UFC Fight Night 40 delivered a lot of action on Saturday evening from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Matt Brown defeated Erick Silva in an instant classic in the night's main event, and Costas Philippou took out Lorenz Larkin in the co-main event. Also, Daron Cruickshank continued his ascent in the lightweight division with a TKO of highly touted prospect Erik Koch.
And those were just the top three billed fights.
The show delivered on action but not on aftermath. The vast majority of fights have no immediate impact on their respective divisions and were just merely there to fill out the card.
Here are four key takeaways following UFC Fight Night 40.
Lighter Weights Still Don't Get Respect
Nik Lentz is a ranked featherweight, and he was relegated to a UFC Fight Pass prelim against Manny Gamburyan.
Why is the #4 bantamweight being buried on the FS2 prelims? #justiceforEddie— Michael Carroll (@MJCflipdascript) May 7, 2014
Eddie Wineland was the No. 4-ranked bantamweight, and he was on the Fox Sports 2 preliminary card. Wineland was not even in the preliminary main event. No, he opened the preliminary card.
Darrell Montague was another sub-155-pound fighter who is ranked but put on the preliminary card.
Other ranked fighters, in higher weight classes, are not often placed on UFC Fight Pass or Fox Sports 2 preliminary cards. Why is it different for these fighters? They deserve to be shown more respect than what the UFC is currently giving them.
Flyweights, bantamweights and featherweights offer some of the best action in MMA today, and the UFC is making the fans seek them out as opposed to putting them on a platform to get more views. As the divisions continue to fill out with talent, hopefully that will change.
Won't Improve? You Will Get Caught
Eddie Wineland has gotten away with having his hands down thanks in part to his speed and his chin. He has never truly improved in that area, and now as the talent level has been raised at 135 pounds, he got caught.
It goes to show that all fighters must continually seek to improve their deficiencies. Striking defense was one of Wineland's, and it cost him.
He walked into the cage against a very talented striker, and Johnny Eduardo needed less than a round to make Wineland eat canvas.
This should serve as a lesson to the other fighters on the roster: Never stop improving.
Athleticism Doesn't Make Up for Technique
Erik Koch and Lorenz Larkin are two talented fighters, but largely they are heralded for their athleticism. They have been tapped as big prospects in the past, but they have never really taken the next step up the ladder.
All that athleticism does not make up for technique. This showed at UFC Fight Night 40.
Daron Cruickshank has a lot of technique in his striking, and he put Koch away. The same can be said for Costas Philippou. The more technical strikers finished their opposition on Saturday.
It is great to see better athletes take up MMA, but they have to develop their skill set and not rely strictly on their physical assets.
Matt Brown Earned His Spot Among the Elites
Brown now is tied for the second-longest win streak in the UFC at seven. During that run, he has not defeated a top-five fighter, but after seven consecutive wins, Browns earned his right to be considered elite.
It is incredibly difficult to get seven straight wins in the welterweight division. It is talent rich. Brown has not only won seven straight, but he has finished six of those fights. That is incredible.
No one welterweight has a win streak this long. They have all faltered somewhere along the way. Brown continues on as he tries for a title shot. As he works on his third straight year of being unbeaten, Brown has earned the right to have his named placed among the top of the division.
His performance against Silva put a stamp on that notion. The UFC should recognize this and give him a very big fight next time out.