Friday, September 8, 2017

The Rocktagon Recap of UFC 215: Nunes vs. Shevchenko 2!

Unable to catch tonight's latest and greatest UFC PPV spectacular? No worries, homie - our LIVE(ish) play-by-play commentary will keep you in the loop all night long.

By: Jimbo X

Whatever Mayweather vs. McGregor was, tonight's UFC show is pretty much its direct opposite. The Edmonton card is liable to be a contender for worst-selling PPV of the post 2005 boom period, and considering it's going toe-to-toe with the start of the college and pro football season (plus airing a week ahead of Canelo vs. Golovkin) there's a real possibility it might actually get outdrawn by a card featuring Kimo Leopold or Tank Abbott in the main event.

It's not Demetrious Johnson's fault nobody cares about him. Sure, he's pretty much lorded over the flyweight division unchallenged for the last six years, and tonight he has an opportunity to break the UFC record for most successful consecutive title defenses, but Muhammad bless him, the filthy casuals just don't give no fucks about him. His last championship bout drew the lowest UFC on Fox overnights to date, while his June 2014 defense against Ali Bagautinov drew the least number of PPV buys since UFC 53 (which means "Mighty Mouse" is only a mildly bigger box office star than Justin goddamn Eilers, who has been dead for almost a decade now.) For fuck's sake, even Dana White ripped DJ for turning down a fight against TJ Dillashaw in favor of tonight's main event, declaring "I don't want to hear any shit if it's not the blockbuster event you expect it to be." So basically, we have a main event that no one - not even Demetrious Johnson himself - thinks is good enough for a PPV and now everybody has to pretend like it's actually awesome even though everybody and their mama knows this thing is going to be about as exciting as watching somebody else fall asleep while playing SimCity. [And just when you think this shit can't get any worse Ray Borg contracted pussy-itis a day before the show and the main event just got cancelled. LOL, fuck this company.] 

But wait! What if I told you we have a rescheduled Amanda Nunes vs. Valentin Shevchenko title bout as the co-main event NEW AND IMPROVED MAIN EVENT, with international MMA stars Ilir Latifi and THE Tyson Pedro duking it out on the undercard? Yeah, UFC 205 ain't got shit on this show's star power, and the whole fuckin' world recognizes it

As always, we here at The Internet Is In America will keep you in the loop ALL NIGHT LONG as you do more important stuff than pay to watch this shit-show of a PPV, with INSTANT updates posted between each and every round beginning at 10 P.M. EASTERN. Hey - somebody's gotta' take one for Team Humanity, so it might as well be me. 

Anyhoo, if you like what you read, go on ahead and bookmark the page and keep pounding that refresh button like it owed you money, 'cause the updates will be coming fast and furious. And how about doing us and yourselves a favor and telling your MMA pals online about our free LIVE STREAM (of consciousness) coverage of tonight's event? They'll thank you graciously, if not outright suck your dick for your helpfulness.

Alright, the main card starts in just a few. And just in case you're worried about missing the big college football games, I'll keep you abreast of the Top 25 NCAA scores while we're doing this shit.

We start off on a high note, with a static screen letting the audience know the UFC's thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Irma. Alas, they've nothing to say for the myriad victims of Hurricane Helms over the years, so fuck you WME, hard.

We are coming to you LIVE from Edmonton, Alberta. Our hosts are Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier and Joe Rogan. Listening to Joe lament losing the original main event is equal parts hilarious and sad. And then, he tries to put over Shevchenko's ground game. Damn, now that is a hard sell.

An aside, but why are so many arenas in Canada named "Rogers?" For that matter, which Rogers are they talking about, anyway? Mr. Rogers? Carl Rogers? Oh, OK, never mind, I just did a quick Google check and apparently that's the Canuck version of Comcast. Well, that was underwhelming.

OK, I had to run and get some emergency toilet paper and Boo Berry ahead of Irma. I apologize for my absence - I'll fill you in on all the stuff I missed out on a lil' bit later.

Yeah, that's about as comfortable a look as you'll ever see on a brother's face while surrounded by old white dudes in cowboy hats ...

Featherweight Bout
Jeremy Stephens (25-13-0-0) vs. Gilbert Melendez (22-6-0-0)

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. At one point Gilbert Melendez was considered a legit P4P top ten fighter, with many websites that should've known better citing him as the best lightweight fighter on the planet. Alas, since joining the UFC in 2013, he's gone 2-4 in the Octagon and is currently riding a three fight losing streak. Speaking of losing streaks, his opponent Jeremy Stephens is 0-2 in his last two outings and 2-5 overall in his last seven bouts. Now, I'm not saying whoever loses this bout should be banished to Bellator, but let's face it - if they publicized this as a "loser leaves town" fight, more people might actually give a shit.

OK, admittedly, I missed all of this but the Wikipedia tells me Stephens won by unanimous decision. So yeah, looks like Melendez is headed to Bellator-Land very, VERY shortly.

And Clemson just beat Auburn 14-6, if you're wonderin'.

Light Heavyweight Bout
Ilir Latifi (13-5-0-1) vs. Tyson Pedro (6-0-0-0)

Since joining the UFC in 2013, Ilir Latifi (no relation to Queen Latifah, I think) has gone 5-3, with his latest outing a K.O. loss to Ryan Bader a year ago. Adversary Tyson Pedro (surprise, he's actually half-Samoan!) on the other hand, is undefeated in two UFC appearances, and thus far has managed to finish all of his pro fight opponents in less than five minutes. So if this thing takes longer than one round, will you join me in my class-action lawsuit for consumer fraud?

Pedro's dad owned King of the Cage in Australia. And he comes out to Mariah Carey's "Fantasy." Fuck, that dude is loose as a goose. Latifi comes out to "Gonna' Fly Now" from Rocky. Also, his shorts are so tight, you can make out the veinage of his testicles.

Latifi's nickname is "the Sledgehammer." Why are so many MMA fighters named after pieces of construction equipment? Pedro with kicks to the midsection early. Not a whole lot going on a minute in. Latifi gets a takedown. He's in side control, now going north-south. PEDRO LITERALLY TRIED TO HIT LATIFI IN THE HEAD WITH HIS COCK. Pedro scrambles and he's right back up. Pedro with another front kick to the belly. Latifi gets another takedown. He's in side control again. And somehow, Latifi is in the north-south position again. Pedro's up. Latifi's grinding him out against the cage. And Pedro whiffs on a spin kick to end the round.

Round two. Hey, you can buy UFC cups at 7-11 now. That's kinda' cool. Latifi clips him in the clinch with a right. Latifi with some low kicks. Those things are getting NASTY. Latifi lands a great uppercut. Pedro whiffs on ANOTHER high kick. Latifi shoots for another takedown. He just SLAMMED his ass. Latifi grinding him out against the cage again. Pedro with some defensive elbows. Latifi peppers him with some soft body shots as the bell sounds.

Round three. Pedro with a low kick and Latifi rattles off a good retaliatory combo. Latifi almost connects on a huge right. Latifi is lighting that ass up with body shots. Latifi with a NASTY uppercut and a follow-up right hand. Pedro with some low calve kicks, Latifi respons with another hard bodyshot. And there's Latifi with takedown number four. "You lose nothing if you learn something," Rogan quips. Pedro still on the canvas, and he's bleeding heavily. Less than a minute to go. Latifi continues to pepper Pedro with fist sandwiches as the horn blares. That HAS to be an easy unanimous decision win for Latifi.

It's 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 to give Latifi the unanimous decision victory. "I've seen Tyson fighting," Pedro says in the postfight. "He's very mixed, with all those crazy kicks." And he manages to thank his family and American Top Team in broken English before Rogan yanks the mic away from him.

Meanwhile, LSU just wiped out Chattanooga 45-10 and Washington just got done sodomizing Montana 63-7.

Demetrious Johnson is in the house. He gets a pretty loud pop, but the one Cain Velasquez receives is even louder. Hey, who wants a promo for the upcoming David Branch/Luke Rockhold fight? Well, too bad, they're giving it to us anyway.

With karate I'll kick your ass, from here, to right over there...

Flyweight Bout
Henry Cejudo (10-2-0-0) vs. Wilson Reis (22-7-0-0)

What we've got here is a battle between two out of the last three dudes Demetrious Johnson beat the shit out of. Now, as to why none of these fuckers got a call up to rematch Mighty Mouse to save tonight's main event is just going to have to be one of those great mysteries of life, like the Bermuda Triangle and why there are five times as many spoons as forks in my utensil drawer. Reis managed to make it four rounds against DJ before tapping back in April, while Cejudo (who is a legit Olympic wrestler) couldn't even make it three minutes against Johnson at UFC 197. So if you add those two fight times up and divide it by two, I'm pretty sure that means this fight is going to go about 15 minutes, which means ... well, "fuck this match" is what that means, if we're going to be honest with ourselves.

Reis (that's pronounced "Heys," as in "Heys, you guys, this guy is boring as fuck") comes out to some rapping music of some kind. I just walked a dog for ten minutes and they're just NOW getting the fight underway.

Cejudo is the white guy in black trunks and Reis is the black guy in white trunks. Cejudo with a good right hand. Reis swinging for the fences. Cejudo clips him several times. Reis gets in a decent right hook. Cejudo with a flying knee to the tummy. Cejudo with another knee and he sprawls. Cejudo has his back. Reis is vertical again. Cejudo with 29 significant strikes landed already. Reis looks for a single leg takedown. No dice. Cejudo with a high kick and a great one-two combo. Cejudo with more knees to the solar plexus. Cejudo with a goddamn beautiful single leg. He finishes the round almost in the full mount.

Round two. Oklahoma just bumped off Ohio State 31-16 and UGA just beat Notre Dame 20-19. Reis clips him with a right hook. CEJUDO JUST ROCKED HIS ASS WITH A RIGHT HAND AND HE KILLED REIS FUCKING DEAD. A couple of unprotected punches on the ground and the ref waves this motherfucker clean off.

The official time is just 25 seconds into round two. That was an awe-inspiring performance from Cejudo. Rogan says he is impressed by Cejudo's "karate stance" and Henry says he learned it from Paricky Pitbull. He says he hopes that knockout was worth some bonus money, which, yeah, it probably is.

Time to pimp UFC 216. I'm AGHAST they were able to talk about the Lightweight divisional standings without ONCE saying Conor McGregor's name.

Welterweight Bout
Neil Magny (19-6-0-0) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (29-6-0-0)

Oh, how the mighty have fallen, part two. Roughly 15 months ago, dos Anjos (that's Portuguese for "two Anjos") was the UFC Lightweight Champion of the world. He had already beaten Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone, and looked like he was primed to hold the strap for years. But then Eddie Alvarez, of all people, turned his lights out, and then he lost again to Tony Ferguson. And while being third from the top on a PPV is slightly better than sub-headlining against Tarec Saffiedine on a free FS1 show in Singapore, this divisionally pointless scrap against Neil Magny (himself still reeling from a get the fuck outta here knockout loss to Lorenz Larkin this time last year) really can't be considered that much of a step forward. Still, we might get lucky - these two fellas definitely have some knockout power, and with defeat likely meaning prelim status for the remainder of their UFC tenures, methinks both these motherfuckers have no choice but to swing for the fences, early and often.

Rafael is out first, and he comes out to what I think is, I don't know, Tina Turner or something like that. Magny is out to that hippity-hop music all the minority children are into these days. Also, Magny kinda' looks like Forest Whittaker and Will Smith had an illicit love child. Trust me, once you see it, you can't unsee it

Dos Anjos is rocking an impressive banana hammock. He lands a takedown and he's in side control. Dos Anjos with elbows and a brief guillotine attempt. Dos Anjos is basically just pinning Magny to the ground and punching his head every time he tries to get up. He's in head-and-arm-control mode. A great pass to side control, and now he's in the full mount. Dos Anjos with more elbow shots. He's got an arm triangle locked in. It's DEEP. And MAGNY TAPS!

Shit, that was about as one-sided a technical performance as I've seen in a long time. The official time is 3:43 of the very first round. "Thank you Canada, you guys awesome," Dos Anjos says before thanking his lord and savior Jesus Christ. He says he's coming for that Welterweight belt. Rogan says him going up to 170 has been "magical." Dos Anjos admits he was having trouble making weight, but he decided to move up a weight class because he wants to see his grandkids grow up. Well, that's about as good a reason as I've heard anyone say in the Octagon, I guess.

Of course Conor McDavid gets the loudest pop of the night. And if you don't know who that is, congrats on being an American sports fan.

Alright, let's pimp the new Kingsman movie before the main event. Hey, those bills won't pay themselves, you know.

Unfortunately, the UFC brass wouldn't let her nickname herself Valentina "1488" Shevchenko.

Women's Bantamweight Championship Bout
Amanda Nunes (14-4-0-0) vs. Valentina Shevchenko (14-2-0-0)

This is the fight that was supposed to headline UFC 213, but because Amanda Nunes got (perhaps figuratively, perhaps literally) bitch flu a few hours before showtime, the whole damn thing got scrapped. Interestingly, this is a rematch of a bout held at UFC 196, which Nunes won via unanimous decision. Since then she's bested Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey in back-to-back first round finishes, while challenger Shevchenko (perhaps the world's only bankable Peruvian/Kyrgyzstani female fighter) has beaten Holly Holm and Julianna Pena in the lead-up to this here match-up. I can't say I'm terribly excited about the fight (this thing reeks of "25-minute unanimous decision" from a mile away), but you never know - I mean, one of their tops could get knocked off at any moment, and there is the off-chance one of them gets disqualified for pooping themselves, so I suppose it's best we keep our eyes glued to the screen regardless.

Shevchenko out first to whatever you call the kind of music that's popular in Kyrgyzstan. Oh goddamn, she's got a tattoo of a handgun on her hip. This woman is pure D white trash and I LOVE IT. And USC just finished off Stanford 42-24 - you'll just have to find out who wins the Washington State/Boise State game on your own time. Nunes out to Rihanna's "American Oxygen," which isn't going to endear her with the Canadian audience. Rogan tells us about Nunes' lifelong sinus issues. Well, good to know that, I suppose.

Well, the audience is more hyped for this fight than I would've expected. Goddamn, the Canucks are booing Nunes like crazy - but why? V.S. with leg kicks early. Both gals rocking the cornrows. Nunes with leg kicks of her own. "She's a scary woman," Rogan remarks on the contents of V.S.'s Facebook page. Nunes with a kick to the midsection. V.S. whiffs on a high kick. V.S. eats a hard shot while holding Nunes' leg. And Nunes gets a leg sweep at the very tail end of the round.

Round two. V.S. opens with some leg kicks. V.S. clips Nunes. Nunes with a kick to the ribs. Nunes with a hard right, but V.S. blocks most of it. V.S. with a Superwoman punch, but Nunes just shakes it off. V.S. with a decent combo - a Superwoman punch with a right hook follow-up. Nunes leading V.S. on significant strikes, 21-17. V.S. with her back against the cage. A minute to go in the round. V.S. with a SWEET spinning kick and a solid right jab to close out the second.

Round three. They exchange quick combinations - a bit of a stalemate, though. Nunes lunging in for punches, but V.S. is doing a great job weaving out of harm's way. Somehow, V.S.'s foot is bleeding. Nunes with a great overhand left. Nunes shirks V.S.'s clinch attempt. Nunes whiffs on a spinning backfist and V.S. pops her right in the teeth. Excellent head movement from Nunes. LOL at Big John telling Nunes to stop poking V.S. in the face. Nunes with a few more quick pops as the horn blares.

Round four. Both gals swinging some aggressive leg kicks. Nunes landing some solid boots to the knee. Nunes with a great counter right. V.S. with her best combo of the night so far. Nunes still chasing her down. More leg kick exchanges. Another great combo for V.S. and a knee to the body. Now we're getting some good head shots. Front body kick from V.S. Nunes has a HUGE welt on her thigh with V.S.'s footprint on it. V.S. with another Superwoman punch. V.S. with a good kick to the ribs. Both women swinging like crazy as the round concludes.

Round five. I've got Nunes winning rounds 1 and 3 and V.S. winning rounds 2 and 4, so on my scorecard at least, it all comes down to this 'un. A great exchange to begin. V.S. with leg kicks. "You're watching two of the very best women in the world cancel each other out in some way," Rogan remarks. V.S. working the body kicks. The crowd is chanting "Let's Go Oilers" for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Nunes finally looking for a takedown. She has V.S. crushed against the cage. They untangle with about two minutes to go. V.S. with a good knee to the body. And Nunes lands a takedown. Nunes has her back with 90 seconds left. V.S. up and she immediately eats a knee. And Nunes gets another takedown. She's in side control. And now she's in the full mount. V.S. desperately trying to land some punches, but she ain't landing much of anything as the bell sounds.

Time to read the score cards. It's 48-47 for V.S., 48-47 for Nunes and 48-47 for ... NUNES. 

The crowd boos the shit out of the decision. That gives Nunes six wins in a row. She apologizes for missing the last PPV, but runs out of English halfway through the mea culpa. She said she wasn't scared when she heard there was a split decision. The crowd cheers for V.S. "Look at her face, her nose is rose red," she says. She says her leg kicks are hard and Nunes' takedowns shouldn't have accounted for shit and that she disagrees with the decision. Daniel Cormier compares V.S.'s incensed rant to an Englishman cursing and Rogan says he isn't surprised by the judges' verdict. And that, folks, is all we've got for you from Alberta.

Flyweight Championship Bout
Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1-0) vs. Ray Borg (11-2-0-0)

At this point, what more can be said about Demetrious Johnson? He's short, he kicks everybody's ass (as long as they weigh less than 125 pounds) he thinks Dana White has it out for him and he draws money about as well as Michael J. Fox does with an Etch-a-Sketch. IF he can beat Ray Borg tonight, that'll be his eleventh-consecutive successful title defense, which obviously, would be a new UFC record. But is there an off-chance Ray "The Tazmexican Devil" actually upsets Mighty Mouse tonight in Alberta? Well, seeing as how Borg has missed weight in two out of his last four bouts, I'd surmise that his championship chances are about as good as Richard Nixon's odds of being elected president in 2020 (you see, it's funny because Richard Nixon has already been elected twice, and also, he's been dead since 1994.) Anyhoo, this one ought to be a one-sided drubbing, but at least it will be a HISTORICAL one-sided drubbing, which I think we can all agree is the best possible kind of one-sided drubbing there is.  [Yeah, it was a one sided drubbing alright ... one so bad it preemptively gave Ray Borg a yeast infection and got cancelled.]

Yeah, about how many "thoughts" will it take to rebuild my house, you well-wishing pricks?

Alright, hang in there, kids. I'll be back first thing in the morning with some concluding notes on the show. Now get some sleep, you assholes - and please, try to avoid any hurricanes while you are at it.

SO, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Considering the dearth of suitable challengers at 135, probably the wisest thing the UFC could do with the Women's Bantamweight Championship is re-book Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko for another go at-it. Rafael dos Anjos' win was so dominant you have to assume it's going to vault him into the UFC's top five welterweight contender rankings - so how about booking him against Demian Maia come New Year's? Along those same lines, Henry Cejudo all but solidified his stance as the new No. 1 contender for the Flyweight title; if he ain't facing the winner of the rescheduled Demetrious Johnson/Ray Borg bout, than this shit is faker than rasslin'. And lastly, after such a one-sided drubbing, methinks Ilir Latifi is ready for a legit top five Light Heavyweight fighter; why not pencil him in as the next challenger for the winner of this month's upcoming Mauricio Rua/Ovince Saint Preux scrap?

THE VERDICT: Well, for a show with virtually bottom of the barrel expectations, I'd say it did a pretty commendable job of over-delivering. The main event was a a very solid, technical showcase, while the dos Anjos/Magny and Cejudo/Reis bouts were exciting as fuck breakout performance squashes. The Latifi/Pedro fight, though, was a bit of a bore, and although I personally didn't see it, I hear the Stephens/Melendez curtain jerker wasn't much to write home about, neither. And I don't know what the fuck happened on the prelims, so you'll just have to figure out that shit on your own.

SHOW HIGHLIGHT: Watching Cejudo turn Reis' lights out and dos Anjos strangulating Magny like he was a fifth grade Taekwondo student.

SHOW LOWLIGHT: Eh, Latifi/Pedro was a pretty big letdown. You know, if it's possible to be letdown by something you had practically zero expectations heading into, I guess. 

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: "Plus, they're drunk, they just want to see chaos" - Joe Rogan attempting to explain whey the Edmonton crowd was shitting all over the main event.


  • A Swedish Sledgehammer will beat a Samoan Pedro every time.
  • You can be an Olympic-level wrestler, not even attempt to use your grappling skills in the cage and just plain knock a motherfucker out if you really set your mind to it.
  • It's not really a good idea to let a world class BJJ specialist slip his biceps under your neck, for any reason ever
  • In Western Canada, it's considered normal to cheer for the local hockey team during seemingly unrelated events - i.e., MMA shows, funerals, candlelight vigils, etc. 
  • Even after 25 minutes of getting their noggins scrambled, punch drunk Peruvians and possibly concussed Brazilians who speak English as a third language STILL sound more intelligible than those crumpet-eating fruits on Downton Abbey.

Well, that's all I've got for you this week. Crank up "Dirty White Boy" by Foreigner and "Rock You Like a Hurricane" by The Scorpions and I'll be seeing you cageside in just a few.


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