UFC Wichita: Lewis vs. Dos Santos – Winners and losers


After ten fights, UFC Wichita clearly became the favorite for the worst card of 2019. There were many tedious decisions and fights that nobody would remember. This does not mean that the performances are poor, but at a time of several remarkable MMA events every week, the fighters have to bring it so that the fight really counts. After these first ten fights, the heat was increased. Niko Price and Tim Means staged one of the most memorable fights of a round. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos made an emphatic statement to the welterweight division. Finally, Junior dos Santos and Derrick Lewis have organized one of the most strangely weird heavyweight competitions in the history of this sport … and the heavyweight is the strangest division. Since fans tend to remember the latest contests more than initial work, the UFC Wichita will remain in the history books as a decent card. Too bad that not everyone can come out with a decent feeling of his performance ….


Junior dos Santos: There has been talk in recent years about the death of JDS. Although he had a lot of damage, I always found the idea that he was shot was ridiculous. This performance should have ended all these discussions. JDS ate heavy Lewis shots while scoring a heavy offense on his own. He was even creative with his kick back to Lewis's belly. This is the best series of fights we've seen from JDS since he had the big golden belt around his waist. He's probably far from having another chance to win the title. Usually, when a fighter no longer holds the title for more than six years, his chances of regaining his belt are extremely low. This does not seem to be the case for JDS.

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos: His performance was irreproachable, except for one thing: his interview after the fight had no name ready. Apart from that, dos Santos reversed the script, proving that he was more than a fighting fighter. Do not get me wrong, I did point him as a top-level action fighter, but have the fight and the fight to compete with the top of the division? He has proven me wrong. Now, with seven wins in a row, dos Santos was lucky enough to be called … and only asked for one of the top ten opponents. He could have called Rafael dos Anjos or Santiago Ponzinibbio. Nope. I know it's a small thing to ruin an otherwise perfect performance, but it's really difficult.

Niko Price: Price has the chic to defeat the veterans of the action. First, it was Alan Jouban. Now it's Tim Means. And when I say get them out, he does it violently, the only thing to eliminate Manning before Price was a sauna. It should be noted that Means called him before the stop and that Means went through many wars. I do not try to take anything from Price, but I'm afraid his reckless style will catch up with him soon. In the meantime, let's take advantage of Price because he could be the next welterweight to participate in consistent action fights as Means fades.

Beneil Dariush: This is not Dariush's best performance, but there are two big spinoffs from his victory over Drew Dober. First, his chin survived Dober's heavy artillery. Dober may not be the biggest hitter, but he certainly tested Dariush's chin. Second, Dariush went back to his roots and got a painful armband on Dober that made me roll back well before Dober hit. Dariush still has some problems to settle to return to his previous ranking, but it is not an inaccessible hill.

Anthony Rocco Martin: It was less entertaining than some of Martin's latest contests, but it was certainly a smart win for former Tony Martin. He never had serious problems with Sergio Moraes, impressed to have spent time with him. Martin is no longer a prey to a short gas tank now that he is at welterweight and looks like a beast. He is a marginal fighter of the top 15 at this stage.

Yana Kunitskaya: Three fights are not a huge job, but give credit to Russia. She has achieved her most comprehensive performance to date in the Octagon, showing a bit of struggle while surpassing Marion Reneau for most of the first two rounds. True, his nose snapped something brutal in the last round, but Kunitskaya has worked enough so far to get what some might consider a controversial decision.

Grant Dawson: It was not always aesthetic, but a lot of credit must go in the direction of Dawson. He took a crazy step, forcing Julian Erosa to fade under constant pressure. He still has a lot to do to climb to the top, but some fighters in his division can not keep up. If Dawson manages to find new tools to support his pressure, he will keep one in his eye.

Matt Schnell: The images of Schnell's two defeats to open up his career in the UFC have been etched in my head because his two subsequent victories did not really help to erase those visions. I think I can move from that now. Schnell mounted a full performance, showing good strikes on the feet before making the transition from his submissions before Louis Smolka succumbed in a triangle. I would say that I am ready to stop doubting the representative of ATT.

Alex Morono: I thought Morono would beat Zak Ottow just by being the busiest fighter. While this has been true, it is much better to get a GNP finish, which gives him a second entry into his tenure at UFC. I have not been sold. Morono would stay in the long run, but he proved me wrong by continuing to improve. Good on the big white.

Alex White: Nobody will proclaim that this victory is crucial for the Whites, but the latter overcame a slow start to mark the return match against a game by Dan Moret. Given White's previous wins at the UFC, he won the fight as early as the opening bell, which showed that some that White was not sure to own. In doing so, the Missouri native retained his job at the UFC. Not a bad day of work.


Derrick Lewis: It seems unlikely that Lewis will get another chance to win the UFC gold. I will never say that it is impossible with Lewis because he is perhaps the hardest hitter the organization has ever seen. But he is exposed to more technical fighters, whether it is the fight of Daniel Cormier or the strike of JDS. I do not want to complain too much about Lewis' awkward style, but even for an occasional observer it has become clear that he has serious limitations. His personality will assure him a good reputation, so he still has great value for the UFC, even if he does not become a title challenger. Nevertheless, I hope Lewis will take a prolonged break as he struggles at a breakneck pace. A break would probably do him a lot of good.

Curtis Millender: Millender's first three performances at the UFC were almost as good as expected. He has beaten three tough and durable veterans who have a tendency to repel newcomers. The fight between Millender and dos Santos went terribly wrong, perhaps to compensate for the lack of serious adversity in his first three games. Dos Santos quickly shot him and that was just about everything. I am not saying that Millender has reached its ceiling, but I will say that its ceiling does not seem to be as high as I thought at the beginning.

Tim Boetsch: It may be time for Boetsch to suspend them. He has been part of the UFC for about ten years and has experienced several wars during this period. He is also visibly slower than ever and that says something, since Boetsch has always been a heavyweight. He did not seem to have he against Omari Akhmedov. The family man has a flourishing business outside of MMA. Does he really need to continue to bear this punishment?

Sergio Moraes: Why on earth does Moraes seem to insist on throwing punches at every game? He is an expert of BJJ! Moraes has power, but the guy has no technique. He had the most success when he fought on the ground because Martin immediately went into defensive mode. Although Moraes had a successful career at UFC, I always thought that he was able to do more. This performance highlights why I believe that he has never achieved his abilities.

Marion Reneau: I do not understand where Reneau thought he was fighting in the bag. It was a close fight, but his temporary departure lasted until the second round. For some reason, she has always been slow to open her feet. When she enters the water, she can do big damage. Did you see what she did on Kunitskaya's nose? It's a pity that his 10 fights continue to rage in his career at the UFC. It is unlikely to fix the problem at this stage.

Julian Erosa: At least he was not transported by truck at once this time. Erosa does not look very different in her second match compared to her first stint. It is not a good thing. It just does not have the tools to be more than a AAAA fighter: too good to hang out on the regional stage, but not good enough to hang around the UFC.

Jeff Hughes: His first UFC competition was against a guy he had got rid of less than a year ago at Maurice Greene. He could not have asked for a more favorable start. Although many, including myself, believe that the decision should have been attributed to Hughes, I can not call it a robbery either. Hughes did not hide the contest. I was expecting more from Stipe Miocic's training partner.

Louis Smolka: The UFC gave Smolka every chance to succeed. Some may say he was released, but they brought him back after he won two victories on the regional scene to regain his confidence. They give him a chance on his return and a very winning contest with Schnell. All that Smolka had when he won five of his first six UFC fights he no longer has.

Zak Ottow: Since Otto tended to be in the snoozers, he needed to win and win impressively against Morono, as it was the last fight of his contract. This did not happen. The list is already overpopulated and few, if any, people are excited about watching an Ottow contest. Yeah … chances are it's the last one we saw from Ottow at UFC.

Nose: If you have not seen photos of Boetsch's nose and Kunitskaya, go get them. Well … if you like broken nose pictures at least. I have trouble breathing just by looking at them …

Wichita: Even if the last three fights were worth it, fans of Wichita would not have much to appreciate during the first four or five hours. I do not even think there was a favorite in their hometown to cheer them on.


Tim means: Yes, he lost and was KO'd for the first time in his career. But Means also came in and did what few people can do as well as throw and drop a dead crowd. His fight with Price was the first strong point of what had been a very disappointing event. However, despite his entertaining performance, he had KO'd. He also did not receive a deserved bonus of $ 50,000. I can not, in all conscience, call him the winner of the evening.

Blagoy Ivanov and Ben Rothwell: I had to pair them because their contest was incredibly tight and very … tedious. Rothwell pushed forward, Ivanov retreated, and they sometimes had hard knocks. I thought Rothwell had won, but I did not dispute the decision of the judges to Ivanov because it was too tight to score definitively. Nevertheless, the loss should not hurt Rothwell and adds some legitimacy to Ivanov after entering with a hype last year to finally arrive way runs against JDS last summer. In many ways, they found themselves in a similar situation to that prior to this competition.

Drew Dober: Dober's has constantly improved in recent years. It was his best performance so far … at least until the first round. He let Dariush fight on the ground in the second round, which marked the beginning of the end for Dober. Since Dober was the underdog and was supposed to lose, I do not want to punish him too badly for the second half of the inning. If nothing else, I will gladly give Dober's next contest if he continues to fight like that on his feet.

Omari Akhmedov: I do not really want to hurt Akhmedov, who fought smart to win an established veterinarian like Boetsch. But it was also painful to watch. Lots of catch and hold against the cage followed by the end of the final round. Yeah … you can keep your spot in alignment that way, but you will never get the prestigious fights you would like.

Maurice Greene: There is a lot to like about Greene's performance against Hughes. There is also a lot to beware of. Since I did not agree with Greene's decision to win, I could not find myself in the winner's name. On the contrary, it should be considered a compliment because I think Greene is able to do much more than he has shown. Although I do not think he will ever put all this in place, I think he will continue to tease us with flashes.

Dan Moret: I almost put Moret in the loser's column while he was letting victory slip away from his fingers. He completed the first lap before dropping the last two laps due to fatigue. However, he also seemed to deserve to be part of the UFC for the first time. If he can solve his endurance problems, I like the chances of Moret to become an action fighter for a while. That's more than I could say when entering the competition with White.

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