UFC Fight Night 128 was this past weekend and it delivered some big moments.
UFC Fight Night 128
GOOD- Dan Hooker stops Jim Miller
Hooker was landing some nice shots early, and about three minutes into the first round he blasted Miller with a huge knee that turned his lights. He then hit him with another big shot on the ground, which I didn’t like seeing, but it was over and Hooker got the big win. He then proceeded to call out Paul Felder, who is doing commentary for this event and was actually in the cage interviewing Hooker when he called him out. Nice moment.
GOOD- Aljamain Sterling vs. Brett Johns
This was kind of an up and down fight. Some parts were really good while other parts were slow and plodding. Sterling got the decision, but Johns did show enough to make you want to see him fight other good fighters. This was a nice win for Sterling.
GOOD- David Branch stops Thiago Santos
Branch rebounded nicely after his loss to Luke Rockhold with this big win. He caught Santos halfway through the first round with a huge right hook that ended things. He said the Rockhold loss made him a better fighter and if this is any indication, he’s right.
GOOD- Justin Willis vs. Chase Sherman
This was a pretty good heavyweight fight. They were in there slugging away and hitting some big shots. Willis won the decision.
GOOD- Frankie Edgar vs. Cub Swanson
A lot of the talk before this fight was about if Edgar was returning too quickly from a stoppage loss seven weeks ago. He didn’t seem to be too affected by that, from what I could tell. Edgar won the decision, though it was closer than their first fight that Edgar also won. Both men got cut up over the course of the fight and they’ll definitely feel sore for a while. Good fight and a nice win for Edgar.
GOOD- Kevin Lee stops Edson Barboza
Lee dominated Barboza early. It was almost a replay of Barboza’s loss to UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, in which he had also gotten dominated. There was probably a 10-8 in either the first or second rounds, and possibly both rounds, that’s how dominant Lee was.
The third round, though, saw a completely crazy sequence where Barboza landed a spinning headkick. Lee then into a full-on Zab Judah stanky leg but somehow managed to recover and not be finished. Look up both the Lee recovery and the Judah stoppage for some laughs. This could have been a huge win for Barboza and a crushing defeat for Lee, but as I said, he recovered and went on to further beat up Barboza before the cage side doctor stopped the fight in the fifth round due to a cut on Barboza’s forehead. Big win for Lee.
After the win, Lee called out Nurmagomedov and said he should get the next title shot. I don’t agree with that at all as Lee just lost in his last fight before this to the Interim UFC Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson. This does bring up an interesting dilemma for the UFC. The obvious fight to make would be Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov. However, that fight has been booked four times already and they’ve yet to fight even once. Both men have pulled out of the fight twice, so it’s hard to generate too much excitement at the prospect of this fight (which would surely be spectacular) when we’ve been burned numerous times before.
What I would suggest is Nurmagomedov defends his title against either Eddie Alvarez or Dustin Poirier and Ferguson defend the Interim Title against whomever doesn’t fight Nurmagomedov. Ferguson won’t be fighting anytime soon and Nurmagomedov recently said he’ll fight again in November. Then the winners of those fights face each other. I don’t think Lee factors in because his resume just isn’t as strong as the others in my eyes.
Of course, there’s a big name out there who could possibly be competing in Conor McGregor. The UFC would obviously love to have McGregor fight as much and as soon as possible. Throwing him into the mix would shake things up and leave an odd man out. It’s no offense to him, but I would leave Alvarez out because I think Poirier has a slightly better case.
So, I would go with Nurmagomedov fighting McGregor and Ferguson fighting Poirier, with the winners fighting. Alvarez could then fight Lee and the winner there is put in a number one contenders fight in his next fight. There’s a lot of guys in the lightweight division at or near the top, but hopefully we start getting some stuff sorted out soon.
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