Tim B. takes a look at a wild and wacky night at UFC 227 in Los Angeles.
T.J. Dillashaw has closed the chapter on his Team Alpha Male rivalry. And he did it the way he wanted to - with his hands. Cody Garbrandt came to fight. He brought it like he always does. But Dillashaw dragged him into extended exchanges, just like the first fight, and he dropped and stopped him just like the first fight. He just took a little less time to do it.
He took some big shots from Garbrandt for sure - at one point they both hit each other at the same time and both staggered backwards - but Dillashaw was the cleaner striker throughout and his timing was impeccable. Garbrandt showed a lot of heart hanging in there but once he got dropped the first time, he never really got his legs back. Dillashaw was patient, making Cody throw wild shots in desperation, and he made him pay.
Now please fight Dominick Cruz again. Not Henry Cejudo.
Henry Cejudo did not beat Demetrious Johnson on a scorecard that is based on the actual rules of MMA. He just didn’t. I had it 49-46 Johnson, giving Cejudo round four. And that was very debatable. When you are outstruck for a large portion of the round and get a takedown, but don’t do anything with it, you didn’t win that round. That’s not how the unified rules work. I’m sorry, but there’s no way Henry Cejudo won three rounds.
I did find it funny that he called out the 135 champ right away though. If there was EVER a champion that deserved an automatic rematch, it’s Demetrious Johnson! Like come on!
It was great to see Cub Swanson get such a loud reaction in Cali. That was fun. It wasn’t fun when he got dropped by a Renato Moicano jab though. And then submitted. Again. I always really liked Cub as a fighter and as a person, and it’s sad to see someone you admire go out like that. But props to Moicano for a great performance.
Also, it seems that a lot of people found it strange that Moicano asked for an interim title fight with Brian Ortega instead of a title fight. Why is that weird? Max Holloway is on the shelf and no one knows when he’s coming back. Asking for something in the actual realm of possibility right now (although still rather unlikely) seems like the more logical move to me.
I don’t have much to say about the first two PPV fights. Neither belonged on a card people are paying for. Kevin Holland is very green and Thiago Santos’ fight IQ is horrible. Polyana Viana’s standup is so far from UFC-level it can’t even be described. Solid performance by JJ Aldrich, nothing bad to say about that. But those were Fight Pass fights, not PPV fights.
I do have to admit that Daniel Cormier made me laugh during the Santos-Holland fight though. When Holland almost got the armbar, Santos slipped out and landed some hellacious punches. Cormier yelled “YOU PISSED HIM OFF!” and I chuckled.
Pedro Munhoz doesn’t have great defense, but his offense is a thing to behold. Brett Johns is tougher than a three dollar steak, as Jim Ross likes to say. It looked like Johns was done at multiple points in the fight due to Munhoz’s brutal leg kicks and body work, but he kept trying to go for submissions instead of making Johns get back up. He ended up getting the W anyway, but props to both guys for a great fight. Any other night they’d be making bonus money.
Ricky Simon looks like Miguel Torres. And he’s extremely relentless. Montel Jackson was way bigger than him, but Simon threw him around the Octagon and looked excellent doing it.
Ricardo Ramos and Kyung Ho Kang put on a very close, entertaining fight that wasn’t super special. Ramos got the nod, and it was deserved. We’re all so used to judges screwing things up that when they didn’t this time, fans were actually relieved.
Sheymon Moraes was on point for two rounds, touching up Matt Sayles and being pretty ahead. You’d never know that from the announcing, because Sayles is Dominick Cruz’s guy and they were all opening rooting for their boy’s boy to win. Sayles did come back and win the third, but Moraes deserved the victory and got it.
Holy hell, Alex Perez. His fight with Jose Torres went three minutes and 36 seconds. The unofficial significant strike count for him was 104 for 170. IN 3:36! That’s utterly unbelievable, but I watched it so it was real. He was all over Torres from the opening second, just lighting him up. Torres has a hell of a chin and took some ridiculous shots, but at some point everyone goes down. And he did. Alex Perez has a bright, bright future.
Zhang Weili looked massive compared to Danielle Taylor, and she ragdolled her whenever they clinched up. Taylor had her moments, but she couldn’t deal with the range and strength of Zhang and dropped a decision.
I was impressed with Wuliji Buren early. He landed some hard right hands and had Marlon Vera confused. But he took a big shot that knocked him off his game, and then got absolutely destroyed by a liver punch. He was so hurt that he was still on the floor during Vera’s whole post-fight interview. That’s rough.