So here it goes.
I stayed up to watch the fights slightly hungover. I got progressively intoxicated as the fights went on. I didn’t watch the prelims – the Bulls game took precedence (they won in overtime).
On the main card, the first two bouts were lacklustre.
Then there was Marquardt vs. Tavares. Tavares looked sharp, relaxed, in the zone, and demonstrated some nice kick boxing which saw him home safely. The first round promised a great, competitive fight which never transpired.
Next, Cowboy came out and dismantled the talented upstart Myles Jury. As promised, he checked Jury’s prior-displayed overconfidence. We will see Jury again, but Jesus Holy Christ, Cerrone really painted a clear picture of where he is at this point in his career.
Cerrone schooled Jury in every aspect of the game. He showed an angry, laser sharp focus on ass-kicking that never let up.
His final, theatrical kicks to the legs of a downed Jury reminded me of Couture spanking the ass of Tito Ortiz in their encounter of years gone by. In the post-fight conference he apologised for the fight because the fans booed at certain points; there was no need for him to.
And onto the main fight of the evening.
Cormier to me looked to have expended too much energy too soon, but the result was simple. He landed one takedown that lasted about one second. Jones landed several takedowns, and defended against countless attempts.
Cormier fought a noble uphill battle in the striking department, but it was a battle he was never going to win. Jones was as creative as he has ever been. Constantly varying his attacks in a predictable (oblique kicks) yet unpredictable manner.
By the end of the fight Jones should have been officially made a Jedi Knight. He is now in the same realm as Anderson Silva. He is now clearly captain of the ship at light heavyweight for years to come. Dana White strapped on his belt in an uncharacteristically enthusiastic manner.
It was an exceptional fight, but on my card Jones took every round, the first three being close. I have to watch the fight again to be sure, and informally reviewing scorecards on Twitter most journalists gave Cormier two rounds, and all at least one.
I had a bet on Cormier which may have made me score him more conservatively, so if you want a more objective score, maybe two rounds to five or three rounds to eight. As of this point, I still have it five rounds to zero. But I have yet to come down from “death ketamine,” so I expect my scoring might wobble over the next 48 hours. Cormier gave everything, and he fought an incredible fight that felt close and well-contested, but the decision was in before the last round in my Longrow-and-Mahou skewed opinion.
After the event I was called out on Twitter for lacking expertise in the sport, after sending out a disagreeing tweet to one of the sport’s experts. So let me make it very clear. I do, in fact, completely lack expertise. I trained for a couple months half a decade back, but would drink a pint before training and often smoke cigarettes beforehand, which I feel impeded my upward trajectory in the sport.
I was also in a country which completely lacked any expertise in the training I was doing. I’m not even sure who the guys were, to be honest. They seemed to like kicks more than anything, which I took a great ignorant enthusiasm in, and they constantly asked me “if I was serious about having a fight.” I was unconscious at the end of every practice session.
On the other hand, I was doing it for fun, and I have spectated the sport since the first Dreamcast UFC game came out. Which makes me a long-time unqualified observer. If you have any other illusions, please stop reading now.
All I have is a subjective opinion, which I hope to deliver in a luxurious electronic package. Often I am intoxicated while posting to the site, which makes quality control difficult. In the absence of quality, I hope for entertainment. In the absence of entertainment, I hope my readership will show me compassion. In the absence of that, I hope they will check in next week to see if I do any better.
Over time, I believe this formula will prove to trump the top journalistic outlets the sport has to offer.
As for UFC 182, I think it was the best event the UFC have put on since Hendricks vs. Lawler II. The ultimate test for an MMA event is the “buzz” test.
Once or twice every year, you are left after an event with a buzz. This time I’m not so sure, because the aforementioned death ketamine has blurred the dividing lines between my natural enjoyment of the sport and the artificial chemicals flooding my brain organ. Reality splices itself onto imagination, or maybe the other way around.
I think I have kept a sharp hold of it, and have upheld all journalistic duties a subjective observer might be said to have. When Jones spun, my vision spun and I was transported very briefly into a land of fairy people who were drilling through the walls to reassure me everything was OK.
There was a moment in there when I thought I existed in Dante’s vision of hell, in a newborn world where all people mercilessly struck each other until the brain fluids leaked from their skulls.
When Cerrone kicked, I felt my lower legs briefly depart from my body. But just as quickly they rejoined me. I never re-entered Dante’s vision of hell, which came as a great relief.
Apart from these minor disturbances I was able to view the fights with an incredibly intense anxiety which I would not wish upon my worst foes, but which I believe allowed me to focus on what was transpiring in front of me in a more acute fashion than the most professional of journalists covering the sport at the time.
It’s an approach to sports journalism which, while dangerous in certain circumstances, may have potential.
There was one more minor disturbance, which at first I dare not to mention. In the interests of full disclosure I will bring it to you now.
As I left my body for the last time, I felt I had lived an entire life outside this particular universe.
In this universe I was a ring card girl, “fighting” with another ring card girl in a mush of money and slime. I was writhing about when it suddenly came on the loudspeakers that we were the main fight of the evening.
We were both introduced to terrible disco music, and proceeded to have a fight where we repeatedly slapped each other with big fistfuls of money until my opponent’s fistful came free and scattered in the air.
The commentators went wild, and I was victorious. Dana White came into the Octagon and strapped a big dildo around my waist.
I mention this as an aside, because in reality it only lasted for a microsecond.
It was a good night. It was a crazy night. And now we are all spinning in time and space, unsure of the fabric that makes up our most basic realities.
Thank you, god bless, and goodnight, ladies, laddies, gentlemen, and gentlewoman.
- 81% favour Jon Jones over Daniel Cormier (21-5)
- 73% favour Donald Cerrone over Myles Jury (19-7)
- 65% favour Brad Tavares over Nate Marquardt (17-9)
- 100% favour Kyoji Horiguchi over Louis Gaudinot (26-0)
- 100% favour Hector Lombard over Josh Burkman (26-0)
Great to see the top three billed fights predicted to be competitive affairs.
While 81% would normally show overwhelming confidence in a fight’s outcome, given we are talking about Jon Jones – an undefeated champion who has defeated an astounding number of world class opponents – I think Cormier has made a strong case to convince almost 20% of journalists he will win tonight.
Could go the other. Wait and see approach.