Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Abel Trujillo (blue gloves) celebrates after knocking out Jamie Varner (not pictured) fights during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Three stars of UFC 169

UFC 169 is over and most of the post-event discussion is on how poor the event truly was. The fighters simply did not deliver last night, as 10 of the 12 bouts went to decision, which was a new UFC record. Both Renan Barao and Jose Aldo retained their championships, but not without some controversy in the main event’s stoppage.

Overall, the event was lackluster, but a few stars shined brighter than the rest. Today, I recap my three stars of UFC 169.

1. Abel Trujillo and Jamie Varner: What a war these two put on. After a horrendous preliminary card that saw little action and zero finishes, Trujillo and Varner opened up the pay per view with a tremendous back and forth brawl. Varner hurt Trujillo badly in the second frame and left it all in the Octagon looking for the finish. Unfortunately for Varner, he emptied his gas tank when going for the finish, and Trujillo knocked him out cold off a right hook counter. The knockout will certainly be contending for KO of the year later on. Trujillo’s stock definitely rose last night both in the rankings and in the eyes of the fans. As for Varner, the loss was devastating, but he showed once again what a true warrior he is. I can not say enough good things about this fight and these fighters.

2. The Brazilian champions: There is no doubt that Jose Aldo and Renan Barao are both the best fighters in their respective divisions and among the top 5 in the pound for pound list. Aldo put on yet another dominant performance en route to a unanimous decision victory over Ricardo Lamas. In the post-fight press conference, Dana White, stated that Aldo will vacate his title and move up to 155 to challenge Anthony Pettis for his title next. As for Renan Barao, his first round TKO victory over Urijah Faber was not without controversy. Many people, including me, believe that Herb Dean stopped the bout too early. That being said, Barao was dominating Faber and had him badly hurt. He is undoubtedly the best Bantamweight in the world.

3. Al Iaquinta and Kevin Lee: In a night of dreadful fights, this was one of the few bright spots. Iaquinta, who fights out of Ray Longo’s camp, is a legit prospect to watch out for at Lightweight. He clearly has a wide array of skills, and is an exciting fighter to boot. Kevin Lee, the second youngest fighter in the UFC, showed real heart in surviving Iaquinta’s first round onslaught. Although he lost on the scorecards, Lee’s stock is higher than it has ever been. Lee showed off his raw talent and grappling prowess last night and absolutely impressed. Both men should have a bright future moving forward.


Tags: Abel Trujillo Al Iaquinta GIF Jamie Varner Jose Aldo Kevin Lee Renan Barao Stars UFC 169 Urijah Faber

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