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UFC 112: Invincible Recap

* Nick Osipczak vs. Rick Story

Apparently we're not even going to get an opening fight package tonight - we're going right to the fights! It's a little strange but I'm not going to gripe... except that WE'RE OFF THE AIR.

The entire PPV has been replaced by color bars and a VERY LOUD AND ANNOYING TONE. We are four minutes into the PPV and BW3 is still down, although thankfully someone muted the ear-splitting tonal noise about a minute ago. They just used the loudspeaker to tell us there are "technical issues."

Well pardon me for being an angry mark but NO SHIT SHERLOCK there are technical issues. The white box bouncing up and down in the middle of the color bars is as close as we're getting to live action. On the plus side it's only 6 minutes into the hour, which leads me to believe on a normal UFC PPV we'd still be getting the opening spiel from Rogan and Goldberg - first fight normally wouldn't start for about 10 minutes. Should have known Osipczak vs. Story was too good to be true. The BW3 loudspeaker just came on again and said that every DirecTV receiver from Omaha to St. Louis to Kansas City has the same outage right now. That means it wouldn't do any good to order it and go home.


* Kendall 'The Spider' Grove vs. Mark Munoz (UFC Middleweight Bout)

It takes them another minute to get the volume up but at least live picture is a good start. Okay now we've got audio but it's a bit on the quiet side. Munoz comes out first. Kendall Grove comes out next to Free Fallin' by Tom Petty. Tale of the tape! 27 to 32, 6'6" to 6 foot even, 185 each, 70" to 71" reach from Grove to Munoz. Munoz is 7-1 and fighting out of Vallejo, California. Grove is 13-6, 1 NC and fighting out of Maui, Hawaii. Our referee is Marc Goddard. Here we go!

Grove is in the black trunks, Munoz in the mostly white trunks. A lot of circling to start. Grove shoots in and gets a takedown 45 seconds in then starts throwing BOMBS. Munoz gets up and backs away.. and then GROVE eats a shot that drops him to the canvas. Grove defensively shoots for a single leg but Munoz may be putting him into a choke. He slips out to a single leg but he's getting pounded against the fence. I wish BW3 would turn up the volume a little more. The action stalls halfway through the round... AND THE PPV STARTS OVER. We get the Zuffa logo... and NOW we're back to live action AGAIN with two minutes to go.

Lucky for us the fight wasn't finished in the interim. CRAZY BOTCH, CRAZY BOTCH, IT'S BOTCHFEST UFC. Grove is rolled up like a pro wrestler going for a three count. Both fighters scramble with 40 seconds left. A submission attempt comes with ten seconds left but both fighters are back on their feet at the horn. We get a replay of Grove attempting to mount and get the guillotine during the one minute break.

And we're back for R2! Munoz fakes a shoot and throws some big bombs but Grove lands a WICKED counter shot and takes his back. He's going for a triangle. Rogan is describing his technique move for move and as we near the one minute mark we hear that he's going for an armbar. Grove loses it and starts taking shots from mount. Munoz tries to back away to drop bombs but Grove keeps his legs out for the upkick. Munoz gets into the guard and starts pounding away at the ribs. At the two minute mark the video freezes but comes right back again. BOTCHFEST UFC.

Munoz backs off again halfway through the round and drops a BOMB. Grove is almost done! Goddard steps in and IT IS ALL OVER!!! Hell of a performance from both men. We see a replay of the savage ground and pound by Munoz which finished the fight. Official time momentarily.

Here's Bruce Buffer! LADIES AND GENTLEMEN REFEREE MARC GODDARD HAS CALLED A STOP TO THIS CONTEST AT 2:50 OF ROUND NUMBER TWO DECLARING THE WINNER BY TKO: MARK MUNOZ! Rogan goes to ask Munoz about getting caught with a hook and being in a couple of near chokes. Munoz admits he was in danger but he has a great survival instinct and hung in there. Rogan compliments him on dropping heavy hands when he got into position for ground and pound and congratulates him on a tremendous performance. The crowd gives him a nice ovation. A tour of the MMA facilities in Abu Dhabi follows as narrated by Mike Goldberg.

* Terry Etim vs. Rafael Dos Anjos (UFC Lightweight Bout)

RDA comes out first. That's pretty much all I can tell you as the volume isn't loud enough to hear his music and it's just barely loud enough to hear the commentary. It's not hard to tell what Etim comes out to even with the volume down though - In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins. Tale of the tape! 24 to 26, 6'1" to 5'9", 154 to 156 and 73" to 71" reach from Etim to RDA. Blue corner, 13-4, fighting out of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil is RDA. Red corner, 14-2, fighting out of Liverpool, England is Terry Etim. Our referee is (again) Marc Goddard. Here we go!

R1 is underway with Etim in the dark gray trunks and RDA the white trunks. RDA is trying to land bombs and is throwing leg kicks to set them up. Etim responds with a high kick. Suddenly the fight goes to the ground in a tight tangle of limbs and appendages.

It's really hard to tell who has the better position for a submission attempt here since there's not more than a millimeter of space between the two of them. Eventually they roll and RDA is in the half guard, looking to pass to side, and unloading knees to the ribs as we near the halfway point of the round. RDA gets a warning for something once, the fight restarts, a second time and then they're stood up. Hard to see what it was - maybe a shot to the back of the head.

RDA pushes Etim up against the fence but is countered from his takedown into being rolled up on his back in a ball. Etim spins to avoid a heel hook and puts himself in guard. Fight starts to stall there with 45 seconds to go. RDA tries to roll and wrap his legs around an arm but with 10 seconds he doesn't have enough time and the horn sounds. GSP gets a BIG POP when he's shown in the crowd watching.

We're back for R2! They tap gloves and start circling. RDA is clearly avoiding a head kick he feels is coming. Etim is definitely turning his hips like he wants to fire one. Etim hits a spinning heel kick and some leg kicks. They briefly clinch then move back to center as we're one minute in. RDA slams Etim to the ground and is in side control. Goldberg promotes WEC: Henderson vs. Cerrone.

Etim is bucking and scrambling with two minutes gone by but can't seem to shake RDA off. RDA gets back to side control at the halfway point of the round. RDA drops a nasty looking elbow. Etim tries again to shake him loose and can't. RDA passes guard to side yet again. RDA winds up in North-South with 1:10 left. Is a submission coming? RDA pulls for the armbar with all his might, Etim can hold on no more, the arm is pulled taut and ETIM TAPS OUT.

Bruce Buffer! LADIES AND GENTLEMEN GODDARD STOPS THE CONTEST AT 4:30 OF R2 FOR THE WINNER VIA TAPOUT DUE TO AN ARMBAR: RAFAEL DOS ANJOS! They don't bother trying to do a post-fight interview or get a translator into the Octagon to facilitate one - we just get more aerial tours of the Abu Dhabi MMA facilities and Goldberg plus a chance to meet Dana White, or win a Harley-Davidson, or perhaps both.

* Alexander Gustafsson vs. Phil Davis (UFC Light Heavyweight Bout)

Davis is in the pink trunks, AG is in the white. Davis shoots in and has AG up on the fence but can't do much with him for the first minute of the fight as AG sprawls to prevent the takedown. Davis drops levels and tries to outmuscle him but isn't having much luck, so he swings his knees out wide and starts attacking the legs and thighs. Gustafsson turns things around though and nearly takes Davis down!

Davis gets out of it and tries to put all his weight on AG's back. Davis nearly gets an arm around his neck for the choke but AG slips out. Davis takes his back with 2 minutes left in the round and AG starts to turtle to avoid head shots. It's not working. Davis is riding him for all he's worth. AG gets out!

They're back on their feet with 90 seconds left. Davis shoots again and they wind up against the fence. Davis gets the takedown and drops some nasty elbows. AG is eating bombs from side control. AG tries to scramble with 30 seconds left, with Davis pounding on his ribs. AG gets to his knees with Davis riding on his head going North-South. He rolls AG into a choke and WITH SECONDS LEFT GUSTAFSSON TAPS OUT. Once Davis rolled him it was all over - his choice was tap out or pass out.

Bruce Buffer! LADIES AND GENTLEMEN REFEREE DAN MIRAGLIOTTA CALLS A STOP TO THIS CONTEST AT 4:51 OF R1 DECLARING THE WINNER VIA TAPOUT TO AN ANACONDA CHOKE: PHIL 'MR. WONDERFUL' DAVIS! Rogan asks him about his performance as Davis remains undefeated in his MMA career. He stammers a bit, says "umm y'know" a bunch, and not a lot else. He may not have learned to cut a promo yet, but he's a great fighter in the Octagon, so the rest will come in due time. Congratulations to Mr. Wonderful!

* Matt Hughes vs. Renzo Gracie (UFC Welterweight Bout)

Goldberg coins this fight "a historic clash of legends" and I couldn't have put it better myself - so I'm not going to try. I'm just going to sit here for a minute and enjoy the smack talking of Gracie and Hughes in the pre-fight video reel.

The camera pans the beautiful venue at Abu Dhabi and a determined looking Renzo Gracie makes his way to the Octagon wearing Tokyo Five gear. Hughes gets a good pop as he comes out to (what else) A Country Boy Can Survive by Hank Williams Jr. All that's left now is the tale of the tape! 36 to 43, 5'9" to 5'10", 170 to 171 and 73" to 76" reach from Hughes to Gracie.

Gracie is 13-6-1, 1 NC and fights out of Holmdel, New Jersey. Hughes is 44-7 and hails from Hillsboro, Illinois. Buffer is enjoying the HELL out of announcing the fighters for this bout. HERB DEAN is our referee (good choice). He lays down the law and tells them to touch it up and come out fighting. Here we go!

Both fighters are dark trunks, but Hughes is gray and Gracie's is black. It's easier to tell them apart by melanin on the quality of these projection TV's. For a country boy who can survive, Hughes doesn't have much of a farmer's tan - or tan at all. Hughes is the one pushing the fight forward in the first 90 seconds, but Gracie finally steps in and trades a few shots with him and backs him towards the fence. Hughes turns it around, pushes Gracie to the cage and looks for the takedown. They break apart with 2:15 gone by. Hughes closes the distance with double underhooks and throws a knee or two.

A GRA-CIE chant breaks out in Abu Dhabi before the two break apart. I understand the respect these two fighters have for each other, but I also understand the scattered boos I'm hearing - neither one is taking any big risks. Hughes is connecting with the odd leg kick here or there. 25 seconds to go. Hughes seems to be signaling he'd like to trade hands. Hughes faints a spinning thrust kick right before the horn sounds. Umm... 10-10 round? Hard to score it for either man.

R2 is underway and I hope it has more action than the first. Hughes and Gracie exchange dap and start circling again. Hughes lands a SOLID leg kick to the thigh. So far that's his best weapon. Gracie tries to back him off with a jab. I can almost feel the crowd getting impatient 12 hours and thousands of miles away.

Gracie throws a few shots, Hughes backs off, he goes for a clinch takedown and Gracie effectively counters. Stand-up war of nothingness continues 90 seconds in. I'm starting to wonder if I need a refill on my Diet Coke and that's with a full glass to my left - this fight needs a caffeine boost. Crowd is booing and you can't blame them. 3 minutes gone. Gracie lands a leg kick. Yay woo.

Goldberg implies they're "turning it up a bit" but I can't see it. Gracie might be jabbing more but he's not landing more. There's so little going on Goldberg talks about the outdoor venue in Abu Dhabi. Hughes throws a kick, Gracie throws a jab, rinse and lather and do it again. Gracie attempts a takedown, Hughes stuffs it and clips him at least once. 10-9 Hughes maybe? This fight is death on toast.

If these two weren't MMA legends I would have taken two piss breaks by now, ordered a refill, and taken another. We're back for another EXCITING round of action. Hughes connects with a leg kick. I suppose you'd have to say Hughes is winning this fight simply because he's landing the only noteworthy strikes. Gracie tries to close distance and Hughes lands a fist to the midsection.

Hughes throws a hard hand that makes Gracie back away. It could be Hughes had this in mind all along - make Gracie gimpy with the kicks (he just landed another) then close the distance once he has a bad wheel. Hughes shoots into the fence with two minutes gone but Gracie spins away. Dean warns Gracie about grabbing the trunks. They split apart and Hughes LANDS AN UPPERCUT. The whole bar pops. Gracie's chin is tested a second time. THIS IS THE MOST ACTION THE WHOLE FIGHT LONG. Gracie is a bit wobbly. HUGHES DROPS HIM. Gracie lays on his back and HUGHES PULLS HIM TO HIS FEET.

Hughes lands one kick and Gracie immediately flops to his back to a chorus of boos. Dean finally tells him to get the F up. Hughes is landing the kicks at will and charges in to finish with 1:08 left. Hughes lands another shot and Gracie lays on his back. He's getting roundly booed now with every flop to the canvas. C'MON HUGHES FINISH HIM OFF. Hughes obliges! Gracie is on the ground eating shots and HERB DEAN STEPS IN TO SAVE HIM - IT'S ALL OVER. Boring for 12 minutes, great in the last minute.

Bruce Buffer! HERB DEAN STOPS THIS CONTEST AT 4:40 OF R3 DECLARING THE WINNER BY TKO: MATT HUGHES!! Rogan compliments him on his kicks. Hughes says he's pretty happy with his strategy of leg kicks to set up the strikes. Hughes says he was looking forward to the striking war and Joe Rogan praises him on defeating another legend. Hughes and Gracie exchange a hug. Gracie is horribly winded as Rogan tries to interview him. Rogan finally gives up on interviewing him and says we hope to see you in the Octagon again.

* BJ Penn {C} v. Frankie Edgar (UFC Lightweight Championship Bout)

Edgar comes out first. No shock there. I'm just waiting for BJ to come out to some BRUDDAH IZ music. The lights go out and the crowd in Abu Dhabi pops huge. Sure enough he comes out to his usual custom blend of Hawai'i 78 and E Ala E. MY FAVORITE HAWAI'IAN HAS ARRIVED. Our tale of the tape! 31 to 26, 5'9" to 5'6", 155 to 154, 70" to 72" reach from Penn to Edgar.

I love how excited Bruce Buffer gets for title fights!! Edgar is 13-1 and fighting out of Toms River, New Jersey. Buffer puts about 20 R's on his nickname THE ANSWER. Penn is 15-5-1 and (of course) fights out of Hilo, Hawaii. If he put 20 R's on ANSWER he put about FORTY on the N of PENN. Herb Dean is our ref. Here we go!

Penn is in the white trunks, Edgar the green (they look black on these screens). Edgar is staying out of range, clearly wary of Penn's accuracy and power. Edgar throws one kick and immediately runs away. Edgar is circling like mad. Penn moves with each step to not give him any angles. One minute gone by. Edgar throws another leg kick. 90 seconds gone. Penn throws a jab whenever Edgar gets close. Edgar faints a thrust kick. Goldberg plugs the Aldo vs. Faber PPV. Edgar continues to circle. Penn waits patiently. Halfway through R1.

Penn loads up a left twice but can't clip him. Edgar is getting into range now. Penn gets at least three shots to the chin but none clean. Edgar goes back to circling. 80 seconds left in R1. Penn catches him with another shot. Left hook connects. Penn is starting to jab at will now. Edgar throws a kick to back him off but not for long. 20 seconds. Edgar stumbles a bit - I don't think he got rocked per se but Penn did nail him. Horn sounds. 10-9 Penn.

Back for R2! Edgar immediately tries to throw a couple of leg kicks. Penn avoids and moves forward. Edgar tries to shoot and is stuff. One minute. For the first time I'm noticing a brace or some tape on Penn's left knee. Penn clips Edgar whenever he gets close. Nice right to the head. 2:45 left. Edgar looks for a takedown but there's nothing there. His takedown faints are only because he's being tagged with the jabs. Penn rocks him again.

With 1:45 left Edgar tries another kick. Penn keeps on clocking him. "Leading with the right hand, finishing with the left" quips Goldberg. Edgar connects with a leg kick with 50 seconds to go. Edgar tries to throw Penn and has him off his feet for about half a second, which stuns Rogan (and me too for that matter). Round ends with Edgar circling and trying to avoid and BJ landing a few more shots. I'd call it 10-9 Penn again but Edgar did better this round.

And we reach the midpoint of this championship bout with R3. If BJ dominates again Edgar is in a huge hole on the scorecards. Dean decides Edgar is too wet and makes him towel off before action commences. Edgar hints a kick but doesn't throw one. BJ is loading up big time with strikes any time Edgar even hints at getting close to him. Edgar definitely doesn't want any part of his jab or his hook. Left hook lands with two minutes gone by.

Edgar is finally starting to slow a bit - he's not dancing and circling nearly as effectively. He almost seems to be dragging his right leg behind him. Two minutes left. Edgar shoots and is stuffed yet again. Penn seems more than comfortable just grinding this down. Penn clips him with another left hook. 1:20 to go. Edgar lands a body kick. Edgar ducks under a punch for a takedown and misses. Penn clips him one more time with 10 seconds in R3. Horn. Another 10-9 for BJ.

R4 underway! Edgar circles. Penn jabs. Think we've seen this before. First minute of this round is nothing new. Penn stuffs another takedown at 1:45. A light FRAN-KIE chant breaks out. Does Edgar really have an 'Answer' for BJ Penn at this point? It doesn't look that way. 2:30 left in R4. Edgar lands one right. Edgar shoots and is stuffed again. 90 seconds. Penn's left connects.

Lefts and rights. One minute. Edgar tries to rush in to no avail. 40 seconds. Penn clips him with a left. Another with 20 seconds. Edgar's going to be down four rounds at the horn. He'll need a miracle in R5 to pull off the upset. We're headed to the championship round!

Annnnnnnd we're back for the final five. Edgar circles. Penn tags. Edgar shoots for a takedown and gets it! Penn is quickly back up. Goldberg and Rogan are both surprised. Edgar throws a head kick and misses. Rogan says that Edgar is doing more damage than one watching might think. Penn snaps off a right. 3 minutes to go. Penn lands another. The video pixellates a little bit but quickly recovers. 2:30 left. Penn throws a head kick that misses. Goldberg says Edgar is desperate now. Penn should probably be keeping his hands up a little more than he is. Edgar tags him and Penn swings and misses with a left.

Edgar lands to the body but Penn ducks under a head shot. One minute left! Edgar lands a left body kick. Penn lands a jab. Edgar lands a body shot. 20 seconds. You know Edgar may just have outstruck Penn in this final round but it's too little too late. Edgar goes for a throw as the horn sounds. Between the takedown and bodyshots I'll give it to Edgar. I'm calling this 49-46 unanimous for Penn.


Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry for that outburst both here and on Twitter just now, but I have no idea what the bloody blue blazes is going on here.

* Anderson Silva {C} v. Demian Maia (UFC Middleweight Championship Bout)

Having been informed by a reliable source (Big D) that Dana White called this "THE WORST MAIN EVENT IN UFC HISTORY" I went HOME. I'm not sitting around at Buffalo Wild Wings for 30 minutes watching Anderson Silva bore me to tears AGAIN fighting a cautious, non-aggressive, defensive, five round title fight where he never goes for the kill once. He had a snorefest with Cote.

He had a terrible fight with Leites. I WILL NOT SIT THROUGH ANY FIGHT EVEN WORSE THAN THOSE TWO. I trust Dana White enough that I will forego the time, the effort, the pain, and the suffering of an utterly miserable stinkathon. We left during the opening minute of this main event.

As it turns out from reading the results at home this fight was so bad that Bruce Buffer didn't even announce the scores - SILVA WINS BY UNANIMOUS DECISION AND THE CROWD BOOS THE HELL OUT OF HIM. Dana refused to put the belt on Anderson Silva - he gave it to Silva's manager and made him do it.

That's all you need to know. Bad fight, bad night, and let's not say we'll see you here next time in the Octagon - that's a maybe. A perhaps. I'm not prepared to commit to another UFC PPV after highway robbery for Edgar and (again) a lousy Anderson Silva main event. I'll probably change my mind in a day or two when cooler heads prevail but at the moment I don't feel overwhelming love for UFC.

I have respect for Matt Hughes for fighting an effective (but boring) strategy for two rounds and finishing in the third. I have respect for Rafael Dos Anjos. I have respect for Mark Munoz. At this point I have no respect for Anderson Silva and I question whether even Frankie Edgar really thinks he's the champion. I don't. In the words of Dana White at the PFPC though, "BJ Penn fought Frankie Edgar's fight tonight."

Maybe because BJ didn't take him to the ground and try to submit him, but I still think anybody scoring 50-45 for Edgar is out of his mind - even Edgar questioned that in the PFPC - "all rounds, I don't know" and White says himself it was WAY closer than that. "I don't think either one of these guys blew it out that big."

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