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wandshogun09

UFC 217: Bisping vs St Pierre

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wandshogun09    30

OK this is a biggie. Saturday 4th November. The UFC is back in MSG. 

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PPV MAIN CARD

Michael Bisping vs Georges St Pierre - Middleweight Title

Cody Garbrandt vs TJ Dillashaw - Bantamweight Title

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Rose Namajunas - Strawweight Title

Stephen Thompson vs Jorge Masvidal

Johny Hendricks vs Paulo Borrachinha

 

FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS

Mickey Gall vs Randy Brown

Aleksei Oleinik vs Curtis Blaydes

Ion Cutelaba vs Gadzhimurad Antigulov

Aiemann Zahabi vs Ricardo Ramos

 

FIGHT PASS PRELIMS

Corey Anderson vs Patrick Cummins

 

That's obviously not the full card. There'll be a few fights added yet, maybe even one more title fight. I've seen rumours of Jedrzejczyk vs Namajunas being added but it hasn't been confirmed yet. Anyway, I'm getting the thread up now because it's one of the bigger events of the year and it's about 8 weeks away, we should get talking about it.

 

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MICHAEL BISPING VS GEORGES ST PIERRE

This is a fight that's been in the works pretty much all year. It's been very stop/start but it's finally official now. GSP is back. Bisping is finally defending the title. It's all going down on Nov 4th. 

It's been a long old road for Bisping to get this kind of fight, the type that should provide a life changing payday. 

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He started off kickboxing in the UK. In between working in a slaughterhouse, as a bouncer, as a door-to-door salesman etc. He did the lot and he's made no secret he was on his arse financially around this time. He was taking fights in dingy venues for a bit of extra cash and started taking MMA fights on the UK scene in April 2004. And it turned out he was pretty good at this fighting lark. He went 10-0 within about 18 months of starting his MMA career, fighting mostly in the Cage Warriors and Cage Rage promotions. 

Then an opportunity came up in 2006 for him to be on Season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter. With less shows, less money flying around and a smaller roster back then, it wasn't as easy to get in the UFC in 2006, so going on TUF was a good shortcut to getting your foot in door and with some instant exposure to boot.

TUF was at its peak back then. It was all new and shiny and there was a real buzz in those days when a new season was announced. And TUF 3 promised to be huge with rivals Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock as coaches. It turned out to be one of the most entertaining TUFs ever, still to this day. And it wasn't all down to Tito and Ken either. For me, Bisping (and to a slightly lesser extent Ross Pointon) made that season. Certainly the 'back at the house' bits anyway. 

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Bisping TKO'd Josh 'Constantly Crying' Haynes to win the TUF 3 light heavyweight tournament at the Hard Rock in Vegas. Bisping's talked a few times about how skint he was going into this fight. 

He beat Eric Schafer in his first post-TUF UFC fight. Then he beat Elvis Sinosic in Manchester in 2007. He followed that up with a disputed decision over fellow TUF 3 contestant Matt Hamill in London. These Manchester and London shows were the first times the UFC had come to the UK since 2002, and it was largely on the back of Bisping. He was 14-0 now and looked like he was on track to becoming a star for the UFC. But, in what would become a recurring theme in his career, right when he was on the verge of something big, he hit a roadblock. This time it was in the form of a close decision loss to Rashad Evans. This was Bisping's first defeat. 

Looking for a fresh start, he dropped to middleweight and racked up wins over Charles McCarthy, Jason Day and Chris Leben. Then came career setback #2...

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Again, coming off coaching TUF 9, at UFC 100 the biggest PPV in company history. In a huge fight that, had he won, would've most likely bagged him a title shot. He got ironed out by Dan Henderson. 

As usual with Bisping, he picked himself up and got back on the horse. He finished Denis Kang in a homecoming fight in Manchester in November 2009. Then he lost on points to Wanderlei Silva in Australia in February 2010. Ups and downs all over the place. He won his next 4 fights - Dan Miller, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Jorge Rivera and Jason 'Mayhem' Miller after another stint coaching TUF 14. He was in a good place going into 2012. But then he hit the longest run of inconsistency of his career. Over his next 7 fights, he alternated between losses and wins each time. He lost a decision to Chael Sonnen (although I thought he won), then beat Brian Stann, then got KO'd by a TRT fuelled Vitor Belfort, then he beat Alan Belcher in April 2013. 

Right around this time is when he started really having serious issues with his eye. And he had to take some time off to have surgery to repair a detached retina.

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He came back a year later in April 2014. The longest layoff of his career. And he lost a shutout decision to Tim Kennedy. I'll be honest, this was where I really started to doubt Bisping. Granted, he'd been out a while so maybe he was rusty, but the way Kennedy just shut him down and dominated him for 5 rounds, it didn't look good. Bisping was known for having great defensive grappling. So the fact that Kennedy was able to completely blanket him like he did made me question whether Bisping was on the slide. 

He rebounded by bashing a gassed to the gills Cung Le to bits in Macao, China in August 2014. Then of course, after a win he was due another loss. This time it was Luke Rockhold headkicking him silly then submitting him in Australia. At this point, I'd absolutely given up any hopes of Bisping even getting a shot at the title, much less winning it. He seemed destined to forever be the bridesmaid. 

That was 2014. He hasn't lost since. 

Bisping started to rebuild, racking up decision wins over CB Dollaway and Thales Leites. He was then set to fight Gegard Mousasi in London in February 2016. But on Christmas Eve 2015, the UFC switched things up and offered Bisping a different opponent for London. It was Anderson Silva. The fight Bisping had been working towards since he dropped to 185 back in 2008. Anderson was no longer the champ but it was still a massive fight for Bisping and his legacy. 

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It was an incredible fight. A proper 5 round war. Anderson wasn't at his best but he still looked lethal at times, Bisping surprised everyone by knocking Anderson down with a left hook, it had the controversy of Anderson nearly taking Bisping's head clean off with a flying knee after a round ended. It was bloody and Bisping looked like his face was falling off by the end but he hung tough and gutted it out. Balls the size of watermelons. And he got the nod from the judges. It was close, I'm not 100% certain I agree with the decision, but it wasn't a robbery or anything. And it was such a tremendous fight. In the end, the record books say Michael Bisping beat Anderson Silva. That was something I never thought I'd live to see. 

That seemed like the perfect ending to Bisping's career. 'He might not ever be champ but he can tell his grandkids he beat Anderson Silva' and all that good stuff. 

But there was another chapter to come. A Luke Rockhold vs Chris Weidman rematch for the title was supposed to go down at UFC 199 in June 2016. Weidman got injured. Who were the UFC going to call? No, not The Ghostbusters. They called 'The Count'. Fan response was almost unanimous with the overriding opinion being 'yeah, Bisping's the most deserving of a title shot. Shame he's going to get killed'. He didn't stand a chance. Especially on short notice. 

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Bisping won.

He shocked the MMA world. The two big criticisms of Bisping (in the cage, not his personality) throughout his career were 1) he'd never win the big one. And 2) he didn't have much punching power. He managed to throw a big 'fuck you' in the face of both of those criticisms in this one. He knocked Rockhold out in the first round and won the title in one go. On just 10 days notice. And against a rival who'd beaten him before. Does a win get any sweeter? 

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Bisping was the UFC middleweight champion of the world! 

And he managed to make his fairytale 2016 even better when he capped off the year defending the title in Manchester and beating Dan Henderson in a FOTY candidate. Avenging the worst loss of his career in the process. 

Bisping took some time out to get knee surgery after beating Hendo. And he started saying he was thinking about retirement and probably only had a couple of fights left in him. 

"It scares me to death. It fucking scares me, man. It really does. Listen, my mum and dad were great. They loved me very much and my dad worked hard and this and that. But there was no silver spoon in my mouth, mate. No fucking silver spoon, far from it. I didn't get an education, I left school at 16 and I've done every shitty dead-end job under the sun. And I still remember being flat broke and borrowing money off my mum and she didn't have any money to start with, you know, and just not being able to pay bills. And now we live a very good lifestyle and I want my kids to continue living that lifestyle. I don't spend money. Alright, I've got a nice car, so fucking what? I'm allowed to have a nice car. But generally, I don't spend any money. If you look at my bank balance, the only money that gets spent is by my wife and kids going here, there and everywhere while I'm working. And I do it all for them. And I'm just scared, I mean there's shit on the table, yesterday I was at a meeting, then I went to UFC Tonight, then I did interviews. I'm a tireless worker. And yeah, retirement scares me. I can't wait to retire because, believe it or not, getting punched in the face is getting kind of old. But at the same time I do enjoy delivering a good punch to the face. Maybe two more fights. And that's me done." - Michael Bisping

Then we learned that Georges St Pierre was coming back. And fighting Bisping. At middleweight. It all seemed surreal. Still does, to be honest. 

GSP is back! 

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Arguably THE best to ever do it. In my opinion, he's the best of all time until someone outdoes his accomplishments. The ones who had a case - Anderson and Jones - soiled their legacies with PEDs. The only one who's anywhere close for me now is Demetrious Johnson. But I'd still give GSP the #1 spot. He dominated for years, schooled about 3 waves of welterweights (which has historically always been a strong division) and avenged his only 2 defeats emphatically. He was the boss. Wins over Matt Hughes twice, BJ Penn twice, Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit, Johny Hendricks, Josh Koscheck twice, Jon Fitch, Matt Serra, Jake Shields, Frank Trigg, Sean Sherk, Karo Parisyan. The list goes on. A who's who of the 170lb division throughout the eras. And he beat them all at or close to their primes.

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I've always said that when GSP beat Thiago Alves at UFC 100, that was maybe the best fighter we've ever seen in the Octagon. There's been performances that were as good or even better, but I don't think I've ever felt like a guy was unbeatable quite like I did watching that fight that night. You have to take into context that Alves was an animal back then. A straight killer. A Muay Thai wrecking machine with muscles on top of muscles, ridiculous takedown defence and leg kicks that would make Tong Po wince. GSP schooled him. Everywhere. For 25 minutes. Even after a groin injury ("HIT HIM WITH YOUR GROIN!!!") midway through the fight. It was GSP at his best. When Alves was expecting strikes, GSP would shoot under and take him down. When Alves was expecting a takedown, GSP would smack him in the face. 

In his last couple of years fighting though, you could see he was wearing down. He'd had a knee injury around 2011/12 and when he came back the sharks of the division were circling. He had a really rough fight with Condit in November 2012 and it was around this time he started talking about being burnt out by the sport. He'd had a load of fights and had carried the company in Canada and done a ton of media over a few years. He was frazzled. He took the big money fight against Nick Diaz in March 2013, dominated every round and won the decision. Pocketing a cool few $mil for his troubles. Then in November 2013, at the UFC's 20th anniversary show, he defended against Johny Hendricks. 

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It was the toughest fight of his career. Many had Hendricks winning. I wouldn't argue against that. But I didn't think it was anywhere near as bad a decision as people make out. GSP got the decision and then walked away from MMA. 

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He'd had enough. Physically it seemed like the battles were catching up to him. But it seemed like he was fried mentally more than anything. I don't know what he was doing in his time off. He's a pretty private guy when it comes to his life away from the cage. 

By all accounts he's never stopped training though. And in 2016, he started making noises about getting back in the cage. 

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He was saying he wanted to fight late last year. But it was clear there were problems in the negotiations because while he was saying this, Dana was going about saying he didn't think GSP was going to fight again. In the end it all got sorted and it was confirmed that GSP would be back in the Octagon in 2017! 

The speculation about who GSP's opponent would be began. Naturally, it was mostly welterweights coming up. Tyron Woodley, Robbie Lawler, Demian Maia, even a Nick Diaz rematch was put out as a possibility. And if a weight change was on the cards, most thought it'd be a move down in weight for a megafight with Conor McGregor. 

But GSP had other ideas. He was packing weight on. 

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It wasn't long until it was announced that GSP would be moving up to middleweight to challenge Michael Bisping for the title. GSP was looking to join the exclusive club of fighters who have held titles in 2 UFC weight classes. 

"When I used to fight at 170, I was always walking around at 185, 186. Now, when I wake up in the morning, I'm 198. Almost 200 pounds. I'm much bigger than I was."

"I feel very good. I feel very, very good. I follow a diet. It happened very rapidly. In like a month and a half I gained about 10 pounds. It was very fast. I was surprised because I didn't think it would work that good. Yeah, it's just the way I eat. It's the first time in my life - normally I eat a lot of fast food but now I watch what I eat and it made a big difference."

"I wanted my risk to be worth it. I wanted to try something that I never attempted before. For me, fighting Michael Bisping is the most rewarding thing that I can do right now." - Georges St Pierre

It was a weird situation. The fight was official but there was no date and no venue confirmed. They still held a press conference though. The highlights;

The rumour was that the fight was being lined up for UFC 213 in July. When that didn't work out it was UFC 215 in September. 

Then it all went to shit. GSP pulled out. Dana changed plans, scrapped the Bisping vs GSP idea and said the "ship had sailed" on that fight and that they were going in another direction. That direction was later confirmed by Bisping on his podcast. They wanted Bisping to coach another season of TUF against whoever won the Romero vs Whittaker fight in July. Clearly they were salivating at the idea of a Bisping vs Romero series of TUF. But then Romero lost to Whittaker, Whittaker wasn't into the idea of coaching TUF and the fight which was going to determine who'd welcome GSP back - Tyron Woodley vs Demian Maia - shit the bed. To quote Dana "the ship turned the fuck back around and sailed back".

Bisping vs GSP is back on. 

Do yourself a favour, watch that promo. 

I still find this a strange fight. I just can't picture it at all. It's a fight I want to see but it's not a dream fight for me. I don't see it as this massive superfight they'll no doubt promote it as. But whatever, it's going to be a fun ride.

"For the record, I've got nothing to mock GSP about. Listen, we're gonna fight and I'm gonna make him doubt himself and I'm gonna talk shit just like I would against anybody. And whilst we're fighting and in the lead up to that fight, you're my enemy. You're my sworn enemy and everything I'm doing right now is in an attempt to beat you in a fist fight. It's as simple as that. And whilst we're doing that you're my motivation to train, you're my motivation to eat clean, my motivation to go to bed early, to get up early, to train 2/3 times a day, to push myself to physical exhaustion. So if we see each other I'm gonna talk a bit of shit. You're my sworn enemy until that fight's over."

"But I'll say this, I have nothing but respect for Georges St Pierre and I've said this time and time again. He has been the consummate professional throughout his career. And really, if you wanted to model yourself on a fighter, Georges St Pierre would be the guy. He's a guy that's always pushed himself to find new ways of training, travelled to get the best training possible. And as I say, been a professional, followed a great diet, didn't party. Georges St Pierre would be the guy that I'd say model yourself on that guy. BUT...we are gonna fight and I'm gonna talk a little shit. I'm gonna call him a lizard and I'm gonna make fun of him." - Michael Bisping

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Fuck me, I've gone on. I'll try to keep the rest relatively brief. 

 

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CODY GARBRANDT VS TJ DILLASHAW

This one's been brewing a while now. I'm so glad they ended up sticking with this after their plans for Mighty Mouse vs Dillashaw fell through. This is the fight that needed to happen.

How did we go from this;

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To this?;

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Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw used to be teammates at Team Alpha Male. Both protégés of Urijah Faber and both thought to be top prospects from early on in their careers. 

Dillashaw took off first. He went on TUF 14 as an undefeated 4-0 rookie. He was impressive on the show and made the finals but ultimately came up short, losing to John Dodson. From there though, he went 5-1 in his next 6 fights in the UFC. That put him in line for a title shot. He was a huge underdog going in against the champion in May 2014. Renan Barao was running a reign of terror through the 135 division at this time. He was on a 30-something fight unbeaten streak and was being called the P4P king.  

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Dillashaw put in a mind blowing performance that night. Dropping Barao early, finishing him late and dominating at all points in between. It was a real shocker at the time. An upset that was being compared with Matt Serra beating GSP. He defended the title against Joe Soto and then battered Barao a second time, this time even worse, on FOX in July 2015. He dropped the title on a close decision to Dominick Cruz in January 2016 but has since rallied back with decisions over Raphael Assuncao and John Lineker. 

Cody Garbrandt had kind of a similar rise, I suppose. Just minus the losses. He rose up the ranks fast. After going 5-0 in the minor leagues, the UFC picked him up in 2014. He won his first 3 UFC fights to little fanfare but looked good. At 8-0 he was put in his first UFC main event. A Fight Night headliner against fellow unbeaten prospect, the Brazilian Thomas Almeida. Almeida was more experienced and had a scary record (21-0 with 19 finishes). Most, including me, gave Almeida the edge. But Garbrandt knocked him out in under 3 minutes. This was where Garbrandt put himself on the map. It was his first time in that spotlight position, and he shined. He followed that up with a 48 second KO over the veteran Takeya Mizugaki and called out the champ Dominick Cruz post-fight. 

At this point it was a no brainer. Garbrandt was 10-0 with 9 knockouts, Cruz had run out of fresh challengers and it would be a continuation of the Cruz vs Team Alpha Male feud. But again, Garbrandt wasn't really expected to win. Cruz was considered the best bantamweight of all time. As good as Cody looked, it just felt too soon for him. 

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Wrong. Cody once again rose to the occasion. He surpassed all expectations. Even those who were fancying him to upset Cruz, nobody saw it going how it did. It was thought that if he had any chance it'd be by KO. But he outpointed Cruz with slick movement, speed and timing, dropping Cruz a bunch of times and taunting him throughout.

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It was one of the best showings from any fighter in years. Especially given who he did it against. 

And here we are.

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This should be a brilliant fight. There's a lot to this story with TJ splitting off from TAM, the fallout with Faber, the stuff with Duane Ludwig, Cody claiming he has a video of him KOing TJ in sparring. All manner of bad blood. And their stint as TUF coaches earlier this year just fuelled the flames. Cody came off as a massive bellend IMO. And although I've never been keen on Dillashaw, that season of TUF has me firmly on Team TJ now. 

 

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JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK VS ROSE NAMAJUNAS

This has all the makings of a war. When are either of these two in a bad fight? They're both so aggressive, intense and technical. I can't picture anything other than an exciting fight. 

Joanna Jedrzejczyk is one of my favourite fighters in all of combat sports right now. She's great to watch and I love her whole attitude and swagger. She's 30 years old, undefeated at 14-0 in her MMA career, 8-0 in the UFC so far. She's also got a Kickboxing record of 27-3 and an amateur Muay Thai record of 37-3. A total of 84 fights! And a total combined record of 78-6. She's a beast. She won the title in 2015 with a total demolition job on Carla Esparza. And she's beat Claudia Gadelha twice, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Jessica Andrade, Jessica Penne and Valerie Letourneau. Like Demetrious Johnson at flyweight, she's seeing off challengers quicker than the division can produce new ones. 

Rose Namajunas is one of the few fresh contenders left. She's 25 years old with a lacklustre 6-3 MMA record. Going on records alone, this is a complete mismatch. But, while I expect Joanna will win, I think Namajunas' record is a bit misleading. Her loss to Carla Esparza in the TUF 20 finals is really the only one she really lost clearly. And some of that could be chalked up to inexperience (it was only her 4th pro fight). Her losses to Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Tecia Torres were very competitive and pretty close. And she beat Torres in their rematch. She looked really good in her wins over Paige VanZant and Michelle Waterson. 

Like I said, Joanna most likely wins. And that doesn't upset me one bit. I always root for her. But I think Thug Rose makes a proper fight of it. Can't wait for this one. 

 

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WONDERBOY THOMPSON VS JORGE MASVIDAL

This fight fascinates me. It's my ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. I could see it being a chess match or an all out war. Not sure how it goes. But I'm really intrigued to see how it pans out on the night. Wonderboy should have the edge on the feet given his striking experience but you can't sleep on Masvidal's boxing. If it hits the ground I definitely favour Masvidal. But Thompson has that weird movement and unique style. Fuck knows. The winner of this gets themself right back in the mix. 

 

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JOHNY HENDRICKS VS PAULO BORRACHINHA

I don't think this is going to end well for Hendricks. Granted, this is a step up for Borrachinha on paper. But Hendricks for me just has that feel of a fighter who's done. He might occasionally beat another guy who's on the slide like Hector Lombard but seeing him matched with a young beast like Borrachinha, I don't know, it feels like a chicken accidentally running into Col Sanders kitchen. 

And will the porky fuck make weight? 

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The fact that he's missed weight at 185 baffles me. For someone with such a wrestling background to miss weight even after moving up a division, it's nuts. It's not like he's killing himself making weight. He's clearly carrying some extra flab at middleweight. He just mustn't care anymore. It's the only plausible explanation to me. 

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We don't know that much about Paulo Borrachinha. But he scares me. 26 years old, 10-0 with 10 finishes and, well look at him. He had a wild brawl with Oluwale Bamgbose in June at UFC 212, which he won by TKO. He's a tank. 

 

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MICKEY GALL VS RANDY BROWN

He's back. Mickey Gall hasn't fought since December 2016. He's one of the brightest prospects on the roster and at just 4-0 in his pro career, one of the most talked about. And that's because he's gone about things in a smart way. Targeting names that will get him maximum promotion and then beating them impressively. He followed this plan beautifully with his wins over CM Punk and Sage Northcutt last year. He tried to get a fight with Dan Hardy after that but Hardy being retired, it didn't amount to anything. Now he's got Randy Brown. Not a 'name' but on paper he's certainly a test. He's 9-2 with a 3-2 UFC record. No world beater but decent enough and he's got the experience advantage over Gall. Could be good. 

 

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ALEKSEI OLEINIK VS CURTIS BLAYDES

No card would be complete without the heavyweights. Oleinik submitted Travis Browne in July, in what was probably his biggest UFC win to date. It was a sloppy fight but I really enjoyed it. Blaydes is a big old lump with power in his hands. Should be entertaining. 

 

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ION CUTELABA VS GADZHIMURAD ANTIGULOV

I'm into this purely to see Cutelaba throw down again. The man shits intensity. He's a guy I really hope can keep winning and break through because 205 needs new blood and a guy like Cutelaba, if he can keep improving, could be a fun addition to throw into that mix. 

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His last fight in June in New Zealand only lasted 22 seconds but it stole the show for me. He stared Henrique Da Silva down during the intros, then ran across the cage, they collided, and Da Silva dropped. Cutelaba just looked so badass I want him to be a main eventer. He's 2-2 in his last 4 so that's very unlikely. But I'd love to see him rise up the ladder. He'll probably lose this fight, to be honest. Antigulov is no joke. 20-4 record, hasn't lost since 2013 and won his 2 UFC fights in the first round. Should be an explosive and violent one however long it lasts. 

 

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AIEMANN ZAHABI VS RICARDO RAMOS

This'll be worth a look. Aiemann Zahabi is the younger brother of Firas, one of the top MMA coaches over the last decade. Zahabi is 7-0 with 6 finishes and he looked good in his UFC debut in February. Don't know much about Ramos. He's only 22 years old but he's got a 10-1 record and won his UFC debut, although I don't think I saw it. 

 

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COREY ANDERSON VS PATRICK CUMMINS

I'm neither here nor there on this fight. Find both quite dull most of the time but maybe two wrongs can make a right here. I think Anderson's got more skills and I expect him to win but fuck knows. Cummins might just outwrestle him. 

 

There you go then. I'll update the card as it fills out. It doesn't look as stacked as last year's MSG card but I think it's still really strong. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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Chunk    0

Amazing write up as ever!

When was that photo of Hendricks taken? He looks terrible!

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Carbomb    8

As I mentioned in the general MMA thread, really glad to see Aiemann Zahabi fighting again. Really enjoyed his debut, became an instant fan.

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Gus Mears    93

Excellent write up, as ever.

First UFC event I am going to bother with staying up for since 200. I think GSP vs. Bisping has the potential to be a wonderful fight, so many stories going into that. Will GSP be the same? How much has Bisping got left in the tank? As pretty much an MMA layman, some great narratives leading into this one from my perspective. 

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David    63

I actually thought Hendricks would have been cut after missing weight then being knocked out by Boetsch.

I don't think he's been the same since the two fights with Lawler. If he loses this one badly then I hope he calls it a day. There's only so much the brain can take as far as getting punched in the head, and he's been wrestling since he could walk. I think the years of competing takes it toll in different ways on different people.

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jimufctna24    7

I'm torn on who I want to win the main event.

I like the idea of GSP beating the game, so to speak. We have seen so many great fighters be caught out by the sport before calling it a day. Fedor has lost to fighters who would have struggled to last 2 minutes with him in his prime. Anderson has lost 4 of his last 6 fights. GSP initially got out before we saw him slide in any serious way. Yes, he was lucky to get the nod against Hendricks, but when he could create separation between himself and Hendricks that evening, he boxed circles around him. 

I find it hard to root against Bisping though. I have gone back and forth with Bisping over the years. He's not always been the most endearing of characters, but his story is one of the best in MMA history, as Wand demonstrated in the opening post. I am chuffed that he's finally in a mega-fight as well. Whatever is said about him as a person, he's always played it straight as a fighter. He's rarely, if ever, taken the easy path in his career.

He's also one of the very few fighters who I would be surprised if they were flagged by USADA. Not only has he never been caught out by drug testing, he's always spoke out against it. It wasn't a surprise when Frank Mir got popped for PED's, as he was always very diplomatic about the issue in interviews. Bisping has never sat on the fence about it. There are interviews as far back as 2012, where he talked out about it. You have to believe that the game was rife with PED use back then. 

Overall, I'm looking forward to this one. It's a weird match-up, but one that interests me. The press conferences and interviews leading up to the fight should be gold. Both know how to play their respective roles to perfection. 

 

 

Edited by jimufctna24

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Carbomb    8

I never felt GSP was lucky against Hendricks, only because, when a title match goes that close, you have to take into account the "Champion's Premium/Prerogative" that judges usually give to established champs when totting up their scores in combat sports. It's an odd idea, but I guess it's the whole concept of "if you want to be the champ, you have to be clearly better than the champ". Something to do with the whole mystique of being a champion, I suppose. Personally, I wasn't outraged either way, as I felt it was a very close decision and therefore not a robbery, but I do find it odd that people don't take the Premium into account when something like that happens.

Like jim, I am very much torn on whom I want to win, because I like both of them. Bisping is the British, real-life Rocky, it's that simple. Guy's a fucking hero. That said, GSP is a legend, and immensely likable, and I would love it for him to go one step further towards cementing his claim to being GOAT. Also, it would be great to see a fighter who's "beaten the game", as jim says.

Ultimately, neither fighter can really lose. Bisping at best gets to beat yet another GOAT contender, gets to hold on to his championship, and gets a chance to have another championship match to earn money with. At worst, he gets to go out against a GOAT contender, earning big and setting himself up for life, having had his time in the sun. 

GSP at best gets to become a two-weight champion, get closer to being GOAT, gets to earn more, and at worst, gets a payday, and can say the combination of being out for a while and fighting at a higher weight than he's ever fought in his life is what cost him.

 

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GSP is my favourite fighter ever, so needless to say, he could be fighting Wand's Auntie Bertha and I'd still pay to see Bovine Bertha get the jabbing of a lifetime.

In terms of the universe paying off hard work and good people, this match is brilliant. I mostly wanted this because I wanted Bisping to get that big pay day he deserves, after being such a brilliant representative of the sport (gay slurs, aside - which he did apologise for).

Oh, and aye, that may very well be your finest write up, wand. Brilliantly summed up why we are so invested in both men.

TJ v Cody has all the makings of FOTY. Both extremely skilled stand up fighters, both with nothing but hate for each other.

Edited by ColinBollocks

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wandshogun09    30

 

3 hours ago, Carbomb said:

I never felt GSP was lucky against Hendricks, only because, when a title match goes that close, you have to take into account the "Champion's Premium/Prerogative" that judges usually give to established champs when totting up their scores in combat sports. It's an odd idea, but I guess it's the whole concept of "if you want to be the champ, you have to be clearly better than the champ". Something to do with the whole mystique of being a champion, I suppose. Personally, I wasn't outraged either way, as I felt it was a very close decision and therefore not a robbery, but I do find it odd that people don't take the Premium into account when something like that happens.

I've said it loads of times on here but I hate, hate, absolutely hate that 'champion's advantage' thing. You mostly hear it in Boxing but it's crept into MMA over the years as well. Think someone even mentioned it in the UFC 215 thread re: Nunes vs Shevchenko. I don't get why that line of thinking exists. All it does is encourage lazy judging whereby the judges don't have to think and score correctly, they can just score any close round to the champ. It's unfair and it's a load of bollocks. Why should a challenger have to win rounds more clearly than the champion? Who started that logic? It makes zero sense in the scoring as well. Does a challenger have to do more to get a 10-8 than the champ? To me, a challenger should be given the same chance to win as the champ. Whether they win every round or edge it by a single point, that should be irrelevant to a judge scoring a fight. 

Not having a pop at you, Carbomb. It's just one of my pet peeves in combat sports. And it seems to have just been accepted over the years. Fight judging is inconsistent enough without encouraging the judges to just put a tick next to the champion's name whenever a round is close and they can't be arsed to pay attention. 

2 hours ago, ColinBollocks said:

GSP is my favourite fighter ever, so needless to say, he could be fighting Wand's Auntie Bertha and I'd still pay to see Bovine Bertha get the jabbing of a lifetime.

GSP don't want none of my aunt. Plus USADA just turned up at her house and she tested positive for Toblerone. Her levels were off the charts, apparently. 

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Moo    6

Is anyone contemplating going to this event? I'm in the US around this time for work and am contemplating going. Can't find any official information on the ticket prices.

Also longshot does anyone have fightclub membership that could tell me what the prices are for them?

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Ross18    0

Actually looking like I might go to this. Me and my brother got some compensation in the summer after our flight back from Vegas was delayed over 24 hours.

So thinking of putting the money towards going to this. 

As far as I've can see they've not released any prices yet. Can't even see it as an event on Ticketmaster yet. The UFC just tweeted about tickets going on sale this week about 15 mins ago and the link doesn't even go anywhere. Which is a bit worrying. Hopefully get an update soon!

Edited by Ross18

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Carbomb    8
15 hours ago, wandshogun09 said:

 

I've said it loads of times on here but I hate, hate, absolutely hate that 'champion's advantage' thing. You mostly hear it in Boxing but it's crept into MMA over the years as well. Think someone even mentioned it in the UFC 215 thread re: Nunes vs Shevchenko. I don't get why that line of thinking exists. All it does is encourage lazy judging whereby the judges don't have to think and score correctly, they can just score any close round to the champ. It's unfair and it's a load of bollocks. Why should a challenger have to win rounds more clearly than the champion? Who started that logic? It makes zero sense in the scoring as well. Does a challenger have to do more to get a 10-8 than the champ? To me, a challenger should be given the same chance to win as the champ. Whether they win every round or edge it by a single point, that should be irrelevant to a judge scoring a fight. 

Not having a pop at you, Carbomb. It's just one of my pet peeves in combat sports. And it seems to have just been accepted over the years. Fight judging is inconsistent enough without encouraging the judges to just put a tick next to the champion's name whenever a round is close and they can't be arsed to pay attention. 

GSP don't want none of my aunt. Plus USADA just turned up at her house and she tested positive for Toblerone. Her levels were off the charts, apparently. 

:laugh::laugh::laugh: at the Toblerone. They catch her with raised insulin levels?

I get what you're saying, man, and to a certain extent, I agree. I get the impression from reading articles and chatting to fight fans I know that the whole thing is about endowing the championship with a sense of "mystique" and privilege, the idea that it should be about more than just the recognition and the money. Why recognition and money aren't considered enough to make the belt a big deal, I don't know.

That said, there's a part of me that can see why: the whole sense of grandeur and romanticism about what it is to be champion, and the aura surrounding the position of "best in the world", it's a very seductive notion. Bloody stupid, really.

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