UFC 167 was a night of questionable futures and judging.
UFC 167 took place Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and the event was headlined with a UFC welterweight championship bout between title holder Georges St-Pierre and No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks.
St-Pierre won a highly controversial decision. Following the event, UFC president Dana White referred to the judges, Tony Weeks and Sal D’Amato, as “incompetent” for rewarding St-Pierre with a split-decision victory, and the Nevada State Athletic Commission as “atrocious” for continuously incorrectly scoring MMA bouts.
Whether the judges screwed up the results or not, that’s a topic that is always up for debate, the victory was recorded as a win for St-Pierre and, according to MMAJunkie.com, he broke and extended UFC records.
St-Pierre won his 19th UFC bout, the most of any fighter in organizational history. He extended his UFC winning streak to 12, the longest active streak of any fighter currently on the roster. St-Pierre’s 12-fight UFC winning streak is the second longest of any fighter in UFC history. with Anderson Silva being in the No. 1 spot. The victory was also St-Pierre’s ninth straight welterweight title defense, the most in the division’s history. St-Pierre passed B.J. Penn for the most total fight time in UFC history with 5:28:12 spent inside the octagon during Round 1. St-Pierre has won seven consecutive fights by decision for a total of 175 minutes of fighting without a stoppage. St-Pierre fought to a decision for the 12th time in his UFC career, the second most of any fighter in history behind Jon Fitch and Sam Stout (13). His 12 decision victories are a UFC record, and St-Pierre has never lost a fight decided by the judges. St-Pierre completed three takedowns in the fight, giving him a total of 87 in his UFC career, an all-time company record. St-Pierre added to his tally for most total strikes landed in UFC history and has now landed a total of 2,523. St-Pierre added to his tally for most significant strikes landed in UFC history and has now landed a total of 1,254. St-Pierre absorbed 85 significant strikes in the fight, the most he has ever absorbed in a UFC bout.
Still, though, the controversial decision will go on to mar the significance of St-Pierre’s night in which many people believe Hendricks won.
Simple solution to an outcome like that is an instantaneous rematch, right?
Well, not when St-Pierre announced in a post-fight interview that he is taking a “step back from MMA.” It appeared as if “Rush” was trying to express that he was retiring, but couldn’t commit to saying it, so no one really knows if he will fight again or not.
Regardless, Hendricks is left in limbo, as is the rest of the welterweight division until things with GSP become clear as to what his intentions are. Also, to raise more questions on the near future of the UFC 170-pound weight class, the division was shook up earlier in the evening.
Leave up to Robbie Lawler to throw a monkey wrench up in any organization’s plans.
Prior to UFC 167, there was plenty of talk about St-Pierre’s teammate, Rory MacDonald, defeating Lawler and the two Tristar combatants facing one another. However, Lawler, a 32-fight veteran at 29 years old, dominated in two of their three-round bout and elevated one rung on the divisional ladder.
MacDonald, who was expected to be a belt contender in a short time, is completely out of the title picture. Throughout Lawler’s career he has been that fighter who derails the promotion’s up-and-coming talent en route to securing his own title shot. And he does it without talking to hype fight, but establishing his rank with exceptional performance in combat.
Chael Sonnen, though, is a mixed marital artist who does live off the hype talk. And that is something he failed to do leading up to his UFC 167 co-main event against Rashad Evans.
Evans defeated Sonnen via TKO in Round 1 of their light heavyweight affair, but unlike a typical bout featuring the former UFC middleweight No. 1 contender, the match flew under the radar. A reason for that could be that it was revealed by White weeks before their fight that Sonnen will be coaching opposite Wanderlei Silva on “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil” and meet “The Axe Murderer” at a later date.
Everyone, Sonnen included, has been focused on the ongoing feud between him and Silva. And given that Sonnen is Evans’ colleague on Fox Sports 1, it wasn’t a total shock that “Suga” didn’t receive the tongue thrashing “Chael P.” is capable of. Nonetheless, Sonnen was pummeled in the opening frame, didn’t stay in the spotlight by utilizing is slick wit and is now coming off a loss as he heads into his coaching stint against Silva. It takes some meaning away from the match when the American and Brazilian do square off.
Former Strikeforce welterweight Tyron Woodley caused a “TUF 1″ alumni to visit the same thoughts St-Pierre is entertaining.
Woodley blasted Josh Koscheck with a accurately placed right hand to the chin in the first round of their UFC 167 meeting that ended the fight. Woodley is back in the win column after losing a split decision to Jake Shields at UFC 161 in June, but has numerous competitors between him and a title shot. He isn’t ranked in the UFC top 10 welterweights, however, the win over Koscheck could help him crack the list.
Koscheck, on the other hand, is on a three-fight losing streak, with the most recent two ending in TKO/KO. The four-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler reportedly texted White alluding to the fact the he might hang his gloves up. Considering he is far removed from a title match and consecutive knockouts are a good way ensure brain trauma, it isn’t the worst idea if Koscheck does retire.
Ali Bagautinov, who is just beginning his UFC career, racked up his 10th straight victory in the opening fight of the UFC `167 main card.
Bagautinov outlasted Tim Elliot, winning a unanimous decision and halting the American’s two-fight win streak. Elliot’s awkward style and high pace was something Bagautinov evidently had never dealt with. Elliot was able to take advantage of the Russian’s lesser cardio in Round 3, but Bagautinov already had the victory locked in by winning the first two frames with a higher volume of strikes.
Donald Cerrone, who submitted Evan Dunham via triangle choke in Round 1 on the preliminary card, earned the submission of the night bonus. Woodley won knockout of the night, and St-Pierre and Hendricks picked up fight of the night honors. All winners received $50,000.
The event drew an attendance of 14,856 and a live gate of $5.7 million.
Something the event did offer is a variety of quandaries. Such as what happens with the welterweight division? And, what is to be done about judging in MMA?