UFC fight weekend Aftermath: Maynard, Guida, Franklin and more
This weekend’s UFC event may not have featured the biggest names – though Wanderlei Silva is about as big as they come – or the most compelling fights, but they weren’t short on talking points.
As a result, there is plenty to get to in this combo platter edition of The Aftermath, your UFC event recap experience here on The Roar.
UFC on FX 4: Clay Guida vs. Gray Maynard
- Gray Maynard momentarily morphed in a member of the Diaz family in Saturday’s main event, taunting Clay Guida at various points during the final three rounds of their fight. I can’t say I blame him either.
- Anyone who wants to argue that Guida was just using superior footwork and a sound game plan should go check out Maynard’s two fights previous to this. Frankie Edgar showed how to use movement in concert with your striking to keep an opponent off balance in those two title fights; Guida wasn’t doing much more than dancing in the cage.
- Having re-watched the fight strictly from a judging perspective (I’m a certified, recognised MMA judge, having passed “Big” John McCarthy’s COMMAND course), I score that contest 48-47 for Maynard. Guida got the better of things in the first two rounds, but it was Maynard’s fight from there on out for me.
- Loved the veteran savvy shown by both Sam Stout and Brian Ebersole in their wins. Stout mixed things up with some timely takedowns against Spencer Fisher to earn the win in their rubber match, while Ebersole remained calm early when TJ Waldburger locked in a deep D’Arce choke before controlling the action over the last two rounds to earn his fourth straight UFC win.
- Cub Swanson’s finish of Ross Pearson was one of the best of the year. He showed great balance landing with a pair of solid right hands when Pearson caught his leg after an attempted front kick, and then slipped out, connecting with a blistering left hook as Pearson came charging forward for the finish. Swanson can be inconsistent at times, but he’s got a load of talent, and is rarely in a dull fight.
- I bet Hatsu Hioki wishes he would have accepted that title shot against Jose Aldo right about now. The former Shooto standout dropped a unanimous decision to Ricardo Lamas, who has won three straight since moving to featherweight, and didn’t look good for the second time in three UFC appearances. I honestly wouldn’t be shocked if he was released at this point.
- People are saying that Steven Siler has proven himself to be a legitimate threat in the featherweight division, but I’m not buying it. He’s beaten two late replacements and the consistently underachieving Cole Miller. Let’s see him beat someone a little more established before calling him a contender.
- Awesome to see Dan Miller get a win in his welterweight debut. He and his family have been through a lot in the last few years, and this was a great moment on Saturday.
- A tip of the cap to Rich Franklin for what I can only describe as a truly professional effort on Saturday, and with UFC 147 in general. The guy comes back after 16 months on the sidelines and a gnarly shoulder surgery, survives a dicey second round flurry, and wins a solid decision, all while happily accepting a dangerous fight on short notice. People need to give “Ace” far more respect than he gets.
- Rony “Jason” Mariano is much better than his performance at UFC 147 showed. He was clearly overcome with emotions during the build-up to the fight, crying all the way until the introductions were made, and I think he was fighting safe to ensure victory.
It also didn’t help that his opponent pulled guard more times in their 15 minute fight than I can remember seeing in the last three years combined. It’s one thing to pull guard and be attacking, but “Pepey” was immediately going to a closed guard; made no sense to me at all.
- Injured middleweight finalist Daniel Sarafian will be the breakout prospect from that side of TUF: Brazil, and it should show as soon as he comes back and faces Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira as he would have last night.
- Fabricio Werdum trucked Mike Russow, which is impressive, as Russow is a durable guy who had only been beaten once in his career, and has taken some serious punishment in the past. That said, “Vai Cavalo” needs another win or two before he’s due a rematch with Junior dos Santos or a shot at the heavyweight title if “Cigano” loses the belt next time out.
- The best parts of the night, for me, were the incredible respect all the Brazilian fighters showed each other throughout the event, and the thunderous crowd. There may have only been 10-15,000 people in the building, but it sounded like 50,000 and showed why the UFC has held three events there in the last 11 months.
Follow The Roar’s UFC Expert E. Spencer Kyte on Twitter (@spencerkyte).