The octagon was buzzing with excitement at UFC Singapore last Saturday, delivering unforgettable moments that had fans on the edge of their seats. From Max Holloway bidding adieu to The Korean Zombie, to Erin Blanchfield’s hard-fought victory over Talia Santos, and Anthony Smith’s tenacious stand against retirement, there’s plenty to dissect. Let’s dive into the highlights and even get a sneak peek at what’s coming up in UFC Paris this Saturday.
A Farewell to Remember
If you managed to miss it somehow, drop everything and catch The Korean Zombie’s final exit from the UFC cage. It’s an absolute “feels” moment, a genuine emotional roller coaster.
Imagine having 15,000 people singing your theme song as a show of affection for all your accomplishments. While most of us haven’t experienced that, it’s safe to assume it feels pretty darn amazing. The way The Korean Zombie bid farewell was nothing short of special.
And let’s not forget his entrance to the cage, which was nothing short of epic. Unfortunately, I can’t share the video, but if you missed it, it’s definitely worth searching for. Walking out to The Cranberries was a move that always set him apart, and this time, you could feel the emotion in the air. The realization that this might be his final appearance in the octagon sent chills down our spines.
In terms of all-time retirement walkouts, it’s a strong contender. There’s something unique about the way The Korean Zombie soaked in the moment, making it stand out. But if we’re talking about exits, we can’t forget Lawler’s masterful retirement exit earlier this year. From the tear-jerking video montage to Lawler’s emotional presence, it was a true masterpiece. It’s going to take something truly exceptional to top that.
Speaking of exceptional, hats off to the UFC for giving legendary fighters the sendoff they deserve, rather than tossing them to young fighters no one cares about. This approach is definitely a win for everyone.
What Might Have Been
Considering the broad picture, The Korean Zombie’s career might not have changed dramatically even with four more years in his prime. His journey as a fighter tells a clear story: great but not the best, thrilling yet imperfect. Fighting during his prime years wouldn’t have changed this narrative drastically. After all, Jose Aldo would still have been a formidable opponent, and conquering that mountain was always a tall order. But there’s no shame in being the fourth best fighter globally, especially when you’re also the most electrifying.
What we missed during those four years were more epic showdowns. Imagine The Korean Zombie facing off against Chad Mendes, Ricardo Lamas, or a prime Frankie Edgar. Any of those bouts could have easily contended for “Fight of the Year.” Who knows, in an alternate timeline, The Korean Zombie might have been the one to take on Conor McGregor instead of Dustin Poirier. Perhaps he would have even emerged victorious, altering the course of the sport. While we can’t say for sure what we missed, one thing is certain: The Korean Zombie holds a special place in the hearts of MMA fans, and more time would have meant more love from fans.
Flyweight Title Picture Unraveled
The flyweight title picture is far from straightforward, and questions have been pouring in. Erin Blanchfield barely secured a win against Taila Santos, in a fight that the UFC seemed to undervalue. Looking ahead to UFC Paris, Rose Namajunas faces off against Manon Fiorot. Strangely, Fiorot is ranked higher than Blanchfield in the UFC rankings. With Namajunas potentially winning, she might leapfrog over Blanchfield for a title shot. Actually, it’s more than a possibility—it’s quite likely.
Don’t get me wrong; Namajunas deserves a title shot if she defeats Fiorot, just not ahead of Blanchfield. But popularity seems to trump all in 2023 when it comes to earning title shots. Namajunas, being a former champion and a recognizable name, has the upper hand. It’s frustrating, especially considering that Blanchfield is undoubtedly the future of the flyweight division.
Blanchfield’s potential is undeniable. The UFC gave her a headlining spot against Jessica Andrade, and she delivered an outstanding performance. Yet, her recent fight was relegated to an early morning main card slot. It’s perplexing why the UFC isn’t fully getting behind her. She’s no dull fighter and has a strong personality. With proper promotion, she could become the female Khabib of the division.
Clash of Titans: Blanchfield vs. Namajunas
Is Erin Blanchfield better than Rose Namajunas? The answer is a resounding “no,” and here’s why.
Let’s start by clearing up the criticism of Blanchfield’s recent performance. Taila Santos is an opponent who’s notoriously difficult to shine against. Physically imposing and well-rounded, she’s a challenge to anyone. Blanchfield’s victory, even while facing Santos’ neutralizing tactics, showcases her prowess.
Now, onto Namajunas. Her move to 125 pounds is intriguing. At strawweight, her struggles stemmed from being overpowered physically. While Fiorot might not replicate that, Blanchfield certainly could. With a solid chin and superior wrestling, she’s a force to be reckoned with. Unless Namajunas significantly bolsters her takedown defense, she’s in for a tough time against Blanchfield.
Anthony Smith’s Story
If we’re pondering alternate realities, Anthony Smith’s career might have carried a UFC champion title. However, it would likely be a temporary victory, as Jon Jones would have retained the upper hand in a rematch. In that scenario, Smith would hold the title but not the actual belt, as he would have been outpointed by Jones once more.
Remember when Aljamain Sterling won the belt due to a disqualification? Smith would’ve faced a similar backlash, with fans deeming him a paper champion. Dana White might have gone to great lengths to reverse the result, aiming for Jones to maintain an unblemished record.
In the grand scheme, Smith’s determination is undeniable. His recent bout against Ryan Spann showcased his lionhearted spirit. Past his prime or not, Smith’s unwavering determination proved he still has fight left in him.
Thanks for joining me in exploring the thrilling moments of UFC Singapore! To all who sent in your burning questions, a big thank you. If you’ve got more inquiries related to the world of combat sports, don’t hesitate to share them with me, @JedKMeshew. Until next time, stay tuned for more action and analysis!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UFC Recap
What were the standout moments at UFC Singapore?
From Max Holloway’s farewell to The Korean Zombie to Erin Blanchfield’s victory and Anthony Smith’s resilience, UFC Singapore delivered unforgettable moments.
How did The Korean Zombie bid farewell?
The Korean Zombie’s retirement walkout was emotional, as he exited to the cheers of 15,000 fans singing his theme song.
Who might The Korean Zombie have faced if he fought for four more years?
During those four years, he could have potentially faced fighters like Chad Mendes, Ricardo Lamas, or a prime Frankie Edgar.
What’s the state of the flyweight title picture?
Erin Blanchfield’s victory over Taila Santos raised questions about her potential title shot against Rose Namajunas, who’s facing Manon Fiorot in UFC Paris.
Why might Rose Namajunas get a title shot ahead of Blanchfield?
Namajunas’s popularity and former champion status might propel her to a title shot, even though Blanchfield is a promising contender.
How does Blanchfield compare to Namajunas?
Blanchfield’s skill set, including her wrestling and chin, could pose challenges for Namajunas in a flyweight showdown.
What’s Anthony Smith’s story?
Smith’s gritty determination was evident in his victory against Ryan Spann, showing his lionhearted spirit despite being past his prime.
What’s the author’s take on the UFC landscape?
The author praises the UFC for giving legendary fighters fitting farewells and discusses how popularity often dictates title shots.
More about UFC Recap
- Max Holloway bids farewell to The Korean Zombie
- Erin Blanchfield edges out Talia Santos
- Anthony Smith’s gritty performance against retirement
- Rose Namajunas vs. Manon Fiorot at UFC Paris
- Erin Blanchfield’s potential as a contender
- The Korean Zombie’s legendary fights
- Rose Namajunas’s career and achievements
- Anthony Smith’s journey in the UFC
- UFC rankings and title contenders