Coming into Saturday’s UFC on FOX 8 card, it almost seemed like a foregone conclusion: Rory MacDonald vs Jake Ellenberger was the fight to watch, and Demetrious Johnson would probably cruise his way to another decision win. Instead, the fighters flipped the script.
First, RoMack and JBerg barely fought at all for 15 minutes. Rory was content to counterstrike and throw out the occasional jab or front kick, while Ellenberger seemed to have blown his rage wad out over weeks of non-stop shit talking. I don’t know who to blame more for one of the worst fights of the year. MacDonald did it on purpose – he was following a gameplan – while Ellenberger just seemed frozen out there. Which one makes things worse is a matter of opinion. How about we all agree to blame both of them for the turd laid out before us tonight?
It will be interesting to see the ratings come in for this event – expectations are already low, but will they flatline completely after Rory MacDonald’s Zahabi-approved non-fighting fight style? If so, it’s too bad. Demetrious Johnson put on his best performance ever as flyweight champion, taking the fight to John Morega and forcing a finish late into the fifth round.
He acted like it was no big deal afterwards, saying he always goes for finishes when he sees the opportunity, but that be straight up bullshit. After 23 minutes of failing to secure safe but ineffective americanas and arm in guillotines (what is this, 2007?), Johnson transitioned from another armlock right into a sweet armbar. It was a risky move in that it gave up position, but it just goes to show you that fortune favors the brave. It earned Demetrious his first finish in 8 fights and my respect, which I’m sure he totally cares about.
Further down the card, Robbie Lawler put a metric shit ton of fuel in his hype frate trane by slapping Bobby Voelker around and then finishing him with a brutal head kick in the second. Voelker didn’t have the speed or footwork to avoid Lawler’s bombs, and it didn’t take long for a dialed-in Lawler to realize it and take full advantage. Combine this with his routing of Josh Koscheck and many people are wondering if Lawler is back on the path to contendership Nick Diaz knocked him off so famously back in 2004. Speaking of Nick, I hear he’s looking for a neat fight….
If the UFC is looking for the face of Brazilian WMMA, it doesn’t seem to be Jessica Andrade. Andrade came in with a pretty good record but never looked all that amazing to me in her Youtube fights. Against Liz Carmouche she ran into another level of female fighter and just couldn’t compete. Liz showed people why they call her the Girlzilla by out powering Andrade in the clinch and on the ground, all the while beating her up from all angles with those long arms and quick elbows. Watch closely and you can see the moment Jessica’s will breaks, and then Carmouche is on top of her in mount seconds later. It’s not the kind of fight that lands you a rematch with the champ, but it does solidify Carmouche’s position in the still sparse UFC women’s division.
If it hadn’t been for the dogshit non-fight between Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger, you’d have to conclude that it was a pretty entertaining night of fights. Alas, that stinker left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth and I’m sure most people will be talking more about MacDonald’s so safe it was barely fighting strategy than any of the other fights on the card.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor