(Lentil mash and tofu-rhubarb scramble for everybody! PicProps: UFC.com)
Mac Danzig came to the cage at UFC 124 bumping the Misfits – Ironic? Or just apropos? Hard to say – and looking like his face had aged a decade since the last time we saw him. Maybe it was just the new haircut or maybe the stresses of losing four of his last five while maintaining a sustainable and socially conscious lifestyle were finally getting to him. In any case, the most disappointing “TUF” champion this side of Kendall Grove bought his UFC career some bonus time on Saturday night, stupefying Joe Stevenson with a backpedalling left hook straight to the off switch just under two minutes into the first round. In the immediate aftermath, nobody looked more shocked that Danzig, who ran around the cage showing off the kind of genuine outpouring of emotion we’re not used to seeing from progressive yet earnestly straight-laced vegans.
He’d pulled himself together by the time Joe Rogan tracked him down, claiming the knockout came via good old-fashioned videotape analysis of Stevenson’s striking attack. Danzig also credited the win to the fact that he’d “finally learned” how to throw his left hook with power. It’s always a little weird when a guy who’s been a pro-fighter for, oh, nine years says something like that. Anyway, we’re happy for the kid and, suffice it to say, there were some legitimate surprises on last night’s supporting card.
In the evening’s “co-main event” (to use the term in the absolute loosest possible way), the world’s tallest 14-year-old beat up the world’s toughest dude named “Corky.” Just looking at Stefan Struve, it’s easy to imagine him slamming the door to his basement bedroom and peevishly yelling, “I’ll be up in a minute, mom! I have to finish training for mixed martial arts!” Anyway, whatever he’s doing it’s working. Struve weathered Sean McCorkle’s best chance of winning on Saturday night after the 6-foot-7 trash talk machine took him down in the early going. Struve managed to avoid absorbing the kind of punishment we’re used to seeing from him, swept into top position and quickly stopped McCorkle via strikes. Good win for a dude we’re 100 percent certain is using his older brother’s fake ID to convince Joe Silva to let him fight.
For McCorkle, not such great results. The fact that he had Struve exactly where he wanted him and still lost probably doesn’t presage great things for his UFC career. Still, it’s just his first career loss. Couple that with his motormouth (dude has quickly established himself as one of the best talkers in the sport) and you figure the UFC will keep him around at least a little while longer.
As a completely unrelated aside, it appears McCorkle used some of his winnings from the Mark Hunt fight to finally get the tattoo of his ex-wife’s name across his right pectoral covered up … with a giant iron eagle that looks real, uh, Nazi-ish. Gotta call that a push in the bad tattoo department.
In the evening’s other relevant action, Thiago Alves made the most of his get-back fight against John Howard and then called out Jake Shields during his backstage postfight interview. Too bad Dana White says Shields still has dibs on Georges St. Pierre.
Also, we knew Jim Miller had a good shot to sidetrack the skyrocketing career of Charles Oliveira, but we didn’t think it’d come via kneebar. Miller staved off Oliveira’s ridiculously active submission attack before dropping back to nab one of his legs in pretty impressive fashion. It’s high time Miller gets recognized as one of the top fighters at 155-pounds … though he likely needs one or two more wins against A-list competition before the company throws him into a five-rounder.