As expected, it was a great idea to pit two heavyweight knock out artists against one another for the Fox audience. Lavar Johnson and Pat Barry swung for the fences and beat the tar out of each other for almost a whole round before Johnson stopped Barry with punches.
“Big” secured a $65,000 KO of the night bonus with the beating. Johnson now has two consecutive entertaining UFC wins under his belt, after back to back Strikeforce submission losses. He’ll likely get at least a couple more style-friendly sluggers to duke it out with from the UFC since he’s performed so well against them thus far.
Barry’s situation may be a little more complicated. The former K-1 fighter always brings it in his fights, is fan-friendly and has some big wins on his resume. But he’s also now lost three out of his last four fights and five out of his last eight. One would imagine he’ll get at least some more fights from the UFC given that he won his prior fight and how exciting he was, even in defeat, against Johnson.
Tonight’s UFC on FOX event is looking to be one for the ages, Potato Nation. The alcohol-fueled spirit of Cinco De Mayo has overtaken most, if not all, of the U.S of A by this point, and I’m no exception, so lets skip the fancy introductions and get right to it.
-Karlos Vemola def. Mike Massenzio by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:07 of round two.
-Roland Delorme def. Nick Denis by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:59 of round one.
-Dennis Bermudez def. Pablo Garzo by UD
-Danny Castillo def. John Cholsih by UD
-Louis Gaudinot def. John Lineker by submission (guillotine choke) at 4:54 of round 2
-John Hathaway def. Paskal Krauss by UD
-John Dodson def. Tim Elliot by UD
-Michael Johnson def. Tony Ferguson by UD
A couple musings from the prelims:
-Apparently some McDonald’s Happy Meals DO come with Jiu-Jitsu Blackbelts. Just ask Mike Massenzio.
-Nick Denis has a ridiculous rat tail, but it can’t match up with Roland Delorme’s iron chin. What an amazing round of action that was.
However, not all is lost (unless we’re talking about last week’s TUF ratings. Bazinga!), for this Saturday’s card promises to deliver the kind of head-to-toe action that mainstream and hardcore audiences alike have been waiting for. It’s got a Diaz, a Miller, a cartoon character, and a mythical swamp beast on its main card alone, so what could possibly go wrong? But just in case the Zuffa brass are looking for a few extra pointers from a fan’s perspective, we’ve compiled the following list of five things that would surely elevate UFC on FOX 3 above that of its predecessors. Enjoy, and let us know what other improvements could be made to the UFC on FOX in the comments section.
5. Tito Ortiz Return to his Role as a Ringside Commentator
FOX is a network that prides itself on being the voice of the simple, common man. And there is perhaps no man simpler than that of Tito Ortiz. Let’s be real here; Ortiz’s night of commentary at Affliction: Day of Reckoning was easily the funniest Goddamn moment in the history of MMA, bar none. Brian Fantana could not muster one-tenth of its hilarity if he were to report on every Panda birth from here to Chongqing, and we should give “The People’s Champ” another go-around for comedic purposes only. Besides, when was the last time ringside commentary really blew your mind? We love Joe Rogan and all, but we’d be much more inclined to stick around after the fight if there was a possibility that the announcer in question would suffer an aneurysm whilst trying to determine his next word.
On the heels of what was a hugely successful (both in terms of action and PPV sales) UFC 145, the UFC will look to keep the momentum going with this weekend’s UFC on FOX 3 card, which features a smorgasbord of great match-ups (praise be to Joe Silva). And the only way to make a great thing even better would be to walk away with a little extra moolah, don’t you think? Because, to paraphrase what Bobby McFerrin once said, “If you don’t have cash, you don’t have style, and you sure as hell don’t have a gal to make you smile.” Something like that. So check out the tasty betting lines below, courtesy of BestFightOdds, and follow us after the jump for some sound advice that will surely score you one out of the three McFerrin keys to success. And don’t worry, none of the spreads are as insane as the current Akihiro Gono/Michael Chandler odds, which more closely resemble your chances of sleeping with Halle Berry, winning the lottery, and surviving a public bus fire in the same day.
Yesterday, UK based promotion X-treme Combat held its sixth mixed combat event in Cumbria, North West England. Featuring amateur boxing, semi-pro boxing, and kickboxing matches, the evening was highlighted by a K1-style rules bout between FlexMMA product Lewis Bailey and Salfrod MMA’s Paul Calland. Held in an octagon that can only be described as “replica size” with two of the most eager ringside announcers in recent memory calling the action, the scrap featured several back and forth exchanges in its brief duration.
After whiffing a head kick around the 2:40 mark, Calland decides to turn a turd into gold by unleashing a wild spinning backfist as a follow up. A backfist so wild, in fact, that it wasn’t really a spinning backfist at all, but more of a sloppy, unintentional spinning elbow ala Jon Jones. In either case, it catches Bailey completely off guard, rendering him unconscious before he can even fall to the canvas like a rapidly deflating balloon. Now, our Pikey may be a little rusty, but we believe one of the announcers referred to the shot as “a poop,” which references the fact that Bailey likely shit himself after being hit with such a powerful blow.
And while we’re discussing all things KO-related, we’ve got to give some props to FUEL TV, who recently released full, crystal clear videos of the Lavar Johnson/Joey Beltran and Pat Barry/Christian Morecraft scraps from January’s UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller card to hype up Barry and Johnson’s upcoming clash at UFC on FOX 3. Both were exciting brawls to say the least, and both ended by way of violent KO, so check them out after the jump.
Lavar Johnson scored the Knockout of the Night during last weekend’s UFC on FOX 2 card, by smashing Joey Beltran in the first round of their preliminary card meeting. The win snapped a two-fight losing streak that Johnson had carried over from his stint in Strikeforce. His upcoming scrap with Barry seems like a way for the UFC to guarantee some much-needed excitement for their next FOX broadcast. As for Barry, it’s an opportunity to bump his UFC record over .500 and secure back-to-back victories for the first time in his UFC career.
Swanson vs. Roop provided an early candidate for Side-Punchface of the Year. Props: UFC.com
Remember how last night, you invited your non-MMA fan friends over to introduce them to our sport? You spent the past week talking about how Chael Sonnen is one of the best trash talkers in professional sports, and how technical and talented these fighters were. You figured that after three fights that were guaranteed to be exceptional, your friends would be won over to MMA fandom. Then you’d continue to drink and be merry all night, and we’d all meet up here today for our traditional post-UFC event GIF party where we all high five over how awesome the fights were.
Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. Instead, you found yourself doing damage control as you watched three fights worth of sloppy brawling, wall and stall and Chael Sonnen’s blatant swaggerjacking of homage to “Superstar” Billy Graham. You tried to convince them that the fights are usually nothing like this, and that these guys gassing out and the end of the first round are world class athletes. Eventually, one of your friends said “I bet Pacquiao would destroy ANY of these guys” as the rest of your friends grabbed their coats and said they’d call you next time they wanted to watch the fights.
Okay, so last night sucked. But we’ve been planning this party all week, and we’ll be damned if we cancel it at this point. So grab an alcoholic beverage, put on your gaudiest Affliction shirt and join us for our traditional post-UFC event GIF Party.
Totally illegal in NCAA competition. (Photo: UFC.com)
“It’s usually not like this.” With that text I found myself apologizing to a UFC-virgin for the first time in a long time. My friend had just told me that she was at home watching the the show on FOX, without any provocation from me mind you. “This is that fighting you like, right???”. I assured her that the event had yet to capture the energy and excitement indicative of the sport. “I’m going back and forth between this and figure skating,” she replied. I can’t really say I blame her, either.
While we expected plenty of grappling in the bouts themselves, the wrestling theme seemed to carry on throughout the production at large. The usually-charismatic Jon Jones wrestled with his notes, relying on them not just for in-depth fight analysis but for simple things like his thoughts on fighting Rashad. The opening act wrestled with fatigue, leading to a performance as exhausting for fans as it was for the competitors in the cage. And once again, FOX wrestled with an underwhelming broadcast that left the most exciting action behind in the prelims.
Enough belly aching about the show itself, let’s take a look at what made such a promising event so forgettable for the masses.
Though he’s perhaps best known for his incredible muttonchops, Chad “The Grave Digger” Griggs (11-1) has gone on a three-fight tear under the Strikeforce banner, beating up Bobby Lashley last August at Strikeforce: Houston, then scoring back-to-back first-round stoppages against Gianpiero Villante and Valentijn Overeem in Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix reserve bouts this year. The Arizona native hasn’t lost a fight since April 2007. The date and opponent for his next fight are still TBA, but Griggs is expected to make his Octagon debut in early 2012.