Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Rocktagon Recap of UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen

Featuring woman on woman violence, a fat white dude with a mullet beating up an African-Frenchman, THREE technical stoppages on one card and Jon Jones shutting up Chael Sonnen...even AFTER his toe EXPLODES!


08:30 PM EST -- All right kids, we’re trying something different for this go-around. Instead of giving you a semi-structured recap of the night’s fights, I figured I’d instead employ something of a live-ish, stream-of-consciousness style -- basically, more fleshed out, wordier “tweets” as the show unfurls. This will either be a smashing success or…well, not a smashing success, I guess.

08:35 PM EST -- Who’s up for some prelims up in this (figurative) biz-nitch? Sheila Gaff is scheduled to take on Sara McMann in just a few. Gaff’s nickname is “The German Tank,” by the way. A general rule of thumb, while I’m thinking it over: never, ever date a girl named after Wehrmacht machinery.

08:40 PM EST -- Wait…they let women fighters wear shirts? Well, that’s sexist as hell. They better be making $0.60 for every dollar a male fighter makes, or else I’m going to be pissed.

08:41 PM EST -- The one with the ponytail (and shirt) seems to be winning so far. “The Shirt,” I believe, is also a much better nickname than “German Tank,” anyway.

08:44 PM EST -- McMann has Gaff in a crucifix, and is pounding the CRAP outta’ her Fraulein foe. And the referee let her rearrange her opponent’s face for about a half minute longer than any paid employee should have. A brutal, brutal beating on display here. Hooray for equal rights!

08:48 PM EST -- All female fighters have hair like Benson Henderson, so it seems.

08:51 PM EST -- Gian Villante taking on Ovince St. Preux next. Things are looking very, very Strikeforcey right about now.

08:53 PM EST -- Joe Rogan is interviewing some giant dude that’s part of a committee to save Olympic wrestling. Go to KeepWrestlingintheOlympics.Com, and “crash the server,” he tells the audience at home. Because a DNS error screen is CLEARLY the best way to inform people about things. For sure.

08:57 PM EST -- Note to readers who may be traveling to Atlanta anytime soon: if you’re ever in the Kennesaw area, you NEED to try the Ultimate Nachos at Bailey’s. You just have to.

08:59 PM EST -- Despite the very, very European names of the two competitors, both dudes are American. You know, like pizza, in a way.

09:02 PM EST -- Rogan calls UFC “the big show,” in a subtle jab to Strikeforce being an inferior product. You know, that inferior product whose fighters make up half their roster now.

09:03 PM EST -- OSP rocks Villante, but it’s not enough to put him down and out.

09:04 PM EST -- It’s about an hour until the PPV main card kicks off, and the pub is already near capacity. I’m expecting a HUGE house tonight for when the main event begins.

09:06 PM EST -- Some dude in house just won a free DVD of UFC 145...which, as we are all aware of, I witnessed live, and in-person this time last year.

09:07 PM EST -- Villante begins the round by leg kicking OSP and dropping him. But it’s not enough to finish him, of course.

09:08 PM EST -- Villante eyeing a guillotine, but it ain’t happening.

09:09 PM EST -- Rogan keeps ragging on the cardio of both guys, calling Villante “flat footed.” And also, apparently, OSP speaks Haitian, so maybe his Americanship is, uh, not as American as I had stated earlier.

09:11 PM EST -- Probably Villante’s round. OSP definitely won round one, so this next one will decide the whole she-bang, enchilada and kit and/or caboodle

09:13 PM EST -- Villante gets eye poked. He tells the ref he can’t see, and the ref WAVES OFF THE FIGHT. D’oh!

09:14 PM EST -- An early nominee for Rogan-ism of a night: “This is just a disaster.”

09:17 PM EST -- And OSP wins on a “majority technical decision,” which is something you definitely don’t get to put on a W-L record too often.

09:19 PM EST -- Anthony Pettis is in the house. Rustam Khabilov and Yancy Medeiros are scheduled to go toe-to-toe next. Imagine that; a fight in which the guy named “Yancy” actually has the less weird first name.

09:21 PM EST -- Guys: if your girl is WILLING to come along to a sports bar, and watch you do a stupid play-by-play blog for a mixed martial arts show…you have a pretty darn good girlfriend.

09:24 PM EST -- We’ve got one fight left on the docket on the prelims, and about a half hour to kill until the main PPV card. Now who is ready for some pure-D stalling from the Zuffa suits?

09:28 PM EST -- You have to see these giant beer bong things they have for sell at the pub. They’re like these giant birdfeeders, filled with American brew…so you know you’re not really missing anything, ostensibly.

09:30 PM EST -- NOBODY in the crowd knows/cares who either of these fighters are. That makes…all of us, to be honest.

09:33 PM EST -- It has happened AGAIN! Yancy dislocates his thumb defending a takedown, and the ref calls it.

09:35 PM EST -- We get an up close look at Yancy’s thumb. I think the last time I saw a hand that looked like that, it was busy trying to kill Bruce Campbell in a log cabin.

09:38 PM EST -- Hard sell for the Bisping/Belfort co-main event bout. Yeah, it’s going to take a LOT of salesmanship to get me excited about that prospect.

09:39 PM EST -- More trash talk from Chael Sonnen, who apparently, has been watching a lot of “Scarface” lately. Well, that, or Razor Ramon promos from 1993.

09:40 PM EST -- Jon Jones in the back, looking all calm and stuff while listening to these huge honking earphones. Oddly, he has an almost Anderson Silva-look going on this evening.

09:42 PM EST -- It’s standing room only at the pub. Did I tell you that the actual show doesn’t start until another 20 minutes, too?

09:43 PM EST -- …and a replay of the McMann/Gaff fight, that happened just an hour ago. Folks…at this rate, the entire show may be over by 11 o’clock.

09:46 PM EST -- MAN WOULDN’T IT BE AWFUL IF THE MAIN EVENT ENDED ON SOME FLUKEY TECHNICAL THING LIKE JUST HAPPENED IN THE LAST TWO FIGHTS. MAN, THAT WOULD NEVER EVER HAPPEN, THOUGH. EVER, IN A MILLION YEARS.

09:52 PM EST -- Arial Helwani backstage with Greg Jackson. In the back, Jones is shadow boxing (and shadow kickboxing) all casual-like.

09:54 PM EST -- Tonight’s philosophical question: what are frat boys always “WOOO”-ing about, exactly?

09:55 PM EST -- DW and Joe talk about the main event. The baldness, it is deafening.

09:58 PM EST -- If Michael Bisping fought Forrest Griffin, how could you tell who won?

09:59 PM EST -- Well, time for the part of the evening where it takes the house ten minutes to switch the TV feed from FX to the PPV show…

10:01 PM EST -- Jeez…just how many UFC 145 DVDs can one person give away, anyway?

10:04 PM EST -- Continuity, man: it was about two years ago…in the very same arena…that Jon Jones won the UFC Light Heavyweight championship.

10:12 PM EST -- Pat Healy taking on Jim Miller. Miller, as always, comes out to “Full Moon Rising” by CCR.

10:13 PM EST -- Healy with a slight height and reach advantage. And holy crap, do both of these guys look nearly indistinguishable from one another.

10:16 PM EST -- Miller with a takedown. He’s gotten some really good shots in already. It’s Healy’s first UFC fight since 2006, if you can believe it.

10:17 PM EST -- Miller trying to get a crucifix. Looks like he’s going for a guillotine now.

10:18 PM EST -- Miller almost has an armbar in, but Healy manages to escape.

10:19 PM EST -- Now Healy with a takedown of his own. Trying to get something going on the ground, but nothing too substantial so far.

10:20 PM EST -- A very competitive first round. Healy is busted open from some last second elbow shots from Miller. I’d give it, just slightly, to the NJ native. Wait, Healy isn’t from NJ too, is he?

10:22 PM EST -- Utterly random observation: Miller’s pants reminds me of a piece of Bazooka Joe bubblegum.

10:23 PM EST -- Healy with a takedown. He’s probably pressed more per capita action, but Miller has clearly done the most damage throughout the first two rounds.

10:24 PM EST -- Healy, statistically, is out striking Miller by about a dozen hits thus far in the fight. Can he get the standing rear naked choke before the bell sounds?

10:25 PM EST -- Miller escapes from an almost certain-death RNC and now Miller is looking for a guillotine choke of his own. This has been an insanely close fight so far. 19-19 in my books.

10:26 PM EST -- Now Miller is bleeding. Expect some fireworks heading into the final five.

10:29 PM EST -- Healy is four for five on takedown attempts. Looking for an arm triangle  now; Miller is going to have to finish Healy to win this matchup.

10:31 PM EST -- And Healy gets the RNC! A very, very impressive performance by the Strikeforce import. What was Joe saying earlier about SF being an “inferior product” again?

10:34 PM EST -- Ronda Rousey gets a huge reaction, whereas that one dude from the Dallas Cowboys…doesn’t.

10:37 PM EST -- An analysis for the main event is shown. Did you know that Jon Jones has never been taken down before? That…might be a relevant stat for the evening.

10:39 PM EST -- Apparently, this Vinny Magalhaes dude is some sort of Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament winner guy. Phil Davis, conversely, shares the same nickname as 1980s pro wrestling heel Paul Orndorf. Guess who I am rooting for as a result?

10:43 PM EST -- Dig Bruce Buffer’s Magilla-the-Gorilla purple tuxedo. Either that, or he’s cosplaying tonight as Lotso Huggin Bear from “Toy Story 3.”

10:44 PM EST -- And speaking of making a (fashion) statement: how about Davis’s neon-pink shorts!

10:46 PM EST -- Vinny has a decisive height and size advantage, but Davis has landed the better shots (and shorts) so far.

10:47 PM EST -- Vinny ALMOST gets a sub following a takedown, but Davis snakes his way out.

10:48 PM EST -- A hard first round to score. Vinny did have the takedown and near submission, but Davis is out striking his opponent on his feet. Davis’s round, but just barely.

10:52 PM EST -- Davis with an ugly takedown attempt. He’s landed twice as many strikes as his opponent tonight.

10:53 PM EST -- Things are WAY slower than they were in the first round. Both guys looking kinda’ gassed at this point.

10:56 PM EST -- Davis is clearly the aggressor in this fight. I’m not sure how many jabs he’s landed overall, but it’s gotta’ be…well, a lot, at least.

10:59 PM EST -- Davis just clubbing Vinny at will. A pretty boring fight overall, but you have to be at least marginally impressed by Mr. Wonderful’s solid stand-up.

11:01 PM EST -- It’s gotta’ be a unanimous decision for Davis. As before, a lackluster fight in terms of actual, you know, fighting, but it’ll probably raise Davis’s stock as a Light Heavyweight. Probably.

11:05 PM EST -- …what the hell is a “Waka Flocka?” And dig Stuart Scott, rocking the braces and being like, 40 and stuff.

11:06 PM EST -- Hard sell for the Velasquez/Bigfoot rematch on Memorial Day weekend. If it goes anything like the first fight, I’d advise the fans in the first ten rows to bring plastic ponchos, like they were attending a Gallagher show or something.

11:07 PM EST -- Roy Nelson vs. Cheick Kongo up next. This fight is scientifically designed to result in a knockout, somehow, someway.

11:12 PM EST -- What the? Roy Nelson, coming out to “Born in the USA,” instead of Weird Al Yankovich’s “Fat,” as god intended? I hope he loses now.

11:13 PM EST -- You have to give it up for Nelson. Anybody that can rock a “Duck Dynasty” beard, a mullet and a rat tail at the SAME time has to have some immaculate white trash chromosomes.

11:17 PM EST -- Well…Nelson only threw one punch in the entire fight, and that was ALL he needed. With one overhand club, Kongo is down, and OUT!

11:20 PM EST -- Michael Irvin and that one dude that won “The Ultimate Fighter” in the house. Bisping and Belcher set to do battle next.

11:25 PM EST -- Alan Belcher has a tattoo of Johnny Cash on his bicep, but the song he walks out to is by Jimi Hendrix. Just pointing that out for you.

11:29 PM EST -- Bisping out to “Song #2” by Blur. Which isn’t played out, or anything at all like that.

11:32 PM EST -- Pre-fight, Belcher has to be cut out of these ankle wraps he’s wearing.

11:38 PM EST -- A mostly uneventful first round. Bisping was really reserved as far as offense goes, and while Belcher landed more strikes, nothing he threw really did that much damage.10-9 for Belcher, reluctantly.

11:42 PM EST -- Bisping definitely the aggressor in the second round. Belcher looks really tired at this point.

11:45 PM EST -- Bisping’s round, easily. Whoever wins the third round wins it all.

11:47 PM EST -- Joe and Mikey trying their best to get Bisping over, with all of the “look at his cardio!” and “second all time in significant strikes!” chatter going a mile a minute.

11:50 PM EST -- Bisping has this one in the bag. He looked really great here tonight, but all you have to do is re-watch that 2009 Henderson fight…and his last bout against Vitor Belfort…to know that we’re being sold a paper tiger here.

11:51 PM EST -- Thumb to the eye, and Belcher’s cornea explodes. And that, folks, is our THIRD technical stoppage of the evening. Rogan goes on a rant about how the UFC gloves need to be redesigned, while Belcher, I don’t know, goes out and dies somewhere, I guess.

11:58 PM EST -- Dana White says some stuff about motorcycles. It’s important, maybe.

11:59 PM EST -- One final hard sell before the main event. Rogan said that if Sonnen can take Jones down, he might be able to win this one. And then, Goldberg reminds us that Jones has never been taken down before. Ever.

12:02 AM EST -- Chael Sonnen comes out to “Too Much Fun” and wearing a bright blue boxing robe…for some reason.

12:05 AM EST -- An animated Jones comes out, still rocking the headphones from earlier. And dancing. A little.

12:06 AM EST -- BLATANT NIKE PRODUCT PLACEMENT FTW.

12:14 AM EST -- Jones with three takedowns already. Jones landing some NASTY elbows on the ground. And now, Sonnen is getting BROCK LESNARED from the side. And folks, this one is ALL OVER.

12:16 AM EST -- A dominant victory from Jones, who managed to WIN THE FIGHT even after his toe exploded halfway through the fight. Folks, make sure you put down your Hot Pockets before you see this one…


12:18 AM EST -- Jones gets emergency in-ring toe-surgery, praising Jesus, while Sonnen tries to sound humble in defeat for the four millionth time. Had Jones not stopped Sonnen in the first, it’s pretty much a given that the fight would have been waved off between rounds. So yeah, yet another perfect conclusion to a failed Sonnen title fight, huh?


SO WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Admittedly, I don’t know a whole lot about podiatry, but I’m guessing after your toe turns the opposite direction and moves three inches underneath your heel, you’ll probably need some time off to recover. Pending Jon Jones will get cleared for another title defense this year, it’s likely that he will wind up battling the winner of a Lyoto Machida/Alexander Gustafsson mega-fight that hasn’t been announced yet, but probably will in a matter of minutes. Sonnen will most likely move back down to middleweight, where he will get drubbed by Vitor Belfort later on this year. Bisping looked pretty good tonight, but as we all know, when it comes time title eliminator bouts, he ain’t exactly known for shining too brightly. Maybe his next bout will be a date against Luke Rockhold, or maybe even Ronaldo Souza? Roy Nelson is probably next in line for a Heavyweight title eliminator; pending the winner of next month’s JDS/Hunt bout is the presumptive challenger for Cain Velasquez’s strap, it wouldn’t surprise me if Nelson was matched up against the winner of June’s Big Nog/Werdum bout for the number one contender’s spot. And lastly, Pat Healy probably earned himself a top ten lightweight chart position after beating up Jim Miller -- why not match him up against Josh Thomson for a bout later this autumn?

SHOW HIGHLIGHT: Healy/Miller was awesome -- almost as awesome as Nelson’s KO and Sonnen getting his ass kicked…again.

SHOW LOWLIGHT: Bisping/Belcher was bad. Not quite Davis/Magalhaes bad, but bad, nonetheless.

FIVE THINGS I LEARNED FROM TONIGHT’S SHOW

-  If a referee asks you if you can’t see, and you respond “yes,” he may or may not interpret that to mean you don’t want to keep fighting.

- Thumbs are apparently the deadliest appendages on the human body.

- Even though you can’t finish your opponent, you can at least be adored for your cardio.

- If a dude that looks like Kenny Powers’ cousin from Alabama throws an over hand right, the end result is usually declared a natural disaster area.

- Medical science states that one’s big toe is needed to maintain balance. As it turns out, having one ripped off turns you into an ass kicker, times three.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this week. Crank up “I Touch Myself” by the Divinyls and “Panorama” by Voivod, and I will be seeing you in just a few.

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