I said it last night on twitter and will say it again…if you pitched that fight as a storyline in Hollywood, you would be laughed out of the room. That is the kind of thing that makes sports great. You can’t script reality (you can script reality TV shows) and while that would be the most corny/ridiculous story, it was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen in the octagon.
The cocky, arrogant, unbeatable champion from a foreign country steps into the octagon ON JULY 4TH WEEKEND no less….to face the young, inexperienced and pretty humble American kid. The American kid was trying very hard, but the seemingly unbeatable/evil foreigner couldn’t be caught and began toying with him, making fun of how no matter how hard he tried there was simply no way the scrappy American was anywhere near as good as the 10 time defending champion. And then, just when the evil foreigner acted his worst by pretending a light jab wobbled him….BOOM!!! Lights out, new champ!!! That is the worst movie I have ever seen. Somewhere, Sly Stallone is PISSED that his idea for Rocky 7 just got stolen! I mean he even walked out of the octagon with the flag wrapped around him and Born in the USA playing! That is an AWFUL movie!
But seriously, who didn’t want that to happen?! Just total disrespect from Silva AGAIN in a fight. That has been a long time coming where karma caught up with him. I don’t question his ability and work ethic. And I like guys who have a personality. But this wasn’t the first time that Silva’s act had gotten ridiculous in the cage. I guess since he hasn’t had any close calls since the first Chael Sonnen fight he felt like he could act like a jack ass.
That ranks right up there for me with the night that Randy Couture came out of retirement (although it had only been 13 months), went back to the heavyweight division after over 4 years away from it and fighting Tim Sylvia in a true “David vs Goliath” battle. Sylvia was much bigger, much longer, much younger and the age of 43 Couture dominated Sylvia for 5 rounds to reclaim the UFC heavyweight title.
That was when the UFC was truely great. At that time, the only fighter who was dominating a divison was Chuck Liddell who was upset later that spring by Rampage Jackson. Every PPV, you had no idea what was going to happen. Every card you didn’t hope for a huge upset, you were expecting it. But in the last 2 or 3 years, the cards have been watered down in an attempt to spread out the talent to do more shows, and 3 guys have simply owned the sport (those being Silva, GSP and Jon Jones).
It has just become very stale. I couldn’t help but notice my twitter feed last night (of course when am I not noticing it?!) Nobody was talking about 162 other than Dana White of course. Literally nobody else who I follow was talking about it, and I follow some BIG MMA fans and even some of the guys connected to the business who I follow weren’t talking about it. Even after Frankie Edgar’s fight which was a great 3 round tilt with Charles Oliveira, nobody was saying anything. And as I was watching it I said “the best thing that could happen is a shocker right here”.
I woke up this morning and I’m excited about the UFC again, and I can’t help but think other fans who were diehards but had somewhat drifted away from the sport are too. I mean I still watch most of the cards. I get together with my buddies to watch them, but its not a must like it was 4 or 5 years ago. And sure, the unpredictability is only one aspect of it. They have done a good job at recognizing that the amount of cards was getting ridiculous. There isn’t a PPV on every 2 weeks anymore (at least that’s what it felt like), so they are taking the steps that they need to take.
But a fight like that was desperately needed! Now the middleweight division is WIDE open. It also now free’s up Anderson Silva to have the 2 big fights MMA fans have wanted to see against Jones and St.Pierre. There should be a buzz around the UFC once again which had been lacking in the mainstream media and with casual fans for a few years now. Even at the sports peak they never quite got over that hump to become a real mainstream sport. We will see if this fight gives them the jolt they need to take another run at it.
Follow me on twitter…if twitter still exsists after it blew up last night @TJ_Soups