It is not hyperbole to say UFC 189 may have delivered the greatest night of fights in MMA history. Each fight delivered war after war with every main card fight seeing a finish inside the distance. To top it all off, the two title fights gave us a front runner for fight of the year and the proper coronation of the UFC’s biggest star today. Giving out grades to the fighters involved will no doubt be a tough task, but one we will attempt none the less.
Thomas Almeida defeated Brad Pickett via 2nd round KO
Thomas Almeida – B+
If you were just grading the finish it would be a no brainer A+, but the way Pickett was tagging Almeida early lowers his final grade to a B+. Pickett is on the downside of his career yet he was able to land shot after shot on the Brazilian prospect in the 1st round. He may not be able to overcome those strikes against higher quality competition. All that being said he was able to get the highlight finish and showed some perseverance in the process.
Brad Pickett – B
Coming into this bout Pickett was the biggest underdog on the entire card according to Vegas. Pickett must have missed the memo. He scored two knockdowns in the 1st round and appeared to be up on the scorecards going into the 2nd frame. He then fell victim to what very well could be the KO of the year. He outperformed what was expected of him in this fight and for that he earns a solid B grade.
Gunner Nelson defeated Brandon Thatch via 1st round SUB
Gunner Nelson – A
Many expected Nelson to be in big trouble if he could not get this fight to the mat. He eventually did get his opponent down, but it was not by the method many predicted. He floored Thatch with a great two punch combo and immediately went to work with his high level grappling from there. He was able to pass guard almost at will until he eventually took Thatch’s back. From there he was able to lock in a body triangle and softened his opponent up with strikes until Thatch gave up his neck. Gunner quickly snatched the opportunity and got the rear naked choke victory. Quite a way to bounce back from his first career loss.
Brandon Thatch – D+
Brandon Thatch came into this fight seeming to have a massive advantage in the striking department. That quickly turned out not to be the case when he was knocked down by Nelson where it became inevitable what would transpire from there. The Denver native was able to land some solid leg kicks before the knockdown, but very little went right for Thatch on Saturday night.
Jeremy Stephens defeated Dennis Bermudez via 3rd round TKO
Jeremy Stephens – C+
Stephens and Bermudez had the misfortune of being on the same card as Lawler MacDonald or they very well may have gone home with the fight of the night bonus. It was a back and forth affair which ended with a beautiful flying knee from Stephens. So why the low grade for Lil’ Heathen? He failed to make weight. Not only did he miss weight, but he did so by over 4 pounds! That is simply inexcusable and it shows a lack of professionalism and respect for his opponent.
Dennis Bermudez – C+
Bermudez seemed to be in good shape heading into the final stanza of the fight. What he did not plan on was that brutal fight ending knee Stephens landed. Prior to the knee, Bermudez was doing a good job mixing his striking and takedowns and had a real chance to come away from this fight victorious. He came off of TUF 14 and reeled off 7 UFC wins in a row. He now has followed up that run with two straight losses and will have to make some changes if he is to ever enter the top echelon of UFC featherweights.
Robbie Lawler defeated Rory MacDonald via 5th round TKO
Robbie Lawler – A
Ladies and gentleman, Robbie Lawler is an absolute savage! He started the fight out strong winning the first two rounds on my scorecard, but looked to be in trouble in both the 3rd and 4th rounds. He looked to be badly hurt in those later rounds, but showed just how tough he was by surviving for a crucial final round. Eventually he was able to land that last crippling blow to MacDonald’s shattered nose in the 5th round to come away with the victory in one of the most exciting fights in UFC history.
Rory MacDonald – B+
Rory was able to come back from losing the first two rounds and force a fight deciding 5th round. Unfortunately for him the accumulative damage he suffered in the bout was just too much to handle. He took a big punch to his already destroyed nose and crumbled to the ground in agony and was unable to continue. Throughout the fight he had Robbie hurt and seemed close to finishing him on a couple different occasions. That coupled with being part of one of the most exciting fights in UFC history will earn you a B+ even in a losing effort.
Conor McGregor defeated Chad Mendes via 2nd round TKO
Conor McGregor – B+
McGregor silenced critics who pointed at his lack of competition prior to his title fight. In the end he had to get through what may have been the worst style matchup for him in the entire division. While this was not his typical dominant fight we have come to see from the Irishman, he may have shown something much more important. He was able to come back from adversity and scored a huge knockout over a big name. Who knows, maybe with a full training camp focused on Mendes he stuffs some of the takedowns and wins in even more convincing fashion? That lack of takedown defense and the number of punches he absorbed is what prevents him from cracking into grade A territory here.
Chad Mendes – B
Mendes looked to be in control throughout the first two rounds. His takedowns were being finished at will and Conor’s only defense seemed to be asking the ref to stand them up. Instead of riding out another round on top he went for a finish which ended up being his downfall. Once Mendes was back on his feet he seemed to be exhausted and was just unable to withstand McGregor’s final assault. It is very uncharacteristic for Mendes to gas like that and maybe that is attributed to the lack of training camp he had for this fight. One may also point to the number of body shots Conor landed for his sapped gas tank. We will never know, but Mendes did enough in this fight to warrant another crack at McGregor somewhere down the line when both are fully prepared. He lost on twelve days notice and it is hard to penalize him much for that.
Follow @MMALatestNws on twitter and let us know how you graded the UFC 189 competitors.
5 Things We Learned from UFC on Fox 26: Lawler vs Dos Anjos
The UFC’s return to Winnipeg in over 4 years certainly did not disappoint the fans, as the card delivered just as it was expected with plenty of action packed fights.
Upset was in play often times for this card as on more than one occasion, the fans’ jaws dropped in shock and the predictions going into the fights were completely defied.
There are plenty of things to take away from this card, but what were the 5 biggest lessons learned here?
1. Rafael dos Anjos means business at welterweight
While Vegas odds may not have reflected it, dos Anjos had plenty of doubters coming into this fight on whether he could beat the top fighters in the welterweight division, his new found home. I’ll be the first to say, I didn’t think he’d be able to deal with Lawler’s power and size, considering that ‘Ruthless’ used to compete at middleweight, but he completely changed my perspective on what he brings to this division.
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With the mix of powerful leg kicks and crisp boxing, dos Anjos completely neutralized the former welterweight champion and took home a dominant victory, winning all five rounds of the fight.
Yes, Lawler was injured and barely moved for the last three rounds, but that should not discredit the masterful performance that dos Anjos had tonight. This only sets up a fight with the current champion Tyron Woodley now (unless Colby Covington gets it), and while Woodley is a whole different match up, it makes for an entertaining fight.
2. Robbie Lawler is still one of the toughest fighters on the roster
Despite both his legs looking like they were completely destroyed by the third round and him losing the fight, we once again saw the toughness and grit of Lawler to never give up.
While we don’t know how bad his injury was, when you see Lawler not moving much and standing still for three rounds straight, you know something is seriously hurting. He endured an unbelievable amount of punishment tonight but at the end was still standing pumping up the crowd. What a warrior.
3. Josh Emmett… the new force to be reckoned with at 145lbs?
Simply no words. It was easily the biggest shocker of the night and maybe even upset of the year. Stepping in on relatively short notice for Jose Aldo, Emmett was counted out in this fight on paper against the former title challenger Ricardo Lamas, and weighing in at 148.5lbs on the scale didn’t help convincing the fans.
But it definitely didn’t matter as he delivered a left hook from hell, sleeping Lamas at the end of the first round, sending a shock to the entire division and rising as a new threat to everyone in top 10. He said that his goal here was to shock the world, and shock the world he did. With this performance, Emmett immediately rises to a position where he now only needs one or two more significant wins from a possible title shot.
4. Mike Perry needs some time to develop into a title contender
Despite showing an unbelievable toughness in a three-round war against Santiago Ponzinibbio, Perry was unable to back up his words before the fight, losing via unanimous decision.
In a fight against a very tough opponent, Perry was once again exposed in a couple of areas as he was against Alan Jouban on his endurance, as he showed signs of fatigue as the second round came around. At the age of 26, he still has plenty of time, but Perry will need to fill that massive hole in order to continue to rise the ladder in the extremely stacked welterweight division, or else he’ll run into some trouble sooner or later.
5. Glover Teixeira isn’t done just yet
This fight was an excellent example of advantages a veteran brings compared to a young and upcoming fighter. Teixeira, coming off that tough loss in Sweden against Alexander Gustafsson, was also doubted by many as he came in as the underdog against a rising prospect in Misha Cirkunov.
Teixeira was put in immediate trouble in the first round, getting tagged by Cirkunov multiple times and getting backed up against the cage, but was able to outsmart Cirkunov by dragging him down to the ground and eventually pounding him out. Teixeira seemed to have lost all momentum against Anthony Johnson, and even more so against Gustafsson, but this fight proved that he is not done just yet, and showed the difference in level between the top 5 and top 10 of the division.
*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results
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)
Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview
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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