May 2, 2011
If there were any doubts as to whether of not the UFC was a bona-fide, international
phenomenon, I'd say that UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields answers that inquiry
UFC 129 is no ordinary show, that's for sure. For starters, this is quite literally the BIGGEST show in UFC history, as the company sold out the Rogers Centre in Toronto in roughly the same amount of time it takes the aggregate Maple Leafs fan to realize they ain't making the playoffs again that year. As such, the show is littered with Canuck athletes, which is sort of fitting considering the venue. After all, that building is used to seeing overrated Canadians get the snot beat out of them by Yankees on a semi-regular basis, so what makes this evening any different?
Another plus for the show: It actually starts at 9 p.m., so in all likelihood, I'll be on the road before midnight, meaning I'll finally be able to score a double crunch burrito at the Taco Bell off Exit 271 before the lobby closes. I'm not quite sure what Martin Luther King Jr. meant when he said he had been to the top of the mountain, but I'm pretty sure it includes fast food enchiladas and watching hyper-white people try to choke one another unconscious with their calves for my pleasure. Mine eyes, likewise, have seen the glory.
So, what do we have on deck for this evening? Well, a little bit of everything, actually. We've got a dude with dreadlocks taking on a guy from Toronto that's so vanilla, he may actually melt underneath the stage lights of the ex-SkyDome. We also have a bona-fide MMA LEGEND (with ears that look like cinnamon rolls, no less) calling it quits, right after he throws down with a pee-pee sipping Karate master that kind of looks like Fez from That 70s Show. That, AND we get a pointless middle of the card match that will FINALLY determine what region produces the toughest Caucasians - Belarus, or Bismark, North Dakota.
What's that? You want some title fights? All right, we'll give you some title fights. How about the company debut of the most feared Featherweight fighter on the planet? And how about that same Brazilian Jiu-jitsu death machine (with kicks that make Yoshihiro Tajiri's look like love taps from Verne Troyer) squaring off against some Canadian no-name that has no idea that's he's about to get his face kicked off in front of his home town? Hey, if he's lucky, maybe one of his ex-high school pals can catch a couple of his teeth as they fly out into the audience.
And lastly, the main event. A bout so epic, so gargantuan and so heavily hyped that it could only be held within the confines of a 55,000 seat Major League Baseball stadium. In one corner, a French Canadian media superstar that's arguably the most beloved Canuck since Wayne Gretzky, and in the other? A vegetarian grappler from the Bay Area currently riding a 15 fight winning streak. . .and oh yeah, he's got two world champion fighters backing him in his corner.
Intrigued yet? Well, let's quit the gum flapping and hop right into the thick of things, shall we? Welcome, dear readers to our (somewhat live-ish) report of UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields!
As always, I'm recapping this thing from the hallowed halls of Bailey's in K'Saw, Ga., where the local bar scene is somewhat comparable to the cast of Total Recall. You think I'm joking about the rogue dwarves that populate the area, but if you're ever around these parts. . .
In case you didn't catch it the first ninety-six times I mentioned it, this show is emanating LIVE from Toronto. Our hosts, as always, are Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg. And yes, I apologize in advance for that notion.
Hey, who wants seem prelim fights up in this mother? Jake Ellenberger and Ontario native Sean Pierson open up the festivities.. ROCKTAGON readers probably recognize Ellenberger most from his not all that impressive performance against Carlos Eduardo Rocha at UFC 126. Pierson, on the other hand, is someone that you should never know about ever. Sorry, Sean, but it's la verdad.
Ellenberger and Pierson do a little bit of paint swapping early. The Ontario crowd is really giving it to Ellenberger. You know, Canadians supposedly have this air about them that they're not nationalistic pricks, but if you ask me. . .
Takedown from Ellenberger. Pierson is right back up, like Red Green after some failed experiment involving duct tape. Yes, I am trying to sneak in as many obscure, stereotypical Canadian pop culture references tonight as I can muster. Ellenberger with a one-two combination. Pierson's trickling some crimson from underneath his left eye. And as soon as the first drop of Canuck blood hit's the canvas, Ellenberger scores one for Uncle Sam by dropping Pierson with a nasty left hook. Just for good measure, Ellenberger rattles off two more shots before Pierson eats the mat. . .just like we did to those maple drinking bastards back in WW II. Wait, we fought against the Canadians in WW II, right?
An impressive win by Ellenberger, who totally (OK, sort of ) makes up for all that sucking he did in the first round of that Rocha fight a couple of weeks back.
We've got about twenty minutes to kill before the next televised prelim airs. So, we have ourselves a little buffer fight between Ivan Menjavir and Charlie Valencia to enjoy in the interim. Menjavir lands a couple of jabs, and the two clinch. Menjavir rears his arm back and absolutely crushes Valencia's face with an elbow shot. You can see Valencia's nose split into about eight different shards of cartilage. Menjavir hops on the carcass, rains a few punches, and that's all she wrote.
Still about ten minutes until the next live fight. We do some hard selling for the main event, and run down the next 447 UFC and Strikeforce events.. You know, not that these guys are over saturating the market or anything. . .
Just a reminder, tonight's show is being brought to you by the Steven Spielberg produced “Transformers 3”. You know, I think a lot of his work could've been improved with the inclusion of robot automobile warriors. Come on, you know the presence of Bumblebee really would've brought a lot of depth to The Color Purple. ADMIT SUCH AS VERACITY.
Rory MacDonald is taking on Nate Diaz. Diaz is the brother of Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz, and pending GSP defeats Shields later on tonight, methinks Nate's sibling will be the next in line for a title shot against the great greased one. Actually, I kind of have a feeling that GSP is due for a three fight series against the kids in Cesar Gracie's camp. . .you know, basically a John Cena versus Nexus angle. I guess that makes Gilbert Melendez David Otunga by default, but that, we shan't dwell upon.
It's your basic Nate Diaz first round, although I'd probably give MacDonald the points based on more accurate striking. Rory is really finding a rhythm with the counter punches. . .considering these Diaz kids pride themselves on their boxing abilities, that's not exactly something Nate should be too pleased about.
Rory begins round two by shoving Diaz into the corner. He gets a leg trip, but Diaz jumps right back up. MacDonald with a HYUGE takedown, followed up with a SCUD missile on the ground. Diaz looks like absolute kaka in this fight. They clinch, and MacDonald lands another clean sheet straight the Diaz's mug. UPPERCUT, BEE-YEETCH. MacDonald looks for a flying knee, but doesn't quite land it as time expires. 20-18 for MacDonald, no doubt.
Ah, man did I tell you kids that Rory's nickname is “The Water Boy”? Well, it was either that or “Little Nicky”, so I'm not quite sure if that's a positive or a negative. The two clinch next to the catch. Diaz looking for a single leg takedown. MacDonald sneaks out, gets Diaz's back and GERMAN SUPPLEXES HIM TWICE. Wow, I haven't seen a short Canadian with inadequate speaking skills throw a belly to back ‘plex like that since. . .well, you know who. MacDonald is raining punches on Diaz from the top. This fight is dangerously close to getting called. Diaz weathers the storm , but MacDonald gets his back again and lands a tertiary German Suplex that looks like something out of a Mitsuharu Misawa match. “Nasty” doesn't even begin to describe it. Diaz sort of looks like he forgot the basic color spectrum after that one. Diaz somehow manages to get vertical, and desperately tries for a takedown. Yeah, he's going to have to do a whole lot more than that to win this round. MacDonald sprawls, and ends up in Diaz's full guard. LOL. Diaz throws some harmless kicks from his back, as Rory simply runs out the last minute of the fight.
30-27 and two 30-26 decisions for MacDonald, who gets a HYUGE reaction from the crowd. MacDonald really made a name for himself in this fight, and Diaz. . .well, let's just say he did something for his name too, only in the different direction.
About ten minutes to go before the live show kicks off. As such, we have ourselves one final prelim before they make us pay for this shit. Jason MacDonald (no relation to Rory, if memory serves correct) is dueling with Ryan Jensen, who you may remember from. . .well, no actually, no one knows who either of these guys are. Jensen storms out of the gate with some windmill punches, and MacDonald looks low for a takedown. Jensen looking for a guillotine. MacDonald snakes his way out, and gets Jensen's back. Jensen still looking for a takedown, and LOLOOPS! MacDonald sinks in a triangle choke. Jensen lands the shortest power bomb ever (a good three inches off the mat), and to make Jensen's day even worse, that actually allowed MacDonald to sink the submission hold even deeper than he originally had it. Jensen blindly throws a few slaps, MacDonald cranks the head, and Jensen taps out. Probably our submission of the night finalist right there.
Five minutes to go, and I don't want to be sedated. Seeing an UFC show in the SkyDome is absolutely surreal - imagine, if you will, an old school ECW production in MSG, and you kind of get the vibe I'm picking up form this show. With a couple of seconds left on the Spike TV portion of tonight's festivities, Joe Rogan and UFC owner Dana White do some last second hilling, and we are ready for some overpriced PPV shenanigans.
FINALLY! After 8 billion, zillion shows, they've decided to change that outdated as all hell gladiator opening for something that's actually somewhat decent and respectable. A sort of awesome pre-fight video package airs, as we look at how far the sport of MMA has come - from Royce Gracie and Keith Hackney fighting in front of 2,000 people in Colorado, to 55,000 people filing into the SkyDome eighteen years later. Anybody want to cue that one Matchbox Twenty song while we're at it?
Rogan and Goldberg run down the card. Well, not literally, because it's kind of hard to jog on something that's intangible, but you get the idea.
BEN HENDERSON (12-2) vs. MARK BOCEK (9-3)
For my money, the lightweight division in the UFC is the most competitive one in the organization. To even get a whiff of what the top ten rankings smell like, the competitors here simply HAVE TO win this match-up. And you know what? This could actually prove itself an interesting little curtain jerker. In keeping with a tradition that no one really comprehends/likes, Mark Bocek is the recipient of this month's hometown pandering welfare check. The Ontario native is 5-3 since entering the UFC, and this fight included, his last three bouts have all been on the same cards headlined by Georges St-Pierre. Last December, he scored a submission of the night bonus after triangle choking Dustin Hazelett (who looks JUST LIKE that kid from “Superbad”, by the way), and his proven himself quite decent in the Octagon, pending of course, the guy he's fighting isn't, you know, any good.
Ben Henderson, on the other hand, is an ex WEC Lightweight Champion. Despite
last seen getting his face Van-Daminater-ed by Anthony Pettis during the last
WEC fight on the last WEC card ever, Henderson has accumulated a more-than respectable
win-loss record over the years, including some W's over Donald Cerrone,
Jamie Varner and Shane Roller. He also lost to a guy named Rocky Johnson way
back when, but we won't hold that against him. Too much. As this match
is Henderson's UFC debut, great things are expected from him, which makes
the match-up all the more intriguing: with a jam-packed Toronto house cheering
Bocek on like crazy, will the jitters effect the highly-favored Henderson and
lead to a (sort of) monumental upset to kick off the paid portion of the evening's
Henderson out first, to Bon Jovi. Henderson sort of looks like a cross between Troy Pala-however-you-spell-it form the Pittsburgh Steelers and Will Smith. I have to say - he's got the eye of the tiger, even if that eye happens to be a lazy one.
Massive ovation for Bocek. He really doesn't deserve it, but I've never been one to admonish another human being for jingoism. Hey, that one British dude from MMA Live on ESPN is in the house. The first person to peg him in the schnoz with a Coke Zero can gets a free gift basket from yours truly.
Round one begins. Short exchange, and Bocek is gunning for a takedown. Clinch against the cage, while those kooky Canadians cheer on their countryman. Bocek with a takedown with about a minute and a half to go. Henderson can't escape, so he just feeds Bocek some elbows (or as the nationals call it, “Canadian knees”) as time expires. A close round, but I'd give the edge to Henderson (because he's American).
Round Two. Bocek STILL looking for that mythical takedown. Even after he gets it, Henderson just sort of shrugs it off and keeps pressing forward. Standstill clinch in the corner, so the ref makes them face off in the center of the cage. Henderson SQUASHING Bocek's takedown attempts, and Ben retaliates with a takedown of his own. Bocek looking for a triangle (you know, like we did in Geometry class), but no dice. Henderson with some fast food (some paper bag knuckle sandwiches) and we have ourselves another cage side clinch. Bocek DESPERATE for a guillotine choke, but it ain't happening. Henderson peppering Bocek with some knees and short range punches. Bocek misses with a high kick. Henderson with a knee, and Bocek has a gusher. 20-18 for the ex WEC champ.
Bocek IMMEDIATELY zooms in for a takedown as round three begins. Shockingly, he actually gets it this time. Henderson back up, however, and his standup is way better than Bocek's. Bocek on his back, and Henderson is dropping some bombs. Somehow, Bocek is able to transition his way into a stand-up predicament where he actually has Henderson's back. How the hell he did that, I really can't tell you. Bocek STILL going after that takedown. At this point in the fight, Henderson got sick of his nonsense and just took him down himself out of spite. Henderson with ANOTHER takedown. Henderson dropping scores and scores of knees here. Bocek has about a minute to finish Henderson is he want sot win this fight. Yeah, that ain't happening. With half a minute to go, Bocek FINALLY gets that takedown, but with about ten minutes to go, Henderson is out and swinging. Should be a 30-27 decision across the board for Henderson.
And yep, that's exactly the call from the house. In the post fight, Henderson thanks Jesus Christ for giving him the ability to punch people really hard. New rule of thumb for Christian athletes: thank the Lord and Savior of Humanity at the end of your speech - really, it's all downhill from there as far as public addresses go.
Anthony Pettis is in the house. So is Dominick Cruz. You should care, because. . .well, no, not really.
Hey! How about another prelim fight? Well, we're going to have one anyway. Truthfully, I have no clue who Pablo Garza or Yves Jabouin are, but I like the match up already. Garza is about 6 feet tall and 135 pounds, while Yves is nearly a foot shorter. So yeah, it's basically Frankenstein's Monster doing battle with Gary Coleman here. Jabouin, like all giant slayers, goes straight to chopping down that beanstalk, but Garza isn't flinching. And as soon as I say that, Jabouin cuts Garza's leg out from underneath him with a brutal sweeping kick. Garza back up, and Jabouin pops him so hard that his mouthpiece goes flying across the cage. Much to the chagrin of Garza's mama, he picks up the unwashed mouth guard and jams it over his gums. Awesome, a Staph infection on his uvula. Jabouin is just picking Garza a part with the leg kicks. Garza with a leg kick of his own. The two clinch (which in itself, is a pretty funny visual) and Garza basically FRANKENSTEINERS Jabouin into a triangle choke. Well, that was pretty friggin' awesome right there. Jabouin fighting it. Garza says that Jabouin is out, even though he's still trying to snake his way out of the hold. Yeah, this Garza kid rules. A second later, he says “eff it” and just cranks the submission, as Jabouin taps for realz to end the match-up.
What do you know, Garza's nickname is “The Scarecrow”. Huh, imagine that. He cuts a really overtly-energetic promo, as nobody in the crowd proceeds to give a damn. “Canadian hospitality,” my rear end.
Hey, BJ Penn is in the house. That, and there's a BLU-RAY DVD of Royce Gracies' best fights coming out. As we all know, my adulation for that 90 minute fight against Sakaruba is well documented, so if that fight's included on the disc. . .I may just have to consider plunking down the change for it. Once it drops down to $4.99, of course..
Light Heavyweight Bout
JASON BRILZ (18-3-1) vs. VLADIMIR MATYUSHENKO (25-5)
This fight, I suppose, is the MMA equivalent of Road Dogg taking on Val Venis
on the undercard of WrestleMania. Nobody really wants to see it, and at the
end of the day, it doesn't mean anything for anybody, but we need space to fill,
so eff it.
It's pretty much a guarantee that neither of these guys will EVER see top billing in the UFC, but since they have had some somewhat respectable wins in the past (read: they got screwed over on decision losses a couple of months back), they've been “rewarded” with a main card slot on the BIGGEST UFC show ever.
Matyushenko (not to be confused with that one Jewish rapper guy) has been fighting for almost two decades now. After getting exiled from the UFC in the early 2000s (can you believe this guy once headlined a PPV against Tito Ortiz?), Vladimir went on to become the inaugural Independent Fighting League Light Heavyweight Champion, which is sort of like having the highest test scores in remedial math. After getting greased by Antonio ROGERIO Nogiuera's knee at the second (and last) AFFLICTION PPV in 2009, Matyushenko went on a two fight winning streak in the UFC before running into a little career roadblock called JON FREAKING JONES. After learning to breath without a respirator again, Matyushenko defeated some Brazilian nobody in Germany, and lo and behold, this fight came his way.
Nobody is ever going to call Brilz a “great fighter”. The definitive MMA journeyman, Jason “The White Dogg” Brilz has battled his way through scores of currently homeless fighters across white trash America for a decade, and when he took Antonio ROGERIO Nogiuera the distance back at UFC 114, the MMA world took notice. . .of just how much Nogieura sucked, almost losing to a guy from North Dakota.
Ultimately, this fight looks about as captivating as a link that promises nude photos of Rosie O'Donnell. However, that's precisely the hook: since these two guys are (more than likely literally) starving, the UFC brass expects them to go out there and put out a technique-less brawl for the ages, as for the want of a cheeseburger, both of these guys ought to be looking for that coveted fight of the night bonus. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for the grandest Bum Fight in history…
Just a reminder: tonight's program is being brought to you by Mortal Kombat. If they make a new version of Eternal Champions, you kids WILL send me an e-mail, won't you?
Major LOL moment as Matyushenko comes out wearing an actual janitor's uniform. And they say the UFC doesn't appeal to the gimmick-loving fans of professional wrestling?
Matyushenko comes out, throws a couple of overhand rights, connects with a right uppercut (followed up with a particularly nasty looking elbow), and at the 0:20 mark of the first minute of the first round, this fight is over. That's got to be the most efficient custodian I've encountered in a long time.
Obviously, we have about ten minutes to fill, so we've got previews out the ass for the next one/sixth of an hour. On a personal note, the dude sitting at the table across from me looks JUST LIKE Kenta Kobashi, only a little more orange in hue. Unfortunately, he didn't try to Burning Hammer a waiter, so consider me a rather Gloomy Gus at the concomitant.
Hey! Cain Velasquez and Jon Jones are in the house! Jones is even rocking the GSP sweatband in honor of his stable mate. Also, some guy named Drake is in attendance. Sadly, I don't see signs of Josh anywhere.
Light Heavyweight Bout
RANDY COUTURE (19-10) vs. LYOTO MACHIDA (16-2)
No matter the outcome of this bout, Randy Couture says that this match is it.
Whether or not that means he intends on overdosing on Profopol and posthumously
starring in a series of horrible dancing games on the Wii, however, has yet
to be uncovered.
Of course, “Captain America” has retired roughly the same number of times Charlie Sheen has rummaged through dumpsters to score discarded prescription medicine, so take Randy's guarantee that this is his final fight with a very large grain of salt. Or for that matter, an entire bottle of Morton's, if we really wanted to hedge our bets.
Randy Couture really doesn't need an introduction for long term UFC fans. Heck, even if you know about as much about the UFC as the typical TNA fan recognizes sound booking, you should know who Randy is via his appearances in such cinematic gems as “The Expendables” and “How The West Was Fun Starring Mary Kate and Ashley.” Well, he was in the first one, for sure, anyway. An ex two-division champ, Randy has starred in a number of legendary bouts, including fight of the year caliber throw downs with Tim Sylvia, Antonio Rodrigo Nogiuera and of course, James Toney. Despite being damn near half a century old, Randy is often considered one of the top ten Light Heavyweight fighters on the planet, and if this really is his swan song, we all expect him to gut out one more iron-man-esque performance tonight. That is, if Lyoto Machida totally throws the bout.
There is absolutely no excuse for Machida to lose this match, outside of going into the cage halfway tanked on painkillers and his own piss (because if you missed it the FIRST 900 times I've mentioned it, Machida actually sips his own urine as a pre-fight ritual).
Machida, an ex Light Heavyweight Champion, is on a two fight losing streak,
although his last loss against Quinton Jackson is highly debatable. The general
role of thumb in the UFC is that if you lose three fights in a row, you're out
of the promotion, so Machida should have all the incentives in the world to
go in there and absolutely thrash “The Natural”. However, as we
all know by now, whenever Randy steps into the cage, unexpected things do tend
to occur, so. . .
So the UFC decided to break out these really WWE-like opening videos for tonight's show. Oddly enough, Lyoto's introduction involves a Japanese flag, which is sort of odd, because last time I checked, he's mostly Brazilian. Randy comes out “Lunatic Fringe” (which Rogan refers to as “that one song from Vision Quest”), and the hype, it hath reached new levels.
Also, Steven Seagal is in Machida's corner. As we all know by know, fighters cornered by Seagal never lose, so if I was Randy, I'd be shaking in my non-existent boots right about now.
Round one kicks off. Believe it or not, Randy's actually doing a halfway decent job of avoiding Machida's jabs. Couture shoots for a takedown, but. . .no. Machida with some quick right hands. Machida with an uppercut. Couture fires back with a combination of his own. Machida is staying out of Couture's range, and it's clear that Randy is getting frustrated. Machida with a knee, and Couture pushes him into the cage. Machida stuffs his takedown attempt, and we go back to the clinch. Machida with a couple of kicks to the midsection to secure the round.
Couture comes out feigning a few shots in round two. Machida is a counter puncher, so Couture has to time his shit very precisely. And what do you know? I say that, and Machida rears back and FLAT LINES Couture with the Crane Kick out of the Karate Kid. No, I mean, that was exactly what it was, meaning contrary to popular belief, Mr. Miyaga wasn't full of it.
Couture is out for a long time. In the post fight, Machida thanks Seagal for showing him the kick (hell, maybe Anderson Silva wasn't bullshitting us last time), and does a feeble attempt to put over Randy in broken English. Speaking of broken, Randy has a couple of teeth missing, as he GUARANTEES the crowd that his fighting career is really-super-serious-over-for-good-and-forever-always. That is, of course, until they give him that fight with Fedor at UFC 150, anyway.
This has been a night of hellacious knockouts and awesome submissions. Hopefully, our luck carries through the main events this evening. . .
UFC Featherweight Championship Bout
JOSE ALDO (18-1) vs. MARK HOMINICK (20-8)
I hope you people brought something to write with, because this bout right
here is good fodder for a history exam.
This bout is the very first Featherweight Championship contest in the history of the UFC. Now, you're probably asking yourself, “wait, if that's the case, how come that Aldo guy already has the official UFC Featherweight Championship?” And to answer that inquiry, let me read you a passage from the Big Book of Mixed Martial Arts Lore:
A long, long time ago (last year), there was this thing called World Extreme CageFighting. Yes, it very much was a stupid sounding title, but that's beside the point. Zuffa, the company that owns the UFC, bought the WEC a couple of years back, and over time, the promotion earned a reputation as the world's leader in lighter weight MMA action. Eventually, the UFC decided to absorb the talent pool of the company's larger weight divisions, and made the WEC an exclusive home for guys that fought at 155 pounds and under. Late last year, the UFC decided to incorporate those smaller weight classes into the company as well, so when WEC officially merged with the UFC, the last WEC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo was basically given the first UFC Featherweight Championship belt as a house warming gift. And oh yeah, that Jose Aldo kid? He's one bad muddah fuggah, too.
Aldo, who is typically ranked the third pound for pound best fighter on the planet, is riding an eleven fight winning streak. He hasn't tasted defeat since 2005, and since then, he's absolutely obliterated half of the WEC featherweight roster (including ex champs Mike Thomas Brown and Urijah Faber). Needless to say, he's going into his first proper UFC title defense as the heavy favorite.
If Ontario native Hominick wins this fight (which is about as likely as George
Wendt being named Sexiest Man Alive in 2012), it would be the biggest upset
on Canadian soil since the Carolina Hurricanes BF-ed the Canadiens and Leafs
back to back in the 2002 Stanley Cup playoffs. Although Hominick is riding a
5 fight winning streak, he isn't exactly known as a world class fighter
in any regard. My guesstimation here? Unless Hominick can find a way to slap
on that inverted ring post Figure Four that Bret Hart used to do back in the
day, I'd say he's in store for a major ass walloping this evening.
Hominick comes out to this AWESOME song that I have no idea what it is. Somebody, send me an e-mail. Aldo, as always, hit's the cage to Rihanni, as opposed to Chris Brown, who hits Rihanni to the cage.
The storyline here: Aldo had trouble making weight the day before the fight, and Hominick not only wants to win this fight for MOTHER CANADA, but for his unborn daughter, who's supposed to pop out of the birth canal in a few days. So yeah, no pressure at all on Hominick. NO PRESSURE AT ALL.
Round One. Not surprisingly, Aldo is throwing those buzz saw kicks early. Hominick catches one of them, but he can't do anything with the split second that Aldo is on his back. Aldo with an uppercut. Hominick is doing absolutely nothing on offense. And ALDO shoots in with a takedown. Didn't see that one coming. Hominick looking for an armbar, and Aldo responds with some nasty looking elbow chip shots. Hominick bleeding a bit from underneath his eye. The ref stand them up, and Aldo clears another takedown as time expires. Easy 10-9 for Aldo.
Aldo with more leg kicks. Hominick successfully rattles off a one-two combination. Aldo fires back with a left. Aldo looking for a third takedown. Hominick manages to escape and land a few punches in the process. Hominick actually landing a shit load of punches here. Aldo retaliates with a takedown, however. Stand-up, some inconsequential trading and ANOTHER takedown by Aldo. Apparently, Jose is channeling the sprit of GSP or something for this fight. Aldo switches to side control and lands a few choice shots as the round ends. 20-18 Aldo.
Well, Hominick is actually BLOCKING takedowns in the third. We'll see how long that lasts. Punch exchange, and Aldo wins it. Aldo with yet another takedown, but Hominick immediately bounces off the canvas. Aldo CRUSHES Hominick with a mean counterpunch. Hammer fists on the ground, and Hominick BARELY survives the onslaught. Aldo drops some serious elbows as the round comes to a close. 30-27 Aldo.
Aldo begins the fourth with some mean leg kicks and a very solid shot to Mark‘s chin. After a brief time out following an errant knee to the cojones, Aldo rattles off a few more leg kicks. Aldo gets a warning after a second low blow. Aldo is really tearing up Hominick with those kicks. Aldo drops Hominick with a right, and he's in SERIOUS trouble up against the cage. And to make matters worse, Hominick has a NASTY shiner over his left eye. OH MY GOD SWEET JESUS MUHAMMAD BUDDHA AND MECHA-SONIC, HOMINICK HAS TURNED INTO THE ELEPHANT MAN. The hematoma on Mark's head is EASILY the same size as that softball that Evander Holyfield left on Hasim Rahmin's face back in 2002. Time out for a doctor's visit. The poor bastard could masquerade as the number 7 at Halloween with that thing poking out of his forehead. And in quite possibly the most ill-informed medical advice ever, THEY LET HOMINICK CONTINUE THE FIGHT. JEE-ZUS. Aldo pops him, and scores another takedown to end the round. 40-36 Aldo. Without question.
Hominick looks like he's been in a car wreck. Hell, Hominick looks like that kid from “Mask” after being in a car wreck. The doctors take another look at him. He has a protruding vein on his skull that's just pumping more and more blood into that grapefruit sized swelling. And the doctors clear him for take-off. UNBELIEVABLE. Aldo with a few leg kicks, and the place goes BANANAS as Hominick scores his first takedown of the fight. Hominick trying to get some ground and pound started. Sweet Mary, this is one of the most bizarre things I've seen in a long time in an MMA fight. Hominick is just TEEING OFF on Aldo. Yeah, this is freaking amazing. All 55,000 people are on their feet as Hominick tries with everything he has to finish off Aldo. A minute left. Yeah, this is my frontrunner for fight of the year right here. Ten seconds to go, and Hominick can't seal the deal. Still. . .that was all sorts of awesome, and the dude deserves some MAJOR props after this bout.
Hominick starts doing push-ups after the bell sounds, and Aldo starts doing them with him. Not surprisingly, it's a unanimous decision for Aldo. Aldo says his less than stellar performance was due to losing muscle mass. Hominick gets a much deserved standing ovation, even though it's all but guaranteed that his newborn daughter is going to think he's a unicorn. Well worth going out of your way to see this one.
There's a mass exodus to the bathrooms, which means our main event is upon us. Anderson Silva is sitting ringside. A spoiler for tonight's post-fight, perhaps?
UFC Welterweight Championship Bout
GEORGES ST-PIERRE (21-2) vs. JAKE SHIELDS (26-4-1)
You remember that one episode of “Ren and Stimpy” where they're
on a spaceship, and Stimpy really wants to hit that red button? Well, the prospect
of this fight is pretty much the MMA equivalent of that button, since we really
have no idea what will happen once it's pressed.
As Ren J. Hoek once said “maybe something good will happen, and maybe something bad.” In regards to this fight, I'm sort of leaning toward the latter.
On paper, this sounds like it would be a most-phenomenal fight. Georges St-Pierre has been on n eight fight tear since initially losing the Welterweight strap to Matt Serra way back in 2007. After reclaiming the belt a year later, St-Pierre has plowed through a who's who list of welterweight contenders, including Jon Fitch, BJ Penn, Thiago Alves, Josh Koscheck. . .and Dan Hardy. Uh, just sort of ignore that last name. GSP, as the kids like to call him, hasn't lost a round since 2007, and just about everybody on the planet considers him the #1 or #2 Pound for Pound Best Fighter on the planet.
And as we all know by now, I hate his freaking guts.
I've actually received an e-mail or two from readers wondering why I
hate arguably the most beloved UFC star of them all so much. There's actually
a plethora of reasons as to why that's the case, but for the sake of convenience,
I've decided to condense my hatred into a top ten list expounding upon
my antipathy of Canada's favorite Non-hockey playing or surnamed Hart
son. Without further adieu, I present to thee. . .
THE TOP TEN REASONS I HATE GEORGES ST-PIERRE
#010 He's French
#009 He can't finish fights
#008 He's the most boring fighter ever in the history of anything
#007 He cheated to beat BJ Penn
#006 He couldn't submit Thiago Alves, even though he went into the fight with a bleeding brain
#005 He's French
#004 He couldn't finish Josh Koscheck, even though he had half an eyeball hanging out his skull
#003 He couldn't submit Dan “I have the submission defense skills of Christopher Reeves” Hardy
#002 He head-humps his way to most victories
…AND THE NUMBER ONE REASON I HATE GEORGES ST-PIERRE…
#001 HE'S FRENCH.
And if that doesn't summarize my vitriol, I don't know what does.
Thus, it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that I'll be cheering my lungs out for his opponent, Jake Shields. You see, me and this Jake Shields fellow have a lot in common - both vegetarians, both into punk, hell, we even have the same initials. Of course, I'm not really known to lay and pray my way to decision victories, but I have Christmas Treed my way through a Scantron exam or two when I already knew that I was going to get an “A” in class. If I hung out with white collar criminal Republicans and cross-trained with three Hispanic guys, we'd be virtually kindred spirits.
Shields certainly has an impressive resume, with notable wins over Dan Henderson, Carlos Condit, Yushin Okami, Jason Miller and Paul Daley. He's also notorious for his “lay and pray” style, which is quite comparable to Georges St-Pierre's technique. Translation: expect plenty of homoerotic wrestling, with very little stuff transpiring once the fight hits the mat.
Shields is a terrific wrestler, and since he's been working out with Chael Sonnen and Matt Lindland, odds are, his takedown defense should be MUCH improved. Also, GSP has shown a reluctance to engage in the ground game, and since Shields is more-than-proficient at the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, this fight serves the makings of an interesting, psychological duel.
Well, that, or we're going to watch the MMA equivalent of two blind squirrels
trying to unfurl a picnic blanket for the next 25 minutes. Either way, consider
my 136 pound ass glued to the barstool.
Shields (whose Titan-Tron video involves his name written on, you guessed it, a generic looking shield) out first, to “Renegades of Funk” by RATM. Nick, Nate and Gilbert Melendez are trailing him, and yeah, Nate still looks pissed from earlier tonight. GSP, of course, gets a monster ovation, as he comes out to hip-hopping music of some variety.
Both guys very reluctant to throw anything. Shields catches a GSP kick and aims for a takedown. Not tonight, Holmes. Shields with some pillow soft punches in the corner. GSP connects with a high kick. GSP misses two spin kicks, but lands a jab. Shit, this is going to be the Josh Koscheck fight all over again. About a minute to go, and GSP stuns Shields with a left. A follow up jab from the defending champ. Shields tries for another takedown, but nothing. GSP closes with three unanswered shots. 10-9 for the current strap holder.
GSP with an overhand right. GSP is trying to set up the jab, but Shields is keeping his distance. GSP really isn't landing as much as you'd think he would. Shields with some low kicks that do nothing. And, we clinch. Shields gets the leg again, but surprise! He can't take the defending champ down. Shields tries ONE MORE takedown, but it's for naught. GSP ends the second with a couple of more jabs. 20-18 GSP.
Round 3 begins, and GSP is STILL working that jab. Hey Jake, you know that takedown you keep going for that you can't land? STOP DOING IT. GSP misses a right by a couple of ZIP codes. Shields STILL unable to get a takedown. GSP is working the combo, but since Shields grew up with a copy of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, he knows the patterns and avoids it. Shields with three body kicks. GSP with one that actually matters. Twenty seconds to go, and GSP gets a takedown. Shit. 30-27 for GSP.
GSP has a shiner under his left eye. Shield's only prayer at this point is to keep peppering it until the doctor waves off the fight. And as we all know, Shields has the striking ability of a wet match, so this one ought to be a real exercise in frustration for all parties involved..
GSP with a takedown to begin round 4. Shields right back up. St-Pierre isn't going anywhere near that guard of his. GSP with a combination that really isn't doing that much damage. Head kick, and Shields is temporarily stunned. Shields goes for a desperation takedown, but GSP fends off with some more jabs. Shields doing some Nate Diaz style taunting. I actually kind of like that, actually. GSP's eye is looking pretty funky. We could be on the verge of a MAJOR fluke upset if Shields can pop it open. GSP lands a couple of more jabs, as the round comes to a conclusion. Shields HAS to finish GSP in the fifth, or else this fight is in the bag for GSP.
GSP seems to be having trouble with his left eye. Shields with some body punches to begin the last round of the fight. GSP misses about seven shots, but connects with an eighth that monetarily phases the challenger. GSP's face is a bloody mess. Shields with a high kick, GSP with a jab. GSP is throwing a million kicks, but none of them are connecting. It looks like Shields has FINALLY won a round here. Shields bleeding a bit. A minute to go. GSP looks for a takedown. He can't get it. Ten seconds left. Nothing happening.
Yeah, this fight sucked.
50-45, 48-47, and 48-47 for GSP.
Post-fight, Shields doesn't get an interview (I'm guessing the infamous Strikeforce: Nashville brawl may have something to d with that), as GSP says he needs to go to the hospital. Rogan asks him if he wants to fight Anderson Silva, and St-Pierre totally skirts the issue.
Needles to say, an incredibly anticlimactic finish to what had been an otherwise thrilling night of fights.
Definitely the Jose Aldo / Mark “John Merrick” Hominick title fight, although Lyoto Machida proving the effectiveness of the Crane Kick against the elderly is pretty high up there, too.
Probably GSP continuing to be GSP.
ROGAN-ISM OF THE NIGHT:
“He's telling the ref that he's out, but it's A LIE!” (On Pablo Garza's attempt to Eddie Guerrero his way to a cheap submission victory against Yves Jabouin.
FIVE THINGS I LEARNED FROM TONIGHT'S SHOW:
* All Canadian citizens possess downright SUBLIME German Suplexing abilities.
* Belarusian custodians are some pretty bad mofos.
* Mr. Miyagi, apparently, knew what the hell he was talking about after all.
* Having a softball sized knot on your forehead makes you a better fighter.
* GSP still sucks.
Well, that's all I got for this week. Crank up “Seven” by Sunny Day Real Estate and “Wax Ecstatic” by Sponge, and I'll be seeing you in a few.
Send feedback to James Swift
James Swift is a freelance writer and author of two books, “How I Survived Three Years at a Two-Year Community College: A Junior Memoir of Epic Proportions” and “Mascara Contra Mascara: A Tale of Two Masks“. Follow him on Twitter at JSwiftMedia, or subscribe to his YouTube channel at youtube.com/user/JSwiftMedia.
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).