Top Fighters Never Who Have Fought in UFC Written by Andy
UFC 162 Review Written by Dom
Today MMA fans are in for a treat as first we will look at some of the top names in Mixed Martial Arts to have never fought in the UFC Octagon and we will then have a full card review of the recent event at the MGM Grand, UFC 162
So lets have some top names who have never graced us with their presence in The Octagon, in no particular order let’s get started…
Marlon Sandro, Featherweight, 29-5
This Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist known as The Gladiator is currently fighting for Bellator MMA and in his 34 fight career has 29 wins and 5 losses. Sandro initially fought mostly in Brazil and won his 14 fights as a pro. He has fought all over the world for Shooto Brazil, Pancrase, The World Victory Road competition in Japan before debuting in Bellator where he has been fighting since 2011. Sandro has a 7-3 record in Bellator and despite losing his last outing another couple of wins could propel him right back up the Bellator ranks and possibly UFC. At 36 though time is of the essence and he has to make something happen quick if he wants a shot in UFC.
Fedor Emelianenko, Heavyweight, 40-4
There was a time the hype was so big on this guy that it was a weekly topic of who he would beat in UFC and when he would make the switch. Sadly we never got to see The Last Emperor take his rightful place in The Octagon. I know he lost 3 fights in a row to Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson but when you look at some of the names he battered in his pomp such as Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Coleman, Mark Hunt, Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski this man would have entertained us and competed in UFC I have no doubt about that. Of course the longer it didn’t happen the chances of a defeat were likely and thats exactly what happened, three times. Fedor had 3 more fights and won them all to bow out of Martial Arts and retire on a winning streak for politics in his native Russia. If only we had him in UFC in his decade of dominance where he was unstoppable.
Pat Curran, Featherweight, 23-4
This man has shone in Bellator and after winning the Bellator Lightweight Tournament he seemed to find a home in that division. He lost his first defence against Eddie Alvarez in his only Bellator loss to date in April 2011 for the Bellator Lightweight title but decided to make the move to Featherweight for the Bellator 2011 Summer Series Featherweight Tournament and would again be successful in tournament format. This time in his title fight against Joe Warren, Curran would come out victorious and became Bellator Featherweight Champion. He has since defended his title twice, most recently in April so Curran you’d expect has a few more fights left in him with Bellator and we could then hopefully see the jump to UFC as this guy is a quality fighter.
Ben Askren, Welterweight, 11-0
Here we have one of those fighters that is pure marmite, fans of MMA will be split when it comes to loving or hating Askren, me personally I like the guy, yes he talks A LOT but he clearly has the talent to back it up. Ok he can be a little one dimensional at times with the wrestling but in MMA you need to utilise your best skills so while he might not attract the casual fan trying to get into the sport, fans of the sport for many years will understand the technique of using your strengths to your advantage. Askren made his Bellator debut in 2010 and won the Bellator Season 2 Welterweight Tournament before going on to defeat Lyman Good for the Bellator Welterweight Championship in October 2010 and he still has the belt to this day defending it 3 times and winning his other non title fight as well. We might not see him in UFC, not due to his fighting talent because the way its going he would be a stick on to make a UFC event in that regard but its his Twitter battle with Dana White that pissed the UFC President off and he is said to not be much of a fan of Askren because of said argument. Money speaks louder than anything though so if Askren keeps winning Dana will have no choice as the fans will want him in UFC!
Shinya Aoki, Lightweight, 40-6
If this guy could have a better striking offense and defense he would be a star in UFC in my opinion. When it comes to submissions Aoki is elite level for me and his 22 submission wins from his 33 wins back that up. Aoki has been knocked out 4 times from his 6 defeats with the other two losses being decision. Aoki has won quite a few belts in his journeys in MMA, he was Shooto Welterweight Champion, 2 time DREAM Lightweight Champion, WAMMA Lightweight Champion and was recently crowned ONE Lightweight Champion. His big moment came in April 2010 when he fought Gilbert Melendez for the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship and was overwhelmed from the start to finish in a very one sided fight Melendez won via unanimous decision. He is still only 30 and has vast experience in MMA, like I said before if he can improve his striking qualities offensively and defensively we could have a starfighter here at a very elite level.
I could have had another 5 or 6 on this list had I done this blog 2 months ago but a lot of talented guys have got their break in UFC and I hope we see four of the five given their shot, the other of course is retired as you know already!
Well I hope you enjoyed that breakdown of some top fighters not to have competed in UFC and I’ll now pass you onto Dom who has a full card review of UFC 162, hope you enjoy it!
A hugely anticipated fight in the main event. Going into the show, Weidman was hotly tipped to finally end the streak of Anderson Silva. Firstly, the FX prelims need to be watched.
Edson Barboza vs. Rafaello Oliveira – Lightweight Fight
Barboza is probably most famous for his highlight reel finish of Terry Etim with the spin kick, but the guy has been a beast apart from that. His fight with Ross Pearson was a cracker. This was utterly brutal stuff from Barboza again. He absolutely decimated the leg of Oliviera there, and it was getting really nasty to watch. I don’t understand why Oliveira just kept coming forward with the same stance when all he was doing was walking into the leg kicks that ended up finishing him off. What was he looking to achieve? Anyways, another very good showing for Barboza.
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Dave Herman – Heavyweight Fight
I’m not a big fan of either man. I’ve seen people complaining about the stoppage in this one, and maybe the complaints are justified, but I can see why Kim Winslow stepped in when she did. It did look like Herman was able to defend, but when she was stepping in, all that was happening was that Gonzaga was raining down the shots to a Herman who was last lying there. So it was a good enough stoppage, but Herman was unfortunate he wasn’t given just a touch longer.
Norman Parke vs. Kazuki Tokudome – Lightweight Fight
Norman Parke looked decent here, but there was problems. Tokudome was giving him a nice stable target to aim at for far too long. Parke was finding a home for the left and and got a LOT of success with it in the second round. Both guys looked decent on the ground however and you get the feeling that if more of the fight went down there, Tokudome would have been able to make the fight closer, but Parke did a good job on the feet for most of the fight and more crucially, pulled a cracking reversal in the first round when he was in trouble on the ground. Serious kudos to Tokudome for a terrific third round where he did all he could to end the fight, and for taking a LOT of punishment on the chin, but it was too little too late. Entertaining fight however.
Chris Leben vs. Andrew Craig – Middleweight Fight
Chris Leben is someone I’m not sure on. He strikes me as a star of the past who can’t have much longer in the UFC, but he showed in this fight at times that you can’t write him off. This fight isn’t very exciting. Joe Rogan calls the movement of Chris Leben “strange”, but I think he’s just trying to find a way around calling his movement stiff. To be fair, he does allude to it when he’s trying to explain what he means. Craig was decent enough here. I think he fought the fight he had to against Leben. The knees were his main weapon, but to the head and the body, even though it was his hands that put Leben on his backside. Fairly good showing from Craig, and I look forward to seeing him move up a level.
Seth Baczynski vs. Brian Melancon – Welterweight Fight
Melancon was incredible here. From the very first minute, he looked as focused as anyone could look. He was giving Seth an absolute beasting right from the word go. He gave Seth something to think about early with the left hand but the real trouble came when he wound up on the ground and he just got a total beasting. I was going to say that he reminded me of Tito Ortiz down there, but that would be harsh on Melancon who took it up a few notches.
Time for the main card yo!
Dennis Siver vs. Cub Swanson – Featherweight Fight
Cub Swanson was a bit miffed that he didn’t get a title shot ahead of the Korean Zombie when Anthony Pettis pulled out of the fight with Jose Aldo, but he looked to show why he was worth a shot here. The longer the fight went on here, the more Swanson was connecting with what he was looking for. In the first round, Siver looked excellent, and on the ground he looked very good as well, keeping position and improving it as well. The second round was very even until Swanson changed the game with the uppercut and that was the beginning of the end, as after that Swanson was landing LOADS of right hands and Siver just wasn’t answering them. He certainly gave the fight makers something to think about.
Mark Munoz vs. Tim Boetsch – Middleweight Fight
I really hope Munoz gives Boetsch a good beating here. His story recently is one which can only be inspiring to anyone. I get what I wished for. I really expected Tim Boetsch to grind this one out, but you have to give Mark Munoz all sorts of credit, because he dealt with Boetsch rather easily here. No matter where they were, Munoz was getting the better of Boetsch. Want to stand up? Take a beating from Munoz. Want to take to the ground? Take a beating from Munoz. Munoz actually looked like a different fighter from what we’ve seen in UFC before, and the hard work for the man is really paying off. I think I’d really like to see a fight between him and someone like Bisping or Wandy now.
Roger Gracie vs. Tim Kennedy – Middleweight Fight
Always interesting to see a Gracie in the octagon. I’m never surprised if they manage to lose though. They always seem to disappoint when they get into the octagon. The first round seen Gracie’s reach and height become a problem. In the second round, Kennedy got the match to the ground, where you’d assume he’d have the advantage and then in the third round, Kennedy got the better of it even though the action wasn’t exactly hot and heavy. Kennedy would have been happy enough with that though as he eased his way to the decision win.
Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira – Featherweight Fight
I absolutely love Frankie Edgar. Every single time he steps into that octagon, you’re going to get into the fight. Edgar showed some magnificent boxing in this fight. Especially at the start of the second round. The movement was incredible. Oliveira did an admirable job of trying to keep Edgar too close to do too much, but you can only do that for so long, and Edgar managed to get some significant shots in there. The commentators made a big deal of how much Frankie Edgar can’t get away with against someone like Oliveira, yet when it went to the ground, Edgar got away with a lot more than you’d suspect. There was a big scare at the end of the second round, but Oliveira’s real surprising upside was some cracking striking in the third round. A wee bit more confidence in that early could have done some good for him. This was a real fun fight though, and a deserved win for Edgar.
Anderson Silva (c) vs. Chris Weidman – UFC Middleweight Championship
Right. A lot has been said about this fight since it ended, so I’ll get right into this.
Chris Weidman said at the weigh ins, and this was probably not taken as seriously as it should, that “I’m not scared of you!!!” and that showed with the big ending. No respect to the playacting and showboating of Silva at the moment that it counted. Weidman caught him off guard when he was doing all of that usual stuff. He was swinging wildly BOTH ways, meaning when Silva avoided the big shot, he had no idea that the same hand was moving in the opposite direction looking to catch him off guard.
If you thought before this fight that Anderson Silva was a great fighter, then you should still think so. What he did was no different than he has done against anyone, barring probably Vitor Belfort, because you just have to respect the hand speed of that man, and even then, he ate some big shots. The only difference between this time and the previous times was that Weidman just didn’t care. He only cared about putting Silva on his arse.
Forget all about the fix stuff, forget all about everything else. Anderson Silva was beaten by the #1 middleweight in the world in my opinion. The guy with the belt is the best fighter in that division. Make no mistake about that.
And it actually capped quite an entertaining show. Every fight had it’s own intrigue from the prelims to the main event, which of course makes the show a must-see on it’s own.