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UFC Louisville: Five Things We Learned

UFC Louisville Recap
It is time to recap UFC Louisville. The event gives us a lot to discuss as it had a mix of strong performances and questionable outcomes. (Timothy D. Easley/Special to the Courier-Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK)

UFC Louisville: Five Things We Learned

UFC Louisville was a strong night of action from the UFC. In what has seemingly become the industry standard we had a few too much controversy involving officials and judges; however, let’s not let that completely overshadow the impressive performances we saw.

It is time to recap UFC Louisville and discuss the biggest lessons we learned at the event. Here are the five lessons that stood out amongst the chaos.

Nassourdine Imavov shakes up the middleweight title picture:

In the UFC Louisville main event Nassourdine Imavov picked up a fourth-round knockout over Jared Cannonier. That outcome greatly affects the middleweight title picture.

Let’s quickly get the obvious out of the way. The fight was ended prematurely. Jason Herzong, the referee who stopped the fight, is one of the best in the business, but that was one of his weaker moments. I will not let this overshadow the overall point. It’s worth noting, however.

In the fight itself, Imavov did some great things. It was clear that he was quicker and he picked up on Cannonier’s tendencies and landed some strong strikes. Obviously, the counter shot that he landed that hurt Cannonier was impressive as well.

In what may be the most important development, Imavov’s gas tank looked significantly better than it had in previous fights. Imavov was capable of throwing impactful strikes into the fourth round. That is a noted improvement in comparison to his fights against Roman Dolidze and Sean Strickland. It is an impressive feat considering the Dolidze bout took place in February.

This win may not get Imavov a title fight, but it is important to the picture. Essentially, he took Cannonier out of title talks. In turn, the remaining middleweight contenders have one less competition. That takes the race for a title shot down to two. The first is Sean Strickland. The other is the winner of the Robert Whittaker and Khamzat Chimaev bout.

Jared Cannonier suffers career-altering loss:

The UFC Louisville main event recap is not as favorable to Cannonier. At 40, he was itching closer to a second title shot, but this loss stopped him in his tracks.

It is a tough pill to swallow for Cannonier. The stoppage was poor. That doesn’t mean he would have won the bout. It also does not mean he would have lost it either. It does not help considering Cannonier has been rocked on multiple occasions and recovered before being finished.

The best examples of that are against Whittaker and Derek Brunson. Plus, Imavov has hurt opponents, failed to finish them and looked pedestrian afterward. That can be seen in his most recent bout against Doliudze. It does not mean Cannonier would have come back to win or that Imavov would not have finished the fight. It is the fact that we did not get to see the outcome finalized.

If the bout would have continued, Cannonier was up two rounds to one on two judges’ scorecards. That gives him room to come back and win a decision.

The worst part of this situation is that Cannonier is 40-years-old. The time left for him to work his way to a title shot is slim. It is hard to say exactly how this affects his title aspirations. It certainly does not help the situation, however.

Dominick Reyes can still pack a punch:

In the UFC Louisville co-main event, Dominick Reyes snapped a three-fight losing streak with a first-round knockout victory against Dustin Jacoby.

Reyes may not have the best chin at this point in his career. That said, he still has plenty of skills on the offensive side of things. Reyes was letting his hands go and he landed a ton of hard shots. In the future, Reyes may bring serious chin concerns to the octagon, but he can still put his opponents out cold. That is actually fairly viable in the light heavyweight division.

Raul Rosas Jr. is on the right path:

At UFC Louisville Raul Rosas Jr. submitted Ricky Turcios in the second round. The 19-year-old is clearly on the correct career path.

This bout showed off Rosas’ ability to take the back and land submissions. Despite being young, he is very legit in that area.

Rosas has now picked up consecutive wins since losing the first fight of his career. It is a great way to bounce back. It does not mean he will ever be an elite fighter, but he is doing the right things.

Carlos Prates is a sniper:

At UFC Louisville, Carlos Prates picked up an impressive knockout victory against Charles Radtke.

Prates looked like an impressive prospect on Dana White’s Contender Series and backed that up with two knockout victories in the UFC.

Prates showed off his accuracy at UFC Louisville as he landed a knee directly to Radtke’s liver. It was a good set up and he was remarkably accurate.

It is safe to say that Prates has serious potential in the UFC welterweight division. The length, range management, and accuracy are all really impressive.


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