UFC 169: Post-Fight Stock Report
UFC 169 was not the Super Bowl weekend event everyone was hoping for.
The event posted a new UFC record for decisions on a single card (10), and most of those decisions were not entertaining fights.
The Nova Uniao crew retained its gold in dominating fashion. Jose Aldo cruised to a decision over Ricardo Lamas, and Renan Barao got a first-round TKO over Urijah Faber. The team continues to showcase its dominance of the lighter-weight classifications.
This is a look at the post-fight stock report following the UFC's first pay-per-view of 2014.
Stock Down: Everyone Associated with the Undercard
UFC president Dana White, matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby, the fighters and the fans were all losers in the UFC 169 preliminary card.
It was dreadful.
There was a fun fight between Al Iaquinta and Kevin Lee, but the totality of the preliminary card eclipsed the fight. The mediocrity overshadowed their work.
Seven fights, seven decisions. Decisions are not inherently bad, but these were not seven exciting scraps that set the house on fire. It was a lackluster start to the event. The prelims did not help build any new stars, and they did not help the crowd get into the event.
Stock Up: Abel Trujillo and Jamie Varner
Abel Trujillo and Jamie Varner threw down in the first round to ignite the crowd—a much-needed start to the PPV broadcast after the abysmal preliminary card.
The action continued into the second round and even picked up steam. Varner tagged Trujillo, but he could not put him away. Trujillo stayed upright.
Varner was clearly tired, but he sensed that Trujillo was still hurt. He was trying to end the fight. With his hands down and coming forward, Trujillo pasted Varner with a sweeping right hand. Varner kissed the canvas.
Trujillo is the big winner from the fight, but both men walk away winners in the fans' eyes. This was a great fight to set the tone for the main card.
Stock Down: John Lineker
John Lineker seemed to be on the brink of a title shot even with missing weight three of five times in his UFC career. Then he stepped on the scale again at UFC 169.
He came in overweight once more but was able to make the limit in his second attempt. His title shot was disappearing before his eyes.
He then stepped in against Ali Bagautinov and was outperformed by the Russian.
Bagautinov took the first and third rounds cleanly to push Lineker out of the title picture. It was not a good event for Lineker, and he may have to take a look at moving up a weight class to avoid any more weight-cutting issues.
This was not the weekend Lineker was looking for.
Stock Up: Alistair Overeem
Alistair Overeem and Frank Mir met in a heavyweight battle with their UFC careers likely on the line. Overeem got the better of Mir and will remain a factor in the UFC's heavyweight division.
Overeem had a few noticeable improvements to his game. He moved more efficiently and had much better cardio. That is not to say he was infallible in this fight, but the improvements are a good sign moving forward.
With contenders hard to come by, this win was big for Overeem. He is not going to be too far off from title contention. If he comes out and stops his next opponent, his name will be tossed around in that discussion.
Overeem needed this win, and he got it.
Stock Down: Ricardo Lamas
Ricardo Lamas had a solid fifth and final round against Jose Aldo, but all in all, it was a disappointing performance from the challenger.
For the better part of the fight, he stood and exchanged leg kicks with arguably the best striker in the world today. He only attempted a couple of halfhearted takedowns in the first three rounds of the fight. He did not back up Aldo, and he let the champion dictate the bout.
He started to turn it up in the championship rounds, but the fight was all but gone by then. Aldo was in too much control.
With the featherweight division continuing to get deeper, he likely will have to do a lot more work to earn another title shot.
Stock Up: Renan Barao
Controversial stoppage aside, Renan Barao proved he is the undisputed champion of the division.
Barao dropped Faber, flurried and reset. Faber recovered well but then ate more punishment from the champion. Barao dropped Faber once again and then pounced for the finish. Herb Dean stepped in, as Faber was not moving enough from the bottom to warrant continuing the fight.
The Brazilian continues to run up his impressive win streak, and he remains undefeated under Zuffa-controlled organizations.
It is a shame Dominick Cruz got injured, but times have changed, and it is now Barao who sits as the undisputed king of 135 pounds.