Unlike many other recent UFC events, the promotion actually put relevant and exciting fights on the Facebook prelims for UFC 155. The first bout was an exciting tilt between John Moraga and Chris Cariaso. Because of the lack of depth in the flyweight division, any time two guys from that weight class tussle, the will just about automatically have title implications. This fight was probably no different, as Moraga likely shot himself up the division’s ranks with a third round standing guillotine. Moraga has now won six straight, including two UFC finishes. The win tonight probably puts him only a couple fights away from the top of the division. Disappointing loss for Cariaso, who many pegged as a title challenger in the near future.
Also on Facebook, featherweights Max Holloway and Leonard Garcia went at it for three rounds en route to a decision. Because it was a Leonard Garcia fight, the decision was split, but this time the judges came out in Holloway’s favor. Although Garcia was more measured and strategic than he has appeared in the past, his brawling style started to peek through as the fight went on. Holloway did a good job of not falling into Garcia’s trap, and fought a good fight. Holloway definitely showed a more refined technique and may have sent Garcia packing with his fourth straight loss in the UFC. Update! Dana White confirmed at the post fight press conference that Garcia does not need to pack after all (unless he’s going on a vacation; in that case, don’t forget to pack the sunscreen Leonard!), as his job is secure despite the fourth straight loss. Let this be a lesson to everyone that steps into the octagon how important being willing to put on exciting fights is. (Looking at you Derek Brunson).
More importantly than all of that, Todd Duffee capped his triumphant return to the UFC with a first round TKO victory over Phil De Fries. I held off on finalizing this blog until early this morning mostly because last night my friends and I were immediately calling for a Duffee title shot after the dominant performance. Now I can take a step back and realize that the alcohol and my blind faith in Duffee may have been clouding my judgment in this regard. That being said, I would love for him to get a rocket push in the heavyweight division, and for everybody to pretend that everything between the Tim Hague knockout and the knockout last night didn’t happen. The Great Jacked Hope is back!
All in all, the Facebook fights were very entertaining and set the stage for a rather mediocre pay per view (until the final two fights). Perhaps we should try putting the exciting fighters on the main show next time?
P.S. War Duffee!