The UFC makes its first stop in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, tonight, and yes, the lineup is somewhat garbage-ass. That’s what happens when you lose your original main event and then your co-main event due to injuries. But the show must go on, and we’ll be here liveblogging the pay-per-view broadcast all night, whether you join us or not. (Please join us. Please?)
On the menu for this evening: Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson try to avoid the gaping chasm of irrelevance, Roy Nelson goes for his fourth-straight knockout against Stipe Miocic, and highly regarded women’s bantamweight prospects Alexis Davis and Rosi Sexton make their debuts against each other. Plus, Pat Barry might leg-kick Shawn Jordan to death, and Ryan Jimmo might do the robot. Fingers crossed.
Handling our play-by-play is Anthony Gannon, who will be stacking live results from the UFC 161 main card after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and throw in your own analysis in the comments section.
Good evening, Potato Nation. So far this fight weekend has been a winner. Last night’s WSOF event produced a leg kick TKO where the vic, Brian Cobb actually tried to call a time out; one of the nastiest rear naked chokes you’ll ever see by Steve Carl; and of course “The People’s Warrior” Josh Burkman did in 41 seconds what Demain Maia couldn’t do in 15 minutes – put Jon Fitch’s crooked Mohawk having ass to sleep. Oh yeah, one of our favorite fighters, Jacob “Dr. Feelgood” Volkmann got himself another decision win. Just don’t go calling it boring, you fat turd. Anyway, the point is that it was an entertaining event with spectacular finishes. It would be a tough act to follow – especially for this injury-riddled UFC card – if not for the probability that about 17 people actually watched it.
That filthy Gypsy who ravaged last year’s events is back in town, and as always she’s an unrelenting whore. Let’s just hope that moving forward this event is the exception rather than the rule. We lost the main event, Renan Barao vs Eddie Wineland due to a Barao foot injury. They claim it happened in training, but it’s quite possible he smacked his pinky toe stepping out of the shower and is just embarrassed to admit it. A training injury is sexier, of course, but we can all understand the horror of a stubbed toe. It’s a criminally underrated injury that hurts like a sumbitch. So if it was a stubbed toe, dammit admit it was a stubbed toe.
Then we lost Little Nog vs Shogun due to Nog’s back injury, or cowardice, depending on your view. Chael Sonnen volunteered to save the day once again, but could not travel to Canada due to visa complications likely stemming from his 2011 money laundering conviction. Whether he’s making fantastical claims, setting up schemes so elaborate that those who are in on it don’t even know they’re in on it, or plotting to buy an island, declare his own nation and recreate the world in his image, Sonnen has a way of stealing the show. Look at this, he’s not even on the card and I’m rambling on about him. That, ladies and gentlemen, is why he’s the American Gangster. Okay, that’s enough.
So we took some hits here, no big deal. Let us be optimists for a change. Studies have shown that gratitude is the key factor in determining happiness. And it’s true if you think about it. Just because your neighbor has a hot wife, a BMW, and a rockin’ crib, while you got old roofing shingles crashing down onto your Sanford and Son truck and a wife who’s desperately trying to get on the next season of The Biggest Loser, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be happy. Forget that prick, focus on all that you have and bask in the elixir of delusional wealth and success. It’s that simple. This is why the Bible has all that stuff in it about not coveting thy neighbor’s shit. So rather than mocking that which we’ve been denied, let us appreciate the bountiful fight card we do have. Yeah, I did just say that. And no, I don’t really buy it either.
So who will step up and save the day? Pat Barry and Shawn Jordan, perhaps? Barry had a real creepy smile on his face at the weigh-ins, looked like Pyle right before he blew away Gunny Hartman. Ryan Jimmo and Igor Pokrajac? Jimmo was rocking a creepy smile too, and he took way too long to disrobe, kind of like he was doing the crowd a favor by allowing them to view his statuesque physique and pencil eraser nipples. Maybe Alexis Davis and Rosi Sexton steal the show tonight. Or, maybe Rashad Evans decides that he actually likes having fans and abandons his 50 takedowns pledge.
You see, the fans used to consider Rashad, for lack of a better term, kind of a dick. It was always obvious he was a good guy, he just had a way about him that fans didn’t care for. It’s hard to explain. Some things, right or wrong, just paint a guy as a dick, like wearing a visor. That perception has changed somewhat over the past couple of years though. Sure, Rashad still catches some boos, but nothing on the scale of a few years back. It’s a tenuous arrangement, however. Another piss poor performance can turn us into haters again. Rashad needs to perform.
Dan Henderson, on the other hand, will always be loved. He’s a pimp. The dude is 42 years old, has some jacked up ears, and likes to knock bitches stupid. But the true key to Dan’s success is he rolls out to “Lunatic Fringe.” It’s just one of those inspirational songs with the power to put the grossly misguided idea in your head that the Joker can actually beat this animal in a wrestling match; just as the Rocky theme has the power to make an otherwise sensible person put on a stained-ass sweat shirt, guzzle some raw eggs, and run up a bunch of steps, even though that’s the surest route to simultaneously vomiting and shitting yourself.
You can check out all the undercard results here. And in case you were wondering, all that blood on the mat is from Sam Stout’s face.
Kicking off the action tonight we have Pat Barry vs Shawn Jordan.
You cannot deny the appeal of Pat Barry. Rarely will we see a 5-5 UFC fighter who gets as much love as Barry. The reasons are simple: he’s an affable dude who in ten Octagon appearances has only gone to decision once – a kill or be killed type. Not to mention that his presence on a card gives Rogan an incredible boner as he talks about Barry’s “thunderous” leg kicks, which will undoubtedly trigger a Goldberg response to Jordan’s collegiate football background and the fact that he once ran the 40 in 4.6. Yes, Goldy has a fascination with MMA fighters who once played other sports. Some years back he almost popped one off when commenting on the reason why it appears that Marvin Eastman has a football player’s build is in fact because he was a football player. So there ya have it.
Round 1: They touch gloves and it’s on. Barry with a hard high kick, blocked. Barry lands a short right, then a leg kick. Jordan charges forward with insane punches in bunches and holy shit he knocks Barry on his ass and finishes him!
A nice combo put Barry down, and about 20 lefts to the temple forced the ref to step in. Nice win for Jordan, a TKO at the 59 second mark of the first round.
Alexis Davis and Rosi Sexton are next.
So far the ladies have failed to disappoint in the Octagon. This one should be no different.
Props to Davis for coming out to Run DMC’s “It’s Tricky.”
Direct quote from my usually feminist girlfriend - “Fuck that bitch up!” Classy, right? Yeah she’s a keeper. I’ll make sure to remind her of this the next time she flips out after sitting me down for an excruciatingly long conversation about her emotional needs, and when it’s my turn to reveal my deepest intimacies all I can muster is, “more head.”
Round 1: Davis sticks a jab to start things off. Sexton with a good right. Davis tries an elbow, glances. Sexton responds with a right, eats a knee. High paced to start off. Davis lands a real good knee to the body. Sexton lands a few body shots. Davis going for a takedown, Sexton defending well. They’re against the cage working for position, now they split, and Sexton lands a left off the break. Sexton shoots, ends up with Davis on her back. Well that probably wasn’t the plan. Now Sexton is on her back in full guard looking for a triangle. She just locked it up. Sexton landing good shots to the face, but she’s still in that choke. Davis can’t finish it, now she loses it. And now she’s taking some shots to the grill. Got the triangle again, but it aint gonna work. The round ends that way. 10-9 Sexton
Round 2: They come out jabbing, both land. Now they clinch, Davis lands a knee and eats an elbow. Sexton presses Davis against the cage looking for a takedown. She got it, and is in side control. Davis is going for a leg, but instead decides to reverse and ends up on top, ends up in full guard. Davis drops a few shots down. So far Sexton doing a good job avoiding any major damage. Oh, but Davis sticks a decent elbow right on Sexton’s cheek. Now Davis is dropping successive punches down. Davis with a knee to the body, looking for a rear naked choke now. Davis only has one hook in, she let’s go. She’s got Sexton’s back, hooks in, and flattened her out. She’s dropping shots, now elbows, and Sexton will survive. 10-9 Davis
Round 3: Sexton opens with a left jab, Davis with a straight right. They trade a few decent shots center cage. Davis shoots, Sexton sprawls, goes for a leg, but Davis ends up taking her back. Uh oh, lot of time left. Body lock by Davis, looking for that rear naked. Softening Sexton up with punches to the chops. Sexton slips out, but now Davis is fishing for a triangle. Nothing doing , has to settle for full guard. Davis working a high guard. Sexton drops a few to the ribs. Davis doing a good job controlling Sexton’s posture, staying out of trouble. Davis rolls out, Sexton goes for her back, but loses it and ends up in bottom in guard. Davis drops a few to the body, and it ends with an up kick by Sexton. Close round. Could go either way. 10-9 Davis
The official decision is in: 29-28, 29-27, 29-28, Alexis Davis by unanimous decision.
Ryan Jimmo vs Igor Pokrajac is next.
Jimmo does the robot when he wins, and as far as I’m concerned that’s reason enough to root for him. Certain pantomime acts of yesteryear are universally banned and those who perpetuate them deserve to be tortured, such as anyone in this day and age who thinks it’s acceptable to “raise the roof.” It’s not. You see this shameless spectacle a lot with overweight women sitting in the crowd on daytime talk shows. I’m not sure if the producers of these shows encourage this sort of behavior, but it needs to end. Same applies to anyone who does the Arsenio fist pump. Double down on the severity of the torture if they also chant “woof, woof” while doing it. The robot, however, is timeless when properly done, especially when mixed with break dancing.
Igor rolls out to AC/DC, stoic as any self-respecting Croatian should be.
Damn, Jimmo responds with John Fogerty. Respect!
Round 1: Jimmo opens with a leg kick. Igor with a right. Jimmo pushes Igor against the cage, working some knees to the thigh. Wow, Yves Lavigne breaks them up with the quickness. They clinch again. Yves breaks them up yet again. Yves aint havin’ this shit today, man. Jimmo with a good jab. Igor charges in, ducks a punch, and clinches. Jimmo with a few short shots. They get separated again. And they clinch. Igor grabs a neck, Jimmo pops it out. They break and Jimmo sticks an elbow. The clinch again. Jimmo has under hooks but doesn’t seem to be looking for a takedown. Yves busts them up again. Igor with a high kick, misses by a mile. Leg kick by Jimmo. Igor charging in, eats a shot. They trade jabs. Igor with a combination, then lands a solid right. Jimmo with one of his own. They clinch again and the round ends. 10-9 Jimmo
Round 2: Jimmo opems with an inside leg kick. Igor stalking. Jimmo lands a big right, drops Igor. He descends, but Igor gets up. Jimmo takes him down. Jimmo working some decent ground and pound, nothing too devastating. Jimmo’s cornermen are giving him instructions. Igor has a message for them, “Blah, blah, blah.” Igor lands a few shots from bottom position. Jimmo still working the ground and pound, still not landing anything all too significant, although he is winning the round. They’re kinda stalled, and Yves is nowhere to be found. Jimmo with some short elbows. Igor with a couple damn good shots from the bottom and sticks an up kick. Jimmo moves to side control. The round ends. 10-9 Jimmo.
Round 3: Igor lands a good right to the jaw, Jimmo walks through it and clinches. Igor with a nice trip takedown, but he gets reversed and Jimmo is on top in guard. Maybe this round Yves will remember that he’s allowed to stand them up when there’s nothing happening. The crowd is starting to get restless. Jimmo lands a couple good shots, getting active now. Igor going for a guillotine. Jimmo is free. More short elbows from the top. Igor gets up, and here comes the clinch. Yves breaks them up. Dude don’t like the clinch apparently. Pretty bad fight, audience is letting them have it. 10-9 Jimmo
The decision is 30-27 across the board, Ryan Jimmo by unanimous decision. Unfortunately that performance does not warrant the robot.
Roy Nelson and Stipe Miocic are up next.
It’s great that Roy’s been knocking dudes out lately, but I kinda miss the days when he would take a guy down and smother him with his unctuous bosom. Legend has it Roy would stuff a week-old tuna melt under the flap to intensify the suffering. Sly, Big Country. Very sly.
Stipe is a good wrestler/boxer who is looking to find his groove in the heavyweight division. He rolls out to some indiscernible hip hop in a simple t-shirt and a backwards hat. No frills kinda guy, Stipe is.
Big Country comes out to “We Will Rock You” looking about as unkempt as a guy can look walking into the Octagon.
Round 1: Roy misses an uppercut, eats a left. Roy looks like he’s trying to force the overhand right. Stipe with a right. Roy lands one of his own, then a kick. Jab by Stipe. Roy misses the overhand, and eats a nasty combo from Stipe. Roy fakes a shot, eats a right for it. Roy hard to the body. Then eats another combo. Stipe with a nice knee. Uppercut by Roy, misses. Roy lands the right. Tries it again, misses. Stipe lands a good jab, and is peppering Roy up with elbows and punches. Now an uppercut lands. He’s kicking Roy’s ass. Roy clinches, and they separate with nothing happening. The round ends with a Big Country leg kick. 10-9 Stipe
Roy’s cornerman screams at him to get his shit together.
Round 2: Stipe with a powerful right, then a knee. Oof, he lands another good combo. And another. Stipe is crisp tonight. It doesn’t hurt than Roy is already exhausted. Roy throws two rights in a row, definitely forcing them now. Roy is getting beat up again now. Stipe with a couple short elbows in the clinch. Stipe shoots, Roy defends. But Stipe then lands a body kick, then a left jab. Roy paws a couple jabs out there, misses. They trade right hands. Stipe continues to land jabs, but Roy finally lands something solid with an uppercut. Roy is huffing and puffing. Stipe with another jab, then a good straight right. It ends with Roy plodding forward with his arms up looking for a fight. 10-9 Stipe
Round 3: Two jabs followed by a left for Stipe. He lands a good right. And another jab. Leg kick by Stipe, Roy misses a right. Stipe with a right, Roy responds with one of his own but it don’t have much on it. Roy charges forward and misses about five different strikes. Roy with a decent right. Stipe gets a takedown, Roy gets up. They clinch against the cage, and Stipe is working the body. The ref separates them. Roy lands a good uppercut. Good combo by Stipe, and he’s tooling Roy. They clinch again, and Roy looks like he’d rather be somewhere else. It ends, and that’s a bad performance for Roy to go into free agency on.
30-27 across the board for Stipe Miocic.
It’s main event time, Dan Henderson vs Rashad Evans, and these guys really need to save the day here.
Rashad said of Henderson, “He beats everyone. He beats em good too. He just knocks em the hell out, and they sleep for a long time.” I’m not sure why but I find that to be one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard.
Both these guys are coming off shitty losses in horrible fights – Henderson to Machida and Rashad to Little Nog. They could both use the W, no doubt, but they also need impressive showings to stay relevant in the division.
And of course Dan doesn’t come out to “Lunatic Fringe.” Bad sign. Instead he chooses some country western shit.
Round 1: Here we go. Feeling each other out to start. Rashad with a jab to open up. Hendo wades in, gets backed up by a shot. Rashad goes for takedown #1, fails. Rashad with a real nice left. Hendo misses a right. Rashad attempts another takedown, Hendo stuffs it. Now they’re clinched, and they separate without much happening. Hendo misses an overhand right. Jab by Rashad. Great jab by Hendo drops Rashad, he’s rocked. Hendo goes after him, but Rashad seems recovered. Hendo misses a big right to end the round. 10-9 Hendo simply for landing the only significant strike.
Round 2: Rashad opens with a left jab. He gets a takedown, but Hendo is up with Rashad on his back. Hendo straightens things out, and they’re working against the cage. Hendo with a knee to the body. They separate, and Rashad lands a right. Hendo with a knee. They exchange, both landing glancing blows. Straight right misses by Hendo. Rashad with a big right, Hendo ducks it. They trade jabs. Another takedown attempt by Rashad stuffed. Rashad lands a decent combo, then goes for another takedown, can’t get it. Hendo charges in, Rashad backs up and the round ends. Tough one to score. 10-9 Rashad
Round 3: They touch and it’s on. Rashad with a left jab. Hendo wades in and misses a left hook. Rashad comes in and eats a big right, but then responds with a nasty combo that stuns Hendo. Then a jab by Rashad. Hendo with an overhand right, Rashad easily avoids it. Rashad shoots for a single leg, Hendo defends so Rashad pushes him into the cage and looks to be working toward another takedown attempt. Hendo with a couple knees to the body. Rashad goes to the body. They separate. Nice stiff jab by Rashad. Dan closes distance, and they clinch again. Rashad with a few shots, Hendo with a knee. Rashad drops for a leg, nothing doing. Hendo responds with an elbow. This is a grueling round, Hendo looks miserable. Dan misses a huge right, Rashad ends with a jab. 10-9 Rashad
The official decision is in, and it’s 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 and the split decision goes to Rashad Evans
Okay, I’ll say it. Overall that was a pretty suck ass event. Thanks for checking in. I’m out. It’s time for a drink.