MMA is the best sport in the entire world. Nothing else, sports wise, gives me as much of a pure, extreme and unadulterated adrenaline rush like MMA. The only thing that could possibly ever compare would be a St. Louis Rams Super Bowl victory or Virginia Tech Hokies college football national championship. I watched my Boston Celtics win the NBA Finals in 2008, and when it comes to basketball, that was the pinnacle of elation and nothing else they ever do again, for me, as a fan, will come close to that. I watched the St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series in 2006 and 2011. The adrenaline rush I get from MMA is unrivaled.
Tonight’s UFC 189 was fucking tremendous. Conor McGregor TKOed Chad Mendes with seconds remaining in the second round.
Mendes was getting eaten alive by body shots. McGregor opened up the first round with a spinning back push kick right to the center of Mendes’ abdomen. When McGregor dropped Mendes, he landed at least five or six shots before Herb Dean waved it off. Mendes had gone into “fetal retreat” mode by then. Mendes’ claim to a victory was lying on top of McGregor with little activity.
Yes, Mendes utilized ground’n’pound, but it didn’t phase McGregor. Yes, he clipped McGregor and cut him open, but after that random, failed execution of a guillotine choke by Mendes, McGregor stood up and (beautifully) boxed Mendes, eventually dropping him and finishing the fight with strikes to the side of Mendes’s head while [Mendes] covered up.
“Mendes was winning the fight!”, detractors say. Well…. I’m not a fan of that style of point scoring, regardless of how the judges have it. Lying on top of your opponent and doing minimal damage with ground’n’pound should not account for a large heap of points in MMA scoring. It’s lazy anti-fighting. If you take your opponent down, you better execute some ground’n’pound that’s inflicting substantial damage to your opponent, otherwise it’s nothing more than glorified stalling that detracts from the sport and makes fans everywhere roll their eyes.
“Mendes only had a 2-week camp!” Well, McGregor trained for months for a Muay Thai based fighter and had two weeks to prepare for a wrestler while having an injured knee. You can concoct excuses for anybody from anywhere if you want to play that game.
More excuses will roll in, simply because detractors of McGregor can’t help themselves but attempt (and fail) to rationalize their disdain.
By the way, so much for Mendes ‘closing’ the gap on McGregor. Heh.