UFC 169: 5 Lessons Learned From Main Card Action
UFC 169 Main Card: 5 Takeaways
UFC 169 was one for the history books as it contained the most fights going to decision on any one card. That's not to say all the fights were boring -- they weren't -- but fights where we expected a stoppage seemed surprisingly tame. The preliminary lost a lot of steam going into the main event with John Makdessi being absolutely robbed by the judges and Tom 'Kong' Watson fighting an uninspired match.
The main card was fairly entertaining with Jamie Varner and Abel Trujilo putting on a fight of the night performance ending by knockout in the second round. John Lineker failed to make his mark on the flyweight division, falling victim to the grappling of Ali Bagautinov and dropping a unanimous decision.
Frank Mir and Alistair Overeem was an odd showing where a fight that was almost guaranteed a stoppage turned out to be a wrestling match that had little going on for fifteen minutes. Sometimes I find it perplexing why the smaller fighters don't draw the fans in as many heavyweight matchups turn out to be anti-climactic.
The main and co-main events were entertaining enough with Jose Aldo completely outclassing Lamas in a striking lesson where both fighters traded kicks for 25 minutes. Renan Barao became the first man to knock Urijah Faber out in the UFC in what could have been a premature stoppage from the referee Herb Dean. Barao and Aldo are solidifying their positions on the pound for pound list and holding strong as the only two Brazilian champions in the UFC.
5. Jamie Varner is Brave
Jamie Varner was viciously knocked out by Abel Trujilo's rocket of a right hand in a slug-fest for the ages. Varner hurt Abel early, following up his attack with heavy boxing combinations. Abel shelled up on a few of the attacks and launched a counter right hand, rendering Varner unconscious before he even hit the mat. Varner took this fight on short notice -- which wasn't the first time in his career -- and threw caution to the wind against a powerful athlete in Trujilo. Varner is a man the UFC will call to fill in fights on a days notice, and his courage to go in the cage with anyone is admirable.
4. The Next Flyweight Contender is no Match for the Champion
Ali Bagautinov won the right to fight for the title with a decision over John 'Hands of Stone' Lineker by using superior wrestling to control the fight. It was an impressive win, but Ali does not have the skills to contend with Demetrious Johnson. It won't even be competitive, so expect another dominant win for DJ.
3. Alistair Overeem Will Not Win a Title
In all seriousness here, who gave Frank Mir a chance against Overeem? Not many. I thought Overeem would hit Mir with one body kick and it'd be all over, but that kick never came. Overeem disappointingly played a dangerous game and wrestled Mir to the floor to maintain top control. He was even under threat at one point as Mir scored his own takedown. One can only shudder thinking of what Cain Velasquez would do to him.
2. Frank Mir is Done
Mir is never coming close to that UFC title again. He had more opportunities presented to him, but he never capitalized. Mir threw little to no strikes, posed no threat and gassed out after the first round. Mir is one of the greatest heavyweights in the UFC, but he will be dropping out of the top ten rankings.
1. Jose Aldo Needs his Chael Sonnen
Aldo cruised to an easy victory at UFC 169, battering Ricardo Lamas with viscous leg kicks. Aldo has rarely faced adversity in his career and only a bad weight cut has caused him damage. Even the great Frankie Edgar couldn't harm Aldo. He needs his dogfight.
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