UFC kicked off its marathon of violence with a trip overseas to Berlin, Germany for UFC Fight Night 41: Mousasi vs Munoz. From there we moved to Sau Paulo, Brazil to get things going for TUF Brazil 3 Finale: Miocic vs Maldonado where four Ultimate Fighter finalists battled it out to determine the season’s winners.
Miocic vs Overeem — Miocic made quick work of the always tough Fabio Maldonado last night, using that big edge in power to his advantage. It was heroic of the blood thirsty Brazilian to step up and take the fight, but not the best decision if you’re looking at it through the standpoint of where his career was headed before the bout with Miocic. Maldonado was coming off three straight wins in the UFC at light heavyweight, and probably not the fight many in his weight class without fluid stand up would accept. Instead of bulking up to take on a top 10 heavyweight, he should have sat this one out and waited for someone his size to add to that streak.
A good fight for Miocic would be Alistair Overeem, who is coming off a dominant win over Frank Mir at UFC 169 in February. I know people think the fight with Junior dos Santos will get rebooked, but something tells me those pulling the strings behind the scenes at Zuffa headquarters will go a different direction with the Croatian-American.
Carlos Jr. vs Stringer — Antonio Carlos Jr. will drop down a weight division after winning the TUF trophy last night. He showed some decent potential in his stand-up and has a lot going for him on the ground. I’m not sure who he will be paired with next. Maybe a few fights with lower tier 205 pounders to help build up his rep on the big stage. Who knows.
Alves vs Lim or Spencer — Warlley Alves looked outstanding in his TUF final fight, getting takedowns when he wanted them and landing strikes at will when the fight was upright. That was until the guillotine submission came early in the last round, leaving his opponent out cold before he could tap out. Alves has voiced his plans to move down to welterweight and try to continue his run there.
I like a possible matchup of he and Hyun Gyu Lim, but after having Lim headline a show early in the year, I’m not so sure if they’re gonna want Alves in there with someone as seasoned as Lim at this point in his career. Also, Lim is huge for a welterweight and I’m guessing they want someone Warlley can ragdoll a bit. How about a little Sean Spencer? I like it.
Maia vs Pyle — Demian Maia denied Alexander Yakovlev a successful Octagon debut by shutting him down in every department. Though he would never ever commit to any submissions the entire time, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt still put forth a dominant performance nonetheless.
As a fan of good fights, I’d like to see Maia in the most competitive contest out there that makes sense according to where he places in the ranks. So a matchup with Mike Pyle is simply the best thing out there for the Brazilian in terms of competition level and getting fans to want to watch it.
Peralta vs Blanco — Robbie Peralta got away clean with a controversial split decision over the fan favorite Rony Jason. It was close enough not to call a robbery but at the same time Jason looked like he did just enough to come out with a win on the scorecards. Peralta did push the pedal when needed to, landing some good punches throughout and fought intelligently, unlike he did in his last loss vs Akira Corassani. When thinking of who he should fight next, a bout with Maximo Blanco would be guaranteed fireworks for at least a minute or two before one gets KOd, or they both get tired and look like two Leanard Garcias going at it.