That’s right, bitches. Sean “Big Sexy” McCorkle was kind enough to check out my last column and tweeted the following review:
Let’s start with TUF. On the latest episode of The Ultimate Fighter, Team GSP fighter, Cody “Deadliest Catch” McKenzie claimed his tenth straight win via McKenzietine -his own special modified Guillotine Choke. The McKenzietine even has its own mention on the wikipedia guillotine Choke page. No shit. Check it out. Now, as much as I made it my mission to get KOS’d into the MMA terminology (good work so far, icemigos!), I’ve made it my next mission to make sure Cody McKenzie officially adopts the nickname “Deadliest Catch”. The kid is an Alaskan fisherman that catches just about everyone he’s ever fought in his McKenzietine. Really, there is NO OTHER nickname for him. So get on that. Also, if you fight Cody, you may wanna avoid the ground. Unlike Marc Stevens who immediately shot in on him and was snoozing on his face literally five seconds later. He stupidly jinxed himself by saying “He won’t catch ME in a Guillotine!” – ouch. The subsequent reaction shots of Josh Koscheck seeing his number one pick get choked out by GSP’s number six pick in 18 seconds was comedy GOLD – as was Dana White’s giddy play-by-play. Dana, barely suppressing his laughter, described Koscheck as “fucking horrifed! Horrified.” Cody had earlier told teammate Nam Phan that Stevens has better cardio, better scrambles, hits harder, has a better overhand right, and better wrestling than him, prompting Phan to shake his head and ask “So what are you bringing to the table?” Cody chuckled in his laid-back way and simply said, “I’m gonna win!” Bad ASS!
Later in the episode, Koscheck KOS’d GSP in a classic Kos-ing. He hid GSP’s shoe. It took Georges a good minute or two to find it! Kos was quite pleased with himself. Of course, his joy was short lived. Team Koscheck’s Armenian pitbull Sevak Magakian got Rear Naked Choked by GSP’s other laid back fighter, hippie-dippy Jonathan Brookins, late in the first round. Sad Kos.
So, I’m going to have to scratch any talk of Strikeforce’s Challenger card because UFC 121 was stupid-crazy awesome! After the kick in the junk that was UFC 120, this card was like popping a Vicodin and getting a massage and coming home and finding a check for a grand in your mailbox for some reason or another.
“Filthy” Tom Lawlor, my pick for the W, out-wrestled the venerable Canadian striker Patrick Cote to score the unanimous decision win. Canadians are really nationalistic. I don’t get it. I root for the guy I like no matter where he’s from. Not Canadians. You’d think they’d just be satisfied with having GSP. Nope. Most of them seem to ignore the fact that Lawlor once dressed as Dan “The Beast” Severn and for this fight came to the weigh-ins dressed as Art Jimmerson. [Art Jimmerson was a pro boxer who fought in one of the first UFCs, where there weren’t a whole lot of unified rules, and decided that he should wear ONE boxing glove. The thinking was that he could punch with that hand and have a free hand to use to grapple. Guess what? That was a bad idea. BUT it was a hilarious piece of early UFC history. And I don’t care where Lawlor is from, that shit, as far as I’m concerned means I’m rooting for you.]
Anyway, Canadians are apparently sensitive about being America’s hat (or should I say toque?) and were none too pleased that Lawlor was able to Fitchslap Cote. In other words, much like Fitch, he took him down, controlled him and landed strikes despite Cote’s best efforts. Get over it, Canadians! You still have GSP, free health care and The Kids in the Hall. 1/1 on my picks overall and 1/1 for TUF alumni.
The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 winner and former drug addict Court McGee took on Ryan Jensen. Early on it seemed like Jensen’s experience would out-match the undefeated McGee. I knew better. McGee is tough. Tough like a guy who beat serious drug addiction and went on to win his TUF season. We’re talking heroin here, people! Did you see Trainspotting? That shit is tough to beat. So, I say bet on that guy. And yes, after losing the first round, McGee came back stronger and stronger and won in the end via third round Arm-Triangle Choke. Kinda poetic for a former drug addict. 2/2 on my picks overall and 2/2 for TUF alumni.
Gabe Gonzaga, the man who legendarily CroCopped CroCop, fought another TUF alumnus, Brendan Schaub. I picked Schaub because he has great striking and good cardio. Gabe, on the other hand, has a suspect chin and cardio. Gonzaga’s tough, but just as I guessed, it wasn’t enough. He couldn’t get Schaub down to use his superior Jiu-Jitsu and didn’t seem to try too hard as Schaub scored the decision and made my picks 3/3 on my picks overall and 3/3 for TUF alumni.
Next up was Tito Ortiz vs. his former student on The Ultimate Fighter, Matt Hamill. I don’t want to go on and on about how I couldn’t believe that so many of you thought Tito would win considering Tito and Hamill’s respective fights over the last four years. I don’t think Hamill will ever be a champion but he’s a solid fighter – a great wrestler who has evolved into a solid striker. Tito has always been a one-trick pony and age and injury have greatly diminished his ability to pull off that one trick. His striking has always sucked and despite having a great chin, when he’s getting tagged, he tends to cover up and wait. He really doesn’t like getting hit in the face. To Tito’s credit he looked better than ever in this fight. His striking was improved and he apparently wasn’t plagued by injuries but still it wasn’t enough – not in 2010 at least. Hamill effortlessly coasted to a decision by out-striking Tito and taking him down in the second and third rounds just to seal the victory. Biggest shock? At the post-fight presser, Tito mentioned his long layoff in passing but didn’t use it as an excuse and just admitted Matt was better than him. I don’t know if Tito’s “get my title back” line was promotion or delusion but really, what do you do with Tito now? He’s not even at a level where he could be a gatekeeper. As much as I dislike Tito for being a loudmouth jackass who says really ignorant shit, I don’t think he’s a bad guy. His two stints as a coach on TUF have shown him to be a very giving and natural coach. I kinda feel a little bad for him even though I would’ve been pissed if he won. Oh well. 4/4 on my picks overall and 4/4 for TUF alumni.
Next up, Diego “YES!” Sanchez vs. Paulo “Sam the Eagle Muppet” Thiago. Diego looked like an unstoppable force until he fought BJ Penn. If you’ll recall, after that five round fight, BJ looked like he just did some low impact aerobics and Diego looked like he got hit by a bus. Diego stumbled from there – going back up to 170 and looking like a shell of his former self in his fight against John Hathaway. That fight made me pick Thiago who, though coming off a loss to Martin Kampmann, looked amazing against Mike Swick and KO’ed the Kos. Thiago looked better in his losses than Sanchez looked in his last two losses. For the first round it seemed like I was on my way to another winning pick as “Maybe?” Diego seemed outmatched… but then the old “YES!!” Diego showed up fashionably late. From there it was a blur of takedowns and tumbling and scrambling on the ground like a Cirque du Soleil of violence. Thiago kept going for submissions but “Yes!!” Diego said “Hells NO!” and scrambled out of them. With a positive attitude and endless cardio that was missing in his Hathaway fight, Diego earned a decision in what was deservedly awarded “Fight of the Night”. And with that it was 4/5 for my picks overall and 5/5 for TUF alumni.
Jake Shields vs. Martin Kampmann. I don’t like Shields – just gonna put that out there. He just seems kinda like a douchey bore & his fights are a douchey borefest. Plus he just looks kinda… icky. Like just looking at him will give your eyes a staph infection. So, I was rooting for Kampmann but Shields came in on a 14-fight/four-year winning streak against top level competition including winning the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship against Dan Henderson. Picking against a guy with that record is just foolish. There was some question about whether Jake’s superior wrestling/grappling skills combined with the ability to use elbows to the head on the ground would add the element to make Shields a more exciting fighter. The answer was a resounding NO! Kampmann held his own and wasn’t completely dominated but he didn’t really do anything. Neither did Jake. To sum up this fight: Both guys did pretty much nothing, but Jake did nothing on top of Kampmann for most of the fight so I don’t see any controversy in him getting the decision. That’s 5/6 on my picks.
Main event! I picked Cain believing that his wrestling and superior striking and legendary cardio would get him the win. Brock showed some vulnerability to a good striker with good wrestling who could push the pace and not worry about being taken down in his fight with Shane Carwin. Then again, Velasquez showed some vulnerability to a striker with a reach advantage early in his fight with Cheick “Shorts Grabber” Kongo. We know Brock has canned hams for fists, and despite Cain’s wrestling, I knew it was a possibility that Brock could tag him and, while he was rocked, shoot in with his speed and power and start throwing down fight-ending hammer fists. Brock showed he was tough and could take a lot of punishment in his fight with Carwin. So, my logic was that these factors would balance each other and we’d have a five-round war with Cain’s cardio and striking beating Brock via decision. Totally sound logic, right?
Boy, is that not what happened! Brock came out throwing a knee and following it with haymakers. Good plan. After all, superior cardio isn’t a factor if you’re unconscious. Cain threw back. It was like watching a Clay Guida fight. These two big, hulking motherfuckers came out and with a speed and intensity that defied both physics and human physiology and got into a straight-up brawl! It gets hazy from there. I remember Brock was hurt and took Cain down then Cain got on top but, like the Carwin fight, Brock was covering up well. Brock managed to get to his feet and more haymakers were thrown while I was saying “Oh my god!” and “holy fucking shit” to my TV. Then I remember a clinch against the fence that ended with Brock withering to the ground as Cain relentlessly beat the shit out of the big man until Herb Dean stopped the fight. I felt like I had just watched two T-Rexes fight to the death in my bedroom. In short, it was pretty fucking spectacular.
So, we have a new Heavyweight Champ and his name is Cain Velasquez. And I think that’s awesome. Brock was humble in defeat as post-almost-died Brock has unfailingly been. Quite frankly, I don’t know how people on Twitter could say he’s crap and what-not. Say what you will about Brock Lesnar, he’s still deservingly a top-five heavyweight and aside from his natural size and athleticism, the dude clearly works his ass off and has accomplished an impressive amount in his short time in MMA. That’s not all due to him just being big and strong. That farm boy earned that shit, homie.
For the record, that made 6/7 for my picks overall and a 7/7 clean sweep for TUF Alumni –Jon Madsen and Chris Camozzi both won their fights on the undercard.
One last fight that I wanna touch on. Roger Huerta fought Bellator Lightweight Champ Eddie Alvarez. Huerta recently left the UFC and signed with Bellator and lost a close and I think unfair decision to Pat Curran. Alvarez is the champ for a reason. Dude is unreal. His boxing is amazing. He won 15 of his first 16 fights; 13 of those wins came from his elite striking. Then he fought the fighter with arguably the best Jiu-Jitsu in MMA, Shinya Aoki. Aoki defeated him via Heel Hook in the first round. Suddenly, it looked like there was a chink in his armor. He’s got no Jits! But dig this, man… Dude comes back three months later and in his next five fights, wins them all by submission. Including guys with legit Jits skills like Toby Imada. Amazing, right? But how would he do against a guy like Huerta with his level of skill and experience?
Well… he beat the living fucking shit out of Huerta. I mean, BJ Penn vs. Diego Sanchez comes to mind. I think in the two rounds that the fight lasted, Huerta tagged Alvarez with a hard shot once and Alvarez barely flinched. In addition to landing punches at will and making Huerta’s GQ good looks start to look more like ET looks. Eddie repeatedly landed hard leg kicks that hobbled Huerta. The doctor stopped the fight after the second round due to Roger’s eye being swollen shut.
Alvarez may be the best lightweight in the world. And though the term “heart” is thrown around so liberally, Huerta shows what it really means. He was getting beaten badly and not for one second did he falter, back down or stop trying to win the fight. Alvarez’s skills and Huerta’s heart were both epic.
Come to think of it, so was this week in MMA. Word. ‘Til next time…