Written by @NickRiznerMMA
Let me first apologize for being such a downer last week. I’ll try to be better. Hell, a fight is a fight and even if the names don’t jump off the page, one can assume at the very least that all-involved possess UFC caliber talent. For the most part.
This week, I’ll ignore my instinct to point out all the negative and instead focus on the best parts of UFC 212. It was never my style to complain in a blog post. And yes, I realize that’s a terrible strategy for generating traffic. Call it integrity or whatever…
So, it looks like we’re back in Brazil for the second time this year. The last time we visited the birthplace of MMA, we ended up with a retroactive no-contest in the main event. You see, Kelvin was apparently smoking some weed and that’s a big no-no in the sporting world. Lay off the marijuana cigarettes kids!!
Just kidding, I have absolutely zero problem with it. It’s a dumb rule.
Regardless, let’s hope for a more definitive result in this monster of a title fight between Aldo and Holloway. Here’s your complete guide to UFC 212. Enjoy!!
- Main Card:
- Jose Aldo (c) vs. Max Holloway (ic) (diehard)(casual)
- Claudia Gadelha vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (diehard)(casual)
- Erick Silva vs. Yancy Medeiros (diehard) (casual)
- Preliminary Card:
- Raphael Assuncao vs. Marlon Moraes (diehard)
- Iuri Alcantara vs. Brian Kelleher (diehard)
MMA MAD PODCAST GUESTS
- Max Holloway:
- Interim Featherweight Champion
- Fought McGregor as part of the first UFC event I ever attended live
- Last Appearance in March, 2016
TOP THREE POINTS OF INTEREST
Claudia Gadelha vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz Could Steal The Show
This is only the third edition of MMA Mad Unfiltered, and I already sound like a broken record when it comes to the Strawweights. I love them. The depth, the hunger, the overall excitement. I’ll happily take a couple 115ers on a big card before just about every other weight class. And in Gadelha vs. Kowalkiewicz, we’ve got two of the best.
The cliche (yet appropriate) take on Karolina is that she’s a slightly less accomplished Joanna Jedrzejczyk. She’s a polish muay thai specialist with flawless technique and lightning fast hands. Fact. Gadelha is a grappling specialist with power on the ground and on her feet, capable of changing the fight with one key takedown or heavy punch. Also fact. We’ve essentially seen these two styles clash in the pair of Joanna-Claudia fights and I have absolutely zero gripes about seeing it again.
My only complaint is that it’s three rounds.
Jose Aldo Is Still The Best Featherweight In The World
Yeah, yeah, yeah. McGregor beat him. Unfortunately, a one-punch flash knockout, while in some ways dominant, can also raise a lot of questions surrounding luck and good fortune. I’m not saying that Conor couldn’t repeat his victory if given the chance, but I am saying that we simply don’t know for sure. The first fight essentially ended before it started, and without a title defense to solidify Conor’s position as the king of the featherweights, I’m still leaving that one in the hands of Aldo.
He’s undoubtedly the best featherweight of all time. I just happen to think he’s the best in the world at this moment as well. He’s still only 30 years old and claims an unparalleled string of victories over the elite of the elite. Could the title of “top dog” change on Saturday night? Obviously. But until that moment, for the entirety of fight week, Jose Aldo is still the man. Historically and current.
Max Holloway Was Part Of My Very First UFC Event
Before you jump on me, I’ll readily admit that I was a late bloomer. I first got into MMA after watching the first season of The Ultimate Fighter but was never a true-blue diehard until much later in life. Alas, in August of 2013, a few friends joined me for a collective cherry popping in Boston, Massachusetts. And it was magical.
On the first day of Fox Sports 1’s existence (I avoided the desperate channel-scrabbling by being there live), the UFC put together one of the best cards in the company’s history. Seriously. Take a look at this lineup:
- Chael Sonnen
- Shogun Rua
- Travis Browne
- Alistair Overeem
- Urijah Faber
- Matt Brown
- Uriah Hall
- Michael Johnson
- Joe Lauzon
- Michael McDonald
- Brad Pickett
- Conor McGregor
- Max Holloway
- Mike Brown
- Ovince Saint Preux
That was on FOX SPORTS 1!! Think about that. That card blows UFC 212 out of the water and they’re expecting us to pay for this one. Each and every one of those fighters will forever hold a special place in my heart, particularly Conor McGregor and Max Holloway.
Nestled in the preliminary portion of the card – not even the headliner slot, mind you – both McGregor and Holloway would go on to accomplish some amazing feats inside the Octagon. We’re all familiar with McGregor’s journey. But Holloway has won ten in a row since that day, nearly all of which ended by knockout or submission.
Well on Saturday night, he looks to become champion. McGregor might have done it faster, but Holloway is about to match him. After which, we can all cross our fingers for one very important phrase:
Let’s do it again.