Welcome to the latest edition of ‘The Morning After…’ where we review UFC 160.
From heavyweight wars to lightweight scraps this card lived up to the expectation of the biggest card of 2013 thus far. When the dust settled we were left with a couple of new #1 contenders and the unfortunate end of an MMA fairy-tale.
Donald Cerrone vs. KJ Noons
Cerrone defeated Noons via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
The first fight of a big PPV card needs to be energetic and action packed; and this fight didn’t disappoint. Cerrone is your stereotypical kick boxer who loves nothing more then to be engrossed in a bloody war and that’s what he brought to Noons yesterday. KJ had his back to the wall and I was expecting him to come out firing; however after a few decent leg kicks he was stifled by Cerrone’s relentless pressure and the result was a 15 minute beating. In addition to being outclassed and outworked by Cerrone, KJ clearly gassed about 1/2 way through the first round, which didn’t help.
The next fight for Cerrone is interesting; I rate him very highly and feel he would benefit from a top contender so a Gray Maynard fight makes sense given he is coming off a #1 contenders loss. I’m not sure how much of a future KJ has got in the UFC; he has strung together a number of losses and doesn’t seem to have the heart he once had. I’d like to see him rematch Ryan Couture so we can get some closure that’s certainly required after their first fight.
Gray Maynard vs. T.J Grant
Grant defeated Maynard via TKO (punches) in Round 1.
I feel this was the biggest upset of the night for me! Even though T.J is credentialed I expected Gray to take him down and use his wrestling to control position in a bit of a snooze fest but how wrong I was. After a bit of a feeling out period, Gray tried to rush T.J and was met with a crisp right hand that dropped him – this was then followed by a few more punches, a knee and some additional punches until the ref mercifully stoped the fight. Full credit to T.J however I feel Gray employed the wrong game plan in this one and he paid the full price.
T.J’s next opponent is obvious, he has a date with Benson Henderson for the Lightweight Title. I’d like to see Gray fight Cowboy Cerrone simply because the clash of styles will test out just how good these perennial contenders are.
Glover Teixeira vs. James Te Huna
Teixeira defeated Te Huna via Submission (Guillotine Choke) in Round 1.
Some MMA pundits indicated that this was a mismatch from the beginning, however I gave Te Huna a punchers chance in this one. Unfortunately for our Aussie boy he met the sae fate as a long line of Teixeira opponents have. To Te Huna’s credit he didn’t take a backwards step in the entire fight and it took real balls to throw hands with Glover, but such a simple mistake like over extending on a right hand resulted in a takedown and submission finish.
Glover is the #4 ranked light heavyweight in the planet however he hasn’t fought a top 10 fighter so he needs a big test next; I’d like to see him fight Phil Davis to test out his ability against a high level wrestler. Te Huna will benefit from an opponent who likes to throw hands, so I’d like to see him fight Fabio Maldonado.
Junior Dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt
Dos Santos defeated Hunt via KO (Spinning Wheel Kick) in Round 3.
I say badly wanted to see the Mark Hunt fairy-tale continue, however it was stopped dead in its tracks but a highlight reel spinning wheel kick KO. From the outset Junior really controlled this one, he dropped Mark in the first round with a huge overhand right, took him down and did some ground and pound damage in the second and outboxed him prior to the KO in the third. After the fight Hunt indicated he had broken his toe in the first round which slowed his movement which no doubt would have had an effect, however you cant take this impressive win away from Junior.
Dos Santos looks like he will have a third fight with Cain Velasquez with the Heavyweight title on the line. Mark Hunt vs. Roy Nelson is the fight the fans seem to want, so lets make it happen.
Cain Velasquez vs. ‘Big Foot’ Silva
Velasquez defeated Big Foot via TKO (punches) in Round 1.
I love a Heavyweight title scrap; unfortunately we didn’t get that in this fight however we did see the best heavyweight on the planet dismantle a tough opponent in just a couple of minutes. In my opinion Cain had Big Foot beaten anywhere he wanted to take the fight so a victory was inevitable but to do it in such devastating fashion was very impressive. Big Foot really had one chance in this fight – a flash KO! He tried but ironically got caught himself and after a bit of ground and pound the ref called it off. Big Foot claimed an early stoppage and some illegal blows however when he sits back and watches the fight he will no doubt want to retract those comments.
Velasquez v JDS III awaits our Heavyweight champion which will no doubt be another barn burner. Big Foot’s power makes him dangerous for any opponent so there are still some interesting fights ahead of him. If Nogueira loses to Werdum I’d like to see Big Foot vs. Nogueira in Brazil.
Mike Pyle defeated Rick Story by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Dennis Bermudez defeated Max Holloway by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Robert Whittaker defeated Colton Smith by TKO (punches) in Round 3.
Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Abel Trujillo by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Stephen Thompson defeated Nah-Shon Burrell by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
George Roop defeated Brian Bowles by TKO (punches) in Round 1.
Jeremy Stephens defeated Estevan Payan by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)