When UFC Fight Night 32 took place earlier this month in Brazil, a hot topic was main event standout Vitor Belfort being constantly booked in his home country, despite problems surrounding the protocol when it comes to testing for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
After last weekend's split-decision verdict at UFC 167, which awarded Georges St-Pierre a win over Johny Hendricks in the welterweight championship main event (which won "Fight of The Night"), it reminded the followers of this sport that judging is a problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible -- whether it is in Nevada or anywhere else.
Which is a bigger problem?
St-Pierre found himself in a grueling fight against Hendricks and looked posed to lose his 170-pound title -- until Bruce Buffer read the scorecards.
"GSP" was awarded a split-decision victory over "Bigg Rigg," getting his 19th win inside the Octagon. "Rush" looked as if he won perhaps one or two rounds at most, being beat to the punch by Hendricks and could not take the American wrestler down (watch video highlights here).
Hendricks, however, was able to take St-Pierre down three times and kept on landing his jab (even though St-Pierre was landing kicks and using his jab effectively). The champion was badly hurt in the second round, being wobbled from Hendricks' punches, yet he was able to stay away from the challenger's power.
Bloodied and cut open, "GSP" hung on in round five and could not keep Hendricks down, with "Bigg Rigg" slowing down yet still landing his jab and connecting.
"I think we might have a new welterweight champion," said Joe Rogan during the broadcast.
When the fight ended, it seemed like St. Pierre's era came to a close. A shocked Hendricks collapsed when the scorecard was read, and almost every fan or media outlet was extremely surprised. It seemed like Hendricks did enough.
Many met the champ's announcement for a leave of absence awkwardly, and Dana White was furious at the post-fight press conference -- saying "Rush" owed Hendricks and the fans a rematch (watch full video replay of the post-fight presser here).
But what exactly is owed to GSP after being such a dominant champion? He cited mental issues -- could they stem from fighting? Nobody should have questioned GSP's decision after he said he lost memory in the fight.
And I'm sure he wanted to forget about this.
UFC needs to do something to lobby against the Nevada State Athletic Commission. They certainly do not have an issue with their drug testing, yet they are declaring Nevada as the worst commission in the country.
Perhaps this will help?
Something has got to give and White, along with Lorenzo Fertitta, need to take measures into their own hands and try to find an amicable solution. After all, they flew the same judge who judged that main event (Sal D'Amato) fight to Brazil.
You be the judge (no pun intended).
Rashad Evans absolutely demolished Chael Sonnen, whose distractions could have gotten the best of him coming into this fight.
Evans stopped Sonnen in the first round, when the Oregon native tapped due to strikes after taking a severe amount of punishment. "Suga" defended Sonnen's takedown attempt and after landing one of his own, he kept the pressure on and blasted his broadcast partner with elbows and fists until Herb Dean stepped in to save Sonnen (watch highlights here).
Evans is now 2-2 in his last four, and looked the most impressive he has ever looked in the past two years. Sonnen has only one win in his last four bouts.
Many observers thought it was going to be a great night for TriStar, but it did not begin well. Rory MacDonald, who was perceived as the future of the sport hit a roadblock in veteran Robbie Lawler, who was awarded the split decision victory (watch highlights here).
"Ares" looked good in the first two rounds, as he was using his technical striking well and took "Ruthless" down a few times, but was still getting hit.
Lawler started to turn it on in the third round after ending the second round on his back, knocking Rory down with a big punch and followed up with strikes in hopes of finishing the fight. Although MacDonald tried to resurge in the last 20 seconds, he was too hurt to gain any sort of advantage.
Now being 3-0 in his second stint in UFC, Lawler finds himself in the top five when it comes to the best welterweights in the world and makes a case for a title shot. "Aries" suffers his second career loss and is now 15-2 in the sport.
Another welterweight contender emerged on Saturday night as well, as Tyron Woodley knocked out Josh Koscheck in a slugfest that resulted in The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 1 winner on the receiving end of his second-straight knockout loss.
Woodley and "Kos" exchanged blows in the early moments of the opening rounds, with both fighters rocking the other and having good moments. Woodley looked superior, dropping the Fresno-based fighter in the opening 30 seconds.
"The Chosen One" capitalized on Koscheck's eagerness to trade and when the former title challenger came in forward without protecting himself, "T-Wood" blasted Koscheck with a right hand, followed by a combination for good measure to leave "Kos" out on the mat.
The PPV action commenced with a grueling flyweight bout between Ali Bagautinov and Tim Elliott, with the Dagestan fighter winning his second fight inside the Octagon.
Elliott was able to land takedowns early on in the fight, yet could not find a home for his power punches and his opponent capitalized on that.
Bagautinov was able to hit Elliott and stray from his adversary's attacks, and kept the fight standing to the joy of everyone in attendance. Elliott was unable to find his range and Bagautinov mixed it up with solid kicks and huge right hands.
Bagautinov gets his second straight UFC victory.
Donald Cerrone hurt Dunham badly in the first round, dropping him and continuously landing a knee that was tagging his prey over and over again. After being taken down in the second round, Dunham found himself in a triangle choke and had no alternative but to tap, tied up like a pretzel against the fence.
Dunham is now 1-3 in his past four fights.
From the first round onward, Leites commenced his jiu-jitsu expedition by dropping Herman with a punch and then stuck to him like glue. Credit to Herman for his defensive strategy; however, there was not much he could do against the superior grappler, as the crowd grew restless with both middleweights.
The former title challenger is now 2-0 in his second UFC stint, while "Short Fuse" has only one victory is his past four contests.
Rick Story is one of the hardest-hitting punchers in the welterweight division and although he could not finish the tough Brian Ebersole, he definitely rocked him a couple of times en route to a one-sided victory. "Horror" Story showed extremely good takedown defense and every time his opponent came forward, Story threw heavy leather and continued to catch him, making it a frustrating night for Ebersole.
Story had Ebersole badly hurt in the third round with legkicks, but instead of rushing in and tiring himself out, he continued to pick his opponent apart and did enough damage to coast through without letting go of the trigger.
Story returns to his winning ways, going 2-2 in his last four, while Ebersole drops two straight.
Both bantamweights slugged it out, with Perez landing some devastating blows in which Figueroa surprised most by remaining on his feet. Perez also showed versatility by taking down "El Feroz" in the second and third rounds and having his way with him on the feet, too. It was a good performance from the young Perez to show that he has a bright future with the promotion.
The 23-year-old moves to 13-5, while Figueroa drops three straight fights.
Right from the get-go, High controlled Lapsley and took him down at will, using transitions to gain superior advantage. Lapsley had good moments of his own, yet "The K.C. Bandit" was too strong for him to control and even posed numerous submission threats throughout the fight.
High snapped a four-fight winning streak for "The Recipe."
With his bigger brother in his corner, Pettis looked well rounded in his striking and if there is a call for improvement, it would be his takedown defense (even though he is good off his back). Campuzano looked good in the guard and did not make it easy for Pettis to stand and trade with him.
Pettis remains undefeated at 10-0, while Campuzano goes 0-3 in the UFC.
At the beginning of the second round, Donovan was bloodied from the Strikeforce alum's attacks and decided to throw a headkick -- only to be countered with a huge right hand which dropped him and forced him to cover up from Villante's follow-up punches.
Villante secures his first UFC win, with only one loss in his past five bouts. His opponent is 1-2 in the promotion.
There you have it.
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