UFC 173 MAIN CARD REVIEW
Dillashaw Completely outclases BARAO...Before this fight took place, I could see very few conceivable ways for TJ Dillashaw to dethrone a man who was being heralded as one of the pound for pound best. Utilising some staggeringly improved striking and head movement, Dillashaw simply picked Barao apart resulting in a violent TKO finish in the final round. WHAT NEXT? Taking nothing away from the new Bantamweight champ, I believe that was a very poor showing from Barao in which he started slowly, got caught on the chin in the first round and never really recovered. The Brazilian looked, slow, sluggish and hesitant to throw with any real conviction; displayed in the lack of leg kicks which he has had so much success with in previous bouts. I don't feel Barao is deserving of an immediate rematch, instead I'd like to see him fight at least once before he attempts to regain the belt possibly against Takeya Mizugaki. As for Dillashaw I'd like to see him fight again before the end of the year possibly in a rematch with Raphael Assuncao and then taking on fellow alpha male Urijah Faber. CORMIER HAS HIS WAY WITH HENDO... Daniel Cormier's MMA career has been nothing short of spectacular, from his shock triumph at the Strikeforce HW GP to his dominant decision victories over veterans Frank Mir and Roy Nelson. His performance at UFC 173 was more of the same, in which he threw MMA legend Dan Henderson around the cage, displaying smothering top control, excellent positioning and stayed busy with effective ground and pound until Hendo gave up his back and managed to sink in a tight RNC in round 3. WHAT NEXT? Many people are now calling for a Cormier LHW title shot, however I can't help but feel he just isnt quite there yet. He is pretty much un-tested in the division after only fighting Pat Cummings who was 4-0 and basically talked himself into the fight and Dan Henderson, who is a legend in the twilight years of his career and who looked about 2 weight classes beneath DC. I'd like to see the Rashad Evans fight re-booked in a main event, in order to see how his gas tank looks should the fight head into a 4th and 5th round against an opponent who may be competitive in the wrestling department. As for Hendo, I'm unsure about what I'd like to see from him next. This was a terrible match up, and a bad idea for a man who only has limited fights remaining in him; I think maybe Joe Silva should save him for fun, interesting fights from now on (Bisping Rematch?!). ROBBIE BACK TO BEING RUTHLESS... Lawler is one of the fighters who has literally grown up and honed his skills on the biggest stage in MMA, however it is only now that I think we are seeing him truly in his prime. In a quick turnaround from his unsuccessful attempt at winning the WW belt, Lawler used superior movement and landed nasty shots which eventually made Jake Ellenberger quit in 3rd round. WHAT NEXT? It has fight of the year written all over it, Robbie Lawler vs Matt Brown winner faces Johnny Hendricks for the belt; put simply this is the fight that has to be made! As for Jake Ellenberger, its back to the drawing board really. He showed great promise but always seems to fall at the final hurdle when it looks like he is building some moment in his career; I'd like to see him fight the winner of the Gunnar Nelson vs Ryan LaFlare bout next. ADITTIONAL THOUGHTS - The Mizugaki, Rivera fight was a fast paced enjoyable fight to watch which will surely catapault the Japanese native to near the top of the bantamweight rankings. - Jamie Varner showed incredible heart, fighting through a broken ankle to finish the first round; but really the fight should have been stopped much sooner. His foot was literally giving way whenever he placed any pressure on it, making for very difficult viewing. And then to add insult to injury see if you can spot the cageside doctor stand on the injured foot after the fight. - Michael Chiesa looks very impressive when the fight hits the ground, the former TUF winner is definitely a hot prospect. - Tony Ferguson showed us once again he has power in his strikes, whereas Kikuno only reminded us all that blocking using your chin is never a good idea. - Another former TUF winner, Chris Holdsworth again proves he is a high level grappler, however I'd like to see the Team Alpha Male fighter put in some more hours with Duane Ludwig on his striking to become more well rounded. - Mitch Clarke pulled of an awesome come from behind submission against the highly touted Al Laquinta. Author: Rob Graham.