UFC Fight Night 47 Results: The Real Winners and Losers from Bader vs. St. Preux
It's good to have friends in high places. When it comes to mixed martial arts, the city of Bangor, Maine, has one of the highest friends it's possible to have.
That's the only reason why UFC Fight Night 47 went down from this staid New England town, population 33,000. For comparison, the UFC's previous event, Fight Night 46, happened in San Jose, California, which has 945,000 residents.
That's a pretty good lobbyist to have in your corner.
So here we are. The lineup for the event was a bit reflective of its host. Not a lot of high wattage involved, but no small amount of natural attraction for those who are naturally attracted to fighting, if you take a moment to look.
The evening's main event was pretty tame by main event standards, as wrestler Ryan Bader and dynamic up-and-comer Ovince Saint Preux battled to see who might possibly compete for a title fight someday.
Other main card matchups held more stylistic intrigue, however, and the undercard—topped by flyweight contenders Zach Makovsky and Jussier Formiga—was nutrient-rich by any measure.
As usual, the final stat lines only reveal so much. Here are the real winners and losers from this "Maine" event, if you see what I mean.
Loser: Ryan Bader
Ryan Bader said he wanted a win to launch him into the light heavyweight stratosphere. He got the win, yes. But I don't see a lot of launching taking place after this.
Bader was solid, to be certain. He landed takedowns at will and exhausted Ovince Saint Preux over five rounds. The action was never close, and the outcome was never in doubt. The numbers bear that out: nine takedowns and 68 significant strikes landed for Bader, compared with zero takedowns and 21 significant strikes for Saint Preux.
But it could have been so much more dominant. As the final round began, you could see fans heading for the exit. That doesn't speak to an exciting fight, and that's not what it was. Once Bader seemed to realize he had the thing in the bag, he took his foot off the gas, appearing to play it safe rather than go for the finish.
While he landed some significant strikes, combinations were not in evidence, and OSP did not take any major damage. Though Bader landed plenty of takedowns, he didn't do much once the action hit the canvas.
In short, everyone knows it's not just the W that matters in the UFC. It's the manner in which it arrives. In other words, it's not just the "what" but the "how." Bader didn't have a lot of "how" in his game Saturday night. For that matter, he didn't have a lot of "why," either.
Loser: Ovince Saint Preux
Full disclosure: I picked Ovince Saint Preux to win this fight. And you know what? I should not have done that.
OSP is still a talented and promising fighter. But he never looked comfortable against Bader. He couldn't stop takedowns or get Bader off him once the fight went horizontal. He couldn't mount any significant offense, and his dynamic striking and grappling were simply not there.
He didn't look or feel like an elite fighter Saturday night, despite the UFC's clear desire to make him one. It looks like the 31-year-old has a ways to go before the reality meets the dream.
Winner: Ross Pearson
"I'm coming for the top 10," Pearson told broadcaster Jon Anik in the cage after the fight. "I'm ready for the best."
That's hard to argue after UFC Fight Night 47. Gray Maynard appeared to win the first round, and the second was fairly even when Pearson uncorked a heavy right hook. Maynard fell back and landed heavily on his backside. Pearson swarmed, and the referee was forced to call the stoppage.
Though he started fairly slowly, once Pearson found his range, he ended things in short order. He called for a contender in his next fight. If you consider his robbery loss to Diego Sanchez a win (as you should), then Pearson is undefeated in five fights since returning to lightweight.
He earned his bump Saturday night. Here's hoping he gets it. Donald Cerrone vs. Bobby Green winner, anyone?
Loser: Gray Maynard
Gray Maynard is 35 years old. UFC Fight Night 47 marked only his fourth professional fight in the past two years.
After his second-round TKO loss Saturday, Maynard has now dropped three straight, all by TKO. Pearson should certainly be commended for his striking power and accuracy, but Maynard sure hit the mat quickly.
Fans have seen this movie before, both with Maynard and other fighters as the star. We know more about head injuries and their lifelong ramifications than we ever have before. Maynard now appears to be in a position of diminishing returns, both in terms of his fight career and his life after fighting.
How much longer can, or should, he continue? What does he have to gain? Only Maynard can make the decision, but hopefully he can be gimlet-eyed about both his present and his future.
Winner: Corn Cob Pipe-Smoking Lobstahmen
I kid, I kid. All the stereotypes are only partially true. Maine is wonderful, and so are its people. They deserved a nice UFC card Saturday night, and they got it. Maybe it wasn't amazing, but it was nice.
Not every fight was stellar—so it goes. Like the main event, for example. And there was, ah, a bit to be desired from the telecast, which was punctuated by long breaks between fights and long commentary roads to nowhere. Also, it didn't end until after 1 a.m. ET.
But there were plenty of great moments for casual fans and hardened cynics alike. Five of the six main card fights ended in stoppages, and four of them were TKOs. There were upsets and comebacks. This one had a little sampler of everything good about MMA.
Who didn't love Alan Jouban coming back from the brink of unconsciousness to earn a beautiful left-hook knockout on Seth Baczynski? Who didn't get a visceral jolt of adrenaline from Pearson's pounding of Maynard?
And, of course, there was that whole Tim Boetsch thing. More on that momentarily.
With the possible exception of Tim Sylvia fans, you have to think the Bangor faithful left feeling pretty satisfied.
Winner: Tim Boetsch
Maybe they didn't get Tim Sylvia, but another Tim more than filled the role.
A Mainer (Maineiac? Mainelander?) by birth, Tim Boetsch got a generous ovation on his way to the cage. And it was even louder on the way out.
A loser in three of his last four—including that manhandling from Luke Rockhold at UFC 172—Boetsch was in need of a win. But he was a significant underdog against Hawaiian Brad Tavares.
Early on, Tavares controlled the action, landing knees almost at will on Boetsch and opening up a substantial cut.
But that's when Boetsch is at his best. The powerful middleweight landed a short left hook on Tavares' jaw about halfway through the second frame, and that was all he needed. Tavares staggered back and onto the mat, and some big ground strikes sealed the deal. And the crowd goes wild.
It wasn't the first time Boetsch has pulled off something like that. He completed one of the best comebacks in the past decade with his come-from-behind win over Yushin Okami in 2012. This one was very similar, and it probably earned him a gaggle of new fans—especially in The Pine Tree State—and certainly a right to continue drawing UFC paychecks.
Loser: All Heavyweights Not Named Cain Velasquez
The difference between the champ and everyone else in the heavyweight division once again fell into stark relief at UFC Fight Night 47.
In the second fight on the main card, shaved walruses Shawn Jordan and Jack May pounded on each other until Jordan finally realized that May couldn't pick wrestling out of a police lineup with Cael Sanderson's glasses and then pounded him about halfway through the final frame.
Are these guys both good fighters? Sure. Could either one of them kill me seven times with their bare hands before I hit the ground? Let's play it safe and make it eight.
But the fact that at least one of these guys is considered a solid member of the division stable doesn't speak well of the division's density. And it doesn't bode well for champion Cain Velasquez's legacy, even if it does bode well for his record.
Winner: Jussier Formiga
Jussier Formiga was one of the more significant underdogs of the evening, standing at around plus-250 when the evening started.
Bettors might not see odds like that on him again for some time, at least not after his performance against Zach Makovsky Saturday night.
Formiga used his world-class jiu-jitsu to execute some very convincing takedowns, sweet back-takes and outstanding positional wins against a D-I wrestler and former Bellator bantamweight champ in Makovsky. He flashed improved striking too and appeared more muscular than in previous fights.
Though Makovsky took the third round fairly easily, Formiga was essentially playing prevent defense by that point. The 29-28 across-the-board scorecards may belie the complete display delivered by the Brazilian.
If the 29-year-old Formiga can keep improving, he'll keep winning. He's now 3-2 in the UFC, with his only losses coming to perennial contenders John Dodson and Joseph Benavidez. You think anyone would be interested in seeing either one of those matchups again?
Loser: Female Fighters
In the third bout of the night, Olympic wrestling silver medalist Sara McMann used her formidable strength and skill to control the game and previously undefeated Lauren Murphy for 15 minutes en route to a decision victory. The win returned the affable and popular women's bantamweight to the victory column after a February loss to one Ronda Rousey.
Though it was Murphy's UFC debut, she did have some notable wins in the well-regarded Invicta promotion. All McMann had to recommend her was a No. 4 spot on the UFC's official rankings and a 7-1 pro record, with the lone blemish to the best women's fighter the world has ever known.
So why, then, was this fight relegated to the middle of the undercard of a relatively low-profile UFC event? Your guess is as good as mine.
And it's not the first time this has happened recently. Just last month, the UFC's first-ever strawweight fight was the lone bout booked for the UFC's Fight Pass streaming service on UFC Fight Night 45. So, it wasn't even televised. On July 26, an entertaining scrap between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Juliana Lima also ended up on Fight Pass as the second bout of UFC on Fox 12.
The UFC brain trust has made plenty of sounds about how it likes women's MMA and sees it as a thing that has a lot of potential. And with Rousey leading the way, it would seem that it truly does. But the actions don't always match those sounds. And the reasons why are a total mystery.
UFC Fight Night 47 Full Results and Recap
- Ryan Bader def. Ovince Saint Preux by unanimous decision
- Ross Pearson def. Gray Maynard by TKO, 1:35, Rd. 2
- Tim Boetsch def. Brad Tavares by TKO, 3:18, Rd. 2
- Alan Jouban def. Seth Baczynski by KO, 4:33, Rd. 1
- Shawn Jordan def. Jack May by TKO, 2:55, Rd. 3
- Thiago Tavares def. Robbie Peralta by submission (rear-naked choke), 4:27, Rd. 1
- Jussier Formiga def. Zach Makovsky by unanimous decision
- Sara McMann def. Lauren Murphy by split decision
- Tom Watson def. Sam Alvey by unanimous decision
- Frankie Saenz def. Nolan Ticman by unanimous decision
Scott Harris covers the serious and less serious sides of MMA for Bleacher Report. For more of this sort of thing, follow Scott on Twitter.