UFC Fight Night 123 was this past week. Let’s get to the rundown, and then I’ll talk about Georges St. Pierre vacating the UFC Middleweight Title.
UFC Fight Night 123
GOOD- Benito Lopez vs. Alberto Morales
This was a pretty close fight that Lopez won by decision. If Lopez can keep getting better he could do some good things in the division.
GOOD/BAD- Eryk Anders vs. Marcus Perez
I’m probably being too harsh here, but I didn’t care for this fight. Anders won the decision and was the clear better fighter, but not enough happened to make me think he wanted to beat the guy. He seemed to get the decision and when you’re clearly better than somebody, you should be looking to finish them.
BAD- Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
I didn’t like this fight either. It had its moments, but it was largely Holtzman controlling Horcher in an unexciting way. Holtzman won the decision.
GOOD- Marlon Moraes stops Aljamain Sterling
Moraes caught Sterling shooting in for a takedown and lifted a knee up and turned the lights out about a minute into the first round. Sterling crumpled to the mat and that was that. Bigtime win for Moraes as he looks to move up the division rankings.
GOOD/UGLY- Gabriel Benitez vs. Jason Knight
This was a dominating performance from Benitez. He took the fight to Knight and put a beating on him. The UGLY comes from Knight’s actions during the fight. At one point he eyepoked Benitez. Okay, maybe that’s an accident, but where he really crossed the line is in the first round when he bit Benitez. Yeah, he bit him, that’s crazy. I mean, how do you do that. You go Mike Tyson on somebody and chomp them? That’s nuts. Big win for Benitez as he picks up the decision.
GOOD- Brian Ortega submits Cub Swanson
Swanson was doing well on the feet for most of the fight, but Ortega kept threatening with submissions. At about three and a half minutes into the second round he locked a guillotine in and Swanson had to tap. Wow, that was awesome. I expected Swanson to do well on the feet and wear down Ortega before finishing him off, but Ortega wasn’t having that. Really good win for Ortega and he’s probably one win away from a title shot at most. If Ricardo Lamas wins next week at UFC on FOX 26 against Josh Emmett, maybe he gets matched against Ortega in a number one contenders fight? That would be a really good fight.
GSP vacates the middleweight title
Georges St. Pierre has vacated the UFC Middleweight Championship he just won from Michael Bisping. He said he probably won’t fight at middleweight again.
The number one question I have about that is, why was he allowed to fight at that weight in the first place then? I know the reason why, money, but why would the UFC allow a fighter who’s never fought at middleweight, and didn’t want to fight at middleweight again, why would the UFC allow that fighter to compete for a title? That totally devalues the sports aspect of the UFC.
Worst of all, it makes Luke Rockhold’s whiny interviews seem reasonable.
It’s one thing for GSP to have wanted to do this, he’s got to do whatever he can for himself. Same reason why Bisping wanted that fight in the first place. But for the UFC to allow this is a completely different matter. Kids ask for ice cream for dinner, that doesn’t mean you have to give it to them. There’s a certain point in time where you have to say, “No, we can’t allow this.”
It’s also debatable how much this even mattered to the UFC’s bottom line. GSP hadn’t fought in four years and is widely considered one of the best of all-time, surely his return fight would have drawn big interest even without a fake title fight?
Did the UFC think they are so incompetent at promoting that they had to have GSP fighting for a title upon his return? And if so, why did they not think of having him fight for the title he never freaking lost in the first place? Wouldn’t that be an even easier sell that doesn’t devalue one of your championships? Who cares if Bisping is lobbying for this fight, tell him no.
It’s true that once Robert Whittaker comes back and the division gets going again that this will all blow over, but that’s not the point. The point is, the UFC knowingly allowed this to happen. That leaves a bad taste in the mouth of some fans and fighters. I think this is a black eye for the UFC but it’s one that’ll probably heal quickly once the division picks up again, but it does speak to a problem the UFC struggles with, trying to balance the sports and entertainment parts of MMA.
Hopefully we don’t get too many more instances of this particular problem in the future.
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