This one was pretty damn weird, and it took me a while to write a post about it. Perhaps it’s the growing pains of MMA in New York since it only became legal in that state recently. From the whole weigh-in controversy with Daniel Cormier and the breast implant fiasco that did get reversed at the last moment, this UFC was just weird. While it’s good that UFC 210 took place in Buffalo, New York, it did highlight just how behind the times the state is in terms of MMA regulation.
Seems like most of it is still derived from boxing and the early days of MMA in the 90s, and there were plenty of lessons learned from this episode. The last time an MMA event took place in Buffalo was UFC 7 back in 1995, so it has indeed been a while. As for UFC 210 proper, there were quite a few things that made for some head-scratching moments. Overall, UFC 210 just came off weird, especially with the co-main events.
UFC 210 Main Card
Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson
Rumble’s coaches are right to be disgusted with how their fighter behaved during this fight. It was pretty much a repeat of the first fight with Rumble not staying up on his feet throughout the fight and actually going to the ground with Cormier, where the champion is the strongest. Rumble got choked out again in the second round (quicker this time around since he was finished in the third round in the first fight), and he then announced his retirement.
That was weak.
It seemed like he already checked out even before the fight and had no intention to win the belt at all. He wasted a lot of people’s time—Daniel Cormier’s time, his own camp’s time, the UFC’s time, and the audience’s time.
And now they want to appeal DC’s disqualification due to the whole weigh-in controversy with the towel trick. They’re now banking on that.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Chris Weidman
This was mostly Weidman’s fault. Milking a moment in order to get a disqualification win out of a rule that had become obsolete since the beginning of the year should definitely net you a penalty of some sort. When that knee landed, there was no way Weidman’s hands were bearing his weight and he could’ve raised his forearms to his face in some way to block the strike.
Then again, doing so may have put him off-balance, thus sending him forward to the ground. It was just an awkward position, with Mousasi holding on to him tight to land that knee.
But it wasn’t the apparent illegality that’s really the matter here, but Weidman’s vehemence towards getting Mousasi disqualified and the incompetence by the officials from New York State Athletic Commission that really did this fight in. They have a “no replay” rule in place as well, which doesn’t help at all.
As if the UFC 210 pre-fight wasn’t already weird enough.
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Pearl Gonzalez
After that whole breast implant debacle that ended with the fight being un-canceled (because the New York State Athletic Commission are a bunch of dweebs), this turned out to be a pretty entertaining scrap that ended with a good ol’ fashioned rear naked choke.
It did look like Calvillo was the more active fighter from the start, moving around more and hitting from different angles. Gonzalez did press the issue later in the second round with a takedown into an unsuccessful armbar attempt that then put her on the bottom. From there, Calvillo took Gonzalez’s back, get a body triangle.
Gonzalez did have good defense on the ground and the bell would save her, but it seemed like it was the gist of the fight as Calvillo maintained her activity and got a takedown in the third, then eventually got past Gonzalez’s defense for the submission win in the middle of the third round.
Thiago Alves vs. Patrick Cote
I was actually looking forward to this one. Two hard-hitting welterweights known for knockouts, so it was certainly going the distance because that’s what happens when two high-level knockout artists are vying for championship contention. There’s too much to lose and too many things that can go wrong, so it was certainly going to the judges.
But in this case, it actually was quite fun. These two may have had their ups and downs, but they sure gave a good fight here. It also culminated in one of two retirements as Cote decided to hang them up after this. The Rumble retirement was just weird, but this one was a bit of a tearjerker. Cote was indeed entertaining, but Alves was just better in this fight.
Charles Oliveira vs. Will Brooks
Another one is how Will Brooks now has losses against two Oliveiras. This one was pretty quick too, ending with an exceptional standing rear naked choke that threatened to put Brooks’ lights out in a flash.
UFC 210 Preliminaries and Other Fights During the Weekend
The only preliminary fight I was able to catch was Katlyn Chookagian vs. Irene Aldana. While Aldana did do well in the later rounds, Chookagian hit a lot more body shots throughout the fight, which is why she got the split decision nod.
I later watched Jenel Lausa vs. Magomed Bibulatov. Lausa is Filipino and I really need to get more familiar with the local MMA scene, so I had to check this fight out and see what this guy is made of. He has a boxing background, and it showed with his standup in this fight. Unfortunately, his opponent is from THAT part of Russia (that Dagestan-Chechnya region where super-strong wrestlers like Khabib Nurmagomedov come from and where civil wars tend to happen every so often).
Even when Bibulatov was deducted a point in the second round for a groin shot, he still got the unanimous decision win. The fight wasn’t even on the ground for most of it; Bibulatov actually had a fairly competent standup game. For a second outing, it was just a bad deal for Lausa in UFC 210.
(I like how a commenter called it a budget Khabib vs. Ferguson.)
The only other thing I am able to comment on for that weekend was the boxing match between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jason Sosa. I decided to not write a separate blog post about it because there’s not much I can say about it other than that it was another good performance by Lomachenko.
At this point, the only way he can lose is either a rematch against Oscar Salido, a fight against the undefeated Mikey Garcia (if everything goes well for Garcia), or a showdown with Guillermo Rigondeaux by any chance. Other than that, it’s gonna take a lot of homework for anyone to topple Lomachenko from his current P4P position.
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