Post-UFC 196: On the Chopping Block

brandon-thatchUFC 196 delivered a night of shocks and awes, leaving behind a very memorable night of mixed martial arts action. Now with the entertaining night of scraps in our rear-view, let’s take a look at which of the evenings competitors we may no longer see in action inside the Octagon… ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK Justin Salas Salas is now 3-4 inside the Octagon and 1-3 in his last four outings. Now coming offa pair of TKO defeats, I think there is a good chance the UFC opts to part ways with him following this past Saturday night’s outing. I would not be completely surprised to see the UFC give him another crack, but I do believe it is highly unlikely. He won one and lost one for his first few fights in the UFC, but after suffering his first back to back losses inside the Octagon and falling to 3-4, I don’t expect to be seeing him fighting in the big show again. Brandon Thatch “Ruckus” made waves in the UFC’s welterweight division when he put away Justin Edwards inside of the very first round of action. Following the impressive Octagon debut, he took on veteran Paulo Thiago and the result was the same. In an effort to make it three in a row in the UFC, he came off a layoff to take a major step up in competition against former UFC/WEC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson. Thatch outstruck Benderson for the first two rounds but fatigue started to set in and Henderson took over in the third, taking him down and threatening with chokes on the mat, nearly putting Thatch away. The Denver, CO-based fighter survived the round and started taking over again on the feet in the fourth, until a perfectly timed takedown by Henderson put him back on the canvas, where he had absolutely no answers. This time, Bendo quickly advanced positions and sunk in the choke a quick tap from the gassed-out Thatch. If it was a three round fight, he would have won a unanimous 29-28 decision, but the two extra rounds made a world of difference. That sour main event defeat was the beginning of the end for Thatch, who took on Gunnar Nelson in his next Octagon outing at last July’s UFC 189 in Las Vegas. Nelson surprised by dropping Thatch with strikes, then he jumped on him and within seconds secured a rear naked choke to earn the tap. At this past Saturday night’s UFC 196, Thatch took on Siyar Bahadurzada and was getting the better of him on the feet at the start of the first stanza, however the Afghani fighter found a takedown later in the frame and closed out the round in top position. Feeling how dominant he was in top position, Bahadurzada did more of the same in the second and third rounds to grind Thatch out for a unanimous decision win on the judges’ scorecards. The defeat marked three fights in a row where Thatch had zero answers on the ground, and he is now on an unfortunate three fight losing streak in the UFC, so I think there is a good chance he will be receiving his walking papers from the promotion. I think he will either sign with Bellator or win a few fights on the regional circuit to get back in the UFC.

Written by Gabe Killian

Leave a Reply

CES 33’s Greg Rebello talks Keith Bell fight, NHL Trade Deadline & Boston Bruins

MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Paige VanZant joins ‘Dancing with the Stars’, Rizin MMA signs Wanderlei Silva