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If UFC 208 had been slightly worse, it would have at least been historic

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If there was a blemish on UFC 208, it was that Ronaldo Souza went ahead and performed to standard, finishing Tim Boetsch in the first round of his fight with a Kimura. Look, I like Jacare but he must not have gotten the memo. Brooklyn was awash in scorecards, to the point that the scorecards themselves became the grand adventure. The 10-8s were beginning to show up in force, but in loose directions. Dustin Poirier, who took out Jim Miller fairly handily in the lone truly entertaining bout, fought to a 28-28 draw on one judge’s scorecard. That would have seemed astonishing had Phillipe Nover not lost a fight in which he had one judge score in his favor, 30-27.

It all feels like a strange dream on Monday. Like one of those dreams where you repeat a mundane activity again and again (and again).

It was that bad in Brooklyn. The crowd at the Barclay’s oscillated between bored, drunk, angry and apathetic. The fights were meh, the judging was scattershot, the beers were $14, and the overall feeling was why did we bother. As if to make matters worse, the UFC announced during the show that Cub Swanson would headline a fight card against Artem Lobov in April. Great. Even future landscapes are lined with charred trees. Swanson, coming off a Fight of the Year candidate against Doo Ho Choi, is fighting a guy with a .500 record because…well, just because…he trains with Conor McGregor?

Who the hell knows.

Perhaps the lasting memory of Saturday night will be Holly Holm getting socked not once but twice after the horn. The referee, Todd Anderson, was late to the scene both times — at the end of the second round, and at the end of the third. Germaine de Randamie, who afterwards kind of just admitted she was caught up in the moment, got away with landing her biggest shots of the fight when Holm let her guard down during the truce periods. Inexplicably, there were no point deductions. Guess she didn’t need those little pieces of consciousness. Holm lost a fight on the scorecards 48-47. Had a point been taken away, it would have ended in a draw.

Equally inexplicable, Anderson was quick to intervene at the end of the fifth round when the fight was still going. That unevenness — that off-tempo wackiness — was the emblematic of the night as a whole. Holm-de Randamie was kicking off a new weight class in which nobody else actually exists, except Cyborg Justino and a mile of red tape. The new women’s featherweight division is a dystopian world with a screaming banshee of a ruler and empty sand dunes that go on forever.

A draw between Holm and de Randamie would have been the perfect end to a night in which nothing was perfect. UFC 208 was designed to have 14 bouts, but ended up with 10. Nine of those went the distance. At least half of those fights drew boos from the fans, including Anderson Silva’s bout with Derek Brunson — you know, the fight Brunson won and then lost on the scorecards. It was Calgary East. It was Mephistopheles circling Flatbush Avenue. It was hard to process. When de Randamie had the belt wrapped around her waist, she doused whatever enthusiasm had held out to the very end.

At the mention of Cyborg’s name she casually mentioned that she needed to have surgery on her hand, which has been bothering her since she fought Larissa Pacheco (two fights back). What’s that you say, Germaine? No fight is forthcoming against the person who invented the weight class? An old injury pops up just as you get a speaking role in this tragicomedy? How far can one stretch a malaise before it snaps? What do now? Where go?

How pass eternity?

UFC 208 was one of those cards. They can’t all pan out. But there was a point there on Saturday night where you couldn’t help but want the bottom drop out more thoroughly, so as to at least make it memorable. It’s like if you go to a baseball game, and the team you are rooting for has a no-hitter going against them heading into the ninth. At some point, you accept it’s a loss — but at least it’s a loss with something historic in the play. Then somebody smashes a meaningless ground-rule double, breaking up the no-hitter, and rendering the whole thing meaningless.

Jacare ruined an epically dismal night by taking out Boetsch in a way that we are accustomed. Had he just underperformed or lost controversially on the scorecards we could have looked at UFC 208, lovingly, as something on historic record that we all survived together. Because, you know, who doesn’t enjoy gathering around a fiasco?

As it is, better to put it behind us and not think about it at all.

Source:: mma fighting