Corey Anderson didn’t play to his strengths and it cost him in the UFC Rio Rancho main event. Jan Blachowicz is well-rounded to be sure, but if you can avoid a few monster shots early, you’ve put yourself in a good spot to beat him. Instead, Anderson wanted to box though. And he got clipped and dusted.
The best part of that whole thing, by far, was Blachwicz picking up a huge win and immediately beelining over to 205-pound champ Jon Jones to ask him what was going on. Jones clearly has some unresolved issues with Dominick Reyes, but he’s arguably as vulnerable as he’s ever looked and Blachowicz might actually be a good matchup for this version of Bones. You don’t get what you don’t ask for, so good on Jan for creating a bit of sizzle and maybe making the UFC’s Jon Jones matchmaking a little more difficult than it was 24 hours ago.
- Did Diego Sanchez take the easy way out? He ate a Michel Pereira illegal knee late in round three in a fight he was losing. It opened a cut up near his hairline. The referee asked if he could continue. He asked a few cagey questions about DQs, then said he couldn’t see because of the blood. And was granted a DQ win. Hmm.
- I might be in the minority on this, but I’m completely okay with Sanchez gaming the system (if he did). This was his 31st fight in the UFC. Sanchez might be a damn weirdo, but he has carried the UFC on his back for 15 years and given them everything he has. If he is on a show/win contract still, and that decision made him 75 grand or something...good! No one is going to remember this. No one is thinking of Diego Sanchez 10 years from now and thinking “you remember when he took the easy way out in suburban Albuquerque?” Meanwhile, he has a bunch of much-deserved cash in his pocket. He’s Diego Sanchez, not Joe Blow from nowhereville. I like the decision.
- Montana De La Rosa is a sick grappler at women’s 125, and I want to see her fight top competition. She largely dominated Mara Romelo Borella for 15 minutes, and it was pretty entertaining if you like grappling at all.
- Brok Weaver ate a clearly illegal knee, and he could not continue. He was granted a DQ win over Kazula Vargas. It was 1000 times more legitimate than the co-main event.
- I don’t care if Ray Borg misses weight more often than not. He’s so much fun to watch that he could fight welterweight alpacas and I’d be in the front row. Rogerio Bontorin just didn’t seem to understand what he was getting himself into. Why clinch with a guy that has taken you down from the clinch like 96 times already? Borg was a human backpack for half the fight, and Bontorin was lucky to get to the horn. I don’t know where Borg goes from here, but I hope he keeps assimilating his enemies.
- Groovy Lando and Yancy Medeiros had a high level of expectation to live up to due to their reputations. It didn’t quite go the way a lot of people thought or wanted. The fight was fun, don’t get me wrong. But it wasn’t the craziness that some expected. Nonetheless, Vannata controlled the striking over three round and won a clear decision.
- The prelims headliner saw Daniel Rodriguez doing quite well against Tim Means early. To be frank, Means was getting busted up in a way I’m not sure I’ve ever seen before. Finally he had to wrestle, and fell right into a fight-ending guillotine. Daniel Rodriguez is one to watch.
- John Dodson was down two rounds in my opinion, but hes got a ton of power for a smaller guy, and it was his saving grace against Nathaniel Wood. One big shot, a big follow-up, and he’s relevant again after a long layoff. Good on him.
- The undercard dragged. After Raulian Pavia ended Mark De La Rosa’s night late in the second round of the opening fight, we got four straight decisions. Macy Chiasson and Devin Clark did dominate, but it wasn’t exactly excitement central. I’m also sad because Jim Miller lost. But that’s how it goes in MMA.