UFC Fight Night 121 Results: Matches to Make for the Winners and Losers
UFC Fight Night 121 in Sydney was a brutally long card for fighters and fans alike.
It was the longest UFC card in history, per FightMetric's Michael Carroll. And it felt like it.
Fabricio Werdum edged Marcin Tybura in the main event to inch closer to a title shot, but was a decision victory enough to earn that right?
Jessica Rose-Clark picked up a victory in her UFC debut against Bec Rawlings. The short-notice replacement is out in front of the new 125-pound field with a victory. It's a big first step in becoming a contender as the UFC rolls out flyweight division for the women.
Who else will move forward and where do the losers go from here? Let's take a look at all the matches to make following UFC Fight Night 121 from Australia.
Preliminary Fights Quick Hits
Adam Wieczorek def. Anthony Hamilton by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Anthony Hamilton vs. Rashad Coulter
- Adam Wieczorek vs. Todd Duffee
Eric Shelton def. Jenel Lausa by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-25)
- Jenel Lausa vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
- Eric Shelton vs. winner of Carls John de Tomas vs. Alex Perez (December 9)
Nadia Kassem def. Alex Chambers by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
- Alex Chambers vs. Jodie Esquibel
- Nadia Kassem vs. Syuri Kondo
Frank Camacho def. Damien Brown by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
- Damien Brown vs. Tony Martin
- Frank Camacho vs. Thibault Gouti
Tai Tuivasa def. Rashad Coulter by KO at 4:35 of the first round
- Rashad Coulter vs. Anthony Hamilton
- Tai Tuivasa vs. Marcin Tybura
Nik Lentz def. Will Brooks via submission (guillotine) at 2:05 of the second round
- Will Brooks should be cut from the roster.
- Nik Lentz vs. Jorge Masvidal
Ryan Benoit def. Ashkan Mokhtarian by KO at 2:38 of the third round
- Ashkan Mokhtarian vs. Jenel Lausa
- Ryan Benoit vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Shane Young
Alexander Volkanovski def. Shane Young by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Shane Young was a short-notice replacement who held his own. He should meet Mike Santiago for a chance to redeem himself on a full camp.
Volkanovski was a big favorite, but the Australian didn't set the world on fire. Thus, a big leap in competition is not in order.
Jeremy Kennedy may be the right choice.
Kennedy is also undefeated inside the Octagon, but he's without a signature victory. A victory in this fight would propel either man into bigger fights with significant impact on the featherweight division. It's an appropriate matchup for where they are at in the division.
Elias Theodorou vs. Dan Kelly
Elias Theodorou def. Dan Kelly by unanimous decision (30-28, 30-27, 30-26)
After UFC Fight Night 119, I wrote that Jack Hermansson should fight the loser of this bout. Well, Dan Kelly lost.
That's a more than appropriate fight for a future undercard in Europe.
Elias Theodorou picked up a nice victory that should net him another midtier middleweight contest. He won't be jumping into the fray for a ranked bout just yet.
The Ultimate Fighter 26 finale on December 1 should produce his next opponent. Eric Spicely and Gerald Meerschaert do battle, with the winner being a good candidate to take on Theodorou in 2018.
Jake Matthews vs. Bojan Velickovic
Jake Matthews def. Bojan Velickovic by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
It was a solid welterweight debut for Jake Matthews. But the UFC should take it slow with the Aussie's progression at the higher weight.
Shinsho Anzai should be the call. He'd be a solid test for Matthews, but that bout wouldn't throw him into the deep end of the pool. The UFC would get a good gauge for where his development is heading after this contest.
Velickovic was competitive. He won't fall too far after the showing.
How about Tim Means? Velickovic and Means would put on a nice show and will be on the same timetable.
Belal Muhammad vs. Tim Means
Belal Muhammad def. Tim Means by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
If you're following along, you've noticed I have slotted Tim Means against Bojan Velickovic. Moving on.
Belal Muhammad figured out Means' range in the latter part of the fight, and that was enough to pick up the victory.
In the post-fight interview in the cage, Muhammad called out Colby Covington. The call-out was good, but he is not going to get that fight. Nor should fans want it. Stylistically, it'd be a boring matchup, with Covington likely just taking Muhammad down for 15 minutes.
With the division having a big logjam, it's really tough to get a premier fight. Matching up Muhammad with Leon Edwards would send the winner into those bigger bouts. It's one of the more enticing options available.
Bec Rawlings vs. Jessica Rose-Clark
Jessica Rose-Clark def. Bec Rawlings by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
The UFC should cut ties with Bec Rawlings. She didn't get blown out of the water in this fight, but it's her third straight loss with a 3-6 record in both Invicta and the UFC. The talent level is just not there for the UFC.
Jessica Rose-Clark didn't look like a worldbeater either, but she showed better well-rounded skills in the victory after coming in on short notice.
The UFC is just starting the flyweight division and needs bodies. Signing an Ultimate Fighter cast member to a contract or bringing in a newer flyweight makes sense, and Rose-Clark is a suitable opponent for whomever that may be. Her next fight is an opportunity to showcase her skills.
And she better come in on weight or else her stint in the big leagues may be short.
Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura
Fabricio Werdum def. Marcin Tybura by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
Fabricio Werdum put in his work and got out of Sydney with a win. But he didn't get the dominant victory he needed to challenge Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight gold.
Marcin Tybura showed heart while taking a beating before putting together some solid offense in the fifth round.
Tai Tuivasa got an emphatic win during the preliminary bouts, and a future date with Tybura should set up both men well to make waves in the division.
Alistair Overeem vs. Francis Ngannou at UFC 218 on December 2 is the de facto title eliminator at heavyweight. Werdum is not getting the shot. So, who should Werdum face? How about Curtis Blaydes?
I suggested that fight following Blaydes' victory over Aleksei Oleinik at UFC 217. It would give Blaydes a chance to move into true contention and keep Werdum active while the title picture clears out. A dominant victory should put Werdum in the driver's seat for a mid-2018 title tilt.