The recently deflowered flyweight division took center stage this past Friday night with the second half of the 125-pound tournament brackets being determined with Demetrious Johnson getting his hand raised defeating former number-one ranked flyweight Ian McCall in their second meeting.
Brazilian prodigy Erick Silva also sat firmly in the winner’s circle with his ‘submission of the night’ winning performance slapping a nasty rear-naked-choke on AMA Fight Club stand-out Charlie Brenneman.
Mike Pyle was also able to get his hand raised and did so in jaw-shattering fashion knocking around the man dubbed “The Dentist” Josh Neer after a competitive opening it took just one power-shot from the former WEC champ to get the victory and a $40,000 ‘knockout of the night’ bonus.
Opening up the proceedings on the FX telecast were a pair of blue cage veterans in Scott Jorgensen and Eddie Wineland who scored ‘fight of the night’ for their fantastic, hard-hitting war that stole the show but it was Winleand who got the win, upsetting the former title-challenger.
I don’t envy the role of Joe Silva in any way, shape or form but for a few moments I will play armchair matchmaker setting up the matches to make for those who left with another victory on their record after this past Friday night.
After six rounds, two fights and three months finally the lightning-fast Washington resident got the nod over former Tachi Palace Fights flyweight kingpin Ian McCall.
Similar to their first meeting in Sydney, Australia Johnson took control of the fight early landing a string of quick-snapping shots and implementing his wrestling game but this time out he didn’t fade down the stretch.
McCall failed to take the former UFC bantamweight title-challenger off his feet and despite taking control in the second frame he was unable to keep control of the fight, losing a decision.
Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what happens next for “Mighty Mouse” as he will complete the UFC flyweight championship tournament meeting Team Alpha Male’s Joseph Benavidez to crown the first divisional champion.
Erick Silva has impressed viewers each time he’s stepped foot in the UFC’s eight-sided cage, despite a 1-1 record in their 170-pound division his lone setback was highly controversial being disqualified by senior referee Mario Yamasaki.
This fight didn’t have the controversy, meeting Brenneman, a highly respected wrestler he was able to fend off his powerful takedown offence early and before you knew it the Brazilian stunned him on the feet before putting the nail in the coffin submitting him before the close of the opening round.
Interest in the former Jungle Fights champ is at an all-time high but throwing him head first into the top of the power-doubling wrestlers at the top of the welterweight heap right now would be a real mistake.
Pairing him with a well-travelled veteran like Brian Ebersole if he can get his hand raised against submission ace TJ Waldburger at UFC on FX 4 would be appropriate and a real well-rounded and hard-hitting test for a potential real player in the division somewhere down the line.
Pyle will probably never be challenging for titles inside the elite 170-pound division but you have to admire a 36-year-old veteran who has been fighting since last millennium who can still rack up wins in one of the organizations deepest classes.
Pyle and Neer looked like they were fighting to nab the ‘fight of the night’ bonus early on trading firepower on the feet before the Xtreme Couture product stumbled against the cage as Neer quickly looked to capitalize landing knees in the clinch before a powerful right-hand put him down for the count.
At this stage in his career Pyle is a stiff test for just about anyone, essentially assuming him in a pseudo gatekeeper role matching him with a fighter like Seth Baczynski who got a close decision over Lance Benoist on the preliminary card would be a fun fight and the timeline matches up nicely.
Wineland finally got his hand rasied inside the UFC – After two tough fights joining the UFC’s newly formed 135-pound division he lost two decisions to Team Alpha Male partners Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez, but the losing skid ended last Friday.
Wineland showed early that there was a large gap in the striking game between both opponents early counter-striking with his crisp, powerful boxing as the NCAA Division I wrestler was unable to take this fight into his wheelhouse.
When the second frame was underway it was clear that unless the Jorgensen could get this fight to the floor it wasn’t going to last much longer and that’s exactly what happened as Wineland pressured him with jab before nailing the former title-challenger with a straight-right to finish the fight, making him the first to knock him out.
With this win he began his climb up the 135-pound ranks, a fight with the winner of Mike Easton and Ivan Menjivar would be an appropriate next move and all sorts of fun.
That’s enough for me, these are the fights that I would like to see moving forward inside the UFC, check back for my armchair matchmaking after every UFC event.