BattleGrounds MMA was a sloppy, ridiculous and fun time. Please do it again.

You had me at eight dudes fighting in a one-night tournament, okay. I mean, I love the old days of MMA, and I truly believe that these one night tournaments create drama and and storylines out of veterans and newcomers alike, as long as they can beat about 2-3 fighters in a single night. Unlike Bellator’s old tournament format where all momentum was lost considering it would sometimes be weeks if not months between fights, this is something your could tangibly follow through a single evening, and whoever comes out on top just won three fights, an oversized cheque and my heart.

This happened tonight at BattleGrounds MMA. Jim Ross and Chael Sonnen did a hilarious job of calling the fights, bringing a sense of self awareness rarely seen in MMA, and made even the slow moments worth watching. Or, at least listening to that is. 

Before we get started – all replays from the awesome Zprophet.

It was a wild night that saw a puffy Cody McKenzie get slept by Brock Larson in the second round after multiple guillotine attempts.

Then Luigi Floravanti got kneed to Oblivion (the realm in Elder Scrolls) by Joe Ray, the spooky masked guy in the banner. Many said Luigi Floravanti was the dark horse to win this, but all I could think about was him fighting Diego Sanchez back in the day. I watched that fight on a plane during horrible turbulence, and was convinced I was going to die. Since then, I’ve realized that planes WANT to stay in the sky. That crazy stuff you see in movies and TV shows just don’t happen.

Thankfully, I have somewhat overcome my fears and on purpose flew on 9/11 and during the December 21st, 2012 thing in hopes of a Langoliers situation. Thanks for reminding me of that, BattleGrounds MMA.

Trey Houston shocked Oklahoma and the world by submitting Jesse Taylor in the opening round before getting beaten down by Roan Carneiro, the BJJ ace and Douglas Lima protoge (shown in the .gif below). Supposedly Roan was having trouble hydrating backstage after his fights, but he got that under control by drinking and stuff then moved into the finals. 

This tooth was found in a sink by Rick Lee sometime towards the end of the night: 

Hmmm, what else went on… Oh yeah, Chael made an interesting self-referential remark about himself and needles that pretty much sums up his commentating style:

I can’t stress enough how great Chael and JR were on the mics, especially towards the end of the night. They gained a chemisty only someone who has had to stay one step ahead of athletic commissions for years and a BBQ sauce connoisseur could formulate in their cage-side lab. I enjoyed every second of this broadcast. Even those awkward silences after Chael said something especially funny.

Yeah, so the tournament. Joe Ray moved on to fight Brock Larson, and after a grindfest (read: stinker) of a fight, the battered and bruised men went to the judges. In the end it was Brock Larson who defeated the young Joe Ray and moved on to the finals to take on Roan Carneiro. 

The final fight was delayed because a hematoma was growing out of Brock Larson’s face, but the commission said he was okay to fight, and after more banter between Chael and JR, that included a story about Babalu, we get underway. 

Wait – this reminds me of an old tale I heard as a kid. You look in a mirror and say ‘Babalu’ seven times into a mirror, and your hair will get cooler. MMA Campfire tales, my friends.

The final wasn’t much special. Carneiro dominated Brock Larson for about fifteen minutes and looked good doing it. Sure, Brock Larson was game, but he looked beat up and tired. He spent almost twice as much time in the cage as Carneiro. So you can’t blame him for being emotional after the final, it was a good showing and he gave it all and then some. 

In the end it was a long night full of sloppy and weird action. Carneiro came back from dehydration to grow a second head on Brock Larson’s face. The finals were slow, but it was also a ton of fun to see the story play out. The event was well worth $20. I can’t wait for the next one. Get Minowaman in there.

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