There wasn’t much fanfare around UFC Fight Night 137; largely a mix of the show being too close to one of the biggest shows in promotional history in UFC 229 and the card being decimated by a bunch of injury-related changes.
Dana White has often claimed that these low-name value shows are sometimes the best to watch, and he’s come under fire for that attitude, as critics claim it’s an excuse for the UFC to book weaker cards. But sometimes his claim is true, and that was certainly the case last night. We got a tremendous 10 finishes in 14 fights, and most of the show was wildly exciting.
Here are the best – and worst – moments of UFC Fight Night 137.
#1 Best: Thiago Santos could be a contender at 205lbs
It’s a well-known fact that 205lbs is probably the thinnest male division in the UFC right now. A massive example of this? Anthony Smith was mauled by Thiago Santos at 185lbs in February. He’s since moved to 205lbs, has picked up two TKO wins over a pair of ageing veterans and suddenly finds himself in title contention.
That’s why the move to 205lbs makes sense for Thiago Santos – even if it was actually caused by his willing to step in and fight Jimi Manuwa on late notice following an injury to Glover Teixeira. Of course, Santos ended up fighting a fellow blown-up 185lber in Eryk Anders last night, but after pulling out the win, you’d have to assume he could become a contender in his new division.
The Anders win wasn’t perfect. ‘Ya Boi’ is a total work in progress who took the fight on insanely late notice and yet he had success in muscling Santos to the ground at points, and stunned him with punches a couple of times too. But for the most part ‘Marreta’ stayed on offense and the finish – which saw him elbow Anders in the side of the head until he couldn’t make it to his corner at the end of the third round – was simply savage.
And if you look at the 205lbs top ten, who would you really favour over Santos? Cormier and Gustafsson are givens of course, but the likes of Jan Blachowicz (#3), Ilir Latifi (#4) and Corey Anderson (#6) have at least as many holes in their games as Santos, whose only true weakness is that he’s somewhat of a glass cannon. And with such an exciting style – he’s been to a decision just 3 times in 16 UFC fights – he’s guaranteed to be given the opportunities to make it to the top.