Fact: You had a 63% better chance of seeing a fight at a Calgary Flames game than you did at UFC 149, according to a study I made up for this caption. Props: The Calgary Sun
When I first sat down to write this aftermath, I wrote five paragraphs of a Jim Cornette rant about how dreadful the main card of UFC 149 was to sit through. Even the most jaded UFC fan boys – the types who comment “Its fights stop complaneing ur not real UFC fan if u dont liek this TapouT tribal tatz NEVER BACK DOWN!!!!!” on YouTube videos of Jacob Volkmann vs. Antonio Mckee- would be hard-pressed to say that UFC 149 was worth watching, let alone paying for. Then I realized that that wouldn’t be fair. Not because a longwinded rant about boredom isn’t a fair assessment of the main card, but rather it isn’t fair to the fans to force them to relive the lowest of the low points from last night. We can all agree that the less that is written about the main card, the better.
So in that spirit, I give you the first ever Cage Potato Fill-In-The-Blank aftermath. Simply pick one of the applicable fighters listed below and plug his name into the blanks. The result will be a mostly accurate analysis of both his performance last night and the future ramifications brought on by it. Enjoy.
Applicable Fighters*: James Head, Brian Ebersole, Cheick Kongo, Shawn Jordan, Tim Boetsch**, Hector Lombard.
I know that the Polly Pessimists and Debby Downers who make up the MMA media are often too hard on fighters, but in this case it’s well deserved: The performance of __________ at last night’s UFC 149 absolutely sucked. He let a golden opportunity slip through his fingers, and seemed perfectly content with this while doing so. If last night was a first date with a perfect ten, then he showed up in sweatpants, took her to Whataburger and then asked for gas money on the ride home.
Before last night, only the most hardcore UFC fans knew who __________ was. While the casual fans would have probably recognized the name “__________,” their knowledge of his career either ended there or they knew him for the wrong reasons (i.e. his physical appearance, his collegiate sporting achievements, some fights he lost; etc.) With the UFC 149 injury curse draining the card of every big name other than Urijah Faber, this was __________’s big chance to get over with these fans, to make a name for himself in his weight class and to prove that he deserves more time on the Pay-Per-View portion of cards and higher profile fights. A gutsy, entertaining performance arguably would have done this; a gutsy, entertaining victory certainly would have.
Instead, __________ let Matt Riddle steal the spotlight. Simply put, Riddle capitalized on the way that Siyar The Great’s injury granted him a spot on the main card in ways that no one else did. Despite a terrible “low blow” (that was completely clean) that prevented Riddle from finishing Chris Clements in the first round, Riddle kept his composure and outgrappled Clements for the rest of the fight. In the third round, Riddle managed to lock in a standing arm-triangle choke off of a failed spinning backfist attempt from Clements. Once he took the dynamic Canadian striker to the ground, he tightened the choke and earned the tap. The $65k Submission of the Night bonus he took home should compliment all of the new fans and increased exposure he earned from this performance nicely.
I emphasize that __________ let Riddle steal the spotlight. While “Deep Waters” put on an entertaining fight for the Calgary fans, __________ did his best to put them to sleep. We were reminded throughout the night of __________’s __________ (knockout power/creative offense are your choices here). Rather than actually using it, __________ opted to take part in three rounds too abysmal for even ProElite to acknowledge. I understand that you have to fight intelligently to pick up a victory at this level, and that getting careless while trying to give the fans a good fight is a great way to end up on the canvas. But that doesn’t justify three rounds of avoiding any type of meaningful engagement with your opponent. Although, to be fair to __________, his opponent wasn’t exactly chasing him around like Nate Quarry.
This was supposed to be a coming out party for __________, and did he ever waste it. His performance doesn’t warrant a step up in competition. It doesn’t warrant a spot in the main event in the near future. Rather, it just further exposed the flaws in his game that detractors have been quick to point out. If you’re still on The __________ Bandwagon, stretch out. You’ve got plenty of room to do so.
*No, I’m not including Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber. Yes, the fans were quick to boo, but at that point it was mostly out of instinct. Watch the fight again if you don’t believe me. Sure, it wasn’t exactly Torres vs. Mizugaki, but it was a solid showcase from both fighters. In the end, the bout proved exactly what we already knew: Urijah can’t check a leg kick, he’s been choking in title fights ever since losing the WEC Featherweight Championship to Mike Brown (seriously, he’s 0-5 in his last five title fights. Eat your heart out, KenFlo.), and a guy doesn’t go thirty fights without a loss unless he’s a special talent.
Chris Clements also gets a pass. Sure, he didn’t go out and win, but Matt Riddle was just the better man last night. Sometimes that happens in MMA.
**For what it’s worth, Boetsch injured himself in the second round of his fight last night. Not that he looked amazing up until that point in the fight, but it’s worth pointing out.
Two more things: Fight of the Night went to Bryan Caraway and Mitch Gagnon for their highly entertaining battle that kicked off the prelims on FX. It was pretty much all downhill from there. And knockout of the night? Former Cagepotato.com contributor Ryan Jimmo. Seven seconds. Bitches.
Renan Barao def. Urijah Faber via unanimous decision
Tim Boetsch def. Hector Lombard via split decision
Cheick Kongo def. Shawn Jordan via unanimous decision
James Head def. Brian Ebersole via split decision
Matt Riddle def. Chris Clements via submission (arm- triangle choke), 2:02 of Round Three
Nick Ring def. Court McGee via unanimous decision
Francisco Rivera def. Roland Delorme via KO (punch), 4:19 of Round One
Ryan Jimmo def. Anthony Perosh via KO (punch), 0:07 of Round One
Bryan Caraway def. Mitch Gagnon via submission (rear-naked choke), 1:39 of Round Three
Antonio Carvalho def. Daniel Pineda via KO (punches), 1:11 of Round One
Anton Kuivanen def. Mitch Clarke via split decision