It was a busy weekend in mixed martial arts as Titan FC 33 saw four titles up for grabs Friday night, and UFC put on a free Brazilian card Saturday evening. Titan FC 33, broadcast live from Mobile, AL on CBS Sports, was a decision heavy affair. Eight of its eleven fights went to the judges, and three of those were split. Brett Johns and Anthony Gutierrez put on the most solid performances of the night. Gutierrez picked apart Austin Lyons’s lead leg for the better part of three rounds before ending it with a beautifully placed switch kick that dropped his opponent. Brett Johns sunk a deep rear naked on choke on Walel Watson to capture the vacant bantamweight strap. Pat Healy captured lightweight gold, and Kurt Holobaugh upset champion Desmond Green for the 145 pound belt, and Chase Gormley returned to California with the heavyweight title.
UFC Fight Night 62 didn’t have much to offer as far as high stakes combat, but it managed to have a few entertaining scraps. The biggest story was perhaps the bizarre officiating that occurred during two matches. Jorge de Oliveira was caught in a tight rear-naked choke, the last thing he saw before he lapsed into unconsciousness being the referee’s confused expression. Two fights later, the same official stopped a fight too early by stepping in when Drew Dober was attempting to escape a half-guard guillotine from Leandro Silva.
Josh Koscheck, the last remaining active competitor from the original season of The Ultimate Fighter, may have seen his last fight last night. Koscheck was stopped by another choke, this time of the guillotine variety. Kos has now dropped five straight, and Dana White reportedly wants him to stop. Erick Silva, in victory, managed to put together his first back to back wins in the UFC since his first fight in the promotion back at UFC 134.
In the main, Damian Maia put on an outstanding BJJ clinic that led to yet another decision victory for the Brazilian as he fought on his home turf against the formerly undefeated Ryan LaFlare. The victory was so lopsided that it once again poses the question of why can’t Maia ever finish fights? Win or lose, 12 of Maia's last 14 fights have gone to decision, most of which are fairly unremarkable. Neither finisher nor five rounder, Maia belongs on the undercard. Though many including Maia will tout this fight as his return as a contender in the 170 pound division, it did more to solidify his gatekeeper status than anything else. He still lacks the cardio to push the pace in the deep rounds and his fights, though usually technically sound, are a tough sell.
UFC returns with Fight Night 63 April 4th, and this Friday is Belator 134.