Last night UFC Fight Night 38 went down in Natal, Brazil and what an event it was. Top to bottom, the card was likely the most intriguing event thus far in 2014. The card was full of exciting fights, finishes, drama, upsets, and more.
Overall, it was one of the more strange cards in recent memory, and today I will break down the wild, wacky, and bizarre from UFC Fight Night 38.
- Before the event began yesterday, the preliminary main event between Will Chope and Diego Brandao was cancelled. After news broke that Chope was discharged from the U.S. Air Force for assaulting his wife, the UFC immediately released Chope from his contract and scrapped the fight. The strangest part of the whole ordeal is that Chope has already fought in the UFC (back in January he lost to Max Holloway in his UFC debut), and he supposedly disclosed his legal past to the UFC prior to the fight with Brandao. Definitely an odd situation to say the least.
- Due to the smaller venue in Natal, the cage was actually smaller than usual. The size difference was noticeable during the broadcast, but did not drastically effect the fights in any negative way. In fact, it seems that the smaller cage provides more finishes.
- The venue also had no AC, and inside of the arena it was 94 degrees with 87% humidity.
- In 9 of the 11 bouts on the card, the underdog came out the victor. Thiago Santos, who was the biggest underdog last night, cashed in as a 7-1 underdog over Ronny Markes.
- In 11 bouts, MMA fans were treated to 7 spectacular finishes. The odd fact about the finishes last night was that 6 of them occurred in the first round. The UFC record for first round finishes at an event is 7.
- Last night provided a majority draw, which is incredibly rare inside the Octagon. Norman Parke and Leonardo Santos fought to a draw after Parke was deducted a point in round 2 for holding on to Santos’ shorts during a takedown attempt. Parke and Dana White were both unhappy with the point deduction.
- There were three point deductions last night, and two of them were given to Mairbek Taisumov. In the first round of his Lightweight bout against Michel Prazeres, Mairbek held the fence to avoid a takedown attempt. After an initial warning, Mario Yamasaki took a point from Taisumov. In the second round, Taisumov once again held the fence and was deducted a second point. In the third round, Taisumov grazed the fence with his hand, causing Yamasaki to stop the bout, but this time it was just a warning.
- Scott Jorgensen lost to Jussier Formiga last night by rear naked choke, although not without controversy. Jorgensen was dropped by Formiga, leading to the fight ending choke. On the replay, however, it was revealed that Jorgensen was dropped by an illegal headbutt that clearly dazed him. The referee did not see it, and it effectively gave Formiga the win. Jorgensen was none too happy about the headbutt, and may appeal the decision.
- While the main event was not odd per se, it certainly was quite a shocker. After Shogun and Henderson’s UFC 139 battle, many believed it would be impossible to top that fight. While it may be too early to determine which fight was better, last night’s main event certainly delivered. After Shogun dominated the first two rounds, almost finishing Henderson in both, Dan came back with a renewed vigor in the third. Incredibly, Henderson landed his patented right hand on Shogun that sent him careening to the mat. The punch ended the fight, and destroyed Shogun’s nose. It was a brutal and exciting end to a scintillating night of fights.
Overall, it was an spectacular night of fights from Natal, Brazil. For a card that was given a lot of flak it certainly produced some thrilling fights and finishes. What was the craziest moment of last night in your opinion? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @SchlinskMMA