Jun 25, 2012 - By saying a ton happened this weekend, I'd be doing a complete disservice to one of the busiest fight weekends in recent memory. So instead let's just sit down and sort this out like adults. Of course, the only way to do that is to hand out some sparkly awards for the winners and losers of what became an incredibly chaotic 72 hours. Winner: Brazil - If there was ever any doubt about the fight capital of the world, that debate was decisively put to bed on Saturday night. From the absurd waiting lines, the expletive filled chants, and an arena that was rocking from the opening prelim to the main event, Brazilian fans showed the rest of the fight world how it's done at UFC 147.
For their efforts, Brazil is sure to receive the lion's share of shows in the coming years, and in the short term, could potentially be rewarded with Junior dos Santos' next title defense. Following UFC 147, dos Santos' rematch against Cain Velasquez was abruptly uprooted from UFC 152, leaving the recently announced October show in Rio de Janeiro as the most deliciously logical option. JDS vs. Cain II, with Saturday night's insane atmosphere? Yes, please. Loser: Dana White - Two events in two days was always going to be a daunting task for the UFC President, and unfortunately, things didn't really work out like he'd hoped. First, Clay Guida strolled into Friday night with one of the most frustrating gameplans in the history of the sport. Not one to sit idly by, White let his displeasure be known through his Twitter feed, which promptly became a fascinating stream of consciousness from someone watching potential revenue dollars slipping through his fingers. Really, White's words afterward said it all: "That's not a fight."
But then, 24 hours and one long plane flight later, White's ire was raised once more by the theatrically lethargic performance of one of TUF Brazil's burgeoning stars, Rony "Jason" Mariano. Just read this quote from Dana and tell me it doesn't sound like a man seconds away from erupting.
"I didn't like it at all. ... These guys were running around signing autographs all day. I think they got a little caught up in the hype. Guess what? You're not in the UFC yet. Come out and perform. If you look at The Ultimate Fighter in the U.S. every season, usually the finale is the best fight of the season. These guys come out and they go for it. I think because the arena was packed and these guys felt like rockstars all week, they were coming out singing and dancing and s--- like they already had world titles."
Something tells me White might want to take a day or two off before some bumbling intern ends up hospitalized with third-degree coffee burns. Winner: Exiled Former Zuffa Title Contenders - Amid all this weekend's ruckus, it was easy to miss a pair of resounding revivals from two of the more notorious Zuffa exiles. Former Strikeforce heavyweight Brett Rogers got back on track in style, tossing poor Kevin Asplund around like a rag doll for two rounds in his Bellator debut, and former UFC contender Renato "Babalu" Sobral laughed in the face of ring rust, nearly shattering Tatsuya Mizuno's arm in just 30 seconds at ONE FC: Destiny of the Warriors. For both men, it was their first win since 2010, and just maybe, a sign of greater things to come. Loser: Soccer Kicks - Let me preface this by saying, I'm an unapologetic Pride enthusiast. I can't help it, but at least I can admit it. So, I love soccer kicks as much as the next guy.
That being said, Zorobabel Moreira‘s ultra-violent soccer kick KO of Roger Huerta was tough to watch. Just bloodlust for the sake of bloodlust. But the blame for this one doesn't fall on Moreira or the ONE FC ruleset. It falls on referee Yuji Shimada, who blatantly allowed that fight to reach a place it never should have reached. Like Joe Warren before him, Huerta was out on his feet well before Moreira turned into Joe Pesci from Casino.
Even still, one bad decision doesn't mean we need to embark on a witch hunt to get soccer kicks banned from the sport. Winner: Gray Maynard's Public Image - "The Bully" may not have been the most popular man entering Friday night, but that all changed during his fateful fourth round against Clay Guida, when Maynard, utterly disgusted with Guida's running man tactics, evoked his inner Nick Diaz, flipped the double birds to the world, and jutted his chin out, just daring Clay to hit him. Suddenly the worst fight in recent memory was fantastic, as we watched Maynard eat a few shots, sprawl to defend a takedown, and nearly seize what would have been the single greatest submission finish in the history of the UFC.
Alas, it was not to be. But seriously, how great would it've been if Maynard got the tap right there? Loser: Clay Guida/Greg Jackson's Public Image - Aside from Carlos Condit, it's hard to think of another fighter whose public image took a bigger hit in one fight than Clay Guida on Friday night. "The Carpenter" entered to a shower of adoration, a perennial fan favorite, and left the subject of scorn and ridicule from not only fans, but his fellow fighters as well.
It was an utterly bizarre performance, and one that left everyone from Daniel Cormier to Dana White taking shots at Guida's polarizing trainer, Greg Jackson, for putting together another unpopular gameplan. Winner: Fabricio Werdum - If we're being honest, Fabricio Werdum did what he was supposed to do. That being said, Russow is a gamer, and snapping an eleven-fight win streak is nothing to scoff at.
Werdum's last four wins have now come over "Bigfoot" Silva, Fedor Emelianenko, Roy Nelson, and Russow -- with an anemic loss to Alistair Overeem squeezed in there -- and in the top-heavy heavyweight division, there's really no reason to believe the Brazilian isn't a fight away from his coveted rematch against Junior dos Santos. Who he gets matched-up against next is up to Joe Silva, but it's clear Werdum deserves a top-5 guy. Shane Carwin or Frank Mir, perhaps? Or, even more ideally, a fight against Daniel Cormier, with the winner getting the next title shot? Tell me you wouldn't love to see that. Loser: M-1 Global - Not only did M-1 Global lose their top (and only) draw to retirement late last week, they also became the unfortunate victims of some hilarious cyber tomfoolery. Any unsuspecting M-1 fan who logged onto the promotion's website early Sunday morning was greeted by a headline that read:
Fedor Emelianenko signs 3-fight deal with UFC, debut against Brock Lesnar.
MMA icon Fedor Emelianenko, who earned his third victory in a row recently, has signed a 3-fight deal with MMA juggernaut Ultimate Fighting Championships.
Obviously, it was all a hoax. But hey, at least it got people talking about M-1 for a second.
I had a great two-for-one lined up for you here -- Roger Huerta and Babalu Sobral's fights from ONE FC: Destiny of the Warriors -- but the video got taken down at the last second. So instead, check out Brett Rogers making mincemeat of Kevin Asplund in his Bellator debut.
How popular is mixed martial arts in Brazil? Just look at the ridiculous Disney Land x1000 line that amassed outside of the Estádio Jornalista Felipe Drumond in Belo Horizonte for UFC 147.
There were 22 fighters on the UFC 147 fight card. 20 of them were Brazilian. This is what happens when you're not one of those 20. (Props to Guilherme Arantes for the video.)
The UFC has once again "stepped up their game" as far as stomping on evil internet people. As you all know, the GIFs you see on this site and thousands of other MMA-related blogs are supplied by a man who calls himself Zombie Prophet. All of his GIFs can be found on Iron Forges Iron ... except the ones from last night. Why? Because Dana White sicked his dogs to go after ZP for copyright infringement. This is the e-mail word for word (which he posted on Pastebin):
Found something perfect for the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's post.