Dustin Poirier’s heroics and Matt Brown’s lethal finishing earned themselves FOTN and POTN bonuses respectively. Clay Guida ignited the Norfolk fight fans early on with a 67-second finish of Joe Lauzon.
It was another excellent weekend for MMA as many top-ranked opponents went to battle this weekend.
With Poirier making a bold claim for his title path and Matt Brown contemplating not retiring after all, it’s time to make predictions on what’s next.
ATT’s Dustin Poirier put on a show this weekend as he needed to do just a little bit more than normal to finish a resilient Anthony Pettis. At many points throughout the fight he had Pettis in a whirlwind of trouble. The vicious striking to end the first round was almost enough to do the job. Cutting elbows from top control left very little options for Pettis as his vision began to go from the blood. His callout to end the night was also the exact remedy needed for this ‘cutting a promo’ era. He suggested the winner of Alvarez/Gaethje as his next opponent, and that’s probably his most viable option as of right now. Personally, I think the UFC will give him the loser of that bout just due to the number of contenders in line.
Say what you will about his recent 2-5 record in his last seven fights. Make up any kind of theory as to why it’s not coming together for the former champion, it doesn’t matter. Pettis’ performance last night is something to take pride in whether or not you’re hand gets raised after the fact. If anything, his recent skid is emblematic of the leaps the lightweight division is making where a guy as skilled as Pettis can’t get his foot in the door for the top five. For some weird reason, a rematch of Anthony Pettis vs. Clay Guida makes a whole lot of sense right now given Guida’s recent surge. Should be a fun win to get back for Pettis if he can withstand the threat.
‘The Immortal’ looked vintage once again with a brutal finish that saw Diego Sanchez do a UFC video game tumble. Going into tonight, Matt Brown made mention of this fight possibly being his last. Whether or not that’s the case going forward is not for us to decide. With finishes like that, Matt Brown can do whatever he wants at this point. If he ever comes back, Brown says it would only be possible against a championship contender. Jorge Masvidal would be a name that could get him excited enough to strap up the gloves once more.
What else can you say about a warrior like Diego Sanchez? Over the years he has captivated the hearts of fight fans with his many wars since TUF. Everything he stands for in this sport is worthy of commemoration. Although he isn’t necessarily a fighter that hovers in that championship status. Sanchez’s values and performances as a fighter always have a way of drawing a crowd. Sanchez once again reiterated his desire to fight even after the vicious KO he endured. Although I never want to see a fighter take on more damage than necessary. It doesn’t look like the buck stops here for Diego, if I had to book it, Reza Madadi would be an interesting bout to test that warrior spirit.
Calm, humble, and well versed in all aspects of MMA, Raphael Assuncao once again proved why you can’t write him off at bantamweight. The Brazilian enjoyed a spirited contest against Matthew Lopez before ultimately finding the finish. Although the result was a bit of a surprise considering his record, you have to take any kind of finish you can get at this level. The call out for a title was a good move post-fight, but it doesn’t seem all that likely just yet. If Cody Garbrandt doesn’t get the immediate rematch against Dillashaw, this would be a cracker of a fight.
While his diaper-clad foe didn’t prove much opposition last night, Arlovski did enough to merit another win on his record. Although the fight will probably make more headlines for choice of wardrobe than anything else. It’s important not to write off the ‘Pitbull’ just yet. Heavyweight has proven itself to be a division of second chances and Arlovski could do well to put another streak together before his time is up. Mark Godbeer seems like a logical next opponent given how his last fight turned out as well.
‘Super’ Sage Northcutt did well to dispel some of the defensive critiques of his game with a good win over Quinones. The TAM influence has rubbed off positively for the Karate prospect. Although some of his defensive frailties while throwing strikes still exist, Northcutt is doing exactly what he needs to do in order to improve. The future remains bright for Northcutt as long as he remains at lightweight. A match-up against Johnny Case would really test his striking and chin durability in a really dynamic fight.
Marlon Moraes makes it 2-0 in the UFC on the back of a convincing, albeit controversial decision result over Dodson. To stop the speed and wicked power of Dodson in a multitude of ways is nothing less than impressive. The former WSOF bantamweight champion is continuing to add stock to his name with these performances over top guys.The winner of Caraway/Sanders is a good test for Moraes that offers something different to the striking that Dodson had to offer.
Junior Albini vs. Zu Anyanwu
Cezar Ferreira vs. Krzysztof Jotko
Nate Marquardt vs. Daniel Kelly
Matthew Lopez vs. Rani Yahya
Joe Lauzon vs. Tae Hyun Bang
John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz
Tatiana Suarez vs. Alexandra Albu
Viviane Pereira vs. JJ Aldrich
Michel Quinones vs. Josh Burkman
Nina Ansaroff vs. Maryna Moroz
Angela Hill vs. Poliana Botelho
Sean Strickland vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
Court McGee vs. Luke Jumeau
Jake Collier vs. Jake Bochnovic
Marcel Fortuna vs. Tyson Pedro
Karl Roberson vs. Geoff Neal
Darren Stewart vs. Bradley Scott