Last night’s UFC: Fight Night Belfast was never going to be able to reach the heights of the UFC’s historical entrance into New York with UFC 205. Saying that, this was an important night for plenty of the UFC’s respected weight divisions and their fighters. Take a look below at my 5 things to take away from UFC: Fight Night Belfast.
Gegard Mousasi Is A Real Contender At 185
Before Gegard Mousasi avenged his second round TKO loss to Uriah Hall last night, there was a debate whether Mousasi should be considered as a serious title contender. Gegard certainly put a definite stamp on any debate last night. He looked fantastic in his Round 1 TKO stoppage of Prime Time, cementing his place amongst the top tier of the UFC’s Middleweight division. With Luke Rockhold injured and out of his scheduled bout with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Michael Bisping lined up to fight Yoel Romero, a trilogy fight between Mousasi and Souza certainly makes sense.
Ross Pearson Needs A Break.
The Sunderland native lost a close decision to Steven Ray making that three losses in a row for the lightweight. With three being the so-called cut number in the organization, I still would find it unusual if Pearson was given his is UFC marching orders given his popularity with the UK crowd and his entertaining fighting style. It is likely that he will be given one more shot but, given the fact that he has fought 4 times in 2016 for the organization, it is likely Pearson will take some time off to reassess and try to come back stronger in 2017.
Artem Lobov Deserves His Place
Right from his inclusion in the The Ultimate Fighter last year, Artem Lobov hasn’t been given the respect he deserves. Whether that was because of his unimpressive record (11-10 upon entry to the UFC), or his close friendship with two-division kingpin Conor McGregor, that question remains unanswered. After a disappointing two loss start to his UFC career, two wins in a row for “The Russian Hammer” made it abundantly clear that he has earned his place on the UFC Roster. It is yet to be seen how far he can go in the division, but it is at least clear now that Lobov is certainly no easy fight for anyone.
Stand Up And Recognize The Welsh
Two former Cage Warriors Champions, Brett Johns and Jack Marshman, started their UFC careers with a bang last night. Johns put in a solid display against Kwan Ho Kwak, making him the first Welshman to win in UFC with his unanimous decision victory. Later in the card, the first Welsh fighter to sign with the UFC, Jack Marshman, scored his first win defeating Magnus Cedenblad in spectacular fashion Ko-ing the Swede late in the second round. Great displays by both men and great for the long suffering Welsh MMA fan to see their countrymen succeed.
Another Set Back For Uriah Hall
Uriah Hall’s story is an interesting one, he was built as this mythical god during his time on The Ultimate Fighter, partly due to UFC President Dana White’s use of hyperbole but also due to the fact he was scary. Scary to the point he had fighters beaten on the show before even fighting them, a feat few fighters have accomplished. Since then his career has had some ups but as of late, mostly downs. This result to Mousasi is his third defeat in a row and second successive first round TKO loss. A loss to Mousasi is definitely nothing to be ashamed of but I get the feeling that something isn’t quite clicking anymore for Hall. I for one hope he gets his mojo back sooner rather than later. His job may very well depend on it.