The Bantamweights opened up the FX portion of the UFC 161 preliminary card with Roland Delorme (9-1, 1 NC) meeting Edwin Figueroa (9-3). The two 135ers put on a back and forth brawl, but it was Delorme that was awarded the unanimous decision after the final bell. Delorme remained unbeaten in the UFC at 3-0, 1 NC. Figueroa dropped to 2-3 and is now on a two-fight losing streak.
It looked like Delorme was going to finish the fight early when he dumped Figueroa on the mat and dominated him on the ground. The Texan survived, however and made it a fight from the second round on. His punches were wild and he gave up takedowns, but he gave Delorme everything he had. In the end, his gutsy performance couldn't overcome the disparity in skill.
What was the high point of this fight?
With two minutes left in the first round, Delorme had Figueroa wrapped up in an arm-in body triangle. He fought for the rear naked choke, but Figueroa somehow managed to fight it off and see the second round.
Where do they go from here?
Delorme may not have been technically coming off a loss, but I imagine it felt like it regardless of Francisco Rivera's positive drug test. So, this was definitely a big win for him to get back on track. However, his performance doesn't give me a lot of hope about his future in the division. He barely got past a lower level competitor and he'll struggle any time he moves up the ladder.
Throughout the fight comparisons were flying around about Figueroa being a a more effective Leonard Garcia and the shoe fits. He's far from the most talented Bantamweight in the UFC, but he pushes hard, swings for the fences, and never gives up. The UFC loves fighters like that and will continue to use him to spice up preliminary cards.
Watch it now, never, or later?
Go watch it. It's a fun, back-and-forth brawl that any fight fan can enjoy.