As Nate Diaz would quip, I’m not surprised. That was a fun UFC 261 show in Jacksonville. The live crowd certainly helped. I don’t want to forget some of the performances which may have slipped under the radar.
Kamaru Usman (19-1-0) – Let’s start with the obvious. When your opponent is a public admirer of your handiwork, you’ve done a good job. Yet the job isn’t done, as “The Nigerian Nightmare” has to rematch a dangerous Colby Covington next.
Rose Namajunas (10-4-0) – That was an amazing head kick, and the big win over Zhang Weili cemented her place as a future UFC Hall of Famer. Now, if she can string a few title defences together.
Ariane Carnelossi (13-2-0) – The pint-sized “Sorriso” at 5-2 aggressively took down her feisty 5-9 opponent Na Liang with style to kick off the event prelims. She’s split her two octagon bouts since debuting in September 2018, but is a fighter for collectors to keep an eye on.
Anthony Smith (35-16-0) – Things looked pretty rough for “Lionheart” about a year ago, but with two wins in a row – including stopping the rising star Jimmy Crute – he seems to have turned it around.
Uriah Hall (17-9-0) – This is more for how “Prime Time” managed to defeat Chris Weidman without throwing a single strike in 17 seconds. And how he conducted himself afterwards, saying all the right things after Weidman’s unfortunate leg break.
A speedy recovery, champ. Onward to UFC Vegas 25.
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