As much fun as it is to go to a live sporting event, most times I find the “best seat in the house” is actually at my house…on my couch.

At my house, I don’t have to deal with traffic. At my house, beers don’t cost $7 a piece, and I’m not forced to choose between Miller Lite and Coors Light. At my house, I can yell whatever I want, as loud as I want.

Sure, there’s something to be said for the collective euphoria that comes with experiencing an extraordinary fight with thousands of other people, but these days—with the television technology that has become the norm in the past decade—one can often have nearly as good a viewing experience watching from home. With the best view of not only the fights themselves, but also the goings-on backstage, the walkouts, the corner conversations and post-fight interviews, fight fans can have just as great a time without spending the money it would take to get that sort of access in person. This is certainly my preferred route.

With that in mind, here are some observations from the couch on this past weekend’s UFC 154 main card:

  • Pablo Garza looked very impressive against Mark Hominick in the main card’s opening fight. The first round of that fight could be a contender for round of the year, but Garza established dominance by cutting Hominick up at the end of the first round before grinding out a brutal decision victory. I couldn’t help but think, though, that Garza’s success maybe had as much to do with Hominick’s recent troubles as it did Garza’s impressive skills.

After winning five straight fights en route to a UFC featherweight title shot against Jose Aldo, Hominick has lost his last four fights and certainly has not looked like the dominant fighter he was in 2010. UFC commentators Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan made repeated mention of Hominick’s connection with the late Shawn Tompkins, and no one wants to pour salt in any open wounds, but one can’t help but wonder if Goldberg and Rogan are onto something. MMA is just as much mental as it is physical, perhaps more so, but regardless of which of these facets has resulted in Hominick’s recent skid, here’s hoping “The Machine” returns to peak performance soon.

  • Is the UFC not having Joe Rogan do interviews with winning fighters anymore except for the “big-name” fights? I couldn’t help but note his conspicuous absence from the Octagon for every main-card winner but Johny Hendricks and Georges St-Pierre. Garza definitely looked like he was waiting for Rogan to put a mic in his face after his win over Hominick, and genuinely looked disappointed when he didn’t see him in the cage after being announced as the victor.

Is this a preventative measure to avoid the sort of post-fight shenanigans to which fans have occasionally been treated? Was it just a time-saving measure after an especially lengthy card? Do Canadian fans simply hate Joe Rogan? In any case, winning fighters deserve the face time on TV after putting in all the work necessary to be successful in the UFC, and the promotion’s snub of those fighters last night was a touch on the disrespectful side.

  • The non-fight highlight of the night was, without a doubt, Tom Lawlor’s walkout. Set to The Offspring’s once-popular hit “Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)”—a song that received heavy radio airplay during my eighth-grade year—he and his cornermen emerged in full-on nerd gear, complete with sweater vests and fake eyeglasses. While Lawlor did not leave the Octagon in such high spirits after dropping a split decision to Francis Carmont, his latest antics got me thinking of other things he could do during his walkout.

Lawlor could emerge with double the amount of usual clothes on, and his cornermen could be wearing just fighter trunks. Then, as Lawlor disrobes before the fight, his corner would eventually be fully clothed.

As a swerve, Lawlor’s cornermen would come out first, dancing and partying it up like folks would typically expect, but Lawlor is not amused. He is urging his cornermen to take the proceedings seriously, but they’re not having it. Eventually, Lawlor and his cornermen get into a fake altercation prior to his fight, before order being restored and the actual fight proceeding as normal.

My favorite: Lawlor and his cornermen all dress like “Stitch” Duran.

  • Speaking of Lawlor, fans in Montreal were not pleased with his fight with Carmont, booing the fighters after the decision for Carmont was announced. I found this particularly displeasing for a couple of reasons.

First, it’s just rude for fans to boo fighters for not putting on exactly the sort of fight that they wanted to see. The vast majority of MMA fans will never know even a small percentage of the struggle professional fighters go through for the chance to succeed at their jobs. Applause at the end of a fight is not simply a salute to the savagery fans have come to expect in exchange for their ticket fees, but a recognition of the total effort put forth by the fighters in the weeks and months leading up to the fight.

Secondly, how ironic that Montreal fans would boo two fighters for a less explosive showing when they go absolutely nuts for Georges St-Pierre—a man who has won seven of his last seven fights by taking his opponents down and beating them up in a way that likely has no chance of earning a stoppage. Somehow, though, his decision-prone style is the stuff of legends, but other decisions on the card aren’t worthy of cheers.

Also, the fact that St-Pierre/Condit got “Fight of the Night” after being thoroughly uncompetitive speaks more to the relative quality of the card’s remaining fights than it did for the greatness of this particular contest, but I suppose that’s more Montreal home cooking for the champion.

  • Lyoto Machida’s mustache makes him look like a Bond villain. That’s it.
  • One of my favorite things about MMA is how any given fight has the potential to unleash upon its viewers a moment that makes them yell expletives at a very loud volume. At UFC 154, that moment was Johny Hendricks’ knockout of Martin Kampmann. Hendricks has firmly established himself as the next welterweight title contender and is becoming sort of a Dan Henderson-esque figure as a fantastic wrestler with an extremely powerful punch.

After a few less thrilling fights preceding it, Hendricks’ thunderous left hand both took Kampmann out of the fight and got all the fans right back into it. For me, I surely got the attention of my immediate neighbors with my loud repetition of “HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!!

  • While GSP/Condit was not the most exciting fight in the world, that still does not justify the UFC distracting fans with the Anderson Silva cam. For some reason, the UFC decided that, rather than watch the fight itself, fans might instead want to watch Silva watch the fight. I realize that the promotion is doing its absolute best to hype a Silva/St-Pierre superfight, but having another live image interlaced with a fight in progress, especially when that image was one of Anderson Silva’s reactions to what was going on in the cage, did a disservice to both GSP and Condit.

They likely got the same feedback from others, and I wouldn’t expect them to make the mistake again.

  • Finally, along with the usual GSP accomplices, I couldn’t help but notice the Montreal native was constantly flanked Saturday night by a giant of a man who seemed to get a lot of enjoyment out of being seen with the welterweight champion. He was there with GSP during the locker room shots. He emerged from the pack of GSP’s cornermen to walk with the champion side-by-side on his way to the cage. And right as the decision was being announced, the man just about joined referee Yves Lavigne in raising St-Pierre’s arms in victory.

So…who is this guy, and how did he manage to attach himself to GSP’s hip all night?

Photo: Georges St-Pierre (top) rains punches down on Carlos Condit (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

About The Author

Eric Reinert
Staff Writer

Eric Reinert has been writing about mixed martial arts since 2010. Outside the world of caged combat, Eric has spent time as a news reporter, speechwriter, campaign strategist, tech support manager, landscaper and janitor. He lives in Madison, Wis.