A quick snapshot at the weekend that was.
Biggest Upset: Jeison Rosario +1200 over Julian Williams
Notable New Champions:
- Interim WBA World Junior Lightweight Championship: Chris Colbert
- WBA Super World/IBF World/IBO World Junior Middleweight Championships: Jeison Rosario
- WBC Continental Americas/WBO Intercontinental Light Heavyweight Championships: Eleider Alvarez
- WBA Fedebol Welterweight Championship: Franco Maximiliano Ocampo
A Few Storylines Going Forward:
- The Hour of Upsets: How rare is a +500 or more upset in combat sports? Rare, right? Very rare. It might happen a few times a year. What if there were two…in the same hour?? In the featured prelim on ESPN, Roxanne Modafferi absolutely outclassed uber-prospect Maycee Barber on the feet, on the ground, and in the head. A beautiful jab made Barber fall back and shred up her knee, and while it should have been stopped, and kudos to Barber’s toughness, but Roxy waltzed to an easy win. Then, within an hour later, an even bigger upset happened, with Jeison Rosario earning an absolute stunning TKO over WBA and IBF Junior Middleweight champion Jullian Williams in the fifth round. Rosario was a +1200 underdog and an easy candidate already for upset of the year.
- Return of the Tap: 2019 was an all-time low in percentages of fights ending in submissions for the UFC, but lo and behold, here comes UFC 246 and kicks off their first PPV card of the year with three submissions, and all different ones, at that. Carlos Diego Ferreira tapped out former champion Anthony Pettis with a rear-naked, then Brian Keller stopped Ode Osbourne with a guillotine, forcing him to tap with his foot because his arms were to tied up, and thirdly, crafty Russian submission veteran Aleksei Oleinik tapped out Maurice Greene with an armbar. I, for one, want more submissions in 2020, it adds to the variety and excitement of mixed martial arts.
- What Did We Learn? Not a Damned Thing: I can’t believe I’m agreeing with a Stephen A. MMA take, but by-god, he’s right and I’ve been thinking this since the fight. What did we really learn about Conor McGregor? He has a knew trick in shoulder strikes to break Cerrone’s nose? Ok, I suppose that’s something, but all that did was leave Cerrone wide open and vulnerable to strikes, which, of course McGregor was going to exploit and put him out with. We didn’t learn how he would defend Cerrone’s kick game, or what he would do to combat Cerrone’s dangerous BJJ game from the bottom. Much as the Aldo fight, it was a great spectacle, but all it did was show we won’t learn anything from it, and we’ll never get a chance to again.