UFC Fight Night 134 Results: The Real Winners and Losers
For old MMA fogies like me, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua will always have a special place in the memory banks.
Under the venerable Pride banner and early in his UFC run, Shogun—we all just call him Shogun—was a torrent of Brazilian muay thai terror. No one was safe from his kicks and (in the Pride days) stomps. He took down some of the biggest names in the game and has the heavy hardware to prove it.
But that was a long time ago.
Injuries and violence have left Shogun seeming shopworn beyond his 36 years. He can still set off fireworks, but the results are inconsistent and the opponents are befitting someone being eased off the varsity.
Anthony Smith is the toughest foil he's faced in years. He's not a household name, but Smith is a well-rounded slugger who doesn't shrink away when the fire gets hot. He's 4-1 in his last five, and all five were knockouts. He's also seven years Shogun's junior and claims recent wins over other aging lions of the sport, including Rashad Evans, who retired after a 53-second KO to Smith.
Can Shogun fire up the Wayback Machine? And if so, what about the recent call-out from no one less than UFC light heavyweight (and heavyweight) champ Daniel Cormier, one Shogun himself admitted was a little surprising?
Or, will Smith continue his rise with another high-profile belt notch from the Legends Tour? Could he himself become a contender in a very thin 205-pound division?
That was the main event of UFC Fight Night 134, which took place Sunday night in Germany and kicked off Sunday morning in the U.S. As always, the final stat lines don't reveal all. These are the real winners and losers from UFC Hamburg.
For the literal-minded among us, full card results appear at the end.
Winner: Anthony Smith
Well, that was over quickly.
Anthony Smith seems to have hit his full stride at light heavyweight. After jumping up from middleweight, Smith has gained a world of power. Two fights, two quick knockouts. First it was Evans, now it's Shogun. Sunday's result came in one minute and 29 seconds.
Smith was the faster fighter against the older Shogun and set the tone with an early head kick. Smith kept the pressure on and rocked Shogun with a heavy barrage. Rua sagged back toward the fence. A few more flurries latter, including an overhand right and a heavy elbow, followed. With Rua effectively out on his feet, referee Marc Goddard wisely stepped in to save the legend from unnecessary punishment.
This certainly ends the Shogun-Cormier title talk, which was a touch silly to begin with.
Speaking of silly, it's only his second bout at light heavyweight, but Smith appears nowhere on the official UFC rankings. Wake up, voters!
After the bout, commentators suggested a duel with another headhunter in Jimi Manuwa, who sits at No. 6. That would be good viewing. Smith himself had another, perhaps more timely suggestion.
"I think Alexander Gustafsson needs an opponent," Smith told commentator Dan Hardy, referencing the contender whose original UFC 227 dance partner, Volkan Oezdemir, recently pulled out with an injury. "Gustafsson, I'll see you in L.A.!"
It's a compelling matchup, and it could light up the arena. Statistically, Gustafsson is a little above Smith's station, but as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Stranger things have happened, stranger things have succeeded.
Winner: Corey Anderson
This was moving day for the light heavyweight division. Four light heavyweight fights, including the main and co-main events, filled the ledger.
Corey Anderson took advantage by controlling Glover Teixeira for a unanimous-decision win. And on short notice, no less.
Coming into this fight, Teixeira was No. 3 on the official UFC rankings for the division. Anderson was No. 9. But it looked like those numbers should have been reversed.
Known for his wrestling, Anderson took Teixeira down and controlled him there over and over. He also landed some very heavy punches. Teixeira's chin was impressive in withstanding those shots, but he didn't look that great in most any other area of the fight against a guy in Anderson who, at age 28, was 10 years the Brazilian's junior.
It could be an impactful result for what is arguably the UFC's weakest weight class.
Loser: Marc Diakiese
The bloom is off the rose for Marc Diakiese.
The exciting and charismatic Brit entered the UFC in 2016 with a record of 9-0. Then he won his next three, the third of which was a knockout for the electric striker.
But the last three bouts have shown his limitations. A loss to Drakkar Klose last year started the bleeding, which continued with a submission loss to Dan Hooker and a lopsided decision to Nasrat Haqparast Sunday.
Haqparast suffocated Diakiese by closing distance and working in the phone booth, consistently cutting off the cage and constantly moving forward.
Diakiese showed guts by sticking it out to the final horn despite his eye being a bloody mess. And take nothing away from Haqparast, who showed serious power and great cardio and aggression. But Diakiese needs to acquire some grappling and figure out how to flourish in less-than-perfect conditions.
Loser: Justin Ledet
The judges' scores from Aleksandar Rakic vs. Justin Ledet: 30-25, 30-24, 30-24.
Now guess which guy in the picture is Ledet.
Those are eye-popping scores from this undercard bout. It most likely means that two of the judges not only awarded all three rounds to Rakic, but also did so with the 10-8 score that signals thorough domination. The third judge merely gave Rakic two 10-8 rounds.
Ledet didn't land much of any significant offense at all. Meanwhile, Rakic punished with leg kicks, punches and sharp ground-and-pound. Rakic can be dinged for failing to finish, but not for failing to control the action in all phases.
These are grown men who sign up knowing this kind of punishment is possible, but you still feel for a guy who took a beating to his pride as well as his body. It was his first loss in the UFC, so here's hoping Ledet gets a shot at redemption.
Winner: The Bermudez Triangle
Move over, Dennis. There's a new Bermudez in town.
Plenty of hardcore fans know Manny Bermudez for his dominance on smaller shows, but he made a wider statement Sunday in Hamburg. The jiu-jitsu ace knocked down Davey Grant and then cinched a triangle choke to move to 12-0 overall and 2-0 in the UFC.
The 24-year-old also has a pretty good nickname: The Bermudez Triangle, after the triangle choke that has now earned him four victories. Only two of his wins have gone the distance; all the rest were stoppages.
UFC Fight Night 134 Full Card Results
Anthony Smith def. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua by knockout, 1:29, Rd. 1
Corey Anderson def. Glover Teixeira by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Abu Azaitar def. Vitor Miranda by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Marcin Tybura def. Stefan Struve by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Danny Roberts def. David Zawada by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Nasrat Haqparast def. Marc Diakiese by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Damir Hadzovic def. Nick Hein by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Bartosz Fabinski def. Emil Weber Meek by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Nad Narimani def. Khalid Taha by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Aleksandar Rakic def. Justin Ledet by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-24, 30-24)
Manny Bermudez def. Davey Grant technical submission (triangle choke), 0:59, Rd. 1
Liu Pingyuan def. Damian Stasiak unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)