Thiago Alves Gave That One Away
Thiago Alves had it all. Through two rounds Friday night at UFC on FX 2, the Brazilian export battered and bloodied Martin Kampmann to the point where it seemed he had the fight in the bag. A victory was all but ensured, and an emphatic one at that.
And then he gave it all away.
Alves made a costly mistake in attempting to take Kampmann to the mat during an exchange on the feet that he was clearly winning. It was a moment where Alves could have placed an exclamation mark on a strong win. Instead, he gave Kampmann his neck, and the Danish striker capitalized by rolling through with a sweet guillotine for the submission win.
Kudos to Kampmann for having the awareness to secure the submission when he needed it the most. But Alves now finds himself outside the top 10, with no real shot at the title picture in his immediate future, and it's his own fault.
Judges Are Terrible at Judging Fights (and Doing Math)
Look, I could talk endlessly about the ineffective state of judging in mixed martial arts. It's a broken record at this point, and it's a broken system. There's no use going on and on about it, because nothing is changing and we're pretty much stuck with what we've got.
But tonight was inexcusable.
Who won the Johnson/McCall fight?
In case you missed it, the fight between Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall was not actually a split-decision victory for Johnson. It was actually a draw. The judges in charge of the fight somehow wrote down the wrong scores and awarded Johnson an unwarranted victory, when in reality the fight should have gone to a fourth "sudden victory" round.
Johnson and McCall were both paid their win bonuses, and an immediate rematch between the pair is targeted for April. But the fans in attendance and viewers at home were robbed of what would have been a thrilling, winner-takes-all round between two extremely exciting fighters.
You've got to hope that someday, somewhere, the judges will eventually get something right. But tonight was not that moment, and it was an embarrassing black mark for everyone involved in the New South Wales combat commission.
Joseph Benavidez Will Win the Flyweight Tournament
It should be clear after tonight's event that Joseph Benavidez and his status as the uncrowned world flyweight champion was warranted.
He's long been considered one of the best bantamweights in the world, but Benavidez' quick and fairly easy work of Yasuhiro Urushitani proved that he's easily the favorite to capture the UFC's first flyweight gold. He was quick, and he'll be one of the biggest flyweights in the division. When you couple that with his wrestling and striking skills, it's a package that other 125-pound fighters will have a lot of difficulty overcoming.
Don't Mess with Texas.
We Texans are quite proud of our heritage. Even though the rest of the country laughs at us, we still celebrate Texas Independence Day every March by eating fattening Texas cuisine and drinking fine Texas beer like Shiner Bock.
Daniel Pineda, T.J. Waldburger and Andrew Craig celebrated the holiday in fine form by scoring big wins in Australia.
Pineda and Craig are new UFC imports, having spent the majority of their careers fighting for the Houston-based Legacy Fighting Championships. Both scored big wins over seasoned veterans in Mackens Semerzier and Kyle Noke, respectively, and Waldburger executed his second consecutive first-round submission win in beating Jake Hecht with a sublime armbar.
It was a good night for Texas, and for Houston in particular. I think I'll go celebrate by eating some more brisket.
James Te Huna Is a Violent Man
I don't think much needs to be said about this. Te Huna, a New Zealand native fighting in front of a rabid almost-home crowd, make short work of Aaron Rosa, a fighter who has long been known for not much more than his ability to take a punch.
Rosa couldn't take Te Huna's punches, could he? No, he could not.