We all know the outcomes from UFC 127 by now. So what did we learn? It was a strange night, to be sure, but that just means there's more to hold up to the light once the morning rolls around.
After watching and re-watching the full pay-per-view, here are five things I picked up.
1. Michael Bisping Needs a Sports Psychologist
What if I were to say right now that I think Michael Bisping is an oversensitive, rabbit-ears-having, powdered-wig-wearing, little-boy-haircut-getting, fish-and-chip-eating, go-back-to-kickboxing, overrated scumbag hothead loser? Do you think he would insist that the UFC give me a contract?
In contrast with popular opinion, I actually have the impression from interviews and such that Bisping is a fairly reasonable guy. That is, until someone gets under his skin.
Just ask Jorge Rivera. And Dan Henderson. And DeMarques Johnson. And all his detractors, his fans, his landlord, his letter carrier and that stupid old lady at the butcher shoppe who JUST CAN'T SLICE THE HAM CORRECTLY!
This is a man who was ascending the middleweight ranks. He seemed to be headed for a fight with top contender Nate Marquardt until he caught wind of Rivera's not-really-that-bad trash talking and was simply forced to teach a lesson to this lower-tier journeyman who saw (and astutely exploited) an anthropomorphic loophole in the UFC's normal fightmaking process.
So, Bisping's huge rabbit ears directly affected his professional life. Is it just me, or does that epitomize the kind of behavior that calls for a little occupational therapy?
It's more than just the sensitivity, too. After putting Rivera down with about 12 unanswered haymakers (and, earlier, one devastating and unequivocally illegal knee strike), he spit at Rivera's entourage outside the cage before heading to the opposing corner for some extended gloating and trash talk.
He probably would still be at it if the referee hadn't pushed him away. When is enough, enough?
During the post-fight interview, Bisping repeatedly apologized for "losing control," but of course this only happened after he had fully indulged the whims of his temper and purged every drop of bile from his system.
The display was not unlike that of an abusive partner who only thinks to back off and send bouquets after the lamp is lying shattered in the corner.
Now that the smoke has cleared, the clock is ticking again to see who will be next to get under the damp tissue paper that passes for Bisping's skin. Perhaps this time, it will be someone who can provide an intelligent defense.
2. The Welterweight Title Picture Just Got a Little More Gordian
It seems well-established at this point that Georges St. Pierre will move up to middleweight if he beats Jake Shields in March—but it's not definite. He has said he would take his time with the necessary weight gain.
Meanwhile, Anderson Silva's camp has pointed out that the champ isn't getting any younger. Is the ultimate superfight not quite as done of a deal as it seems?
Assuming GSP does leave, that means the welterweight title is vacant. Dana White has said the winner between B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch would be "in the mix" for that title. Okay, great.
But what happens after last night's draw? A rematch? What if B.J. Penn pulls the upset? Or what if St. Pierre doesn't end up leaving? Does he fight Fitch or Penn again? Is that something people would pay money to see?
But going back to the assumption that St. Pierre will depart, what about the other half of a fight for the vacated title? Would the UFC stage a tournament to see who fights the winner of the Fitch-Penn rematch (assuming, of course, that there's a winner this time)?
And of course, there's that little question of what happens if Shields upsets GSP. Would an immediate rematch really be first on the agenda? And how would that play into the search to find the next top contender?
Is B.J. Penn still up to the task? Will "Smoke Break" Fitch ever win that elusive daytime Emmy?
As sands through the hourglass, these are the welterweights of our lives.
3. Dennis Siver Is No Mugglefrying Joke
After rocking and controlling heavily favored George Sotiropoulos, Dennis Siver is top 10 with a bullet.
Throughout the fight, Siver dictated the terms. He used a low center of gravity and some impressive balance to keep himself upright and away from Sotiropoulos' dangerous jiu-jitsu. Siver was hard to hit while delivering very heavy punches and kicks.
In the end, Siver earned the unanimous decision and, for a change, the verdict was beyond dispute. Siver has won seven of his last eight, and if his takedown defense is really that strong, and his standup game is really that sharp, that string get even longer.
4. Brian Ebersole Is a Tad Eccentric
Any fighter who can say that the first piece of offense he threw in the UFC was a cartwheel kick has done something to distinguish himself. Throw it again, despite its total lack of effect the first time, and, well, he may be a touch, er, touched.
You also have to factor in the strange hand and head movements Ebersole made throughout the fight. And, oh yeah, the arrow that was shaved into his chest hair. Maybe it was a reminder to keep the cartwheel kick up?
5. I Think I Like Brian Ebersole
I don't know much, but I know I'd like to see "The Bad Boy" fight again. He defeated Chris Lytle and did so convincingly, using an array of unconventional twists and turns to keep himself out of trouble on the mat.
He landed some crushing Muay Thai knees before trying to slip on a D'arce choke, which nearly led to Lytle's first tapout in the Octagon.
Ebersole had more than 60 fights under his belt when his plane touched down in Sydney. He was called in as a late replacement for Carlos Condit and seemed, on paper, to be little more than a sparring partner for the upward-trending Lytle. But that's why they fight the fights, and that's why I love to watch.
UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch News, Results and More.
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