There were some questions about how well Eye would do against the larger Sarah Kaufman given the Ohio native’s flyweight history. Eye answered them with a solid showing against the former Strikeforce champ, bringing home a mildly controversial decision win in the end. While her victory wasn’t clear cut, what is obvious is Eye’s ability to hang with the best the division has to offer and that makes the 27-year old an interesting prospect to watch as she progresses (especially if/when the UFC adds a 125-pound division for females).
Lombard was hesitant to move down to 170 pounds for a long time and only did so at the urging of his UFC bosses. It turns out things went as smoothly as they could for the former Bellator title-holder and he made weight easily. However, he clearly didn’t sacrifice any power in the process, crushing opponent Nate Marquardt in the opening round of action. Lombard’s ability to safely make welterweight and enthusiasm about continuing to compete in the division are extremely important, and his presence in the talent pool adds an injection of excitement.
Okay, so Sanchez’s sanity (or lack thereof) was never really in question based on some of his past behavior. Of course, seeing him go into bezerker mode as he did against Gilbert Melendez was a nice reminder of the depths Diego will dig to when it comes to a fight. His face was flayed to the point that would have made Ramsay Bolton proud but Sanchez never backed down, exchanging wildly in the pocket with Melendez. He was all smiles at the post-fight press conference and, chances are, anyone watching the fight was still grinning from ear-to-ear as well when thinking about what had been witnessed earlier.
Cormier’s run in the ring as a heavyweight has been impressive to say the least. However, it may not compare to what’s next for the 34-year old considering his interest in competing at 205 pounds. With wins over some of the best heavies in MMA it seems the sky is the limit for the 5’11” fighter when it comes to facing similarly sized opponents over the next few years. He may not beat Jon Jones or even become champion but expect Cormier to be a significant force over the next few years.
Removing Daniel Cormier from the equation, Dos Santos has been considered the #2 heavyweight in MMA for a long time (and #1 after he knocked Velasquez out in 2011). While he dropped down a peg or two after losing on Saturday night, there’s no doubt JDS has the ability to reclaim the spot before the end of next year. If that’s the case, and Velasquez continues on his current path, there will be talk of a fourth fight between the two. Though it’s a nice thought, in reality Velasquez made it clear he’s the vastly superior fighter outside of getting caught with a singular, evening-ending strike. He pummeled “Cigano” for a second straight time and, in general, has a lot more weapons to work with than the Brazilian boxer.
The State of Texas isn’t exactly renowned when it comes to education, and the Octagon doesn’t make for a traditional classroom, but fans tuning in to
certainly exited the Houston-based event with some nice nuggets of knowledge concerning the involved competitors. From start to finish the event featured a little bit of everything, from Disappointingly Plodding Performances A to Furious Fisticuffs 101. Here are five of the lessons learned from last weekend’s lineup… (Photos by USA Today Sports Images) UFC 166