UFC 200 is a landmark for the biggest Mixed Martial Arts promotion in the world. UFC 100 was stacked top to bottom to commemorate the milestone event (Mark Coleman won for God's sake. What a magical show). As 200 began to creep ever closer, Dana White made it explicitly clear that they were going to blow the doors off this bitch and put on the biggest show in history. You know he was thinking Mayweather-Pacquiao numbers the whole way. He was going to do everything in his power to outdo any event in any promotion in any country and host the biggest show in MMA history. No 8 hour Japanese New Years K-1/MMA hybrid show sprinkled with pro wrestling, Hong Man Choi, and Alistair Overeem committing a hate crime on a jet lagged middleweight would compare to this monolith. The Ultimate Fighting Championship has been host to unforgettable moments that not only shaped the company, but the fake sport of MMA as a whole. Royce Gracie winning UFC 1. Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin at The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale. The Chuck Liddell - Randy Couture trilogy. Matt Serra upsetting Georges St. Pierre for the title. Dan Henderson sending Michael Bisping's skull into the cosmos. Kimbo Slice suplexing Houston Alexander. Tim Sylvia shitting his pants.
UFC 200 was going to eclipse all of that. It was destined to be the creme de la creme. The cream of the crop. The cat's pajamas. An aggro, sweaty nu metal opera. The UFC had a lot of cash lying around after fucking over the fighters with the Reebok deal and they were lookin to crack open that piggy bank and make some matches. You gotta spend money to make money, and they were prepared to spend more than most of their roster will ever see in their lifetime in order to assemble the biggest card in history. Connor McGregor and Nate Diaz's rematch is a license to print money. Put that alongside Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier's long anticipated rematch to unify the light heavyweight title and you're looking at inconceivably high buy rate. Pop the champagne boys we're r-what do you mean Connor isn't going to the press conference? What do you mean retired?
Ok. Let's regroup. Ronda Rousey is still in hiding after having her wisdom teeth removed by way of Holly Holm's fists and Connor is using digging his heels in and making a statement. So 2 of their biggest stars (and coincidentally enough the EA UFC cover athletes) are MIA for the Wrestlemania of punchsports. Riddle me this Girl's Name, what's your master stroke to save this show from being a complete disa-
Oh my fucking God you guys. You guys, oh my fucking God. I didn't even give a shit about the Connor-Diaz rematch, so this is win-win for me. This is going to be the greatest card ever. The only thing that could ruin this is Lesnar's urine sample, because I wouldn't be surprised if his piss is corrosive like Xenomorph blood. Once they announced Lesnar would be facing Mark Hunt it really didn't matter what the fight itself turned out like. The unparalleled joy I felt from watching die hard MMA fans froth at the mouth because I told them Hunt had no chance because he's fought a bunch of nobodies and Lesnar broke the Undertaker's streak is something I will cherish for years to come. The only deadman Hunt has ever beaten is Wanderlei, and that's a technicality because his brain is so riddled with favela flavored CTE that it doesn't even realize he died 4 years ago. Mark Hunt has never won UFC gold while Lesnar decimated 12 time WWE Champion John Cena with sixteen suplexes. Their resumes don't lie. I'm just stating facts, if you don't like dealing with hard data maybe you can retreat back to Sherdog where you and all your little keyboard warriors can pretend The Feast Incarnate has any chance of stopping The Beast Incarnate.
The road to 200 is paved with bad prescriptions
Cut to 3 days prior to the show. I close out of an incognito window and I'm faced with a wet blanket of a headline: Jon Jones notified of potential anti-doping violation, UFC 200 main event with Cormier off
I can't think of any better way to represent the UFC in 2016 than one champion failing a drug test, another champion getting into passive aggressive Twitter fights with his boss, and the main attraction being a pro wrestler who got run out of the sport five years ago because he kept pooping in his own intestines. The show hasn't even started and I'm already exhausted, please tell me you don't have any more curveballs to toss my way. Just go ahead and announce which middle of the road light heavyweight you're gonna fly in on 2 day's notice to fight Cormier so we can get through this.
Oh, I guess one of the pound for pound greatest fighters of all time works too.
UFC 200 weekend. Three shows in three nights, because Dana White is all about coulda and not shoulda. Should he put a lightweight championship fight exclusively on Fight Pass, something I still to this day have never seen another human being use or admit to subscribing to? Probably not, but there you go. After that is an Ultimate Fighter finale with a women's strawweight championship fight between two women who fucking hate each other. I know, I was just as surprised as you were to learn Ultimate Fighter is still on. Turns out sometimes there's nothing wrong with a little gluttony, because both shows leading into 200 were awesome. Eddie Alvarez fucked Raphael dos Anjos to death with uppercuts to win the lightweight belt and Joanna Jedrzejczyk (bless you) was down 2 rounds against challenger Claudia Gadelha and came back to viciously assault her for the remaining 3 to hold on to her title. 2 awesome performances in 2 nights, everything's coming up Milhouse in the world's number fastest growing fake pajama sport for idiots.
Fight Pass Prelims - Because FOX Sports 2 can't be bothered to pre-empt Monster Jam
|Dress for the job you want, which is apparently an Albanian street vendor hustling tourists at Three-card Monte|
Here we are ladies and germs. The biggest MMA spectacle in history will be fought on a yellow King of the Cage canvas. Nothing screams pinnacle of the sport like a wave of nostalgia over buying a DVD pack of 10 events for 5 dollars at a Walgreens. All we need is Tank Abbott stumbling out of whatever field he woke up in and Bob Sapp being held together by bungee cables and Band-Aids long enough to take a dive. Oh MMA, please never leave me.
Takanori Gomi vs. Jim Miller
Hold the fucking door. Takanori Gomi? As in, The Fireball Kid? Who knew he was even still in the company? I 100% unironically thought he got cut years ago and he'd been getting paid to knock out inexperienced NJPW trainees in Pachinko halls. I would have bet everything I own that Lesnar had fought in the UFC more recently than Gomi. What a pleasant surprise to start the show. It's a battle between old school veteran versus real fucking old school veteran. Who is who you ask?
|I've seen things you wouldn't believe|
You tell me buddy. Well it's not a beauty pageant, let's see what the Fireba-oh shit he's out. Oh boy. Ah geez.
Well, that's how this historic show starts: a longtime fan favorite getting beaten into dust before our very eyes. I enjoy watching grown men punch each other in the face as much as the next guy, but I don't like watching the withered remains of someone I've been watching since I first started following the sport get the dogshit kicked out of him every time he steps in the cage. Nothing I love more than kicking back with a cold beer, turning on the boob tube, and being reminded of the inevitable mortality that wears us down as we continue our inescapable march towards oblivion. Why stop here, why not beat all of my fond memories to death? Maybe we can follow this performance up by re-enacting the elevator scene from Drive on someone dressed like Ms. Frizzle.
Congratulations to Jim Miller who holds on to his job for another couple of months, fulfilling his Romani curse to haunt Fight Pass until his soul is put to rest.
Jim Miller def. Takanori Gomi via TKO (strikes) at 2:18 of Round 1
Gegard Mousasi vs. Thiago Santos
Gegard Mousasi, that’s a name that conjures up memories of an unbeatable Iranian knockout machine who was poised to be a top guy for a long time. Then he somehow lost to King Mo and that right there is an oopsy daisy you can’t dipsy doodle out of. I have a soft spot for him because he always looks like he doesn't want to be in the cage. He's paid to fight, not to enjoy it. He gets no satisfaction from this bloodsport and the punishment his hands hath wrought.
Santos slips for half a second and Mousasi swarms him with a devastating fury while his face remains frozen in melancholy indifference. His hands are sending Santos into a dimension of eternal anguish while his face says "I don't mean to be a bother but this is the last jar of peach marmalade and it has a crack in it is there any way you can give me a discount I’ve been a loyal customer and would like to feel like my business is appreciated."
The fight ends when Brave Fencer Mousasi drops Santos with a combination, unloads on his dumb face with some ground and pound, and then backs off, feeling no need to indulge in such an excessively primitive act. Isn’t that nice, he's letting him get back to his fee-JESUS SHIT
Santos makes it to his feet like he’s ascended Everest and is greeted with a mouthful of uppercut that switches his brain off and sends him straight to the Shadow Realm. Hope you enjoyed eating the Right Hand of Exodia, dick.
Gegard Mousasi def. Thiago Santos via KO (punch) at 4:32 of Round 1
Joe Lauzon vs. Diego Sanchez
This matchup being relegated to an Internet stream is a cosmic joke and I don't like the fucking punchline. Lauzon has earned 13 post-fight bonuses over his UFC career and Diego Sanchez is an insane nightmare person who taps into a lethal combination of a Tony Robbins seminar and the Necronomicon and channels it into an uninhibited blind frenzy. He's not the fighter he used to be, but that doesn't change the fact that you still have to go into the Octagon ready to kill him because if you don't, he's going to try to eat you to gain your secrets. Someone will die, whether it be quickly or prolonged for our amusement. Either way I'm going to feel really bad for someone's cerebrum. Diego comes to the cage chanting YES while staring dead ahead with the same look John Wick has when he wakes up next to his dead dog. Something terrible is about to happen to someone.
Spoilers - that someone is Sanchez. He gets rocked early and goes down...and instinctively gets back up. Then he goes down...and his body, free to move on its own accord now that the brain has been shut off, props itself upright and swings wildly in hopes of buying enough time for Diego's consciousness to return. Everyone in the cage, the building, and watching at home can see that Sanchez isn't there mentally and the fight needs to stop. Everyone except the referee, so Sanchez's autopilot emergency backup generator skeleton squares up and throws combinations at ghosts while he gets lit up. The referee realizes he's about to watch a human being die and mercifully ends it to the discomfort of everyone in my living room. And just like that, Lauzon is the first fighter to ever finish Sanchez via strikes. The Quickening has occurred and Joe will harness Diego's power and knowledge en route to getting steamrolled by Dustin Poirier in the co main of a Fight Night event in a flyover state.
God bless you Diego "The "The Nightmare" Dream" Sanchez. This is most likely the end of the line for you, but the future is bright. You'll be in Bellator making three times what you make now to walk to the cage with a crucifix and beat the faded memory of Melvin Guillard into the dirt. Some stories do have happy endings.
Joe Lauzon def. Diego Sanchez via TKO (strikes) at 1:26 of Round 1
FOX Sports 1 Prelims - In reality it's just background noise while I wait for the pizza guy
Sage Northcutt vs. Enrique Marin
Huh, isn't that weird. Sage Northcutt - the 20 year old golden boy who has been hand picked by the forces above to receive a Connor-level push up the rankings but is actually a terrible fighter who has shown a shocking lack of understanding of basic concepts - is fighting on the televised prelims against the only guy on the entire card who didn't have a Wikipedia page leading up to the fight. It wouldn’t be an accurate representation of the UFC as it currently exists if it didn’t have a significantly less talented fighter being spoonfed subpar competition to pad his record and elevate him above more deserving fighters. But guess what - none of us know shit. The prelims were pre-empted onto FOX Sports 2 for a bit and Sage vs Enrique, a fight not even listed on the cable guide, is now the most watched program in the history of the station. So basically, fuck us. Here’s a fun experiment: look at how much money Sage has made in the UFC so far and then convince yourself life is fair.
My beautiful baby boy. My gorgeous angel. A sweet gift from Heaven sent to bless us in this time of political strife and civil unrest. My cherry blossom went out there in front of God and everyone and proved that it doesn’t matter how little you know about something as long as you know more than the other guy. When it comes to selecting Sage’s opponents, Dana and the Fertittas don’t throw too many curveballs. Hell, they don’t even toss it underhand. They just leave it sitting on the tee and hope he doesn’t trip and fall on his face on the way to home plate.
Try as I did to deny myself the carnal pleasure, I had a ton of fun watching this fight. It was ridiculously entertaining in that neither of them had any idea whatsoever what they were doing, so they were just trying things they'd seen real fighters do. They were kids on the playground re-enacting Power Rangers fights except more embarrassing. Marin had the worst armbar attempts I've ever seen, and I watch pro wrestlers pretend to break people’s arms in fake fights on a regular basis. It was like if you took Clay Guida vs Roger Huerta and then turned the Madden sliders all the way down. It had no place on this card, on television, or in the UFC, but it was so ridiculous that I couldn’t help but love it. This was a Tachi Palace Fights main event if I’ve ever seen one (I haven’t) on a historically massive show. It wasn’t an MMA fight as much as it was frantic movement that accomplished nothing. No technique, just spastic improvisation. It’s a fucking Who’s Line is it Anyway game, and he’s making a Mochrie of the sport.
Congratulations to Mr. Marin; you were selected specifically because the man in charge thought that you are such a bad fighter that you couldn’t possibly beat someone who tapped in his last fight the second he was put in a choke and then blamed it on strep throat. You exceeded expectations. If only you could have locked in that armbar as tightly as Sage’s dad keeps an iron grip on his life, maybe we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But you couldn’t and we’re not. We’re adding another W to the record of that human embodiment of physical perfection.
Sage isn’t a fighter. He’s biblical temptation come to fruition. He’s the apple in the Garden of Eden and I’m ready to take a bite.
Sage Northcutt def. Enrique Marin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
T.J. Dillashaw vs. Raphael Assuncao
Look I'll be honest with you gentle reader, this fight was awesome. Two small guys with unlimited gas tanks who didn't stop attacking for 3 rounds. With that being said, I couldn't get invested in it. It doesn't matter how impressive Dillashaw looks because he has nowhere to go higher than number one contender. The only thing that can stop Dominick Cruz is his ACL. There’s no investment in this fight for me because he's trapped. Even if he decides to change weight classes, Jose Aldo and Demetrious Johnson aren’t favorable matchups for any mortal human being. I can’t even imagine how frustrating it is to be sandwiched between some of the best pound for pound fighters in the world.
I propose an idea. What if Dillashaw and Assuncao were forced to team up and fight Brock Lesnar 2 on 1. They could stand on each other’s shoulders to equate to one half Lesnar, or they could attack from different sides, or they could attack each other as they rush to escape the Octagon and leave the other there as a tribute to the Viking God. Either way you look at it though, Lesnar is probably going to end up knocking them around the cage like King Kong swatting biplanes out of the sky.
|Tell me you wouldn't pay good money for this|
Ok if you're not gonna go for that then hear me out: reboot WEC. Let Dillashaw hold that title and destroy all tiny men that cross his path. Nobody watches Mighty Mouse fights - which is absurd because he’s one of the most complete fighters I’ve ever seen - so just let him and all of those manlet weight classes put on super fun shows on Versus or Fuel or FOX Sports 2 or whatever the fuck. Who knows, maybe Miguel Torres will resurrect his career from the ashes and then get fired for tweeting another rape joke. I don’t see why not; Dana White can host a show where he travels to different cities and eats at expensive restaurants in search of a fighter that's a perfect combination of bad enough to lose to CM Punk but appearing competent enough to maintain a charade of legitimacy.
Fine then, I have one more idea then I’ll be on my way. We announce the next season of Ultimate Fighter is flyweights, but instead of a tournament they’re airdropped into Lesnar’s isolated compound. They each have to retrieve a pendant of life hidden on the property and return it to the LZ. The twist is Lesnar does not know there is a show being filmed. If he catches you, what happens next is between him and God. You’re most likely going in his trophy room, and that’s just me trying to stay positive and assuming that when he’s done with you you’ll look acceptable enough to be a decoration. Imagine that silverback he-monster running stride for stride with someone who is 5’4” 125 pounds and the last thing you see is Brock catching him, suplexing him to the ground, and slamming the barn door shut like Leatherface.
T.J. Dillashaw def. Raphael Assuncao via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Johny Hendricks vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Johny you god damned heart breaker. 3 years ago you got robbed against GSP. No matter what the record shows, you know deep down you beat one of the best of all time. 4 months later you won the title that was rightfully yours in a five round war with Robbie Lawler. You became a fan favorite and you were on top of the world. Then you lost the title in a rematch with Lawler. You bounced back with a win against Matt Brown, but that was an outlier instead of a turnaround. He had to drop out of a fight with Tyron Woodley because his weight cut hospitalized him. He followed that by actually making it into the Octagon for his next fight, wherein a 33 year old man who calls himself Wonderboy kicked you all over the arena like your controller died mid-game. Yell XBOX OFF all you want, the only thing switching off is the lights in your noggin as he delivers a Tekken 3 Hwoarang combination to your solar plexus. And then you have this. You miss weight, show up out of shape and disinterested, look like shit, and get your ass beat.
Johny didn't look like himself. He didn't even look like a UFC fighter. He was completely and hopelessly outmatched. He looked like he'd never been in a cage before - and more importantly like he never wanted to be in one again. In the days since he’s said he’s going to take some time away from the sport and ask himself if he really wants to keep fighting and re-evaluate everything.
It's depressing to watch the performance he put on and then hear that straight from the horse’s mouth. I loved watching him fight and now he's just wasting away. When my favorite football players deteriorate they get slower, stay on the field less, and transition into assistant coaches. They don’t get the will to live beaten out of them in front of a million people. Hendricks was on top of the world for such a brief, beautiful moment, and without warning he nosedived into a rapid decline he might not be able to pull out of. Watching Johny Hendricks fight is like watching your uncle who you always looked up to as a kid get too drunk at a Breaking Benjamin concert, start a fight, get his ass kicked, and then piss himself.
He reminds me a lot of Cro Cop, a fighter I had the…pleasure of seeing live at UFC 103. I talked myself into the hype and spent the entire fight standing there in uncomfortable silence assuring myself that he was just waiting for the perfect opportunity to throw that kick. But it never came. It hasn’t come in a decade. And that’s the worst part of Johny’s situation, it’s that no matter how bad he looks, he always has that one punch knockout power. You can talk yourself into the idea that any second now he’s gonna land one square on the chin and it’s lights out. Oh fuck I just realized he’s Dan Henderson. Watching one Hendo is heartbreaking enough I don’t think I can deal with two. Maybe it’s time to take him to the magical farm in Japan where he can run around and play with all of his friends like Chris Leben and Wanderlei Silva.
Kelvin Gastelum def. Johny Hendricks via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Cat Zingano vs. Julianna Pena
Out of all of the fights I was excited for, this was not one of them. I’m sure they’re both lovely women and fantastic fighters, but until Ronda Rousey is officially retired you’re not going to get me to care about anyone else or see them as anything but another victim. Rousey hasn’t fought since Holly Holm delivered unto her a KO so vicious that you wondered if she’d ever mentally bounce back. Holm didn’t just take her title, she took her ability to eat apples. Diabolical. Rousey hasn’t said anything about fighting anyone anytime soon, and yet she looms over every fight in the division. Every matchup plays out with the underlying feeling that they’re placeholders until she comes back to take her title. She’s ranked 2 for fuck’s sake and she disappeared off the face of the Earth. Meanwhile these women train their asses off and put every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears in their body into this fight just to be ranked lower than the woman who was recording a cameo for Entourage.
And yet I’m guilty of it. It’s true, I am human garbage through and through. As the fight wore on all I could think to myself was that Ronda would destroy either of them. Oh wait, Cat already got armbarred in 14 seconds. The talent gap is still so wide that I can’t care beyond a surface level. It’s like when Matt Hughes was just wrestlefucking everyone to death and nobody could do anything about it. I can’t get invested when Ronda is out of the picture because she’s never really out of the picture. Pena improved to 4-0 (7-0 if you count TUF, which is still on I guess) in the Octagon and in doing so set up a fresh matchup for the title. And yet all I can think is how bad Ronda would murk her with extreme prejudice.
She’s going to Gina Carano this whole thing. She’s never coming back and she knows it, all she’s doing by hanging around is making sure every conversation ends with “…but Rousey would kick her ass.” It’s like Fedor and every heavyweight for a decade if Kevin Randleman’s suplex had ended the fight. Also if he was in Expendables 3.
Julianna Pena def. Cat Zingano via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Main Card - In which I alienate my remaining friends by spending 3 hours asking them if they think Paul Heyman will walk to the Octagon with Brock.
|This wardrobe change is bullshit|
Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne
Guys. I’m gonna level with you. I fucking hate Travis Browne. I hate his win via illegal eye poke, I hate his dumb face, and mostly I hate the fact that he maybe probably supposedly allegedly beat his ex girlfriend. The one he was still dating while sleeping with Ronda, his current boo. There’s nothing quite like someone who allegedly hit his girlfriend brushing off allegations and then getting paid to beat people you like by cheating. He’s being rewarded for allegedly being human garbage. Allegedly. I hope karma arrives in the form of 2 big ole Christmas hams and a Brown Pride tattoo.
Enter: Cain Velasquez. In a sick twist of irony, on a show where 2 separate main events fell apart, Cain managed to get through the entire training camp healthy. So what does a healthy Cain look like? A fucking murderer. In 5 short minutes Cain unloaded a prehistorical savaging that is expressly forbidden by the Geneva Convention. That ass beating wasn’t even real, it’s something that can only happen in fantasy. It wasn’t a cage fight, it was Goku coming back to Earth to find his friends had been murdered. He beat Nappa’s ass up and down the cage like Piccolo was near death and the Senzu Beans were hidden in his skull. Shenron couldn’t have stopped this dehumanizing.
I want to say Cain went berserk on him, but that would imply what he did was some sort of uncontrollable frenzy. He was in complete control the entire time. He meticulously picked Browne apart with his concussion mitts, and the wheel kick he connected with (a fucking WHEEL KICK. From a heavyweight. You guys) was a message to everyone that so long as his ACL holds in place he’s going to take that title back and no one can do anything about it.
Cain Velasquez def. Travis Browne via TKO (strikes) at 4:57 of Round 1
Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar
There were a lot of questions about how the oldest looking 29 year old on Earth Jose Aldo would look after his devastating loss to Connor McGregor. He went a decade without losing and then in the biggest fight of his life he got smoked in 13 seconds. That can do a lot to a man’s psyche. Shit, I was at a theater and they said enjoy the movie and I said you too and I haven’t been back since.
Turns out he’s still really fucking good at this whole MMA thing. He put on a takedown defense clinic for 25 minutes against a guy who has won 5 straight and is what we in the business call “passable at punchsports.” Every time Frankie went in for a takedown, Aldo shrugged him off and tagged him with a parting shot. Aldo made him feel stupid for even thinking he could get him off his feet. He’s the #2 featherweight in the world and he looked like he was trying to get the remote control back from his big brother. Aldo had a world class fighter punching air and second guessing himself. I was half expecting him to give Frankie a noogie while his face was leaking.
Not to be lost in all of this is Connor McGregor sitting in the front row and giving them both an intense ocular patdown with his cold, dead eyes. If he gets past Nick Diaz at 202 he’ll rematch Aldo to unify the featherweight and interim featherweight titles. Oh sorry, I forgot to mention that. yeah, this is for the interim belt. They had to create one because the real title is locked up. In the crowd. On the healthy guy. Fighting a lightweight at welterweight. This sport is so dumb.
Honestly, I’m still exhausted from the year long dog and pony show leading up to their first fight. I’d rather see a new matchup, but I’m not the one about to make a gorillion dollars off that buyrate. Zuffa's gotta make the big money fights so they can rake in all that cash and not pay fighters with it.
Aldo’s dominant performance did nothing but solidify something I had already made up in my mind. It’s time for Frankie, Donald Cerrone, Joseph Benavides, T.J. Dillashaw and Urijah Faber to mass exodus to Bellator and absolutely shithouse that roster for the rest of their careers for dump trucks full of Viacom’s money. Why spend your entire life climbing to the top of the hill just to get pushed down by the same dude for the third time when you can rack up sponsor money and fight for someone who will sign literally any fight, regardless of potential fatalities. I would turn on Spike (Television for MEN) in a fucking heartbeat for Edgar vs Bendo again. Cerrone would fight once a month and make enough money to buy a whole fleet of jetskis. He’ll retire early to do donuts on his dirt bike in a Bennigan’s parking lot or buy a chrome ATV or whatever the fuck he does on that ranch of his. Look all I’m saying is if I’m Rumble Johnson, I’m looking at the Nielson ratings Stephan Bonnar vs Tito Ortiz drew and realizing I could be king of the castle for the next decade. You know what’s better than winning the UFC title? Not fighting deep into your 40’s on AXS TV. You could destroy your body for the opportunity to get humiliated by Jon Jones, or you could get paid 5 times as much to fight Rampage Jackson’s mummy.
Jose Aldo def. Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)
Anderson Silva vs. Daniel Cormier
Let's rewind. First Jon Jones beats Daniel Cormier to retain his light heavyweight title. Then he tests positive for coke. He has a harrowing day-long stay at rehab, then returns to society a new man. Then he’s involved in a hit and run accident with a pregnant woman. He’s stripped of the title and suspended indefinitely, but don’t worry he’s sorry to let you guys down and it’s not going to happen again. He’s eventually re-instated, wins the interim light heavyweight title while the real champion, Daniel Cormier (won title during Jones’ suspension), sits out with an injury. The stars align and the rematch of a lifetime is in place. Unfortunately Jon ruined his own special night and almost tanked the entire card, losing out on an 8 figure payday in the process. After everything I just said, when the time came to fight, Cormier was the one booed relentlessly by the crowd. God bless this fake sport for idiots.
Cormier was in a no win situation. It literally didn’t matter what he did against Silva. Even if he ran straight across the Octagon and unloaded one of those gigantor Hellboy hands on Silva’s chin so hard that his head spun around like a god damned Looney Tune - even if that needlessly specific scenario played out - whoopty shit, he beat a guy fighting on two days notice above his own weight class a couple months after surgery. One the other hand, if he had lost it would have been disastrous for the entire division. Danny boy had to make the choice to swallow the poison pill and fight in this death spot or don’t fight on 200 at all. How could it get more depressing for him, you ask? His fight purse was halved. He went from earning a million dollars down to $500,000. Jesus Christ, when it rains it pours. That’ll teach you for not taking steroids you goody two-shoes fuck.
So Cormier did what any intelligent fighter would do in his situation and laid on his significantly smaller opponent for 3 rounds. Do you kids at home want to know why? Because Anderson Silva is one of the greatest of all time and the most dangerous striker in the history of the sport. There were glimpses were Silva got loose on the feet and it reminded everyone that yeah, at any time he can put you front and center on a new WorldStar highlight. The crowd can boo all they want. Boo Cormier as if he’s the reason the fight they wanted didn’t happen. Boo the guy who did everything right. That’s cool I guess. Apparently he should have realized what the crowd wanted and put his hands at his side and walked chin first into Silva’s elbow tornado.
Cormier’s entire reason for existing hinges on beating Jon Jones. He will never find peace until he avenges the losses that haunt him day in and day out. He goes home every night and writes “Hey pussy, are you still there?” on the drywall and punches a hole through it. Jones is actually a master tactician, as he’s playing the long con. Injuries heal over time, but psychological wounds are so much more permanent. Jones is tarnishing Daniel’s legacy by not fighting. No matter what Cormier accomplishes, who he beats, or how dominant he is, at the end of the day he never beat the best. No amount of hype packages pretending Ryan Bader is a credible threat will take the asterisk away from his reign. Jones will haunt Cormier for the rest of his life, culminating in Daniel beating him at Connect Four when he’s 70 years old and as soon as he finishes saying “here, diagonally” his heart will explode in his chest.
But don’t sweat it guys, Jones says he’s innocent and he’s sorry and it won’t happen again. For real this time.
So...that was a real bummer. Hopefully that’s the last we hear about it and nothing ridiculous happens, such as a fighter I love saying something really fucked up and gross.
|Applause. Breaks. Out.|
My God, Jones. Your reach knows no limits. You can tarnish the careers of people who aren't even in your weight class. How many puppet strings are you pulling?
Daniel Cormier def. Anderson Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Quick detour before the fight of the night. Joe Rogan interviewed Nate Diaz to hype his upcoming fight with Connor at 202. I thought about picking out the highlights, but you know what they say: a picture is worth a thousand words.
Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt
|IT WAS ME, DANA. IT WAS ME ALL ALONG.|
Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and prepare your body. The Beast is back. For one night before he returns to WWE to hold up Vince for a literal blank check. At UFC 100 he avenged his loss to Frank Mir by turning his face into a puddle of hamburger meat, and at 200 he is avenging diverticulitis. The entire disease. Most people would have a trusted inner circle who would tell them that sounds like a bad idea, but most people aren’t Olympian demigods who get their jollies by throwing grown ass men around like they’re children. Big, strong children. The time has come, the stage is set, the Brocktagon is locked and ready for war…and Brock did the exact same thing Cormier did. The only difference is everyone was cheering. Oh MMA fans, you’re always the absolute worst when it matters most.
Brock is a fascinating study in the world of UFC. He’s accomplished so much in such a small window, and yet he’s still so, so bad at almost every aspect of MMA. He looks like he’s never taken a boxing class in his life, has the herkiest and jerkiest movement I’ve ever seen, and his opponent knows there is absolutely no threat of him doing anything that isn’t going for a takedown. The fascinating part is that none of what I just said matters because he’s a Lovecraftian nightmare of a man. If he wants you on the ground he’s going to take you down, because he is a freak of nature that needs to be destroyed before he realizes the depths of his power. Mark Hunt says he dyes his hair blonde before fights to look like a Super Saiyan, and if that’s the case then Brock is what Dr. Gero would create in a laboratory in hopes of finally killing Goku. No, fuck that. He’s Broly the Legendary Super Aryan.
I’m obsessed with Brock Lesnar and I don’t care who knows it. His combination of size, strength, and speed isn’t supposed to exist in this mortal coil. He’s a human cheat code and the final boss of every fighting game in the 90s. Mark Hunt is a very sizable man and I can only imagine it’s not easy to get him off the ground if he’s not willing. The ease with which Brock lifted him off his feet and threw him onto the ground simply by thrusting his hips is the most horrifying thing that’s happened in a UFC Octagon since Anderson Silva’s leg snapped like a wishbone. He hasn’t improved as an MMA fighter since day one, yet his Mutant X genes allow him to dominate in a world not equipped to hold him.
The first round was uneventful for the most part, but Brock was able to get Hunt down and secure the round. Round two was five minutes of absolutely nothing. The only thing that changed was the shade of red illuminating from Lesnar’s body. Brock was suckin wind going back to his corner and thing were starting to turn in Hunt’s favor. I thought for sure Lesnar was going to slow down and Hunt would deliver a Dragon Fist right in the diverticulitis. Instead, Brock took him to the floor and leveled punches off his head over and over and over and over and over. Hunt would wiggle himself free for a few blissful punch-free seconds, but Brock would shove him back into place with just his forearm and continue the assault. The sound of his microwave sized fists bouncing off Hunt’s face will haunt me forever. Like a wet rain boot stuck in mud. It doesn’t matter if you think Brock doesn’t hit hard. When he has you there, he doesn’t have to. He could be blowing in your ear, the point is you’re not getting away unless he lets you. You are his property.
|Good luck pulling Brock off of him|
The man who earned a reputation for walk off KO’s couldn’t even do enough damage to jeopardize Brock’s Summerslam match in any way. Cosmic forces beyond his control convened to ensure Brock’s victory, and now that he has tasted blood again he has The Hunger. He’s going to use this momentum to deliver a cyclone of suplexes to a man who just spent a year out of action with a hurt neck and shoulder. No fake sport is safe from The Beast’s insatiable appetite.
|When asked how a loss would affect his drawing power in WWE, Lesnar responded “I really don't give a shit"|
The true highlight of the fight came when Joe Rogan put a microphone in Brock's face. When the hulking pale guy from the midwest said “from one white boy to all nationalities,” I actually yelled OH NO and stood up as if there was something I could do to stop him. I can only imagine Dana sprinting in slow motion, time standing still as he witnesses his empire crumble before his eyes. Crisis averted, as it turns out he thinks “we gotta stand together, people.”
Huh. Well. I guess I did not see that coming from the guy who moved to Saskatchewan because his farm in Minnesota wasn’t secluded enough. I don’t know if I’m ready to live in a world where Brock Lesnar is conscious of social issues and uses his platform to preach equality and peace. Woke Lesnar is here, and he’s going to piss wherever the fuck he wants.
|Every 23rd Spring, for 23 days, he gets to eat|
When all is said and done, Brock could end up making around 8 million dollars for holding Mark Hunt down like a middle school bully for 15 minutes. What does the future hold for him? Hard to say. He insists his UFC career being cut short due to diverticulitis was haunting him, but I think he knows good and well that pooping in his intestines isn’t the reason he got punched in the face so hard he did an airplane spin across the cage. If he’s here to exorcise demons, maybe he should call it a job well done and move on because most roads in the heavyweight division lead to Cain, and he’s never going to exorcise that Old Testament ass beating.
Brock Lesnar def. Mark Hunt via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes
“It’s so cool that they put the girls on last. Nobody would have cared if they put Bro-oh God what the fuck just happened to her face.
That’s how I experienced the main event of the apex of MMA. By the time I sat back down with the last of the pizza and began spewing nonsense out of my garbage hole, Miesha Tate’s journey to the top had ended in brutal fashion. Tate, the woman I’ve been watching since StrikeForce was still around; the woman I’ve watched scratch and claw her way to the top, fail, work her way up again, fail, nearly retire, and then win the title. She was destroyed in Tarantino-esque fashion. It wasn’t a fight, it was utter devastation. This is exactly how I thought the Holm fight was gonna go. Too little too late, I can’t un-lose that bet, you selfish sow.
I was 100% confident Tate would win pretty handily, even when she almost missed weight and was minutes away from being kicked off the show. Regardless of that, she should still handle Nunes and then we’ll get our Rousey confrontation to end the show. Great. Then she came to the ring to Katy Perry. I knew then and there she was fucked. Granted, I would have known a lot sooner if pics from her weight cut had come out before the fight instead of afterwards.
|That's how she looked after the fight, too. It's like poetry.|
Between this and her holding her shattered nose together at the press conference while people ask her about her failure. It’s too much, man.
I like Tate. I enjoy how much she hates Rousey and how for the longest time she’d been the only one to even get close to beating her. She waited so long to get her hands on that title. She endured so many heart breaking losses and doubted herself. She finally won and just like that it’s gone. Not only did she lose, but she lost in a way that will be replayed until the end of time.
The bantamweight carousel continues and is now the property of Amanda Nunes, the UFC’s first openly gay champion. That’s awesome and something that should be celebrated, but I feel like it’s going to inevitably sour everything when the bantamweight tradition continues and the first gay champion’s first title defense ends with cranial devastation and the belt getting hot shotted to someone else. "This is such an amazing atmosphere. She’s an icon, a role model, an inspiration, a le-oh Jesus Christ in Heaven, Julianna Pena just shattered her orbital bone oh god the humanity.” Enjoy it while you can Amanda. Wear it around the house for a couple of weeks and take as many pictures with it as you humanly can. Really test the depths of Snapchats filters. Just remember: no tag backs. You can’t pass the belt back to whoever you beat for it. Until then just have some fun. I’m sure you can bait Rousey into saying some homophobic shit pretty easily. Speaking of, I wonder why she didn’t come into the cage. Do you think she put the ixnay on that after she got Vietnam flashbacks to Holm dismantling her? Was she tending to her boyfriend after Cain Velasquez spin kicked him onto King Kai’s planet? Or was she just in the lobby playing Pokemon Go? Stay out of Holly’s Pokemon Gym, the only thing you’re gonna catch there are hands.
Amanda Nunes def. Miesha Tate via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:16 of Round 1
Mark Hunt never beat The Undertaker and he’ll damn sure never beat Cain
So, did UFC 200 live up to the hype? Well…no. Not really. Not at all. UFC 199 was way better. But it was fun enough. The prelims were great and there was enough dumb shit on the main card to offset Cormier-Silva. The show almost fell apart a dozen times but Zuffa made it out by the skin of their teeth. They survived, they probably did a million buys, and they sold the company.
We enter the post UFC 200 world without the comforting presence of our Zuffa overlords. Fear not, Dana White is sticking around and make a metric fuckton of money. He will remain the constant as changes being to take place. Every time things look shaky and fighters lose confidence in their new owners, he’ll get in an argument with a 17 year old on Instagram and then threaten to sue a reporter for reporting facts. He’s the rock. He’s ole reliable. Who knows what the future will hold for this company or this sport. Who knows what their plans are or how they expect to make back their 4 billion dollar investment. Who knows how many of the top stars will even be fighting in 2 years. Clouded by uncertainty, I can sleep easy at night knowing fighters can barely afford to pay for training camp while he flies snow out to his house in LA. for Christmas. From boxercise to billionaire, he’s our Vince McMahon and it wouldn’t be half as fun without a crazy person with too much money and too many yes men pulling the strings. See you guys at UFC 300 when dudes in Tapout shirts and tribal tats pilot Jaegers and fight on the moon. Bare witness to the fitness of the kaiju warrior.
I leave you with the parting gifts of Brock Lesnar's Krang-like baby picture and his frightening strength on full display in slow motion. Godspeed.