UFC on FOX 28: What We Learned

Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Orlando, Fla. (Sun, February 25, 2018)– UFC on FOX 28: Josh Emmett vs. Jeremy Stephens took place on Saturday February 24, 2018 at Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. The main card will air on FOX while the early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

After another night of great fights, the fans often spend time thinking about what’s next for the fighters, their respective weight divisions, and the state of the UFC. There were a few big moments in Orlando last night so here’s my take on what we learned and what could be next.
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Josh Emmett vs. Jeremy Stephens

If you read my predictions before the fight (go here), you know that I was a bit skeptical on Emmett being ranked #4 in the world after a win in which he missed weight. Last night proved I was right, mostly. Emmett did land a knockdown on Stephens, which is no easy feat but ultimately lost the fight from a brutal knockout. Stephens on the other hand proved that he is still the “Lil Heathen” that we all know him as. Stephens is 15-13 in the UFC which is a bit misleading if you factor in the competition he has faced. He has won his last three fights in six months, all in dominating fashion. Many forget that he is only 31 years of age, which is fairly young in MMA. I’m sure the purists and Stephens are keeping a close eye on the rankings. What’s next? For Emmett, I think he drops in the rankings to #6 or #7 and a fight with Dooho Choi could potentially co-main event for a Fight Night in the future. For Stephens, he could fight the loser of Ortega vs. Edgar for a title eliminator or wait it out for a possible title fight.
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Jessica Andrade (#2) vs. Tecia Torres (#5)

This one is pretty straightforward and the bout speaks for itself. Andrade perfectly executed her game plan by repeatedly taking down Torres as expected. This fight exposed the talent gap in the rankings. Ranked #2 and #5 respectively, many would expect a close fight but after watching Andrade land 110 significant strikes and land 10 takedowns, its obvious the rankings can be deceiving. What’s next? Andrade is the obvious opponent for the winner of Champion Rose Namajunes vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (#1) for the Strawweight strap. Torres doesn’t drop drastically as many women in the division are booked. A fight with Felice Herrig (#8) makes sense as Herrig has voiced her discontent with the UFC in facing ranked opponents.
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Mike Perry vs. Max Griffin

Mike Perry losing in his hometown of Orlando was a tough fight to watch. Max Griffin outclassed Perry. Perry was swinging for the fences, often missing. While I do believe there is some success in the top 10 for Perry, his two fight losing streak will not get him into those fights right now. Max Griffin looked good, not great. He ate a few heavy shots but remained patient landing good counter shots and leg kicks. What’s next? We love Perry but unfortunately, I think he goes back to the prelims and fights relatively unknown fighters. Max Griffin I believe is one or two fights away from fighting a top 15 fighter. Not because of his resume but beating a well-known knockout artist like Perry could launch him into a fight with a ranked Welterweight.


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