UFC Fight Night 86
BAD/GOOD: Maryna Moroz vs. Cristina Stanciu
This just wasn’t all that exciting. It was decent, it was solid, but it wasn’t all that entertaining. Both worked hard, though. Moroz got the decision.
GOOD: Igor Pokrajac vs. Jan Blachowicz
They had a pretty wild second round before things slowed down in the third. It was a close fight, but Blachowicz got the decision.
BAD: Timothy Johnson vs. Marcin Tybura
This was just a bad fight. Not much happened. There were extended stretches were things slowed to a crawl. Johnson got the decision win in forgettable fight.
BAD/GOOD: Francis Ngannou stops Curtis Blaydes
Things started slowly and stayed that way until the latter part of the second round when Blaydes had his eye swollen shut by the offense of Ngannou. The doctor stopped the fight between the second and third rounds and awarded Ngannou the win. The fight itself was just kind of there, but the stoppage was just and Ngannou earned it with some good strikes.
BAD/GOOD: Derrick Lewis stops Gabriel Gonzaga
The first four minutes or so of this fight were trash, as both guys jockeyed for position on the cage after Lewis escaped an early takedown. It was boring, and it looked like we were on our way to one of those patented slow-mo heavyweight fights, but then the ref separated them and Lewis unleashed a flurry that dropped Gonzaga. It was brilliant, brutal, and great to watch. The first four minutes sucked, but that finish was awesome. Lewis showed his tremendous power.
GOOD: Junior Dos Santos vs. Ben Rothwell
JDS looked better during this fight than he has in years. He seemed to be done, a combination of punishment and injuries taking too much of a toll and bringing an end to another fighters prime years. Somehow, though, JDS reversed course and managed to recapture his old self. His movements were crisper, his striking more on point, and he avoided most of the damage. This was an impressive outing for him as he picked up the dominating decision win.
As for Rothwell, he was starting to make a title run, but that ends for now. This is the heavyweight division, though, so never say never. He does have to start over, though. It’s hard to say where he goes from here, but if he can string together a couple wins he’ll be right back to where he was before this fight.
I’d like to see JDS perform this way again before I can think of him as a legit title contender again, but it’s fully possible. You can’t count him out. In this fight, he looked like the old JDS instead of an old JDS like he had in his previous few fights. He found something that worked here and allowed him to be as effective as he had in years, and if he can keep that up, a title run is certainly a distinct possibility. This was a good way to end a so-so card. We are in the midst of a strong run of pay-per-views, though, so not every card can be great. That said, it was pretty cool to see JDS look this good again.
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