MMA Crossfire – UFC 185 revealed a lot of character

UFC 185 is in the books. But many of the performances will reverberate for some time. The obvious ones are the new champions Rafael dos Anjos and Joanna Jedrzejcyzk.

But what happens when you are beaten soundly?

Welcome back to The Crossfire.

MMA Crossfire

We saw the confidence of dos Anjos long before UFC 185. But on Saturday night, we saw him elevate his game against the top striker in the division. Using the Clay Guida blueprint, he pressured Anthony Pettis, not allowing him to get in a comfortable striking groove.

UFC 185

Rafael dos Anjos of Brazil punches Anthony Pettis in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 185 event at the American Airlines Center on March 14, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Taking out the vision of former champion’s right eye helped.

And though Pettis was soundly beaten, he didn’t tap or get submitted. You can bet when the disappointment wanes, he will that as he rebuilds himself for another title shot.

It was a crushing loss. But it wasn’t about Anthony Pettis losing. It was about Rafael dos Anjos winning.

Just like when Pettis relieved Benson Henderson of the belt at UFC 164, dos Anjos shared the fruits of his journey with his family and team.

It was a nice moment.

Then there was younger brother Sergio, getting caught with a Ryan Benoit left hook and losing a fight he was on his way to winning.

Benoit, to add insult to injury, kicked Pettis in the behind in what could be termed bad sportsmanship.

Benoit was apologetic afterwards in explaining the actions that, for the moment, may have overshadowed his big win.

But the response of Pettis helped defuse the situation.

Jedrzejcyzk won the strawweight title in the co-main event over Carla Esparza in a similar manner.

UFC 185

Joanna Jedrzejczyk celebrates after defeating Carla Esparza by TKO in their UFC women’s strawweight championship bout during the UFC 185 event at the American Airlines Center on March 14, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

You could see the strain on Esparza in the post-fight press conference. There are a lot of demands on a champion – even one as “overlooked” as Esparza thought she was.

She was offered the bait of excuses several times by the press. But she didn’t bite. “It just wasn’t my night,” was about the closest.

She congratulated her opponent. Did Joanna’s preamble trash-talk affect her?

Perhaps.

Again, this was more about Jedrzejcyzk winning, than Esparza losing.

UFC 185

Joanna Jedrzejczyk punches Carla Esparza in their UFC women’s strawweight championship bout during the UFC 185 event at the American Airlines Center on March 14, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Like dos Anjos, Jedrzejcyzk shared the moment with her team and Poland. I remember half-jokingly tweeting if the Polish government would create a national holiday for her.

Let’s see what happens.

What impressed me particularly about UFC 185 was not the excellent performances of the winners, but the grace and class of the losers.

@kenaiandrews

Categories
UFC 185

Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

RELATED BY

Sign up for our free Crossfire Nation newsletter and get content directly to your email!
Share via
Copy link