The Surprises & Disappointments of UFC Fight Night 72

Stringer These were the three biggest surprises and the three biggest disappointments from UFC Fight Night 72. The Surprises Evan Dunham — The biggest upset on the whole card came in the co-main event as Dunham outgrappled Ross Pearson to win a decision. It wasn’t the prettiest fight, but Dunham had a smart gameplan and deserved to get the win. Considering he’s only lost to top fighters in his career, Dunham showed with this performance he still has something left in the tank, and he’s definitely one of the most underrated lightweights in the world. Robert Whiteford — Most figured Whiteford would outwrestle Paul Redmond, but instead Whiteford showed off his newly-found boxing skills, eventually catching Redmond on the chin and knocking him out cold. This was a brutal knockout and Whiteford looked awesome in this fight. With his judo background in addition to his striking, watch out for Whiteford at 145lbs. Mickael Lebout — Only two upsets happened on the whole card. Dunham was one, and Lebout was the other. The Frenchman was able to outgrapple Teemu Packalen to win a close decision on the judges’ cards in one of the more boring fights on the card. Lebout isn’t a bad fighter but he’s not that good either. He has some potential, but hopefully he can learn to finish fights at the UFC level and take that next step. The Disappointments Leonardo Mafra — I was picking Stevie Ray to finish Leonardo Mafra, but at the same time I did expect the Brazilian to look better in this fight. I thought Mafra would at least land some strikes, but really he didn’t do much of anything and got brutally finished early in the fight by Ray, showing a weak chin in the process. Mafra has skills on the feet, but his chin is really holding him back from taking that next step. Hans Stringer — The UFC has been desperate to sign light heavyweight prospects, and at one point it seemed like Stringer was a decent one, but after getting knocked out by Ilir Latifi after having previous been stopped by Fabio Maldonado, it’s pretty clear this guy isn’t good enough to fight in the UFC. I expect him to be cut, and maybe head back to WSOF for his next fight. Chris de la Rocha — Even though he took the fight on short notice, I was expecting more from heavyweight Chris de la Rocha in his UFC debut. On tape this guy looked really good, but against Daniel Omielanczuk he was just a statue. He stood in front of a heavy-handed striker, didn’t shoot for a takedown despite being a wrestler, and got brutally knocked out in less than a minute. He’ll get another fight in the UFC, but this performance shows he’s really not as good of a prospect as some of us originally thought.

Written by Adam Martin.

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Rating the Card: UFC Fight Night 72 (7/10)