UFC Fight Night 170 Standout Performances

BRASILIA, BRAZIL - MARCH 14: Gilbert Burns of Brazil celebrates after his TKO victory over Demian Maia of Brazil in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event on March 14, 2020 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the UFC decided that the show must go on as UFC Fight Night 170 was held behind closed doors. In an arena full of only fighters and essential staff and teammates, everything could be heard. It provided for a much different experience than normal as there was no crowd distraction. The card began with nine straight decisions, tying a previous UFC record. Yet the last three fights on the card delivered as two of three ended in the first round.

In the main event, two top lightweights clashed as they looked to climb the rankings. Former interim lightweight title challenger Kevin Lee looked to climb back towards the top of the division. He would be taking on a winner of his last six straight, Charles Oliveira.

In the co-main event, UFC veteran Demian Maia took on rising welterweight contender, Gilbert Burns. Burns was looking for a big win that would push him into the top ten of the welterweight division. Maia, on the other hand, was looking for his fourth straight win.

Looking back on the card it is very easy to determine the three standout performances, along with a few honourable mentions. 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. Along with every performance will be a look at what could potentially come next for each fighter.

UFC Fight Night 170 Standout Performances

#1 Gilbert Burns

def. Demian Maia via TKO (Punches) at 2:34 of Round 1

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BRASILIA, BRAZIL – MARCH 14: Gilbert Burns of Brazil celebrates after his TKO victory over Demian Maia of Brazil in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event on March 14, 2020 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)

At 42 years old, Demian Maia is still going strong. Entering UFC Fight Night 170, Maia had put together a three-fight win streak. Two out of three of those wins came by rear-naked choke. His most recent win came against former Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight champion, Ben Askren. His next fight would be against a dangerous upcoming welterweight contender, Gilbert Burns.

Coming into Saturday night, Burns had won his last four straight. Among those wins included decision wins over Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Alexey Kunchenko. The win over Kunchenko would earn him a fight against Gunnar Nelson who he would defeat by unanimous decision to put himself in the top fifteen. Entering his fight against Maia, Burns looked to pick up the biggest win of his career and climb into the top ten.

The Fight

Maia started the fight off pressuring, backing Burns up to the cage with strikes. About a minute in, he shot for the first takedown and got Burns to the mat, where they scrambled before getting back to their feet. Just under two minutes into the fight, Maia took Burns back and got him to the ground. From there he tried to transition to mount, where Burns was able to slip out from under him and get back to his feet. Once back to their feet, Burns landed a left hook that dropped Maia. After pummeling Maia with ground and pound, the ref was forced to step in and stop the fight.

What’s Next

After a big win over Maia, Burns will undoubtedly be ranked in the top ten when the rankings are released. After five straight wins, he has proved that he could end up being a problem in the welterweight division. Looking at the 170-pound rankings, a couple of names stand out as possible opponents for Burns’ next outing. One of those opponents could be former UFC welterweight title challenger, Stephen Thompson. Thompson is 2-2 in his last four, with wins over Jorge Masvidal and most recently Vicente Luque. His two losses during that time came to Darren Till and former UFC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis.

Another option was the same choice that our Nate Freeman went with in his ‘UFC Fight Night 170 Post-Fight Matchmaker‘. That option is seventh-ranked Michael Chiesa. Since making his welterweight debut in 2018, Chiesa has gone 3-0. He debuted against former interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit who he defeated with a kimura in round two. He would then go on to defeat both Diego Sanchez and Rafael dos Anjos by unanimous decision.

#2 Renato Moicano

def. Damir Hadzovic via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 0:44 of Round 1

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BRASILIA, BRAZIL – MARCH 14: Renato Moicano of Brazil celebrates after his victory over Damir Hadzovic of Bosnia in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event on March 14, 2020 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)

After going 5-3 in his UFC career at featherweight, Renato Moicano decided it was time to move up to lightweight. In his last two fights, he suffered TKO defeats to two top five featherweights. The first came against former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo as Aldo finished him in the second round of their fight at UFC Fight Night 144. He would then be finished by Chan Sung Jung in the first round of their UFC Fight Night 154 main event. He would be making his lightweight debut at UFC Fight Night 170 against a tough Damir Hadzovic.

Hadzovic entered the contest with a record of 2-1 in his last three fights. He put together a short two-fight win streak over Nick Hein and Marco Polo Reyes. In his most recent outing, he took on Christos Giagos at UFC Fight Night 153. He would lose the fight by unanimous decision. He looked to welcome Moicano to the lightweight division with a big win.

The Fight

The fight starts with Hadzovic throwing a couple of kicks before Moicano closed the distance and got a takedown. Around thirty seconds into the fight, Moicano had already gotten Hadzovic’s back and locked up the body triangle. Once he got that locked in, it was not long before Moicano locked up the choke and got the tap.

What’s Next

While the win is big for Moicano, it does not quite warrant a top ten opponent. Therefore, his call out for Paul Felder will not work as that is a step a bit too high in competition. Instead, Moicano should fight someone right on the edge of the top fifteen. An opponent that comes to mind is Beneil Dariush. Dariush has looked very impressive lately, putting together a four-fight win streak consisting of three finishes. He holds submission wins over Drew Dober and Frank Camacho during that time. His most recent outing came at UFC 248 when he took on Drakkar Klose. After an entertaining bout, Dariush finished the fight in round two, defeating Klose by knockout.

#3 Charles Oliveira

def. Kevin Lee via Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 0:28 of Round 3

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BRASILIA, BRAZIL – MARCH 14: Charles Oliveira of Brazil celebrates after his submission victory over Kevin Lee in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event on March 14, 2020 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)

Since losing in his interim lightweight title fight against Tony Ferguson, Kevin Lee was able to put together a record of only 1-2. He picked up a win over Edson Barboza before dropping a unanimous decision to Al Iaquinta. He would then go on to be submitted by Rafael dos Anjos in round four of their UFC Fight Night 152 main event. After that, he would be matched up to take on undefeated Gregor Gillespie at UFC 244. Lee bounced back in a big way that night, knocking out Gillespie with a highlight reel head kick in the first round.

His opponent would be winner of his last six straight, Charles Oliveira. Entering the fight, Oliveira is the UFC’s owner of the most submission wins in company history with 13. Over his six-fight win streak, he holds submission wins over Clay Guida, Christos Giagos, Jim Miller and David Teymur. In his last two fights, he finished both Nik Lentz and Jared Gordon with strikes. He looked to make it seven straight and climb up the lightweight ladder with a big win over Lee.

The Fight

Round One:

Round one started with Oliveira throwing a jumping front kick and pressuring Lee. After a couple more jumping front kicks, Oliveira looked for his first takedown after about a minute. He was able to take Lee down about a minute and twenty seconds into the fight, where Lee would come close to reversing it. However, Oliveira would begin searching for a heel hook from that position. For the remainder of the round, Lee spent the majority of the time on top. While Lee was on top, he spent a lot of time defending submission attempts as Oliveira continued searching for heel hooks and triangles. It was not until the last twenty seconds of the round where Lee started landing some decent shots from the top.

Round Two:

In round two, Oliveira continued pressuring Lee, landing some good kicks to the body. Lee was able to find some success with his striking but only shortly as Oliveira began landing some hard shots while backing Lee up to the cage. But about two minutes in, as Oliveira was moving in for a combination, Lee shot a double leg and got Oliveira to the mat. He held him there before Oliveira began working back to his feet, where Lee immediately took him down again. Lee held Oliveira down for the rest of the round, landing some decent ground and pound here and there before the horn.

Round Three:

Round three opened up with Oliveira running in with a flying knee. After that, Lee began unloading heavy shots. He began landing some hard overhands and a good head kick before looking for a single leg. Upon entry for the single leg, Oliveira immediately locked up a guillotine and quickly forced Lee to tap.

What’s Next

After seven straight victories and taking out the eighth-ranked lightweight, it is time for Oliveira to start facing some better competition. A rematch with Paul Felder could be an option, but his loss to Felder only happened about two years ago. Instead, why not a rematch with Donald Cerrone. The pair first met in 2011, in Oliveira’s fifth UFC appearance. He would lose to Cerrone that night by TKO in the first round, but in the nearly nine years since then, Oliveira has vastly improved his skill set. Cerrone is coming off a first-round TKO loss to former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor at UFC 246. He could rebound with a big win over Oliveira, snapping his seven-fight win streak, while Oliveria could climb towards the top five of the division.

Honourable Mention

Amanda Ribas def. Randa Markos via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-25)

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BRASILIA, BRAZIL – MARCH 14: (L-R) Amanda Ribas of Brazil punches Randa Markos of Canada in their strawweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event on March 14, 2020 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)

Up until just about two months ago, Amanda Ribas was expected to face Paige VanZant at UFC Fight Night 170. However, VanZant was forced out with an injury and it was announced that Randa Markos would replace her. From the opening bell, Ribas dominated Markos. She controlled her on the mat, landing some brutal ground and pound, as well as on the feet. When the final horn sounded, Ribas had out-struck Markos by a total of 173-56, with an 85-36 advantage in significant strikes. She was awarded at least one 10-8 round on every judge’s scorecard. Afterwards, she made it clear that she still hopes for an opportunity to fight VanZant and hopes that fight can be made next.

Next Week

Next week, the UFC was supposed to be in London for UFC Fight Night 171. However, with the UK on a travel ban list due to the corona virus, the UFC has been forced to look for a new venue. Because of this, the original main event will not go on as planned as Leon Edwards will be unable to make it. That leaves former UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley opponent-less. Three notable fighters have put their names in the hat to fight him, those being Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns and Rafael dos Anjos. Regardless of who is fighting and where the fights take place, Standout Performances will not be going anywhere. So tune in next week to find out who takes home UFC Fight Night 171’s Standout Performances.

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