(“Ayo, is it cool if I use that toothpick to pop this thing?” Photo courtesy of Tracy Lee/Cagewriter)
By Nathan Smith
As usual, I drew the short straw, so I had to cover the post fight press conference — I actually volunteered because I am a sad lonely man — and Dana White was not there to moderate (double shit!). You Taters can watch the video for yourselves and get put into a coma or take my word within this posting as gospel. I am fairly certain that nobody was upset with “the best fight card to ever be aired on network TV” even though three of the four fights ended via decision.
Benson Henderson was not only magical during his five-round domination of Nate Diaz but he was seemingly able to conjure his inner David Blaine and make a toothpick mysteriously appear in his mouth at the end of the fight. The UFC Lightweight champ was simply dominant and once he finally arrived at the podium, he also showed the charisma of a world champion. With both an eloquent vocabulary and a seemingly levelheaded delivery, Henderson owned the dais (although he talks really really really fast).
When asked about the Scut-Farkus Toothpick Affair and if he actually had a sliver of wood in his mouth during the fight, Henderson was calm and smooth (go figure).
“I can not confirm or deny that. I normally do. It’s a bad habit, but whatever. Majority of the time I have it in. It is what it is.”
Bendo did his best to downplay his one-sided beating by showing respect to his animated opponent.
“Nate’s a good dude. He’s an emotional fighter and he’s an emotional guy. He is trying to do what it takes to get himself worked up. After the fight he (Diaz) said ‘Good job — great fight and congratulations.’”
When asked about a possible rematch with Anthony Pettis (the last man to beat him and the same guy that gave the world proof that Ninjas actually exist), the champion skirted away from the proposed foe, never mentioning Showtime by name.
“I want to fight the best guys at 155. I am not going anywhere…The pool of talent at 155 is pretty deep. I literally want to beat up everybody at 155. I want to fight the best guys on the planet. It doesn’t matter who they are.”
Nate Diaz arrived at the post fight presser 10 or 15 minutes after it had already started — I assume he was reading a manual for blender operation — and immediately took a seat only to hang his head while looking directly at the ground. When he finally raised his Metal Mulisha hat-wearing head, there was obvious extreme damage to his right eye. He confirmed as much when he answered questions from the press.
“I caught a punch in the eye pretty early and things were blurry. He landed a good shot early. I did what I could. It was blurry. I was screwed. I was trying to wait for the eye to recover but it never did. I ran out of time with it. I think, like I said, I was blind most of that fight. I was kind of waiting it out. I was trying to be a little more smarter.” (Ya, he said that – awesome.)
Although the Bendo toothpick questions had already been asked and answered directly by the champion, a member of the press asked Diaz for his opinion on his opponent potentially fighting with an Ethiopian corndog in his mouth during the match. “I don’t know if he did but…That’s weird,” Diaz said. Indeed.
Alexander Gustafsson won a unanimous decision and was seemingly never hurt even when he was clubbed a couple times by Mauricio “Shogun” Rua — who skipped the presser in favor of, what I assume, was greener pastures at the hotel bar. So, immediately the title shot questions come to mind. Though he was somewhat reserved on the microphone, he was not shy when asked if he was ready for Jon Jones (assuming “Bones” kicks the shit out of Chael Sonnen) or if he wants to fight in the meantime.
“When I get the chance to fight for the title I will be more than ready…I want to stay active. I’ll fight whenever. It was too long for me (the layoff after his fight against Thiago Silva on 4/14/12). If they give me one before that I will fight whoever.”
The real “cunt-pickle” (thank you NomadRIP) of the night was both amazing and awkward. Rory MacDonald was awesome during his decimation of BJ Penn (who was absent from the presser because he was at the hospital being treated for potentially broken ribs and a fractured ego). The Waterboy was awe-inspiring. Period. End of Sentence. His stand-up skills against a legend like Penn were impressive, but his disrespectful Ali-shuffle during the fight combined with his weird call-out of Carlos Condit left even the most seasoned MMA viewer taken aback. Luckily, MacDonald doesn’t care if the fans like him.
“I don’t fight for them. People can love me or hate me. I don’t care as long as I fight well.”
With all the comparisons to GSP, can anybody actually imagine a world where Rush would utter anything remotely comparable to that? Regardless, the possibility for MacDonald’s meteoric rise in the welterweight division potentially running into St. Pierre was touched on.
“I don’t know. I’m not there yet. I don’t feel like I need to fight Georges. I am not going to stab him in the back and I don’t want to wreck my opportunity at Tri-Star.”
The whole time, the suited-up Mcdonald, spoke in a weird monotone; Benson Henderson probably takes dumps that are more charismatic than MacDonald’s personality. It was somewhat disappointing to this writer (because I am a gigantic GSP devotee) and I actually expected more from a guy who has been under the tutelage of St. Pierre.
At the end of the night, we were all treated to a great night of fights and hopefully the MMA community agrees. Previous UFC on FOX fight cards have been subpar but this one lived up to the hype. Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night bonus winner, Scott Jorgensen, summed it all up during one of his few responses.
“I don’t enjoy putting on a boring fight.”
And we don’t enjoy watching them, so thankfully, all the participants stepped up and did NOT deliver “twat-waffles” or “Chernobyl love.”