So, here it is. Monday. I sit down to write a “Spilled Bag of Fights”. Black coffee, Black Sabbath and my pup by my side. Deep breath. Man, what a roller coaster of a weekend for MMA… for me at least.
First off, I’d be remiss if I didn’t pay condolences to coach Shawn Tompkins. I didn’t know him personally but he’s obviously had a great impact on his students and the sport and his death comes way too young. Sad for his friends, family, and MMA.
Let’s start with Friday when I was unexpectedly given a ticket to Strikeforce Challengers: Gurgel vs. Duarte. When I showed up I was surprised to be sitting next to MMA Valor’s own Dylan Horner. I also went to UFC 125: Edgar vs. Maynard with him. For some reason whenever I sit next to Dylan there’s a drunken moron yelling really dumb shit. Last time it was the guy who was yelling “Flip ‘em over!”, “Don’t take that bullshit!” and insisting that Asians can fly and that Clay Guida looks like Dog the Bounty Hunter. This time it was a guy who looked like John Denver with a mustache. He looked like he stepped out of his time machine from 1978 and sat down in front of us. Some of his gems included: “Kick ‘em in the balls!”, “You hit like a girl!” and as soon as the fight went to the ground, “C’mon ref, Stand ‘em up!” and “Kick ‘em in the head!”. Clearly, this gentleman that people in our section dubbed “Shaggy” had a less-than-educated understanding of the rules of mixed martial arts.
So, Shaggy aside, Derrick Mehmen came back impressively after getting kneed in the face repeatedly in the first round of his fight with Roy Jones and sustaining a nasty, bloody cut above his eye that surprisingly didn’t cause the fight to be stopped. Impressive showing and heart from both guys.
Then there was the Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah D’Alelio controversy. Really, the controversy comes from Steve Mazzagatti being incompetent. Rousey, in an amazing Fujii/Aoki-like move put Sarah in a flying Armbar. At least that’s how I would describe it since she jumped into the submission. Ronda wrenched her arm, then eased up and said something to Mazzagatti who hesitated and then stopped the fight. First, that Armbar was locked in. D’Alelio wasn’t going anywhere but home with either a loss or a broken arm. Second, when I watched the replay on Showtime, it sounded like Sarah said “Tap! Tap!”, though she claims she was only saying “Ahhh”. The problem stems from Mazzagatti seeming to stop the fight based on what Rousey heard rather than what he heard. That’s bad reffing yet, in this case, it doesn’t change the outcome of the fight in any way. Rousey looked upset. She was clearly trying to spare Sarah a serious injury and in this instance no good deed goes unpunished. All that aside, Ronda Rousey is a damn force to be reckoned with in women’s MMA.
If you want me to root for you, it helps to follow me on Twitter. Pat “Bam Bam” Healy does just that and he won and I was glad for him.
Joe Duarte regrouped and came back strong after a tough first round against Jorge Gurgel. It was a close fight but I definitely think Duarte won, 29-28.
Oh, I almost forgot the part where a guy who looked just like Sergeant Slaughter turned around and regulated Shaggy. Sarge was all “Just shut up! Everyone here is sick of listening to your shit. Shut up.” [dramatic pause] “Your move.” Good shit.
Since I got the free Strikeforce ticket and I knew UFC was free on Sunday, I decided to splurge the $30 to order MMA Pit Fight: Genesis. There was no Phil Collins or Peter Gabriel but there was Junie Browning, Jamie Yager, Jens Pulver, and Houston Alexander. I’ll keep this brief since I still have to get to the UFC on Versus card.
Junie Browning, best known as TUF Trainwreck came in several pounds overweight and then tapped out to strikes late in the first round when it seemed like he just gave up after some early submission attempts, including a Twister, failed.
Jens Pulver. How do you not love Jens? Unless you’re some kind of heartless monster, it’s impossible. Jens beat former WEC fighter Cody Wheeler by TKO in the second round. This was Jens’ debut at bantamweight and he looked good, consistently out-striking Wheeler and imploring the ref to step in when he had Wheeler hurt rather than inflict additional damage on a dropped Wheeler. Class act as well as a legend; It was awesome to see Jens pick up a really convincing win.
Jamie Yager, best known as the humble guy from TUF 11 that calls himself the “Chosyn 1”, defeated a formerly undefeated Greg Jackson fighter, Willie Parks, with a Guillotine Choke after a first round in which Yager was dominated.
Houston Alexander beat Razak Al-Hassan via… I think doctor stoppage due to a dislocated finger. Umm… okay.
UFC on Versus 5: Hardy vs. Lytle was seriously a PPV worthy card. Out of 12 fights there was only one real stinker.
Fuck it let’s do the whole card. Ready?
Edwin Figueroa vs. Jason Reinhardt: Senor Chael said Reinhardt looked like Steve Carrell with AIDS. That’s mean but also very funny. Reinhardt circled around Figueroa non-stop, avoiding him and occasionally taunting him, I guess trying to lure him in or get in his head but he only succeed in looking like a complete jackass. And when Edwin finally got a hold of him and smashed his face with elbows and punches early in Round 2, it was immensely satisfying.
Jacob Volkmann vs. Danny Castillo: Danny has been on MMA Gospel Radio and seems like a really good dude. “Christmas” Volkmann, on the other hand, has all the oddness of Brian Ebersole but absolutely none of the quirky charm and sense of humor. He might be a nice enough fella for all I know but I’m just not a big fan. This fight was proof that when you get two really evenly matched wrestlers, a wrestling dominated fight can be entertaining. Unfortunately, for Danny fans, Volkmann was a little better on this night.
Cole Miller vs. TJ O’Brien: Cole Miller has pretty good Jiu-Jitsu. Miller via Guillotine Choke, Round 2.
Alex Caceras vs. Jimy Hettes: All of Hettes’ wins have come via submission and all of Caceras’ losses have come via submission. Logic would make this an easy fight to predict. Then again, “Bruce Leroy” has a wild and unpredictable style that could’ve made for an upset knockout due to a crazy flying knee or spinning back something or other. In the first round, either of those outcomes looked possible. In the second though Hettes was able to secure the Rear Naked Choke for the W. I’ll tell ya what… a lot of people don’t like Caceras but he’s fun as shit to watch fight. I hope the UFC keeps him around.
Karlos Vemola vs. Ronny Markes: This was the stinker.
Ed Herman vs. Kyle Noke: “Short Fuse” indeed! Also a short and exciting fight. Back-and-forth submission attempts with Herman getting the Heel Hook submission and his second first-round finish since his return to the Octagon. I dunno if gingers have souls but this one’s got some skills.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Eddie Wineland: Both guys always bring it and this was no exception. Not surprisingly, the wee bad ass, Benavidez, was better and took all three rounds on all three judges’ scorecards.
CB Dollaway vs. Jared Hamman: I think people picked Dollaway because they know him but coming into this fight Hamman had 9 of his 12 wins from KO/TKO. Hamman was my upset win pick via KO/TKO of course. In the second round after a tough first round, Hamman delivered. Thanks, buddy!
Amir Sadollah vs. Duane Ludwig: Ludwig was the underdog? If I had known that I would’ve placed some cabbage down on m’man “Bang”. Amir has damn good Muay Thai, no doubt… but Duane has been doing that shit since he was 15 and was a K-1 champ. I like Amir a lot. He’s humble, funny and talented but he’s not BANG-level Muay Thai yet. Plus Duane follows me on Twitter and was a guest on MMA Gospel Radio. So, y’know, he’s obviously cool. Let’s help him get his fastest UFC knockout official. Jonathan Goulet flopped on his face unconscious in 4 seconds. That should be official. You can watch the fight and see when it actually happened.
Charles Oliveira vs. Donald Cerrone: Chucky O, as I like to call him, has immense potential for such a young guy but “Cowboy” is next level and on a tear. TKO in Round 1. Seemed like Cerrone wanted to make up for his safe, lackluster decision win over Vagner Rocha in his last fight.
Jim Miller vs. Ben Henderson: Bendo, holy shit! I mean, fer reals. You’d think it was personal… like maybe Miller said something about WEC fighters not being in the same league as UFC fighters. The Burger King got mauled. I mean, I wasn’t sleeping on Bendo. I thought this would be a closely matched war. Instead it was a one-sided beatdown with Bendo swinging the hammer (to paraphrase Chael) and written on the business end of that hammer: WEC NEVER DIE!
Dan Hardy vs. Chris Lytle: First of all, I REALLY don’t get all the Hardy hate. Was it cause he said some funny shit about GSP and Marcus Davis that he repeatedly said was not meant to be mean-spirited? Is it the fact that people can’t understand that his dislike of boring, safe fighters is not related to his own skill and/or shortcomings as a fighter? Is it that your girlfriend thinks he’s hot? I mean, this idea that he’s an obnoxious loudmouth makes no sense to me. He’s really a down to earth nice guy. Have you ever listened to his interviews? Or are you just knee jerk reacting to some sound bites taken out of context? Or maybe your name is Jon Fitch and you hate any fighter that fans and the UFC like more than you because you’re a bitter, whiny douche? Or maybe your name is Ben Askren and you hate any fighter that fans like more than you because you’re a bitter, whiny douche who’s not in the UFC? Take that shit up with the man in the mirror and/or your bosses and stop hating on other fighters.
Dan Hardy is fucking awesome. Chris Lytle is fucking awesome. Their fight was fucking awesome. MMA needs more of their ilk. Lytle will be missed in the Octagon for sure.
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Carlos, my pup, wanted to tell you all that. He found it very important to commandeer my keyboard and type that so, I left it in - in case it’s important to other dogs who may be reading.
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Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed by Spilled Bag of Ice in the above column do not necessarily reflect those of the rest of MMA Gospel’s staff. Although, in some cases, they do…