These are my takeaways from UFC Fight Night Austin TX which took place on Feb 18, 2018.
- Burkman vs Moreno – I don’t like to make accusations but Burkman does not look like the explosive fighter in the post USADA UFC as he was in WSOF. Look for him to have punched his ticket out of the UFC after multiple losses. To lose by your own patented move is very disconcerting and a sign of where he is at at this point in his career.
- Podilova vs Morris – Sloppy technique but a barn burner of a fight. Morris takes an L but her toughness can’t be denied.
- Northcutt vs Gouti – The expectation of Super Sage will always be high or at least the pundits who want to see him fall hard will be there, based on the UFC hype machine’s blind loyalty to promote him. You can see his improvements in being a more strategic, disciplined fighter from his work with Team Alpha Male, but the same staples that served the transformation of a similar athlete in GSP don’t seem to be there, as far as an ability to wrestle. Many felt he lost this fight to Gouti, and it is apparent that he is still a work in progress, especially in the wrestling department. The question begs, are we removing the tools of a dynamic, explosive, and athletic fighter and molding him into a conservative, average fighter that is just trying to stay afloat since he was thrust into the spotlight so soon?
- Alves vs Millander – I can remember when I watched a young frightening Alves, “flying knee” an aging legend in Matt Hughes, into oblivion. Oh my, have the tables turned. Another post USADA victim it seems in Alves. This was a changing of the guard, with Alves as the role of Hughes and Millander a young Alves. It was made more ironic seeing Alves get finished by the young lion’s knee. The Bones Jones comparisons with Millander will be there but let’s accept the fact that the UFC has evolved and this level of athlete will be par for the course soon.
- Vick vs Trinaldo – Vick is a sleeper at 155 but if he wants to tangle with the elite he needs some noticeable finishes. He does deserve a top 10 opponent next.
- Lewis vs Tybura – Watching Lewis go into Black Beast Mode and pull of a power up video game finish in the third was a true delite.
- Cerrone vs Medeiros – I expect nothing less from these two. Enjoyable but Cowboy still starts slow and stiff which will always mean trouble against the elite.