve assembled the second installment of moments in MMA that some of us (mostly the athletes involved) would like to forget. The rest of us, we want to see those moments saved forever, preferably in a graphic format that loops endlessly.
First, get your mind right with a fight video from the dark ages of MMA, when any human with a pair of pajamas and some Tae Kwon Do could try that crazy ultimate fightin’ stuff. It was 1998, and Travis Fulton had already had over sixty fights. His opponent was Jeremy Bullock, a skinny guy that probably really liked Bruce Lee movies. Make sure to watch Bullock’s interview, where he shares his keys to victory with everyone, including Fulton. Also watch the fight, where Fulton shares his love for a good pro wrestling-style chokeslam with everyone, including Bullock. (Reportedly, Bullock thinks Bruce Lee is a fucking asshole these days.)
Once you’re done with that piece of history, come on in and we’ll share more moments of infamy, awkwardness, stupidity, and shame. It’s Fail GIF time, kids; let’s party.
As always, big ups, props, and mad respec’ to the GIF masters and the websites that host them: Chris Bunch o’ Numbers, Uncle Justice, Damn Severn, Zombie Prophet, Caposa, UpstandingCitizens, MMA-Core, IronForgesIron, and MMATKO. If we forgot you, it’s not on purpose.
And then there was one. It’s been almost three weeks since the news broke that Zuffa, LLC. had purchased Strikeforce – this week Our Octagon Overlords allegedly began signing SF fighters to their own airtight contractual arrangements – and it just now dawns on us what this means for Eddie Alvarez. Put simply, the continued Dana-fication of the MMA landscape means Alvarez is the only US-based 155-pound fighter anywhere near the Top 10 (or, hell, Top 20) not currently owned in a roundabout way by Big DW and the Fertitta Bros. God, that must be lonely.
As if on cue, and just a few days before he’s set to put his Bellator title on the line against tournament winner Pat Curran at an event we all keep forgetting about, Alvarez made some fairly stock claims this week to SI.com’s Jeff Waggenheim about how a lot of UFC lightweights would be “nobodies” without the promotion’s PR muscle behind them. Boy, we’ve heard this one before, right?
Some of Bellator’s biggest names were on the card last night at the Citi Performing Arts Center, for the first-ever major MMA show in Boston. Two semi-final matchups for the lightweight tourney were on tap, plus a 160-pound SuperFight between Eddie Alvarez and Josh Neer, and a heavyweight exhibition featuring one of Brock Lesnar‘s training dummies partners. But not everything went as planned. A full rundown of Bellator 17 is after the jump. Prepare yourselves — some crazy shit went down…
Unfortunately Josh was matched up with fighters that wanted to take him down and lay on him to grind out a victory. If you are going to take Josh down then at least try to finish him, just don’t lay on him and hold him down. Most fighters are not going to want to stand and bang with Josh, and they just want to play it safe, hold him down, and get the win. Josh wants to put on exciting fights, and there is nothing more frustrating to Josh than not to put on an exciting fight for the fans. Right now we have a few offers from different organizations that want to sign Josh immediately so we are just weighing our options, and going with the best opportunity for Josh. Josh will be back in the UFC after he wins a few fights outside the UFC. We appreciate all the support Josh’s fans have given him.
You know that annoyed face Neer started making every time he was taken down by Tibau in his last fight, and by Kurt Pellegrino in the fight before that?This statement is basically that facial expression put into words.