UFC 169: A Long Night of Fights

| February 2, 2014 | 1:50 pm | Reply

Jamie Varner UFC 169A record-setting night of decisions had the Jersey crowd more surly than usual, but there was still plenty of quality action across the UFC 169 PPV. Belts were defended, former champions were defeated, and there was plenty of fistic fury to go around.

Here’s what I keyed into tonight.

John Makdessi vs Alan Patrick: A true tragedy of scoring, Makdessi worked a conservative plan of counter punching and takedown defense in the face of Patrick’s wild offense, yet lost a decision based on wild yet ineffective aggression.  There is nothing in the Unified Rules that should give someone like Patrick, whom bullrushed and missed the entirely of their offense, a decision when their opponent soundly out struck them.  This is either a case of judges being unable to distinguish clean counters amid wild misses, or not knowing that aggression is a secondary criteria used only in the absence of a definitive winner using main criteria.

This also illustrates why “Fighter judges” often make the worst judges, with Ricardo Almeida being one of the judges to back this atrocious decision. Being able to track fights due to your own combat experience is a plus, but a deeply ingrained bias towards certain fighting styles washes that positive right out.  A sad fight that shows once again that it doesn’t pay to fight off your heels, even if you’re winning exchanges.

Jamie Varner vs Abel Trujillo: A fight that showed exactly why MMA is so exciting, Varner showed he is, hands down, the more talented fighter here, yet one punch put him on life support. Varner is one of the best technical fighters in the business, with true fundamental skills from his boxing and wrestling days that you seldom see in the rushed conglomerate training of MMA. Varner’s counters were clean, his defense was outstanding, and the mat work wasn’t even close.

It’s in those moments when you have a hard-hitting opponent hurt that you enter a “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t” phase and Varner went for it, yet paid for it just the same. To hang back was to risk the same fate, yet that knowledge makes the loss no less bitter I’m sure. A great effort by both men and I sincerely hope Varner comes back from this with psyche intact.

Alistair Overeem: Fighters occasionally run into a situation where they must adapt or potentially perish, and I’m surprised to see Overeem chose to adapt. For my money, the best Overeem we ever saw was the 220 lbs. heavyweight that mopped the floor with Paul Buentello, and we saw pieces of that man tonight in his effort against Mir. Having gone back to real footwork, Overeem faded in and out of combat range, was crisp in his strikes, yet still packed killer power in everything he threw. A smart grappler with a mind towards conserving energy, Overeem did everything right and could give the division fits if he can keep this up.

Jose Aldo: I thought Lamas would have at least some of the keys to beating Aldo, yet he got very little going in his first world title fight. Using the impenetrable outside striking game he’s known for, Aldo tagged Lamas enough to make him reconsider most offense in the first two rounds, and while Lamas went for it the entire fight, had few moments where he got the better of the champion.

When you’ve already beaten the top five in the division, I think it’s time to seek another division to dominate, though a rematch with Mendes does make for a marginally interesting send-off for a 155 lbs. bound Aldo.

Renan Barao vs Urijah Faber: Another fight I felt Faber would be equipped to win if he had some luck in the early going, Barao proved to be too potent with his strikes for the former Featherweight champ. Barao is a terror in terms of his accuracy and follow-through on strikes, with everything he throws having tremendous heat on it. While Faber was doing well in his mix of offense early and seemed to have a game plan percolating, it only took a handful of sharp strikes to seal the deal.

While there was some controversy in the stoppage, I felt it was completely legitimate. A fighter doesn’t have the option of allowing themselves to absorb damage as a method of defense, and Faber was well and truly stuck in that position. A gloved hand covering the head may take the sting off of blows, but the brain is still being rattled from strikes. If the brain is rattled, a fighter isn’t going to think of a way out of a situation, and the strikes will continue. Faber himself said that he was stuck holding that leg, which shows he wasn’t in control of the situation, thumbs up or not.

261_UFC 169Complete UFC 169 results:

Renan Barao defeated Urijah Faber by 1st rd. TKO (3:42)

Jose Aldo defeated Ricardo Lamas by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)

Alistair Overeem defeated Frank Mir by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Ali Bagautinov defeated John Lineker by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Abel Trujillo defeated Jamie Varner by 2nd rd. knockout (2:32)

Alan Patrick defeated John Makdessi by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Chris Cariaso defeated Danny Martinez by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Nick Catone defeated Tom Watson by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

Al Iaquinta defeated Kevin Lee by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-27)

Clint Hester defeated Andy Enz by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Rashid Magomedov defeated Tony Martin by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Neil Magny defeated Gasan Umalatov by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

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Category: Featured, MMA, Results, UFC

Mike Hammersmith (Featured Staff Writer)

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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