UFC 162 Musings - Part Two

Looking back at the rest of last Saturday's UFC 162 card...
UFC 162 - Edgar vs. OliveiraWhile the focus on last Saturday’s UFC 162 event was understandably on the main event between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva, there was plenty of notable action on the evening’s undercard, as you’ll realize when you read on…


If there’s one thing that stood out to me about Frankie Edgar’s return to the win column for the first time since 2011 against Charles Oliveira, it’s that at this point, it doesn’t look like Edgar will ever be in an “easy” fight again. I know, I know, there are no easy fights in the Octagon, but Edgar’s battles are seemingly going to be tougher than most. In the lanky Oliveira, the New Jersey native had a nightmare matchup in front of him physically and stylistically, but in a return to his pre-2012 form, he found a way to win. He was sharp, he pressed when he needed to press, and he avoided the ever-present danger Oliveira is known for giving. Of course, Edgar had some dicey moments and there was some blood flowing, but that’s a Frankie Edgar fight. It’s what he’s become known for and it’s why the fans love him. So what’s next? There’s a ton of intriguing matchups for him, but why not Edgar vs. Cub Swanson in a title eliminator? Who wouldn’t pay to see that one?


One of my favorite fighters over the years, in and out of the Octagon, has been Chris Leben. In the Octagon, he’s a free-swinging throwback to the early days of the sport, and outside of it, his brutal honesty and candor is a welcome reprieve from cliché and safe answers by pro athletes. Of course, sluggers don’t usually have the shelf life other fighters do, and for Leben to make it to 21 UFC fights is an accomplishment in itself. But having said that, it was painful watching Leben trying to beat Andrew Craig last weekend. Unable to take Craig down, Leben got picked apart from the outside by the Texan en route to a decision loss. For me, it wasn’t the same Chris Leben in Vegas that night. You could chalk it up to him getting acclimated to his new team, Alliance MMA, or to him getting a style he wasn’t prepared for from Craig. You could also say that the wars finally caught up to “The Crippler.” But I’m not prepared to write his fistic eulogy just yet. Let’s see him in there one more time and see what he has left before pen hits paper on the still fairly young (32 years old) Leben.


Anyone who knows or has even had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Mark Munoz will say without question that he is one of the nicest people, not just in MMA but in the world. So with that alone, it was good to see him back in the win column against another one of the sport’s good guys, Tim Boetsch. But all that aside, what we saw Saturday night was a rejuvenated force that looks to be ready for another run up the middleweight ladder. Previous runs were cut short by losses to Yushin Okami (2010) and Chris Weidman (2012), and at 35, he has to make things count now. A Weidman rematch seems far off considering the new champ’s expected rematch with Anderson Silva and other folks (Vitor Belfort and Michael Bisping) waiting ahead of him in line, but a couple fights against maybe a Costa Philippou or a Jacare Souza could move him closer if he could win both. And given his performance on Saturday, he’s got a good shot at doing just that.


I’ll say it right now, and you won’t convince me otherwise: Cub Swanson has the best boxing in the featherweight division, and maybe the sport. And it’s no accident either. Working with the likes of renowned trainer Joel Diaz, welterweight champion Tim Bradley, and former Olympian Vicente Escobedo, among others, Swanson has immersed himself in the sweet science and the results speak for themselves, as he’s unbeaten in his last five bouts, with four of those wins by knockout. He’s not beating stiffs either, as his resume reads George Roop, Ross Pearson, Charles Oliveira, Dustin Poirier, and Dennis Siver. That run should put him on the very, very short list of fighters in line for the 145-pound crown. Yeah, I know current champ Jose Aldo beat him in eight seconds in 2009. That was over four years ago, and that Cub Swanson couldn’t hold a candle to the current version. A rematch with Aldo or a fight with Chan Sung Jung (if he can beat Aldo in their UFC 163 bout) would be something to see.


It may not be appropriate to call something so painful an art, but when Edson Barboza delivers a kick to the leg – and another, and another – it’s hard not to appreciate the precision, the technique, and the devastating effects of what he does. On Saturday, Barboza delivered a frightful beating to the leg of Rafaello Oliveira en route to a second round TKO victory, once again putting a dent in the misguided theory that leg kicks don’t win fights. And while it looks painful from outside the cage, it’s a thousand times worse to the one on the receiving end. I remember talking to former heavyweight boxer Ray Mercer when he began dabbling in K-1 and MMA. His thoughts after his first K-1 match against Musashi in 2004: “I wore shoes, so the guys I fought knew I wasn’t gonna kick, even though I didn’t know how to kick, and they knew I didn’t know how to block anything.  They let me have it. I couldn’t walk for three days after that. It was painful; oh Lord, it was very painful.  Them guys are made of something special.” And that’s from someone not trained to deal with such kicks. Oliveira is a veteran pro and a UFC fighter. And he still couldn’t avoid Barboza’s assault. That’s scary.  


UFC 해설자 조 로건이 UFN 라스베이거스 대회 메인이벤트 토마스 알메이다-코디 가브런트 5라운드 대결에 대해 살펴본다. 대회는 폭스스포츠 1 채널을 통해 무료로 중계되며, 라스베이거스 만달레이 이벤트 센터에서 열린다.
2016. 5. 26
UFC 밴텀급 토마스 알메이다는 무패 전적을 유지하며 체급 랭킹 10위권으로 진입하기 위해 수없이 많은 땀을 흘렸다. 알메이다는 이제 UFN 라스베이거스 대회에서 코디 가브런트를 맞이하며 정상을 향한 여정을 계속한다.
2016. 5. 26
토마스 알메이다가 UFC 특파원 아만다 살바토의 인터뷰에 한다. 알메이다와 살바토는 함께 경주차량에 탑승해 직접 차량을 몰아본다. 현재 무패행진 중인 알메이다가 노리는 것은 이번 일요일 코디 가브런트를 꺾고 21승 무패 전적을 기록하는 것이다.
2016. 5. 26
동부 오후 9시 서부 오후 6시 UFN 라스베이거스 대회가 막을 올린다. 코디 가브런트 vs. 토마스 알메이다 대결이 메인이벤트다. 헤난 바라오-제레미 스티븐스 대결을 비롯해 다양한 경기가 준비되어 있다.
2016. 5. 26