Two of the best UK welterweight prospects were thrown into the cage together yesterday (Sept. 29, 2012) as John Hathaway took on John Maguire on the main card of UFC on Fuel TV 5 in Nottingham, England.
Combined, both men had lost just one UFC bout, so it was surprising to see the two UK combatants competing against each other.
Regardless, the winner of the bout was poised to make a move up the 170 pound ranks.
And it was John Hathaway who pulled it off, although he didn't exactly light the world on fire in victory, earning what our own Geno Mrosko called "the restroom break fight of the night" award.
So how did Hathaway pull it off? And what happens next for both men?
Early on, Hathaway just kept it standing, focusing on scoring with straight punches and kicks while occasionally mixing in a knee. He didn't go for the kill, but was content to get a shot in here and there. It wasn't very entertaining, but it was effective.
Maguire has a primarily grappling-based attack, but he had serious trouble taking this one to the canvas and Hathaway primarily used his wrestling in reverse to keep the bout on its feet and utilize his advantages.
That was the case for the majority of the fight, although Hathaway did find himself on his back in the last 90 seconds. Despite needing to do something drastic, Maguire could not get a solid submission attempt, guard pass or serious ground and pound in before the bout was over, which resulted in a pretty easy unanimous decision for Hathaway.
For John Maguire, he looked like this was a fight he didn't want. He was facing a fellow countryman and neither guy really went for the kill. He is primarily a ground-based fighter and his striking could not hang with Hathaway's when he couldn't get the fight to the canvas. In all honesty, he looked really small in the cage as well. A drop down to the lightweight division shouldn't be out of the question for him if he really wants to remain competitive with the upper echelon of the UFC.
For John Hathaway, while he was easily able to win the decision, he didn't do much to impress those in attendance or the viewers. It simply looked like he was in a glorified sparring session for three rounds. He didn't seem to be trying to finish and after six straight decisions in the UFC, he doesn't look like he'll ever be finishing anyone any time soon. His biggest weapon is his knee but he wasn't following up. Hopefully he gains a sense of urgency in fights or he can expect to be buried on the preliminary card for the foreseeable future.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Was this bout as boring as we're making it out to be? Can John Hathaway ever get over the hump and be a player at 170?