Since we at Fight Cove operate out of the Great White North, what better way to honor one of Canada’s great pastimes (Hockey) than to use the famous “three stars” system for UFC events? If you are unfamiliar with the system, this is how it works. An independent, non-bias viewer (in this case, yours truly) selects the three top performers from the event to name as the “three stars”. If you couldn’t figure it out on your own, the first star is the most impressive performer from the event, the second star is the second most impressive, and so on and so forth.
The “three stars” are judged off the effectiveness and overall impact of their performance. Still following? Good, cause here is the “three stars” from UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao.
Third Star – Matt Riddle
Matt Riddle delivered the highest point of the UFC 149 pay-per-view when he scored the lone finish on the main card with a beautiful third-round arm-triangle submission of Chris Clements. The fight was a back-and-forth battle for over two rounds with both Riddle and Clements each having their high points, but Riddle was able to capitalize in the final stanza when he locked on the choke from a standing position, swept Clements leg, and forced the tap-out.
It’s extremely rare to see a fighter secure such a choke from a standing position and that’s undoubtedly what earned Riddle the $65,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus. Moreover, it was Riddle’s first career submission victory and the fact he did it as a short-notice injury replacement makes it even more impressive.
Second Star – Renan Barao
Renan Barao put on a clinic against Urijah Faber, outclassing the former WEC champion in every area possible to win the interim UFC bantamweight championship. Barao lit Faber up in the striking department and even broke one of Faber’s ribs in the opening round. The speed and accuracy of the Brazilian’s strikes were terrifying and “The California Kid” looked perplexed about what he was supposed to do to stop it. Faber has been a top-level talent for years now and Barao outclassed him, which was pretty incredible to witness.
The win pushed Barao’s unprecedented unbeaten streak to an absurd 31 fights. Faber said prior to the fight that Barao had never faced anyone like him and he wouldn’t get stormed through like all of Barao’s prior opponents, but he did, which makes the new interim champion’s performance all the more impressive. Barao has now reached the point where he is going to be facing the absolutely best in the world every time out and if he can beat Dominick Cruz, it is hard to imagine anyone stopping the epic win-streak anytime soon.
First Star – Ryan Jimmo
UFC debutee Ryan Jimmo stole the show at UFC 149 with his incredible seven-second knockout of Anthony Perosh on the preliminary portion of the card. It was a quick night of work for Jimmo, as he walked across the cage, threw a single overhand right that knocked Perosh down and out then proceeded to land one more for good measure before referee Josh Rosenthal could call an end to the fight. The brutal finish sent the Canadian crowd into elation and ingrained Jimmo’s name into the head of fans around the world.
The 30-year-old had been bashed as a boring fighter in the past, but it only took a single punch to wash that perception away. It is nearly impossible for a UFC debut to go better than what Jimmo delivered and after losing his first professional bout, the Nova Scotia native has now won 17-straight fights. What a moment.