Admittedly, even after all the drama of the past few weeks, it felt somewhat bizarre when Saturday night rolled around. Maybe it's just the odd stench disappointment leaves in its wake, but after months of a specific date and specific fight being subconsciously drilled into our heads, the complete anticlimax was almost unsettling.
But that's not to say there was a dearth of excitement in the MMA world. Actually, the ups and downs were pretty remarkable.
To start with, Jose Aldo narrowly avoided hospitalizing Dana White when he somehow walked away after being struck by a car in a close call motorcycle accident in Brazil. All this despite the fact that the very idea of a UFC champion riding a motorcycle should've ceased to exist when Frank Mir nearly lost his career eight years ago.
But before that could happen, Andrei Arlovski went ahead and opened another can-of-worms with ONE FC's "open attack" rule when he viciously soccer kicked Tim Sylvia into a drunken stupor, leading the promotion to ax the well-intentioned but poorly-executed rule and reintroduce PRIDE's old free-swinging freedom with soccer kicks, much to the delight of old-schoolers who can recite the play-by-play of Pride Bushido 9 word-for-word without even glimpsing at their mint condition DVD box set.
And finally there was Tyson Nam, the 28-year-old American who, realistically, should be still be celebrating the most life-altering moment of his career after knocking out hotshot Bellator bantamweight champ Eduardo Dantas in less than two minutes a few weeks ago, but instead finds himself caught in Bellator's vindictive legal web and potentially eyeing a forced, unpaid vacation until the Spring of 2013.
So yes, the absence of UFC 151 may have been the overriding theme of the break. But as usual in MMA, there was more than enough to keep us busy. So let's stop wasting time and get to it.
6 MUST-READ STORIES
ONE FC adapts PRIDE rules. Days after Andrei Arlovski's controversial 'no contest' against Tim Sylvia, ONE FC altered their ruleset to remove the "open attack" stipulation and allow soccer kicks to a grounded opponent at all times.
Nam in Bellator legal crosshairs. American Tyson Nam is stuck in legal purgatory after knocking out Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas last month at a regional show in Brazil. Despite never competing for Bellator, Nam is being prevented from fighting until the Spring of 2013 due to a "matching period" in his old, unused Bellator contract.
Aldo okay after motorcycle accident. According to a report from Tatame, UFC featherweight champion was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle in Brazil. Aside from minor damages, Aldo is uninjured following the accident.
Cormier vs. Mir set for Nov. 3. Strikeforce Grand Prix tournament winner Daniel Cormier will fight former UFC champion Frank Mir on November 3, 2012 in Oklahoma in the first ever cross-promotional bout of Zuffa's dual ownership.
The agony of injury. Mike Chiappetta examines the stark toll injuries have taken on the UFC's 2012 campaign.
Pacquiao to counter-program UFC on FOX 5. The next fight of one of boxing's biggest draws, Manny Pacquiao, has been scheduled for December 8, 2012, the same night as the UFC's star-studded UFC on FOX 5 event.
We've got a host of fight videos on tap for you today, starting off with a nifty gem from 1999. One year before his MMA debut, a 24-year-old Anderson Silva took on this poor, unfortunate soul in a comically one-sided Muay Thai bout. (For the lazy, the action starts around 4:30.)
(HT: Bloody Elbow)
What, you asked for an MMA fight between a 61-year-old woman and a woman in her mid-20's? Well this probably ends how you expect it to end.
What do you get when you take mixed martial arts, toss out the cage, and drop two fighters inside a giant sand pit? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Russia's own Tron MMA.
Now, if you're looking for something a little more official, no one was better at filling the violence void over the break than the soccer-kicking "New York Badass" himself.
KNOCK OUT BELLATOR CHAMP, LAWYER UP
Please don't hold my career hostage for your mistakes— Tyson Nam (@TysonNam) August 31, 2012
PRIDE NEVER DIE
Effective immediately, ONE FC has adopted full PRIDE rules for soccer kicks.Catch ONE FC: Rise of Kings on Oct 6!— ONE FC (@ONEFCMMA) September 3, 2012
REMEMBERING A BELOVED MMA FAN
R.I.P. Michael Clarke Duncan.— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunsonMMA) September 3, 2012
I never met him, but his movies and support of our sport were inspiring. Rest in Peace, Michael Clarke Duncan. Thank you for your gifts.— Julie Kedzie (@julesk_fighter) September 4, 2012
THAT'S MORE LIKE IT
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) September 1, 2012
@vince_mcman I'm not here to be loved, I'm here to be dominant
ALDO: 1, CAR: 0
Announced over the break (Friday, August 31, 2012 - Monday, September 3, 2012):
- Strikeforce: Frank Mir (16-6) vs. Daniel Cormier (10-0) scheduled for November 3 in Oklahoma
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day has unambig looking into the past to write: UFC title shots that never were
Any modern mixed martial arts (MMA) fan knows the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is plagued with more injuries than ever before, but the injury bug has never been more pronounced than in 2012.
To wit: there were more cancelled title fights this year than the entire previous five years combined.
Although some of these match-ups may eventually happen one day, 2012 features no fewer than five cancelled championship bouts. In fact, if you go back a full calender year, that number jumps to six.
Here's a quick look at the title match-ups that never were in 2011 and 2012:
UFC 128, March 19, 2011
Mauricio Rua vs "Suga" Rashad Evans
Anticipation level: Moderate.
Rua hadn't fought since May 8, 2010, when he landed a brutal knockout of Lyoto Machida in his rubber match from a controversial decision loss at UFC 104. Following that victory, Rua went under the knife to reconstruct his knees, which have plagued him in recent years.
When "Shogun" vs Evans was announced there was a fair amount of anticipation, although there was also some doubt about how Rua would handle the ring rust. Evans was also suffering from a long layoff, having defeated Rampage Jackson at UFC 114 on May 29, so both fighters hadn't seen the inside of a cage for a while. Evans was on a two-fight winning streak after losing to Machida back at UFC 98.
Alas, this fight wasn't to be. Evans announced an injury to his knee following Jon Jones' victory over Ryan Bader at UFC 126. Quinton Jackson was given the opportunity to fight Shogun instead, which is another interesting rematch, but backed out after saying he couldn't get ready for the Brazilian on only four weeks notice. He was also grossly overweight, and said he'd need to cut from 250 to 205 pounds in that time.
Knees are a bit of a theme in UFC injuries. "Rampage" was scheduled to get that lost rematch against "Shogun" sometime in October, but had double knee surgery instead and will soon face Glover Teixeira.
Jon Jones stepped in to replace Evans and the rest, as they say, is history.
More after the jump...
POLL OF THE DAY