Fighters earn loads of Praise Following UFC Fight Night 27

| August 28, 2013 | 11:00 pm | Reply

Darren Elkins UFC Fight Night 27The beginning of a three event week, UFC Fight Night 27 rocked our Wednesday night hard with wildly entertaining matches all around. Ultimate Fighter winners, tons of welterweights and two top ranked lightweights were all on display inside the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The gears were turning up in my head, and here’s who and what stood out to me tonight.

Roger Bowling: First off, that should have been a DQ, but that’s not what stood out to me here.  Bowling is the essence of a can crusher. He’s all power, all aggression, but can’t for the life of him avoid getting hit. A career of this has led to him being rocked and knocked out consistently, and the two illegal knees won’t help that down the road. Fun fighter, but is lacking in key traits that will allow him to win against even moderately talented foes.

Zak Cummings: I had mixed feelings with this performance, as Cummings didn’t seem to have the power you’d expect of him coming down in weight. That didn’t stop him from executing a smart game plan with a great catch-as-catch-can style sequence to finisher the match against Alloway. Not sure how far Cummings goes, but looks solid enough to test other TUF fighters for the time being.

Darren Elkins: I’ll be the first to admit I was way off on how this fight would pan out; having called the quick submission from a stronger, more savvy Hioki. While Elkins’ striking is still a bit rudimentary for this level, his matwork is anything but. Elkins rolls like he lives on the mat, being completely seamless in every transition and shrugging off submission attempts with minimal effort. With that performance, I’d have to say Elkins is the best grappler in the division, and would positively love a bout against Lamas or Jung.

Brandon Thatch: I had the pleasure of watching Thatch pre-UFC while covering smaller shows, and knew he had a potential title contender on our hands. Thatch showed impeccable strike placement, which we already knew he had, but combined it with unbelievable balance in the clinch against a real bull in Edwards. I dare say a better fighter than Conor McGregor, in a similar vein.

Dylan Andrews: It’s impossible not the like this guy, and if you weren’t a fan before tonight, the last-ditch effort KO would seal the deal. Not too many guys would cry because they didn’t get the knockout as soon as they wanted, and very few would fight with a potentially broken shoulder. Andrews is in a class of his own, though speaking of class, he’d fit better at Welterweight.

Court McGee vs. Robert Whittaker: Wacky scoring aside, this was a great showing by both men.  McGee has improved steadily, and should really be an example to many other fighters in MMA.  McGee has a chin, but rather than flaunt it and make a career out of being a punching bag, he takes a cerebral approach to the match. McGee might absorb punishment, but he improves by the round, and few can say that. Whittaker deserves a great deal of praise here as well, showing his fast karate-style striking and reflexes. The impression I get from Whittaker is that he needs new training partners, as he’s a clear natural talent, but was having issues with McGee’s output and variety. If Whittaker got used to some new looks while sparring, I think it would flesh out his style a bit more and make him a real wrecking machine.

Rafael Dos Anjos: Can you believe this is the same guy that was nearly murdered by Jeremy Stephens? The same guy that was soundly out struck by Tyson Griffin? RDA has really put it together over the years and is starting to turn some heads here with wins like this. RDA’s muay thai is sharp with many unique off-time strikes that can catch people from odd angles, cutting kicks, and that fluidity to hit takedown when presented. While I don’t see him beating the very top of the division, I expect RDA to do some damage at the top for years to come.

Click here for complete UFC Fight Night 27 results.

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Category: Exclusive, Featured, MMA, UFC

About the Author ()

I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts and a fan of MMA since UFC 1, when my world was thrown on its head by the budding sport. I'm obsessive in the pursuit of martial abilities and have competed across the country in everything from Vale Tudo to archery to Scottish broadsword. Once my body broke down, I picked up a pen and went in the direction of writing. I specialize in betting advice, predictions, and I'm a walking encyclopedia of MMA trivia. I own a cafe in Exeter, NH called Hammersmith Sandwich Company and write out of my office between customers.

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