The UFC returned to Rio De Janerio this weekend with a mouth-watering fight card. The fight card was particularly catered to entice the Brazilians fans and audiences. The main card consisted of five fantastic and fabulous fights. All main card bouts comprised of Brazilian fighters who were cheered and encouraged by the crowd all night.
UFC 212 was a pay-per-view with relatively low expectations due to the lack of top quality stars and lesser number of exciting match-ups. However, it’s safe to say that UFC 212 certainly rose above everyone’s expectations and was a solid event with some exciting finishes, which was capped up by a fast-paced and enthralling main-event for the undisputed UFC featherweight title.
Even though it was more than a decent PPV, it still had some shortcomings. Thus, lets analyse and talk about some of the major talking points from UFC 212.
UFC management needs to sort out the commentary team
”And it is all over!”
These words have become synonymous to Mike Goldberg. Goldberg has been one of the top commentators in MMA for more than a decade. The classic play-by-play commentary by Goldberg and Joe Rogan has been the epitome of success. Rogan and Goldberg have set such high standards with their phenomenal calling of the action that all new commentators seemingly fail to match their quality.
UFC recently let Goldberg leave and now majorly depend on the expertise of Rogan as well as on other colour commentators such as Dominick Cruz, Brian Stann, etc. Cruz and Stann are more than decent announcers and have great potential, though they still require the expertise and experience of Rogan to lead the announcing. Rogan is currently the glue binding the UFC’s commentary team together. However, unfortunately the Taekwondo black-belt wasn’t available for UFC 212 and thus the commentary lacked some sharpness and detail.
Hopefully the UFC management can soon find a decent replacement for Goldberg so that the fans get to hear some great commentary again.
Holloway proves his critics wrong
According to the betting odds, Max Holloway was a (-130) underdog coming into this fight. Almost all the pundits and analysts had unanimously predicted an easy victory for the Brazilian. Even a vast majority of the fans believed that Aldo’s power, speed and experience will be too much for the young Hawaiian to handle. However, when the referee “Big” John McCarthy stopped the fight, it was the American who was jumping around in joy as Aldo struggled to get back to his feet while protesting the stoppage.
“Blessed” started the fight much more cautiously than he usually does, whereas “Scarface” came out guns blazing and tested the Hawaiian’s jaw with some big, powerful punches. However, Holloway withered the storm and came back strongly in the second and third rounds. During the third round, the young American knocked-down the Brazilian with a brilliant two-punch combination and then secured full mount and did some heavy ground-and-pound which forced the referee to step in and stop the bout.
Holloway’s iron chin is one of the major reasons why he is now the undisputed featherweight king. Aldo underestimated the interim champion’s toughness and cardio and hence paid the price.
Will Aldo get a rematch?
Jose Aldo is a legend. He was the first UFC featherweight champion and has literally built the division from scratch. He simply whopped Holloway in the first round and was quite competitive. Thus, it can be argued that Aldo deserves an immediate rematch for the title. However, a strong argument can also be made that Aldo has been a “pull-out artist” and doesn’t deserve an immediate rematch for the title. There are currently other more deserving title challengers than Aldo such as Frankie Edgar.
Frankie Edgar has dispatched top 10 contenders such as Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez and is looking for another shot at the UFC gold. Cub Swanson is another fighter who has been on a roll. “Cub” was last beaten by the current champion back in 2015. However, he has since transformed into a completely different fighter. The Jackson-Wink fighter is currently riding high on a four-fight winning streak and is deserving of a title shot.
Thus, Aldo might not get the imminent rematch for the title.
Raphael Assuncao fails to shine
Raphael Assuncao is “The Decisionator”. However, unlike Dominick Cruz, Assuncao’s decision victories are hardly ever amazing. The Brazilian bantamweight has won twelve of his twenty-five fights via decision. He was last defeated by TJ Dillashaw at UFC 200 and has since bounced back with two back-to-back victories. The #4 ranked fighter has been consistently ranked very high but still hasn’t earned himself a title shot partly due to his inability to win in a dominating fashion.
Assuncao came into this fight on the back of a split decision victory over Aljamain Sterling. Though, Sterling isn’t a top five-fighter and Assuncao had merely scraped over the line against him. Thus, he was under huge pressure to deliver a dominant performance. However, it’s safe to say that the BJJ ace once again failed to put in a strong performance. If Assuncao truly desires a title shot then he’ll have to register much more dominant victories.