Saturday night proved to be an interesting aesthetic journey. Fans witnessed a few shining moments on the undercard as well as a few snooze fests and an Academy Award-worthy performance.
The main card, however, did yield some wild action and impressive performances.
UFC on FX 7 offered a number of lessons, but in case you were too preoccupied with your Budweiser (almost guilty!) to learn anything, I’ll provide a little recap for you.
For year’s we’ve been wondering: Is Michael Bisping’s “chin” really suspect, or do Dan Henderson and Wanderlei Silva just hit that hard?
While I believe both men do indeed pack dynamite in their fists, last night may have finally answered our question. Yes, Bisping’s beard is a little shaky.
Don’t get me wrong, Vitor Belfort is an extremely powerful dude himself, capable of rendering just about anyone unconscious, but there comes a time when a fighter must prove he can survive the big shots.
Michael Bisping has yet to show us he's capable of eating a bomb and regaining his senses.
When Bisping gets hit flush, he gets hurt. The fact that he’s only been knocked out twice can be attributed to some fantastic footwork and generally well-polished defensive skills. But if you touch the chin or the temple with any serious force, the Brit is going down.
Vitor’s blinding speed will ensure that he’s always a threat. However, over the years he’s become far more versatile, learning to use offensive wrestling, submissions and striking techniques other than rapid-fire punch combinations.
As was evidenced last night, the guy has some fantastic kicks.
If Vitor continues to mix his offense up, he’ll continue to evolve as a fighter, which is just baffling considering the fact that he’s been competing since 1996.
Whether another title slides into Belfort’s future or not, there’s no denying the danger he poses to the rest of the middleweight division.
This old dog still has one vicious bite.
C.B. Dollaway may be an unsolvable mystery of a man.
The guy clearly trains extensively. He’s proven capable of fighting hard for 15 minutes, and yet technically, we haven’t really seen much growth from the TUF Season Seven contestant since his promotional debut.
His striking still leaves much to be desired, and his defense is still a glaring issue. His wrestling is effective, but doesn’t seem to be improving, and his submission game is still hot-and-cold.
By all accounts, a man with the experience of Dollaway should have delivered a harsh welcome to newcomer Daniel Sarafian. Instead, Dollaway squeaked by with a narrow split-decision nod.
A change of camp might be in order for this physically gifted gent, who seems to have issues properly assembling the mental pieces.
Some may be fooled into believing that Khabib Nurmagomedov’s record of 19-0 has been inflated by human cans aligned for the crushing. But Khabib is quickly proving that whether his first 16 opponents were “for real” or not, he most certainly is.
The Russian picked up his third consecutive victory last night, and he did so in brilliant fashion.
Thiago Tavares had nothing to offer Nurmagomedov. The 24-year-old simply walked through the Brazilian, lighting him up, dropping him and pouncing for a elbow-filled finish. It all happened in just 1:55.
That’s Tavares, Gleison Tibau and Kamal Shalorus who have now fallen to the youngster in the cage, and it’s proof that this is a kid with all the potential needed to bash his way into title contention in the next few years.
In the buildup to last night’s showdown between Nik Lentz and Diego Nunes I found myself asking one question: how long before one of those insane kicks lands from Nunes and brings this one to a halt?
That was the wrong question to ask.
Nik utilized his wrestling skills to ground his opponent and work a steady dose of ground-and-pound and suffocating top control to earn a clear decision victory. The fight wasn’t particularly beautiful, but Lentz proved that he’s very capable of competing with the more dangerous competitors at 145 pounds.
Nunes is a fringe top-10 contender (I had him ranked inside the top 10 prior to UFC on FX 7) and Lentz made him look as though he had little business being inside the cage.
At 145 pounds, Nik Lentz is a guy that cannot be overlooked.
I don’t want to get too in-depth with this slide, because it completely disgusts me to see any member of the media trash a professional athlete. When it comes to competing as a professional mixed martial artist I believe that if you’re not capable of doing it, or not courageous enough to do it, you should watch your wording, or keep those words tucked in the back of your throat.
Now with that said, Pedro Nobre turned in one interesting performance last night that may well have signaled a potential career change.
After being dominated, flattened out and hammered on by Yuri Alcantara, referee Dan Miragliotta intervened and separated the two. Warnings for illegal punches to the back of Nobre’s head were tossed in the direction of Alcantara.
However, Alcantara doesn’t speak English, which is ultimately what led to the separation.
Dan extended Nobre the chance to regain his bearings, but Nobre had no intention of continuing to fight. He hammed the situation up, and by his demeanor you’d swear the punches that Yuri was landing were life-threatening.
The only problem with the whole ordeal came after the replays were screened, which allowed those viewing to see that Alcantara’s strikes weren’t hitting the back of Nobre’s head. He simply wanted out and sacrificed his dignity in order to make his escape.
For a few moments though, it all looked so real. I saw a stretcher in Nobre’s future, until...
I said I wasn’t going to invest much time on the last slide. I lied, so I’m making up for it here.
Wagner Prado looks fit to tear through regional competition with ease. He does not, however, look fit to compete amongst the world’s greatest fighters.
This man’s greatest accomplishment was surviving into the second round against Phil Davis. Seriously, that’s his greatest accomplishment to date.
Wagner, I’m not mad at you brother, but you’re not quite prepared to compete at this level.
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