First off WHAT A NIGHT! That card lived up to the motto we hear all too much from Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg as it is the “most anticipated card/fight of the year”. This card had a little of everything and what an ending! So let’s take a look back and see what it all means in the long run.
#7 Dustin Poirier defeats #10 Erik Koch via decision
I had a feeling that if this one didn’t end in the first that it would go to decision and it went just that was but that first round was CRAZY. First Koch has Dustin locked up in a triangle then Dustin all most ends it via d’arce choke. But both fighters showed why they could be the future of the Featherweight Division and are heavy fan favorites.
What happens next?
Poirier: Well he called out Cub Swanson saying he could beat him with a full camp at the post fight scrum but I don’t see that happening right now as I think Cub will face Frankie Edgar. For Dustin I could see a rematch with the Korean Zombie which was Fight of the Year. This division is so stacked with talent it is tough to read. Ricardo Lamas could also be an option.
Koch: This loss doesn’t really hurt him that badly because he fought hard it was just Dustin’s nights. I see him facing Clay Guida or Dennis Siver in the future because he is a fan favorite and he didn’t do anything to hurt that rep. He does need to work on his standup defense though.
Ben Rothwell defeats Brandon Vera via TKO
Ok right off the bat I want to state I am a Vera fan with him being a local guy and all but he needs to stay around 205. He jumps divisions too much and Heavyweight is not for him I don’t care what his camp says. He hit Rothwell with some bombs and Rothwell ate them and kept coming and he isn’t even a top ten guy. Granted Rothwell is an animal but Vera isn’t made for HW. When Ben decided to end the fight he did just that and bull charged Vera and landed true heavyweight bombs.
What happens next?
Rothwell: Well he made no bones about it he wants Travis Browne and while I like the idea of that fight and it may well happen I don’t see it. Travis is a top 5 guy according to the rankings (ufc.com/rankings) and Ben’s win may put him around 11 or 10. I could see a fight with Reem, Stipe Miocic or the new gatekeeper of the top 10 Frank Mir in his future.
Vera: He needs to make up his mind on what weight he thinks he can make a move in. But Joe Silva may have made a decision last night and I don’t see Brandon in the UFC anymore. He has won 1 fight since 2009, yes injuries and the NC (loss) to Thiago Silva make that state look bad but that is because it is. I see him in Bellator by the end of Sept or retired (he is 35).
#1 Chad Mendes defeats #9 Clay Guida via TKO (Knockout of Night)
One sided, domination and just brutal are just some ways to describe this fight. Chad showed why he is the #1 contender in the Featherweight Division. He easily moved out of Clay’s range and just did what he has done to everyone his entire career minus a vicious knee by the champ Jose Aldo. To me this fight didn’t make sense I would have liked to see Lamas and Mendes go at it, Clay has been on the decline since his loss to Bendo back in 2011 and how he got this fight baffled me.
What happens next?
Mendes: Let’s be honest here, he has get a title shot vs Aldo or face Lamas for a true #1 contender elimination match. Facing guys at the bottom of the top ten makes no sense anymore.
Guida: He is now in a situation where he has lost 3 out of last 4 and may be fighting for his job in his next bout. The UFC will keep him around for one more due to fan appeal but time is running out. Maybe a fight with Erik Koch (stretching it) or maybe a Darren Elkins. Who knows, but he better win.
#10 Josh Barnett defeats #6 Frank Mir via TKO
This fight was awesome! Reminded me of Ken Shamrock and Don Frye going punch for punch in the clinch in PRIDE! I knew this fight would never stay on the ground and these two would go Rock Em Sock Em robots for one round and someone was going to sleep. Some argue that it was a quick stoppage when Frank fell motionless to the matt from the vicious knee landed in the clinch from Barnett but to me it was fine. Frank fell like a downed enemy in Gears of War, rag doll style. Yeah he got back up but then lights went out and I would rather have it stopped there than him take a barrage of bombs from Josh. It was over.
What happens next?
Barnett: He’s baaaack! The heavyweight Chael Sonnen has returned to the UFC and taken out one of its faces of the HW division. At 35 years old I could see him getting a push towards big fights because let’s be honest time is running out and he puts butts in seats. I could see him facing off with Bigfoot or Browne next up as this win over a really over ranked Mir (#5) should be a spring board.
Mir: He is an awesome guy to like and a good fighter but I haven’t seen anything out of him in years. He broke a blind and old Big Nog and it was impressive but really what else? He has lost 3 straight, granted to top tier guys but a loss is loss and I said it before I see Mir as a gate keeper at HW for the top 10. He won’t return to the title picture unless he steps in for someone but he won’t crack top 5 again. With the decline of Reem maybe they faceoff in a WWE style loser leaves town match or Pat Barry but it won’t be a top guy.
Anthony Pettis submits Benson Henderson via Armbar (Submission of Night)
AND NEEEEWWWWW Lightweight Champion! This was an amazing fight and had some crazy techniques like the front kick vs the cage to the knee and calf. It was nuts and Showtime almost cost himself a win going for a flashy kick and ended up with Bendo on top of him. But that led to one of the craziest armbars I have ever seen. Pettis actually used Henderson’s other arm for the level of the armbar and caused the verbal tap because Bendo was popping his own elbow….nuts! Roufus Sports is making a move to take over the world of MMA. Sergio (Anthony’s younger brother) is the champ in the RFA and they have Mike Rhodes who is making some moves as well. Don’t sleep on the team Duke Roufus is putting together there in Milwaukee.
What happens next?
Henderson: That is a tough loss but it seems that Showtime has his number, can he beat him? We will see soon because I don’t expect Bendo to be out of the title picture for long. This loss will drop him somewhere between #4-#6 . I would love to see him face Josh Thomson, Rafael dos Anjos or Gilbert Melendez.
Pettis: This is the toughest one of think about. He suffered an injury to his healthy knee (if you didn’t know he went into last night hurt) and was limping around the post fight conference. We all saw him call out Jose Aldo and I have a problem with this for 2 reasons:
If his knees are both injured Jose will break him with those baseball bat type leg kicks and could really hurt his career. I know he will have time to heal before that but like RG3 in the NFL and anyone else that has hurt or torn knee ligaments they take a long time to heal and even if you’re not in pain there is still damage.
- If they fight for a title it has to be Anthony’s as Showtime as already said he has no desire to fight at Featherweight. Let’s Pettis wins now we have a champ that doesn’t want to fight at that weight and that makes no sense.
- Let’s keep Pettis in his division and give TJ Grant the shot he has been promised as well as Ricardo Lamas the fight with Aldo he has been waiting for.
There you go fight fans! Next up with see the #1 man in the game Jon Jones go to work as he faces a very dangerous Alex Gustafsson at UFC 165 but before that we get UFC Fight Night 28 as Glover Teixeira takes on Ryan Bader. Great month of fights in September!