What mattered most at UFC 258, which took residing at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas? Here are about a put up-fight musings …
Let’s handsome optimistic this up real off the bat: No, Kamaru Usman isn’t superior to Georges St-Pierre in the all-time welterweight hierarchy. This isn’t even the opinion of a biased Canadian, it’s handsome simply a fact.
Does it mean Usman (18-1 MMA, 13-0 UFC) can’t one blueprint or the other surpass St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) in the dialog? No doubt no longer. UFC president Dana White will be real when he says it’s “undeniable,” but no longer yet.
Dana White sees @USMAN84kg crafting a legacy at 170 that’ll surpass Georges St-Pierre.
“It is undeniable that this guy will trek down as the ideal welterweight. The quiz is, the place will he trek down in the history of the sport?”#UFC258 | Plump interview: https://t.co/2AKJj0q0uL pic.twitter.com/96fhXkTUSF
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) February 14, 2021
It is handsome Usman broke St-Pierre’s file for most consecutive wins in the 170-pound division with his radiant title protection in opposition to Gilbert Burns. Nonetheless no longer all a success streaks are created equal, and there’s a glaring distinction between the two resumes. The most renowned of those variations is St-Pierre’s 12-fight poke consisted of 11 championship fights, including 9 consecutive title defenses.
Usman, by comparison, has handsome four title fights and three consecutive defenses in what’s now a 13-fight a success high-tail overall interior the octagon. He’s beaten some unprecedented opponents in the course of that poke, but longevity of success is arguably the most fundamental aspect in any GOAT dialogue, and St-Pierre’s physique of work need to mute no longer be lessened because Usman is the one who is right here real now.
All those debates apart, there’s no denying Usman is a extraordinarily particular fighter, and an absolute monster interior that octagon. The methodology he overcame early adversity in opposition to Burns to rally and absorb a actually definitive manner is strictly what you’re taking to absorb to sight out of a champion.
One comparison that does plunge essentially based on Usman and St-Pierre real now, though, is they’ve both proven to be model champions. Usman would possibly per chance very properly be perceived by some as corny or dry, but he represents the sport the real methodology. He’s doing St-Pierre proud in that regard. Nonetheless in phrases of the in-cage accomplishments, let’s no longer “Urge” to position Usman sooner than GSP.
That end result’s going to be one which stays with Gilbert Burns as a “what-if” kind of 2d in his life. Even if he manages to vary into UFC champion in the future, he’s for sure going to feel admire it’ll mute’ve occurred sooner, and he dropped the ball in opposition to Usman.
Burns acknowledged going “Cody Garbrandt-loopy” brought on his downfall after hurting Usman in the first spherical of their championship collision. That would possibly per chance very properly be it. Or more than likely he didn’t trek pretty loopy enough in the first spherical, when he spent roughly two minutes scooting from his lend a hand and giving Usman time to improve from the clubbing blow he absorbed early in the fight.
Either methodology, Burns acknowledged he purchased too caught up in the 2d, and in his opinion, that’s why he’s no longer the champion real now. The Brazilian fully known that’s all his fault, because at this stage of the sport a mental lapse would possibly per chance very properly be handsome as costly as a physical one. It’s onerous to argue Burns doesn’t absorb the instruments required to be champion, but being 99 percent there received’t elevate out it in opposition to any individual of Usman’s caliber, and other americans minor slips are what resolve these high-stage fights.
It’s an emotionally crushing but fundamental lesson for Burns to be taught, and it’s now a quiz of whether he can build apart his takeaways into observe going forward. The fundamental misfortune for “Durinho” at this level is his age. He’s 34, and with the 170-pound division being an absolute shark tank of expertise, there are no guarantees he sees himself in another title fight.
Burns acknowledged all the real issues in the aftermath of his loss. He revealed his aim is to mimic what Robbie Lawler did after falling instant in his first UFC title fight by turning spherical with as many fights as that it’s seemingly you’ll take into consideration in opposition to top names, and given the circumstances, that will be a wise blueprint.
After having her hype educate derailed in a extraordinarily tough methodology 13 months in the past, the UFC pushed the chips in on Maycee Barber again by positioning her as the co-fundamental event on this pay-per-observe in opposition to Alexa Grasso, who had no intentions of being a springboard for the prospect’s rebound.
Barber’s (8-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) broad upset loss to Roxanne Modafferi at UFC 246 in January 2020 would possibly per chance very properly be rationalized. She suffered a severe knee danger that unnerved her offense, and despite getting beat up, she took it to the closing bell. Her comeback fight in opposition to Grasso had none of those underlying storylines, though. Her Mexican foe received handsome and square by unanimous decision, and now “The Future” has lend a hand-to-lend a hand losses after initiating her career undefeated.
At this level it’s safe to allege Barber’s ambition of breaking Jon Jones’ file for youngest champion in UFC history is ineffective. Then again, that doesn’t mean we must all the time mute write the 22-twelve months-musty off utterly. Grasso deserves appreciate for her effort, and her earnings in trip made a noticeable distinction in how she paced herself and managed offense over the course of three rounds. The uncooked capability from Barber used to be evident, but the records of striking it together just isn’t any longer there yet.
Even supposing Barber is susceptible to be devastated about going from being arguably the top prospect in the complete sport to sitting in a two-fight gap, this would possibly per chance level to to be the ideal aspect for her. She acknowledged prior to stopping Grasso that she thought she used to be handiest two wins away from a title shot, but that focus on must stop now. Huge targets are sizable, but stopping repeatedly has to be the handiest misfortune for Barber going forward.
If Barber is supposed to be a broad, the items will plunge in residing as lengthy as she does issues the real methodology.
Kelvin Gastelum fundamental a absorb the worst of programs to defend connected as an better-echelon title in the middleweight division. He came thru in that situation and outworked Ian Heinisch for a unanimous decision.
No, it wasn’t the flashy knockout from a bomb of a left hand that we’ve blueprint to rely on from Gastelum (16-6 MMA, 11-6 UFC) in most of his wins, but it without a doubt showed his capability to fight intelligently in a 2d with fundamental tension.
As used to be without a extinguish in sight repeated in the lead-as much as the event, Gastelum used to be on a 3-fight skid. It came to the highest of caliber names in Israel Adesanya, Darren Until and Jack Hermansson, but as we’ve blueprint to be taught, three losses, despite the nature, cranks as much as the noise from followers and pundits.
Gastelum didn’t fight admire a immense burden used to be on him, though. Yes, he did put into effect a more wrestling-heavy blueprint than we’re earlier school to seeing from him, but it without a doubt used to be his ideal course to victory in opposition to Heinisch’s skillset. Now Gastelum is a winner for the first time since Could per chance 2018, and the 29-twelve months-musty can switch forward without so many severe eyes on him.
The UFC schedule since the pandemic hit has been one thing of a blur, but Anthony Hernandez’s victory over Rodolfo Vieira wanted to be one of the more dramatic moments in contemporary memory for a fight without many perceived stakes coming in.
No longer handiest did Hernandez (8-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) make a selection away Vieira’s undefeated file, he tapped out the ADCC champ with a guillotine choke in an fully honest result. Hernandez would possibly per chance very properly be found as a +3000 underdog to put up Vieira, and even that gave the impression generous given the Brazilian’s credentials.
Nonetheless Hernandez summed it up completely in the aftermath of his take: “While you occur to would possibly per chance hit any individual, sh*t adjustments. It’s no longer jiu-jitsu.”
That’s straight information from “Fluffy.”
This fight need to mute lend a hand as a broad self assurance booster for Hernandez, and it remains to be considered if this will lend a hand as a building block to one thing better, or a defining 2d in his career. Either methodology, that used to be a heart-racing methodology to come by his hand raised.