UFC 225 has come and gone, and now it’s time to look back at the event and critique the performances of the fighters. Here is the UFC 225 stock report.
Stock Way Up
Colby Covington – An amazing performance by Covington over Rafael dos Anjos elevates him way up the welterweight ladder as he now holds the interim belt. He showed tremendous cardio in this fight and should be the next challenger against UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, who may not be able to keep up with the pace Covington sets.
Holly Holm – What a complete performance by Holm, who showed a new evolution in her game with her takedowns against Megan Anderson. Holm is a serious title threat at both 135lbs and 145lbs, and a fight against Amanda Nunes next makes a lot of sense.
Curtis Blaydes – The most brutal finish of the night came from Blaydes as he was able to destroy Alistair Overeem for by far the biggest win of his career to date. Blaydes has looked amazing in his last few fights and he should be next in line to fight the winner of UFC 226’s Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier.
Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero – Whittaker and Romero put on an incredible five-round war for the middleweight title, one that saw Whittaker squeeze out a close split decision. Both fighters’ stock went up in the fight, with Whittaker reaffirming his spot as the top dog at 185lbs and Romero showing he’s not close behind, though he may be forced to move up to heavyweight next.
Anthony Smith – A great knockout win for Smith over Rashad Evans in his light heayvweight debut. I really like Smith at this new weight class and I hope the UFC gives him what he wants as he called out Sam Alvey for a potential barnburner in Nebraska.
Sergio Pettis – Pettis picked up the biggest win of his career so far with a decision nod over Sergio Pettis. His striking looked sharp and crisp and his takedown defense looked much improved. At only 24, he still has time to contend for the belt at 125lbs.
Charles Oliveira – Oliveira looked great in submitting Clay Guida in the first round. Oliveira is adamant he wants to move down to 145lbs but considering all of his success at 155lbs I don’t know why he’s so set on cutting weight again.
Dan Ige – A very impressive performance by Ige, who thrashed Mike Santiago in the first round. Ige is a very complete fighter and is a darkhorse to keep your eye out on at 145lbs.
Stock Stays The Same
Tai Tuivasa and Andrei Arlovski – Both heavyweights put on a competitive fight but we didn’t learn a ton about either guy here. Tuivasa needs to work on his conditioning while Arlovski needs to let go of his hands more.
Claudio Gadelha and Carla Esparza – Both girls remain borderline title contenders at 115lbs but neither truly raised their stock. Gadelha’s striking defense needs work while Esparza just seems outsized at times in this division.
Mirsad Bektic and Ricardo Lamas – Both guys put on a decent fight but neither really raised his stock too much. Bektic still has a lot to prove, while Lamas is nearing gatekeeper status at this point.
Rafael dos Anjos – RDA was outwrestled and outpaced by Colby Covington and wasn’t able to get his striking off. He’s likely still a top-five fighter, but I can’t see him getting back to the 170 title picture anytime soon considering all of the other contenders available.
Megan Anderson – What a poor debut by Anderson, who was outwrestled by Holly Holm for three rounds en route to a lopsided decision loss. Anderson has a lot of work to do before she ever is called a true featherweight title contender again.
Alistair Overeem – Another devastating knockout loss to Overeem, this time against Curtis Blaydes. I still think Overeem beats a lot of heavyweights but all of these brutal knockouts are starting to really add up, and I think he should strongly consider retiring.
Chris De La Rocha and Rashad Coulter – The two heavyweights put on a good first round but both gassed out badly in the second and it was awful to watch. De La Rocha will get another UFC fight since he won, but with three-straight losses it’s bye for Coulter.
Joseph Benavidez – It was surprsing to see Benavidez lose to Sergio Pettis, but when you consider his long layoff and all the injuries he’s suffered from the last few years, maybe we should have seen this coming. He should probably consider moving up to 135lbs.
Clay Guida – After a couple nice outings at 155, Guida turned back into a pumpkin with a submission loss to Charles Oliveira. Guida is still just a gatekeeper and will never be a title contender with how poor his submission defense is.
Stock Way Down
Mike Jackson and CM Punk – Both Jackson and Punk fought an embarassing “fight” that was probably the worst UFC fight of the modern era. Neither guy should be invited back to the Octagon.
Rashad Evans – Evans was brutally knocked out by Anthony Smith and has now lost five-straight fights in the UFC. He should retire, but if he chooses to continue fighting the UFC should not offer him a contract. If he wants to go to Bellator, let him.
Mike Santiago – Another poor showing by Santiago in the UFC as he was quickly finished by Dan Ige. Santiago has lost three-straight fights in the UFC and is most likely getting cut.