UFC 154: What We Learned from Matt Riddle vs. John Maguire

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UFC 154: What We Learned from Matt Riddle vs. John Maguire
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

At UFC 154, welterweight Matt Riddle subdued John Maguire over three lackluster but smart rounds to take a win by unanimous decision on the Facebook portion of the undercard.

 

What We'll Remember about this Fight

Riddle's wrestling, which helped him to his July win over Chris Clements (a win later voided after Riddle tested positive for marijuana metabolites), was not evident Saturday night. Clearly wanting no part of Maguire's vaunted grappling game, Riddle (7-3-1) was content to use his size and strength advantages to press Maguire (18-5) against the fence for long stretches of the fight. 
 

 

What We Learned about Matt Riddle

Riddle is a natural-born people pleaser. No arguing that. He turned the fight into a brawl for short moments, but for the most part, he simply kept Maguire and his 10 submission victories at bay.

That's the mark of an evolving and intelligent fighter.

"I wanted to be more exciting for the crowd," the 26-year-old Riddle told broadcaster Joe Rogan after the fight. "But he's world class at jiu-jitsu, and I didn't want to lose."

 

What We Learned about John Maguire

That if the fight doesn't just go to the ground, there's not always much he can do to get it there, at least against a stronger guy.

 

What's Next for Riddle

How about another, even younger buck in Gunnar Nelson? We'll see if Riddle can overpower another noted ground fighter.

 

What's Next for Maguire

It's Maguire's second UFC loss in a row. So it's not dark yet, but it's getting there. How about Paulo Thiago for his next opponent? That could be a very good ground war. Especially since it would likely be a loser-leaves-town scenario.

 

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