The Five Count: Top Storylines from UFC 179 Fallout

chad-mendes-jose-aldoTheMMA-Analysis co-host Jay Primetown takes a look at the five biggest storylines to develop from UFC 179 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. #5 When Is It Time? – Flyweight Scott Jorgensen entered last night’s bout having lost five of his last seven fights including two of three at flyweight. Many suspected the three-time PAC 10 wrestling champion is nearing the end of his career. After facing Brazilian Wilson Reis at UFC 179, it may be time for Jorgensen to hang up the gloves. Reis, who doesn’t have a knockout win in his career, did well in striking exchanges landing a powerful leg kick to Jorgensen’s chest knocking the wind out of the Boise St product. Reis pounced and quickly secured a submission to get the win. Over the last couple years, speed has become a real concern for Jorgensen especially as he has cut to 125 pounds. His wrestling hasn’t been nearly as successful in this new weight class and the punishment he’s able to endure has decreased over time. At this point, it’s clear Jorgensen will never be a top 10 fighter again. He’s been beaten soundly by good, but not top of the division fighters. Other fighters such as Josh Koscheck and Gray Maynard with wrestling heavy approaches have suffered similar fates in the recent past. This brings up an important question: when is it time for a fighter to hang up the gloves? Koscheck and Maynard have suffered horrific knockouts, but decided to continue fighting and got badly knocked out again. Is it really worth it for one final payday to risk one’s long term health? That is something Jorgensen needs to consider. #4 The Most Unlikely of Streaks– What do Roger Huerta and Neil Magny have in common? After Saturday’s night win over William “Patolino” Macario, Magny joins Huerta as the only fighters with 5 wins in a calendar year in the modern era in the UFC. Wins over Gasan Umalatov (February), Tim Means (May), Rodrigo de Lima (June), Alex Garcia (August), and now William Macario (October)) have put Magny into a rare position. The Colorado based welterweight has been vocal that he wants one more fight in 2014. If the UFC grants him his wish, Magny will have a chance to become the first fighter to win 6 times in one year. While the caliber of competition is up for debate, conditioning oneself to be able to win 6 fights over the course of 12 months is a remarkable achievement. Magny is due for a step up in competition and what better way to do that than for a shot at history. Perhaps a main card bout on the TUF Finale in December. #3 Unmasking of the Glove – Glover Teixeira looked nearly unbeatable in his run to a light heavyweight title fight with Jon Jones. However, 2014 has not been his year. He’s had eight rounds of action and was unable to win any of them on the judges’ scorecards. Losing to Jon Jones was expected, but getting manhandled by Phil Davis was not. The Brazilian closed as an over 2 to 1 favorite in the bout, but was clearly outmatched throughout the contest. What happened to the dominant Brazilian we were used to seeing? First, one has to question the motivation of Teixeira heading into this fight. He opted not to train with “The Pit” or American Top Team, instead training locally in Connecticut. Finding wrestlers that will help someone train for Davis are rare as it is and they are not going to be found in a local camp in Connecticut. At UFC 179 it took Davis less than a round to breakdown Teixeira’s defense. When Davis got him to the ground, he was able to control him with regularity. Teixeira had no answer on the ground and was forced onto his back for the majority of the fight. On the feet, Teixeira had a power advantage, but Davis really showed he was much faster in his movement than the Brazilian with his ability to duck in and out without taking much damage. Davis employed the perfect game plan and as a result gave Teixeira the most lopsided loss of his career. While Teixeira is a very good fighter and one of the top 10 in the division, his lack of athleticism is a major flaw. If he’s not going to continue training at a top camp, his skill-set will degrade at a more rapid rate. If that continues, he’ll be out of the title picture completely by the end of 2015. #2 The Most Dominant Art in Mixed Martial Arts – One of the defining themes of UFC 179 was the method in which fighters were instilling their will on an opponent. Over the course of the history of MMA, different disciplines were considered the most dominant whether it was some type of striking or submission heavy technique. While not a traditional martial art, wrestling is the most dominant “art” in MMA today. In nearly every matchup on the card, wrestling played a key role. On the undercard, Andre Fili scored five takedowns which were the difference makers in his fight with Felipe Arantes. On the main card, Beneil Dariush showed much better wrestling scoring three takedowns versus his opponent being able to secure none in his upset win over Carlos Diego Ferreira. In the co-main event, Phil Davis led the card with nine takedowns scoring one of the biggest wins of his career. In the main event, Chad Mendes had a hard time with Jose Aldo earning only one takedown in eight attempts. This frustration led to his downfall as he was forced into a standup fight. Wrestling has proven to be a real difference maker. If a fighter can outstrike an opponent, the ultimate nullifier is putting that opponent in the position where it’s the most difficult to land strikes; on their back. The majority of UFC Champions have a wrestling-heavy approach. It’s difficult to lose fights when controlling the bout. That is the reward to having a strong wrestling pedigree. #1 Brazil’s Crown Jewel – There may be only one Brazilian champion in the UFC, but he truly is a great one.  Aldo faced Chad Mendes for a second time on Saturday, coming away victorious with a 49-46 result on all cards. The Brazilian faced his biggest test yet as Mendes had improved his striking speed and technique significantly since the first bout. Aldo showed once again why he’s known as having perhaps the best takedown defense in the sport defending seven of eight takedowns against the talented wrestler. With the win, the Brazilian is riding an 18-fight winning streak having not lost in nine years. To compound that, he never lost in the now defunct WEC or in the UFC. He’s beaten two all-time greats in Frankie Edgar and Urijah Faber. At this point, nobody can deny Aldo the distinction of being the best fighter in the history of MMA at less than 155 pounds. He’s cleared out nearly the entire division having previously beaten five of the top six ranked fighters. The one guy left is Conor McGregor and the UFC is angling for that fight sometime in the spring of 2015. If Aldo clears that hurdle, there really is nothing left for him at 145. Perhaps we will finally see Aldo make the long talked about move to 155 in an attempt to become a two division champion and the greatest MMA fighter of all time.

Written by Jay Primetown

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