Posted 07/29/2013 by admin in Untethered MMA

UFC on FOX 8 Review

By Mike Fagan, July 29th, 2013

Rory MacDonald jabbed Jake Ellenberger for three rounds and won. He was able to jab Ellenberger for three rounds and win because Ellenberger didn’t have an answer for whatever Rory was doing. Maybe it was the angles. Maybe it was the jab. Maybe Ellenberger felt the moment and froze. Maybe Ellenberger realized his name would be perfect for a gourmet hamburger. I don’t know. I’m not Jake Ellenberger, and I don’t own a gourmet hamburger shop.

This upset Dana White, and he buried MacDonald for the performance:

“Don’t come in and say my fight was great, it was tactical and this and that,” White said. “And I belong in the top 10 and talk this [expletive] and don’t go in there and try to put him away. I don’t think he performed, I don’t think he did anything. … I don’t think he moves down the ladder, but do you think anyone is screaming to see him fight again?”

Dana White is the promoter. The promoter. A promoter promotes. He’s supposed to give you a reason to watch Rory MacDonald. Instead, the fight fell short of expectations (Because they shit talked! There was bad blood! ‘Hoa boy!), so Dana throws a hissy fit and buries his own fighter.

I won’t argue that it was a great fight. It wasn’t. I’ll probably never seek it out ever again. But it WASN’T THAT FUCKING BAD. You’ve got two of the top welterweights in the world in the cage. They’re, at most, one more win away from earning a title shot. The stakes are high, and in a three-round fight* one wrong move can cost you the round. A wronger move can cost you the fight. The incentive to play it safe, especially when you believe you’re up two rounds in the third, is right in front of your face.

* – This should have been five rounds. This should have been five rounds if we knew the first three rounds would have turned out as they did. This should have been five rounds if we knew the first three would have turned out the same just to piss off dumb MMA fans.

You’ll hear people talk about MMA as entertainment, how fighters need to excite a crowd just as much as they need to win. That’s true for the Matt Browns of the world. That’s true for the Ed Hermans and Trevor Smiths of the world. The midcard-for-life guys. The guys without title aspirations, whether they know it or not. That’s not true for MacDonald or Ellenberger or Condit or any of the other guys that have potential to make money by winning titles and being on posters and banging tons of women (or men, whatever) while they stare at reflections of themselves in the UFC’s shiny gold belt.

So shut up, Joe MMA Fan. And you shut up, too, Dana White. You’re being stupid.

*    *    *

-The show did a 0.9 overnight rating among 18-49 year olds, and 2.04 million viewers overall. Last year’s Fox show in August (headlined by Mauricio Rua and Brandon Vera) did a 1.1 rating among 18-49 year olds, and 2.14 million viewers overall. Fox showed a Cops rerun last Saturday. It did a 0.6 rating among 18-49 year olds, and 2.48 million viewers overall. I’d tell you to draw your own conclusions, but if I can’t come up with my own conclusion, there’s no way you’re going to come up with one.

-We can attribute part of that poor showing in the ratings to John Moraga. Nothing of Moraga’s doing, but the UFC scheduled both of his fights in the opening slot on Facebook, and then put him in the main event of a show on BIG FOX. For those fans who only watch main cards, Johnson dominated a guy they had literally never heard of. Great strategy to build your champion and your new division.

-If anyone deserves blame in the co-main event, it’s Jake Ellenberger. Even then, he’s fighting arguably the second-best guy at 170 pounds. But when you’re (probably) down two rounds heading into the third, it’s time to show some urgency. The takedown with a minute left was an improvement, but the sitting in guard until the horn went off thing was not.

-Do you find @MMARoasted funny? You’re an idiot. Here’s one of his latest Twitter jokes:

Rory MacDonald walked out to Rihanna last night. Rihanna’s fights were way more exciting.

“Rihanna’s fights.” Rihanna is a domestic abuse victim of Chris Brown.

Now, listen. I joke around. I joke around about some offensive topics. So, I get it. Here’s the thing: 1) If you’re going to joke about offensive material, be funny. 2) Try to punch up, not down. 3) If you’re going to punch down, be really fucking funny.

This was lazy, lowest-common-denominator humor. This wasn’t funny. If you think it’s funny, I’ve got a warehouse of Carlos “Ned” Mencia DVDs to sell you. And if you think I have a warehouse of Carlos Mencia DVDs, I have a bridge to sell you. Unfortunately, I don’t actually have a bridge, but I will direct you to an unfinished bridge that you can drive off of. (You’ll die because the bridge is not finished and gravity will pull your car to the Earth and it will blow up with you inside it.)

If you think this is an isolated incident, well, read this.

-It’s fun to watch Robbie Lawler knocking guys out again in the UFC, but let’s be real: It’s unlikely Lawler has revitalized his career and he’s going to beat up all the welterweights and fight Rory MacDonald and Georges St-Pierre on the same night and be the best fighter in the world. When Lawler shitkicked Josh Koscheck in February, it was his best win since…uh…Frank Trigg in 2007? Or Matt Lindland in 2010 if you still clung to the idea of Lindland as this bald, stinky martyr wandering the country as the unsung top middleweight outside of the UFC.

It’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that someone or something got inside Lawler’s head. He’s (only!) 31, and this is probably his last real chance to make a run in the UFC. But it’s the same guy who lost to Lorenz Larkin last year. (Larkin would go on to lose his UFC debut to Francis Carmont.) The Koscheck win ended a bad streak of losses to strong grapplers (Jake Shields, Babalu, Jacare, and Tim Kennedy with the Lindland win in the middle, so I guess it didn’t really end a long streak, but fuck you Lindland was old and not good), it’s still a weak spot for him. And look at the guys ahead of him in the division: St-Pierre, Hendricks, Condit, MacDonald, Ellenberger, Maia, Diaz, Kampmann. All those guys have serious grappling creds. Robbie can beat a couple of those guys (I’m looking at you, “Whiplash” Kampmann), but he’ll have a tough time running the gauntlet.

-Liz Carmouche finally has a win over an opponent with a winning record! Hurrah!


Mike Fagan is a weekly contributor to MMA Owl. He also hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET at, also available as a podcast via iTunes.