The UFC came back on Saturday for an afternoon card in Hamburg, Germany that featured a whole lot of beefy action near the top and, well, not much outside that. The top three fights were all star-studded, featuring former champions and contenders. The rest were absolutely awful, featuring a lot of unknowns putting on a lot of forgettable fights.
Here are the important things you may have missed:
Josh Barnett Roughs Up Andrei Arlovski
Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovski are throwback champions that a lot of fans don’t remember. Still they’re top 10 dudes that faced off with possible retirement on the line. While the fight started off hard early, Arlovski faded and Barnett used that to his advantage as he took control with his grappling and submitted Arlovski on the ground in the third. Notes:
- Barnett’s still got the skills to pay the bills, but he’s terribly unathletic. It was a good win, but he looks every bit of 37 years old in 2016.
- Arlovski may or may not retire. He said he was going to take some time off and come back stronger…but we heard the same thing from Matt Hughes and Matt Serra back in the day.
- Even if he decides to come back, the UFC may cut him. He’s had three stoppage losses in a row and the company isn’t above holding his leaving for Affliction back in 2008 against him.
Alexander Gustafsson Makes Successful Return
Every good MMA fan loves some Alexander Gustafsson, and weeps for his injury struggles. The Swede returned after almost a year off and gave him an easy opponent in Jan Blachowicz. While Gus struggled early, he took control of the fight with his grappling, and won an easy unanimous decision. Notes:
- Blachowicz showed that he’s actually a really good fighter. He tagged Gustafsson a lot in the first round, and actually cut him up a bit. His ground game needs work, though.
- It’s not clear how much of that was Gustafsson being rusty, though. He’s been gone for a while and probably needed to shake off some rust. His wrestling looked crisp, though.
- Gustafsson said he was looking for a title fight in the near future. A rematch with Jon Jones without a title doesn’t really interest him.
Ryan Bader May Have Killed a Man
— Smirk (@Smirk_Official) September 3, 2016
Ilir Latifi is a charismatic dude with some heavy hands and good wrestling. He had the chance to join the top 10 with a win over Ryan Bader. That did not happen. After a good first round, Latifi ducked directly into a knee that sent him flying backwards like he was hit with a load of buckshot. Scary stuff. Notes:
- Bader needed that win, and boy did he get it. He was coming off an ugly loss to Anthony Johnson and this helps erase some of those memories.
- This is a sad thing for Latifi. He’s 33 years old, and this loss may have just buried him completely.
- A lot of people were calling for Bader vs. Gustafsson after this event…not a bad idea.
The Best of the Rest
- Ugh. There really wasn’t anything. This was kind of a bad card.
- Oh, except for Ashlee Evans-Smith’s win! She roughed up a UFC newcomer and finished the fight on the ground.
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