Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to the hurt business last night (Fri., June 1, 2018) for UFC Fight Night 131 from inside Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, N.Y., which was headlined by a Bantamweight bout which saw Marlon Moraes run right through Jimmie Rivera with a 33-second knockout thanks to a well-timed switch kick (see it again here).
In the co-main event, Gregor Gillespie continued his ascension after submitting Vinc Pichel in the second round via arm triangle (see it again here).
Biggest Winner: Marlon Moraes
This is a no-brainer, as Marlon firmly cemented himself as the next potential championship contender at 135 pounds after knocking out Jimmie Rivera in a little over 30 seconds. Indeed, while many expected a five-round war after months and months of trash talk between the two, “Magic” wanted to get in, get out and take care of business, just like he did in his previous fight against Aljamain Sterling.
And it wasn’t “luck,” as “El Terror” previously suggested. Marlon will be an interested observer come August 4, as division champion T.J. Dillashaw and former titleholder Cody Garbrandt run it back at UFC 227.
Runner Up: Ben Saunders
When opportunity knocks you answer it, and that’s just what “Killa B” did when he agreed to step in to face Jake Ellenberger after Bryan Barbarena got injured and was forced out of his showdown against “Juggernaut.” Two minutes into the bout, Saunders clipped Ellenberger with a clean knee to the body that folded Jake like a lawn chair, and proceeded to follow it up with a few strikes for good measure. Not only did the victory put him back into the win column after dropping two straight, the knockout win earned him a cool $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
Biggest Loser: Jake Ellenberger
Jake’s struggles just keep piling on. After getting finished by Ben Saunders, Ellenberger’s losing streak inflated up to three. To add insult to injury, his three defeats have all come via knockout, two of them in the very first round.
All in all, Jake has dropped five of his last six and eight of his last 10 going all the way back to 2013. What the future holds for Ellenberger is unknown, but getting finished in his last three bouts can’t be good for his career.
For complete UFC Fight Night 131: “Rivera vs Moraes” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.