UFC on Fox 19 was this past weekend. I had low expectations going in, but I thought this was a pretty good event. Let’s get to the rundown.
UFC on Fox 19
GOOD: Cub Swanson vs. Hacran Dias
Dias was doing well in the first round, but things changed after that. The second round saw Swanson get into his groove and start peppering Dias with strikes. Swanson controlled the second and third rounds in route to the decision win. Dias showed incredible toughness as he took a headkick squarely and didn’t lose consciousness. It came from a weird angle, too, as Swanson was kind of reeling backwards and threw out the kick where his shin landed flush on Dias. This was a good bounce back victory for Swanson after suffering two straight losses.
GOOD: Khabib Nurmagomedov stops Darrell Horcher
This wasn’t much of a fight, it was a complete squash match, but it was good to see Nurmagomedov fight after two years away from the cage. Now if only he can stay healthy enough to fight again soon. Horcher took the fight on just over a week’s notice but he did fairly well for himself. It was clear that he was outmatched from the start but he hung in there and tried his hardest. Nurmagomedov was all over him after some early tentativeness. The fight could have been ended at the end of the first round, but most refs will let it continue. In the second round, though, Nurmagomedov was all over Horcher again and the ref finally stepped in. The ref should have stopped the fight a full minute before he did, though, as Nurmagomedov had Horcher in the crucifix position and was raining down on him. Even Joe Rogan was saying that the ref should have stopped the fight already, but he finally did and here we are.
If Nurmagomedov can stay healthy, then he’s absolutely a choice for the next Lightweight Title shot. That is, after the UFC is done punishing UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos for getting injured and pulling out of his fight with UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor by putting his next title defense (against Eddie Alvarez) on UFC Fight Pass. Nurmagomedov and dos Anjos both have injury and health issues, but if they can stay healthy, that would be a very interesting title fight. Nurmagomedov controlled dos Anjos in their fight a few years ago so the questions becomes can he do it again? If things fall into place, we just might find out.
GOOD: Tecia Torres vs. Rose Namajunas
This was an extremely close fight that went the distance, with Namajunas picking up the decision win. I think you could make an argument that Torres should have got the decision, but I did miss parts of the first round as I was having cable issues. Nonetheless, both fighters were giving it their all and you have to appreciate that. Each has beaten the other now, so perhaps a third fight is in order? Namajunas would certainly like to face the winner of UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha, which takes place in July, but it’s possible the UFC doesn’t go that way. They probably will, but you can never be sure with them.
GOOD: Glover Teixeira stops Rashad Evans
Rashad came back from a long injury layoff last fall, but it’s not going the way he’d like. First he lost a decision to Ryan Bader and now he gets stopped on strikes by Teixeira. There’s no doubt that Teixeira hits extremely hard, though, so there’s no shame in getting knocked out by him. Evans might opt to retire, as his title hopes are dim at best right now. It’s really hard to say, but if he does retire, he’s had a great career.
As for Teixeira, this win alone won’t get him back to another title shot, but he has to be on the short list. If he gets another big win, then you have to start considering him for a title shot or at least having him in a #1 contenders fight. His power makes him dangerous and he’s won three in a row, with all three being finishes. He probably needs another win to get a title shot, but again, you never know for sure with the UFC.
All in all, this was a pretty good event. It surpassed my low expectations so I’m happy. Three of the winners are set up to either contend for a title in their next fight or are possibly one more win away from getting a title shot. That’s pretty good.
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