The Good | The Bad | The Ugly
Fight of the Year
Holy shit. This is why I love MMA. A fight between two of the division’s elite going to war for the second time within twelve months. The fight started out way differently from the first fight, with Yoel Romero hardly having any offense thrown. That round was all Robert Whittaker, and if we were to give out 10-8’s like candy then that would be one. Round two was more of a fight. Romero started to open up more, but Whittaker seemed to have the answer on the feet, easily winning that round. Round three is where the fight got very interesting. Romero lands a bomb mid round, but Whittaker works his way out of trouble. Round four, Whittaker seems to have found his rhythm again, using a high volume attack with jabs and lead head-kicks. Whittakers right hand seemed to have been broken because he did not include it in his offense much. With less than a minute left in the fourth, Romero lands another huge shot that gives Whittaker rubbery legs. Huge moment that may could have stolen the round from Whittaker in what is now a very close fight. In the fifth and final round, which is most likely scored three rounds to one for Whittaker, we see an onslaught of power coming from Romero. Yoel hurts Whittaker badly early in the round, but Whittaker does just enough to stay conscious for the remainder of the fight, even though he had to stay defensive in order to do so. I totally think this fight very well should have been a draw. Both men laid it out on the line, and that’s what matters. These guys already fought once before, and they both respected each other before they stepped into the cage for the second time. This is my vote for fight of the year so far, and it will be hard to top.
Curtis Blaydes Continues to Rise
Curtis Blaydes is on the rise ladies and gentlemen. The man has passed all of his most recent tests with flying colors, and has shown incredible durability when taking damage against the divisions most powerful fighters. He was cruising his way to a decision victory, but he needed a finish if he wanted to really be taken seriously as a top contender. And he did just that with minutes left to go in the fight. He landed brutal ground and pound elbows that destroyed Overeem’s forehead and painted the canvas of the octagon with blood. I’m not sure that he deserves the next shot at the title quite yet, but there isn’t many men that stand in his way.
Covington’s Impressive Win Over RDA
This was such a fun fight to watch. Not many people are rooting for Colby Covington to win fights, and Raphael dos Anjos was able to keep a good enough gas tank to make a fight, against a grueling wrestler, very fun to watch. Covington showed that he is an absolute monster against guys that don’t have high level wrestling backgrounds, and RDA showed that he is a top contender at Welterweight. I don’t see many non-wrestlers having the energy to fight for five rounds against Covington. Such a great high level fight, and I’m happy that we got to see five rounds of it.
The Fightpass prelims were phenomenal. Very exciting fights with some explosive finishes. Dan Ige started the night off with a very dominant execution. Charles Oliveira took his time to pick a veteran apart, and finishing with a quick submission. Sergio Pettis welcomed Joseph Benavidez back in a very tough and competitive fight. Sergio was very sharp with his offense and it got him the win. Anthony Smith dispatched a veteran with a high-light reel knee KO. Nothing bad can be said about these four fights, and they probably will not be seen by many.
Size Doesn’t Matter… Megan Anderson Edition
Megan Anderson had a lot of hype coming into this fight. A lot of bettors placed large amounts of money on her just because she was a larger woman than Holly Holm. But when you get out-wrestled by a 36 year old former boxer, then its hard to have hope in your future. The takedowns that Holly Holm took were not very good takedowns, but they got the job done against the much larger woman. If you watched tape on Megan Anderson you would know that she was a bad bet against a veteran like Holly Holm, and its sad to see that so many people did not do their homework.
De la Rocha’s finish
The fight between Rashad Coulter and Chris de la Rocha was actually a fun heavyweight slobber-knocker. But this fight took a real dump once both guys tired out after round 1. Chris de la Rocha got in a great position to posture up and land devastating shots to finish the fight, but he did not have it in him to throw five punches in a row to have the ref stop the fight. He had zero power left in him, and this fight that could have ended minutes earlier was forced to go on until he could manage to patter his way into a very weak TKO. Heavyweights will continue to be heavyweights.
The End of Rashad Evans
Not here to bash the legendary career of Rashad Evans’, but he has flirted with a lot of rejuvenating ideas to revamp his career and nothing has seemed to work out. This fight was back at 205 where he once ruled about a decade ago. If you watch his highlight reels, you won’t see any performances that have happened in the last 7 years. He tried the middleweight division and lost decisions against two of the most unathletic fighters that exist in that division. Then he shows up against a killer in Anthony Smith with a whole new fight stance. He did go to his bread and butter with the wrestling attack early on, but man did Smith make him pay with an obvious knee. I wish nothing but the best for Rashad, and I think he can do a lot for the sport of MMA in the years to come. Just don’t get back into that octagon.
CM Punk vs. Mike Jackson
If you seen the fight, then you know. I’m not going to beat a horse while its down.