Saturday night we saw everything from slick submissions, devastating knockouts and shocking upsets. Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson rose to title contention by being the first man to stop the former champion Johny Hendricks, Mike Pyle showed us that age is just a number finishing a fight at aged 40 and Mickey Gall cashed the biggest check of his career, cementing his fight with CM Punk later this year.
Here is a look at all the great finishes from Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night: Hendricks vs. Thompson.
Stephen Thompson def. Johny Hendricks via TKO round 1
Thompson came into this contest with an obvious gameplan and executed it to perfection, using footwork and distance to take away Johny’s two biggest tools being his wrestling and his left hand.
Thompson dictated the whole pace of the fight attacking when he wanted and creating space with his lead leg with either side kicks to the body or head kicks to back Hendricks away from him. This technique eventually froze Hendricks, causing him to wait for Wonderboy to strike first and when he attempted a counter, Thompson was completely out of his range.
This allowed Thompson to become more and more comfortable as the fight went on and take risks, rushing in with punching combinations and then exiting the exchanges with kicks again to create his desired distance.
Thompson caught Hendricks rushing in twice consecutively with a right hook counter, the second of which rocked the former champ causing him to shell up with his back against the fence. From here, it was nothing but target practice for the 57-0 kickboxer who never abandoned his gameplan, using kicks to get close, landing with a barrage of punches then exiting range again with a body kick.
The fight finish came with Thompson landing a spinning heel kick to the chest of Hendricks then immediately following up with a one, two to his chin putting him on the canvas causing the referee to step in.
This fight showed how important game-planning for fights can be, Hendricks is widely considered one of the best welterweights on the planet and by some, one of the best of all time. Thompson was able to systematically shut down all of Johny’s options in this fight and make him fight Stephen’s fight, wearing down the former champion quickly and impressively, putting Wonderboy knocking firmly on the door of a 170lb title shot.
Mike Pyle def. Sean Spencer via TKO round 3
This fight finish was not only after a hellacious first two rounds where Pyle was rocked, not only did it show brutality and technique beautifully but it was all done by a man who has just hit 40 years old.
This fight finish started with a picture perfect spinning back elbow connecting to the top of Spencer’s head visibly rocking him. From there Pyle showed the patience of a true veteran, not rushing in looking for the finish, but rather picking his shots and mixing up his strikes to keep Spencer from recovering.
Pyle landed numerous knees and elbows from the clinch to end the fight forcing the referee to intervene late in the third round. This finish showed that the fight is never over until the final bell and how one technique can change the whole dynamics of a contest, giving Mike Pyle yet another highlight reel finish and a nice bonus paycheck too.
Derrick Lewis def. Damian Grabowski via TKO round 1
Grabowski started this fight off well, shooting for a well-timed takedown early and getting Lewis to the mat momentarily. Lewis was able to get back to his feet and counter using his underhooks to throw Grabowski onto his back.
From here it was all Lewis, using well-timed and most importantly patient ground and pound to wear down Grabowski ultimately causing the referee to step in. Lewis showed his experience inside the cage looking to cement his top position first at all times and then striking only when it was effective to do so, overpowering Grabowski until he turtled up and forced the referee stoppage.
Diego Rivas def. Noad Lahat via KO round 2
There isn’t too much analysis to do of this finish, it was simply bad timing by Lahat and picture perfect technique by Rivas to deliver the best knockout of 2016 so far.
After dominating the entire first round with his jiu-jitsu, you can forgive Lahat for wanting to take the fight back to the ground and quickly as possible in the second round, and that is just what he attempted to do, setting up a takedown attempt by lowering his centre of gravity and opening up his arms. Unfortunately for Lahat, at this exact time, Rivas attempted a flying knee that came straight up through the open guard of Noad and landed directly on his chin, collapsing Lahat to the ground unconscious.
The only thing to take away from this finish really is to be patient and set up your takedowns with strikes. If Lahat had entered the second round with a striking exchange and used that to disguise his takedown attempt, Rivas would not have been able to even try a flying knee let alone finish the fight with it. Chaining your techniques together through striking, clinch work and the ground is the next level of MMA and the sign of a true future champion. Safe to say, after two flying knee KO’s in the UFC, Lahat has some serious work to do to retain his prospect status.
Mickey Gall def. Mike Jackson via submission (rear naked choke) round 1
Jackson started this short contest with very good circling to keep away from the rangey Gall, who noticed this and pressured Jackson backing him up towards to fence to look for a striking opening, which came in the way of a right hand 30 seconds into the fight.
Gall came in with a right hand knocking down Jackson and immediately jumped on him, looking to take his back. Jackson showed the one thing we were all worried about in this fight and that was his total lack of fight experience, as he attacked Gall’s legs to avoid having his back fully taken, instead of attacked Mickey’s arms that were searching for a rear naked choke. This grave mistake quickly came to haunt Jackson as Gall instantaneously slapped on a tight rear naked choke submitting Jackson at the 45 second mark of the contest.
Inexperience was the nail in the coffin for Jackson here, making your MMA debut in the modern era UFC is unheard of for a reason and that is the amount of pressure the fighters feel is increased ten fold fighting on the biggest stage in MMA. This pressure and lack of MMa experience quickly got to Jackson forcing him to make sloppy mistakes and costing him the fight very early on.
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”
Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.
“Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”
Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.
The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.
Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.
With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th? Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.
*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)
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