HYDEN: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC 203 – Miocic, Overeem, Punk, Gall, Faber, Werdum, Browne, more

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor

Stipe Miocic (photo by Jason Silva © USA Today Sports)
UFC 203 was this past weekend. Let’s get right to the rundown.

UFC 203

GOOD: Jessica Andrade submits Joanne Calderwood

Andrade got Calderwood down a few times and was ultra aggressive in her groundwork. She was all over Calderwood and was beating her up with hammerfists and other strikes. She took some punishment of her own, but she battled through and got the submission. Bigtime win for Andrade.

GOOD/BAD: Jimmie Rivera vs. Urijah Faber

Rivera kept lighting up Faber with powerful legkicks. He was also just out-striking Faber in general. Some of that is Rivera stepping up, but some of it has to be Faber starting to fade. He’s 37 years old so he’s still got some time left, but it’s probably going to start soon. I’m sure some of it is also residual after-effects of all the wars that Faber has been in as well. Rivera won the decision in a pretty good fight.

The BAD is for Faber fighting with his fingers sticking straight out at Rivera. I find that so distasteful and just plain cheesy for guys to do that. It’s like flopping in basketball. It might be smart in ways, but it’s just lame and unsportsmanlike. Not a good look.

GOOD: Mickey Gall submits C.M. Punk

Gall took Punk down and just whooped him. He was all over him and worked his way towards the submission. Not a whole lot to say. I guess I was crazy to believe Punk that he’d be able to hang with Gall. I thought he’d be able to ugly things up and win a boring decision. Instead, he got blitzed. I don’t know if he had an adrenaline dump or something, but Punk looked bad here. Gall called for a fight against Sage Northcutt next, and that seems like as good a way to go as anything.

BAD/GOOD: Fabricio Werdum vs. Travis Browne

Things started off great in the first round. Werdum was throwing crazy kicks and he even dropped Browne at one point. The second and third rounds sucked, though. Werdum got more and more tentative as time wore on and Browne just wasn’t doing all that much. The most exciting thing after the first round came when Werdum kicked one of Browne’s coaches after the fight, and that’s not saying much if a Jerry Springer-type moment is one of the highlights. Let me say again, though, that the first round was really good. That’s what made the next two rounds so disappointing. I’m not sure where Werdum goes after this decision win. He’s angling for another title shot, but I would imagine that he’ll have to win another one in order to get another title shot. If he had won this explosively, maybe he’d get one, but a lackluster decision win isn’t going to get you a title shot.

GOOD: Stipe Miocic stops Alistair Overeem

Overeem had some success at times, as he rocked Miocic a few times. However, he also moved backwards a lot. That led to him getting caught and then Miocic dropped hammers on him to end things. I think that if Overeem had stayed aggressive he might have gotten the finish. It’s hard to say, though, because Miocic showed incredible toughness in this fight. And Miocic has great power of his own, obviously showing it as he put the lights out for Overeem. You knew going into this fight that someone was getting knocked out, or at least there was an extremely high chance of it. Big win for Miocic in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

Moving forward, I can’t imagine Fabricio Werdum getting the next shot at Miocic. The problem is, though, that no one else in the division has done anything to make themselves stand out. So it’s possible that Werdum gets the next shot, but maybe the UFC goes with Junior Dos Santos instead? Or Josh Barnett? Or Cain Velasquez? It’s so hard to say because the division is so wide open. I’m excited to see who Miocic fights next, though, as it should be a good fight. This fight here definitely helped save this pay-per-view, which was pretty lackluster up until then. Miocic brings excitement, which is always appreciated.

Frank Hyden is a long-time MMATorch columnist. Email him at hydenfrank@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at @hydenfrank.

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