The Dangers of Hype

ufc-fn90The last few years in the UFC have been strange as the top fighters in the world and the most popular have all fallen while there is only one champion who has held his title for over two years.

Demetrious Johnson has been the only fighter remaining out of an era of dominant champions that finished with a bang throughout 2014 and 2015.

That has included the lightweight division that was long known as the best division in the UFC largely because the championship changed hands so much.

Since 2010 the lightweight division has had four different champions with only two defending their title more than once.

Many believe that the turnover is about to end though as the current champion looks like one of the most dominant champions the division has had.

Rafael dos Anjos looks like the most well-rounded champion that the lightweight division has ever seen.

He has the jiu-jitsu to match the best in the UFC and recently he has shown a new-found power and has begun to knock out people on his way to the title.

It looks like he could be the first lightweight to truly clean out the division as he has all of the tools to do just that.

There have been three champions in the lightweight division that have defended the title three times but nobody has ever gone for a fourth.

dos Anjos could be that fighter but he might be falling into the issues that every other seemingly dominant champion has fallen into over the past few years.

He may very well look past his opponent, especially at UFC Fight Night 90 and to the future where he hopes to become the best lightweight champion in UFC history.

Other fighters have overlooked their opponents in the last few years and many times they end up paying for it in a big way.

Most recently and most obviously Luke Rockhold went into his first middleweight title brushing off Michael Bisping.

After all, Bisping had taken the fight on short notice and had already been badly beaten by Rockhold.

The overlook of Rockhold caused him to fight too loose and he went down with Bisping taking the title and Rockhold wishing he had taken the fight seriously.

If dos Anjos falls into that trap he may be the latest to join the upset pool and losing his title long before most thought.

It won’t be difficult to fall into that thought process though as his next opponent is a fighter that many might not consider a top contender.

Eddie Alvarez, to many, is an unknown fighter but he has a great resume behind him.

A former Bellator champion has not been in the UFC for long but he does have two wins over top contenders and beating great fighters in Bellator.

It may not be as impressive as a long winning streak in the UFC but he came into the fight with a winning pedigree.

There is little doubt that his boxing could take the win against dos Anjos as he has that ability but he also barely got by his last two opponents.mma-sidebar.fw

With two split decisions, he does not put too much confidence in many looking at this fight but more surprising thing have happened over the last few years.

Heading into the fight everyone was looking to the future and asking just how long the reign of the champion could be.

Believing his own hype might have been the difference though as dos Anjos was not the dominant champion everyone expected.

The champion seemed to believe in his stand-up too much after he had developed into a knockout artist.

With a few attempt to take the fight to the ground it seemed like dos Anjos was ready to stand up with Alvarez rather than use his BJJ to defend his title.

When he did attempt to bring the fight to the ground Alvarez was able to get up and avoid the deep waters of the ground game.

Fighting very technically, Alvarez picked his spots and landed big shots but never went forward too much to give dos Anjos any opportunities.

Finally, Alvarez landed the big one with a massive right hand to the champion’s chin and began unloading.

It wasn’t easy though as dos Anjos stayed up while Alvarez continued to land big shots but it was too much as eventually, the referee stepped in to stop the punishment.

So it was done another upset in the UFC where the underdog that many saw as a placeholder was now a champion.

The loss for dos Anjos was unexpected and was a big shot to Brazilian MMA as for the first time in a very long time there is no Brazilian champion in the UFC.

He will look to get a rematch but in the packed lightweight division, he might be waiting as Alvarez now has a test in front of him to try to do what nobody has been able to do, clear out the lightweight division.

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