13 December 2015

Contested Shots 12: Asking 20 Questions

Any readers I have left might get burned out on UFC and WWE stuff pretty soon, but that's what I've got coming in at the moment and so that's what I'll be posting about. I've got some baseball, football, and Star Wars stuff in my scan folder, too, but there isn't really enough of it to make a huge dent.

The online breaker I've been buying spots from lately held a 20 Questions contest in his chat feed. He wrote down a fighter name on a piece of paper and then the chat room as a whole got to ask 20 yes / no questions to see if they could guess who the fighter was. I know almost nothing about the UFC, but I used my Google-fu and won one of the contests. This BJ Penn Museum Collection Triple Relic from 2015 Topps UFC Knockout was my prize. It's a pretty cool card and it features one of the best MMA fighters in UFC history. It's serially-numbered # 35 / 50. I was a total failure for the rest of the 20 Questions contests but for one shining moment I was a big winner, and no one can take that away from me.

I watched all of UFC 194 last night, including the Early Prelims, the Prelims, and the Main Card. It was a pretty good show overall, although with 12 different fights some will be better than others. The UFC Pick-Em fantasy game really helps to keep me engaged even during fights that aren't too exciting because it causes me to invest in a fighter during the bout. I didn't do all that great with my picks, but I got 6 / 12 right with 3 perfect picks and one point bonus for correctly picking a close match-up.

The two fights at the end of the night were for titles, but I'm not sure they lived up to all the hype. First up was a Middleweight fight between Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold. It got Fight of the Night honors (a money bonus to the participants), but I thought the defending champion (Weidman) looked off the whole fight, like he wasn't really into it. The match went into the 4th round but it was clearly over near the end of the 3rd, with Weidman bleeding all over the place. The last fight was a super-hyped match between Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo, who has held the Featherweight title since the Featherweight division in UFC was created. The fight lasted 13 seconds, as Aldo ran straight into McGregor's left hand and got knocked out immediately. This match had been hyped forever, and it was over immediately. It was certainly a shocking finish, but not much fun to watch. 

Several of the other matches were really good, in my opinion. I particularly enjoyed the Urijah Faber - Frankie Saenz battle, the Ronaldo Souza - Yoel Romero bout, Max Holloway versus Jeremy Stephens, Tecia Torres unleashing what appeared to be a 300-punch combo on Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger (even though I had Jones-Lybarger picked to win), Leonardo Santos knocking out Kevin Lee, as well as Court McGee - Marcio Alexandre in the Early Prelims. I like seeing knockouts, but it seems like many of my favorite matches wind up being decided by the judges. I guess often the early KO's and submissions seem kind of lucky to me. Sometimes in those cases the loser is just clearly overmatched, like in the Joe Proctor - Magomed Mustafaev matchup where Proctor was just clearly the inferior fighter and got blasted early on. Maybe I just like to see each fighter get a chance to show what they can do. Then again, there are people whose fighting styles necessitate early victories because they are energy-intensive and prone to wearing out if a fight goes too long. I guess I just prefer fights that aren't too one-sided.

I've been thinking of a few ways to define my UFC card collection and decide what exactly to collect, but I haven't really fleshed out any of those plans. One way is just the traditional method of picking a few favorite fighters and chasing their cards. I could focus on sets, but for me set collecting has always been kind of a side thing. One idea I had last night was to select a few matches from each live event I watch and try to collect a card from each of the participants. Maybe I could build one nine-pocket page from each event and choose three matches that stand out to me. A card for the winner could go on the left of a row, a note about the match and the results could go in the middle, and the loser's card could go on the right. That might be fun, but I wonder if I might lose interest sometimes because the time between the fights and accumulating the cards would be too great? It's an idea.


  1. That's a sweet card! BJ was one of my favorite fighters to watch, really impressive when he was on his game and in his prime!

    1. I'm so new to this stuff that I didn't really have a clue who he was until I went and looked him up. He certainly headlined a lot of events in his time.

  2. When UFC was first getting big my friends and I would always chip in to buy the fight. Now that we are older and have kids it takes an act of Congress to get us all in the same room.

    I didn't realize UFC had a Museum Collection offshoot. Sweet looking card.

    1. A lot of the inserts in their Knockout product use designs from their high-end baseball stuff, like this Museum Collection design. They've done Triple Threads designs and some cards that look like the Bowman Black autographs, too.