I reckon I’m not finished yet. Consider these posts to be the championship rounds! I was just thinking, WordPress — to me — hit its peak in 2011/2012 when the tags (when you searched within the parameters of the site) were set up in a way where you could see the top/trending posts and the recent posts in a specified tag. The stats page was perfect. Ever since, WordPress ruined (again, just my thoughts) the tag searches by making it clunky and adding too much information to the page (and removing the top/trending posts), then they butchered the stats page. I’m mentioning this because they have changed the stats page yet again!
I was out of state last week with my girlfriend, visiting her family, and we watched UFC 207. Her dad is a semi-big fan of MMA, albeit more casual than a die-hard, but the rest of the group we watched the event with was/is extremely casual viewers, all tuned into Ronda Rousey’s big return to the octagon.
I thought Ray Borg/Louis Smolka was a decent fight; Borg dominated the bigger guy. However, the “Stun Gun” AKA Dong Hyun Kim/Tarec Saffiedine fight put her dad to sleep and the rest of the group was too busy playing the classic board game “Clue” to give much of a damn. TJ Dillashaw/John Lineker featured some haymakers (primarily from Dillashaw… breaking Lineker’s jaw in the first round, but Lineker had a couple of shots land flush on TJ in the fight), ending up an (overall) dominant unanimous decision win for Dillashaw.
Dominick Cruz/Cody Garbrandt, the Bantamweight title fight, got everybody’s attention though, and that pleases the hell out of me. This is why I love MMA: you never know what’s going to happen. While TJ Dillashaw defeating Renan Barao is the biggest upset I believe I’ve seen, I didn’t think Garbrandt had a shot in hell against Cruz. I even warned her family and the group we watched the event with that this might be (for them) a boring five round fight because Cruz is a technical fighter, the kind of guy that will yield false charges toward his opponents to bait them into hitting air. Instead, this fight went five rounds with Garbrandt becoming the new UFC Bantamweight champion. I believe Cruz underestimated Garbrandt and figured he’d fight emotionally, but I hope they’ll match Dillashaw against Garbrandt in the near future.
Ronda Rousey was dominated like she’s never been dominated before. She produced absolutely nothing in her return to the octagon after 13+ months of inactivity. She showed zero blocking, head movement or footwork when Amanda Nunes TKOed her in 48 seconds. I’ll tell you why: Ronda never evolved and she never stuck to what she’s best at: judo. Her dipshit boxing coach, who hardly represents a ‘boxing‘ coach, Edmund Tarverdyan, led her to believe she could box… when she can’t. He didn’t even teach her basic head movement or footwork! If she’s ever going to fight again (doubtful, but who knows), she needs to switch to a fight gym that will help her excel or at least improve in other aspects. If she’d switched camps eight months ago, she would have at least put up a better showing.
Thankfully the Cruz/Garbrandt fight saved the card.
On another note, after almost two decades in the UFC, Mike Goldberg commentated his last event, and there was not a single on air mention of the event being his last, despite all that he’s done for the company. What a shame. 99% of my UFC memories involves Mike Goldberg commentating a fight. I know he butchered some names, stats and calls, but he had amazing chemistry with Joe Rogan and, more than anything, he made fights feel ‘epic‘ and exciting. I’m going to miss Goldie, especially if they replace him with the robotic, monotonous Jon Anik who is as generic and run-of-the-mill as one can imagine.
Enough MMA. Let’s talk about food.
My girlfriend’s family gave me their old vertical smoker last month. They usually cook for a decent sized group and they moved off to a horizontal smoker where more can fit (like a big beef brisket). I appreciate that they were/are so generous, because I can’t get enough of the flavor of smoked food. Here’s what I’ve smoked so far: a 5 and a half pound Boston Butt (pork shoulder), an itty bitty brisket (just to try) that was about a pound, smoked bacon wrapped cheese stuffed jalapeno peppers and chicken drumsticks. Also, not pictured, but I smoked a chuck roast for my family a couple days after Christmas along with some potatoes. Here’s some pictures from the first batch: