Let’s be honest most of us didn’t have high hopes for last Saturday night’s UFC card, which looked quite average on paper. However, the card delivered some interesting surprises and turned out to be a decent watch. So as always here are this week’s winners and losers.
Winners: Holly Holm
What a performance from the former Bantamweight queen. Holm proved that age has not slowed her down one bit as she outclassed Irene Aldana in the Main Event. ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ was always known for her striking ability, but mixed in some takedowns in what was a truly dominant performance.
A rematch with Germaine de Randamie (more on her in a minute) seems to be on the cards. But, regardless of her next opponent, Holm proved that she’s still a force to be reckoned with.
Germaine de Randamie
The Co-main event of the evening also featured a former UFC Champion that displayed a vicious ground game. Dutch kickboxing legend Germaine de Randamie beat Julianna Pena in unexpected fashion to put herself back into title contention with a vicious guillotine choke submission victory.
The general consensus going into this fight was as follows. If the fight stays standing ‘The Iron Lady’ will use her size and experience to pick Pena apart. If the fight hits the ground Pena will be dominant.
GDR proved those predictions to be false, before sending a succinct message to anyone that questions her grappling credentials. “If you give me your neck I’ll put you to sleep”.
Kyler Phillips was on the UFC’s radar for quite some time, before his debut in the promotion in February. The former Ultimate Fighter and DWCS contestant demonstrated why he’s regarded as a top prospect with a dominant finish over debutant Cameron Else on Saturday night.
The man known as ‘Matrix’ showed his slick striking, wrestling and ground-and-pound in what was probably his best performance to date. It will be extremely fun to see how Phillips develops in what is already an incredibly stacked Bantamweight division.
Usually, I wouldn’t place a fighter that won a prelim bout by decision onto this list. And I know that Dusko Todorovic looked very good in his fight. But come on, how am I not going to give Carlos Condit a shoutout?
‘The Natural Born Killer’ looked convincing in a decision win over Court McGee and won for the first time since 2015. Is this the beginning of a legendary comeback? Probably not. But, how can any self-respecting MMA fan not be happy to see Condit back in the win column?
Losers: Irene Aldana
This was Aldana’s big chance to make a name for herself and unfortunately for her, she never really got going. I’m still trying to figure out whether she performed poorly, or if Holm just fought the perfect fight. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle. Regardless, Aldana clearly lost all five rounds so she has to be on this list.
You can’t call out Amanda Nunes and then get choked out by a ‘kickboxer’ in the same week. And ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ is now 1-2 in her last three and with her poor track record, I wouldn’t expect a quick return to the Octagon. It will be interesting to see where Pena goes from here, but a title shot against Nunes is certainly not on the cards.
There were many other contenders to be placed on either list, but these are my picks for this week.