Welcome to another edition of 5 Souls’ UFC on ADD. Today, 5 Souls reviews the UFC on Fuel TV 7.
I owe you a confession to start. I missed the entire prelim card on Facebook because I was having a Skype therapy session with my therapist who recently moved to New York. And, no, my therapist did not tell me that I had to be open and honest about what I was doing during the prelims in this review. So, the good news…this edition of 5 Souls’ UFC on ADD is going to get right to the main card action. The bad news…if you’re reading this, it’s entirely possible that I spent a portion of my therapy session discussing how I perceive you to have wronged me recently. If you’re thinking about that last sentence, it’s called guilt…and apology accepted. I’ll spare you the rest of my therapy session and boil it down to yada, yada, yada, it’s my mother’s fault.
Once I got out of the fetal position, I tuned into Fuel TV to watch the main card, beginning with Che Mills vs. Matthew Riddle. Not having Fuel TV in HD on AT&T U-Verse sucks. There’s this strange thick black border surrounding the smaller than normal picture as if I’m trying to watch the fights through a peephole in my neighbor’s wall.
(Brownie points if you can identify the Seinfeld episode the above gif is from.)
Waiting for Mills/Riddle to begin really gave me an appreciation for shelling out the cash to watch a pay-per-view rather than getting the fights for free on Fuel TV. It was 12 minutes before the fights began. Those 12 minutes consisted of almost entirely commercials, which led me to begin Rousey Watch 2013 when I started counting each Ronda Rousey spot, including those that purported to focus on Liz Carmouche, but ultimately hit their crescendo with a last shot of Rousey. For those of you interested, we were up to 2 before we ever saw Mills and Riddle hit the cage.
Finally, after we pondered what was of this world before Ronda, we got to see Riddle and Mills. Am I the only one who thinks Riddle looks like one of those young hairless runaways who falls in with a crowd of older, wealthy, gay men, and spends a lifetime dancing shirtless with glowsticks in his hand for a man named Terrence, who will never be the father he wants Terrence to be?
My therapist was right. Just start writing and a new therapy topic emerges. Anyway, am I also the only one who loves getting the fighters’ weights in stones? It’s just so much cooler to say I weigh 10.7 stones than 150 pounds. It makes me feel ready to throw a beer keg over a wall.
Enough about rave kids with glowsticks and stones, lets get to Riddle vs. Mills. This fight can be summed up pretty easily. Mills cannot posibly have a BJJ coach. That’s it. From watching him have absolutely no guard, to missing repeated openings for elevator sweeps and allowing Riddle to pass freely, it was clear that Mills had spent absolutely no time developing a ground game since Rory MacDonald obliterated him.
Mills has a complete inability to utilize and move his hips, kind of like a White girl on a dance floor when that awful Journey song comes on. He flails around, constantly placing himself in the wrong positions, so much so that Kenny Florian twice commented on how technically unsound Mills’ grappling was. That said, however, Mills actually did something so wrong that it turned out right, when he flailed his way out of a Kimura attempt in the 3rd round. In the end, however, Riddle completely outclassed MIlls, taking him to the ground time and time again to a split decision.
(I don’t need you or your money, Terrence! I’m a winner!)
At first, I was shocked by the split decision, expecting a unanimous decision for Riddle and cursing the hometown British gent who must have given it to Mills in the name of her Majesty. But in hindsight, that kick by Mills in round 2 while Riddle was trying to single-leg him was Anthony Pettis cage-jumping material.
(Gif via. Make sure you follow that link for an amazing blog by angryblackman.)
Following Riddle vs. Mills, Rousey Watch 2013 hit commercials 3 and 4. If Ronda loses does she hit Greg Oden territory for biggest hype, biggest let down?
Next up was Ryan Jimmo vs. Jame Te Huna. Ryan Jimmo could be the twin of Tom Noonan, who played Benedict in the god-awful flick, Last Action Hero.
How’s that for a random celebrity comparison. Imagine Jimmo getting set up for a blind date. The girl being set up asks her friend, “What celebrity does he look like? The friend replies, “Are you familiar with Benedict from Last Action Hero, but better looking, like don’t include the makeup from the movie.”
Every time I watch James Te Huna fight, I am saddened by the fact that he doesn’t have a finishing move called the “Te Huna Melt.” But Te Huna melted into the canvas after Jimmo nailed him with a left head kick.
(Via. Angryblackman makes the coolest UFC gifs.)
It appeared to me, however, that when Jimmo chased Te Huna down and began his ground and pound, the strikes woke Te Huna back up. and from that point on, Jimmo was exposed. He fell in love with the left kick, and suffered takedown after takedown by Te Huna. Jimmo’s ground game was about as bad as Mills, and at one point he was actually in the fetal position in the third round. Jimmo loses by unanimous decision. Chalk up another loss for the Blackzillians.
And chalk up 3 more for Rousey Watch 2013.
Up next was Gunnar Nelson vs. Jorge Santiago. Could Santiago bring home the first win of the night for the Blackzillians? Nope.
Before we get to Santiago’s loss, Gunnar Nelson has some big shoes to fill with that name.
That’s right! UFC fighter Gunnar Nelson is not the first to carry the name. He follows in the footsteps of one-half of the hair metal band, Nelson.
It’s going to take a few more wins to hit that level of fame, baby. Keep at it Gunnar. You’ll get there.
I had never watched Gunnar Nelson fight before and I was struck by two things. First, because he doesn’t cut weight, he looks tiny next to his opponent. Second, he basically dares his opponent to hit him. That wasn’t really a problem for Nelson as he hit his takedowns, maintained strong top control, and landed some nasty uppercuts on an exhausted Santiago, whose punches looked like they were in slow motion by round 3. I have to believe Nelson’s low hand style will catch up to him because if that fight had gone 10 more seconds, I think Santiago’s final punch flurry would have finished him. Nevertheless, Nelson survived and took a unanimous decision.
After Nelson/Santiago, chalk up one more for Rousey Watch 2013.
Jimi Manuwa vs. Cyrille Diabate was the next bout. Unfortunately, Diabate, whose nickname is Snake, did not enter the Octagon to the Jake the Snake Robert’s theme as we had requested of him on Twitter. Had he done so, perhaps his JuJu would have been better and he wouldn’t have had to quit the fight due to a lower leg injury after the 1st round. Not that it would have really mattered had he been able to continue. Diabate looked every bit of 39 years old, and Manuwa easily turned Diabate’s knees into takedowns.
The highlight of the fight was when Jon Anik likened Manuwa’s lower body to that of a baseball catcher. Unless Anik was implying that baseball catcher’s have really thin legs, I have no idea what he was talking about besides the fact that he has a real affinity for the male lower body in a deep squat.
There’s a shot of Manuwa’s tiny legs.
With an early stoppage due to Diabate’s injury, Rousey Watch 2013 got out of control. Chalk up 4 more.
The next fight of the night was Cub Swanson vs. Dustin Poirier. This fight was the one I had been waiting to watch. I can’t get enough of Cub Swanson’s fighting style. Love his tenacity. Love that weird head kick he throws by completely leaning over. Love the Vale Tudo shorts that looked like the first wetsuit I had by Body Glove in the 1990’s.
This fight was great from the get go. Swanson exhibited tremendous single leg defense, and Poirier landed some serious leg kicks, which Swanson seemed content to eat before dazing Poirier in round 1.
Round 2 was even better. Poirier started landing some body kicks and then nailed a fantastic takedown after getting out of the way of Swanson’s spinning backfist.
(Via. Have I mentioned angryblackman’s gif prowess?)
But Swanson was not to be outdone, using an Omoplata to stand up and get back to throwing wild, yet effective strikes.
In round 3, it looked to me like Swanson was tired and hurt. Poirier was landing a lot of punches, and Swanson’s hands were down. Swanson, however, dug deep and wisely nailed a takedown, which led to a beautiful back take, and then an even more beautiful mount. The mount made Swanson come alive, and later in the round he got an awesome head and arm throw. It was Swanson’s turning to the takedown that reminded me Greg Jackson was his coach. Swanson has really meshed his aggressive and at times reckless style with the calculated and measured Jackson strategy. Unanimous decision for Swanson. Somebody get him a fight with Frankie Edgar.
The final fight of the night was for the interim title, Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald, but not before we added one more to Rousey Watch 2013 for a total of 13 spots featuring her.
This fight had an interesting rhythm to it. Jon Anik and Kenny Florian were drinking the McDonald Kool-Aid early. They couldn’t say enough about his striking and even once commented on the vast wisdom he possessed at such a young age. Wise man not get punched in head for living.
In round 1, it looked like I’d be drinking the McDonald Kool-Aid as well. Despite Barao looking significantly thicker than the extremely slight McDonald, McDonald did an amazing job of defending himself from the bottom by using his guard and controlling and trapping Barao’s wrists and arms. Once he was back on his feet, McDonald tagged Barao with some solid punches that made me think the bout was almost over. Not so fast, however, because Barao rallied back with a body lock to last the round.
In round 2, Barao started to turn up the intensity ever so slightly. He caught McDonald in the face with a front kick and foreshadowed kicks to come with a big miss on a spinning back kick.
Just before round 3 began, we heard McDonald inform his corner that he was a little tired. The tenor of the bout changed at that point because Barao, on the other hand, was ready to kill. For a tired man, McDonald was certainly strong enough to flat out chuck Barao off him when he was mounted. Barao, however, finally measured the spinning back kick correctly and caught McDonald. McDonald offered very little in return in the round.
Round 4 was where the wheels came off for McDonald. Barao was relentless. He caught McDonald with another spinning back kick before using his frantic grappling to finish McDonald with a head and arm choke.
You can’t be too hard on McDonald. Renan Barao is a special fighter with a 33-fight winning streak, and I can’t wait to see him take on Dominick Cruz. McDonald has many years ahead of him to improve his cardio and to round out his game and figure out some more efficient ways to set up the right hand he is always looking to land.