The never-ending fight week is finally over.
The UFC decided to hold an insane three events in three straight days, capped off with UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor. It was an exhausting schedule that was all made worth it by Saturday’s main card. On paper this was the deepest card in the promotion’s history and it lived up to every expectation. There are two new champions and several new title contenders. Yeah, 2015 may have started slow for the UFC, but it’s ending with a bang.
Now with the coffee kicking in and the hangover subsiding, let’s talk about last night …
Gorillas and Kings and King Gorillas
I’m shocked. Are you shocked? I’m definitely shocked at the outcome of the main event. For a decade, Jose Aldo has ruled the featherweight divisions. He’s taken on all challengers and disposed of them with a high level of violence. His resumé reads like a who’s who of the division. So you can understand why I’m still having a hard time believing that last night’s main event was real. Thirteen seconds. That’s how long it took for the King to be dethroned. It wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t a lucky punch. Conor McGregor called his shot and delivered. There’s a new King and his name is Conor McGregor.
ALSO SEE: UFC 194 full results and live analytics
When throwing spinning sh*t goes terribly wrong…
I can’t remember another fight whose outcome was decided by such a bad decision made by a combatant. Chris Weidman was soundly winning the third round before throwing an incredibly slow spinning back kick. I don’t know what he was thinking. He’s probably going to be asking himself that in the coming weeks. Luke Rockhold took advantage of Weidman’s extremely questionable decision and obliterated the champ for the remaining 90 seconds of the round. Luke Rockhold is the new champion. It’s time for Weidman to regroup and rethink his strategy.
CHECK THIS OUT: Conor McGregor fans go crazy and the Irishman’s big win
– Yoel Romero defeated Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza to secure himself a shot at the UFC middleweight title. There were moments of the fight that were extremely impressive, but it’s hard to imagine Romero defeating Rockhold. Rockhold puts on too high of a pace and Romero’s cardio is questionable at best. “Jacare” likely faces Weidman or Tim Kennedy in his next outing.
– Demian Maia may never win a UFC title but he’s still one of the most dangerous fighters on the mat in the promotion. He made an extremely talented grappler in Gunnar Nelson look out of his depth. In his post-fight interview, Maia called out the winner of Lawler/Condit as well as the UFC’s rankings. While he may not be next in line, he’s definitely made a case to face Tyron Woodley for a shot at the belt.
– I know that the narrative leading into UFC 194 was that Urijah Faber would earn a shot at the winner of T.J. Dillashaw and Dominic Cruz but last night was an extremely unimpressive showing from the “California Kid.” For the first time in his career, he looked completely gassed out and while he took home the unanimous decision, he didn’t dominate an overmatched (on paper) opponent. I don’t doubt he gets a title shot, I’m just not so sure it’s deserved with wins over Alex Caceres, Francisco Rivera, and now Frankie Saenz.
– The Dagestani Knucklegame Cartel continues to leave a pile of bodies in its wake. Last night Magomed Mustafaev decimated Joe Proctor. Like that wasn’t even a competitive fight. Mustafaev was trying to kick Proctor’s stomach through his spine and nearly succeeded several times. This was violence of the highest order.
– There was talk before the card that Conor McGregor and the UFC were worlds apart with regards to financial compensation. McGregor desires to co-promote with Zuffa and that’s just not in the UFC’s wheelhouse. But with back-to-back sellouts of the MGM Grand and massive PPV buy rates, it may be time for the Fertittas to reconsider.
– Following the Ultimate Fighter finale, it’s pretty clear the only potential bout for McGregor left at featherweight is against Frankie Edgar. Edgar continues to improve and with a knockout victory of Chad Mendes, he’s the last man standing. A perfect fight to headline a card at Croak Park in Dublin.
– If McGregor decides to move up to 155 after next week’s lightweight title fight between Donald Cerrone and Rafael Dos Anjos, Dana White is on record as saying he’ll get an immediate title shot. It’s very possible that by the end of 2016, McGregor will hold two titles simultaneously in the UFC. Not bad for a kid who came from nothing.