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UFC Greenville: Moicano vs. Korean Zombie - Winners and Losers

Fists were flying and a few bodies were falling in Greenville. Who enjoyed the UFC’s first trip to South Carolina and who would just assume never return?

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There wasn’t a lot of hype for UFC Greenville given the lack of recognizable names, an issue that wasn’t helped when John Lineker was forced out the day before the event due to a cut. However, those that paid close attention to the lineup realized the likelihood of the card delivering an entertaining evening was high. After all, the Korean Zombie, Chan Sung Jung, was in the main event. Those observers weren’t disappointed. The Zombie delivered a brutal KO finish of Renato Moicano less than a minute in and he wasn’t the only one who delivered. Several other contests either delivered back and forth action or an otherwise entertaining showcase. So, let’s get down to who walked out proud winners… and who would rather forget the event even took place.


Chan Sung Jung (Korean Zombie): We just had to doubt him. We couldn’t believe that five hard rounds against Yair Rodriguez in an all-time classic was proof enough that the Korean Zombie was still an elite featherweight. Thankfully for us, the Zombie doesn’t mind setting the record straight, blasting Moicano into another dimension in less than a minute with a brutal counter right. Sure, it wasn’t the brutal, back-and-forth war that we were expecting, but you can’t say Zombie disappointed us. He disposed of a guy many have been proclaiming as a title contender far quicker than either Brian Ortega or Jose Aldo were able to do. I’m happy to say Zombie isn’t an action fighting gatekeeper. He’s still a legit contender.

Randy Brown: Maybe we all shouldn’t have put so much stock in Brown being KO’d by Niko Price with hammerfists from the bottom. Prior to that contest, Brown showed improved grappling chops against Mickey Gall and dominated Price before being put to sleep. What I’m getting at is the Jamaican export has steadily looked better in all phases heading into his contest with Bryan Barberena… and yet, the vast majority of us picked against him despite acknowledging he was the superior athlete. Brown picked apart Barberena from the outside with a wide variety of strikes, making effective use of his length like he never has before. It looks like Brown is coming into his own.

Andre Ewell: It’s still obvious Ewell’s Achilles heel is his ground game, but let’s not pretend like the lanky bantamweight didn’t put on a hell of a show on the feet against Anderson dos Santos. Ewell’s fast hands lit up his Brazilian opponent on several occasions, showing just enough flash in the process to get the crowd into it. Given most didn’t know who Ewell or dos Santos were, that’s pretty damn good. If the UFC uses him correctly, he could be a hell of an action fighter.

Andrea Lee: There have been things to like and things to dislike in Lee’s first two UFC performance. There wasn’t a whole lot to nitpick in Lee’s third appearance, disposing of a dogged Montana De La Rosa over the course of 15 minutes. Lee’s takedown defense wasn’t impenetrable, but it held strong for most of the contest, allowing her to stick her jab in the face of De La Rosa for most of the first two rounds, bloodying her up in the process. The victory gives Lee three wins in a row and as strong of a claim for a title shot as anyone. I’m not saying she’ll get it, but no one can definitively say they deserve a shot more than Lee.

Dan Ige: Are you a believer yet? Ige just picked up his fourth straight win, this one coming over an uber-tough Kevin Aguilar. Ige looked composed, preventing anxiety or nerves – however you want to put it – from draining his stamina the way it usually does, allowing him to hurt Aguilar late to secure the win. If Ige can continue to manage his energy levels and build upon the improvements in his boxing, he’ll be a major player in a crowded featherweight division. I’m not ready to say he’ll be a contender yet, though I’ll admit I never expected him to climb as high as he currently sits.

Ashley Yoder: Either I severely underestimated Yoder’s wrestling or she made some major improvements in the interim. I did feel somewhat redeemed when she admitted she worked hard on her wrestling, so there is that. Regardless, Yoder dominated an opponent most expected her to have a razor thin contest with, rarely giving Syuri Kondo any room to breathe. I still don’t see her coming anywhere close to becoming a contender, but I can see her being a scrappy gatekeeper to the top ten, more than what I would have said coming into this contest. Then again, maybe Uncle Dana wants to cut her now that she’s “a wrestler.”

Luis Pena: I don’t want to put too much stock into Pena dominating a dude who last fought nearly five years ago… but he did dominate him and that’s all we can ask of him. Pena bloodied up Wiman seconds into the fight with a tight clinch and proceeded to continue the beating on the mat. Pena is calling for top ten opponents, but he isn’t ready for that yet. Regardless, he is clearly improving and has the talent to make it there someday.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik: Not bad getting a paycheck – and an extra $50K -- for 9 seconds worth of work. Then again, we all know the real work takes place before the fight, but that shouldn’t take away from Rozenstruik’s impressive victory over Allen Crowder. A well-timed counter on a charging Crowder dropped the big man and Rozenstruik finished him with some ground shots. Rozenstruik’s kickboxing experience has been crossing over well in a division short on decent ground fighters. It’ll be interesting to see how much higher he can climb.

Molly McCann: McCann looked like a fun action-fighting addition at women’s flyweight when she first arrived. She’s showing a good fight IQ, adding well-timed takedowns to her arsenal, allowing her to effectively steal the fight from the favored Ariane Lipski. Now there may be reason to be worried she could get cut for those takedowns – as we all know Uncle Dana despises takedowns – but it got her a win.

Deron Winn: It’s always a good thing to secure your first UFC win in a slugfest when everybody sees you as a one-dimensional wrestler. Then again, nobody in their right mind would pick Eric Spicely to win a slugfest on his best day… and that’s exactly what happened here. Spicely threw everything he had at Winn and the wrestler was still there in the end and that says something… even if it was Spicely. Many will say Winn still needs to prove himself against a decent striker before questions about his height can be properly answered – a valid point – but Winn showed more than just the heavy hooks he was known for. He’s improving his standup markedly.


Renato Moicano: I guarantee you no one is more heartbroken than Moicano. I’m sure he recognized a loss to the Korean Zombie was a strong possibility. I’m also sure he would have expected it to come at the end of a classic FOTY contender that Zombie is known for. Nope. Instead, Moicano ended up becoming a signature part of Zombie’s highlight reel, surviving less than a minute and effectively having his name removed from title contention. Ouch.

Bryan Barberena: I don’t want to take anything away from Brown – he seriously looked awesome – but Barberena never looked like himself at any point in the contest. He looked plodding and lethargic compared to his usual self, unable to fire back with the same consistency he usually does. As a result, Barberena never seemed like he was in the fight, something that I can’t remember saying before. Hopefully he can remedy whatever the problem is as this version of Barberena wasn’t any fun.

Anderson dos Santos: Dos Santos found the opportunities he needed to win, getting Ewell down on several occasions. He just couldn’t seal the deal with a submission or finishing strikes. It shouldn’t be a surprise as little was expected from dos Santos when he joined the UFC, but he needed to capitalize on those opportunities if he hoped to extend his UFC run. He didn’t so he’s probably finding himself outside the organization.

Montana De La Rosa: I don’t want to be too harsh on De La Rosa as she was game as hell, going for takedowns and submissions for the entirety of the contest. It made for a fun fight too. But she came up short in a contest that felt like she could have found the finish she was looking for with a tweek or two. Unfortunately for De La Rosa, she wasn’t able to find it and finds herself tumbling out of the title picture. Still young at 24, she still has plenty of time to crawl back into contention, but this feels like a missed opportunity to me.

Kevin Holland: When a crappy contest is turned in, I like to lump the two fighters together. However, I feel Holland deserves specific blame given his reputation for creativity and trash talking. He fell short on delivering on both accounts. He lucked out that Alessio Di Chirico didn’t do enough to capitalize, allowing Holland to steal a controversial decision – I thought Di Chirico deserved the W – but anyone who saw the fight will agree that Holland’s stock dropped. I will acknowledge his should popping out of socket in the second played a part in the subpar performance – which is also a credit to his toughness – but the fight sucked before that happened too. I’m not giving Holland a pass on this poor performance.

Alessio Di Chirico: Even though I thought he won, I wasn’t upset when the decision didn’t go in Di Chirico’s favor. When your opponent if fighting half the contest severely compromised the way Holland was, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to put a stamp on things. Di Chirico didn’t do that. I don’t see him getting cut from the crap of a fight, but he did land two takedowns and we all know how much Uncle Dana hates takedowns….

Syuri Kondo: I remember liking Kondo’s kickboxing fundamentals in her UFC debut. It’s all been downhill since then as her opponents have either dragged the fight to the mat or been superior athletes to her. Kondo hasn’t been able to show off those fundamentals ever since then, dropping all three contests. This loss to Yoder was the worst of all as most saw it as a coin flip. It’s hard to see Kondo coming back after a slide like that.

Matt Wiman: It was hard not to root for Wiman given the long layoff from his last appearance, but the longtime veteran was clearly outclassed. The tactics he used were circa 2012. That may not sound too old for some of us, but keep in mind how young the sport is and that it never stops evolving. Wiman looked like he was in good shape and was fighting like he did when he stepped away, but the sport has passed him by.

Allen Crowder: So… is this nine-second KO loss a worse reflection on Crowder, Greg Hardy, or Dmirtii Smolyakov? Regardless, this loss doesn’t reflect well on any of them. Crowder had no business trying to engage in a standup fight with a former kickboxer in Rozenstruik, but rushed in there anyway. Crowder paid a heavy price. It’s possible he’s out of the organization at this point.

Ariane Lipski: I would say Lipski is in danger of being cut, but she isn’t the one who instigated the takedowns, so maybe Uncle Dana will go light on her. Regardless, she’s been a major disappointment since she joined the organization. She hasn’t lived up to the Queen of Violence moniker and has now dropped two contests in two attempts. I don’t think the UFC is giving up on her quite yet as she is just 25, but she is on thin ice.

John Lineker: I can understand Lineker’s frustration. After losing to TJ Dillashaw a few years ago – a contest he entered ranked #2 – Lineker has been unable to get a ranked opponent. Thus, Lineker complained to the UFC that he wanted some quality fights or be released. The UFC obliged by securing him a rematch with Rob Font on short notice… and Lineker was forced to pull out due to a cut. Cuts that close to fight night can generally be avoided, leaving open questions about how responsible Lineker was in making sure he made it to fight night. I’m not directly accusing Lineker of being stupid, but it’s hard not to question what the specifics were that caused the withdrawal.

Rob Font: I get the feeling the UFC didn’t have Font weigh-in so they could avoid paying him his show money. I don’t know for sure that’s the case – perhaps they paid him anyway, which would have been the right thing to do – but the tightwad ways of the multi-billion dollar company has me believing otherwise. Either way, Font didn’t get an opportunity to earn extra cash for a win or performance bonus either, so it’s a bad day for him anyway.

Sean O’Malley: No, he wasn’t a part of the event, but it was announced on the same day the rising bantamweight star popped for a second time for an illegal substance under the USADA rules, not even able to get in a single contest after his first suspension. Maybe the youngster needs someone watching what he puts into his body as he doesn’t seem to be doing a great job of it himself.

People who paid for BKFC 6: No, it wasn’t UFC, but I genuinely feel bad for those people. What a garbage fire….


Kevin Aguilar: While I acknowledge Aguilar lost a fight he was favored to win, Ige fought well above what was expected from him. Aguilar didn’t turn in a disappointing performance in the least, stealing the second and hanging tough in the third until Ige rocked him in the closing moments. Despite the beating from Ige, Aguilar somehow managed to remain conscious. The man is tough as hell and was half of one hell of a fight. I’m not labeling him a loser.

Eric Spicely: When the hell did Spicely learn to bang? Maybe he’s been hanging out with Julian Lane. Regardless, the submission specialist never made an attempt to get the fight to the ground and hung tough in an absolute slugfest. He clearly worked on his standup after being released from the UFC and is giving the organization good reason to keep him around for more than a cursory glance. Even if he was able to walk out with an extra $50K, he didn’t get the win, something I feel was there for the taking if he had approached this fight the right way. I couldn’t find it in myself to call him a winner, even if he’s closer to that end of things than the alternative.

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