Things just got a lot more complicated in the lightweight division. Well… at least that is how it appears at this point. Tony Ferguson pulled off a slight upset by upending former champion Rafael dos Anjos in a back and forth affair that lived up to the high expectations placed upon it. Dos Anjos started the fight with the advantage, taking a close first round. Ferguson took control from there as he found his rhythm and never let his foot off the gas. Punching combinations and kicks to the shin ruled the night to give Ferguson a significant striking advantage. Dos Anjos didn’t completely go away, staying competitive but not doing enough to completely pull ahead again.
The reason why the division appears to be complicated is that it is hard to deny Ferguson a title shot. The guy has won nine fights in a row after all. So now we just gotta wait for next week’s lightweight title fight with Eddie Alvarez and Conor McGregor. Oh wait… isn’t Khabib Nurmagomedov waiting in the wings too? Perhaps Michael Johnson can do the UFC a favor and knock the Russian off of the short list of the undefeated….
In the end, a solid serving of fights was delivered to provide UFC fans a nice appetizer before next week’s historic card in Madison Square Garden. Think you’ve heard a lot about UFC 205? With nothing ahead of it, you’re not going to hear about anything else for the next week from the MMA world… maybe longer.
Further quick thoughts on the event:
- Wasn’t Diego Sanchez on his last legs? Somehow turning back the clock to 2008, Sanchez used his endless cardio to outlast an exhausted Marcin Held to pull off the upset.
- Justice was served as Ricardo Lamas emerged with a W over a Charles Oliveira who missed weight by 9 pounds. Even better was he did it by submitting the submission expert. Can we please stop talking about Oliveira as a potential contender?
- Aggression was the key for Martin Bravo as he landed harder and he landed more before finally wilting Claudio Puelles with a liver shot to win the TUF Latin America 3 crown.
- Will that be the last foreign iteration of TUF? With IMG looking to cut costs, there is a good chance it is.
- Though the Mexico City crowd booed the hell out of it, Beneil Dariush and Rashid Magomedov put on a back and forth contest that was closer than the scorecards indicated, but Dariush picked up the decision victory.
- Alexa Grasso damn near blinded Heather Jo Clark in the first round, dominating in her UFC debut and offering hope the UFC may have a future contender on their hands.
- To cap off the prelims, Felipe Arantes and Erik Perez went back-and-forth in a hell of a contest in which Perez’s striking and control proved the difference in a split decision.
- Who knew heel hooks still worked? Obviously Joe Soto as he locked one in on Marco Beltran in under two minutes. Not bad for less than a week’s notice for the fight.
- Max Griffin caught Erick Montano to finish him in about as unspectacular of fashion that a fight that lasted less than a minute can be.
- Easy choice for – at least it should have been — came from the seemingly indestructible Henry Briones eating hard shot after hard shot from Douglas Silva de Andrade. A counter elbow and spinning backfist finally finished the Mexican T-1000.
- While no one expected the fight to go the distance, Sam Alvey and Alex Nicholson put on a fun performance with both eating a lot of heavy shots. The Smilin’ One turned up the volume halfway through the second to earn the W.
- Marco Polo Reyes and Jason Novelli fought a very close fight that could have gone either way. It also took some steam out of Reyes’ reputation as an action fighter.
- Enrique Barzola opened the night of fights with a nondescript win over Diaz brothers protégé Chris Avila. Not highly entertaining, but at least the judges couldn’t screw it up the way they did Barzola’s previous contest.
About the author