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5 Things We Learned From UFC Fight Night 94

Vinny Craig

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The first stop in border city Hidalgo, Texas can be considered a success. After controversial decisions and referee’s decisions, the card plowed through with great fight after great fight. As expected, the main and co-main event lead the pack as both ended in first-round finishes, combining for a total time three minutes and 16 seconds. With the crazy finishes and controversies, here’s the five thing we learned from UFC: Hidalgo.

 

Belal Muhammad is the real deal

 

The Roufusport trained Belal Muhammad made his UFC debut in July against rising star Alan Jouban. The former Titan FC Welterweight champion was called to action less than a month before to be on the main card during the biggest weekend in company history.

He showed resilience and toughness in the fight against Jouban. Despite being dropped three times in the fight, Muhammad fought and scrapped to a decision loss. He was able to land some strikes and takedown Jouban twice in the fight. All-around, it felt like Muhammad was in the UFC to stay and could be a name in this sport.

His fight with Augusto Montano at UFC Hidalgo was we people have come to expect from Muhammad. High pressure, diverse set of striking skills that can be transitioned into wrestling and grappling seamlessly.

With his third-round decision win over Montano, Muhammad picked up his first UFC win and put himself in a position to show that he is the real thing in the UFC.

Referee/Judging in MMA needs some reform

We have seen it time and time again that fans are left scratching their head after a decision is called or a referee’s in-cage decision is deemed inaccurate. UFC: Hidalgo was not any different in this sense.

The preliminary card gave a lot of different reactions to its referee’s decision. Alejandro Perez was deducted a point for throwing a punch in between rounds during the first fight of the night. However, referee Kerry Hatley did not warn or deduct a point from Perez’s opponent Alberto Morales for a clear knee to a downed opponent in the very next round.

During the next fight on the card, both Randy Brown and Erick Montano were warned multiple times to keep their hands and feet out of the fence. Both fighters continued to use the fence and were warned with the words ‘final warning’ being issues, without any repercussions.

Judging and referee work is a real issue in MMA and is something that needs to change. Whatever the answer may be, it could be more beneficial to this sport than any other major change.

Derek Brunson is ready for the elite at Middleweight

Derek Brunson’s first-round TKO over fellow top 10 fighter Uriah Hall puts Brunson right in the thick of things at 185 pounds. With contenders like Dan Henderson, Chris Weidman, Luke Rockhold, Jacare Souza, and Yoel Romero, Brunson should be added to that list of top contenders who could step up right now.

Following stoppages of Ed Herman, Sam Alvey, and Roan Carneiro, Brunson is tied for the longest KO/TKO streak in the UFC with Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic. His lone loss in eight UFC fights is to Yoel Romero where he lost by TKO in the third round.

A fight with Gegard Mousasi was booked at UFC 200 before he had to pull out due to injury. A fight with the winner of either the Mousasi-Vitor Belfort or Weidman-Romero fight should be in order for Brunson after this win.

2016 is the year of the draw

UFC: Hidalgo saw yet another draw for 2016. This marks the record for the most in a year for the UFC with six when the Bantamweight bout between Alejandro Perez and Albert Morales ended in a majority draw.

The bout would have been a decision win for Perez without the point deduction right before the start of the third-round. The deduction occurred for a punch thrown after the bell by Perez at the end of the second-round.

Of the six draws this year, three have been due to a point deduction while the other three were due to 10-8 rounds. None of the fights ending in a draw have been on a main card this year. All six were originally broadcasted on UFC Fight Pass.

2015 saw just two decisions go the route of a draw. It’s exactly opposite of the draws in 2016 as both came via 10-8 rounds were on the main card.

 

Dustin Poirier is not quite ready for the top tier of Lightweights

Being a top contender at 145 pounds, Dustin Poirier lost the fight of his life at UFC 178 against now Featherweight champion Conor McGregor. After the fight, he went up to the Lightweight division in order to revive his career.

Knockout victories over Carlos Diego Ferreira, Yancy Medeiros, and Bobby Green with the addition of a decision win over Joseph Duffy, Poirier catapulted into the top 10 and earned the main event slot at this event. With the only top 15 fight coming against Bobby Green at UFC 199, this fight with Michael Johnson was a serious risk and could make or break Poirier. It would be the first main event slot for Poirier at 155 pounds.

With the first-round knockout loss, it’s back to the drawing board. Everyone was raving about how Poirier transformed his career with the move. His progress was halted with the loss, and everyone alike may have put too much on him too quickly.

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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