Tim B. takes a look at a UFC 209 that would have been better with Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson.
Well, that was ugly. I don’t normally go to extremes when I write these things, but that was the worst title fight I’ve seen in many years, and the worst main event fight since Frank Mir vs. Mirko Cro Cop. The two men did not engage at all. Neither of them should be proud of their performance in the least, and while I understand that this is a sport, you’re supposed to go out there and fight. For 24:30, that was not what happened.
Okay, now that I have that out of my system, I had it as a draw. Thompson won the first two, Woodley won the third, Thompson won the fourth, and Woodley should have got a 10-8 fifth. The “old definition” of a 10-8 makes it more murky, but when you come that close to closing a fight, you should get a 10-8.
Regardless, it doesn’t matter, because Woodley won a majority decision. But if I ever hear Woodley say anything about “money fights” ever again, I will refuse to watch his title defenses. When he actually does something, he gets takedowns and hurts guys. But he just sits back and does nothing for so long that it makes zero sense. That was an absolutely miserable performance. It was a miserable performance by Thompson too. Ugh.
This makes me about ten thousand times sadder that we didn’t get to see Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson.
- David Teymur wasn’t getting a lot of love coming into his fight with Lando Vannata, but he certainly earned it in the cage tonight. While Vannata may have been a bit flashier, Teymur landed some incredibly hard shots that would have stopped most guys. Vannata’s chin is unbelievable though. There was a lot of cool stuff in there – Vannata’s cartwheel kicks, Teymur’s superman punch – but in the end, Teymur was more consistent and landed more strikes, even if he did get hurt once. Great fight.
- I know we haven’t seen Rashad Evans in a while, and people expected a lot from him at 185. But he looked like the same old timid Rashad we saw against Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira in my eyes. If he would just open up, he has the ability to wash Daniel Kelly out. But he didn’t, and it cost him an decision. Those little trips from Kelly on the lead leg of Evans as he came in were so pretty though. Kelly’s a great story and I wish him continued success, especially fighting on a bum knee like that.
- How about Cynthia Calvillo? She looked incredible on the ground, schooling Amanda Cooper and finishing her in just over three minutes. Joe Rogan’s job is to hype fighters, but he sounded genuinely impressed at what Calvillo did there. She looks like a prospect at 115.
- In the main card opener, Mark Hunt looked a little out of shape even for Mark Hunt, but he was doing decent work against Alistair Overeem over the first two rounds. He had him hurt on two different occasions and was arguably up 20-18 (I gave Overeem the second though). But in the third, Overeem’s deadly knees came out and in a reversal of fortunes, it was Hunt flopping to the mat face-first, unconscious.
- Hey, Dominick Cruz – I think you did a really excellent job tonight. I do. You called some stuff on the undercard that really made me look at the fights differently than I would otherwise, and I really liked your work in the top two fights (except not remembering the new rules weren’t in effect yet). But homie, you HAVE to stop stop saying “underhook” so much. You said it so much in the Overeem/Hunt fight that you even called him Undereem once. Come on man.
- Marcin Tybura and Luis Henrique put on a largely boring performance, cage clinching a lot and doing nothing. Herb Dean said “work” so many times that I thought he was Rihanna for a bit there. Tybura got the underwhelming win after Henrique gassed out. Next.
- I wish I could write these in the other direction sometimes because the fight before this really set the mood for another incredible comeback. Darren Elkins was getting his ass kicked. There’s no other way to put it. Mirsad Bektic beat the holy hell out of him in the first, cutting him open in like five places and leaving him a bloody mess. The second was Bektic’s too, though Elkins had a couple signs of life. Then in the third, Bektic kept going back to his grappling and it cost him dearly. Elkins stopped a shot, reversed, opened up with punches and a huge kick, and boom – massive comeback upset. Unbelievable.
- If you ever want to see something really savage and ‘primal’, as Joe Rogan put it, check out Darren Elkins’ reaction right after he won. Blood all over him, just screaming like a wildman. It was an amazing visual.
- Iuri Alcantara was losing 96% of his fight with Luke Sanders, and then he wasn’t. The bout was just full of bad fight IQ though, at least in my eyes. Alcantara was extremely wild early, and it led to Sanders getting on his back and lighting him up with probably 80 punches against the cage. Alcantara easily could have rolled into guard, but he never did. He’s damn lucky Marc Goddard didn’t stop the fight, and then Sanders went goofy and landed a blatantly obvious illegal knee to earn a point deduction. Incredibly, Sanders made a huge mistake in the second again when he got Alcantara in the same spot, but allowed him to easily secure his leg for a kneebar finish. What a strange, strange fight.
- Mark Godbeer and Daniel Spitz looked like TUF 10 The Sequel. Godbeer was gassed early. Spitz either broke a rib or was extremely gassed out too in the second, to the point that he could barely stand. Godbeer’s lack of strong cardio didn’t allow him to put the fight away though, and it dragged on about seven minutes longer than it should have to a decision. Yuck.
- Tyson Pedro looks like an actual light heavyweight prospect, which is an extreme rarity in the UFC. He largely dominated Paul Craig, dropping him with shots and landing some huge knees to the head from a standing position (which showed off pretty good flexibility for a big man). Once he secured the crucifix, it could have got ugly quick with Pedro’s elbows but thankfully the referee stopped it.
- Albert Morales and Andre Soukhamthath kicked off the card with a decent fight that was very back-and-forth. Morales took a split decision, and the best part may have been him turning into a nine-year-old when he got to talk to Joe Rogan.