It's happened again, fighting has occurred and, like a sloth to a flames game, I was unable to pull my attention from it. But now the fights are over, I've had a chance to reflect (and sober up) and several points of interest have floated to the surface. As always there was a lot to learn, especially from a night of fights as exciting as this one. And don't forget my upfront disclaimer: In a race between a rock and a pig, don't varnish your clams... Essentially, I'm as bad at gambling as I am at metaphors so read on and be wary.
- Tristar tends to teach fighters how to win fights with the skills and talents they already possess, it's what makes them such a generally successful camp. They use the tools their fighters already have and make them better.
- Welterweight and featherweight are getting the best, most complete prospects in MMA right now. Garcia is one of a whole run of really exciting 170 lb fighters
- Wall was a fun, but entirely overwhelmed fill-in fighter here. He deserves another shot for stepping in on short notice and I'm glad he got the opportunity, but he's exactly the kind of fighter that should be in and out of the UFC.
- I was unimpressed with Jotko going into this fight, and still am, but he has an incredible gas tank at 185 and, coupled with his youth, that is somewhat promising.
- At 5' 9", Bruno Santos is probably fighting a division too high for his kind of game, but with his build I don't see how he could possibly drop. I guess, if Lombard can do it...
- I really wish that the judges gave more weight to submission attempts. Santos produced a lot more on the ground than Jotko, but got nothing for it.
Bout 3 - Flyweights: Justin Scoggins vs. Richie Vaculik (I picked Scoggins, I was right)
- Vaculik was tailor made for Scoggins to show off against, and Scoggins one-upped himself by using the opportunity to showcase his grappling.
- I still want to see Scoggins in there with a better class of opponent, but I'm far less concerned about problems with his style translating from the regional circuit to the UFC.
- Vaculik, like Wall, was a great showcase opponent. He's interesting, draws a lot of fans in Australia and generally has very little business in the UFC.
Bout 4 - Middleweights: Caio Magalhaes vs. Nick Ring (I picked Ring, I was wrong)
- This fight was going as expected until Ring blew out his ACL, completely changed the fight.
- It's important to remember that Magalhaes is only 25 and has just 8 fights to his career. He's got heart, size and some raw tools. He could still develop.
- Nick Ring's career has been filled with long layoffs (at least some due to injury). This isn't his first knee injury and I wouldn't be surprised if it was the last fight of his career.
Bout 5 - Bantamweights: Takeya Mizugaki vs. Nam Phan (I picked Mizugaki, I was right)
- Mizugaki has really hit his career peak. It's come with a slightly lower level of competition as well, but this year has been the best version of him I've ever seen.
- Phan deserves another fight in the UFC. He's the fighter that the UFC thought it had in Leonard Garcia, but is much more competitive and deserving of the leeway that Garcia got.
- Mizugaki's lack of power probably means that he'll never make another title run, but he's got all the other tools in a division that is currently short on new challengers.
Bout 6 - Women Bantamweights: Bethe Correia vs. Julie Kedzie (I picked Kedzie, I was wrong)
- I had a pretty good idea going in to this fight, that Kedzie was likely to lose it. Still, sorry to see the fight go against her.
- Correia has improved her boxing vastly since the last time she fought. She's not young, but she's only been fighting for one year, so those strides are exactly the ones she should be making.
- I hope Invicta is rushing to put Kedzie back into the booth. Tate was a very, very poor substitute.
Bout 7 - Middleweights: Dylan Andrews vs. Clint Hester (I picked Hester, I was right)
- I was really hoping to see an improved version of Clint Hester for this fight. I don't feel like I got it and that takes a bit of the shine off his win.
- There is a reason that proper punching technique is taught and why it is especially important on hooks. Andrews found out pretty precisely what that reason is.
- Watching these guys fight at middleweight it's clear that they could both be at 205, but have no reason to go up in weight.
Bout 8 - Heavyweights: Pat Barry vs. Soa Palelei (I picked Palelei, I was right)
- Pat Barry is utterly untrustworthy as a fighter. I don't think there's one fighter in the UFC's Heavyweight division that I would comfortably pick him to beat. That includes Krylov.
- Soa Palelei, much to his nickname, really is gigantic and it gives him some natural advantages that few fighters can replicate. His arms are basically an extra set of legs for most people.
- Watching Pat Barry, an undersized HW fighting a giant, go for a jumping knee as takedown defense and a straight armbar/kimura as grappling defense showed a fighter who has obviously trained the wrong techniques for his style and division.
Bout 9 - Light Heavyweights: Ryan Bader vs. Anthony Perosh (I picked Bader, I was right)
- Ryan Bader is essentially LHW's Mark Munoz. He's capable of losing to anyone in the upper half of his division, but he's also capable of putting on some of the most dominant performances possible.
- Perosh has all kinds of guts and grit, but if he's not ready to think about retiring I hope someone he trusts is in his ear swaying him to the idea.
- Bader does look improved, really a lot. But his striking defense is still miserable and he got clipped almost every time Perosh came foreward.
Bout 10 - Light Heavyweights: Mauricio Rua vs. James Te Huna (I picked Te Huna, I was wrong)
- Rua looked like he was in the best shape I've seen him in for years. He looked fit and mean and technical... I hope he comes back clean too.
- That fight was a clear display of the difference between the top and bottom of the LHW division. Even though it only lasted a minute Shogun made it clear that he had that fight in every area it could possibly go.
- There aren't a lot of fights out there for either of these guys right now, and it seems exceptionally difficult to see what the next move for them should be. Shogun's fought most of the top 205ers and TeHuna has fought most of the bottom ones.
Bout 11 - Heavyweights: Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva (I picked Hunt, I was wrong-ish)
- Bigfoot keeps being an enigma to me. His striking is improving, but he still seems to have this ability to suddenly fall into danger and against the very best fighters he can't overcome it.
- I don't want to say I was surprised by Hunt, because the way he fights isn't very surprising. But his willingness shoot for takedowns and to create grappling exchanges and scrambles show the kind of devotion he has to the sport.
- I hope that fight is never rematched in any shape or form. It was one moment of fighting magic that I don't think could ever be recaptured and to try would be to diminish the original product.
That's everything there was to tell about a pretty spectacular night of fights. Or at least that's everything I could fit in a readable article format. Much of it seems obvious now, but, as is so often the case, that's the benefit of hindsight.
- Jared Rosholt faces the debuting Oleksiy Oliynik at UFC on Fox 10
- Dana White and Australian sports writer go back and forth
- Dana White & UFC fans vs. Australian critic
- Invicta FC 7: Honchak vs Smith - Complete Broadcast
- Dana White willing to book boxing bout between Anderson Silva and Roy Jones, Jr if Silva beats Weidman