Forget rankings. Forget titles, wins and losses, betting odds. All of that shit. The only evaluation of the UFC 268 main card that matters is this.
Say you and your dad are trying to move a sofa through an open doorway, but the thing is big and unwieldy and with just the two of you it’s a struggle. A person happens by on the sidewalk. You recognize this person as a UFC fighter, but before you can say anything or even fully register this fact your dad calls out, ‘Hey buddy you mind giving us a hand real quick?’ Fuck. Embarrassing, right? But that’s your dad. He doesn’t watch MMA, which he often conflates with professional wrestling, and to him this professional fighter on the UFC 268 main card is just a potential extra set of hands.
But now you’re about to get a window into this person’s soul. Are they the type to help some strangers with a sofa real quick or nah? Here, based on nothing but gut feeling (and in some cases, years of close study) are our best guesses.
Michael Chandler: Oh yeah, he’ll definitely help you with the sofa. But he’ll do it with such eager, bright-eyed sincerity that you can’t stop wondering if he’s going to ask if you’ve heard the good news about our lord and savior as soon as you guys set this thing down. Still, help is help.
Justin Gaethje: Bro, of course he’ll help you with the sofa. Probably even has some helpful tips that he’ll explain are the result of once holding a part-time job as a mover, which he eventually quit because the owner was a dick. Ain’t that always the way, your dad observes with a chuckle. When you finish up and your dad offers him a couple bucks for his help he’ll turn it down with a wave of his hand before remarking that he ‘wouldn’t say no to a brewski, though.’ The three of you end up drinking Busch Lights on the tailgate of a pickup truck. It’s a pleasant afternoon.
Shane Burgos: He looks up, hears your dad’s request for help, and makes a sharp turn to come get his hands on that sofa without a word. Once you get it through the doorway he gives you both a quick nod and is gone before you know it. Later you’ll wonder if it ever really happened or if you just imagined it.
Billy Quarantillo: He comes jogging over with a big smile, ready to help. But halfway through someone shouts from up the street, ‘Hey Billy Q, what’s happening my man?’ He drops that sofa like a hot potato, nearly straining your dad’s bad back as you both adjust to take the extra weight. The last thing you hear is him saying, ‘Paulie you son of a bitch, where’s my hundred from the Jets game?!’ as he disappears up the block.
Marlon Vera: Nope, not “Chito.” He knows a setup when he sees one. You think he didn’t see “Silence of the Lambs”? Motherfuckers may get him one day, but not today and not with that lame-ass help with the sofa bit.
Frankie Edgar: He hears your father’s hail, then pauses to remove his spectacles and put them in their case, which he keeps tucked in the interior pocket of his houndstooth coat. Certainly, he will help you with that sofa. His movements are deliberate but not slow. Zero energy is wasted. When you set it down he runs a thoughtful hand over the worn fabric. He knows an upholstery guy in Teaneck, he tells you. Does good work. Helped him refresh his whole living room set. He takes out his spectacles and cleans them with a cloth before putting them back on. ‘Sofa like this,’ he says, ‘with that quality, old-world craftsmanship? Sometimes all it needs is a new suit of clothes to keep it going for the next generation.’ Your dad could not possibly agree more, and he will never stop talking about this interaction. Even years later when he enters hospice and you drop by to see him, his face will brighten as he looks up and says, ‘Hey remember that time we were moving that sofa and that guy helped us?’ Yeah, you remember. How could you forget?
Rose Namajunas: She would help you. Probably. Except she doesn’t even fucking notice you. Her gait never slows. Her face betrays no recognition that she is even being spoken to. She marches forward with steely determination, the sole occupant of her own world. Whatever frequency she’s on, your dad’s plea doesn’t reach it. ‘Must not have heard me,’ your dad says as she passes. And there’s a part of both of you that’s glad.
Zhang Weili: Her head snaps over at you, two people carrying this sofa, and you feel as if you’re both being scanned by the Terminator. Threat level: neutral. She offers a curt nod before moving to the job like an army ant. That’s weird, it’s like the sofa suddenly weighs nothing as soon as she puts her hands on it. Later, once she’s out of sight, your dad will ask if you saw the “guns” on that broad. Her arms. He means her arms.
Colby Covington: He definitely hears your dad call out. His head turns. His lip curls. He keeps walking. ‘Jerk,’ your dad mutters in a semi-shocked tone of voice, appalled at one human’s callous disregard for others. The look of distaste will stay there on his face for hours, like he is remembering a bad smell.
Kamaru Usman: Doesn’t even hear you. He’s got earbuds in. ‘Must be the noise-cancelling kind,’ your dad says. Yeah, you tell him. Must be.
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