UFC Fight Night: Almeida vs. Garbrandt post-fight results and analysisGet the Full StoryMookie Alexander analyzes and recaps all of the action from Sunday night's UFC Fight Night: Almeida vs. Garbrandt fight card in Las Vegas, Nevada. The UFC's Memorial Day weekend Sunday special is all wrapped up, and it was a marathon of an event. We had a run of seven consecutive decisions, which is why I'm thankful this card didn't get the usual 10 PM ET start time. With that said, most of the fights were quite entertaining to watch. The main event, however, didn't go the distance, and was never going to. Cody Garbrandt walloped Thomas Almeida with some superb, sharp, and powerful striking, and finished the Brazilian with a gargantuan right hand. His boxing gave Almeida all sorts of problems and after hurting him multiple times in their brief 2:53 throwdown, and unlike Brad Pickett, he seized his opportunity and knocked Almeida off the ranks of the unbeaten.
Garbrandt looked outstanding and just tore Almeida apart. I'm blown away by his speed and his combinations. Are there questions to be asked about how he'd fare against a strong grappler with good takedowns? Sure! And right now, I don't really care. Garbrandt was tremendous and the 135 lbs division has a new top 10 contender. You should be excited, because I most certainly am.
More thoughts on tonight's card:
FS1 main card
This isn't my space to do fantasy matchmaking, but Garbrandt vs. John Lineker Michael McDonald winner must happen next.
The Almeida hype train isn't "derailed" unless you think he's never going to contend. Prospects lose at some point in their development -- Miocic to Struve, Wonderboy to Brown, Magny to Baczynski, and so on -- but Almeida better start shoring up his defensive holes ASAP. Hopefully this first loss is a wake-up call for him because he's still got big potential down the line.
Brazil went 0-4 tonight, two weeks after they lost the heavyweight title. They've had better months, but this wasn't one of them.
Jeremy Stephens adjusted after a tough 1st round, had Renan Barao in all sorts of trouble in round 2, and then did just enough to win round 3 and spoil Barao's UFC FW debut in an entertaining contest. While Barao is 29 years old, he's got 38 pro fights under his belt, 11 years as a professional, and 3 really brutal beatings and strike absorption in the last 2 years. Start young, fade young? It's not like Barao was terrible tonight, but I think championship Barao is probably gone.
Rick Story is just an absolute bulldog of a fighter, and I mean that in the best way possible. Tarec Saffiedine landed several leg kicks and head kicks and Story just shook them off. I know Saffiedine isn't powerful whatsoever, but Story ate them like they were nothing and just kept coming forward, answering with his own hard strikes, and ripping apart Saffiedine's body. Tarec couldn't respond well enough to Story's pressure, and Rick picked up an impressive decision win.
Chris Camozzi put a hurtin' on Vitor Miranda, but if you want a more thorough recap of the fight, just re-read Phil Mackenzie's pre-fight prediction. You gotta do Jacare vs. Camozzi 3 next.
Lorenz Larkin and Jorge Masvidal put on a great, back-and-forth fight, but for Masvidal, he finds himself on the wrong end of a split decision for the 3rd time in his last 4 fights. I had it 29-28 Larkin, but there's a real case that he should've been docked a point for that brutal eye poke in round 1, in which case this bout would've ended in a draw. Either way, very good showing by both men, and Masvidal is really just one of the unluckiest fighters in the sport when it comes to the judges.
Paul Felder edged out Josh Burkman by unanimous decision in a close, competitive out. Felder's issues with volume and combination striking nearly cost him this one. Burkman fought well and had a chance at getting the nod on the scorecards, but Felder landed the better shots in round 3 to get the win.
Sara McMann got the decision win over an offensively impotent Jessica Eye, who probably isn't getting another UFC fight after such a poor performance. This is not a fight worth revisiting. And Sara McMann, despite her polite request, will not be getting a title shot after that.
Abel Trujillo had his hands full with Jordan Rinaldi, who took this fight on short notice, but the Blackzilians lightweight broke a 1-1 tie by winning round 3, and the unanimous decision. Trujillo wasn't exactly in great condition in the 3rd, but Rinaldi just had nothing left in the gas tank, and he was getting cracked aplenty by Abel's power punches.
Alberto Uda busted up Jake Collier's nose with a vicious knee in round 1, but the American spoiled the Brazilian's UFC debut by hurting Uda with a pair of spinning back kicks to the body, including one that sent Uda down and eventually out after the ground-and-pound. Great win for Collier to get back to a .500 UFC record.
Excellent win for Erik Koch, who got the rear-naked choke on Shane Campbell in his first Octagon appearance in over 2 years. Next step is for him to have a more active schedule, and perhaps he can revitalize his career after the losses he had at 145 and 155, in addition to the injuries.
Fight Pass prelims
Aljamain Sterling wanted that fight with Bryan Caraway, talked plenty of trash, had his way with Caraway in round 1, but Caraway rallied superbly and got a split decision should've been a unanimous call to knock off his rival and end Sterling's undefeated run. Caraway had Sterling on his back in rounds 2 and 3, was competitive on the feet with his counterboxing, and outgrappled him -- this in addition to Sterling's questionable standing head-and-arm choke -- en route to a deserved victory. It's a fight that shows Sterling isn't quite ready yet for elite competition, and that Caraway is absolutely a dangerous fight for most 135ers. We can kill the negative "Miesha Tate's boyfriend" lines now. Kill 'em dead.
Adam Milstead and Chris de la Rocha gave us a good ol' slobberknocker, humdinger, whatever you want to call it. Milstead got the 2nd round standing TKO to win his UFC debut, sending Chris to 0-2. The referee's stoppage was perhaps early if you consider de la Rocha wasn't out on his feet and still throwing, but he was getting battered and his face was a bloody mess. It's the type of stoppage of a beating you'd see in boxing, more or less, so take that for what it's worth.