I took in UFC181 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. It was an awesome event, and this is a little bit of a PSA for those who don't follow UFC.
First and foremost, shout out Bob Fox for his coverage of the sport. As a dude who's been actually following the sport for less than a year, Bob does a great job breaking everything down in layman's terms for someone who doesn't know who's who or wtf is going on a lot of the time. That's my favorite part of this sport, that I don't know a THING about it and just get to be a sponge that is learning more and more about it every week.
Because it was forced on me during 2020, I kinda changed from being a "fomo" or "go out guy" into someone who has no problem sticking to myself for entire weekends. A lot of that has to do with UFC, as it was the only thing we could consistently watch for a lot of that brutal year. Again, this is a PSA blog. It's meant to speak to those who don't follow UFC.
Do youself a favorite and give it a shot on a Saturday. It's 5-6 straight hours of men and women beating each other's brains in. How they stagger the fights one after the other and with how fast paced UFC events are, you'll at worst be entertained. At best, you'll start to fall in love with not just the sport itself, but the pageantry and storylines that follow each fighter and match.
Saturday was an OUTSTANDING card. Here's a quick highlight reel of the day:
I haven't missed many cards since January or so, and though 281 was admittedly as good as I've seen, this is the sort of shit you can expect to at least some extent even on the cards that aren't accompanied by a ton of fanfare. So yeah… give it a shot.
Fast forward to Saturday. Unfortunately, our girl Meatball Molly took a tough loss. I'll say this - I met Molly last summer and she was as vibrant, charming, approachable and fun as they come (even if I can't understand like 80% of what she's saying). She walked into Barstool River North that weekend and the entire bar was drawn to her. Incredibly magnetic individual and she's going to be a superstar not just in UFC, but beyond the octagon as well. I truly believe that in my heart of hearts. I was rooting my ass off for her and hated seeing her lose.
That said, she'll be back with a vengeance. She's tough as goddamn nails and even though I don't know her well, I feel like she'll take that loss as a learning experience and come back MUCH better because of it. As MJ said, he's failed over and over again and that's why he succeeds. That's Molly to a T. I know it is just from being in her orbit for a few days when she was in Chicago a couple months back and those who have met her know exactly what I'm talking about.
No idea who or when she's fighting next but I would NOT want to be that person. That chick's getting her face caved in by Molly.
Fast forward to Dustin Poirier's fight against Michael Chandler. It was INCREDIBLE. We got one of the best rounds I've ever seen in my admittedly short time watching the sport:
MSG was DEAFENING this entire fight. Just incredible.
Two warriors going blow for blow before Poirier ultimately submitted Chandler.
After the fight, Poirier dropped one of the most bad ass quotes ever:
Without fear, there is no bravery
No idea if that's his quote or he was using someone else's at what was a perfectly opportune moment, but when I saw this clip I got chills. They didn't stop there; my entire body was one giant goosebump when they started playing Baba O'Reilly to the best fights and knockouts in UFC history prior to the main event.
This ain't the best video and doesn't do it justice, but the montage was incredible start to finish and was the perfect primer for the PPV card:
And then we got to the main event. Obviously there were a bunch of fights worth noting, but you clowns have the attention span of fruit flies so I'm trying to keep this blog short as possible. Adesanya vs. Pereira didn't disappoint. It was a 4 1/2 round gutter war Adesanya had almost complete control of, but it ultimately culminated with Pereira knocking out the middleweight champ for the 2nd time in two meetings (one that wasn't UFC) between the two:
It was the perfect end to what was an insane night of fights. If you're a diehard UFC fan and haven't done so, do yourself a favor and hit up at least one PPV in person. Yes, it will be expensive. Yes, it will also be less costly should you use Gametime to secure your tickets using promo code STOOL. It will be worth it. This is one of those "just trust me bro" moments.
Joking aside, it's the most fun I've had at a sporting event outside of White Sox blackout games. Constant action start to finish and I wagered exactly zero dollars on the evening. Just went as a fan rooting for people to get crumped and had no financial rooting interest in any fight. If that's your thing though, it's a sport tailor-made for gambling.
If this blog reached one person who now wants to give the sport a shot, it's done its job and if you're looking where to start, follow Dustin Poirier's ascension to champion. That's what I did at least; just went down a Poirier rabbit hole on YouTube and watched like 12-15 of his fights over a few day span while blasted on 3chi. Highly recommend.
Best spectator sport on the planet. These people are modern day gladiators and rooting for their demise (or victory) is fun as can be.