Saturday’s UFC Singapore event is in the books, and now that the dust has settled, it’s time to go to the scorecard to see who the big winners were at Singapore Indoor Stadium.
It’s been on Demian Maia’s official UFC bio for years, a line at the bottom that reads, “May be best pure grappler in the UFC today.” And nothing that has happened over the course of Maia’s more than 12 years in the Octagon has compelled me to update that comment. His main event win over Ben Askren in Singapore was just more proof that when it comes to the ground game in MMA, there’s Maia and there’s everybody else. And the best part about it is that the all-class gentleman from Brazil doesn’t hide what he wants to do on fight night. Some have been able to avoid the mat with him, but if he gets his way, it’s got to be the scariest prospect for opponents in the entire sport, and what a treat for us to witness. Respect, Mr. Maia.
In my pre-fight feature on Ciryl Gane, he admitted that he was surprised he finished his first UFC win over Raphael Pessoa via submission. Well, he certainly surprised Don’Tale Mayes with the heel hook that ended their Singapore bout with 14 seconds left. This ending came after a rock solid performance that showed off his striking as well, making it evident that Gane may very well be the next big thing in the heavyweight division. Yes, I know, it’s only two fights, but he’s shown a lot of tools in those two UFC appearances, making him quite the intriguing prospect.
Three wins in a row. That has to be music to the ears of Beneil Dariush after a rough patch that saw him go 0-2-1 in 2017-18. The road back has been long and not easy, but with back-to-back Performance of the Night finishes of Drew Dober and Frank Camacho, Dariush is back in the lightweight mix and on the verge of getting his top 15 ranking back sooner rather than later.
Sergei Pavlovich didn’t get an easy first fight in the UFC, facing off with Alistair Overeem a little less than a year ago. That fight went as many expected, but instead of fading away after suffering his first pro defeat, Pavlovich has made short work of two good heavyweights, knocking out Marcelo Golm in 66 seconds in April and then taking a little over two minutes to do the same to Maurice Greene. Pavlovich is once again looking like one of the top young heavyweights in the division, and 2020 should be an interesting year for him.
A fight between Randa Markos and Ashley Yoder had to come down to a close split decision, right? It’s been the history of both strawweights that they’re going to go tooth and nail with everyone, leaving the judges to make their call on who won, and that’s led to the pair having up and down records with some questionable decisions in the mix. In Singapore, it was Markos leaving the Octagon with her hand raised, allowing her to put a 1-2-1 stretch out of her mind and move forward in search of her first two-fight UFC winning streak.