Saturday, May 23, 2015

UFC 187 Aftermath

Revisiting the picks:

Namajunas/Ansaroff: Super disappointed this one didn't go down.  I hope they reschedule soon.

Dodson/Makovsky: I really hope this was a case of Makovsky being much better than his previous record and performances would indicate, because if not it means DJ is even farther ahead of the rest of the division than we thought.  He'll go down as the greatest UFC champion hardly anyone remembers.

Benavidez/Moraga: Predicted third round KO for Benavidez, but he won by decision.  Nothing particularly surprising about any of it, though.

Browne/Arlovski: Yeah, I picked Browne, but I also said it was more likely to end in two rounds than Browne was to win.  With guys like this, it's sometimes easier to call how long the fight will last than who will win.  But holy shit, that was insane.  How often do you see a fight get stopped where the loser is still swinging?  Browne's ability to stay on his feet, however wobbly he was, was extraordinary, and if he'd won with that hail mary it would have been a top five miracle finish in UFC history, maybe MMA history.  It's the kind of thing that would have ended Arlovski years ago; the fact he's surviving it later in his career is a little amazing.  Good for him, though.

Cerrone/Makdessi: I guess I was being goofy calling a submission win for Cowboy.  But the only surprise about that ass-whooping was how long it took to finish.  I wonder how long it will take Makdessi to recover from that busted jaw.  The potential upside to this fight for Makdessi was that taking it on short notice would make his next payday come sooner and give him bonus points with the UFC brass, and he wasn't going to have much better of a chance at beating Cerrone with a full training camp.  This is the downside, if he's out for a long time because of the injury.

Weidman/Belfort: The competition angels are singing.  I know it's not fair or correct to say Belfort only has three minutes of fight in him when none of it is coming out of a syringe, but I'm going to unfairly go on acting like that's the case.

Johnson/Cormier: So much grind, so many boos.  Considering how hard Johnson nailed Cormier with that strike ten or so seconds in, it should have been clear to anyone who hadn't thought about it before that shoving Johnson against the fence was Cormier's only prayer.  And if that wasn't enough of a clue, Cormier's apparent inability to defend against Johnson's strikes at the start of round two had to prove it beyond doubt.

Even knowing that those big muscular guys have more trouble keeping their cardio because their bodies chew up so much oxygen, I'm a little surprised Johnson was breathing so hard not even halfway through the second round.  I'm also a little surprised Johnson's ground game was so totally inadequate, as much as there was no way he was going to match Cormier's skill level in grappling.  I think he was right about Cormier being a tougher matchup for him than Jones; Jones wouldn't bring a fighting style that created such an absolute mismatch for Johnson.  Congrats to Cormier.

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