UFC Fight Night 125 (UFC Belem) is in the books and now it is time for the audience to evaluate. The main event Lyoto Machida vs. Eryk “Ya Boi” (for real) Anders may not have delivered much action, but there was plenty of intrigue on the card.
Thiago Santos carried out a vicious assault and is tied with Anderson Silva for the most knockouts in UFC Middleweight history. In other news, Marlon “Chito” Vera‘s moustache is concerning, his whole look screams “Canadian hipster.”
Meanwhile, “He of Many Names” Douglas Silva de Andrade used to literally train and fight professionally out of a backyard. That’s the real indie lifestyle, Chito.
After every fight night, fans take stock of which fighters left particularly positive or negative impressions, shifting their support for the future. Let’s review some of the standouts from Brazil, in grade order.
Fandom Report Card Notables
Officer Timothy Johnson (B-)
Big Tim Johnson was surprising in spurts, opening up and hurting the younger Marcelo Golm with thudding clinch knees and boxing combinations. His entire aesthetic is something to behold as well, the eyes are drawn to a colorful shoulder sleeve contrasted by minimalist patriotic tattoos.
(+) His spirit animal is a walrus (probably)
(+) Owner of a proper moustache
(-) His eclectic tattoo selection confuses me
(-) “Embracing the grind” is boring, Tim
Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (B)
After being knocked out cold, fighters should refrain from taking even light blows to the head for at least a few months. Having been put to sleep by Derek Brunson just over three months ago, it was inadvisable for 39 year old Lyoto Machida to take a fight with athletic power puncher Eryk Anders.
The aging dragon showed his craft, but has clearly diminished in speed and reaction time. Nonetheless, he survived, avoiding what many thought was a near certainty. Machida followed up the win by requesting a fist fight with noted pugilist Michael Bisping.
(+) Gutsy veteran performance
(+) Dealing with the smell of soiled shorts (we all saw it, Eryk)
(-) Maybe it’s time to retire
Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko (A)
Simply put, Valentina Shevchenko was perfect. She brought the pressure like never before and it was dynamite. “Bullet” outlanded Priscila Cachoeira with horrifying precision, 217-1. When Valentina gets in that twitchy, spring-loaded mode in close, it puts fear in her opponents. Going forward it would be fantastic to continue to see her work from this range.
(+) Flawless victory (via Rear Naked Choke)
(+) Flawless victory dance (via Lezginka)
(-) Not so subtly favorable matchup
Thiago “Marreta” Santos (A+)
Thiagos Santos hits like a truck, or a similar vehicle that is also very skilled at kickboxing. He was trying to break the dang ribs of Anthony Smith, in guard. He was literally hammering on his melon, standing on one leg. “Marreta” means Thiago Santos is going to gracefully hurdle at you and do nothing but hit grand slams and throw hot murder-balls.
Anthony Smith is so freaking tough, he ate all of that and still walked away from the first round. But Santos the Savage threw a flicking body kick to open the second round and melted Smith’s organs, the referee had to get involved.
(+) Literally embodying his nickname
(+) He’s a gosh darn kickboxing monster
(+) In position to break an esteemed record
This sport is more fun when you have favourites, choose your allegiances.