The Surprises And Disappointments Of UFC Fight Night 54

li-jingliang Surprises and Disappointments is a column featured on after every UFC event, highlighting three fighters who had surprising performances and three fighters who disappointed. Here were the three biggest surprises and the three biggest disappointments from UFC Fight Night 54. Surprises Li Jingliang — He did lose, but I was still pleasantly surprised by Li Jingiang’s performance in a split decision loss to Nordine Taleb. He threw a high number of strikes in every round and his wrestling matched up very well against one of the physically-stronger fighters in the division. Unfortunately he was fighting in his opponent’s backyard so he needed to really blow him out to secure a decision win, and he didn’t do that as it was a close fight. Still, I was surprised by how good Jingliang looked and I’m excited for his next fight in the Octagon. Paul Felder — After picking up a spinning wheel kick knockout on the regional circuit, there was some hype for Paul Felder heading into his UFC debut, but he was given a tough first assignment in Jason Saggo, a guy who is known to de-rail hype trains. But Felder overcame fighting a tough grinder in Saggo in his home country by exhibiting a high workrate to take home a close split decision win. The decision could have went either way, but Felder got it at the end of the day and was one of only two underdogs on the entire card to win. Chris Kelades — I don’t know how he did it, but somehow Chris Kelades fought one of the up-and-coming flyweights in Patrick Holohan on just five days’ notice and dominated him in the wrestling en route to a unanimous decision win. Kelades showed an excellent work rate throughout the fight and for a guy who had barely any time to get ready, a great gas tank. This performance really surprised me and I’m looking forward to seeing how Kelades does with a full camp. For now, though, he’ll enjoy taking out Holohan, which to date is the biggest scalp on his pro record. Disappointments Bryan Caraway — He had won four of his last five fights in the UFC and was nearing a spot in the top of the bantamweight division, but Bryan Caraway laid an egg and lost a clear-cut unanimous decision to Raphael Assuncao. I really thought Caraway would put on a better showing but he basically did nothing throughout the 15 minutes and didn’t even have to make the judges work. I think Caraway is a skilled fighter, but he needs to work on his striking if he’ll ever realize his dreams of fighting for a UFC title. Yosdenis Cedeno — I was expecting a much more competitive bout between Yosdenis Cedeno and Chad Laprise, but it really was a blowout in Laprise’s favor. Cedeno just couldn’t get anything going on the feet or off his back on the ground and clearly lost every round of the fight. Cedeno is now 1-2 in the UFC and I think there’s a good chance the promotion lets him go as he doesn’t seem ready for this level of competition yet. Anthony Njokuani — At one point in time, Anthony Njokuani was one of the most feared fighters in the lightweight division and someone who peopled pegged as a dark horse contender. But for whatever reason, Njokuani’s game just never evolved, and when you’re as one-dimensional as he is, you can’t win fights in the Octagon. Njokauni still has decent striking but his takedown defence is awful and, after dropping to a 3-5 overall in the UFC with his latest loss to Daron Cruickshank, I think the UFC is going to finally let him go. And at 34 years of age, this could very well be the end of his career, at least as a major-league fighter.

Written by Adam Martin.

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The Surprises And Disappointments Of UFC Fight Night 53

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