This Sunday night the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin will be packing the house to bring its hometown MMA fans as well as those around the world the UFC’s latest effort in UFC on Versus 5: Hardy vs. Lytle. Move aside, headhunter Clay Matthews, for two other all-out brawlers will take the center stage as former title contender “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy (23-9) and “Fight of the Night” king “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (30-18-5) duke it out in the main event. Former WEC Lightweight Champion and highly regarded submission artist “Smooth” Ben Henderson (12-2) will meet the dangerous Jim Miller (20-2) in a match-up that will perhaps determine the next title challenger to the winner of “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (13-1-1) and “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-0-1). WEC alum and kickboxing veteran “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (14-4) is looking to stay undefeated at 3-0 in the UFC by gaining a win over slick submission ace Charles Oliveira (14-1), while Oliveira seeks a win of his own to boost his stock in the 155lbs. division. Two UFC welterweight warriors will meet in a barn burner match-up for the right to move into the higher ranks as TUF 7 winner and textbook striker Amir Sadollah (5-2) will go against the Strikeforce, King of the Cage, and UFC veteran “Bang” Duane Ludwig (20-11). Especially in the UFC’s highly competitive 170lbs. division, a win is vital not only to stay in the running for title contention, but also in many cases, to avoid being demoted to undercard status.
So, my Twitter homeboy and friend of the site, Dan “Dannyboy” Downes fought a tune-up fight outside the UFC this Friday. Regarding his opponent, I’m not gonna give this chump any more press by mentioning his name but he has a name that sounds like a supplement you’d get at GNC. Anyway, before this fight I was curious if this dude had a Twitter account. We all know Dannyboy is the tweet zen master so I was curious if this guy had a Twitter and would mention anything about the fight. Well, he did mention it… he also seemed to have no idea how to use Twitter. Seems he had some sort of weird beef with Jens Pulver and kept calling Jens out -but not by using the @Jens_Pulver that would allow Jens to see it but rather just tweeting and, I guess, hoping that one of his dozen or so followers would pass it on. What a goof!
So, I’m moving this week. It sucks. I don’t own a lot of stuff but when you have to pack it up, you suddenly wish you were a monk…. Okay, maybe a monk with a really kick ass laptop but still. Anyway, I’m still writing my column just for you guys. I hope you appreciate it. I also won’t be able to attend to my normal MMA Gospel Radio show co-hosting duties this Wednesday but before you start weeping, relax – your buddy, your hero, yours truly has arranged for a very special treat for you in my absence. Filling in for me will be none other than the man who saved us from communism at WEC 53 and is so witty that he has been featured in UFC’s Tweets of the Week column for over four months running, UFC lightweight bad ass “Dannyboy” Downes! You’re welcome. I give and I give and I’m still as poor as a monk but with a lot more shit – as I believe I mentioned. So, enough of my whining… there are a lot of fights to get to. UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis, Bellator 38, Titan Fighting Championship 17, and M-1 Global’s debut Challenge show on Showtime.
Bobby Lashley vs. John Ott: Lashley via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 30-27, 29-27)
Abe Wagner vs. Aaron Rosa: Rosa via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 2, 0:35
Phil Baroni vs. Nick Nolte: Baroni via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Eric Marriott vs. William DeSouza: Marriott via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Aaron Derrow vs. Alonzo Martinez: Martinez via Majority Decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
James Krause vs. Nathan Schut: Krause via TKO (Head Kick and Strikes), Round 1, 0:41
Anthony Gutierrez vs. Jon Hollis: Gutierrez via Submission (Triangle Choke), Round 1, 4:40
February 6, 2010. Mandalay Bay Events Center – Las Vegas, Nevada. UFC 109: A bag of ice spilled all over the Octagon in the corner of Ronnys Torres in between rounds. Joe Rogan filled the time while the cornermen tried to clean the ice up by doing a play-by-play of the chaos. Many were amused – myself included. Three days later, yours truly was born on Twitter.
Yes, icemigos, this Wednesday will be the one year birthday/anniversary of the SBoI Twitter account being born. I believe my first tweet was “Don’t blame me, @JoeRogan. I’m helpless to the laws of gravity!” From there, the UFC added me to their official fighters list and Mr. Rogan tweeted about me and soon I had an audience. I never intended to have an audience nor did I ever imagine that any of the crazy ride that the last year has been would’ve happened. Once I had an audience I realized that I also had a voice. Smart ass commentary on the world of MMA that would now be appreciated because it would be read by MMA fans who would actually get my references. Try making a Krazy Horse or Nick Diaz’s bong joke to the general public. Guess what? Most of them don’t get it. Sad, I know, but true. Then again, I attribute all the awesome stuff that has happened as a result of starting the SBoI account to the fact that I didn’t have an agenda other than to have people think I’m funny and enjoy it. I didn’t set out to be a “journalist” and clearly, I still don’t. I didn’t set out to write a column or be on MMA radio shows or to get to meet Phil Baroni and his awesome dog. I merely wanted people to be like “That dude writes some funny ass tweets.” But as the wise man says: “Do what you love and the rest will follow.”
Okay, Spilled Bag of Fights… here we go… Aesop Rock on the iTunes, coffee, vanilla cream cookie. Wait. Looks like we could use a refill on the coffee – hold on… Okay. Spilled Bag of Fights. Here we go… I’m writing this fucking thing on Notepad. I’m in exile, you see. No, not exile… I’m a refugee. Did I spell that right? I dunno. Fucking Notepad doesn’t have spell-check. I should just write this in e-mail…
Okay, here we are in e-mail. So, anyway, I’ve very specifically avoided writing much about me, the guy behind the bag, and try to keep it pretty focused on MMA. And since this is ostensibly an MMA wrap-up column, what better time or platform to ramble on about things that have nothing to do with MMA? Such as the fact that my room in my apartment in LA is uninhabitable due to a combination of a leaking roof and a week-and-a-half of straight rain. So, I’m in Las Vegas visiting Moms and unsure what to do next since the landlord seems to think I should pay the same amount of rent for an uninhabitable apartment as one that fulfills one of the basic requirements of a shelter – i.e.: fucking SHELTER! My contention is that if I wanted a leaky, moldy shelter, I could probably fashion one from some plastic and a cardboard box behind the auto parts store. Sure, I’d miss some of my favorite TV shows and MMA but no one would expect rent for it. So, as I wait in Vegas to find out what the response is to my “How about I don’t pay for what I’m not getting?” offer, I sit down nonetheless and write a Spilled Bag of Fights, for you, loyal readers. For you. Now, when I call the column “Phoning It In”, it’s partially because I don’t have much to write about but also a clever play on words since I asked you guys on Twitter what to write about and I put your suggestions and my responses at the end of the column… like you were phoning in… heh?! See what I did there?? eh?
Happy New Year, kids. And here we are with the very first column of the new year. The pressure, man… the goddamn pressure! So, back last year we had the DREAM: Dynamite!! 2010 card that had about thirty-eight fights. Holy shit, just thinking about it makes me want to take a nap. Granted, most things make me want to take a nap and it may also be the fact that the card started at like 1am and was almost three days long. Luckily, the place I was staying in Vegas had Direct TV and HDNet so, I didn’t have to watch it hunched over a laptop for three days. I didn’t make it through the whole card in one sitting but I did make it to daybreak and I didn’t have to kill anything for food or drink my own urine but it did test my dedication to MMA.
UFC 125: Resolution kicked off 2011 with everything that makes MMA exciting to be a part of. The fights were top class and exciting on pretty much every level for fans of all types – a war was waged for one of the most prestigious and hotly contested titles in the sport, underdogs proved the masses wrong, and controversy was in the air, whether it was warranted or not. As with every card, there were some winners, some losers, and some parties who suffered more serious damage than just a loss. Luckily for all involved, there were very few people who fell into the latter of those three on New Year’s Day at the MGM Grand Garden.
Jacob Volkmann vs. Antonio McKee: Volkmann via Split Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Daniel Roberts vs. Greg Soto: Roberts via Submission (Kimura), Round 1, 3:45
Mike Brown vs. Diego Nunes: Nunes via Split Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Phil Baroni vs. Brad Tavares: Tavares via TKO (Knees and Punches), Round 1, 4:20
Josh Grispi vs. Dustin Poirier: Poirier via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Marcus Davis vs. Jeremy Stephens: Stephens via KO (Punch), Round 3, 2:33
Clay Guida vs. Takanori Gomi: Guida via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 1, 4:27
Nate Diaz vs. Dong Hyun Kim: Kim via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Brandon Vera vs. Thiago Silva: Silva via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann: Stann via TKO (Punches), Round 1, 3:37
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard: N/A, the contest is ruled a Draw (48-46 Maynard, 48-46 Edgar, and a 47-47), Round 5, 5:00*
Submission of the Night: Clay Guida awarded $60,000
Knockout of the Night: Jeremy Stephens awarded $60,000
Fight of the Night: Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard each awarded $60,000
*Frankie Edgar retains his UFC Lightweight Championship belt
Jacob Volkmann: 156lbs.
Antonio McKee: 156lbs.
Daniel Roberts: 171lbs.
Greg Soto: 171lbs.
Mike Brown: 146lbs.
Diego Nunes: 146lbs.
Phil Baroni: 186lbs.
Brad Tavares: 185lbs.
—LIVE on ION TV—
Josh Grispi: 146lbs.
Dustin Poirier: 145lbs.
Marcus Davis: 156lbs.
Jeremy Stephens: 156lbs.
Brandon Vera: 205lbs.
Thiago Silva: 206lbs.
Clay Guida: 156lbs.
Takanori Gomi: 155lbs.
Nate Diaz: 170lbs.
Dong Hyun Kim: 171lbs.
Chris Leben: 186lbs.
Brian Stann: 186lbs.
Frankie Edgar: 155lbs.
Gray Maynard: 155lbs.
So, UFC 124. Man, you twitterers were brutal. You had a big bucket of salt ready for my wounds. It’s like that, huh? Well, let me state for the record that I’m not Tomas Rios. I don’t sit here and smugly tell you exactly how I think the fight is going to down like it’s law and then turn out to be wrong. I’m asked by MMA Gospel to make my picks with the rest of the staff and I do so. Sometimes I’m confident in my picks, sometimes not. For UFC 124, I thought the picks were exceptionally hard. Especially since… look, anyone can pick all the favorites and the odds will likely play out in their favor. That doesn’t make you a genius. I decided to pick all underdogs but with valid reason. Like I said, if I was betting my life savings I wouldn’t have made the same picks but where’s the fun in that?
So let me break down UFC 124 but with my reasoning for making the picks I made included.