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Fight Night 88 Highlights/Results: Garbrandt Sleeps Almeida, Stephens Upsets Barao + More

(via UFC on FOX)

With last weekend’s Fight Night 88 main event matchup between Cody Garbrandt and Thomas Almeida, we were being promised a glimpse at the future of the bantamweight division regardless of who won. More of us may have been banking on the latter to emerge as that future champion, sure, but it would be hard to discredit either fighter as anything but a top contender following an impressive win.

Given Almeida’s tendency to get rocked at least once in every one of his UFC fights thus far, one would assume that his camp would have placed an emphasis on head movement and staying off the line against a similarly devastating puncher like Garbrandt. Then again, this is Chute Box we’re talking about after all, so it’s likely that their gameplan for the fight never stretched beyond “swing for the goddamn fences and hope you land first.” As such, Almeida’s first round KO loss to the Team Alpha Male up-and-comer demonstrated that, as¬†dynamic as the young Brazilian may be offensively, he still has a bit of work to do defensively. Live and learn.

What a fall from grace it’s been for Renan Barao. The former bantamweight kingpin was pummeled right out of his division in back-to-back appearances against TJ Dillashaw, and his featherweight debut against Jeremy Stephens in the co-main event of Fight Night 88 didn’t exactly sell him as a future champion of that division either. Despite a strong showing in the opening round, Barao seemed almost insistent on gassing himself out in the second and third with failed takedown attempts, and in doing so, allowed the veteran Stephens to find his rhythm in the exchanges and bust the Brazilian open on multiple occasions. Like Florian said, Barao may not be a broken fighter, but he’s definitely a defeated one at this point.

There wasn’t really much else to write home about on Fight Night 88, however, and the UFC on FOX channel has likewise opted against uploading any more highlight videos. With that in mind, let’s just touch on a few other noteworthy moments:

– Even in victory, Rick Story was left with a gruesome reminder of Tarec Saffiedine’s kicking abilities.

– After all that trash he talked, Aljamain Sterling just couldn’t get it done against “Mr. Tate” Bryan Caraway. The only thing worse than his performance? The absolute garbage takes on Twitter that came in the aftermath.

–Erik Koch looked like a goddamn man possessed against Shane Campbell and showed next to no signs of the ring rust you’d expect from a guy coming off his *second* two year injury. His post-fight mean mug = absolute savagery.

The full results for Fight Night 88 are below. 

Main card (FOX Sports 1 at 9 p.m. ET)
Cody Garbrandt def. Thomas Almeida via KO (punches) at 2:53 of round 1
Jeremy Stephens def. Renan Barao via unanimous decision
Rick Story def. Tarec Saffiedine via unanimous decision
Chris Camozzi vs. Vitor Miranda via unanimous decision
Lorenz Larkin def. Jorge Masvidal via split decision
Paul Felder def. Josh Burkman via unanimous decision

Undercard (FOX Sports 1 at 7 p.m. ET)
Sara McMann def. Jessica Eye via unanimous decision
Abel Trujillo def. Jordan Rinaldi via unanimous decision
Jake Collier def. Alberto Uda via TKO (spinning back kick) at 1:06 of round 2
Erik Koch def. Shane Campbell via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:02 of round 2

Undercard (UFC Fight Pass at 6 p.m. ET)
Bryan Caraway def. Aljamain Sterling via split decision
Adam Milstead def. Chris De La Rocha via TKO (punches) at 4:01 of round 2

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