Welcome back to “3 Up 3 Down” our version of power rankings. If you missed our “3 Up” please check them out here. Now on to the “3 Down.”
The main eventers that loss
UFC 261 was an historical event. Politics and feelings towards the pandemic and social distancing aside, this was the first event with a live audience in over a year. The crowd was ravenous and Jorge Masvidal, Zhang Weilli and Jessica Andrade were all stopped and lost titles, prestige and momentum. For Masvidal, this marks the end of one of hte most tremendous and unique runs in popularity. For the 36 year old, this fight was the last chance had had to win promotional gold, and he was knocked out for the first time since a 2008 Sengoku loss to Rodrigo Damm. You could argue he should’ve been forced to relinquish the BMF belt to Usman for the manner in which he was viciously knocked out. For Weilli, the pressure must be immense, being the face of Chinese MMA, and having a massive social media presence in her home country. After this loss, you have to question whether she left a piece of herself in the octagon last year in her 5-round war over Joanna Jedredczyk. For Jessica Andrade, while she will surely find herself remaining in contender status, the myth of her strength at 125 was greatly exposed by the stifling and overwhelming performance of Valentina Shevchenko. Perhaps Andrade will need to reconsider a move back down to strawweight.
No, this is not “karma”. I don’t know what it is except for a freak accident. But to go through so much – multiple injuries, setbacks, devastating losses – and to work yourself into great shape at 36 to have your tibia and fibula fracture on your first kick of the fight is just brutal. Yes, it is unbelievable that of all the people this could happen to, it happens to Chris Weidman, the man who controversially defeated Anderson Silva in the same manner in their rematch fight at UFC 168. Sadly, I think this marks the end of Weidman’s career. I have no doubt he will make a full recovery and even grace the Octagon once more, but the window for Weidman being any semblance of a contender at 185 is now fully shut.
A fighter with immense stand up talent (former Glory kickboxer who even faced the great Jerome Le Banner). Roberson is finding himself on teh wrong end of submission victories as he fails to round out his MMA game. Last night, Roberson lost via heel hook to Arnold Allen. Submission defense and defensive wrestling are the two elements of Roberson’s game holding him back from top contender status.