This UFC card was the last at Fight Island before the return to Las Vegas. The main card was a robust seven-fight feature attraction with plenty of potential for the fans to chew on. How well did it deliver? Let us take a look:
On a personal note, it was a great night for Ringside Report, as we were a perfect 7-0 in predicting winners for the main card. While not every method of victory was spot on, our picks would have still been very beneficial if they were used as betting lines for winners. With that said, the Whittaker Vs Till fight did not come close to being the Fight of the Night and became much more of a technical contest than I could have ever imagined. So, pay no attention to what I think…nonsense, 7-0 is 7-0!
As far as Robert Whittaker goes, he won a solid mixed martial arts contest where he was hurt and had to make adjustments. For that, he should be praised. Now, he can sit back and wait on another title shot. Perhaps he can dominate the water cooler talk next time out.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueria goes out like a champion. Indeed, he lost a split decision against rival Mauricio Rua. Still, he finished the fight and even had some excellent moments in the contest. As far as Shogun goes, he still looks like he can make noise, and at the very least, he can continue to compete for performance bonuses. Perhaps he can face Paul Craig in a light heavyweight battle next time out. Paul captured a performance of the night bonus Saturday night. Proving he is much more than two syllables.
How can you look at Fabricio Werdum’s performance and not marvel? Make no mistake about it, he was chosen as an opponent for Alexander Gustafsson’s first heavyweight fight. I knew better. Then again, in the UFC, any ‘opponent,’still has a great chance of winning under most circumstances. Werdum should get a chance at a top ten heavyweight next fight.
Alex Oliveria put on a clinic. The Cowboy was one step ahead of Peter Sobotta from the opening bell. It was as good as I have ever seen him look.
Carla Esparza fought an inspiring fight to hand Marina Rodriguez her first loss. As she always does. While Marina only lost on her record. Can anyone say rematch?
If the UFC wants us to go all Lady Gaga over Khamzat Chimaev, they have to match him up better. Rhys McKee was basically served up as a sacrificial lamb, and that is typically not the UFC way. This was as bad of a mismatch as you would see from this product. Under these circumstances, it is understandable to a certain degree. But it must end here. Khamzat should take on a top fifteen welterweight next time. Or perhaps he can have a showdown with a Cowboy?
Overall, the main card was lukewarm at best. For UFC standards anyway.
Nothing to report as ugly. I am not sure why no Fight of the Night bonus was named. Esparza and Rodriguez indeed were worthy enough, and there were worthy fights on the preliminary card. There were more Performance of the Night bonuses given out than usual, however.
The preliminary card indeed outperformed the main card. That is not a dynamic you could automatically label as ugly. Still, it is not the desired result and not something you want to make a habit of.
The farewell to Fight Island was a double instead of a home run. But they will be back.