Is the Greg Hardy experiment over? – Seven unanswered questions from UFC 272: Covington vs. Masvidal

Is Dustin Jacoby going to get a chance to move up the light heavyweight rankings? The UFC’s light heavyweight division is not very deep…

By: Trent Reinsmith | 1 year ago
Is the Greg Hardy experiment over? – Seven unanswered questions from UFC 272: Covington vs. Masvidal
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Is Dustin Jacoby going to get a chance to move up the light heavyweight rankings?

The UFC’s light heavyweight division is not very deep these days. In the opening bout of Saturday’s card, Dustin Jacoby defeated Michal Oleksiejczuk to extend his unbeaten streak in the UFC’s 205-pound division to six straight fights. Only one active light heavyweight has a longer unbeaten streak than Jacoby, Magomed Ankalaev, who is the No. 6 ranked fighter in the official UFC 205-pound rankings. With the run he is on — and the lack of depth in the division — Jacoby deserves a shot at a top-15 opponent.

Is Umar Nurmagomedov going to be a problem at bantamweight?

We have little to go on with Umar Nurmagomedov as far as time spent inside the UFC octagon. After his first-round submission win over Brian Kelleher at UFC 272, the 26-year-old has spent less than 12 minutes of total time fighting for the UFC, but with his two submission wins with the promotion, his perfect 14-0 record, his pedigree and the coaches he has guiding him (his cousin Khabib Nurmagomedov and the staff at American Kickboxing Academy). early indications are Nurmagomedov is going to be a big problem for the UFC’s bantamweight division for years to come.

Is Jalin Turner is another lightweight to watch?

Last week’s UFC Vegas 49 fight card was a showcase for the UFC’s lightweight division. On Saturday, Jalin Turner added his name to the list of fighters to watch in the UFC’s 155-pound weight class. The 26-year-old, who is 6-foot-3, earned his fourth straight stoppage win with a second-round TKO win over Jamie Mullarkey. What stood out about Turner’s performance was his poise and patience. He took the best shots that Mullarkey could muster and he never once wavered. He might not have the hype around him of the fighters who came out of last week’s card as winners — Ignacio Bahamondes, Arman Tsarukyan, Terrance McKinney and Islam Makhachev, but he is another 155-pound competitor on the rise.

Did the ref get the call wrong on the low blow in the Marina Rodriguez vs.Yan Xiaonan fight?

In the last minute of the first round of the strawweight fight between Marina Rodriguez and Yan Xiaonan, Rodriguez caught her opponent with a knee to the groin — a low blow. Referee Chris Tognoni paused the action after the knee landed. Then things got a little weird. Instead of telling Xiaonan she had five minutes to recover, Tognoni almost immediately called for the doctor to come into the octagon and never mentioned the five-minute recovery time to Xiaonan.

From my reading of the rules, Tognoni handled this incorrectly.

According to the Unified Rules of MMA:

A fighter who has been struck with a low blow is allowed up to five minutes to recover from the foul as long as in the ringside doctor’s opinion the fighter may possibly continue on in the contest. If the fighter states that they can continue on before the five minutes of time have expired, the referee shall as soon as practical restart the fight. If the fighter goes over the five minute time allotment the fight cannot be restarted and the contest must come to an end with the outcome determined by the round and time in which the fight was stopped.

There is no mention of male or female fighters in this rule, it simply says “A fighter who has been struck with a low blow is allowed up to five minutes to recover…”

I have reached out to the Nevada State Athletic Commission for clarification on the rule and if there is a different reading for men and women.

Has Greg Hardy washed out of the UFC?

Prior to UFC 272, Greg Hardy said he was on the last fight of his UFC contract. He did not deliver a good performance. Once Sergey Spivak took control of the much larger Hardy on the mat, the former NFL player looked helpless. Spivak then closed out the fight with ease via ground strikes. Hardy has been finished in his past three UFC outings. The fighters he has defeated under the UFC banner are no longer in the UFC. The UFC’s Greg Hardy experiment looks like an unmitigated failure, but that doesn’t mean the promotion will cut ties with the man.

What’s the upside of Bryce Mitchell?

Bryce Mitchell moved to 15-0 in his career and 6-0 in the UFC with a dominant win over Edson Barboza. Mitchell is good — very good. I wouldn’t go as far as to compare his win over Barboza to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win over the Brazilian, which the UFC broadcast team did, but he controlled the majority of the fight and he never overextended himself or put himself in a position to lose. Mitchell has progressed from a strong fighter to an excellent fighter with a high fight IQ. At 27, I don’t think he’s reached his full potential as of yet, but he seems ready to tangle with the elite of the division.

Why did Renato Moicano’s corner allow him to continue?

By the time the third round of the Rafael dos Anjos vs. Renato Moicano fight came to an end, the only path to victory for Moicano seemed to be a Hail Mary knockout. Moicano performed bravely on short notice, but he was in over his head and he had no realistic path to victory. Moicano’s corner should have thrown in the towel before the start of the fourth round and again before the start of the fifth after they let him continue in the fifth. They failed to protect their fighter from unnecessary damage.

In the two final rounds, Moicano absorbed 65 strikes that were completely uncalled for. Moicano probably would have been transported to the hospital even if the fight had ended at the end of the third round. The damage he took in the final 10 minutes of the fight can be traced directly to his corner allowing the fight to continue.

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About the author
Trent Reinsmith
Trent Reinsmith

Trent Reinsmith is a freelance writer based out of Baltimore, MD. He has been covering sports for more than 15 years, with a focus on MMA for most of that time. Trent focuses on the day-to-day business of MMA — both inside and outside the cage — for Bloody Elbow.

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