On the eve of UFC 161, plenty of fans and pundits expressed concerns about the quality of the injury-riddled card. A shortage of big names, they said. Low potential for high-octane excitement. Nothing much at stake.
Many of the card's entrants did what they could to ensure that those concerns were justified. There were only two stoppages and a lot of virtual stalemating in the books when light heavyweights Ryan Jimmo and Igor Pokrajac stepped in the ring.
It was the perfect time for Fun Jimmo to show up. You know, the guy who scored a seven-second knockout in his UFC debut? Instead, while we got flashes, it was mainly Dull Jimmo (18-2) who controlled the action in the cage, wearing down Pokrajac (25-10-1) over three clinchtastic rounds for the unanimous-decision win. And so it went in Winnipeg.
What we'll remember about this fight
Well, not a whole lot, to tell you the truth. Pokrajac was on the defensive throughout, though he didn't fight especially badly. This fight, like its fighters, distinguished itself by an almost total lack of distinction.
What we learned about Igor Pokrajac
The former Mirko Cro Cop training partner seems to be a mirror of his opposition. Against an exciting fighter like Fabio Maldonado, he puts on a show. But against a fighter like Jimmo with a more, uh, deliberate approach, Pokrajac slows down.
It's more than just the fact that he is susceptible to the smother (his ground defense was actually pretty good). He appears to essentially play up (or down) to the level of his competition.
What we learned about Ryan Jimmo
Fun Jimmo and Dull Jimmo can actually exist in the same fight. For a few sugary sweet seconds, Fun Jimmo broke through, landing a huge left hand and following it up with ground strikes. But it was gone as quickly as it had come, and Dull Jimmo returned to force Igor back into the fencing.
What's next for Pokrajac
Give him a fun one. How about kickboxing champ Cyrille Diabate?
What's next for Jimmo
Another dull victory. He admitted in his post-fight interview that he fought conservatively. But he clearly has some talent and comes across as an extremely nice guy. I think he should get an exciting opponent, too. That's why I'm suggesting Jimi Manuwa.