Looking back at UFC 210 you cannot ignore the fact that the two main fights experienced odd and unexpected attachments. In the Gegard Mousasi vs. Chris Weidman fight, the wrong call from Referee Dan Miragliotta, due to a very confusing rule change, put a sudden halt to a competitive fight. One thing that was not made clear by the broadcast team, was if indeed Chris Weidman was not able to continue after five minutes, as a result of Mousasi’s foul, which was the referees call, would Weidman have won via disqualification, or would Gegard have won via stoppage? The very crowded broadcast booth spent a heck of a lot of time telling us Miragliotta got the wrong call, but did not explain the 5-minute rule.
The consensus belief is there will be an immediate rematch, however, Mousasi’s future is uncertain as his UFC contract renewal may be in jeopardy. In the postfight press conference, Dana White said Mousasi does not have an entire country behind him, the way a Mark Hunt does; crippling Gegard’s negotiating power for more money. It would be a shame for the UFC to lose Gegard, but this is a business and Mr. White has made it clear that Gegard’s great fighting skills does not equate to cha-ching.
The man event was just as odd. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson did not try to come out as a more patient striker; a strategy I thought would have served him well. Instead, Rumble tried to best UFC Light Heavyweight Daniel Cormier at what he is all world at. Everyone was surprised that Rumble initiated wrestling tactics against DC. Of course, it did not work and Rumble appeared to be looking for a way out of the fight; DC obliged him with a second-round rear-naked choke.
After the fight, Rumble shed some light on the performance, as he announced it was his last. Rumble announced his retirement, based primarily on lost desire. The surprise announcement made some sense out of Rumble’s poor showing, however, it was no less disturbing.
Note to Anthony Johnson, people spent good money to travel to Buffalo, or watch on PPV, to see you at your best, what you do best. This fight was not it. It would have been nice to know you were not feeling it as a fighter anymore, and were going to pack it in your most important fight. The other downside of what Rumble did was it opens a window for the DC haters. Cormier, for whatever reason, has a hard time getting fans and big PPV numbers to begin with, there will be plenty of critics who will diminish his win because it was against a disinterested and lackluster opponent.
Some positives of UFC 210, Thiago Alves and Patrick The Predator Cote provided the fans with an entertaining fight. Alves put on his best performance in years against Cote, who announced his retirement after the fight. Unlike Rumble, Cote went out on his shield, and tried, with every ounce of will, to win the fight by fighting the way he as for years. Thank you very much Mr. Cote. Congratulations on an impressive comeback Mr. Alves.
Another Predator, Desmond Green, is just coming into his own as a mixed martial artist. Green was very impressive in his UFC debut as he beat the undefeated Josh Emmet in a three-round decision. Patrick Cummins also needed three rounds to be called victorious over Jan Blachowicz. In my personal choice for fight of the night, Cummins overcame some vicious strikes from Blachowicz in round one. If it were not for Cuminns’ great resolve, Blachowicz would have earned a first-round stoppage.
Cynthia Calvillo once again impressed by completely dominating Pearl Gonzalez. Calvillo, was able to knock the cherry off of the sundae by ending the fight in the third round via rear-naked choke. With the submission victory, Calvillo becomes only the second UFC fighter to win via stoppage in back to back PPV events, Tito Ortiz was the other fighter. You would think Calvillo’s work would have earned her performance of the night; as I would have split that honor with her and Charles Oliveria, who upset Will Brooks in the first round via rear-naked choke. The UFC did agree with me on Oliveria, but instead split the Performance of the Night honor with Gregor Gillespie; who TKO’D Andrew Holbrook in 21 seconds.
I suppose it is a fair split with a submission win and a striking win. If the performance of the night must be split up as such, then why do you not just go back to calling it submission of the night and knockout of the night? The Fight of the Night showcased another TKO win, as Shane Burgos stopped the very energetic Charles Rosa via punches. A good fight for sure, however, as I mentioned earlier, I would have chosen Cummins vs. Blachowicz for this honor. As we all know, Dana White hates fights that go the distance and probably only picks such fights for this honor only when he has too. Granted, I do not know if these awards are pick by Dana alone, but I assume his fingerprint is the most profound.
With the letdowns of the two main bouts, UFC 210 was a bit of a disappointment. True we saw some good fights, a major upset, two old pros giving their all and a female star on the rise. For that it was worth the money. With that said, you cannot deny the reality that most of the water cooler conversations will be centered on what could have been; I have never participated in water cooler conversations, has anyone?
As a side note, if you listened to Dana White after the fight, a DC vs. Jon Jones fight in July seems bleak. I took a lot of heat when I wrote that Jimi Manuawa is likely next in line for the DC vs. Rumble winner. If DC intends to fight in July, Manauwa appears to be the front runner; an apparent broken nose against Rumble may put DC on the shelf longer than he wants, however. Either way, Dana’s overall tone was such that he does not seem so in love with the fact of rewarded Jones with a title fight in his return.
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