Matt Brown derailed the first hype train I had jumped aboard in awhile in the form of his first round stoppage of Jordan Mein.
Mein had recently been the first person to finish Dan Miller, doing so in emphatic fashion despite a deep as *&^% armbar in the first round and what could have been construed as an exploitable ground game but in all honesty, Jordan Mein's aggressive pressure style is just like Matt Brown's: live by the sword and you die by the sword. He got caught a bit more and/or perhaps fighting on such short notice was a bit too much too soon (my serious suspicion pending how much Mein normally cuts, though he did seem smaller in frame than the lengthy-ish framed "Immortal" Matt Brown).
Josh Thompson is going to be boarding his own hype train after becoming the first guy to finish Nate Diaz in the UFC (though others have wrestle-*&^%ed him like Clay Guida). Diaz's punch-heavy style is exploitable stylistically if a fighter sticks to the game plan and despite taunting from the younger half of the Stockton Bad Boys, Thompson stuck to his leg kicks, switching stances, circling, and avoiding the combinations and reach of Nate Diaz ultimately setting up a headkick that led to a TKO/stoppage.
Can't ask for much more than that in your UFC debut than beating the guy who just fought for the belt and went the distance AND hasn't been finished in the UFC.
Daniel Cormier could have been boarding the hype train to casual fans and title shot land had he dominated Frank Mir (something *ahem* other wrestlers less skilled than Cormier have already done), but instead he chose to press Frank Mir against the fence in what was politely seen as a "clinch-heavy affair". Despite how well-edited the HL is the overall pace of the fight was lacking and I say that only b/c Cormier looked &$*#ing impressive over 5 rounds against Josh Barnett who may not be the upper echelon of the HW division but is about as dangerous and experienced a top 10 heavyweight in the world as you could find outside the UFC who has wins over a lot of game opponents. That being said, those expectations come with responsibility and for an Octagon debut, on FOX network, Cormier didn't quite have a breakout performance you might have been hoping to hype future HW or LHW match-ups as the "I won't fight a teammate" threat looms over both Cain and he.
AAAAAAAAAnd, in this corner....another split decision win for the Champion.
I expected a close fight as Melendez fights 5 rounds well, has good wrestling, and is a grinder. Henderson has not been the finishing machine he was with non-title fights previously as of late, but again, you won't finish every fight and you won't be and retain the championship by fighting *&^^s out every single minute of every single round.
- It still blows my mind I spent my Saturday evening watching prelims on FX network then watching most of the main card before I had to head to work downtown watching the FOX network, y'know, that has pro football and other socially acceptable forms of organized violence and entertainment.
It is a brave new world for MMA these days...with women in a TUF house (with men) being coached by female fighters who will fight for a UFC belt. The sport has truly changed since I had to trick my mom into renting the YRV (youth restricted viewing) UFC's from my local blockbuster and Joe Son got his *&^s repeatedly punched by Keith Hackney and Dan Severn repeatedly suplexed Macias who was clearly 70 lb's too light to be fighting in an open weight class bare knuckle tournament and Royce Gracie taught us that if you did not know how to fight on the ground you could not legitimately claim you were a bad mother*&^%3r.
In other news the prelims were mostly stoppages making me said I didn't see all of them and a couple some more hype trains went off the tracks right as they might have begun: Ramsey Nijem got stopped in round 2 against the relatively unheralded Myles Jury and Lorenz Larkin went from short notice stepping up to Jacare awhile back to losing against the hit or miss Francis Carmont.
"Chad Mendes def. Darren Elkins via TKO (punches) - Round 1, 1:08
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 4 p.m. ET)