As the co-main event concluded at last night’s UFC Fight Night 27, we’d all seen a good night of fights. Looking back, there’s nothing that comes to mind that the Indianapolis fans or the viewers on the Fox Sports 1 network to complain about.
Rafeal Dos Anjos had pressured Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone throughout their bout, earning two rounds of three to take home his biggest career victory. It was a perfectly nice fight, and the judges’ scorecards were perfect.
Court McGee vs. Robert Whitaker and Brad Tavares vs. Robert McDaniel were typically solid, standup-heavy, competitive UFC fights. It was especially nice to see veteran Takeya Mizugaki get a day in the sun, winning a grueling decision victory against promising youngster Erik Perez.
All the bouts but one had ended in a decision, with that one exception a quick one-sided affair — Kelvin Gastelum’s quick rear naked choke victory over Brian Melancon. The night’s only other submission attempt to come close was Mizugaki’s rear naked choke in the third round.
So, sure, it was good action, but maybe nothing spectacular…
Then, out walked Carlos Condit.
Condit was out to avenge one of his only career losses last night. On that night in 2009, he and Martin Kampmann fought like cats and dogs to the closing bell. After being awarded the decision, Kampmann himself acknowledged that the judges’ nod “could have gone either way.”
I had the bout for Condit, as I explained earlier this week. But no complaints — it was a razor thin margin of victory. In fact, if Kampmann had been more active after taking Condit down in the second round of that fight, maybe I’d have scored it for him.
Well, that wasn’t the case last night.
After a slow start which saw Condit on his back for much of the first round, the New Mexico native turned up the heat. He swarmed in and out, mixing in combinations brilliantly, shrugging off takedowns and eventually overwhelming Kampmann.
A pair of elbows in the first round stunned Kampmann. Another cut him in the second round.
By the third, he was bloody and staggered. A left hook to straight right combination drilled him, followed by a kick to the body.
Kampmann, a perennial contender at welter, looked more like a walking (and bleeding) heavy bag as the fight wore on. Condit mixed in a left hook to the solar plexus which stunned Kampmann against the cage, and then knees in the Thai clinch, followed with punches, finished the job at 0:54 of the fourth.
The fight was named “Fight of the Night” by UFC President Dana White, and why not? It was a great display of technique and heart. You might think with a fight of the year contender won by one fighter and a fight of the night by another, there would be need for a rubber match. But with this dominant win, I don’t think so. At least, not any time soon.
Condit came, saw, and conquered last night. He has continued to improve and is again the clear “next in line” at welterweight.
On a good night of fights, one guy shined to do something spectacular, and that’s what will be remembered about UFC Fight Night 27.