Mmmmmmm boy. We had some damn fine fights to watch up in Winnipeg, Canada. To think we were gifted with a headliner between Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos on free TV was crazy enough, but the fights were more than I ever thought possible. So many wars and highlights came out of this card I had to trim it down some just to make room. I hope you have the sound on for these so you can hear that lovable goofball Daniel Cormier losing his mind. Let’s dive in!
The headliner was one of the most grueling and tiresome battles I’ve ever seen. This was the kind of fight that would cause you to have to lie down afterward just from watching them. RDA made his presence known from the get go and landed quite a few vicious leg kicks that took away a lot of Lawler’s movement. Then RDA was able to get in close and make it just a dirty, sweaty slugfest.
There was a point there where RDA was throwing punches for 23 seconds and Lawler wasn’t really firing back. I don’t know if Robbie’s gameplan just never came to fruition, or if the leg kicks became too much for him, but RDA came away with a pretty dominant win and put himself in line for a title shot. There’s so much weird shit going on in the welterweight division, though. Georges St-Pierre is likely challenging for the belt, but I don’t know when that will be. Maybe champ Tyron Woodley will wait around for him, but I hope he doesn’t. I really want to see a fight with Woodley and RDA. I realize Stephen Thompson is in a better position, but he and Woodley just don’t make the best dance partners. Or maybe GSP will have a quick turn around and we get to see Woodley vs GSP soon. I have no idea, but it was a glorious fight between two former champs.
This next one I’m not sure how to feel. Little backstory: Josh Emmett was a short-notice replacement against Ricardo Lamas. Lamas didn’t have to take the fight, but decided he still wanted to fight. Emmett wasn’t able to cut enough weight in time. Again, Lamas didn’t have to agree to the fight, but he did. Then in round one, this happens:
So now what? An unranked fighter just had a devastating knockout of a top 5 guy, but did it after having missed weight, which is a clear advantage. It was an amazing KO, sure, but I don’t put much stock in it. You can throw Emmett into the rankings if you want, but he sure as hell shouldn’t be in the top 10. Give him a ranked opponent and then see if he can make weight. There’s too many guys missing weight and then getting wins to reward him too much. He is ineligible, however, from a post-fight bonus for missing weight, though.
When Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Mike Perry was announced, every person in the MMA world thought a knockout was a foregone conclusion. We didn’t really know who it would come from, but you just KNEW this fight would not go the distance. ….Shows what we know, because this became a bar room brawl that went back and forth the entire time, with both guys proving their toughness. But Santiago had a nice third round to secure a decision victory.
Can I say how much I love it when old guys just refuse to make room for the rising stars in the division, and give them a lesson in old man strength? Glover Teixeira has been doing this a long time, but he’s been at the top of this division for most of it. Misha Cirkunov was the young gun, and there was a lot riding on this win. Then came the lesson of what happens when you get taken down by a man like Glover Teixeira:
It’s simple enough. Teixeira should get the winner of Daniel Cormier vs Volkan Oezdemier in January.
Of course, there’s plenty of room for a young gun to steal the spotlight, which is exactly what Julian Marquez did in his UFC debut when he submitted Darren Stewart.
Marquez is one of the fighters given a contract from Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender series, and he has a hell of a chin. He also seems like a fun loving guy who just wants to enjoy himself. Looking forward to his next fight.
We also got to see a man from Britain break the laws of physics when he walked into the Octagon:
Don’t ask me to replicate that, but I can tell you that Galore Bofando is pretty dangerous. Chad Leprise found that out when he was knocked to the canvas by a flurry of punches. However, Chad is one tough son of a bitch, and was able to get a takedown and rain shots from a high mount position until Bofando was broken.
Let’s keep that KO train rolling with Nordine Taleb vs Danny Roberts. I swear to god Taleb is made of nothing but muscle fiber. Even when he doesn’t land the cleanest of head kicks, Roberts eyes go all “WTF?” on him and Taleb follows up with a smashing right hand. Good stoppage, too.
I also need to highlight John Makdessi. I don’t think he gets enough respect. He is a warrior through and through. Abel Trujillo did NOT think that, and apparently talked a lot of shit before the fight. Makdessi was none too happy, and spent three rounds punishing Trujillo for it. The accumulation of leg kicks was very visible, and Trujillo just didn’t have an answer for it.
Oh, and if you were stupid and didn’t tune in early, you missed a scary Italian man using someone’s head for knee target practice.
I try not to miss the early ones. It’s usually young fighters going all out to get noticed, and you sometimes get a knockout like that one where you get a strange headache afterward and a sudden urge for an adult beverage.
Anyway, we had a lot fun with this one. Thanks to Winnipeg for hosting a hell of a show. Next fights up? That would be the insanity of Cris Cyborg vs Holly Holm for the featherweight title, and Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Edson Barboza. See you then!