UFC Vegas 58: 5 Things We Learned
UFC Vegas 58 was a great night of fights. We saw a handful of veterans and top prospects in action. Most of the fights ended in close decisions, as only four of the eleven fights ended via finish. Here are five things we learned at UFC Vegas 58.
1. Rafael Fiziev showed he has a well-rounded skillset
Rafael Fiziev was one half of the UFC Vegas 58 main event. In the fight, he answered a lot of questions surrounding his skill set. In our UFC Vegas 58 Preview, I questioned if his defensive grappling and cardio would hold up in a five-round fight with Rafael dos Anjos. Previously, Fiziev showed great takedown defense, but he had never fought a grappler at the level of dos Anjos. In the fight, per UFC stats, dos Anjos went 2 for 16 on takedown attempts. Of these two takedowns, only one resulted in much control from dos Anjos.
Fiziev’s cardio was an issue heading into this fight. It is tough to say if he has good cardio or not. On one hand, he looked very tired in round four. On the other hand, he landed a knockout finish in round five. It is tough to evaluate his cardio because we saw conflicting results. At a minimum, it held up through three rounds in a high pace fight with a lot of grappling. That is at least one positive to look at.
At the end of the day, Fiziev showed he was very well-rounded and that he is improving in between fights. That is something you like to see from a fighter breaking into the top five at lightweight.
2. Caio Borralho has high fight IQ
Caio Borralho is a fighter I am very high on. I listed him as my number one prospect in the middleweight division. In his co-main event with Armen Petrosyan, he showed a great fight IQ. He was the better grappler, and he exploited this advantage to earn a decision victory. I love to see a prospect show solid fight IQ. There are a lot of fighters that do not fight to their strengths and lose because of it. It is nice to see a young fighter come out and execute the game plan to a tee. Needless to say, Borralho lived up to his gym’s name of the Fighting Nerds.
3. Said Nurmagomedov is not like the other Nurmagomedovs
Said Nurmagomedov is a great fighter, but he is not like the other Nurmagomedovs. Usually, when you see the name Nurmagomedov, you think of Khabib Nurmagomedov and you associate the name with tremendous wrestling. However, Said Nurmagomedov does not fight that way. He is a great striker that throws a lot of spinning attacks. He finds a lot of success with this style. Do not get it twisted, Nurmagomedov is a great grappler, but striking is his number one tool.
4. Tresean Gore needs more experience
Tresean Gore had a lot of hype when he entered the UFC. He impressed a lot of fans during his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter 29 where he displayed great striking. However, he lost in the finals to Bryan Battle. Now, he dropped his first UFC fight against Cody Brundage. This pushed his MMA record to 3-2. At this point, it is clear that Gore is not UFC caliber, but he still has potential. This initial UFC run was just too much too soon. Ideally, Gore should go back to the regional scene and win five to ten more fights and get another opportunity in the UFC.
5. MMA Judges still suck
I am not sure that this is something that we learned at UFC Vegas 58. Everyone knows the judges suck, but it was a very bad night of judging. Michael Johnson and Courtney Casey were both on the wrong side of close decisions. I do not think that either fight was an egregious robbery, but I think the wrong fighters got their hand raised. From a round-by-round perspective, one judge gave dos Anjos round three against Fiziev, and one judge gave Ricky Turcios round two against Aiemann Zahabi. Both of these were very bad scores. Thankfully, we were able to avoid a disastrous decision in the main event, unlike some previous Fight Nights. Hopefully, in the future, this does not have to be a weekly staple in the things we learned posts.