A friend of mine recently got into Jiu Jitsu and has taken an introductory liking to combat sports. In the spirit of his first step into per chance becoming a critic & fan of mixed martial arts, I write this next iamkidfresh article for the homie to get a better understanding of just what the hell is happening at UFC 217, and why each of the throwdowns, on the main card, will place irreversible waves in each competitive weight class.
The amount of s*** talk, spine, brass, and backbone has been purely soaked up by the main event Bisping vs. GSP. For those of you who don’t know Georges St. Pierre, he is historically the most dominant welterweight male fighter of all time. That goes for early UFC, PRIDE, and the UFC today. What GSP does, or did, best is he takes away his opponent’s biggest weapons. If you’re a striker, he’ll wrestle you to the ground. If you’re a wrestler, he’ll jab your face into submission and have you looking like Koscheck in a Nightmare on GSP Street (Canada Edition). There’s nothing that can prepare you for GSP, except to understand that you might have to fight him with your least practiced form of martial arts. He is the epitome of MMA in that he pulls all levers and styles to neutralize his opponent.
Aside from the accolades I just lopped onto him, GSP is the most exciting thing happening in this fight. His opponent, Bisping, is a paper-per-chance champion of the middleweight division and a sub-par fighter who hit the lottery. If you swing long enough, chances are you’ll hit something, and that’s exactly what Bisping has done at the price of his right eye, possibly his brain, and the ensuing embarrassment of losing to GSP who’s been retired for 4 years from MMA. Behold, Bisping vs. GSP is a match purely made up of sugar, sodium, and Dana White’s delusion of grandeur money fights. The fight makes no sense in regard to contenders that Bisping should be eliminating, the faux UFC rankings, and the honor of competitive gravity that insists the champion defend their belt against the next best fighter. Instead, we get Bisping taking on a man who’s been retired for 4 years.
If GSP wins, he’ll vacate the belt, where it will then default to Robert Whittaker, who is the interim champ. GSP rides off into the sunset and continues to cash Under Armour checks. If Bisping wins, he’ll retire into a perpetual soliloquy of shit talk ‘til his dying days, where all 4 people that watch UFC on FOX will be submitted to a purgatory of listening to his shit talk ‘til their dying days as well. Either way, the carries absolutely no water or steam into the near future. It’s an end game. To whoever took Joe Silva’s job, keep up the bad work.
Now that I’ve wasted several minutes of my life writing about GSP and Bisping, I feel the next several should be spend on something worthwhile, like a fight that assuredly carries all cards into the future.
The Cody Garbrandt vs. TJ Dillashaw fight is one for an arcade story mode that could only result in either character’s absolute banishment.
Both fighters are products of the Alpha Male Gym in Sacramento, CA, run by perennial MMA prodigy Urijah Faber. Never able to reach UFC gold, Faber employed his skills as a coach to groom the next era of Bantamweight violence experts. Dillashaw came to prominence in 201_ by demoralizing then Bantamweight champ Renan Barao, who was on a 21-fight win streak. Dillashaw collided his 2-year championship run into Dominick Cruz, the UFC’s first Bantamweight champion. Dominick then ran into several punches to the face from Cody Garbrandt, and here we are. Garbrandt, the now champion, facing previous title holder, TJ Dillashaw.
The juice to this fight is that TJ Dillashaw is a man of low morale and high devicefulness. He has come to be known as the snake, leaving team Alpha Male for a more lucrative gym in Denver. More to his indictment, TJ is rumored to have ended a fighter’s career from a cheapshot to then teammate Chris Holdsworth. Although it is a rumor, it’s still a thing that adds to the narrative betwixt he and Garbrandt.
If it is true that Dillashaw was beaten by Chris Holdsworth in sparring, and then plugged him with a cheapshot while Holdsworth was walking away, producing a career-ending concussion, then Dillashaw truly is the Iago we’ve come to know him for, and Garbrandt shoulders the ungodly compounded pressure of bringing a modern-day-grinning villain to real justice. Alas, Dillashaw has played his cards well, sticks to coach Duane Ludwig like a crouching tiger to a hidden dragon, and only implicates his guilt through the sheer s***-eating grin he so often has surfaced when standing face to face with Garbrandt. I’m cheering for Garbrandt in this one, and pray the universe will show some signs of righteous gravity- in that she was nowhere to be found while Yu Darvish was teed off on in a thick moment of opportunity to enact some means of revenge on Yuri Gurriel.
One thing we know to be true of UFC 217, is the law of Joanna JedrzejczykThe women’s Strawweight prize fight amidst Joanna and Rose Namajunas is one for the ages. It seems that women’s MMA is consistently setting the tone for story, most important fights, and narrative to the slowly desaturating UFC cards. I’ll say it here, and please don’t get it twisted: The Joanna vs. Rose fight is the actual main event. Both fighters are being pickpocketed out of money and brand promotion by not be realized as the real main event.
So it goes. Rose Namajunas is an absolute killer, carrying the seeming resemblance to the hypothetical progeny of Josy Wales. She comes off an obliteration of Michelle Waterson, and an absolute tear through the Strawweight division albeit her loss to Karolina Kowalkewiecz.
The story that proceeds this fight will either depict Joanna as an undefeated legend in MMA, or re-introduce Rose as a new dreamkiller/champion/Strawweight Holly Holm. The scale sways so damn heavily to either side’s future, pending on the outcome.
GSP vs. Bisping
WHO I WANT TO WIN: GSP to win. Who wouldn’t want GSP to comeback after 4 years and stomp out the old smelly cigar, that is Bisping.
I PICK: Bisping. The game has evolved, and GSP has been out sparring at Tristar for the past half fng decade. Last GSP tried to stand and bang, his face got smashed into a gradient of purples and blues by Johny Hendricks, and poor Georges was mentioned of going to grocery stores and forgetting what he was actually doing there. Sadly, I believe may be the first high profile case of CTE in MMA, and lord knows what’ll happen when he goes against a jab-heavy fighter like Bisping.
Garbrandt vs. Dillashaw
WHO I WANT TO WIN: Garbrandt for the 2nd round KO. When a knockout takes place in the first round, an opponent can refute it as a fluke. However, I’d rather there be no argument for this one, and have Dillashaw out worked for a round, and then put to the mat in the 2nd. It also elevates the stand-up guy Garbrandt is, and highlights the narrative to his fish-out-of-water story. I like this Garbrandt guy, he deserves the win.
I PICK: Dillashaw. The accusations of steroid use, cheapshots, and stooping to cut throat levels to out best the next man, at this day & age, just wreak too highly of a fighter that can’t lose a revisited title fight. In TJ’s mind, he easily believes he’s already won this fight, and his amount of mental toughness is just too damn assured. I had Garbrandt winning this fight up until I saw the face-offs. Dillashaw looks like a maniac bro supreme who sold his soul down the river a long time ago for the upperhand in this match.
Jedrzejczyk vs. Namajunas
WHO I WANT TO WIN & WHO I PICK TO WIN: Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Rose is an elite fighter, and Joanna is a celestial. There is no other way about it. It’s the way it has to be and will be. If Rose wins, then she will have slayed a titan in the path leading to now. Rose was given the first UFC Strawweight title fight, and is just now revisiting the potential for UFC Gold 3 years later. She’s done a great job, and after losing to Joanna, she can hang’em up and at least say, “I fought God, and almost won”.