The UFC delivered with their 25th-anniversary show from Denver, Colorado with a card full of exciting fights and finishes. In the main event, former featherweight title challenger, Chan Sung Jung, took on Yair Rodriguez. The main event was exciting and it ended in shocking fashion.
Before the co-main event, hometown fighter, Donald Cerrone took on rising welterweight, Mike Perry. Heading into the fight, there was plenty of drama surrounding both fighter’s gym, Jackson Wink MMA. This caused a little bit of bad blood between the two fighters.
The entire card delivered on the 25th-anniversary. There was plenty of fun back and forth fights as well as standout finishes. So, with that being said, it’s time to take a look at the five Standout Performances from UFC Fight Night 139. 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. Plus, I will also provide what should be next for that fighter according to MMASucka‘s own Wesley Riddle from his “Top Five Fights to Make After UFC Fight Night 139“. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
UFC Fight Night 139 Standout Performances
#1: Yair Rodriguez and Chan Sung Jung
Yair Rodriguez def. Chan Sung Jung via Knockout (Elbow) at 4:59 of Round Five
Chan Sung Jung headed into this fight after coming off a very long layoff due to a knee injury. His last fight came on February 4, 2017, as he headlined UFC Fight Night 104 against Dennis Bermudez. That fight was his first in three years as he was away serving in the South Korean military. After the long layoff, he knocked Bermudez out in the first round and let the featherweight division know; The Korean Zombie is back. After the injury, Jung would get a tough test against Frankie Edgar.
However, just a couple weeks before the fight, Edgar was forced out with an injury. This forced Yair Rodriguez to step in on short notice. Rodriguez has also been on a long layoff leading into this fight. His last fight came on May 13, 2017, at UFC 211 when he took on Frankie Edgar. Edgar easily handled Rodriguez as he defeated him by TKO due to a doctor stoppage at the end of round two. After being released from the UFC and then resigned just days later to face Zabit Magomedsharipov, he was then injured and forced out of that fight. His comeback fight would be the short notice fight with Jung in Rodriguez’s third main event.
To open up round one, Rodriguez landed a hard leg kick that made Jung stumble backwards immediately.
This was a strike that Rodriguez would use a lot of during the round. He was landing many leg kicks while also going up high and landing a few times. Jung’s most successful moment in round one came under halfway through as he was able to get the clinch with Rodriguez and land a flurry of uppercuts.
Along with this moment in the first round, Jung had a few other good moments as well. As he continued to pressure Rodriguez throughout the round, he was landing some hard shots that forced Rodriguez backwards. He would even land a combination that seemed to force Rodriguez’s legs to buckle but he was able to quickly recover after eating some shots.
The first round came to a close on the ground after Jung brought Rodriguez down. However, Rodriguez rolled over and reversed the position, but he would still end up on the bottom as the horn sounded.
In round two, Rodriguez’s gameplan looked the same. He was landing a lot of leg kicks while also throwing head kicks and landing punches. However, in round two, Jung seemed to be connecting much more, including a combination that ended with a good body kick.
As Jung continued pressuring, Rodriguez was finding openings to land hard shots. That included a head kick that landed on Jung but ‘The Korean Zombie’ continued to march forward. Then, just moments later, Jung was pressuring forward again, landing some shots, until Rodriguez launched a spinning elbow that landed perfectly. But it still didn’t stop Jung as he grabbed a hold of Rodriguez and looked for a takedown.
Once again, towards the end of the round, Jung ate more shots that would put anyone else down. This time Rodrigues lept forward with a flying knee and then following it up with a jumping head kick.
Round two ended after an exciting exchange between both fighters as they landed back and forth before the horn sounded. This was a much better round for Rodriguez as it seemed to be tied a round apiece heading into round three.
In the third round, Rodriguez began throwing a lot more flashy kicks. He was throwing crazy spinning kicks and cartwheel kicks and would land a couple of them. Using too many of these kicks could affect his cardio going into the championship rounds. But, along with the flashy strikes, he continued utilizing his jab and leg kicks and body kicks throughout the round.
While Rodriguez continued his success with his kicks and jab, Jung continued to pressure and land shots repeatedly. Occasionally, he would land combinations that would force Rodriguez to stumble backwards. However, Jung could never finish the fight when this would happen, but it was winning rounds for him.
Once again, towards the end of the round, the two engaged in an exciting exchange that saw both fighters landing good shots before the horn. It was another close round of Rodriguez landing all over Jung’s body and Jung pressuring and headhunting, connecting a large number of his punches. From the looks of it, it could be 2-1 either way heading into round four.
In round four, Jung looked as fresh as he could be as he started to perform even better with his striking. He hurt Rodriguez a few times in the fourth round, including a combination about fifteen seconds in that saw Jung land the same uppercut he knocked out Dennis Bermudez with.
Jung’s best moment of the round came minutes later when he landed a combination that made Rodriguez stumble back onto the fence. After that, Jung ran at him to attempt to throw a flying knee, but Rodriguez had already recovered and countered with one of his own, but missed.
The fourth round was a very good one for Chan Sung Jung. Jung was pressuring as he had been during the whole fight, plus he was landing a lot more and he was hurting his opponent as both men’s stamina deteriorated. This round would have likely put him up on the scorecards going into the fifth round.
The fifth and final round began as the two fighters hugged in the middle and touched gloves before going at it to determine who will come out on top. In the final round, both fighters looked great, especially for having gone the previous twenty minutes all while fighting in elevation in Denver.
Both fighters were throwing everything they could as they tried to finish this fight. For Rodriguez, he very well could have been down on the scorecards so he was aggressive with his striking in the fifth. As for Jung, he seemed to be leading on the scorecards and could have played it safe, but that’s not how ‘The Korean Zombie’ fights. Early in the round, Rodriguez was able to connect with a head kick, but Jung countered with a left hand that seemed to buckle the legs of Rodriguez.
As the round went on, Jung continued pressuring and throwing, even though he was up on most cards. Across from him, Rodriguez was pressuring and throwing much more than earlier as he felt he needed a finish to win the fight. As the ten-second warning sounded, the two fighters stood in the middle with a smile on their face, touched glove, and laid everything out on the line. With just a few seconds left in the fight, Jung rushed in, throwing punches, but Rodriguez ducked under every one of those punches and landed a perfect upward elbow that knocked Jung out cold with one second left on the clock.
It was a crazy finish to what was already a crazy fight on the 25th birthday of the UFC. Both fighters put on solid performances as this could very well be the fight of the year for 2018 which is why both men get the number one spot for this week’s standout performances. Yair Rodriguez may have also provided us with arguably the greatest knockout in UFC history.
Who should Yair Rodriguez fight next?: Zabit Magomedsharipov (16-1)
Who should Chan Sung Jung fight next?: Jeremy Stephens (28-15)
#2: Donald Cerrone
Donald Cerrone def. Mike Perry via Submission (Armbar) at 4:46 of Round One
One of the UFC’s most known fighters, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, is known for taking fights anytime, anywhere. Coming off a loss to Leon Edwards in the main event of UFC Fight Night 132, he was scheduled to fight in his hometown of Denver against Jackson Wink teammate, Mike Perry.
Leading up to the fight, there was a lot of drama going on inside the Jackson Wink gym. Some of the coaches decided to coach Perry against Cerrone for this fight, which angered Cerrone, forcing him to move gyms for this camp.
Mike Perry came into the fight coming off a big win at UFC 226. That night he took on short notice opponent, top fifteen ranked lightweight fighter, Paul Felder. The fight was bloody and back and forth, but Perry was given the unanimous decision victory to snap his two-fight losing streak.
Round one started and less than thirty seconds in, the two were already locked up in the clinch. Both fighters had a hold of each other and picked their shots as they landed good knees to the body before breaking.
An impressive piece of Mike Perry’s game that showed during round one was his takedown defence. He was able to stuff a lot of Cerrone’s takedowns which helped him as it kept the fight standing, which seemed like Perry’s only chance at winning. As Cerrone continued level changing for a takedown, Perry defended well and was able to get a takedown of his own immediately after defending one.
Once Perry got Cerrone to the ground, he was in side control, but not for long. Cerrone rolled around underneath him and used his advantage on the ground over Perry as he reversed the position and got on top of Perry.
Once on top, Cerrone began looking for submissions. He was quickly able to take Perry’s back and look for the rear naked choke. Perry’s submission defence was good enough to stop Cerrone from locking up the choke and he was also able to get back on top of Cerrone. But, he ended up in Cerrone’s full guard where he would immediately begin looking for a triangle choke. He would quickly switch to locking up an arm and soon after Perry was tapping to the armbar.
The win gave Donald Cerrone the UFC record for most wins in UFC history and most finishes in UFC history. After the fight, Mike Perry took to social media to reveal that Cerrone had broken his arm with the armbar:
Good job @Cowboycerrone you broke my damn arm
— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) November 11, 2018
Who should Donald Cerrone fight next?: Justin Gaethje (19-2)
#3: Devonte Smith
Devonte Smith def. Julian Erosa via TKO (Punches) at 0:46 of Round One
Making his UFC debut coming off a win on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contenders Series, Devonte Smith entered his debut coming off four straight wins. His last fight came on the eighth episode of DWTNCS season two. He took on Joseph Lowry in that fight and won by knockout in the first round.
His opponent, Julian Erosa, was also coming off a DWTNCS victory on episode three of the second season. His fight came against Jamall Emmers and he would go onto win by knockout in the second round. The win improved his win streak to three wins heading into his second stint with the UFC after being cut following a loss against Teruto Ishihara at UFC 196.
There’s not much to say about this fight considering it ended in under one minute. But Smith came out quick, landing a nice body kick and a couple jabs to follow it up.
After this, both fighters circled around the octagon until Smith ended the fight. He moved inside and landed a beautiful one-two that knocked Erosa down. Smith followed up with ground and pound forcing the ref to stop the fight after just 46 seconds. It was a beautiful performance and a beautiful debut from Devonte Smith.
Who should Devonte Smith fight next?: Ross Pearson (20-15, 1NC)
#4: Maycee Barber
Maycee Barber def. Hannah Cifers via TKO (Punches) at 2:01 of Round Two
After starting her career 4-0 under LFA, Maycee Barber, got her shot on DWTNCS this past season. The twenty-year-old took on Jamie Colleen during the fifth episode and came out victorious by third-round TKO to earn herself a UFC contract.
She would take on another UFC newcomer, Hannah Cifers. Cifers was coming off five straight wins with her most recent coming under the NLFC banner against Kali Robbins. She won the fight in the first round by TKO to earn her shot in the UFC against Barber.
At the beginning of round one, both girls came out quick. Just forty-five seconds in, they were already going back and forth in a wild exchange.
Both women continued to land punches and Cifers takedown defence was doing well throughout the round. There was another good exchange that came towards the end of the round after Cifers made Barber unbalanced with a punch. In this exchange, Barber landed two perfectly placed elbows that did not even effect Cifers.
In round two, Barber looked great. She came out quick as Cifers walked out slowly and Barber started throwing and landing shots.
As the round continued, Barber was quickly moving in and out, connecting on almost everything she threw. She was able to throw a good combination and get Cifers in the clinch once again where she’d open up with sharp elbows before taking her down.
Once on top, Barber was able to avoid the submission attempts of Cifers for a couple minutes before she found her openings for ground and pound. She began landing hard elbows and punches as blood poured out of Cifers face until the ref stopped the fight.
Who should Maycee Barber fight next?: Mackenzie Dern (7-0)
#5: Davi Ramos
Davi Ramos def. John Gunther via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:57 of Round One
2015 ADCC world champion, Davi Ramos, came into this fight on a two-fight win streak. His most recent fight came at UFC 224 when he took on Nick Hein. He won the fight in the first round by rear naked choke for his second straight win.
His opponent, John Gunther, is an alum of season 27 of The Ultimate Fighter. Gunther made his way to the semi-finals where he faced Mike Trizano. He would lose in the semi-finals which would set up a fight on the finale against the other semi-final loser, Alan Zuniga. He came out of that fight with a win as the judges gave him the majority decision.
There’s not much to be said about this one as Ramos started the round immediately getting Gunther to the ground. Once he got him to the ground, he was quickly able to take his back and start looking for the submission.
Quickly after he took Gunther’s back, Ramos began looking to get his hooks in and begin looking for the rear naked choke. Once he got his hooks in, it didn’t take long for Ramos to get his forearm in under the chin of Gunther and lock up the choke. Just seconds later, Gunther was forced to tap, giving Ramos his third straight win by rear naked choke.
Who should Davi Ramos fight next?: Winner of Gilbert Burns (14-3) vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier (11-3)
As the 25th-anniversary show is in the books, let’s take a look at what is coming up next for the UFC. Next week, the octagon makes its debut in Argentina as Argentina’s own, Santiago Ponzinibbio, takes on fellow top ten welterweight, Neil Magny, in the main event. Also, in the co-main event, top fifteen featherweights, Ricardo Lamas and Darren Elkins will throw down to prove their still relevant in the 145-pound division. So join me next week as we look back on the UFC’s first trip to Argentina to determine UFC Fight Night 140‘s Standout Performances.
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