I have mixed feelings about last night's UFC Vegas 60 card. While I am always entertained and appreciative of the athletes who put it all on the line I'd be lying if I said that last night's offering was what I expected. Most of the fights were quite competitive but there were a couple that I had high hopes for that kind of fell flat. That said, the only time you will ever hear me complain about UFC cards is when there aren't any, such as next weekend when the UFC will be going dark AGAIN. In fact we have a rough stint coming up where we will be without Saturday night fights for two out of the next three weeks. All I can say about that is thank God for DWCS on Tuesdays and thank God it's football season. While the NFL is not the UFC it isn't a terrible substitute, but I digress….
Nikolas Motta got a 1st round KO win over Cameron VanCamp in last night's curtain jerker. Full disclosure: I was napping in front of my TV before the fights started but I woke up just in time to watch Motta land a left hook that dropped VanCamp which resulted in a ground and pound finish. Motta gets his first UFC win and hands VanCamp his second UFC loss in a row. I think both of these guys will probably continue to improve and I look forward to their next outings.
Javid Basharat won a unanimous decision victory over Tony Gravely. Basharat continues to impress as he remains undefeated, he picked Gravely apart on the feet with outstanding distant management and he managed to nullify what I had thought would be a wrestling advantage for Gravely, I think this guy is the real deal and I look forward to his next outing.
Gillian Robertson was soundly out struck in the first round by MarIya Agapova but she managed to get the fight to the floor and found the RNC finish in the second round. Credit to Robertson for weathering the early onslaught from the superior striker and having the wherewithal to impose her ground game for an impressive come from behind victory.
Trey Ogden wins a unanimous decision victory over highly touted DWCS graduate Daniel Zellhuber. Ogden gave the newcomer a classic vet lesson and spoiled his debut with a tactical game plan that made the otherwise dynamic Zellhuber look rather pedestrian. He cashes as a sizable underdog and undoubtedly nuked countless parlays for the MMA masses (myself included). Congratulations to everyone who took the dog shot on Ogden.
Loma Lookboonmee also won a unanimous decision victory over a debuting DWCS graduate in Denise Gomes. However Gomes gave a very good account of herself in a loss, she had some very nice offensive sequences that made this a very good fight in my opinion but it was Lookboonmee who was in control for most of the exchanges. I look forward to seeing both of these ladies again as I think they both have tremendous potential and bright futures in the UFC.
Trevin Giles gets a unanimous decision victory over Louis Cosce in what I thought was the worst fight of the evening. I expected fireworks from these two but instead we got a very measured approach that was overly cautious. It was evident early that neither man was willing to take any chances. This fight reminded me of Namajunas vs Esparza 2. However I can appreciate why Giles and Cosce were so tentative because they were both coming off of losses, Giles was clearly trying to avoid a 3 fight skid while Cosce was trying to avoid a repeat of his debut loss to Sasha Palatnikov where he gassed himself out and suffered a KO loss. Hopefully their next outings will prove to be more fan friendly.
DAMON Jackson upset the highly touted Pat Sabatini with a 1st round GNP TKO after he caught him with a beautiful front kick to the face that had Sabatini on wobbly legs and caused him to panic wrestle. Jackson expertly got himself in a dominant mount and rained down viscous Ground and Pound until Sabatini verbally tapped. Jackson cashes as a sizable underdog in this spot. Congratulations to everyone who took the dog shot on him.
Anthony “Fluffy” Hernandez gets a 3rd round head and arm choke submission over Marc Andre Barriault. This was mostly one way traffic for Hernandez who put on a complete MMA clinic at Barriault's expense. HERNANDEZ continues to impress with amazing displays of stamina and a complete MMA arsenal that seems to drown his opponents with pace and pressure that they simply cannot keep up with. This guy is a complete Martial artist and I absolutely love watching him in his flow state. I look forward to his next outing and I expect that he will be a ranked fighter at some point in the not too distant future.
Rodrigo Nascimento wins an entertaining split decision victory over Tanner Boser in a high paced clash of styles. Boser seemed to have the striking advantage early but once Nascimento implemented his ground game he was able to land some powerful strike of his own. Ultimately Nascimento's size was the smaller Boser's undoing here. Boser did rally in the last 30 seconds of the fight but it was too little too late. Nascimento cashes as a sizeable underdog in this spot, congratulations to everyone who took the plus money dog shot on him.
Andre Fili won a split decision over Bill Algeo in what was an entertaining but strange bout. It was very close until the 3rd round when Fili managed to backpack Algeo and nearly rear naked choke him but Algeo managed to fend off the choke and started to throw punches backwards over his own shoulder, many of which landed hard and clean on Fili's face. Credit to Fili for maintaining the back pack position despite being punched in the face multiple times with surprisingly hard shots from Algeo and credit to Algeo for a valiant effort, I look forward to seeing both of these guys again.
GREGORY RODRIGUES gets a second round ground and pound TKO over Chidi Njkouani after being split wide open by a Chidi Knee that landed right between Rodrigues' eyes. This was a brutal looking gash from a viscous shot that would have knocked most people out but Rodrigues' heart and skill were on full display as he roared back and dropped Chidi twice before the round ended, Rodrigues managed to close the show in the second round, another impressive come from behind victory from “Robocop” who is an absolute problem at middleweight. This was easily the fight of the night in my opinion and I cannot wait to see both of these gentlemen again.
Cory Sandhagen wins a 4th round TKO by doctor stoppage due to a cut over Song Yadong. It was evident early that Yadong had a significant power advantage but Sandhagen is a master technician and an expert tactician, he used Yadong's forward momentum against him and sliced him open with step in elbows, once he saw the gash open up he continued to attack it until the doctor had seen enough and told referee Herb Dean to stop the fight. Sandhagen has ice water in his veins and he is absolutely in bantamweight title contention, I am very eager for his next outing as I believe he is closing in on another shot at the belt.
On a personal note I went 7-6 on my predictions but I still managed to make a very small profit on all of my betting/DFS action which I'm extremely grateful for as we head into a 13 day break before UFC Vegas 61: Dern vs Yan. The only thing worse than a UFC dark week is heading into a UFC dark week on a loss so fortunately that is not the case for me as we head into the break. As much as I dislike break weeks they do allow for a recharge and more in-depth tape study so I will make the most of the time off and return with a renewed sense of ambition.
Be sure to check out my Rapid Fire Quick Picks article for UFC Vegas 61 right here at WE WANT PICKS where We are all about this life. Have a great week off everyone.