UFC Fight Night 77 Results: 5 Burning Questions Heading into UFC 193
UFC Fight Night 77 is in the books. The results are as follows (courtesy of Bleacher Report's play-by-play man, Craig Amos):
Main Card on Fox Sports 1
- Vitor Belfort def. Dan Henderson, knockout (Round 1, 2:07)
- Glover Teixeira def. Patrick Cummins, TKO (Round 2, 1:12)
- Thomas Almeida def. Anthony Birchak, knockout (Round 1, 4:24)
- Alex Oliveira def. Piotr Hallman, knockout (Round 3, 0:51)
- Rashid Magomedov def. Gilbert Burns, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Corey Anderson def. Fabio Maldonado, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Prelims on Fox Sports 1
- Gleison Tibau def. Abel Trujillo, submission (Round 1, 1:45)
- Johnny Case def. Yan Cabral, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Tiago Tavares def. Clay Guida, submission (Round 1, 0:39)
- Chas Skelly def. Kevin Souza, submission (Round 2, 1:56)
Prelims on UFC Fight Pass
- Viscardi Andrade def. Gasan Umalatov, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Jimmie Rivera def. Pedro Munhoz, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Matheus Nicolau def. Bruno Korea, submission (Round 3, 3:27)
Next up? UFC 193 on Nov. 15.
It's that time of the year again. Ronda Rousey is about to step back into the Octagon, and with that, Facebook timelines will explode. Twitter will be popping with celebrities feigning fight fandom. Water coolers will become crowded with chatter about maybe going to see the fights at (insert name of local bar here).
Rousey has turned UFC events into actual events. That's something that hasn't been seen since the days of Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell.
Oh, and there are plenty of other fights on the card as well. Uriah Hall vs. Robert Whittaker is a tantalizing middleweight fight that could have major Top 10 ramifications. Joanna Jedrzejczyk will look to get some of the rub off Ronda and has a perfect showcase matchup opposite Quebecois grappler Valerie Letourneau. Oh, and Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva 2!
So what's worth talking about over the next week? Read on and find out.
Will the Event Be Everything the UFC Hoped For?
The Fight: N/A
The Real Fight: UFC vs. Its Status Quo
The UFC has a lot of eggs in the UFC 193 basket. With a 53,000-seat arena booked and the sport's biggest star attached to the card, the UFC clearly views this event as an important one.
Will the event be everything the UFC hoped for?
This is by far the biggest show outside of North America in UFC history, and it isn't just big in terms of the names and ticket sales.
It's probably not a coincidence that the UFC is rolling out a blockbuster event in a region that just recently legalized MMA right ahead of the UFC's push to get the sport legalized in New York. It's also probably not a coincidence that the UFC is trying to build up Polish champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk at a time where Polish promotion KSW is starting to tour around Europe.
Oh, and the fact that the UFC abruptly moved Rousey vs. Holm from January 2016 to November, giving it three Rousey-based blockbusters in the calendar year following a financially catastrophic 2014? Well, I can't tell you what that is...but I probably can tell you one thing that it probably isn't.
Indeed, there are a lot of interesting bits of news both in and out of the cage that surround UFC 193. This event is a big deal already, but it's tough to shake the feeling that it might be remembered as a huge one, and not just because of the fights.
Which Heavyweights Can Actually Put Together Winning Streaks Again?
The Fight: Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva, Stefan Struve vs. Jared Rosholt
The Real Fight: Heavyweights vs. The Wild Nature of the Division
At one point Mark Hunt, Antonio Silva, Stefan Struve and Jared Rosholt were all riding strong waves of momentum. Hunt and Silva rode those waves all the way to a title shot. Rosholt and Struve rode them close to the heavyweight Top 10. Then they fell on hard times, each suffering one or more devastating losses.
Some of them are now coming off wins, but all are still reeling from those recent struggles. So who will begin to mount a comeback?
Which heavyweights can actually put together winning streaks again?
Hunt is 1-3-1 in his last five and is coming off two ugly KO losses. Silva is coming off a win but has not looked good since his disastrous heavyweight title fight in 2013. Struve has been reeling from brutal losses and illness-related layoffs, and he might have been cut if he couldn't get through Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in August. Rosholt is still trying to regain the momentum he lost after Alexey Oleinik defeated him.
While it's unlikely the UFC will cut any of them with a loss, all four need wins here in order to begin marching back toward relevance.
Will Uriah Hall Force Everyone to Respect Him?
The Fight: Robert Whittaker vs. Uriah Hall
The Real Fight: Scary Middleweight Striker vs. Scarier Middleweight Striker
After years of playing the "what if" game, Uriah Hall has kicked and kneed his way into the Top 10 discussion in his division. With Michael Bisping shelved due to injury, Hall has made his way onto the UFC 193 card to face fellow fast-rising striker Robert Whittaker. This is a high-stakes bout for both men, with Whittaker receiving a clean shot to enter the Top 10 and Hall having a great opportunity to build toward a title shot.
Will Uriah Hall force everyone to respect him?
Hall has long been one of the most intriguing fighters in MMA. His ability to smash opponents has never been in doubt, but his actual body of work in the UFC was spotty at best...until he knocked out Top 10 veteran Gegard Mousasi.
Now Hall needs to capitalize on that sudden boost. If he can deliver another impressive performance and defeat Whittaker emphatically, it will show he may have officially turned the corner and become the championship-caliber talent Chael Sonnen pegged him to be on The Ultimate Fighter Season 17. If he can't, it could mean that the big win over Mousasi was more of an anomaly than anything else.
Will Joanna Jedrzejczyk Outshine Rousey?
The Fight: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Valerie Letourneau
The Real Fight: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Poor, Poor Valerie Letourneau...
Ronda Rousey has attracted a great number of female fans to MMA, and the UFC wants to use that to build up its other leading lady, Joanna Jedrzejczyk. The only thing is that while Rousey has an opponent who doesn't play into her ability to end fights in less than a minute (more on that later), Double J has a foe in Valerie Letourneau who plays right into her strengths. The champ's greatest strength, by the way, is her ability to turn other women into bloody messes.
Because of that, it is entirely possible that Jedrzejczyk could steal some of Rousey's thunder and might just stake a claim as the scariest lady in the UFC.
Will Joanna Jedrzejczyk outshine Rousey?
Fans gravitate to fighters with the right blend of personality and easily digestible skills.
Demetrious Johnson goes from single-leg takedown to overhand right to clinch to double and then mixes it up to a single-leg takedown to overhand right to clinch to dirty boxing? Yawn. Rousey throws people then breaks their arm? Yay!
Well, Rousey is about to appear on a big stage with an opponent who could force her into a complicated fight—one defined by range, cage control and cardio (often referred to by fans as "boring stuff"). Jedrzejczyk, however, is set to face an overmatched opponent who may not be able to make weight and stands less of a chance against her than her last opponent, who was absolutely thrashed.
Obviously, there are no guarantees here. Letourneau could put up a good fight and Holm could get blown up. Even the worst-case scenario doesn't see Rousey budge from the "biggest star in MMA" spot. Still, we could see Jedrzejczyk start becoming a major star here.
How Will Holly Holm Do Against Rousey?
The Fight: Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm
The Real Fight: Ronda Rousey vs. An Interesting Opponent, Finally...
The time has almost come for another Rousey fight, and as usual, the question isn't about "what will happen" so much as "how long will it take to happen?" Holly Holm is an interesting stylistic matchup for her but doesn't feel any less doomed than her previous foes. Still, it will be interesting to see how these two radically different fighters match up against each other.
How will Holly Holm do against Rousey?
Holm is a disciplined fighter and actually comes from a prestigious gym. Rousey hasn't faced that yet. Holm actually comes from a legitimate striking background. Rousey hasn't dealt with that yet. Holm can calmly, coolly execute a game plan. Rousey hasn't really had to worry about that.
There is a small glimmer of hope there for victory, but the chances of Holm being able to avoid Rousey's clinch for 25 minutes are slim. Her avoiding it for 10 minutes, though? That's actually quite possible, and it's interesting to see how both Rousey and her devout fans would react to this. As Patrick Wyman detailed for Bleacher Report:
Rousey's reputation among casual fans is built on her ability to finish fights quickly and emphatically. If she spends two or three rounds flailing after a more experienced striker who refuses to be drawn into her wheelhouse, how much damage will that do to her profile? Will those fans tune in for another $60 Rousey fight after watching her look ineffectual and awkward for most of the fight?
So what do you think will happen, fight fans? If Rousey doesn't demolish Holm in 30 seconds, what do you think that will do to her brand?