After enduring the longest card free drought in nearly two years, the UFC returned to action last Saturday, delivering an event that was thoroughly satisfying from top-to-bottom, unless you happened to be in the small minority of people who wished ill upon either Michael Bisping or Jon Jones, that is. But as is the case with most UFC events, the evening was not without its share of ups and downs, so join us as we take take off our fanboy pants, pull our analrapist stockings over our heads, and take a look back at the event that was…
Seth Baczynski’s Second Tour of Duty: One of the more improbable, if not unknown, comeback stories currently circulating the MMA world, the story of “The Polish Pistola’s” second octagon run has seen him score submission victories over TUF 13 alum Clay Harvison, TUF 7 alum Matt Brown, and earn a split decision victory over Lance Benoist. His beautiful knockout of Simeon Thoreson this past weekend should have easily earned him the KOTN award, but we imagine that Baczynski will be happy enough knowing that he has more than earned a shot at some stiffer competition — and considering his finishing rate, a main card spot — in the near future.
Vinny Magalhaes‘ Second Tour of Duty: While we’re on the subject of TUF alums kicking major ass their second time around, we can’t overlook TUF 8 finalist Vinny Magalhaes, who clearly packed some of his M-1 swagger for his return to the big show (figuratively speaking, of course). Granted, it makes your job a hell of a lot easier when your opponent decides to play directly into your strengths, but for now, we’ll just congratulate Vinny on a sweet finish and a successful return.
Marcus Brimage – Hype Spoiler: With back-to-back victories over highly-touted prospects Maximo Blanco and Jimy Hettes, it’s safe to say that the TUF 14 alum has not only launched up the featherweight ranks, but is easily the most successful member to come out of the season despite only making it to the quarterfinals of the show (sorry, Diego). If Brimage can learn to control his pace a little better over the course of three rounds, we could be looking at a future contender.
The Bloodbath That was T.J Grant vs. Evan Dunham: Perhaps the only thing more surprising in this fight, other than the incredible improvement in Grant’s striking game, were the chins these two displayed while beating the ever-loving dog shit out of each other for three straight rounds. Dunham, who is no stranger to nasty cuts, had his forehead split so wide open in the second round that Grant could see his thoughts for the rest of the fight and prepare accordingly. Although Dunham has fallen on hard times as of late when it comes to getting the victory, the $65,000 bonus he walked away with should ease some of the pain, especially if he decides to stuff it directly into his open wound, which ironically resembles an empty wallet as viewed from above.
The First Flyweight Title Fight: Here’s how Dana White summed up Benavidez/Johnson:
If you didn’t like that flyweight fight, please, I’m begging you, don’t ever buy another UFC pay-per-view again…You’re a moron, you don’t like fighting and you don’t appreciate great talent or heart if you didn’t like that flyweight fight.
Now, although we wouldn’t put it as bluntly as DW (go figure), we’d have to agree with him on a fundamental level here. No, there weren’t as many grueling exchanges, insane submission attempts, or high-flying maneuvers as we’d hoped for in the first ever flyweight title fight, but it was an enjoyable five round affair nonetheless. The speed of “Mighty Mouse,” which has been described as “like pixie sticks on crack” by at least one person, led him to a decisive decision victory over a man who was considered “the uncrowned king of the flyweight division.” But judging by the comments section of CP and various other MMA sites, the questions that most people have about the flyweight division appear the same as before:
1. Can such tiny fists actually finish fights?
2. Will the lack of depth in the division lead to the recycling of contenders down the line?
At least the first question is a little easier to answer than the latter.
Bipsing and Jones Silence Opponents/Haters: Aside from a rocky moment in the first round for both gentlemen, Michael Bisping and Jon Jones looked pretty flawless last weekend, impressively out grappling Brian Stann and Vitor Belfort, respectively. Bisping’s case for the next middleweight title shot is as good as anyone’s at this point, we guess, so if he thinks he can jab-and-jog Anderson Silva into a living death, we say why not let him try? As for Jones, well, there isn’t much to say really. He dominated another former champ and made it look relatively easy. Any questions in regards to his chin or ability to fight out of a bad situation have likely been squashed and hey, at least we got to see him at least tested this time.
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