UFC 169: Live Coverage and Analysis
Technical issues are behind us, so let’s get rolling. What did you miss? Clint Hester is a beast!
Al Iaquinta vs. Kevin Lee
Can’t ask for more from the opening fight on tv. Both guys had their moments and looked great. Round 1 was clearly Al’s with a hard knock down and almost submission, round 2 Lee’s with a rear naked choke that almost finished the fight. In the end, Iaquinta did enough to win the fight.
Winner: Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision
Tom Watson vs. Nick Catone
Both guys need a win here. Watson’s shoulders are huge. They came out swinging, you can tell the local guys want to make an impression on the crowd (in this case Catone). This is about as even as a fight as you can have, not overly exciting but they’re throwing some heavy punches out there. Crowd is slowly turning on this fight and I don’t blame them. Watson is landing some pretty good leg kicks, and Catone looks gassed. Interesting battle, Catone got dominated standing up, but took Watson down in round 2 and 3 – which could sway the judges. This is the kind of fight where no one really wins, I score this one for BORING.
Winner: Nick Catone via split decision . Not sure how you could have given Catone a 30-27.
Chris Cariaso vs. Danny Martinez
This is such a wide open division, an impressive win by Cariaso here could vault him into title contention. Martinez is making his UFC debut, so we’ll see how many times Goldberg and Rogan say “UFC jitters.” I think the over/under is 4. One thing about the flyweight division that I love is the explosive accuracy. Guys are going back and forth, but another fight that the crowd isn’t too happy with. Round three started with some bombs – well maybe grenades. Imagine the last fight, but with smaller guys. Super underwhelming fight. Another fight where the winner, didn’t really win anything.
Winner: Chris Cariaso via unanimous decision
Side note: Anthony “Rumble” Johnson just tweeted something that makes it look as if he’s UFC bound
All I have to say and all I want to say is Thank You Jesus
— Anthony Johnson (@Anthony_Rumble) February 1, 2014
John Makdessi vs. Alan Patrick
I’m looking forward to this one. My fellow countrymen, Makdessi has been on a role lately. These guys have shown the ability to knock out guys, so hopefully the fight makes up for the prelim snoozefest we’ve gotten so far. Should be noted that Patrick is also a BJJ black belt, so he’s looking to take it to the ground, and he’s huge. Dude is a big 155. Patrick throws himself out there like no fighter I’ve seen before, wild take down attempts. This is another close fight, that looks destined for another judges decision. Makdessi has really done a great job stuffing Patrick’s take downs. I expected a lot more from this fight – super disappointed.
Winner: Alan Patrick via unanimous decision – WHAT? So much for Ricardo Almeida changing things as a judge.
Side note #2 from our own Kevin Thang:
Chris Weidman vs Vitor Belfort, May 24th in Las Vegas. #ufc
— Kevin Thang (@Skip2MyJays) February 2, 2014
One of the worst set of prelim fights I’ve ever seen.
On to the main card!
Abel Trujillo vs. Jaime Varner
Trujillo is a man on the rise, Varner the wily veteran looking to reclaim a spot at the top of the 155 division. Trujillo has some legit heavy hands. Apparently both fighters saw how terrible the prelims were and decided to come out swinging! Trujillo looks scary, but Varner looks calm and is very technical in the octagon; can’t teach experience. Choke! Varner caught Trujillo in the north south, but gives up on it after not being able to sink it in, his right arm is probably super sore. They trade bombs before the round comes to an end. What an awesome fight! Varner catches Trujillo square on the jar! Trujillo with some punches of his own. Wild exchanges! Varner is in control . . . Trujillo with a knock out punch out of no where! Just crazy! One punch, to the chin and Varner is out cold.
Winner: Abel Trujillo via knock out/round 2
If that’s not the fight of the night, we are in for a hell of a show!
Ali Bagautinov vs. John Lineker
Winner gets a title shot? Lineker definitely deserves it, but the weight issue might prevent him from what would be an awesome fight against Demetrious Johnson. It will be interesting to see if the weight cut really affects Lineker – you have to think its got to catch up with him eventually. Bagautinov is the leader of a group of insanely talented Russian fighters that is taking the UFC by storm. Apparently along with the weight problems, Lineker also has nail issues. Bagautinov with the early take down, and he’s smothering the Brazilian. After some failed submission attempts by both fighters, they’re back up. Lineker desperately wants to trade, but the Russian is set on taking him down and grappling. Lineker with some devastating body shots. Winner of round 3 takes the fight. Bagautinov with some flexing for the crowd after a take down heavy third round. He should have the fight.
Winner: Ali Bagautinov via unanimous decision. Did he do enough to earn a title shot?
Frank Mir vs. Alistair Overeem
Not going to try to hide it, I’m a huge Frank Mir fan and think Overeem is the most overrated fighter on the planet. Overeem looks smaller, which can only help him since he’s the king of running out of gas. I do have to admit, from a visual point of view, an Alistair/Cain fight would be quite the sight. Overeem with the knock down via the knee, Mir is eating some heavy punches. This could be over real soon. Overeem doing a great job not punching himself out. Mir survives . . for now. Overeem closing the round on top of Mir, throwing punches. Mir’s lucky to have survived the first round. Mir’s corner just said: “You’re doing everything right.” Apparently losing was part of the game plan. Both guys look tired starting out round 2, but Overeem looks the better fighter. This is his fight to lose. Mir with the take down and guillotine choke, but Overeem gets his head out. Mir is eating some some powerful shots. He is bloodied and beaten going into round 3 – with a nasty goose egg on his head. Overeem on top of Mir for most of the third, crowd is turning on the fight. Overeem looking to finish this fight with a minute to go. Well, looks like Mir is Bellator bound, though the reality is, he should probably retire.
Winner: Alistair Overeem via unanimous decision
Overeem just called out Brock Lesnar in his post fight interview!
This card needs the title fights to deliver.
UFC Featherweight Title: Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas
If this was pro wrestling, Lamas would be forced to cut off that tail if he loses. Lamas looks very tentative early in the fight, but Aldo isn’t really putting on any pressure. Great combinations from Aldo. The Brazilian fans are in full force for this one, and the card needs their excitement. Aldo’s kicks are on another planet compared to every other UFC competitor. Lamas is really doing nothing of note. Perhaps is strategy is to survive the first few rounds and see if Aldo gases; problem is, he might not make it there. Aldo is stunning him with the leg kicks, Lamas looks like he has a bit of a limp. That leg is hurt badly. There’s a very real possibility that I’m going 0-5 on my predictions which basically tells you all you need to know about my gambling habits. Aldo is brutalizing Lamas on his feet at the start of round 3. Another round for Aldo. Lamas is going to have to finish to take the title from him. Round 4, and Lamas finally goes for a take down, but Aldo isn’t going anywhere. Very slow paced (theme of the night) and the crowd is once again voicing their displeasure. Aldo has Lamas’ back and applies a rear naked. It’s defended well by Lamas. Aldo is tiring, but Lamas is going to need a miracle in round 5 to pull this one out. Lamas’ corner tells him that he needs to finish – truer words were never spoken. Lamas with a flurry of offence to begin the round, but Aldo immediately stuffs him to the cage. Aldo is on a completely different level than Lamas – shame on me for picking against him. Lamas gains his first real advantage of the fight and is on top of Aldo. Lamas with some big elbows, very reminiscent of the Aldo/Hominick fight, except Aldo isn’t as gassed. Lamas takes the round, but an easy victory for the champion. Disappointing performance from Lamas.
Winner: Jose Aldo via unanimous decision
UFC Bantamweight Title: Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber
If Barao defends his title in a 5 round decision, this pay per view has to be deemed a disappointment. The main event needs a finish, either way. Faber out to “California Love” – has there even been an entrance song more associated with a particular fighter? Faber is smiling and looks happy; he’s got to realize how important this fight is in his career. If Barao wins there has to be some serious thought of what to do next, no? He’s pretty much cleaned out the division except for Dominick Cruz, and really who knows if Cruz will fight again. If Aldo moves up, does that mean Barao does as well? Crowd is very pro Faber, which isn’t a surprise. Barao with a barrage of punches that flatens Faber, including some devastating right hands. Barao is connecting like crazy. The champ is on top and pounding on Faber – Herb Dean might stop it. And Herb Dean did just that. Faber is not happy with the stoppage, saying he gave him a thumbs up that he was ok.
Winner: Renan Barao via TKO
I definitely thought it was an early stoppage, but Barao had him hurt. Did Dean mistaken Faber’s gesture for a tap out? Faber handles the controversy with class.
That’s it for me, thanks for joining me. Stay with Cage Pages for all your post UFC 169 needs!