Year-End Showcase

ufc-fn123As the year winds down there is less time for fighters to begin making a real impact on the UFC and set-up their new year.

All fighters want to make an impression but as the year comes to an end that impression has everything to do with setting up things for next year.

The UFC has no real season but they do tend to follow a yearly type of schedule and depending on the previous year things can start pretty well very quickly for fighters.

Making a great impression can ensure that 2018 becomes a year where the UFC throws their support behind a fighter.

They can look ahead and try to give them as many fights as possible to help them make the run up the ladder and to the title.

These last few fights in the year give a number of fighters a chance to make an impression before the plans are made to start 2018.

Some fighters have already taken full advantage with Francis N’Gannou kicking off December with a big win that earned him a title shot in February.

At UFC Fight Night 123 the promotion loaded the card with some of the best young or unknown prospects that they had.

There were fighters from the Contender Series and the “Looking for a Fight” series that were making their UFC debuts.

Other fighters like Marlon Moraes was making his UFC debut after years fighting in the World Series of Fighting and being considered one of the best fighters not in the UFC.

It was a night full of young prospects and UFC debuts that was all about setting themselves up for a big 2018.

A good win in this card would give the UFC a chance to see what they have coming through the rankings.

It could set up an important year for so many by making their impression and showing the UFC that 2018 could be their year to really move up.

Two of those fighters were in the main event where Brian Ortega and Cub Swanson were both looking to put their names into the title picture for next year.

Swanson had been there before but had failed his first real test at the top of the featherweight division.

Losing to Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway is not necessarily the worst thing as they are the top fighters in the division.

Still, if Swanson wants to make good on the potential that he seems to have he needs to beat fighters like that.

Swanson is extremely talented but it seems like he is not up to the level of the best in the division.

He would try to prove that at UFC Fight Night 123 and put himself back into the title picture by winning his fifth straight fight.

Standing across from the veteran was a much more green fight in Brian Ortega but one of the top prospects in the division.

Not many knew the name when the fight was announced as Ortega had never really put his name out there too much.

In the age of big talkers, Ortega was being forgotten but after winning 12 straight fights and taking out UFC veterans like Thiago Tavares and Clay Guida he was starting to get some momentum.

He had never faced someone at the same level of Swanson though and this fight was going to be a step up.mma-sidebar.fw

If he could beat Swanson it would be a big boost for his new year as he would be quickly considered as a top prospect to watch.

A few fights in the new year and he could be right there looking at Holloway and trying to take out the new champion.

The fight began with both fighters just feeling each other out until all of a sudden Ortega got the fight on the ground.

His Brazilian Jiu Jitsu showed through as soon as the fight went to the ground and he locked in a guillotine choke.

Without enough time though finish the fight, Swanson was able to escape into the second round.

Ortega just continued his attempts though locking in a standing Guillotine that had Swanson in trouble right away.

As much as he tried to shake Ortega off it just couldn’t be done and Ortega got the win with another submission.

He increased his win streak to five straight fights all of them finishes and he is hoping that it will be enough to earn him a title shot.

He might need one more win but he is certainly on his way after another impressive win.

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