In my preview article, I said that these are the kinds of cards you should tune in for, because fighters know the only way to get media recognition during football season is to go BALLS OUT. I hope you listened to my advice. If you didn’t, shame on you, but I’ve got some highlights you NEED to see.
On Saturday night, Pittsburgh witnessed Luke Rockhold get back into the win column after taking care of David Branch in round two. Branch had the right formula in the first round when he pressured Luke Rockhold against the cage and kept swinging no matter what. Rockhold managed to recover and ended up getting a takedown at the end of the round. It seemed Rockhold needed a little time to wake up after a long layoff, but once he did, he made sure people noticed.
In the post-fight interview, Rockhold strangely told George St Pierre to back out of his fight with Michael Bisping, because Rockhold wants the fight. If anyone is being held as a backup for that fight, I imagine it is interim champ Robert Whitaker. I say the fight to make is a rematch between Rockhold and Chris Weidman. This was the fight that got Rockhold the belt, and Weidman is also fresh off a comeback after a few losses. With Bisping vs GSP in November, and interim champ Whitaker in the wings, it would make sense to have Weidman and Rockhold fight for the next shot at the belt.
While there were some amazing finishes on this card, the fight of the night has to be Gregor Gillespie vs Jason Gonzalez. If you ever want to see two guys not give one fuck about their own safety, watch these two swinging for the fences at each other’s heads.
I fully expected one of them to lose consciousness before the end of the round, but it soon became apparent that Gillespie’s wrestling skill would be more than Gonzalez could deal with. Gillespie started the second round with takedowns and grappling before sinking in an arm triangle that looked pretty god damn painful. Gonzalez definitely thought so. He defended it well, but once it gets that tight, you should probably tap.
Gillespie remains undefeated, and needs more of a challenge in his next fight.
I’ll be perfectly honest and say I was not expecting to post a highlight of Kamaru Usman. If you’ve never seen him fight, imagine being smothered by a muscular sledgehammer. Usman likes to take people to the ground and keep them there. While it has helped him rack up wins, it hasn’t netted him many fans who prefer fighters to get a finish. Apparently, he got a little tired of people saying he couldn’t get the finish, so he knocked the holy fuck out of Sergio Moraes.
Usman said after the fight that people don’t want to fight him, and he’s only at about 40% of his talent. Not sure how true that is, but he can’t be ignored now.
Another amazing punch is brought to you by Uriah “Prime Time” Hall, much to the chagrin of his opponent Krzysztof Jotko. I mentioned previously how crazy Uriah Hall can be when he actually starts performing at his best, and let me show you what I mean.
This is one of the reasons people like seeing the guy win. He has power in his hands combined with athleticism and speed that can do damage to anybody. The reason I was so impressed with his win is because he was able to survive THIS:
I was a little afraid he was on his way out the door if he didn’t notch a win here, but getting a knockout AND proving himself durable? Stick around, Uriah. You have no reason to go anywhere.
But even BEFORE all that amazing blood and bone loss, there was a little fight between Gilbert Burns and Jason Saggo. I had just changed the channel to this when I was greeted to the sweet sound of hand smashing face, that dulcet tone of harmonious violence.
I love when I can get sucked into something that will entertain me more than my LSU Tigers getting shit on by Mississippi State. I TOLD you that these cards can sometimes be better than marquee events, especially in blue collar towns like Pittsburgh where a crowd can go apeshit.
Next fight: UFC Fight Night Saint-Preux vs Okami in Saitama, Japan.