After all the buildup, all the hype, all the shit talking, UFC 158: Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz happened Saturday, March 16, and to me, what could have been one of the most amazing fight cards of the year, turned out to be just subpar.
The prelims weren’t too bad; we had 3 TKOs and 1 KO, along with 3 unanimous decisions. I’d say the most impressive prelim was the TKO win for Jordan Mein over Dan Miller. Miller had never been finished in his long MMA career, and Mein, only 23, was making his UFC debut.
Also, the prelims brought a little controversy with Darren Elkins defeating Antonio Carvalho by TKO in the first round. Elkins hurt Carvalho with a big right hook, and then dropped him moments later, but the second Carvalho dropped, referee Yves Lavigne stepped right in. Now you would think that would be the right thing to do right? Only Carvalho immediately popped back up, expecting to keep fighting, and he didn’t look like a guy who had just been knocked out, so it was a little premature stoppage from Lavigne, but anyone watching knew that regardless, Elkins would have pounced and finished Carvalho one way or another.
Now to what everyone cares about, the Main Card.
We started out with the two most recent runner-up’s from The Ultimate Fighter 17 and Smashes, Mike Ricci and Colin Fletcher. Ricci sort of dominated the fight from the start, but it was really only because Fletcher seemed scared in the Octagon. Fletcher is a very unorthodoxed fighter. He throws these crazy looking kicks and spins and in the Smashes season, it was very effective. But in this fight, he did none of that, he was extremely stale and aloud Ricci to do whatever he wanted with him. Ricci won by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3).
Next up was Chris Camozzi and Nick Ring. I don’t have much to say about this fight, other than that it was boring to me. Each guy had a couple good strikes, and that was really it. You would think with a split decision fight, it would have been really good and exciting, and it just wasn’t. Camozzi won by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Our third fight on this Main Card belonged to Jake Ellenberger and Nate Marquardt. Marquardt was making his return to the UFC, but this time in the welterweight division. We expected this to be a brawl given that both men are incredible strikers. It was a good fight, with a spectacular finish from Jake Ellenberger when he knocked Marquardt out 3 minutes in to round one. Marquardt tried to do the same thing Carvalho did earlier in the night, and got up and protested the stoppage, but it was blatantly clear that the stoppage was the right thing, and that Marquardt had been knocked out.
The Co-Main Event was easily the fight of the night, and maybe even the fight of the year when Johny Hendricks fought Carlos Condit. This fight was an all out war, and the right to be next in line for a title shot was on the line. I’m a huge fan of Hendricks, and I was honestly nervous throughout all 3 rounds. It looked like every time Hendricks or Condit landed a punch, kick, or knee, that the other guy was going to drop, but neither did. I’ve never seen somebody take shots from Johny Hendricks like Carlos Condit did, as well as the shots Hendricks took from Condit. There were questions about the strength of Johny’s chin entering this fight, and I believe he answered those questions. Hendricks ended up winning the decision by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3), and where he won the fight was in takedowns. I don’t know how many he exactly got, but I do know that every time he went for one, he got it. Condit had no answer for Hendricks’ takedowns, or his jiu-jitsu defense. Anytime Condit tried to sneak a Kumara or a Knee Bar in, Hendricks got out of it. Words can’t describe how amazing this fight was, if there is any way for you to be able to watch it, I’d highly recommend doing so. I usually hate a fight that goes to a decision, but this was one of the rare ones that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Now to our Main Event, Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz. There hasn’t been a fight with more hype behind it since Silva/Sonnen 2 that happened in July. Nick Diaz pushed every button he could, talked as much shit he could, did whatever he had to do to get this fight and get under St-Pierre’s skin and it had seemed he did just that leading up to this fight. Listening to the Pre-fight Conference Call and the Pre-fight Press Conference, it had looked like Georges was going to just rip Diaz’s head off. But then the fight actually happened, and believe me, it did not live up to the hype one bit.
Basically, St-Pierre did what he does to everyone. He threw a few strikes, then took Diaz down and held him there for the whole round. Now I will note that St-Pierre did stand and strike more than I thought he would. But even then Diaz didn’t really do anything. Diaz talked so much about how superior his boxing was, and while we all know it is, he didn’t show it at all. Diaz also talked a ton about how he was okay with Georges taking him down, because his jiu-jitsu was so good that he’d cause problems for St-Pierre on the ground. Well that didn’t happen either. It was just an incredibly disappointing fight and performance from Diaz given all the hype. And just another boring GSP performance.
You’d think a guy built like St-Pierre would be able to finish a fight, and I’m sure he can, but he refuses to. GSP does just enough to win his fights now and it’s extremely frustrating. I understand the whole do what you have to do to win thing, but make it interesting, try to knock your opponent out, try to submit him, do something to make it interesting. St-Pierre won’t do that though because you have to take a risk when you try to finish a fight and god forbid GSP take some sort of a risk. How can you be a real champion when you won’t even really risk anything?
That’s what separates Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo, and Jon Jones from GSP. All of them are champions in their respective divisions, and while we all know they can do just enough to win their fights, they go out there and try to finish their fights and take risks, unlike GSP.
But enough of my GSP rant, lets rant a little about Nick Diaz and what happened after the fight.
Joe Rogan talked to Diaz after the fight to get his thoughts, and what we got was Nick Diaz pretty much telling everyone he’s going to quit MMA. Really?
Does he understand how cowardly that makes him look? He gets the title shot he so wanted, didn’t perform, so now he’s just going to quit. What kind of fighter are you? He said he was just tired of getting beat up like that every fight. News flash Nick, no fighter likes walking away with a beat up face, but they do it because they’re a fighter and it comes with the occupation.
You do not just quit because you lost your title shot, you work your way back up to earn another title shot. That’s how it works. You question GSP’s manhood, but everyone should question yours now Mr. Diaz.
Enough ranting though, this fight card was good, but it could have been better. The most important thing coming out of it though is that Johny Hendricks will finally get his title shot that he deserves. There’s no way Dana White can screw him out of this now, not after this fight. So that’s something I’m very excited for.
KO of the night has to go to Ellenberger and the Fight of the Night has to go to Condit/Hendricks.
Now with UFC 158 behind us, we can start getting prepared for the onslaught of shit talking coming our way directed at Jon Jones from Chael Sonnen leading up to the Light Heavyweight title fight at UFC 159.
With the end of one overrated shit talker in Nick Diaz gone with the departure of 158, we get to deal with an even bigger overrated shit talker in Chael Sonnen for the next month. This should be fun.
The Los Angeles Kings barely made it in to the playoffs this year with 95 points and a 40-27-15 record, but now they’re being picked by some analysts as the new favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
Well the Kings are currently 8-1 to start the playoffs. They haven’t lost a game on the road. They just swept the second best team in the west, the St. Louis Blues. Oh, and they also beat the best team in the NHL, the Vancouver Canucks, in five games to start the playoffs.
The Kings are only the third 8th seed to advance past the second round (Edmonton 2006 and Montreal 2010), and they’re the first team to ever eliminate the number 1 and 2 seeds.
The Kings are on track to win the whole thing if they can keep up they way they’ve been playing.
Now, the whole team has played exceptionally well this whole playoffs, but there are two players that stick out the most.
Captain Dustin Brown and Goaltender Jonathan Quick.
Dustin Brown just had an average season with 22 goals and 32 assists in 82 games, but he’s really turned it on in these playoffs with 6 goals and 5 assists in 9 games. He’s been the perfect captain in these playoffs. He’s putting goals on the board, he’s making plays, and he’s as physical as they come, attacking some of the other teams best players. You couldn’t ask for much more from Dustin Brown right now.
Jonathan Quick has been the undisputed MVP for the Kings, not only in these playoffs, but throughout the regular season. The majority of people say that he is the soul reason why the Kings were able to squeeze themselves in to the playoffs. Quick is currently first in the playoffs with 8 wins, second in save percentage with .949, he’s second to Cory Schneider, the Vancouver goaltender who got knocked out of the playoffs by Quick and the Kings. Quick is also second in goals against average with 1.55, Schneider again is ahead of Quick in that category.
Quick is also one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the best goaltender in the league later on in the summer after the playoffs. He finished, in the regular season, 5th in wins with 35, 5th in SV% with .929, 2nd in GAA with 1.95, and 1st in shutouts with 10.
Those aren’t the only two weapons the Kings have, but they are currently the most notable contributors to the teams success.
If you have watched at least one of their games during these playoffs, you’d notice that every player does what they’re assigned to do. The play makers are making plays, the snipers are scoring goals, the grinders are grinding, the defensemen are defending, and their goaltender is keeping the puck out of the net.
It’s amazing what happens when everyone does what they’re supposed to do on a team.
The Kings are a scary team right now, and it seems like everyone is pulling for them. Even myself, a Stars fan, is pulling for the Kings in these playoffs.
I’d kind of like to see the Phoenix Coyotes advance to play the Kings because they’re virtually the same type of team, they’re also from the same division, and it’d be nice to see Quick face off against Mike Smith who has caught fire as a goaltender in these playoffs.
But of course it’d be great to see the Kings play the Nashville Predators in the next round because you’d get to see Quick face off against Pekka Rinne, one of the other Vezina Trophy finalists.
If you haven’t been paying much attention to the Kings these playoffs, I highly advise you to start doing so, it’s some of the best hockey you’ll see right now.
This video is so awesome, gives me chills every time. The song in it is awesome too.
Mike Modano. Childhood Hero. Greatest American hockey player of all time.
I get chills every time I watch this video. It doesn’t get much better than the Stanley Cup playoffs.