Last night's UFC Fight Night from Kansas City - headlined by Max Holloway vs Calvin Kattar - was pretty damn great.
We saw finish after finish in the early fights….
….and if the fights DIDN'T have finishes, they damn near could've - as you could see in that Zellhuber/Vannata clip!
We saw the rare double retirement of Zak Cummings and Ed Herman!
Beautiful moment for two veterans of the sport there. Cummings gets to go out on a W in his hometown after a decade in the company, and Ed Herman finally gets to ride off into the sunset after debuting on 'The Ultimate Fighter Season 3: Ken Shamrock vs Tito Ortiz' 17 years ago. Enjoy retirement, Kings.
Brandon Royval SMOKED Matheus Nicolau with this deadly combination in the first round….
….and then gave a great post-fight speech/presser afterwards, saying he shouldn't have been on the prelims tonight, and shouldn't be on the prelims ever again, which I totally agree with! Put some respect on these top Flyweights! They put on some of the most entertaining fights in the company!
Bill Algeo went and got himself a choke and then fake retired for no reason and cut a promo on Kansas City, calling it a dump, which cracked me the fuck up…
Clay Guida, another UFC legend, went out there and dropped a loss to Rafa Garcia and then took his gloves off in the cage, and we thought he was about to retire, but he really just wanted to do a glove swap with Garcia….
Had us in the first half indeed! Gloves swaps should be more common, though - that'd be a cool tradition. Imagine having a collection of gloves from people you beat like trophies?
Pedro Munhoz went out and got an underdog win against Factory X's Chris Gutierrez, and then the Fight Night KING Ion Cutelaba made very quick work of Tanner Boser with these rapid fire shots against the cage….
Unfortunately, the next couple fights didn't go so well for some friends of mine.
Azamat Murzakanov put on a very good performance against Dustin Jacoby, beating him via decision (in a fight Jacoby honestly could've won had be not been dropped in the final 15 seconds of Round 2), and then Edson Barboza knocked out Billy Quarantillo BAD in the first round of their Kansas City co-main event.
It looked real competitive while it lasted, but Edson just read a level change perfectly and hit a knee right on the button to put Billy's lights out. Kudos to the legend, and get well soon Billy! You'll be back!
I loved seeing this respect shown afterwards, too….
Finally, time for the main event! I gotta admit, we thought this would be complete and total bell-to-bell domination by Holloway on the Spinnin Backfist MMA Show this week (and I was even worried about the possibility of Allen catching him) but it was a lot more competitive than anticipated.
Still, Holloway controlled major portions of the fight and easily won 3-2 on my cards (and it coulda been 4-1 if you gave him the second round), but I was very impressed by Arnold Allen's ability to not get Calvin Kattar/Brian Ortega'd by Max though.
Plus, ending the fight with a bit of a callback to the legendary Ricardo Lamas fight finale?!
Tremendous. Absolutely tremendous.
Max Holloway got on the mic afterwards and asked everyone not to boo Arnold Allen, once again bringing out the class act and amazing representative for the sport that he is, and I'll be honest - I fell asleep immediately afterwards. Hence the morning blog!
I actually fell asleep with my glasses on and woke up to them cracked down the middle. Might have to tape them up like one of the Dudley Boyz this week.
It was a really good fight card overall, though, and a great main event.
Can't wait to see what the UFC is working on to replace Oliveira vs Dariush….
P.S. Yes, I know the 'best' at 145 is actually UFC Featherweight Champ Alexander Volkanovski right now - it's just a fun saying for the headline.