UFC Fight Night 43 - Results
Fight Night 43 was stuck on the UFC's Fight Pass service, which was unfortunate because many people didn't get to see the awesome return of Nate "The Great" Marquardt to the Middleweight division.
The Co-Main and Main events were headlined by New Zealand's own fighters Soa Palelei and James Te Huna, and the hometown crowd was quickly demoralized, depressed, and guilty for having spent their money because both men were defeated pretty handily.
Co-Main Event: ACTUAL: Jared Rosholt defeats Soa Palelei by decision. PREDICTION: Soa Palelei would defeat Jared Rosholt by decision.
I initially predicted the complete opposite of how this fight resulted. I had Palelei dominating the sloppy heavyweight matchup, but Rosholt decided that his slop was better than Kiwi slop, and took the fight to the ground, sweating out a decision.
Main Event: ACTUAL: Nate Marquardt defeats James Te Huna by armbar submission (Round 1). PREDICTION: James Te Huna would defeat Nate Marquardt by KO (Round 1).
Never underestimate a guy who is right back in the division where he belongs. I thought Marquardt looked small at Welterweight, but at Middleweight he looked right at home, landing those hard, surprising shots that made him famous in the first place. He dropped Te Huna early with a quick knee that required a time machine to see, and then dominated the hometown boy with his black belt level jiu jitsu - something a lot of people forget he has - eventually tapping him with an armbar at the end of Round One. Pretty fucking cool.
UFC Fight Night 44 - Results
Again, I'm pissed off because of how good this card was. I'm not pissed because of IT, but because, once again, a free show was better than the majority of the pay-per-view events we've been forced to buy this year. Nearly all the fights on the card were fought by men who wanted to prove that they belonged in the upper tier of entertainment combat sports.
Before Jeremy Stephens and Cub Swanson took to the cage, there were already two fights I had felt were strong contenders for Fight of the Night. In the last pay-per-view card (UFC 174), I was hard-pressed to even think how Dana White would even choose a fight to be "Fight of the Night" when nearly all of them sucked hairy nut sack.
In the Co-Main event, Kelvin Gastelum and Nicholas Musoke put on a good fight, where a visibly angry Musoke wanted to take his anger out on Gastelum's innards for having not made weight the night before. Kelvin Gastelum is young, but he needs to get his shit together having had trouble making weight twice now in his four UFC showings. Regardless, Gastelum looked great in the last two rounds, but I would still like to see what happens to him after a loss. ACTUAL: Kelvin Gastelum defeated Nicholas Musoke by decision PREDICTION: Kelvin Gastelum defeats Nicholas Musoke by decision.
In the Main Event, Cub Swanson came back after a shaky second round against Jeremy Stephens to really define his need to get another title shot. Both guys looks pretty damn good, but Cub's footwork and head movement I believe is what saved him about three different times from getting knocked the fuck out. On the other hand, Stephens carried the trend of fighters growing giant beards and getting beaten up because of it. His epic facial hair didn't save him in the later rounds as Cub started to get disgusted by it, choosing to throw body shots instead.
The result was what a main event fight should be - if it's going to be five rounds of action, make it five rounds of ACTION. These guys deserved their bonuses.
ACTUAL: Cub Swanson defeated Jeremy Stephens by decision. PREDICTION: Cub Swanson defeats Jeremy Stephens by TKO (Round 3).
In the end, my main reaction is not that there are too many UFC events, but there are too few events with an assortment of weight class fights. In my opinion, EVERY event should have at least one or two heavyweight fights, a light heavyweight fight, and then a bunch of fights close to or AT the weight class of the main event so that we can witness potential contenders for whoever wins/defends the title for that particular class. I get tired of seeing events with only featherweights or bantamweights. Variance is key.
Also, when I look forward to pay-per-view events, I want to see more entertaining fights like the ones we got on both cards, rather than fights that seem to only matter in terms of title contention. What I've found is that the majority of fighters who are in line for a title shot are often overlooking their current opponent, or are playing it safe in an attempt to solidify their position in the rankings.
The main event at UFC 175, Machida vs. Weidman, looks great on paper, but I have to admit that it's probably going to be pretty boring. And Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis? Come on, now. Put Cub Swanson and Jeremy Stephens on the pay-per-view and leave Ronda on the free cards. I'm tired of that bitch.