The fight card that is the UFC’s appetizer for the Super Bowl was less super and more subpar due to a record 10 decisions on a 12-fight platter. That’s not the UFC’s fault. It’s not even the fighters’ fault, really. Sometimes things just naturally happen that way. Oh, well.
For some fighters, however, the card ended up being one of the greatest nights of their lives, solidifying their championship positions in their respected weight classes and the glory of victory.
While some shined brighter than the sun, others found themselves on the dark side of the moon, leaving much to be desired, not to mention causing a disappointed grimace on their boss’ face. But again, shrugs.
José Aldo is a monster and you can’t do anything about it
Someone give this man a challenge.
José Aldo came into UFC 169 the heavy betting favorite, and few beyond his friends and maybe a drunk guy at a sports book gave Ricardo Lamas a chance of coming out on top in the night’s co-main event.
Aldo was an entire level above his opponent on Saturday night, out-striking Lamas for the duration of the fight and seemingly coasting towards the end. Even with the final round lacking effort from Aldo – whether it was from exhaustion or simply because he knew he had done enough up to that point – the featherweight champion scratched another name off the list of 145-pound contenders looking to take his title.
As much as Cub Swanson, who, based off the rankings, would get great consideration as the next No.1 contender, wants another shot at Aldo, it’s not a fight the UFC or Aldo needs, especially when the champ beat him before in just eight seconds. What they need is a super-fight, and that’s exactly what all the involved parties have in mind.
Calling Anthony Pettis!
“If the fight was tonight, I would fight him,” Aldo said of facing Pettis as his next challenge.
All the remains is Pettis healing from his knee injury, and then White and Co. will have themselves a pay-per-view headlined by lighter weight fighters that people will realistically get behind. The striker-versus-striker scenario would draw intrigue, and the match would surely display carnage from which MMA fandemonium derives.
Book it. Like, now.
Dana said it was crappy, but Alistair Overeem paced himself and that’s okay
Good on you, Reem. You did what you had to do for your job security.
Alistair Overeem topped Frank Mir in a less-than-exciting, three-round fight(?) that contributed to moans and groans on Twitter about numerous decisions on the card. No, it wasn’t pretty. No, there was no “Man, the Reem is back” talk after the win. It was simply a return to the win column.
“He fought safe,” White said. “I think he could have finished him. I’m sure he kept his job.”
And there’s the bigger picture, folks.
The issue here was both Overeem and Mir were fighting for their jobs, and the winner, no matter how they secured the win, would still have his Zuffa contract at the end of the day, and the loser would likely end up on the chopping block.
Instead of throwing a ton of super-turbo-hammerfists and exhausting himself to where his stamina would be nonexistent, Overeem kept a pace that would ensure he would last 15 minutes. In doing so, he picked his shots, out-struck his opposition and came out with the win.
Let’s not ignore the fact that Mir did next to nothing to pressure his opponent for the duration of the fight. Okay, fine, that was definitely a contributing factor to the win. But it’s safe to say that Overeem tiring himself out would have provided an opportunity for him to get caught at least once. Mir wouldn’t just ignore an opening like that. Things could have ended remarkably different had Overeem gone into Hulk-smash mode and not finished, as was the case in his previous losses.
Now that we’re done with the praising, one thing: What’s up with calling out Brock Lesnar? If you want to make a statement, calling out a guy you’ve already beaten, who hasn’t fought in years, isn’t the best way to do so. You already beat him and no one really cares to see that fight again.
But a match with Junior dos Santos? Different story.
Urijah Faber is the greatest fighter who used to be the greatest fighter
First of all, Renan Barão is good. Really good. Anyone that fights him basically knows they’re going into a fight where they’ll likely come out seeing their name on a medical suspensions list.
But despite dropping a tough – albeit questionable – first-round loss to Barão, the run Urijah Faber went on in 2013 solidified him as one of the best lighter weight fighters in the world and that’s hard to argue against. He started his run during a time many thought he was past his prime. Ask Michael McDonald, a young and dangerous former No.1 contender, just how tough a fight Faber is.
Once a WEC featherweight champion, Faber garnered attention for the smaller divisions in MMA like no one else in the sport, and continues to be a bigger draw than most of the fighters in and around his division, champion or otherwise.
There are few that can match Faber in terms of speed and athleticism, and even fewer that can match him for experience points. He is, without a doubt, the best fighter someone at 135 pounds can fight without there being a title on the line, which is kind of a bummer for him, but what can you do?
The term “gatekeeper” comes up in topics like these. Some look at that term as an insult, but imagine trying to pass through a gate covered in barbed wire, lined with 50-caliber miniguns, guarded by fire-breathing dragons, and an army of lightsaber-wielding ninjas. That’s basically Urijah Faber, the best fighter who isn’t even the best fighter.
None of this sounds fun for other bantamweights.
(Follow @Erik_Fontanez on Twitter)