My review of UFC on Fuel TV 9: Mousasi vs. Latifi, which was an event that happened.
Gegard Mousasi def. Ilir Latifi: This fight sucked in the worst way possible. Mousasi was just going through the motions, throwing one punch at a time and Latifi kept winging haymakers that weren’t close while backing up. Mousasi busted up the face of Latifi with his accurate punching, but his lack of killer instinct against a clearly overmatched opponent was very disappointing. Mousasi is still a very good fighter and should get to show that against an equally skilled fighter, but it was clear that he was happy just taking it easy and collecting his money. Latifi didn’t show anything in this fight, but he was willing to step on short notice, which means he’ll get another fight in the company.
Ross Pearson def. Ryan Couture: Couture looked to have some of his old man in him in the first round, constantly clinching up and trying to grind Pearson against the cage, but whenever they were in striking range, Pearson was able to use his superior boxing, finally putting Couture away in the second round. Pearson remains “a guy” in the lightweight division. He’s won his last two in pretty impressive fashion, but those were favorable match-ups against weak strikers with mediocre wrestling. Pearson is improving, but so is everyone else in the division and it’s already been proven that he can’t hang with some of the better guys. He is British though, which will help him secure big fights and favorable match-ups since the UFC is still holding out that someone from Europe will turn into a star that they can market for a title shot. Couture could be released after this loss just because the UFC hates his dad right now. Normally I would say that that’s not a bad thing since Couture isn’t UFC material, but let’s be real, the UFC talent level is so diluted right now that Couture should be in the organization just as much as Mike Ricci.
Matt Mitrione def. Phil De Fries: Mitrione made this look easy, but that’s not a surprise given his opponent. De Fries failed on a takedown, then failed on another, pulled side control, and was immediately pounded unconscious. Everyone knew that De Fries had to get the fight to win, but he didn’t even give Mitrione anything else to think about. Credit to Mitrione for doing what he needed to do, but his opponent sucked and fought like it. Mitrione remains one of the better mediocre heavyweights so at least he has that going for him. I’d like to see him fight Stefan Struve next just to see who the better mediocre heavyweight is.
Brad Pickett def. Mike Easton: In a pretty important bantamweight clash, Pickett and Easton had a good back and forth fight that eventually went to Pickett by split decision. I can’t really argue with the decision since I thought Pickett narrowly edged things out as well, but Easton more than held his own. Both guys landed a lot of takedowns that ultimately led to very little and they each got a number of good clean strikes in. I felt that Pickett did slightly more with his top control and was also the more effective striker as well. The margin between them was pretty thin though. I was a little shocked at how often Pickett was able to takedown Easton, who isn’t a great wrestler, but should’ve been able to remain upright more than he did. Pickett got into a few too many wild exchanges considering that he’s the better technical boxer, but in the end it didn’t cost him. Pickett is one of the better bantamweights in the world but his losses to Renan Barao and Eddie Wineland are holding him back from competing for the title.
Diego Brandao def. Pablo Garza: I don’t know what happened to Garza but he’s been all downhill since nailing that flying triangle. Brandao dominated him in this one, getting inside early on the feet, landing a big slam takedown, and then methodically working his way into an arm triangle. I still question Brandao’s cardio, but he’s a handful in the first round because he has a pretty relentless pace and is more than willing to engage in all areas. This was a very nice win for him as Garza is a decent name in the division and Brandao made it look very easy. Maybe I expected too much out of Garza following his flying knee and flying triangle wins. It looks like he’s just an average fighter who will win some and lose some with a chance at pulling an impressive finish.
Akira Corassani def. Robbie Peralta: This was a fine scrap between two guys going nowhere in the division. They both landed their fair share of shots, but Corassani was able to score with takedowns, which ultimately led him to pick up the victory. I liked how Corassani mixed things up to keep Peralta off balance. It made Peralta a little hesitant on the feet and allowed Corassani to land some good power punches to go along with the takedowns. It was a fun fight, nothing special, and nothing that anyone will remember come tomorrow. It was a nice win for Corassani though in his hometown and maybe one that he can build off of.