Several title contenders emerged in the UFC's inaugural trip to Chile, and Richard Mann is back once again to break down the card by the numbers.
Fantasy AnalysisUsman emerged victorious against his toughest opponent to date, but the fight was far from the most exciting of the evening, and these potential injuries may serve as a roadblock in his journey up the welterweight rankings. We'll know more about the specifics when medical suspensions are officially released, but Usman believes he broke his right hand in the second round, and his left hand in the third. Should that statement hold true, it would make his five-round, unanimous decision victory all the more impressive, but likely result in a long layoff before his next matchup. Usman may not always rack up impressive finishes, but he certainly warrants a top-five opponent in his next fight.
Fantasy AnalysisBellator plans to find a short-notice replacement fighter to face Nelson, but the American heavyweight would likely be the favorite regardless of whom the league tabs to fill in for Cro Cop. With Nelson's fight now set to come earlier in the card, Bellator plans to promote the middleweight title fight between Rafael Carvalho and Gegard Mousasi as the headline event at London's Wembley Arena.
Fantasy AnalysisWith the Croatian fighter's Bellator debut now delayed by the injury, it's expected that the middleweight title fight between Rafael Carvalho and Gegard Mousasi will now replace Cro Cop-Nelson as the main event. Meanwhile, the promotion is still searching for a replacement fighter to match up against Nelson for the card. The severity of Cro Cop's injury still isn't known, so it remains difficult to forecast when he'll be ready to return to the cage.
Fantasy AnalysisAs Maia gets older, he seems to be facing tougher stylistic matches. For his third-straight fight, he faced off against a skilled wrestler. Usman was able to stop all of Maia's takedown attempts and never even ended up in guard. Maia's striking was not terrible, but he was not able to keep it up for five rounds. At 40 years old, Maia's time as a contender in the welterweight division appears to be coming towards the end. He has had an outstanding career in the UFC, but all good things must come to an end at some point.
Fantasy AnalysisUsman was able to follow the same game plan as Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington. That recipe is stop Maia's takedowns, avoid fighting on the ground at all costs and land just enough strikes to take the decision. After previously calling out Maia and saying that he is the best ground fighter in the world. Usman decided to throw lackluster strikes for five rounds against the ground ace. It got the job done, but the fight was not very inspiring. Usman continues to push forward and move up in the welterweight division. However, his fans were likely hoping for a better performance.
Fantasy AnalysisGrasso knew she was going to end up on the ground against a wrestler like Suarez. She brought her scrambling game and looked good early. Suarez took her down multiple times, but she did not give anything up and got back to her feet. However, later in the ground, Grasso turned away and exposed her back in a scramble. Suarez took advantage of the opportunity and locked in the fight ending rear-naked choke. This was a tough loss for Grasso, but there are still plenty of fights she can win in this division.
Fighters Who May Be Returning Soon