Seattle played host to the best MMA card of the year as UFC on Fox 5 was seen by over 4.4 million people. Some key developments came out of Saturday night’s event as fans witness the rise and fall of MMA’s past
Raphael Assuncao over Mike Easton by Unanimous Decision: These are two of the most talented fighters in the Bantamweight division. Easton has a huge upside and could be a star in the future. Assuncao controlled the tempo of the fight and dictated where the fight took place. He might have done enough to earn the next title shot against the winner of Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald in February.
Yves Edwards defeats Jeremy Stephens via TKO @ 1:55 of the 1st Round: From 2004-2005 Yves Edwards was arguably the best lightweight in the world. Dana White considered Edwards his champion when the divisions championship was absent from the promotion. It was great to see signs of the old Edwards as he dropped Jeremy Stephens with a well-timed left hook and finished him with elbows on the ground. Also, an extra $65,000 for Knockout of the Night is a nice Christmas bonus.
Matt Brown knocks out Mike Swick @ 2:56 of the 2nd Round: This was upset of the night. No one gave Matt Brown a chance. Swick looked unsure of himself as he was never able to get off as Brown beat him to the punch in every aspect of the fight. Swick could have been a prosperous title contender down the road but someone forgot to tell Matt Brown.
Rory MacDonald defeated B.J. Penn by unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27): Rory MacDonald dominated BJ Penn from bell to bell. He could have finished BJ if he wanted to but no one is going to complain about the way he handled the former world champion. I believe it is time for BJ Penn to hang up the gloves. He will go down as one of the greatest fighters of all time and he has nothing more to prove. The sky is the limit for MacDonald and a fight with Carlos Condit makes the most sense. He was dominating Condit in their last fight until the doctor stopped the fight due to a cut. That was over two years ago and MacDonald is a much better fighter. With GSP’s reluctance to fight Anderson Silva for the time being, it makes you wonder when MacDonald will get a title shot since reportedly, he and GSP will never fight each other, training in the same camp and all. Then again, Jon Jones and Rashad Evans said they would never fight each other.
Alexander Gustafsson defeated Mauricio “Shogun” Rua by Unanimous Decision: It seems that all of the fighters that ruled the roost when I got into MMA are on the down side of their career. Shogun was the first fighter I saw dubbed the next big thing and actually live up to the hype when he ran roughshod over the 205 lbs division in PRIDE. I believe this is the beginning of the end of Shogun’s MMA career. He will still pull off a big win here or there but eventually, he will go the way of BJ Penn. Gustafsson was impressive and kept Shogun guessing the entire fight. He answered a lot of questions such as being able to come back from adversity when Shogun hurt him in the second round. I think it says something about Gustafsson when you can make Shogun grapple and avoid the stand up.
Benson Henderson defeated Nate Diaz by Unanimous Decision: Benson Henderson put on a display of dominance that should have been deemed illegal. The dude beat Nate Diaz like he stole something and he did while chewing on a tooth pick. Diaz could not deal with Henderson’s strength advantage. It was fitting that Diaz got dropped in the 4th round after putting his hands up and yelling “COME ON.” Unfortunately, his performance was so poor, another title shot is not viable as long as Henderson wears the belt. Anthony Pettis seems to be the next contestant but a fight with Gilbert Melendez would settle once and for all, who is the number one lightweight in the world.