If Saturday’s fight night in Fortaleza was any indication, the UFC on ESPN period is going to spoil us. Of the thirteen bouts, eight of them — collectively with the final 5 on the predominant card — ended in finishes. Four of them were so shut that the judges couldn’t agree on what they’d appropriate watched. Simplest one in every of them was a sustained beatdown, which was Geraldo de Freitas’ victory over Felipe Corales, and even those guys had a relaxing replace on the weigh-ins.
It was the suitable mix of parity and disparity, explosive statements and refined nudges, botched punts and in-cage worm dances. No longer once, that I’m conscious of, was the observe “robbery” passe. Nor “early stoppage,” and even “leisurely stoppage” for that topic. The referees were entirely happy backdrops.
As if that weren’t ample, the total occasion was accomplished by upright around 10:30pm ET. Abominable boxing had to support around till smartly past nighttime for Sergey Kovalev in opposition to Eleider Alvarez, while MMA was down on the bar sipping Tito’s and tonic. Here’s the device it’s presupposed to be. Suck it boxing. We dealt with the leisurely Saturday night originate cases for years while over there at FOX Sports activities, which never ceased turning Twitter into a fleshy scroll of existential gripes.
Greater quiet, the sentimental favorites pulled by device of on Saturday night. Thiago Alves, finding himself upright on the outer rim of relevancy, was in a situation to squeak past Max Griffin to snap a two-fight skid. Demian Maia — the unexcited pacifist with the actual knack for closing windpipes — tapped out Lyman Correct. Undergo in mind: Maia is 41 occurring everlasting. And likewise you knew Jose Aldo had returned to vintage uncover as a result of quickly after his TKO of Renato Moicano he was body surfing on the fingers of his fellow Brazilians in the stands. If he was scarred by the fines he gathered at UFC 142 for bolting the cage after knocking out Chad Mendes, he had a comic methodology of unveiling it.
(One may imagine depressed Reed Harris clutching at his heart cherish Fred Sanford).
Then there was Marlon Moraes, the excessive-pitched energy dealer that got here to the UFC bantamweight division in 2017. He made quick work of Raphael Assunçâo to avenge his handiest loss in the UFC, and compose it Four in a row. Moraes emerged as a legit likelihood to T.J. Dillashaw’s title, if/when Dillashaw finishes up his segue series with Henry Cejudo. Moraes even made definite to prod Dillashaw on his methodology out, reversing the roles of contender and challenger by pronouncing he’d deign to grant Dillashaw of mission.
Correct shit discuss? Nice shit discuss. In the occasion you clutch to maintain to punch them, downplay their worth. Moraes got by device of.
Presumably better of all, there was the hum of the smartly-oiled machine in the air. The fights moved alongside crisply, and even the eager spectators who saw the motion at its realistic hour joined in on the occasion. Brian Ortega, the league’s quickest healer, tweeted out appropriate Four phrases after looking out at Aldo’s revitalizing performance: “Successfully let’s originate negotiating.” Successfully, why no longer?
Fights were making themselves! For a single night — after endless dysfunctional nights over the previous couple of years — everything worked in concord. There was motion at some level of the motion, and the total fighters wanted to fight. Defend Alexander Volkanovski, who chimed in too, the use of a thumb’s up emoji to prove his appropriate will: “Successfully accomplished, [Jose] let me know in case you procuring for a transient turn around.”
(We all know he desires to ship Aldo off to the glue factory, however the gesture was sweet).
Even Aldo’s passe nemesis Conor McGregor got in on the motion, opening up the belief of a fight in Brazil — presumably in opposition to Aldo. 1/2 an hour earlier than he dusted Moicano, Aldo was being sung out of the game. 1/2 an hour after, everyone wanted to fight him. The fight sport is at its ideally agreeable when it communicates such reversals of fortune. And when its ideally agreeable sportsman originate the surprising.
“No longer appropriate king of Rio,” Max Holloway tweeted. “King of Brazil. King of defending chaos. Congrats Ze Aldo. Nothing but cherish for you my bratha.” Holloway celebrating the actual person he helped demystify? What’s occurring here? It was that extra or less night. There was room for every extra or less response, and each extra or less emotion.
Yet nobody made as vast a splash as the passe scotch himself, Johnny Walker. Walker wanted appropriate 15 seconds to fetch out Justin Ledet. It was the swervingest 15 seconds on allege, where everyone appropriate extra or less talked about the same thing all staunch away, “Whoa!…That was freaking…of no, did that connect?…holy shit!” The spinning backfist that dropped Ledet was wonderful. The finishing blows extra special. The attempted kick that whizzed by the bottom Ledet’s face as fortunate to maintain skipped over.
On one other night, that kick would maintain landed and ruined everything. It would maintain landed and dredged up Greg Hardy’s disqualification from about a weeks motivate, and felt cherish a small intervening plague — “why are so many guys booting grounded opponents?” As yet any other of cementing himself as Must Look man, he’d be Asterisk man. But it completely skipped over. It mainly skipped over. No, it looked cherish it positively skipped over.
It’s the ideally agreeable thing that did in Fortaleza. All the pieces else, from high to backside, was a hit.