These were the three biggest surprises and the three biggest disappointments from UFC Fight Night 67. The Surprises Alex Oliveira — Another UFC fight, another impressive performance from Alex Oliveira. He lost his UFC debut against Gilbert Burns, but it was a close fight and he obviously learned from his loss as he came back with a vengeance to beat KJ Noons in his sophomore appearance. This bout was at welterweight, where Oliveira won’t have a size advantage over most guys (Noons is not a natural welterweight), but at 155lbs, I think this guy is going to be someone to really keep an eye on. Francisco Trinaldo — Usually older fighters get worse, not better, but Francisco Trinaldo has been an exception to that rule. At 36 years of age Trinaldo keeps improving as he showed an evolution in his striking in a split decision win over Norman Parke. I don’t think Trinaldo will be contending for a title or anything anytime soon, but I do think he’s a solid gatekeeper in the UFC lightweight division. Tom Breese — I wasn’t sure what to expect from Tom Breese in his UFC debut against Luiz Dutra, but he exceeded my expectations with a first-round knockout of the Brazilian. Breese, at 6’3″, is very big fro welterweight and clearly he has punching power. I’m looking forward to seeing what the UFC does with this UK prospect next, because I was nothing but impressed with his UFC debut. The Disappointments Ryan Jimmo — For the last few weeks Ryan Jimmo has been extremely vocal about the Reebok deal with the UFC, and it seemed he wasn’t focused on his fight with Francismar Barroso, as he looked absolutely terrible in the bout en route to losing a unanimous decision. Jimmo has talent, but he just can’t seem to put it all together. After losing his second-straight fight, the UFC is most likely going to release him. Damon Jackson — Damon Jackson started off well against Rony Jason, but starting well doesn’t mean anything in MMA, finishing well does, and he didn’t do that as Jason found an opening on the ground and subbed out Jackson with a triangle. I do think Jackson is a decent fighter still, but after getting submitted in his first two UFC bouts, I think the promotion is going to cut him and have him work his way back up as he just doesn’t seem ready for the big show just yet. Ericka Almeida — There was some hype behind former Jungle Fights champ Ericka Almeida heading into her UFC debut against Juliana Lima, but it’s likely gone now after an atrocious UFC debut that saw her get grounded on her back for 15 minutes. Almeida took the fight on short notice and had to cut a lot of weight, so we have to cut her a bit of slack, but still, this was an awful UFC debut and it’s clear she needs a lot of work to hang with the women in the Octagon.
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