One of the most stacked UFC on Fox cards went down last Saturday. The event didn’t score well in terms of ratings, but the fight delivered. We got an entire night of action, and witnessed history when Demetrious Johnson tied Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive UFC title defenses. Let’s go over the highlights:
Demetrious Johnson submits Wilson Reis
In the main event, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson fought a near-perfect fight against challenger Wilson Reis. Even though Reis looked the part of a serious challenger, Johnson too crafty to deal with.
Johnson continually struck with unpredictability, and slipped or blocked everything Reis threw at him. Even when the world grappling champion was able to get Johnson to the mat, it was Johnson who still controlled the action.
Ultimately, Johnson strung together some brutal shots from top position on a fatigued Reis. The challenger hung on as long as he could, but Johnson secured the fight-ending armbar in the third round.
In this fight, Demetrious Johnson showed a tenacity that we haven’t really seen from him that much. Johnson hunted for the finish rather than coasted to a decision. In my mind, there’s no question who the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet is – Demetrious Johnson. Expect him to break Anderson’s record in his next fight.
Rose Namajunas submits Michelle Waterson
In the co-main event, women’s strawweight contenders Namajunas and Waterson threw down in what may have been a title eliminator bout. Meaning, the winner gets the next shot at the strawweight title. A title which is being contested between Joanna Jedrzeczyk and Jessica Andrade at UFC 211. Nevertheless, “Thug” Rose put on a dominant performance against “The Karate Hottie” as she stunned her and choked her out in the second round.
Early on, the two engaged in a back-and-forth scrap. Waterson tried to use her side kicks to keep Namajunas away, but Rose pushed forward and wound bullying Waterson on the mat. A big head kick dropped Waterson in the second round. Namajunas secured top position, pounded away with some vicious shots, and choked Waterson out shortly after. It was a tenacious performance from Namajunas who is 4-1 in her last 5 bouts, and should be fighting for the title next.
Robert Whittaker TKOs ‘Jacare’ Souza
In a mild upset, middleweight contender Whittaker rose to the occasion to stop fellow contender Souza. Both of these middleweights were neck-and-neck in the rankings as they await for the current logjam of contenders to sort out. It was a high-stakes bout, and Whittaker passed with flying colors in a flawless performance.
We knew Souza was going to pursue takedowns relentlessly, but Whittaker was ready. He showed phenomenal takedown defense, scrambling ability, and subsequent pressure on the feet. Whittaker looked to have a drastic speed advantage in the striking, and he used that to tag Souza and exit. As the shots piled up on the 39-year-old, Whittaker stayed composed – not hunting for the finish. Finally, a big head kick rocked Souza in the second round. Whittaker followed up and scored an arguably early stoppage over Souza.
Even though Whittaker likely won’t be getting a title shot next, he joins the mix of Yoel Romero, Gegard Mousasi, and Luke Rockhold.
Tom Duquesnoy TKOs Patrick Williams
The hype is real for “Fire Kid” Duquesnoy. The 23-year-old Frenchman made good on his UFC debut and lived up to expectation. Williams isn’t the sturdiest contender to face in a debut, but he did manage to put Duquesnoy in a bit of trouble early. However, Duquesnoy showed off his well-known durability and came back to put a vicious finish together in the second round.
Duquesnoy is known for his violent, high-paced fighting style that utilizes hellish elbows and attacks in the clinch. He’s still very young and has holes in his game, but this kid is a serious talent to keep an eye on in the bantamweight division.
Aljamain Sterling defeats Augusto Mendes
“The Funk Master” headlined the Fight Pass prelims last Saturday as he got back to his winning ways. Sterling was a big bantamweight prospect as he picked up some solid wins in 2014 and 2015. Unfortunately, he ran into two split decision losses to Bryan Caraway and Raphael Assuncao. Sterling soundly defeated grappling-ace Mendes by decision.
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