UFC 117: What We Should Be Talking About
Wow, what a night of fights. UFC 117 delivered on its promise as a stacked card delivered some great fights, many talking points, and jaw dropping moments.
Anderson Silva defended his UFC Middleweight Title after being dominated for four and half rounds by Chael Sonnen in a highly entertaining main event.
Jon Fitch ground out yet another dominating win over the top-ranked Thiago Alves and surely now is in pole position for a future Welterweight Title shot.
Junior dos Santos won again and confirmed that he will face the winner of Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez, and Matt Hughes continued to remind people that he still has a competitive future in the sport despite his addition to the UFC Hall of Fame.
With UFC 117 now in the books, it's time to take stock. As always with major UFC cards, I like to shift the focus and highlight some of the other talking points that emerge, aside from the obvious, and no, I am not referring to Silva hugging Steven Seagal before his fight.
Nelson and Dos Santos both learn lessons from UFC 117 contest
The opening fight on the PPV was the highly anticipated Heavyweight tilt between Roy Nelson and Junior dos Santos to determine a future No. 1 contender.
Who is the story of UFC 117 aside from Silva vs Sonnen
JDS won what turned out to be a fairly one-sided contest but both fighters will take a lot from the fight.
For Dos Santos, who now awaits a future title shot, it was the first time he has gone the full three rounds. That and the realization that he can't blow out every opponent he faces will be a good lesson for him.
Nelson was outclassed on the feet and took some heavy shots from "Cigano."
However, Nelson stood firm and proved he can hang with the best in the division. One has to wonder though why Nelson did not attempt more takedowns during the fight.
Not to take the fight to where you are strongest was a poor strategy from Nelson and once again I think it highlights that he needs to be part of an elite training camp.
Both fighters will emerge from Oakland with their heads held high and a number of lessons to take forward.
Matt Hughes is not ready to be confined to the history books
Matt Hughes does not seem to be concerned by the perceived opinion that being inducted to the UFC Hall of Fame is a sign that your career is coming to an end.
The former Welterweight Champion has recently put together a three-fight win streak and is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance.
Improved stand up skills, matched with his always dominating wrestling and eternally underrated jiu-jitsu make Hughes a very real threat to the top fighters in the division.
The "Country Boy" plans on doing some hunting in the fall, but expect a top opponent early in 2011. The winner of Carlos Condit vs. Dan Hardy could make a lot of sense.
Thiago Alves is done as a Top Welterweight
Thiago Alves' future as a top contender in the Welterweight Division seems to be numbered.
His second career defeat to Jon Fitch again highlighted that despite having savage Muay Thai, you have to be able to stop takedowns to be successful at 170 pounds. In a division littered with elite wrestlers, Alves simply has to improve that area of his game.
The other side issue from UFC 117 was that Alves once again failed to make weight. Dana White was clearly upset by this in the post-fight press conference and repeatedly insinuated that Alves will move to 185 pounds.
For a fighter to voluntarily give up 20 percent of his purse because he can't cut half a pound is not a good sign.
Alves may have to move up or move on.
Stefan Struve delivered one of the greatest come-from-behind victories in recent history, it was so good that it made the PPV.
The lanky Dutchman was dominated by Christian Morecraft for the the entire first round and entered the second with a sausage size lip.
Out of nowhere Struve caught Morecraft early in the second, dropped him and then proceeded to end the fight on the floor. A truly jaw-dropping moment.
Johny Hendricks has to be considered the top prospect at 170 pounds. The NCAA Division 1 wrestler won again via TKO and is now 9-0 with four wins in the UFC.
Also on the preliminary card was the uber-prospect Phil Davis, who won a unanimous decision. For those who don't know 'Mr.Wonderful,' this guy has unlimited potential and could very well be bigger then Jon Jones at 205 pounds; yes, he is that good.
The once-hot prospect Dustin Hazelett has now dropped his last two fights, both by KO or TKO. Is "McLovin" actually Superbad? Sorry, I had to drop that in!
Let me hear your thoughts.
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