The prelims were short one match after the UFC discovered some unfortunate happenings with regards to Will Chope's past and subsequently fired him. As a result, there was 5 prelim matches instead of 6 and 4 of them didn't even get out of the first round. Sounds like the type of card that puts a smile on the face of Uncle Dana.
Here's what you need to know:
* indicates I was right in my pick
I think Santos' family is the only ones who thought that this would happen. Markes had beaten some solid competition in Andrew Craig and Aaron Simpson and owned an even more pronounced size advantage due to him missing weight. Everyone knew that Santos had some very effective kicks... but for that kick to the stomach to land as perfectly as it did and just take the breath completely out of him... wow. Markes couldn't hide the pain and Santos swarmed as a result to take the TKO.
Santos was probably looking at the unemployment line if he lost this fight as he showed absolutely nothing in his first UFC fight with Cezar Ferreira, but ended up saving his job with style instead. I would loved to have seen the fight go longer as about the only thing taken out of the bout (besides karma being a bitch of course) is how dangerous Santos' kicks are. But most already knew that. Magnus Cedenblad is coming off of a quick and surprising first round victory himself. Seems like a fair match up to me.
Markes may have just completely shot himself in the foot. The loss itself doesn't look good despite his previous victories and youth. The fact that he missed weight makes it even worse and he could end up on the unemployment line as a result. If he was an exciting fighter it would be a different story. But I don't know if it is possible to create a Ronny Markes highlight reel due to lack of highlights. Seriously. If he sticks around, tick him with Bruno Santos, another lay-and-prey style fighter. Perhaps it will force them into a striking battle.
That was the first sign of the Formiga that had been thought to be the #1 flyweight in the world since he entered the UFC. The fight started with some basic standup without either fighter really gaining an advantage. After a clash of heads between the two, Jorgensen ended up on the worse end and fell to the ground. Formiga capitalized and immediately went for Jorgensen's back. Jorgensen put up a good fight to try and get back to his feet, but Formiga proved too sticky and sunk in a deep RNC.
Formiga had been thought to be a massive disappointment heading into this bout with a 1-2 record in the UFC and even his victory over Chris Cariaso was very uninspired. It is very likely he would have been released if he had lost. Now while the submission was impressive, the thing I took most out of the fight was the improved aggression in his striking. He wasn't able to take the advantage over Jorgensen in the standup, but he landed some nice punches with his in-and-out style and even a nice knee from a brief clinch. He's still young enough at 28 to make a run at the title even if it has been 3 years since he was thought to be the best flyweight in the world. John Moraga is coming off a controversial win over Dustin Ortiz (I thought he lost) and would be a good test without eliminating another potential title contender (seeing as how Moraga already had his shot).
Jorgensen brings it every single time out. No one will deny that. But 5 losses in 6 tries? That is a perfect recipe for being released. Lets face facts though, he has lost to top competition each time. As a result, there is an outside chance that he ends up getting Leonard Garcia treatment (which I wouldn't mind considering he is a better fighter than Garcia), but I wouldn't count on it. Then again, the flyweight division is thin... I really don't know what will happen. If he comes back a step down in competition is a big must. Will Campuzano is another flyweight with a lousy UFC record (0-4), but is better than that record indicates. Just a thought.
Perpetuo came out aggressive as expected and ended up eating a head kick which cut him open and an ensuing scramble where Robertson got his back and sunk in the RNC. Overall, it seems about what you would expect out of Perpetuo out of a fight. If he can't finish his opponent early, he'll be finished early. Robertson showed excellent poise as the scramble ensued as Perpetuo looked like he might have the initial advantage as he had the easier route to top control, but Robertson used his speed advantage to get Perpetuo's back.
Robertson keeps indicating that his scrappiness could end up keeping him in the UFC for quite a while at this point. He is tough as nails (though he really didn't get to show that in this fight) and though he isn't the most powerful wrestler, he is smart and submission savvy enough that he can make an opponent pay for being overaggressive or leaving a limb out there. Even better though, he is an entertaining fighter to watch. I see him being a mainstay who tests prospects on their way up the ladder. That's why I say he'd be a good test for Nico Musoke next. I'm not quite sure what kind of prospect Musoke is... maybe Robertson could help clear that up.
Perpetuo needs to re-evaluate his style as Robertson knew exactly what was coming and fought accordingly. The question at this point is whether he will get the opportunity to do so in the UFC. Two quick losses in the first round don't bode well. He might have a UFC victory to his credit, but Leonardo Mafra isn't exactly a quality name. The fact he brings it might keep him around, but I can guarantee he is out the door if he falls short there. Marcelo Guimares has been on the shelf a while and the UFC doesn't have a lot of incentive to keep him around. Let Perpetuo match up with him and decide who stays around based on victories and losses.
It was an ugly fight that had very few eye-pleasing moments, but in the end the UFC newcomer did just enough to pull out the decision... but just barely. After Stringer dominated the first round with some powerful GNP and owning the majority of the control up against the fence. The second round could have gone either way as Barroso opened up with some kicks and some wild punches that landed. While Stringer couldn't get another takedown, he did exercise some control against the fence and did so again in the last round which likely made the difference as Barroso was the more gassed of the fighters.
Did Stringer show some traits that could keep him around for a while? Yes, but he has a long way to go to convince anyone that he'll get to that point. His gas tank wasn't very deep and his punches were fairly sloppy. But his GNP in the first was very impressive, he showed an incredible chin, and shows great power in his large frame. Give him some time to accentuate his strengths and he could become a nice mid-level gatekeeper. Robert Drysdale has yet to make his UFC debut and has a reputation as a BJJ expert. Stringer would have a striking and strength advantage, so it would be good to see who implements their gameplan. Patrick Cummins is another option.
Barroso gassed badly and the most effective move that he employed was his kicks... but he only did those in the second round. Barroso might have the ability to stick around for a while, but I'm going to have to question his fight IQ if he is going to go away from what is working for his if he can't implement his BJJ. Cody Donovan is about the chinniest fighter I've ever seen and while I wouldn't be surprised to see Barroso put him out, I also expect that he would have an easier time implementing his BJJ. It could be a pink slip match.
I did not see that coming whatsoever. But I will give Pepey all the credit in the world. He realized that he had nothing left to lose and threw all caution to the wind. He started by winging some punches that the much more technical Lahat was able to counter for the most part and seemed that he might be able to take control of the fight. But Pepey unleashed a flying double knee (in which the second knee landed) that put Lahat out cold. Pepey isn't known for his striking, so that was a massive feather in his cap. More importantly, it allowed him to stay employed in the UFC.
While Pepey saved his job, he still has a long ways to go to ensure a long career in the UFC. I'm not trying to take anything away from his victory as it was an awesome flying knee that will be on a number of highlight reels for a while. But his striking was still very sloppy and a more disciplined and experienced striker would have already taken control of the fight by that point. But as he showed with Lahat, those that lack experience will be tested by him. As a result, he makes an excellent matchup for debutants Jim Alers and Alan Omers who compete at the next Fight Night.
Even though the fight was short and he got KO'd, I liked what I saw from Lahat. Sure, he didn't look completely comfortable in the Octagon, but I'm gonna say that it was more jitters than anything. His technique was solid in his striking and took some of the shots that Pepey landed. Training out of American Kickboxing Academy, he'll receive the instruction that he needs to put on a better showing. A newcomer or Jumabieke Tuerxun would be the best options for his next test in the Octagon. Keep in mind that was just his 8th pro fight.