The UFC made their debut in Boise, Idaho with a heavyweight main event between two former champions at UFC Fight Night 133. Former UFC heavyweight champion, Junior dos Santos took on former WSOF champion, Blagoy Ivanov. After five rounds, the win was given to dos Santos in his first fight back from suspension. He earned a clean sweep of 50-45 scorecards for a unanimous decision victory.
In the co-main event, the young and talented Sage Northcutt made his return to welterweight. Northcutt had fought twice at welterweight in the UFC against Bryan Barberena and Mickey Gall. He lost both of those fights by second-round submission. He looked to get his first welterweight victory in the octagon against the tough Zak Ottow.
Also on the main card was the return of former featherweight title challenger, Chad Mendes. Having not fought since 2015, Mendes made his return against Myles Jury who was 7-2 in his UFC career entering this fight.
This card flew under the radar as it held some good names and talent, but it’s now time to take a look at the five Standout Performances. In order for a fighter to make this list, their performance must stand out among their peers. This could be quick finishes, flashy knockouts, great submissions, dismantling an opponent, or providing an all-around exciting fight. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
UFC Fight Night 133 Standout Performances
#1: Niko Price
Niko Price def. Randy Brown via KO (Punches) at 1:09 of Round 2
Niko Price came into the fight after recently fighting at UFC on Fox 27 against George Sullivan. In the second round of their fight, Price submitted Sullivan with a rear naked choke. His opponent, Randy Brown last appeared at UFC 217. He took on Mickey Gall that night, where he won by a unanimous decision.
Most of the first round didn’t see all that much action as both guys threw very little at the beginning. As the round continued, both guys were landing their own shots, with Brown using his long legs for leg kicks. Late in the round, Price was able to close the distance and clinch with Brown on the fence. While in the clinch, Brown was connecting with multiple knees to the body. After many good knees landed, Price caught one and was able to use it for a takedown.
As they stayed on the ground for a little while, Brown was able to get back to his feet, where he looked for his own takedown. As he looked for his own takedown, Price was doing a very good job at defending the takedown.
Towards the end of the round, both fighters were able to connect with their best shots in those last ten seconds or so.
In the opening seconds of the second round, Price began pushing forward for a takedown. He was able to lock his hands and look for a single leg, but Brown reversed it and ended up on top.
There was little time spent on the ground before Price was able to get Brown off of him. But Brown stood over him and looked to get back on top as Price threw upkicks to try and keep him off. Eventually, Brown got back on top in a sort of odd position. From there, Price was able to move Brown towards the fence where he would then do damage.
From the position they were in, Price moved his leg underneath Brown’s head, leaving it completely exposed. This allowed Price to land very hard hammer fists from the bottom. The first one seemed to knock Brown out, but he landed an extra five before the ref stepped in to stop the fight.
#2: Raoni Barcelos
Raoni Barcelos def. Kurt Holobaugh via TKO (Punches) at 1:29 of Round 3
After a three-fight win streak, Kurt Holobaugh earned himself a shot on the first episode of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. His opponent would be Matt Bessette as both fighters looked to earn a UFC contract. Holobaugh made sure to earn himself a contract by finishing Bessette in the first round. However, it was revealed that Holobaugh tested positive for PEDs and the fight was overturned to a no contest. Holobaugh would still get his shot in the UFC though and he would make his return to the octagon against Raoni Barcelos.
Barcelos was making his UFC debut Saturday night after putting together an 11-1 record outside of the UFC. Entering this fight, he was on a four-fight win streak with the most recent coming against Dan Moret at RFA 45.
Both fighters came out of the gates very quickly. They immediately started to connect with their own hard shots as Barcelos was mainly finding success with his right hand. As both were moving quick, Barcelos couldn’t really miss with the right hand, whether that be a straight, hook, or uppercut.
Barcelos was also able to move in and land a quick takedown with a minute and a half remaining, where he would control Holobaugh.
At the very end of the round, Barcelos was able to lock up a guillotine, but unfortunately, he ran out of time.
In the second round, Barcelos continued to find success with his striking, much like the first. He continued to land the right hand during all his combinations.
Also, early in the second round, Barcelos was able to go back to his wrestling and get another takedown.
While on the ground, Holobaugh was very busy off his back. He looked for submissions and was landing some shots from the bottom as well. However, Barcelos was able to defend every submission attempt and fire back with hammer fists of his own. After a little while on the ground, the two were back on their feet again as Barcelos went back to the success he was finding with his punches.
After some time on their feet, Barcelos decided to go back to the takedown once again. He quickly moved in and closed the distance. As he did this, he executed a perfect trip to take Holobaugh down once again.
In the third round, both fighters came out looking fresh. They came out quick, just like they did in the first, and started throwing bombs. But just over a minute into the final round, Barcelos put together a powerful combination that shut Holobaugh’s lights out. And of course, he ended the fight with the punch he found the most success with throughout the fight: the right uppercut.
#3: Sage Northcutt
Sage Northcutt def. Zak Ottow via KO (Punches) at 3:13 of Round 2
Making his debut at 19 years old, Sage Northcutt quickly made a name for himself in the UFC. He went undefeated outside of the octagon and began his UFC career 2-0 until he moved up to welterweight. His first UFC fight at welterweight would come against Bryan Barberena at UFC on Fox 18. He would lose the fight in the second round by submission by arm triangle.
His second welterweight fight would come after he got a win down at lightweight against Enrique Marin. He took on Mickey Gall at UFC on Fox 22 as he looked for his first win at welterweight in the UFC. He would go on to lose that one by second-round submission as well, but this time it was a rear naked choke that finished him.
After that loss, he would go on to win two straight at lightweight, most recently against Thibault Gouti. After this streak of wins, Sage Northcutt decided to try once again at welterweight as he was set to meet Zak Ottow.
The fight could not have started any worse for Sage Northcutt. As the two met in the middle to begin the round, Ottow landed a hard right hand that hurt Northcutt. Ottow would then follow that up with a takedown as this was the beginning of a dominant round for Ottow.
Ottow would then spend most of the round on top as he dominated Northcutt. But there were a few times where Northcutt looked like he came close to locking up a submission.
Eventually, Northcutt was able to get back to his feet and start to find some success on the feet. He was able to close distance on Ottow and land very fast combinations before the round came to a close.
In the second round, Northcutt was taken down pretty quickly once again, but he didn’t stay on his back for as long this time around. Once he got to his feet, he once again began to find the success with his combinations. This success eventually led to the finishing sequence as he dropped Ottow with a combination and then followed up with ground and pound to finish the fight. After going 0-2 at welterweight in the UFC, Sage Northcutt finally got a win at 170.
#4: Chad Mendes
Chad Mendes def. Myles Jury via TKO (Punches) at 2:52 of Round 1
After failing a drug test and spending more than 2 years away from the octagon, Chad Mendes was finally set to return against Myles Jury. Mendes is a former featherweight title challenger as he’s taken on former champion, Jose Aldo, twice. They first met at UFC 142 where Aldo would defeat Mendes by knockout in the first round. Their second meeting came at UFC 179 as the two would go the distance in the fight of the night with Aldo winning the unanimous decision.
Mendes also got a shot at the interim featherweight title as he took on Conor McGregor on short notice at UFC 189 in 2015. He would also go on to lose that fight by TKO in the second round.
His most recent fight came in 2015 when he took on former UFC lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar at the TUF 22 Finale. He would lose that fight by knockout in the first round.
His opponent Saturday night, Myles Jury, had put together an 8-2 record in the UFC before his fight against Mendes. Coming into the fight, he was on a two-fight win streak with the most recent of those wins coming against a teammate of Mendes. Jury defeated Team Alpha Male fighter, Rick Glenn, at UFC 219 by unanimous decision.
The fight was a very slow fight, but one thing that I noticed about Mendes was how he was able to control distance. He was able to stay just out of reach of the taller and lengthier fighter that was his opponent. As he did that, he was also able to move in and set up combinations and get out just in time to not get countered. This is what set up the fight-ending sequence as he quickly moved in and dropped Jury with a left hook. He then followed that up with ground and pound to win his first fight since defeating Ricardo Lamas at UFC Fight Night 63 in 2015.
#5: Mark De La Rosa
Mark De La Rosa def. Elias Garcia via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:00 of Round 2
Mark De La Rosa, husband of women’s flyweight fighter Montana De La Rosa, made his UFC debut at UFC 219 taking on Tim Elliott. He put up a pretty good fight in that one but ended up losing in the second round by submission by anaconda choke. He would get his second chance in the octagon against the cousin of Anthony and Sergio Pettis, Elias Garcia.
Outside of the UFC, Garcia put together an undefeated record of 4-0. His most recent victory came against TUF 24 alum, Adam Antolin at CBF MMA 1. That fight was featured on the most recent episode of Dana White’s Lookin’ For a Fight. He made the most of the opportunity as he finished Antolin in the first round by knockout to earn himself a UFC contract.
The first round started quickly with Garcia coming out and throwing a quick head kick while De La Rosa threw a combination.
As the first round went on, De La Rosa did a good job pressuring Garcia and occasionally landing a good combination. As he was pressuring, Garcia was finding success with his body kicks. Eventually, De La Rosa got the timing of the kicks down and was able to catch one of them as he looked to turn it into a takedown. From there, Garcia jumped up and pulled guard as he looked for a triangle choke. But as De La Rosa was still standing, he spun Garcia around and threw him off of him.
De La Rosa continued to pressure Garcia and while doing so, he found an opening to throw a good combination. Off the combination, he clinched with Garcia where he would eventually look for a takedown.
He was able to control Garcia on the ground for a little bit until Garcia started to lock up an armbar and De La Rosa stood up and spun him off again.
Once back to their feet, not much more happened. De La Rosa found some more success with his striking which included some good punches and a hard body kick.
In the second round, both fighters came out quick again with Garcia once again looking for the head kick. De La Rosa was able to get out of the way and throw some of his own punches just like the beginning of the first.
But after just about a minute, De La Rosa turned up the heat again. As he continued moving forward, he threw another quick combination before locking Garcia up on the fence.
Once they were locked up on the fence again, De La Rosa began to look for a takedown and eventually ended up on Garcia’s back. Once on his back, he was able to quickly lock up a rear naked choke which would finish the fight. Just last week, his wife also finished her opponent with the same move.
With the UFC’s debut in Boise in the books, we now look ahead at what’s next. With the release of these Standout Performances being so late, we have just three days until the UFC airs in Hamburg, Germany.
UFC Fight Night 134 goes down live in Germany on Sunday with an early start time as the first fight begins at 10:30 a.m. EST. In the main event, Mauricio Rua returns for his first fight since March of 2017 when he took on Gian Villante. He returns against a fresh fighter at light heavyweight, Anthony Smith. Smith took the fight on just a few week’s notice. He recently made his light heavyweight debut at UFC 225. That night, he knocked out former champion Rashad Evans in the first round.
In the co-main event, Glover Texeira puts his top five spot on the line against Corey Anderson. Texeira was originally supposed to face Ilir Latifi, but Latifi pulled out with an injury just a few weeks prior. It was then announced that Anderson would be stepping in to replace the injured Latifi.
So join me next week as we will look back on UFC Fight Night 134 and determine the top five standout performances from the UFC’s trip to Germany.
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