UFC Fight Night 106 Results: The Real Winners and Losers from Brazil
UFC Fight Night 106 in Fortaleza, Brazil, offered a bumpy ride for fight fans.
There were sensational finishes, middling performances and downright boring fights.
The main event saw Kelvin Gastelum defeat Vitor Belfort in the first round. The Ultimate Fighter winner didn't have any trouble with the former light heavyweight champion, and is making his mark on the middleweight division.
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua picked up his third straight win with a TKO against Gian Villante in the co-main event. The victory keeps Rua in position to contend in a very shallow division in spite of being past his prime.
Those were just two of the results, but who were the real winners and losers?
There's only one way to find out. Continue on to see who walked out of Fortaleza as a real winner or real loser following UFC Fight Night 106.
Winner: Paulo Henrique Costa
Beating Garreth McLellan isn’t going to send “Borrachinha” up into contention, but it was an opportunity to look good in his debut. And he certainly achieved that with a first-round TKO.
He is a young face in the aging middleweight division. The performance at UFC Fight Night 106 will certainly put more eyes on him as a fighter to watch in the future. “Borrachinha” is a physical specimen who looks the part, and he fought the part on Saturday evening. Against lesser competition.
If Costa can repeat again he may become the “It” fighter at 185.
Loser, Winner and Loser Again: Josh Burkman
Josh Burkman caused two re-writes. The slide was originally dedicated to calling him a loser, but a quick action post-fight changed it all to making him a winner, and then he became a loser again.
Burkman got steamrolled by Michel “Tractor” Prazeres, and the narrative of Burkman being well past done was writing itself. His UFC return has been nothing but a colossal disappointment. After the defeat in Brazil, Burkman took off his gloves and left them in the cage.
The apparent retirement moved Burkman into the winner’s column. He would have walked out on his own terms and wouldn’t be fighting anymore. Then UFC analyst Brian Stann tweeted that Burkman told media he was, in fact, not done. That’s a terrible decision. He is 1-5 with one no contest since his return, and the no contest was originally a loss to Hector Lombard. He just doesn’t have it anymore.
Walk away, Josh. Please. You’ll be a winner if you just walk away from this unforgiving sport.
Winner: Kevin Lee
A hot prospect keeps rising. Kevin Lee picked up a huge victory that will move him into the rankings come Monday.
Lee suffered through a difficult first round where at times it looked like he was not ready for the challenge. Francisco Trinaldo was manhandling the young buck and hurt him twice. Everything was going the Brazilian’s way.
In the second, Lee went to work. A head kick wobbled Trinaldo allowing Lee to mount on the ground. Not long after came the choke and the tap. Lee is a fun, talented, young lightweight to keep an eye on in 2017. After this performance, expect ranked fights from here on out.
It was the kind of performance that puts the spotlight directly on a fighter. Now he has to prove he belongs against the elite.
Winner: Alex Oliveira
The first fight between Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira and Tim Means ended in controversy, but the second fight found its definitive end.
Oliveira put in his best performance yet inside the Octagon as he ousted Means with a rear-naked choke in the second round. Means was never able to get his offense going in any meaningful way.
After their first go around, this was the end their brief rivalry deserved. The two embraced after the fight to squash any personal beef.
The real reason Cowboy is a winner is that he now keeps his streak going. He is 3-0 (1 NC) in his last four outings. That’s big in the welterweight division. Showing constant improvement while being an exciting fighter should garner him a ranked opponent for his next fight.
Loser: Mario Yamasaki
I write this letter as an appeal to get you to do your job. It’s really easy. When you see an infraction, such as Jussier Formiga blatantly grabbing the fence to stop a takedown, you can take a point.
I know it’s difficult to follow the rulebook and actually penalize fighters, but it’s your job.
Winner: Edson Barboza
This man’s highlight reel is one of the best in MMA history, and he added to it at UFC Fight Night 106.
Beneil Dariush was doing everything right...and still ended up unconscious.
Barboza struggled in the first round, but in the second a single flying knee put Dariush to bed. Barboza didn’t even have the common decency to put a blanket over him while he napped. Ruthless.
The real reason Barboza is a winner is that his victory moves him right back into the title picture. The title picture is logjammed currently, but there are plenty of opportunities for Barboza at the top end of the division. Barboza is not an afterthought after his most recent vicious KO.
Winner: Shogun Rua & Old MMA Fans
There is no question that Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is past his prime and no longer an elite fighter. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that fact. MMA is fast-paced in the cage and in its growth, and it’s gone by Shogun after years of wars.
With that said, no one wants to see these longtime fan favorites get destroyed by mid-tier opposition. That is what was on the table against Gian Villante.
Rua got clipped early, but for most of the fight he was winning. That was good enough for fans not wanting to see Shogun get iced. Then, in the third round, Shogun put together a fight-ending combination that put the fans on their feet.
Hooray! No one is sad! Well, except Villante and his supporters.
But the old guard won! That’s a win for everyone.
Loser: Vitor Belfort
He’s done. Come to grips with it, fight fans.
Belfort looked better than he has in a while in the early goings of the fight, but Gastelum still steamrolled him. It wasn’t very competitive.
Belfort is knocking on 40 with nearly as many fights. Fighting upper-echelon fighters in the UFC just isn’t the right path for him anymore. Are there fights out there? Sure. In his post-fight interview in the cage he mentioned he has one more fight on his UFC deal and wants to fight in Rio. That’s fine. Just match him up with someone more his speed.
We probably already saw the end of Belfort as a relevant middleweight, but Gastelum put a stamp on it.
Winner: Kelvin Gastelum
First and foremost he’s a winner because he didn’t bring up welterweight in his post-fight interview. That’s a big step forward. There’s no need.
Now, more importantly, dispatching of a legitimate MMA legend puts Gastelum right into the mix at 185 pounds. He is a legitimate contender already. Gastelum has beaten two solid contenders in Tim Kennedy and Belfort. Next is to take a step toward the top five.
Gastelum called out Anderson Silva in his post-fight interview with Brian Stann, but that’s not the right fight. Silva is past his prime as well, and not at the top of the division. There are better, more relevant, fights to make for a rising star like Gastelum.
Gastelum has long been on the cusp of MMA stardom. A loss here, a missed weight there have always stopped his ascent. After his two recent performances at middleweight he is once again on the cusp. He needs to realize that stardom and become the fighter and draw everyone sees in him.
Main Card on Fox Sports 1
- Kelvin Gastelum def. Vitor Belfort by TKO at 3:52 of the first round
- Mauricio Rua def. Gian Villante by TKO at 0:59 of the third round
- Edson Barboza def. Beneil Dariush by KO at 3:35 of the second round
- Ray Borg def. Jussier Formiga by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Bethe Correia and Marion Reneau fought to a majority draw (27-29, 28-28, 28-28)
- Alex Oliveira def. Tim Means via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:38 of the second round
Prelims on Fox Sports 1
- Kevin Lee def. Francisco Trinaldo via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:12 of the second round
- Sergio Moraes def. Davi Ramos by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Joe Soto def. Rani Yahya by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
- Michel Prazeres def. Josh Burkman via submission (north-south choke) at 1:41 of the first round
Prelims on UFC Fight Pass
- Jeremy Kennedy def. Rony Jason by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
- Paulo Henrique Costa def. Garreth McLellan by TKO at 1:17 of the first round