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By Jeremy Pinnell and Kevin Broughton
It’s the Christmas season, and Mixed Martial Arts fans must have been naughty. Why else would the sport’s lead promotion treat viewers to such a lump of coal for UFC 282, the last pay-per-view event of 2022?
But fear not, as Pinell and Broughton have plenty to re-cap from some outstanding recent bouts…before a certain Bluegrass singer/grappler descends into some ugly music criticism.
It's been a minute, what with life intervening before the last PPV -- which was tits -- and this next one, which is...geez, this is an easy layup, ass.
Let's talk about a belt switching waists first, because Islam Makhachev made it look easy: Fewer than two rounds to submit a (technically, former) champ, after all Charles Oliveira had done was finish Chandler, Gaethje and Poirier. As stacked as this 155 division is, do you see anyone being a problem for Makhachev anytime soon? To me, he's Khabib with better striking.
Honestly, I think Volkanovski is gonna be a challenge for Islam [in Australia in February.] His fight with Holloway made it look like he was on a whole other level, I was super impressed. And it will put his name at the top if he beats Islam. Also, it looked like Charles got gassed with Islam. The grappling between the two was very technical and entertaining. I was kinda bummed for Oliviera. Also, I agree about Islam’s striking being on point.
As impressive as that fight was -- and there were several on that UFC 280 card -- my "fight of the year" clubhouse leader is the freaking war between the aforementioned "Iron" Michael Chandler and Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier at UFC 281. (Oh by the way, Izzy lost his belt.) After a lot of jawing back and forth pre-fight, these warriors showed great respect and sportsmanship after a crazy fight. Thoughts?
The Poirier/ Chandler fight was so intense for 2 1/2 rounds I was tuned in. You literally couldn’t take your eyes off the screen. In my opinion it sealed the deal; MMA is a top sport and nothing can compare to the fight game when you see a fight like that. I’d like to see Izzy and Alex run it again. That would make for an entertaining fight.
Speaking of great sportsmanship, how about that Wonder Boy -- Kevin Holland fight? Holland's a warrior -- broke his hand early -- and I could see Thompson going into the ministry after retiring.
Seeing wonder boy and holland have such respect for each other and still have such a dog fight was entertaining. Holland is a tough dude. Good call stopping the fight.
‘Tis the season, so what are your favorite sacred and secular Christmas songs?
Sacred for me would be “Blue Christmas” by The King. I’m not really into religious stuff, as it tends to put a damper on things. Don’t get mad, Kevin. Secular is the new normal for daddy. It would have to be “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon.
All we are saying is give boredom a chance. Oof.
Got to see Turnpike for the first time in late October. The first opening act kinda stunned me: Five or six guys, all from the Atlanta area, called The Hogslop String Band. Home base is in Nashville, and the fiddle player told me that night that this was their first time playing as a band here in Fulton County.
Putting aside your blind spot -- I'll stop short of calling it "hate" -- for the Grateful Dead, how do these boys stand up as musicians?
Yea I’m still not feeling the dead, bruh. Can we all just admit it’s super boring music? It’s 2023, almost Kevin. Let’s stop pretending. Have a holly jolly Christmas, my friend.
Sigh. They’re just doing a Dead cover. Mark my words, you’ll dig this hillbilly band at some point. Merry Christmas yourself, you ol’ hater.