The Surprises & Disappointments of UFC Fight Night 66

Mark Munoz 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 66. Surprises Mark Munoz – I’ll admit it, I was completely wrong about the Mark Munoz vs. Luke Barnatt fight. I figured we’d see the Munoz who has lost his last three fights by stoppage, not the one who dominated Chris Leben and Tim Boetsch. And I was completely wrong, as it was the latter who showed up, beating the tar out of Barnatt for 15 minutes en route to a decision win. Confirming his retirement from the sport by placing his gloves in the center of the Octagon after the fight, Munoz will now retire as one of the few fighters to go out on a win, which is a surprise in itself. Neil Magny – The most improved fighter on the UFC roster has to be Neil Magny, right? After going 1-2 in his first three UFC fights, he’s now won seven-straight fights after his latest victory, a brutal ground-and-pound stoppage over Hyun Gyu Lim. Magny has been questioned by a lot of bettors and his betting lines have reflected it, but he keeps coming through even when people doubt him. He’s a great fighter, one who keeps getting better every fight, and he deserves a top-10 opponent after this surprisingly-dominating win over Lim. Guangyou Ning – The winner of the featherweight trophy in TUF China, Guangyou Ning didn’t have much hype going into his fight with Royston Wee. Despite winning the reality show, no one was really talking about this guy, but after his stoppage win over Wee, they will now. Ning didn’t look amazing for much of this fight, but he showed he has potential with a devastating finish over Wee in the dying seconds of the second round of their bout. While Wee isn’t a great fighter, he is a decent gatekeeper, and by stopping him Ning showed he probably has more potential than a lot of us think. Disappointments Luke Barnatt – For the third-straight fight, Luke Barnatt was the favorite, and for the third-straight fight he lost a decision, this time to Mark Munoz. I have no idea what has happened to Barnatt. He looked so good coming off of TUF, with stoppage victories over Mats Nilsson and Andrew Craig being his notable wins, but since then he’s changed into a different fighter, on who is extremely tentative on the feet and who doesn’t throw strikes. I like Barnatt and he has the reach and length to be a top contender, but he just can’t put it all together and should be released from his contract. Dhiego Lima – Four fights in the UFC for Dhiego Lima, a record of 1-3 to show for it. I don’t know what happened to Lima after his breakthrough stint in the TUF 19 house, but he’s looked absolutely terrible in the UFC, getting brutally knocked out three times in the last year. Lima has the skills, but for some reason just can’t put it together when he steps inside the cage. He’s a great guy and could be a good fit in Bellator, but I think at this point someone needs to sit Lima down and have “the talk” with him, although ultimately that will be the fighter’s decision to make. Nolan Ticman – Although I thought he did enough to beat Yao Zhikui on points, I was overall disappointed by Nolan Ticman’s performance. This is a guy who trains at King’s MMA and he should be a lot more aggressive than he is, but instead he fought so passively against Zhikui and lost the decision because he was moving backwards the whole fight. Ticman is young and has potential, but in order to unlock he has to be more aggressive in future fights. He should get one more fight in the UFC, but if the promotion cuts him to get more experience elsewhere it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

Written by Adam Martin.

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