Last week was the inaugural Sunday Swayze Awards and UFC Fight Night 36 was a tough card from an excitement standpoint. Some kind of excitement is needed to win a Swayze. No matter the movie or the role he always brought a high watchability to it. He was never boring and certain roles were more exciting than others and really epitomize his career.
The three roles that will almost always be used are his most iconic: Jonny Castle from Dirty Dancing, Dalton from Roadhouse and Bodhi from Point Break. This week thanks to the performances in the octagon for UFC 170 there will be a few more of his roles making appearance.
We are going to start on the top with Ronda Rousey who takes home a Bodhi this week. Bodhi was about adrenaline and excitement. He was after the thrill of the moment and the experience. He was also the bad guy one of the few bad guy roles he played in his career, and it was one his most likable ones. He is the bad guy with charm and charisma. You cannot ignore him when he is onscreen in the movie which is beautifully directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Whether you love her or hate you cannot ignore her.
Her fights are exciting and those who think she only has one trick will have to come with a new criticism of her after her first round TKO win. Sure they can point out that she still is a one trick pony and that trick is finishing fights. Two if you count the fact she also just keeps winning fights just like Bodhi who does not really lose a one in the movie.
This was an impressive liver shot TKO win delivered with a nasty knee in the clinch. McMann was able to use her wrestling for a the brief time they were in the octagon, but it did not help her very much in this fight. Ronda had too much for her in the standup and trying to beat her just keeps getting more difficult as she continues to evolve and improve.
Ronda, like Bodhi, essentially has reached that one name level of fame and she does what she wants. Bodhi was able to exit under his terms riding out the one last big one in a lifetime wave and you get the sense that Ronda will too. With a burgeoning movie career you get the feeling her time is limited in the UFC, and she will leaving on her terms. Maybe that once in a lifetime fight coming down the road with Cris Cyborg as her one last fight. Who knows for sure when she will leave in the meantime we will be watching every time she steps in the octagon just like whenever Bodhi is onscreen in Point Break.
In the co-main event Daniel Cormier takes home a Dalton for his performance in his 1st round TKO win over the debuting Patrick Cummins. This was all about the showdown between Jimmy and Dalton in Roadhouse.
In the movie it is quickly set up that they are the two badasses who must meet before the end of the movie. They almost fight early in the film but it is stopped before it gets going. Then Jimmy kills Dalton’s friend Wade Garret which brings tears to Dalton’s eyes. Dalton then goes out and takes out Jimmy in brutal fashion.
This is very similar to the Cormier and Cummins saga and how the fight went down between them. Like Dalton in the movie Cormier had to deal with his emotions and get his revenge. It was personal to Cormier and we saw that in the days leading up to the fight, but he did not let it get in the way of his performance. He went out did what he needed to do to establish that he is a contender at light heavyweight.
It was brutal. It was nasty. It was quick and it answered a lot of questions about his move down to light heavyweight. Cormier looked very good, still quick but with even more power and he is a legitimate threat to the title. He is one impressive win or an injury away from a title shot. Like Dalton he will cooly handle whoever comes his way but is ready to go next level if he is pushed.
Rory MacDonald gets a Johnny Castle award for his performance against Damian Maia. Dirty Dancing is the movie the guys hate to admit that they like. It is a chick flick and it is surprising that Swayze was in it. ven more surprising is how good he is in the movie. You just cannot help but to like it even though you expected to hate it.
That was his fight with Maia. When Dana White admitted after the event that he thought this fight would suck and instead it ended up being FOTN. Like the role of Johnny Castle pushing Swayze into new territory as an actor so did Maia in the octagon for MacDonald.
After a tough first round in which Maia showed just how dominant he is on the ground. MacDonald dug deep to take control in the second round. Then a back and forth third round that saw MacDonald do enough to take a very tough fight.
Just like Dirty Dancing winning Swayze some new respect and fans so did this fight with Maia for MacDonald. After a lackluster win against Jake Ellenberger and a loss to Robbie Lawler not many people were calling for a title shot for him anytime soon. Now he has put himself back in contention and could get that shot before the end of the year.
Mike Pyle takes home two awards. He gets a Dirty Dancing for the mullet. In that movie Swayze mullet was at its most Swayziest. It screamed mullet from across the room and no matter the dance moves you really could not take your eyes off of his mullet. The same is true for Pyle’s mullet. It was mesmerizing and may have led to the TKO win as it could have been distracting T.J. Waldburger.
Pyle also takes home a Charlie Barker. In the TV show The Beast, Swayze’s character Barker is a veteran who knows all of the tricks. He is ready for whatever the moment brings and is one of the best undercover agents when he is in the field. Like Barker on the show Pyle was ready for everything trick that Waldburger had for him. It was a fun fight with Waldburger gamely trying to win it the whole time. Until the third round when the power of the mullet brought the TKO win for Pyle.
Eric Koch picks up a Jim Cunningham for his return to lightweight and to the win column. After dropping two in row at featherweight the former number one contender found himself in a difficult spot. A third straight loss either gets you dropped from the UFC and if it does not it usually means you have to win your next fight.
Koch needed a win like this to remind everyone why he was so close to a title shot just one year ago. It was much like the role of Cunningham for Swayze who needed a role like that to remind everyone just how good of an actor he could be when given the right material. The Cunningham role lead to several other interesting parts for Swayze including his last as Barker. This win should help re-launch Koch who should be off of the Fight Pass prelims and at least on to the FS1 ones.
Stephen Thompson wins an all-around Swayze award for his performance on Saturday night. We saw some spins that were reminiscent of Castle, he has the hair of Barker, the calmness of Dalton, and the highlight reel excitement of Bodhi. Thompson is really starting to put things together in the octagon. He stopped a tough and durable Robert Whittaker almost making it look easy the same that Castle does when he is on the dance floor, or that Dalton does when he is kicking ass. After a performance like his on Saturday you cannot wait for his next fight.
This was exactly what fans of the UFC needed after the last two cards. UFC 170 had a little bit of something for all of them with a lot of great action inside of the octagon and a whole lot of Swayzeness which makes everything a little more awesome.
cover image of two-time Sunday Swayze award winner Mike Pyle via UFC