by Eric O'Brien
The UFC in Chicago for the second time in two years left little doubt that there is still TERRIBLE judging happening - even in the land of deep dish pizza, Anthony Pettis is better than you could ever imagine, and the flyweights can deliver anytime, any place.
Sure the event on FOX got great ratings but before that I think the two craziest things you didn’t see on the telecast were Dana’s story that Fedor and Brock was nearly done last year and would have been that Cowboy Stadium show. Or when Jim Miller told me after his fight in Nashville against Melvin he took his sub of the night bonus went to a boot store purchased a pair of gator boots and as he say “went redneck” and wore them out of the store. I am not sure which of these two surprised me more, that Dana thought Fedor and Brock would sell 100,000 tickets or that buying boots would be thought #1 after I just submitted a guy in the main event of an FX card. But I digress.
Mighty Mouse and John Dodson put on the fight of the night, not just because they both scored the bonus for FOH, but because for all 25 minutes both men showcased their skills in every aspect of MMA. Dodson knocking Mighty Mouse down 5 times and in the championship rounds Demetrious took John into deep water and drown him. There has been a lot made about the two fouls that Johnson had committed; the groin shot that clearly slowed Dodson down in the third after his tremendous second round and the illegal knee to the head of a downed opponent. The latter foul is worth discussing. Is the rule dumb, yes, however it is still a rule right now and the fact that he did not get a point taken is one of many things that needs to change in this sport. The refereeing in MMA is getting worse between the wishy-washy lack of commitment from Miragliotta last weekend to Big John not taking a point from Mighty Mouse for the knee that did damage and again changed the tempo of the fight. I understand that a majority draw (which is what would have happened had the point been deducted) would have been terrible but the rules need to be enforced on a level that makes breaking them matter. Mighty Mouse is a gentleman and the champ. There is no doubt he was able to shine late in that fight but the two fouls had an impact on the outcome and that cannot be understated. What is next for the flyweights? Well, that might be an issue. Mighty Mouse gets a rematch against whoever wins in the McCall vs. Benavidez fight and Dodson gets the loser? There is a top 10 flyweight list but you only know these four – that is going to be a problem the UFC needs to fix fast.
Glover Teixeira vs. Rampage was a dangerous fight for both men. As I said on twitter (@eob1045) Saturday night in that third round Rampage turned in his two minute notice giving up in that final round. Glover went against his corner’s wishes (Chuck was SCREAMING to take Rampage down) and stood with Rampage for most of the fight even giving up hooks and back control to get the fight back to where Jackson could shine. While beating Rampage was great for Glover, he certainly did not look like the guy that could dethrone Jones. Can he wreck the light heavyweight division, absolutely, but he needs a couple fights before he gets back to the world-beater status where we had him on Friday.
Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone was the fight most diehard fans were waiting for and for Anthony Pettis he did not disappoint. The Cowboy did some major trash-talking leading up to this fight but Pettis’ unique style and aggression got the better of Cerrone with two big body shots leading up to another highlight reel knee to the face off the fence and then a liver kick that made Bas Rutten go crazy to end the fight. Pettis is that good folks, Benson is merely keeping his belt warm at this point.
Eric Koch and Richardo Lamas kicked the main event off and Lamas who had been silently murdering people at 145lbs had already beat Cub Swanson and Hioki (who lost at the hands of terrible judging more than Clay Guida in Chicago) and was ready to have his biggest fight of his life and first fight back in Chicago in three years. From the word go Lamas dictated the pace and got on top of Koch and violently ended Koch’s night and his title shot against Aldo. Lamas heads to Vegas this week for the Edgar vs. Aldo fight but my hope is we get to see Lamas vs The Korean Zombie next.
The night was a big win for the UFC and a lot of great matches were born out of Saturday night. TJ Grant vs. Jim Miller would be great, Pettis leaping over Gil to get Benson is something the world wants right now, and Glover against Bader seems like a great next fight for both men. Hopefully Cerrone can get some rest in and come back even better and maybe welcome Alvarez into the UFC and keep an eye out for German fighter Pascal Krauss who put on a striking clinic on the undercard with only one loss on his record vs. John Hathaway he could be a force at 170lbs soon
We get ready for UFC 156 this weekend on Super Saturday..