UFC Fight Night 128 Stock Report


Now that UFC Fight Night 128 has come and gone, it’s time to look back at the fighters competing on the card and analyze whether their stock went up, down, or stayed the same.

Stock Way Up

Kevin Lee — An amazing performance by Lee in the main event as he stopped Edson Barboza in the fifth round via doctor stoppage. Lee’s wrestling and ground-and-pound looked amazing in this fight and his chin held up well. He’s one of the top-five or so lightweights in the world and at 25 still has time to get better.

David Branch — A great KO win by Branch over Thiago Santos. Branch was the underdog and his backers figured if he won it would be by submission but he showed that he’s a well-rounded fighter with a beautiful KO win here. He deserves a top-10 opponent in his next fight, if not top-5.

Dan Hooker — That’s three fights at lightweight with three brutal finishes courtesy of Hooker, who deciminated Jim Miller with a brutal knee KO. Hooker has looked amazing at 155lbs and should be fighting a ranked opponent like Paul Felder next. This kid is absolutely someone who could be fighting for the lightweight belt in a year or two if he keeps winning in impressive fashion.

Siyar Bahadurza — Another amazing finish courtesy of Bahadurzada, this time over Luan Chagas. Bahadurzada has now won three-straight fights by stoppage and deserves a ranked opponent for his next fight. With the improvements he’s made in recent fights, he’s a darkhorse contender at 170lbs.

Stock Up

Frankie Edgar — Following a brutal KO loss to Brian Ortega just a month ago no one knew if Edgar should have even took this fight against Cub Swanson, but he proved the doubters wrong by winning a lopsided decision. In a featherweight field that needs top contenders, Edgar is probably one win away from another title shot.

Aljamain Sterling — Great performance by Sterling over Brett Johns as he pretty much controlled every minute of this fight en route to a clear-cut decision. Despite some bad losses, Sterling is still clearly one of the top-10 bantamweights in the sport.

Corey Anderson — A solid workmanlike performance by Anderson, who pretty much dominated Pat Cummins for three rounds en route to a decision. Still just 28, Anderson has the skillset to make a run up the 205lbs ladder, but will his chin hold up is the question.

Tony Martin — I wasn’t sure what to expect from Martin moving up to 170lbs, but he looked really good against Keita Nakamura. He looks like another guy who is benefiting from not killing himself to make 155lbs and it showed.

Stock Stays The Same

Justin Willis — Though he got the decision win over Chase Sherman, I wasn’t too impressed with Willis. I think his conditioning needs a lot of work and the fact he couldn’t finish an opponent he had rocked badly twice is a concern. But it’s heavyweight, so at 30 he’s still one of the division’s top prospects, though even he admitted he needs to lose some weight for his next fight.

Ryan LaFlare — LaFlare improved to 7-2 in the UFC with a decision win over Alex Garcia but the problem is all of his wins are by decision. Yes, he’s a winning fighter but he’s dreadful to watch and will never get a push up the ladder if he keeps winning grinding types of decisions in fights the crowds boo.

Ricky Simon and Merab Dvalishvili — Simon and Dvalishvili both put on an amazing fight that won “Fight of the Night” but both men had serious holes in their games exposed. Simon had a ton of trouble dealing with Dvalishvili’s pressure in the first two rounds while Dvalishvili gassed out badly and should have never been in a position to get choked out in the dying seconds of the fight. I loved watching this fight and hope the UFC books a rematch, but I don’t know how much differently I feel about both fighters after this controversial bout.

Stock Down

Cub Swanson — A very puzzling performance by Swanson, as he just let Edgar pick him apart for three rounds. Swanson didn’t take any risks in this fight and deserved to lose a lopsided decision. It could have been just a bad night for him, but at 34 he may be on the downside of his career.

Chase Sherman — Sherman showed his toughness in a decision loss to Willis, but he is now 2-4 in the UFC and likely in danger of being released. Bellator would be a perfect fit for him if he does get cut.

Thiago Santos — Coming off of four-straight KO wins, it was pretty shocking to see Santos get starched by Branch. Santos is a good fighter, but not a great one and at 34 I don’t see him improving much more.

Brett Johns — A poor showing from Johns, who lost his undefeated mark after being dominated by Aljamain Sterling. He’s still 26 and can improve, but this loss showed that he has serious flaws in his game.

Alex Garcia — Coming off of a submission win over Muslim Salikhov, more was expected of Garcia, but he continued his inconsistent UFC tenure with a decision loss to LaFlare. Garcia is a decent fighter but will never live up to the early-career hype he had.

Pat Cummins — Though he’s a good wrestler and is a very tough guy, Cummins just doesn’t have what it takes to be a top-10 light heavyweight and this beatdown loss to Anderson will likely result in him being put in a must-win situation his next time out.

Keita Nakamura — A bad performance by Nakamura against Martin, as he let his opponent beat him to the punch for 15 minutes and didn’t utilize his grappling enough. He might not even get another UFC fight after this stinker of a performance.

Stock Way Down

Edson Barboza — He’s one of my all-time favorite fighters to watch but after back-to-back beatdown losses to Lee and Khabib Nurmagomedov, it’s clear Barboza is on a big decline. He has taken a ton of damage in his career and these two losses are the kind of fights that send some fighters to retirement. At 32 I don’t think Barboza is completely done just yet, but I’d like to see him take some time off and come back after healing up.

Jim Miller — The long-time veteran of the Octagon has now lost four-straight fights, and this KO loss to Hooker was by the most devastating of them all. He’s still only 34 but has taken a lot of damage in his career. He might only have one or two fights left in him.

Luan Chagas — A bad loss by Chagas as the favorite against Bahadurzada. This guy is clearly not durable enough and he doesn’t have the cardio to cut it in the UFC, and I see him being released by the promotion after this stinker.

Written by Adam Martin.

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