Alright, UFC 127 is over, and this is here to keep you from overreacting and jumping out your office window. Want to sell BJ Penn? Not so fast! Ready to buy all the Ebersole your piggy bank will allow? Whoa! Slow down! Want to trade Michael Bisping for half a cup of warm beer? Yeah, whatever, go for it. Here’s the UFC 127 Stock Report.
In today’s volatile market, you can’t just react with emotion and do the ill-advised and ridiculous. Unless your name is Michael Bisping and you want to grab the fence, knee your opponent illegally, spit on his corner and then act like the victim after the fact. However, most people live in the real world and you need to know what to do with your valuable fighter stock. Here’s where you find out. Twenty-Four fighters hit the Octagon and we’re here to break down how their performance affects their value.
Michael Bisping: Ok, this was a big fight for “The Count” and despite twice cheating, spitting and generally being a poor sport and wanker; he won and is good for business. At the end of the day, this is what we’re doing, running a business. He’s a showman, and undeniably couldn’t afford to lose this fight. His next fight will be on a very big stage against a very big opponent and that’s what you’re looking for in choosing fighters. Don’t like him, fine, but dammit he’s good for business. That said his spitting at the corner of Jorge Rivera should not go without punishment.
Dennis Siver: Dennis was asked to step up in a big way. He was taking on the very dangerous and talented, not to mention 7-0 in the UFC, George Sotiropoulos in his home country. Still undaunted, Dennis stepped into the Octagon and handled himself very much like a professional, earning a deserved unanimous decision over George. This win marks the 6th of his last seven fights in the UFC. He’s moving up quickly and don’t be surprised to see a potential rematch and standup WAR in the works with Melvin Guillard. The two met in 2008, with Dennis being finished. No matter who he fights next, Siver is as good a buy right now.
Ross Pearson: Another Lightweight who stepped up in defeating Spencer Fisher in the feature bout on ION television before the UFC PPV. Pearson, who was upset by Cole Miller at UFC Fight Night, is perfect in the UFC sans the aforementioned loss to Miller. His win over Spencer Fisher showed a lot of talent, both standing and on the mat. The former winner of The Ultimate Fighter continues to improve with every fight. Ross will get another tough test in his next outing, as he has now reached the level where there are no easy fights, but he’s worth the buy here.
Jon Fitch: Despite the judges botching another decision and calling this a draw, Fitch is the winner here. If you look at the stats, Fitch dominated the fight, and should have won a 29-28 decision. That said, anytime you perform in the main event and do well, your stock goes up. BJ Penn stated he felt he had lost and was “Thankful to the Gods for a draw” so it’s pretty clear what was going through his mind. Jon Fitch earned the second and dominated the third. He will be in line for a title shot at 170 pounds and should definitely be considered a buy at this point. The talk of a rematch for the vacated (if GSP moves up) title is possible, but Jake Shields might have something to say about that. So might the winner of Anthony Johnson and Dan Hardy. Let’s not forget about the recovering Josh Koscheck and Carlos Condit either.
Brian Ebersole: Brian entered this card as the longest of long shots, and responded by handling Chris Lytle and having the Fight of the Night. Great debut for the fighter who can now boast an eight fight win streak. He’s a buy, no doubt about it, but he’s not a strong buy because he is a little different. The Kimbo chest Arrow, the headgear to the cage, the celebrating like he’d won in the first with ten seconds left, and an overall feeling of odd make him not quite the prospect he could be. He also carries a bit of baggage into the Octagon, that baggage includes fourteen losses outside of the UFC. He’s going to be tough to build with his odd character and fourteen losses against lesser talent outside of the UFC. That said, a debut victory over Chris Lytle is cause for celebration, and makes him a buy.
Kyle Noke: Kyle Noke gets the buy advisory not because he defeated Chris Camozzi, but rather HOW he defeated him. Noke looked tremendous and immediately dismantled Camozzi on the mat with a takedown, control and sunk the Rear Naked Choke in just over a minute and a half in the first round. Noke continues to grow as a fighter, and should be in line for a bigger fight in his next outing.
Alexander Gustafsson: Alexander Gustafsson is now 3-1 in the UFC and 11-1 overall and looked great in his fight with hometown favorite James Te-Huna, defeating him by Rear Naked Choke in the first round. He’s not ready for the big time yet, but he’s worth a look as he continues to grow and win in the UFC. His next fight could be with someone like Ryan Bader on the high side, or Tim Boetsch on the low side. Either way, as he continues to win fights by submission or TKO, expect him to grow and climb the UFC ladder. He’s only gone the distance once in his career, and the UFC loves a guy who finishes.
Riki Fukuda: Another victim of clueless judges was Riki Fukuda who made his debut against Nick Ring and dominated him, and should have been awarded a clear decision. However, in the second “Land Down Under” blunder, the judges got it wrong and gave Ring the nod. That notwithstanding, it was a tremendous debut for Riki Fukuda and the former DEEP competitor’s style could be an issue for other Middleweights in the UFC. He has awkward, yet effective stand up and some really solid takedowns that were very impressive against Ring. Despite the incompetence of the judges, Fukuda is a Buy.
Tiequan Zhang: Tieguan made the drop to featherweight to meet Jason Reinhardt and was very impressive in victory. This fighter has a tremendous upside, and looks to be a great fit in his new division. We’ll know more when he steps up in competition, but we’re going to put the Buy tag on him and take our chances that the Chinese standout has more to come in the UFC.
BJ Penn: BJ Penn is one of the biggest stars in the sport, but two consecutive, definitive losses to Frankie Edgar had him moving on up to Welterweight to face the best of the best at 170. He met Jon Fitch and the size and strength difference was massive. BJ did well in the first round, but he was beaten in the second and totally dominated in the third, but somehow, two judges saw B J winning two rounds, and gave Fitch the third 10-8, so the result was a majority draw. BJ was quoted as saying he thought Fitch was going to be announced the winner, and with the “loss” it’s tough to see where Penn goes from here. A rematch with Fitch is likely, but if he loses that, what’s left for the superstar? Out of respect and his past BJ remains a Hold, however he’s sliding towards Sell.
George Sotiropoulos: Entering this fight on a seven fight UFC win streak, George, win or lose wouldn’t be a Sell. Anyone is capable of having an off night, and tonight seemed to be one for the talented submission artist. Unable to take Dennis Siver down, he was punished and wilted under the pressure, dropping a decision to the German rising star. “Sots” may have lost his title shot, but he’s very much still part of the UFC Lightweight scene, and shouldn’t be discounted at this particular time.
Mark Hunt: While it’s too soon to say you should Buy Mark Hunt, it was nice to see his “Walkoff KO”. Had Mark Hunt lost this fight, he’d be in the “Dump” category, but he came out, fought hard and got the much-needed KO victory. Looking at the UFC heavyweights and who he could possibly beat, expect the Hold to be short-lived for Mark Hunt.
Spencer Fisher: Spencer Fisher is exciting. However, he was the victim of a great gameplan by Ross Pearson who peppered him with leg kicks, slowing Fisher down, before chopping at him with great combos. Spencer is talented, but this is three losses in four outings, and at age 34, you have to start to wonder what’s next for Spencer? If Dana and company give him another fight in the UFC, he HAS to win to keep his job. Another loss and he’s done. He’s a Hold, who is slipping towards Sell.
Anthony Perosh: “The Hippo” is 11-6 and would likely had been cut with a loss tonight. However, he won, and won by submission, so he’s a Hold and will likely get another fight in the UFC. He won’t be making any real noise in the UFC, and eventually he will be cut, but hey, you win, you finish, you keep your job. Anthony Perosh did all three on Saturday night.
Curt Warburton: Curt made his UFC debut in London at UFC 120 against Spencer Fisher and lost. Tonight he was facing the old win or go home unwritten rule, and stepped up, winning a tough decision over UFC newcomer Maciej Jewtuszko. It will be interesting to see when Warburton gets another fight, but for now, he’s a hold. He is a member of The Wolfslair and his win, paired with Bisping’s made it a good night for the gym.
Maciej Jewtuszko: Ok, he lost, but let’s look at things from another perspective. This guy was undefeated and had never gone the distance. He’d finished every single one of his eight wins and had knockout of the night in WEC 50. Though he didn’t look his best tonight, and he will need to relax and fight smarter in his next outing. He’s a hold despite the loss because he was undefeated and had never been to a decision before Saturday night.
Jorge Rivera: When you talk as much, and do as much before a fight, you’d damn sure better win. Saturday night, Jorge was outclassed in his shot at the big-time. He has been a talented fighter for years, but this was his big Co Main Event shot and he fell flat. Michael Bisping hurt him with an illegal knee, but showed heart by fighting on, but was overmatched and finished by a man he went out of his way to point out doesn’t finish people. Ouch! Jorge Rivera didn’t live up to the hype, and he’s a Sell now. He’ll be back on the undercard, starting over after this debilitating loss.
Chris Lytle: This is a bummer, but Chris Lytle’s better days might well be behind him. It’s always been said in the fight game that you can “get old” in one fight, and tonight appeared to be that night for Chris Lytle. He was scheduled to meet Carlos Condit, but when an injury forced Carlos off the card, in stepped Brian Ebersole. It was a showcase fight for Lytle, and all it showed was he gassed, and was punished by an eccentric fighter who seems as marketable as a Michael Bisping is classy. Not a good night for Lytle, and he could be on his way downhill fast. He’s a sell.
Nick Ring: How can you Sell a fighter who is undefeated? Easy, he should have lost, but was gifted a decision by a group of judges who obviously had something better to do for fifteen minutes than watch the fight. Nick was completely and soundly defeated tonight, and as such, he’s listed as a Sell. He’ll be granted another fight, but likely it will be on the undercard, and based on this performance….. sell
Tom Blackledge: He’s 10-7 as a pro and was just stopped by Anthony “The Hippo” Perosh in his UFC debut. Enough said, dump him.
Chris Camozzi: Camozzi got a gift split decision in his last fight against Dong Yi Yang and lost FAST to Kyle Noke. It’ll be prelim and then out of the UFC all together for Camozzi next. Dump him.
James Te Huna: Te Huna is a likeable guy, but not quite ready for the big stage. He moves to 12-5 overall and 1-1 in the UFC. He could get another shot, but he’s not going anywhere just yet in his career. Go ahead and Dump him on the heels of this performance.
Jason Reinhardt: There wasn’t a worse 20-1 fighter in the sport of MMA than Jason Reinhardt coming into his fight at UFC 127 than Jason Reinhardt. Make that 20-2 as he was finished quickly in this fight and expect the UFC to dump him Monday, go ahead and follow suit. Dump him now.
Chris Tuchscherer: Bam Bam go Bye Bye? Tuchscherer has lost three of four and two in a row. You know what that means right? Expect the dreaded call from Joe Silva Monday, dump him!