Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Rocktagon Recap of UFC 217: Bisping vs.St-Pierre!

Unable to check out tonight's huge UFC PPV spectacular, for whatever stupid-ass reason? No worries, folks - our LIVE play-by-play coverage will keep you in the loop all night long.


By: Jimbo X
JimboXAmerican@gmail.com
@JimboX

Well, this go-at-it, the luster of holding a UFC show in Madison Square Garden ain't quite as bright as it was this time last year. Some might pin that on the fact Conor McGregor ain't involved in the night's festivities, but I'd argue to the contrary; I mean, after fuckin' Bellator's held a PPV in MSG, just how special of a venue can it be, anyway?

Still, tonight's scrap ought to be one for the history books, regardless. Why? 'Cause it's the big comeback fight for Georges St-Pierre, who's been sidelined since late 2013 for reasons that remain unclear to this very day (although knowing what we know about the guy, an alien abduction can't really be ruled out at this point.) And tonight' he'll be moving up 15 pounds to middleweight to go toe-to-toe with Michael Bisping for the company's vaunted 185-pound championship belt. I would like to say it's a dream match come true, but yeah ... this definitely ain't the middleweight scrap we always wanted to see GSP in back in the day

Beyond that, we've got a pretty good PPV undercard and a surprisingly deep FS1 sampler platter. We've got both the men's bantamweight belts and the women's strawweight titles up for grabs, plus we've got a veritable who's who of somewhat noteworthy midcarders duking it out, like Stephen Thompson, Johny Hendricks, Ovince Saint Preux and, uh, Mark Godbeer? OK, so the rest of the show outside of the top three matches ain't exactly a star-studded affair, but still - we ought to expect at least one or two competitive fights, and possibly a couple of highlight reel worthy finishes.

What's that, dear reader? You can't order the PPV tonight because you're too fucking poor to afford the high definition feed? Or are you still using Windows 98 and unable to stream any kinda' video at all on your desktop, legally-obtained or otherwise? Mayhap the local sports bar ain't showing it, or perchance you've collected one too many D.U.I.s and are currently under house arrest and couldn't get there even if they were showing it? Well, no worries, mi amigos - as always, our LIVE, round-by-round coverage will keep you abreast of every knockout, takedown and potential in-cage shitting that occurs as the night chugs along. Our LIVE coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern, so go on ahead and do yourself a favor and bookmark this shit as a reminder. And while you are at it, why not tell some of your fightin' fans on Facebook and Twitter about our free social service tonight? Surely, they'll thank you for your information, if not flat out blow you out of mutual respect and admiration.

Well, looks like FS1 is covering the tail end of the Oklahoma/Oklahoma State scorefest instead of our regularly scheduled broadcast. Which, shit, is probably far more entertaining than watching Jon Anik and Daniel Cormier shoot the shit while trying to sound excited about a Mark Godbeer fight.

Alright, I finally found the right channel for Fox Sports 2. Anik lets us know that the new unified rules are IN EFFECT tonight in New York, and also, for the first time in UFC history, the refs will have the benefit of instant fucking replay. Well, I'm sure this won't lead to a lot of tomfoolery later in the broadcast ...

Fox Sports 1 Prelims

Welterweight Bout
Mickey Gall (4-0-0-0) vs. Randy Brown (9-2-0-0)

We try our damnedest around these parts to not play favorites, but by golly, we just love ourselves some Mickey Gall. I mean, he drubbed C.M. Punk like a bitch and automatically became a folk hero, and then he followed that up by literally knocking the spikes out of Sage Northcutt's hair - if you don't cheer like a motherfucker for this man, you sir or madame, are a goddamn communist. Of course, that's no slight at Randy "Rude Boy" Brown, a Jamaican import (like sugar!) who's 3-2 in the Octagon, with his last appearance a decision loss to Belal Muhammad. For a cable curtain jerker, this is a hell of TV freebie - keep your eyes glued to the screen, 'cause this one can end *just* like that.

Hey, Mickey has a beard now. Dude gets a pretty big ovation from the crowd. Brown trying to stalk Gall down early. Now Gall is LITERALLY running away from Randy. Gall with a good kick on the rebound. Gall with a big overhand, but not all of it connects. Brown with strong knees in the clinch, including a couple of impressive head shots. Brown with a belly to back takedown. Brown's in side control. Gall turtling up and Brown's kicking him while he's down. Brown folding Gall like an accordion up against the cage. Gall landing some elbows shots from the bottom. Brown in the full mount. Now he's elbowing the fuck out of Gall. Gall looking for a triangle. LOL at Gall telling the ref he isn't grabbing the cage. "I'm not, I'm not!" Brown with some more hard elbows, and now Gall is bleeding like a stuck pig.

Round two. Brown with leg kicks early. Gall isn't bleeding as much. Brown whiffs on a high kick but he lands a takedown immediately afterward. He's up, and now Gall takes his ass down. Brown loses the gogoplata. The ref lets Brown get away with an illegal upkick. Gall trying to get Brown's back. He's back in side control. Now Gall is landing some elbows from the top. Gall looking to secure the mounted crucifix. Gall in the full mount. "Let's go Mickey" chants pipe up. Gall's back in side control. As bad as he looked in the first round, he looks proportionally good in this one. Gall still working from the side. Now he has the crucifix locked in. Gall loses the guillotine. Gall keeps Brown in a headlock as the round expires.

Round three. Brown obviously won round one and Gall obviously won round two, so whoever wins this 'un wins the whole she-bang. Brown drops Gall with an uppercut and he lands a million free shots on the ground. Gall is bleeding again. Brown's in the full mount. Holy shit, Mickey looks like a Jason victim. Gall looking for a guillotine. He loses it. Brown leads on significant strikes, 38-9. Looks like Gall might be aiming for a shoulder lock, of all things. Gall has another guillotine in, but Brown pops out again. Holy shit, Gall has grabbed the fence about 20 times in this fight. Less than a minute to go. Gall goes for another guillotine. Brown lets Gall up with ten seconds left. He taunts Gall like a bitch and lands a knee at the last second. Looks like Gall may have landed a late shot after the bell.

The judges have it 29-28, 29-28 and 29-27 for Randy Brown.

Sigh. Yet another unreported instance of black-on-white violence.

Light Heavyweight Bout
Ovince Saint Preux (21-10-0-0) vs. Corey Anderson (10-3-0-0)

Now here's a rarity; a fighter pulling out of a UFC show and the UFC replacing him with a fighter who's like 100 times better. With Patrick Cummins getting sidelined with a staph infection, OSP quickly rose to the challenge, and all things taken into consideration, this has the makings of a hell of a fight. Whereas OSP is on a two fight tear with victories over Yushin Okami and Marcos Rogerio de Lima (aka, "who?"), Anderson is still reeling from a knockout loss against Jimi Manuwa back in March. Of course, a victory over OSP tonight would do a lot to raise his stock, but he better not take Saint Preux lightly; after all, they don't call this sumbitch "The Master of the Von Flue Choke" for nothin' ...

Shit, I forgot Corey won The Ultimate Fighter a couple years back. An aside, but what is it with black athletes getting those branded tattoos of swirly things on their biceps? OSP is in maroon, Anderson is in black. Both guys throwing big hands early. Corey with a takedown, but OSP is right back up, so Corey - without letting go of the waistlock - German suplexes hsi ass. Anderson trying to get OSP's back. LOL at Corey grabbing OSP's balls. We're swinging in the middle of the cage again. Corey has OSP bullied up against the cage. Corey can't get the takedown. Brief knee exchange. Corey with a spinning back fist. Corey just holds OSP against the cage for a full minute. OSP with a good knee to the body. And there's Corey smothering OSP against the cage again. And OSP staggers Corey with a shoot right at the very second the bell sounds.

Round two. OSP with a head kick that sends Corey's mouthpiece flying out of his mouth at a 100 miles an hour. Corey gets the ref to stop the fight so he can retrieve his equipment - shit, if he hadn't done that, his ass would've got sand blasted. Anderson looking for a takedown. He gets a knee to the body and he's smothering OSP against the cage again. Corey with a GREAT side suplex takedown. Corey with hard elbows to his opponent's head. Anderson has his back. Anderson drags OSP to the mat again. Not a whole lot of action happening in the final minute. Corey just hugs OSP against the cage as the round concludes.

Round three. OSP with a good straight jab. Anderson lands a hard uppercut. AND OSP KILLS ANDERSON DEAD WITH A HIGH HEAD KICK! He dropped Anderson fuckin' cold like a black Cro-Cop and I fuckin' LOVED IT.

The official time is 1:25 of round three. That shit will be replayed from now until the end of all time. In the post fight Joe Rogan asks him if he had to make any adjustments but I can't recall what he said because his pronounced lisp makes me LOL. He says he wants to fight on the New Year's Eve show, and hell, with a finish like that, they'll probably give it to him. By the way - that would give OSP five fights on the calendar year.

Is it offensive to call OSP "Negro Cro-Cop?" Because I'm totally going to, anyway.
Anyway, if you want to see people trying to work with an impossible demand, how about we check out the "hype reel" for the upcoming Walt Harris/Mark Godbeer bout?

Heavyweight Bout
Walt Harris (10-5-0-0) vs. Mark Godbeer (12-3-0-0)

This is a fight we were supposed to have at UFC 216, but it got scrapped because Godbeer Derek Lewis couldn't remove his tampon fast enough or something like that. This led to Fabricio Werdum racking up the single easiest paycheck of his life with Harris stepping in as a last second replacement, and yeah, I'm pretty sure Walt would love to get the taste of that shit out of his mouth. Tonight, he gets a chance to redeem himself up against Mark "The Hand Of" Godbeer, who is 1-1 in UFC competition, with his last appearance in the cage a decision win over Daniel Spitz. Odds are this heavyweight clash won't be pretty, but if we're lucky, we might get some hilarious spurts of man meat on fatty flubber action, and as we all know, there is NOTHING in this world funnier than watching two oxygen deprived obese guys try to whale on each other.

Harris with big fat kicks early. Now they're trading kicks to the body. Godbeer goes for a standing guillotine and Harris sweeps him down. Harris in side control. Now he's in the full mount. Huh, Harris cross-trains with Deontay Wilder. Who would've guessed. Walt raining down some heavy elbows. Harris leads Godbeer on ground strikes, 24-3. Harris with a hard left, then he hits Godbeer in the balls and the ref calls time and HARRIS HITS GODBEER WITH A BLATANT LATE KICK RIGHT TO THE FACE. Here comes the doctors. And they CALL THE FIGHT.

It's official - Walt Harris gets disqualified at 4:29.

And time for a hype video heralding St-Pierre's return. Fun fact: did you know that GSP voiced the hippie-dippie art student, aptly named "Art," in the French language version of Monsters University? Because he totally did.

Whoa have you fuckers ever seen this commercial before? You better believe I'm calling that number first thing Monday morning, just for the LULZ.

Notice in the fine print they're only licensed in Florida and clearly NOT accredited as substance abuse treatment program. Nope - nothing shady going on here!

Alright, time for our headlining prelim. And yeah, I know that's a contradiction, but that's why I like it. An aside, but hearing Jackie from That '70s Show speak all slow and soft in that one Jack Daniels commercials gives me the most raging of ASMR boners.

OK, one last commercial observation: why are there so many commercials targeting Medicare patients and back braces on Fox Sports 1? Do only people above the age of 65 watch this shit?

Lightweight Bout
James Vick (11-1-0-0) vs. Joe Duffy (16-2-0-0)

This here's a showcase bout for two fairly young midcarders who could become big names in the 155-pound division if a lot of really fluky shit happens over the next couple of years. In one corner we've got James "The Texecutioner" Vick, who's riding a two fight tear with finishes of Abel Trujillo (wasn't the the bassist in Metallica for awhile?) and Marco Polo Reyes. And in the other, we've got "Irish" Joe Duffy, who is likewise on a two fight winning streak with victories over Reza Madadi and Mitch Clarke. A big finish could put either man on a fast track to slightly less obscurity, while a loss is destined to send 'em back to the bottom of the next Fight Pass show in Moldova or wherever the fuck they're holding those things nowadays. Needless to say, with that in mind both of these dudes need a win here in the worst possible way.

Holy shit, did you know Duffy defeated Conor McGregor in 2010? You can check it out here if you don't believe me. Vick is in black, Duffy is in white/grey. The crowd is singing "Ole" already. Vick falls down, but he's right back up. Duffy working some leg kicks, Vick fires back with a jab. Vick with a straight right, followed by an uppercut. Duffy with an over the top right to the noggin. Duffy with a single leg takedown - pretty impressive, considering Vick is 6'3. Time to exchange knees. About a minute left in the round. Duffy with a running takedown. Vick bails on the guillotine attempt. Vick throws about ten punches but Duffy dodges all of 'em like it was nothing. But he does land a knee to the head as the round expires.

Round two. Vick whiffs on a head kick. Duffy fires back with a leg kick. And there's Duffy with a head kick of his own. Vick finally clips him. Duffy hits a counter left. Duffy whiffs on an axe kick, of all things. A low kick almost falls Duffy, but he maintains his balance. A much, much slower fight than it was in the first round. More low kicks for Duffy. Vick hits a shitty knee to the stomach. About a minute left. Vick with another high kick, but Duffy blocks it. AND VICK UNLOADS A QUICK FLURRY AND FINISHES DUFFY RIGHT AT THE BELL!

Oh yeah, he staggered that Mick with an uppercut and fed him about a dozen unanswered shots on the ground. The official time is 4:59 of the second round. In the post-fight he says he's 8-1 but nobody ranked wants to fight him and he wants a main event slot at the February Texas show.

Hey, Urijah Faber and Paige Van Zant are in the house. Talk about star power, eh?

Alright, time to flip on over to the PPV feed. We are coming to you LIVE from New York City, where if I were you, I'd be really careful navigating the sidewalks. Reminder: the ABC Unified Rules are in action and there will be limited use of instant replay, if it comes down to it. So yeah - they're practically telling us there's going to be some sort of fluky bullshit finish before the night's over.

Main PPV Card

Middleweight Bout
Johny Hendricks (18-7-0-0) vs. Paulo Costa (10-0-0-0)

No, he don't want to be called "Borrachinha," no more, which if you were wonderin', is Portuguese for "little rubber." So yeah, nobody in the UFC had the decency to tell him his nickname was a euphemism for having a small penis. Hence his re-adoption of his actual surname "Costa," alongside a new nickname "The Eraser." Anyhoo, he's a pretty bad motherfucker (as evident by the fact he's finished everybody he's ever fought in less than seven minutes) and tonight he gets to test his mettle against former Welterweight Champ Johny Hendricks, who - in one of the most shocking turn of events in recent UFC history - actually managed to make weight for the fight. By the way, Hendricks is just 1-4 in his last five fights - and methinks this match-up might be the company's way of forcing Johny into involuntary retirement, quite possibly via severe brain trauma.

Not gonna' lie - this Paulo chap is handsome as fuck. Not that I'd eat his asshole out or anything like that. Unless the money was right. Hey, is that Bill Maher in the audience? Dude looks just like him. Thankfully, Hendricks grew his beard back. Unfortunately, he's not using "$50 and a Flask of Crown" for his walkout music no more, and that disappoints me tremendously.

"They look like they're separated by two weight classes," Rogan remarks. Costa with a high kick after some brutal body kicks. Paulo staggers Hendricks with a one-two combo. WTF is that purple blotch on his shoulder, though? Costa misses on a spinning kick. Jon Anik quickly plugs The Walking Dead. Costa rocks Hendricks with a hard jab and a knee to the jaw. Hendricks fires back with a combo and a leg kick. Cost with an ankle to Johny's nostril. Costa leads on strikes, 25-12. Johny with two left jabs in a row and some more low kicks. Costa whiffs on another high kick and the two trade a ton of shots as the round expires.

Round two. Shit, that size discrepancy is amazing - Paulo looks about half a foot taller than Johny and 40 pounds heavier. Johny with low kicks and some more jabs. Uh-oh. Is Paulo slowing down now? Hendricks says he doesn't want a timeout after an eyepoke. Costa UNLOADING on Hendricks with some heavy rights. And then Costa lands a head kick. And here comes the barrage. A series of lethal right hands with Johny on his knees is all she wrote and the ref waves it off.

The official time is 1:23 of round two. In the post-fight, Costa mangles the English language and says "in Brazil, we have many versions of the sport, but this is a new time" and promises to become the next "legend in the UFC." He calls out somebody in Portuguese, but I have no idea whose name he uttered.

That is Bill Maher, isn't it?

Welterweight Bout
Stephen Thompson (13-1-1-0) vs. Jorge Masvidal (32-12-0-0)

In his last three fights, Stephen Thompson (whose "Wonder Boy" nickname is indeed derived from the Sega Master System game, FYI) has collected one win, one loss and one draw. Which means tonight, he'll probably be looking for a no contest, just to complete the quartet of all possible fight outcomes in a row. Journeyman Masvidal, who has fought under the Strikeforce, Bellator and Bodog banner over the last ten years, is 2-3 in his last five fights, with his last Octagon appearance resulting in a split decision loss to Demian Maia. Of course, there's no guarantee the winner of this bout gets hot shotted to a Welterweight Championship contest, but it would at least have to put 'em in a title eliminator next, wouldn't it?

Masvidal comes out to the theme from Scarface. That's a hell of a song to come out to. Has anybody ever come out to the opening theme from Young Guns? Because it would be awesome if someone has. And of course, Thompson comes out to "Wonder Boy" by Tenacious D. You mean he didn't want to use "Fuck Her Gently" from the same album? Or even the still thematically appropriate "Karate?"

Masvidal has the weirdest fighting stance I've ever seen. Thompson with a high kick, Jorge responds with a low kick. Jorge almost slips. Masvidal with a body kick. Thompson with a series of kicks to the stomach. Thompson keeps popping him with these quick left jabs. Thompson whiffs on a high kick. But he lands the body kick. Thompson with a GREAT right overhand. A front leg sidekick drops Jorge. He's right back up. Jorge trying to chase him down. Damn, Thompson has some great straight rights. He gets one more combo in before the bell sounds.

Round two. Shit, Anik keeps pimping The Walking Dead. Thompson with a beautiful head kick. Thompson with a combo. Thompson DROPS Jorge with a huge right, but Masvidal is right back up. Thompson leading on head strikes, 12-3. Jorge's Superman punch falls short. Thompson with another right jab. Thompson with another head kick, but he doesn't get all of it. Jorge clips him. Thompson gets another good combo in the waning seconds of the round.

Round three. Jorge throwing leg kicks early. Masvidal shoots for a takedown but he can't stick it. And there's Thompson with another great one-two. Thompson whiffs on the spinning back kick. Masvidal has 31 leg kicks thus far in the fight. Jorge goes over the top but only clips Thompson's shoulder. Now Thompson is jabbing him like a motherfucker. Now Thompson is throwing leg kicks. Makes sense to do that with just a minute left in the fight, I suppose. Thompson has a cut under his right eye. Half a minute to go. Jorge throws a kick, Thompson grabs his leg, punches him about four or five times, shucks Masvidal to the ground and there's the bell.

Let's hear it from the judges. It's 30-26 and two 30-27s to give Thompson the unanimous decision victory. LOL at the crowd booing when Joe Rogan suggests he might be next in line for a title shot. Thompson thanks Jesus, his teammates and Joe Rogan and says he may have broke his thumb heading into the third round.

Hey, a tall white dude from the Knicks is in the house. LOL at the crowd cheering Gordon Ramsey but booing C.C. Sabbathia like a motherfucker.

That new UFC game looks pretty awesome. Is that shit coming out on the Game Boy Pocket Color? Because that's the only gaming device I own right now.

Women's Strawweight Title Bout
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0-0-0) vs. Rose Namajunas (7-3-0-0)

Joanna Champion hasn't just dominated the women's strawweight division, she's practically Harvey Weinsteined it. Tonight she's making her sixth defense of the ladies' 125-pound strap against Rose Namajunas, who is 4-1 in the Octagon, with her latest victory a rear naked choke finish of Michelle Waterson in April. Now, I'm not saying this fight should be an uncompetitive squash, but if Namajunas somehow manages to make it to the third round, I'd be shocked shitless.

Just so you know, the "j" in Namajunas' last name is supposed to be pronounced like "you." And I think she's coming out to Oasis, but I could be wrong. Joanna comes out holding the Polish flag and her theme music is Polack rap. You know, next to Estonians and Latvians, I think the Polish are my favorite Europeans. Wait, does Greenland count, since technically it's a principality of Denmark? If so, make Poland number four then.

Damn, Rose looks like she's cosplaying as Ripley in Alien 3. Oh goddamn, Joanna got RIGHT in that ho's face during the rules reading. Rose with a leg kick. Joanna slightly staggered by an overhand shot. The defending champ caps off a flurry of jabs with a head kick. Rose with a body shot. ROSE DROPS HER! She's got Joanna's back, but she's back up. Alright, we're standing and swinging again. Rose tags her again with a right. She drops Joanna with a left, goes fucking nuclear and FINISHES JOANNA ON THE GROUND!

Looks like Joanna tapped from the flurry of strikes. The official time is 3:03 of the first round. And we've got ourselves a new women's strawweight champ. That has to be one of the biggest upsets in UFC history right there.

"Man, it sound like buttah," Rose tells Rogan in the post-fight. "This belt don't mean nothing, just be a good person," she commands the audience.

Time to pimp UFC 218, headlined by Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo. Oh, and a preview of the new Walking Dead season. Shit, now that is getting annoying.

Worst. Lesbo. Porn. Ever.

Bantamweight Title Bout
Cody Garbrandt (11-0-0-0) vs. T.J. Dillashaw (15-3-0-0)

Defending champion Garbrandt is 6-0 in UFC competition, where he was last seen besting Dominick Cruz to claim the men's 135-pound strap at UFC 207. Now former champ T.J. Dillashaw - who is 2-0 since dropping the title to Cruz last year - looks to reclaim his belt this evening in a title clash that has the makings of an all time Octagon classic. Seriously, even my smartmouth ass can't think of something offensive/funny to say about this bout -  this thing should be a barn-burner, and if it ain't, somebody owes us a cash refund.

Dillashaw, as always, comes out to that one Red Hot Chili Peppers song. And Garbrandt comes out to "We Will Rock You," because this guy is all about the Jock Jams, apparently. Dillashaw gets booed like crazy, for some reason. And Garbrandt, conversely, is soundly applauded.

No glove touch before the ref starts the fight. Both guys throwing a ton of kicks, but nothing connecting early. Both these guys have the most alt-right-tastic haircuts. TJ loading up on the front kicks. Cody with a flurry of punches, but TJ survives. TJ with a low kick and Cody hits him with a good one-two. Shit, Cody has some of the fastest combos I've ever seen in the cage. Cody with a barrage of body shots in the clinch. Dillashaw lands a right. And Cody drops TJ RIGHT at the bell. TJ weathers the late surge, though, so we'll get a second round.

Round two. TJ throws a goofy spin kick. He connects on a body kick. He shoots for a takedown, but Cody shucks him off. "Fuck you, TJ" chants pipe up. TJ clips him with a high kick and a jab, but Cody quickly recovers. DILLASHAW TAGS GARBRANDT, UNLOADS ON HIM ON THE MAT AND THIS FIGHT IS OVER!

The official time of the stoppage is 2:41 of the second. "You can't condition your chin," Dillashaw tells Rogan in the post-fight. He calls out Demetrious Johnson and says he's coming to "break his record."

That makes it two upset title changes in a row. Are we destined for number three in just a few minutes?

Is there anything sweeter than making your arch rival temporarily retarded?

LOL, they showed the wrong undercard for UFC 218 earlier. And the real one is like a hundred times worse and even the announcers can't cover it up. Now let's throw it to Chris Weidman, who's going to tell you all about this new Netflix movie with Will Smith in it.

Middleweight Title Bout
Michael Bisping (31-7-0-0) vs. Georges St-Pierre (25-2-0-0)

Well, what more can I say about this one? Michael Bisping has had one of the most amazing later-half-of-his-career comebacks in MMA history, with five consecutive victories in the Octagon, including back to back to back wins over Anderson Silva, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson in his last three go-at-its. And St-Pierre ... well, we actually haven't seen St-Pierre since late 2013, and who the hell knows what he's been up to ever since. Still, he's unquestionably the greatest Welterweight Champion in MMA history and a sure-fire, first ballot Hall of Famer, and his wrestling - barring some serious diminishing over the last four years - should remain positively Olympic-class. So, is Bisping's solid striking game and natural weight advantage enough to give the Brit the edge, or is the French-Canuck's all-time-level grappling going to be the match's decisive factor? There's only one way to find out - fuck looking at the stats on paper, let's watch these motherfuckers scrap for real.

St-Pierre comes out to some French hip-hop and chewing bubblegum (because he's all out of ass to kick, maybe?) The reaction from the crowd, though, isn't as boisterous as you'd expect. "Is he returning because he didn't have anything else to do?" Rogan rhetorically asks. Man, his ass looks WAY fatter. And so is the bulge in his britches ... I mean, not that I'm inclined to naturally look there or anything. The boo birds come out in droves as soon as the lights dim for Bisping's entrance, but they still sing along to "Song 2" because these guys don't know what the fuck they want out of life. "That man is the most underrated champion in mixed martial arts," Rogan remarks.

I haven't brought it up tonight, but just so you know, Bruce Buffer's tux is apparently on loan from The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase. GSP is clearly the crowd favorite. GSP with an early leg kick. Bisping whiffs on a body kick. GSP lands a right. GSP whiffs on a spin kick. Bisping tags GSP. GSP responds with a jab. GSP lands a front leg kick. Bisping keeping his distance. GSP lands another jab and Bisping fires back with a right. GSP whiffs on another spin kick. And GSP gets his first takedown. Bisping's back up. GSP lands a Superman punch but misses on the follow-up head kick.

Round two. GSP lands a flush straight jab. Bisping with low kicks. GSP with a side kick to the stomach. Bisping rattles off a left hook. Bisping lands a BIG right hand. And GSP lands another takedown. He's in the full mount. He switches to side control. But Bisping is right back up and lands an overhand right. Bisping with another big left hand. GSP is slowing down fast. Bisping with a right hand/right high kick combo in the waning seconds of the round.

Round three. Bisping's cup fell out in the final moments of the last round, so he might be free-ballin' his way through this one. "This could be a huge factor, folks," Rogan comments. That's GSP's third takedown of the fight. Bisping with elbows from the bottom. St-Pierre is cut bad. Both men back up. St-Pierre is definitely about a 7 on the Muta Scale right now. GSP lands a body kick. GSP DROPS BISPING AND HE'S RAINING ELBOWS! NOW HE HAS BISPING'S BACK AND THE CHOKE IS IN DEEP! BISPING TAPS!!!

The official time is 4:20 of the third. "I wouldn't like to do that fight again, oh fuck," GSP says in the post-fight. Rogan asks him if he's going to stay at 185 and St-Pierre doesn't really give him a cogent response. He calls Bisping his toughest opponent to date, and concludes "martial arts isn't about the biggest balls, it's about the technique."

"It's a hell of a fucking squeeze he's got there," Bisping says about the new Middleweight Champ. "You beat me, you fucking choked me out, congratulations."

Holy shit - the French actually won a fight in the year 2017!

Well, we've got a LOT to talk about regarding the fallout of tonight's show. Let's take a quick nap and I'll be back here first thing in the morning with some more thoughts. See you in just a few, folks!

SO, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Well, there's certainly no glut of intriguing match-ups for Georges St-Pierre at 185 pounds. The UFC is already teasing a showdown with No. 1 contender Robert Whittaker for UFC 221 in Perth, but even if that doesn't come to fruition, there's still a spate of top notch challengers for the new Middleweight Champ's strap, all of whom exhibit very interesting stylistic foils for St-Pierre. How would GSP fare against Yoel Romero's vicious lethal mixture of world caliber Muay Thai striking and Olympic-level freestyle wrestling? Or how would St-Pierre handle a deadly BJJ master with genuine knockout power like Ronaldo Souza? Hell, who wouldn't want to see St-Pierre test his mettle against fellow grappling expert Chris Weidman? There's even the off-chance that Tyron Woodley hops up a weight class for a champion vs. champion spectacle. Every last one of those hypothetical match-ups would be a fucking pleasure to witness, and - for what seems like the first time in ages - the UFC has itself a bona-fide no-lose divisional scenario for AT LEAST another year and a half. As for the recently dethroned Michael Bisping, his next challenger is pretty obvious - it's time for a third scrap with Luke Rockhold, and if the UFC doesn't book it I'd be aghast. For new Bantamweight Champ TJ Dillashaw, his next opponent is pretty much a given - the victor of the upcoming Dominick Cruz/Jimmie Rivera bout at UFC 219. Although there isn't a fight fan alive who wouldn't want to see him go toe-to-toe against Demetrious Johnson in a champion vs. champion mega-clash, either. As for Cody Garbrandt, he's probably only a win or two away from getting right back into a title fight; in the downtime, why not give him either the loser of Cruz/Rivera or if you need something a little bit sooner, the winner of this Saturday's Raphael Assuncao/Matthew Lopez bout? If I was a betting man, I'd roll the dice on the UFC doing an automatic Rose Namajunas/Joanna Jedzrzejczyk re-do, but if not? With Jessica Andrade, Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz waiting in the wings, there's certainly no dearth of worthy challengers to the new Women's Strawweight Champion. After that dreadful second bout, the UFC ain't letting Stephen Thompson get anywhere near Tyron Woodley for the foreseeable future. With Robbie Lawler almost certain to get the next crack at the Welterweight strap, how about letting Wonder Boy tango with Colby Covington in the interim? It's way past time to give Paulo Costa a real top ten opponent, so how about giving him the winner of the upcoming Anderson Silva/Kelvin Gastelum fight? And lastly, how about giving Ovince St. Preux a fight with Volkan Oezdemir in a possible pre-title eliminator? 

THE VERDICT:  You might as well lock it on up, boys, because this is a sure fire, cemented, bolted-down, guarantee for MMA show of the year. I think Dana White summed it up best in the post-fight conference: "this was the holy shit card." From top to bottom, there wasn't a single bad match and the top three were all all-time, mark-the-fuck-out, jump-in-the-air and kick-the-cat-out-of-fanboy-excitement classics. Toss in the AWESOME knockouts from OSP, James Vick and Paulo Costa and you have yourself a show so comprehensively great, it was ALMOST worth paying for. Tis a pity if you didn't watch this one live - it's undoubtedly one of the five best UFC PPVs ever, and maybe even a top ten MMA card of all-time candidate.

SHOW HIGHLIGHT: Take your fuckin' pick. Between OSP's Cro-Cop homage to Paulo Costa punching Johny Hendricks unconscious from the blow job position to Namajunas shocking Joanna to Dillashaw's mad comeback against Garbrandt to a bloodied GSP surviving Bisping's deadly elbows and choking his ass out moments later to win the Middleweight title, this thing is absolutely glutted with high reel material.

SHOW LOWLIGHT: Probably the Walt Harris/Mark Godbeer bout. But hey, what would a New York card be without the NYSAC fucking up at least one match?

ROGAN-ISM OF THE NIGHT: "I think they do it because it's fun" - Joe responding to Daniel Cormier's inquiry into why the fans chanted "Fuck you T.J" during the Dillashaw/Garbrandt bout.

FIVE THINGS I LEARNED FROM TONIGHT'S SHOW:

  • If a Brazilian man is nicknamed after a part of a pencil, do not fuck with him.
  • No, the wild monkey kung-fu stance isn't all that effective in the Octagon (take heed, Jorge Masvidal.)
  • It might not be a good idea to get right in the face of an eerily emotionless bald chick ahead of fistfight.
  • Having nearly 20,000 people tell you to engage in sexual activity with yourself makes your punches all the more effective.
  • If your cup isn't snug as a bug around your balls heading into battle, you're destined to lose.

That's all I've got for you this week. Crank up "Long Island" by Absinth3 and "Two Hearts" by The Northern Lights and I'll be seeing you cageside in just a few.

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