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The Morning After UFC Brisbane

Matthew Wells

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Let’s get right into this. Week after week, fight after fight, we keep saying the same thing time and time again: When will the judges get things right? At this point, there should be no surprises with how horrible judging can be in mixed martial arts. As a basketball fan, it’s relative to how Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors continues to impress night after night by draining ridiculous long-range shots. We shouldn’t be surprised because he does it every single night, it should be expected. This should also be the sentiment when it comes to MMA judging, yet each weekend, a score is read by Bruce Buffer or an image of a scorecard surfaces that makes you shake your head in disgust. Saturday at UFC Fight Night Brisbane was the latest example of highly questionable judging. Luckily the judge’s opinions were not needed for seven of the final eight fights on the evening. Even when a fight is finished inside the distance, close attention still needs to be paid to how judges viewed the fight to ensure they are accurately assessing what happens inside the cage. Once again in the morning after, the lasting impression is questionable judging.

Daniel Kelly was taken down and found Antonio Carlos Junior on his back with a body triangle locked in just seconds into the opening round of their fight. Kelly would remain on the ground defending the remainder of the round, with virtually zero offensive output. According to FightMetric.com, Kelly landed 0 of 2 significant strikes in the first round, 2 of 4 strikes total, whereas his opponent landed 7 of 11 significant strikes, 25 of 35 total. I usually don’t dive deep into striking numbers because the visual evidence is usually strong enough to get the point across. In this particular situation, it is used as reinforcement because a fighter was dominated on the ground for over four minutes of the round, the numbers show he had zero offensive output, and somehow earned a 9 on the scorecards from all three judges.

It reminded me of the second round in Gunnar Nelson vs. Demian Maia at UFC 194, where Maia completely outclassed his opponent on the ground for the majority of the round and was accurately scored a 10-8. Maybe it was “hometown” scoring from the judges that gave Kelly the benefit. Ultimately, it did not matter because Dan Kelly unleashed the beast of an old junkyard dog in the third round and sent “Shoe face” home with his head down.

Perhaps not as egregious as the scoring of round 1 in Kelly vs. Carlos Junior, but still somewhat concerning, was the scoring of Jake Matthews vs. Johnny Case. The Fight of the Night bonus winner was a close and very entertaining contest until it was ultimately ended by Matthews in the third round via submission, but it was also on its way to producing a very controversial judges decision. The consensus among journalists and those sharing their opinion across social media saw the fight as tied going into the third round, with Matthews winning round one and Case winning round two.  The officials sitting cage-side did not see it as such, with judge Albert Shen and Paul Sutherland scoring both rounds for Case, while judge Peter Hickmott’s scores reflected the opinion of the unofficial judges. If Jake Matthews did not secure a rear-naked choke finish, a lot of people would be crying robbery right now for the 21-year-old Australian. Have a look at that rear-naked choke again. With 1:06 left on the clock, Johnny Case grabs the cage with his toes and then blatantly grabs it with his right hand to help adjust his body in an attempt alleviate pressure from the choke. If you are unaware, cage grabbing is a foul, however, the ref was focused on the neck and facial expressions of Case that he did not see the fouls occur.

What would happen if the cage grabs resulted in a successful escape from the choke, and Case goes on to win the fight via split decision to the tune of 29-28 on two judges’ cards? Thankfully, we don’t have to answer this question, but it’s a pretty concerning thought.

The co-main event between Hector Lombard and Neil Magny was an insane fight that sent us on an emotional rollercoaster. Magny was rocked hard by Lombard in the first round and proceed to receive brutal strikes on the ground for the majority of the round. Many people were suggesting the fight should have been stopped in the first, however, I believe the referee did the right thing here, as Magny was intelligently defending himself at all times and was constantly moving to avoid strikes. He took one hell of a beating in the opening frame but survived “Hurricane Lombard” to see another five minutes of action. Surely that round was a 10-8 on the cards, no?

With heart and determination on full display, Magny came out firing in the second round, while Lombard showed signs of heavy fatigue. There was still enough juice (that’s no USADA reference) in Lombard to deliver a hard punch that dropped Magny again, but this time around, he lacked the ability to capitalize in the same fashion as the first round. Magny managed to recover yet again, which changed the course of the fight. From that point on it was all Neil Magny unleashing brutal ground and pound on Lombard, who was all but knocked out. As the round came to a close, it began to feel disgusting.  Lombard was not actively moving to avoid strikes. He was hardly covering up, and at one point was flattened out on his belly, taking multiple shots to the head. For some reason that cannot be justified in any way, shape, or form, the referee did not stop the fight. Perhaps he wanted to witness a man die right before his eyes. The horn would sound and the men would return to their corners. Surely that round was a 10-8 on the cards too, no?

The third round began and Magny secured the easiest takedown that Hector Lombard has ever given up in his entire life, and Magny began to unleash more ground and pound. Thankfully, this time, the referee only allowed a couple of strikes to land before stopping it, in a sense acknowledging his poor judgement in the previous round. Remember the questions about the 10-8 rounds on the scorecards? The answer was no. Every judge scribbled in 10s and 9s on the cards for rounds that were incredibly one-sided. Magny all but killed a man and couldn’t earn a 10-8.

A moment must be taken out to acknowledge the beast that is Neil Magny. What an incredible display of will to stay in the game and find a way to win that fight against a very scary opponent. He is one of the most active fighters in the UFC who always comes to put on a show. Hopefully, this win propels him into a matchup against an opponent ranked in the top five.

I leave you to pose this question to all mixed martial arts judges: What are we doing here? There has to be a distinction between dominant rounds. Barry Foley and Kon Papaionannou both judged Chad Laprise vs. Ross Pearson (a fight that produced a rarity of its own on the scorecards) and Neil Magny vs. Hector Lombard. Are we to believe their scores of 10-9’s in Pearson vs. Laprise were the same as the 10-9’s in Magny vs. Lombard? If only, there were a way to show the difference between the two…

With that thought in mind, it’s time to walk-off like Mark Hunt.


For the latest MMA news, live event coverage, and more follow @mmalatestnws on Twitter.

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Events

*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results

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The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.

An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.

The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.

UFC Winnipeg Official Results:

MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
  • #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
    • Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
  • #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45  round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT

  • #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
  • Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
  • Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
  • John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT

  • Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
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Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview

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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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The Wake-Up Report-UFC 218

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The Wake-Up Report is a way for you to get all the important info about the fights the night before. After letting it all sink in and letting all the carnage seep deep into your soul, we get to go back and take a second look at all the madness of the night. Last night the UFC pulled off one of the best PPV cards a true fight fan could imagine. Waking up after a night of fights like we had last night is like waking up from a dream that was also a bit scary. There was two ‘Fight of the Night’ in UFC president Dana White’s eyes but in the eyes of the millions of fans watching all over the world, there could have been so many more.

UFC 218 kicked off at 6:15 ET with the UFC Fight Pass Prelims, by 6:20 we already had the first knockout of the night. Justin Willis welcomed ‘Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series’ fighter, Allen Crowder to the UFC with a massive left hand to the chin.

Official Result: Willis def. Crowder by KO in round 1

The prelims continued with a submission win for Dominick Reyes over Jeremy Kimball.

Official Result: Reyes def. Kimball by Submission in round 1

Proceeding that fight was a strange one between Abdul Razak Alhassan and Sabah Homasi. An early stoppage by veteran UFC ref Herb Dean led to the KO win by Homasi. Immediately, the stoppage was contested by Alhassan. Dana White agreed that the fight was ended too soon and announced in the post-fight media scrum that this fight will be run back on the UFC 219 card on December 30th.

Official Result: Homasi def. Alhassan by KO in round 1

The early prelims ended with a great win by Amanda Bobby Cooper over Angela Magana.

Official Result: Cooper def. Magana by TKO in round 2

We followed that strawweight fight up with another strawweight battle when Felice Herrig squeaked out the split decision victory over Courtney Casey.

Official Result: Herrig def. Casey by Split Decision 

David Teymur was on the winning side of a unanimous decision over his opponent Drakkar Klose. Teymur has now won four in a row since coming to the UFC and should be setting himself up for a ranked opponent in his next time out.

Official Result: Teymur def. Klose by Unanimous Decision

Right smack in the middle of this massive fight card was one fight that you can tell your grandkids about one day. Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira vs. Yancy Medeiros is the reason we all love MMA. That fight had everything you could want in a fight. Both men gave their all and pushed themselves to the brink in over to get the win. On this cold December night in Detriot, MI, Yancy Medeiros was the better man and he was able to stop Oliveira in the third round by TKO. Earning themselves a well deserved ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus, these two fighters have put the rest of the welterweight division on notice.

Official Result: Medeiros def. Oliveira by TKO in round 3

The next fight featured another Oliveira, Charles Oliveira. He took on ‘The Irish Dragon’ Paul Felder. Felder put on a dominant performance and took out Oliveira in the second round with a big TKO victory.

Official Result: Felder def. Oliveira by TKO in round 2

As if the FS1 free prelims didn’t already satisfy your fight needs for the night we happily moved right along to the PPV portion of the evening. The main card kicked off in the strawweight division with a pair of title contenders looking to be the first title defense for the newly crowned champ Rose Namajumas.  Both women started off strong, but it was Tecia Torres who shortly emerged as the stronger physical fighter. She was able to get Michelle Waterson up against the cage several times and eventually worked out the unanimous decision victory and perhaps a third date with Namajunas.

Official Result: Torres def. Waterson by Unanimous Decision

Following the strawweights were the coaches of this season of The Ultimate Fighter, Eddie Alvarez, and Justin Gaethje. This fight was one of the focal points for fans in the weeks leading up to the fight. These two men had a great deal of respect for one another and showed that inside the octagon as well. A back and forth of heavy hands and vicious leg kicks ended in the TKO victory for Alvarez and he handed Gaethje the first loss of his career. This fight also earned a ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus from the bossman, Dana White.

Official Result: Alvarez def. Gaethje by TKO in round 3

Next came a bout in the flyweight division. Perhaps not as exciting as the rest of the card, but, former gold medal wrestler Henry Cejudo did what he had to do to get the nod over young talent Sergio Pettis.

Official Result: Cejudo def. Pettis by Unanimous Decision

From some of the smallest guys on the roster to the monsters of the heavyweight division, in walked rising star Francis Ngannou and Alistair Overeem. We all knew coming into this fight that we would see carnage, but nothing prepared us of the ginormous KO that was about to ensue. Francis Ngannou was able to squash Overeems plan of wrapping him up in the clinch and immediately put his massive left fist right to Overeem’s chin. The world record holder for punching power used all of his might and unleashed on his opponent. With this win, Ngannou has solidified his title shot against champion Stipe Miocic. Dana White has plans for that bout in the first quarter of 2018.

Official Result: Ngannou def. Overeem by KO in round 1

As if things couldn’t get better than that, we still had a main event featuring one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the UFC octagon. Jose Aldo was looking to regain his title, and for a good portion of the first round it looked like that would be the case. Max Holloway saw it another way. Holloway absorbed all the shots from Aldo and imposed his strength on the exhausted Aldo. The fight, that went on in very similar fashion from the first meeting between these two fighters, ended in the third round when the ref stepped in and called the fight.

Official Result: Holloway def. Aldo by TKO in round 3

Max Holloway has secured a place in the history books as one of the greatest to fight in the UFC at 145 pounds. It would seem that Frankie Edgar will get the next shot at the champ. As for Aldo, only time will tell where the former champ goes from here. Perhaps there will be a change of weight classes as he looks for another shot at the man who robbed him of his title initially, Conor McGregor.

The fight fans of Detroit, MI received an early holiday present in the form of violence and mayhem. UFC 218 was a successful fight card and one for the record books. Like true fans of fighting we take a brief moment to reflect before quickly turning our attention to next week where we begin the madness all over again. The nest card will take place in Fresco, CA on December 8th. That card will be headlined by Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega.

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