We are coming off a weekend where Urijah Faber went from being a significant underdog against Ricky Simon to the fastest stoppage of his career and calling out two-division champion Henry Cejudo for a future fight. Plus, Germaine de Randamie stopped Aspen Ladd in sixteen seconds but isn’t receiving the accolades for the victory, with the debate centered around Herb Dean’s decision to stop the fight when he did.
POST Wrestling’s Phil Chertok discusses the big stories coming out of last weekend’s card in Sacramento, the frightening scene at the weigh-ins last week with Aspen Ladd shaking on her way to the scale and the issues it raises, plus a look at this weekend’s card from San Antonio with Rafael dos Anjos taking on Leon Edwards, and more.
POST: After last weekend’s victory by Urijah Faber, is there a case to be made for Faber bypassing other bantamweight contenders for a title fight with Henry Cejudo?
Phil Chertok: Urijah Faber’s performance last weekend was fantastic, he turned back the clock and quickly finished a promising young contender in Ricky Simon. It was reminiscent of his 2013 finish of another young prospect, Michael McDonald, also in front of his hometown crowd in Sacramento. Despite all that fanfare, Urijah needs another win before we can seriously consider giving him a shot at the belt. Champion Henry Cejudo is out, and Dana White has indicated upon return he’ll be fighting at flyweight. Even if that’s not the case, there are several more deserving bantamweight contenders. So, despite the big win for the Hall of Famer, he probably won’t get a shot at that title without another victory.
Did Germaine de Randamie increase her stock with her victory over Aspen Ladd or did the debate over the stoppage put a cloud over that win?
The win certainly has a cloud over it but I would nonetheless say the former featherweight champion still rose her stock. The Iron Lady has had a rough run since she was stripped of the UFC title, but it finally feels like she might be starting to turn a corner. de Randamie is undefeated in kickboxing and despite having lost to the bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes, she appears to be emerging as one of the few remaining fighters left to challenge the Lioness.
Last Friday, it was a scary scene when Aspen Ladd weighed in for her fight. Are there additional measures you would like to see implemented to address this, or is this just a necessary evil of the sport?
I don’t think it’s a necessary evil and I do want to see additional measures. Unfortunately, I don’t know what they are. We’ve seen small changes to the weight cutting rules over the years, like moving up weigh-ins to the morning and giving fighters a window to weigh in but they don’t really deal with the real problem, which is the drastic, extremely unhealthy dehydration practices. ONE Championship is trying to address this by monitoring fighter’s weights and limiting cuts but there are stories that fighters are still cutting despite all the regulations. It’s one of the dirtiest things about the sport and I don’t see it getting cleaned up anytime soon.
What is the most intriguing fight for you on this Saturday’s UFC card from San Antonio?
With quite a few good bouts on this sleeper card, I’m going to have to pick the main event between Rafael dos Anjos and Leon Edwards. Edwards is on a seven-fight win streak and his last loss came to the current champion Kamaru Usman. Despite that stellar record, it was the spontaneous post-fight combo meal served by sudden superstar Jorge Masvidal that introduced Edwards to a lot of fans. A win over the former lightweight champion dos Anjos would put Edwards right in line for a title shot and he’d probably get one if there weren’t so many great fighters already ahead of him at 170 pounds.
Assessing the landscape of fighters that are available, what is the best (and most realistic) fight the UFC can put together to headline UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden in November?
Depending on how his August 17th title defense goes, I’m going to have to pick Daniel Cormier vs Jon Jones III. Despite two wins for Jones (one was a no-contest) the rivalry and heat between these two remain extremely strong. Since their last fight, Cormier has become the heavyweight champ and cemented his place as one of the greatest fighters ever, a final match between the two, preferably at heavyweight would be a can’t miss event.