Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Rocktagon Recap of UFC 211: Miocic vs. dos Santos 2!

Can't afford the PPV, or has yet another DUI prevented you from driving to the sports bar to enjoy the fighting festivities? No worries, amigo - our LIVE(ish) play-by-play will keep you in the know all night long.


By: Jimbo X
JimboXAmerican@gmail.com
@Jimbo___X

Well, it's been quite some time since we've had a PPV line-up this stacked. Really, every single main card bout on tonight's show is at least worthy of the top spot on a UFC on Fox card, and on paper, it looks like every single match on the docket should be well-matched, extremely competitive contests. Then again, we've said that plenty of times before, too, and what do you know, the show's ended up sucking like a whore on her last dollar. THAT SAID, I guess it's only reasonable we would be excited about the evening's itinerary. After all, we do have both the company's largest and smallest weight class championships on the line, with three undercard bouts that, feasibly, could all be considered possible title eliminator matches (except for the last second sub we got for the Henry Cejudo/Sergio Pettis match. LOL, fuck that noise.) With that in mind, I reckon it's safe to go on ahead and be cautiously optimistic about the show. I mean, it's not like any of us are actually PAYING to watch it, so eh ... what's the loss? 

As always, we'll be calling this shindig (kinda' sorta) live as it happens. We'll start doing regular updates at 10 p.m., with live updates posted between every round. If you're looking for the fastest coverage of UFC 211 on the Internet, I'm pretty sure we're beating all those motherfuckers at Sherdog and ESPN. And unlike turds and twats like Davey Meltzer or whoever else he's probably not paying to do UFC recaps for him, we're actually funny and entertaining. So what are you waiting for? Go on ahead and bookmark this shit and tell all your Facebook bed buddies that we're offering this crucial service free of charge Saturday night. Hey - you owe it to us, and yourselves

NOTE: Because I have a life outside of providing you people free-of-charge, live commentary on UFC events, there's a pretty good chance (read: 100 percent chance) I won't be around for the entire show, or may suddenly vanish from my commentary duties for upwards of a half hour at a time. That in mind, whatever I DON'T get around to covering live tonight I will go back and fill-in the morning after, along with a few other post-event thoughts. So don't fret too much, you neurotic little fuck, you.

Jon Anik, Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier are calling the action LIVE from Dallas. Rogan considers this "a juicy card" and goes on and on about how excited he is for everything except the curtain jerker. Oh, and just so you know, Texas hasn't adopted the new unified rules, so the refs will probably have no idea what's legal or what isn't.

Middleweight Bout
Krzysztfof Jotko (19-1-0-0) vs. David Branch (20-3-0-0)

Well, we're getting this as a "you've got to pay for it match-up" because Henry Cejudo hurt himself jacking off (probably, I don't kn0w for sure) and his possible title eliminator against Sergio Pettis got canceled. Jotko the Pollock has - believe it or not - been fighting in the UFC for close to four years now, having racked up a 6-1 record including a surprising decision victory over Thales Leites last November. Branch is making his long (as in, six years in the making) return to the UFC, having spent the last five years of his career going 10-0 in World Series of Fighting bouts against wash-ups like Yushin Okami and Paulo "Crack Cocaine Smokes Me" Filho. You might remember Branch from that one time he literally Rock Bottomed Gerald Harris half to death at UFC 116. In fact, that's pretty much the ONLY thing you can remember him for, unless you want to count having one of the shittiest fights of all-time against Tomasz Drwal, or that one time he got knee-barred by Rousaimir "Crystal Meth Is Trying To Quit Me" Palhares. Which, yeah, you definitely don't.

Holy shit, Branch has facial hair just like Joe Dirt. Cormier says he loves his new hairdo. Please note: Branch is currently bald. Also, I love how Rogan keeps talking about Branch's success outside the UFC without referring to any competing brands. Meanwhile, Jotko comes out to some 1980s Eurotrash synth-shit that sounds like something a dude named Raoul would've fucked to 34 years ago.

Jotko keeping his distance. Branch whiffs on a high kick. Jotko throws a kick, Branch grabs his leg and secures a takedown. Branch cracks him with a left hand in the open guard. Branch with more elbows. Jotko trying to push his way out, but Branch isn't giving him any breathing room. Branch has Jotko smushed up against the cage. Branch with a hard elbow shot. Branch stomps on Jotko's foot in the clinch. Now Jotko lands a takedown. Branch is back up and Jotko is grinding him out against the cage. Looks like Branch may have gotten away with a free groin shot. The crowd is booing the inaction. Pretty hard to pick a winner there, but I'd give the slight 10-9 advantage to Branch.

Round two. Jotko bullies Branch against the cage. Jotko with a beautiful spinning back fist, but it doesn't too much to stun his foe. Jotko clips him again. Branch starting to chase him down. "Come on guys, let's engage" the ref yells. Branch lands a huge takedown, but Jotko is right back up. Jotko literally slaps Branch upside his head. "That referee is easily influenced," Rogan comments. Jotko barely misses on a wheel kick. Jotko fakes on a knee and gets one more solid shot before the bell sounds. 19-19 in my book.

Round three. Branch begins by whiffing on two kicks in a row. Branch lands a leg kick. Branch blocks a high kick. Yep, this fight is a snoozer, all right. Branch pushes Jotko up against the cage. Jotko is the most gassed Pole since ... ooo, probably shouldn't follow through on that one. Branch with a takedown. Branch looking for a D'arce choke. Jotko is out and now he's looking to take Branch down. Less than a minute to go. Nobody is connecting on anything. And we end it with Branch crushing Jotko up against the cage again. 29-28 for Branch, if you polled me.

29-28 split decision win for David Branch. Welp, that nigga's headed back to WSOF.

Donald Cerrone and Robbie Lawler are both in the house. And so is Demi Lovato. One of those three, I would fuck. Go ahead, take a guess which one.

Featherweight Bout
Frankie Edgar (20-5-1) vs. Yair Rodriguez (11-1-0-0)

Now I ain't no fortune teller, but I'd venture to guess whoever wins this bout will prolly take on the winner of the Jose Aldo/Max Holloway bout next month for the 145-pound strap sometime before the calendar year is up (an aside, but why is it always "the calendar year?" Does anybody else out there run on a fiscal year personal schedule, or that Chinese lunar new year bullshit?) All asides, uh, aside, this should be a pretty good li'l match-up. Both of these scrappy mofos are all about the action, and it'll be interesting to see if Yair's fancy footwork (he did kick B.J. Penn into a temporary coma earlier this year, after all) is enough to penetrate and surmount Frankie's notoriously difficult striking  defense. Yeah, it's cliched as shit, but this really is one of those "immovable objects meets irresistible force" type of fights; and since those are only rarely terrible (and even when they're horrible, they're still interesting, at least) odds are this 'un ought to be a hell of a little contest.

Yair comes out to some mariachi music and everybody cheers because there are a lot of Mexicans in Dallas, probably. Edgar runs to the cage, as always. I think his music is Biggie, but it could be LL Cool J. Or the Beastie Boys. Or some combination thereof.

BTW, you're supposed to pronounce it like "Yaw-Ear." Our referee is a really fat bald dude. We're talking one with some serious pack-of-hotdogs-neck syndrome. Edgar literally chases Yair down and shoots for a takedown. Yair doing a good job defending it. Edgar lands it. Now he's just trying to smother Yair. Frankie raining down some SOLID shots now. Loud "Frankie" chants now. Edgar lands several hard elbows. Edgar covers his foe's mouths while he's punching him in the face. Fuckin' brutal, man. Edgar is just UNLOADING on the motherfucker. Frankie may have landed 100 shots already. Definitely 10-9 for Edgar, maybe even a 10-8.

Round two. Looks like Yair's eye has completely swollen shut. Edgar connects on a good combo. Edgar SLAMS his ass hard. Yair trying to get a desperation leg lock. Edgar hammering him but Yair isn't letting go. Now Edgar is punching the shit out of his face. Yair loses the leg. Edgar is in the full mount. Edgar switches to his foe's back. Edgar smashing Yair with elbows and punches. Monstrous "Frankie" chant now. "This is like Cub Swanson 2," Rogan comments. Thirty seconds to go. Edgar just folds him up like an accordion and lands a few more shots for good measure. 20-18 for Edgar for sure, but it could be 20-17.

Well, one look at Yair's eye and the doctors say "nope, that's the end of this shit." The ref waves it off before the third round even begins. In the post-fight Frankie sends a shout-out to a training partner whose infant son recently died. He says he's game for another fight against Aldo or Holloway. Yeah, he's DEFINITELY going to get the next shot at the Featherweight championship. There's no way he doesn't after a performance like that. 

Demetrious Johnson kisses his white wife while Amanda Nunes kisses her white girlfriend. Also, Michael Irving is in attendance. No word on whether or not he brought his beloved crack cocaine with him, though.

Hey, Joe Silva is being added to the UFC Hall of Fame. That makes so much sense, I can't think of anything funny or smart-assy to say about it.

Welterweight Bout
Demian Maia (24-6-0-0) vs. Jorge Masvidal (32-11-0-0)

Oh, sweet cheese on a cracker, this ought to be a sight to behold. Nowadays, you don't really get that many awesome-looking grappling contests, and this might just be the best fight-of-the-like the UFC is capable of giving us at the moment. Masvidal is a world-class ground fighter who - as apparent by his shocking TKO of Donald Cerrone earlier this year - is also dangerous as all fuck on his feet. Riding a six fight win streak with victories over Carlos Condit and Matt Brown, there's a very good argument to be made that Demian Maia is the absolute BEST pure BJJ fighter in the UFC right now - and as history has shown us, this Masvidal kid sure is prone to wacky submission finishes. Admittedly, bouts like this prolly don't appeal too much to the casual, head-hunting knockouts-are-the-only-thing-that-matters crowd, but for technical snobs such as myself, this really ought to be a scientific clinic for the ages. Well, that, or maybe one of these niggas gets knocked out cold a minute in. Either way, don't expect me to do much complaining.

Fuck, Masvidal LITERALLY comes out to the opening theme from Scarface. Meanwhile, Maia comes out to Linkin Park, because hey, taste don't account for nothing no more. An aside, sorta, but I want all of you to know that I LOVE Daniel Cormier on commentary.

Maia shoots for a takedown. He gets Jorge down, but he's right back up. Maia with a leg trip takedown. Maia with ANOTHER takedown. He's got a standing body triangle on Masvidal. Maia just teeing off on Masvidal, waiting for him to fuck up so he can slip in a joke. "This is like watching a snake trying to swallow its prey," Rogan says. Two minutes to go. Masvidal tries to shake off Maia. No dice. Masvidal lands on top and he's punching the shit out of Maia. And that's the round. 10-9 for Maia, although Masvidal had a good flurry there at the end.

Round two.  Timeout to cut some of Masvidal's loose wrist tape. Masvidal stuffs a takedown attempt. Masvidal connects on a head kick. Masvidal with leg kicks. Maia grabs hold of Masvidal's leg. Maia sprawls and now Masvidal is in the half guard. Masvidal looking for an anaconda choke, of all things. Maia working his way towards the full guard. He transitions back to the half guard. Masvidal trying to get back up. Maia has his back. One minute left in the round. Maia has Masvidal's back on the ground. Maia appears to be looking for a choke. He just tees off on on his foe as the bell sounds. 20-18 Maia, I see it.

Round three. Jorge with a high kick to begin, then a hard inside leg kick. Masvidal with another head kick and a solid jab. "This is where you need educate judges," says Rogan. Maia squashes Masvidal's flying knee attempt. Masvidal with another high kick. Maia lands the takedown. Maia ALMOST has a rear naked choke locked in. He loses it. Maia with a body triangle on the ground. Ninety seconds left. Maia with some pillow hand fists as Masvidal talks mad shit in the guard. Maia ends the fight by clubbing Masvidal a few more times from the back. 30-27 for Maia in my scorecard.

And it's a 29-28 split decision win for ... Demian Maia. In the post-fight, he says that he's fighting Tyron Woodley for the Welterweight Championship next. 

Women's Strawweight Championship Bout
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (13-0-0) vs. Jessica Andrade (16-5-0-0)

According to Wikipedia, you're supposed to pronounce it like "Yo-anna-nah Yed-dre-check." Shit, why the Pollocks love them silent "z" sounds is just beyond me, folks. Anyhoo, I'm not really a fan of the women fighting, and I'm definitely not a fan of the 115 pound women fighting unless it's over who gets to blow me first. So what would you rather listen to, kids: me trying to feign interest in just another throwaway women's bout that's probably going to take up a good 40 minutes of valuable PPV air-time that would be better served by three or four hyper-violent freak show fights, or me just jokingly saying some kind of misogynistic, xenohpobic things and then we each carry on our merry respective ways? Yeah, a good choice, pal. A VERY good choice.

Andrade comes out to some sort of, I don't know, Brazilian techno dance music or something. And Joanna actually gets a surprisingly big pop when she comes out. But damn, that broad looks downright skeletal. Both fighters have cornrows, but Andrade only has hair on one side of her face. Yeah, this shit is going to be confusing as hell to call.

Leg kicks exchanged early. Jessica with two heavy shots in a row. There actually is a pretty big height discrepancy in this one. Jessica slams her ass to the ground. Joanna has a nasty welt on her forehead. Joanna back up. She's throwing some hard knees and clips that ho with an elbow. Joanna with a great head kick, but Jessica shakes it off. More leg kicks exchanged. Jessica with a HUGE single leg takedown and Joanna with a hard elbow to end the round. Very, very hard to score, but I'd call it 10-9 for Jessica.

Round two. Joanna with a million billion leg kicks. Jessica trying to chase her down, but Joanna is keeping here at bay with short range kicks. Jessica isn't even trying to check those kicks anymore. Joanna basically playing matador at this point. Joanna has 59 strikes landed at this point. Joanna with a BEAUTIFUL jab. Jessica with another takedown, but Joanna is right back up. Joanna kicks her right upside the head. Joanna with two huge jabs and then Jessica clobbers her with a hard shot of her own. Great fight thus far. 19-19 heading into the third.

Round three. Surprise! Joanna with more leg kicks to begin. Joanna connects on a head kick. Joanna blocks the takedown attempt. She already has more than 100 significant strikes in this fight. And there's another solid kick to the face. Jessica throwing like crazy, hoping to land something. Joanna with a great counter jab. Jessica ducks Joanna's spinning kick. Try as she may, Jessica can't do shit to hit the defending champ. 29-28 Joanna.

Round four. Joanna lands a hard head kick. Jessica has slowed down considerably at this point. Joanna with a good combo. Joanna ROCKS her with a straight jab. Jessica eats a knee on a takedown attempt. Joanna with knees to the midsection. Jessica gets the takedown, but - as expected - Joanna pops right back up. One minute to go in the round. Joanna pops her again with a straight jab. And another. Jessica with a late offensive flurry but hardly anything at all connects. 39-37 Joanna.

Round five. Jessica's gotta' finish Joanna to win this fight. Jessica throwing wild looping hooks. Nothing connects. Joanna back to playing matador. Joanna with a kick to the chest. Yeah, take that boobies! That's 190 significant strikes for Joanna in this fight. Jessica finally lands a good shot, but Joanna just shakes it off like it ain't no thang. Jessica pushing forward with a minute left. Joanna bullies Jessica up against the cage as the horn sounds. 49-46 Joanna, if I was deciding it.

50-45, 50-44 and 50-45 for the defending champ. In the post-fight, she says nobody is taking the belt from her. Meanwhile, Jessica says a bunch of stuff in Portuguese while rocking a giant scar under her eye. Her translator lets us know she wants to propose to her girlfriend. Joe Rogan's lack of giving a shit is just top fucking shelf.  

Heavyweight Championship Bout
Stipe Miocic (16-2-0-0) vs. Junior dos Santos (18-4-0-0)

This isn't the first time these two dudes have squared off. They tangoed once before in December 2014, in a fight dos Santos won by decision. Since then, the former UFC champ has gone 1-1 in the UFC, getting knocked out by Alistair Overeem in 2015 but manhandling Ben Rothwell en route to a five round decision victory last year. Meanwhile, Miocic has gone on not only a four fight winning streak but a four fight finishing streak, having knocked out Mark Hunt, Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum and the Reem in succession. Along the way Miocic picked himself up the UFC Heavyweight gold, and needless to say, a very, VERY battle-ravaged dos Santos is keenly aware this might be his last chance to wrap the title around his waist. So, will Stipe collect his fifth consecutive knockout in the UFC's largest weight class tonight, or will the Brazilian veteran score a championship comeback for the ages? Well, I reckon that's why we fight inside the Octagon instead of on-paper, ain't it?

Junior comes out to the theme from Rocky. Wow, he looks way thinner than I remember. And also ... a lot whiter, too. Huh. Miocic, being the defending champ at all, gets the lights out treatment. He comes out, rather stoically, to some very shitty sounding rap music. "He's a walk-in-the-park killer," Rogan declares.

Junior with a leg kick to begin. And another. Stipe chasing him down and swinging like crazy. Stipe is limping already. Stipe with a leg kick of his own. Miocic with several left hands. Stipe tags Junior twice. Stipe with a hard right up against the cage, dos Santos goes down, Stipe unloads on his corpse and the ref waves this one off.

The official time is 2:22 of the very first round. In the post-fight, he refers to the city of Dallas as "bad ass" and wishes his mama a great Mother's Day. He also says something about redoing his kitchen, but good luck deciphering all of it. And LOL, Junior dos Santos doesn't get any mic time. Sucks to be him, don't it?

SO, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? In an ideal world, Stipe Miocic's next title defense would be this fall against Cain Velasquez. Alas, as injury prone as "The Terminator" is, odds are Miocic - if he isn't sidelined by a nasty ankle injury himself - will most likely do battle with the winner of the upcoming Fabricio Werdum/Alistair Overeem bout at UFC 213 sometime around October or November. Joanna Champion really demonstrated her divisional dominance tonight; although the winner of the upcoming Claudia Gadelha/Karolina Kowalkiewicz fight is probably going to get the next title shot, I'd much prefer seeing Joanna defend her belt against Rose Namajunas next - or even better, try her hand at that newfangled 125-pound women's division. We all know Demian Maia is next in line for a crack at Tyron Woodley's title, but considering Jorge Masvidal's solid showing, I really wouldn't factor him out of the championship fray too quickly - I can easily see him taking on Stephen Thompson or the winner of Robbie Lawler/Donald Cerrone in a potential Welterweight title eliminator. There's no denying Frankie Edgar should be the next in line for a shot at the Featherweight championship, but methinks Yair Rodriguez will rebound from his loss a little bit better than most are projecting. Expect him to take on either Cub Swanson or Chan Sung Jung in his next UFC contest. 

SHOW HIGHLIGHT: You main card motherfuckers didn't catch it, but the undercard had two really awesome matches in Enrique Barzola vs. Gabriel Benitez and Chase Sherman vs. Rashad Coulter. Also, the Eddie Alvarez/Dustin Poirer fight was fucking awesome ... you know, up until the part missed a flagrant illegal knee and throw out the whole she-bang as a "no-contest." 

SHOW LOWLIGHT: Good lord, that Jotko/Branch fight was so bad even Scott Coker was kicking back going "man, you really shouldn't make people pay money for this shit."

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: "He'll choke you unconscious through your eyeballs" - Joe Rogan, on Demian Maia's submission skillz.

FIVE THINGS I LEARNED FROM TONIGHT'S SHOW:

  • Referees really, really have a hard time determining whether or not a fighter has a knee or hand on the ground when getting their faces sandblasted off with patella shots.
  • If you're going to fight World Series of Fighting style, expect to make World Series of Fighting money. 
  • Instead of building a wall, we could curb illegal immigration by simply putting Frankie Edgar at the U.S./Mexico border.
  • Most fighters have no idea what the hell to do if you spend an entire round forcing them to give you a piggyback ride.
  • For fuck's sake, if you choose to put your back to the cage in a fight against Stipe Miocic, quite frankly, you've earned that inevitable concussion.

Well, that's all I've got for you this week. Crank up "Don't Look Back" by Luscious Jackson and "Drowning" by Hootie and the Blowfish and I'll be seeing you back at the cage in just a few...

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