Legends Come up Big in Brazil (UFC Fight Night 58 Review)

ufc_fn58The UFC has had an interesting year in 2014 as they have dealt with plenty both in the octagon and outside of the octagon. There have been issues that Dana White and the UFC have had to deal with including questions about their pay structure and a lawsuit filed recently regarding a potential monopoly. Injuries have continued to affect fights and cancel cards as top fighters remain out with a surprising lack of title fights throughout the year. Yet despite all of the bad outside of the octagon the good inside of the octagon has been there in a big way. It has been the year of the surprises in the UFC as former great champions fell to up and coming talent. Legends took losses to relative unknowns and the divisions were thrown into new territory that they had not seen in years. As the year closed out the UFC set up a card that was primed to continue the pattern of the year. It has been the year of the upset in the UFC and at UFC Fight Night 58 legends took on relative unknowns as they attempted to end the streak of surprise finishes and end 2014 with a statement that the year of upsets is over. In the main event that task would be given to Lyoto Machida who remains one of the greatest fighters in UFC history. After winning the light heavyweight championship Machida has been to the top and back in multiple divisions. He did not hold on to the title for very long but remained one of the top fighters in the division and is now one of the top fighters in the middleweight division. After losing to Chris Weidman in his last fight Machida is looking to get another shot at the title in hops that he can enter the small group of fighters who have owned multiple belts in multiple weight divisions. It would only solidify his legend to win another belt but to get back to the title fight he will need to continue to win and he attempted to do just that when he went back to his home country to take on CB Dollaway in the main event of the last fight of 2014. For Dollaway it was a chance to put a legend on his record and prove that he belongs in the title conversation. With two impressive wins in his last two fights Dollaway has impressed many in rising up the rankings in the middleweight division. If he could get past Machida that climb would continue. With a win over a legend Dollaway could continue the year of the surprises and make one final statement in 2014 before the new year begins. It would be perfect timing as he could find his way into the title conversation heading into 2015 with a chance to make the new year one where he fights for the title. The matchup was an interesting one as the unique style of Machida went up against a much more traditional wrestler in Dollaway. Both knew where they wanted to take the fight but it was a matter of getting it there. It is never easy to impose your will against Machida who stays on the outside all the time and prefers to counter strike. That would make it difficult for Dollaway who wanted to take the fight to the ground and use his wrestling to stifle the striking of Machida. As the fight began Machida began throwing his strikes and hurting Dollaway. It was only one strike that changed the fight though as Machida threw a big kick to the ribs of Dollaway that hurt the young fighter and sent him in retreat. With Dollaway hurt, Machida pounced and went after Dollaway forcing he referee to end the fight. It was yet another signature win for Machida as he will continue to be one of the best fighters in the division. A title shot won’t be far off for Machida after another great win as he continues his pursuit of a second title. For Dollaway the loss is not crushing but it will set him back as he will need to work his way back up if he can learn from this loss.

The main event was not the only fight that had upset written all over it, although one fighter was hoping that he wouldn’t be on the wrong side this time around. Renan Barão had already experienced the year of the upset as he was on the losing end of one of the biggest upsets of the year. As the man considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC he was expected to clear out the Bantamweight division as the champion. There were few that could beat him and most expected only Dominik Cruz to give him a challenge. So when he was matched up against T.J. Dillashaw the expectation was an easy night for the champion. Dillashaw shocked everyone though and put on the greatest performance of his life that earned him the Bantamweight title. The loss for Barão was a shocking one and after losing a chance at a rematch due to an injury he would have to work his way back. That way back started with a fighter that not many had heard of but had not lost a fight in two years. Mitch Gagnon has spent those two years on the undercard of UFC fights and has made some noise within the UFC. He had yet to make much of an impression to the fans though and this was his chance to announce his arrival before 2015. Beating the man many consider to be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC would put Gagnon on the map and help him towards the Bantamweight title. Barão was attempting to prevent that and prevent another upset loss by coming up with a big win that could give him a title shot in the near future. The matchup would pit a striker against a wrestler as Gagnon had made his mark in the UFC with submission wins while Barão had been one of the best strikers in the division. Despite his concentration on wrestling Gagnon was determined to show that he has the ability to strike with Barão. Gagnon remained standing throughout the start of the fight as he tried to show that he could stand but Barão got the best of their exchanges. As Gagnon moved on in the fight he attempted takedowns but Barão was just too good to let Gagnon determine where the fight was going to take place. As the third round approached Gagnon was getting tired and Barão recognized this as he began to try to take the fight to the ground. As Gagnon attempted to take Barão down, the former champion reversed and got on top of the Canadian. That was the beginning of the end as Barão used his BJJ to lock in an arm and head choke that forced Gagnon to tap. The loss for Gagnon was his first in two years but it will not be the last time you hear of the young Canadian. He will look to improve and get back to challenging the top fighters in the UFC. For Barão it was redemption after losing his title. Barão is now likely to face Dillashaw for the title as he hopes to earn his title back and show that he is still the best fighter in the division.

Fight Bonuses

Performance of the Night
It was another highlight to add to the lengthy film of Lyoto Machida as he took home and extra bonus after a kick to the ribs sent CB Dollaway back and let Machida finish the fight with an early TKO

Performance of the Night
Erick Silva is quickly making a habit of finishing his nights early as he continues to finish fights and he did that once again at UFC Fight Night 58 with an Arm Triangle win that earned him an extra payday on the night

Performance of the Night
With no one fight impressing enough to earn a fight of the night the UFC handed out two extra performance of the night bonuses that included one award to Victor Miranda who opened the night with a TKO win that earned him an extra $50,000

Performance of the Night
In front of his home crowd Renan Barão wanted to redeem himself from his title loss to T.J. Dillashaw and he did that in a big way earning a fight bonus for his Arm Triangle win in the co-main event of the night

Fight Results 

Main Event:
Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida def. CB “The Doberman” Dollaway
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Main Card:
Renan “The Baron” Barao def. Mitch “The Machine” Gagnon
(Submission; Arm Triangle, Rd. 3)

Patrick “Durkin” Cummins def. Antônio Carlos “Cara de Sapato” Júnior
(Unanimous Decision)

Rashid “Highlander” Magomedov def. Elias “Xuxu” Silvério
(TKO; Rd. 3)

Erick “Indio” Silva def. Mike “Biggie” Rhodes
(Submission; Arm Triangle, Rd. 1)

Daniel Serafian def. Antônio “Junior Alpha” dos Santos Jr.
(TKO; Injury Stoppage, Rd. 2)

Undercard:
Marcos “Pezão” Rogério de Lima def. Igor “The Duke” Pokrajac
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Renato “Moicano” Carneiro def. Tom “Stoneface” Niinimaki
(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 2)

Hacran “Barnabe” Dias def. Darren “The Damage” Elkins
(Unanimous Decision)

Leandro “Brodinho” Issa def. Yuta “Ulka” Sasaki
(Submission; Neck Crank, Rd. 2)

Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means def. Marcio “Lyoto” Alexandre Jr.
(Split Decision)

Victor “Lex Luthor” Miranda def. Jake Collier
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Upcoming Events

UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier (Saturday January 3rd; 10:00 pm ET)
Las Vegas, Nevada (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Main Event: Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Daniel “DC” Cormier [Light Heavyweight title]
Notable: Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Myles “The Fury” Jury
Notable: Nate “The Great” Marquardt vs. Brad Tavares

UFC Fight Night 59: McGregor vs. Siver (Sunday January 18th; 8:00 pm ET)
Boston, Massachusetts (TD Garden)
Main Event: “The Notorious” Conor McGregor vs. Dennis Siver
Notable: “Smooth” Benson Henderson vs. Eddie “The Silent Assassin” Alvarez
Notable: Uriah “Prime Time” Hall vs. Costas Philippou

UFC on FOX 14: Gustafsson vs. Johnson (Saturday January 24th; 8:00 pm ET)
Stockholm, Sweden (Tele2 Arena)
Main Event: Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson vs. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson
Notable: Dan “Hendo” Henderson vs. Gegard Mousasi
Notable: Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis vs. Ryan “Darth” Bader

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