TUF 25 Finale
1 – Justin Gaethje
After 22 fights on Friday and Saturday, it’s clear that the large winner of the weekend was Justin Gaethje. Dwelling as much as all the advance hype on his UFC debut and just about surpassing it, the previous WSOF champion gained a forwards and backwards brawl with Michael Johnson that will probably be a troublesome act to comply with in relation to figuring out 2017’s Struggle of the Yr. Maybe extra importantly, Gaethje did every thing he stated he would in relation to laying all of it on the road as soon as the Octagon door shut, and the one adverse about his efficiency is that now we’ve got to attend for his subsequent battle and may’t get one each week.
2 – Jesse Taylor
The texture good story of Worldwide Struggle Week was clearly Jesse Taylor, who lived up the “Redemption” theme of this season of The Final Fighter by profitable the present many believed he would have gained 9 years in the past if not for some out of the Octagon antics that induced him to be pulled from the TUF 7 remaining. Any despite the fact that the redemption offered by his victory over Dhiego Lima was the prevalent storyline, some might overlook how good he seemed on the present and towards Lima, making his win final Friday not simply the end result of a journey, however maybe the begin to a brand new story for the 34-yr-previous veteran.
three – Tecia Torres
When breaking down the strawweight matchup between Tecia Torres and Juliana Lima final week, I wrote “Whereas Tecia Torres and Juliana Lima have but to set the division on hearth in current bouts, an enormous displaying on the primary struggle of Worldwide Struggle Week might do wonders for his or her second-half schedule within the Octagon.” Nicely, Torres put collectively than huge displaying, not simply beating Lima, however submitting her for the primary end of her profession. Swiftly, Torres is a serious participant at one hundred fifteen kilos, and yeah, a fighter between the “Tiny Twister” and Michelle Waterson has much more warmth behind it now.
four – Grey Maynard
It hasn’t been a simple time for Grey Maynard during the last 5 years. On two events in 2011, he was a punch or two away from dethroning Frankie Edgar and turning into the UFC light-weight champion, however since then, it’s been tough within the Octagon for the Las Vegan. Following the ultimate two fights of his trilogy with Edgar, Maynard went 1-four earlier than shifting to the featherweight division in July of final yr. On Friday, he made it 2-1 at one hundred forty five kilos, however in defeating Teruto Ishihara, he lastly seemed just like the previous Grey Maynard once more. For one of many good guys of the sport, that was a pleasing shock, and hopefully a rebirth for him in his new weight class.
5 – Michael Johnson
Sure, Michael Johnson misplaced to Justin Gaethje on Friday night time, however it takes two to make a Battle of the Night time, and “The Menace” greater than did his half towards the Octagon newcomer. I’m positive that publish-struggle bonus examine is of little comfort to the extremely-aggressive Johnson, however I assure that he gained a whole lot of followers that may’t wait to see him again in motion towards any of the highest 15 of the light-weight division.
1 – Robert Whittaker
Newly topped interim UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker stated it greatest when he informed Joe Rogan, “Champions are made of these items.” He was proper. Solely a real champion suffers a knee damage within the first spherical of a 5 spherical struggle and never solely battles on, however wins the final three rounds towards a terrifying finisher like Yoel Romero. In doing so, “The Reaper” took a belt residence to Australia and arrange a future battle with sidelined 185-pound titleholder Michael Bisping. And given the truth that Whittaker is seemingly getting higher with every battle, the longer it takes for that battle to return off, the more severe it might be for “The Rely.”
2 – Anthony Pettis
There have been few falls from grace as notable as that turned in by former UFC light-weight champion Anthony Pettis. Following a December 2014 win over Gilbert Melendez, Pettis went on to go 1-four, with that stretch capped off by a disastrous late 2016 loss to Max Holloway that put an finish to Pettis’ featherweight experiment. Returning to light-weight at UFC 213, Pettis wanted a win – badly – however that was seemingly going to be an uphill battle towards one hundred fifty five-pound fact machine Jim Miller. However then the cage door closed and “Showtime” was again. Pettis seemed to lastly be again in type, and at 30, he has loads of time to get his title again, making an fascinating division much more fascinating.
three – Aleksei Oleinik
It’s straightforward to take a look at Russia’s Aleksei Oleinik and assume that he’s just a few forty-yr-previous veteran who’s round to make up the numbers within the heavyweight division. However let’s look previous the floor and see that he’s gained thirteen of his final 14 bouts, has a few of the deadliest submissions within the UFC, and has the stopping energy in his fists to place anybody within the division on the canvas. And…he places on motion fights. So, after taking Efficiency of the Night time honors in his victories over Jared Rosholt and Viktor Pesta, he lastly acquired some highlight towards Travis Browne on Saturday, and he took benefit of it, submitting Browne within the second spherical. It was the sort of efficiency that ought to have informal followers taking discover, and he’s going to be a troublesome out for any of the large males forward of him within the rankings.
four – Rob Font
Someday, Rob Font might look again at his Saturday victory over Douglas Silva de Andrade as an important of his younger profession. Why? Nicely, it not solely confirmed that he was prepared for prime time when the bout obtained moved to the UFC 213 primary card, however that he’s greater than a knockout artist. Positive, his putting arrange the submission end, however isn’t that what MMA is all about, utilizing all of your weapons to get the victory? That’s what Font did, and if he can hold busy and hold evolving, he’s obtained the instruments to make loads of noise on the higher reaches of the one hundred thirty five-pound division.
5 – Trevin Giles
Trevin Giles might not have a nickname in the meanwhile, but when he wants one after his knockout of James Bochnovic, “Clean” will not be a nasty moniker as a result of that was the one phrase that got here to thoughts after the UFC 213 opener. Coming in on brief discover towards fellow debutant Bochnovic, Giles appeared like he had fought within the UFC twenty occasions already, and as he took management of the bout, his recreation appeared virtually easy. It might not have been the sort of debut Justin Gaethje turned it, however it was spectacular and makes Giles a should see prospect when he strikes right down to middleweight for his subsequent bout.