MMA Review: #485: UFC Fight Night 57

-Not much to say in the way of an intro for this one as it was one of the few cards of 2014 to remain injury-free once it was announced. As usual I guess the main talking point would be card placement – we had a Women’s Strawweight fight between a pair of hot (in both senses of the word) prospects Paige Van Zant and Kailin Curran, as well as the debut of one of the best Featherweight prospects in the world in Doo Ho Choi buried on the Fight Pass prelims while stuff like Matt Wiman vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg made the main card. Go figure!

UFC Fight Night 57

11/22/14
Austin, Texas

-Your hosts are Jon Anik and Brian Stann.

Lightweight Fight: Matt Wiman vs Isaac Vallie-Flagg

Talk about a long layoff – this was Wiman’s first fight since January 2013 (!) when he’d lost to TJ Grant in what was practically a mild upset at the time. IVF meanwhile had last been seen on the wrong end of lopsided decisions against Elias Silverio and Takanori Gomi and was probably looking at his pink slip with a loss here, so both guys really had their backs to the wall coming in.

Round One and they trade punches from the off into the clinch. They exchange some shots from close quarters but really there’s not much action going on here at all. They break off and IVF lands with a hard body kick and then goes right back to the clinch. Pair of solid elbows land for Wiman from there. Looks like IVF’s trying to get Wiman down but he can’t seem to get the correct position for a trip. They exchange elbows and Wiman appears to be cut on the head. He’s totally bald though so that’s bound to happen I guess. IVF breaks and lands with a combo before clinching again where he lands with some decent knees. Wiman needs to get out of this clinch ASAP. He finally does break off but can’t get any room before IVF clinches again. YAWN. I hate clinch fighting. They’re exchanging quite a lot I guess though. Combo breaks for IVF. He lands a good uppercut as Wiman comes forward too. Good combo of elbows and knees from Wiman but he finds himself up against the cage again. This time IVF drops for a takedown, but Wiman defends well and somehow transitions into full back control with both hooks. That was pretty slick. He goes right into an armbar from there and it looks sunk, and then he appears to be setting up for a triangle too. He goes into that and then back into the armbar but IVF avoids and that’s the round. 10-10 round as IVF had the majority of it but Wiman came close to a finish at the end there.

Round Two and IVF opens with a couple of decent combos before Wiman drops for a single leg. IVF defends it well though and clocks him with some punches from the clinch before muscling him into the fence. Vallie-Flagg drops for a takedown but Wiman uses a shady fence grab to reverse position and lands with some decent shots from the clinch. IVF returns the favour with some of his own elbows and then Wiman nails him with an uppercut. They continue to trade into the clinch and then break off. This is becoming a bit of a dirty brawl. More elbows from Wiman connect inside the clinch before IVF moves him into the fence again. Exchange from the clinch continues as they’re actually making it a bit more exciting in this round. IVF goes for the takedown again but he still can’t get Wiman down. They break with just over two minutes to go and IVF lands a pair of hard uppercuts, but Wiman returns fire and they continue to trade wildly. Back into the clinch and it’s more uppercuts for IVF. Takedown follows but Wiman hits a reversal instantly and again takes the back, going right into a rear naked choke. Vallie-Flagg looks in trouble but he manages to defend the choke at least. Both hooks in for Wiman now and he continues to look for the choke. Good escape from IVF though and he explodes to his feet right back into the clinch. This time Wiman goes to knees, but Vallie-Flagg fires back with a combo to the body. This is about as active a clinch war as I can remember. They trade elbows from the clinch and that’s pretty much the round. 10-9 Wiman I’d say due to the back control portion.

Round Three and both guys look pretty spent coming out but right away get back to brawling with Wiman absolutely CRACKING IVF with a right hand in the early going. They go right back to the clinch and continue where they left off in the second round by exchanging literally everything including shoulder strikes. Looks like Wiman might be the fresher guy here. Mario Yamasaki calls a break with about three and a half remaining and Wiman comes forward with a combo. IVF fires right back with a good combo of his own before Wiman clinches to deliver a knee. No clue why Wiman isn’t listening to his corner and going for the takedown though as he seemed to be light years ahead on the ground. They break and the exchange CONTINUES. If you looked up “dirty brawl” in a dictionary there should be a photo of this fight. Back into the clinch and Wiman counters a takedown attempt with a guillotine into a slick back take. This time he slaps in a body triangle and that’ll probably be enough to win him this fight. He can’t quite get the choke but he’s in firm control. You can actually hear an idiot trying to kick up a “boring” chant in the crowd which is ridiculous. Fuck that guy. Seconds to go and it looks like IVF’s stuck. Wiman seems to be shouting something at his corner and apparently he wants to know how much time’s left. It’s about twenty seconds and the fight ends up finishing with Wiman clamped to IVF’s back. 30-28 Wiman for me.

Scores are 30-27, 29-28 and 30-27 for Matt Wiman. Yeah, I can roll with that. First round of this was largely crap but once it degenerated into a dirty clinch brawl in the second and third it became tremendously entertaining even if it wasn’t the most technical fight of all time. Fun opener.

Flyweight Fight: Joseph Benavidez vs Dustin Ortiz

I was expecting a ton of excitement from this one for sure as Benavidez always brings it while Ortiz had put on one of 2014’s most underrated fights against Justin Scoggins at the TUF 19 finale. As far as a pick went, Ortiz had fought well in both of his previous bouts but I couldn’t pick against Benavidez as the guy is pretty much the world’s toughest gatekeeper at this point after his two losses to Mighty Mouse.

First round and Ortiz immediately pushes forward but gets clipped by a couple of glancing counters. Body kick lands for Benavidez. Pair of left hands follow to peg Ortiz back. Nice combo follows for the former title challenger. Beautiful right hand catches Ortiz coming in. Benavidez is awesome. Literally he’d be world champ guaranteed if Mighty Mouse didn’t exist. Heavy combination of punches and kicks lands for him. Ortiz is getting clocked pretty much every time he comes forward now. High kick and a hard left hand land for Benavidez. Hard body kick follows. Ortiz continues to pressure forward but he looks outmatched on the feet here. Big right hand snaps Ortiz’s head back. Looks like Ortiz is wobbled off a left hand but he recovers quickly. Big combo puts Ortiz on rubber legs and Benavidez comes in with a pair of knees and a hard elbow from the clinch before Ortiz exits. More combos follow for Benavidez. Ortiz keeps swinging but he’s missing the majority of his shots and eating a ton more. Takedown for Benavidez follows pretty easily. He immediately slides into half-guard and looks to set up his trademark guillotine, but he can’t quite get it and ends the round with elbows. Totally one-sided round; 10-9 Benavidez.

Second round and Benavidez tags Ortiz with an opening combo before landing a head kick on the exit from the clinch. Back to the clinch and Benavidez gets the better of it with some uppercuts and knees. Nice left hand lands for Benavidez. Ortiz just has no answer for any of this. He’s getting cracked literally every time he walks into range. Big left head kick rocks Ortiz badly and Benavidez clocks him with a pair of rights to follow it up. Takedown attempt from Ortiz and he gets his hands connected and after a struggle, gets Benavidez down. Benavidez quickly reverses to his feet though and exits with a pair of rights. Big shots have Ortiz wobbled again but evidently the guy has a great chin as he’s still vertical. Kick from Benavidez is caught by Ortiz for a takedown, but Benavidez immediately hits a scramble and explodes back to his feet. Ortiz is cut now right over the right eye. He catches Benavidez with a decent left in an exchange though. Looks like Benavidez might be cut too under the right eye. Body kick from Benavidez and another big right follows. Ortiz really pushes forward now but he’s missing most of his shots. Takedown attempt from Benavidez is stuffed nicely by Ortiz who lands with a body shot. Right hand answers for Benavidez. Another nice combo lands for Joe. Slick scramble from Benavidez allows him to take the back standing, but the buzzer sounds to end the round. 10-9 Benavidez again.

Third round and Ortiz walks through a combo and shoots, but Benavidez sprawls and grabs a front headlock before scrambling to take the back with a rear waistlock. Knees to the legs connect for Benavidez before he breaks. Beautiful right hand lands for him. Big shots tag Ortiz but he hangs tough and lands a body shot before shooting. Benavidez sprawls again and looks to set up a guillotine but Ortiz manages to slip away and get to his feet. Combo connects for Ortiz but Benavidez fires right back. Clinch from Benavidez and he takes the back again and this time quickly drags Ortiz down. Beautiful scramble from Ortiz allows him to escape again though. Another combo from Benavidez lands but Ortiz grabs a clinch and forces him into the fence. This time Ortiz manages to get the back and he drags Benavidez down, but he can’t quite get the hooks in and Benavidez turns into him and winds up on top where it looks like he might be setting up for a kneebar. Instead he spins through and gets a front headlock again. Ortiz manages to pop back up and they wind up clinched again. Good knee from Ortiz but Benavidez breaks with a right hand. Takedown attempt from Ortiz is stuffed but a second attempt puts Benavidez down for a second before he pops back up. Overhand right connects for Benavidez. Nice body kick follows. Seconds to go and Ortiz keeps pushing forward, but he’s still eating the bigger shots. Wheel kick misses for Benavidez and they brawl from close range to end the fight. I have this 30-27 for Benavidez.

Judges have it 30-27 all round for Joseph Benavidez. This was a really good showing from him as Ortiz showed some flashes of real greatness here and never looked totally out of his depth, but he never really managed to do anything to Benavidez and he got hit with some BOMBS and did well to hang in there for the distance. Really fun fight as is the norm for Benavidez and it’s a pity he’s lost twice to Mighty Mouse because he’s quite clearly the second-best guy in this weight class in my mind.

Heavyweight Fight: Jared Rosholt vs Oleksiy Oliynyk

This one had me intrigued mainly because despite a bit of a dull reputation I felt Rosholt could progress into a possible contender at HW thanks to his wrestling background and athleticism. He’d previously reeled off three UFC wins in a row, while Oliynyk had debuted successfully in the Octagon with a June win over Anthony Hamilton. Despite Oliynyk having the biggest win on his ledger (Mirko Cro Cop) I was taking Rosholt to pick up another win.

Fight begins and Rosholt lands with a solid leg kick to open. Good low kick from Oliynyk answers. Wild right hand misses for Oliynyk and that leads into the clinch where Jared OPENS UP with some big knees and punches! Brutal uppercuts and body shots have Oliynyk hurt and he’s covering up like crazy. He tries to swing back but Rosholt’s all over him in this clinch and he grabs a front headlock and snaps Oliynyk down to control him. Good knee from Rosholt as he’s trying to time them to when Oliynyk’s hands aren’t on the ground. Oliynyk works back up to a regular clinch, but Rosholt stays on him. Good right hand from Oliynyk but Rosholt begins to work him over again with a series of big elbows and uppercuts. Oliynyk goes for a takedown but Rosholt stuffs it easily and continues to land from the clinch. Two minutes to go and they break off. Big right hand glances for Oliynyk. Uppercut follows but Jared seems fine. Wild exchange follows and Oliynyk WAYLAYS HIM WITH A LEFT HAND! Rosholt goes DOWN AND OUT and a pair of hammer fists STIFFEN HIM UP. Wow. That was vicious.

Man. Rosholt was in firm control of that fight and it was looking like possibly his best UFC showing yet as he was working Oliynyk over from the clinch, but then he got slightly sloppy for a second and it was OVER. Them’s the breaks in Heavyweight MMA when everyone hits like a truck I guess. Absolutely brutal knockout for Oleksiy Oliynyk.

Flyweight Fight: Chico Camus vs Brad Pickett

This was Camus’s first drop to 125lbs following his May loss to Chris Holdsworth. He wasn’t exactly given an easy out for his first Flyweight match either – perennial contender Pickett was coming off a loss to Ian McCall but that’d been a close fight and he’d been beating better guys (in my opinion) than Camus in his own run at 135lbs. My pick here was ‘One Punch’ via KO.

Round One and Pickett stalks forward and tags Camus with a right hook in an early exchange. Flying knee from Camus responds and lands but not quite cleanly. Takedown attempt from Pickett and he gets Camus in the air but somehow Camus manages to avoid it and stay on his feet. That was ridiculous. Right hand connects for Camus. Nice step-in uppercut follows. Big left hook answers for Pickett and he follows by dropping for a double leg and planting Camus on his back in guard. They exchange from inside Camus’s guard with Pickett landing with some solid shots. Nice elbow connects for Pickett as he moves into half-guard for a second, but Camus quickly hip escapes to guard. Looks like Camus is cut open a bit on his face. Good job from him to push off the hips though and he pops up to his feet. One-two lands for Camus. Looks like Pickett might be slightly busted up too. Left hook connects for Camus. Body kick from Pickett sets up a hard combo but Camus avoids a clinch attempt. Exchange continues with Camus landing a clean counter left. Camus starts dropping his hands for some reason and then he shoots for his own takedown but Pickett easily defends it. Good exchange sees Camus land another hard left. Round ends on the feet. Close round and Camus narrowly got the better of the stand-up, but I’d say Pickett’s round for the ground work, 10-9.

Round Two and a replay between rounds appears to show Camus breaking Pickett’s nose with a strike from the bottom. Early exchange sees Camus getting the better of it with seemingly faster hand speed. Camus is putting together some really sharp combos here. Takedown attempt from Pickett and he drives Camus into the fence, but again Camus shows excellent defense and gets free. Good low kick from Pickett. Camus responds immediately with a hard one of his own. Flying knee misses for Pickett. Exchange continues and both men are landing some decent shots now. Uppercut lands for Camus. Lot of footwork and taunting now from Camus and he hits a snapping left hand. Overhand right glances for Pickett. Big double leg from Pickett plants Camus on his back right against the fence. Camus immediately works back to his feet though and grabs onto a guillotine, but Pickett scrambles free. Just over a minute to go and we’re back to the striking exchange. Big right hook lands for Pickett. Left follows and connects for the Brit to set up another takedown attempt. Camus defends again though and remains on his feet. They break with seconds to go and taunt each other to end the round. 10-10 round for me as Camus took the early part and Pickett took over late.

Round Three and they open with a BRO HUG!~! Neither man gets the better of an early exchange before Camus does a good job of defending a single leg from Pickett. Couple of shots to the body land for Pickett. Decent counter right hook lands too. Camus looks like he’s slowed down noticeably. This is a hard fight to score because neither guy is really hurting the other in these exchanges. Good low kick from Pickett. Another takedown attempt is stuffed by Camus. Sharp counter right connects for Camus in an exchange. More of the same follows with Camus landing the best shot, a front kick to the jaw. Combo follows for the American. One minute to go and this could really still be anyone’s fight. Crowd begin to get restless as Pickett shoots with seconds to go. Again Camus stuffs it though. Front kick connects direct to the mouth for Pickett. Pair of left hooks answer for Camus. Round ends with another exchange. 10-10 again so I’d call it 30-29 Pickett. Could go either way.

Judges have it 29-28 Camus, 30-27 Pickett, and 29-28 for Chico Camus. Can’t really complain about any of those scores as it was such a close fight I guess, but it wasn’t really a convincing win for Camus. Weird fight in a way as it was like, a lot of stuff happened but really nothing happened because neither man got hurt or pulled away on the scorecards or anything. I mean, it was perfectly acceptable MMA, but just totally unmemorable.

Lightweight Fight: Edson Barboza vs Bobby Green

This was a deceptively big fight as both men had sort of quietly crept into the top ten by late 2014; Green off the back of a bit of a questionable decision win over Josh Thomson, while Barboza had earned his spot with a good run of wins with his only loss being to Donald Cerrone. This was quite a tricky fight to pick but in the end I sided with Barboza as his striking is really excellent and I thought Green had become slightly overrated.

Pretty crazy entrance for Green as he walks out to Gangrel’s old theme music from WWF in the late 1990’s! Pity he doesn’t pull off the blood spit or wear Gangrel’s crazy shirt or anything because that would’ve made for an all-time great walk-out.

Round One and both men miss strikes from range. Green seems to be looking to taunt Barboza and he lands with a right hook in the early going. Nasty body kick from Barboza but Green trips him right down. The Brazilian pops up instantly though. Green is dropping his hands like mad which is mental against a striker as good as Barboza. Low leg kick connects for Barboza. Crowd are chanting for Green but he’s taking shots from Barboza right now. He shrugs off a combo and a body kick by shaking his head nonchalantly though. No idea what Green is playing at here as he takes some more shots and just shakes his head without really trying to return fire. Dude looks like a black Diaz brother or something. Big left hook connects for Barboza. Green shakes his head again but he’s got to get something going. One minute to go now and Barboza lands another chopping leg kick. Beautiful left hook follows. Body kick finally lands for Green and a stiff jab follows. Good job from Barboza to shrug off a clinch and that’s the round. 10-9 Barboza as Green looked more interested in taunting than actually fighting.

Round Two and Barboza opens by tripling up on a jab. Couple of wild kicks miss for Green. Dude has his hands literally by his waist. Barboza lands with a head kick but somehow Green shrugs it right off with a smile. Guy has a sick chin at least. He’s still getting picked apart here though. Big overhand right finally has Green hurt and he has to back up, but Barboza follows up with a spinning wheel kick to the head that sends him down! Crowd go apeshit as Green gets up and looks to clinch, but the Brazilian quickly shrugs it off. Green comes back with a jab but another combo from Barboza backs him up a bit. Barboza isn’t being drawn in by the mind games at all. Flying knee glances for Green. Spinning backfist misses though. Jabs land for both men. Good combo from Green, left hand into a leg kick. One-two answers for Barboza but Green eats it right up with another Diaz impression. Sick leg kick lands for the Brazilian. Takedown attempt from Green is shrugged off. Flying knee to the body from Green. Leg kick follows, turning the tables on Barboza. Good leg kick from Barboza ends the round. Closer round but 10-9 Barboza for that early flurry.

Round Three and Barboza opens with a pair of leg kicks. Brutal counter right connects for Barboza and there’s no taunting from Green this time as evidently that one hurt. He starts to push forward more now but can’t seem to catch the quicker Brazilian. Wild swing misses for him. Head kick connects for Barboza. Right hand follows but it looks like something from Green has busted up his right eye. Beautiful counter combo lands for Barboza as Stann has a coughing fit on commentary. Barboza’s eye looks like a fucking mess but he’s winning this round handily. Flying knee misses for Green. Another nice combo lands for the Brazilian. Trade sees both men land but Barboza smartly circles out. One minute to go and Green’s really walking him down but he can’t seem to land cleanly. Couple of good shots land for Green but Barboza slows him back down with a leg kick. Head kick follows. Right hook lands for Green but he can’t follow it and that’s the fight. 30-27 Barboza for me.

Judges all have it 30-27 for Barboza. This was a really odd fight as Barboza largely outclassed Green on the feet due to his superior speed and movement, but he never really had Green in danger and it felt almost like Green was more content to taunt the Brazilian in a weird attempt to draw him into a brawl perhaps rather than actually try to fight the guy. Good win for Barboza for sure but I just think Green could’ve put up a much better fight. Maybe I’m being unfair though, who knows.

Featherweight Fight: Frankie Edgar vs Cub Swanson

This was a big-time main event between two top contenders at 145lbs, but the cynic in me definitely felt like it was a way to move Cub out of the title picture (allowing Conor McGregor to get to the front of the queue) as I just couldn’t see a way for him to beat Frankie – while he’d put together a tremendous streak of wins none of them had come against an opponent as quick as the former Lightweight champ and I thought Edgar had the advantage in pretty much every area. I figured Frankie would chain his takedowns together using his boxing as a setup and win a decision.

Round One begins and man does Frankie look amped. Crowd seem pretty torn early on as they circle and throw out some strikes from range that don’t really land. Couple of jabs glance for Edgar. Counter left connects for Swanson but he takes a combo from Frankie. Clinch from Edgar but Swanson avoids a takedown off it. Swanson’s hanging his hands worryingly low, but he does catch Edgar with a left-right combo. Good right hand answers for Edgar. Nice leg kick from Swanson but Edgar fires back with a clean right hook. Takedown attempt from Frankie but Swanson stuffs it. Good knee exits for Edgar but Cub got the moral victory there. Nice overhand right from Swanson. Edgar comes right back with a quick combo to the body. Swanson suddenly starts to walk him down, but it proves to be an error as Frankie catches a kick and tackles him down. Cub wastes no time in reversing though and he’s back up on his feet. One minute to go and another combo connects for Edgar. He’s the busier fighter thus far. Seconds to go and Frankie looks for another takedown and hits a hip throw into guard to end the round. 10-9 Edgar.

Round Two and Cub pushes forward early on and lands a big uppercut, but Edgar shows his trademark strong chin and shrugs it right off. Lot of movement from Frankie early in this round but he whiffs on a couple of combos and takes a couple of shots from Swanson. Overhand right answers for Frankie and he’s got Cub cut. Takedown attempt follows and after a real struggle he forces Swanson into the fence and gets him down into half-guard. Nice stuff from Edgar. Short elbows connect for Frankie as he keeps Swanson firmly grounded. Reversal attempt is avoided by Edgar who stays heavy on top. Swanson works back to butterfly guard but he’s taking some solid shots here from the top. Looks like Cub’s left eye is really busted up. He looks tired to me too. Just over a minute remaining and Frankie moves into half-guard and continues to work Cub over with ground-and-pound. Nasty elbows have Cub wincing. Edgar passes into full mount for a second but Cub immediately hip escapes back to half-guard. Round ends with more elbows from Edgar. Clear-cut 10-9 round for him there. He’s beginning to dominate this fight.

Round Three and Edgar begins with a lot of movement while probing with a jab. Cub comes back with a couple of jabs of his own but Edgar rushes him and forces him into the fence with a rear waistlock. Cub manages to defend a German suplex but Edgar’s all over him and he switches to a double leg and dumps him into guard. Right away he goes back to work with the elbows too. Into half-guard for Frankie and he avoids a reversal and keeps Cub grounded. Cub just can’t do a thing with Edgar on top of him. Big flurry connects for Edgar and it looks like he’s trying to finish. Scramble from Cub but Edgar stays on top of him in firm control and continues to work him over. Full mount now and Swanson’s in trouble, but he manages to escape right back to half-guard. Doesn’t stop him eating a ton of elbows though and now he’s cut bad. Edgar has developed into a MONSTER at this weight. More elbows land and Swanson has a bewildered look on his face. Round ends with Frankie continuing to dominate. 10-8 round in my eyes and this is becoming a beatdown.

Round Four and Edgar lands with a body kick and avoids a big flurry from Cub who clearly knows he needs a stoppage. Big body kick from Swanson lands but Edgar seems fine. Beautiful left hook from Edgar sets up a big takedown and as Cub looks to bounce back up, Frankie switches position and takes the back with a rear waistlock before wrestling him down into half-guard. Incredible. Huge elbows land for Frankie and this time he easily passes to mount. This is probably the best I’ve ever seen Frankie Edgar look. Cub manages to shrimp back to half-guard but he’s still taking a ton of abuse. He’s bleeding like crazy mainly from his left eye but probably from a few different cuts. Mount again for Frankie and he continues to land. You could probably stop this fight actually and it wouldn’t be unfair. Swanson gives his back to avoid the barrage and then manages to roll back to half-guard, but Edgar slices right back through to mount. Swanson is DONE. More punishment comes from Edgar who isn’t slowing down in the slightest either. Again Cub slips back into half-guard and this time he manages to escape to his feet. Only seconds to go though and it doesn’t look like he’s got the energy to land anything. Buzzer goes and it’s another 10-8 in the books for Edgar.

Round Five and they circle before Edgar tags Cub with a fast combo. Cub avoids a takedown but eats a left hand. Man, Cub’s face is a MESS. Easy single leg from Frankie and he lands in the guard. Naturally, half-guard and more ground-and-pound follow as Cub has zero answer for any of it. Neck crank attempt from Edgar and it looks tight, but Swanson manages to defend by rolling out. Mount follows for Edgar though and he smashes Cub with more brutal elbows. Arm triangle attempt now but Swanson gets to half-guard to defend that. He manages to escape but can’t shake Frankie off and more elbows get through for the former champ. Side mount for Edgar now. Big knees to the body from Frankie and when Cub rolls, he grabs a guillotine. Cub scrambles to avoid that and manages full guard, but he can’t get up. Less than a minute to go now and Frankie hops into half-guard. Full mount from Edgar and a big flurry connects. Cub gives his back and ends up flattened out taking big shots to the head. He rolls back to mount but he’s getting OWNED. Literally seconds on the clock – less than ten in fact – and Cub gives his back and finally Frankie slaps on a rear naked choke for the tapout with like four seconds to go! That was literally the cherry on top of a fucking incredible cake or something like that.

Totally one-sided fight and it’s even more amazing when you think that Swanson was considered a top five fighter coming into this one and it’s not like it was an inflated ranking either as he’d earned it with a bunch of wins over tough guys like Dennis Siver, Jeremy Stephens and Charles Oliveira. Frankie ate him up though and made him look like he didn’t even belong in the UFC, which is ludicrous. To me this was Edgar’s career-best performance and as I’ve said before it makes it frustrating that they threw him in with Jose Aldo with no build as if he’d reeled off fights like this before the Aldo fight everyone would’ve been salivating over it. As it is I expect him to beat Urijah Faber in May and end up facing the winner of Aldo vs. Conor McGregor in the later part of the year. Sounds good to me! As for Swanson, unfortunately it’s back to the drawing board I guess. But I mean, what could he do with a beast like Frankie? Stunning main event.

-Show ends as Edgar celebrates.

Final Thoughts….

Mixed bag here as we got a solid clinch war in the opener, a couple of one-sided yet entertaining fights in Edgar/Swanson and Benavidez/Ortiz and a brutal knockout from Oliynyk, but also got a pair of pretty pedestrian fights in the form of Camus/Pickett and Green/Barboza. Plus everything went REALLY LONG outside of the HW fight which is usually the norm for that division admittedly, but yeah. It’s a thumbs up in the end but really only for hardcore fans as I don’t think casuals would be entertained by the longer fights and lack of finishes.

Best Fight: Edgar vs. Swanson
Worst Fight: Camus vs. Pickett

Overall Rating: ***

Until next time,

Scott Newman:
NewmanMMA@gmail.com