UFC on Fuel had some very entertaining and well matched fights last night and continued the streak of consistently well performing events that the UFC are currently riding. Here are my favourite parts of the night:
Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Ellenberger
Ellenberger NEEDS to fight Condit. That fight just has to happen. Barring the last minute of the third round, Jake had his way with a game Sanchez and looked great in his win last night. I don’t want to see Condit waiting for a GSP that is forced to rush through his recovery and I don’t want to see Ellenberger do anything but attempt to avenge his only UFC loss. Each of them play into each other’s weaknesses and it just makes too much sense not to happen on a summer card.
Stefan Struve vs. Dave Herman
I don’t know how Stefan keeps bouncing back but I love it. He gets KOed into oblivion by Travis Browne, then submits Pat Barry, so I go into this fight thinking that he has to take the same approach of avoiding Herman’s heavy hands and go for the sub early. But no, he stands with him, beats him on the feet and then beats Herman at his own game by smashing him with ground strikes. Despite his poor UFC performances, Herman is a tough guy and Struve really gave us another glimmer of what the future holds for this young fighter as he continues to develop his skills.
Props go to Dave Herman for growing beards all over his body.
Stipe Miocic vs. Phil De Fries
I was really hoping that De Fries would do well in the Heavyweight division, but always knew deep down that he doesn’t have what it takes to be in there with the best. Last night he showed that he can’t handle the middle tier heavies and I don’t see him being able to develop or win without some luck or favourable match making.
The PRIDE fanboy in me fully believed in the hype of Miocic as the next Cro-Cop, and although he performed well, he seemed to be a little chinny and hesitant to put together combos on the weaker punching De Fries. Hopefully it was down to him being a little slow to start but maybe he is the next Cro-Cop after all, albeit for all the worst reasons.
T.J. Dillashaw vs. Walel Watson
Although I thought T.J was a douchebag on The Ultimate Fighter, I never like to base my opinions of fighters on how they acted on that show due to the editing process it goes through. T.J displayed a further development in his striking ability and completely dominated Watson with wrasslin’. I have no idea how he didn’t manage to finish the fight as Watson obviously had nothing for him. I want to see Dillashaw fight a higher level striker but I fear that his style of fighting is brought on by confidence and as soon as a fight doesn’t go his way he will break. The UFC need to bring him along slower than I think they will.
Ivan Menjivar vs. John Albert
I love the grittiness of Menjivar. He weathered an early storm against Albert and deserved the $50,000 submission of the night bonus for his win. They managed to fit so much into the few minutes that the fight lasted and really got the main card off to a bang, setting the scene for a great night of fights.
DRAGONBALL Z FTW!
Jonathan Brookins vs. Vagner Rocha
Brookins finished Rocha. Give him a step up in competition. Nuff said.