This past Saturday night, the UFC returned to East Rutherford, New Jersey, for the first time in far too long. With them came a pretty mediocre card on paper that was equally underwhelming until the main card kicked in. The Fight Nerd was in attendance for the show, gorging himself on overpriced chicken fingers and zig-zagging between drunkards wearing ill-fitting TapouT shirts and buxom girls who were dressed for cocktails and not fights. What did I think of the event? Let’s find out, in convenient and easy-to-read bullet points!
- Nate Diaz submitting Jim Miller… wow. Impressive set-up into the finish, classic Diaz all the way through the bout. Diaz mentally broke Miller after he dropped him midway through the first round, and the Jersey native, who had never been tapped out before, was unable to fully recover between rounds. Is a championship belt in Diaz’s future? Could be, but how would he fare against a fighter like Bendo or Maynard, let alone Edgar?
- The Izod Center was not totally sold out, but sounded just as loud as they did for the last Strikeforce event that happened there in 2011.
- While I am not a fan of Josh Koscheck, I thought he won the fight against Johny Hendricks by a slight margin. With that said, I was not unhappy or felt robbed when Hendricks’ arm was raised. Hendricks looked good through all three rounds and is ready to get in line with the other welterweights looking for a shot at GSP’s belt. Notice I said get in line, not fight GSP next. Poor Josh will be relegated to gatekeeper status from here on out, which is too bad since he was basically the most recognizable name on the entire card.
- Fact: Scantily-clad women were handing out bags of Corn Nuts to everyone in attendance. Fact: Corn Nuts look like dry nuggets of feces you would find in a kitty litter box.
- Alan Belcher had some slick leglock defenses, and knew not to panic once Rousimar Palhares got a hold of his lower limbs. Did Belcher put together the blueprint to defeat Palhares? For sure, not giving him your legs is a good start, but Palhares is still a threat to other middleweights out there. Belcher should meet with the winner of Lombard VS Stann to see who gets a crack at Silva’s MW belt next.
- Lavar Johnson smashes things. Pat Barry will always be a fan favorite, and I thought he had Lavar with that double wristlock, but he needs to change his gameplan for future fights or his tenure in the UFC may come to a close.
Hit the jump for my thoughts on the prelims, venue, and more!
- Dennis Bermudez is a scary young prospect, who dominated a very tough Pablo Garza. Good test for Dennis against a solid grappler, now I would like to see how he does against a striker.
- Louis Gaudinot did great work last night, as one of the TSMMA guys that is not afraid to slug and knows when to pull back and make his opponent fight his fight. Great to see him get a win in the octagon!
- Tim Elliot toughed it out against John Dodson, and had an exciting fight together, but Dodson was just too good. Johnson VS Ferguson was also a fine fight, neither of which I have much to say about beyond that.
- John Cholish made me so mad! Cholish VS Castillo should have been an insane back-and-forth grappling match, but both men decided to try their striking more, with Castillo gaining the advantage by putting Cholish against the fence and hugging him there. It was not until the final minute of round three that Cholish let the sweet submissions fly, and had he worked his game earlier in the fight, I am confident he would have walked away with the win.
- John Hathaway VS Pascal Krauss… why, Joe Silva? Why? What did we do to you that you had to punish us with this snorefest? The Jersey crowd did not even bother to boo, as most of them left to go to the concession stand to snatch up more Corn Nuts.
- Shame on the Izod Center for poor planning and awful customer service! I took the Port Authority bus from NY to the venue, and at the end of the night, there were only TWO buses returning to the city. After waiting 30 minutes, employees arrived to tell us we were all screwed as no bus would return for another hour, and we had to jump the parking lot fences in a mad rush to grab a different bus to take us to Secaucus, where we had to take a train to Penn Station. Way to go, Izod…
- According to TV by the Numbers, the Fox show averaged only 2.25 million viewers and nabbed a 1.0 household rating. That is down considerably from their last televised show on Fox, and was beaten by a repeat of “Shark Tank” on ABC (which I would have watched too if I was home).
- The biggest problem with UFC on Fox 3 was just an utter lack of names on the card. This was the weakest card to date for the Fox telecasts, and the ratings suffered accordingly. While the main card fights were exciting, the undercard was less than stellar with a few exceptions. I only hope that when the UFC returns to Atlantic City in the summer that we East Coast fans get a better card to make up for this one.