Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight prospects Fredy Serrano and Ryan Benoit battled last night (July 30, 2016) at UFC 201 inside Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Serrano is something of an unknown. He may be a former Olympic wrestler, but he’s also a 36 year old Flyweight with just three professional fights. Opening the main card, many questions were answered about "El Profe." In just three fights, Benoit has shown that he either wins or loses in a big way. Having lost two of those bouts, Benoit definitely needed a victory in order to remain inside the UFC.
The fighters wasted little time in trading hard blows. Serrano scored with a couple of takedowns, but Benoit also blasted him with a solid blow that dropped the Olympian.
Less than halfway through the round, the fighters were firing at an insane pace.
After working his way back to his feet for a second time, Benoit began to find his range and land the better strikes. Serrano was loading up far too much on his punches, which allowed Benoit to avoid the majority of his opponents blow even while pushing forward.
All in all, it was a clear round for "Baby Face."
Benoit stayed on the aggressive to start the round, landing some hard shots. Serrano managed to land another takedown, but Benoit exploded back to his feet without much trouble before long.
Despite the fact that Serrano was shooting from way too far out, he managed to work into a clinch and finish the shot. Once on top, he controlled for most of the round, though he didn’t do all that much damage.
With the second round up in the air, both men needed the third.
Serrano opened up with an immediate takedown, landing it on his tired foe. After the fight was stood up due to inactivity, an ugly takedown attempt from Serrano landed him on his back for a few moments.
Both men were incredibly sloppy and tired at the halfway point in the round. Despite the terribleness of what was happening, Benoit managed to keep himself standing, maintain control of the center, and land a few decent shots.
It was enough to win him the decision.
This was one of the most bizarre fights I’ve ever seen. Serrano is simply very inexperienced and seems to be making it up as he goes, doing random jumps, spins, and even some forward rolls. Meanwhile, Benoit — who took this bout on very short notice — was simply exhausted and slinging heavy leather at a snail’s pace after the first round.
Probably not the best opener for a pay-per-view (PPV) main card.
Ultimately, Benoit’s ability to defend the takedown and scramble back to his feet won him the fight. Early on, he couldn’t immediately defend the shot, but he was able to explode back to his feet. As Serrano’s gas tank failed him, Benoit was then able to shuck off the initial attempts and win the fight on the feet.
While he was clearly a bit confused by his opponent’s goofiness, but he definitely landed the harder blows.
Serrano is still incredibly raw as a fighter. He’s an amazing athlete with some great takedowns, but he simply doesn’t have a clear idea of what to do on the feet or the ground. In a highly technical division like Flyweight, that’s going to make it very tough for him to succeed.
At 36 years old, Serrano’s ability to grow technically before slowing down athletically will determine whether or not there is a place for him inside the UFC.
At UFC 201, Ryan Benoit scraped past Fredy Serrano in a bizarre fight. Where will Benoit go from here?
For complete UFC 201: "Lawler vs Woodley" results and play-by-play, click HERE!