UFC on FX 6 saw the close of The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes.
Coaches Ross Pearson and George Sotiropoulos faced off in the main event of the evening in what would turn into one of the most dominant performances of Pearson's career. He used various combinations to land clean shots to Sotiropoulos' head and body.
Speaking of Sotiropoulos, with those three knockdowns, it may be time to start thinking of retirement. He's looking more like Glass Joe from Punch Out every time that he enters the Octagon.
The lightweight and welterweight finals provided some quality action. And Hector Lombard finally justified his pay check with a first-round stoppage of Rousimar Palhares.
I'm sleepy. Take a look at the grades.
I think we've seen Rousimar Palhares' ceiling in the UFC's middleweight division.
He's a competent grappler whose leg locks are absolutely brutal. But he's never really developed his stand up to remain competitive on the feet. His leg kicks looked good, but his defense? Awful.
I feel bad for the ol' tree stump, because it seems like his chin fails him whenever he's given a chance to take that next step.
I guess he's back to fighting on the undercard?
After his UFC debut, I had real concerns that Hector Lombard was not the fighter that he was believed to be. He's obviously got power in his hands, but he just looked totally overwhelmed against Tim Boetsch in his UFC debut.
Friday night against Palhares, Lombard showed that he's got some real power and has the ability to compete in the UFC's middleweight division.
It was a nice stoppage, but calling out Michael Bisping? C'mon man. You're 1-1 in the UFC. You can't start calling out the top fighters until you prove you're ready for that level of competition. From where I'm sitting (my couch), Bisping absolutely smokes him.
I'll be the first to admit that I bought into the marketing. Colin Fletcher was pushed heavily in the lead to The Smashes finale by the British media while coverage of Parke was pretty minimal.
Fletcher's unorthodox style presents challenges for those who don't have an opportunity to put together a full camp, but he was easily countered for all three rounds. His takedown defense was also pretty nonexistent.
I expect him to still have a shot in the UFC, but the real question is: Who in the lightweight division could he beat?
I underestimated Norman Parke. I got caught up in marketing and didn't think he had the ground skills to avoid Colin Fletcher's submissions.
I was wrong. I don't know if he has a real future in the UFC's lightweight division, but he definitely earned another shot in the Octagon by winning The Smashes.
What I do know is that he has pretty solid takedowns and works well from the top. He also did well to not get caught by any of those spinning kicks. All in all, solid performance.
This was an extremely close fight from my perspective. Brad Scott was the Brit who attempted to play spoiler as Robert Whittaker received all the attention in the lead up. He almost did it too. I thought he was competitive all the way until the final round.
He'll get another shot in the Octagon, likely on a UK card.
I'm not so sure about his ceiling or upside, but it's not at the championship level. He'll be a solid utility fighter to fill out undercards. There are worse career paths.
Robert Whittaker was the Aussie hope on The Smashes. He's the young fighter who put a stamp on everyone that he faced throughout the season. He looked good Friday night against Brad Scott but also showed that he has some real holes in his skill set.
He'll have the benefit of slowly developing due to the TUF treatment, but sooner rather than later, he'll have to prove that he's ready for the big show.
I hope he can grow into the fighter everyone expects. He started off on the right foot Friday night.
Three flash knockouts in as many rounds?
It may be time for George Sotiropoulos to start thinking about retirement. His chin is obviously gone, and as good as he is on the ground, if he can't get the fight there, he's a fish out of water.
Seriously, there's nothing really to take away. He was finished with a body shot. Awful showing from a once-promising fighter.
Bravo, Mr. Pearson.
After an unsuccessful run at featherweight, Ross Pearson made his return to lightweight with a spectacular TKO victory over George Sotiropoulos. It was as dominant of a performance as we've seen from Pearson in his UFC career.
He rocked Sotiropoulos three (!!!) times in as many rounds and finished the Aussie fighter with a body shot.
There were some moments when it seemed like Pearson would find himself the victim of Sotiropoulos' grappling, but he kept distance well and stuffed the takedown attempts.
The only real concern is that he still gets caught up in exchanges, and against a stronger opponent, he'll get knocked out.
But Friday night, he's the winner.