Conor McGregor runs out of steam in 10th vs Mayweather

The battle between MMA darling Conor McGregor and 40-year-old boxing icon Floyd Mayweather ended as many expected, with Conor succumbing to the grueling demands of boxing which requires much more stamina than standard MMA fights.

Still, Conor started out strong, and gave hope to the many bettors who bet the underdog. This probably made many in Vegas sportsbooks nervous as a McGregor win would have been a disaster, but reality set in the Floyd started to engage more with every round.

As good as Conor looked early, Floyd looked a little older and slower than expected. But as the fight wore on, it became clear that Mayweather spent the early rounds sizing up Conor, and then settled on a strategy to take the fight to the MMA guy with relentless pressure. The punches added up and sped up Conor’s journey to exhaustion, which left him fighting with little left other than his heart by the 10th round.

Is anyone surprised? They shouldn’t be. McGregor is lethal as an MMA fighter, but when you restrict him to boxing rules with a boxing champion, he really has no chance, even with Floyd slowing down a bit. Put Conor in the ring with a 29-year-old title contender, and he gets his clocked cleaned.

Likewise, most boxers would likely get slaughtered in an MMA octagon. They’re different sports.

Still, both men put on a decent show last night, and made a killing in the process . . .

  

Betting on UFC 181: Johny Hendricks v Robbie Lawler

Everyone who follows the UFC is excited about the second meeting between Robbie Lawler and Johny Hendricks, which will take place in December. However from a UFC betting perspective, this is actually a pretty hard one to call, as there are factors that render it unusual. For starters few are used to evaluating Lawler as a challenger, as he has been defeated once in the last 18 months, with his only loss coming when Hendricks took him down at UFC 171 in February 2013. His record stands at 24-10-0, but he will seriously have to be at the top of his game to defeat the Bigg Rigg.

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Johny Hendricks believes he beat GSP

Last night’s UFC event was certainly controversial. Johny Hendricks bloodied up Georges St. Pierre in their welterweight division fight and certainly believes that he beat him as you can see from the interview above. Dana White was furious with the decision and is looking to quickly book a rematch.

  

The UFC Gate Keepers

Last night at UFC Fight Night 28, Ronaldo Souza was able to pick up an impressive win over Yushin Okami in the middleweight division. That victory established Souza as a legit contender in the division, as he was able to beat the “gate keeper” of the division in Okami.

The “gate keeper” is a fighter that is good enough to be one of the top fighters in the division, but not good enough to beat the elite few on top. They will likely never be a champion, but they will never be without an important fight or spot within the UFC. Here are who I see as the gate keepers in the UFC.

Flyweight – Ian McCall: McCall is a great flyweight, but already has proven that he can’t compete with the likes of Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez. He just doesn’t have the skills to break into the top.

Bantamweight – Urijah Faber: Faber is a tremendous talent, but he was clearly outclassed by Renan Barao and lost his last fight with Dominick Cruz. Faber is just a step to slow to earn the title.

Featherweight – Dustin Poirier: “The Diamond” is a great fighter, but he hasn’t been able to get the job done in his toughest fights. He will always be in discussion as a top-5 featherweight, but not able to get any higher.

Lightweight – Jim Miller: Miller has tremendous heart and wrestling ability, but he can’t quite get to the mountain top. If a contender isn’t cut for the elite status, Miller will prove it.

Welterweight – Jake Ellenberger: Ellenberger seemed primed for a title shot with a win over Rory MacDonald, but he failed to take his talents to that next level. He can beat most of the division, but not the very best.

Middleweight – Yushin Okami: As said previously, Okami is a tough guy to get past, but if you can, it puts you in the 185-pound title picture.

Light Heavyweight – Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: Lil Nog is a talented fighter, but doesn’t really show anything to make you feel like he could actually be the 205-pound champion. He has some big wins, but some bad losses. If someone is going to be a champ in this division, they have to get through him.

Heavyweight – Antonio Silva: Silva proved he can’t be the champion of this division, getting hammered by Cain Velasquez on two occasions now. However, he owns wins over guys like Fedor and Alistair Overeem. Silva is no easy victory, but he doesn’t have the total package to be champ.

  

Alistair Overeem: Another quick fall in MMA

The MMA gods can be very cruel.

One minute you can be on top, the next you are at the very bottom.

Such is the case for heavyweight Alistair Overeem. His fight last night at UFC Fight Night 26 was almost a perfect example of how quickly a career can change.

Needing a win over respectable contender Travis Browne, Overeem seemed like the “Demoltion Man” early on, hammering Browne with big fists. He looked like a heavyweight contender once again.

However, just moments later Overeem ate a picture-perfect front kick that led to a surprising KO loss.

Now Overeem finds himself having lost two straight fights and, when you mix in a suspension that cancelled a title fight in 2012, he could be on the chopping block. It’s been a meteoric fall for Overeem, but he’s not the only one that has been in similar position. Here’s a few other notable quick collapses.

Chuck Liddell – The Iceman seemed unbeatable when he was the UFC Light Heavyweight champion in the mid-2000s, but that all changed with a Quinton “Rampage Jackson” hook. One big punch from Jackson ended Liddell’s title reign and set the course for his surprising demise in the UFC. Liddell went on to go 1-5 over the next three years, losing four times by KO. He was forced to retire in 2010 after being blasted by Rich Franklin.

Brock Lesnar – Lesnar seemed too good to be true, and he was. The physically imposing heavyweight broke onto the UFC scene in 2008 and was champion within a year. However, once Lesnar started to meet up with heavyweights that could match his strength and wrestling ability, he quickly turned into a softy. Though he beat Shane Carwin by submission, he was pummeled in the first round and that seemed to destroy his mystique. From there Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem ran right through him and Lesnar decided to retire from the sport.

B.J. Penn – Though Penn is still considered by many to be the greatest lightweight in MMA history, he didn’t go out on a high point in the UFC. He seemed to be a human wrecking ball at 155 pounds after dominating the likes of Kenny Florian, Sean Sherk and Diego Sanchez, but a pair of decision losses to Frankie Edgar seemed to put his career on the wrong track. While he did pick up a quick KO of Matt Hughes after, he looked sluggish in a draw against Jon Fitch and was thoroughly picked apart by Nick Diaz and Rory MacDonald before taking time away. The fear Penn used to put into his opponents is long gone.