9 Aug 2010 06:39:15 AM
UFC 117 not only produced a dramatic night of fights, it also provided answers to a lot of burning questions. Here’s what we know, now that the dust has settled in Oakland. (Figuratively speaking. Obviously, there’s still a ton of dust floating around in Oakland.)
Junior Dos Santos Is Not Superhuman
In round one, he did what we expected him to: beat Roy Nelson like a mulleted heavy-bag. But when Roy managed to survive the onslaught — massive props to Big Country, by the way — Dos Santos visibly slowed down and couldn’t inflict as much damage as he did in the opening frame. The fight didn’t bode well for JDS’s chances against the Lesnar/Velasquez winner. As we saw at UFC 116, Brock can take a brutal beating and come back for round 2 fresh as a daisy.
Matt Hughes Is Still a Threat
When Hughes suffered back-to-back losses to Georges St. Pierre (at UFC 79) and Thiago Alves (at UFC 85), it seemed that his days as a competitor were swirling down the drain. Hughes’s blanket-ish return performance against Matt Serra didn’t prove much, considering Serra’s injuries and ring rust, and his beatdown of Renzo Gracie in Abu Dhabi said more about the loser than the winner. But smashing Ricardo Almeida standing, then choking him out with a front headlock in the first round? That’s a huge feather in Hughes’s cap. This was not a "master’s division"-type fight; Almeida was a legitimate welterweight player, who was coming off his third consecutive win against Matt Brown at UFC 111. Hughes may be more interested in hunting than fighting at this point, but he’s a contender again. The question is: Which Gracie-associated fighter can he get next?