UFC continues to garner more and more fans in the land down under with the biggest live gate for a Fight Night card in history with $2.2 million earned with 14,532 in attendance to witness the night of action topping the $1.1 million for last years Fight Night 24 headlined by Alexander Gustafsson edging Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
I was cage-side for the nights proceedings and have made a silent agreement with Joe Silva to do his job for him so here are the matches to make for those who got their hand raised at the top of the bill.
Philippou continues to climb the 185-pound ladder collecting his third straight UFC victory edging Ultimate Fighter champ Court McGee over fifteen minutes, the Matt Serra trained product showed off his exceptional striking game blistering McGee with strikes to win the first two frames unanimously before fading and dropping the final stanza to snap McGees eight-bout winning streak.
He has shown that he has an ability to throw punches in bunches and threaten some mediocre opposition, a perfect test would be well-traveled veteran Ed Herman — “Short Fuse” Herman has won three-fights since returning from a devastating knee injury most recently submitting Clifford Starks at UFC 142.
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Philippou would have to plug a lot of holes in his entire game to deal with the 31-year-old submission artist and would be the perfect test to see if he can be anything more than a bonus hunter in the middleweight division.
Joseph Benavidez has been waiting in purgatory for the flyweight division to open its doors and tonight it finally did, and he wasted no time showing that he’ll be a player at 125-pounds destroying former Shooto champion Yasuhiro Urishitani merely seconds into the middle frame.
His next move in all honesty is to sit on the sidelines, with the controversy surrounding the draw in the Ian McCall vs. Demetrious Johnson tilt it leaves him without a dance partner for his flyweight title fight planned for later this year — McCall and Johnson will rematch in a few months and Joe will have to sharpen his tools and wait in the wings for his challenger.
At this stage it doesn’t make sense for him to take another fight when hes guaranteed a shot at the winner of the opposite side of the brackets this year which he confirmed in the post-fight press conference.
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Kampmann showed that he can take a licking and keep on kicking. Alves took control of their fight after a closely contested opening stanza and began punishing the Danish kick boxer with a series of leg kicks and punishing his face with elbows in tight. Just when you thought it was about to go to the cards he surged back taking control of the fight and submitting the Brazilian handing him his third defeat in his last five outings.
If competent judges scored octagon side in his bouts with Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez he would be on a five-bout win streak but unfortunately that is not the case, while many have suggested pairing him with top-contender Jake Ellenberger in his next bout I don’t see him far enough up the ladder for that fight to take place.
A match with former title-challenger and ultimate bad-boy Josh Koscheck would be appropriate moving forward — Both are in the middle of the contenders pack and with a win could boost them to the front of the cue.
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