UFC Vegas 70: Five Things We Learned
UFC Vegas 70 was a solid night of fights. Unfortunately, the main event between Ryan Spann and Nikita Krylov was canceled during the event. Thankfully, the impromptu main event between Brendan Allen and Andre Muniz was a fun fight. Outside of the main event, the card featured several entertaining fights and taught us some lessons.
Here are five things we learned at UFC Vegas 70.
Brendan Allen joins the middleweight rankings
In the short-notice main event between UFC Vegas 70, Allen put on one of the best performances of his career as he submitted Muniz.
In this bout, the route to victory for Allen was to keep the fight standing and out-strike Muniz. Allen was able to achieve that and more. He was able to avoid the slick submissions of Muniz and was even able to land a few takedowns of his own before finishing the fight.
This win should jolt Allen into the middleweight rankings as Muniz held the No. 11 spot in the ranks prior to UFC Vegas 70.
Allen has the potential to be a threat in the rankings as well. Against Muniz, he displayed his grappling, but his striking is also better than others in the rankings. In total, few fighters in the middleweight rankings have a more balanced skill set than Allen.
At 27 years old, Allen is still younger than most ranked middleweights, too. It will be interesting to see how he fairs against the division’s elite.
Augusto Sakai is not finished yet
At UFC Vegas 70, Sakai was able to get back in the win column with a decision win over Don’Tale Mayes. The bout was far from the most entertaining you will ever see as Sakai spent a lot of time controlling the fight from the clinch. Regardless of entertainment, that is an effective strategy for winning fights at heavyweight.
This win broke a four-fight losing skid for Sakai. Needless to say, a fifth loss would have been catastrophic and could have potentially ended his UFC career. Sakai proved that his four-fight win streak was a result of the strict competition he fought. That is far better than being washed. It looks like Sakai is far from done and can continue competing at a UFC level.
Tatiana Suarez is back
Suarez has been through a ton of adversity throughout her UFC career. The wrestling phenomenon has been sidelined for nearly four years after going through two serious injuries. At UFC Vegas 70, she finally made her return and picked up a dominant win over Montana De La Rosa.
Suarez was able to control De La Rosa with her offensive wrestling before eventually landing a guillotine choke to finish the fight. The only issue is that Suarez did not look as dominant as she has previously. I think it is appropriate to cut her some slack, though.
As previously mentioned, Suarez was out for over four years. Plus, she took this fight up a weight class against a solid wrestler. Saurez will probably return to her dominant form after moving back down to women’s strawweight.
Trevor Peek is a madman
At UFC Vegas 70, Peek made his UFC debut against Erick Gonzalez. In one fight in the UFC and one fight on Dana White’s Contender Series, Peek has proven to be one of the most entertaining fighters on the UFC roster. Peek blitzes forward while throwing every strike as hard as he can. Against Gonzalez, he was able to land several massive punches before eventually earning a knockout win.
I am not going to project that Peek will be an elite fighter without massive improvements. That is alright though because he will be entertaining. At this point, Peek is a must-watch fighter and will probably stack up $50,000 bonus checks on a regular basis.
Nurullo Aliev is a serious UFC prospect
Aliev’s stock skyrocketed at UFC Vegas 70. In his UFC debut, he earned a decision victory over Rafael Alves.
Despite Alves’ 1-3 UFC record, he is one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC. I am not going to turn this into a post about Alves, so I’ll leave it at that. The point here is that Alves is an incredibly tough fight for anyone making their UFC debut.
Aliev’s wrestling will cause a lot of lightweights issues. In his short time in the UFC, he showed the ability to land takedowns, and control position from the top. It looks like his ground-and-pound has been improving as well. More importantly, he is only 23 years old. This gives him a ton of time to build a more well-rounded game alongside his wrestling. It is time that Aliev is taken seriously as a lightweight prospect.