It was an exciting night of fights to be sure and with what some might consider a number of upsets.
Josh Barnett most certainly handed Frank Mir an ugly and dominating 1rst round loss and where many, including the LK staff, thought Benson Henderson would work his way to a decision victory, he did not. Rather, Anthony Pettis put on a clinic on how to stave off an initial onslaught, and then deliver some nasty kicks to the side of the body, forcing your opponent to take you to the ground and then finally submitting him, cleanly. To say the least, it was a remarkable performance by Pettis.
Another great performance on the night was that of Chad Mendes. Mendes KO’d Clay Guida in the third and garnered his 4th consecutive KO victory.
On the whole tonight, there were no boring fights and everything from the preliminary card to the main event delivered. Although fans of particular fighters may not have gotten the outcomes they wished, they did, at the end of the day, have great fights to watch.
Buried within the excitement of Pettis’s win, particular note should go to Gleison Tibau, Hyun Gyu Lim, Dustin Poirier and Tim Elliott, who all put on great fights.
Here’s the post-fight presser and its highlights; video below:
First question was to Frank Mir and whether or not he thought the stoppage of his fight was bad.
“Obviously, I thought it was a bad stoppage…were fighters, if all the fights were stopped on any kind of a flash shot or anything like that, actually I took the knee and I remember going “**** I’m in a bad position”, so that’s why I dropped to my other knee…so I could fall to the ground, to make sure I didn’t take a second one. I didn’t belly-out. I didn’t flatten out. I actually tried to re-dig my under-hook so that I could get a single and I’m looking at the referee stopping it, and then at first I thought maybe I was out, “did I take a bunch of shots that I didn’t see?”, and then after watching it I was conscious the whole time. Even when I stood up I wasn’t wobbled, I was completely coherent. So, at best your argument is it was a flash knock-down. I didn’t know fights stopped on that…if that was the case, I don’t know if we would have had seen Travis Browne knockout Overeem last week.”
In terms of whether or not Barnett thought his fight with Mir was stopped to early, Barnett stated:
“The potential was there for it to be early, I understand the ref saw him just drop and so he figured he was out, but I come from the old school, man. I remember guys getting mounted and just the crap pounded out of them, where they could have easily been stopped by now and then watch the guy on top gas, get reversed and get finished. So, I personally, I tell, every time the ref comes back and he talks to me, and he give me little instructions and I always go “don’t stop it”…I’m not here to do anything, but, so, I understand Frank’s frustration. I feel like there was no getting out of that, personally. I felt like that was the beginning of the end, but that’s what I’m supposed to feel, man.”
In terms of whether or not Dana White thought Mir / Barnett was stopped too early, White commented:
“My only beef is this, the guys who do tons of fights make tons of mistakes, I’ve never seen this guy in my life and he’s in the co-main event, that’s crazy. I understand we’re in another state, they got their commission guys, too, but they’re not as experienced as other guys are, the guy shouldn’t be reffing a co-main event.”
As to what’s up next for Pettis and the fact that Pettis said, post-fight, that he wants Aldo next and not T.J. Grant, White remarked:
“Anthony’s knee popped in the fight. So, I don’t know what’s going to happen; no sense in even talking about another fight, right now. ”
In a question to Chad Mendes about how a rematch with Aldo would be different, Mendes responded:
“I think the fighter I was when I fought Aldo is completely different that I am now. My confidence in my hands and my stand-up is completely different. We have a new head-coach, Duane Ludwig and the system we’re training now at Team Alpha Male is completely different then it was and I’m excited to get in there and go after it.”
To Ben Rothwell and his decision to end the fight in the 3rd, Rothwell commented:
“I stood up in the 3rd round and I felt really good. I really worked hard on my conditioning, something that’s always been a question with me, I could feel him wilting and finally, it was something that I’d talked about in my dance, it’s when I really start moving my feet, I get lite on my feet, which is something you don’t see out of a guy my size that often and it came out, and as soon as I started I heard the crowd react and it triggered in my brain, and I said “that’s it” and he seemed shocked from it and I saw an opportunity and I just let him have it.”
As to Anthony Pettis and where his head is right now, Pettis stated:
“I’m real comfortable. I’ve imagined this for 7 months. After I beat Donald Cerrone and they announced that I’d be fighting for a title, all I’ve dreamt about was getting that belt wrapped me and that’s how it played out. I’m never letting it go to the judges again; I learned that from Clay Guida. He took me down, wrestled me, and stayed on top for 3 rounds and I lost the fight. I wasn’t in trouble ever, but they’re rules and ways to win this without having to finish somebody, but I’m not that guy. I’m going to finish everybody I fight.”
All in all, it was a great night of fights and victories; hats off to all the fighters. For the rest of the presser and it’s highlights, hit play.