(I have nothing funny to say about the Faber/Barao face-off, but oh man, does Shawn Jordan look like the human embodiment of a penis crawling back up inside a body or what? / Photos via the UFC 149 weigh-in gallery on MMAFighting.com.)
Tonight’s UFC 149 card in Calgary will answer several burning questions. For instance, can Urijah Faber keep his spot as the #1 bantamweight contender — and earn a relatively meaningless interim title belt in the process — or will the red-hot Renan Barao-Rao bump him out of line? Will Hector Lombard‘s trail of destruction continue in the Octagon, or is redneck judo the antidote to actual judo? (Sub-question: If Lombard wins, will his post-fight interview be awkward as hell?) And how many points will Cheick Kongo be docked during his fight with rookie Shawn Jordan? Excited yet? No? Well fucking get excited, okay?
Live round-by-round results from the “Faber vs. Barao” PPV main card will be piling up after the jump starting at 10 p.m. ET, courtesy of defending liveblog champion Anthony Gannon. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and whenever you see something ill, type “Whoa” in the comments section.
Sup, Potatoheads. And here we are, UFC 149, yet another card I volunteered to liveblog that the injury gods decided to go and get all medieval on with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch. Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber were supposed to settle up their trilogy of hatred. The stakes were high, with not only dominion on the line, but the loser would have had to allow the winner to sleep with his girlfriend, and give him a foot massage, and not be tickling or nothin’. Gimme a break, yo, Pulp Fiction was on before. But anyway, Cruz went down, so now it’s Faber vs Renan Barao for a fake interim title. Sexiyama was supposed to suffer his fifth straight loss to Thiago Alves. That aint happening. Shogun was supposed to welcome Thiago Silva back from a suspension for submitting a non-human urinalysis. Nothing doing. Silva is out and Shogun will now face Brandon Vera in a couple of weeks. Vitor, Bisping, Big Nog, all had to bang out with injuries. Wtf. WTF!!!!!
They say shitty things happen in three’s. And for the most part that’s true. Last year my cat ran away, my girlfriend slept with a guy I know who has much bigger hands than I do, and a guy at work I had publicly referred to as a “twat” was promoted higher than me. Suffice to say it was not a very good year. This is my second jinxed card in a row now. If there’s a third, I’m quitting, changing my name to Lance, marrying a girl with a bunch of shit in her face, and selling high-grade heroin out of my house.
Still though, for all the brutal ravaging this card went through, it’s still pretty decent. I don’t feel nearly as violated as I did when I hit the “Buy” button for UFC 147. Making that purchase was about as much fun as sharing a single shower head with four other dudes, which I’m not ashamed to say I know a little something about (in boot camp you freaks). It’s just a chaotic scene. There are parts flying this way and that, dudes with soap in their eyes jockeying for position, and in such a disorderly situation, things happen – things that the decorum of Cage Potato dictates not be spoken aloud.
Anyway, let’s do this thing.
First up is Matt Riddle vs Chris Clements
Riddle is rockin’ some serious hair. Trust me, if there’s one thing in this world I know its bad hair. I went from a gigantic orange afro, right about the time that the movie Annie came out (you can imagine how magical those formative years were for me), to the prerequisite awful hair of the 80’s, to the white-boy fade of the 90’s, to the Marine Corps high and tight, to my current state of baldness – not in any sort of American History X kind of way, mind you, just an unkind genetic predisposition. So I get rough hair, and Riddle is sporting some serious locks tonight.
Respect though for coming out to Iron Butterfly.
DAYUM, Clements rolls out to “Rocking Robin.” I’m not quite sure what to make of this.
Round 1: Rachelle Leah is back and that’s pretty freakin’ great. Clements threatens with a hook, backs off. Riddle misses a jab. Riddle with a single leg, scores a trip takedown. Clements up, but eats a couple shots. Riddle with a right hook, then a kick to the ribs. Clements lands a leg kick, then an elbow, then an uppercut. They clinch, and separate. Nice right by Clements. Riddle lands a knee, and has Clements in a clinch. Riddle lands a nasty body kick, Josh Rosenthal steps in to stop the action, thinking it was a nut shot, that was a screw up. Tough break. Riddle scores another takedown. Clements is up, and Riddle is working for another takedown, takes Clements’ back instead. He lets Clements up. Riddle has a knack for not sticking with his grappling. The round closes, and it should belong to Riddle.
Round 2: Leg kick by Clements to start things off. Nice punch/kick combo by Clements. Riddle working a takedown against the cage. He gets it, but Clements is trying to wall walk. Riddle plants him again. He’s got a hook in. Losses it. Now he has Clements’ back with both hooks in, turns that into a body lock, and he’s pounding him. Still pounding him, just waiting for an opening. Clements lands a huge back elbow, but Riddle is still on his back working for a choke. He spins to side control. Another decent elbow by Clements. And another. Clements is up. Riddle lands a jab, Clements answers with a body kick. Clements sprawls to stuff a takedown, and now he’s on top, delivering some hurt. Riddle responding with elbows from the bottom to close it out. Riddle controlled most of it, probably took that one too.
Round 3: They bro hug it out to start the final frame. Front kick by Clements. Huge body shot by Clements, then a knee. He has Riddle up against the cage. They separate. Riddle throws a head kick that skims Clements’ head, he appears unfazed. Riddle scores another takedown. Riddle went for a choke, and Clements is up. Riddle has an arm triangle standing, takes him down, keeps the hold, and taps him out with it! That was sweet.
Matt Riddle wins by arm triangle at 2:02 of the third round.
Next up we have Brian Ebersole vs James Head
Is it me or does James Head require a good nickname? His name just begs for one. Please feel free to sound off with your suggestions in the comments section. I’ll go first, “Sloppy.”
Ebersole is rocking the arrow, only it’s not as bushy as last time.
Round 1: Ebersole shoots immediately, Head sprawls. He shoots again, Head easily defends. They trade blows. Ebersole lands a kick to the body. Head attacks with a right followed by a knee, Ebersole with another kick. They trade jabs. Head shrugs off a half hearted takedown attempt. Head is unloading against the cage. Ebersole escapes. Head checks a leg kick. Nice combo by Ebersole. Oof, nice right to the mug by Ebersole. He shoots again and gets stuffed. Ebersole is sticking with the takedown, and he gets it, Head has him in a guillotine, but that shit aint happening on Ebersole. He has Head against the cage, trying to keep him down. Head uses the cage to push off, but he escapes. Ebersole with a cartwheel kick, and not surprisingly, Head ends up on top to end the round.
Round 2: Ebersole again shoots immediately, Head sprawls. Ebersole charges forward with a straight left, whiffs Head. Head with a knee that barely skims Ebersole’s arrow. Straight left by Ebersole, and they clinch. Lands another straight left, then a body kick, mostly blocked. Ebersole has double under hooks, but still can’t get the takedown. Head gets his arms back, and they separate. Head lands a couple good head shots. Ebersole responds with a jab, then sloppily shoots again. Stuffed. He lands a straight to the body, then an uppercut to Head. Head going for a head clinch, not happening. Head scores on a hook. Head with a strong knee to the head, and Ebersole gets a takedown off it. Ebersole not really doing much ground and pound, and he gets swept by Head. Nice. Head is on top, but the round closes before he has a chance to mount any offense.
Round 3: Again with the weak takedown attempt. Body kick blocked by Head. Another takedown attempt, Head has a front choke, but Ebersole is impervious to that shit. Another very weak takedown try. Head with a hook followed by a knee. Good right by Ebersole. Head has Ebersole’s back, gets the takedown, but Ebersole was able to escape. Body kicks blocked by Head. Another shot defended by Head. Ebersole looks like someone gave him a Valium. Knee to the body by Head. Ugly fight, and the fans are expressing their displeasure. Another agonizing shot by Ebersole. Defended by Head. Head charges forward with a couple decent shots to the grill. The fans are booing all the half-ass takedown attempts. Ebersole on top, but the round ends. Rough fight to watch, and to score.
The decision is in, and it’s 29-28 Head, 29-28, Ebersole, and 29-28 Head with the split decision.
The big guys are next, Cheick Kongo and Shawn Jordan.
There’s only one certainty tonight, and that is that Kongo will do a double chest thump continuously from the time he begins his walk out to the first time he knees Jordan in the sack.
Jordan may not look it, but this cat is an athlete. He can run the 40 in 4.6 seconds, stick the landing on a back flip, and fold his eyelids back. I have a searing, lifelong jealousy of people who can do that nasty-ass eyelid thing.
And of course, Kongo is not doing the chest thump thing. I fail.
Round 1: They touch and it’s on. Kongo with a huge leg kick. Jordan pushes Kongo into the cage, going for a takedown. Kongo defending well, but Jordan is relentless with it. Kongo is out of danger, but he still has his back to the cage. Jordan going for it again. Kongo with a nice, wide base defending. Jordan with a punch to the ear. Kongo reverses and has Jordan’s back standing. He’s delivering a couple shots to the side of the head. And the karma gods step in as Kongo takes an elbow to the pills. Kongo is pretty miserable right about now, on his knees recovering.And they’re ready to resume. Kongo with a high kick, blocked. Jordan with a wild side kick, misses by a mile. Leg kick by Kongo. Kongo charges in with jabs, and has Jordan up against the cage. Kongo is looking for a takedown of his own, Jordan defending with an underhook. He reverses and has Kongo against the cage now, going for another double leg, switches to a single leg, then a high crotch, unsuccessful. Kongo with a knee as the round ends.
Round 2: Kongo opens with a knee to the body. Jordan has him against the cage again. Kongo reverses, and delivers a couple knees to the body. Jordan reverses and looking for another leg. Kongo has an underhook, defends. Another knee by Kongo, and a counter shot by Jordan. They’re in the clinch again, trade knees. They separate. Kongo with a nice straight right, and Jordan pushes him into the cage again. Kongo going for a takedown, stuffed. Now Jordan going for another leg, it just aint happening. Kongo takes his back standing, and punches to the temple. Kongo with a neck crank, going nowhere with that. Jordan is down and Kongo is on his back, but Jordan reverses and ends up on top in half guard. Who woulda thought this would turn into a grappling match? Jordan controlling, but doesn’t land much in the way of ground and pound.
Round 3: A lot of fists a flying to open up, but nothing landing, and they clinch again. Kongo is pressing Jordan up against the cage looking for a takedown. Jordan lands an elbow, Kongo responds with a knee. Kongo misses a jab, then lands a right. Jordan going for a double, switches to a single, that just isn’t there. Kongo with a knee to the body. Jordan throws sloppy shots, Kongo locks up with him again. Jordan with an uppercut that skims Kongo’s face. This is a brutal clinch war. Kongo looking for a neck, but Jordan doesn’t have one. Good knee to the body by Kongo. Jordan going for old faithful, that takedown that hasn’t worked yet. Knee to the head by Kongo. Jordan misses an uppercut. The round closes with the fans voicing their displeasure.
The judges score it 30-28, 30-27, and 30-27 for Cheick Kongo.
Hector Lombard vs Tim Boetsch is up next.
Hector Lombard has been inspiring passionate debate in MMA circles for a few years now. His supporters claim his ridiculous record of 31-2-1-1 proves he’s top of the food chain. His detractors claim his win column is populated by guys who eat baked beans out of a can and travel by rail free of charge. Tonight we find out.
All the pressure here is on Lombard. He comes in with a big rep. If he wins, well, no biggy, he was supposed to win. If he loses, he’s the overrated can crusher we’ve been mocking all these years. That’s a heavy load to bear. See Jorge Santiago for reference.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Lombard’s UFC debut because Dana White said it’s possible he could get a title shot if he’s victorious. This pissed off middleweights Michael Bisping and Mark Munoz something fierce. Of course, both those guys lost their last fights, Munoz badly – very fucking badly – so their opinions really don’t count for much. But, they do make a somewhat valid point. How can a guy come in after beating up fighters with no Wikipedia pages and get a title shot after just one win? It’s unfair dammit, and that’s not what America is about.
Boetsch reminds me of the father I never had, which is bizarre considering I’m five years older than him. I don’t know what it is, he just reminds me of a guy in his 50’s who builds decks for a living and slugs Coors (not that light shit either) from a can. And he’s about to face a guy who is just a tsunami of hurt and angst. I don’t know if I can watch this. I actually fear for Tim’s safety here.
Lombard and his team come out with black bandanas covering their faces like old school bank robbers. That must have some significance, but damned if I know what it is.
Round 1: Boetsch with a leg kick to start things off, then a push kick. Lombard shrugs off a takedown attempt very easily, then lands an uppercut. Lombard with a takedown of his own, and working to pull Boetsch off the cage. He wall walks, and is up. Another leg kick by Boetsch. Lombard is stationary, just coiled up waiting to explode. Tim is mobile, throwing lots of kicks. Push kick to the knee lands. Lombard with an overhand left, misses. Boetsch misses a hook and Lombard lands a short shot. They trade bombs. Lombard whizzes a right hook, barely connects. Good leg kick by Boetsch, goes for a takedown, Lombard stuffs it. Lombard goes high with a kick, blocked. The round closes without much happening. Boetsch probably took it on activity alone.
Round 2: Front kick to the body by Boetsch, Lombard lands a big left. Lombard lands a right then a left, and a low kick of his own. Boetsch tries a Superman punch, misses. Lombard responds with bombs, but does not connect. Boetsch with a side kick to the leg. Leg kick by Boetsch. Lombard lands a decent left, then a leg kick. Boetsch responds in kind. High kick by Boetsch misses, as does Lombard’s. Lombard lands a right hook. Uppercut by Lombard, whizzes the cheek. Low kick by Boetsch, Lombard lands a kick to the body that hurts Boetsch. Now Lombard is on his back, landing short shots to the temple. Tim is back up, Lombard with a takedown attempt, doesn’t score. They’re up against the cage, not doing much. Boetsch goes for a trip, didn’t work.
Round 3: Boetsch starts things off with a hard leg kick. Lombard responds with a shot to the head. Inside leg kick by Boetsch. Huge overhand left misses by Lombard. Lombard stalking, but not throwing anything. Boetsch goes in and eats a left. Another inside leg kick by Boetsch. Lombard shrugs Boetsch off effortlessly, but does not counter. Lombard skims a body kick. Lombard with a trip, but they both get up immediately. The crowd is booing viciously. Boetsch with a jab, pushes Lombard to the cage. Lombard reverses, and goes for a takedown, gets it. Boetsch up, lands a knee, but he’s up against the cage again. The round ends with lots of booing and a general sense of disappointment.
Damn the fans are letting them have it.
It’s 29-28 across the board, split decision goes to Tim Boetsch.
Interestingly, they skip the interviews. Not sure if it’s because of time constraints, or just to spare their hyped up acquisition the awkwardness of the boos.
But whatever, it’s main event time, Urijah Faber vs Renan Barao, baby!
You just gotta love Faber. The whole California surfer-dude thing, it’s not like after all these years it’s played out or anything. “The California Kid” rolls out to “California Love” with his California good looks and you just know your girlfriend who is sitting right next to you wishes she could make passionate love to his splendid ass-chin. Add that to the fact that he’s probably pretty wealthy, and will beat your punk ass down with minimal effort, and yeah, I hate him too. My pathetic jealousies aside, Faber is a bad dude. He’s been doing his thing in MMA for almost a decade and he’s still Top 2 in his division.
So can Renan Barao steal Faber’s soul? He seems like he’s got all the tools. Barao is a classic Nova Uniao fighter – a nasty ass Muay Thai striker who just happens to hold a BJJ black belt, ya know as like a secondary weapon of doom. He’s riding a 29 fight unbeaten streak – referred to as “unbeaten” rather than a “winning” streak because there’s a no-contest sandwiched in there. But petty technicalities aside, the guy is riding the longest non-losing streak I know of. The only problem is that until he got to the WEC in 2010 only one of his opponents had a Wikipedia page, and we all know that’s the true benchmark of a successful fighter. Plus he’s just kinda scary. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had some Gunny Hartman powers of coercion to make a fool choke himself.
Round 1: Barao misses a high kick. And another. Faber charges forward, gets pushed back with a few shots. Front kick by Faber, answered by Barao. Uppercut by Faber. Hook by Barao misses, as does a high kick. Faber answers with a high kick, misses as well. Barao misses a wheel kick. Faber lands an inside leg kick, Barao answers back with one of his own, then hits on a spinning back kick. Then lands a nice knee to the body on Faber. High kick misses by Barao, eats a jab from Faber. Inside leg kick by Barao. Body punch by Faber, then he eats a head shot. They trade jabs. Hard leg kick landed by Barao. Good right by Faber to end the round.
Round 2: Barao lands a leg kick, misses a head kick. Faber is doing a great job of not getting his leg demolished. Faber lands a good right, checks a kick. Barao gets poked in the eye, the action is halted. Here we go. Flying knee by Barao misses, and Faber has him against the cage. Faber lands a right. Good leg kick from Faber. Barao with a big leg kick. Nice body shot by Barao. Faber charges forward and misses everything. Another leg kick by Barao. They trade rights. Spinning kick by Barao misses. They trade hooks to the head. Barao with a stiff jab, followed by a leg kick. Barao lands another right, and a brutal leg kick.
Round 3: Overhand right lands by Faber. Big kick/punch combo from Barao, misses a flying knee. Faber goes for a takedown, stuffed. Barao eats a right. Front kick by Faber, eats a left for it. Good straight right by Faber. Huge straight left by Barao, stumbles Faber back. Barao lands a big leg kick. And another. A wild exchange, not much landed by either fighter. Godo uppercut to the body by Faber. Nice right by Barao. Faber with a combo, Barao covers up. Barao lands a nice kick to the leg. And another. Good jab by Faber, but he eats another leg kick. Faber slips a jab, then eats one.
Round 4: Good jab by Faber. Nice overhand left landed by Barao. Faber jumps in, lands to the head. Huge leg kick by Barao. Body punch by Faber. Spinning kick misses by Barao. Faber grazes him with a left. Faber takes a finger to the eye, but he appears fine. Barao lands a left hook. Faber with a jab. Faber lands a low kick of his own. Faber goes for a takedown, Barao stuffs it easily. Barao with a combination, then a leg kick. Good straight right by Barao, followed by a hook to the body. Faber shoots, gets pushed back. They trade shots. The round ends, and Faber is down. He has to get down and dirty, wedgies, wet willies, whatever it takes man.
Round 5: They hut it out, and the final round begins. Barao lands a straight left. Faber misses a kick. Body jab from Faber, then he eats a shot to the mug. Barao with a left hook, then a jab. Faber connects with a left. Then lands a shot to the body. Faber catches a leg, but can’t do anything with it. They trade jabs. Faber pushes forward, there’s nothing there for him. Barao catches Faber’s leg and blasts him. Big left hook from Barao. Superman punch lands from Faber. Massive leg kick from Barao. Then a stiff left jab. Barao lands a big right. Barao misses another spinning kick, and that’s that.
Barring a fluke, Barao got this.
The decision is in, 49-46, 50-45, 49-46 and Renan Barao wins the unanimous decision.
There it is, folks. Renan Barao is the UFC Interim Bantamweight Champion, for whatever that’s worth.
That’s it for me, y’all, thanks for chilling. It’s time to pop a Coors and just be glad that Boetsch is still alive.