Jordan Johnson def. Adam Milstead via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
1) Jordan Johnson is a Division I University of Iowa wrestler and is undefeated in his MMA career and 3-0 in the UFC. On top of that, he’s in the shallowest men’s division in the UFC. And yet, watching his three performances, I can still see the ceiling for him fairly clearly. His standup is patchy, and his wrestling credentials, while very present, has not been as influential to his success in the cage as you would expect, and not always for a lack of trying. Johnson just became ranked, though, so he is on the rise. So much of the LHW division consists of fighters who are aging or on the decline, so there is a chance that Johnson can outperform the potential I have gauged thus far. I see him potentially getting within the top 10, but I’m doubtful he makes it in the top 5.
2) 30-27 Milstead scorecard was Byrd shit.
Cody Stamann def. Bryan Caraway via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)
I scored it for Caraway. I thought he won rounds 1 and 3. I thought he stole round 3. Totally understandable decision, though. Stamann vs. Dodson is the fight to make next, provided the UFC resigns Dodson.
Zak Ottow def. Mike Pyle via first-round TKO (2:34)
Pyle chose the right time to walk away from the sport. As the fight was unfolding, the KO seemed all but inevitable. With a 42-fight career and his last three fights being KO/TKO losses as well as five of his last eight, I hope Pyle can enjoy a healthy retirement.
CB Dolloway def. Hector Lombard via disqualification (late hits) (R1, 5:00)
Lombard after the bell: totally late and totally inexcusable. This marks a fifth straight loss that could have seen Hector Lombard disqualify himself out of another fight in the promotion. It’d be hard to blame the UFC for letting him go.
John Dodson def. Pedro Munhoz via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
1) John Dodson isn’t the same fighter he was before. He hasn’t been the same since the John Lineker fight. Dodson used to be much more aggressive and active inside the Octagon, but since the Lineker fight, he has kind of been on cruise to a judges scorecard, even if nose and nose or even down in the fight. I saw plenty of openings and opportunities for Dodson to land some of his former explosive shots to Munhoz, but he continued to circle away. Dodson has lost a step in speed as well, but more than anything, his killer instinct has seemed to progressively wane. I could theorize why that is, but no one really knows. He might not even know. Joe Rogan thought Dodson hurt his hand in the fight, and we found out that wasn’t the case. So if I were to guess that the power he felt from Lineker’s shots was unlike anything he ever felt before and changed his approach to fighting, this would also be unfounded.
2) The 30-27 Dodson scorecard is for the Byrds.
Alexander Hernandez def. Beneil Dariush via first-round KO (0:42)
STORY OF THE EVENT: http://www.mmanews.com/how-many-alex-hernandezes-are-out-there/
Mackenzie Dern def. Ashley Yoder via split decision
Mackenzie’s jiu-jitsu credentials make her unique and dangerous. But although she is an MMA media darling, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if she were to ever crack the top 5, that would be a massive overachievement. Is it possible she can improve her wrestling and striking to complement her jiu-jitsu? Of course. But I do not follow the logic of those who base “potential” as a grounds for belief, as if other fighters do not have the same potential to improve on their weaknesses. In other words, all fighters have the potential to improve, so just because certain media darlings like Mike Perry and Mackenzie Dern are hyped, doesn’t make their potential more likely to lead to success than any other fighter on the roster, as if hype and media attention is a magic stardust that turns potential into success. It’s not as if as Dern is working on her striking and takedowns, all other fighters are just at home eating Doritos. They are working on their weaknesses as well, and the women in the division are generally young as well. There are certain names on the strawweight roster that I do not see Mackenzie ever being able to defeat. Just an honest take on it. If I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to publicly eat my words in the near or very distant future if she proves me so.
Ketlen Vieira def. Cat Zingano via split decision
1) Let’s be careful before writing off Cat Zingano. She has faced some incredibly tough competition in the UFC. Each of her three losses came to fighters who, at the time of facing her, were undefeated in the UFC, two of which were undefeated in their entire careers.
2) As for Vieira, if you look at her size, body control, well-rounded skill set, counter attack, and fight IQ, she is going to be very, very difficult to beat and is a legitimate threat to Nunes for sure.
3) Here are the options for what comes next in the bantamweight division…
Option #1: Cyborg vs. Nunes while Vieira faces Pennington for #1 contender spot. The problem with this is that when Nunes goes back down to face the winner of Vieira/Pennington, if Nunes wins that fight, there will once again be no other clear #1 contender, and the bantamweight division will be dormant again.
Option #2: Nunes vs. Pennington, then after this fight, Cyborg vs. Nunes while Vieira patiently waits for the title shot or takes one more fight, perhaps against Marion Reneau. The obvious downside to this is that you are rolling the dice on Nunes to defeat Pennington. If Pennington upsets Nunes, then Cyborg is once again left with no one to face her and we are left without a superfight.
Assuming the Cyborg/Nunes fight is set to take place this year, these are the only two options I see. If I had to guess, I’d say it is Option #1 that we are about to see, with Reneau being the odd woman out.
Andrei Arlovski def. Stefan Struve via unanimous decision
I for one find Arlovski fortunate that the rankings committee deemed his performance worthy of returning to the top 10. Quite frankly, all Arlovski did was ensure he’ll stick around long enough for a fighter like Tai Tuivasa to make a name off of.
Sean O’Malley def. Andre Soukhamthath via unanimous decision
1) I’m very vocal against undeserved media attention and hype on media darlings and UFC favorites, but out of all the recent fighters who fall into this category (PVZ, Sage Northcutt, Mike Perry, Mackenzie Dern, etc.) I think O’Malley has the most potential. He is not one-dimensional and because he is so young in a division with a lot of miles, to say that he has potential actually has more meaning to it. I believe his fight IQ will improve and that he has shown some natural promise on the ground that will improve in time. I personally see his career ceiling as being a top 10 fighter, but because he is so young, it’s difficult to really foresee.
2) Yes, Andre Soukhamthath taking down Sean O’Malley was the dumbest thing I have ever seen in MMA, but I would say Sean O’Malley struggling up to his feet might just be the second dumbest. This is completely lost in the post-fight narrative because he won, but if you have one leg, let’s step aside for a moment from why Soukhamthath was trying to take you down…why are YOU trying to stand up!? I would argue that in terms of fight IQ, this is not too far higher from what Soukhamthath did. It’s not as if he was on the mat with Demian Maia. The wisdom of staying down is validated by the fact that Soukhamthath was indeed not able to finish the one-legged O’Malley on the mat. At one point, O’Malley succeeded in getting to his feet, and (Rashad Evans Voice) WHYYYY……if you have one leg, and you KNOW you have one leg, are you trying to stand up knowing you’re up two rounds!? O’Malley caught a break. Not only because of Soukhamthath’s low fight IQ, but because the MMA community seems to really like him and also only care about the end result, because he wasn’t exactly Einstein in there, either. Tough? Yes. Entertaining? Definitely. But not much smarter than Soukhamthath, if you ask me.
Brian Ortega def. Frankie Edgar via first-round KO
1) This was a landmark and career-defining victory for Brian Ortega. We know where he goes from here, but we have no idea what happens to Frankie. I think this is one of the better precautionary tales for fighters to train smart. Had Fankie not pulled out the first time because of injury after the first booking, who knows? Maybe he would have defeated Max Holloway and been the champion. Instead, he found himself against an upstart who would usurp the featherweight staple from his top contender position into an odd state of limbo. In fact, I have no clue of what will happen to either him or Aldo. It seems like both are always one or two fights away from a title shot, regardless of how recent their other opportunities have been. Part of that is because of a lack of depth in the division, and of course part of it is because of their résumés.
2) Edgar vs. Stephens makes sense, with the winner getting the winner of Max/Ortega. I think they owe Edgar another #1 contender fight after saving UFC 222.
Cris Cyborg def. Yana Kunitskaya via first-round TKO
As I said before on the MMA Logic Facebook page….this wasn’t a main event. This was a squash match. The question is, who, if anyone, can defeat this woman? In my feature editorial next week, I will reveal who is most likely to do so….and her name is not Amanda Nunes.
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