Rating the Card: UFC on FOX 16 (8/10)

TJ Dillashaw 2 UFC on FOX 16 was a pretty stacked card on paper, and for the most part it played out like most expected it to, with a number of high-level, competitive, back-and-forth fights as well as a number of great finishes. Unfortunately, the officiating hurt this card. There were a number of mistakes made by the referees and the judges blew a couple of decisions as well, which put a damper on a night where the fights should have shone through instead. We’ll talk about this later, but for now, let’s get right into the card. The opening Fight Pass bout saw Zak Cummings brutally knock out Dominique Steele early in the first round. This really wasn’t much of a fight, but it was a nice finish, and probably the high point of the Fight Pass card, because the next two fights, a women’s bantamweight bout between Elizabeth Phillips and Jessamyn Duke, and a lightweight bout between Ramsey Nijem and Andrew Holbrook, were both stinkers for the most part. Not only that, but the judging was highly suspect in the Nijem/Holbrook bout, with Holbrook being awarded a questionable split decision. The Fight Pass card ended with a submission win for James Krause over Daron Cruickshank, but overall the Fight Pass fights didn’t really deliver. The televised prelims did deliver for the most part, however. The bantamweight bout between Bryan Caraway and Eddie Wineland was a close standup affair on the feet, and the lightweight bout between Jim Miller and Danny Castillo was also a close fight that took place everywhere. The crowning jewels of the prelims, though, were definitely the welterweight bout between Ben Saunders and Kenny Robertson and the light heavyweight bout between Gian Villante and Tom Lawlor. Saunders and Robertson went back-and-forth for 15 minutes in a war of a fight, although it’s unfortunate Saunders got the decision from the judges as most thought Robertson deserved it. The Villante vs. Lawlor fight was a standup brawl that ended up with a big upset as Lawlor won via knockout. It was a terrific KO win for Lawlor, and capped off a solid TV preliminary card. The main card was pretty damn good too. The opening main card bout saw Joe Lauzon destroy Takanori Gomi in what was likely the last time we’ll see Gomi compete in MMA. Then the lightweights took over the show, as Paul Felder and Edson Barboza put on a striking clinic against one another and earned a $50,000 bonus each for Fight of the Night. Jessica Eye and Miesha Tate then went to war in the co-main event of the evening, with Tate getting her hand raised by decision at the end of 15 minutes. And finally, in the main event of the evening, TJ Dillashaw proved once again that he has Renan Barao’s number, as he destroyed the former champ in what was a decisive victory for himself in the rematch. Overall, I’d rate UFC on FOX 16 a 8/10. It was a really good card, but like I mentioned earlier, some of the judging turned me off, and there was some questionable referring from Herb Dean in the Gomi/Lauzon and Dillashaw/Barao fights. That’s not the UFC’s fault so I can’t hate on the promotion, but still, those little things leave a bad taste in one’s mouth. Still, it was a good card, and if UFC 190 is anything close to this, fans will be very happy.

Written by Adam Martin.

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