continued from yesterday…
The Diaz fights proved a lot about McGregor. That he could lose, and suffer defeat with humility. He didn’t make excuses. He said Diaz was the greater man and congratulated him on his victory, said he needed to go back and work ons on holes in his game, and that’s exactly what he did. But more importantly, he took the fight in the first place. He was supposed to fight Raphael Dos Anos, and he fell out with an injury a week before the fight. Conor agreed to face Diaz, a hugely dangerous opponent, on very little notice, when most fighters would have just opted to sit it out and wait for their original opponent to heal and come back. But Conor knew that literally thousands off Irish had booked flights and hotels for Vegas to come and see him fight, and he refused to let them down. That’s what areal mahfukken G does.
Conor came back and fought Diaz in their rematch and beat him in a vicious five round fight,. Both men were badly beaten and battered, and Conor suffered some incredibly hard shots, but never gave up. He showed the true spirit of a champion in the match, and we will very likely see a rubber match between the two. But that erased any doubts most people had about his ability to fight, and preserver in tough conditions. He hung in there and geeked out a victory and was moderately gracious in that victory.
His next fight came against Eddie Alvarez, the lightweight champion, and it was to make history in so many ways. It was the first ever UFC card in NYC, at the world’s most famous area, MSG, and if Conor won he was going to become the first ever guy to be the simultaneous champion in 2 different weight classes. For this fight Conor was in tip top promo shape. He came to the press conference wearing a white fur coat… he swiped Alvarez’s belt off the table of the press conference (a truck he debuted against Jose Aldo), during the open workouts at MSG he grabbed a basketball off of the court and nailed a shot from the top of the key… he was on fire! And he once again had a nation backing him. Buy this point, every fight must feel like a hometown fight for Conor, as literally thousands of Irish make the trip from his motherland, and thousands more Irish Americans flood the areas for his fights. NYC was no exception. I’ve been to so many UFC fights… Ive been in Newark and the Meadowlands multiple times, and flown to Vegas twice just for big fights, and also been to the O2 in London.
I’d seen some incredible moments inside the Octogaon. I watched Shane Carwin dismantle Frank Mir with a vicious body shot that I could her from my middle section seats. I saw Georges St Pirre almost break Matt Whatever’s arm. I saw Jon Jones become the youngest cha[ion in UFC history by delivering. Aviocous knockout to Shogun Hua, and oddly it happened on the same day he also chased down and subdued a purse snatcher who interrupted his meditation session that afternoon in a Newark Park. I Saw Jones defeat Chael Sonnen with a big toe that was so badly broken that the bones was sticking out of the skin. I saw Anderson Silva think he had knocked out Michael Bisping in London and he jumped up onto the top of the cage to celebreat, only to be told it was simply the end of the round. He went on to lose that fight and the venue I was running in London even hosted the afterparty. I saw Renean Barao loste his first ever fight and have his 20 fight winning streak stopped by TJ Dilashw in Vegans and watched Daniel Cormier destroy former olympian Dan Henderson not he same card. When it comes to non-UFC MMA cards, Ive only been to two different ones, but both of them had monumental moments. I was at the El its XC card where James Thompson had his absolutely engorged cauliflower ear busted open, spraying blood all over the cage. And minutes later saw the upset of the century, when last minute repalcemen, no-name Seth Petruzelli knocked out Kimbo Slice, the street fighting legend that Elite XC bet their entire company on. That was the last ever Eliute XC event.
But the granddaddy of them all was when I went to the rematch of Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. In Las Vegas. Anderson was the most dominant champion in UFC history. He exploded on the scene in a way nobody ever had, recording flashy knockout after flashy knockout and nobody had any sort of an answer for him. HE destroyed Chirs Leben, the man with the iron chin who had never been knocked out. And then obliterated Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin in back to back fights. He went up a weight class and made James Irvin look silly by literally catching his kick with his left and and knocking him out with a single right hand punch to the face. In his fight against former champion Forrest Griffin he stood flat-footed in front of Forrest with his hands down, taunting him and dodged his punches by ducking and weaving like he was a character in the Matrix, and the would pop out a couple of jabs that stunned and then knocked out Griffin. The fight was called off when Griffin fell flat on his back and waved off any more punishment like a kid who had just been wiped out by a bully. When he finally made it back to his feet he quickly exited the cage and SPRINTED out of the area, something that had never before been done in a UFC fight.
Anderson silva had fought Chael Sonnen previously and Sonnen took him down and mauled him with wrestling and ground and pound for 4.5 rounds. Silva looked like he had zero answers.
to be continued tomorrow… again… My UFC serialiZation. Not sure anyone is gonna find this interesting, but Ive been sick this week and struggling to find things to be motivated write about… I dont wanna blow any of my “good” ideas while Im not feeling well… so sometimes this is what you’re gonna get if Im gonna be doing this every single day.