UFC Sydney: winners and losers
As the UFC packs up and leaves town, Australian fight fans are left dealing with the fight night hangover.
Constant replays of the action that took place in the Allphones Arena try to make sense of what was experienced, another quality card with some great finishes and consistently incredible fights.
It certainly lived up to expectations as the 200th UFC event.
While the flyweights debuted under controversial circumstances, and the Aussies ensured that they were defending their own house; it’s time for this week’s winners and losers for UFC Sydney: Kampmann versus Alves.
Back on the winning streak, Martin Kampmann (19-5) recognised that he needed to pull something out of his hat and when the opportunity presented itself and voila! He grabbed that neck and didn’t let go of the guillotine choke until Thiago Alves (19-9) tapped.
After this fight Kampmann acknowledged the urgency saying “I knew I had to finish the fight in the third to win the fight. I saw the opportunity for the submission and took it, squeezing as hard as I could knowing it was my only way of winning.”
This is a huge mental win for Kampmann, as he has been on the bad end of a couple of decisions, mainly a split decision loss with Jake Shields that saw the ex-Strikeforce fighter progress to a title bout with welterweight division champion Georges St. Pierre (22-2).
Kampmann should progress closer to the title shot, whether it’s with interim champion Carlos Condit (28-5) or injured champ St. Pierre. However perhaps a fight with Jake Ellenberger (27-5) or even a rematch with Jake Shields (27-6-1), who is coming off a win over Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-5 (1 NC)), could be in the works, dependent on the welterweight schedule.
Fighting for the fourth time in two years with a hometown advantage, Perosh (13-6) welcomed UFC debutante Nick Penner (11-2) into the promotion with a first round TKO right on the bell (4:59).
Perosh certainly looked in his best form, taking control of the octagon. He ended up positioning on top of the Canadian, throwing punches until the referee ended the fight.
After the fight Perosh said “I felt great today, it all went to plan. I’m so happy to win in my hometown again and make it three in a row. The crowd gave me that extra buzz to get in there and get the job done.”
So what’s next for Perosh? He himself says “It’s taken me 10 years to get to the top of my game, but I’m here and I’m ready for my next challenge. The light heavyweight division is stacked, but I feel I’m climbing up that ladder.”
For Perosh to remain climbing up the food chain, he could perhaps face the likes of Brandon Vera (12-5 (1NC)) or Vladimir Matyushenko (26-6) in the future. If he can stand, trade and win against these tested UFC veterans, then Perosh will prove he is dangerous in the light-heavyweight division.
Philippou (10-2 (1 NC)) continued his winning streak, overcoming The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 11 winner Court McGee (13-2) in a three round battle. He won via unanimous decision and thus McGee received his first UFC loss.
Explaining his win, Philippou mentioned that “He tried to match my boxing, but (I) realised after the first round that I had the superior striking, so was happy to keep the fight standing until the end of the fight.”
For Philippou, the win against a familiar name raises his profile within the deep middleweight division. He may have to wait until the next couple of months to find out his next competitor due to the schedule, however could be looking at another match-up with Brazilian fighter Rafael Natal (14-3-1).
Combat Sports Authority of New South Wales
In what seemed like a foolproof system to get a result in the flyweight semifinals, with the creation of a “sudden death” round, the Combat Sports Authority of New South Wales managed to still get it wrong. The move resulted in uncertainty in the newly created division, which will remain until fighters Ian McCall and Demetrious Johnson meet again in a proposed April rematch.
Unfortunately there have been recurring issues in regards to judging around the world, this time a miscalculation of a judges card in Sydney during the crucial flyweight bout.
UFC president Dana White was completely unimpressed, ensuring the authority was on hand to apologise and take complete responsibility for the mistake at the post-fight press conference.
So what does that mean for the flyweights? Fortunately, there is a rematch between McCall and Johnson, which will be another great fight.
Unfortunately, it means that fellow flyweight semi-final winner Joseph Benavidez will have to sit out and weight for the title bout for a longer period than expected.