On February 1 2014, the UFC brought two title bouts into New Jersey for the Ultimate Fighting Championship's annual Super Bowl weekend card with UFC 169. Teammates at Nova Uniao; Renan Barao and Jose Aldo walked into the Octagon holding UFC titles and left the building with those belts in tow.
The main event of the night featured a rematch between Renan Barao and Urijah Faber for the UFC's bantamweight title. Barao had took their first matchup back when they fought in 2012 and was able to do it again in 2014.
Controversy swirls around the main event as Barao finished Faber with hammerfists while he was holding onto a single leg. Renan had hurt Faber twice leading up to the closure of the bout but some believe the stoppage still came early.
Renan landed a straight right hand early in the round that dropped Faber flat to his back. Faber scrambled back to his feet just to be stumbled once again by an overhand right that set up the closing moments of the fight. Faber tried to protest but Herb Dean had seen enough at that point to declare Renan the best bantamweight in the sport today.
Ricardo Lamas would get his shot at the UFC featherweight champion in the co-main event of the evening as he met Jose Aldo in the Octagon. The MMA community knows Aldo's strategy coming into his fights but that doesn't mean anyone can stop the leg kick assault that comes. Lamas continued the trend as he was peppered by kick after kick.
Lamas was unable to use any of his weapons that got him into this title fight as Jose picked him apart for 25 minutes. The champion landed combination after combination that went to Lamas's head, body and legs. Ricardo tried to take the fight to the ground multiple times but was unable to get the Brazilian on his back. Aldo scored takedowns of his own to control that position of the fight as well.
Lamas had a late surge when he reversed position to land on top but didn't have enough time to do any real damage to the champion. This was Aldo's sixth defense of the UFC featherweight title but his overall run goes back to 2009.
A slimmer Alistair Overeem entered the cage to face off against Frank Mir in the night's lone heavyweight bout. Overeem looked to use his world class striking to earn his second win in the Octagon. It took three rounds of action but the former DREAM and Strikeforce champion earned the victory.
Overeem would rock Mir with a standing knee in the first round that would drop the former champion. Alistair pounced on a clearly stunned Mir but Frank used his grappling to stay safe and get the fight back to his feet. Mir had his best moment of action in the second round when he scored with a double leg takedown to get on top. He locked up a guillotine but Overeem was able to get his head out. Round three would look the same as Overeem controlled the positioning for the whole round.
Ali Bagautinov came into his fight very aware of the power that John Lineker posses in each punch and fought with a strategy to stay away from that strength.
In the first round he quickly scored a takedown to control the positioning while scoring with ground and pound. He tried the same thing in the second round but Lineker was able to stuff the attempts then follow up with shots. Ali looked hurt towards the end of the round as he took multiple body blows during the course of the round.
Ali went back to the takedowns for the third round to take control of the cards. Linkeker couldn't stay on his feet for enough time to land enough to slow Ali down. In the end Bagautinov would improve to 3-0 in the UFC with the unanimous decision victory.
Lightweights Jamie Varner and Abel Trujillo started off the night with a spark. Abel and Jamie stood in the pocket and let punches go in what was the most exciting action of the night to that point.
Jamie had Abel in two dangerous positions in the fight. Early he found himself in the north-south position and looked to end the fight with a choke. Abel was able to survive the position and once he got back to his feet the punches started flying. Varner had success there as well as he clipped Abel multiple times.
The second round was all action as both fighters stood in the center of the cage throwing punch after punch. Varner would hurt Abel again but it still wouldn't be enough to win the fight. Abel would land a thudding right hand to an approaching Varner that sent him sprawling to the canvas. Trujillo didn't have to throw and follow up shots as it was clear that the former WEC champion was out cold.
At the end of the night Aldo and Barao tightened their grip around the bantamweight and featherweight divisions with two dominating wins at UFC 169. These wins leave the MMA community looking around for new challengers for the champions that have defeated everyone placed in front of them.
Renan Barao defeated Urijah Faber via TKO in round one.
Jose Aldo defeated Ricardo Lamas via unanimous decision.
Alistair Overeem defeated Frank Mir via unanimous decision.
Ali Bagautinov defeated John Lineker via unanimous decision.
Abel Trujillo defeated Jamie Varner via KO in round two.
Alan Patrick defeated John Makdessi via unanimous decision.
Chris Cariaso defeated Danny Martinez via unanimous decision.
Nick Catone defeated Tom Watson via unanimous decision.
Al Iaquinta defeated Kevin Lee via unanimous decision.
Clint Hester defeated Andy Enz via unanimous decision.
Rashid Magomedov defeated Tony Martin via unanimous decision.
Neil Magny defeated Gasan Umalatov via unanimous decision.