Fuck, that was fucking terrible. Last night we got an up-close-and-personal look at what happens when one of the UFC’s notoriously weak overseas cards doesn’t turn out to be better in practice than on paper. And Nation? It was not pretty. When these haphazard, garage-sale-style European stinkbombs don’t catch lightning in a bottle and don’t exceed our already low expectations, all you’re left with are a bunch of lackluster fights featuring guys nobody cares about. That might be fine for Strikeforce, but frankly we expect more from the UFC.
Oh, did we mention this bad boy was on tape delay? Yeah it was, so unless you were able to spend the day studiously avoiding all electronic media you knew who was going to win anyway, in which case you were probably better served to just stay up late to watch Manny Pacquiao beat up that dude with the Dave Navarro beard. Rumor has it that was pretty shitty too. Coupled with UFCs 119 and 120 it’s hard to remember the last time Our Fearless Leader did three shows this uninspiring in such quick succession. At this point, the supercharged midgets of the WEC can’t get here fast enough. Seriously, it’ll be nice to see a few fights where somebody shows a little urgency.
After effectively nullifying each other through the first 10 minutes, Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt absolutely sleepwalked through the final round of a fight where a shot at the middleweight title was on the line. Okami won (I guess) because he pushed forward and threw some grazing jabs and because Marquardt couldn’t do one damn thing with his takedowns. In a word: Pathetic. Seriously, just have the winner of Anderson Silva-Vitor Belfort cool his heels until Chael Sonnen gets back, because I’d way rather see that juicehead Republican pathological liar get the next shot at the UFC gold than either of these two.
It’s time we all admitted the hard truth about Nate Marquradt. Homeboy is o-ver-ra-ted. With losses to Okami and Sonnen in two of his last three bouts we’re left to contemplate a UFC record which features wins over Demian Maia (one-dimensional) and Martin Kampmann (welterweight) as its biggest highlights. Aside from that, there are an awful lot of Crafton Wallaces and Rousimar Palhareses padding Marquardt’s 9-4 resume inside the Octagon. After “Nate the Great-(ish)” shit the bed against Okami, Dana White didn’t have too many nice things to say about him at the post fight press conference … or about Greg Jackson, for that matter.
“He is a choker, he choked tonight… ,” White said. “This (Greg Jackson) camp, when these guys fight their corner is either telling them they’re ahead or they’re winning. I mean, Nate Marquardt sat here tonight and said that he thought he won the fight. Where the fuck is his corner? You go into the last round and you’re getting out-struck by a wrestler, and you think you won the fight? And this is consistent with the Greg Jackson camp.”
As for Okami, I hope the rest of you were struck with the same terrifying thought as I was while we watched him getting his hand raised: “Oh, shit. What if this guy were to actually become UFC champ?” Fortunately, I don’t think there’s much danger of that happening.
Perhaps the biggest loss of last night occurred hours before the event even started, when Alessio Sakara was pulled off the card with the always fishy-sounding “flu-like symptoms.” Honestly, I’m sure Sakara really was very ill, I just didn’t know Soldiers of the Roman Empire were allowed to call in sick, that’s all. Even for a wrestling apologist like myself, it would’ve been nice to see Sakara and Jorge Rivera break the monotony last night with a nice little pier six brawl. Shame those guys didn’t get to do it.
No sense in kicking a dead horse too long, but some random notes from last night’s altogether random event: I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the epic clumsiness of Bruce Buffer trying to do his opening spiel auf Deutsch. C’mon Americans, did we learn nothing from John Kennedy? Amir Sadollah looked decent on his feet (set a new record for leg kicks, they’re saying) but the most inexperienced “TUF” champ in history must still be an absolute nightmare for UFC matchmakers … With his lazy eye and stiff, roided-out bodystyle Karlos Vemola is one of the more awkward-looking fighters you’ll ever see. Good enough to beat Seth Petruzelli, though … We got conclusive proof that Kris McCray’s not ready for the Octagon … oh, and good for Dennis Siver. He and Andre Winner put on the most watchable fight of the televised card. Now let’s see him do something with the momentum.
Guess what I’m trying to say is, you know you watched a bad UFC show when the “Fight of the Night” bonus goes to an unaired preliminary bout between two guys named Pascal Krauss and Mark Scanlon. That fight is available for purchase over on UFC.com though, really people, let’s try not to encourage them, huh?