The first card of International Fight Week is in the books and it was one heck of a way to start off a 3-day period of fight cards. After a crazy 24-hour period that included Jon Jones being pulled from UFC 200, Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz entertaining everyone at a press conference and speculation over if Daniel Cormier would still fight on Saturday and who his opponent would be if so, many fans were just grateful to finally get to just sit down and watch some fights. And what a night of fights it turned out to be. Here’re 5 things we learned from UFC Fight Night 90: Dos Anjos vs Alvarez.
The art of the submission is very much alive
Fans love seeing fights end in a knockout. They’re often exciting and come out of nowhere. Submission victories for fighters are often the result of grinding out your opponent on the ground ultimately securing the choke or the joint lock. At Fight Night 90, submissions were the way to go for many fighters. The first 5 fights on the card ended in submission and Joe Duffy pulled off the fourth fastest submission in UFC Lightweight history on the main card. Overall, half of the fights on the card ended in submission victories and fans were treated to a variety of them including a pair of armbars, a D’Arce choke, a guillotine and a rear naked choke. There are quite a few fighters whose opponents will have to think twice about taking to the mat after this card.
Joseph Duffy can be a serious lightweight contender
Coming off his first UFC loss at the hands of Dustin Poirier at UFC 195 in January, many people wondered how the highly touted Irish lightweight would respond. Going against Mitch Clarke, another potential Lightweight standout, it didn’t take Duffy long to answer the question. It took less than 30 seconds for Duffy to drop Clarke with a massive right hand that sent Clarke crashing to the canvas. As Clarke attempted to recover, he gave Duffy his back and it was all over as Duffy immediately sank in a rear naked choke for the victory. Duffy showed power in his hands and added another submission victory to his record in a performance that’s sure to have other 155 lber’s taking notice.
Belal Muhammad may be the juggernaut
There are fights where, even in a loss, a fighter makes a name for himself. Belal Muhammad did just that on Thursday night when he took on Alan Jouban. For most of the first round, Muhammad took a hellacious beating from Jouban, getting dropped twice and absorbing a massive amount of punishment. That trend continued in the second round as Muhammad was dropped again and looked very much the worse for wear after the first 10 minutes of the fight. Despite many not even being sure how he was still conscious, much less continuing to fight. Muhammad then came forward relentlessly in the final round, landing some big shots that appeared to have Jouban in serious trouble at times. Muhammad wasn’t quite able to finish in any of those exchanges however and Jouban would take the unanimous decision victory. After the final bell, both fighters received a standing ovation from the crowd and Muhammad had obviously earned the respect of everyone who watched the fight.
Lewis vs Nelson wasn’t exactly what fans had hoped for
The co-main event was a battle between heavy-handed fan favourite heavyweights as Derrick Lewis took on Roy Nelson. Both fighters had been calling for this fight and both alluded to wanting to fight someone who would put on a show for the fans. Lewis came out in the first round with bad intentions and was getting the better of the promised striking exchanges. Nelson decided to switch up strategies a bit and began implementing clinches and takedowns into the fight, securing 7 of them throughout the fight and controlling the action for much of the time. Lewis came on strong towards the end of the final round and at one point landed a right hand that almost took Nelson’s head off his shoulders. Somehow, Nelson survived the final barrage and the fight that almost everyone assumed would end in a knockout, went to a judge’s decision. The 37-4 significant strike difference appeared to be the deciding factor as Lewis won a split decision victory. After the fight, Lewis called for a rematch against Nelson, saying “I promised a knockout”.
Eddie Alvarez returned to form
Former Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez hadn’t had the most impressive opening run upon entering the UFC. A loss to Donald Cerrone followed up with a pair of split decision wins over Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis had many people wondering where the “old” Eddie Alvarez was. Where was the brawler who had epic wars with Michael Chandler and knocked out Patricky Freire? On Thursday night, that Eddie Alvarez showed up again as he faced off against one of the most dominant 155 lb champions in recent memory in Rafael Dos Anjos. The first 2 minutes consisted mostly of leg kicks, feeling each other out and blocking each others punches. Then, about midway through the round, a perfectly placed right hand from Alvarez wobbled the champ and that was all the opening Alvarez needed. Alvarez swarmed Dos Anjos, not giving him a second to possibly recover and unleashed what ended up being a total of 57 significant strikes to the champion before Herb Dean had had enough and stepped in and a new Lightweight Champion was crowned.
In what is being called the biggest week in UFC history, with the biggest card in UFC history approaching on Saturday, UFC Fight Night 90 certainly set the bar high. Now we can only hope that the remaining two cards can rise to the occasion and at least match what Fight Night 90 brought to the table.
*WATCH* DaveNoseMMA – Aljamain Sterling Knockout Aftermath
Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220
UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)
Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:
“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.
— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2017
The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.
If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.
Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.
UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.
Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview
Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.
LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.
Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.
Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)
The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.
In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.
Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.
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