Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) took a break from the pay-per-view (PPV) business and returned to Fight Pass yesterday (Sat., Sept. 3, 2016) as UFC Fight Night 93 went down from inside Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany.
The main event saw Josh Barnett strangle Andrei Arlovski into submission in the third round of their Heavyweight affair (recap). In the co-main event, Alexander Gustafsson got back into the win column after outscoring Jan Blachowicz (read about it here), while Ryan Bader also picked up an all-important and impressive win over Ilir Latifi (see it).
Biggest Winner: Alexander Gustafsson.
Sure, many expected the former Light Heavyweight contender to pick up the "W" over his foe; but in a sport that can see a fight end in the blink of an eye, nothings a given. That said, "The Mauler" managed to avoid a three fight losing skid by taking out Jan, though many would have liked to see Alex get a finish, a win, after all, is a win.
Now that he has his mojo back, Gustafsson can look to up the stakes in his next bout, as he will need to take on and defeat higher-ranked opponents if he ever wants to re-earn himself another ticket back to the big dance.
Sure, others may have had a more-impressive victory, but Alex's is by far the biggest as it kept his career from getting completely derailed.
Runner (s) Up: Ryan Bader and Josh Barnett.
I have to admit, this bout was 50/50 for me personally, as Latifi has been upping his all-around game over his last three fights, which just so happened to be victories. But, no one could have foreseen Bader unleash that devastating knee that put "The Sledgehammer out for the count.
It was a huge statement for "Darth" after his last fight saw him get knocked out by striking specialist Anthony Johnson in the very first round.
As for Barnett, he avoided back-to-back losses by taking it to Arlovski and choking him out in the third frame. The win gives him new life in the 265-pound division and reason to keep fighting since he's plenty busy with other side projects such as acting.
Biggest Loser: Andrei Arlovski.
After starting his return to the Octagon a few years back on quite a streak, things have quickly gone south for "The Pitbull." as he has dropped three in a row, getting finish in all of them. Granted, they were against current division king Stipe Miocic and No. 1 contender Alistair Overeem as well as Barnett, but the losses don't sting any less.
That said, the 37 year former champion and fan favorite has a tough road to navigate on the heels of his losing streak. And if you're wondering if he's going to continue to fight, "The Pitbull" said he would, but not after taking some time off.
For complete UFC Fight Night 93 coverage and analysis click here.