On a night that was built up to be comprised of UFC debuts, grudge matches and the famous UFC moniker “most anticipated fight at 205 ever” we were instead subjected to questionable officiated, crazy injuries and a plethora of eye pokes. Yes, debuts from Sara McMann and Pat “Bam Bam” Healy were great but the entire card just hand a weird feeling to it. Lets take a look back at the main card and see just what lays ahead.
Pat Healy Vs Jim Miller
Pat Healy submitting Jim Miller started off the event and this was perhaps the best fight of the night as it was awarded Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night. Jim looked great in round one but seemed to run out of gas in the next two rounds and this is where the man that has waited 6 years to get back in the UFC took over. If you look at the career of Healy he tends to do his work in the later rounds and just never seemed tired last night and late in the third put Jim to sleep via RNC.
Healy: For a man that has not lost in almost two years and riding a 7 fight win streak I see this win over a very tough Jim Miller putting him near the 10-13 ranking in the Lightweight Division. I see a match up with Rafael dos Anjos or Khabib Nurmagomedov on the horizon.
Miller: Jim put on a great round 1 and start of 2 but this loss drops him to 3-3 in his last 6 and with the infusion of talent in this division it could be hard to get back to the title picture he was in back in 2011. Make no mistake he is in no threat of losing his job as this was fight of the night and his fight with Joe Lauzon was Fight of the Year but Jim needs to start stringing the wins together soon.
Phil Davis Vs Vinny Magalhaes
#8 Phil Davis defeating Vinny Magalhaes was next on the docket and this one had great fight written all over it. Vinny was very good on TUF and Phil has been an exciting fighter for years. Add in the trash talk from Vinny and we should have seen some fireworks. Instead we watched “Mr. Wonderful” put his left jab in Vinny’s face for 3 rounds. Vinny, known for his impressive BJJ had a close call in the 2nd round with Phil on the ground but the former Penn St wrestling standout was able to get to his feet and continue his boxing clinic.
Davis: This fight really showed growth in Davis’s game and although the fans in New Jersey didn’t seem to like it, I thought it was something special as this amazing wrestler is now expanding his game. I think this fight moves him up to around #7 or #6 (Rashad drops down) and could line him up for a battle with Shogun or Gegard Mousasi who has been getting a lot of hype lately.
Magalhaes: This fight may not hurt the former TUF (Mir vs Nog) finalist as much as one may think. He was riding a 6 fight win streak and this was a huge step up in competition since defeating Igor Pokrajac at UFC 152. This should act as a learning tool for what Vinny must do to crack the top 12 in the division. I do see his next fight vs someone not yet in the division or UFC.
Roy Nelson Vs Cheick Kongo
#6 Roy Nelson KO’ing Cheick Kongo served as the wake up call for the crowd. If memory serves me correct Roy only threw 3 punches: a jab, the knockout overhand right and the punch to end it on the ground. There may have been some distance feeling jabs but this was a display of just how hard Roy hits. He got a nice bonus for Knockout of the Night. He has finished his last 3 fights by KO or TKO and is on the path to a title shot as he said after the fight.
Nelson: At the post fight press conference UFC President stated that Roy will face Daniel Cormier if he stays at HW (rumor of drop to 20 to face Bones) or Mark Hunt in his next fight. A win over either could set up a potential rematch vs Dos Santos or a fight with Overeem or Big Foot as well. I never thought I would type this but the sky is the limit right now for Nelson, something Dana White never saw coming when he put him on TUF.
Kongo: This one hurts the Frenchmen as he is now 37 and is 1-2 in his last 3 and the win over Shawn Jordan wasn’t very impressive. He is outside of the top 10 and seems to be slowing down a step. Hopefully this fan favorite can right the ship and get some wins soon.
Michael Bisping Vs Alan Belcher
#4 Michael Bisping defeats #10 Alan Belcher and this one was of those weird fights we saw all to much of last night. So much build up with bets, cars, watches and tattoos led people to think this would be a war and it let us down. First Belcher comes to the cage with his ankles tapped and signed yet the ref cage side tells him to cut them off. That is the first time I have ever seen that and I wonder if that changed some part of the game plan for Belcher who looked timid all night and never really attacked Bisping. Then late in the 3rd round Bisping accidentally hits Belcher with a finger to the eye (that just had surgery) to the extent the fight is stopped and Alan’s eye is bleeding. Now this didn’t change the outcome because Bisping dominated the fight all night and landed what seemed like a billion punches to which Alan just smiled and would return 1 for every 5 he ate. Either way we hope Alan is ok and hope to see him back in the cage.
Bisping: He put on a clinic tonight and should be nearing a title shot with this win. I do see him being the next fight for the winner of Luke Rockhold vs Vitor Belfort. He could also face Yushin Okami. Very interesting to see what the UFC does with him as he always puts on a good show and lead up to fight.
Belcher: First off I just hope he is ok. Coming back from surgery only to have that happen is scary. Now on to the fight I am not sure what that game plan was but it was awful, he is a much better fighter than that and didn’t look to take the fight to the ground once. This will drop him out of the top 10 and with all the weight switching that goes on in that division who knows whats next. I just hope he is ok.
Jon Jones Vs Chael Sonnen
#1 Jon Jones (LHW Champion) finishes Chael Sonnen and thankfully so because if that rounded had ended the doctors would have stopped the fight and Chael would be our new Light Heavyweight Champion. The break of Jon’s left big toes was gruesome and came when he was pushing Chael vs cage (shown at the very end of PPV nice job UFC video staff) but Jon’s adrenaline kept him going and he was able to get the finish. This fight was a typical Sonnen fight as the build up by him was epic but he was out classed from the very get go. Jon out wrestled (as he put it “Out Chael’d Chael”) him and beat him in every aspect except perhaps the clinch. This was a display of just how versatile Jones is and give Chael credit he took some shots and yeah I do think the fight stopped early but Chael wouldn’t have made it another 23 second, Jon was sending “Hellbows” in and Chael wasn’t defending. Congrats to the champ after going through all the mess of the past year and putting on a great show. Hopefully this helps people move on from his slip-ups and make them focus on the fighter.
Jones: Will he go Heavyweight or face Anderson Silva? @UFC reported that Dana got a phone call from Anderson after fight saying he wants a super fight but Dana wouldn’t say if it was GSP or Bones. Jones is done for the year (assumption) with that toe break but he has cleaned out 205 with the exception of Glover and Gustafsson so the time off isn’t a bad thing. It shouldn’t affect him that much and I am praying to all the gods that the Silva fight is next, so many story lines in that one and I am going to stop myself there because that is a dream fight.
Sonnen: Cruz, Henderson, Aldo, Johnson maybe Cain who knows which Champion Chael will call out next haha. He is still #9 in the Middleweight Division and this fight doesn’t really affect any rankings for him as he can sell any fight. His post fight comments were humble and perhaps hinted at retirement in which he would be amazing in the WWE, but I think we will see him back in the cage for sure. I would love to see him fight Rockhold but I don’t see that happening.
After sleeping on this PPV I woke up with the same feeling like it had a weird feeling like trying to run on ice, yeah sure you get a couple steps but it feels awkward and never really hit it’s stride. Hopefully the next show UFC on FX: Belfort vs Rockhold from Brazil on May 18th then a week later UFC 160: Cain vs Big Foot 2!!!