I want so badly to take a morally, intellectually correct stand here and lecture you guys on the heart and skill those two showed last night.
But the honest truth is, I had to slap myself awake, fix a drink and walk outside because I was afraid I would fall asleep and miss Belfort/Jones. and that's just wrong
Don't feel bad, neither of those things are actually true.
I've gone on record before saying that I don't particularly care for the lighter divisions, but I tried to enjoy the fight, and just watched it again to see if my early impressions were correct.
I can say this with some conviction: If you think this fight was exciting, you're weird. And if you think it was good, you're flat out wrong.
When the best thing you can say about the winner is that he was extremely elusive, you're not talking about a particularly exciting fight, IMO. But OK, that's subjective.
but as for skill and heart? Objectively, the skill and heart shown by these fighters was nothing to write home about.
Joseph Benavidez' striking is quite poor. He throws extremely wide, looping, telegraphed punches. But at least he was moving forward and throwing flurries, even if they were about as accurate as sgt. Mulligan's mortars.
Johnson spent most of the fight circling and countering, but never once followed a successful strike with more punches. Between rounds 3 and 4 Matt Hume actually told him to "start fighting."
Here are some figures from fightmetric:
Demetrius Johnson - 156 strikes thrown in a five round fight.
Michael Bisping - 141 strikes thrown in a 3 round fight.
Brian Stann - 141 strikes thrown in a 3 round fight.
And Joe and Goldie were talking about Johnson's cardio and pace. Well guess what, dancing around takes less out of you than actually throwing leather.
So in the striking department we had one fighter showing heart by moving forward, but that's hardly exceptional, and the other fighter showing skillful footwork, but not using combinations or staying in the pocket. So neither fighter showed both. Nor an exceptional degree of either skill or heart.
In the grappling department we got extremely lackluster submission attempts from both fighters, and some nice takedowns from Johnson in the 5th, but he couldn't really do anything with them.
There was nothing good about this fight other than the scrambling.
Before watching the fight a second time I voted "good, but not great" after watching it a second time I think the Canadians were right to boo.