In Brazilia at the UFC Fight Night card on Fight Pass, Andrei Arlovski got revenge and one of the bigger upsets of the year as he knocked out Antonio Silva in the main event. Arlovski is suddenly 2-0 in the UFC after being out of the promotion since 2008 and is in the consideration for the Top 10 in the UFC Heavyweight division. It is hard to picture Arlovski competing with Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, or Fabricio Werdum, but after that the talent in Heavyweight drops off dramatically.
Big win for the former champion, and a rough night for Silva as referee Jerin Valel let him eat a few extra shots. Well on to other thoughts about the fights:
- Gleison Tibau won the most Gleison Tibau fight of his career as he eked out a win against Piotr Hallmann, who was unable to recreate the magic of his schooling of Francisco Trinaldo. TIbau is a pretty well proven measuring stick of the Lightweight division as he is able to sort out those ready for a higher level of competition from those who need to continue to try to grow their game. Hallmann's wins over Yves Edwards and Trinaldo show he has some potential, but he is still very much a work in progress.
- Irui Alcantara and Leonardo Santos rode fast starts in the first round and then controlled the third round. Alcantara and Russell Doane had the vastly more entertaining fight, as both are better fighters than either Santos or Efrain Escudero. Neither fight really has big implications other than Doane actually looked fairly good in defeat and Escudero is likely out of the UFC again.
- Santiago Ponzinibbio knocked out Wendell de Oliveira Marques to the dismay of MMA bloggers everywhere as they will need to continue to type the name Ponzinibbio. It was a solid show of Ponzinibbio's powerful punches has he put Marques out on the feet with his boxing and really shows that his loss to Ryan LaFlare was a result of LaFlare being a very good fighter.
- Jessica Andrade was just too physical and aggressive for UFC newcomer Larissa Pacheco. Andrade is something of a less version of Liz Carmouche, in that her physicality is her primary asset and looks great when it is used to her favor but isn't well equipped to win fights against fighters who can defuse it.
- Godofredo Pepey can have a lot legitimate criticism leveled at him, he gets too aggressive from the bottom and leaves himself open to strikes, his standing striking is pretty awful, and he generally seems to fight without a plan. But when you put him in against Dashon Johnson, a pro boxer turned MMA fighter who came up in the jobber league that is Xplode Fight Series, and Pepey can rip off a triangle armbar and look really damn good doing it. I don't expect Pepey to do much of anything in the UFC beyond win undercard fights in Brazil, but he is always fun to watch because he is such a boom-or-bust kind of guy.
- George Sullivan got to display his high-motor, consistent barrage of strikes style of fighting against the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Igor Araujo. It really looked like Araujo struggled with grappling against the cage, and his grappling style in general seems poorly suited for MMA as it seems to be very geared for gi jiu jitsu point competition. Sullivan was able to ride out the sweep attempts and punish
- The Sean Spencer vs Paulo Thiago and Leandro Silva vs Francisco Trinaldo fights were not good displays of MMA. Paulo Thiago has regressed so much physically and in terms of skills that is hard to remember he is the same guy who put down Josh Koscheck with a killer uppercut-hook combination in 2008. Both Thiago and Silva likely should be cut after their losses.
- Rani Yahya and Johnny Bedford had a rematch from their No Contest as result from a Bedford headbutt, and it took almost no time for Bedford to foul Yahya again with a clearly illegal soccer kick. So when Yahya caught a kimura in the second round there was no mercy as he cranked very hard. It was a bit of Bedford getting a taste of his own medicine as he is a repeat offender when it comes to fouls in the cage. Yahya is a solid gatekeeper for the Bantamweight division while Bedford was never an elite fighter and seems to be regressing.