UFC 208: So When Does Cris Cyborg Get Back?
Sometimes, you are given a fight card that, on paper, looks a little underwhelming but ends up surpassing everyone’s expectations and delivers an exciting night of back and forth action and brutal, decisive victories.
UFC 206 is a good example.
And sometimes, you are given a fight card that, on paper, looks a little underwhelming and ends up being a lot underwhelming, like when you give your friend money to go pick up some beer from the 7-11 down the street only to find out that he used the money to skip town and start a new life as an aspiring rapper in Portland with a girl he met while fishing in the dumpsters behind the building that used to be a Radio Shack hoping he can score some free batteries.
Seriously, UFC 208, what the hell? I want my beer.
The only decent fights on the card was the scrap between Dustin “Not That Diamond” Poirier and Jim Miller and the wicked kimura win by Jacare Souza against Tim Boetsch in a fight that Jacare needed to win to hold onto the delusion that UFC will ever give him a title shot. His odds of actually getting the fight within the next year are about as secure as his head is perfectly round.
There’s not much else to say about the show. Anderson Silva looked like he spent 15 minutes trying to find a reason to care about the fact that he was currently in a fight. The same could be said about everyone else as, while a fight with Derek Brunson made sense as far as rankings go, does anybody really care to see Anderson fight at this point if it’s not against a relevant or recognizable name?
I mean, props to Anderson for still wanting to fight after all these years and for giving Brunson the opportunity to really see where he stands in the division but it was hard to see one of, if not the, greatest fighters of all time compete against a guy who, despite chugging along in the UFC for over 4 years, is still virtually unknown to casual fans, and not wonder why. The fact that he gave a poor performance, resulting in a very questionable unanimous decision win, and then broke down in tears afterwards didn’t help matters either.
It’s okay, Anderson. We know how much you love to fight but you can retire. It’s okay. You don’t have to stick around fighting nobodies just because you feel like there’s nothing else you’d want to do. You’ll be alright, I promise.
As far as the main event went, the “scrap” between Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie to crown the first UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion, there’s really only one question to ask in the aftermath of Germaine’s controversial unanimous decision win:
Cris Cyborg is going to be back soon, right?
Now, I’m not going to be one of those people out here talking about how overrated Holly Holm is but that’s because I know the performance she gave on Saturday is par for the course for her.
Yeah, she looked like a beast in the Ronda Rousey fight, but that was a fight where she was fighting someone with no striking technique who could not stop herself from constantly moving forward. Any time she faces someone with an ounce of striking defense, it becomes a game of watching her circle the cage, hoping something will actually happen.
It’s a style that netted Holly wins in the lead up to the Rousey fight because she was dealing with fighters who allowed her to work from the outside due to a lack of confidence in their own abilities to engage with the former boxing champion.
De Randamie is not one of those fighters. She’s a former kickboxer with decent power in her hands and enough counterstriking ability to make Holly question every exchange she committed to. Germaine wasn’t the aggressor throughout the fight but she landed the hardest shots. While Holly was punching at air, Germaine cracked the former UFC Champion with multiple head shots, some even landing before the round ended!
That’s the biggest controversy coming out of the fight, that Germaine landed shots on Holly after the horn sounded following both rounds 2 and 3 and the referee didn’t do anything other than issue a warning.
They weren’t shots that were debatable as to whether they were part of a combination that Germaine was unable to pull back on. They were pretty deliberate. It makes you wonder who that referee was and why was he reffing a UFC main event. It seems like those fights should be left for the refs with big fight experience, but maybe that thinking is why I don’t work for the athletic commission.
Well, that and I like having the ability to look at myself in a mirror and not hate what I see.
Seriously, though, the referee shouldn’t be the one screwing up the fight. That’s the judge’s job, which they did as well as you’d expect by giving Germaine the unanimous decision win. It wasn’t as awkward a decision as Anderson beating…uh…that guy he fought, but there were definitely a lot of people who didn’t agree with it.
I scored the fight for Holly but it wasn’t a decision I was very comfortable with, nor one I stressed at all about because the fight was disappointing. Holly says she doesn’t want to be defined by the Rousey fight but if she isn’t willing to get out of her defensive shell more, then that page of the MMA Dictionary will always belong to her. The fact that she keeps losing fights sure isn’t helping matters.
And as for Germaine, um…good for her, I guess? I mean, she seems like a decent enough person from watching her on UFC Embedded but the victory she attained on Saturday is hardly one that will get anyone hyped up to watch her defend that belt.
Not that it matters. Germaine de Randamie is the queen of a non-existent division, keeping the belt warm until Cris “Cyborg” Justino gets her USADA situation cleared up, which is sounding like there’s a good chance she might, to the chagrin of the “SHE’S FILLED WITH MORE JUICE THAN A CARTON OF MINUTE MAID!” contingent out there, and gets after that belt, which we all know was only created so UFC can keep booking Cyborg in main events.
However things play out from here, nobody can take away the fact that Germaine de Randamie will forever be known as the very first UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion. It’s something she’ll always be able to hold onto, especially as she’s struggling to hold onto her teeth after Cyborg knocks them into the fifth row.
Sleep tight, Germaine. Don’t let the Cyborgs bite…
Evan Zivin has been writing for 411 MMA since May of 2013. Evan loves the sport, and likes to takes a lighthearted look at the world of MMA in his writing…usually.