A lot was learned about the UFC’s welterweight, middleweight and heavyweight divisions following UFC 85. Even though the event itself was cursed from the beginning, the fighters on the card took full advantage of the opportunities that were presented to them.
Kevin Burns vs. Roan Carneiro– Burns submits Carneiro in the 2ndRound
Burns, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt, was able to catch the world-class BJJ black belt via a triangle choke. The fact that Burns was able to come back from being in trouble early in the fight and submit a guy with Carneiro’s grappling abilities was absolutely shocking. Burns also took the fight on extremely short notice, but cashed in on his first opportunity inside the Octagon. It’ll be interesting to see if Burns can capitalize on the win and put together a winning streak and move up the welterweight ladder.
Martin Kampmann vs. Jorge Rivera– Kampmann submits Rivera in the 1stRound
Coming into the fight there was a lot of concern regarding Kampmann’s health following a couple of knee surgeries on the same left knee. Following the fight, Kampmann made everybody remember that he was supposed to headline UFC 72 against Rich Franklin as he was able to submit a very tough Rivera with a guillotine choke. Kampmann is now 13-1, including a 4-0 record in the UFC. With a couple more wins, Kampmann is looking at a future showdown with middleweight king, Anderson Silva.
Fabricio Werdum vs. Brandon Vera– Werdum stops Vera in the 1stRound
Bad stoppage or not, Werdum dominated the entire 1stRound and put Vera in a bad position. Vera was never able to get going against Werdum, who came in with a 20+ pound advantage. Werdum has put himself into what could possibly be a #1 contender’s slot with his second straight impressive win. Vera on the other hand might have to think about moving down to light heavyweight to see if he can recapture some of his success.
Mike Swick vs. Marcus Davis– Swick gets a unanimous decision over Davis
Swick might have to get a new nickname because he’s looking more and more calculated in his two welterweight fights. He may have lost some of his power in the move down from middleweight, but his gameplan is working in his favor. Davis was never able to get going as Swick was able to control the fight from start to finish. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked. There is some concern about Swick’s size though because at times Davis was able to overpower him like Josh Burkman did in his first welterweight fight.
Michael Bisping vs. Jason Day– Bisping stops Day in the 1stRound
Bisping showed that he has the ability to compete with the best in the middleweight division with his domination of Jason Day. It was the best that I have personally seen Bisping look in the UFC, but one still has to wonder how his energetic style would fare against the extremely accurate Anderson Silva.
Thiago Alves vs. Matt Hughes– Alves stops Hughes in the 2ndRound
When you get older, injuries happen. The flying knee from Alves that supposedly knocked Hughes out actually hit him in the shoulder more than anything else, but the after-effect is where he lost the fight. We don’t know how badly injured Hughes’ knee is as it seemed like he twisted it on the way down. Hughes is no longer a competitor for the welterweight title, but he does have one fight left in him, and that’s a showdown with Matt Serra. Alves looked big and strong as he dismantled an aging Hughes, but he almost looked too big at welterweight. The fact that he couldn’t make weight, injured ankle or not, has to be a long-term concern for his prospects of competing for the welterweight title.