By: Eric Ellison
Welcome to another edition of the Coroners Report, where we perform a little autopsy on some of the less fortunate inside the cage after fight night. Today we turn the knife on UFC 179 to see what we can dissect from the defeated, and where they may head next.
A lot of action over the weekend, with one hell of an epic (and slightly controversial) title bout between P4P champ Jose Aldo and top Alpha Male contender Chad Mendes. The Co-Main featured a usurping of top 205er Glover Teixiera by 3 to 1 underdog Phil Davis, who called out Anderson Silva in Brazil after the win.
So lets get these two bodies on the slab and get to work!
What a ride Glover has been on in 2014. The UFC pushed Teixiera into the limelight, selling him to us hard as the next Chuck Liddell it felt at times. Glover tore through the division to earn a scrap with Light Heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones, which he lost after a valiant effort. Last night we saw the superior wrestling of Davis completely nullify all Glovers best attributes on fight night. Unable to land the KO blow, or get away from “Mr. Wonderful’s” pressure, Glover spent most of UFC 179 fighting off takedowns and constant pressure.
While some MMA fans may ridicule Davis for his approach, there can be no question that his strategy was sound and successful. Teixiera was rendered mostly unable to be effective in this fight, and that was glaring truth that we also find today in this autopsy of the fight. Teixiera has great defensive wrestling, but once it’s”broken” he seems lost on what to do next. Of course we must take into account that Davis has been able to defeat other top guys through his wrestling, such as #1 contender Alex Gustafsson, but Teixiera is going to have to shore up his skills and show a more rounded out game. If he does not, UFC fans will forget him just as fast as they were introduced.
With Davis ranked #6, Glover at #4, and suspended Anthony “Rumble” Johnson among them at #5, do not be surprised if Teixiera slips down a few spots. I wouldn’t be surprised if Zuffa set’s Glover up against someone like Shogun or Hendo in his next match, and forego following the rankings to keep the “Teixiera Train” rolling. There can be no doubt Glover is an exciting addition to the roster, and his fall (at least for now) won’t be very far.
First off, congrats to Mendes for hammering out an epic five round war with the champion Jose Aldo. Almost every website or forum I came across said that if Mendes wanted to win, it’d have to happen on the cards. Well, UFC 179′s main event went there, via 25 minutes of intense war, and Aldo’s hand was raised after the thrilling match. The controversial strikes after the bell may stain this fight a little, but both guys landed a few questionable strikes, and Mendes was ultimately able to pull through. “Money” also did more damage to the champ with a solid game plan that we have not seen before.
While Mendes did have a much better showing, one of his best all around really, he still fell short of toppling Aldo. Last night’s Chad Mendes could beat just about anyone in the Featherweight division not named Jose Aldo. He looked fantastic, although we did not see much of an evolution in Mendes from the last encounter. What we are seeing now is the “logjam” affect, like what happened at Welterweight with GSP. The top 5 ranked guys could all beat one another, all be champs, but none seem capable of toppling Aldo. This fight, if anything, make that all the more real.
What’s next for Mendes, aside from healing and time off? Well, he could very well become the gatekeeper to a fight between Aldo and Conor MacGregor. This morning has had a lot of talk about that potential match, or even whispers of a future clash with perennial contender Frankie Edgar. For now what we can say is that “Money” Mendes may have lost this fight, but he gained a good deal of momentum regardless. This is one of those fights that prove a valiant effort can sometimes make an L a W despite how the fight ends.