Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC Fight Night 36 blew the roof off Arena Jaragua this past weekend (Feb. 15, 2014) in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil
Many combatants were left licking their wounds after a wild night of fights, including Francis Carmont, who saw his six-fight win streak come crashing down thanks to Ronaldo Souza's stifling ground attack (video here). And Takenori Soto, who was beaten silly by Erick Silva in under a minute (recap).
But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now two days removed from the show?
The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion looked to get back into the swing of things after a nine-month layoff and make it seven wins in a row (two in UFC) by taking out Lyoto Machida on his home turf.
No such luck.
While Machida didn't exactly dominate Mousasi (video here), he did manage to control the tempo of the fight for 25 minutes. Machida seemed to always be one step ahead, as his speed proved to be far superior than that of Mousasi, who was content with playing the waiting game in hopes for an opening.
It never came.
Lyoto used his unmatched fighting style to frustrate Gegard; which says quite a bit seeing as how Mousasi is known for his calm demeanor inside the cage. Indeed, the man who looks as if he's taking a leisurely stroll in the park when someone is trying to knock his block off during a fight, was visibly aggravated.
Which is exactly what Machida aimed for.
But unlike Ryan Bader, Gegard never lost his cool and rushed in like a mad man, which eventually lead to "Darth" getting knocked out cold. Mousasi's patience forced "The Dragon" to fight an entire five-round fight in order to earn a unanimous decision.
But it's that same trait that may have cost Gegard in the end.
"The Armenian Assassin" was maybe a bit too patient, as his offense was pretty much non-existent. Yes, Machida did a masterful job keeping him away and keeping him on his heels with his unorthodox striking and insane footwork, but you felt Mousasi maybe could have tried to push the pace to force an opening a bit more. Especially after being down most of the fight.
Then again, as Bader found out the hard way, it isn't exactly the smartest thing to do against "The Dragon."
Talk about a double-edged sword.
Maybe it was ring rust, or the fact that they were fighting at 3 a.m., or it could simply be that the complex puzzle that is Machida was simply too much for Mousasi. Nevertheless, Mousasi now has to fight his way back to the top of the
middleweight light heavyweight rankings after losing his first fight at 185 pounds in the last eight years.
That's right, Gegard should go back up to 205 pounds. At least there he has a spot in the top 10.
Having said that, he should face the loser of Mauricio Rua vs. Dan Henderson, who are set to do battle next month at the UFC Fight Night 38 event in Natal, Brazil. If he stays at middleweight, then a fight against Mark Munoz -- whose last lost came to Machida, as well -- would be a good comeback bout.
Unless you have better suggestions?