Another day, another UFC card. UFC on Fuel 9 turned out to be a pretty fun card with a lot of good fights, and it exceeded my expectations overall. The main event was a letdown, but that's hardly surprising when a guy is fighting with only four days of preparation under his belt. The promotion and the fighters were really in a no-win position, so it's tough to hold it against them. Though many will nonetheless.
Gegard Mousasi stated after the fight with Ilir Latifi that he went in injured and that he might have employed a version of standing lay-and-pray, which was amusing. But I thought he did a good enough job overall. There was no explosiveness, but he completely owned the striking and landed about 6000 jabs. He looked lazy and unmotivated, but that's just Gegard's demeanor. He definitely could have actually held his hands up more though. He just didn't seem to care.
Latifi tried his best, but he couldn't figure out how to close the distance (mostly because Mousasi is a master of controlling distance). It completely neutralized his wrestling game, and he was forced to just swing for the fences for 15 minutes. Mousasi is just a couple of classes about him in terms of skill. Latifi will undoubtedly get another fight in the UFC though, hopefully against someone around his level.
I was manning the BE twitter account for the card today, and I said that Ryan Couture actually looked pretty good for the first half of his co-main event fight with Ross Pearson. He was using good movement to stay away from Pearson's power, and he was controlling him in the clinch. But it all fell apart when Pearson got his timing down and caught a kick. The first few shots were hard, but the left that put him down was devastating. It's been said that Pearson doesn't have a ton of power, but I think Couture would probably disagree.
Matt Mitrione knocked someone out by just letting them run into him. That's pretty badass. In reality it looks like Mitrione actually landed a shot behind Philip De Fries' ear right as he was coming in, but it was still an outstanding finish for Meathead. He certainly knows how to finish when he's got someone hurt. His post-fight jabbing at Chris Lytle was pretty funny too.
- Everyone was all over me for suggesting this on twitter, but I really thought Mike Easton beat Brad Pickett. I had Easton taking the first two rounds, with Pickett obviously taking the third. The first was more debatable than the second, but I thought Easton did more than enough to make a case for winning. One judge agreed with me, but the others had Pickett winning all three. Either way, it was my favorite fight of the night and one of the better bouts of 2013 so far.
- Diego Brandao looked awesome. He has learned to pace himself early and be more methodical, and it's made him a much better fighter as a result. His tricky guard passing was nice and the submission was even nicer. I'm curious as to who he faces next, but he should get a nice bump up in competition.
- Akira Corassani definitely impressed me. I expected Peralta to steamroll him, but he had Peralta all sorts of confused in the first round. He did get rocked once, but he came right back to beat Peralta up so far. It was a performance that will probably fly under the radar considering some of the finishes today, but he deserves props for taking out a guy that many pegged as a potential contender at featherweight.
- The undercard was great. Four finishes out of seven fights, and none of the bouts were duds. Reza Madadi is a beast, and he's hilarious too. Coming back from that huge Michael Johnson shot in the first took serious cojones, and getting the finish made it even better.
- Conor McGregor is a beast. The guy just has the look of a fighter, and all of his movements make it abundantly clear that he should not be taken lightly. Marcus Brimage came out hard and got to his chin, but he didn't even care. The finish was awesome, and I can't wait to see him fight again.
- Adlan Amagov could probably kick someone on the other side of his house. How does he do that?