UFC Fight Night 36 Recap: Middleweights Meander On Way To Title Shots

Machida MousasiUFC Fight Night 36 would go down as possibly the most forgettable card in recent UFC memory, if only anybody cared enough to remember it. The organization’s most recent trip to Jaragua do Sul in Brazil was met with a mixed reaction from the Brazilian crowd. When I say that, I mean mixed in the sense that there were fights that the fans could not care less about and then a few fights that the fans tried to care about, but quickly had that desire stomped out of them in one of the most prolonged spells of passivity I’ve been witness to. The two bouts at the top of the card were meant to determine the next challenger for the UFC’s middleweight title, whether that be Chris Weidman or Vitor Belfort following their clash in May. While we got the two winners that were expected, the performances they put on don’t seem to have many fans rushing to slot them in for a title shot. Lyoto Machida (21-4) bested Gegard Mousasi (34-4-2) over five tactical/tepid/calculated/boring rounds. Use whichever of those adjectives you prefer to describe the fight, but it was far from exciting and hearkened back to the types of performances Machida was criticized for early in his UFC career. I was actually surprised that the judges saw the bout as clearly as they did, since once again Machida did very little to distance himself from an opponent he was beating. In fact, I thought the only obvious round of the fight was the fifth. Aside from that Machida was certainly landing the harder shots, but was so few and far between with them that it became frustrating to watch. With Machida being 35 and a known commodity, he is likely the next challenger to the middleweight title, but against two fighters in Weidman and Belfort who also control distance well I don’t expect either fight to be particularly entertaining should it go how “The Dragon” would want. The other fighter who had a chance to throw his name into title contention was Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (20-3, 1 NC), who dispatched Francis Carmont (22-8), ending the Frenchman’s 11-fight winning streak via unanimous decision. Actually, unless I specify otherwise, just assume every fighter on this card won by decision. Jacare was not as dominant as he’s looked in his previous five victories, but was still more effective than all of Carmont’s previous UFC opponents combined. Jacare SouzaThis was not the type of performance that will vault Jacare ahead of Machida in the hunt for a title shot, and it may even result in a showdown between the two to determine who fights for the title next. A co-headlining spot on the UFC 173 card featuring Weidman and Belfort would be perfect, if both fighters are healthy enough to make it there. Even the fights on this card that were set up as squash matches and resulted in the only two finishes on the card were met with a lukewarm reception from the normally fanatical Brazilian spectators. Erick Silva’s 52-second TKO of Takenori Sato (17-9-7) was about as anticlimactic as a fight ending that quickly can be. Silva (16-4, 1 NC) hurt Sato to the body with a kick, and then proceeded to land a variety of strikes as Sato clung to a fruitless single leg takedown that resulted in the stoppage. It was exactly what every expected when a journeyman with five previous TKO losses stepped into the octagon with Erick Silva in Brazil, and did nothing for either fighter. Silva should still be taking on welterweight fighters in the lower end of the top 15, rather than journeymen like Sato. Perhaps the winner of Story/Gastelum would be an appropriate next test. Charles Oliveira (17-4, 1 NC) was the only other fighter to earn a stoppage victory on the card, as he tapped out Andy Ogle (9-4) with a triangle choke at 2:40 of the third round. Ogle gave a better account of himself than most expected, in that he was losing a fairly competitive fight that looked like it was bound for another decision rather than being blown out of the water as most expected. The only problem with Ogle is that his primary skill remains not getting finished. Oliveira will always been in entertaining fights, so long as he doesn’t get paired with featherweights who simply look to nullify his offense. Although there has been talk of this fighter taking on just about everyone on the UFC roster and I’m unsure of his exact timetable for a return, Conor McGregor would make for an excellent foil. Sources also tell me that a match between Nicholas Musoke (12-2, 1 NC) and Viscardi Andrade (17-6) was on the main card of this event. If your first reaction was “Who?” I wouldn’t blame you. Both fighters had only competed once previously in the UFC, and the fight showed that both guys need some seasoning. Despite picking up the win (by decision, naturally) Musoke showed holes in both his striking and grappling defense. Luckily he’s proven to be very durable in his two UFC appearances thus far and Andrade gassed badly in an attempt to finish the bout in the first round. Despite taking approximately three days to complete, the undercard of this event wasn’t all bad. Just mostly bad. The highlights however included the first two rounds of Iuri Alcantara and Wilson Reis, which provided some fun scrambling. Even better than that was the opening stanza between Felipe Arantes and Maximo Blanco, where both fighters showcased a plethora of effective offense. Overall, Fight Night 36 did very little to separate anyone from the pack, and to be quite honest, it’s a good thing the next UFC event is less than a week away already, as I’m sure Dana White can’t wait to have the memory of this event erased at all… if there was anything worth remembering, that is. UFC Fight Night 36 Highlights Lyoto Machida vs Gegard Mousasi

Jacare Souza vs Francis Carmont


Written by Brad Taschuk

Leave a Reply

The Parting Shot Podcast – Episode 40: Jonathan Goulet

Surprises & Disappointments From UFC Fight Night 36