Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tuesday night fights, MMA style

The last time I watched Tuesday night fights, it was boxing on the USA Network back in the late '80's with Al Alberts doing play-by-play while Sean O' Grady did the color commentating. I really miss it and fights on a Tuesday night were a welcome attraction because it meant you didn't have to wait all week to possibly catch fights on the weekend.

Move forward 25 years and for at least one night there were Tuesday night fights again; only this time they were MMA style. The UFC put on a rare Tuesday night card @ The Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia, home to many regional boxing shows, and it was a rousing success. That is because while many of the fights on the main card delivered in terms of action, the main event saved the best for last.

Enter featherweights (145 lbs.) Dustin 'The Diamond' Poirier (12-2, KO's 5 subs) and fan favorite Chan Sung Jung (13-3, 3 KO's 8 subs) AKA 'The Korean Zombie', two of the most exciting young fighters on the UFC roster. Poirier only 23 years of age and Jung 25, part of the new breed of MMA fighters, put on quite a show over four rounds on Tuesday night, with much of the fireworks and ultimate finish coming courtesy of the Zombie (pictured above). In the end, it was Jung winning via a D'Arce choke submission that literally put Poirier to sleep, but that was only after he put on another fight of the night performance.

It is his frenetic, yet technically sound style that has made Jung a hit among UFC fans. In just about all of his fights he's either engaged in a war of attrition that involves non-stop fisticuffs flying back and forth or rolling on the ground transitioning from one submission attempt to the other. Tuesday night was no different as he was just too much for Poirier, who himself in his first four fights in the UFC proved too much for his opposition; however, he never ran into a "Korean Zombie" before. When asked what's next in his post fight interview, Jung responded in Korean, but then finished with four English words, "I want Jose Aldo."

The co-main event featured Virginia native son Amir Sadollah against Jorge Lopez in a lackluster welterweight (170 lbs.) fight on the main card, which isn't even worth mentioning. Thus, I'll comment on the fight before that where lightweight (155 lbs.) Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone (18-4, 1 KO 13 subs) got his mojo back on track. That is because he was coming off a loss against Nate Diaz in December, where he just didn't fight his normal fight; that wasn't the case on Tuesday and his victim was Jeremy Lil' Heathen' Stephens (20-8, 14 KO's 3 subs).

Cerrone, who readily admits he was sucked into fighting Diaz's fight back in December, stuck to what he does best, which is kickboxing, as he used his legs and length to beat up Stephens over three rounds. To Stephens’s credit, he decided to stand and bang with the 'Cowboy', but the strategy proved to be a costly one as not only did he lose a unanimous decision, but his face was battered and his eye swollen for his effort. With the win, Cerrone jumps right back into contender status after the bump in the road against now number one contender Diaz, who he said he hopes to rematch on the horizon.

Jung, who previously had won both a fight of the night bonus and a submission of the night bonus on different cards, pulled off the rare double tonight in one fight, which earned him an additional $80,000. Knockout of the night was awarded to 'Filthy' Tom Lawlor (8-4, 3 KO's 3 subs) for his 50 second demolition of Jason 'The Athlete McDonald (25-16, 3 KO's 19 subs) in the main card opening middleweight (185 lbs.) bout. Lawlor earns an additional $40,000 for his 50 seconds of work; thank God for Tuesday night fights.

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