On a night of comebacks, resurgence, horrendous judging, and a possible retirement, UFC’s latest trip to Canada was filled with a little bit of everything that makes the sport of mixed martial arts interesting. Include a few great performances from the fighters involved and UFC on FOX 21 in Vancouver was arguably he best non-PPV cards thus far in 2016.
The welterweight division has become incredibly crowded at the front of the line ever since Tyron Woodley was crowned Champion. Prior to Saturday evening, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson had the best case for a title shot, which was famously (or infamously) shot down by Woodley just moments after having the belt wrapped around his waist. Thompson is riding a streak of seven wins in a row; the last three of which were in headlining spots, and two of those were first round knockouts. Show any pundit a nameless resume like that, and surely the mystery fighter would be a shoe-in for a title shot. Before you punch that ticket for Wonderboy (and honestly, you really should), another prominent name in the division made a very, very strong case for consideration in Vancouver.
Demian Maia, the most feared Brazilian Jiu-jitsu practitioner in all of MMA, did Demian Maia things Saturday night by submitting former title challenger Carlos Condit. It wasn’t that Maia submitted Condit, it was how he did it. Not only was it just under two minutes of the first round, Maia managed to absorb only one strike from one of the most dangerous strikers in all of MMA. That’s insanely good. As a matter of fact, Demian Maia has only absorbed 13 significant strikes over his last four fights. These were all fights in the UFC, against the best competition in the world. Maia is on a streak of his own that rivals Thompson’s with six wins in a row. Over that stretch, two of the wins came in headlining spots, and three of his opponents were tapped. While Thompson is the rightful claim holder to the next title shot (and it appears it will be his pending an official announcement), Maia used the age gap as leverage to jump his place in line during the post-fight press conference. Hey, if it can work for Hendo, why not the human backpack?
Age is still very much in favor of the former Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis, and so is the decision to move down to featherweight. After a three-fight losing skid, Pettis decided to shed an extra ten pounds to find his footing in the Octagon. Aside from looking more drawn out than we’ve ever seen him on the scales, Pettis looked great in the cage against Oliveira. Giving credit where it’s due, Oliveira is no slouch on the ground, yet Pettis was able to lock in a guillotine choke in the third round for the tap. Now that Pettis knows he can hit 145 on the scale and be successful in the Octagon, this sets up a host of interesting match ups at the top of the featherweight class. Frankie Edgar, Max Holloway, and Jose Aldo all make sense for Pettis as potential opponents. One thing is for certain, there is no shortage of sellable opponents for Conor McGregor to share the stage with at featherweight. At this point, It’s just up to him to decide if he’s done trying to make the weight limit.
The most spectacular finishing strike of the evening came from Paige VanZant, who made her return to the Octagon after competing on Dancing with the Stars. Just a few moments into the second round of her fight with Bec Rawlings, Paige unleashed a jumping switch kick that caught her opponent flush on the chin. Just like that, Paige danced her way back into everyone’s heart as the incredibly marketable badass dancing fighter. However, if we’re being critical and completely honest about Paige’s overall performance, the first round showed familiar flaws in her game that were exploited by Rose Namajunas. Luckily Bec is not Rose, and that epic knockout kick can buy her some time to shake off the rust from DWTS and improve some of the technical errors in her standup game.
The unfortunate part of this trip to Vancouver came in the form of incompetent judging, which reared its ugly head multiple times throughout the evening. The first instance occurred on the prelims between Enrique Barzola and Kyle Bochniak. The fight was relatively easy to score, as Barzola got the better of the exchanges in every round and landed more strikes overall. At worst, Barzola lost one round if you were in a giving mood, yet the split decision was read in favor of Bochniak with two judges seeing it 29-28 for the Boston fighter. The judge that scored it for Barzola? 30-27, which was more in line with media scores for the bout:
The next questionable decision came in the rematch between Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon. In the end, the fans won because it was an amazing fight, but one of the fighters had to be awarded their winning purse. After losing the first round, Lauzon made adjustments and controlled the action in the second and third round, making this an easy fight to score 29-28 in favor of Lauzon. However, two of the judges had their eyes some place else, resulting in a split decision in favor of Miller. Refer to the media scores of this bout as well:
Lastly, a photograph of the scorecard from Anthony Pettis versus Charles Oliveira surfaced from ESPN’s Brett Okamoto shortly after the completion of the bout. While the scorecard was not needed to determine the winner, its impact certainly would have been felt if it were necessary to render a judge’s decision. All three judges scored the opening round a 10-8, a round which was clearly in favor of Pettis due to hurting Oliveira badly from strikes, yet Oliveira did more enough in the round before and after that point to warrant a 9 on the cards. The second round scores were equally perplexing as two judges saw it for Oliveira and one for Pettis, all to the tune of 10-9s. Luckily for our sanity, a finish occurred once Pettis grabbed a hold of Oliveira’s neck, and cries of robbery or “WTF?” were avoided.
From Vancouver, BC to Hamburg, Germany in just seven days, the UFC keeps traveling the globe to bring exciting fights to fans of combat sports. The Pit Bull from Belarus squares off against The Warmaster in the first of the next two upcoming events that are headlined by heavyweights. Who has one more run at the title left in them? We’ll certainly find out in less than a week, and hopefully we won’t need judges.
For the latest MMA news, live event coverage and more follow @mmalatestnws on Twitter.
2017 IMMAF World Championships set to be streamed live on IOS and Android app
This years IMMAF World Championships in Bahrain is only 4 days away now and competitors from around the world are preparing themselves for what will be an extraordinary event and opportunity to make themselves known. The prestigious event is being hosted by the BMMAF under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
For fans around the world good news came today as they will be able to watch their favourite amateur athlete take to the cage in the Khalifa Sports City Arena via an app. The BahrainTV app will be streaming all of the fights live for fans to watch at home or even on the go on their phone. You can also keep up to date via MyNextMatch.com for all relevant info for the event.
The links for the BahrainTV app are as follows:
*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)
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