UFC Fight Night 39: 5 Key Takeaways from Abu Dhabi
UFC Fight Night 39 took place in Abu Dhabi. The stage was built specifically for the event, and it was capped off with a big knockout win from Roy Nelson.
The eight-fight card delivered quality action for an afternoon card.
Sometimes it is a struggle to take something away from these event cards. However, the event from Abu Dhabi did give us something to think about following all of the action.
It was a good way to spend a Friday afternoon and still allowed you to enjoy the weekend without a fight card at night.
These are five takeaways from Friday's UFC event.
Fighters Are Getting Better at Call-Outs
When Joe Rogan, Jon Anik or whomever grabbed the mic to ask fighters post-fight who they would like to fight next, generally the response was, "Whoever Dana White and Joe Silva put in front of me."
While a great company line, it does nothing to help further the career of the winner. They are given a chance with a live microphone to make some noise, and most pass. Now, it seems, fighters are starting to get a bit better at this.
Multiple fighters told Dan Hardy, a newly minted UFC commentator, specific individuals they would like to fight in their next outing.
That may or may not work, but ultimately there is no harm in making a bit of noise. On Friday, the call-out of choice seemed to be Conor McGregor. Both featherweight winners, Jim Alers and Clay Guida, said they would like to fight him next.
We can only hope to hear more fighters grab the mic and generate a little heat for their next fights.
Ryan LaFlare Deserves a Bigger Fight
Ryan LaFlare picked up his 11th straight victory to keep his perfect record intact, but ask around to casual MMA fans and I'd wager most do not know who he is.
He deserves a bigger fight.
LaFlare debuted in the UFC in 2013 and has defeated every single opponent to date. He is 4-0 inside the friendly confines of the Octagon. His last two opponents are notable fighters in Court McGee and John Howard.
His fights are not always the most exciting, but he is the one who keeps getting his hand raised at the end of the bout.
Welterweight is a packed division, but there should be a spot for him against someone ranked in the top 15. He's earned it.
Clay Guida Can Help Clear out the Featherweight Division
Clay Guida is not likely to ever challenge for the title. He was already put down against top contender Chad Mendes with relative ease, but Guida is still a valuable commodity in the division.
Guida is not quite a gatekeeper, but he can help clear out the riff-raff at 145.
He is ranked in the top 10 and has a unique style that will challenge the rest of the field. Should Guida return to peak form, he could make a case for being a contender that champion Jose Aldo has never fought. The champion has cleaned out his division and now has a series of rematches awaiting him.
Guida can help the UFC by creating that next title contender in a loss, or showing they are not ready. If he wasn't in title contention himself he would be classified as a gatekeeper, but he does has a legitimate shot at earning a bid for 12 pounds of gold.
Nogueira Should Retire
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was easy pickens for Roy Nelson on Friday.
He was slow, plodding and, in general, old.
Nelson could take his time, pick his shots and finish. That is exactly what he did. He dropped Nogueira twice before starching him with a final overhand right. He was in no rush to flatten the MMA legend.
Minotauro has nothing left to prove. He has been a champion. Now it is time to find the next move in his career, and it shouldn't entail stepping through the cage doors again. If the UFC were smart, they would cut him from the roster if he chooses to continue on.
Nogueira has taken a lot of punishment over the years. Why risk further long-term damage? It's unnecessary.
This should be Nogueira's final fight, but only time will tell if that will be the case.
Fight Pass Is Worth the Investment
For only $9.99 a month we are able to get the exciting bouts of action that we saw on Friday afternoon.
MMA and professional wrestling fans have spent that type of money before on a single regional independent show before. I know I have. So, paying $9.99 for UFC content is a steal.
The question going into Fight Pass was if we would get quality action. And we have gotten that thus far in just two months.
No, they will not be PPV quality cards. And they shouldn't be. However, we are getting to see several quality fighters step into the cage and put on entertaining fights. That is well worth the cheap price of admission.
That is not including the fight library and current season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil.
For less than the cost of a pizza you can get a month's worth of fantastic content and live fights. UFC Fight Pass is worth the investment for any fight fan.