UFC 210 had its share of memorable moments. Some were good, some were bad, and some just felt weird and misplaced. It started off strong, had its better moments around the middle of the event, and then it collapsed into self-parody in the final thirty minutes. We got to see a deserving entry to the UFC Hall of Fame and Thiago Alves returning to classic form, but we also saw the main and co-main events marred by some bizarre controversies, a trend that is becoming regular in NY. Here's a look at the best and worst moments from UFC 210.
Hit: Charles Oliveira Quickly Subs Brooks
Charles Oliveira wasted little time in choking out former Bellator lightweight champ Will Brooks in their short, one round outing. He quickly tripped Brooks off of a combination during a striking exchange, and from there Brooks was lost in Oliveira's tricky world of snake jiu-jitsu. Brooks managed to get back to his feet, but he couldn't escape. It was a convincing win, and Brooks is a tough fighter, but Oliveira is just a higher level grappler. It was a solid opener for the event, good stuff.
Hit: Urijah Faber Inducted into UFC Hall of Fame
Urijah Faber made his mark on the industry as one of the pioneers of the lower weight classes. There probably wouldn't even be any 145 and under divisions if not for guys like Faber, Cruz, and Aldo competing under the WEC banner and generating interest in lighter weight classes when massive heavyweights were the big ticket draws. From an entertainment standpoint, WEC did for featherweights and bantamweights what the WCW cruiserweight division did for guys like Rey Mysterio back in the late 90's. It provided an exciting alternative to big sweaty men throwing haymakers back and forth.
Hit: Vintage Thiago Alves
Thiago Alves looked the best that he has since before the GSP fight, and that was good to see. He put together nice Thai combinations while wearing out Patrick Cote's lead leg throughout the three round contest. He landed the takedowns and knockdowns when needed, and even though he showed some signs of fatigue later in the fight, he still fought hard and didn't falter.
His opponent Patrick Cote retired after the fight in anti-climactic fashion. Cote lost and it wasn't his hometown. Nobody really knew it was coming so it just felt sudden and unceremonious. Still though, he took some shots that would fell a grizzly, and he went out on his shield like a true grit motherfucker, so good for him and we wish him all the best.
Miss: Battle of the Bulges
One of the stranger controversies surrounding UFC 210 was whether or not the bout between Cynthia Calvillo and Pearl Gonzalez would be cancelled because of Pearl Gonzalez's breast implants. Exploding boobs aside, every card usually has at least one bathroom break match. This one just happened to be right before the co-main on the PPV.
It wasn't a bad fight, but it felt entirely skippable. Gonzalez was the larger, stiffer fighter and Calvillo bounced around naturally, and no, that's not a boob reference. Calvillo was able to land more shots and outclassed her opponent on the ground. This was only Calvillo's second fight in the promotion and its prominent position on the card didn't have much of a captivating story behind it outside of the #tittygate drama. It wasn't bad, it just happened, and it also marked the beginning of the downhill slide of this event.
Miss: That Co-Main Event...
Chris Weidman entered the UFC as a future supersoldier sent back to the past to kill Anderson Silva's mojo for the sake of humanity. Having accomplished his prime directive, he now wanders the UFC middleweight division foraging for fights. Having run out of Brazilian souls to claim, he's 0-3 since dropping his title to Luke Rockhold.
Weidman has had a rough time lately, no doubt, but this loss is hardly his own doing. Here's what happened.
MMA rules make no sense. If a fighter has one hand on the ground, it's open season on cranial injuries, and you can fire as many knees into someone's brain as you would like. However, if you have two hands on the ground, this becomes an act of inhumane barbarism and is banned accordingly. You can forcibly lift someone's hands from the ground before delivering a knee to the head, which is what happened here.
Referee Dan Miragliotta incorrectly called this as a foul which set off a bizarre chain of events. Weidman was given time to recover as per normal for a foul. There are no instant replays in MMA, but the announce team repeatedly used exactly that to show that the knee was legal. The fact that the knee was legal was relayed to Big Dan and he seemed unsure of of what to do. In the end, doctors called the fight despite the fact that it never should have been paused at all. Weidman wasn't out, Mousasi didn't do anything wrong, but the fight was ruled a TKO loss for Weidman. It was nonsense, and the NYSAC handles issues with all the sensitivity of a local politician with a dick pic and a list of unsolicited telephone numbers.
Miss: Rumble's Final Choke
Like PBR mixed with Funyons, this main event left a bitter aftertaste of disappointment and regret. Anthony Johnson abandoned all common sense and attempted to lock up with DC rather than utilizing the striking that visibly stunned the champ. The obvious thing happened: Johnson wore Cormier like a 230 pound backpack full of cake and chicken until he succumbed to a rear naked choke.
After the fight he revealed that he had been planning to retire for several weeks now, a fact that would have been great to know before purchasing an event that he was scheduled to headline. He revealed that he was tired of contantly kicking and punching and training, a fact evidenced by his shift in strategy after taking a stiff overhand right.
Rumble is one of the toughest and scariest of all time, and for him to retire in his prime is a huge loss to the division. He may return one day, who knows, but for now he will be remembered as a rare athlete with vicious KO power used against guys from welterweight to heavyweight, and we're sad to see him go. Now we're just left with speculation regarding all of the fights that could have happened. He even teased this by giving a shout out to Jon Jones and telling him perhaps in another life.
And then there was Daniel Cormier who ran around the cage calling out Jimi Manuwa and telling Jon Jones to get his shit together. Cormier isn't widely liked as a champion and used the opportunity to finally embrace the role of the villain. In pro wrestling terms, this is called a heel turn. Cormier has always played the nice guy on TV, but he does so with a smug sense of self-satisfaction. After the fight he abandoned those pretenses. The guy who used a towel to make weight for this fight was suddenly up in arms again about Jon Jones being a cheater. If DC is the heel, that means Jones has to be the face. When a cokehead with road rage and deep-seeded sexual issues is the default good guy in your feud, maybe it's time to step back and reevaluate your personality.