With an action-packed UFC 292 card now in the books, our weekly awards have been chosen to honor and dishonor the likes of Brad Katona, Cody Gibson, the commentary team, and the incomplete use of the 10-point must system.
Do You Want to Be a Fighter Award – Brad Katona & Cody Gibson
Dana White’s speech on the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter” has been turned into an overused cliche. But there hasn’t been a more fitting use for the catchphrase than the barnburner between Brad Katona and Cody Gibson.
Brad Katona and Cody Gibson embodied the spirit of what the comeback season of TUF was supposed to symbolize. Both men displayed an otherworldly level of persistence, toughness, and fortitude to bless the TD Garden with their 15 minutes of technical violence. But beyond that, the amount of those qualities to fight their way back to that position after their careers went left of their original plans are even more impressive.
Also Read: UFC 295: Colby Covington Calls Out Jon Jones
In a show that turned stale years ago and offers the same formula of challenging personalities and pranks, it’s refreshing that the conclusion could live up to the lofty standard set by Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar over 18 years ago. Just like the storybook ending to that historically important fight, it’s only fitting that both winner and loser were awarded contracts to resume their UFC journeys.
The Almost 10 Point Award – The UFC 292 Judges
The prelim fight between Andre Petroski and Gerald Meerschaert at UFC 292 was an interesting one as far as judging is concerned. No, this isn’t another cry to fix the incompetence of MMA judges. Petroski’s split decision win wasn’t necessarily a bad call. Neither was the one scorecard that went toward Meerschaert. It was an extremely close fight with both men having one round that was definitively in their favor.
That first round though was the definition of a toss-up. While Petroski was the clear aggressor with forward motion and strike attempts, he whiffed most of his punches. Meerschaert offered little in return while on the backfoot but landed about as much as his opponent and negated the forward pressure by escaping on angles.
The judges are understandably hesitant to issue 10-10s. But this feels like the appropriate time. When no one does anything particularly effective, why look for any level of minutia to pick a round winner?
Cup Check Award – The UFC Commentary Team
What is a groin shot? The average person might define that as a strike that lands to the groin. In fact, so does The Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC.) If you’re sitting cage side with a microphone perhaps that means your definition changes.
For the second UFC pay-per-view in a row, a kick makes clear contact with the restricted area and the commentary team debates whether or not it was actually a groin shot. Chris Weidman’s toes landed on Brad Tavares’ belt line, but his heel struck the cup as well leading to a brief timeout. That gave just enough time for Joe Rogan to argue that the true impact wasn’t felt below the waist.
There isn’t a qualifier related to groin shots. No matter what the intended target is and no matter how much of that intended target was hit, contact was made with the cup. If an asterisk is added to every foul, the rulebook would be worth even less than what it already is. By that measure, Tavares’ roundhouse at UFC 292 also landed on the inside of Weidman’s upper thigh and doubt needs to be cast on the validity of the foul. Ridiculous, right?