“Timing beats speed, precision beats power.”
Those were the words of our new Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor shortly after knocking out Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds.
Saturday night’s UFC 194 was the culmination of a massive 3-day event the UFC was having, and the finale of a year-long build up of what was going to be one of the biggest fights in UFC history.
Believe it or not, there was a whole lot more to UFC 194 than just a shocking 13-second KO, so let’s go over it.
All Aboard the Holloway Hype Train
Max Holloway vs. Jeremy Stephens was probably the only fight on this card that you could have correctly predicted with very little knowledge about either fighter.
Holloway was on a massive 7-fight win streak heading into this one, while Stephens is just a fun guy to watch. This fight was more-or-less made to showcase Holloway’s abilities before the UFC starts giving him the real meat of the division, and that’s exactly what happened. Stephens just didn’t have an answer for any of Holloway’s offense, and the fight was really just a wash.
This put Max Holloway’s win streak to 8 now, he hasn’t lost since 2013, against Conor McGregor, and he’s now about to start facing truly tough competition. Expect his next fight to be against of the 145 lb division’s elite, like a Chad Mendes, Ricardo Lamas, or even Jose Aldo.
Demian Maia is Old, but He’s Still Better Than You
Demian Maia vs. Gunnar Nelson was supposed to be one thing for sure, and possibly another: a fantastic grappling match, and possibly a changing of the guard. What we got was a lopsided affair where Gunnar Nelson had absolutely nothing for the jiu-jitsu master.
This seems to happen every fight for Demian Maia, we all go into it saying that now is the time he gets crushed, and will go away, but instead he completely imposes his will on his opponents and forces them to fight his game, a game they don’t want to fight.
It was truly spectacular to watch Maia handle someone of Nelson’s jiu-jitsu caliber, but looking back on it, it’s not all that surprising to see from the 2nd degree black belt.
Maia wants a title shot, which he won’t get, but he should get a top-5 opponent. Might I suggest Tyron Woodley? Yeah, that’d be awesome.
Yoel Romero is You’re New #1 Contender, but Doesn’t Stand a Chance
Look, say what you want about Yoel Romero; is he controversial? Yes. Does he appear to cheat at times (Tim Kennedy stool incident, grabbing the cage etc.)? Yes.
But is he also an athletic freak? Yes. Does he have crazy power? Yes. Does his cardio absolutely suck? Yes.
And that’s the kicker.
Yoel Romero is a freak athlete, he’s a silver medalist at the Olympics in wrestling, he beat the man who in my mind was the best 185er on the planet (Jacare), but he can’t fight for more than 5 minutes. His cardio is just flat-out abysmal, and that’s what will cost him in a title fight that could potentially go 5 rounds.
He should face new champion Luke Rockhold next, but don’t expect him to stand much of a chance unless he catches Rockhold in the 1st, outside of that possibility, it should be a fairly easy victory for the new champ.
Don’t Expect the Middleweight Belt to Change Anytime Soon
Chris Weidman made a name for himself by beating old, washed up, Brazilian legends. He beat an Anderson Silva who literally didn’t care about being champion anymore, was taken to the limit by Lyoto Machida, and decimated a Vitor Belfort who was off steroids for the first time in a long time.
This time he finally got to face a fighter in his prime like Luke Rockhold, and we saw what happened.
Weidman looked good in the 1st, but Rockhold started taking over in the 2nd, should have won in the 3rd (Come on Herb), and finally finished him off in the 4th.
It was a brutal beat down that I don’t think many people were expecting, but it happened, and Rockhold now looks like a monster at 185 lbs.
Mind you, this wasn’t even Luke Rockhold at 100%. He talked about dealing with a sort of staff infection before and after the fight, and was on antibiotics for his whole training camp, which just made things really difficult on him.
If he can do that at 50%, I can’t imagine how it would have looked if he was at 100%.
All Hail King McGregor
Man oh man, I did not see that coming.
I mean, I did predict a 2nd round KO, so I wasn’t to far off? But I had my reservations even after I made up my mind and picked McGregor.
It is Jose Aldo after all, a man who hadn’t lost a fight in 10 years, and was the only Featherweight Champion in UFC history, so it was hard to picture him getting tucked in to bed in just 13 seconds, but that’s exactly what happened.
One counter-left hook is all it took for Conor McGregor to close the book on a year-long story, and become the undisputed Featherweight Champion, it was truly incredible.
Do you know what’s even more incredible? He called it. Leading up to this fight, Conor McGregor said on multiple occasions that he would finish Aldo within 4 minutes, his coach said he’d do it in 1 minute, but the big thing McGregor harped on was that the moment Aldo felt his left hand, everything would change, and that’s exactly what happened.
Love him or hate him, he’s our new champion. It’s honestly refreshing to have someone like McGregor here believe it or not. To many fighters talk a lot of trash, and then get smashed, but McGregor is part of that rare breed that can talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk, I love it.
So what’s next for Mystic Mac? Well, there’s essentially 2 scenarios: He either stays at 145 lbs, a weight class that’s already fairly tough for him to cut to, and defends his belt against Frankie Edgar, or he moves up on to 155 lbs, and fights to the winner of Dos Anjos/Cerrone for the lightweight belt.
I personally would like for him to fight Edgar first, but I won’t be surprised if he moves up to 155 lbs, because it’s just a whole lot easier weight for him to make. Either way, the McGreogr era has begun, and it shall be glorious.
Feautred Image: MMAFighitng.com
Brock Hebner is the Lead MMA Writer for NoCoastBias.com. He covers the UFC mostly, but has an added interest in the WWE, NHL, NFL, MLB, Premier League Soccer, and College Football. You can follow Brock on Twitter @brocktavious and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions, comments, or feedback.