Well, that was certainly something. I didn’t know what to make of the UFC 183 main event bout between Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz when it was announced. I certainly understood the reason it was booked – it’s something fans wanted to see. But could Diaz be competitive against Silva, even with Anderson coming off a devastating injury? The answer was yes, to a degree. But it was the former middleweight champion that came out on top, and that wasn’t much of a surprise.
The fight was a lot of things at different times – strange, sophomoric, exciting, even amazing. It was indeed a spectacle. But was it a great fight? I guess. I’d probably label it more along the lines of just okay, but I’m just talking about the fighting. There were a lot of lulls. There was a lot of shots that weren’t thrown with lethal intentions. But was it entertaining? Absolutely. Without question.
Nonetheless, Silva took home a unanimous decision and says he’s unsure what his future holds. Somehow, I think he’s not going to be getting a title shot despite what Dana White said. And what about Diaz? If he only wants big fights, are there some left for him at 170? Or 185? I’m really not sure. I’m still trying to process what I just saw.
- Tyron Woodley may have won a split decision over Kelvin Gastelum, but most of the bout was hot garbage. Woodley is an animal when he has someone hurt – he opens up his striking and goes right at them. He had Gastelum wobbled in the second, and it got him to start pressing the action. The rest of the time though, he’s not very active. And when Gastelum was being inactive too, the rounds felt like they were taking forever. The first round in particular was terrible. Gastelum did turn it up in the third and it was a decent stanza, but neither man looked impressive tonight.
- I was very impressed with how smart Al Iaquinta fought when he hurt Joe Lauzon. Lauzon actually surprised me with his hands in the first round, but once Iaquinta hurt him, I fully expected Lauzon to recover on the ground. Instead, Iaquinta quickly got up and made him fight on the feet. Lauzon was on dream street, and Iaquinta sent him staggering all over the cage. Lauzon is incredibly tough for managing to stay on his feet, but that was an excellent stoppage by the referee. Joe wasn’t coming back.
- Thales Leites and Tim Boetsch was so much fun. I honestly wasn’t expecting much action in that fight and I was totally blown away. Leites was beating Boetsch up. Then The Barbarian dropped him. They both chucked knuckles like crazy in round two. Once Leites got Boetsch down and into the first arm triangle, I thought it was a wrap. I still have no idea how he got out, but the second one was picture-perfect. And Boetsch going to sleep just added to the drama. This was one of my favorite fights of the year so far (I know, I know, it’s January).
- Jordan Mein is a special fighter, even if he lost tonight. Who else throws elbows like that? He’s so much fun. But he ran into a durable guy in Thiago Alves that still has incredible kicks. The shot that led to the finish was absolutely deadly. So deadly that I flinched myself when it landed. Brutal.
- I really, really liked the bout between Sara McMann and Miesha Tate. I’m not a Tate fan, but her perseverance deserves a lot of credit. She bounced back from a rough first half of the fight and totally out-grappled an Olympic medalist in wrestling. I don’t think she has a hope in hell of getting a third fight with Ronda Rousey, but she certainly earned her spot in the top five of the division with this win.
- Derek Brunson beat the tar out of Ed Herman. There’s not much else you can say about that.
- Ian McCall fought a one-round fight. He successfully evaded John Lineker’s other-worldly power for the first round and fought very smart. But the minute he got tagged early in round two, he seemed a lot more hesitant. Getting caught in that guillotine when he charged in for a takedown didn’t help either. Lineker is so much fun to watch, it just sucks that he can’t make weight. And he really didn’t try, which is even more troubling.
- Rafael Natal fought a great fight tonight, putting a beating on Tom Watson. Normally he makes some head-scratching decisions in bouts, but he looked smooth in his bout and totally outclassed the British fighter.
- Ildemar Alcantara vs. Richardson Moreira was pretty boring. The only thing I took out of the bout was how many times Joe Rogan mentioned Rousimar Palhares. He just got more hype on a UFC show than he did on the last WSOF show.
- Thiago Santos may not ever win a title, but damn does that guy kick hard. He stopped Ronny Markes with a body kick and he just set up his win over Andy Enz with one too. As for Enz, that’s probably the end of the road for him in the UFC.
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