By Zach Arnold | December 9, 2015
There were high expectations about Nobuyuki Sakakibara’s return to MMA but for those of us cynical about his financial backing, he produced a card that is the proverbial dog’s breakfast. Which means that UFC’s back-to-back-to-back fight cards on Thursday through Saturday is the real highlight to close out this fight calendar, even though there is an Orlando show a week later.
— MMA Supremacy (@MMASupremacy) December 13, 2015
Thursday’s Fight Night 80 event at The Chelsea/Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas (internet):
- Rose Namajunas defeated Paige Vanzant (-140 favorite) in R5 2′25 with a choke sleeper hold.
- Michael Chiesa (-120 favorite) defeated Jim Miller R2 2′57 with a choke sleeper hold.
- Sage Northcutt defeated Cody Pfister in R2 41 seconds by submission.
- Thiago Santos defeated Elias Theodorou after 3R by unanimous decision.
- Aljamain Sterling defeated Johnny Eduardo in R2 4′18 by submission.
Namajunas came into the fight as even money or a slight underdog, which goes to show how much people still buy into the UFC hype machine. She beat down PVZ as badly as GSP beat up Jon Fitch in Minneapolis. There is a long ways to go for Paige to develop into a top fighter…
Friday’s Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale event in Las Vegas (Fox Sports 1):
- Frankie Edgar defeated Chad Mendes in R1 2′28 by KO.
- Tony Ferguson defeated Edson Barboza in R2 2′54 by submission.
- Evan Dunham defeated Joe Lauzon after 3R by unanimous decision.
- Ryan LaFlare defeated Mike Pierce after 3R by unanimous decision.
Frankie had zero trouble with Mendes and the troubles for Alpha Male in Sacramento continue. Zero surprise that Tony Ferguson would be involved in another ultraviolent fight. That’s all he does. The haves rose up and the have nots sunk further.
Saturday’s UFC 194 event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (Fox Sports 1/PPV):
- UFC Featherweight title match: Conor McGregor defeated Jose Aldo in R1 13 seconds by KO.
- UFC Middleweight title match: Luke Rockhold defeated Chris Weidman in R4 3′12 by TKO.
- Yoel Romero defeated Jacare Souza after 3R by split decision.
- Demian Maia defeated Gunnar Nelson after 3R by unanimous decision.
- Max Holloway defeated Jeremy Stephens after 3R by unanimous decison.
- Urijah Faber defeated Frankie Saenz after 3R by unanimous decision.
Faber challenged TJ Dillashaw (or Dominic Cruz) for a title match. Been there, done that. The only intrigue is whether or not Dillashaw would humiliate Faber and hurt business for Alpha Male.
The officiating in the Romero/Jacare fight was a mess. Classic example of a fight that Jordan Breen begs 5 rounds out of instead of the standard 3.
Gunnar Nelson went into the fight against Demian Maia as a favorite. Yes, a favorite. And Maia did what you expected him to do, which was stop the winning streak of an up-and-coming star.
Luke Rockhold looked great against Chris Weidman. Chris Weidman did not look great. He took a beating. Poor guy. His title fight was barely advertised heading into the show.
With PVZ, Weidman, and Ronda all in the losing column, Conor McGregor was the last chance to save Dana’s weekend from turning completely sour. All the noise heading into the fight, from the humiliating press conference tour series where Conor stole Aldo’s belt to Aldo having problems with the proposed USADA IV ban to Aldo’s wife claiming Dana made him fight injured, there was acrimony everywhere to be found. McGregor wiped everything away with a 13 second KO.
“THIS IS GREAT FOR BUSINESS!” screamed Jonathan Coachman on ESPN.