So, UFC 127. Looks like I’m gonna have to get into these issues of bad judging as well as the issue of “unsportsman-like behavior” since there were prime examples of both that night. There were also like 46 fights broadcast via Facebook, ION TV, and PPV. So, let’s get right to it.
One of the undercard fights we got to see at the end of the PPV broadcast was Mark Hunt vs. Chris Tuchscherer. Of course, Hunt is a veteran and while he hasn’t won a fight in a long time, a lot of those losses were against some of the best heavyweights in MMA: Josh Barnett, Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, Melvin Manhoef, and Gegard Mousasi. In his UFC debut last year, he was submitted by Sean McCorkle in just over a minute of the first round. So it was awesome to see him get a bad ass KO where Hunt didn’t even follow up or wait for the ref to call it, he just walked away – always a pimp move. Even if the ref didn’t call it, Tuchscherer would’ve likely only stumbled to his feet and immediately fallen over again. He was done.
I don’t know what goes into appealing a decision but I have yet to see anyone aside from Nick Ring who doesn’t think that Ring getting a Unanimous Decision victory against Riki Fukuda is complete insanity. Aside from the first round, which was extremely even, it’s hard to even imagine what the judges were looking at in the second and third rounds to give Ring the nod. My guess: Angry Birds on their cell phones.
Tie Quan Zhang vs. Jason Reinhardt showed Zhang aggressive and determined in his first fight since my homeboy Dannyboy Downes barely survived the first round to come back and whoop “The Mongolian Wolf”’s ass for the next two rounds. Wolfie is a wiz with that Guillotine. You don’t wanna shoot in on that dude anymore than you wanna shoot in on Cody McKenzie. If you wanna take him down, best do it from the clinch… and watch yo neck.
Anthony Perosh vs. Tom Blackledge. I don’t know Blackledge at all but we all remember “The Hippo” for stepping in last minute to fight Mirko Cro Cop and getting a good beating but earning everyone’s respect for his balls and toughness. Perosh showed some good skills on the ground getting the submission victory in the first but his sloppy takedown attempts looked more like he was stage diving or competing in an impromptu belly-flop contest. “The Hippo” is tough and certainly easy to root for but as George Sotiropoulos would illustrate later, ain’t no use being good on the ground if you can’t get it there. Luckily for Perosh, he was eventually able to take Blackledge down and get the sub.
Okay, this is turning into too much of a traditional recap and that’s not what I do so, all I’ll say about Alexander Gustafsson vs. James Te Huna is I have a Swedish friend called “Dan the Swede”. I call him that because his name is Dan and he’s Swedish. Swedes are best known for Black Metal and cheap but stylish furniture. In fact, I think my Ikea coffee table is called the Gustafsson-Mauler. Swedes are also known for the Cardigans, who are not Black Metal but have covered Black Sabbath songs, and Dolph Lundgren who is not Russian despite playing one in Rocky 4. I’m sure Dan the Swede is happy that his fellow countryman Gustafsson won via Rear Naked Choke in the first round.
Ross Pearson beat Spencer Fisher via Unanimous Decision despite Fisher being a more experienced and well-rounded fighter. Both dudes have great endurance but Pearson seemed to keep a pace that Fisher couldn’t quite keep up with after the first round. Exceptionally impressive performance by the Brit.
Kyle Noke is a salty dingo. He has six more pro fights and four more years as a pro than Chris Camozzi. The dingo choked the baby (yeah, I just went there).
Speaking of experience, not many fighters have more experience than Chris Lytle with over 50 pro fights… well, his opponent this night, Brian Ebersole, actually has him beat with nine more. Ebersole had his chest hair shaved into an arrow and the first thing he did was throw a crazy cartwheel kick. Right then and there, I knew we were in for awesomeness. Lytle threw everything but the kitchen sink at him… in fact, if there were a submission called “a kitchen sink”, you can bet Lytle would’ve thrown that in too. Ebersole was in a handful of compromising positions on the ground but never for long. This crafty vet with the ridiculous chest hair flipped, slipped and something else that rhymes his way out of them all. Still, Lytle won the round and if it continued like that it would only be a matter of time before Ebersole’s luck ran out. Surprisingly, Ebersole came back strong and the tables did turn and for most of the next two rounds, Lytle was the one using his experience to survive. Ebersole gets the Unanimous Decision win and looked like he was enjoying his ass off. So was I. Deservedly “Fight of the Night”.
Next up was George Sotiropoulos vs. Dennis Siver. As I already mentioned, it doesn’t matter how good you are on the ground, and G-Sot is amongst the best, if you can’t get it there, it’s of little use. Also, if the person you’re forced to have a kickboxing match with is Dennis Siver, you’re kinda sorta fucked. Maybe he should start a support group with Demian Maia for top level Jits guys that were forced to stand and the psychological pain it caused.
Okay. I don’t wanna belabor this issue too much because frankly, I’m sick of talking about it and hearing about it. I don’t know what Jorge Rivera or his team said about Michael Bisping’s family or what was so out of line. The only videos I’ve seen were pretty amusing and by in large pretty harmless teasing of Bisping himself. If family was brought into it, that’s definitely not cool. But the facts remain that: Mike just seems to take himself way too seriously if he can’t laugh at someone pretending to be him by wearing a cape and a crown and talking in an incomprehensible Manchester accent and you just don’t fucking spit on people. Who does he think he is? Sid Vicious? I get that these are fighters, they get paid to beat each other up. I also get that something Jorge said really enraged Bisping and he was angry and didn’t want to let it go even after the fight. That’s fine. Fighters don’t have to be polite gentlemen. We want them to be passionate and get worked up and it’s understandable if they just can’t turn that off like a switch after the final bell rings. However, they should at least be civil. I’m fine with a fighter saying/thinking “Fuck that guy!” after a fight. They don’t have to hug and be BFFs all the sudden but getting in a guy’s face while he’s lying dazed on the ground is a bit uncalled for and spitting on anyone is reprehensible and actually, considered illegal. I don’t know what punishment Michael Bisping deserves but considering Paul Daley was fired and banned for life, it would be some major bullshit if you let Mike slide on “the heat of passion” when Daley got banished. Either way, I dunno what Jorge said that upset Mike to that degree but I can’t imagine it was something that would make spitting on someone justifiable. Besides, Bisping has a history of being a shit talker himself and then getting angry when it’s directed at him. I don’t know the guy personally but he really does come off like an overly sensitive douche. If/when he gets matched up against Chael Sonnen, man will that be a treat.
Anyway, I don’t care about the illegal knee. I get that he got carried away and he was rightfully deducted a point. I don’t think he wanted to cheat intentionally and risk losing by disqualification. Whether the knee affected the outcome of the fight, probably. Whether it changed who would’ve won, probably not.
Finally, BJ Penn vs. Jon Fitch. BJ’s motto “Just Scrap” should’ve been changed to “Just Scrap… or Grapple… y’know… whatever.” BJ decided to Fitch the Fitch and try to grapple Fitch. This surprised me almost as much as it seemed to surprise Jon Fitch. Not much to say here. Both guys are two of the best grapplers in the game so it was an interesting idea to see who would be better. Unfortunately by the end of the fight no one could seem to agree on the answer as the two fought to a Majority Draw.
Honestly, I thought Fitch won. I gave the first round to BJ 10-9, second and third to Fitch 10-9. I can see calling the second round a draw and I can see giving Fitch a 10-8 for the third. What I can’t see is how you’d think BJ won that fight. It was a close second round but calling it a draw would be generous in BJ’s favor. Eh, whatever. I don’t care. Neither dude put on an overly impressive performance.
Okay. I’m done. Let’s recap. Actually, let’s not. See you guys next week and be sure to listen to MMA Gospel Radio every Wednesday night at 5:30 PST / 8:30 EST. I’m the co-host now and hilarity does occasionally ensue.