5 Takeaways From UFC Singapore

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Leon Edwards UFC Singapore
Image Credit: Paul Miller of USA TODAY Sports

An action-packed night of fights went down in Singapore on June 23rd, 2018, as the UFC hosted Fight Night 132 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

A PAIR OF BANTAMWEIGHT STARS EMERGE

Two of the night’s most impressive performances came from Song Yadong and Petr Yan — both in the 135-pound division. Song, a 20-year-old Chinese phenom, secured the victory with a devastating elbow. He certainly has the tools to become the first MMA superstar in his home country. His lightning-quick hands are his biggest asset, but he was surprisingly effective on the ground. With explosive finishes in both of his UFC appearances, the sky is the limit for the Team Alpha Male prospect.

Yan, 25, was highly-touted coming into his UFC debut and he certainly lived up to expectations. His first-round KO of Teruto Ishihara was outstanding — he made the eight-fight UFC veteran look like an amateur as he handed him the first knockout defeat of his career. I have no doubt that both Yan and Song will find themselves ranked within the next couple of years.

JAKE MATTHEWS IS FINALLY PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Since making his UFC debut as a 19-year-old, Jake Matthews has had his fair share of ups and downs. Now 23, “The Celtic Kid” appears to have turned a corner in his career. His last two fights have helped him shed the “boring fighter” label. He was a heavy favorite last night and he wasted no time as he absolutely destroyed Shinsho Anzai en route to a first-round finish. Previously, Matthews defeated Li Jingliang in a highly entertaining bout at UFC 221. Now 7-3 in the UFC, i’m excited to see what the future holds for the young veteran. He’s 3-0 since moving up to the 170-pound division.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION: NO PROSPECTS ALLOWED

After dropping #7 Ovince Saint Preux in the bout’s opening minutes, #13 Tyson Pedro made the unfortunate mistake of grappling with the veteran submission artist. Saint Preux capitalized on the mishap by quickly applying a straight armbar and forcing a tap from Pedro. The Australian appeared to have an advantage on the feet and he will surely learn a lesson from the tough loss.

Pedro is a submission artist in his own right, however, he was clearly outmatched on the ground by his stronger and more experienced opponent. This was a disappointing outcome for the 26-year-old, but he remains one of the division’s only elite prospects (along with Dominick Reyes). I’d like to see Pedro face either #10 Misha Cirkunov or #12 Patrick Cummins in his next bout.

JESSICA EYE IS A TOP-5 FLYWEIGHT

Since moving down from 135 to 125, Jessica Eye is 2-0 following her victory over Jessica Rose-Clark. Looking at the fighters ranked above Eye (#10) in the women’s flyweight division, I reckon that she would defeat most of them, with the exception of #2-ranked Valentina Shevchenko. As a bantamweight, Eye compiled a 1-5 (1 NC) record with the promotion, and she is clearly one of the fighters benefiting most from the UFC’s introduction of the women’s 125-pound division.

FATHER TIME IS UNDEFEATED

Thirteenth-ranked welterweight Leon Edwards earned a victory over #11 Donald Cerrone last night, as all three judges scored the bout 48-47 in favor of the up-and-coming British fighter. This was undoubtedly the biggest victory of Edwards’ career. Now 8-2 in the UFC, with six straight victories, the 26-year-old has quickly ascended the welterweight ladder since making his promotional debut in 2014.

Although he was in control for the majority of the five-round bout, Edwards needs to be a more consistent finisher if he wants to rise to the top of the 170-pound division. After the fight, Edwards called out #9-ranked Jorge Masvidal. This was a solid call-out, but he should expect a much tougher challenge than the one he faced last night. If the fight is booked, I expect Masvidal to come out on top.

Cerrone, 35, has dropped four of his last five, but it doesn’t seem like he plans on hanging ’em up anytime soon. Although he’s a shell of his former self, he will be a tough opponent for the vast-majority of welterweight fighters if he continues to fight like he did last night. An absolute warrior and legend of the sport.

What is your biggest takeaway from UFC Singapore?