UFC Fight Night 134 from Hamburg, Germany, was hardly 2018’s most anticipated card going in. Low on name value from the off, it also saw both its main event and co-main event changed due to injuries, and for the most part was filled with fights that didn’t exactly pique the imagination.
With cards like these, the best that fans can really hope for is a bunch of exciting fights and fun finishes, and unfortunately yesterday’s show didn’t really deliver that.
There were a couple of high points, but they were buried in the mire for the most part. Here are the best and worst moments from Fight Night 134 – unfortunately a card so un-memorable there’s only two of each.
#1 Best: Smith freshens up the 205lbs division
Last night’s main event was supposed to see former UFC and PRIDE champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua facing off against recent title challenger Volkan Oezdemir, but instead, Shogun found himself faced with Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith, who was coming off a knockout of another former UFC champion in Rashad Evans. Given Smith’s spotty record, this looked like a chance for Shogun to inexplicably find himself back in title contention.
It wasn’t to be as Smith absolutely destroyed the Brazilian, stunning him with a front kick to the jaw and then knocking him unconscious with a barrage of violent punches and elbows. It was the biggest win of Smith’s career by far, and although it’s hard to call him a legitimate title threat given Evans and Rua are both inching towards retirement (Evans has in fact retired since), Light-Heavyweight is a thin enough division that another win could see Smith capture a remarkable title shot.
Smith has some really bad-sounding losses on his record and was knocked out by Thiago Santos at Middleweight as recently as February, but we’ve seen in the past that a move up in weight can change a fighter’s career trajectory – don’t forget that current Middleweight champ Robert Whittaker lost two of his last three fights at Welterweight, and Alistair Overeem was very inconsistent at 205lbs before his move to Heavyweight.
If nothing else, Smith is now a man to watch at 205lbs and in a thin division, that’s only a good thing.