HYDEN’S TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC Fight Night 101, plus Daniel Cormier gets hurt

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch columnist

Robert Whittaker (photo credit Joshua Dahl © USA Today)

UFC Fight Night 101 was this past week, and some big news has been happening as well. Let’s get right to it.


BAD – Seohee Ham vs. Danielle Taylor: This wasn’t necessarily a bad fight, but it wasn’t very good. As I repeatedly said last time, this was just a solid fight. Taylor won the decision.

Staff08Hyden_150GOOD – Tyson Pedro submits Khail Rountree: This was the first finish on the card in nine fights. Yikes. Rountree dropped Pedro early, but Pedro fought through it and ended up getting the submission late in the first round. Nice win for Pedro and tough loss for Rountree.

GOOD – Alexander Volkanovski stops Yusuke Kasuya: Kasuya was able to avoid any major damage in the first round, but Volkanovski came out in the second and took him down and started landing big shots. The ref had no choice but to step in because Kasuya was unable to defend himself. Nice win for Volkanovski.

BAD – Kyle Noke vs. Omari Akhmedov: Akhmedov was pretty much all over Noke from the start, on his way to the decision victory. He stymied him at every turn and, quite frankly, just made him look ineffective. He wasn’t able to do much. The fight was lacking any real energy; it was just kind of there.

BAD – Jake Matthews vs. Andrew Holbrook: This was just a dull and listless fight. They neutralized each other and that lead to a boring but close fight. Holbrook won the split decision, but neither guy looked all that good here.

GREAT – Robert Whittaker stops Derek Brunson: I’m sure I’m going overboard with this rating, and should probably go GOOD, but I’ve been really thirsty for quality action and I always love a fun brawl, so I’m going GREAT. Brunson was throwing like a madman, and he paid for it. Whittaker has the power to make you pay, and he put it on Brunson in this fight. I don’t know how many punches Brunson threw in this fight, but it was a tremendous volume. Whittaker caught Brunson a few times and finally finished him towards the end of the first round. This was frantic and high-energy, it was a much needed boost of adrenaline after these past few weeks.


UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier has gotten injured and has had to pull out of his title defense against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at UFC 206. Anthony Pettis vs. Max Holloway will now serve as the main event. I’m excited for this fight, just as I’m also excited for Donald Cerrone vs. Matt Brown on this card, but this hurts the buyrate considerably. The two fights I just mentioned should be good, but they lack in star power. Hell, you could argue that Johnson-Cormier lacked some in star power, but it was a title fight and had those other two fights to back it up.

This is the second time that Cormier has had to pull out of a fight due to an injury. Cormier trains at American Kickboxing Academy. Some other notable fighters at AKA include:

-Luke Rockhold, who’s pulled out of at least four fights, including the main event of UFC Fight Night 101.

-Cain Velasquez, who once went nearly two years between fights due to injuries.

-Khabib Nurmagomedov, who’s pulled out of at least three fights and once went two full years between fights due to injuries.

The common thread is that these guys all train at the same place. Now, some of it is just coincidence, as AKA has had plenty of fighters who haven’t suffered injuries over and over again. However, there has to be something to this. AKA is said to train too hard, and there’s certainly evidence to back that up. At the same time, though, they definitely get results.

We can debate about whether they train too hard, as that’s up for discussion, but one thing that’s for sure is that all these injury pullouts leads to the UFC having zero confidence in the aforementioned fighters. That’s not going to stop them from booking any of these guys in title fights if they’re the unquestioned deserving challenger, but you’re not going to jump anyone with your history of injury-induced pullouts. Nurmagomedov has repeatedly expressed frustration in not getting a title shot, but the UFC isn’t going to give you anything when you’ve pulled out of more fights in recent years than you’ve actually competed in. Injuries happen, you can’t avoid them all, but you can limit them. That’s one thing that, at least on the surface, doesn’t seem to be a high priority for AKA.


Conor McGregor has relinquished the UFC Featherweight Title, and will keep his UFC Lightweight Title. Now the mind turns towards what matchups await McGregor at lightweight. Tony Ferguson, Khabib Nurmagomedov, perhaps a third fight with Nate Diaz? Maybe Eddie Alvarez works his way back to a title shot? There’s a lot of possibilities here. It’s exciting to consider all this. No one knows when McGregor will be back, but when he does, he can practically name his opponent. We have quite a while in which we can speculate, but I can’t help but think of what will happen in the division, and the excitement awaiting us.

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S HYDEN’S TAKE: HYDEN’S TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 165, UFC Fight Nights 99 and 100 from Chandler to Mousasi to Bader

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

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