HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC 301

By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist

UFC 301 was this past weekend and it featured a lot of exciting fights and finishes. Who won and who lost? Let’s get to the rundown. Also,
the always exciting fighter Matt Brown has announced his retirement and Shogun Rua is going into the UFC Hall of Fame.

UFC 301
GOOD- Caio Borralho stops Paul Craig
We start with a few striking exchanges until Craig starts spamming takedown attempts. Borralho is able to avoid danger and launches a few
strikes at his opponent before the first round ends. Not much
happening so far. The second round begins with some missed striking attempts before Craig catches Borralho with a nice counter hook.
Borralho responds with some right hands that hurt Craig. He then drops
Craig with a flying knee. Borralho backs off and makes Craig get up and as he does he crushes him with a flurry that drops him and forces
the referee to jump in to stop the fight a little over two minutes
into the second round. Borralho improves to 16-1 with 1 No Contest and
has won 13 straight fights while Craig drops to 17-8-1. Good win for Borralho.

GOOD- Michel Pereira submits Ihor Potieria
Pereira comes out with a few kicks before dropping Potieria with a few
punches Potieria gets up but Pereira grabs a guillotine and chokes
Potieria unconscious. Potieria falls to the ground out cold and this fight is over not quite a minute into the first round. Wow. Pereira improves to 31-11 with 2 No Contests and has won 8 straight fights while Potieria drops to 20-6. Good win for Pereira.

GOOD- Anthony Smith submits Vitor Petrino
They start off trading strikes. Petrino lands a big left hand and a
body kick to Smith. He’s having success with his striking but he
decides to shoot in for a takedown for some reason. Smith grabs a guillotine and when Petrino takes him down it gets even tighter and
he’s forced to tap exactly two minutes into the first round. Smith improves to 38-19 while Petrino drops to 11-1 and has his 11 fight winning streak snapped. Good win for Smith.

GOOD- Jose Aldo vs. Jonathan Martinez
Aldo is being patient early as Martinez lands some solid strikes. Aldo starts to open up a little bit and he’s looking like himself in his return to the cage as the first round ends with the crowd firmly behind Aldo. The second round begins with both fighters striking before Martinez tries for a takedown. After some inaction in the
clinch the referee separates them and Aldo rips some strikes to the body. Martinez isn’t really attacking, he’s just kind of pawing jabs out at Aldo as the second round ends. The third round starts with some
striking and an Aldo takedown attempt but Martinez thwarts it. Another
big striking exchange leads to Aldo getting a takedown and starting to
use his ground-and-pound. That continues until the fight ends. We go to the judges to render their verdict. Aldo wins the decision to
improve to 32-8 while Martinez drops to 19-5 and has his 6 fight
winning streak snapped. Good win for Aldo.

GOOD- Alexandre Pantoja vs. Steve Erceg
Pantoja is looking to defend his UFC Flyweight Championship for the
second time here. Pantoja flies out of the gate and swarms Erceg. He does this again and again and again, having success each time. Pantoja then gets a takedown and goes to work with some ground-and-pound.
Pantoja is all over Erceg as the first round ends. The second round begins with Pantoja rushing in a few more times before getting a takedown. Pantoja looks for a submission but Erceg is able to get up.
Erceg is more active with his punches and he tags Pantoja when he rushes in. Pantoja responds with a takedown shortly before the second
round ends. The third round starts with another Pantoja rush but this time Erceg catches him with an elbow. This happens a few more times,
with Pantoja rushing in and Erceg nailing him with strikes as he does.

Erceg seems more in control now but Pantoja is extremely dangerous and
lands a hard leg kick. Erceg lands a big elbow to Pantoja’s head as he rushes forward and opens a cut on his forehead. Pantoja gets a
takedown but is bleeding heavily as the third round ends. The fourth round opens with Erceg finding success with his striking as Pantoja has slowed down. Erceg is hitting Pantoja with jabs and hooks and elbows. Pantoja is bleeding into his eyes and Erceg is taking
advantage. He’s doing a lot of damage to Pantoja as the fourth round
ends. It feels like we’re tied heading into the fifth and final round.

Erceg gets an early takedown but Pantoja gets up and lands a takedown
of his own. Pantoja desperately wants to get the fight to the ground,
where he has the advantage. For some reason Erceg is willing to engage in that. Erceg hits a big elbow to Pantoja and opens up another big cut on the champ. Pantoja is bleeding like crazy but Erceg tries for a takedown anyway. Pantoja reverses and gets a takedown of his own.
Pantoja works his ground-and-pound until the fight ends. We go to the
judges to render their verdict. Pantoja wins the decision and
successfully defends his UFC Flyweight Championship for the second
time, improving to 28-5 and has won 6 straight fights while Erceg drops to 12-2 and has his 11 fight winning streak snapped. Good win for Pantoja.

GOOD- Mauricio Rua inducted into UFC Hall of Fame
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (27-14-1) will be inducted into the UFC Hall of
Fame on June 27th. This is well-deserved. Shogun won the 2005 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix, is a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion,
has 3 Knockout of the Night bonuses, 4 Fight of the Night bonuses, and 1 Performance of the Night bonuses. He also has the 3rd most Knockouts
in Zuffa (UFC, PRIDE, WEC, and Strikeforce) history with 17 Knockouts.
Shogun was an incredible fighter for a long time. Congratulations to him.


Matt Brown has announced his retirement, nearly a year to the day of
his last fight. He finishes his career with a record of 24-19. Brown had an exciting style, with 16 of his wins coming via Knockout and 6 by Submission. Some of his notable accomplishments include 4 Fight of
the Night bonuses, 1 Knockout of the Night bonus, and 4 Performance of the Night bonuses.
Brown also has the second most Knockouts in UFC history with 13, behind only Derrick Lewis (27-12, 1 No Contest), who has 14.
He also has the 4th most finishes in UFC history with 15.
You could usually pencil in a Matt Brown fight to be exciting, win or lose.
I wish Brown a happy life after fighting.

My new epic fantasy book is out. It’s called Kingdom of Zarias: The End’s
. The exciting epic fantasy series Kingdom of Zarias returns with the 4th book in the series. After the harrowing events of
Book 3 the residents of the Kingdom of Zarias continue on their paths.
Serena Summers continues to learn and grow as a fighter, desperately seeking to become stronger before she loses anyone else in her life.
Daniel Summers discovers new parts of the world that open his eyes to
just how little he truly knows. A new hero, Lamar Abeers, arrives to
join the fight against evil. Plus, Zach Summers, Tiana Highsmith, and Xavien Ekens continue their journeys with their friends, and a new ruler of Vhaharen is crowned. The world has found a little peace.
However, that peace is only temporary. In a shocking act of violence,
the monstrous villain Galren strikes from the shadows and changes the
world forever. This is Book 4 in the series. There’s lots of action,
magic, and monsters in the Kingdom of Zarias. It’s like a tabletop game in novel form. It’s on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other places. If you’re interested, I would greatly appreciate it if you would check it out and support me. Also, here’s the link to my Compendium book about the Kingdom of Zarias series- KoZ Compendium Thank you very much, have a good day.

Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at
hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank.
Thanks for reading and have a good day.

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