UFC 'Super Saturday' not so super

UFC 'Super Saturday' not so super
February 2, 2013, 9:00 pm
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Nitesh Dutt

It was Super Saturday in the UFC as they held their annual pre-Super Bowl Sunday event in Las Vegas. This time it was UFC 156 headlined by a “super fight” as UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo defended his title against Frankie Edgar.

With Aldo vs Edgar leading the way, a pair of Northern California fighters shined on the under card. The main card on pay-per-view was kicked off by Team Alpha Male’s Joseph Benavidez taking on “Uncle Creepy” Ian McCall in flyweight action.

As is expected with the lighter weight classes, this bout was 15 minutes of nonstop action. The two traded punches, kicks and takedowns for all three rounds of their fight. Benavidez gained the upper hand consistently with a strong striking attack, which shows how much of an impact Duane Ludwig has had on the team from Sacramento.

Several fighters have spoken highly of Ludwig’s positive influence on their striking and focus. It really showed as Benavidez looked much better than he had in his previous bout. As much Benavidez attacked, McCall met him with as much intensity and power. After two rounds the fight was very close as both fighters had mirrored each other.

As the bell for the final round rang, Benavidez seemed to hit another level as he came out with more energy that he seemed to have brought out of nowhere. After a brief takedown by McCall, Benavidez finished the bout in dominant fashion. The bout went to the judges and they came to a unanimous decision as all three scored it 29-28 for Joe B. The Team Alpha Male flyweight moves to 17-3 and, in a division lacking of depth, has worked himself back into title contention.

The other Northern California fighter on 156’s main card was American Kickboxing Academy’s Jon Fitch who took on Demian Maia in welterweight action.

What was dubbed a battle of the submission artist in Maia against the impossible to sub Fitch. All three rounds were mirror images of each other. The two stood to start the round until Maia shot for a successful takedown then spent five minutes attempting submissions and doing all he can to keep Fitch down.

Maia managed to take back control all three rounds and control Fitch using world class jiu-jitsu and grappling. Since dropping to welterweight Maia has gone 3-0 with dominant performances over Dong Hyun Kim, Rick Story and now Fitch.

Fitch, who was coming off a dominant win over Erick Silva, drops to 1-2 in his last three fights and has not been able to put together back-to-back wins since a draw with BJ Penn.

UFC’s “Super Saturday” was a mediocre one for Northern California. There was good and there was bad, but as always the fighters represented their teams well.

Nitesh Dutt is a Productions Assistant for CSNBayArea.com. Follow him on Twitter @NiteshDutt.