The All American is back! Chris Weidman just picked up a massive win by way of an arm triangle in his home after going on an 0-3 run since December 12th, 2015. It was so unfortunate because he went from the best middleweight in the world to someone who fans were starting to really question if he had it in him any more. Each loss told a story, as well.
-UFC 194 to Luke Rockhold, he threw one spinning heel kick that cost him the fight. It was one of the worst kicks I’ve ever seen, but it was ONE KICK.
-UFC 205 to Yoel Romero, he was winning and looked good, then got clobbered with one of the hardest flying knees in the history of the sport.
-UFC 210 to Mousasi, he got rocked with a knee – seemingly illegal, stopping the action, and later turned out to be completely legal, stopping the action for good.
This was as “must win” as it gets, and Chris knew it. Strong Island was LOUD AS FUCK for his walkout, which was to the tune of “Coming Home” by Ditty Dirty Money, into “Empire State Of Mind” by Jay Z/Alicia Keys, and finally into his usual “Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. They didn’t lose any energy either, as every takedown or punch thrown sent vibrations through the new Coliseum.
Weidman came out with a wrestling-heavy gameplan in the first, and had lots of success until there was 10 seconds left in the round and he got dropped (almost finished, actually).
In the second, he didn’t have any desire to stand and trade, and went the classic grapplefuck route. It worked, but we then started to look at his gas tank and it was hard to tell whether or not he was fading. In the third, Gastelum showed major urgency (as he should have, he doesn’t have great takedown defense) and got into a brawl with Weidman, but wound up on the losing end.
That would lead to a takedown which led to the finish, and this video was captured (not by me, it’s against journalist code) of the crowd’s thunderous ovation:
What a moment. Chills up and down my spine.
Chris thanked the fans and his family, then called out Bisping, saying “We all know who the real champ is” about himself, which was incredibly questionable being he’s lost the three fights before this by (T)KO, but hey we’ll let the fuckin’ guy have his moment.
The other fights on this card were all pretty exciting, two of them having close split decisions (Patrick Cummins def. Gian Villante/Darren Elkins def. Dennis Bermudez) that I disagreed with, but it was a clear improvement over the past few UFC events in New York, where the NYSAC tried to, on the face of it, sabotage the barbaric human cockfighting they tried to keep out of the state for so long. The opening fight of the main card (which is the one I was looking forward to the most) was Jimmie Rivera vs Thomas Almeida, and it lived up to expectations. The judging sucked, because only one of them gave Almeida R2, but in the end they got the right, so I won’t rag on them too much.
I ran into an old friend in the crowd, too…
Katlyn’s the only person to defeat Bob in MMA (controversial split decision, everyone knows that) and has been talking a bunch of shit recently, so we’ll see about the rematch. Throwback to our first fight: