Screengrab by Chris Nelson.
Screengrab by Chris Nelson.
Tim Marchman: I've been watching MMA so long that I remember when Dana White used to brag about how you got five real fights for your PPV dollar. Now we have come to a point where Joe Silva is probably saying things like, "Think of yourself as a living speed bag" while offering regional-level dudes semi-main event fights.
Tomas Rios: Apparently, there is a downside to putting on more and more shows while signing more and more talent. That being a roster gorging on regional level fighters and the resulting regional level fights. It's become increasingly obvious that Joe Silva takes some impish joy in selecting random no-hopers for sacrificial lamb duty just to snicker as the booth busts out a first-ballot Hard-Sell Hall of Famer.
Tim Marchman: Well, I don't know that's What's His Face and That One Guy fighting in the opener was really regional. I will say that the most memorable thing about it was watching Georges St-Pierre corner That One Guy. Because the out of training GSP looked like Flat Stanley.
Tomas Rios: One of the more terrifying humans I've ever seen was an out of training Thiago Alves who looked like Mariusz Pudzianowski's Brazilian half-brother.
Tim Marchman: So one of those guys won, and then there was this Eddie Yagin-Mark Hominick fight. This was amazing.
Tomas Rios: Eddie Yagin really nailed his Enson Inoue tribute, except for the fact that he actually won. What an ironic choke-job.
Tim Marchman: My favorite thing about Yagin is that he has PHENOM tattooed on his left clavicle, and THE FILIPINO tattooed in a slightly different line width on his right clavicle. So that at some point in his fight career he probably had to spend half a purse on getting that piece finished. That's a real fighter. Especially since I'm pretty sure the thing started bleeding during the fight.
Tomas Rios: Timothy, would you have this man enter the octagon with an incomplete self-aggrandizing tattoo?
Tim Marchman: Watching a four foot tall man throw spinning back fists that whiffed by five feet while breathing out of his mouth because his nose was broken really made me reconsider the amount of time I have spent trying to convince editors at prestige outlets that this sport is worth covering. On the other hand, it was pretty fun in a regional show kind of way.
Tomas Rios: Upside: The rape-bros went 0-2 on the evening in the only on-paper logical fights. Do you think Miguel Torres was surprised?
Tim Marchman: Man, I like Miguel Torres. He is from the part of Indiana that is essentially the South Side, and also this one time I met him at a White Sox game in the press box when he was still good. It was kind of sad, because they announced him to all the reporters like he was a big deal, but I'm pretty sure I was the only one who had ever heard of him. We talked for a while, and he said that was the first ballgame he'd ever really watched: He never had a TV because he grew up poor and then dedicated himself to martial arts, etc. I was just thinking, "Dude, you went to Purdue, they have TVs there."
Tomas Rios: Dude, You Went to Purdue, They Have TVs There: The Miguel Torres Story
Tim Marchman: What did you make of Torres getting put in the surprise van?
Tomas Rios: Michael "Yah Mo B There" McDonald has the smooth, dulcet tones that Torres has struggled with in the past. That is to say he hits hard, fast and accurately. If Brian Bowles can KO you, McDonald might as well be a Dothraki. Torres doesn't really merit any discussion beyond "he lost" and "says dumb things," so I'm going to keep sitting here and giggling over a potential alpha bantamweight making me think of an R&B Santa Claus lookin' dude.
Tim Marchman: I'm 31 and Look 51 Because I've Had 45 Pro Fights: The Miguel Torres Story.
Tomas Rios: Sir, the Question Was, Is This Your Twitter?: The Miguel Torres Story.
Tim Marchman: So, the heavyweight fight was just the business. As a fan of MMA, I loved it when Brendan Schaub, former NFL practice squad guy, got tooled, especially because he was tooled by a guy who had managed to lose to Mark Hunt in his last fight. Can you explain to me why I was supposed to be so impressed that the 4,302nd best football player in the world had taken up fighting?
Tomas Rios: Brendan Schaub has muscles and sweet ink and his eyebrows are always just so. I'm not made of stone, Timothy!
Tomas Rios: Also because the guy he lost to is Ben Rothwell, whose spirit animal is the panda. Ben Rothwell, who spends his entire UFC paycheck on industrial SPF 5,678 sunscreen. Ben Rothwell, who needed 40 professional fights to realize that getting in shape is a vital component of success as a professional athlete.
Tim Marchman: Brendan Schaub does have pretty eyebrows. If he and Brandon Vera and Jason Priestley all got together, who would win the eyebrow-off?
Tomas Rios: I'm glad you asked this question, because it needed to be asked. And answered. I think Jason shows up with his A-game and takes it, thanks mostly to slathering Rogaine on his face until some horrifyingly unnatural hair-strip forms between his tidy eyebrows and angular sideburns. That would really be the ultimate insult because MMA guys would lose at their own game: Performance enhancing drugs. Wait, I mean the UFC has the best testing in the world.
Tim Marchman: I had this whole joke cued up about how implementing Olympic-class testing protocols would annually cost UFC less than what Alistair Overeem gets paid for a single fight but I lost it somewhere in this boxed Malbec I've been sipping.
Tomas Rios: This week on The Real Househusbands of Whatever Lame Not New York Place Tim Marchman Lives In: Tim drinks box wine, grows out his beard and keeps the Lucky Strike corporation in business.
Tim Marchman: As a man who has drunk Malbec with the head of the Argentine sommeliers' association, I feel free not just to drink boxed Malbec, but to recommend it.
Tomas Rios: I don't always engage in behaviors that define existential mid-life crises, but when I do, I prefer Malbec.
Tim Marchman: So while we have shat on Che Mills at length, we have not much discussed Rory MacDonald, who beat his ass mercilessly. Fact about Rory MacDonald: The one guy at the bar where I watched these fights who was yelling, 'TYSON WOULD HAVE KNOCKED THIS MOTHERFUCKER OUT' all night was impressed by MacDonald and kept yelling, 'YEAUH! BUST HIS ASS!' all through this fight.
Tomas Rios: Don't look for order in chaos. Listen to the rivers and the lakes that you used to.
Tim Marchman: I don't want no scrubs. A scrub is a guy who'd get his ass beat by Jon Fitch.
Tomas Rios: But yeah, what's most impressive about MacDonald to me is that he hasn't shown any of the weaknesses that trip up your average quality prospect. Which means we just get to sit back and enjoy how absurdly good at MMA this 22-year-old is.
Tim Marchman: So I kind of want to talk about the UFC's relationship to Brazilbefore we talk about the beautiful main event. As a dude who has been there, I have been really surprised to learn over the last few days that it is a lawless primitive jungle full of savages who want to murder American MMA fighters.
Tomas Rios: Whenever Nene is fouled, Brazilians issue a collective fatwa against the offending player. Danny Fortson has been condemned to death by Ayatollah Carnavale at least 43 times.
Tim Marchman: True fact: MMA coverage is in with volleyball in the Brazilian sport newspapers. Favela fatwa against lady voleibolistas—figment of imagination of logistically challenged promoters, or deadly threat?
Tomas Rios: I'll take U.N. conference scheduled for same weekend that the UFC failed to take into account for $800, Alex. Kinda hard to sell out a soccer stadium when no one can get a hotel or parking. We all know Brazil is a rough day of gridlock away from descending into full-fledged Mad Max jungle dystopia. Bigfoot Silva as Lord Humungus plz.
Tim Marchman: I like that UFC so bought into their own bullshit about how popular the sport is in Brazil that they didn't realize that a country as rich as France would ace them out of one of their major cities in favor of a U.N. conference. Do you think Dana legitimately thinks that all Brazilians are practicing jiu jitsu on the beach when not working delivering caipirinhas to rich Americans?
Tomas Rios: We both know Dana White has no idea what a caipirinha is.
Tim Marchman: Let's talk real fighting. No lie: I think the Jon Jones-Rashad Evans fight was one of the prettiest fights I've ever seen that didn't involve Anderson Silva. What say you?
Tomas Rios: I find Evans' style to be an aesthetic mess, so it was more like Jones spent 25 minutes trying to rock some Diego Rivera type V fresco on a fucked-up canvas. Evans lost the fight as soon as he conceded the middle of the octagon, really.
Tim Marchman: That was what was great about it, was watching Jones outthink himself. Greg Jackson puts all these ideas about rhythm and counterpoint in these guys' minds, and you see Jones approaching Evans with all this incredible caution, like, "I'm inside his beat, and he knows that, so he has to be deliberately countering my rhythm to throw me off," etc.
Tim Marchman: Then he realizes he's overthinking it in the second round, starts throwing elbow jabs, and you watch him doing what he will with a counterpuncher who's suddenly stuck countering a guy with a roughly 12-foot reach advantage.
Tomas Rios: The whole lunge from a mile away shit may work on fat, vaguely lucid Rampage, but Jones can throw a lunging elbow cum forearm shiver like a jab. Adjustments are necessary. Which is to say that, all due respect to El-P, when Jon Jones does nothing it's a beautiful use of negative space.
Tim Marchman: Jones in this fight more reminded me of second-album-era De La Soul. He's thrown off the crowd-pleasing elements and gotten into doing what makes him happy. If that makes his next fight Buhloone Mindstate it's going to be unspeakably brilliant, a commercial disaster, and a really long night for Dan Henderson.
Tomas Rios: Jon Jones has a 13.5" reach advantage on Henderson, whose best chance is landing an overhand right. I'm pretty sure this is the first MMA fight that can be resolved in advance with long division. For comparison's sake, Jones had a 9.5" reach advantage on Evans and he was using lunging elbow strikes as a jab.
Tim Marchman: A) Let's throw this out there: Do you think the Jones haters are motivated more by racism or by not realizing that being a bland Godboy is actually the route to commercial success in real sports? B) I love Hendo, but the fight is a foregone conclusion due to aforementioned math. Jones has cleaned out the division and his camp has been saying a move to heavyweight is inevitable forever. After he kills Hendo, do you want a fight with Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos or Anderson Silva? Explain reasoning for extra credit.
Tomas Rios: A) MMA fans are sold on non-stop Hong Kong violence and MMA rarely lives up to that advertising, so they're inclined to dislike bland g-boys who say the right thing and come off as ciphers for their sponsors. Jones doesn't feed into the psycho bro bloodlust of people who made Limp Bizkit their first concert experience.
Tomas Rios: So yeah, there's that. However, it's the fucking racism. Jones can do nothing right anymore. Five rounds of consummate dominance over a perennial top-five light heavyweight registers as something other than wildly impressive to a significant percentage of bar-bound humanoids. However, a transparent asshole like Chael Sonnen is worshipped for being a character so thin that it wouldn't justify a cameo on "Two and a Half Men." I just get suspicious when cocky is the first word used to describe a black champion who might be the very best in the world at what he does.
Tim Marchman: He is athletic as well as cocky. On to point B)!
Tomas Rios: B) After Jones calmly explains to Hendo in a fatherly tone why he should just lie down and tap out, my vote is for none of the above. I loved watching Anderson Silva use James Irvin and Forrest Griffin as snot rags for his fists. That was cool as fuck, and I want Jon Jones to be afforded the same opportunity. Give him a heavyweight dry run against Frank Mir or Big Nog. I want to see Jon Jones knock someone out with a flying teep kick to spinning back forearm shiver, and a shopworn but name valuable heavyweight affords me my best shot at seeing it happen. I am a selfish man.
Tim Marchman: Big Nog is, like, blind, and Mir is, in this scenario, too big a name for the first fight at heavyweight. I nominate Ben Rothwell as the first sacrifice.
Tim Marchman: He did beat Brendan Schaub, a legitimate NFL practice squad player!!
Tomas Rios: Brendan Schaub, legitimate key figure in online article series that was supposed to be a book.
Tomas Rios: Contextual note: Jon Jones is 24. I'm not too worried about what he does next because he's 24. He'll be around long enough to do all the crazy stuff as long as he keeps on winning.