That wasn’t a good night for Brazilian veterans. Two 39-year-old fighters that have been at the top of the sport for many years headed out to the Octagon tonight in the headliner and co-main. One was left unconscious after a few minutes. The other was left a bloody heap on the floor, having gassed out 10 minutes before the end of the fight.
People were hyped about Lyoto Machida’s return, but Derek Brunson took care of that with few problems. After a timid start, he cracked him with a left and had Machida walking in potholes. Another put him down, and a monster shot on the ground turned The Dragon’s lights out. Coming out to The Game of Thrones theme was cute, but he went out before the opening credits were done.
- Colby Covington and Demian Maia had a very fun first round, then two more absolutely dreadful rounds. K-1 Maia looked great in the first with his “vaunted” striking. But then he totally gassed out. Covington’s striking wasn’t pretty, but it was more than enough to beat up an exhausted 39-year-old guy. Maia bled a gusher late in the third and was totally done, but the fight went to a decision and Colby got the win.
- Then Covington totally heeled the crowd. Look, I’m fine with fighters trying to be the bad guy. It’s honestly something that will get you ahead because it’s rarely done. But Covington is most definitely not that smart going after Brazil and Brazilians like that. He was lucky he was only pelted with bottles on the way out, and he’s not flying out of Brazil tonight so he may have some hassles to deal with until he does.
- Pedro Munhoz picked up a very nice win over Rob Font in a fight he was losing. Font’s boxing is pretty, but Munhoz blocked some punches with his face before hurting Font with his own left. Font went for a desperation takedown and fell right into a guillotine. Pretty finish and a huge victory.
- As Mookie said on Twitter, it saddened me to hear that Jim Miller said “I have nothing” after the second round of his fight with Francisco Trinaldo. He’s been so tough for so long, and overcame lyme disease to win some really good fights (the Gomi fight never happened though). With three losses in a row and saying things like that in the cage, it makes me think we might be close to seeing the end of another Miller Brother’s career, and that sucks. Jim Miller rules.
- Oh, and nice win for Trinaldo.
- Thiago Santos has goofy tattoos. That’s a fact. But man can that guy hurt people. He has deceptive speed for a guy his size and he when he charges forward to land a barrage of punches, it looks downright scary. Jack Hermansson was the unfortunate person at the other end of that tonight, and he got finished with a millisecond left in the first round.
- John Lineker did what John Lineker does. He threw monstrous hooks and beat up the body, and even threw in some spin kicks for fun. Marlon Vera put up a respectable fight and may have even won the third round, but it was Lineker’s night.
- Vicente Luque looked excellent in his fight with Niko Price, and absolutely deserves a bonus for a beautiful D’Arce choke finish after having Price in danger from strikes. If you’re going to watch one replay from this card, watch this finish.
- Shoeface is an ugly nickname, but his transitions in the cage are so pretty. After beating Jack Marshman down to the ground and dominating him from the mount, he took advantage of Marshman giving up his back and choked him out in no time.
- Like the next fight below this, I had major issues with the reffing in the bout between Jared Gordon and Hacran Dias. Dias was beaten down at the end of the second round, and could not get up at the horn. In fact, UFC legend Jose Aldo had to run over and help physically carry Dias to his corner. When that happens, how can a fight continue? It should come as no surprise that Dias had nothing in the third and nearly got finished at the end of the fight as well. It was a good performance by Gordon, but the third round was unnecessary.
- In the record books, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos and Max Griffin went to a decision and Dos Santos won. But the fight absolutely should have been stopped late in the first round. Griffin was out on his feet and getting absolutely lit up. It would have been a textbook stoppage…except it wasn’t. Yes, Griffin came back and even won a round, and that shows a lot of heart. But it doesn’t mean the referee made the right decision. He was not defending himself intelligently, and that’s when a fight is supposed to be brought to a conclusion.
- Deiveson Figueiredo and Jarred Brooks had some bad blood before the fight, and it led to a spirited contest. Brooks got some takedowns but didn’t do anything with them at all. Still, I felt that he took the first two rounds and should have won a decision. Instead, the Brazilian got the nod in Brazil. Shocker.
- In the opener, Marcelo Golm completely dominated Christian Colombo and finished him with a choke in just over two minutes. Colombo tapped before the choke was even secured – that’s how done he was. Could heavyweight finally have a new decent prospect?
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