Decisions Dominate Super Saturday (UFC 169 Review)

MMA: UFC 169-Barao vs FaberUrijah Faber was one of the very first faces of MMA when he was a part of the WEC and began his sponsorship deal with Amp Energy Drink. For many he would be the first exposure to the sport as he was the guy in the WEC and was the guy when MMA began to take hold of more fans. He would get to this level in large part because he was one of the best lighter weight fighters in the world and would prove it as the WEC Featherweight Champion in 2006. He would keep the belt through five fights and that was enough to put his name on the map. As with most superstars in other promotion the UFC wanted him and wanted him to become a key part to their new strategy of increasing their weight classes. When the UFC would merge the WEC and create the Featherweight Division in 2010 Faber was right there and waiting to achieve a dream. Since he started fighting Faber had wanted to earn a UFC championship belt and when he had so much success in other promotion it became one thing he could not seem to get. Later in 2010 the UFC would create the Bantamweight division and Faber would move down to the lighter weight in hopes that he could get that elusive title. It would not come though as he would lose to Dominick Cruz for the title at UFC 132 and would lose the chance for the interim belt against Renan Barao at UFC 149. It has been a struggle for Faber as he has always been one of the best fighters in MMA but has yet to earn the UFC title that he wants before his career is finished. After his loss to Barao for the interim title Faber would refocus and begin an amazing run to earn a title shot in the Bantamweight Division. Currently on a five fight win streak it seemed like Faber would only be one win away from earning the title. First Renan Barao would have to fight Dominick Cruz to unify the interim and undisputed titles and after that it seemed sure that Faber would get his shot. Then three weeks before the fight between Barao and Cruz Faber would get the call telling him Cruz was out with another injury and that he would get another shot at Renan Barao. This time it was for more than the interim title as the injury to Cruz would force him out of the fight and extend a 2-year absence from the UFC forcing the promotion to strip him of the belt and give the title to Barao. Now Faber would get his shot while he is fighting his best and looking like the best version of Faber ever. In his way towards the title though was the one Bantamweight on a better streak. Barao has only lost one fight in his entire career and that was his first MMA fight in 2005. Since then Barao has never lost and has spent the last two years defending his interim belt from the best of the best in the division. Now he will try to take advantage of the late notice that Faber received before the fight only having three weeks to train. Faber is looking for the title that has eluded him in his long and storied career while Renan Barao is looking to win his first title defence as the undisputed champion of the Bantamweight Division. Both were known for being well-rounded and for using their striking to set up their ground game. They both also love to finish fights but could win fights by points if they had to. It was an even matchup and with the knowledge of each other from their first fight against each other it looked to be a very close fight. After a brief feeling out process it was Renan Barao that would begin to put the pressure on Faber. He would unleash a big right hand to Faber that would rock the challenger and put Faber in big trouble early. He would stay standing through the punches and would try to get back but the pressure was on and the champion would continue to try to finish the fight early. Another onslaught would send Faber down and he would jump on the chance. Barao started to unleash hammer fists on Faber while Faber curled up and tried to protect himself. In the end the referee would say that Faber was not intelligently defending himself and would end the fight. Some thought it was a quick stoppage but in the end Faber was doing nothing to try to change the position and try to get the upperhand instead choosing to stay in the same position and get hit. Faber would lose the fight and would once again come up just short of earning that elusive UFC title. Barao would take the championship and defend the undisputed title for the first time while he waits for the line of challengers and begins his reign as Bantamweight champion.

The UFC has been made up of great dominant fighters in the last decade that have all ruled their division for years. That era of great champions has seemed to come to an end though as 2013 would see the two fighters who many considered to be the best lose their belts. In the middleweight division it was Anderson Silva who would have the worst year of his career losing twice to Chris Weidman and breaking his leg in the last fight. In the welterweight division it was Georges St. Pierre who would cut it close in his title defence against Johnny Hendricks and would later take a break from fighting vacating the title. The two best fighters over the last decade in the UFC have lost their belts and their pound-for-pound rankings making the era seemingly end. There are still two fighter holding this dominant champion status though in Jon Jones and Jose Aldo. Both considered extremely tough to beat they have continued to hold their belts throughout all of the changes. Even then the best fighter can come down to the fact that Jon Jones was pushed to the limit in 2013 by Alexander Gustafsson while Jose Aldo has yet to be tested. He can be considered the most dominant fighter in the UFC right now. He would look to prove that at UFC 169 when he would try to defend his title for the 8th straight time. Looking to end the streak was the quite Ricardo Lamas who had risen up through the ranks almost completely under the radar. Despite not getting a lot of recognition Lamas still proved to be the best fighter in the division without the championship belt. Lamas wanted to end this long streak and continue to end the era of the dominant championship by unseating the fourth of five great champions in the UFC. The fight would be a statement for Aldo as the champion would once again show his dominance. Using his devastating signature kicks to the leg Aldo would slow Lamas down and would essentially do whatever he wanted in the fight. It wasn’t a very exciting fight as it was close but only because neither fighter seemed to do enough to make it a landslide. Still the champion took the win and continued to be one of the best fighters in the UFC while tying the record for most title defences by an active fighter alongside Jon Jones. Ricardo Lamas was another victim to the dominance of Aldo and will go back into the long line of fighters that tried but failed to win the title. Aldo will continue his reign and continue to take down fighters with Chad Mendes likely his next opponent.

 

Fight Bonuses:

Knockout of the Night
The night was full of decisions and there were few fights to choose from for the bonuses but on any card the fight that Abel Trujillo put together deserves something extra and he would earn it getting the Knockout of the Night for an extra $75,000

Fight of the Night
Trujillo would pull in another $75,000 alongside Jamie Varner for fight of the night thanks to a wild swinging fight that seemed like it was over multiple times but would finally end in a last-ditch effort by Trujillo to earn the KO

 

Fight Results

Main Event:
Renan “The Baron” Barao def. “The California Kid” Urijah Faber [Bantamweight Title]
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Main Card:
Jose Aldo “Junior” def. Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas [Featherweight Title]
(Unanimous Decision)

Alistair “The Reem” Overeem def. Frank Mir
(Unanimous Decision)

Ali “Puncher” Bagautinov def. John “Hands of Stone” Lineker
(Unanimous Decision)

Abel “Killa” Trujillo def. Jamie Varner
(KO; Rd. 2)

Undercard:
Alan Patrick def. John “The Bull” Makdessi
(Unanimous Decision)

“Kamikaze” Chris Cariaso def. Danny “The Gremlin” Martinez
(Unanimous Decision)

Nick “The Jersey Devil” Catone def. Tom “Kong” Watson
(Unanimous Decision)

“Raging” Al Iaquinta def. Kevin “The Motown Phenom” Lee
(Unanimous Decision)

Clint “Headbussa” Hester def. Andy “Lionheart” Enz
(Unanimous Decision)

Rashid “Highlander” Magomedov def. Tony Martin
(Unanimous Decision)

Neil Magny def. Gasan “Cobra” Umalatov
(Unanimous Decision)

 

Upcoming Events

UFC Fight Night 36: Machida vs. Mousasi (Saturday February 15th; 10:30 pm ET)
Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil (Arena Jaraguá)
Main Event: Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida vs. Gegard Mousasi
Notable: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Francis “Limitless” Carmont
Notable: Erick Silva vs. Takenori Sato

UFC 170: Rousey vs. McMann (Saturday February 22nd; 10:00 pm ET)
Las Vegas, Nevada (Mandalay Bay Events Center)
Main Event: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann [Women’s Bantamweight Title]
Notable: “Suga” Rashad Evans vs. Daniel “DC” Cormier
Notable: Rory “Ares” MacDonald vs. Demian Maia

TUF China Finale (Saturday March 1st; TBD)
Cotai, Macao (CotaiArena)
Main Event: Dong Hyun “Stung Gun” Kim vs. John “The Hitman” Hathaway
Notable: Sai Wang vs. Lipeng Zhang [TUF China Welterweight Title]
Notable: Jianping Yang vs. Guangyou Ning [TUF China Featherweight Title]

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