In a weekend that was suppose to be “super” for sports fans, the biggest events – UFC 169 and Super Bowl XLVIII – turned out to be disappointing.
The Seattle Seahawks stole the Denver Broncos ‘thunder’ and UFC 169 set the record for the most decisions in UFC history.
Ten fights went the distance on the 12-fight card, with the main event between Renan Barao (32-1-1) and Urijah Faber (30-7) stopped early by Herb Dean in the first round.
In the post-fight conference, UFC President Dana White called Dean “the best referee in the sport,” but felt the fight should have continued with Faber giving Dean the thumbs up.
“The California Kid” was rocked and hurt by Barao’s overhand right early on, but on the ground, he was intelligently defending himself and blocking Barao’s hammer fists. Instead of giving Faber a chance to work his way up, Dean came in and waved the fight off at 3:42 into the round.
Barao was named the “undisputed bantamweight champion,” and White said Faber should still be in on the short list to fight for the title because of the early stoppage.
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The co-main event, Jose Aldo (24-1) and Ricardo Lamas (13-3-1) went the distance, with Aldo earning a unanimous 49-46 decision victory over the native Chicagoan.
“Anthony Pettis just called and said he wants Aldo,” White said, “I like that fight next.”
White said Aldo would move up in weight and vacate his featherweight title. If he lost to Pettis, he could go back to 145 to fight for the belt right away.
Now, it looks like it’ll be awhile before the top guys in the lightweight division (Gilbert Melendez, Benson Henderson, Nate Diaz) get a crack at the title.
In the lone heavyweight match, former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir took on former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem, with Mir riding a three-fight losing streak and Overeem dropping his last two.
I tweeted that the loser is most likely to be cut and the fight went the distance, with Overeem winning a unanimous decision. After the fight, Overeem decided to call out former UFC heavyweight champ and WWE star Brock Lesnar, which made absolutely no sense as Lesnar has no contract with the UFC and Overeem already beat him in the past.
It seemed like a bully move, as Overeem didn’t call out any of the top contenders in the division, and went after the oft injured Lesnar. Hmmm, I wonder why — probably has nothing to do with the fact that Overeem was knocked out in his two previous fights and a fight with champ Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos or even Mark Hunt could be another short night for Overeem, who has tested positive for steroids in the past.
Also on the main card, Ali Bagautinov (13-2) defeated John Lineker (23-7) by decision and Abel Trujillo (12-5-1) stopped Jamie Varner (21-9-1-2) in the second round in a fight that showed the most action.
There were rumors on Twitter that a stabbing took place in the stands at the Prudential Center during the fights and Newark police confirmed those reports to be true.
Officials say two were stabbed with non-life threatening injuries, and one suspect was arrested. (Our calls made to the Newark police department for an update were sent to voicemail.)
The UFC announced a middleweight title bout between champion Chris Weidman (11-0) and Vitor Belfort (24-10) in Las Vegas on May 24.
There may be one major holdup — Belfort is known for using testosterone replacement therapy and receiving exemptions fighting in his home country of Brazil, but Dr. Timothy Trainor, consulting physician to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, said his recommendation would be to not allow Belfort the use of TRT because of his positive steroid tests in the past.
We will see if Belfort will fight without the “boost,” which I think should not be allowed to any fighter competing, period.
White replied to my posting on Trainor’s opinion on Twitter and said, “I hate TRT in the sport.”
The biggest day of the year in American sports history saw Seattle rain on Denver’s regular season offensive parade, with a 43-8 blowout. Defense wins games in football (while offense wins MMA fights), and I predicted a 20-17 win for the Seahawks on last week’s update.
In the TVMix Twitter contest of picking the winner of both Barao/Faber and Aldo/Lamas, there were no winners. No one correctly predicted the winner and method for both fights.
David Kano is lead writer for MMA Show News and co-host of The Hollywood MMA Show. You can follow him on Twitter @TheDK
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