No Hype, No Problem

ufc-212In an era where big names rule the UFC, their latest pay-per-view wasn’t necessarily considered the biggest fight of the year.

It wasn’t a massive card full of the biggest names in the sport and for most of the outside fans, it was one that they could easily miss.

Yet for those who love the sport and watch every fight, this card was an extremely important card for the future of the UFC.

There was a title fight that was going to set the tone for the future of the featherweight division and a strawweight fight that was set to determine the next challenger.

Both the main event and co-main event were important for the future of two divisions and were great matchups.

They may not have involved the greatest names and biggest fighters in the UFC but they were fights that, on paper, looked like great fights.

That is often how things go in the UFC as the biggest fights with the biggest names are almost a 50-50 split of whether or not they meet expectations.

Big fights between great fighters can often turn into strategic battles rather than the brawls that get fans excited.

Meanwhile, fights that nobody seems to be talking about turn out to be something entirely different.

These fights are between great fighters but often are between fighters with something to prove giving them more to go out and fight for.

That is what these four fighters were looking to do as they headed into UFC 212 with a big future ahead for the winners.

First up was the strawweight battle between two fighters that had reached the top but fallen just short thanks to one of the best fighters in the UFC.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Claudia Gadelha are the two best strawweights, not names Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Both have fought the champion and both took losses but both fighters are also among the only fighters to give the champion some trouble.

This fight would most likely give the winner another chance at the title and a chance to avenge their losses.

The fight was pretty measured at the start but then the fight went to the ground Kowalkiewicz was in a different world.

Gadelha showed her BJJ prowess from that moment on taking Kowalkiewicz’s back and sinking in the rear naked choke.

It leaves things a little more complicated in the division as Gadelha has already lost twice to Jedrzejczyk and a rematch is a tough sell.

Gadelha might need another win before getting back there but the impressive finish has put her into the conversation about top contenders.

After that great fight two champions stepped into the octagon looking to define what the future of the featherweight division was going to look like.mma-sidebar.fw

There was the interim champion in Max Holloway who rode a 10-fight win streak into the fight and was finally getting his first shot at the real title.

In his way was Jose Aldo who has been the most dominant featherweight champion in the UFC only losing the belt to Conor McGregor and then winning it back at UFC 200 against Frankie Edgar.

A win by Holloway would ring in a new era in the division where a young champion that has beaten everyone would be ready to take over.

A win by Aldo would continue the reign of one of the best champions ever and the more he wins the more the McGregor loss becomes a small speed bump on his way to the Hall of Fame.

One way or another the future of the featherweight division was going to be determined in an underrated but great matchup.

The fight began like so many of Aldo’s fights before as the champion was taking control while Holloway seemed to be too nervous to do what made him successful.

He was fighting tight and Aldo was taking full advantage landing good shots throughout the first two rounds of the fight.

Near the end of the second though Holloway began to get comfortable and started to look a lot more like himself.

In the third Holloway began to look like it was his fight as he began landing more shots and eventually began to hurt Aldo.

He knocked Aldo down with a great combination and then got on top using relentless ground and pound with Aldo unable to get him off.

Eventually, Aldo covered up with Holloway on his back and was clearly unable to intelligently defend forcing the referee to stop the fight.

Holloway took the belt and a new era in the featherweight division is now underway with plenty of challengers lining up to fight the new champion.

The Featherweight division has a new future ahead of it while the strawweight division could see a challenger return to the title fight soon.

The future of two divisions was in the balance at UFC 212 and despite the lack of attention both futures were decided in exciting fashion as the underrated fights paid off once again.

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