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UFC Fight Nights 48, 49 Results: Burning Questions Heading into UFC 177

Steven RondinaFeatured ColumnistAugust 24, 2014

UFC Fight Nights 48, 49 Results: Burning Questions Heading into UFC 177

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    USA TODAY Sports

    UFC Fight Nights 48 and 49 are in the books. The results are as follows:

    UFC Fight Night 48 Results

    • Michael Bisping defeated Cung Le by TKO at 0:57 of the fourth round
    • Tyron Woodley defeated Dong Hyun Kim by TKO at 1:01 of the first round
    • Zhang Lipeng defeated Brendan O'Reilly via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
    • Ning Guangyou defeated Jianping Yang via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
    • Wang Sai defeated Danny Mitchell via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
    • Alberto Mina defeated Shinsho Anzai by TKO at 4:17 of the first round
    • Yuta Sasaki defeated Roland Delorme via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:06 of the first round
    • Colby Covington defeated Wang Anying via submission (strikes) at 4:50 of the first round 
    • Royston Wee defeated Yao Zhikui via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
    • Milana Dudieva defeated Elizabeth Phillips via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)

     

    UFC Fight Night 49 Results

    • Rafael dos Anjos def. Ben Henderson by KO at 2:31 of the first round 1
    • Jordan Mein def. Mike Pyle by TKO at 1:12 of the first round 
    • Thales Leites def. Francis Carmont by KO at 0:20 of the second round
    • Max Holloway def. Clay Collard by TKO at 3:47 of the third round
    • James Vick def. Valmir Lazaro via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
    • Chas Skelly def. Tom Niinimaki by submission at 2:35 of the first round 
    • Neil Magny def. Alex Garcia via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
    • Beneil Dariush def. Tony Martin by submission at 3:38 of the second round 
    • Matt Hobar def. Aaron Phillips via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
    • Ben Saunders def. Chris Heatherly by submission at 2:18 of the first round
    • Wilson Reis def. Joby Sanchez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

    Next up? Ugh, UFC 177 on August 30...

    Headlined by the foolhardy bantamweight title rematch between TJ Dillashaw and Renan Barao and backed up by absolutely nothing, UFC 177 easily ranks among the worst on-paper pay-per-view events in UFC history. There is little to get excited about and little hope that this event will wind up as anything other than forgettable.

    So what topics should you discuss around the water cooler, if this event somehow ends up being acknowledged? Find out right here!

Will This Be the Worst UFC Pay-Per-View Ever?

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    Angel Valentin/Getty Images

    The Fight: What Fights?
    The Real Fight: Getting Fans to Buy This Crap

    The Stakes

    By withdrawing from UFC 178, Jon Jones may have successfully killed not one but two pay-per-views. UFC 177's co-main event, a flyweight title fight between champion Demetrious Johnson and other guy (granted, he's an incredibly underappreciated striker) Chris Cariaso was moved to UFC 178. The result is back-to-back pay-per-views with flimsy, unappealing main events.

     

    The Question

    Will this be the worst UFC pay-per-view ever?

     

    Analysis

    While UFC 177 and 178 both have weak main events, 177 is by far the bigger loser. Even without Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier, UFC 178 still has some amazing fights like Patrick Cote vs. Stephen Thompson, Dominick Cruz vs. Takeya Mizugaki, Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone vs. Eddie Alvarez.

    With the exception of Scott Jorgensen vs. Henry Cejudo and Bethe Correia vs. Shayna Baszler, there isn't any serious appeal in any of the fights outside the main event at UFC 177.

    As a result, UFC 177 easily ranks among the worst UFC PPV events ever. Depending on how the card shakes out, however, it might just end up being the worst.

Is Henry Cejudo Ready for the UFC?

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    Ed Wray/Associated Press

    The Fight: Scott Jorgensen vs. Henry Cejudo
    The Real Fight: Henry Cejudo vs. Inexperience

    The Stakes

    Henry Cejudo has long been one of the most intriguing fighters outside the UFC. While an Olympic wrestling background doesn't guarantee success in the cage (I'm looking at you, Alexis Vila), his gold medal from the 2008 Games makes him one of the most accomplished wrestlers (on paper) in MMA history and the only gold medalist in wrestling to compete in the Octagon outside Kevin Jackson.

    While he is undeniably one of the hottest prospects in MMA, the tumultuous nature of his career thus far makes it unclear if his success will translate to the UFC. Between his propensity for missing weight and pulling out of fights, it's tough to tell how he will fare in the UFC.

     

    The Question

    Is Henry Cejudo ready for the UFC?

     

    Analysis

    If you hadn't heard about Cejudo until recently, check out this piece by Cage Potato that goes in-depth about his struggles. With just six MMA fights to his name, he has experienced an entire career's worth of drama.

    What were the reasons behind those difficulties? It's tough to peg. Some of his withdrawals can likely be chalked up to stop-and-go negotiations with the UFC (or maybe Bellator or WSOF or One). More of it, however, is indicative of a lack of commitment to making a real run in MMA. 

    Despite those questions, he has wound up in the UFC and is set to face struggling veteran Scott Jorgensen. If Cejudo can win decisively, it could mean big things for him. If he can't, it's unclear what the future may hold for him.

What Does Scott Jorgensen Have Left in Him?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: Scott Jorgensen vs. Henry Cejudo
    The Real Fight: Scott Jorgensen vs. Something That Has Made Him Bad Lately

    The Stakes

    At one point, Scott Jorgensen was one of the best bantamweight fighters in the world, claiming the pelts of brand names like Brad Pickett and Takeya Mizugaki and earning a "signature win" with his scary standing guillotine choke of Chad George. That earned him a title shot opposite Dominick Cruz at WEC 53...and it's been downhill ever since.

    He is 2-5 since 2012 and just seems to be lacking the powerful grappling game he once had. As such, it's tough to peg how things have gone wrong.

     

    The Question

    What does Scott Jorgensen have left in him?

     

    Analysis

    The difference between the Jorgensen of today and the Jorgensen of 2009 is profound, and it's not really clear what the heck happened. At age 31, he isn't an old man. Skill-wise, his wrestling has gotten substantially weaker over the years, which could stem from anything from his camp to degrading knees to a bad back. Though it's also worth noting that all his losses were to fairly high-level competition, he was once able to beat high-level competition more often than not.

    Either way, things are not awesome for Jorgensen right now. While he likely won't be cut with a loss, he has to start winning soon if he wants to remain in the UFC.

So Is Bethe Correia Actually Any Good?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: Bethe Correia vs. Shayna Baszler
    The Real Fight: Bethe Correia vs. Somebody Who Actually Has a Discernible Skill

    The Stakes

    Bethe Correia doesn't have any ADCC titles to her name. She never competed in the Olympics. She has never tied on prajieds. But there she is, winning fights in the UFC and finding herself incredibly (and disappointingly) close to a title shot. 

    While nobody can debate her scrappiness, it's hard to say that she can outstrike, outwrestle or outgrapple any given UFC opponent. However, if she can out-hustle Shayna Baszler, she will quite possibly end up with a top contender's bout in her lap.

     

    The Question

    So is Bethe Correia actually any good?

     

    Analysis

    That question is somewhat rhetorical. She isn't good, and the fact that she ranks as a Top 10 fighter is a testament to how far women's MMA still has to go (at least for the 135-pound division, because the 115-pound division looks substantially better talent-wise). If Baszler can get her 2010 groove back (a big if, mind you), this should be a fairly lopsided affair.

How Will Shayna Baszler Do in Her Official UFC Debut?

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    The Fight: Bethe Correia vs. Shayna Baszler
    The Real Fight: Shayna Baszler vs. Ring Rust

    The Stakes

    Shayna Baszler, after a 20-month layoff, returns to professional MMA. While most fans dwell on her lack of success on The Ultimate Fighter Season 18, a subtle fact has slipped by many—for the first time ever, she is a full-time fighter. On her catch-wrestling base and experience alone, Baszler is a tough out for any lady in the UFC, but she may be better than ever with a renewed dedication to the game.

     

    The Question

    How will Shayna Baszler do in her official UFC debut?

     

    Analysis

    There are two possible ways this fight will play out in my book.

    The first possibility is the ugly, sloppy clinchfest that has become a standard affair in the women's bantamweight division. If that's the case, it will indicate that Baszler, despite her position as one of the true pioneers of Western women's MMA, is something of a relic in the division. She will still have a place as one of the division's veterans but will be something of a Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.

    The second possibility is that now, with the time and opportunity to live the sort of "eat, sleep, train, repeat" lifestyle of a true professional mixed martial artist, she will come out more polished than ever. In which case, she will take Correia down effortlessly and ground, pound and possibly submit her, sending the clear message that she is a force to be reckoned with.

Is Tony Ferguson Legit?

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    The Fight: Tony Ferguson vs. Danny Castillo
    The Real Fight: Tony Ferguson vs. Danny Castillo (Pretty Straightforward Here...)

    The Stakes

    The largely forgotten winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 13, Tony Ferguson has been very tough to overlook of late. Sporting a strong 5-1 UFC record that includes four finishes and most recently battering Japanese favorite Katsunori Kikuno, Ferguson is rapidly climbing the rankings. The next man on his list is the fairly unknown Danny Castillo, who should be easy pickings for Ferguson.

     

    The Question

    Is Tony Ferguson legit?

     

    Analysis

    TUF 13, coached by Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos, is an oft-overlooked season, so it's fitting that its winner has been under the proverbial radar. When he lit up Kikuno, however, he forced fans to take notice, and that has given fans and media alike a newfound appreciation for his impressive highlight reel. Castillo is a favorable matchup for Ferguson, and another notch on his belt could easily earn him a shot at ranked competition.

How Silly Is That "Renan Barao Is P4P No. 1 Fighter" Stuff Now?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: TJ Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao
    The Real Fight: Hype vs. Reality

    The Stakes

    Renan Barao's 32-fight unbeaten streak was impressive for sure. That said, the UFC somehow found a way to overhype his credentials, labeling Barao as MMA's top pound-for-pound fighter and likening him to Floyd Mayweather Jr. When Barao was beaten in one of the most lopsided championship coups in UFC history by TJ Dillashaw, it was hard not to chuckle a little bit.

    If the UFC is one thing, however, it is slow to correct mistakes. Now, fans get to, ahem, "look forward to" a rematch that makes pretty much no sense. 

     

    The Question

    How silly is that "Renan Barao is P4P No. 1 fighter" stuff now?

     

    Analysis

    UFC President Dana White is known for saying ridiculous, factually incorrect things to hype up fights, but his nonsensical claims about Renan Barao stand out as particularly ridiculous. They were literally worthy of ridicule. 

    Of course, White is a smart man. He knew what he was saying was absurd.  He knows he would have had egg all over his face if anybody actually saw TJ Dillashaw beat Renan Barao like a rented red-headed step-mule. But saying silly things is way easier than actually putting together compelling fights.

    If Barao loses to Dillashaw at UFC 177, the promotion will look doubly foolish for both unrealistically hyping Barao and hustling him into a rematch that simply shouldn't have happened.

Has the UFC "Bendo'd" TJ Dillashaw?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: TJ Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao
    The Real Fight: TJ Dillashaw vs. Incompetent UFC Matchmaking

    The Stakes

    TJ Dillashaw faces Renan Barao in his first title defense...and the UFC is doing him no favors in terms of helping him build his brand. With minimal backup on the card, fans have little reason to purchase this card. As such, when the UFC casts doubt on the legitimacy of his champion status by demanding an immediate rematch, only to give fans no reason to watch it, they basically doom any hopes of Dillashaw becoming a draw.

     

    The Question

    Has the UFC "Bendo'd" TJ Dillashaw?

     

    Analysis

    Remember when Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar 1 was an amazing fight on a stacked card? Then remember how, despite the fact that Bendo scored a convincing win, the UFC put together an immediate rematch for no reason?

    Then remember how the rematch drew what was, at the time, unfathomably low buyrates, denying Smooth the opportunity to have fans warm up to him? Then remember how that trend continued throughout his title reign?

    As I said, the UFC is nothing if not slow to address its mistakes and seems to be dead set on sabotaging new champs with pointless, sure-to-disappoint rematches with the company's favorite fighters. If Dillashaw proves to be a box office dud...it started right here, folks.

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