UFC 202 Reaction: Damn! The Hype was Met

Donald Cerrone obliterated Rick Story, Rumble Johnson starched Glover Teixeira in thirteen seconds and the rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz was a blood bath.

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It’s rare that MMA rematches live up to the hype. The rematch between Diaz and McGregor has been in talks for five months. Last night, McGregor defeated Diaz via majority decision. As expected, there’s a lot of controversy around the decision, but I don’t see the issue.

While watching the fight with my girlfriend, I told her that — if McGregor were to win by decision — people in the online MMA community (and Nate Diaz & his camp) would cry that he ‘ran’ from Nate the whole fight. Well, what you call ‘running’ is more or less circling your opponent. If you are facing a bigger opponent that has absurdly good boxing skills, are you supposed to stand there and let said opponent tee off on you? No! Circle the cage! Avoid being cut off!

Personally, I scored the first, second and fourth rounds in McGregor’s favor. He knocked Nate down once in the first and twice in the second. A lot of people are saying, “Well, they weren’t devastating knockdowns; Nate wasn’t even hurt”. Doesn’t matter… they were scored knockdowns. Besides, it looked like Nate was engaging in some Fabricio Werdum-esque tactics by trying to goad Conor into jumping into his guard. To me, there’s nothing controversial about last night’s decision. Conor destroyed Nate with kicks and stuffed a shithorde of takedowns when Nate was giving his damned best to take Conor down while against the cage in various rounds.

The Diaz Brothers are the darlings of the online MMA community — and I reckon their boxing and jiu jitsu is slick — but I can’t stand their attitudes. The whole thuggin’ and’ah buggin’ attitude is fucking silly and immature. They are grown men in their 30s walking around like thugs. It’s idiotic. Time to pull your jeans up and wear a belt. A lot of people laud the Diaz Bros for being “real” and “genuine” yet… they make as many excuses after losses just as much as anybody. Nate immediately concocted an excuse last night, about how he was hurt going into this fight and that Conor should have finished him. What a load of horse shit. Yet the online MMA community hivemind will bash Johny Hendricks for doing the same thing (making excuses). As much as I try to be objective, I can’t help but root against the Diaz Brothers because of the online MMA community that makes them out to be the greatest. Maybe it’d be different if I didn’t view them as 30+ year olds acting like little punks… which… is what they portray.

I’m biased. I wanted Conor to win this fight just as I’d hoped he won the first. He’s a polarizing figure that’s fantastic for the sport of MMA. Now, I can only hope he’ll either defend the 145 lb. title against Aldo (and then the winner faces the deserved Max Holloway, who’s on a 9-fight win streak) or vacate the title and fight at 155 lbs.

A Quick Word on UFC 202: McGregor/Diaz 2

The most anticipated fight I’m looking forward to tomorrow night isn’t Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2. It’s the co-main event featuring Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Glover Teixeira. If that fight lives up to the hype, it’s going to be a doozie.

McGregor is promising to starch Diaz, but hardly anybody that is well versed in MMA (sans Irish fans…) thinks that’s going to happen. The whole time leading up to the rematch (including the UFC 200 debacle which saw the original rematch removed from the card) I’ve been in the mindset that this is Nate Diaz’s fight to lose, that he’ll defeat Conor, but I’m having second thoughts.

I admire the Diaz Brothers’ boxing and jiu jitsu abilities. Both of them prefer to stand up and goad their opponents into getting into a slugfest with them, which typically goes in the Diaz Bros’ favor. In the first fight between Nate and Conor, Nate took the fight on nine days’ notice, and Conor had to quickly prepare for a 170-lb. fight when he was originally planning for a 155-lb. superfight against Rafael dos Anjos. In the first round, Conor hit Nate with some bombs that would’ve dropped the 145-lb. fighters Conor was facing before that fight, but his shots — outside of turning Nate’s face into pizza sauce — did next to nothing in regards to damaging Nate.

By the second round, Conor was gassed and Nate started hitting him with combos before he rocked Conor, which then Conor shot in for an anomalous takedown before Nate used his superior grappling and jiu-jitsu to flatten Conor and lock in a rear naked choke for the victory.

I can’t wait to see how this one goes. My girlfriend is even super hyped for this one (she’s a McGregor fangirl).

With Nate Diaz having a full camp this time, will he dominate Conor McGregor even more-so than the first fight?

Will Conor McGregor avoid expending all his energy in the first round against Diaz?

What if McGregor spent the fight utilizing kicks against Diaz? The thing about the Diaz Brothers is that they are stubborn against fighters who execute leg kicks and take their time circling the octagon and avoiding being cut off all night. McGregor could win this spending all five rounds staying on the outside and hitting Nate with kicks all night for a unanimous decision victory, but that wouldn’t be any fun.

I have a feeling that Conor won’t do that. He’s a prideful Irishman, and I reckon he’ll stand and trade with Nate again. I just wonder if he’ll still try to win on points. It’s going to be interesting.

Going against the grain on this one… McGregor by KO/TKO… somehow, someway…

Tim Duncan is Retiring

I’ve been inactive for a few months due to being busy (life and traveling). I’ve missed commenting on such things as the Conor McGregor/UFC debacle, Stipe Miocic winning the UFC Heavyweight title, Michael Bisping shocking the world and winning the UFC Middleweight title on short notice and UFC 200, but this morning Tim Duncan has announced his retirement from basketball after 19 seasons in the NBA.

Duncan is probably my favorite basketball player of all-time. While I’m forever a Celtics fan, I’ve always been a Spurs supporter/apologist. My dad was also a Celtics fan, but he loved the way Gregg Popovich ran the Spurs; in the early 2000s, my dad and I watched a shithorde of Spurs (playoffs) games and practically adopted the team as a western conference favorite. The last NBA Finals we watched together was the 2003 Finals in which Duncan and the Spurs ousted the back-to-back eastern conference champion Nets in six games (David Robinson’s last ever game).

I don’t have anything to say that somebody else couldn’t sum up better about Duncan’s career. I hope he’s not forgotten in the annals of NBA history. I mean, hell, of course he won’t be — he’s one of the greatest players of all-time; he’s in my top 5 based on pure leadership on and off the court as well as the way he played the game. He was never involved in a single controversy nor did he create drama within his franchise like another former NBA player who also played his final season this past year.

I was hoping Duncan would come back to play at least one more season, but it is what it is.

Mahalo and ciao, Big Fundamental.

James Harden Epitomizes My Boredom With the NBA

The Golden State Warriors ran roughshod on the NBA this year. The San Antonio Spurs, a team I’ve had a deep affinity for, for so long, were right behind them. Kobe Bryant retired.

And I’m bored with the Association.

I’ve been bored for a while. I mean, I love the playoffs. I love basketball. But I’m rooting for something interesting to happen. I want rivalries and tough, physical play between players that want to win more than they want to breathe, but most of those days are over. Sure, there may be some ultra competitive players in the league today, but what’s advertised more often than not, and what’s in the limelight, are millionaire buddy-buddy basketball players high-fiving each other and homie-hugging it out on the court while wearing different jerseys. Their mentality seems to be, “Yeah, winning is okay, but I’d like to play with the other team’s star player and make sure we are still cool so we can hang out in cool suites in the offseason”.

I miss that “fuck you” mentality of players.

James Harden of the Houston Rockets is an unequivocal offensive juggernaut. He could be a superstar if he was dedicated enough to the game of basketball to play defense. There’s a video of him going around the web (I’m too lazy to find it and share) allowing a free layup on a fast break last night during game 2 of the Rockets/Warriors series. That’s a common theme with Harden. You can go on YouTube right this instance and spend a whole day watching his defensive blunders and still have room to watch even more.

Here you have a guy that is incredibly marketable (thanks to the beard), who can be among the cream of the crop as far as top basketball players go, yet he’s… unremarkably below average at defense, and not from a deficiency in talent but from being fucking lazy. What’s the point of watching?

The NBA playoffs are outright physical — you can tell from watching the games — but James Harden is one of the players on the court marking his stamp of an exception to that rule. Why?

Goff or Wentz, What Does it Matter for the Rams?

I’m leaning towards Jared Goff, for what it’s worth. As for Carson Wentz, I know small college program quarterbacks have had success in the big boys football league before, but those are exceptions and not the rule. A quarterback going from a little North Dakota State school to a professional football team based in Los Angeles? Seems like an interesting situation to me. By the way, who did Wentz play against in the FCS? I feel like you could’ve plugged anybody in as the quarterback for North Dakota State, and that team would’ve won.

Goff may be two years younger than Wentz, and he may also weigh less, but he can put on weight. He can go on a regular diet consisting primarily of ribeyes drizzled in butter and pasta. Goff also played at California, a Pac-12 school.

But at the end of the day, the Rams… oh, the Rams… they gave up a shithorde of picks to the Tennessee Titans for this number one overall pick, and at the end of the day I’m not sure Goff or Wentz will be worth their salt.

The Rams haven’t made any improvements to their team this offseason. They’ve lost players — from Chris Long to Rodney McLeod to Janoris Jenkins. That defense, as promising as it’s been, will take a step back. The offense is still a starless group outside of Todd Gurley. The offensive line is still a mess.

The Rams are going into the fifth year of a three-year rebuilding plan. What gives? Jeff Fisher should’ve been gone by now, and with a rookie quarterback inevitably coming in, that will buy him a sixth year after the Rams go 5-11 or 7-9 this year.

It seems to me that the team is sitting around with its collective thumb up its collective ass waiting for 2019 (the new stadium will be ready to roll by then) for the rebranding. This team isn’t geared to win games but to look pretty under the guise of glitz and glamor.

Let’s Take a Deep Breath (UFC 196)

Last night featured another damn good night of fights. The main and co-main event bouts lived up to the hype, anyway. Gian Villante/Ilir Latifi was a grindfest displayed by Latifi (a dominant one), but not very entertaining. I feel that Tom Lawlor soundly defeated Corey Anderson, but he wasn’t granted a decision. The Brazilian Amanda Nunes picked up a damn good showing against Valentina Shevchenko.

The women’s bantamweight division is more entertaining than ever! Miesha Tate defeated Holly Holm with a beautiful rear naked choke near the end of the fight last night to win the title.  At this point, the division has become a case of rock, paper, scissors. Ronda Rousey’s judo beats Miesha’s wrestling, but Miesha’s wrestling beats Holly’s boxing, yet Holly’s boxing beats Ronda’s judo.

As for the main event, Nate Diaz defeated the Notorious One, Conor McGregor, with a rear naked choke of his own in the second round.

In reference to Nate’s post-fight speech, I’m not surprised either, motherfuckers (look up that post-fight interview).

I wanted Conor to win, because he pisses people off (and he’s one of my favorite fighters to watch), but I knew Nate could beat him going in. While Nate is typically a 155-pounder, he’s fought at 170 multiple times in the past, and he’s the much bigger fighter.

Let’s take a deep breath, though, and not act like Nate dominated this fight. Conor clipped him many times and caught him with some good lefts and uppercuts. However, once Nate hurt him, everybody knew it was over. Conor was dead as soon as he shot in for that takedown! That was a safety measure for Conor, like how boxers hug up and clinch when they are rocked!

I’m just glad we don’t have to hear about a prospective Conor/Robbie Lawler fight, because Lawler would rip his face off with his punches. He’s much, much bigger, way stronger and would eat through any of the strikes Conor would have to offer. Also, before the pay-per-view, there were rumors of — if Conor beat Nate — Conor facing Georges St.-Pierre at UFC 200. Hell NO! That would have been a trainwreck.

Props to both McGregor and Diaz for this bout. McGregor for taking a huge leap in weight to go up and fight as a welterweight, and Diaz for taking this bout on 11 days’ notice!

Conor needs to go to 155 lbs. or at least try to not kill himself to stay at 145. Either way, a very, very hungry Frankie Edgar is on the prowl and has been so for a while (even if his fans annoy me).

MMA Fans, Quit Clamoring for Frankie Edgar to Receive a Title Shot

It’s been a long few weeks and I’ve missed out on touching on some heated topics in MMA. Anderson Silva fought Michael Bisping lost week (and lost in somewhat of a controversial fight), and nobody was talking about it beforehand due to Rafael dos Anjos pulling out of his 155 lb. fight with the Notorious One, Conor McGregor, and in the event of his absence he was replaced by none other that Nate Diaz, who will be fighting McGregor at 170 lbs. This is unprecedented (seeing a newly crowned champion go up two weight classes, a 25 lb. difference).

For those of you unfamiliar with Nate Diaz, he’s the little brother of Nick Diaz. Both are world renown (well… in the mixed martial arts world) fighters that double as elite boxers. For everybody who ever dubbed McGregor the UFC’s posterchild that was overprotected by Dana F. White and Co., congratulations, you played yourself. (Damn it, I had to use that meme sometime.)

Anyway, a lot of people are crying about Frankie Edgar not getting the title shot he apparently deserves.

But let’s face the facts, first. Everybody claiming that McGregor was gifted a title shot vs. Jose Aldo last year may or may not be right, but thinking that Edgar hasn’t been dealt a very fair hand by the UFC is illogical.

Edgar’s first title shot came off a win over Matt Veach (a fighter who was 1-0 in the UFC at the time). Meanwhile, Gray Maynard was simultaneously on an 8-fight win streak, one of which was over Frankie Edgar himself.

Edgar’s second title shot came off a loss (remember — he dropped the lightweight title to Benson Henderson and lost to Bendo again in August 2012).

Edgar’s third title loss came on back to back losses (he lost to Bendo twice in 2012 before losing to Jose Aldo in a featherweight title bout during Super Bowl weekend 2013).

Edgar has only fought twice a year — EVERY YEAR — for the last 8 years.

Eleven of his last twelve fights have been main events. The twelfth was a co-main event for one of the biggest events of the year.

He was even given TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) coaching exposure, and that season was one of the worst ever, what with its low ratings.

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Was given UFC on Fox commentating positions.

Edgar even received endless hyperbolic anointment and incessant fanboying from Dana White.

A guy that has been given title shots in 2 divisions and a horde of opportunities like TUF exposure probably shouldn’t be complaining about a guy that’s had title shots in two divisions and TUF exposure…

…But that’s none of my business.