HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC Fight Night 91 “McDonald vs. Lineker”

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch Contributor

John Lineker (photo credit Bill Streicher © USA Today Sports)

UFC Fight Night 91 hit Fox Sports 1 last week, and was a pretty damn good show. Let’s get to the rundown.

UFC Fight Night 91

GREAT: Louis Smolka stops Ben Nguyen

I loved this fight. Smolka was all over Nguyen, but Nguyen had too much heart to give up. Nguyen had some great moments of his own, but Smolka was just too much here. The action, the back and forth here was just awesome to see. This was constant action, from counters to reversals and sustained offense and tremendous defensive moves to get out of danger only for the other guy to quickly adapt and try something else, this was incredible. The ability of these guys is amazing. And this wasn’t sloppy, either. These guys were on point. Great opener.

GOOD: Keita Nakamura submits Kyle Noke

This was a really close back and forth fight until late in the second round when Nakamura caught Noke with a knee and dropped him. Nakamura locked in a choke and Noke tapped with literally only one second to go in the round. That’s crazy stuff. Good fight.

UGLY: Daniel Omielanczuk vs. Aleksei Oleinik

Yuck, this was crap. Imagine any really bad heavyweight fight. That was basically this. Omielanczuk won the decision. Moving on…

BAD: Tim Boetsch stops Josh Samman

This wasn’t good at all. Both guys were giving a decent enough effort, but it looked like they were fighting underwater. They looked better than the last two guys, but that’s not a compliment. Boetsch pounded out Samman for the TKO.

GREAT: Tony Ferguson submits Lando Vannata

This was a short notice fight that broke the crazy meter. Vannata came out and rocked Ferguson multiple times. That in itself is amazing because Ferguson is an elite fighter while Vannata was making his UFC debut. No nerves from this guy. On top of that, Ferguson was able to recover from being rocked multiple times and then not only rocked Vannata back but finished him to boot. This was completely nuts. Ferguson called out new UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez after his win. That’s a fight I’d love to see. Vannata really made an impact in his debut. That was as good as you could look while losing in that situation. It was incredible. Great fight.

GOOD: John Lineker stops Michael McDonald

First off, this was a tremendous fight. Lineker showed his insane power as he dropped McDonald multiple times in a few minutes. McDonald engaged with Lineker and paid the price. Linker called for a title shot after the win. I don’t know, I would be more in favor of T.J. Dillashaw getting the next title shot. At the same time, though, Lineker has been beating a lot of guys. It’s a toss-up and a hard call to make.

I would lean more towards Dillashaw getting the shot, but I would have no prolem with it being Lineker. He certainly has the power to knock UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz out. However, Cruz isn’t going to stand in front of Lineker and trade with him. He’s going to use his movement to try to pick Lineker apart. This could lead to a very boring fight as Lineker walks forward as Cruz jumps in, lands a few jabs, and then jumps out of range. I don’t know, maybe it plays out a little differently, but I think that’s the basic outline of how such a fight would go.

That’s no reason to not have the fight, but I think Lineker will need to change things up if he wants to beat Cruz. Hoping to catch Cruz making a mistake isn’t something you can rely on. Still, though, it would be an interesting fight. I think both choices would be very good and I hope they make the fight (whomever it is) as quickly as possible.

Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank

[Photo (c) Bill Streicher via USA Today Sports]

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