Luke Rockhold is for real. That's not exactly a revelation, but he showed it to the world tonight with a thorough beating of Lyoto Machida in the main event of UFC on Fox 15.The former Strikeforce champ hurt Machida early and it seemed to break Machida's spirit, as he was basically a zombie for the second round. How many times have you seen a guy just hand his opponent a submission like that, especially someone at the level of Machida? It was crazy.
The middleweight division is seriously interesting with the likes of Rockhold and Ronaldo Souza racking up wins, and it's only going to get better once Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort finally settle their differences.
- Speaking of Jacare, it's well-established that he can submit Chris Camozzi. I know that none of us needed to watch that again, but at least we got to see him fight and he was able to get a paycheck. I'm not sure what else to say about the bout really, other than that I'd love to see him rematch Rockhold one day.
- Max Holloway is a beast. I fully expected Cub Swanson to come in and whoop him on the feet, and I was very wrong. Holloway does so much stuff so well - his movement, his varied offense, even his killer submission game - that I'm embarrassed that I wrote him off so easily. To be fair, that had more to do with my admiration for Cub's skills than a knock on Holloway, but he definitely proved who the better fighter was. I can't wait to see him fight again.
- Was I super impressed with the bout between Paige VanZant and Felice Herrig? No, I was not. I found the bout to be very sloppy and the pace didn't do much to negate that for me. If people want to classify it was "fun", I would agree with that. If they want to classify it as "good", I would not. This isn't a dig on WMMA or VanZant in particular - the win was huge for her career and for the division, and I generally love women's fights - but the bout just wasn't my cup of tea.
- Jim Miller looked really good for a round against Beneil Dariush, but the Dariush stepped up his grappling game and tied Miller in knots. That's not an easy thing to do and it was pretty impressive. Miller's slams to try to escape were pretty cool too, except for the last one that looked like it probably hurt him more than anyone else.
- Ovince St. Preux knocks guys out in the weirdest ways. Both this fight and the Shogun fight had me confused at first at how he actually dropped his opponent. The uppercut he caught Patrick Cummins with was nasty, and he proved once again that he's a force to be reckoned with in the shallow LHW division.
- Gian Villante really surprised me tonight. I thought he was there to make TUF winner Corey Anderson look good, but after kicking his leg about 2000 times he clubbed him in the temple and finished him. Twitter was afire with "25/8" jokes, and rightfully so.
- Is Aljamain Sterling the future at bantamweight? I'm not sure, but he's definitely pretty good. He handled Takeya Mizugaki, which isn't an easy thing to do. And that arm-triangle finish from the bottom was pretty.
- Tim Means looks pretty good at welterweight thus far. He wore down a pretty good fighter in George Sullivan and got a late submission finish, apparently to prove a point. A great performance to be sure.
- I understand that Jim Hettes' ear might have been pretty damaged, and stopping the fight might have been the best thing for it. I really do. But man, I'm really disappointed that I didn't get to see the last two rounds of his bout with Diego Brandao, because the first round was one of my favorites of the year so far.
- The night kicked off with a plodding fight between Eddie Gordon and Chris Dempsey. Despite winning a TUF season, Gordon was already an event curtainjerker and didn't show a ton in this bout either, though I feel that the decision was pretty bad. You'd have to give Dempsey the second round to score the fight for him, and he was thoroughly outstruck and taken down in the stanza. The bout wasn't good enough for a lot of people to card, but Gordon got the short end of the stick there.