UFC Fight Night 42 Results: Burning Questions Heading into UFC 174
UFC Fight Night 42 is in the books. The results are as follows:
- Benson Henderson defeats Rustam Khabilov via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:16 of the fourth round
- Diego Sanchez defeats Ross Pearson by split decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28)
- John Dodson defeats John Moraga by TKO (doctor stoppage) at 5:00 of the second round
- Rafael dos Anjos defeats Jason High by TKO at 3:36 of the second round
- Piotr Hallmann defeats Yves Edwards via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:31 of the third round
- Bryan Caraway defeats Erik Perez via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:52 of the second round
- Sergio Pettis defeats Yaotzin Meza by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Lance Benoist defeats Bobby Voelker by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Scott Jorgensen defeats Danny Martinez by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Jon Tuck defeats Jake Lindsey by TKO (verbal tapout) at 2:47 of the third round
- Patrick Cummins defeats Roger Narvaez by TKO at 2:28 of the second round
Next up? UFC 174.
Headlined by the flyweight title fight between Demetrious Johnson and Ali Bagautinov, UFC 174 has an intriguing mix of young and old talent. A potential welterweight title eliminator sits in the co-main event slot and two important light heavyweight tilts in Ovince St. Preux vs. Ryan Jimmo and Rafael Cavalcante vs. Ryan Bader sit on the main card. Oh...and former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski is returning after six years! That's pretty cool, too.
So what topics are worth discussing around the water cooler?
Find out right here!
Will Mike Easton Validate His Rating?
So look, I'm not somebody to kick a man while they're down...but I am somebody that will complain about rankings. Mike Easton, riding a three-fight losing streak, is currently rated at No. 8 in the bantamweight rankings. To quote Joe Rogan, "that's crazy!"
Easton has been facing serious competition of late, sure. There's no shame in losing to Raphael Assuncao, Brad Pickett and TJ Dillashaw. But well...losing is bad. Losing three times in a row? That is really bad.
Now, he is slated to face Yves Jabouin. Easy fight? No, but it shouldn't be too much trouble for a real top-10 talent.
So does Easton fit that bill?
What the Heck Will Happen in the Women's MMA Bout?
That's Germaine de Randaime. She was scheduled to face Milana Dudieva.
De Randaime ended up being pulled off the card due to visa issues. She was replaced by Valerie Letourneau. Then Dudieva was also pulled off the card due to visa issues. She was replaced by Elizabeth Phillips.
So now, Germaine de Randaime vs. Miliana Dudieva has become Valerie Letourneau vs. Elizabeth Phillips.
It's a unique fight, to be sure. Since the initial injection of female talent into the UFC, we've primarily seen fighters pulled from international and regional promotions debut against the Invicta and Strikeforce imports they built the division on (Bethe Correia vs. Julie Kedzie, Rosi Sexton vs. Alexis Davis, etc.). This is the first UFC fight between two genuine female prospects not pulled from The Ultimate Fighter.
So how will it go? Will we see legitimate talents here or will it be an ugly display between two less-than-seasoned fighters?
Is Ovince St. Preux Becoming Something More Than a Prospect?
Before Zuffa bought up Strikeforce, Ovince St. Preux was one of the hottest light heavyweight prospects outside the UFC. The wrestler-turned-kickboxer-turned-mixed martial artist was a 205-pound version of electrifying welterweight Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, combining similar skills alongside a hulking physique. So Strikeforce did what any intelligent promotion does when they're sure they have "the next big thing" on their hands...they groomed him against weaker competition.
When the UFC scooped him up, they carried on in the same way. Between the two promotions, he has amassed an impressive 9-1 record, and he has finished his two most recent opponents with a technical submission of Nikita Krylov and a knockout of Cody Donovan. Now, he is set to face Ryan Jimmo.
Jimmo isn't elite competition, but he is the first fighter with both grappling and striking that OSP has faced since the 2011 version of Gegard Mousasi. This, folks, is where we will see how good St. Preux has become over the last four years.
So how good is he at this point? Has he become the kind of fighter Scott Coker believed he could be? Or will he prove to wind up being just another decent light heavyweight?
So...is Brendan Schaub Actually Any Good?
Brendan Schaub has a great agent. He has a podcast for Fox Sports, pops up on ESPN's SportsCenter from time to time and may or may not be dating Ronda Rousey.
All that in spite of being the most middle-of-the-pack guy in the UFC's shallowest division.
This isn't to hate on the former Utah Blazer in the slightest, mind you. He's one of the few actual athletes in the UFC's heavyweight division, has demonstrated plenty of pop in his hands and has shown budding Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills, in spite of that whole Metamoris debacle. Is he an established high-level mixed martial arts veteran, though? No.
We have seen him get knocked out three times now by less-than-elite competition, and his biggest win came opposite the 2011 version of Mirko Cro Cop or Gabriel Gonzaga (who would get cut after the fight, no less). His place in the division is completely unknown despite nearly five years in the UFC.
Well, with the heavyweight division having its first true house-cleaning since the era when wild Hagues and Hardonks roamed free, the 31-year-old slugger has a big opportunity to stake his claim as one of the guys to watch...again. All he has to do is beat Andrei Arlovski...something that you have to be pretty darn good to pull off (unless you're Brett Rogers).
Maybe if he does that, all that attention he gets will make more sense.
How Good Is Andrei Arlovski at This Point?
Andrei Arlovski was my favorite character to play on UFC Undisputed 2009. How long ago does that feel, guys? And he actually left a year before that!
But now he's back in the UFC again! Crazy, right?
While many were calling for Arlovski to retire after suffering three brutal knockout losses in a four-fight stretch, he has bounced back admirably. He is 6-1 (1) since leaving Strikeforce in 2011, and still hits really, really hard.
So what does he have left in him? Can he hang with today's breed of UFC heavyweights?
No idea! But it will be very interesting to see.
What Does a Win Mean to Winner of Rory MacDonald vs. Tyron Woodley?
The welterweight division is totally crazy right now. But crazy in a good way. There are at least a half-dozen fighters that all have a legitimate claim to a title fight, but there just isn't enough Johny Hendricks to go around.
Two of the fighters looking for a shot are Rory MacDonald and Tyron Woodley, and they face off in the UFC 174 co-main event.
MacDonald is one of the most well-rounded fighters of today, and has long been regarded as GSP's successor. Woodley, meanwhile, beat Carlos Condit, who many assumed would be the first challenger for Hendricks. It would be hard to make an argument against either one of them getting a title shot with one more win...
Or it would be, if there weren't two other fights involving qualified challengers in the immediate future; Robbie Lawler faces off with Matt Brown at UFC on Fox 12 in July, and Dong-Hyun Kim faces off with Hector Lombard a month later at UFC Fight Night 48.
So then, what will a win mean for either MacDonald or Woodley? Could an emphatic knockout let them leapfrog their way into a title shot? Could it wind up resulting in a miniature tournament? Will a boring split decision knock them back and set them up to face a dark-horse contender like Tarec Saffiedine instead?
No clue. But man, it will be interesting to see how the 170-pound title picture shakes out.
Can Demetrious Johnson Continue His Greatness?
There is no questioning that Demetrious Johnson is one of the best fighters in the sport today. Frankly, given how dominant he has been, you could make a strong case for him being the pound-for-pound best (next to Jon Jones, of course). Ali Bagautinov is good, sure, but so is Joseph Benavidez, and we just saw "Mighty Mouse" punch his face clean off.
One more big win for Johnson and it's hard not to give him that "unstoppable" label usually withheld exclusively for heavier fighters. He has already beaten every other potential contender at least once, and there are few real tests for him past Bagautinov.
So, will Johnson outclass the Dagestani the way he did with Benavidez and John Moraga? Or could Bagautinov prove to be a challenge for him?
What Will the Buyrate Be Like?
This is a big, interesting question. The UFC's flyweight division started off with criticisms of boring fights, unremarkable fighters and doubt regarding whether fans would ever actually warm up to pint-size brawlers.
In the two years since, the "boring" label has generally faded, courtesy of entertaining performances from most of the division's top-10. The questions of talent have also fallen by the wayside, as Demetrious Johnson rose through the pound-for-pound rankings while John Dodson and Joseph Benavidez both demonstrated themselves to be some of the best fighters in the UFC not wearing a belt.
But what of the fans? Have they come to love Johnson's brilliant ringcraft? The buyrates for this card will be a great way to find out.
If this card does something along the lines of 300,000 buys, it will represent a true shift in MMA. If it proves to be a sub-200,000 buy dud (which, unfortunately, is far more likely) it's hard to imagine that we'll ever see Johnson, or any other flyweight for that matter, headline a pay-per-view card again.