The Fox opening in lieu of the usual is so strange. It’s actually like watching Strikeforce.
And WE ARE LIVE! With the robots from Real Steel.
The opening graphic with Vera/Shogun and Bader/Machida looks like a tag team match on Raw.
Feed went out with Curt Menaffee bigging up Randy Couture at the Fox Sports desk. Still weird to have a football style panel discussing fights. I’d have a better opinion but all I can see is ESPN’s big apology screen.
Joe Rogan is a gigantic human. I hope he took his Alphabrain tonight.
Apparently DaMarques Johnson is a ‘crafty veteran’. End of the road my friend.
Video package for the fight was fucking perfect. First time fans know everything they need to know about Mike Swick and DaMarques Johnson and their motivations. It’s the price you pay catering to a potentially bigger audience that mightn’t be too clear on the sport.
Swick has been out with esophageal cramps and this is his first fight since being choked out with a d’arce in Febuary 2010.
Mike Swick v DaMarques Johnson
I’m actually psyched for this. Johnson physically looks much bigger. Swick rocked him straight away. Johnson on top working from guard. Swick back up. FUCKING CRAZY SLUGFEST for a second. Johnson gets mount from a scramble, Swick gets half guard back and the crowd cheers. Awesome. Johnson working for a d’arce but not happening. Round ends with Johnson on top. 10 – 9 Johnson barely, great round.
Swick is tired as fuck at the start of round two. Slow, lumbering strikes from Swick and HOLY FUCK HE KNOCKED JOHNSON OUT! Swick caught the leg, hit a pushing single leg and knocked Johnson out standing above him in guard. Great fucking fight. Swick’s first win since UFC 99. Fucker is going to be a huge star off this if he keeps it up.
Anyone remember when Buff Bagwell broke his neck in 1998? When he came back he had all the sympathy in the world and he fucking turned heel. This was the opposite of that. He came back from being ill after two years, survived the last move to finish him in a fight and knocked the dude out impressively.
Jamie Varner v Joe Lauzon
I love Jamie Varner. Both guys are well rounded and always deliver a good fight. Lauzon in particular has only been to a decision once in his career. Varner is good everywhere while 17 or Lauzon’s 20 wins have been from submission.
Varner with great movement, varying his attacks and rocked the shit out of J-Lau a minute in. Varner eats a knee, wobbles for a bit. Varner is gassed as fuck. Lauson turning up the pressure with a brutal bodyshot. Varner knocked him down with a right and Lauzon is defending well from the guard. Varner 10 – 9 with the late knockdown. Good round again.
The sequence that dropped Lauzon was a left – right combo.
Varner starting round two strong. He’s wearing him down with some great leg kicks. Varner pulled guard for a guillotine and immediately had his back taken. Back to the feet, great defense. Lauzon starts lashing him out of it on the feet, gets side control and back to the feet. Lauzon takes him down again, gets the back, gets mount and looking for an arm triangle. Joe moves to the back, Varner stands up and takes top off a failed armbar. Fucking amazing round, Varner’s ground defense was so good. Lauzon 10 – 9.
Varner starts round three with a big power double leg and flattens him out to half guard. Lauzon sweeps him to the next dimension. Another power double from Varner. Sweep from Lauzon, Varner blocks and gets caught in a briangle. Varner is working to escape bit Lauzon adjusts. Varner taps. It was the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. His body language while he tapped was as if he tried his best and just came up short. Fight of the night for sure. It was amazing.
No interview for Lauzon for some reason. Varner got a hero’s reaction on the way back to the locker room. Second star making performance here tonight. Him losing like that was actually better for his career than a fluke win or decision loss. Not quite Hart/Austin at Wrestlemania, more like Misawa/Kawada from 1994. Hashtag wrestling.
A perfect fight.
Now for Ryan Bader to dry hump a foreign man for fifteen minutes.
Lyoto Machida v Ryan Bader
Lyoto has FUNGUS KILLER written across his groin. Both mens’ hair look well conditioned.
Don’t have high hopes for this. Bader having trouble closing the distance and Lyoto is looking real comfortable. Bader is diving in and getting tagged with jabs and body kicks. Bader has the imprint of Machida’s toes on his back suggesting a deep body kick to the liver. Machida 10 – 9. More interesting than it sounds on paper. The Machida puzzle is alive and well.
Round two starts with some circling. Bader rushes in and gets knocked the fuck out. He rushed in with his hands down like a mug. Bader was never in the fight. It was a straight right from Machida that put the lights out. Machida got in a few ground shots before we all copped that Bader was snoozing.
If I’m Bader, I’d be testing the waters at 185, drop some of that muscle.
According to Lyoto THE DRAGON IS BACK. Great fight surprisingly.
Mauricio Rua (The Naked And Famous – Young Blood) v Brandon Vera (Jay Z/Kanye – Gotta Have It)
I couldn’t have been more wrong on my predictions so far. This means that Brandon Vera will win in the first round with a twister.
Shogun came out to YOUNG BLOOD. Hipster Rua.
Shogun with a takedown and progresses to half guard straight away. Measured, relaxed pass to side control and back to the feet. Vera with two head kicks as soon as they separate. Vera pulled a TIGHT guillotine but couldn’t finish. Shogun was in deep trouble but he’s on top working with HARD fucking punches. Hanging out in Vera’s half guard again, to side control again and back mount face down. Shogun with hammerfists. Easy 10 – 9 for Shogun. He gave Vera so much to think about in round two.
They’re having a tired slugfest to open ROUND TWO. FOR FUCK SAKE. CARDIO CUNTS. Shogun is just whooping Vera’s ass here. Vera is getting some offense in between flurries and catches Shogun with a good left elbow before a clinch. Great takedown by Vera. He’s not working at all, using it as an excuse to catch his breath. Shogun is fucking jacked. It’s actually like round five of the Hendo fight. Shogun looks that tired. Vera actually stole the round. Honours even so far and I don’t expect it to go past this round.
Both lads are exhausted. Awesome fight so far.Vera is taking him apart with good combinations. Headkick by Vera. Takedown to half guard by Shogun. Vera has nothing from the bottom position.
Round four. Two minutes of THE CLINCH GAME. Brandon is throwing the straight right, left hook to the body and right leg kick combo at will when he’s in range. It’s actually the Sagat combo without special effects. Another minute of clinching against the cage. Shogun just backed up, unloaded and finished the fight.
It was a big right – left combo that knocked out Vera’s mouthpiece. Vera turtled up and Shogun finished the job. A proper war. Neither lad looked worthy of a title shot sadly.
The tag is still on Vera’s shitty Hayabusa hat. Shogun apologizes for being so tired. Well he fucking should be sorry. Christ.
Looks like Machida is getting his second shot against Jon Jones. Good luck son.
One of the best shows of the year. Best Fox show that’s been produced yet. I’ll see how I feel about it in the morning but this shall be staying on my DVR for a good long while.