It took Chan Sung Jung all of 58 seconds to put away Renato Carneiro in the UFC Fight Night 154 main event on Saturday in Greenville, South Carolina, as he re-emerged as a serious contender at 145 pounds.
“The Korean Zombie” countered Carneiro’s jab with a devastating right hook in an early exchange, followed him to the ground and ended the bout with punches. Jung has now won five of his last seven fights dating back to 2011. Outside the headliner, there was plenty to keep the crowd occupied, with Randy Brown upsetting violence machine Bryan Barberena in the co-feature and Deron Winn going to war with Eric Spicely on the prelims.
“The Vanquished” breaks down the main card fights and plays matchmaker for the losers. Let us not waste any time.
Renato Carneiro vs. Josh Emmett-Mirsad Bektic loser: “Moicano” walked into the Octagon as a 2-to-1 favorite to beat Jung, only to get dispatched in less than a minute in a performance that had no silver linings for the Brazilian. Once regarded as a legitimate threat to Max Holloway’s featherweight title, the American Top Team export has now been stopped twice in a row, dropping his UFC record to 5-3. Carneiro simply cannot afford a third straight defeat in the ultra-deep 145-pound weight class, so it is imperative that he pick up a Top-10 win sometime soon to stay afloat in the rankings. A fight with the loser of Emmett-Bektic fits the bill, as they will throw down at UFC Fight Night 155 in July.
Bryan Barberena vs. James Krause: Barberena and Brown engaged in a competitive and entertaining two rounds in the co-main event. However, by the time the third stanza was underway, Brown was evidently ready to finish things. “Rude Boy” dropped Barberena early in the round with an overhand right and then controlled him against the fence, unloading with punches and knees until the notoriously durable veteran dropped to the canvas. Barberena has now lost three of his last four bouts, though his fan-friendly style makes him an unlikely candidate to receive a pink slip. He should next fight a fellow middle-of-the-pack welterweight in Krause, who was last seen at UFC Fight Night 135, where he stopped Warlley Alves.
Anderson dos Santos vs. Aiemann Zahabi: Dos Santos’ main card scrap with Andre Ewell certainly did not disappoint, as the two bantamweights engaged in a firefight that spanned all three rounds. With Ewell emerging the clear winner on the scorecards, dos Santos fell to 0-2 inside the Octagon. Perhaps a battle with Zahabi, who has suffered two consecutive losses, could help the Brazilian reinvent himself inside the 135-pound weight class, provided he does not receive his walking papers.
Montana De La Rosa vs. Sara McMann: De La Rosa put in a good account of herself in a fight with Andrea Lee, doggedly pursuing a come-from-behind submission in the final round after taking significant damage across the first 10 minutes. Though Lee clearly proved herself as the superior martial artist, the 24-year-old De La Rosa likely has a bright future in the Octagon; the three submission victories she earned to start her UFC career stand as proof. A fight with a former Olympic silver medalist in McMann seems an appropriate next test.
Alessio Di Chirico vs. Trevor Smith: One could be forgiven for sympathizing with Di Chirico, who appeared to have gotten the better of Kevin Holland in their main card opener but failed manage to the convince the judges. “Manzo” was demonstrably upset with the decision in the cage, saw his two-fight winning streak snapped and fell back to .500 at 3-3 in the UFC. A confrontation with Smith, a loser in three of his last four fights, would provide the opportunity for a rebound.