“Jacare” entered MMA as a one-dimension grappler whose BJJ brilliance made up for his rudimentary stand-up more often than not. However, Souza has certainly grown since showing up on the scene, improving his striking to the point he can now be considered a well-rounded competitor. The talented Brazilian offered up evidence of his evolution against Okami when the two tussled at UFC Fight Night 28, knocking out the seasoned veteran in less than three minutes (also marking the fastest Okami has ever been finished in his 37-fight career). There weren’t a lot of people giving Wineland a shot against Barao when the two battled it out a little more than a week ago in Toronto. As it turned out, their lack of faith in Wineland’s ability was well-placed, as Barao found his rhythm early on and never looked back. After feeling Wineland out in the opening round, Barao attacked right away in the second stanza and connected with a beautiful spinning kick to his foe’s face. The blow rocked Wineland and before long Barao was on top of him, delivering shots until being pulled off by the referee. Amazingly the win was the 31st consecutive instance of success for the uber-impressive Brazilian. Fans who didn’t get a chance to check out the clash between Natal and Troeng based on its status as a preliminary pairing should definitely seek out the scrap sooner than later. Though Natal looked dominant at times, Troeng’s heart was on full display as he overcame early adversity and ultimately put his opponent in some precarious positions as well. The effort involved some excellent scrambles on the ground and a handful of powerful, precise strikes including one shot that nearly ended Troeng’s night. The bout was named the show’s Fight of the Night and understandably so based on the entertainment level involved. The match-up may have lasted a little less than three minutes but Bader-Teixeira delivered an entire fight’s worth of action in the period. The two talented light heavyweights slugged it out after testing each others’ takedown defense, letting fans know there was a good chance a finish would surface at some point in the scrap. While it appeared Bader was on the cusp of doing just that and pulling off an upset in the process by taking Teixeira out, such would not come to pass, as the Brazilian brawler caught him with counter hook and sent the TUF 8 winner to the mat where he was pounded out shortly thereafter. There was no doubting the potential for fireworks when light heavyweight champ Jones met the similarly-sized Gustafsson in the UFC 165 headliner. However, few fans realized how incredible the effort would actually be. Gustafsson peppered Jones with strikes from early on, busting his foe’s face up badly along the way. He also managed to stuff the majority of Jones’ takedown attempts while scoring one of his own. Regardless, Jones found a way to battle back and dished out damage of his own en route to a closely contested decision nod. The fight was SO good plenty of people have labeled it as not only the best title-fight in light heavyweight history but one of the greatest scraps of all time.
There were only two
UFC events in September but the shows still delivered enough action to keep fans satisfied for the month. Included in the bunch was a pair of title-fights, a plethora of highlight reel finishes, and an all-time classic between light heavyweights . With October around the corner, it’s time to take a quick look back at some of the Octagon action from the past 30 days. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images) Jon Jones-Alexander Gustafsson