The Brain and the Heart both went 4-2 for the night. The Brain is narrowly in the lead with a 42-29. The Heart is still one win behind at 41-30. There was plenty of action in Sunday’s Netherlands card, so let’s look at the top 5 moments of UFC Fight Night 87:
- Madadi Scores Standing TKO
This was a back and forth fight with both men getting the upper hand at points in the fight. I had the score 19-19 heading into the third and both men looked like they knew they needed that round to win. One mistake from Cabral ending up costing him the fight. He leaned right into a perfectly placed uppercut and was clearly hurt. Madadi followed with a couple more shots against the cage before the referee came in to stop the fight. Madadi picked up a very hard fought win and finally picked up a win after returning from his two year layoff in October. He has a long way to go if he wants to reach the top of the stacked lightweight division and at 37 years old time isn’t on his side, but he always comes to fight either way.
- Krylov Submits Barroso
The first round of this fight was fairly close as both men seemed content to trade shots. Barroso was able to land a couple takedowns, but Krylov looked very comfortable on the ground. Krylov was able to avoid danger and managed to find himself on the back of Barroso. He slapped on a rear-naked choke and forced the BJJ black belt to tap out for the first time in his career. Krylov has now won 4 in a row and has still never been to a decision in 24 fights. He’s currently ranked number 14 in the UFC rankings and that is likely to increase after this fight. He’s still only 24 years old and has the ability to become a serious contender, but I think he still needs some more time to develop before he climbs too far in the division. A fight between the winner of the Cummins/Nogueira or Rua/Anderson fight is likely next.
- Nelson Cranks His Way to Victory
The big question heading into this contest was if Nelson would be able to get Tumenov to the ground. Nelson was able to land two takedowns and showed off his ground superiority by immediately getting to mount on both occasions. Tumenov was able to get back to his feet on the first takedown in round one, but he wasn’t so lucky in round two. Tumenov rolled in an attempt to get back to his feet, but Nelson instantly wrapped his arm around Tumenov’s neck. From there Nelson cranked away until Tumenov tapped. The loss snapped Tumenov’s five fight win streak and was the first stoppage loss of his career. His striking is definitely dangerous, but he still has some work to do on the ground. Luckily he’s still extremely young and has plenty of time to improve and become a more well-rounded fighter. I think he could handle a fight with someone in the top 15 at the moment. With the win Nelson re-establishes some momentum. A lot of people have been saying he should fight Neil Magny next. I think that would be an outstanding matchup and could easily go either way.
- Struve Crushes Bigfoot
This one ended almost as quickly as it started. Bigfoot came forward and was met with a hard right and a big knee that sent him to the ground. Struve followed with some massive elbows that knocked Silva unconscious only 16 seconds into the fight. Silva has now lost two in a row and only has one win in his last seven fights. If he chooses to continue fighting he will likely have to do it somewhere other than the Octagon. Even though the heavyweight division is thin I really don’t see Silva sticking around after this loss. Struve was in a similarly bad position heading into this fight, but this impressive victory should provide the boost he needed. A fight with someone in the top 15 makes sense as he looks to work his way back up the ladder. Alexey Oleinik and Ruslan Magomedov are both free and either would make sense.
- Overeem Likely Earns Title Shot (Maybe)
Overeem looked in complete control of this fight from the start. Arlovski definitely tried to bring the fight to him, but Overeem remained patient throughout the fight. He saw an opening early in the second and pounced on it with a hard kick followed by a powerful left hand that dropped Arlovski. Overeem then followed up with punches on the ground until the fight was waived off. Everything seems to be fine between these two teammates after the fight, but I can’t help but feel that since Overeem specifically asked for this fight that some problems could surface in the near future. Arlovski has dropped two in a row by TKO and unfortunately his hopes at recapturing the UFC Heavyweight Championship may be gone. A fight with Ben Rothwell would seem to make a lot of sense at the moment. These two originally met back in 2008 at Affliction with Arlovski winning by KO. Overeem seems to be next in line to fight for the heavyweight title. So it would appear like he’ll face the winner of Saturday’s Werdum/Miocic fight. However, we’ve seen plenty of people that have been promised title shots before and then not ended up receiving them, so we’ll have to wait and see how this actually plays out.
Be sure to check back at the end of the week for The Brain vs. The Heart: UFC 198. This card is packed full of important matchups and huge names. The headliner is a heavyweight title fight between Fabricio Werdum and Stipe Miocic. The co-main is a middleweight clash between Vitor Belfort and Ronaldo Souza. The main card also features Anderson Silva and the UFC debut of Christiane “Cyborg” Santos.
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