Domination in Montreal (UFC 186 Review)

ufc_186It was a rough run up to UFC 186 in Montreal as so many fighters were taken off of the card for so many reasons.

All of the changes may have had a big effect on the event but the fighters were still there to put on a show for the fans in Canada.

The card was full of Canadian talent but the focus was on the four fighters that were closing out the night.

They rightfully took the focus in Montreal as the main event featured one of the best fighters in the UFC and his biggest challenge yet while the co-main event featured a fan favourite’s return to the octagon.

After reaching the top of the UFC Quinton Jackson, better known as Rampage, was stuck in a losing streak and ended up far from another title.

So he decided to leave the UFC and go to Bellator where he was promised big events with the best fighters along with movie and TV deals.

The big fights were there but not much else and after two years he decided to return to the UFC where he achieved his biggest accomplishments.

Bellator was not happy about it and they went to court claiming that Rampage was in breach of contract and that he should not be allowed to fight at UFC 186.

An injunction was filed and approved taking Rampage off of the card until a judge, only days before the fight, overturned the ruling and let Rampage back into the card.

He suddenly was thrown into the card at the co-main event and was given the chance to make a big impact in his return to the octagon.

His first fight back was forced to be a catchweight after the court injunction but he plans to come back in the light heavyweight division and was set to face the #12 fighter in that division, Fábio Maldonado.

Maldonado is not necessarily the fight that will put Rampage in the title conversation if he can win but it is a fight that Ramp age wants.

As Rampage stated when his return was announced he wants fighters who are going to fight and not dance around the octagon.

Maldonado is one of those fighters as he is one of the toughest men in the light heavyweight division.

The reason he is known for this is the fact that he loves to stand and trade with the confidence that there are few fighters that can knock him out.

With heavy hands of his own he prefers the stand-up despite his BJJ brown belt and that is exactly what Rampage wanted with his return to the UFC.

Rampage is notorious for his heavy hands but he is also notorious for his lack of ground game as he is decent but not great at defending the takedown and has essentially no game on the ground.

On the feet is a different story though as he possesses instant knockout power in his hands, which he was looking to test out against Maldonado.

The fight was as advertised as both fighters had very little interest in putting this fight on the ground.

They stood up for the majority of the fight and the fight turned into a battle of one fighter throwing as hard as he could while the other continued to take punishment and come forward.

Rampage was the one throwing while Maldonado was the one taking and as the fight progressed Rampage began to get tired and fell into what Maldonado wanted to do in fighting in the clinch.

Still despite the ability of Maldonado to take the damage and put the fight against the cage, Rampage was the one that continued to throw.

It was an example of what can happen when one fighter is simply more active than another as the strategy of Maldonado may have worked but he never really took advantage.

Rampage took the win with a unanimous decision in a fight that was not particularly impressive but Rampage was better and threw more variations than before.

Maldonado took the loss because he couldn’t finish on his gameplan and take advantage of a tired Jackson.

Now Rampage will try to work his way back and with more time to prepare for his next fight without dealing with court issues he could be back and ready to take over again.

After Rampage’s return to the octagon the fans in Montreal were treated to one of the best fighters in the UFC.

Demetrious Johnson is one of the best technical fighters in the UFC but there is always the issue of him being technical.

He only has two submissions and one knockout in his 11-fight UFC career and for many that makes him a boring fighter.

The fact is that Johnson is a picture of great striking and is one of the fastest fighters in the promotion.

He doesn’t knock a lot of people out due to a general lack of power as a flyweight and he prefers to stay standing and pick his opponents apart with superior striking.

He bounces around the octagon like nobody else in the UFC and the pace at which he fights is unlike anyone else that you will see in MMA.

For all of those advantages, Johnson is the one and only UFC Flyweight champion with very few fighters coming close to beating him.

With a long streak of wins following him, Johnson is cleaning out a division as he has beaten all but one of the top five ranked fighters in the Flyweight division.

Jussier Formiga is the one fighter in the top that he has yet to fight as the ranks of potential challengers are dwindling with every fight.

This time around though it was a chance for Kyoji Horiguchi, the #7 fighter in the division, to fight for the title and accomplish much more than just winning a title.

Not only would he defeat one of the best fighters in the world but he had the chance to become only the second Flyweight title holder and the first ever Asian fighter to earn a belt in the UFC.

He went into the fight as one of the more exciting Flyweights in the UFC as one of the strongest flyweights in the division.

He is a fighter that brings speed, although not as fast as Johnson, and bring much more power than Johnson has into the octagon.

That is where he was going to find his advantage as one shot could change the division with the power that Horiguchi holds.

The problem was that he needed to get the chance to take that one knockout blow against a fighter that loves to stick and move, staying out of danger.

Getting inside on Johnson was going to be a tough task against a fighter that knows how to stay away from the big shots.

They began the fight exchanging with Johnson looking to test the waters against the most powerful fighter in the division.

Then the champion put his gameplan in place as he started to take Horiguchi to the mat and neutralize his striking.

Johnson controlled the fight from the mat and made sure that Horiguchi had little time or opportunity to unleash a big fight-ending punch.

Through five rounds of grinding, Johnson had worn down Horiguchi and with one second left in the fight Johnson locked in an armbar on the worn out challenger.

The fight was another master class in how to win a fight as Johnson may not have had the most exciting five rounds but he did finish it off in the latest finish in UFC history.

The loss for Horiguchi was simply a fighter falling to a better fighter as Horiguchi just couldn’t change where the fight took place and couldn’t match the level of Johnson.

Meanwhile Johnson took another win and continued to clean out the division as there are only a few more fighters that could challenge Johnson before there are no good challengers left.

The return to Montreal was full of finishes and come great fights and in the end the fans got to see the return of a fan favourite and one of the best fighters in the UFC once again dominate.



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