There wasn't much steam or anticipation going into this fight night card (Kattar VS Emmett) as as a whole, but boy did it deliver a great night of entertainment for us fight fans! With just the main card alone we had 4 finishes out of 6 fights (1 submission, 2 TKO's and 1 KO), its fair to say that Austin Texas crowd, certainly got their money's worth.
Now, as we know of this brutal sport which we all love, it leaves every fighter behind, the good and the bad, for example, if you win, we as fans are guilty to ask the question straight away, like DC (Daniel Cormier) or Rogan (Joe Rogan) in the octagon interview...."What's next for you?, who would you like to fight?", as for the loser its unfortunately back to the drawing board and the sport keeps moving forward, towards the next PPV or fight night event, so on that topic here's what I'd like to see next for the winners from this emphatic card.
Yanez continued to impress following his TKO finish against Kelley in the very first round via punches. Personal opinion I think Yanez could beat a few of these top ten bantamweight UFC fighters, but I wouldn't put him there just yet, slow role it with another great fight.
I think Kyler "matrix" Phillips would be a great but tough opponent to have on the resumé, whilst trying to break into that top 10, same goes for Kyler, Yanez would be a great name to have on the win record as Yanez is coming in with some serious hype and momentum, both are exciting to watch, both coming off wins, both cant be to far off that top ten, it makes sense, oh if you need tempting more, in his 5 fights in the UFC Yanez has bagged himself 4 performance of the night bonuses and 1 fight of the night bonus! Phillips in his 5 UFC fights has claimed 2 fight of the nights and 1 performance of the night, this is guaranteed to be a fight of the night.
Earning (rightfully so) a performance of the night bonus in his last fight against Marquez, which he was victorious in via KO in round 1, to me his striking looked far better than what he usually looks like in the stand up, that reason alone I'd love to see a stand up battle between him and "Chidi bang bang". Chidi is a type of fighter that will welcome the stand up battle after KO'ing his last 2 opponents in his first and only 2 UFC fights, I'm pretty sure someone's lights would go out in this scrap.
Damir was for me the most impressive fighter that caught my attention on that fight night card, watching him fight against a real tough contender in Kutateladze, showed me this guy (Damir) who has brilliant all round skills, can hang in there with the best of them in this killer lightweight division, so for that reason alone I think it's time we put this 19 win streak record on the line against a game proven top 10 opponent, in Gillespie.
Buckley's striking is clear to see for everyone, this dude can bang, not only can he bang, he's very illusive for a stocky guy, however his cardio department was what let him down in previous fights, this however was not the case on Saturday night! He looked sharp and powerful, every strike he threw did damage to his old training partner now recent opponent Duraev, considering he got taken down a couple of times and still made his way back to his feet. Then, given his relentless output, showed me he has worked on the cardio issue which certainly was not an issue no more, he did actually elaborate on his improved cardio after his win to DC (Daniel Cormier) when giving his octagon win interview, if you know MMA then I shouldn't need to sell this fight to you, both coming off great wins, both have looked great in their last fights, let's book it up.
I must admit I wasn't to sure on Holland's decision to move down to welterweight, but I think I'm ready to admit I might be wrong, in his last two fights which also happens to be his first two welterweight fights, he has looked far better than before in his primary weight class up in the middleweight division, he looks like he's more zoned and focused in now, rather than talking smack the entire fight (which is cool) it doesn't make you a winner on the scorecard. I'm sure Holland now knows this as the smack talk is still there, but way more lower levelled, which is showing in his current performances, he looks super fast in this division and his reach is going to cause a lot of welterweights a problem.
Exactly like Holland's situation with his "big mouth", Michel Pereira was going through a very similar outtake in his fights, but rather than talk smack he would do backflips on grounded opponents, running side cage kick's and all other sorts of crazy moves, now if you've seen him fight you know I'm not saying he spontaneously did these moves, he'd break them out consecutively wasting a whole lot of energy, like Holland and his smack talk, it's fan friendly and entertaining, but its not allowing you to finish fights because you've wasted a tonne of energy for nothing, but since he has channelled this in, he's look better than ever. His last win against Ponzinibbio was a great one, one which I didn't think he would be able to pull off. So all in all this would be a great stand up battle, that will get the fans tweeting about this fight IF it gets made, due to their both respected fan favourite styles.
Joshua Emmett (9-2 UFC record) vs winner of Yair Rodriguez (8-2-1NC UFC record) or Brian Ortega (7-2-1NC UFC record) for the a NO.1 contender match.
I thought that Emmett vs Kattar was super close and whatever way it went I wasn't going to scream "robbery", it was a great fight with back and fourth action from either guy. After that win I don't think you deny Emmett, that in his next fight it will have to be for a number one contender match up, I think it makes perfect sense for it to be the winner of Yair or Brian as these two have both recently lost to either Holloway (which Yair recently lost), or the champ himself Volkanovski (which Ortega recently lost), so one more fight for the winner of them two against Emmett for me will clearly signal, who's rightfully deserving of their chance at the champ, weather that will be against Holloway or Volkanovski.
That's my picks, would love to hear yours, it all makes for great conversation, after all we all wish we had Mick Maynard and Sean Shelby's job.