The best and worst from UFC Fight Night 128
The last time the UFC went to Atlantic City, New Jersey was back in July 2014 for a fun Fight Night show that was capped off with a classic match between Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller. Last night’s return to the city didn’t provide quite as good a show as that one, but for a Fight Night, it was still pretty decent.
The main event saw Kevin Lee stop Edson Barboza in the fifth round following a doctor’s stoppage, while elsewhere we saw wins for the likes of Frankie Edgar, Justin Willis, Aljamain Sterling and David Branch. As with all UFC shows there were good and bad points, so here are the best and worst moments from UFC Fight Night 128.
#1 Best: Kevin Lee might be the future at 155lbs
Last October saw Kevin Lee granted a surprising shot at the UFC Interim Lightweight title, and after a back-and-forth match he was beaten by a third-round triangle choke from opponent Tony Ferguson. It felt like Ferguson simply had too much experience for Lee to handle, but at just 25 years old it was clear that the ‘Motown Phenom’ had a lot of time on his side.
At last night’s show though, Lee proved that even in the six months following the loss to Ferguson he’s been able to improve by leaps and bounds. His wrestling and ground game looked just as strong as ever but his cardio was much improved – he still seemed full of energy in the 5th round where he was tired in the 3rd against Ferguson – and his striking seemed better than ever too, outside of taking a nasty spin kick from opponent Edson Barboza.
In many ways, Lee’s beatdown of Barboza was somehow more impressive than the one dished out to the Brazilian by current champ Khabib Nurmagomedov in December.
Will this win be enough to net Lee a title shot? It’s not likely given Lightweight is the most loaded division in the UFC right now and the likes of Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Eddie Alvarez and Ferguson himself are all in contention right now, but it bodes well for Lee’s future – if he can continue to improve at this rate then I could see him with the UFC title in the future.