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Shots After The Bell: UFC 208 reminds us that rules are pointless and judges are terrible.

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What’s the point of rules if there are no consequences to breaking them, and other frustrating questions MMA fans are forced to repeat event after event.

Welcome to Shots After The Bell, our new post-event wrap up that wraps up all the interesting angles coming out of each UFC event. And what an appropriate name we have, considering what went down at UFC 208. Germaine De Randamie won the UFC’s inaugural women’s featherweight title fight by a single point on all three judge’s scorecards … a point that probably should have been deducted after she threw shots after the bell at Holly Holm in two consecutive rounds.

That gets us to our first topic:

Breaking The Rules A Little Never Hurt Anyone

Considering the original slogan for the UFC was ‘There are no rules!’, it should be no surprise that the sport has a bit of an odd relationship with them. In most sports, you commit a foul and a set penalty is applied. The only leeway is whether the referee manages to catch you in the act. But in MMA, the referee can catch you breaking the rules repeatedly and at this point you know you can keep doing it until he formally warns you that the next time it happens, you’ll finally get docked a point. Even then, history shows it’s 50/50 whether he follows through on that threat.

We got to witness the latest example of this as Holly Holm battled Germaine De Randamie in Brooklyn, New York. At the end of round two, De Randamie threw a two punch combo that landed flush to Holm’s jaw on both shots. The problem? The second punch began after the horn sounded to end the round. And it really hurt Holm, sending her mouthpeice flying and leaving her on wobbly legs.

The case could be made that De Randamie should have lost a point right there. Honestly, it’s a testament to the rarity of point deductions that a case needs to be made at all … a punch after the bell is a serious violation, and it clearly disadvantaged Holm. But things devolved even further into bizarro world when the third round ended and De Randamie threw another punch with mean intentions after the horn. That one earned her an oh so stern rebuke from the ref.

We just got some pretty nifty updates to the Unified Rules of MMA, but what use are rules at all if there are never any consequences for breaking them? What we need now are some clear guidelines because using the referee’s discretion simply hasn’t worked. Stop a takedown by grabbing the fence? That’s a point deduction. Eye poke? Groin shot? Both point deductions. Landing a punch after the horn? You better believe that’s a point deduction.

Anderson Silva’s Lackadaisical Victory Lap
UFC 208: Silva v BrunsonPhoto by Anthony Geathers/Getty Images

For years Anderson Silva stood firmly at the top of the MMA pound for pound best fighter list. But now that he’s lost the belt and a couple of fights, he seems content to take random match-ups here and there just for the sake of keeping active. He doesn’t seem to really care whether he wins or loses. There’s no particular attention paid by “The Spider” to making sure he wins a round. He just enjoys the act of fighting. Good for him, I guess. But it makes for somewhat frustrating viewing for those of us who remember him in his prime.

There’s just no killer instinct. I’d go so far as to say there’s no real evil intention behind many of his attacks. The Anderson Silva that mercilessly rearranged Rich Franklin’s face twice is gone. In his place is a man satisfied with his accomplishments that continues to fight, but is not really competing any more. Not in the traditional sense, since he doesn’t care about rankings, records, or what the judges decide. It makes for an odd watch, but I suppose it’s still better than no more Anderson Silva fights at all.

A Quick Reminder That “Jacare” Is A Killer
UFC 208: Souza v BoetschPhoto by Anthony Geathers/Getty Images

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza is a rare beast in the UFC right now: a top contender that’s willing to keep fighting rather than sit around and wait for his title shot. That kind of screwed him over when he decided to accept a fight against Yoel Romero at UFC 194 rather than coast on his five fight UFC win streak (8 fight streak if you count Strikeforce). He lost a split decision and must now wait not only for Michael Bisping to recover from knee surgery, but for Yoel to fight Bisping.

All in all, that means the next available fight for the middleweight title may not come until fall. So “Jacare” is putting his head down and getting to work. He took out Tim Boetsch handily in one round, and probably won’t get much credit for it since Tim was ranked so far below him. But you have to give him credit for calling out tougher opponents. In his post fight interview he called out not only champion Michael Bisping for running but Luke Rockhold as well. Rockhold isn’t just the #2 ranked 185 pound middleweight, he’s the last person to beat Jacare back in 2011.

With Rockhold in a seemingly perpetual state of injuredness and the rest of the top names at middleweight not lining up to face “Jacare”, it’s likely the UFC may have to dig deep into their 185 pound roster to find more fights for the Brazilian submissions specialist. While Souza doesn’t seem happy with the growing title picture logjam growing, at least he’s doing what fans love to see fighters doing: fighting in the cage.

What’s Luck Got To Do With It?

Once again, Ian McCall was pulled off a UFC card due to illness. That’s the fifth time a fight of his has fallen apart and the second time in a row it was due to Ian being too sick to compete. Right now all we know is he was taken to the hospital with gastrointestinal issues, leaving us wondering whether the flyweight fighter simply can’t cut the weight without his body rebelling against him afterwards. Those first three cancellations weren’t his fault, but these last two may indicate a pattern worth dealing with. Like AKA with injuries, at a certain point you have to stop calling things bad luck and start looking deeper into the problem.

A Night To Forget
UFC 208: Silva v BrunsonPhoto by Anthony Geathers/Getty Images

The UFC has been known to pull off some pretty amazing sleeper cards, and in the past I’ve opined that the prelims often feature the most entertaining fights on the card. That wasn’t the case tonight, where all five fights on the prelims went to terrible dull decisions. Fortunately, Dustin Poirier and Jim Miller gave the event a much needed shot of adrenaline to kick off the pay-per-view portion of the night, but aside from that and Jacare’s win, you can flush the rest of that event down the memory hole and live a happier life for it. The most notable thing about Anderson Silva’s fight was how he didn’t deserve to win it. Even the Germaine De Randamie vs Holly Holm fight, which had some good back and forth action, was overshadowed by the ridiculous unpunished fouls from De Randamie.

It’s no surprise that when asked what the best part of the night for Dana White was, he sarcastically responded “The plane ride home.”

For more news and results from UFC 208, click here.

Source:: mma mania