Last night (Sun., March 23, 2014), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweights Rony Jason and Steven Siler went to war in the opening main card bout of UFC Fight Night 38 from Nelio Dias Gymnasium in Natal, Brazil.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil" 1 winner Jason was looking to right the wrongs of his disappointing 40-second loss to Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 32. The Brazilian mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter was so angered at the loss that he put his arm through a door backstage, requiring 15 stitches and adding a 30-day suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct to his previous 180-day medical suspension.
He received a step down in competition in TUF 14 veteran Siler, who came in off a loss to surging Dennis Bermudez. Jason needed a statement win to regain his precious momentum, and in the end, he got it.
But, it wasn't without its fair share of controversy. Let's take a look back at Jason's quick and questionable win in Natal.
The fight started out with Siler throwing a high volume of leg kicks. He scored with a few light strikes, but Jason responded by pushing forward with a couple solid hooks. The Brazilian quickly began to find his range and uncorked a beautiful overhand right over the top that had Siler wobbled. A huge left hook followed, sending "Super" crashing to the Octagon floor.
And then, it was all over in a flash.
Referee Wernei Cardoso waved off the fight just as Siler attempted an upkick, apparently talking to signify he was okay. It was too little, too late, and the result was in the books as Jason celebrated a much-needed win.
Siler appeared to be intelligently defending himself and understandably argued with Cardoso. The debatable stoppage continues the trend of recent MMA bouts like UFC 169's Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber rematch and UFC 170's Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann women's bantamweight title bout.
There's no doubt Siler was in trouble, but he deserved a chance to fight back.
Jason's follow-up left may have brought him back to life, but now it doesn't really matter. The dangerous featherweight is back on track after his only Octagon loss, and he should be line for a decent match-up. A fight with someone in the lower half of the Top 25 will most likely fit the bill for his next challenge.
For Siler, the loss is a wholly disappointing one because he probably would have been able to continue. He's now on a two-fight snide and has experienced 11 finish losses.
That's hardly a recipe for success in UFC, so "Super" is going to have to hope that his bosses take the early call-off into account. Despite appearing to trust his striking early on, he ate some big shots and put himself in the position to get stopped. There aren't too many bouts that make a lot of sense for him right now.
Rony Jason rebounded nicely by stopping Steven Siler early in the first round. However, it came by way of a very questionable stoppage. Was the outcome inevitable, or should Siler have had his chance to turn the tables?