UFC Fight Night 95 was this past weekend. Let’s get to the rundown…
GOOD: Godofredo Pepey submits Mike De La Torre
Pepey is just an exciting fighter to watch. He’s constantly attacking and on the move. He’s exciting, but he’s also successful. He got the win here after a powerful kick that hurt De La Torre, followed by a takedown and a few submission attempts. Good win for Pepey.
GOOD: Eric Spicely submits Thiago Santos
Spicely tried to keep the fight on the ground and he was able to keep it there for the most part. He worked hard for the submission and he got it. This was a huge win for Spicely, and it definitely quieted the Brazilian crowd. You’d like to see Spicely round out his striking game, but you can’t argue with these results. If he gets you on the ground, you have to be careful and watch his submissions.
GOOD: Francisco Trinaldo stops Paul Felder
The story here is the huge cut that Trinaldo opened up on Felder. It was a big cut and the blood started spurting like a horror movie. Felder’s corner got it contained but then Trinaldo opened it up again and the ref stopped things to let the doctor look at it. The doctor saw how big and wide that cut was and ended things for good. Trinaldo was winning the fight anyway so it’s not a big deal things got stopped. It did save Felder from losing even more blood, though. Nice win for Trinaldo.
BAD/UGLY: Roy Nelson stops Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva
The fight itself was meh. Everybody knew that it was likely that Nelson would get a TKO win. Bigfoot is so far past the point where he should have retired that every time he fights you worry about his longterm health. Nelson caught him in the second round and followed up with some shots to get the stoppage. The fight itself was fine, but I’m giving it a BAD because it just shouldn’t have been made in the first place.
The UGLY comes from after the fight when Nelson kicked John McCarthy. I’ll lay it out visually in case you haven’t seen it. Nelson caught Bigfoot with an uppercut, who fell onto his back. Nelson followed up with some more shots, and McCarthy stepped in. As McCarthy is kneeling next to Bigfoot, checking on him, Nelson comes back over and kicks McCarthy in the butt. Nelson later called it more of a push. He also flipped McCarthy off.
At the press conference afterwards, Nelson questioned McCarthy’s refereeing skills, then said it was a late stoppage and that it hurt his feelings to have to punch Bigfoot so many times to get the stoppage. I’m the early stoppage guy, I’m not going to come out in favor of a late stoppage. That said, I don’t think this was too bad of a stoppage. It was a little late, but nothing too egregious. I would have liked to have seen McCarthy step in a punch or two earlier, but we’ve all seen stoppages a lot worse than that. Hell, there’s probably a lot of people out there who wouldn’t even call that a late stoppage at all.
Nelson made a huge error kicking, or “pushing,” McCarthy. You can’t put your hands on an official, period. That’s a gots-to-go situation. It certainly isn’t justifiable over a stoppage like this. I don’t care how shallow the heavyweight division is, you can’t put your hands on an official. That was just dumb. The UFC says they’re going to wait to see what Brazil does, and how they handle it, but that hasn’t stopped Dana White from saying repeatedly that Nelson is in huge trouble and all this stuff. I don’t get why they don’t just cut him and be done with it. They cut Jason High for putting his hands on an official, this is the same thing essentially. To paraphrase John Madden, 1 foot equals 2 hands.
BAD: Renan Barao vs. Phillipe Nover
This was just a boring fight. It seemed more like a glorified sparring match than an actual fight. I know Barao’s had a lot of fights, but if I don’t know better I would say that he just turned 40 years old or something because he’s really fallen off a cliff in these past few years. He used to be a badass and now he’s just a guy. He’s still an okay fighter, but he’s nowhere near what he used to be. I thought he would look better at featherweight, but he still looks roughly the same. This is still a nice win for Barao, as maybe this gives him some more confidence, but it wasn’t a very impressive win.
GOOD: Cris Cyborg stops Lina Lansberg
This was expected. I think the only thing that was surprising was that Lansberg was able to make it out of the first. Not that Lansberg is a bad fighter or anything, but Cyborg is just that good. She’s lived up to all the hype anyone’s ever had for her. She’s been great. I don’t know what the future holds for her, though. It’s unrealistic to expect her to make 135 lbs. So you either have her fight in featured attraction fights, or you build a division around her. I understand that you might struggle to find enough women to compete in the division, but I think they should still try. Cyborg can be a good star for the UFC. She might not reach mega-star status, but she’s well worth the trouble. Build a division around her and watch it grow. If nothing else, she helps in the Brazilian market. That’s reason enough right there. This was a nice way to cap a good card.
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