Biggest Takeaways From UFC Kansas City
UFC Kansas City has come and gone, and for a TV event, it was excellent. Let’s take a look at the full results, then break down some further results:
Ketlen Vieira def. Ashlee Evans-Smith by unanimous decision
Zak Cummings def. Nathan Coy by Submission, RD 1
Anthony Smith def. Andrew Sanchez by knockout, RD 3
Devin Clark def. Jake Collier by UD
Aljamain Sterling def. Augusto Mendes by UD
Tim Elliott def. Louis Smolka by UD
Rashid Magomedov def. Bobby Green by split decision
Tom Duquesnoy def. Patrick Williams by TKO, RD 2
Alexander Volkov def. Roy Nelson by UD
Renato Moicano def. Jeremy Stephens by SD
Robert Whittaker def. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza by TKO, RD 2
Rose Namajunas def. Michelle Waterson by sub, RD 2
Demetrious Johnson def. Wilson Reis by sub, RD 3
Unlike the rambling insanity that was UFC 210, results here were rather predictable, and nothing truly industry-changing happened. But, there are still things to be learned from the results here, so let’s look at the most important takeaways from the event!
Tim Elliott and Louis Smolka Steal The Show
In the fight that opened the prelim section of the card, Tim Elliott took on Louis Smolka, and it was the best fight of the night. Both men exchanged complex grappling maneuvers at a high pace the entire time. Both had solid moments, such as Smolka going from being on the bottom to an ankle lock, to taking Elliott’s back. Elliott nearly had the fight won with an arm-in-RNC. If you enjoy MMA grappling, this just might be your new favourite fight, and because of how competitive and entertaining it was, both are likely to be elevated going forward.
Roy Nelson Doesn’t Have Long Left
Just before the main card began, Roy Nelson took on Bellator pickup Alexander Volkov, and it didn’t go well for Nelson. Dropping all three rounds on all three scorecards. He’s now 40 years old, and this loss puts him at 7-3 over his last ten. His three wins since 2013 aren’t particularly impressive, either. It’s unlikely that he’ll get cut if nothing else due to the shallow nature of the UFC heavyweight division, but one has to wonder how many fights he has left in him.
Renato Moicano Surprises
Taking on fan favourite, and top five ranked Jeremy Stephens, the somewhat unknown Renato Moicano had the deck stacked against him. However, he was able to employ a solid strategy of using footwork and distance to force Stephens to chase. Unable to tee off, the American powerhouse was forced to work at Moicano’s range, where Moicano was able to out-perform. This is a big win for him and should catapult him up the rankings, which he wasn’t even included in before this fight.
Robert Whittaker is Very, Very Good
Jacare has developed a reputation over the years as one of the sport’s most proficient and dangerous jiu-jitsu fighters of all time, coming into the fight with an 85% victory rate. None of that mattered to Robert Whittaker, though. In the second round, Whittaker landed a head kick that had Jacare hurt, before finishing the fight with some ground and pound. This bumps Whittaker into title contention even more so than he was before and is a real signature win he can use going forward. He remains undefeated since moving to middleweight in 2014, going 6-0 in that time with four knockouts. But the title picture is… well, convoluted at 185. So, the immediate benefits for Whittaker are unclear, but the fact that the 26-year-old knockout artist is among the best living middleweights is undeniable.
Demetrious Johnson Makes History, but Will Never Draw Big
Demetrious Johnson has tied the record for the most title defences in UFC history with ten. That’s incredible. He’s been the only champion in the history of the flyweight division, holding the belt since 2012. That’s incredible. He submitted jiu-jitsu ace Wilson Reis in the third round of their title match. That’s incredible. However, his safe fighting style, his somewhat vanilla personality, and the lack of interesting challengers is going to prevent him from ever truly moving to superstardom the way certain other great MMA champions have, and that’s a shame. He’s rightfully so hailed as one of, if the best fighters who has ever lived by fans who know what they’re talking about, but public interest is so low that he’s repeatedly left to bolster a TV card, rather than headline or co-headline a PPV.
And that wraps it up for this article. What did you think of this event? Let me know in the comments below, or come tell me on Twitter @ejdupras_VVV. Subscribe to the site if you want to get notified about all our new articles.
And so until the next time, it’s a farewell from me, and I hope you’ll all join me again soon!