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.
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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