More than 10,000 people showed up for an event with no real stars outside of the top two tilts. Sure, there were plenty of fighters with regional ties, but there was a reason the powers that be put the card on FOX Sports 2 outside of college football. Regardless, passionate fans showed up and were heard from early on in the evening’s proceedings. The card even outdrew a few Stateside shows featuring title-fights. While the UFC needs to be careful about saturating any market, the U.K. definitely deserves more than the paltry number of offerings the company currently delivers on an annual basis. Missing weight isn’t a rarity. However, a fighter doing so in multiple match-ups is a different story. It looks unprofessional and isn’t safe for the involved fighter or his/her opponent. Lineker’s repeated infractions in that regard are inexcusable. He’s a flyweight contender who can’t seem to make 125 pounds with consistency and that’s a major problem. If he doesn’t get it under wraps for his next fight he needs to be forcibly moved back to bantamweight under the threat of potential termination. Melvin Guillard’s match-up with Ross Pearson was looking to be brilliant until an unfortunate exchange ended things on a low note. Guillard landed two knees on Pearson against the fence with one arguably coming a split second after his adversary put a hand on the ground, thus making the strike illegal. The shots opened a cut on Pearson’s head the medical staff felt was cause to end the outing and things were ruled a No Contest. The situation was a reminder that the rule relating to illegal knees needs to be tweaked to make an exception for inadvertent blows. If a fighter has clearly targeted an opponent with a hand on the ground, fine – it’s a penalty. If the strike happens to come during a heated attack with a tenth of a tick making the difference between legal/illegal, it should stand. Fans very well may have witnessed the beginning of the end of Munoz as a Top 10 middleweight over the weekend. While Munoz can absolutely hang with sloppy strikers who lack takedown defense, his chin simply can’t hold up to the onslaught of an upper-echelon boxer or kickboxer. His loss to Machida wasn’t unexpected but the way he crumpled to the canvas after half-blocking a head-kick was a bad sign in terms of his long-term prospects. After all, he’ll be 36 in February. Machida was viewed as a natural middleweight for a longtime and professed as much in multiple interviews before finally making the move down to 185 pounds. After seeing the shape he was in at UFC Fight Night 30 it’s easy to see why people were so pumped about the idea. The cut clearly didn’t hurt his performance even though he admitted it was difficult and the process will get easier as time goes on. He was crisp and quick but didn’t sacrifice any power. In short, it was an all-around excellent divisional debut likely serving as a stepping stone to a clash for top contendership.
UFC event is an educational experience for all involved parties including those watching action unfold inside the Octagon. was no exception, offering up lessons in the competitive prowess of the evening’s athletes, the state of MMA officiating, and a handful of other subjects. Here are five observations gleaned from the goings-on in Manchester… (Photos by USA Today Sports Images) UFC Fight Night 30