5 Musings From UFC on FOX 8
5 Musings From UFC on FOX 8
UFC on Fox 8 is in the books and produced a great night of fights. The main event promised fast-paced flyweight action, and we got what we came for. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson successfully defended his title for the second time with style, finishing the game challenger John Moraga by armbar at 3:43 of the fifth and final round, scoring the latest finish in UFC history.
The co-main event, on the other hand, promised fireworks and delivered a dud. Rory MacDonald stood and jabbed at Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger’s face for the majority of fifteen minutes, and Ellenberger did, well, nothing. What many fans expected was going to be a barn-burner between two of the top welterweights in the UFC turned out to be a three round feeling-out session which led to an uneventful unanimous decision victory for MacDonald.
Robbie Lawler did what he does best, knocking out the overmatched Bobby Voelker by head kick early in the second round of their exciting slugfest. Liz Carmouche proved she is here to stay by outworking the young Jessica Andrade en route to a TKO victory in the second round.
While the co-main event didn’t quite deliver, the prelims and the other fights on the main card were quite exciting. Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard put in an impressive performance against The Ultimate Fighter Winner Mac Danzig, knocking him out via strikes in the second round.
The following slides will highlight some thoughts on the night as a whole, and what we can expect moving forward for many of the fighters on the card.
No. 5 Melvin Guillard may have needed humbling
Guillard was impressive on the undercard on Saturday, scoring a KO victory over the dangerous Danzig. Both fighters came out having something to prove, and with a fight that took place essentially on the feet, it was difficult to see how Danzig was going to beat an athletic and explosive striker like The Young Assassin. While Danzig’s game plan may have been questionable, Guillard did what he does best. He needed a victory badly, and stuck to his roots to get there.
Guillard is an exciting fighter who fell on some hard times. A few losses may have been just what the Young Assassin needed to get his head straight. While contender status may continue to elude him, it is easy to imagine exciting matchups for him. A meeting with Jorge Masvidal, who was also impressive on the undercard, would lead to an entertaining stand-up war.
No. 4 Liz Carmouche is great, but needs to be tested
Carmouche was impressive Saturday, but her opponent may have been a bit too green to test the wily veteran. While she was hoping for a title shot with an impressive win, it would make sense to give her a crack at another tough fighter first. Olympic Wrestling Silver Medalist Sara McMann comes to mind, and would create an exciting matchup between two great grapplers. Both fighters own a win in the UFC, and this fight could produce a new contender for the women’s bantamweight division.
No. 3 Robbie Lawler, the Welterweight Division’s Dark Horse?
Lawler has impressed in both of his recent UFC outings, first pummeling top welterweight Josh Koscheck via brutal ground and pound, then unleashing a highlight-reel head kick KO of Bobby Voelker on Saturday. With his skill-set, he is a dangerous fight for anyone in the division.
It would be great to see this exciting fighter lined up with a top-five welterweight. Look at that – it just so happens MacDonald also won on Saturday. Hmmm.
No. 2 Good thing MacDonald vs. Ellenberger wasn’t the main event
Yet another fight with title implications winds up a snooze-fest. Unfortunately for both men, there is some truth in the saying, ‘you are only as good as your last fight.’ Neither fighter pulled the trigger in this glorified sparring match. In a fight where a decent jab is labeled the ‘move of the fight,’ you know it wasn’t the action-packed brawl many anticipated.
It is hard to predict where Ellenberger will go from here. Such an uninspired loss requires deep soul searching. Hopefully The Juggernaut will come back from this loss mentally prepared and willing to lay it out on the line. It would be great to see the usually exciting knock-out artist back on track.
The victor MacDonald should certainly be moving forward to face another top opponent, however, it would be very difficult to justify giving him a title shot after such a bland performance. While some may view MacDonald’s jab as technical brilliance, fans on the lighter side would be hard-pressed to lay down hard-earned money on a pay-per-view headlined by the jab-man. MacDonald needs damage control, and fast. He needs to take a fight soon against someone who will give him a test. Perhaps a bout with Demian Maia or a returning Nick Diaz would make sense at this point. While it may be viewed as a step down in competition, a matchup with Lawler could create some interest as well.
Good thing it wasn’t the main event.
No. 1 Flyweights are here to stay and put on a show
The flyweights have gotten a lot of flak from finicky fans. But on Saturday, Mighty Mouse and Moraga proved they deserve to headline a card and they are here to stay. Anyone who caught both the co-main event and main event had to be entertained by the fast-paced and active flyweights, while bored to death during the mild-mannered sparring session between MacDonald and Ellenberger at welterweight. Such a boring fight between the ‘bigger’ guys may have been just what the flyweights needed to showcase what makes them an exciting division to watch.
Not only did the flyweights prove that they can maintain an exceptional pace, Johnson also scored a great finish over Moraga late in a fight he was clearly winning on points. Mighty Mouse could have settled for coasting to a decision finish but elected instead to entertain the fans and make a statement. He put on a show, risking positional disadvantage by going for a late fifth-round armbar, and he pulled it off. The flyweights certainly gained some respect Saturday. Hats off to you, Mighty Mouse.