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By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor
UFC Fight Night 82 was once a pay-per-view event that was shifted to cable when it lost its main event. That means that the rest of the card was considered to be quite weak. Let's see if that was true or not.
UFC Fight Night 82
GOOD: Mike Pyle stops Sean Spencer
This was a fairly good back and forth fight. There were some dull moments, but it was generally a good fight. Pyle took advantage for good late in the third round and poured it on until the ref stepped in. Nice win for Pyle.
GOOD: Misha Cirkunov submits Alex Nicholson
Nicholson was completely outmatched and Cirkunov just did whatever he wanted. He out-landed him by a wide margin. The only problem is that he wasn't throwing out a lot of strikes himself. This was a mismatch from the start, but it was kind of fun in its brutality.
GOOD: Joseph Benavidez vs. Zach Makovsky
Benavidez neutralized everything Makovsky was doing. Makovsky would get a takedown, but Benavidez would immediately get up. I suppose that's worth something if you get enough takedowns, but if you can't capitalize on them then what's the point? They're essentially jabs, you use them to set up something that will do damage to your opponent. It's a good job by Makovsky of getting the takedowns, but a better job by Benavidez to get right back up from them.
Benavidez was also landing shot after shot on Makovsky, who had to be feeling them. I lost track of how many times Benavidez landed hard body shots. He was doing meaningful damage over and over again. He couldn't finish the tough Makovsky, but he took the clear decision and staked his claim to another title shot. I don't know if that happens or not, but Benavidez is better than almost everyone else in the division.
UGLY: Ovince St. Preux vs. Rafael "Feijao" Calvacante
OSP hurt his foot early on in the first round, so you can excuse his inactivity, but Feijao...that was disgraceful. He hardly did anything in the whole fight. I'm not going to bother looking at the striking stats for such a pitiful display, but if I had to guess, I would say that Feijao landed maybe a dozen strikes in the entire fight. This fight sucked and I only wish that crowd would have been even louder than they were with their disapproval. OSP won the decision, for whatever that's worth.
UGLY: Not stopping the fight to examine an injury
Equally as pathetic and disgraceful as Feijao's non-fighting was the complete and utter incompetence shown from the cageside doctor and anyone else involved with medical stoppages. I would even throw the referee in there as well, because he could have halted the fight and told the doctor to check OSP's foot. I don't know exactly if it was his foot, ankle, leg, etc. but something was clearly hurt. Did the cageside doc fall asleep? Did the ref decide that it was too much trouble to have it looked at? I just don't understand why something wasn't done.
UGLY: Roy Nelson vs. Jared Rosholt
Rosholt ran like Kalib Starnes every time Nelson tried to throw a punch. Just like the last fight, nothing happened in this fight. Nelson won the decision, for whatever that's worth, but everyone else lost. This fight sucked.
Fights like this, and the one before it, are interest-killers. Casual fans who watch the occasional UFC show are likely to swear off the sport if they see too many fights like this. Non-fans who are flipping through the channels and come across this garbage would immediately keep flipping and never come back. And why should they? No one wants to watch this stuff. It's one thing to find high-level wrestling or grappling to be boring. You don't like it or want to watch it, but you know it takes skill. It's an entirely different thing for two guys to stand across from each other and do nothing. There's no skill involved there, it just sucks and shows that they don't want to fight. If they don't want to fight, I don't want to watch. These fights just leave a bad taste in your mouth.
GREAT: Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson stops Johny Hendricks
This was an amazing performance from Thompson, who is either getting the next UFC Welterweight Title shot or will face Tyron Woodley in a #1 contenders fight. It depends on if the UFC goes with UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler rematching Carlos Condit or not in his next fight.
Hendricks took Thompson down, but Thompson immediately popped back up and then proceeded to show just how dynamic and dangerous his striking is. Thompson came at Hendricks from every angle, he was like a windmill in a tornado, and he dropped him with some of the most beautiful and crazy striking you'll see in a MMA fight. You really have to watch for yourself as words don't do it justice and I would definitely encourage everyone to track down and watch this fight if you haven't seen it already. It was a thing of beauty and a real statement from Thompson.
It just sucks that it came after two of the worst fights of the year that probably ran off a lot of fans. This is worth searching for, though, as Thompson peppered Hendricks with pinpoint punch after pinpoint punch, hard kicks, and then finished him with a spinning back kick to the chest/body and followed with even more punches. It was crazy, and it was awesome.
Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank
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