Top 5 Performances at UFC 164
Anthony Pettis battles Benson Henderson at UFC 164
The month of August was an exciting one for UFC fans. Four quality shows including UFC Fight Night 27 and UFC 164 occurring in the past week. While the FN 27 card in Indianapolis brought us stellar performances from perennial welterweight contender Carlos Condit and a breakout performance in the lightweight division from Rafael dos Anjos, the Pay per View card in Milwaukee also delivered. The event produced a new lightweight champion, saw the return of a destructive force to the heavyweight division after an 11-year absence, the previously unthinkable happened to a UFC veteran, two heavyweights saw their stocks head in very opposite directions and two talented featherweights gave us a thrilling affair.
In examining UFC 164, there were definitely surprises and some quality breakout performances. We also saw examples of careers being salvaged while others may have been broken beyond the point of no return. As always, after any major UFC event, it’s fun to speculate on possible fights to make for those who starred on the card.
In the aftermath of the festivities in Milwaukee, we will take a look at what I believe were the top-five performances at UFC 164. The determining factors include quality of opposition, the excitement level of the fight, the impact of the statement made in the victory and the destructive nature of the performance. These five fighters will definitely have a number of options moving forward and their efforts were of the quality that would have most fans eagerly anticipating their next appearances inside the Octagon.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports
5. Hyun Gyu Lim Victorious Against Pascal Krauss at UFC 164
5. Hyun Gyu Lim
Lim turned in a powerhouse performance on the preliminary portion of the card against Pascal Krauss. Both competitors were bound and determined to slug it out and it was the South Korean getting the victory in a Fight of the Night performance. After a tremendous punch separated Krauss from his faculties, Lim was quick to move in to register the decisive finish with brutal knees. It was his second straight TKO win in the Octagon and it looks like the hulking welterweight has definitely figured it out after a slow start to his MMA career. He’s won seven straight fights and has an impressive 11 finishes in 12 career victories.
4. Dustin Poirier Gets the Better of Erik Koch at UFC 164
4. Dustin Poirier
Poirier’s main card featherweight scrap with Erik Koch was certainly a contender for Fight of the Night but instead lost out to Lim vs. Krauss. It featured plenty of action in a matchup of two top-10 fighters in the 145-pound class. The decision win featured moments where it looked like Poirier was going to finish the show and others where Poirier had to dig extra deep to survive Koch’s submission attempts. The win was a nice bounce back for Poirier after his decision loss to Cub Swanson.
3. Josh Barnett Batters Frank Mir at UFC 164
3. Josh Barnett
The former UFC heavyweight champ made a highly successful return after an 11-year absence from the organization. While the stoppage may have been a little premature against Frank Mir, it appeared a foregone conclusion that the “Warmaster” was going to finish Mir off after landing a massive knee to the head which crumpled the veteran. Barnett immediately propels himself into the title picture in a heavyweight division that welcomes the name recognition and career pedigree that he brings to the table.
2. Chad Mendes Becomes First Man to Stop Clay Guida via Strikes at UFC 164
2. Chad Mendes
When you become the first man to stop Clay Guida by strikes in his entire MMA career you simply have to give that achievement the recognition it deserves. Mendes continues to make it difficult for UFC brass to deny him the rematch against featherweight champion Jose Aldo that he’s badly gunning for. Since that loss to Aldo, Mendes has four straight knockouts to his credit. His striking has been taken to a whole new level by the techniques and coaching methods of Duane Ludwig who’s brought his expertise to Team Alpha Male.
1. A 1st Round Submission Makes Anthony Pettis New UFC Lightweight Champ
1. Anthony Pettis
Pettis clearly wasn’t intimidated by receiving the biggest opportunity of his career in front of a hometown audience in Milwaukee. He was impressive in submitting Benson Henderson in the first round to capture the UFC lightweight strap. He improves to two and zero against Henderson getting the job done in emphatic fashion this time around. The future is tremendously bright for the explosive Pettis as long as he can stay healthy, which has been a concern. His post-fight call out of featherweight Jose Aldo would be a matchup that many UFC fans would be salivating over. The pair had been scheduled to meet for the featherweight belt at UFC 163 in Brazil but Pettis had to withdraw due to an injury.