a blog by La Kifo
A night that will live in infamy, UFC 207 was a clumination of every side winding turn that the Ultimate Fighting Championship promotion has gone through the past year whether it meant to be or not. The biggest story of the card was the return of one Ronda Rousey.
Oh what a story is was. But before we get to the women warriors there a few other fights that deserve some words to be spoken over it. Mainly, the very first fight of the evening, Tim Means v. Alex "Cowboy" Oliveira
If you were not watching the Fight Pass Prelims, then you missed some serious controversy. Tim Means was just getting into a groove against Oliveira, he backed the Brazilian Cowboy against the cage. At the climax of the fight, up against the cage, Oliveira sank to the ground placing one hand, one knee and one foot on the ground. A couple seconds before Tim Means cracked a few vicious knees to the head, Oliveira lifted his hand from the ground to guard his face. Hestitantly, Dan Miragliotta shuffled in between the two calling for what seemed to be a pause in the action not a stoppage. As the referees, Nevada State Athletic comission and judges decided what had happened, the camera was fixated on Oliveira who clearly could no longer fight. He had an overwhelming look of confusion and befuttlement in his eyes as spat up drool like blood from his mouth. Eventually, all those behind the cage officials decided that the knees thrown by Tim Means were incidentital and the fight was ruled a no contest.
Again, if you saw the fight what I am describing to you is utter insanity. Tim Means meant to throw those knees, he even said so himself to Joe Rogan after the fight. I would love to know what is actually going to happen in this situation. If you are not aware of the rules as they stand before January 1st, they go something like this. A fighter may not hit an opponent who has three points of contact with the mat. In most cases three points of contact would include a mixture of two lower body extremities and then a hand, palm, or fingers. So, the knees should have been legal as the replay clearly showed Oliveira lift his hands before any knee from Means makes contact with the Cowboys skull. Why did Miragliotta stop the fight? Because he was standing at the same angle as the TV camera, he saw everything we saw. What he might have saw and intrepeded differently was Oliveira did have one knee down and one foot, but behind the planted knee was Oliveiras foot also making contact with the mat. I don't think that makes sense to constitute two extremities off of the same limb. If you put your knee on the ground it almost impossible to not have your foot, on that same leg, touch the ground. There are ways to do it, but when your locked in a cage with another dude who wants to take your head off, it is unfathomable to think that when a fighter goes down to a knee, his foot won't contact the ground as well.
The next fight I want to share some shit about is TJ Dillashaw v. John Lineker. I thought this fight could have been the best on the card. I wanted to see how footwork would play out against literally a dude with hands of stone and a chin to match. If I knew the matchup would have played out the way it did, I probably would have skipped this fight. TJ drowned Lineker with his wrestling and footwork. Lineker throughtout the first two rounds could not find his range, and could not connect. Much of the fight took place on the mat with Lineker on his back. I'm not saying this was a boring fight but compared to what I thought it was going to be, it was boring. Dillashaw did dominate so he probably gets the title shot, and I hope he does only because I would love to see Cody Garbrandt display his overall game again in a five round fight.
On to the co-Main event of the evening, and that would be Dominick Cruz against Cody Garbrandt. Obviously, we saw Garbrandt finally bring the UFC Bantamweight belt to Team Alpha Male. One that was long sought after by Team Leader Urijah Faber. Faber could never get the job done inside the UFC but was the star power behind the Zuffa backed WEC. Anyway, Cody Garbrandt shocked the MMA world. The way he was conducting himself in the pre-fight interviews was almost embarrassing. He would get emotional swear on live network television, almost start a brawl at the weigh ins and throw a temper tantrum in a pre-fight interview featuring himself and the former dominant champion Cruz. I don't know if that was a plan of Cody's or that is just how he goes about his life, wearing his emotions on his sleeve. Before this fight Joe Rogan like he always does stated that pumping that frequency of emotion into yourself over and over again can be draining physically. Which was what Cruz, and the rest of the MMA world thought had happened. But it couldn't have been farther from the truth. Garbrandt was the composed fighter, he took it to the champion but in a calculated way. If Cody was out of control during the interviews and promos, he was the complete opposite during the fight. He baited in Cruz and slammed him on vicious counters with extreme power and accuracy. Before I get to deep into this fight, Both Dominick Cruz and Cody Garbradnt both deserve immense amounts of respect. Dominick Cruz was debatably (in my mind) the most dominant active champion in the UFC and #1 pound for pound. A large part of that argument is that Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson has not faced the competition that is rampant in the bantamwieght division. Cody Garbrandt is a young emotional kid. But he is a stud with a heart of gold. In his interviews without Dominick Cruz, Cody shows how kind he is as well as how fun is it to hear him talk.
Finally, Ronda was not ready for Nunes at all. Ronda and her camp thought that she would be able to stand, bob, weave, and trade with Amanda in the first couple rounds. She was supposed to initiate clinch whenver she got in trouble, based on that her camp also thought that she would have no problem getting to that clinch, which was so clearly off base it hurts. Ronda was never a striker, she never had crisp combinations, she was never great at defending strikes. So to see her get absolutely pieced by Amanda Nunes shouldn't be surprising even though it is. I love Ronda, I didn't before but anyone saying that she is overrated they might be right. Those people might be 100% right, I don't think so but the people who say she is the most overrated athlete of all time, or even of the 21st century are just not MMA fans. People who make statements like that clearly know nothing about fighting or MMA because what Ronda did before she lost to Holly Holm was unprecendented. She faced top competition, at the time, and pumbled them. One after the other. She was no doubt the best, and today sits as the best womens MMA fighter of all time. Even if she retires there can't be and won't be anyone doing what Ronda did, and how Ronda did it. We could talk about her impact outside the sport but I don't want to continue to make this longer. If you are like me and are getting upset at the sheer amount of takes calling Ronda an awful fighter, just take solace in the fact that those people don't know what they are talking about. They don't know MMA, and I guarantee if you ask them a single question about the sport, they would need a phone to answer you.
Amanda Nunes is a fucking beast, I just wanted to throw that in there since I only talked about Ronda. Amanda is legit, and if she can do that Ronda Rousey, the next title challenger better not take the Lioness lightly because she is an extremely well rounded righter. Amanda is a black belt in Brazilian Jui Jitsu, a brown belt in Judo, and she can do what she did to Miesha Tate + Ronda on her feet any day of the week. Amanda Nunes might be the next dominant champion in this promotion and if I had money I would certainly back that statement with it.
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