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Live from UFC 91: Saturday

(Jackal Deze Nutz is on his honeymoon in Vegas for UFC 91 and offered to send us some writeups of the action on the ground. Here’s his Friday write-up, and below is Saturday)

I’m going to begin this post at the end:


More on that later. A few general thoughts first:

The crowd was at least 80% Randy. Every time he was shown on the screens the crowds went nuts, Brock got more boos than cheers but at least the crowd wasn’t booing during the fights – just whenever they saw Brock.

There were a ridiculous number of fighters in attendance. We overheard Marcus Davis congratulating Mike Brown for his big WEC win on our way in. We also got pictures with Gina Carano who is smoking hot in person and dressed to the nines for fight night. Tyson Griffin was keeping her company so I’m thinking she’s still single – go get her jackals.

We were sitting in the upper bowl but the view was pretty good. There were massive screens everywhere which made it a challenge to watch the actual Octogon – I’m too well trained to watch on TV. The screens are set up to be watched from down below so those of us in the cheap seats see everything in reverse which makes reading a challenge.

I picked up a little radio for $10 on the way in which allowed me to hear the announcers which really added something. Apparently Rogan is critical to my UFC experience.

The undercard was awesome. Great fights coming one immediately after another.


The first fight was Matt Brown vs. Ryan Thomas. Thomas was younger, bigger and stronger as well as a way better wrestler. He controlled the first round except for Brown’s attempted arm bar. Brown looked tired going in to the second round and I was wondering how long he could go with 2 weeks of training for the fight. He was underneath Thomas when he managed to pull another arm bar attempt. Thomas slammed him twice into the canvas but Brown finally managed to pull the arm free and win by submission. Fucking A. Nice fight, he pulled that arm bar out of his ass right when it seemed like he was in a bad spot – I officially forgive him for blowing me off yesterday. After the fight he said that the slams were good for him, bad for Thomas and that they helped him get the armbar – badass.

I haven’t seen who won the bonuses but if Bocek / Robinson didn’t win fight of the night then they got robbed.   That was an awesome fight. Naturally I was cheering for the Canadian Bocek but I wasn’t expecting him to beat Robinson who looks way tougher. Boy was I wrong.   Bocek kicked his ass for 2.5 rounds before finishing the fight. RESPECT. Beautiful choke after a jits clinic. That was a really great fight and I look forward to seeing Bocek again – I hadn’t realized that his two UFC losses were against Danzig and Frankie Edgar – no shame there. He smoked Robinson. Apparently he trains (or trained) the Fertitas in BJJ – going to watch my mouth around them)

Jeremy Stephens should win knockout of the night. He took 10 minutes off ass-whoopery from Dos Anjos (whose ground game looked phenomenal) including a nasty Omaplata that really should have popped his shoulder. The “little heathen” turned the tide at the start of the third round by taking a page out of Junior Dos Santos’ book and throwing an uppercut from hell and KTFOing dos Anjos. Apparently Dos Anjos had never been knocked out before, there’s a first time for everything I guess. That was an awesome fight and a good candidate for fight of the night as well.

Before discussing Gurgel vs.Riley I should say that I don’t like JG much. Rogan’s always talking about his amazing ground game but you never see that shit. All you see is his sloppy kick boxing and him take a wicked beating. I don’t care if he is Rich Franklin’s girlfriend – send him back to the minors. He might enjoy a stint in the Chuck Norris league where he could slug away happily and not have to worry about the M part of MMA. The weeks he spent training and living at Sityodtong in Boston convinced him to fight smart for the first 5 minutes (the round he won). But early in the second he decided to give away the rest of the fight by standing and letting Riley kick his ass. For some odd reason the crowd made a ton of noise at the end of the fight and were clearly with JG – why? Riley looked solid but not phenomenal, he’ll get another fight in the big leagues unless they’re bringing in people who they think that JG could actually beat on a one-off basis.

The undercard was tight. Fast paced and exciting with some great battles. The main card was much more one-sided. It was also slowly paced as the PPV and not the audience was the focus. Good news PPV, bad news audience. My announcer radio let me know when they were showing the undercard fights but it’s not very interesting listening to a fight you just saw – particularly as they don’t put them up on the screens – BORING.

Main Card

The first fight was Maia vs. Quarry. Quarry got all the crowd love and Maia got none. He laughed last however when he choked Quarry out about 2 minutes later. That was incredibly fast. They were on the ground almost immediately, Maia was on the back shortly thereafter and the choke popped on like magic. Quarry went dark red and tapped. Lickety Split – no shit.   That wasn’t grappler vs striker that was grappler vs. victim.

The next fight was Gonzaga vs. Hendricks. We all know Napao. All I know about Hendricks is that he is one of the big wrestlers who Randy trained with to prep for Brock and he has a creepy tattoo of a kid’s hand in an adult hand on his collar bone. Is it a NAMBLA symbol?   Rogan says that Napao’s been lifting and isn’t chubby. I say it doesn’t matter either way. Gonzaga delivered some nasty knees while Hendricks tried to get hold of him for a takedown. Napao created some distance and put him to sleep with a right cross. He then looked at Mazagatti to see if any more punishment was required. Apparently it was so he smoked Hendricks again before the fight was called. Classy dude that Gonzaga. He looked rock solid but Hendricks didn’t belong in that cage. I start to wonder about the fact that Brock’s a hell of a lot more formidable than that but I know that Randy used Hendricks to emulate Brock – I begin to worry about my $50 on Randy.

How does a fight go from being on the undercard to being just before the main events? More to the point – why the hell was McCrory / Hazelett (McLovin) on the undercard in the first place? McCrory had put back on a lot of weight from the day before and looked a lot bigger than McLovin.   McLovin cruised in with his Tanner tribute beard to some CCR looking like a hippy on his way to a love in. They test for weed at these events right?   This was the battle of the dudes you might pick on and then serious regret it. McCrory’s style is listed at Jeet Kun Do (Bruce Lee’s Karate style) which is cool. The fight starts with some really nice striking from the Barncat – he’s wrecking Hazelett’s left leg. Hazelett manages to hit a straight kick and then tries for the BJ Penn on Cao Uno flying knee but misses. They both seem to think that’s pretty funny and they take a second to bump gloves before continuing the fight. When they go to the ground it’s clear who’s in charge. From the bottom McLovin slaps on an Omaplata shoulder lock then transitions into a NASTY armbar. They show McCrory’s face as it was locked up and it’s safe to say that it hurt a ton. How come Gurgel can teach someone to do that shit but then happily allow people to punch him in the face during his own fights? Rip someone’s fucking arm off for god’s sake! That’s submission of the night and then some. Awesome ground work. In the post fight interview McLovin says that he knows he’s not a top level BJJ guy outside MMA but he wants to be the best in MMA and have the most submission wins – he’s on his way with this highlight reel finish to add to the Burkman one.

At this point we took a solid 20 minute break so that the folks at home could watch Stevens knock dos Anjos TFO. For the first time ever, my wife got to walk straight in to the bathroom and I didn’t get close to the front of the line in the 15 minutes I stood there. UFC is clearly still a dude’s world.   The guys at the event were a healthier looking bunch than the weigh-in fatties. Lots of people appeared to be training in some form and there were fewer MMA tshirts visible but still a lot of those UFC Fight Club shirts. The women in attendance split between bona fide MMA fans who were interested in seeing the fights and those who looked like they’d stopped by on the way to the dance club. Several looked like they might be working at a “dance club” particularly one who was a full head and shoulders taller than the man she was with. The lower in the stadium you went, the higher the ticket prices and the more orange-indoor-tanned and fake breasted the arm candy.

But I digress, back to the action.

I’m tired of hearing how pissed JoeDaddy is that KenFlo is the favourite. That’s ridiculous. KenFlo’s on a roll since Sherk and JoeDaddy got smoked by BJ (no shame) but was also getting thrashed by Tibau before locking in his trusty guillotine in his last fight.   Kenny got lots of boos, not sure why people hate him but I kinda understand – he’s a little too serious / dickish and while he says what he thinks it’s not in the good way. He can, however, kick ass like a maniac. Joe got a few take downs along the fence early on but Kenny shook him off, took him down, mounted him, rode the roll to take the back and then choked his ass out as Joe tried to climb the fence (not sure why). That was an ass-kicking, he finished him way faster than BJ and didn’t have to get covered in blood to do it – however, he won’t absorb Joe’s powers by drinking his blood the way BJ did. KenFlo deserves the shot – hopefully he can avoid getting layed and prayed again by Sherk or equivalent for long enough to get it (after GSP whoops Penn again!)   In the post-fight interview Kenny says that he wants the belt and that he considers BJ the master but the time has come to kill the master. The guy lives in a weird samurai alternative universe – whatever, he kicks tons of ass and, I hate to say it, but he finishes fights.

The Main Event gets under way. Every time they’re shown throughout the evening Brock gets booed and Randy gets cheered.   I give Brock points for his Metallica entrance and “DeathClaw” gear. He’s good at being the bad guy – this WWE stuff kinda works – I desperately want him to lose. The place goes bonkers for Randy, the whole crowd jumps to their feet and for the first time that night the arena is actually full. For most of the night the fancy seats on the floor are empty. What’s more badass than paying 5K for a seat? Not even using the fucking thing I guess. Randy is totally zen, it’s a little creepy. When they go to the middle for the pre-fight chat the weight difference is clear – Brock is an ogre. Shit. Lots of short fights on the card up to here and Brock has a 6 inch reach advantage. Double shit.

The first round starts with Randy using some Greco wrestling and pushing Brock up against the cage. The crowd’s chanting” “Randy, Randy, Randy” the whole time. Brock reverses and then takes Randy down. Randy sweeps and gets back up. Attempts a take down but it doesn’t pan out. Brock seems to be breathing heavy.

The second round starts with Randy getting wobbled by an elbow but he seems to recover in the clinch. He’s working the Sylvia strategy with nice head movement and big looping punches. He cuts Brock above the eye. He has Brock against the fence again. Brock gets free, hits Randy with a jab and then drops him with a huge right to the temple – Randy was inches away from ducking that punch. He goes down and Brock gives him the same hammerfirst treatment he gave Mir. Yamasaki gave Randy every chance to recover but I think that those hammer fists are harder than they look. NOOOOOOO! RANDYYYYYYY!!!!! FUUUUUCK.

Both guys are really classy in the after fight. It looks like Sable’s carrying a baby ogre. Brock says nice stuff but I’m still thinking about the “too damn old to be here” line which was clearly not the case. Randy makes a joke about how those are some big fists to avoid and sums it up by saying “that’s a big sumbitch, that’s all there is to it.” He’s right. There’s a reason I got 2-1 on my bet. Brock looked like he was a few weight classes above Randy and judging from the elbow that wobbled Randy in the first he hits like a truck. Unless you can avoid getting hit by him (even glancing shots) you’re going to need a hell of a chin to beat Brock – Cabbage Correia anyone? This fight makes Heath look a little better for taking three rounds of ass-kicking. I don’t give Mir much chance against him next time – Brock slowed the pace and fought much smarter.. Maybe Nog can take the belt back from the WWE superstar. FUCK.

The place emptied out quickly and we wandered down to the front. I was feeling crushed because I got way too in to that fight. I was concentrating so hard on feeling sad that I didn’t even notice Gina Carano at first. When we spotted her we remembered that there are lots of good things in life, including ridiculous hot lady MMA fighters, moods improved and we grabbed a quick photo before being kicked to the curb by security.

C’est tous. It’s been a pleasure reporting to my fellow jackals, hopefully we’ll take in another event on your behalf in the near future. Until then, I remain, Deze Nutz.

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