Before reading any further, I highly recommend setting the tone for tonight's recap of fights by playing the New Order song Elegia. Loved the way it was used in the show Stranger Things, which tonight's event was appropriately named after. And if you've yet to see that show then stop what you're doing immediately, get one of your friend's Netflix login's and drink it in maaaan! Now that that is out of the way, let's get in to what the people came to see and what went down at OFC 242: Stranger Things. Without further ado, let's run it all back with a Full Review!
Our main card and main event of the evening had a, pardon the pun, 'heavy' focus on the Heavyweight division. Our headliners were two similarly skilled fighters currently on two different trajectories. MMAHelsinki vet Derp Wyatt coming in off of a recent Knockout of the Night performance and Shane "THE IMMORTAL" Carmen looking to right the ship after a couple recent stoppage losses. A colleague of mine actually tapped me on the shoulder before the fight began to note that Carmen was originally booked for Blood Night XXX because 5 of his 11 losses were due to Cut stoppages. Could this be a sign of things to come, going up against a solid striker like Wyatt?
The short answer: Yes. Within seconds, Wyatt came out swinging with a 3 punch combo, busting Carmen open in the process. Carmen proceeded to do what any game fighter does and bit down on his mouthpiece and threw back a few of his own. However, they came off more like a younger brother trying to prove his toughness to an elder sibling. Wyatt was in his element tonight, continuing to open the flood gates of red stuff and knocking him down all with a smile on his face! Derp then played it safe controlling the rest of the round on cruise control before forcing the doctors to step in, early in the 2nd round.
Wyatt will be moving on to face Cannondale Trail at OFC 249 next month for the recently vacated Heavyweight Championship! While it's back to the drawing board for Carmen who is now on a 3-Fight skid. A step up in competition for one and most likely a step down in competition for the other, it'll be interesting to see how both of these careers progress moving forward.
Our Co-Main Event of the evening featured two Perennial Contenders in the Middlewight Division; Bobby Bishop and Duke Newell. This was one of those fights that were a lot more closely contested than the final scorecards would suggest. These guys are both troopers who are extremely difficult to finish, so it's no surprise that they went the distance at all. After busting Bishop open in the 1st, Newell moved the fight to the clinch which seemed to be his undoing. It was almost like a Venus fly trap presenting some nectar on a silver platter before pulling the rug up from under him. Newell had a comeback moment in the 2nd gaining control of Bishop's back and delivering a full-on Brock Lesnar Suplex! You could hear the crowd gasp as many in attendance took notice of the way Bishop landed. Still managing to take the round, Bishop went back to his gameplan working the Clinch Kryptonite on his way to a Unanimous Decision Victory.
Next on the docket for Bishop sees the Middleweight going for Gold against recently signed Darren "Hurt" Lockyer at our New Year's Eve show; OFC 245: Reclaim. I don't know about you guys but I feel like history's going to be made that night. Early Oddsmakers have Lockyer as the slight favorite but MMATycoon can be compared to Big Brother sometimes; "Expect the Unexpected"...hmm wait a second, does that make me the OFC's Julie Chen?
Let's discuss our Knockout of the Night Award winner; Oleksandr Usyk. Man, this was a star making performance in my humble opinion. Ignoring the record, Piotr Smietana is no joke, and Usyk had his way with him. Knocking him down and rocking him in the first round before throwing the mother of all uppercuts that could challenge the strength of Thor's Hammer and putting Piotr to sleep. I think our commentary team said what we were all thinking best; "What a finish! You have to wonder if Smietana will ever be the same after a knockout like that." Mark my words, Oleksandr Usyk is a fighter to watch in the Heavyweight division moving forward, I know I will be!
I also wanted to show some love to our other Award winners on the night. Falling behind on the scorecards early, Simon Voilier was a man on a mission for the final 10 minutes, looking for a consecutive Submission of the Night Bonus like a miner searching for Gold. After getting Shepherd's back and locking in his hooks, Simon did just that, coming away with an impressive Rear Naked Choke Submission Victory. And finally, we saw two of the youngest fighters on the OFC roster looking to gain experience at each other's expense. Featherweight Jhon "Big Haer" Lineker thought he had Eddie Dean's number early, but I guess you could say, he *69'd his ass. After getting dropped in the opening seconds, Lineker got Dean to the floor, and delivered relentless ground n pound leading to a win that would make a young Tito Ortiz or Chael Sonnen proud.
And that about wraps it up for the OFC 242: Stranger Things review! Going to be a busy rest of the week, so I hope everyone has an Awesome Christmas, enjoy the time off whether you work or go to school and try to be extra kind this Holiday Season! Eat good, Get Drunk (if you're old enough!), spend some extra time with your loved ones and most importantly; Stay Safe, Don't drink n drive! The OFC will be back Christmas evening with an exciting night of fights and I'll be back with a full review for you guys on Boxing Day. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!