The booms and busts of UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi
The UFC middleweight picture got a little more clarity and a few intriguing names moved up the ladder Saturday at UFC Fight Night from Jaragua do Sul, Brazil.
That’s all well and good, but we’re not here to talk about the individuals who won and lost in the Octagon and on the scorecards. Here at Haymaker, we’re more concerned with reading between the lines.
This is what we took away from the event:
There’s just something about this new, 185-pound Lyoto Machida. It could be the abs, it could be the stubble. But I think it’s the longer, more lustrous hair. Hollywood Machida looked great against Gegard Mousasi on Saturday night. And two other guys who have enviable coifs – Erick Silva and Charles Oliveira – were winners.
Don’t believe this trend? Take a look at Viscardi Andrade. Bad hair meant a bad day at the office for him. And of course, I can’t go two paragraphs discussing hair without mentioning Kenny Florian, who’s looking like a more handsome (and talented) version of Bruno Mars these days. Big ups, KenFlo.
Guys who weren’t considered prospects
Rodrigo Damm? Ildemar Alcantara? Zubaira Tukhugov? A pair of journeyman and a no-named Russian, respectively. Yet they all won Saturday night against guys who were more highly touted. Then there’s Erick Silva, who has shed his prospect label after losing two of his last three. He won in dominant fashion over tomato can Takenori Sato.
It was a good night for guys people didn’t have expectations for. Maybe that’s why my live blog was so successful.
Joe Silva and Sean Shelby
Are there guys with a harder job in the UFC? All day they deal with fighters and managers and then have to relay constant bad news back to UFC president Dana White. Do you really want to be the guy giving White bad news every day? Silva and Shelby are obviously numb to the f-word by now.
Anyway, the UFC has almost 500 fighters and Silva and Shelby still end up finding even matchups. On Saturday night, there were three split decisions and almost every single fight was close. Erick Silva destroyed Takenori Sato, but Sato was an injury fill-in. It’s remarkable finding that many even bouts, which brings us to our next point.
What is going on lately? The last two UFC events have had a combined 20 decisions in 24 fights. Maybe it’s an anomaly, but it seems like UFC fighters are having the same problem girls I’ve dated have had for years – they can’t finish. Is it lack of killer instinct? Too many mediocre fighters? Global warming? Decisions aren’t inherently bad, but these haven’t been three-round wars either.
Guys who were considered prospects
The hype train got derailed Saturday night for guys like Douglas Silva de Andrade, Albert Tumenov and Viscardi Andrade. Even Ivan Jorge, a borderline prospect, took a fall. Charles Oliveira was the lone saving grace, but he’s had 10 fights in the UFC. Can he really still be considered a prospect despite being only 24? Nico Musoke did get a win, but only after being starched in the first round by Andrade. Unfortunately, rising stars came out of this card from Jaragua do Sul.
No, he’s not in Steve Mazzagatti territory. But Yamasaki is so inconsistent it’s getting to be ridiculous. He took a point away from Maximo Blanco on the Fight Pass prelims for a low blow. There was no warning and the kick to Felipe Arantes’ nether regions seemed to be unintentional. Until that point, Blanco wasn’t looking too bad, but Arantes pretty much wrapped things up when that point was deducted.
Yamasaki is super aggressive with taking away points for low blows, but when people grab the cage he looks the other way. Remember Erick Silva vs. Dong Hyun Kim? How about Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes? Does that one ring a bell? Yamasaki is not a bad ref overall, but he seems to have an unbalanced view of point deductions.