Thursday, April 1, 2010

Finn's UFC 111 Post-Mortem

Well, UFC 111 has come and gone and, for the most part, that Saturday night played out mostly according to plan. Was I surprised by any of the outcomes? If you are talking about the outcomes of UFC 111, then my answer would be a resounding “no”. If you are talking about the outcome of the post-fight bender that my friends and I participated in, then my answer would have to be a slurred “Tha’ stripper iss a liar!” Word to the wise: when a bartender --particularly one who is known for pouring Jack and Cokes that are as clear as ginger-ale and could fuel a rocket—asks you if you “want a ‘Lindsay Lohan Shot” you should reply with “*shows bartender middle-finger*” and run away. For the uninitiated ‘Lindsay Lohan’ is a red-headed slut with a splash of Coke (*zing*) and a hangover cure it is not. Needless to say, mistakes were made –the kind that start out funny and spiral out of control like your Uncle at an open bar. But enough about your predisposition to alcoholism, rummy: back to the post-fight dissection.

Let’s start with the undercard. This is the part of the show that is generally fraught with lightning-fast knockouts, sloppy fighting, guys gassing 40 seconds into a fight and more blood splashing around the octagon than a Tarantino movie. These fights did not disappoint: by the time the final 3 fights took center stage the octagon looked like someone had slaughtered a pig in there and my buddy McDowell was convinced that he had enough cardio to compete on the undercard, despite his lack of training, stamina or the willingness to get hit in the face…. Ever.

McDowell: “Look at that guy! He can hardly stand up –he’s wheezing like Tank Abbott after a marathon.”

Me: “After a marathon Tank could still kick your face into next week while raping a panda. Hey, isn’t your nickname ‘sexual-harrassment panda’? What a coincidence…”

McD: “…..”

Me: *pointing to crotch* “Well, I’ve gotta go and rescue Jessica Biel from some Ninjas in my Lamborghini time-machine. Hold my drink while I kiss your girlfriend goodbye!!”

…And so forth. The point is: don’t get in imaginary arguments with me in my head; you will always lose and I am a racecar driver from the future.

Undercard Fight of the Night: Jared Hamman def. Rodney Wallace via unanimous decision

This fight was the quintessential undercard fight: two guys who obviously work 42 day jobs apiece and have the cardio of pack-a-day-smoking octogenarians. Jared “Safeway Bagger” Hamman outlasted Rodney “The Walking Definition of a Bench-Press Junkie” Wallace for the unanimous decision. After a brief 30-second flurry of awesomely telegraphed punches Wallace turned purple from lack of oxygen and spent the better part of three rounds on his back getting punched in the face, ribs and ear. Lucky for him Jared Hamman packs the punching power of a rusty AAA battery and was unable to mount enough offense to earn a stoppage.

“First (and last) Fight in the UFC” fight of the night: Rousimar Palhares def. Tomasz Drwal via submission (heel hook)

Not much to say here other than Palhares, in his first UFC fight, latched in a heel-hook on Drwal who quickly began tapping, screaming and tapping a bunch more. This apparently wasn’t enough of a clue for Palhares to let up, nor was the ref yanking on his arm and eventually wrapping his arms around him and peeling him off Drwal’s now dislocated knee. Nice job, Palhares! For his efforts Palhares was banned from fighting in New Jersey for 90 days and will, in all likelihood, never fight in the UFC again. Enjoy fighting for food with broken glass-wrapped hands in the back alleys of Sao Paolo, buddy!

Main Card

As for the main card of fights, there is not much to tell. John Fitch fought an outclassed Ben Saunders, a late replacement for Thiago Alves who was scratched due to an irregular cat-scan and bad tattoos, and defeated him in typical fashion. This means a technical, boring-ass fight where Fitch took Saunders down at will, laid on him and threw a bunch of ineffective punches while looking for a submission that never materialized… for three rounds. It was scintillating. I was so enthralled that I only left the couch 14 different times to go and watch the bug-zapper outside.

Mir vs. Carwin took it up a notch, though. This fight answered a lot of questions about Mir, namely “can he compete with the new breed of Heavyweight; the guys who have to cut weight to make the 265lbs limit?” The answer to that question was answered by Carwin manhandling Mir, and tossing him around the ring like a rag-doll. Even with the 25lbs that he added, Mir was unable to muster any resistance at all other than scrambling, getting punched in the face, and then scrambling some more. The fight ended much in the same way that his fight against Lesnar did: with one of his arms trapped against his side and punches from toaster-sized fists crashing into his skull. Carwin cemented himself as a legitimate title-contender and Mir was left to wonder what his next step will be. He is still young but he is too big to be a light-heavyweight and he has proven to be much too small to compete with the likes of Carwin and Lesnar. I would not be surprised if he starts making the transition to full-time commentator duties; lord knows we could all use a break from Goldberg’s incessant ramblings and Oompa-Loompa skin.

That brings us to GSP vs. Hardy. GSP put on a takedown clinic throughout the 5 round affair, form-tackling Hardy whenever the fight threatened to actually turn into… a fight. Hardy did his best to keep the fight standing up, but when you’re fighting a guy who walks around at a ripped-up 190lbs and you are a pasty doughy 175 things are not going to go your way. You’ve heard of the term ‘textbook knowledge of…’ right? It describes someone having a encyclopedic knowledge about a certain subject or skill. Well hardy is the antithesis of the phrase ‘textbook knowledge of takedown defense’. He seemed unprepared to the point of hilarity when it came to stuffing GSP’s takedowns and eventually tired from the mere act of standing back up so many times after being tackled into next week.

And those were just the takedowns. While he was actually on the ground Hardy proved that his one ability –the lone bright-spot for him in this fight—is to withstand extreme amounts of pain. He was put in a total of three locked-in arm submissions –one armbar and two Kimuras—that put his right arm in positions that would make a Yoga instructor vomit. After 5 rounds St. Pierre looked like he had been out for a light jog, while Hardy sported a slightly bruised face, a useless right arm and ribs that looked like they had been attacked with a meat-tenderizer. Despite this, the crowd had swung decidedly in his favor throughout the course of the fight. Maybe it was because he refused to give up, or maybe it was because he was the one trying to have a standup fight while GSP was resigned to putting on a wrestling clinic, and a fairly boring one at that. Either way two things were proved on Saturday. One is that no one can challenge GSP at this weight class right now; he has become dominant to the point of boredom. The other is that Hardy has the ground game of a broken-winged pigeon and the combination of the two does not make for a good fight.

That is all. Back to my afternoon of pillow-fighting sorority girls in the back of my Lear Jet.

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