The first ever UFC event in The Netherlands is now in the books and it was a great night of fights, in particular for the Dutch fighters who, with big victories for Germaine de Randamie, Stefan Struve and Alistair Overeem, went 3-0 in their bouts. The card also saw notable wins for Gunnar Nelson and Kyoji Horiguchi, as well as Rustam Khabilov and debutant Josh Emmett.
It was an entertaining night of fights and the big thing to take away from this first ever Dutch-based UFC event is that Holland’s passion for MMA is huge, their crowds enjoy every aspect of the fight game and it’s highly likely we will see the promotion return to the Netherlands at some point in the future. When it came to events inside the octagon, here are 6 of the things we can learn from UFC Rotterdam:
Overeem is a Man With a Plan
We start with the main event and Alistair Overeem; this fight against Andrei Arlovski was one that the Dutchman reportedly asked for and as if that wasn’t enough pressure to win he was also headlining the first ever UFC card in his home country. However “Reem” thrived under that pressure, as he withstood an early blitz to take control of the fight before he finished Arlovski with punches on the ground after he had landed a spectacular crane kick to drop the Belarussian. This big win means that Overeem’s next bout will likely be for UFC gold against the winner of next week’s Heavyweight title fight, which is between current champion; Fabricio Werdum & number one contender Stipe Miocic. In his post-fight interview with Jon Anik, Overeem stated that his plan is to beat either Werdum or Miocic in the UFC’s inaugural event at Madison Square Garden and then defend the Heavyweight title at the Amsterdam Arena, in The Netherlands, in 2017.
Struve is Back With a Bang & Bigfoot Has Some Big Decisions to Make
The second Dutch win of the night took only 15 seconds to materialise for a newly invigorated Stefan Struve against an Antonio Silva, who looks a shadow of his former self. Struve it was who caught Silva in what was the first exchange of the fight, he then hit the Brazilian with a big knee to the body that dropped Silva, Struve then followed up with big elbows from the top to finish for the 3rd fastest win in UFC Heavyweight history. The co-main event between “The Skyscraper” and “Bigfoot” was billed as a crossroads fight for both men and the loser was likely to have some big decisions to make and it will Antonio Silva that will be pondering his next step. Since the ban on TRT; a treatment Silva relied upon because of a pre-existing medical condition, he has looked nothing like the man that beat Alistair Overeem and Fedor Emelianenko. Seemingly his chin has been significantly diminished in the last 18 months as he has fallen to 4 losses in his last 5 UFC fights and there is a chance that Sunday was the last time we will see this iconic Heavyweight compete inside the octagon.
Germaine de Randamie is a Legitimate Threat at 135lbs
The first Dutch fighter of the card was Germaine de Randamie, a famed striker who had looked very good in her previous fight; a TKO win over Larissa Pacheco at UFC 185. Visibly buoyed by an absolutely rousing reception from her home crowd, de Randamie proceeded to put on a masterclass in the use of knees from the clinch, as she finished UFC debutant Anna Elmose inside the first round to put the entire Women’s Bantamweight division on notice. This impressive performance from de Randamie only served to tell us that she belongs amongst the elite of the women’s 135lb division. We should fully expect her next opponent to be ranked within the top 10 and this fight has proved beyond much doubt that Germaine de Randamie is as good a pure striker as there is at Bantamweight in women’s MMA.
Gunnar Nelson is an Ever Evolving Fighter
Arguably the most impressive performance of the night came in a Welterweight clash that many people had billed as not only a tough fight for both men, but a potential fight of the night. However a tight match up on paper does not always translate that way in the octagon and it was Gunnar Nelson who took an impressive victory against tough striker Albert Tumenov. Much like he did against Brandon Thatch at UFC 189, Nelson showcased his ever improving striking arsenal; confusing the Dagestan native with slick boxing and a variety of feints to set up his takedowns, before eventually submitting the highly touted Tumenov in the second round. Nelson cut through the Russian’s guard like a hot knife through butter when he got the fight to the mat; however his display on the feet against an accomplished striker like Tumenov showed how far the Icelandic, SBG product has come in such a short period of time. Not only did this fight prove to everyone how good “Gunni” is and his potential to challenge the elite of the 170lb division, it also showed his ability to come back from adversity, having suffered a loss the fellow Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Demian Maia in his previous UFC appearance. He will undoubtedly be a top 15 UFC Welterweight when the rankings are released later this week.
Kyoji Horiguchi is Not Far Away From Another Shot at Demetrious Johnson
The featured prelim bout on UFC Fight Pass saw former title challenger Kyoji Horiguchi face perennial tough out, Neil “2 Tap” Seery in an intriguing Flyweight fight. The result was a dominant unanimous decision victory for Horiguchi who looked to have the advantage in every aspect of the fight, however ,that only tells half of the story. After having lost at the hands of the Flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, the Japanese-born Horiguchi felt like he needed to focus a lot of effort into improving his wrestling and made the big decision to take his training stateside. He therefore, chose to lay his roots down at American Top Team, home of current UFC Welterweight champion Robbie Lawler. This is a decision that looks to have been immediately vindicated judging by his performace in Rotterdam, not only did he look fast and sharp on the feet, he mixed in a good number of solid takedowns in his most well-rounded UFC performance to date. The only minus in an otherwise flawless performance was that Horiguchi did not finish Seery, though the Irishman’s amazing heart and chin that does not detract from the reality of Horiguchi’s dominance. Without a doubt, Kyoji Horiguchi is extremely close to getting a rematch against Johnson with this most recent performance.
Josh Emmett Impressed in His UFC Debut
Last but certainly not least, UFC Rotterdam taught us that Team Alpha Male product Josh Emmett has not entered into the UFC to simply make up the numbers. What was a more than accomplished promotional debut, Emmett, 31, showed fantastic footwork and lateral movement, not to mention a varied arsenal of strikes on his way to a split decision win over the tough Jon Tuck. Having taken the fight on extremely short notice after the late withdrawal of Nick Hein, seemed to play to Emmett’s advantage as he proved he was ready for the step up in competition. He did not once lack confidence, constantly pushing forward he attack Tuck consistently and not even when he suffered a freak finger injury during the 3rd round did he look like he was going to succumb to the dreaded “octagon shock”. After this very impressive debut Josh Emmett is most certainly a Lightweight to keep an eye on as he embarks upon his journey in the UFC.
*Live Updates* UFC Gdsank Official Results
The UFC hosted their second event in the country of Poland, as UFC Gdsank took place at the Ergo Arena. The card was headlined by a welterweight fight between Donald Cerrone and Darren Till.
Cerrone (32-9) was coming off a close unanimous decision loss to former 170-pound champion Robbie Lawler in July. It was the only time in “Cowboy’s” MMA career that he had suffered consecutive losses.
Till (15-0-1) improved his undefeated record in September, defeating Bojan Veličković by unanimous decision. It was a case of old school vs. new school in this headliner, as the up and comer Till hoped to secure the biggest win of his career over Cerrone.
MAIN CARD – UFC Fight Pass – 8PM BST
- Donald Cerrone (32-9) vs. Darren Till (15-0-1) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Darren Till def. Donald Cerrone via TKO (punches) Round 1 – 4:20
- Karolina Kowalkiewicz (11-2) vs. Jodie Esquibel (6-3) – Women’s strawweight bout
- Result: Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Jodie Esquibel via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jan Blachowicz (20-7) vs. Devin Clark (8-2) – Light heavyweight bout
- Result: Jan Błachowicz def. Devin Clark via SUB (rear-naked choke) Round 2 – 3:02
- Oskar Piechota (10-0) vs. Jonathan Wilson (7-3) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Oskar Piechota def. Jonathan Wilson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
Bellator 185- How to Watch, Times and Fight Card
Bellator is once again heading to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Connecticut, and this time they are bringing with them one of the most anticipated former UFC fighter turned Bellator stars’ debut. Gegard Mousasi will be making his first appearance in the Bellator cage against a former Bellator champion in Alexander Shlemenko. Although this event has lost some of its star power over the last several weeks, it is still stacked and you can bet that the main event will bring some fireworks.
Earlier in the month, it was announced that King Mo had suffered an injury that had forced him out of his co-main event fight with former middleweight champion Liam McGeary. Bellator worked quickly to secure a replacement opponent for McGeary in Bubba McDaniels. Unfortunately for McDaniels and the fans alike, McGeary had later suffered an injury of his own and the fight was removed from the card.
This left a spot open in the co-main event slot, which would be filled by a welterweight matchup between Brennan Ward and David Rickels. Just four days out from the fight, Bellator announced that Ward had also become injured and the fight has been removed from the card as well. The main card has been shuffled around and the welterweight bout between Neiman Gracie and Zak Bucia will now serve as the co-main event.
Main Card- Spike TV (US/Canada) Spike UK (UK)- 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT, 2 pm UK
- Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)
- Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)
- Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)
- Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)
- Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)
Preliminary Card- Live Stream (MMA Latest New)- 7 pm EDT, 4 pm PDT, 12 pm UK
- 195 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)
- Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)
- Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)
- Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)
- Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)
- 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)
- 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)
- Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)
- Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez (6-4) vs. Billy Giovanella (9-5)
- Bellator5 days ago
Michael Page Not Focusing on Opponent Ahead of Boxing Debut
- Cage Warriors1 week ago
EXCLUSIVE: Matt Inman Talks Cage Warriors 87, His Love For Fighting And Craig White Possibly Tiring Himself Out.
- News1 week ago
Why the UFC Needs to Introduce 165 and 175-pound Weight Divisions
- Opinion1 week ago
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Robbie Lawler Sets Up Intriguing Title Fight Scenarios
- British1 week ago
EXCLUSIVE: Jack Shore talks Cage Warriors 87 Opponent Change, Pressure and Being Ready for A Big Opportunity
- Opinion5 days ago
A list of fighters who fought Michael Bisping – while on steroids
- Fight Announcements1 week ago
Aldo vs. Lamas 2 and Ponzinibbio vs. Perry Added to UFC Winnipeg
- BAMMA1 week ago
Exclusive: Alex Lohore “Didn’t Know” Who Richard Kiely Was Before BAMMA 32 Booking