Stars were born. Other stars faded. UFC 198 marked the changing of the guard and the arrival of the next big thing in MMA.
Cris Cyborg and Stipe Miocic have arrived. Vitor Belfort and Fabricio Werdum may be on their way out. Let’s look at the big takeaways from UFC 198 and what it means for MMA fans going forward.
5. Cris Cyborg is the next big thing in MMA
Aggression. You can’t teach that. For Cris Cyborg, there was no fight plan. No strategy. No covert path to victory. Her plan was to punch Leslie Smith in the face. And that’s what happened. If Cris Cyborg ever steps inside the cage with Holly Holm, Miesha Tate or Ronda Rousey, she won’t have a master plan for how to get a victory. And that’s why Cyborg will probably emerge as the hottest thing in MMA.
Cyborg absolutely smashed Smith and let’s be real about that stoppage: it was a good stoppage and it saved Smith from an even worse beating. Once you give up your back, you are basically running while on the ground. You can’t blame the referee for stepping in.
We don’t know who Cyborg’s next opponent will be. Clearly finding fights will be her toughest challenge. Can Cyborg get to 135 or does she have a career at 140 with special attraction fights. If the UFC plays its cards right, we might have the Brock Lesnar of women’s MMA.
4. Vitor Belfort May Want to Chat With Bigfoot Silva
Belfort had a nice run, knocking out Luke Rockhold, Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson. That run is over, though. Belfort looks physically smaller than he did a couple years ago and he doesn’t fight with the same aggression inside the cage. Belfort should forget about his middleweight title dreams and focus on special attraction fights. ….View full article