(via UFC on FOX)
With last weekend’s Fight Night 88 main event matchup between Cody Garbrandt and Thomas Almeida, we were being promised a glimpse at the future of the bantamweight division regardless of who won. More of us may have been banking on the latter to emerge as that future champion, sure, but it would be hard to discredit either fighter as anything but a top contender following an impressive win.
Given Almeida’s tendency to get rocked at least once in every one of his UFC fights thus far, one would assume that his camp would have placed an emphasis on head movement and staying off the line against a similarly devastating puncher like Garbrandt. Then again, this is Chute Box we’re talking about after all, so it’s likely that their gameplan for the fight never stretched beyond “swing for the goddamn fences and hope you land first.” As such, Almeida’s first round KO loss to the Team Alpha Male up-and-comer demonstrated that, as dynamic as the young Brazilian may be offensively, he still has a bit of work to do defensively. Live and learn.
What a fall from grace it’s been for Renan Barao. The former bantamweight kingpin was pummeled right out of his division in back-to-back appearances against TJ Dillashaw, and his featherweight debut against Jeremy Stephens in the co-main event of Fight Night 88 didn’t exactly sell him as a future champion of that division either. Despite a strong showing in the opening round, Barao seemed almost insistent on gassing himself out in the second and third with failed takedown attempts, and in doing so, allowed the veteran Stephens to find his rhythm in the exchanges and bust the Brazilian open on multiple occasions. Like Florian said, Barao may not be a broken fighter, but he’s definitely a defeated ….View full article