The Five Count: Top Storylines from UFC 183 Fallout

Anderson SilvaJay Primetown takes a look at the five biggest storylines to develop from UFC 183 from the fight capital of the world; Las Vegas, Nevada. #1 The Spider’s Web – The main event of UFC 183 has been talked about for months. It had been over a year since Anderson Silva had fought in the Octagon. His long return from recovering from a broken leg in his December 2013 loss to Chris Weidman was some long anticipated by MMA fans. Silva, long considered one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport, had won fans over by returning from such a devastating injury. His return match-up with the enigmatic Nick Diaz was meant to be a relatively easy fight for the former champion allowing him to work himself back in the Octagon and to have another chance at the championship. However, watching the fight on Saturday night, it was apparent to me that Silva wasn’t the same fighter he once was. His movement is still good, but he did not have the same killer instinct he once had. The situation reminds me a bit of when Michael Jordan returned to the NBA to play for Washington. He could still compete at a high level, but no longer had that X-factor that made him invincible. While the fans would still adore Silva, it’s hard to imagine him being able to be champion again. At this point, I would like to see him in a couple more favorable match-ups on his terms and then calling it a career. A true legend of the sport should go out on his terms; not anybody else’s. #2 Weight Cutting Reform –At UFC 183, cutting weight became a key issue in two significant fights. In the card’s co-main event, Kelvin Gastelum once again struggled with the weight cut for his welterweight match-up with Tyron Woodley. Gastelum struggled so badly with the cut that he even had to go to the hospital briefly. At weigh ins, he was ten pounds overweight. In Saturday’s fight, he had a very competitive fight with Woodley losing a split decision. Elsewhere on the card, John Lineker was having issues cutting the weight and simply decided to stop trying to get to the flyweight limit allowed of 126 pounds. Instead, Lineker weighed in at 130 pounds. In his match-up with Ian McCall, Lineker showed improved cardio as he was able to land the bigger strikes in the second half of the fight to score a decision win. While both fighters had their fight purse’s reduced for missing weight, they both had competitive bouts with their opponents. One could argue that not having to make weight gave them the ability to fight a better fight on Saturday night. It really is an unfair advantage and I believe reform is in order to further discourage fighters from missing weight. What should be done is a point deduction for the fighter that missed weight. By doing deducting a point, it will make it much harder for that fighter to win the match-up. While a reduction in pay hurts, a loss on a fighter’s record hurts more and that’s the why this type of change is necessary to get fighters to come in on weight. #3 The Comeback Queen – In her time in the UFC, Miesha Tate can be described as a polarizing fighter. She certainly has her share of fans, but also her detractors. One thing that can’t be questioned is her will to win. In a big match-up in the women’s bantamweight division, she faced Olympic silver medalist wrestler Sara McMann. The Olympian had an amazing start nearly knocking Tate out on the feet with an overhand right. McMann was getting the better of the striking in the second round until a flurry by Tate and a guillotine attempt nearly forced McMann to submit. In what was likely an even match-up going into the third round, Tate bit down on her mouth piece and dominated the final frame against McMann. She outwrestled one of the best in the world to the shock of many to win a decision and give her three straight wins in the Octagon. Just last year, Tate did something similar against Liz Carmouche with a very decisive third round. Many had been on the verge of writing Tate off as a contender, but her resilience to win fights deserves admiration. In this decade, she has only lost to two fighters; the two women who will be facing each other at UFC 184 for the bantamweight title. Yes, Tate has fought Rousey twice in her career, but at this point she may very well be in line again for another opportunity. #4 The Art of the Body Strikes – In an ever-changing sport, strategies and techniques fighters use to win fights are constantly evolving. As striking has become more advanced, fighters are finding new and more precise ways to win fights. While body shot knockouts have been happening since the start of MMA, they are becoming second nature at this point. In recent times, the likes of Donald Cerrone, Luke Rockhold, and even Ronda Rousey have all won fights with body shots. To lead of the PPV card, Thiago Alves faced fast rising welterweight Jordan Mein. The Canadian had a great first round easily out landing the veteran. In the second round, it was quite competitive until one greatly timed kick by Alves hit Mein flush in the chest. The Canadian put his hands to his body and fell to his knees. The referee quickly stepped in and ended the bout. It was a great example, that there are more ways to end a fight with one strike than simply a knockout punch. Furthermore, more body striking could potentially extend careers as it will be less head trauma that fighters endure. Expect body shot knockouts to be even more prevalent in 2015. #5 Change is Necessary for Fight Pass Prelims – While there were many reasons behind the creation of Fight Pass, one of them was to give a stable platform for non-televised fights. The UFC has certainly succeeded in that, but what it also needs to do is make changes to the type of fights it puts on Fight Pass. At UFC 183, we saw Thiago Santos against Andy Enz to open the card. The second fight was an all Brazilian affair between Ildemar Alcantara and Richardson Moreira. While Santos did finish with an excellent body shot knockout, Enz simply didn’t deserve to be on the card. He was 0-2 entering this fight in the UFC and hadn’t proven he could compete at this level. The Alcantara vs. Moreira contest was an all Brazilian affair on US soil which never seems to go well. On paper it was a boring fight and it played out as such. Like Enz, Moreira has not proven he can compete at this level and should be cut after this loss. What we saw with this set-up, was poor fights between fighters we all knew didn’t belong. What Fight Pass should be used for is a showcase for debuting talent. Give fighters a chance that haven’t made their UFC debut. If they do so successfully, put them on television next time. If they aren’t good enough, release them back to the regional circuit. The UFC has over 500 fighters on its roster and many of them on losing streaks that clearly don’t belong at this level. What is needed and what most would yearn for is cutting of the dead weight and a clear platform to give developing fighters an opportunity. Simply filling up space on a card with guys who are never going to be something is a waste of everybody’s time.

Written by Jay Primetown

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