Ryan Nader Steals The Show At UFC Fight Night 18
Total Pro Sports – The fates of Ultimate Fighter season 8 alumni Ryan Nader and Junie Browning were very different at UFC Fight Night 18, which made for a fast paced and entertaining card headlined by Martin Kampmann’s main event victory over Carlos Condit.
Browning made the rookie error of being caught in the guillotine of opponent Cole Miller, submitting 1:58 into the first round and Miller let him know it. Post-fight Miller stood over the groggy Browning and screamed “who’s overrated now?” – ironically, the exact reason why Browning will be kept around despite the loss. A talented ground game and developing stand up are a side issue, what makes him gold for the UFC is the buzz his antics and pre-fight trash talk create. If Browning keeps his name in the headlines, maintains his ‘lunatic’ persona and induces reactions like that of Miller then UFC will push him to the moon. A prime example of the UFC walking the thin line between entertainment and sport.
It was a very positive night though for Ryan Bader who looked exceptional whilst gaining a unanimous decision over Carmelo Marrero. Marrero is a proficient wrestler but didn’t put up much of a fight against Bader, satisfied to just wrap up and slow Bader in his guard – met with persistent boos from the crowd. Bader’s takedown offense was exceptional; he changed levels and shot quickly as well as countering strikes with takedowns impressively. Once on the ground Bader impressed further against a decent wrestler, passing guard almost at will in the first two rounds and executing an exquisite arm bar that would easily have earned submission of the night had it of come off – the transition to the armbar really was a thing of beauty. I also liked the conditioning Bader showed as he threw punches until the end and kept trying to work, even if Marrero was making it hard for him. My only criticism is that his groundwork was good enough to get him some promising positions (the arm bar, he had mount, he had the opportunity to take Marrero’s back) but he didn’t seem to be crisp enough to finish. He’s young at 25 and experience will bring that killer edge, but his takedowns, ground work and conditioning all get a big thumbs up. Let’s see him against stiffer competition now.
This isn’t a full rundown, just impressions, but how about that Tyson Griffin? I’m a Griffin fan boy anyway, but he showed almighty toughness on way to a decision victory over Rafael Dos Anjos. Highlight of the night was a unique rear leg compression that almost popped Griffin’s knee out; his left leg was trapped behind his own back by Dos Anjos who then pushed Griffin’s body away whilst holding onto his shoulders. Weird, unique and obviously very painful as Griffin struggled to hold his own weight for the rest of the round, but credit to him he stayed in the fight and showed explosive counter punching and clean combination’s of fists and kicks during flurries and scrambles; very compact and powerful. I hope Griffin gets another fight on the level of Dos Anjos before getting back up to the higher tier of fighters after his last venture into the top quarter of the lightweight division ended in defeat to Sean Sherk.