The Five Count: Top Storylines from UFC Fight Night 62 Fallout

Josh KoscheckJay Primetown takes a look at the five biggest storylines to develop from UFC Fight Night 62 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil #1 Thank You Kos– Very few fighters have had as impressive a career as Josh Koscheck. The Pennsylvania native began wrestling at five years old and developing into a fantastic collegiate wrestler. Koscheck was a four-time All-American at Edinboro University including winning a national title his junior year. Koscheck shortly thereafter began an MMA career entering the UFC through the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter” losing to Diego Sanchez in the semifinals. Koscheck went on to fight 25 times during his UFC career beating the likes of Paul Daley, Matt Hughes, and Anthony Johnson. In 2010, he worked his way up to a title shot against the legendary Georges St. Pierre losing a decision. In the past couple years, the charismatic Koscheck has faced a murderer’s row of opponents including current champion Robbie Lawler and past champion Johny Hendricks. He’s been finished in his last four fights including a submission loss to Erick Silva on Saturday night. The 37-year old has accomplished just about everything in his MMA career. Hopefully, Koscheck goes home, evaluates, and decides to hang them up. Its clear Kos doesn’t have the same ability he had at his peak five years ago. He’s had eye problems and could face long term damage if he continues. I think I can speak for all in the MMA community when I say thank you for the memories, but the best thing you can do now is to retire from active fighting and pursue a career outside of the octagon. Kos, you started as a fighter everybody loved to hate, but grew into a fighter fans respected and appreciated. #2 The Art of Submission Grappling – Knockouts, a slugfest, and style clashes are what traditionally get the juices flowing of MMA fans. One thing that should be added to that list is submission grappling; a fighter capable of submitting an opponent in a variety of ways. Blackzilians prospect Gilbert Burns appears to be well on his way to becoming a fan friendly and potentially a top 10 level fighter in the UFC. At times he struggled with his opponent Alex Oliveira at UFC Fight 62, but ultimately he got the result he desired. Potentially being down two rounds to zero, Burns was able to take down Oliveira early in the third round. With over four minutes to work, Burns tried a variety of submissions from chokes, to an ommoplata, to eventually securing an arm bar to get Oliveira to tap out with less than a minute left in the fight. It was a beautiful display of submission grappling and one that truly makes one appreciate just how exciting grappling can be in MMA. Burns has a long career ahead and I for one am very much looking forward to seeing more of him in the Octagon. #3 The Phantom Choke – It seems like every fight card features a judging or referee blunder. However, the blunder that occurred at UFC Fight Night 62 may in fact have been the worst one in the history of the organization. In a close contest between Drew Dober and Leandro Silva, the Brazilian attempted a guillotine while on his back. As Dober began to work his way out of the attempt, he moved his hand above Silva’s head. It was this hand action which had referee Eduardo Herdy call a stop to match. The referee, who had only done a few fights in the UFC, didn’t realize that Dober was already out of danger and was maneuvering for position on the mat. It was a rather novice mistake; one that cost Dober dearly. At this level of the sport, there needs to be veteran referees in each and every fight. Referees need to have their growing pains on the regional scene. It’s simply unacceptable for someone to be given a loss due to this kind of error. A real evaluation process needs to be discussed moving forward. Referees need to be graded and judged on their performances. A review needs to happen at least once a year. Too many controversial moments and a referee is given less high profile bouts. If a referee has a great year, that person will gain more prominence and bigger bouts. There needs to be a performance based system put in place. End of story. #4 Home Advantage – There’s been a long held belief that Brazilian fighters have a distinct advantage of fighting in front of their home fans. As the UFC returned to Brazil in the early part of the decade, favorable matchups were given to the local talent and they built up a very strong record against international opponents. When the UFC developed half a dozen cards a year in the country, the matchmaking began to level off with more competitive fights. Perhaps it is an anomaly, but Brazilian fighters had one of their best nights to date at Fight Night 62. Of the 11 fights to pit Brazilians against international competition, the Brazilians won ten of those bouts. Most of those wins were in decisive fashion. It was a real displaying of grappling and submission skills as five of the ten Brazilian wins were by submission. Brazil is in need of a new generation of stars and building winning streaks is the best way to gain recognition. Look for Brazilians to continue their winning ways on home soil throughout 2015. #5  Pepey Making Waves– Entering 2014, former TUF Brazil finalist Godofredo “Pepey” Castro was at crossroads. He had a 1-3 record inside the octagon and was on the verge of being cut from the organization. Whatever has happened with Pepey in the last 12 months, he has been a completely different fighter. Physically he’s much more imposing than in the beginning of his UFC career. More importantly, he has developed a confidence that is recognizable. In the last year, he has fought three times and won all three bouts by first round stoppage. His most recent matchup the most impressive against a rising prospect in Team Alpha Male’s Andre Fili. With his TUF pedigree and outgoing personality, Pepey is one to watch in Brazil and expect him to see a more prominent role on an upcoming Brazil card.

Written by Jay Primetown

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