UFC 190 Results: The Real Winners and Losers from Rousey vs. Correia Fight CardAugust 2, 2015
UFC 190 Results: The Real Winners and Losers from Rousey vs. Correia Fight Card
No mistake about it. Ronda Rousey was the showcase.
UFC 190, which took place Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, was more than just a vehicle for the biggest star going in MMA. It was a test case. How far can Rousey carry an event with nothing but her own broad celebrity shoulders?
Bethe Correia, the challenger to her women's bantamweight belt, was a good foil to Rousey in every way except the fighting. After besting Rousey's lower-tier buddies, Correia baited Rousey with verbal chum that the champ was only too happy to snap up. The verbal sparring continued for months, with varying degrees of success.
The only problem was, eventually, Correia's body had to cash the check her mouth scrawled out. That was UFC 190.
It didn't get much better from there. In the co-main event, aging Brazilian stars Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira fought for the nostalgic devotion of their countrymen. It was a matchup that could not have been any less meaningful, even in a field as thin as the UFC light heavyweight division.
Obviously, these were just the expectations of MMA's self-styled intelligentsia. Could the athletes who do their talking in the cage strike a blow to us pointy-headed keyboard warriors? There were 13 bouts at UFC 190, so there was ample opportunity to do so.
The final stat lines, as always, only reveal so much. These are the real winners and losers from Rio de Janeiro.
UFC 190 Full Card Results
Ronda Rousey def. Bethe Correia by TKO, 0:34, Rd. 1
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua def. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by unanimous decision
Glaico Franca def. Fernando Bruno by submission (rear-naked choke), 4:46, Rd. 3 (wins TUF: Brazil 4 lightweight bracket)
Reginaldo Vieira def. Dileno Lopes by unanimous decision (wins TUF: Brazil 4 bantamweight bracket)
Stefan Struve def. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira by unanimous decision
Antonio Silva def. Soa Palelei by TKO, 0:41, Rd. 2
Claudia Gadelha def. Jessica Aguilar by unanimous decision
Demian Maia def. Neil Magny by submission (rear-naked choke), 2:52, Rd. 2
Patrick Cummins def. Rafael Cavalcante TKO, 0:45, Rd. 3
Warlley Alves def. Nordine Taleb by submission (guillotine choke), 4:11, Rd. 2
Iuri Alcantara def. Leandro Issa by unanimous decision
Vitor Miranda def. Clint Hester by TKO, 2:38, Rd. 2
Guido Cannetti def. Hugo Viana by unanimous decision
Winner: Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey's slipping. I mean, 34 seconds? Come on.
In her last fight, she got it done in 14 seconds with that submission of Cat Zingano. Before that, facing Alexis Davis, she got the knockout in 16 seconds. What gives, Champ?
Rousey never seemed to think seriously about a takedown. She wanted to bang with the banger. A half-clinch begat uppercuts, then combinations that tumbled with increasing ferocity.
Correia tried, futilely, to return fire. Against the fence, she was next to helpless as Rousey landed big rights to the head while working lefts and knees to the body. A right hand to the temple dropped Correia like a bag of dirt, and there's your ball game.
Rousey was clearly satisfied with beating Correia at her own game, given the war of words between the two that preceded the bout for months.
"How we planned it out was to overwhelm her," Rousey told broadcaster Joe Rogan in the cage after the fight. "I guess she can't really say anything about my hands anymore, huh? I hope that nobody really rips on my family anymore when it comes to my fights. I hope this is the last time."
I think it was, Ronda. I think it was.
Now on to a third match with Miesha Tate, the only opponent to ever take Rousey out of the first round. Is Rousey primed for even more slippage, into—gasp—the championship rounds? Perchance to dream.
Loser: Bethe Correia
Sorry, Bethe Correia. You talked a good game, but the walk wasn't quite where it needed to be.
Right before she went down under that right hand from Rousey, Correia had a distinctly "I don't want to be here anymore" air about her. Not that I blame her, of course. I'd be the same way. Then again, I didn't pick a fight with Ronda Rousey.
If Correia landed any punch, it was probably not much more than a glancer. She was overwhelmed from the start, just as Rousey intended.
Kudos to Correia for talking her way into a big fight and a big payday. I hope she has a good accountant, because it's hard to see another fight like this one coming her way any time soon.
Winner: Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
Both Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira worked hard to re-create their 2005 classic from Pride, which Rua won.
They didn't quite get there, which was understandable based on their combined age (72) these days. But I give them props for at least trying.
Their first fight ended in a unanimous-decision win for Rua, and so did the rematch Saturday night. He weathered some early heavy shots from Lil Nog before returning fire, and while he didn't land a definitive blow, he wore Lil Nog down with consistent punishment to the body while staying clear of additional big strikes.
As Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting put it on Twitter, Rua and Nogueira did their part in "turning back the clock" Saturday night. I guess it was enough. I guess.
Loser: Jessica Aguilar
It's one thing for a fighter to believe they're No. 1. It's another for the media to go along for the ride.
Guess Jessica Aguilar had everyone fooled.
Back when she was still with World Series of Fighting—and it was reasonably safe to do so—Aguilar and plenty of observers opined that she might very well be the best women's strawweight in all of MMA.
"It is what it is," she told Jonathan Snowden of Bleacher Report. "A lot of people say, "Do you think you're the best?' It's not if I think. I am the best. Look at my record. This is why I'm No. 1. Yeah, I am the best. I'm going to continue being the best. And I'm going to retire the best."
So yes, when Aguilar made her UFC debut Saturday night against Claudia Gadelha, there were plenty of eyes on the matchup. It was not a lay-up for either side, as Gadelha is the UFC's No. 1 strawweight in the official rankings. Maybe that's why there was some thought that it deserved co-main event status.
Inasmuch as it was essentially a battle for the next title shot, it probably was positioned too low on the main card. Inasmuch as it was a trucking for Gadelha, thanks to a strong jab, sharp combos and physical takedowns, it was probably just about right.
Cheers to Gadelha, who justified her top-contender status and probably cemented her rematch with champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who won a close split decision in the original contest. But jeers to Aguilar. She has victories in front of her, sure, but she got pieced up Saturday and found herself unequal to the hype, much (though not all) of which was of her own making.
Winner: Antonio Silva
You have to love this man they call Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.
Who else thrives in the underdog role like Bigfoot? He did it against Fedor Emelianenko, he did it against Alistair Overeem and he did it (to an admittedly lesser extent) at UFC 190 against Soa Palelei.
Winless in three straight coming in, Silva hadn't looked the same since the sport's 2014 ban on TRT. His chin looked shot and, hey, maybe it still is. For all his power, Palelei was tentative early and didn't, for whatever reason, put Bigfoot's jaw to the test.
Silva cashed in early in the second round, sending the Hulk reeling with an uppercut and then finishing the job with the same.
It wasn't great art, but at 35 years old, Silva just gave his career new life. What's next? Hard to say. Certainly several novelty-type fights out there for him. Maybe an eventual rematch with Mark Hunt is in the offing?
Loser: Neil Magny
This was the biggest fight of Neil Magny's UFC career. Toiling hard in the bowels of the undercards, Magny laced together a seven-fight winning streak in just 18 months. There were some good names in there, too, including solid welterweights like Tim Means and Alex Garcia.
It all led up to a plum spot as the undercard main event, setting the table for a high-profile pay-per-view. But he'd have to face down Demian Maia. Sure, Maia's aging and maybe not who he used to be, but he's still a doggone dangerous grappler.
From about 20 seconds on, Maia dominated this fight.
Maia brandished his terrific single-leg takedown and was on top of Magny immediately. He passed guard, took Magny's back and grabbed full mount like he was working with a dummy.
It ended late in the second frame, when Magny tapped to a rear-naked choke. Magny's only 27 years old and still 15-4 as a pro. He has plenty of good fights and, at least theoretically, opportunities remaining. For those (like me, frankly) who thought he might be ready to take the next step up, time to think again.
In the meantime, how about we finally match up the two best grapplers in the welterweight division and maybe the entire UFC, with Maia and Gunnar Nelson? I would watch that.
Loser: Entire Rest of the UFC 190 Main Card
True story: My wife (a casual MMA fan) and my brother (not even a casual sports fan) both asked to watch the fights with me Saturday night specifically because they were interested in Ronda Rousey.
By the time the co-main event started, I was the only person awake in the room.
It wasn't just the late start time (10 p.m. on the East Coast). It wasn't just the length of the pay-per-view card (seven fights). It wasn't just the fact that several of the fights happened to result in dull decisions.
It was the match-making. The final numbers will ultimately tell whether the UFC was smart to put all of its UFC 190 chips on Rousey. But the product was exactly as subpar as we thought it was. The old fighters (both Nogueira brothers, Rua, Palelei) looked old. The green and lower-level fighters (all four contestants in the two finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil season four, shoehorned under the co-main event) looked green and lower-level.
Sometimes alchemy sparks and an entertaining scrap emerges from a bland matchup. UFC 190 did not have that spark. And it may have been a bridge too far to expect casuals to hang in until the wee hours for a fight everyone understood to be a squash match. Nighty night.
Scott Harris writes about MMA for Bleacher Report. For more stuff like this, follow Scott on Twitter.