HYDEN’S TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC 212 including Holloway vs. Aldo, Gadelha vs. Kowalkiewicz

Max Holloway (photo credit Tom Szczerbowski © USA Today)

UFC 212 was this past weekend from Brazil, headlined by a UFC Featherweight Title unification fight. Let’s get right to the rundown.

UFC 212

GOOD – Yancy Medeiros stops Erick Silva: Silva was probably ahead on the scorecards, as he was landing some good legkicks and having success with his punches. Medeiros was having some success of his own, but the legkicks were taking a toll. Medeiros dropped Silva with a power shot in the second round and followed up for the finish. Good win for Medeiros.

GOOD – Paulo Borrachinha stops Oluwale Bamgbose: These guys were throwing wild and ready to brawl. That was entertaining, but then they gassed and things got even sloppier. Neither gave up, though, so I definitely appreciate that. Bamgbose just gassed too much and Borrachinha was able to finish him off. Nice fight.

BAD – Vitor Belfort vs. Nate Marquardt: This was a limp and uninspired performance from both men here. It looked like they were sparring at half speed and just going through the motions. Belfort has talked about this being his last fight, then that changed to his last UFC fight, so it appears as though he’s heading elsewhere to finish his career. I normally only say I think guys should retire when they’re in danger of harming themselves longterm, and I don’t think that’s the case here yet so if Belfort wants to keep fighting, I say go for it. If he still enjoys the grind of training camps and fights, more power to him. I’m not sure how many people will still be interested in watching him fight, but he could enjoy some success elsewhere in Bellator or somewhere else if he wants. This fight was boring and dull, but that happens sometimes. Belfort won the decision.

GOOD/GREAT – Claudia Gadelha submits Karolina Kowalkiewicz: I don’t want to go too overboard here, but this was such an impressive victory for Gadelha. I’m sure many expected her to win, but Kowalkiewicz is really tough and a good fighter. Gadelha walked through her, though. That’s highly, highly impressive. Gadelha took Kowalkewicz down, took her back, and locked in the choke. It was clinical. Gadelha is in a bad spot, as she’s already lost to UFC Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk twice, so I think Rose Namajunas gets the title shot over her, but if Gadelha wins her next fight she’s almost assured another title shot. It would especially be hard to deny her if she has another impressive victory in her next fight.

GOOD – Max Holloway stops Jose Aldo: Aldo is one of the bext fighters of all-time, but Holloway was able to take everything thrown at him and get the stoppage. Aldo gassed hard late in the second round and Holloway started taking over. In the third round he started laying into Aldo and having more success. Early in the fight, Aldo was winning, but now it was Holloway landing the heavy shots. Holloway knocked Aldo down late in the third round and jumped on him, landing heavy shots to force the stoppage and unify the UFC Featherweight Titles.

Up next should be Frankie Edgar. I don’t think you give Aldo an immediate rematch, instead putting him in a fight against Cub Swanson and giving the winner of that fight the next title shot after Edgar.

Holloway has been hugely impressive with his winning streak, now up to eleven straight victories. Only three of those wins have gone to decision, with two submissions and six knockouts/stoppages. Many of these wins have also come against good fighters. However, Holloway hasn’t fought Frankie Edgar so it’ll be very interesting to see what approach he takes when they square off. Holloway likes to stand and trade but Edgar is really tough and hits hard, so maybe he takes a different strategy. Or maybe not, and he will want to beat Edgar at his own game. Edgar also has never been stopped so that might be a motivating factor for Holloway wanting to stand and trade with him and be the first. This was a huge win for Holloway and I hope this makes him a bigger star. These last two fights were a great way to end the card.

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

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