Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Rocktagon Recap of UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira!

Featuring wacky submissions galore, a surfeit of Ray Lewis-inspired dancing and the greatest shocker in modern UFC history..."Rumble" Johnson ACTUALLY making weight for a fight!


Another Saturday night, another UFC pay-per-view spectacular, amigos and amigas. Tonight’s show features a main event title bout that trudges up the age old MMA chestnut -- what happens when sheer technique collides with sheer power? -- as long-time champ Jon Jones goes one-on-one with all-around ass-kicker and Jay Glazer-look-alike Glover Teixeira. On the undercard, we have a light heavyweight bout with major title implications, as Phil Davis tries to make himself a bona fide belt contender against the returning Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, whose probably going to have more trouble making weight for the match-up than he is actually fighting tonight. And beneath that, a whole bunch of undercard tomfoolery, which may or may not prove interesting or worthy of our respective times.

You ready, folks? Well, you best be, cause its nigh time for the Rocktagon Recap of UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira!

We are coming to you LIVE from Baltimore, Md., while I’m calling this hootenanny from BWW in ‘Murrieta. Our hosts, as always, are Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg, and also as always, if it any point tonight’s show gets too boring, I am SO ditching this recap to go play the Dig Dug machine in the corner.

So, since it's a crowded house tonight, me and Mrs. Internet is in America have to share a table with some random people, who just so happen to be an ethnically parallel male-male couple separated by about 30 years, who REALLY enjoy talking about the Atlanta Braves. And also, I am pretty sure our waitress, whose eyelids are the same color as a Tampa Bay Lighting jersey, is pretty upset at us, probably because we skipped ahead like twenty people on the waiting queue, but you know what? Like the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, a "fuck," so to speak, I no longer give.

Featherweight Bout
Andre Fili vs. Max Holloway

Fili is a promotional newcomer, a California fighter who bested Jeremy Larsen in his UFC debut. According to the Wikipedia, the one-loss Fili is also something of an indie hip-hop/punk sensation, which makes me hate him on principle alone. Holloway has a 4-3 record in the Octagon, with his last bout resulting in a Knockout of the Night against Will Chope. Both guys could really boost their own stock with a victory here, so expect plenty of attempted KO shots in this one, folks…

Fili has to wear these bandages on his ears, most likely because he has those goofy holes cut out in his ears like some kind of A.F.I. homosexual or something. Holloway, on the other hand, is quite possibly the single most hideous human being that has ever existed, and considering the fact we live on a planet with Lyle Lovett, that's saying something.

Holloway and Fili begin the first round by exchanging leg kicks. Nothing really connecting so far. Fili with a barrage of punches to the stomach and then he whiffs on a high kick. Holloway fires back with two really stiff right hands. Fili kicks him in the shin and secures a takedown. Holloway shoots back up and knees Fili hard before the bell sounds.

Right out of the gate, Holloway comes roaring with some spinning kicks -- think, all of that shit Cung Le used to do in Strikeforce. Fili grabs Holloway's leg on a whiffed kick and sends him crashing to the canvas. Holloway stuffs a takedown attempt and crunches Fili with an elbow. Now Fili gets a takedown. Back up, and Holloway tries to land another spin kick. Fili concludes the round by trying to secure another takedown, but Holloway just pummels him with knees in the clinch instead.

Third and decisive round. Fili trying REALLY hard to land a takedown, but it ain't happening. And as soon as I say that, of course, Fili gets a takedown. Back up, and Holloway is landing some rights. Fili aims for another takedown, but LOLOOPS! Holloway traps him in a guillotine choke instead! It's deep, and Fili isn't going to be saved by the clock. An impressive performance by Holloway, who is then given way too much face time in a subsequent post-fight interview.

Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone is in the house tonight. And hey, so are Jon Jones' brothers, one of whom used to play for the Baltimore Ravens!

In case you are wondering: tonight' I'm having a black bean burger with both queso AND the Thai curry sauce. And they messed up our order. Not really a surprise, I suppose...

Lightweight Bout
Jim Miller vs. Yancy Medeiros 

Miller is a journeyman lightweight, perhaps best known for that time he almost bit his own tongue off being subbed by Nate Diaz. Or that time he got submitted by Pat Healy, only to see that contest get overturned because Healy just had to enjoy himself a pre-fight doobie. Rather fittingly, Miller’s opponent tonight is Yancy Medeiros, whom, as fate would have it, had his last victory overturned due to ganja use as well. Medeiros, a one-loss Strikeforce import, is acting as a last minute substitute for fellow Strikeforcer Bobby Green, who pulled out of the fight on one week’s notice. On paper, this sounds like an interesting match-up, being the old “cagey vet vs. the spruce up and comer” routine and all. So, does Miller still have what it takes to finish off his fledgling foe, or will the cannabis-smoking Hawaiian smoke his elder adversary in the Octagon tonight?

Miller and Yancy exchange kicks to begin. Miller rattles off a half dozen or so body shots. Miller with a takedown, and he's thinking "guillotine, motherfucker." And he's got it clamped on Yancy, deep. He refuses to tap, and Yancy is out cold, with his eyes bulging out and shit. A super-impressive performance by Miller, who says he wants to fight everybody in the world who weighs 155 pounds in the after-fight interview.

Well, the Atlanta Braves fans have left, and now we get to dine with a gaggle of frat-holes, whom, as an interesting variable, all attended Christian colleges. Trust me, you don't know what a winning argument for atheism really is until you've heard ding dongs of the sort drone on and on about cursing before Easter services for an hour...

In other playoffs news: the Grizzlies are beating the Thunder, and the Kings are rallying against the Sharks.

Erick Silva will fight Matt Brown in an upcoming PPV event you have no intentions of ever watching. Or even DVR-ing, for that matter.

Middleweight Bout
Luke Rockhold vs. Tim Boetsch

In addition to having the most made-up sounding real person name in history, Rockhold is a former Strikeforce champion, whose only loss under the Zuffa umbrella has been against Vitor Belfort and his TRT-modified genes. Aside from beating such notables as Ronaldo Souza and Tim Kennedy, he was last seen kicking Costas Philippou so hard, he may have actually killed half of his opponents’ organs. Journeyman Boetsch is pretty much the definition of an inconsistent fighter, scoring impressive victories over the likes of Yushin Okami and Hector Lombard, but then getting his ass handed to him by Phil Davis and Mark Munoz. Currently riding a one-fight winning streak, the notoriously hard to put down Boetsch is looking for one more upset here -- will his devil-may-care retard monkey fighting technique be enough to propel him to victory, or will Rockhold’s more cerebral tactics prove triumphant once more?

Almost immediately, Rockhold shoots for a takedown, and holy shit, he's got Boetsch locked in a rarely seen -- but awesome-as-hell looking -- inverted triangle. Boetsch is able to hold on, but he can't do anything while the sub is locked in...and Rockhold definitely isn't going to let him loose. Rockhold with some elbows, and now he's got a KIMURA to complement the triangle! Holy shit, Timmy is effed, and hard. Not surprisingly, "The Barbarian" taps, as Rockhold challenges Vitor "TRT" Belfort and Michael Bisping in the post-fight. Dude's definitely gotta' be considered a top five middleweight after this bout, for sure.

Hey, Chuck Liddell is in the house! Surprisingly, the camera doesn't knock him out as it zooms in on him.

Light Heavyweight Bout
Phil Davis vs. Anthony Johnson

Oh, boy, where to begin here. Phil Davis, for the most part, is Jon Jones Lite -- a really talented, super athletic wrestler, apt with submissions and, at times, a downright surgical striker. With a sole lose to Rashad Evans, “Mr. Wonderful” has since gone on a three fight tear, last seen besting Lyoto Machida in something of a surprise victory. His opponent tonight is Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, a UFC castoff best known for him incredible inability to make weight -- indeed, such was the very reason he got cut from the promotion last time around. However, after accumulating six consecutive wins on the B-circuit, Dana White decided to bring him back, and a win over Davis tonight would seem to put him in automatic title eliminator contention talk…that is, IF he can make weight for this bout at all, anyway.

For starters, Johnson...who through some Voodoo magic, actually made weight for this bout...looks about twenty five pounds heavier than Davis, and that may in fact be an underestimate. And also, the frat boy in front of us...who, surprisingly, isn't drunk...keeps referring to both fighters as "Obama," because...crypto-racism? Yeah, probably.

Johnson out with some hard rights to begin round one. Davis is looking for a takedown, but he isn't getting any traction. Davis backpedals, and Johnson is bringing the heat. Rumble stuffs a Davis takedown attempt. Davis with another feeble takedown attempt, to which Rumble replies with some low kicks. Davis whiffs on a high kick to end the round.

An exchange of lefts to start round two. Davis with another failed takedown attempt. Johnson with some high kicks and a couple of uppercuts. Davis firing back now, but nothing's connecting. Davis with a head kick, but it does little to Rumble, who then launches an uppercut that briefly staggers "Mr. Wonderful." Another failed takedown attempt by Davis, and we're headed to the third. Surprisingly, it's been ALL Johnson thus far into the bout, and Davis looks plum exhausted at this point.

Johnson with lefts and rights and Davis with, you guessed it, another failed takedown attempt. Johnson with a knee and some close range punches. And ANOTHER fruitless attempt by Davis to wrestle Johnson to the ground. Davis spends the final minute of the bout desperately hoping for a single leg, but to no avail.

30-27, across the board, in a shockingly facile win for the returning Rumble. Johnson looked so good here tonight, that it's probably only a matter of time until he gets fired for a failed urine test.

What's the name of that show on Fox about the middle eastern looking kids who hang out with a supernaturally-borne Michael Jordan bobblehead? Well, whatever it is, it looks kinda's interesting, I guess.

According to the in-house trivia monitor, cashews are close relatives of poison ivy. I suppose that means walnuts are closely related to Mr. Freeze, then.

In case you were wondering: the fried pickles here are actually pretty great, especially with the proprietary southwest ranch sauce...which I am almost certain is what all of that "comeback sauce" hullabaloo on the Pinterest is referencing.

Hard sell for UFC 173, which, yeah, is one hell of a hard sell, to be sure.

And, of course, Ray Lewis is in the house. Like a game of "Clue," there's always at least one murderer among you, I suppose.

UFC LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT
Jon Jones (Champion) vs. Glover Teixeira (Challenger)

Since winning the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship back in 2011, Jon Jones has successfully defended his belt six times. Despite looking nigh-unstoppable in his first five defenses, some apparent chinks in Jones’ armor were exposed in his last bout against towering Swede Alexander Gustafsson, whom was able to successfully takedown the champ and keep him at bay with ranged punches. For defense numero seven, Jones will be taking on ferocious Brazilian striker Glover Teixiera, who is 5-0 in UFC competition. Known for his ungodly knockout power, Glover may very well be the most dangerous striker Jones has ever tussled with, although at this point in the game, the Brazilian’s grappling skills -- and perhaps most notably, the depths of his gas tanks -- are still in question.

History seems to indicate that Jones’ cardio and technical striking will be enough to allow him to coast to victory here, but Glover’s sledgehammer-like blasts prove an intriguing variable. Are we on the verge of witnessing the first gargantuan upset of 2014, folks? There’s only one way to find out, of course…

Tex comes out all smiles, which is something you'd probably expect from the whitest-looking Brazilian dude of all time. Of course, Jon Jones, who comes out to "Hot in Herre" gets a huge pop, not only because he's the champ, but because he does THIS prior to walking out to the cage...


Jones and Tex exchange kicks and strikes, but nothing going early. Jones looking for a takedown. Jones has Tex bullied against the side of the cage, and he's looking for an arm crank. Glover escapes, and shoots for a takedown of his own. Not happening. Jones with some retaliatory kicks, and a time out because Tex got poked in the eye. Glover with some punches, and Jones takes him down. Both men are back up, and Jones connects with a medium power spin kick. Jones with a late axe kick as round uno concludes.

Jones immediately shoots for a takedown, but Tex blocks it. Jones with a ton of low kicks now. Jones looking for a guillotine, and he gets a stern warning from the ref about those dirty-assed eye pokes. Now Glover is rattling off some heavy shots of his own -- the first that have really connected all night. Jones and Tex exchanging lefts now. Tex with another takedown attempt, but es no bueno. Jones with a spin kick and some shoulder charges against the cage. Jones with a target-less spin kick to end the round. So far, it's been fairly competitive, but if I had to, I'd give the first two rounds to Jones.

In between rounds, Glover said he wanted some ice on his shoulder. Foreshadowing, maybe? Jones storming Tex with left, rights and kicks. A spinning elbow, and an uppercut sends Tex's mouthpiece flying out of his mouth. Glover blocks a takedown attempt with some uppercuts. A damn solid striking exchange going on now, with both men throwing punches and knees galore. And Jones connects with one of his deadly elbow strikes to the forehead, and Tex is gushing blood like crazy. Jones getting the better of Tex in the waning minutes of the round. A super exciting round, with the elbow strikes probably enough to give Jones the 30-27 advantage heading into the fourth.

All Jones in the first minute of the round. Tex thinking takedown, but Tex is thinking wrong. Clinch time, and Jones is landing some ghastly elbows and knee. A funny moment ensues when Tex has his mouth piece knocked out again, and after putting the dirty device back in his mouth, he realizes how gross that is and asks his corner man for a new one. Jones is just raining elbows now, with a few knees for variety. And Jones with a takedown as the the round expires. Tex has no choice but to finish Jones in the next five minutes.

And Jones with a nearly instant takedown to begin the final round. He's looking for a guillotine, but abandons it to work on some more elbow strikes instead. An awesome striking exchange, with Jones on the verge of dropping Glover until Tex's mouth guard conveniently goes flying out of his mouth again. Tex looking for that big uppercut, but Jones is just too fast for him. About a minute left. Tex is chasing Jones, but the champ easily keeps the Brazilian at bay with his reach. Tex put on a valiant effort late here, but this one has to be a unanimous victory for Bones.

50-45, across the board, for Jon Jones. He thanks Jesus for the victory, and gets booed, so he name checks Ray Lewis to save face. And that, folks, might just be my favorite sentence I've ever written.

SO, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Obviously, Jones/Gus 2 is the most logical Light Heavyweight Championship follow-up, with the winner of the Daniel Cormier/Dan Henderson bout (spoiler: the one that ain't a chalkie) getting the winner of the aforementioned hypothetical match-up sometime in early 2015. As dominant as Johnson was tonight, though, you could really argue that he's conceivably a top five fighter in the 205 division now; why not set him up against Rashad Evans for a late summer showdown? And, utilizing our time-honored "Super Street Fighter II" loser bracket algorithm, why not stage a Tex vs. Phil Davis bout on the same card? Since Rockhold called out Belfort, I say it's a terrific bout to make for an early fall show, and is there anything in this world more inevitable than a Donald Cerrone/Jim Miller lightweight tussle on the next Fox TV card? 

THE VERDICT: While having to fraternize with people I didn't really want to fraternize with sucked considerably, I really can't complain one iota about UFC 172 as a PPV event. With so many finishes and hilarious ass-beatings, this may very well be the best all around Pay Per View UFC has put on since UFC 146 -- you know, the all-heavyweights hootenanny best remembered for Cain Velasquez turning Bigfoot Silva into a human tampon. With this and UFC 171, Zuffas has put on probably the best back-to-back cards since 2010, although one glance at the next two PPV shows is more than enough to send your optimism into remission, sadly.

SHOW HIGHLIGHT: Shit, every fight on the main card was enjoyable, and there were more than a few doozies on the undercard, too. Maybe the third, and most competitive, round of Jones/Tex, perhaps?

SHOW LOWLIGHT: Honestly, the entire show was pretty good, from start-to-finish. Umm...does having to listen to a bunch of Christian college frat boys ramble on and on about inconsequential things for the last two fights count? 'Cause that's what I'm picking here, regardless. 

ROGAN-ISM OF THE NIGHT: "He had to tap out with his feet!" (stated during the finish of the Benavidez/Elliot pre-lim bout)

FIVE THINGS I LEARNED FROM TONIGHT’S SHOW:
  • Guillotines didn't stop being effective during the French Revolution, apparently.
  • A really good strategy to defeat an opponent is to outweigh him by a good 30 pounds. 
  • Eye pokes are legal in the UFC, as long as you maintain a Nike sponsorship.
  • It's normal to switch mouth guards half a dozen times throughout a single round.
  • If mentioning the savior of humanity fails to garner a pop from the crowd, try mentioning a local homicide suspect instead. 

Well, that’s all I have for you this week, folks. Crank up "Waking Up in Vegas" by Katy Perry and "Closer" by Tegan and Sara, and I’ll be seeing you in just a few.

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