Diego Nunes and Bart Palaszewski won Fight of the Night. Michael Johnson took Knockout of the Night. And Justin Edwards earned Submission of the Night. They all get an additional $40,000, bragging rights, and first crack at all the best tail at the after parties. But there are others equally deserving of further recognition. These accolades are non-monetary of course, but prestigious nonetheless.
Most In Need of a New Nickname – John Dodson. Coming up with a great nickname isn’t easy. Ideally you want one that just becomes what people call you. You never hear anyone refer to Shogun Rua as Mauricio, do you? Granted, very few can pull that off. But I am of the opinion that nicknames are like hair pieces; it’s better to not have one at all than to have a bad one, and “The Magician” is a bad one. It doesn’t flow. It holds no real meaning. It doesn’t rhyme. Shit, it’s just stupid. Ditch it now, Johnny, before you get famous.
Most Regrettable Strategy – Danny Castillo. After knocking Michael Johnson on his ass, then pummeling him with some nice hammer fists, Castillo mounted Johnson AND had his left arm trapped beneath his undercarriage, and what did he decide to do with that position that was just begging for some more poundage? He went for an arm triangle. He couldn’t get it. Then in the second round, he got KTFO like he had the bad sense to ask Deebo for his bike back. Poor Danny boy, he’s going to regret that decision for a while.
Nastiest Injury – Travis Browne. After missing a high kick, it appeared that something went awry with Browne’s knee. At first I couldn’t really tell, but then the camera caught a good angle and we could see something the size of a tennis ball protruding from his knee, and it was clear he was done. Antonio Silva scored the knockout shortly thereafter. Greg Jackson later confirmed that it was a blown knee. Let this not diminish the weight of Silva’s impressive win, but there isn’t a whole lot a fellow can do with a banged up knee. When I just tap my knee on the corner my desk I’m out of commission for about a half hour, sitting there hugging my leg and whimpering like Peter Griffin, “SSSSSSSS…AHHHHHHHH, SSSSSSSS…AHHHHHHHH, SSSSSSSSS…AHHHHHHH, SSSSSSSS…AHHHHHH.” Here’s to wishing Browne a speedy recovery.
Most Justified in Screaming “BLOW ME” to the World – Jacob Volkmann. Criticized as a boring fighter, Volkmann got pissed. He got pissed at fans, saying we don’t know shit. He got pissed at MMA bloggers, calling us “fat turds.” And apparently he got pissed at Shane Roller, because he choked his ass out in the first round to earn his first stoppage in the UFC. See what happens when you employ a little aggression and a sense of urgency into your technique? You get stoppages, and then all of us hack writers line up behind you to kiss your ass. Justin Edwards would see to it that Volkmann did not get the Submission of the Night bonus, but what with the taxes that Obama steals from you that shit aint really worth it anyway. Maybe one more of those wins and Jacob can get himself onto the main card.
Temporary Savior of His Division – John Dodson. It wasn’t looking too good for the little dudes last night. The number one contender fight between Dodson and Jussier Formiga was a very slow-paced affair, and the fans were letting them know it. After the brutal reception the Demetrious Johnson/Joseph Benavidez title fight got a couple weeks ago, this was the last thing they needed. Dodson came through with a sweet knockout, showing the little dudes can have some power. It could be a temporary reprieve, only time will tell. Now if we can just get them to stop putting a microphone in Dodson’s face and just let him flip around the cage we’ll be all good.
Most Surprising – Justin Edwards. His victory over Josh Neer wasn’t all that surprising. Edwards is a capable fighter. But the quick submission and way he slapped it on was surprising, and downright pimp. Rather than defend the early takedown attempt by Neer, Edwards just locked on a guillotine and jumped guard. It was tight as hell, and he put Neer to sleep in just a few seconds. Super impressive.
Luckiest to Walk Away With the W – Jake Ellenberger. Jon Anik and Kenny Florian lauded Ellenberger for his “measured” approach against Jay Hieron. Normally, Jake comes out like a tornado, then fades. Friday night we saw a couple short glimpses of the storm, but mostly it was just a little drizzle with a light breeze. Jake got the decision, and it was my opinion that he deserved the 29-28 across the board that he got, but I would have only been mildly nauseated had it gone the other way. Hieron just looked like the busier fighter, while Ellenberger seemed to be looking for a one punch knockout at the expense of throwing anything at all. Jake needs to find some yin yang to his style. It’s cool to go for the knockout, but it shouldn’t stop him from fighting.
And last but certainly not least…
Worst Network to Hold UFC Events on – FUEL, of course. Just because.