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The Monday After: Final takeaways from UFC 179

UFC made its return after a two-week long absence with UFC 179 last Saturday night (Oct. 25, 2014) in Rio. There were some great moments and some not-so-great moments that took place in Brazil (full results here).

Buda Mendes

It's Monday. Time to go back to work, call in sick, or head in with excitement because you can't wait to march over to the water cooler and talk to Bob from accounting about the latest episode of AMC's The Walking Dead (recap).

But you did that last week when there was no UFC card to discuss. So today, perhaps you and Bob can speak about all the action that took place in Brazil at UFC 179 this past weekend, in addition to what you are going to be for Halloween. P.S. It is a horrible idea to dress up as Ray Rice and his wife Janay Palmer.

There were some amazing moments at UFC 179 and there were also some dull ones, but all things considered, it was a solid card. Here are a few of my takeaways on what went down last Saturday night (Oct. 25, 2014) in Brazil at Ginasio do Maracanazinho.

Neil Magny

Say what you will about Magny, five wins in a row is five wins in a row. He is a far cry from the fighter who got absolutely annihilated by a Mike Ricci elbow during the 16th season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) and is continuing to improve each time out. Yes, no one is going crazy at wins over William Macario, Alex Garcia, Rodrigo de Lima, Tim Means, and Gasan Umalatov, but he definitely deserves a crack at a ranked opponent. The Brooklyn native is the first fighter in the UFC to win five straight since Roger Huerta did it back in 2007, and should unequivocally get a shot at breaking the record before the year is out.

Marc Goddard

First off, I've read far too many stories in the last two days suggesting Jose Aldo should've been deducted a point for hitting Mendes after the horn sounded at the end of the first round. It is the referee's job to be in position at the end of every round so that those types of situations don't occur. To deduct a point from a fighter because something happened due to him being out of position would be absurd. Goodard was not in position and the blame should be placed on him.

Afterward, he said he could not hear the horn or clappers due to the crowd noise and that is why he wasn't in position. The problem I have with that excuse is that this was the main event. He could have figured out a way throughout the evening on how to make sure he knew when the round was ending. He was in position at the end of rounds two through five and the arena was just as loud?

Lastly, if you are going to suggest that points should've been deducted from Aldo due to the late punches, then how about taking a point from Mendes after two eye pokes and a nut shot? All referees seem to be deathly afraid to take a point from a fighter. As referee you are the sole arbiter and are in command of the action inside the cage. After the second eye poke, a point needs to get taken, but it almost never does. All that is doing is telling the fighters they will get away with it every time. The conversation in the pre-fight meeting with the fighters should be, "I will give you a warning the first time. Second time, accidental or not, I am taking a point."

A great example of a referee taking action would be Big John McCarthy at GLORY: "Last Man Standing." Yes, it's kickboxing but still a great reference. This was a first-round tournament match up between Joe Schilling and Simon Marcus. The tournament winner won the middleweight title and $100,000. The fight went to an overtime round Marcus spit his mouthpiece out when he was in trouble to avoid getting knocked down. McCarthy warned him. Marcus ate a few more big punches and he spit his mouthpiece out once more. McCarthy immediately halted the action and took a point from Marcus. Schilling would go on to knock him out, but the fight was over after the point deduction, unless Marcus got the KO with less than 20 seconds left. That is what should happen with eye pokes in MMA but it never, ever does. If it did, I bet the fighters would adapt really fast.

Fabio Maldonado

Before I discuss his performance at UFC 179, I need to wax about his uncanny resemblance to an unmasked Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th. Go Google post-fight pics of him and Voorhees and look at the side-by-side comparison. Maybe it's just me and my love for this time of year, but I won't deny the similarity.

Maldonado, 34, is currently sitting at 15 in the UFC divisional rankings. He may only be 5-4 overall in the UFC, but he always brings it and keeps it entertaining and interesting. The Brazilian was out grappled the entire first round, before getting taken down at the start of the second. That quickly changed when he swept Stringer -- a Dutch kickboxer who was not in the mood to strike -- and let loose with some ground and pound for the finish.

The bosses like that kind of stuff. Not to mention that he stepped up in weight class to face Stipe Miocic his last time out, which certainly didn't hurt his standings with Dana White and Joe Silva, either. Is he ever going to break the top five of the division or contend for a title? No, but he will fill out a card nicely and occasional win a performance bonus like he did in his come-from-behind win against Stringer on Saturday and his "rock 'em, sock'em robots" unanimous decision loss to Kyle Kingsbury in his second fight in the UFC.

Phil Davis

"Mr. Wonderful" is a completely different fighter when he mixes up his strikes with his takedowns. He also performs quite well when he isn't under pressure and getting rocked with big punches like he did when he lost to Anthony Johnson at UFC 172. Davis came out motivated and poised and was clearly the superior athlete in his three-round dominance of Teixeira. People have been outspoken of Teixeira, saying he laid an egg, but his performance, or lack thereof was largely due in part to Davis.

The call out of Anderson Silva was just plain odd, but all was forgiven due to his amazing reference from Passenger 57. If you missed it, Davis said the famous line from Wesley Snipes character John Cutter, "Always bet on black."

As for what's next for "Mr. Wonderful," a lot has to shake out in the top half of the division, with Jon Jones facing Daniel Cormier at UFC 182 and Rashad Evans and Alexander Gustafsson being rumored to face one another. So he may step in against Ryan Bader or another one of the lower-ranked fighters among the light heavyweights next. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua is facing Jimi Manuwa in the beginning of November. Fighting the winner of that fight would make sense.

Glover Teixeira

Not a ton to say here. The 34-year-old Brazilian has reached his ceiling as a fighter. He was the inferior athlete to Phil Davis at UFC 179 and looked the part. He still has some good fights left in him and is more than capable of cleaning anyone's clock on any given night, but it is doubtful he will ever challenge for the 205-pound strap again. He defeats the lesser half of the division, but isn't good enough to defeat the other top fighters, but he can certainly hang with anyone and hold his own.

Jose Aldo

The featherweight champion proved once again at UFC 179 why he is the best in the world at 145. Mendes rocked him throughout the five-round war, but Aldo weathered the storm, popped right back up after being taken down, delivered well-timed and brutal attacks and showed that when pushed he will push back harder than his opponent and show he is the superior fighter. A sense of urgency that wasn't seen in his last two title defenses. The win over Mendes makes that 18 straight for Aldo. The featherweight champion has now defended his belt seven times in the UFC and nine altogether, if you include his two title defenses in the WEC. Next up? One would be inclined to think it would be Conor McGregor, should he beat Dennis Siver come January at UFC Fight Night 59 in Boston. If Cub Swanson closes the show against Frankie Edgar at UFC Fight Night 57, he could make a strong case for next title shot, too.

Chad Mendes

In a UFC 179 breakdown for last week, Daniel Cormier said he wanted to know just how far the gap is between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes. "DC" said their first encounter left him wondering due to the quick way it ended. He got his answer on Saturday night. Aldo is definitely the better fighter, but the talent gap between the two is not as far as everyone thought back at UFC 142. It appears to be similar to Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos at heavyweight. I would argue that the gap between Velasquez and JDS is much larger than Aldo and Mendes, but it is similar as far as the gap that both JDS and Mendes have over the rest of their division.

It will be a while before Mendes gets another shot, but it is not unlikely he doesn't get it. Next up could be the loser of Frankie Edgar vs. Cub Swanson at Ultimate Fight Night 57, or the loser of Ricardo Lamas vs. Dennis Bermudez at UFC 180.

Enjoy your week Maniacs. Talk to you on Monday, Nov. 10, after the UFC Fight Night 56 and 57 doubleheader.

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