Tuesday, May 29, 2012


A Less Than Comprehensive, Thoroughly Satirical Look Back at the Latest UFC PPV

Welcome, all of you, to the NEW home of The Rocktagon! 

For those of you that don’t know what a “Rocktagon” is, it’s definitely not something that’s a copyrighted brand name for a drum kit device. Not at all, amigos. Instead, “The Rocktagon” was/is the name of a long-running column of sorts I used to do for TWF, which, sadly, passed away earlier this year when site owner Sean Carless decided to actually do things with his life that result in people paying him money for a change.

As far as the “scope” of “The Rocktagon,” it began life as a satirical look at the absurdities and excesses of 1990s professional wrestling, but quickly morphed into a column examining the comings and goings of the UFC world, which, according to some people, is somewhat popular these days. Since 2009 (UFC 97: Redemption, to be exact), I’ve covered just about every major UFC PPV (that I felt like watching, anyway), and I figured this here blog is just about the best harbor to park the venture. 

And what better way to begin The Rocktagon 2.0 than by recapping UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir, a.k.a. “The ALL HEAVYWEIGHT PPV?” That’s right, Holmes, there isn’t, so let me formally welcome each and every one of you degenerates to the Rocktagon Revisit of UFC 146

As always, I am calling this here shindig from the lovely “Bailey’s” in Kennesaw, Ga., while the live she-bang is emanating from Las Vegas, Nevada. Our hosts are Mikey Goldberg and Joe Rogan, and tonight’s festivities entail some XL entrees. Now who’s ready to watch some overrated Strikeforce jump-shippers get the taste slapped out of their mouths for our amusement? 

Stefan Struve vs. Lavar Johnson 

Johnson is taking this fight just three weeks after his stoppage of Pat Barry at the last UFC on Fox show. Struve - the tallest fighter in the promotion, by the way - wastes no time taking the fight to the mat, locking in triangle just a few minutes into the first round. Johnson taps immediately, and the ref waves off the contest. 

Immediate thoughts: I know I’ve heard the back-story before, but what happened to Johnson’s chest? The dude’s abdomen is sewn up like he’s Chucky or something, giving him a total of three options to choose from come bellybutton picking time. An impressive enough performance by Struve, who I think should definitely change his nickname to “The Light Bulb Changer,” drop to 205, and begin a feud with Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko as soon as possible. 

Stipe Miocic vs. Shane del Rosario

Miocic is the second coming of Cro-Cop, and del Rosaria is just some fat dude from Strikeforce that’s won a couple of heavyweight bouts over people nobody has ever heard of before. Therefore, he’s already getting hyped as the future of the division, because…well, people are kind of dim, that’s why. 

The first round was mildly competitive, with del Rosario getting some nice shots in here and there, but the pace was still controlled by Miocic (pronounced MEE-OH-CHECK, if you’re having some linguistic difficulties.) The second round, however, was a completely different story, with Rosario appearing gassed like an empty propane tank and Miocic going in for the kill early. It didn’t take long for the Stipe to finish the bout, swarming on del Rosario early in the second and securing a TKO finish shortly thereafter. 

Immediate thoughts: You know, for the longest time, a lot of Internet dweebs thought the Strikeforce heavyweight talent pool was FAR superior to the homegrown UFC crop. Not saying they’re wrong or anything, but of the eight men originally scheduled for the heavyweight grand prix, only ONE of them (VER-DOOM!) has managed to amass an undefeated record after jumping aboard the UFC express. And before you say anything, Overeem doesn’t count, as anybody that literally hops in a car and speeds away from a drug test is probably destined for a lifetime of NSAC-overturned victories anyway.

Dan Hardy vs. Duane Ludwig

Since the first two bouts ended ridiculously early, we’ve got some prelims up in this. Hardy - perhaps the most lame duck UFC championship contender of the modern era (and that’s a list that includes Thales Leites and Patrick Cote, by the way) - took a year off to figure out how to do things like “block” and “get out of the way of stuff” and apparently, his training paid off, as he managed to KO “Bang” Ludwig early in the first to rejuvenate(?) his career. Post-fight, Hardy said some stuff in British-English, which really, nobody can decipher. He either said something about how great his training camp was, or else it was time for tea and crumpets, but the hell if I’ll ever figure out which one. 

Edson Barboza vs. Jamie Varner 

Varner took this fight on retardedly short notice, replacing Evan Dunham, who was probably at home playing “Diablo III” or something. Anyway, if you’re looking for 2012’s presumptive frontrunner for “upset of the year,” I think this one right here is about as shocking a fight outcome as we’ve had over the last six months. Barboza - a dude who many thought was on the fast track to a Lightweight title shot - made Varner taste some nasty leg kicks early, but Varner, perhaps inspired by a week of watching Jean Claude Van-Damme movies, decided to forego all of that “self-defense” nonsense and just start swinging for the fences - and I’ll be several assortments, shades and flavorings of “damned” if Varner not only connected, but managed to KTFO of Barboza to give him his first loss under the ZUFFA banner. 

Roy Nelson vs. Dave Herman

Nelson - basically, the MMA equivalent of Kenny Powers, only without the racist disposition and taste for the cocaine - comes out to Queen, rocking a mullet, a rattail and a mountain-man beard…ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Anyway, this fight was friggin’ hilarious, with Nelson dropping Herman with a solid right hand that not only made Herman hit the mat, but hit it sitting Indian-style, which I suppose means Nelson popped him so hard that he thought he was back in kindergarten or something. Afterwards, Nelson rubs his belly and cuts a promo about how awesome the fans are. 

Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva

JESUS HERNANDES OCTAVIOUS CHIRST. With this bout, Velasquez becomes the first fighter in UFC history to win a bout by making his opponent pass out from oxygen loss without applying a choke hold. I’ve seen some gory fights in my day, and while there’s probably one or two that’s more gruesome than this one, it’s got to be the most brutally one-sided ass beating the UFC has put on in quite some time. Velasquez, despite being smaller than his Tiki-headed opponent, takes Silva down earlier, gashes his forehead with an elbow smash, and proceeds to drain Silva of his entire plasma supply over the next four minutes. The ref calls it with about a minute to go in the first, when Silva’s liquidized bone marrow begins oozing out of his ears. All I can say is, if Silva has any blood-borne illnesses, they’re going to have to quarantine the entire state of Nevada after this match. 

Junior dos Santos (Champion) vs. Frank Mir (Challenger)

As always, dos Santos comes out to “Gonna’ Fly Now,” and as soon as he stomped his foot on the canvas upon entering the cage, you just KNEW Mir was going to end up tasting his own internal organs before the night was over. The champ brought a little Brazilian kid with him, which is great, because I’m sure taking a six year old to a city built by hookers and mobsters and introducing him to a sports world filled with treachery, violence and drug abuse WON’T influence him negatively in any way. Like, at all. 

Mir shoots for a takedown early, and Junior dos Santos - who, more and more, reminds me of an MMA-version of Hulk Hogan, and not just because of the receding hairline - just shakes it off, wags his finger in Mir’s face, and proceeds to box the ever-loving shit out of him for the next four minutes. Mir goes down a couple of times in the first, and by the time the second kicks off, the dude looks like he’s staring at a Magic Eye painting or something. JDS continues to brutalize Mir, drops him and the ref calls it quits after Mir takes a face plant following a nasty overhand from the champ. In the post-fight, dos Santos calls for the kid to enter the cage, but wisely remembering the shit that went down at  the end of the Strikeforce: Nashville card, the ZUFFA brass doesn’t allow it. And it’s a good thing dos Santos wasn’t fighting one of the Cesar Gracie fighters, because I’m pretty sure one of the Diaz brothers would’ve ended up taking a swing at him. 

So, Where Do We Go From Here? 

Well, a dos Santos/Velasquez rematch is all but guaranteed following tonight’s results, but the end-dividends of the undercard give us some entertaining future fight possibilities, too. For example, who among us WOULDN’T love to see Roy Nelson take on Mark Hunt in his next match-up? And it’s pretty much a given that Stipe Miocic and Stefan Struve need to clash at some point, and considering the relatively shallow list of contenders in the division, that “some point” really needs to happen a lot sooner than later. 

The Verdict on Tonight’s Show: 

Simply put, if you didn’t enjoy tonight’s show, you can go kill yourself. Well, that, or watch Bellator, whichever is worse for you at this particular juncture in your life. 

I was sort of skeptical of whether or not an all heavyweights show would work, but I think it definitely delivered here tonight. Granted, every single fight on the card was a mismatch, but shit, sometimes you just want to see people getting their skulls caved in and bleeding a whole lot. If you walked away from UFC 146 a disappointed customer, you really, really need to find a new pastime. It may not have included any fight of the year nominees, but it left me wanting more, more and more after the show concluded, which is ultimately the hallmark of any great MMA show. So far, it’s easily the most entertaining MMA show I’ve seen in 2012, and a show format that I would LOVE to see the company utilize again in the not-too-distant future. 

SHOW HIGHLIGHT: Aw, man, so many awesome finishes to choose from! The dos Santos/Mir fight was satisfying in the same way watching The Incredible Hulk pound the crap out of Loki in “The Avengers” was, and the Velasquez/Silva fought easily registered about a 9.0 on the Muta Scale. That said, Nelson’s KO of Herman was probably the moment that put the fattest grin on my face all night, so to conclude? Yeah, all of the above, really. 

SHOW LOWLIGHT: I really can’t think of anything, to be honest. Maybe they should have shown Glover Texiera’s company debut on the main card, perhaps? 

ROGAN-ISM OF THE NIGHT: “He’s getting fucked up!” - Joe Rogan on the aforementioned Glover Texiera debut fight. 


- Whatever you do, don’t let a seven foot tall Swedish dude hurrancanrana you during a street fight. 

- Sometimes, you don’t need steroids to prove successful in the cage. [RoyNelson.jpg] 

- It’s very, very difficult to win a fight when you’re swimming in your own platelets. 

- If a 240 pound Brazilian waves his index finger at you Hulk Hogan style, run. 

- Apparently, size does matter. 

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you this week. Crank up “King Kong Brigade” by Off! and “Like a Prayer” by Madonna (no, really), and I’ll be seeing you in a few. 


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