UFC Fight Night Hidalgo is in the books and it was more hit than miss by far. The main card featured three fights that lasted less than two minutes, including the main event where Michael Johnson launched himself back into contention with an absolute pasting of Dustin Poirier. Johnson landed a counter combination in which the second shot caught Poirier on his way to the ground. A few more ground strikes later and Dan Miragliotta was pulling Johnson away. It couldn’t have been a better night for Johnson as his name is back in the mix for lightweight contendership.
Derek Brunson and Chas Skelly were the other quick finishers with Skelly breaking the record for fastest submission in the history of the WEC/UFC featherweight division. The cast of the first season of TUF Latin America had a good night too, as not a single one of them walked away with a loss, sending the crowd home mostly happy with the results of the evening. Not everything came up aces, but it rarely does and it was a damn good night for fights overall.
Further thoughts on the results:
· Johnson called for more money and called the fight between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz a sparring session. Didn’t he lose to Diaz?
· Derek Brunson blasted Uriah Hall about a minute and a half into the contest and followed up with punches on a downed Hall. Herb Dean stopped the fight as Hall showed no signs of fighting back only for Hall to pop right up and protest the stoppage. He clearly wasn’t out, but he wasn’t doing anything.
· Brunson called for the crowd to show love after his fight. Speak for yourself, you just tried to knock someone out!
· Rick Glenn raised questions as whether or not he is actually a zombie as Evan Dunham absolutely unloaded strike after strike on him and he wouldn’t go down. I’m having a hard time thinking of a one-sided contest that was more fun to watch in recent memory. Dominating win for Dunham.
· A fight happened between Roan Carneiro and Kenny Robertson. Carneiro won by decision, everyone who watched it lost. Moving on.
· If you enjoy grappling, Islam Makhachev and Chris Wade put on a hell of a show with a series of reversals, sweeps, and failed submission attempts. The right decision was made awarding Makhachev the win as he exercised better control.
· Chas Skelly Maximo Blancoed Maximo Blanco by rushing out with a front kick and sinking in an anaconda choke for the win in 19 seconds. Hell of a way to make a statement. By the way Chas, no one wants to see you fight Darren Elkins again.
· I didn’t think it was possible for FS1 pacing for a UFC show to be worse, but somehow it was. Fortunately the early finishes resulted in the event finishing long before it was scheduled to.
· Gabriel Benitez took advantage of a reckless Sam Sicilia and caught the Washingtonian in a guillotine choke that put him to sleep in the second round. Big win for Benitez.
· Augusto Montano looked better than ever, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Belal Muhammad’s combination of striking and wrestling. Muhammad became the first to finish Montano with less than a minute to go in the final round.
· It was do-or-die for Antonio Carlos Junior and he did. Other than some incompetent reffing, ACJ completely dominated, grounding Leonardo Augusto Leleco and controlling him the entirety of rounds 2 and 3 before scoring a RNC with 14 seconds left to fight.
· Jose Quinonez and Joey Gomez let the fists fly and the bodies dropped. Quinonez’s wrestling was the difference as it gave him the edge, but mad props to both as it was a hell of a slobber knocker.
· Randy Brown pulled out a guillotine choke from nowhere to open the third, fending off Erick Montano who had the momentum on his side. Then he called out Bryan Barberena. He shouldn’t have done that.
· The curtain jerker for the evening was a fantastic contest between Alejandro Perez and Albert Morales that was marred by horrible reffing and maybe even bad judging. Morales attacked Perez with leg kicks the first two rounds before Perez stormed back in the final round after a weird point deduction for hitting Morales after the second round. For the crappy reffing, Kerry Hatley is now everyone’s favorite ref to rip on.