Wednesday, March 6, 2019

UFC 235: Jones vs. Smith POST-MORTEM!

The only hot takes ANYBODY needs in the wake of the latest and greatest MMA PPV spectacular!


By: Jimbo X
The Internet Is In America on Voat

Well, Jon Jones certainly did what Jon Jones does against Anthony Smith Saturday, cruising to an easy unanimous decision defense of the Light Heavyweight Championship — this despite, coming *this close* to losing the strap due to an illegal knee DQ in the fourth round. His performance wasn’t as awe-inspiring as his dismantling of Alexander Gustafsson late last year, but it’s downright unquestionable that Jones remains the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet … mayhap even MMA history. Of course, nothing is ever final with Jon Jones until all the drug test results come back, but pending he pisses clear on this one, I think an early summer title defense against Thiago Santos is well in order, isn’t?

— You have to give Anthony Smith all the dap in the world for refusing to take the bullshit DQ victory after Jones gave him a patella sandwich in the fourth round. Lesser fighters would’ve feigned injury and gladly accepted the disqualification victory, but Smith had enough respect for the sport to give up the tainted championship win and take his subsequent ass-whuppin’ in the fifth like a man. Hell, I personally thought he did pretty well for himself in the first two rounds, and I may have even given him round uno on my scorecard. Really, it may not be that long before we see Smith back in line for a title shot; how about booking him against Alexander Gustafsson in a couple of months and seeing if this guy is really for real, why don’t we?

— Kamaru Usman just plain outclassed Tyron Woodley in every way in his Welterweight Championship-winning performance. He beat Tyquil standing, he beat him on the ground but most surprising of all, he beat him wrestling, which was supposed to by Woodley’s ace in the proverbial hole. And if you DON’T want to see the UFC’s first African champion mixing it up with MAGA-loving Colby Covington at some point in 2019, you sir or madame, are just plain dumb.

— Tyron Woodley just looked deflate in his championship-dropping performance to Usman. I’m not going to play armchair psychologist — maybe he was injured, maybe he’s got some extracurricular stuff going on, maybe he’s too upset over the whole Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax to fully dedicate himself to the sport — but it was clear that Woodley wasn’t 100 percent Saturday night — if not physically, certainly mentally. Personally, I’d love to see Tyron go toe-to-toe with Rafael dos Anjos next … pending how he fares there, we’ll know rather quickly whether he’ll ever be a championship-caliber fighter in the division again.

— Well, I guess there’s not much more I can say about Ben Askren’s bullshit win over Robbie Lawler. Granted, from my vantage point it DID look like Lawler’s arms went limp in that bulldog choke non-submission, but the whole thing just leaves a bad taste in everybody’s mouth. We’ll let mop-top celebrate his tainted win for the time being, but Askren needs to get his anus back in the Octagon in short order; why not give him the victor of the upcoming Darren Till/Jorge Masvidal bout come May or June?

— Make no mistakes — had that non-submission not been registered, not only would Lawler have gone on to DEFEAT Askren Saturday night, he almost certainly would’ve finished him, to boot. Alas, as that old saying goes, doodoo definitely happens, and it looks like Robbie wound up on the wrong end of a shit sandwich serving. While I’d love to see Lawler get an automatic rematch against Askren, it seems likelier that he’ll get the loser of the Masvidal/Till bout for his next bout, come late spring or early summer.

— I’m impressed by Weili Zhang’s unanimous decision win over Tecia Torres, but I’m not AS impressed as a lot of other MMA-commentators out there. Still, with so few marketable names in the women’s strawweight division, it wouldn’t surprise me if she got a top five-ranked opponent for her next bout — Claudia Gadelha, perhaps? Also: if the UFC is hellbent on pimping her as China’s first true breakout UFC star, the internet hoi polloi DEMANDS that they start making her dress like Chun Li.

— For those of you not keeping score at home, that makes it three losses in a row for Cody Garbrandt, and his second consecutive first round KO defeat. Unsurprisingly, “No Love” lost to Pedro Munhoz by employing the exact same losing formula he tried against TJ Dillashaw back at UFC 227 … that being, getting goaded into a retarded monkey knife fight against a far better striker. I hate to say at, but at the ripe old age of 27, it looks like the former champeen has lost his proverbial mojo. Whatever the case, don’t expect Garbrandt’s next bout to be worthy of a PPV main card spot; odds are, his next outing in the Octagon will be against a fighter like John Lineker or Rob Font on a midsummer made-for-ESPN show.

— But that’s not to slight Munhoz, by any stretch. With an impressive three fight-winning streak under his belt, he’s next bout is almost certain to be a matchup with a top five ranked Bantamweight. Hell, considering how badly he KTFO out of Garbrandt, he might even be next in line for a title eliminator … mayhap, against Aljamain Sterling, or even Raphael Assuncao?

— I’m not going to lie to you people, I only saw the last round of the Zabit Magomedsharipov/Jeremy Stephens fight. As such, I really can’t give you an accurate post-fight analysis, but from what I saw, I really like what I’m seeing out of this Zabit fella (even if his last name is absolute marketing cancer.) I can’t be the only person who wants to see him tango with Alexander Volkanovski … if only to see the chyron on-screen caption machine just fuckin’ explode.  

— Believe the hype on Johnny Walker (and not, not the one that defected to the Taliban.) His 36-second flying knee knockout of Misha Cirkunov is just the latest in a long line of explosive finishes, including that BOSS spinning backfist/ground and pound demolition of Justin Ledet and that HEINOUS elbow knockout of Khalil Rountree. He’s almost certainly getting a top 10-ranked Light Heavyweight for his next match — a showdown against Volkan Oezdemir or Jan Blachowicz would be the very epitome of must-see (or is that must-CTE?) television.

— OK, I missed the Cody Stamann/Alejandro Perez bout. And nope … I still don’t give a shit that I did.

— Watching Diego Sanchez’s TKO finish (his first, by the way, since GEORGE W. BUSH was President) of Mickey Gall was some extraordinarily entertaining TV. At the ripe old age of 37, Sanchez is pretty much a divisional non-factor at this point, but as evident by his tremendous ass-whuppin’ of the man who busted C.M. Punk’s UFC cherry, he still has the capacity to put a hurtin’ on some fool. Still, I think Gall has a brighter career trajectory ahead of him … you know, pending his first non-decision loss doesn’t make him go crazy like it did Ronda Rousey.

— Oh, and as for the Fight Pass pre-lim pre-lims? I didn’t watch any of ‘em and neither did you, so don’t ask me for comments.

THE VERDICT? This show probably won’t be remembered as a star-studded classic, simply because the two main-events were such one-sided drubbings. Still, you had plenty of entertaining stuff on the undercard — including some hilarious knockouts — and there really wasn’t a single “bad” bout in the lineup. All in all, UFC 235 was definitely a better than average show, although it’s evident that it’s nowhere close to being a bona fide card of the year contender.

SHOW HIGHLIGHT: The Munhoz/Garbrandt bout was a rousing four minute barn-burner, and holy shit, was it a hoot watching Robbie Lawler beat Ben Askren like a chinchilla-headed stepchild … you know, up until he got “subbed” out of nowhere.

SHOW LOWLIGHT: Umm … maybe the Stamann/Perez fight? Well, that, or having to watch Colby Covington mug it up for the camera during the Welterweight Championship contest.

ROGANISM OF THE NIGHT: “That man is wild, literally, and figuratively,” Joe on Johnny Walker, literally moments before he injured his arm doing a post-victory celebration of “The Worm.

FIVE THINGS I LEARNED FROM WATCHING UFC 235:

[*] Contrary to what Street Fighter II taught us, no Chinese women CAN’T roundhouse kick at the speed of light.

[*] If you keep losing fights by abandoning your tried-and-true, wrestling-oriented strategy to engage in special needs fist fights with guys who have much better track records in  special needs fist fights than you, well … you should probably stop getting provoked into special needs fist fights.

[*] To avoid a false positive submission, always be sure to make vivid hand gesticulations  if your face isn’t visible to the referee.

[*] There’s probably some irony in an prominent Black Lives Matter spokesman like Tyron Woodley losing his belt to a African-American who really DOES come from Africa, but I’m sure it’s lost on him.

[*] Tis better to get your ass kicked honestly than win a world championship through chicanery … even IF said world champion is probably going to get popped for steroids in a couple of weeks.


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