UFC Fight Night 37: Post-Fight Stock Report
The UFC continued its Fight Pass series with UFC Fight Night 37 from London. As expected, the card did not disappoint with good action and fun finishes.
The main event saw Alexander Gustafsson jump back into the win column with a knockout of Jimi Manuwa. That victory puts him in the UFC title hunt—something that could materialize in a title shot soon.
This fight card featured the usual ups and downs. Here is the post-fight stock report.
Up: Luke Barnatt
Luke Barnatt has quickly become a guy to watch in the UFC's middleweight division.
A cast member of The Ultimate Fighter 17, he has quickly become one of the shining stars from that season. His record is 3-0 since the show, including finishes of Andrew Craig and Mats Nilsson.
He is physically gifted, which is a great complement to his all-around skills. He is a long, 6'6" striker with knockout power and a killer instinct. His win over Nilsson has earned him a step up in competition next time out.
He is going to be a tough out for anybody in the near future. Look for him to make a jump to the main card.
Down: Eye Pokes
If you watched the whole card, you noticed a disturbing trend. There were an incredible amount of eye pokes.
The most eye pokes came in the Claudio Henrique da Silva vs. Brad Scott bout. Da Silva poked Scott in the eye three times, which caused pauses in the bout. He was not deducted any points.
Melvin Guillard also complained of an eye poke in the closing moments of his fight with Michael Johnson. That is just the second of many examples of eye pokes during this card.
There is not much the UFC can do about it, but it slowed down and dirtied up fights that were otherwise entertaining.
Up: Ilir Latifi
Ilir Latifi was a write-off. He was a guy who stepped up on extremely late notice to save a main event last year, and after another fight, he was expected to be expelled.
His sophomore effort in the Octagon saved his UFC job.
Facing off with rangy striker and wily vet Cyrille Diabate, Latifi wasted no time in getting off the feet and on the mat. From there, he showed some good grappling and submission ability.
He grabbed Diabate's neck and cranked like he was trying to rip his head off. He earned a tap for the win.
He can ensure now that he will be around for at least a couple of more outings.
Down: Melvin Guillard
We all knew Melvin Guillard was inconsistent. But man, did he really show that on Saturday against Michael Johnson.
Listening to Guillard before the fight, one would assume he was ready to come out and headhunt his opponent. It was the exact opposite, as he was hesitant to engage and didn't do much in the fight.
He was outpointed in a bout that dropped him further from the top 20. His performance in general was the closest thing to a failure as you can get.
Up: European, Non-UK Main Card Winners
Gunnar Nelson. Alexander Gustafsson.
Those two men proved their worth on the main card. They had very different performances, but that was not a bad thing.
Nelson completely overwhelmed Omari Akhmedov, dropping him early in the fight and riding him like a bronco for the rest of the duration. He mounted him quickly and eventually found a submission to coax the tap from the Russian.
With the win, Nelson becomes one of the hottest prospects in any division. He earns himself a top opponent in his next bout, as the undefeated prospect from Iceland has shown to have a fearful skill set.
As for Gustafsson, the Swede overcame a dangerous striker in Jimi Manuwa to score a knockout of his own. Not only that, but he showed good wrestling early on to round off his arsenal.
Whether or not he gets the next crack at the title remains to be seen. However, most fans believe he definitely earned the next light heavyweight title shot.