We all heard it, but I think it was perpetuation more than anything.
UFC 208 wasn't that bad, especially the main card. Yet, the one-finish show was being compared to the likes of UFC 149 by the end of the night, even with UFC President Dana White taking a nice creamy dump on the show.
Jim Miller vs. Dustin Poirier was an incredible opener. The kind of fight you want kicking off any show. Two guys who have a little name value, who have been around for a long time throwing down, abandoning all caution, and were rewarded properly after the fight. You can't complain about that one.
Glover Teixeira vs. Jared Cannonier was a stinker. When Glover employs grappling, it usually is. No argument here.
Jacare Souza running through Tim Boetsch was harmless. This fight was made to keep Souza fresh and to add some star power to a card that needed it. It was the only finish on the show and came at the right time, as the crowd was plenty restless. It was a four minute thrashing that put Jacare Souza over, and for the UFC, filled the last fight on Tim Boetsch's contract without giving him any negotiating leverage. From an entertainment standpoint, where's the beef?
Nobody will accuse Anderson Silva vs. Derek Brunson of being the most exciting fight in the world. a 30-27 scorecard for Anderson Silva is hilariously bad, but not all-time bad. I scored it 29-28 Silva, and don't see the uproar over the decision. It was a close fight. Even at 41 years-old, few things rival the tension I feel when "The Spider" steps into the cage. Love him or hate him, Silva elicits a type of heart-pumping viewing that many can't. After five fights that saw a giant streak of bad luck, that's pretty incredible. You probably should have expected Silva to counter-punch based on Brunson's last fight, and that's exactly what he did.
Questionable scoring? Sure. An all-time great fight? No. Worth my money? Yeah. This wasn't Thales Leites, Demian Maia or Patrick Cote levels of bad. I was on the edge of my seat.
We come to the main event, which is criticized due to flat out saltiness. Many disagreed with the decision (again, not this guy), and with Germaine de Randamie's two strikes after the bell. This was some despicable officiating from referee Todd Anderson. Constantly jumping in to break up clinches that often seemed to favor Holm, and not stopping the fighters at the horn. It was downright weird, but criticizing the fight? I don't quite understand.
Holm and De Randamie displayed true grit in a muay thai vs. kickboxer matchup that I thought lived up to the hype. The clash of striking styles was one I personally looked forward to, and delivered for five rounds. It could have ended in a no-contest or a draw fairly easily, and perhaps my opinion on the show would be different. For a fight that was forced to determine a champion of a pointless division, Holm and GDR put on a fun fight that helped bridge the two month gap that the UFC backed themselves into by loading up cards last fall and winter.
UFC 208 wasn't a card I'll look back on and speak in the same breath of UFC 116, but it's hardly a card that touches fights where one horrible fight put a damper on an entire evening. Do you remember the aforementioned UFC 149? How about UFC 114 where Rashad Evans put us to sleep against Rampage Jackson and Jason Brilz had a career-altering win over Antonio Rogerio Noguiera ganked from him? UFC 33 in general? UFC 24. UFC 11. UFC 9, 72, 78, 109, 112, 119, 161.
My Fightful MMA podcast co-host Showdown Joe often talks about recency bias, this might be the opposite. Recency cynicism? Is that a thing? When it came to UFC 208, it was.