UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs. Gaethje: Results and Review.
#3 (5) Dustin Poirier TKO’s #6 (6) Justin Gaethje in round 4: Dustin was crazy accurate and dominated the striking in this fight. Gaethje threw his normal leg kicks continuously but he needs to realize against UFC elite opponents it simply won’t be enough. He proved he can be a title contender in my eyes he just needs to use his wrestling more and land shots more often in other places away from the legs, I am not saying give up the leg kicks but lower the amount to damage elsewhere. This fight was a ton of fun I really enjoyed it as did any fight fan because Poirier showed how perfect his striking is and lethal he can be. The one take back from his fight that we need to see more of from Poirier is to land some more shots to the body of his opponents. This fight was fight of the night and was so deserving. I believe Poirier should get Khabib next because Tony has been scheduled Khabib 4 times and that fight hasn’t happened secondly because Conor only has one lightweight fight in his career and should have to prove he is back before getting a title shot. Dustin also has 16 UFC wins since 2011 only Cerrone has more proving even more that he deserves a title shot. Gaethje should fight Nate Diaz next because that fight would be so fun to watch. Grade: A+
Alex Oliveira submits #13 (12) Carlos Condit in round 2: This fight would have been fight of the night if the main event didn’t happen just like I said in my predictions for this fight. This fight seemed to be Condit’s fight on the feet but once it got to the mat it was very interesting. At one point I thought Condit was going to win by submission but eventually Oliveira got Condit with an up-kick which I think stunned Condit. That made it easier to lock in the guillotine choke and end the fight. This was a phenomenal fight and sadly was Condit’s 4th straight loss and could be nearing the end of his career. Oliveira will find a number next to his name after this one. Alex Oliveira should get Gunnar Nelson in his next fight which could set up a really fun fight. I think Condit should get Dong Hyun Kim in his next fight in a battle that would be fun for the fans and might be the fight he needs to get him back on track. Grade: A
#15 (NR) Israel Adesanya beats Marvin Vettori by split decision: This fight was a bit less exciting than believed. Israel proved he really needs to work on his ground game and takedown defense and he seemed to have no clue how to fight on the mat. Vettori landed some shots not as many strong shots as Israel but he proved he has a great chin. Now he should have used his wrestling earlier in this fight and might have found himself successful, but he used it too late and might have cost him the upset victory. I think Israel needs to improve his ground game entirely and if he can then he could be a future champion. Israel Adesanya should fight Paulo Costa in his next fight as a battle of 11-0 vs 13-0 between two future champion contenders would be incredible. I think Vettori should fight Eryk Anders in what would be a great battle between two powerful wrestlers. Grade: B-
#8 (7) Michelle Waterson beats #11 (10) Courtney Casey by unanimous decision. This fight was an interesting battle as Waterson had the reach disadvantage and the size disadvantage. She kept herself active and used her speed to strike and get out before Casey could land much. I think this fight was as good as it could get with the size difference and reach difference between the two fighters. Michelle Waterson should face the winner of Gadelha and Esparza in her next fight. Courtney Casey should fight Joanne Calderwood in her next fight in the strawweight division. Grade: C-
Antonio Carlos Junior submits Tim Boetsch in round 1. This fight didn’t last long, and it was fairly one sided from the beginning to the end. Boetsch had a hard time getting his heavy big hands on Antonio and he couldn’t get the pace of the fight under his control. Antonio being able to control the pace of the fight landed his shots and got his takedown. Once this fight got to the mat there was no hesitation for him on how he was going to end this fight. This fight was fun though as it was an aggressive paced fight and we saw a great finish. I would like to see Antonio Carlos Junior fight Uriah Hall in his next fight to see if he belongs among the top middleweights. Grade: B+
Muslim Salikhov knocks out Ricky Rainey in round 2. This fight was a very interesting battle as it was slow at times, and then had moments of brilliance. Muslim had great takedown defense and kept this fight standing which is where regardless of a significant disadvantage in the reach department he was the better fighter. Ricky was hitting once and stopping he wasn’t landing combinations and continuing to strike he was respecting the power coming back too much and it cost him. Muslim caught Rickey one on of his shots and ended the fight so quick I missed it at first because I went to throw a ball for my dog. It was a great fight in the end and has me wondering just what the king of Kungfu, Muslim Salikhov could do in this division. Muslim should fight Abdul Razak Alhassan like he was originally supposed to in this fight. Grade: B
#10 (10) John Moraga defeats #7 (6) Wilson Reis by unanimous decision. I can’t lie I was shocked a little bit by this decision. I thought Moraga was clearly the better fighter on his feet, but Wilson did everything he could to get this fight to the met where he dominated the ground and kept the fight on the mat for 7 minutes. Wilson landed 8 takedowns in this fight showing how good he is at getting top level flyweights to the mat. Moraga though I believe did do more damage though and was the much more accurate striker and maybe that’s what the judges saw in the decision. John Moraga should fight Ben Nguyen in his next fight that would be a great fight for the fight fans. Wilson Reis should fight Alexandre Pantoja in his next fight and see if he can turn around his flyweight luck of late. Grade: C
NR (15) Brad Tavares knocks out #14 (13) Krzystztof Jotko in round 3. Tavares just simply beat Jotko with his striking and takedown defense when Jotko tried. Tavares proved he had a gas tank this fight and was able to keep his aggressive striking and landed good clean shots. The knockout came with his patience and he proved he is really finally ready to start moving up this division and can win big fights in this division. Tavares called out Bisping for his next fight and that should be a good fight to make. Jotko who isn’t going to be ranked anymore should fight Johny Hendricks in his next fight and get himself back in the rankings conversation. Grade: A-
UFC 223 Fallout:
Devin Clark beats Mike Rodriguez by unanimous decision. This fight had the potential to be great, but Devin couldn’t hang on his feet and used his much heavier size to clinch and hold A LOT and made this fight come to a screeching halt. It worked for him but if he wants to beat top light heavyweight’s he is going to have to significantly improve his standup. Who should Clark fight next? I believe he should get Gadzhimurad Antigulov and prove he can handle a ranked fighter. Fight Grade: C-
Ashlee Evans-Smith defeats Bec Rawlings by unanimous decision. Ashlee pretty much dominated Bec in this fight using her larger size and weight to push Bec around. She was making her flyweight debut and she looked like she could do some damage in this division I would like to see her be tested a bit more and unfortunately this fight might have been the last of Bec’s UFC career as she moves to 7-8. I think Ashlee should fight Rachel Ostovich next and see where she stands in the flyweight division moving forward. Fight Grade: C-
Olivier Aubin-Mercier Knocks out #15 Evan Dunham in round 1: I mean I thought Olivier was going to win this one, but I had no idea he was going to do what he did. A great lightweight fight for the whole 54 seconds it lasted. I was pleasantly surprised, and I hope that he finds himself ranked now on UFC.com as he will surely be on my site. This fight lasted less than a minute as he weathered a very early storm from a power puncher in Dunham and KO’d him. I think Mercier should fight James Vick next in this division and see if he can crack the top 10. Fight Grade: B+
#3 Karolina Kowalkiewicz defeats #6 Felice Herrig by split decision: This fight had moments of excitement, but it seemed Felice got tired early into round 2 and that was when it slowed down. Felice should have considered shooting for a takedown to use her power and wrestling skills to get this fight in her control. Karolina dominated this fight on the feet really and set up a fight with either Gadelha or Joanna after this performance. I believe Felice Herrig should fight the winner of Waterson and Cortney Casey this weekend. Karolina Kowalkiewicz, I believe should fight Joanna for a number one contender spot in a rematch as Karolina has grown a lot. Fight Grade: B-
Chris Gruetzemacher stops Joe Lauzon by doctor stoppage at end of round 2. Joe started this fight incredibly well, but he tired so fast. This lightweight battle was fun though for the 10 minutes it lasted. Once Joe tired out Chris turned the tables and started dominating Joe and bloodied him fast. Chris was so much more powerful than Joe and just dominated him. I have to give Joe credit though as he never went down and kept fighting regardless of being completely battered and beaten to a pulp. I would like to see Chris fight Alexander Hernandez and set up a great standup brawl. Fight Grade: B
Zabit Magomedsharipov defeats Kyle Bochniak by unanimous decision: This featherweight brawl was fight of the night EASY. This fight was absolutely insane. Zabit showed his composure and skills. He was technical and precise. He was a lot of fun to watch and showed why 5 different featherweights turned him down. Bochniak showed that he is absolutely insane and kept coming regardless that he was getting battered and beaten. Every time Zabit hit him it seemed to fire him up even more, I see a future Diego Sanchez in this kid. I would like to see Bochniak and Dooho Choi throw down next. As for Zabit I would like to see him take on Ricardo Lamas in his next fight as he called out Yair Rodriguez but Yair has said he has a fight announcement coming out soon. Fight Grade: A++
#12 Renato Moicano defeats #14 Calvin Kattar by unanimous decision: This featherweight fight was actually really a dull fight which I wasn’t expecting. Moicano utilized the inside leg kicks and Kattar after getting his legs chopped couldn’t do much at all offensively. This fight would have been a great fight if they could have both gone at it. I was shocked that regardless Kattar didn’t have an offense that Moicano didn’t take the fight to the mat or at least stop it by KO. I think Kattar should fight Myles Jury in his next fight and set up a fun fight for the fans. Moicano I believe should take on the Korean Zombie Chan Sung Jung. Fight Grade: C
Champ Rose Namajunas defends her strawweight title against #1 Joanna Jedrzejczyk by unanimous decision: This fight was a really good back and forth battle between the top two women in the division. This fight showed that Rose doesn’t need to go to the mat to win a fight though even against top opposition. It is nice to see how much Rose’s stand-up game has developed and now shown that she is a very well-rounded fighter. Joanna needs to learn how to handle a fighter putting pressure on her because when she wasn’t moving forward she was getting beat. She needs to pick up a bit of better head movement, but I personally think she should go up to flyweight as it would be better for her career. I think Joanna should fight Karolina Kowalkiewicz if she stays at strawweight. I think next for Rose and her next title defense should be Jessica Andrade which would be an incredible fight. Fight Grade: B+
#2 Khabib Nurmagomedov defeats #11 Al Iaquinta by unanimous decision to win the lightweight belt: This fight might have changed opponents for Khabib 2 different times and been offered 5 different fighters, but this absolutely DID NOT live up to the hype. Khabib was known for being able to take his opponent to the mat and dominate them. That did not happen at all, Al kept fighting his way back to his feet and eventually managed to keep it standing with takedown defense. Iaquinta might have been able to win this fight if he got close and managed to use his striking skills but he looked worried to go for broke on his feet in fear of the takedown. Khabib when on his feet looked like he had no place among the elite of this division. His ground and pound is one thing but you can’t be a top fighter in the UFC without being a well-rounded mixed martial artist. I would love to see Iaquinta fight Michael Chiesa after this one. Khabib I personally want to see fight the winner of Poirier and Gaethje but realistically it will be Tony Ferguson or Conor McGregor. Fight Grade: D-
Randy Brown vs Mickey Gall: In the first round Randy Brown initiated the clinch, then got a takedown. There was some strange grappling with Brown trying to keep top position and stuff Gall so he couldn't work his stuff. Into the second round and it went right back to ground. Gall almost got caught by a submission and brown started to show signs of getting tired. In the third it stayed on the ground. Brown was kind of stalling, but Gall wasn't moving much and Brown was doing just enough to look active. Randy Brown won by decision.
Ovince Saint Preux vs. Corey Anderson: In the first round, there was a good takedown attempt by Anderson. OSP got right back up and Anderson another big takedown. Saint Preux managed to get up again, but Anderson was controlling in the clinch. OSP almost got the knockout in the second with a perfect head kick. OSP weathered all the control time built up by Corey and managed to land a clean head kick KO in third. I think Saint Preux should face ff against Jimi Manuwa or Shogun Rua. At this rate, Shogun is only fighting once a year and by the time Rua is ready to fight, if he does, would be a good time for OSP if he didn't get too hurt in this. However I believe Manuwa would be a better matchup. With Manuwa's loss to Oezdemir, they would both be trying to prove they belong in the top 5 over the other.
Walt Harris vs. Mark Godbeer: Some standup before Harris took it to the ground. Late in the first round Harris landed a knee to the groin. Godbeer seperated to recover from the low blow, then Harris landed a late head kick while the ref was trying to interfere. Walt Harris lost by disqualification for the late shot. It would be the third time they were put against each other, including UFC 216, but I believe this needs to see a proper end in the form of a rematch.
James Vick vs. Joe Duffy: Great back and forth stand up from both. Duffy may have won the first round with two takedowns and the round being almost even in terms of striking. Vick got the TKO with only seconds left of the second round.
Johny Hendricks vs. Paulo Costa: Paulo spent the whole fight dominating the stand up. Hendricks just looked bad the whole fight only really landing some leg kicks. Costa got a TKO in the second after a god shot to Hendricks, then he had to land several shots to finally put him away. Even if the loss was to Derek Brunson, I believe Costa should be ranked instead of Machida. I also think the next step would be for Costa to go after Thiago Santos or Krzysztof Jotko. They may be at the bottom of the ranks, but those are the guys you need to go through if you are going to come into the middleweight ranks as a striker. As bad as this might sound, I believe Hendricks should just retire at this point. He isn't ranked, he looked awful this fight and he has looked awful in his last few fights. It is clear that his drive isn't there and it's almost like matching people up against someone who doesn't take this seriously anymore.
Stephen Thompson vs. Jorge Masvidal: Thompson was able to keep control of the match by keeping his distance. He was able to pick his shots very well. Masvidal landed a lot of strikes, but he just couldn't keep up with THompson due to the distance he was able to maintain. Thompson won the fight by unanimous decision. Since Lawler and RDA are fighting for the number 1 contender spot for whenever Woodley comes back, I say Thompson should fight Covington to show the world whether or not he really belongs at his newfound #3. Masvidal should take the loser of Lawler vs. Dos Anjos; either way it will be a brawl.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas: Rose got a knockdown in the first and for a split second it looked like it was already over, but Joanna recovered. Later in the same round, Rose landed another big shot and put the champion away with a TKO with a new strawweight champion. I can see this fight getting a rematch due to Joanna having such a long title reign. If not, the champ Namajunas should take Jessica Andrade next. To me it's between her and Gadelha, but Claudia is taking time off and I don't know if Claudia will be back that soon. For Jedrzejczyk, even though it wasn't even a close match, I'd say Kowalkiewicz to stay in the top fighters. Or maybe she could take Tecia since they haven't fought yet and Tecia is #5 as of now.
Cody Garbrandt vs. TJ Dillashaw: After a while of what seemed like not much in the first round, Cody unleashed a good flurry of strikes. Garbrandt managed a hit that knocked TJ down in the last seconds. The crowd erupted as if he won the fight when Cody pushed him to the ground while trying to get back up. In the second round TJ came out with less movement and more direct striking. He landed a head kick, but Cody got right back up. A slick hook was landed by Dillashaw dropping the champ like a sack of potatoes. Dillashaw won by knockout getting the bantamweight title for the second time. If there is no rematch here, I think the winner of Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera should be next for the title. That fight is at the next pay-per-view, UFC 219, and would line up well with their schedules. Again, if there is no rematch, Garbrandt should face the loser of that matchup because currently there is a gap between these four and the rest of the division until someone proves themself.
Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre: The first round saw a good back and forth. A takedown was attempted by GSP. From there he went 3 for 3 in takedowns, one in each round. GSP started slowing a bit as the rounds went on. When on the ground, Bisping was landing elbows from bottom. In the third, GSP connected with a big hit. He was landing a barrage of hits, but couldn't finish the fight so he baited Bisping into giving him the back and St-Pierre switches to a rear naked choke and puts Bisping to sleep. GSP became the fourth person in the UFC to hold a title in two different divisions. It's already been well stated that GSP is fighting Robert Whittaker to unify the belts and I don't plan on disagreeing. Michael Bisping, still being in the top rankings, should face Yoel Romero next.
- Mike W.
Matt Schnell vs. Marco Beltran: Marco Beltran spent the fight trying to keep the distance with kicks. Matt Schnell was controlling the center and throwing great combos. Schnell won the fight by unanimous decision. I felt it was well deserved because he took control of the fight while Beltran tried to stay to the outside and couldn’t land much.
Pearl Gonzalez vs. Poliana Botelho: Botelho made it clear early that she would win in striking distance. Gonzalez spent the fight closing the gap with lots of takedowns attempts. Gonzalez started to stall a lot against the cage and Botelho responded by dropping elbows. Botelho won by decision showing that strikes landed and damage mean more than clinch control.
Lando Vannata vs. Bobby Green: Early in the fight, there was a point taken for an illegal knee by Vannata. There was a great guillotine attempt by Vannata with an exciting scramble between the two and Green managed to get out of it. Green busted Vannata’s nose later in that round and it looked like Lando was taking a good bit of damage from Green’s strikes. Vannata was looking more active the whole fight, but Green landed more and his shots looked harder. Ends a draw.
Tom Duquesnoy vs. Cody Stamann: It started with a pretty even back and forth. Duquesnoy was displaying good striking. Stamann clearly wanted to take the fight on the mat. Stamann spent the fight pressuring takedowns, but Tom was winning in strikes landed. Stamann won by split decision.
Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham: Beneil Dariush was just dominating the first round. Dunham tried to get to the mat, but that only made it worse. Dariush won the first round, but spent the rest of the fight looking gassed. From there Dunham slowly took over. The fight ended in a majority draw with only one judge leaning in favor of one of the fighters. Statistically, Dariush should’ve won, but Dunham looked better over more rounds. Evan Dunham should face Al Iaquinta next, Al doesn’t fight often and it would be about the time he would probably want a fight and they are both brawlers.
Mara Romero Borella vs. Kalindra Faria: Mara Borella got an early takedown. From there she grinded then made quick work with a rear naked choke in the first round. It’s hard to determine who either fighter should fight next since they are essentially the first of the women’s flyweight division.
Walt Harris vs. Fabricio Werdum: I have a lot of respect for Walt getting in here against one of the best heavyweights in the world when he was unranked. Werdum put on a jiu-jitsu clinic and got an armbar in first. Cain is looking to return in January and even though it might be quick for him, This is Werdum’s best option with a title fight already scheduled and he is 0-2 against the only guy higher in the rankings.
Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg: Good scrambles in this fight highlighted how fast both of these fighters are. Borg spent time working the clinch. Johnson with good defense then took over top. Dj being dj. From the clinch, Dj threw Borg to set up into a nasty armbar submission in the 4th. Johnson became the longest reigning champ in UFC history. He says he wants the winner of Cejudo vs. Pettis next.
Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee: Tony started the fight with just defense to let Lee tire. Lee really pushed the pace in the first and Ferguson started throwing after only defending at first. Kevin Lee got a takedown, and there was a good scramble. Lee gained the full mount, He started throwing bombs but upon watching replay, he missed a decent amount. In the next round there was ground work, Tony put in an armbar and Lee managed to get out. Ferguson won with a triangle in 3rd to become the Interim Lightweight Champion. We all want to see Conor finally make a title defense against Ferguson.
- Mike W.
With this great a card, it leaves a lot to talk about. This time I'm going to give a brief rundown of every fight and say what's next for the ranked fighters.
Josh Burkman vs. Drew Dober: In this fight Dober spent a lot of time getting Burkman near the cage and working for takedowns. Then in the first, Dober delivers a nasty knockout for the win.
Eric Shelton vs. Jared Brooks: Brooks came into this fight with a ton of energy. It was enjoyable watching him move, but he wasted a lot of energy and into the third you could see it wearing on him. He was working different angles and landed a good bit even though he was being backed down. In the third round Shelton hit him with a big shot that almost dropped him, but he managed to recover. Brooks managed to pick up the win by split decision.
Kailin Curran vs. Aleksandra Albu: This fight was very entertaining and in my opinion could have gone either way. Kailin Curran was landing a lot more in this fight, but all of Albu's strikes looked heavy. Curran was doing a lot of grappling to try and negate Albu's striking, but Albu was using her muscle to her advantage and was overpowering her, getting away with sloppy takedowns. Aleksandra Albu won by unanimous decision and hopefully she can develop a defense.
Andre Fili vs. Calvin Kattar: This fight may have looked close on paper, but it was completely different watching it. The whole fight Kattar was backing Fili down. He was landing big strikes and racked up some takedowns. At the end you could tell that Fili had taken a lot of strikes and Kattar looked as if he just walked out. Kattar won by unanimous decision.
Brian Ortega vs. Renato Moicano: This fight was almost a boxing match with some kicks thrown in. This lasted most of the fight and was entertaining to watch. In the third round, Moicano tried a takedown and Ortega defended with a guillotine gaining a submission victory in the third round. With Ortega going up in the ranks and The Korean Zombie forced to pull out of this fight, we think that would be an amazing matchup. For Moicano, since he and Jason Knight both lost tonight we want to see them match up since they are now close to the same rank.
Aljamain Sterling vs. Renan Barao: In the first round Barao clearly took it. He got a takedown and stayed in control for most of the round. Into the second round, Sterling was able gain the advantage with his funky grappling. He continued it in the third and won by decision. We think next up for Sterling should be John Lineker since they are both great stand up fighters.
Ricardo Lamas vs. Jason Knight: Knight took control early with his grappling and it looked like Lamas was about to be in a bad way, but then Lamas gained enough control and he unloaded. And unloaded. I think everyone was impressed at the amount Knight was taking and staying standing. He could go high in this division with the amount of shots he can take and keep going. With almost no time left, Lamas got the TKO victory. We think Lamas should have Cub Swanson next because watching those two could be fight of the night. As we said earlier, Knight has better odds against Moicano next.
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Jimi Manuwa: Oezdemir closed this fight practically as fast as it started because he got a knockout within the first minute of the fight. We think Volkan deserves the loser of the title fight later tonight because Gustafsson should be the next contender for the title no matter what and Volkan can fight the loser to determine who goes after The Mauler. Jimi Manuwa should face Glover Texeira next.
Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone: This was an action-packed fight. All three rounds had a wonderful pace and they were back and forth. In the end, Lawler took the fight by decision. Lawler should be the next guy to fight Tyron Woodley for the title because he is the closest one other than Stephen Thompson and I don't think a trilogy fight is necessary this early. Cerrone should go up against Carlos Condit next because that would be another amazing standup fight.
Chris Cyborg vs. Tonya Evinger: This was just another example of how dominant Cyborg is. Cyborg put on a clinic and just picked apart Evinger. After three rounds, Cyborg got the TKO and became the women's featherweight champ. Cyborg said after the fight that she would like to fight Holly Holm next, but I think it'd be nonsense for it to be anyone other than Megan Anderson since she should have been in this fight tonight anyway.
Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia: Say what you want about this fight, but I think Dana White can shove it. He complained because he thought it was boring just like the fans did. Sure it was the least amount of strikes ever landed in a title fight, but it was extremely technical. Demian Maia attempted 24 takedowns and Tyron defended all 24 of them and managed to land a couple strikes after most attempts. If you ever watch wrestling at the highest level, a ton of matches are so technical that to the common on-looker that doesn't know what's happening it can seem like nothing is happening, but in fact both wrestlers aqre being so technical in everything they do because one little slip up could prove dire. I will admit it was one of the least exciting fights on the card, but for the President of the company to discredit and disrespect a fighter the way he did is pathetic. Robbie Lawler should face Tyron for the title next.
Dan Cormier vs. Jon Jones: Dan was walking Jones down for most of the fight landing big hits, but Jones was able to counter very well. Into the third round, Jones started to really take over and was able to land a head kick that dropped Cormier. From there, he hopped on him and got the TKO victory to become light heavyweight champion again. As we mentioned earlier, Alexander Gustafsson should be the next person to fight for the light heavyweight title. We also said why we think that Cormier should fight Oezdemir.
Alex Oliveira vs. Ryan LaFlare: The first honorable mention goes to Alex Oliveira. In this fight he got a vicious walk-off knockout via uppercut. For his opponent we think he should fight against Dong Hyun Kim next. Kim is the next rank above LaFlare and Oliveira isn’t ranked as of this fight.
Eryk Anders vs. Rafael Natal: The next honorable mention has to go to Eryk Anders. Anders came in on his debut and absolutely dismantled Rafael Natal. He picked up the knockout in the first round and Boetsch has to be the next guy to face him. Tim Boetsch is the guy to beat if you want to prove you belong in the middleweight rankings.
Jimi Rivera vs. Thomas Almeida: Moving on to the main card this is the first of three fights in a row that end in decision. This match was fun to watch and very back and forth the whole way. Rivera ended up winning by unanimous decision. We think Rivera should face off against Raphael Assuncao next. He called out Dillashaw and Cruz, but T.J. isn’t going to fight until Cody comes back and Cruz may not fight at all. Almeida doesn’t deserve to go down since he lost a close match to someone above him. We would like to see him fight John Dodson. Dodson is probably the smallest fighter in the division creating a huge reach advantage, but if there is someone that can overcome that it’s definitely John.
Tim Cummins vs. Gian Villante: This fight started off with a bang. Very early in the fight, the two fighters butted heads and it caused a massive gash on Cummins’ head. The rest of the fight there was a lot of blood the whole time. It started back and forth, but as time went on Cummins was just snowballing a lead through his un-ending strikes. In the end, Cummins won by split decision. Cummins should go up to fight Misha Cirkunov because the win wasn’t impressive and that is the closest guy to his rank that’s available. Villante should fight Gadzhimurad Antigulov because I believe he deserves one last chance to prove he deserves to be in the rankings.
Darren Elkins vs. Dennis Bermudez: This next fight was borderline dull. It was an extremely close fight with nothing exciting to define any round. Both guys missed about half of their strikes and almost all of their takedowns were defended. It was definitely hard fought and I congratulate both men on their effort. Elkins won this by decision. We agree that Elkins should go up to face Yair Rodriguez and Bermudez face Dooho Choi. Yair is a big jump for Elkins, but some are occupied and we think Elkins could be put to a good test here. Choi is in between these two in the rankings and since it was so close Bermudez shouldn’t go down in competition level.
Chris Weidman vs. Kelvin Gastelum: Finally at the main event we see the first finish of the main card. In the first round Chris almost got knocked out, but he revered by scrambling for a takedown and holding Gastelum on the ground. From there, Weidman started to pick up a lot of ground control time. After tiring him out Weidman went for an arm triangle and locked it in tight for a third round submission. We predict Weidman to go up and face Yoel Romero and Kelvin to face Thales Leites.
Iuri Alcantara vs. Brian Kelleher: The first fight of the night started with a good pace. Iuri was controlling the cage for most of what existed of round 1. He went in for a takedown on Brian and Kelleher countered into a guillotine and picked up a submission victory. We believe that Kelleher shouldn’t get ranked right away, but he should face more low-ranked guys and Eddie Wineland would be a good fit.
Raphael Assuncao vs Marlon Moraes: The main event of the prelims was a matchup between a UFC vet and a fighter who will definitely make a name for himself in the near future. This fight was pretty close with a lot of good back-and-forth. In the end Assuncao won by split decision and it was hard fought. It could have gone either way and Moraes should still be recognized for that. We think Assuncao should fight Dominick Cruz next because he is one above Assuncao and he hasn’t been scheduled a fight in a while. Moraes should fight Caraway next because he should fight someone a couple ranks down to get his footing and come back up to top five after a win.
Erick Silva vs. Yancy Medeiros: This fight had an interesting end to it. Yancy hit Erick with a punch that knocked him flat on his ass and if the ref called it right away that would make sense, but the ref waited. Then he called it about 15 seconds later when Silva was actually working to get off of his back and seemed active. I don’t disagree with the call, but there was bad timing to it. We believe that Medeiros should fight Leon Edwards next. It will help Yancy work his way onto the rankings.
Paulo Borrachinha vs. Oluwale Bamgbose: This fight was extremely entertaining in the first round with Oluwale going everywhere. Towards the end of the round he got gassed and the pace of the fight slowed dramatically. In the second round Oluwale was trying to go back to his ways and threw a kick so hard it knocked his other leg out from under him. Paulo was able to stack him up in a weird way and win via TKO.
Vitor Belfort vs. Nate Marquardt: This fight had a slow pace to it compared to the other fights tonight and it was back-and-forth. Nothing too electrifying happened and they both had their moments of control. In the end Vitor landed more shots and was able to damage Nate a bit more so he won by decision. We thought Vitor was going to retire, but he turned around and said he has five more fights left so we would like him to fight Ryan LaFlare since he is around the same rank.
Claudia Gadelha vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz: The co-main event was between two of the best strawweights. This fight didn’t leave the first round and stayed standing most of it. Claudia soon got Karolina down and worked until she got a submission victory. As we stated before we think Rose should be the next to fight for the title and Claudia should go next after that. Since the title fight hasn’t been scheduled yet we want to see Claudia go against Andrade until her time comes and for Karolina to fight Tecia Torres. The first fight should be a great all-around match and the second would be a standup war that could last a few rounds.
Jose Aldo vs. Max Holloway: The main event saw a change of hands of the featherweight title. This fight lasted three rounds before Max got the finish. Jose was trying to work his usual plan of keeping his distance and working shots while keeping his opponent away, but Max was able to play that game too. Max was able to let Jose have his distance and still land his own shots. In the third Max got a knockdown and just worked the ground-and-pound until the ref called it. We believe Frankie should get the shot instead of a rematch and we aren’t sure where Jose goes after this because he said he only wants high profile fights.
James Vick vs. Polo Reyes: This is the first fight in the honorable mentions. It was an entertaining fight card all night and this was a perfect way to kick it off. These two had a good back and forth through the first and as we expected, James Vick was able to use his size to his advantage. This fight came to a dramatic end when Vick landed a pair of shots to the side of Reyes' head and dropped him like a brick. We want to put James Vick in at #15 for our rankings and have him fight Evan Dunham next. Those two would be an all out war and close to each other around the ranks.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier: This next fight was the main event of the prelims and ended way too early. These two were going at it and looked like it could have been fight of the night. Dustin was on pace to win this match if it ended by decision. However, in the second round Eddie had Dustin clinched against the cage and while Poirier had a hand on the mat Eddie landed a knee to the head. Now this would be illegal in the old rules, but legal in the new ones and Texas has not adopted the new rules So in this incident it was illegal. Herb Dean, the referee, did not take any action because he forgot he was supposed to be reffing by the new rules. One knee would have been forgivable, but Eddie dropped another and after these two caused Poirier to cripple to his hands and knees, he sends a third. Herb Dean finally takes charge and steps in because the third was illegal in both set of rules. From here the doctors immediately come in and shortly after between the doctors and Dustin himself, declare he is no longer capable to fight. From here we see Herb Dean discussing the matter and say that he plans on calling it a no contest instead of a disqualification because he believes that Eddie didn't see Poirier's hand or knee placement and that they were accidentally illegal. So the fight ended via no contest and it's a no brainer that we want a rematch. I have two big problems with what happened in this fight. First of all, there needs to be something done about these rules, both the fighters and referees have had problems remembering whether or not they are following the new rules and it changes almost every single event. There needs to be some kind of push to get everyone on board or start cutting out the places that refuse. We can't keep having fights like this and fighters like Dustin taking that kind of damage because nobody wants to do anything about setting a standard. The next that bothers me is this fight should have been a disqualification. If it was just the first or second knee then ok I would not have minded because under the new rules they would have been legal. BUT, this third knee was illegal no matter which rule-set is used, with how much of Eddie's weight was against Poirier I refuse to believe he couldn't feel him slump to the ground, and I feel that referees have zero right to declare they know what is going on in someone else's head.
Krzysztov Jotko vs. David Branch: This fight may have been the worst fight on the card. The problem was David Branch had a lot of stalling. By the numbers this was a very close and active fight, but there were a lot of times where Branch would get the clinch and instead of working anything he would hold the cage with both hands and amazingly the ref let him do it. Jotko was noticeably bewildered by Branch's clear efforts to coast by and rack up control time while the ref made no effort to correct him. This fight ended in split decision in favor of David Branch and while I feel bad for the situation, Jotko could have done more to avoid the judge's decision. For that we have him going down a couple ranks and at the time we are looking for David Branch's proper place in the division.
Frankie Edgar vs. Yair Rodriguez: This next fight was a clinic for as long as it lasted. There was belief that Yair could come in and tear Frankie up, but Frankie proved just the opposite. Edgar took Rodriguez to the ground rather quickly in the first and just pummeled him. In between rounds doctors came in to assess the damage Yair had sustained on his left eye. He had massive swelling under his eye and seemed as if he could not see. Things happened rather quickly here, with things being said and actions being taken without, in my opinion, a full assessment of the whole event. Yair made two claims that could be heard clearly through the tv which where him feeling like something is pressed against his eye and the other being that he can still see. Without waiting for, just about anything really, the referee immediately called off the fight upon hearing the first statement. Given the evidence the tv audience had to work with I don't completely disagree with his decision, but I feel it was too quick. There was practically no time given to assess the validity of Yair's claim to still see. I believe the doctors should have been allowed to test it and if they proved it had merit, then a different outcome should have been achieved. Another issue discussed was the possible liability of allowing him to fight if there really was bone damage. I found a copy of the bill that New York passed when allowing MMA in their state and it is very close to other state commission's. Paraphrased, it says the referee holds sole responsibility for anything that happens in the fight and they can only be found negligent if any injury obtained is directly the result of the referee "breaching his duty to the injured fighter." In this situation I believe that it is very likely that nothing could be held against the referee if he decided to allow Yair to fight due to his claims of being able to see. We agreed that Edgar should move on to fight the winner of Aldo vs. Holloway and Yair should go against Cub Swanson. As much as he seems to fumble with these opportunities, Edgar should still be in place for a title shot and seeing Yair fight Cub could provide a fight of the night for any card that it's on.
Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal: This fight was almost exactly like we predicted. Demian Maia spent most of the fight grappling and saw a lot of success with it. In the first round he managed backpack position and was there for several minutes while Jorge was becoming noticeably gassed. In the second there were a lot of missed shots by Maia and it became apparent that was all he was concerned with. This is where Masvidal started to come back because there was a lot of openings for him to land. In the third Maia was able to gain another takedown and kept control for most of the round. Demian Maia gained a win here by decision and proved he is one step closer to fighting for the title. After the match he went to Dana and told him to book the Champ next, to which Dana responded he would oblige so Demian Maia is going to fight Tyron next for the welterweight title, Jorge Masvidal should go up against Carlos Condit next. His last fight was also a loss to Maia and to see these two go at it would not only be exciting, but show who deserves to be in the top 5 more and who may be one of the next in line for a title.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Andrade: In the co-main Jessica Andrade took an early lead. The judges scored round one in favor of Joanna, but I disagree. Andrade landed two takedowns, really pushed the pace and gathered a good amount of control time. From there Joanna really turned it on. Even though she continued her backward progression, she managed to duck a lot of shots while piling a bunch of her own combos. Andrade kept trying to close the distance, but she messed up by getting too close. Once she initiated the clinch she spent too much time working takedowns that weren't coming and taking too much damage with no payoff. Jedrzejczyk took this win by unanimous decision and this puts her one defense away from tying Ronda Rousey's record for women's title defenses. Joanna is starting to look unstoppable at this point and we think her best matchup will come with whoever wins the fight coming up between Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Both women have already fought her, but they are at the top of the weight class and maybe one of them can see something nobody else does. For Jessica Andrade we think that Rose Namajunas would be the right fight. Both fighters are good strikers and it would be entertaining to see who should be above the other in the rankings.
Stipe Miocic vs. Junior Dos Santos: This final fight of the night showed Stipe Miocic plowing through another tough heavyweight veteran. This fight was over rather quickly with Stipe getting a definitive TKO for his second title defense. This puts him in position to become the first UFC heavyweight to defend the title three times in a row. Five other heavyweights have successfully defended it twice, but Stipe may become the first to defend it three times. We want to see him go up against Francis Ngannou next. Many people want to see Cain fight next and we disagree because he isn't healthy yet. Stipe took almost no damage and could come back as soon as he wanted where he would have to wait for Cain to be 100% before even all the time it would take for the fight camp. Ngannou is ready and he is a monster. He could take Stipe a while and these two may give the heavyweight division a fight it hasn't seen in a long time. We would however like to see Cain fight Junior. Junior has been asking to keep his fights with Cain going due to the draw it brings the division and has already said he would wait for him. We believe these would be what's best for the division.
Ortiz vs. Moreno: The UFC agrees that this deserves to be one of the noted fights because it was awarded a performance of the night bonus. In the fight, they were pretty even with strikes, but Ortiz gained a good amount of ground control. In the second round, Moreno landed a shot that looked like it knocked Ortiz out, but the ref didn’t call it so Moreno took top position and looked to finish. He tried some strikes then moved to Ortiz’s back and got a deep rear naked choke for the win. For Moreno, we would like to see him face Ray Borg next.
Leites vs. Alvey: This fight is the second noted because it was the main event for the prelims and both fighters are ranked. An early leg kick messed up Alvey’s ankle and you could tell it affected him the whole fight. Leites got a key takedown in the second round and got enough control time to get the round win. In a lot of the third round Leites changed his whole demeanor and almost ran away the whole time. He kept backing up the whole round and would only stop to land a couple strikes and then back to backing up he went. Alvey should face Oluwale Bamgbose next because Alvey is a low rank and should switch to an unranked fighter next. Also, these two together would be a wonderful fight to watch. Leites should fight Uriah Hall next. Hall has been having it rough recently and they are about the same rank.
Perry vs. Ellenberger: Right off the bell Ellenberger got a clean double leg takedown, but was unable to keep Perry down. From there it was close until the second round. In the second, Perry landed an elbow that destroyed Ellenberger. Ellenberger was unable to stand for the official decision and it was reported he was carried out on a stretcher so we wish him a speedy recovery. We think Mike Perry should face Santiago Ponzinibbio next. He has won four in a row and is a KO freak. These two would be an explosive match.
Lauzon vs. Ray: In the first-round Joe Lauzon was putting on an absolute clinic, he could not be touched and did everything perfect except one thing. Going into the second Stevie Ray dominated because Lauzon gassed himself and was unable to do anything. Towards the end of that round Joe started to come back. In the third round, it was practically all Ray again and he picked up a decision win because of it. We agree that Ray should face Bobby Green. Regardless of his last fight, Green is a ranked-type fighter and he and Ray both should both start getting fights that will put their name in the hat.
Dodson vs. Wineland: I will tell you right off the bat that John Dodson won this by decision. No disrespect to Eddie Wineland because he did well, but Dodson was just way too fast for him to keep up with. Wineland attempted about 40 more strikes than Dodson and only landed less than half of what Dodson did. With that being said, we want Dodson to go against Jimi Rivera. Dodson deserves to move up a bit even though Wineland is ranked under him and Rivera is a perfect stepping stone to see where Dodson’s place is in this division.
St. Preux vs. De Lima: In this fight, De Lima spent a lot of time trying to check kick and maintain his distance sweet spot against Ovince St. Preux. In the second round, St. Preux took this fight to the ground and did very well with ground and pound. Then he won by submission via a Von Flue choke. Not only is it the first time I have ever seen it, but he is the first man to win with that twice in MMA history. Dana needs to resign OSP because that was the last fight in his contract and if he does he should fight Shogun Rua. They are close to the same rank and it would be a spectacular match no matter where it would go.
Sanchez vs. Iaquinta: In the co-main Diego Sanchez met an untimely end. In less than two minutes Iaquinta hit Sanchez with two separate knockdowns and the second-time Sanchez just crippled. Unfortunately, Iaquinta did not get a performance bonus which I believe to be deserved. Al doesn’t fight much because he isn’t getting paid what he would like to, but whenever he fights again I want him to fight Beneil Dariush.
Swanson vs. Lobov: Lobov took the first round with more strikes, a takedown and some ground control time. We were all surprised that Lobov took Swanson even though he only won the first round. Rounds two to five Swanson just took over. He landed more, got takedowns where Lobov did not and just overall looked better. Swanson won by decision and he should move on to Ricardo Lamas. Lamas is top 3 and that is where Swanson is looking to be, plus these two would easily get a fight of the night.
Smolka vs. Elliott: This fight was the first on the prelims and one of the most exciting fights on the card. In the first round Elliott got a takedown right away. After a bit of time Smolka managed to get up and Elliott dropped big knees. There was a lot of good scrambling between these two fighters throughout the match. There were also a bunch of submission attempts with Smolka working his way out of a rear naked choke and later reversing Elliott's full mount into an ankle lock. Elliott eventually won by decision with 12 takedowns and more than double the amount of strikes landed. For who to fight next, we see Elliott getting matched up with Jussier Formiga. We had other flyweights in mind around Formiga's rank, but they are all fighting soon.
Williams vs. Duquesnoy: Anybody who saw this fight knows why it's in tonight's honorable mentions. Tom Duquesnoy was constantly walking Patrick Williams down and got him gassed in the first. Williams was showing it with his hands on his knees and deep breaths when he had the chance. With the clock dwindling, Tom gets him against the cage and hits him with a shot that I think would have ended the fight if the round didn't finish at the same time. Into the second, Duquesnoy hits him again and Williams just drops like a sack of potatoes. There is a lot of hype behind this kid and people will probably want him to jump into the rankings. Here we believe that the level in and out of the rankings are very separate in most cases and we believe he should take Rob Font to prove he should start working his way up the rankings.
Stephens vs. Moicano: In this fight Jeremy Stephens kept center control and Moicano was constantly moving around. Moicano racked up a pair of takedowns even though both fighters remained very close. Renato Moicano pulled the upset victory by decision. Since an unranked fighter beat the #5 featherweight we think he should fight Anthony Pettis next. Pettis has been struggling a lot and Moicano would prove it wasn't a fluke if he beats him.
Souza vs. Whittaker: These two fighters looked pretty even in the first round. In the second, Whittaker got a big knock down and almost finished him, but Jacare recovered. Soon after Whittaker got another knock down and this time finished it with a TKO victory giving Souza only his second loss in over a dozen fights. Matt and I agree that Robert Whittaker should face Yoel Romero first if he is open. There are talks of Yoel stepping into the title fight if GSP backs out and if that hapens then we want to see Whittaker face Gegard Mousasi. We believe Jacare should face Rockhold next because he is the only one left around these guys and we think Jacare would dominate anybody below Anderson Silva.
Namajunas vs. Waterson: In the co-main event we saw two insane strawweights go at it. Early in the fight there was a good throw by Michelle Waterson. Rose got a takedown in the first and spent a lot of time on top and landed heavy shots. Into the second round Rose landed a massive kick right to the chin of Waterson and didn't get the knockout, but soon after finished with a brutal rear naked choke. We think Rose should be the next one to fight for the title with this win and we think Tecia Torres would be a good match up for Michelle Waterson.
Johnson vs. Reis: This title fight was absolutely one-sided. Johnson had a near-perfect defense avoiding 158 of Reis' attempted 170 strikes. Mighty Mouse was able to get multiple takedowns throughout the match and he ended it with an armbar the likes of which we have not seen in a long time. This tied DJ for most title defenses in UFC History. For Wilson Reis we want Ray Borg who is right under him in the rankings and on a hot streak. For Demetrious it may not even matter at this point, but we would love to see a super-fight with the bantamweight champ.