On tonights UFC on Fight Pass Namajunas vs. VanZant card, we witnessed 2
hype trains rising stars on their quest to build their own legacy. Paige VanZant, and Sage Northcutt. These 2 have been so heavily promoted leading up to this card that you might have forgot that there were actual veterans such as Jim Miller and Micheal Chiesa fighting as well. They are being groomed to be the ufc’s next big stars at the young ages of 21 for VanZant and 19 for Northcutt.
So did they live up to the hype? That’s a different story
The Northcutt hype train continues to roll on. However, it was not as easy as his ufc debut. Upon closer inspection, and to some fighters (based on twitter reactions), Northcutt actually looks beatable. Cody Pfister put him on his back seconds into the first round. He would remain there for the majority of the round, and if not for a ridiculous stand up from the ref, he might have been there the entire round. Not very impressive, showing no ground game and looking like a fish out of water off of his back. He did impress in the stand up come round 2 landing a takedown of his own and eventually sinking in the fight ending guillotine. Now the questions arise of how he will do against a wrestler (Frankie Edgar, Benson Henderson) or someone with good pressure (such as Rafael Dos Anjos) yada yada yada… We’ve heard it before with Connor McGregor. So this hype train keeps moving.
For Paige VanZant it could have been too much too soon. Looking at the size difference during the staredown in the ring, I knew VanZant was in trouble. The first round was reminiscent of Rousey-Holm. VanZant was just getting lit up on the feet and when Rose Namajunas took her down, she was able to work her ground and pound and work her submission game. She outmuscled, outwrestled, outstruck, and just flat out outfought the young VanZant before sinking in the fight ending rear naked choke at 2:25 of the fifth round. Credit to VanZant. Her heart, courage and toughness can not be denied as she escaped multiple deep submission attempts from Namajunas. That being said, this was a horrible loss for VanZant as she got absolutely dominated.
“Sometimes hype just ain’t enough.” – Jens Pulver
Good thing for her she is only 21 and has time rebuild and come back strong against someone in the lower top 10. Take my word, she will be top 5!