Brandon Vera picked up his first UFC win in over two years, but it came at a high price. Vera has a suspected broken arm after picking up a unanimous decision victory over Eliot Marshall in a bout that he controlled for the first two rounds, but almost lost in the third. The last round could very easily have been a 10-8 for Marshall, and Vera might be counting his lucky stars that he earned the victory.
Vera alternated between some good striking and grinding control against the cage for 10 minutes, but got dropped by solid shot early in the third. Marshall took his time, but ended up taking his back and coming close to sinking in a choke, before he transitioned to a beautiful armbar. It appears that Vera's arm popped, but he didn't tap and rode out the fight to get the W. The final scores were 29-28, 29-28, 29-28. The light heavyweight bout was the fourth fight on the UFC 137 preliminary card, and aired live on Facebook. It was also shown on the Spike TV broadcast.
What was the high spot of this fight?
Marshall's huge shot that dropped Vera, or the armbar that almost ended Vera's night. It's not often that the top two highlights of a fight were from the guy that actually lost.
Where do these guys go from here?
Vera has brought his UFC career back from the dead successfully, but it definitely wasn't the defining victory he was looking for. He was a huge favorite in terms of betting odds, and he didn't live up to expectations. It will be interesting to see what direction the UFC takes when it comes to booking Vera next. Will he get a top guy? Or another marginal UFC fighter?
I thought the loser of this bout was just about guaranteed to get released, but Marshall might have saved his job with that dominant third round. It certainly wouldn't surprise me if he got released because his style is generally not fan-friendly, but if he has earned another fight, a bout with someone like Fabio Maldonado would probably work. Light heavyweight has very few bottom-tier guys, so it's going to be tough for him no matter what.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Later and only for the third round if you do that. The first two rounds were nothing special, but the third was very interesting. Was it a 10-8 round to you? Because I thought it should have been.
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