Oh Edmonton, you done F’d up a good night of MMA. I mean, didn’t we suffer enough? with the MayMac circus, followed by the Jones debacle?
I know, I can’t dump it on the city. But perhaps the commission should answer a few pointed freaking questions. Not the least of which is – What the hell happened to my prediction rate!?
Let’s discuss my picks quickly. Then, we’ll chat about this, that and the other.
For your reference, my picks:
Jeremy Stephens Vs. Gilbert Melendez – I’ll speak first about the one who lost. Gilbert was always the guy who pressures and pushes the opponent backwards, throwing volumes. Like the Diaz brother he is, the one thing you never doubt is his heart. After that leg kick (more below) there was really nothing more we could expect of him. The fact that he remains with no KO loss on his record is nothing less than amazing. And now, who the fook is that guy? Oh yeah, it’s Jeremy – little heathen – Stephens. You know, the famous brawler who fought in the UFC when Conor was still doing homework. I think Stephens surprised many with crisp, technical strikes, devastating leg kicks and great conditioning. Sure, Melendez was injured. Badly. But that doesn’t take away a thing from pure technique. Very impressive. 0 for 1.
Ilir Latifi Vs. Tyson Pedro – To be honest, I expected more. But perhaps it’s just another example of how these big muscle mass guys stop short at achieving real greatness. Latifi was the one with the less impeded cardio and won the fight. I predicted a finish (albeit in the wrong direction) but would have not been surprised to see Latifi knocking Pedro out. Once the KO didn’t materialize early, it went to wrestling and… well, somewhat of a disappointment. But I’m not going to judge game plans or doing one’s best to win. 0 for 2.
Henry Cejudo vs Wilson Reis – I was so off on this one, I feel like I owe someone an apology… Maybe to Cejudo, who showed significantly improved striking and overall game. I have to give Henry props for a really amazing performance which won’t shut the Flyweight critics up, but will always be on hand to shove it in their faces. Looks like the only thing that makes sense now is a rematch with his goatness. 0 for 3.
Rafael Dos Anjos Vs. Neil Magny – You may like or dislike Dos Anjos, but you know what? RDA doesn’t care. You may have 30 cm reach advantage but you know what? RDA doesn’t care. You may be bigger, taller, whatever but you know what? you got the point. It’s as ingrained in his fighting mentality as walking is to our daily life. This relentless forward motion and high output. A brutal advance and this time it manifested in ONE good kick. Oh yes, there was some superb BJJ and ground and pound followed. But that kick that brought the giant to his knees then to his back spelled the end. RDA looked amazing. Now it’s time to up the ante and pit him against a top 5 guy at WW. I can’t wait. 1 for 4.
Amanda Nunes Vs. Valentina Shevchenko – My son thought this was much like the Woodley/Maia joke. He was wrong. At the heat of the moment I felt like it was more like the Lawler/Condit fiasco. But now, with a clearer head I think it was neither. After all is said and done, it comes down to judging, and how you score an MMA fight. Did either one win this clearly in your book? I doubt that. In which case, it normally boils down to the challenger having to “take this” from the champ. This is not the blatant robbery of Condit and much more difficult to call than the farce that was Woodley’s last title defense. This was a good fight between two ladies who came prepared. Nunes who went 5 rounds, patiently, intelligently, picking her attacks and securing points did a slightly better job at convincing the judges. I’m no Dana White, and won’t start whining about finishes in title fights. I will however express certain frustration with the fact that I know Valentina could afford to be more aggressive. At least “show” it more. What I mean is – she threw strikes and landed very well. but she did that in a way that didn’t sell well to the judges. It’s sad that it is the way it is… but it is… 1 for 5.
Who did worse? Me with the picks, or Refs, corners and commission last night?
Rafael Dos Anjos thanked his lord and savior Jesus Christ at the end of the fight, like a born again Christian (which I don’t think he is). He is a born again fighter in Welterweight it seems though. Yes, we need to see him against top guys and test this theory more, but it sure looks like he found a new home.
Will the new and improved Henry Cejudo have a better chance next time he meets DJ? It’s very tempting to say yes. Then you think about how incredible Mighty Mouse looks every time he walks into the cage and you got to wonder… It’s not like Johnson stopped developing his own arsenal (scary).
So Amanda Nunes is still champ. Whoop dee doo. I am a little concerned for the future of the women Bantemweight division. With all due respect (and I am a BIG fan of WMMA) The two ladies fighting in last night’s main event are head and shoulder above the rest. Now Shevchenko is 0-2 against Nunes and only if you consider this being a split decision as a good enough reason for an insta-rematch, one would be made. With Tate and Rousey retired, Holm showing interest in Cyborg… who’s next? and how predictable would the end result be? Pennington makes a good case, but she j-u-s-t beat Tate who admitted to not having her heart in it anymore. I do not envy the booker.
Well, judging by some REALLY bad calls last night, it seems like MMA is still not out of the bush when it comes to fighter’s safety and the way it’s (mis)handled. In the prelims we saw Gavin Tucker being pummeled for just about forever, then Clarke taking so much unnecessary damage and the icing on the cake – Melendez being allowed to go almost 3 full round with a leg that looked as broken as broken can be. I try to keep things clean here but what the actual fuck!? The fighters wanted to continue and I can’t blame them. I blame their unprofessional and irresponsible corners. I blame the chicken shit refs who let that charade continue. I blame the blind or brain-dead doctor who LOOKED at Gilbert’s leg and allowed him back to the 2nd round. You put people in unnecessary, unreasonable and unfair risk! What do you want to happen before you tell the fighter “No. You are not allowed.”? This pisses me way more than a decision in a fight. A fighter has a decent chance to avenge a wrong decision. What chance would he have if he – God forbids – suffers a career ending injury? I don’t want to even continue speculating here. It’s fucking scary. Shame on these guys.
Performance of the night: Rafael Dos Anjos with a sequence that included a leg kick, transition to side control, culminating in a submission. Smooth, quick, effective.
— MMAmicks.com (@MMAmicks) September 10, 2017
Fight of the night: I got to give this one to Cejudo/Reis. As one-sided as it was. Jeremy Stephens Vs. Gilbert Melendez could’ve been it – if only for heart Vs. Technique, but I really think it shouldn’t even have been allowed past round 1.
— Mike Dyce (@mikedyce) September 10, 2017
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