Phil Davis vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: Minotouro’s takedown defence looked pretty ironclad for about 1.5 rounds tonight. Not good enough, Lil’ Nog. Phil Davis took a pretty big scalp this evening (on short notice as a replacement for this perenially injured goofball, no less), and displayed a lot of mental fortitude in being able to turn the tide of a fight that wasn’t really going his way in the early stages. Is he ready to contend with Jon Jones for the belt? Absolutely fucking not. Davis’ striking still needs a LOT of seasoning if he’s going to give Jones any sort of challenge at all. And you can bet Jones’ take-down defense is a little better than Rogerio Nogueira’s. After this win, though, we have to assume that Davis has earned the coveted right to be “in the mix” at 205lbs and will probably take on another upper-echelon light-heavyweight in the near future.
Dan Hardy vs. Anthony Johnson: Stand-up war my ass. How many times are we going to fall as a group for that particular line of bullshit? Don’t answer that. “Rumble” put a takedown clinic on in the Octagon this evening and while it hardly made for scintillating viewing (unless you just dig that kind of thing) it was a pretty effective display and reminded us all that 99.9% of British fighters can’t wrestle for shit. Sorry guys, it is what it is. The forecast for Hardy is pretty grim from here on out, but I imagine the UFC will toss him a rebound fight next time they head across the pond to sunny England. Up next for Johnson? I dunno, how bout Carlos Condit? Diego Sanchez?
Damarques Johnson vs. Amir Sadollah: I didn’t watch this fight because I was busy drinking. Another win for Sadollah and a little bit of momentum, and a loss for Damarques that probably won’t result in him getting a pink slip simply because he stepped in for an injured James Wilks (that guy’s still fighting?). Another fairly unremarkable gurgle in the bowels of the UFC’s 170lb division.
Chan Sung Jung vs. Leonard Garcia: Oh my fuck was this fight satisfying to watch. It doesn’t seem fair to dislike Garcia just because of the all-around fucknuttery going on with MMA judging these days, but who said life was fair? The guy has gotten more gifts than a rich brat on Christmas and tonight he paid the pauper. Jung deserves every goddamn penny of his Sub of the Night bonus and built back up a lot of the hype that George Roop violently relieved him of at WEC 51. Good job, Zombie. Good job.
All in all a pretty solid night of fights aside from the horrible, horrible walrus fights preliminary bouts put on by Jon Madsen, Mike Russow, Sean McCorkle and Christian Morecraft (who seemed to be channeling Paul Stanley in his post-fight interview). All of the flab, the gassing-out, the hilariously shitty stand-up and the desperate attempts of Rogan and Goldy to make the fights exciting by sheer force of will drove me back to the bottle in a state of near-hysteria. Sometimes you gotta let the liquor do the thinkin’, bud. The most surprising news of the evening? Nik Lentz was in an exciting fight. Which he finished. By choke. Will wonders never cease?