Six Biggest Takeaways From An Insane UFC 226

Photos by Stephen R. Sylvanie for USA TODAY Sports
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UFC 226 was the crown jewel of this year’s International Fight Week. The landmark event delivered on every level – except for one horrific fight – despite losing the co-main event just days prior.

The fact that Max Holloway was supposed to defend the featherweight title against Brian Ortega last evening is an afterthought that no one is talking about; that’s how awesome UFC 226 was.

Dana White went so far as to say it could’ve been the best offering in the history of the UFC if the card would’ve stayed intact. Regardless, UFC 226 had something for everyone, from big knockoutsĀ to a slick “Showtime” submission, and finally, the return of Brock Lesnar.

So now that the dust has settled and the smoke has cleared, let’s take a look at the six biggest takeaways from UFC 226.

Stephen R. Sylvanie for USA TODAY Sports

Paulo Costa Is Brazil’s Next Big Star

Brazil has had more than their fair share of combat sports legends.

Royce Gracie, Anderson Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Shogun Rua, and Lyoto Machida, amongst others, all had tremendous careers inside the octagon and went on to capture UFC gold, and there’s no doubt Silva will take his rightful place in the HOF as soon as he hangs em’ up despite two recent drug test failures.

The latest in a long lineage of Brazilian phenoms, Paulo “Borrachinha” Costa. The undefeated middleweight destroyer will be leaving Las Vegas with another victory, as he looked incredible against Uriah Hall. Costa improved to 12-0 as he landed body blow after body blow, finally overwhelming a game Hall in the process.

“Borrachinha”, however, did show some holes in his stand-up game. Costa was far too willing to trade with the faster fighter, and Hall continually found a home for his lead jab. Oddly enough, “Borrachinha” means “The Eraser” when translated in English; if the 27-year old can “Erase” the holes in his stand-up game, he could become Brazil’s next big MMA star.

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