What We Learned From UFC Vegas
Written by Emjay on June 1, 2020
The UFC’s Apex Facility made the UFC look like many amateur promotions here in SA, large open spaces, loads of echo and more lights than fans. This amateur feel was further compounded by the bizarre interview process implemented by the UFC this time round, most probably prompted by the NSAC. I now understand the reason why Joe Rogan went apoplectic when told he cannot interview the fighters in the cage! At least we got to see Daniel Cormier successfully pull a number of interesting facial contortions as he did his best to engage with the winners post-fight.
Smaller cage makes it harder for lesser athletes to hide as Morales, Abreu, Shevchenko and Woodley found out.
Tim Elliot is now on a 3-fight skid after his loss to a fantastic prospect in debutant Brandon Royval. But the starkest reality check came after that fight when a visibly emotional Royval, stated that despite the win and the pay-check, he would still need to go to work the next day! Add to that the fact that the current UFC Heavyweight Champ still works in a fire station and the subsequent remarks by “former champion” Jon Jones and that many great matchups have not materialised due to money and you have to believe that there is real merit in the potential $5 billion class action suit awaiting confirmation.
Never underestimate an athlete with a serious gas-tank. A lesson that Spike Carlyle and his corner will no doubt have learnt following the loss to Danny Quarantillo on Saturday night. Following a blistering start for the Alpha Ginger, the needle was hovering above empty at the end of round two and lets not even get into that insane moment at the end of round one when Danny Q was afforded a free KO opportunity with seconds left on the clock when Carlyle just turned and walked away from Quarantillo! WTF?
Hannah Cifers is probably still wondering about that lighting fast knee-bar which interestingly enough was the very first leg-lock submission in UFC women’s history.
Tyrone Woodley, after 14 months of improving himself, seemed to have wasted a lot of time, effort and money! Could that loss – along with the title – at UFC 235 at the hands on Kamaru Usman still be haunting the former champ? His reaction after the initial barrage from Gilbert Burns tells me it is, he was overly defensive with very little confidence and for the most part seemed to ignore many of his corner’s tactical suggestions.
Gilbert Burns has some tough decisions ahead – clearly a dangerous contender for the title he now has to go back and train with a team-mate who currently sits atop the welterweight division and whom he effectively called out after his dominant performance over Tyrone Woodley.
Finally, am I reading more into it than I should or did it seem like a lot more athletes took late notice call-ups for this card than normal? Is that as a result of limited training time for athletes as a result of quarantine or is the fear of COVID-19 greater than the UFC have bargained on?