(Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle.)
We’re closing in on the start time for UFC Fight Night 17, an event whose fairly mediocre lineup threatens to be hopelessly overshadowed by the tornado of MMA controversy and news. But no matter, there are free fights on and we’re going to enjoy ourselves, dammit.
Hit refresh often and don’t bring me down with your bitching about how Jeremy Stephens isn’t a main event fighter. He is tonight. Think positive!
I’ll be honest, I did not expect to hear Goldberg kick off the broadcast with the line “B.J. Penn is the champion.” But then he continued to talk about the lightweight division and I got it, I caught on. Wonder if that’s the UFC’s not so subtle way of saying Penn can go ahead and forget about a third fight with GSP. Let’s hope.
Oh yeah, commercials. This is why pay-per-views are better. But then how would we know about the new Spike TV series, “1,000 Ways to Die”? We wouldn’t. We’d just be happy instead.
Fioravanti lands the first blow with a right hand in an early exchange. Johnson responds a few moments later with a couple of kicks, but we’re off to a fairly slow start. Fioravanti lands another right, and Johnson keeps chopping at him with leg kicks. A right hand from Johnson catches Fioravanti on the chin at the end of an exchange. Fioravanti tries a single-leg but Johnson seems unconcerned, and stops it. In the clinch a Fioravanti knee catches Johnson in the junk. Rogan pauses a moment to lament nature’s poor design when it comes to the testicles. You just don’t get that in a boxing broadcast.
A good right from Johnson drops Fioravanti. He scrambles back up, but Johnson puts the pressure on and drops him with another right, then finishes with a flurry of hammer fists, about forty percent of which seem to find the back of Fioravanti’s head. Troy Waugh has seen enough, and calls it off near the end of the first.
(An ad for ExtenZe, eh? Looks like Spike TV’s advertisers really know their audience. Otherwise, would we be watching someone who is our dad’s age talk about making his penis larger and improving his performance? Noooo way.)
Anthony Johnson defeats Luigi Fioravanti via TKO at 4:39 of round 1.
Johnson says he is unhappy about his performance, for some reason. You gotta love a guy who can find something to complain about in his own first-round stoppage.
The wordsmith Neer aptly describes the stakes in this fight by saying that the winner takes a step forward and the loser takes a step backwards. Or – just thinking out loud here – the loser might get cut if it’s his second straight loss and he was recently arrested for DUI and hit-and-run. Who knows.
Shit, the Vermont Teddy Bear company has a surprisingly noticeable ad on Neer’s banner. I guess if they’re paying, you got no choice.
A big right from Neer drops Danzig right away. He’s back up, covering up as Neer bangs away. The cobwebs cleared, Danzig fires back with an uppercut and some knees, then later a right to the body and then to the head. Danzig landing some good shots, but Neer seems unaffected. Neer has a cut over his left eye. Danzig flicks out some leg kicks and Neer comes running in, right into an overhand right that puts him on his back. Danzig follows him down and nearly gets triangled. Back on their feet Neer is landing and showboating a little. Danzig backs away and lands a few sparing shots before the end of the round. Exciting start to this one.
Neer puts Danzig down and starts hammering him with elbows. Danzig looks a little overwhelmed, but Neer tries to take his back and slips off to end up on the bottom. Now Danzig on top and looking to ground-and-pound, though it’s not as damaging as Neer’s was. Neer seems to be pleading for a stand-up, then changes his mind and locks up a triangle. Danzig does absolutely nothing to stop it, even though the whole arena can see it coming. He makes a token attempt at escaping but gets flipped over and taps. What happened to Mac Danzig? Seems like he folded rather easily here. Big submission win for Neer.
Josh Neer defeats Mac Danzig via submission (triangle choke) at 3:36 of round 1.
Seriously, now Joe Rogan is interviewing a DEA agent? Joe Rogan. Who loves weed. Who was recently photographed loving weed in High Times magazine. Does no one else see the irony in this?
Hold up. Stojnic’s nickname is Denis “The Menace”? He does know that’s the name of an American comic strip character, right?
Velasquez comes out throwing hard and landing, then clinches up and presses Stojnic up against the fence for some knees. A left from Velasquez and then a takedown attempt that turns into a clinch where Velasquez throws some hard knees to the head. Velasquez is pounding him with knees and punches up against the fence. Stojnic is taking them all and motioning Cain in like he just can’t get enough of this skull-thumpin’. Looks like Velasquez will see the second round for the first time. Only because Stojnic can take a shot, though that’s about all he can do.
Stojnic throws some wild, errant punches and tries a guillotine as it goes to the ground, but he’s got nothing for Velasquez. Cain is mauling him on the ground with punches and elbows. Stojnic is just covering up and waiting for the bad times to be over. And they are. Referee Jorge Ortiz finally stops it, though Velasquez seems like he’d rather keep beating Denis the Menace’s ass. Sorry. No mas.
Cain Velasquez defeats Denis Stojnic via TKO (punches) at 2:34 of round 2.
Dominant victory for Velasquez, who looked almost as if he was fighting a severely outmatched opponent making his UFC debut. How ‘bout that.
Veach comes out fast and gets a takedown after some decent strikes. Grice nearly gets an anaconda choke, but Veach escapes. Uppercut from Grice drops Veach, who then eats a ton of hard shots but somehow hangs in. Grice passes guard and gets to mount, but looks like he may have worn himself out trying to put Veach away. Now Veach reverses top to bottom before they get back to their feet. Grice lands a nice hook and uppercut. Veach lands a big right hand that drops Grice with less than a minute left. A couple more strikes from Veach and the ref stops it very early. After letting Veach take a serious beating on his back, he doesn’t give Grice the same opportunity to recover and fight his way out. Grice is pissed, and deservedly so.
Matt Veach defeats Matt Grice via TKO (punches) at 4:34 of round 1.
Who was it who pegged Veach as an underdog pick on this card? Oh yeah. That was us. If only it wasn’t tainted by Troy Waugh’s early stoppage.
All these commercials for Spike TV shows about DEA agents and vice cops. Nothing like prosecuting victimless crimes to make good reality TV.
Joe Lauzon vs. Jeremy Stephens
Stephens says he wants the limelight and the fans that Lauzon enjoys. Somebody has obviously misinformed him about Lauzon’s popularity.
Stephens doesn’t waste any time throwing his big, telegraphed right. Lauzon tries a takedown, I think, but ends up with Stephens in his open guard. They get back to their feet with Lauzon pressing Stephens against the fence and landing a couple decent knees. Lauzon tries for an ankle lock, but it isn’t there and so he gets back up and secures a very nice takedown. Elbows from Lauzon in the guard, and when Stephens tries to get up Joe passes and goes quickly to mount. Lauzon jumps into an armbar. After a brief struggle, Stephens escapes. Less than a minute left, Stephens lands some strong punches from Lauzon’s guard. Lauzon tries to get up and Stephens slams him to finish out the round on top.
Lauzon clearly wants to get inside on Stephens, and lands a right hand on his way in, mostly avoiding Stephens’ wild haymakers. Slick takedown from Lauzon and he easily passes to side control. Lauzon goes to north-south, controlling but not really damaging Stephens. Lauzon mounts and begins tossing down some elbows. Stephens rolls and gives up his back. Stephens escapes and lands in Lauzon’s open guard before moving Lauzon against the fence. Lauzon has a cut near his hairline, and you know how those can bleed. But that slick Lauzon gets Stephens on his back again, mounts, and sinks in an armbar. Stephens tries to roll out but Lauzon sticks with it and makes him tap. Great display of jiu-jitsu by Lauzon.
Joe Lauzon defeats Jeremy Stephens via submission (armbar) at 4:43 of round 2.
There isn’t much time left in the broadcast as they decide to show this one, which is a bad sign for someone. Rosholt tries a takedown immediately, but Miller counters by going for a heelhook. He uses it to get up and then grabs a guillotine as Rosholt continues looking for the takedown. It’s tight, and Rosholt taps, though the ref can’t see it right away. Welcome to the big leagues, Jake. Now don’t mess with the Miller brothers.
Dan Miller defeats Jake Rosholt via submission (guillotine) at 1:03 of round 1.
That’s all for Fight Night 17. Hope it was good for you, Potato Nation. I’m closing up and cracking a beer. Good night, and good luck.