November 19, 2016 will always be remembered in UFC history for events headlined by unnecessary rematches. Gegard Mousasi and Uriah Hall at least made sense as Mousasi asked for it in order to gain a degree of redemption. Nobody ever asked to see Ryan Bader and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira go toe-to-toe ever again.
The result ended up being exactly what we expected. A Nogueira who is older and more shopworn was unable to prevent a Bader who appears to still be improving from taking him down. Nogueira did have a moment in the first round where he hurt Bader with a left hand, but that was about the only bright spot for the Brazilian legend. Bader unleashed a barrage of ground strikes late in the third round for the stoppage. With Bader now a free agent, it will be interesting to see if he leverages that into a potential title fight ala Gilbert Melendez. We’ll have to see.
The rest of the event was notable for upstarts trying to overthrow the establishment. For the most part, they weren’t successful with Krzysztof Jotko upending an uninspired Thales Leites being the lone exception.
Further quick thoughts on the event: After a bit of a slow start, Thomas Almeida and Albert Morales put on the show they were expected to with Almeida
- Claudia Gadelha soccer kicked the former soccer player Cortney Casey… at least that is how it appeared. Replays were inconclusive whether or not it landed, though Gadelha didn’t argue whether or not it connected. Wouldn’t she be the first to acknowledge that? Despite the blatant illegality of the kick, no point was deducted. Anyone else see a need to review how rules are enforced?
- Oh yeah… Gadelha won the fight. Funny how that became secondary.
- The 2009 version of Leites showed up as he gassed early in the second round. Not trying to take anything away from Jotko’s victory as Jotko looked very good. But that was pitiful from Leites.
- Kamaru Usman made a statement by beating up Warlley Alves on the feet, proving he is more than just a wrestler. He then proceeded to call out Demian Maia. Trust me buddy, you don’t want any of that.
- I’ll never be able to figure out what goes through the head of Sergio Moraes as he is fighting. It looks like his head is elsewhere at least half of the time. Nonetheless, he pulled out a split decision over Zak Ottow. Anyone think home cooking was at play?
- Three years and FS1 still hasn’t figured out how to pace a UFC event. What the hell!?
- Remember when Cezar Ferreira came into 2016 having lost three of his last four? Now he has won three in a row after tapping Jack Hermansson with a triangle arm choke.
- Gadzhimurad Antigulov and Marcos Rogerio de Lima packed as much action as you can into 67 seconds, with Antigulov snagging de Lima’s neck in a guillotine for the end. Reminder to de Lima: Don’t punch your opponent when they are choking you out. Try to get out of the choke!
- After turning Manny Gamburyan’s leg to hamburger, Johnny Eduardo caught Gamburyan running full speed into a jab which led to a ground and pound victory for the Nova Uniao striking coach.
- Gamburyan announced his retirement after the fight. Gamburyan has had a solid career that included challenging for the WEC featherweight title in 2010. He’ll be missed.
- Christian Colombo continues to prove he is an elite human punching bag as Luis Henrique did whatever he wanted to the big Dane. Henrique ended things with a guillotine in the third round.
- A single slip up was all it took for Pedro Munhoz to capitalize on, cinching in a guillotine choke on Justin Scoggins midway through the second round to pick up the biggest win of his career.
- Controversy surrounded the curtain jerker as newcomer Darren Stewart used an inadvertent head butt to hurt Francimar Barroso for the finishing sequence. Expect this result to be under review.
After a day chuck full of fights from multiple events — this event, the UFC event from Belfast, the Bellator event, Ward and Kovalev — I’m spent. Night y’all!