UFC 216 Recap

Here we are, everybody. The UFC and Las Vegas had a heck of a week, but there was an amazing event on Saturday full of great fights and dedications to the events of the previous week. And there were some damn good fights.

The headliner was as chaotic as everyone thought it would be. Kevin Lee came out against Tony Ferguson with A LOT of adrenaline. He was able to start strong and land some good strikes and takedowns. Ferguson was having to fight off of his back and scramble to his feet, but it seemed like Kevin Lee was actually expending more energy. It became pretty obvious how emotional he was at the end of the first round where he landed a late shot on Tony, and the ref gave him a pretty stern talking to. At the end of the second round, Lee was heard saying he was tired, which was not a good sign. Tony Ferguson used that time to say something that would prove to be very prophetic…..

To me, this shows just how fucking tough Tony Ferguson is. He did NOT win those first two rounds. Not only did he not give a shit, he tells the guy it doesn’t even matter if you get a takedown. ……And it sure as hell didn’t. In the third, Lee was able to land another takedown. Ferguson is able to scramble into an armbar that looks like Lee is about to get his arm broken, but somehow steps over it and escapes. Props to him for that. However, Ferguson is not to be trifled with on the ground. He set up a triangle that was tight as hell, and Lee had no choice but to tap. Ferguson wasted no time calling out who he wanted his next opponent to be….

Set that up, please.

Now we come to the fight that I most wanted to see. I will not even try to disguise my fanboy erection for Demetrius Johnson. He is my favorite fighter. In my mind, already the best fighter in the UFC. I was only worried if the prospect of getting a record 11 title defenses would get to him. Maybe he’d get a little nervous. Maybe Ray Borg would catch him with a powerful shot. Then the fight started….and I realized he’d be fine. He came out with his amazing technique and ability to escape, and Borg was hard pressed to do anything.

Even when Borg did something right, Mighty Mouse negated it. Eventually, Johnson does what he always does: wear down his opponent until the perfect opportunity presents itself. Of course, no one expected that finish to come via suplex to armbar in MID……FUCKING…..AIR……That’s why he’s the best. He broke a record with one of the craziest submissions you’ve ever seen, because he’s the best pound for pound fighter in the world.

(and he’s adorable)

In a strange turn of events, Derrick Lewis had to be pulled out of his fight with Fabricio Werdum. Luckily, Walt Harris was also on the card, and was able to fill in to keep the fight, even though his bout with Mark Godbeer was scrapped. Unluckily, he was fighting Fabricio Werdum. It went about how you’d expect. Werdum made quick work of Harris and finished him by armbar.

There were also two batshit crazy fights that somehow both ended in a draw. Beneil Dariush and Even Dunham looked like it was going to be over pretty damn fast in the first round….

…but Dunham happens to be one of the most durable guys around. He took over the next two rounds when it appeared Dariush had used too much energy beating the crap out of him in the first round. It made it pretty hard to decide a winner soooo…..

That wasn’t the craziest decision, either. Nope, that belongs to Lando Vannata vs Bobby Green. You kind of figured this fight would be crazy, but I didn’t think it would be THAT crazy.

Right when it looked like Vannata might finish the fight, he lands an illegal shot and has a point deducted. Not only does it make that round a tie, it allows Green to recover, which leads us to even MORE craziness.

I and many others gave the second round to Vannata, and the third looked like it was anyone’s round until riiiiiight up to the end where Green landed some nice shots…

So now you have one round for Vannata, one round for Green, and one tie….which means….

It was most definitely Fight of the Night, but I have to wonder….what would have happened if Nevada had adopted the new unified rules of MMA? Would we have seen more stringent judgments that maybe would not have ended in a draw? We won’t know for these two fights, but I hope they adopt them soon, because it’s slightly ridiculous that the home of the UFC isn’t using the same rules as everyone else.

Also, if you were wondering how John Moraga would handle a young and undefeated prospect in Magomed Bibulatov, here’s your answer….

Night night, prospect.

This card also saw the second women’s flyweight match in UFC history. It’s a brand new division with a lot of brand new prospects. It’s almost wide open in terms of title shots considering there isn’t even a champion yet, so it behooves every fighter to leave her mark. The first ever female Italian UFC fighter seemed to take that to heart when she submitted Kalindra Faria.

Mara Romero Borella made the most out of that debut.

While there was a bit of a somber air to this event, I and many others allowed themselves to get wrapped up into it. It provided some much needed entertainment. Now we have to wait all the way until October 21 when the UFC heads to Poland for Donald Cerrone vs Darren Till. Not sure I can wait that long.

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