Pow. Game, set, match. Wow.
I don’t think Henri Hooft could have had a better night at UFC Fight Night 115. All 3 of his fighters, Gilbert Burns, Kamaru Usman, and Luke Rockhold, ended their fights with knockouts. Ok, Rockhold’s wasn’t a knockout, but he made David Branch tap after a vicious ground-n’-pound that left no shadow of a doubt concerning his abilities despite his brief hiatus due to injury. In the process, he snapped Branch’s 11-fight win streak, and in a post-fight interview, called out GSP for having no place in the middleweight division, or even the UFC. Durinho, on the stroke of the 3rd round, with only 5 seconds to go in the 2nd round, put Jason Saggo to sleep with a vicious right overhand. It connected so sweetly, that the Brazilian didn’t even follow-up with some hammer-fists. We all know Gilbert is a notorious BJJ practitioner, but he made a huge statement on Saturday, proving that he’s got more than just ground-game in his locker. After that strike, Durinho is a definite force to be reckoned with in the lightweight division. Kamaru’s knockout, was also unforgiving. He packed so much power into his punch, that somehow, some way, Sergio Moraes rolled forward upon hitting the ground. “I’m a problem” – The Nigerian Nightmare’s words echoed throughout the MMA community as it made headlines and sent chills down the spines of the rest of the welterweight contenders.
In more recent news (as I am typing this, actually), Daniel Cormier has welcomed the idea of taking on Volkan Oezdemir, whom trains under Henri Hooft as well. DC tweeted “we can make this happen”, while also entertaining the idea of taking on Alexander Gustaffson. Volkan, who incidentally also called out Gustaffson shortly after his win versus Manuwa, took to social media to respond right away. One to never shy away from a challenge, Volkan immediately responded “for sure, let’s do it” via both his Instagram and twitter. With the top 3 Light Heavyweights embroiled in a three-way “call-out feud”, it’s practically written in the stars at this point that Volkan will get his title shot sooner rather than later. And with his 1-round knockout track record, it could be lights out for Gustafsson and DC sooner than they’d expect.