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UFC 187 Finish Analysis

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UFC 187 may have had its slow points, but when the finishes came, they came hard and fast showing off Brazilian jiu-jitsu, pin point striking and suffocating wrestling skills producing finishes from the preliminary card all the way to the title fights. Here is a breakdown of all of Saturday night’s finishes.

Islam Makhachev def. Leo Kuntz via Rear Naked Choke, round 2

After an exchange, Makhachev was able to muscle Kuntz to the ground and immediately take his back and get his hooks in, showing fantastic grappling experience of controlling your opponent on the ground before going for any attacks.

Makhachev kept his torso very close to Kuntz while on his back, making for a very stable mount as Kuntz attempted to move to a better position, Makhachev was able to isolate one of Kuntz’s arms and use his opponent’s momentum to turn Kuntz over into a back control position. Makhachev worked for the rear naked choke and with Kuntz’s right arm tied up, he was half way home already.

Recognising Kuntz’s attempts to spin his body to wind up in full guard, Makhachev applies a boy triangle. Makhachev was able to recover full back mount again and opened up Kunz with strikes, allowing him to sink in the rear naked choke and the win.

Dong Hyun Kim def. Josh Burkman via arm triangle choke, round 3

Kim was able to get a good body lock takedown and roll with Burkman’s body ending up in side control. Burkman attempted to grab a guillotine but the ground savvy Kim recognised this immediately and transitioned to side control on the other side of the choke, negating the submission attempt.

With Burkman still holding onto Kim’s head, Kim moved his arms in position for a Von Flue choke, forcing Burkman to either relinquish the headlock, or risk being submitted himself. Burkman released the headlock, but Kim kept his head low and under the right arm of Burkman and placed his own right arm behind Burkman’s head, in position for the arm triangle choke.

Kim’s body was on the wrong side of Burkman’s for the arm triangle, so from here Kim took it very slowly and step by step, firstly placing his knee on Burkman’s stomach. Kim attempted to flail his way into position but this was blocked by the busy legs of Burkman, but in this small scramble, Kim was able to get his right arm completely underneath the head of Burkman and locked with his left hand, the proper grip for the arm triangle choke. Despite this success, Kim still had the problem of being on the wrong side of Burkman’s body.

There are pro’s and con’s to transitioning slowly like this, the risk being your opponent is given more time to realise what you are doing and counter, while the upside is you have less chance of your opponent quickly scrambling and escaping while you rush to get into the right position.

Kim squeezed the arm triangle from the wrong side, but it gave enough pressure to force Burkman to defend it, locking his arms together to attempt to create space around his head. This kept Burkman’s arms busy, allowing Kim to flow his legs over Burkman’s body and into full mount, applying the fully-sunk in arm triangle choke and the finish.

Andrei Arlovski def. Travis Browne via KO, round 1

Arlovski kept good distance from Browne, forcing Browne to lunge in with his punches. As Browne lunged in with an overhand right, Arlovski slipped the punch and landed a short right uppercut severely rocking Browne. Despite Arlovski not being able to get the finish at this point, it is arguable that Browne was never able to fully recover from this early onslaught.

Arlovski was able to knock Browne down later on in the round, after missing an overhand right, Arlovski threw an immediate back fist with the right hand clipping Browne on the chin and followed it up with a right hook to the temple putting Travis on the canvas.

After Browne got back to his feet and had his back against the cage, Arlovski tried to finish the fight with a barrage of punches, but he left himself wide open to a counter right hand from Browne putting Arlovski on the floor. Arlovski recovered and Browne attempted a takedown letting Arlovski land a knee to the still hurt Browne forcing Travis to move back towards the cage.

With both men visibly rocked, they both took their time with strikes, but Arlovski got the better of the exchanges darting slightly in and out of boxing range, even mixing up elbows and another short back fist. It was an uppercut that ended this contest though, with Arlovski measuring Browne with the left hand, keeping it in Browne’s face so he never saw the uppercut coming that clipped Browne right on the chin forcing the referee to step in.

This contest was a great display of composure and smart striking by Arlovski, making his rangier opponent fight on the back foot and at the range Arlovski wanted. From the initial exchange that rocked Browne, he was never given time to recover and instead relied on winging punches, one of which was able to land and get a knock down, but the story of this fight was all about Arlovski picking his shots, and using diverse techniques to stay one step ahead of his heavily favoured foe.

Donald Cerrone def. John Makdessi via KO, round 2

Cerrone used the head kick early and often in this fight, ending many of his striking combinations and countering Makdessi’s strike with it. Makdessi being much shorter than Cerrone meant he had to jump in and out of ranges to land punches, making Cerrone’s counter head kick very effective as Makdessi jumped out of boxing range, he was still in Cerrone’s kicking range. This ended up giving Cerrone the win in this contest, after a short exchange, Cerrone finished his combo with a leg kick followed by a head kick catching Makdessi on the chin as he strafed out of boxing range, breaking his jaw and forcing him to concede defeat.

This contest showed the importance of using range and your opponent’s disadvantages to their detriment. Cerrone knew there was a range that was close enough for him to land kicks, but far away enough for Makdessi to not be able to land any strikes. By using this range throughout the contest and wearing down Makdessi, Cerrone was able to capitalize on it when needed and finish the fight.

Chris Weidman def. Vitor Belfort via KO, round 1

After getting the worse of the exchanges on the feet, Weidman scored a beautiful double leg takedown and landed in side control. After failing to advance his position thanks to Belfort’s tight guard, Weidman was able to posture up easily and land some strikes. Because he was unable to control Weidman’s posture, Belfort ate some huge strikes  forcing him to defend with his arms and forget about keeping his guard tight, allowing Weidman to slip his leg out and obtain full mount.

Vitor attempted to improve his position on the bottom, giving up his back at one point, then rolling back into full mount, all while Weidman hammered Belfort’s head with punches. Weidman kept his hips heavy on Belfort negating any of Vitor’s attempts to buck him off top position and rained consistent and heavy strikes on Belfort. In a last ditch attempt, Vitor began returning strikes from the bottom position, but eventually conceded to cover up and forced the referee to stop the contest.

This finished showed how a simple attacking plan can sometimes be the best with, Weidman not trying anything fancy, just keeping his body weight on Vitor’s chest and consistently blasting his opponent in the face with punches and wearing him out. With the amount of power that Weidman possesses, no man in the middleweight division would be able to survive a full mount onslaught for a whole round and Vitor was no exception to this rule. Vitor showed a lack of ground defense, surprising when he knew how good of a wrestler Weidman was, and it was assumed he would end up on his back at some point in this fight, and he simply had no answer for the punishing ground and pound of the champion.

Daniel Cormier def. Anthony Johnson via rear naked choke, round 3

Cormier’s suffocating wrestling was the story of this fight, with Cormier wearing out Johnson in the first and second round and capitalizing on it in the third.

The ending came with an attempted takedown from Cormier that forced Johnson to his knees to defend.  Cormier was then able to sneak from underneath the exhausted Johnson and take his back. Johnson was able to defend with a sloppy takedown attempt of his own, which was easily stuffed by Cormier who span around Johnson and again took his back.

Cormier then used his wrestling experience here, keeping his stomach on Johnson’s back, making Anthony carry his weight and wear him out even more. With this weight on his back, Johnson kept both his hands on the mat to stabilize himself, but this gave him no defense when Cormier went for his throat, allowing Cormier to lock in a rear naked choke. During the choke, Cormier kept his body very compact, instead of the usual practice of elongating yourself and stretching out your opponent’s body. By keeping himself curled up and fully on Johnsons back, he forced Johnson to continue to carry his weight throughout the submission attempt, again forcing Johnson to keep his arms on the mat for stability and not defend the choke. This impeccable wrestling intelligence is something that comes from being a wrestler at the highest level, and it is just something no man in the UFC can compare to. Johnson just had no answer for Cormier’s energy draining grappling, and in the end, Johnson’s cardio ran out and he was unable to survive the submission attempt.

 

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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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Fight Announcements

Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando

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The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.

It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.

Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.

In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.

Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.

In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.

UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

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Fight Announcements

Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.

Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.

First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)

Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.

Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.

Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.

In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.

UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira

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