A week after the traumatic events in Vegas, UFC actually did something right. They kept the schedule and had the October PPV, saying to loonies all over the world – in the words of the recently late and forever great Tom Petty – “I won’t back down.”
As always, let’s discuss my picks quickly. Then, we’ll chat about this, that and the other.

For your reference, my picks:

Evan Dunham Vs. Beneil Dariush – Admittedly, I picked Evan just because I like the guy. Scrappy and gritty and never walks away from a fight. Beneil nearly finished him in the first for a 10-8 round (no need for new rules to call that one) then Evan won round 2 and round 3 was a toss-up. I honestly called it for Dariush, but the draw was not outrageous. 0 for 1.
Mara Romero Borella Vs. Kalindra Faria – I did not know anything about these two ladies and picked the Italian because, heck, we need some Italians in the UFC. Ironically, the Italian beat the Brazilian with superb Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Everything, start to early finish was executed perfectly, including a deep RNC. The emotional reaction at the end and the polarizing calm post fight interview were fitting for a great debut. And let’s be honest, Mara just classed it up there for the ladies roster. I’m a fan. 1 for 2.
Fabricio Werdum vs Walt Harris – Of course, we can’t have just one PPV that doesn’t get Effed up with some last-minute changes. Both of these guys’ opponents had to pull out and they were offered this fight on just a few hours notice. For Harris this was a no-brainer. For Werdum a huge risk. One stray punch that might have landed perfectly could’ve been disastrous for someone who still has title aspirations. Respect to Fabricio for taking the fight, although it seemed like he knew what he was doing. A much easier win than he could’ve scored on Lewis, barely any sweat and zero damage. Not a bad night for Werdum. Oh, and I am claiming this victory as hit! 2 for 3.
Demetrious Johnson Vs. Ray Borg – At one point in the fight, Borg took Mighty Mouse’s back, standing up, had both hooks in and already started snaking his hands for the RNC. The crowd roared, Joe Rogan broke out his trademark “oooooh!”, and only one man seemed to stay extremely clam, not understanding what the fuss is all about. Demetrious Johnson “shrugged” Borg off and in one fluid motion turned into his guard and slammed him on his back. A few minutes later, the big little guy performed another fluid maneuver to slam young Borg onto his back while applying a vicious arm bar and that was all she wrote. Perfection. 3 for 4.
Tony Ferguson Vs. Kevin Lee – Judging by the first round, I’d say Tony has about zero chance of winning the belt (the undisputed, unified, whatever one). Judging by how he always finds ways to still win, and finish his opponents for the most part… I’d say bring it on. It was a little scary early on for us El Cucuy fans and even when Lee seemed to be absolutely gassed, he was still able to take Tony down (not a small task). But then, Ferg applied a triangle like it was a practice session, modified, pushed the head down and got the tap. And just like that, we have a new interim champ. 4 for 5.

Hallelujah! 4 out of 5. The sweet smell of success.

Aaaaand NEW:

  • Tony Ferguson ascended from the roster of TUF (Lesnar Vs. Dos Santos) and although he was impressive in winning that show, and even  though I liked him then, I made a few picks against him in the past. A while back I decided to always pick him and it paid off. He is the real deal. Calling out Conor after this win was the obvious thing to do. Will he get what he wants? (Hint: See “And Still” below)
  • Does anyone recall two draws in the same night? I don’t. Seems like a piece of history right there. And the more interesting aspect of this is – neither one of these draws was a let down. Both made sense and both were pretty damn good fights.
  • 11 consecutive title defenses. New record. seemingly unbreakable. Hell, that’s what they said about Silva, but it really does seem that we are not even close yet to find a guy with enough promise to even repeat that. I will be proven wrong eventually, or not… but I’m just here to enjoy the ride, and if you’re one of the people not watching DJ, the joke’s on you.

Aaaaand STILL:

  • How do you like them apples? Ray Borg is no slouch. He is a talented, physically strong and gutsy fighter. And still, Demetrious Johnson made it look easy. I am absolutely baffled at how little respect this guy gets from the masses. 7 finishes – some of them spectacular – in his last 10 fights. This guy out strikes strikers, out grapples grapplers and out werstles wrestlers. You know who the only other 3 (or 2) who can claim this? GSP, Jones and Silva (the exception when it comes to wrestling). So yeah, we may never agree on who is the greatest of all times, but DJ is definitely on the shortlist (No pun intended).
  • The fights just ended, the crowd still poured out of the arena, and at the commentary table Daniel Cormier with a smile (to hide the shame?) suggested that it made sense to book Conor/Diaz 3 next, with Ferguson/Khabib as the co-main event… I nearly puked. You see, I don’t believe for one second that DC REALLY believes this garbage that came out of his mouth. I believe that the monkeys in the production truck (at the direction of their puppet masters in WME) told him to float this lame duck and start conditioning the masses. God damn, hollywood jackasses trying to play fight bookers. They should really be supervised by an adult. Tony already showed up for a fight with Khabib, and guess what – Khabib didn’t. So according to WME-logic that means he (Khabib) deserves a shot at the interim title, while the reigning and not defending champ goes to make another million. These guys are really all about the money and they prove it every single time. I am honestly holding my tongue here and refraining from a lot of profanity, but Lord, it is hard. Ever since the UFC was sold to these amateur, incompetent wannabes it’s one circus after the other. ENOUGH already. Tony showed up. Tony won. Give that man what he is OVERdue.
  • And Nevada should be stripped of the title “the fighting capital of whatever”. Adopt the new rules already. What are you? New York?
Performance of the night: There really is only one. The great one. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Don’t try this at home kids.
Fight of the night: If you’re one of those guys who never watch the prelims then you really should. Lando Vannata Vs. Bobby Green. What a glorious draw.
Don’t forget to check out Combat Docket for more good reads and post UFC216 fallout.


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