Another New Year’s Eve(ish) UFC card has come and gone, and after the “Decision of the Night” bonuses have been handed out, and all the cougars in the audience have gone home to sandblast off their makeup, we’re left with some interesting learnings.
Here’s the takeaway from a card mercifully saved by its penultimate fight:
1. We didn’t miss Mike Goldberg even a little bit. When we first saw John Anik instead of Goldberg take his place alongside Joe Rogan as color commentator, most immediately thought "hey, why did I just pay 59.95 for an FX card?" Quickly, however, the quality of the announcer came through, leaving few to countdown the days until Goldberg returns from his “personal issues.”
2. Leben and Brunson need some advanced cardio STAT. Now most of us would last all of about 14 seconds in an UFC fight before taking a knee, but this curtain jerker was just not up to snuff. Chris Leben gets a hall pass for it being his first fight back in a year, but former Strikeforce champ Derek Brunson has no such excuse. He gassed out early, drawing the ire of President Dana White who said, "The other kid was looking at the clock like he was a 14-year-old waiting for school to get out the entire fight – looking at the clock."