Lighter is Sometimes Better (UFC on Fox 9 Review)

ufc_on_fox9The UFC is constantly trying to add more fighters and more wrinkles to remain one of the most popular sports in the world. The strategy seems to be to continue to get lighter and lighter in the UFC as they continue to add lighter divisions to the stable of fighters. With the announcement of the Women’s Strawweight (115 lbs) division the UFC is once again looking at lighters fighters to continue providing great fights. The announcement of the new division seemed to come at the perfect time as well, when does it not with the UFC, as they would go into Sacramento and channel a former promotion by hosting a number of light weight fights. The WEC was known for their lighter weight classes and they would make Sacramento an almost permanent home. It would be a constant visit for the WEC as they highlighted the lighter fighters before the UFC bought them out and brought in these light weight fighters. Now the UFC would bring back fighting to Sacramento and much like the WEC would highlight the lighter fighters. The UFC would bring no fighter above Welterweight to Sacramento for UFC on Fox 9. For many that would be a reason to not watch as lighter fighters are not the favorite of many UFC fans. That would have been a mistake though as the lighter weight fighters would put on a show in Sacramento. The light fighters would show what they had at UFC on Fox 9 and it would all come to a head with the main event of the night featuring the lightest male fighters in the UFC. The Flyweight division is one of the youngest divisions in the UFC and is still trying to determine their pecking order. One thing has been for sure though as Demetrious Johnson has taken over the division to be yet another dominant champion. Below the champion has been a number of other fighters looking to show that they belong at the top of the hill. Many of these fighters have fought in other weight classes as they are fighters that are fighting above their natural fighting weight in the Bantamweight and the Featherweight divisions. They have dropped to the Flyweight division in an attempt to get a chance against fighters that are more their size. This is what Demetrious Johnson did when the UFC created the Flyweight tournament and taking the same path would be Joseph Benavidez. In the tournament both of these fighters that transferred from different weight classes would end up being the two fighters that stood to win the first Flyweight title. Johnson would take the title but it was clear that a rivalry may be forming as Benavidez gave him everything he could handle and was clearly a fighter that would be back. This is exactly what would happen as Benavidez would get another shot at the Flyweight title at UFC on Fox 9. Benavidez would get the rematch and Johnson would look to defend his title for the third time and remain the king of the lightest male division. It would be a match-up of two similar fighters that love to use their speed and quickness to move around the octagon. The biggest difference was going to be the fact that Benavidez is a more powerful boxer and has an ability to end fights with one punch while Johnson is good technically but does not have the power. It would all come down to whether or not Benavidez could catch Johnson because if he could he might just be crowned the new Flyweight Championship. The fight would not last long and the final decision would be a bit of a surprise to many. Benavidez was clearly the more powerful of the two fighters but this time it was Demetrious Johnson who show his power. In just over 2 minutes Demetrious Johnson would be the one to end the fight with a big KO that would be a convincing end to the Benavidez-Johnson rivalry. The last time these two faced off it was a split decision win for Johnson that didn’t convince too many that Johnson was the true champion. This time there was no doubt as Johnson would take out his biggest challenger in the Flyweight Division and would make him the true champion. Johnson will move on as the champion and may see some familiar faces with john Dodson, Ian McCall, and John Moraga all vying for the next title shot and a rematch against Johnson. For Benavidez it was another chance lost but he will not be lost in the division. He will be back as he is clearly one of the best flyweights in the division and will be fighting for a championship again.

The return of fighting in Sacramento would also mark a chance for the local fight team to show what they had. Team Alpha Male is one of the premier fighting teams for light weight fighters and many of their top fighters would get to travel down the road to fight at home. Based in Sacramento Team Alpha male has produced top ranked fighters in many of the lighter divisions. That includes the main eventer on the night in Joseph Benavidez. The problem with many of the Team alpha Male fighters is that they could never make that final jump to champion. They are hoping that all of that would change when Duane Ludwig joined the team and made every fighter better. With Ludwig in the corner of these fighters they are hoping to bring back a title belt to their training centre to ensure they are considered the best team in the UFC. It would not come through for Benavidez in the main event but the other three fighters from the team would take their shots to move up the rankings and earn their own belt. Team Alpha Male’s night would not start off very well though as Danny Castillo would be the first team member to step into the octagon and would leave with a loss. After almost finishing the fight in the first round Castillo would punch himself out and would see Edson Barboza take the win. Chad Mendes would bring the team back as he would earn a win for the team. Mendes would not look extremely impressive but he would still beat Nik Lentz and keep his status as the #1 contender for the Featherweight Division. Then came the leader of Team Alpha Male as Urijah Faber would step into the octagon looking to build on Chad Mendes. He would do just that as Faber would finish the fight in the second round against the very promising up and comer Michael McDonald. Faber would do it in pure Team Alpha Male style with a guillotine choke. The team may not have got the title they were always looking for but they would get two wins keeping two of their fighters at the top of the division and ready to go for the title and bring a belt to the team.

 

Fight Bonuses

Submission of the Night
The leader of Team Alpha Male would have one of the most impressive performance for the team earning the Submission of the Night as Urijah Faber would earn another Guillotine Choke win this time against Michael McDonald

Knockout of the Night
Demetrious Johnson would add the Knockout of the Night bonus to the title defence as he would earn the extra bonus for his fast KO of Joseph Benavidez that kept the belt with him and continuing his reign as Flyweight champion

Fight of the Night
Another Team Alpha Male member would earn a bonus as Danny Castillo would earn the fight of the night along with Edson Barboza for three round fight that ended with a majority decision for Barboza

 

Fight Results

Main Event:
Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson def. Joseph Benavidez
(KO; Rd. 1)

Main Card:
“The California Kid” Urijah Faber def. Michael “Mayday” McDonald
(Submission; Guillotine Choke, Rd. 2)

Chad “Money” Mendes def. Nik “The Carny” Lentz
(Unanimous Decision)

Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon def. Mac Danzig
(Unanimous Decision)

Undercard:
Ryan LaFlare def. Court “The Crusher” McGee
(Unanimous Decision)

Edson “Junior” Barboza def. Danny “Last Call” Castillo
(Majority Decision)

Bobby “King” Green def. Pat “Bam Bam” Healy
(Unanimous Decision)

Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky def. Scott “Young Guns” Jorgensen
(Unanimous Decision)

Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout def. Cody McKenzie
(Unanimous Decision)

Abel “Killa” Trujillo def. Roger “Relentless” Bowling
(TKO; Rd. 2)

Alptekin “The Turkish Delight” Ozkilic def. Darren “BC” Uyenoyama
(Unanimous Decision)

 

Upcoming Events

UFC 168: Silva vs. Weidman II (Saturday December 28th; 10:00 pm ET)
Las Vegas, Nevada (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Main Event: Chris “The All-American” Weidman vs. Anderson “The Spider” Silva [Middleweight Title]
Notable: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey vs. Meisha “Cupcake” Tate [Women’s Bantamweight Title]
Notable: Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett vs. Travis “Hapa” Browne

UFC Fight Night 34: Saffeidine vs. Lim (Saturday January 4th; 9:00 am ET)
Marina Bay, Singapore (Marina Bay Sands)
Main Event: Tarec “Sponge” Saffiedine vs. Hyun Gyu “The Ace” Lim
Notable: Tastuya Kawajiri vs. Sean Soriano
Notable: Kiichi Kunimoto vs. Luiz “Besouro” Dutra

UFC Fight Night 35: Rockhold vs. Philippou (Saturday January 15th; 7:00 pm ET)
Duluth, Georgia (The Arena at Gwinnett Center)
Main Event: Luke Rockhold vs. Costa Philippou
Notable: Cole “Magrinho” Miller vs. Sam Sicilia
Notable: TJ Dillashaw vs. Mike “The Hulk” Easton

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