The Ultimate Fighting Championship don’t get to visit Minnesota very often. Not since George St. Pierre defended his 170-pound crown against Jon Fitch at UFC 87 have them invaded Vikings Country.
While technically the main event was a heavyweight clash between Antonio Silva and Travis Browne, all the eyeballs were placed on Jeremy Stephens who was arrested earlier that day, thus cancelling his fight with Yves Edwards.
For an event mashed in the middle of a four week stretch of events it did everything it needed to – We had giant heavyweight knockouts, entertaining matches and Josh Neer even decided to take a nap in the center of the Octagon.
It’s a little later than usual but it’s the same deal as always, I’ll throw on my smarty pants and stylist matchmakers cap and see what fun fights I can conjure up in this skull of mine.
Antonio Silva vs. Dave Bautista
I kid, I kid.
Antonio Silva vs. Stefan Struve
Antonio Silva notched his first victory inside the Octagon, and he did it in pretty darn impressive fashion too. A knee injury to the Greg Jackson-trained fighter took him off his game and the Brazilian was quick to capitalize.
Like a lion stalking a gazelle, as soon as he put it on him, it was brutal, it was violent and it was exactly what “Big Foot” needed to keep his job secure.
Similar to Silva was Stefan Stuve who also played spoiler last weekend with his defeat of Stipe Miocic, matching these two up would be a real interesting clash of styles and more likely than not would result in someone waking with their eyes fixed on the ceiling lights.
Travis Browne vs. Pat Barry
Travis Browne proved on Friday night that he’s still got a lot to learn before he can tussle with the elite at 265-pounds. Inexperience was what ultimately cost him the biggest fight of his career, when his knee was blown out he panicked and didn’t know how to react.
It didn’t help that Silva went into wild animal mode and started blowing his doors off with those gigantic sledgehammers he calls hands either.
Browne’s return fight ultimately comes down to when he will be available and how severe his knee is hurt at this point, if he can be back within a few months pairing him up with a fighter like Pat Barry would be absolutely bananas in a fight he should win but could lose if Barry starts laying hands on him.
He didn’t get off to a flying start. In fact I had him losing the opening frame but Dodson showed great patience against the former world number-one ranked fighter at 125-pounds before blasting him and putting him to sleep in highlight-reel fashion.
The obvious next step is to let him meet the newly crowned UFC flyweight king Demetrious Johnson.
Personally, this fight gets me all giddy like a teenage girl who just spotted [Insert whichever pop star they drool over today here] because it’s a fight the champion should win but Dodson has the potential to do some straight-up Mortal Kombat shit over 25 minutes and can seriously put DJ’s lights out.
Yves Edwards vs. Michael Chiesa
Jeremy Stephens being arrested straight-up sucked. It sucked for the fans who looked forward to a great, scrappy fight, it sucked for the UFC because they lost a fight but most importantly it sucked for Yves Edwards who was still preparing to fight 35 minutes before the main event went on.
Edwards, the uncrowned UFC lightweight champion of the early Zuffa era got his show money but ultimately missed out on any chance to double that dosh, not to mention fight bonus cash that could’ve looked nice in his wallet.
The natural thought is to pair Edwards and Stephens up again shortly but it seems that Stephens is going to be stuck in there for a while.
I mean the best case scenario if he goes to prison is he bumps into Morgan Freeman who’s been known to locate certain things from time to time, gets a miniature pickaxe and a poster of Rita Hayworth and tunnels out but even then it took Andy Defrense a little under twenty years.
But in all seriousness, we need to get Edwards back into the cage and soon. Michael Chiesa is fresh off his win of The Ultimate Fighter and the Thugjitsu master has been known to separate the men from the boys, makes sense to me.
Jake Ellenberger vs. Mike Pierce
It might come across as lazy and thoughtless to throw two winners together from the evening but to me it makes sense.
Jake Ellenberger was knocked off his perch as he was right on the doorstep of a title-shot and rebounded with his win over Jay Heiron, avenging his loss from his IFL days. While most yawned and became gradually more annoyed during the fight, I was impressed with the patience he showed.
Ellenberger has been known to start strong and trash opponents in the first five minutes, racking up 10-8 rounds and major style points before his gas tank runs out and he just goes on autopilot for the rest of the affair. This time he fought smart, he was landing effective counters and he won every round on my card.
Mike Pierce is, in my opinion, the most underrated fighter in the UFC. He’s a strong wrestler who has really rounded out the rest of his game and on my score cards he beat Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks but even if defeat he showed he can tussle with the best at 170-pounds.
These two being matched up sounds like a great fight, Pierce can be a real grinder and punch his ticket and go to work but Ellenberger has the ability to fence off takedowns and if he can get rocking-and-rolling on the feet it would be real interesting too.
Anyway, I have probably rambled on a little too much as it is, hopefully you guys made it this far. Be sure to check back following this weekend’s UFC in Brazil as I play matchmaker in my fantasy bubble once again.
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