UFC Fight Night 92 went down this past weekend in Salt Lake City. Every once in a while the UFC holds an event that perhaps on paper doesn‚Äôt have the snap, crackle and pop of their numbered PPV offerings but in the aftermath are considered sleeper hits. If you missed it, here‚Äôs five things we learned from the UFC‚Äôs debut in Utah:
Yair Force One
Yair Rodriguez defeated Alex Caceres via split decision and in the process showcased some of the flashy spinning leg kicks, spinning back fists and in general a lot of spinning attacks that‚Äôs become his trademark. Although he couldn‚Äôt get the highlight reel finish at just 23 years of age, getting 25 minutes of Octagon time in his first main event slot will do the featherweight a world of good. The future is bright for the Jackson-Wink fighter especially with the Mexican market so important for the UFC‚Äôs global expansion.
New York, New York
Following his unanimous decision victory over Rony Jason, Dennis Bermudez used his post fight interview with Jon Anik wisely. ‚ÄúFrankie Edgar, November (12th), Madison Square Garden, let's go!" said Bermudez. At a time when fighters are criticized for not making the most of their post fight mic time, Bermudez may have just done Sean Selby‚Äôs job for him. Now on a three-fight win streak, the top 10 fighter needs a big name to¬†claim his first title shot. A win over Edgar in New York would certainly do that.¬†
A star is born
Teruto Ishihara is already a must follow on social media. While some of his hashtags may not be politically correct he seems to have got a pass due to his oozing charisma. It doesn‚Äôt hurt that he also followed up his pre-fight hunt for the ladies of Salt Lake City with a first round knockout win over Horacio. It seems the after party at his hotel room was one for the books as he took to twitter to show his appreciation for the opposite sex. ‚ÄúI love my Salt Lake City b**ches!‚ÄĚ said Ishihara. Now training with some of the best lighter weight fighters in the world at Team Alpha Male, the Japanese 145lber has the attention of the MMA community and it‚Äôs up to the UFC now to give him that promotional push.
Better Leites than never
It‚Äôs safe to assume Thales Leites was probably fighting for his UFC career on Saturday night. Coming off back-to-back losses, his back was literally against the wall and for the duration of the fight with Chris Camozzi it looked as though the former title challenger was happy to cruise through to a dominant unanimous decision. He had other plans however and with just a few minutes to, his grappling and BJJ exchanges with Camozzi paid off as he secured the rear naked choke submission win. He‚Äôs in decent company now as with that, his fifth submission win, he‚Äôs tied with Rousimar Palhares and Demian Maia for the most in divisional history.
Waiting for Killer Cub
After a few set backs with losses to Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar it seems Cub Swanson has finally got his mojo back and wants to capitalise on this recent run of form. His unanimous decision win over Tatsuya Kawajiri means he‚Äôs 2-0¬†in 2016 and in his post fight interview revealed he‚Äôd like to squeeze in one more before the end of year. This marked his 13th win during his run in the WEC / UFC, which is second only to Jose Aldo‚Äôs 16. Now it‚Äôs time for the veteran to show us what got him into title contention. He needs a signature win and perhaps a finish to stamp the authority on his return. Currently ranked at #5, he has Ricardo Lamas, Holloway and Edgar ahead of him in the 145lb pecking order.