Near the end of the UFC 108 postfight press conference, there was a prolonged lull in the barrage of questions. After hours of sensory mayhem, the silence seemed out of place.
The last inquiry would be directed at
But prior to Ellenberger's finale, there was that lingering silence and
"Any other questions? No? Where are all the negative people? Where are you guys, the ones [complaining] all week?"
Yep, seven stoppages in 10 fights will put a bounce in the step of any Ultimate Fighting Championship fan. Especially since neither the Fight of the Night nor the Main Event was included in the septet.
Congratulations. If you bought or attended the card, you enjoyed nine highly entertaining bouts and that passes as getting your money's worth in today's world.
Not too bad for an event that had become the whipping boy of the New Year.
No title fights, only a couple big names, and too many injuries were the rallying cries of the skeptics. That's all fine and good, but fans need to remember this is not baseball or basketball or football.
This is a
A good tussle doesn't need anything more than two participants -- Willing and Able. Furthermore, the duo are highly unpredictable.
There's a reason a crowd always forms around two drunken nightmares going at it outside a bar, and that reason ain't attached to a waist or a reputation. It's the same reason that same crowd forms around two youngsters jostling in the hallways of a high school.
A fight is a fight (within reason) and you never know which ones are going to be epic battles. We were all reminded of this simple truth on Saturday night.
We were also given several other pearls of wisdom.
Junior dos Santos, Paul Daley and Sam Stout need to be taken seriously. Right now.
With all due respect to the evening's other winners, they simply didn't compare to the aforementioned trio.
Each put on a scintillating performance against a certified bad-ass:
I'm inherently skeptical of the pretty fighters because, as my buddy once said, "a prettier man has more to lose." Consequently, I have a hard time buying their hearts are into risking that good lookin' mug.
Well, it's time to become a believer in Stout.
Although the Canadian had a sketchy start to his war with
Of course, you'd expect nothing less from a guy who counts
Which makes what Sam Stout did to him all the more noteworthy.
Not even a gnarly gash on his forehead that was opened up in that early rough patch -- one that required a nice array of stitches to close -- would slow Hands of Stone. He remained a blur of activity to the bitter end (for Lauzon).
Stout's got a ways to go before he's a sincere thorn in
While I wasn't a fan of his Octagon antics after obliterating
You must also acknowledge Semtex' awesome power.
McLovin ate three extra punches after the initial blow that sent him to the floor, but he never felt 'em. That first left hook blasted the fight and the consciousness from Hazelett's body.
I think I saw them land somewhere in the upper deck.
What's even more intriguing is that Daley used several minutes of the press conference to insist he's vastly improved on the ground and in takedown defense. He even went so far as to hint he'd love to use
The dynamite in his fists cannot be denied -- this was a catchweight bout at 172 pounds because the doctors deemed Paul too fragile to cut the single pound he needed to make weight.
If there's any truth to Daley's claim, the welterweight division -- long the domain of one
From Britain of all places.
I wrote it while I was blogging from the MGM Grand Garden Arena: I'm biased toward the bigger gladiators. It's partially because I skew toward the larger side of the physical spectrum (they get "gladiators" and I get "physical spectrum," damn), but it's also because of the suspense.
Whenever I watch the monsters in the cage, I can't shake the feeling each is only one bomb away from irreversible disaster. No matter what -- wounded beasts can often be the most dangerous ones.
Furthermore, Cigano's rising star added a little extra spice to the fracas with
Needless to say, I was ready for this burner.
The Brazilian lived up to his billing and then some.
From where I sat about 10-15 feet from the Octagon, Dos Santos' punches were unsettling; it seemed like you could feel the sound of the impact. Not to mention the Dutchman is himself a brute and, yet, his strikes paled in comparison so the effect was even more pronounced.
And the hammer fists that finally ended the contest? Sickening, in a perversely good way. Anytime a "thud" rises above an apoplectic crowd of twelve thousand, there is something special behind its source.
Junior dos Santos is a heavyweight to watch and watch closely.
As is the case whenever a fight delivers, both combatants should be acknowledge. The watershed triumph is impossible without a game antagonist to use as a template for the moment.
Consequently, all 20 fighters should be applauded for putting that smile on Dana White's face (what the heck, let's toss Oliveira and
Nevertheless, there was more to the grin than a great night contrary to expectations. Something more enduring.
It was the twinkle of three new studs for the stable.
And rightly so.