UFC on Fuel: Chan Sung Jung finishes Dustin Poirier
The Patriot Centre in Fairfax, Virginia, hosted The UFC on Fuel. Fans watching on TV had the pleasure of Kenny Florian’s stellar commentary as the top-flight fighter analyzed each tactic fluidly. Florian’s been in more than one title shot, so he should know what’s going on in the cage. Most of the main card fights were interesting enough.
Undefeated in his UFC career, "The Korean Zombie", Chan Sung Jung, had his work cut out for him in "The Diamond", Dustin Poirier. Despite a rock solid jaw and technique that has been polished since his first fight in the UFC in 2011, Poirier came in as the favourite.
The story of this fight was The Zombie’s amazing transitions: from being taken down and sweeping to mount; from triangle chioke to armbar; landing a flying knee and going to a choke. Fans love the Zombie because of his perfect transitions, and because he’s always moving for a finish.
The fight had crazy ground scrambles and back-and-forth stand-up wars, but from round one The Zombie looked to finish, and did, early in round four after said flying knee followed by D'arce Choke. Poirier looked battered and bloody at the end. The Zombie has now finished two of the top fighters in the division. I smell a title fight for him soon, against current champ, Jose Aldo. That would be a barn burner, and an easy sell for UFC president Dana White.
The Ultimate Fighter alumni Amir Sadollah boasts very technical Muay Thai, but Jorge Lopez’s thick musculature and sharp jab caused Sodallah trouble early on. Sadollah is only 5-3 in his pro career, but thanks to TUF, all his fights have been in the big show---the UFC. Lopez was looking for a win in the promotion after a loss in his first UFC fight last September.
Amir needed to take note that UFC matchmakers are pitting him against a newcomer. He’s a capable, deserving UFC fighter, but another loss or two and he could be packing. Lucky for him, he fought most take downs and did enough on the feet to eke out a fair split decision. Sadollah will live to fight another day.
A match with fight-of-the-night written all over it was Jeremy Stephens v. Donald Cerrone. Since Cerrone’s loss to current champ Benson Henderson back in April, 2010, the Texan had a 7 fight win streak broken by Nate Diaz Last December. On the flip-side, the ever tough Stephens has not strung together three wins since 2007-2008, and needed a win over a big name. This was his chance.
The variety of techniques Cerrone threw confused Stephens and kept the shorter fighter from getting inside. Cerrone’s kicking was out landed Stephens’s boxing, and set up a Cerrone uppercut in round two that nearly finished Stephens. Cerrone’s mastery of the cage underscored how impressive it is that Nate Diaz kicked his ass, especially since Cerrone is so polished and doesn’t look like he could improve. Footwork, footwork, footwork.
It would suck to fight Cerrone---unless you’re Nate Diaz---and get peppered with that Muay Thai. But this would not be fight-of-the-night. Cerrone by unanimous decision.
Haitian-Canadian Yves Jabouin dropped Jeff Hougland with a spinning back kick to the body, but somehow failed to finish him off. It was a sequence that highlighted just how difficult it would be to ref a UFC bout: when is a fighter hurt but fighting back? When is a downed opponent actually out? It’s easy to criticize refs, but it’s harder to ref a UFC fight than it is to stop a teenager from staring blankly into their smart phone.
In the third round, Jabouin staggered Hougland with a left hook, and nearly finished the fight again, but Hougland fought and rolled and avoided valiantly. Hougland is a BJJ black belt, but couldn’t deal with the dynamic striking of Jabouin, who was definitely on fire this night. Hougland must be made entirely of shark cartilage.
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