After another great card delivered on FUEL TV, we all are left wondering what is next for the winners and losers? Only time will tell. Speculation is a vice everyone can acquire. The real discussion here is, what did we all learn from UFC on Fuel TV 9?
~ Conor McGregor is the real deal ~
MMA Fans, Irish fans, and fans of the Cage Warriors promotion, have all been anticipating the debut of the Notorious one. The last time I saw a fighter look as smooth as McGregor did in his debut, it was when I saw Anderson Silva take out Chris Leben in his UFC debut. McGregor came out just oozing confidence. Brimage came out with an intense game-plan, but nothing could psych out the Irishman in his debut. I see McGregor getting a huge step up in completion early after another 1st round finish.
~ Michael Kuiper is getting there, but got too cocky and gave Lawlor the win ~
Michael Kuiper proved to all the MMA fans that he has more than a devastating striking game. His Judo and take-downs looked precise and he executed them we ease. Kuiper injured Tom Lawlor’s knee in the 1st round and easily won the first round 10-9. He looked to come into the 2nd round with too much confidence, almost a look of cockiness. Kuiper went for a sloppy take-down (when he didn’t even have to) and got caught in a guillotine choke. It looked like when Thiago Alves got choked by Martin Kampmann. When your guy is hurt and you have a great striking game, don’t go for an unnecessary take-down.
~ Reza Madadi comes to fight ~
Madadi needs to improve his striking game, but if he gets ahold of you, you’re going to the ground. Madadi’s take-downs are a version of perfection, and he shows all the “lay and pray” fighters how to utilize ground and pound to set up a submission. His cardio is sub-par, but he just has that born in will to win that you can’t teach. Madadi is a scary fighter who comes to bring it. He even admitted at the end of the fight that you can’t hurt his head because he doesn’t have the required equipment for a brain freeze.
~ Akira Corassani takes his job seriously ~
Akira was a huge underdog when he stepped in the octagon against top prospect and dangerous striker Robert Peralta. He came out with a new pep in his step. Corassani was bouncing around like Frankie Edgar and working his angles. You can tell that Corassani has stepped up his game from his last fight and is taking his job seriously. Now 2-0 in the UFC, look for Corassani to bring it again and again.
~ Brad Pickett and Mike Easton fight for the fans ~
This fight had FOTN written all over and did not disappoint. From striking, to the clinch, to take-downs, these guys did it all and came to give the fans a great performance. Easton is a bulldozer and Pickett is a beast. I could watch these guys fight everyday because you know they would bring something different every time.
~ Philip De Fries has no chin ~
We all knew that Matt Mitrione was the better well rounded fighter, but Mitrione made him look outclassed and not like a UFC fighter at all. De Fries has legit grappling, but no chin as Mitrione demonstrated. The UFC heavyweights all hit hard and if De Fries isn’t careful, he will be suffering another KO loss and a UFC pink slip very soon.
~ Ross Pearson belongs at 155 ~
Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson is just that, the real deal, especially at 155. He is still a young fighter and always delivers a great performance. He has looked nasty since returning to 155 and was very impressive again this past weekend. Ryan Couture was actually running away with he hands down when Pearson caught him right on the button and finished the fight via TKO. Pearson needs a huge step up in competition as well, but I know the UFC is on notice and will deliver on that. Pearson loves a good fight and won’t avoid anyone. So expect his next fight to be even better than his last.
~ Gegard Mousasi fought injured and still delivered ~
Swedish fans were probably really excited knowing that the main event wasn’t cancelled and that a local guy in Ilir Latifi stepped up. Latifi definitely stepped up, but Mousasi is just another class of fighter. Mousasi kept his distance with his jab and executed his game-plan with perfection, and he was injured. His knee was so bad that he was told if he fought he would need surgery afterwards. Not only did he fight, he fought for 15 minutes and kept the fight standing. He did everything to make his UFC debut count.