UFC Unleashed: The First Thought You Have (Part Deux)

Good evening, MMA fans! I hope your lives are going according to plan, and I hope your children are getting quality educations. It’s time to break out the exercise equipment. The last time I did this was in June of last year, and I found it to be an engaging and entertaining experiment. What I do is, I record a random episode of “UFC Unleashed”, and I write about whatever happens to be on it. Got it? Got it. Let’s go.

Well, the “random” episode I recorded happened to have a revealing title. “Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort”. I swear, I didn’t notice this when I set it to record. Whatever. There will be other fights, and come on, you don’t want me to write about Joe Warren, which was the biggest story to come out of this weekends’ MMA activities. That would just be sad. I’ll just throw out one observation: Joe Warren always looks like he’s knocked out. He has that weird “I just got lamped, and now I’m face to face with Jesus” look in his eyes, pretty much all the time. He has Pat Curran and that sadistic referee to thank for that.

And the first fight is …

John Dodson vs. Jussier Formiga

John Dodson really does have amazing hands. He’s incredibly quick, and you can tell striking is something that comes to him naturally. Alot of guys just go out there and throw combinations the exact same way that they hit focus pads, without taking into account the movement of their opponent. Not Dodson. His one-twos are beautiful; he throws the right, waits for his opponent to react, then times the left according to what direction his opponent moved his head in. He’s beating Formiga on the feet so far.

After Florian makes it seem like Formiga is capitalizing on Dodson not pulling his left hand back quickly enough (when all he’s really doing is throwing push punch counters that are coming up short because Dodson is so freaking fast), Dodson floors Formiga with an overhand left and dings him once or twice on the floor before Formiga gets back to his feet. Dodson goes into kill mode, and after a short time, he lands a thudding left-right combo to the body before finishing Formiga off with another big left hook and pinpoint follow up punches on the floor.

Dodson celebrates by jumping off the cage and doing ha-ryukens with the frantic enthusiasm of an 8 year old hopped up on energy drinks and Ritalin. That was almost more entertaining than the actual finish.

Dan Hardy vs. Duane Ludwig

This fight isn’t exactly old or anything, but it feels like it happened eons ago. Duane Ludwig went on to get high and help wrestling midgets prepare for fights by getting on YouTube; Hardy went on to become one leg of the UFC’s third official commentary team, smirking into the camera and shattering the record for the amount of times the word “beautiful” was uttered on a broadcast.

This scrap showcased the best and worst of both guys. Hardy is damn hittable, but when he lands that straight-across left hook, it’s over. Ludwig showed good combination punching, and the fact that he’s eternally damned to be a good kickboxer with a bad chin, which has to suck in all kinds of ways.

Since we’ve most likely heard the last from both individuals in terms of being relevant fighters, here’s how I’ll remember both of them: Duane Ludwig was a good kickboxer who once angered me by taunting Genki Sudo (which I now find amusing); Dan Hardy was one of the most under-qualified guys to ever fight for a UFC title, along with seeming to be a pretty cool guy, at least in terms of his appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience.

Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort

This fight was noteworthy for tons of reasons, the most obvious one being that it was the “We’re panicking, we’ve already made UFC history by cancelling a pay-per-view, Bones won’t fight Sonnen, Machida wont fight Bones, and, well, Christ, we have to put SOMETHING together” matchup that an inebriated Joe Silva and Dana White came up with after popping several Ambien and mixing them with vodka and Red Bulls.

The actual fight speaks volumes. There was the famous armbar attempt that Vitor secured on Jones, which caused him to continuously pull guard and go for it for multiple times throughout the rest of the fight. Look, I know Vitor Belfort had an unbelievable 2013, but he’s overdue to sleepwalk through a fight like he did here. When Vitor pulls guard, they should just stop the fight right there and award it to whoever Vitor is fighting. Seriously. Vitor is physically tough as hell, but you can make this guy check out mentally. Sakuraba, Couture, the first Henderson fight, both Alistair fights … Vitor Belfort has worn down, in both body and spirit, in several fights. There’s a reason you’ll never see a “Vitor Belfort’s Greatest Comebacks” highlight.

Anyway, other than the excellent armbar attempt, this was pretty much a methodical, one sided thwacking in favor of Bones. The highlights were Vitor pulling guard in the 4th and getting tapped seconds later (Has that ever happened before?), Bones slamming his feet into Vitor’s knee at least 30 times, and the fact that, brouhaha aside, this fight looked pretty much exactly how a Jones-Henderson fight would have looked.

If Vitor ever beats Chris Weidman or Lyoto Machida, I’ll go out and buy a hat just to eat it.

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