Abel Trujilo vs. Evan Dunham
“Killa” came and conquered Saturday night against a very game Tony Sims. After struggling early with the accurate counter strikes of Sims which kept Abel out of rhythm, Sims made a fatal error when leaving his neck exposed in an attempt to take Trujilo down against the cage. Abel surprised many with his never before seen submission smarts that would end the fight via tapout in the first round. Trujilo earned his fourth win in the UFC, all of which by this point have come via stoppage. Trujilo remains a very looming shadow over the UFC lightweight division. As well as does re-surging veteran Evan Dunham who had an astounding year in 2015 and will be looking to make the step towards contendership again in 2016. This match-up would go to show just who will go on to test the deep waters in the ever changing 155 lbs division later on in the year and beyond.
Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez
In one of the more intriguing match-ups of the night, Ortega rallyed instantaneously against a very aggressive Diego Brandao. Ortega earned his second victory, not only inside the Octagon, but in the third round as well. Showcasing his toughness, cardio, jiu-jitsu, and most of all his patience, Ortega is on the fast track towards the top of the UFC’s very entertaining and competitive featherweight division. TUF Latin America winner Yair Rodriguez is another potential star who is close to reaching a similar point. Pitting both hungry competitors is a sure fire way to see which one wants it more. And a fight like this is sure to be a wildly entertaining one in one of the most sensational striker vs. grappler match-ups you can make at featherweight at the moment. BJJ vs. Tae Kwon Do.
Albert Tumenov vs. Erick Silva
In one of the most razor thin judges decisions that we’re likely to see all year in 2016, Tumenov came away with the victory against Lorenz Larkin. By the end of the fight, fans were cheering both men on as much as they were asking among themselves who won. Albert and his phenomenal boxing prowess came under fire from Larkin and his always conscious endangering kickboxing. Larkin struggled early giving up the first round to Albert. This forced Lorenz to change his approach, where he found success in assaulting the lead left leg of his Russian opponent. Both men turned it up in the third round, forcing a terribly difficult to call decision. The former amateur boxer came away with the exciting win and now ties the record for the longest active win streak at Welterweight at five with the likes of Robbie Lawler and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Albert is clearly ready to test deeper waters near the top of his division and the best player in the game to give him that test is Erick Silva who is looking to build back a winning streak of his own.
Stipe Miocic vs. Werdum/Velasquez winner
He truly can’t be denied. Aftersilencing a possible Cinderella story in knocking out Andrei Arlovski in the first minute, Stipe proceeded to furiously demand his title shot from Dana White who was sitting cageside. At this point, he has earned it after garnering his 10th knockout out of 14 wins, and putting down the former champion is violent form. Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum will do battle in one months time, and both men now know who is waiting in the wings for for the victor.
Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit or Tyrone Woodly
After 5 rounds, and competing in one of the most exciting welterweight battles in MMA history, Robbie Lawer was awarded the judges nod and remains today still the world champion at 170lbs. But boy was it close. Long story short, the majority of the MMA scene believes Carlos Condit did enough to dethrone the champion and is praised as such to be the uncrowned king of the welterweight division. It all came down to the third round which was the closet round of the fight and the deciding round in the judges eyes as two gave it Robbie and one gave it to Condit. Bottom line is this, the fight was close and phenomenal, which in itself presents argument for a rematch. Added along with the fact that Woodley has fought since last year January against then 6th ranked Kelvin Gastelum, a rematch can be argued and in the meantime Woodley fight someone in the top 5 if possible. If Woodley gets the title shot however, that would be fair too in a way. Either one, Robbie certainly has himself one hell of a fight up next.