Sunday, January 17, 2016

UFC Fight Night - Cruz vs. Dillashaw

A really epic video package starts the show off right - and makes Cruz vs. Dillashaw feel like an all-time great fight. Joe and Mike run down the stakes and we get the rules of the octagon. Pearson vs. Trinaldo is the opener. One problem with these battles of the unknown and/or boring dudes with the Reebok deal is they can't even stand out with their gear - so it makes them all look even more generic. Pearson at least keeps the mid-aughts MMA tradition alive by having tons of ink everywhere. Each man circles around and lands a quick jab or two - no one's rushing into anything. Trinaldo eats a blow and almost gets rocked for a second. They just keep this going until the end, but Trinaldo lands a big slam.

The first half of the second round is much the same, but Trinaldo lands some nice punches against the cage. Not much for the second half, but Trinaldo is winning this thing so far - barely. High kick attempt by Pearson kinda hits and we get some clinching from Trinaldo. More circling and punching. "It was a fight" and Trinaldo should win and does.We see some Fight Pass hype - I like them using the Youtube show to hype up fights on TV here by billing a fighter's debut as him being from that show.

Cain vs. Verdum hype video builds this up nicely. Brown vs. Mitrione is up. Each guy hops around and punches each other's hands a bunch. Riveting. Deep eye poke by Browne to Meathead and the right eye is shut. He says he can fight, so he continues. "Thankfully, the fight continues!" had me rolling. And then the horn honked. Perfect timing. Meathead is a gingerbread house of fire to start round two. Yet another finger in the eye - now it's the thumb. Big boos for Browne. Mark Rattner says that they were accidental, but SHOULD PERHAPS CONSIDER deducting a point. Browne puts his fingers out AGAIN. Travis scrambles for an Americana, and then a Darce choke. Browne is literally a video game character here going for the front kick to the gut a billion times. Browne is doing a fine job of eeking out a victory over someone he blinded in round one. Browne grounds him and pounds him round three to Browne should win via five billion caveman clubbers here. You can stop the fight anytime now, ref. Matt is covering up like his life depends on it and after ONE MINUTE OF STRIKES, the ref decides now is the time to end it. Sweet mother of fuck, that made the Sakuraba fight seem humane.

Joanna is with Joe hyping up TUF looking adorable. Eddie Alvarez vs. Anthony Pettis is up in a pseudo Bellator vs. UFC fight. Eddie storms in to start, but nothing lands. Eddie takes him down and eats shots to the ribs. Eddie is winning with fast action so far- but I can see it causing him to gas out. He clearly wants a first round win. Lots of clinching against the cage by Eddie, but that should get him a 10-9 round. More of the same for the second round. Round three has some nice kick exchanges to start. Pettis has kicked the hell out of Eddie's leg, which is bruised up a ton on the back. Eddie wins this very even fight, which wasn't bad, but wasn't exactly a highlight reel either.
Cruz comes out to "I Could Just Kill a Man" by Cypress Hill. Well, this is the perfect high energy song for a midnight fight. CHILI PEPPERS FOR DILLASHAW! Bruce is fucking amped for this. Cruz wrestles him down and gets a left hook. Cruz is dashing around here, which is good if he can keep the pace up - but like with Eddie, I can see it wearing him out too. TJ goes for a nice kick, but Cruz immediately gets a takedown off of it. Damn - Cruz came to win here. Zero ring rust on him.

Round two starts with him once again just darting around the cage. He avoids a big high kick fairly easily since it was so telegraphed. TJ needs to stop telegraphing these high kicks like he's ducking down for a leapfrog and then gets sunset flipped. Cruz takes him down and pounds him a bit. Round three is more action, but TJ lands some shuts and cuts Cruz up a bit. Way too much telegraphing from TJ here. TJ is fighting a video game fight going for all or nothing big strikes. TJ finally gets a clinch and lands some knees to the ass. Cruz is getting tired and his face is messed up a bit now. TJ is moving quickly and landing some great strikes in the fifth. He's winning this round easily. Now TJ is fighting a smart fight while Cruz is going for looping shots. CRUZ WINS IT!
And he loves him some Monster energy drink, too.
Bring on a rematch at 200. They need something, and they can sell this as the most dramatic fight of the year if they want to.

Screens -

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