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UFC Fairfax Finishes Analysis



UFC Fairfax saw its share of remarkable and unremarkable performances alike, but the three main card finishes showed some sensational technique and viciousness that we are going to breakdown for you right now.


Chad Mendes def. Ricardo Lamas – TKO, round 1, 2:45  

Fairfax’s main event saw two of the best featherweights in the world collide in Lamas and Mendes, but what was set to be an extremely competitive match-up, ended up rather one-sided for the former two-time title challenger, with Mendes delivering technical, yet brutal boxing skills for the finish.

Throughout the contest Mendes circled to the left constantly making Lamas move position and not set his feet and deliver the kicks he has shown to favour in the past.

Mendes used jabs early on to gauge Lamas’ reaction times and showed great cage control, keeping the centre of the octagon forcing Lamas to the outside. By keeping Lamas’ back towards the cage Mendes was able to close the distance easier and utilize his power and boxing.

Mendes caught Lamas with a right hand, as Lamas threw the same punch that dazed Ricardo. Chad followed up the knockdown quickly showing great killer instinct using uppercuts and knees to further hurt Lamas, who kept his head low to try to avoid shots.

Another beautiful short left hook put Lamas down again, but this time he was able to try to recover with a takedown attempt.

Mendes picked his shots well, and more importantly focused on defending the takedown first, bringing the fight back to its feet.

Lamas then still rocked fell to the mat, with Chad following up stuffing Ricardo’s head to the mat and making sure his feet were clear of any ankle picks before turning the corner to the back of Lamas landing numerous unanswered shots for the finish.

It was not only the power, but the technical defensive wrestling that gave Mendes the early win here, keeping his base well and defending Lamas’ counter wrestling allowed his to create openings and finish the fight.


Dustin Poirier def. Carlos Ferreira – KO, round 1, 3:45

Dustin Poirier’s return to lightweight couldn’t have looked better, as he stuck to his obvious game plan to keep his BJJ blackbelt opponent on his feet and deliver a vicious yet beautiful KO finish.

Poirier used textbook boxing throughout the fight, throwing nothing but straight shots down middle, cutting the guard of Ferreira, and beating him to the punch in every exchange, due to Carlos’ strange dedication to throwing looping hooks and kicks, despite his opponent’s success.

Poirier set up every combo with a jab or straight that proved just too quick for Ferreira, and mixing that up with beautiful stance switches and head movement, Poirier simply outclassed Ferreira on the feet.

Dustin knocked Ferreira down with a straight left counter to a hook attempt from Carlos, which the Brazilian attempted to recover from with a rather sloppy body lock takedown.

Poirier was able to recover top position from the takedown, and smartly moved his arms away from Ferreira’s dangerous guard and stood up where he had the clear advantage.

After the fight got back to its feet, Poirier stuck to his game plan, with his feet square underneath his shoulders, he walked Ferreira down landing a double straight left and then a shovel right uppercut to the bending down Brazilian knocking him down again.

Following him to the ground, Poirier learnt from the last knockdown, and this time threw Carlos’ guard to the side, landing punches from side control for the finish.

Poirier’s patience and technical boxing really brought home the win here, playing to hi striking advantage and showing maturity to finish the fight when it was safe for him to do so.


Juliana Pena def. Milana Dudieva – TKO, round 1, 3:59

Pena showed why she was so highly touted after winning The Ultimate Fighter with a barbaric display from full mount to pick up a first round finish over Milana Dudieva.

The finish of this fight saw Pena land a textbook single leg and step over straight to mount with no resistance from her opponent, as Dudieva held onto a headlock the whole time for an unknown reason.

On the ground, Pena had a good high mount and posture that negated any sweeps from the bottom and made it less likely for her to get bucked off mount.

Pena used great broken rhythm striking from mount, mixing up punches and elbows from different angles to keep Milana guessing and smothered, to negate any type of serious defense.

Pena then turned it on using hooks and power elbows to break through the guard of Dudieva and eventually wrapped up her opponents arm to deliver hammer fists and gain the stoppage in a totally one sided affair.

Pena showed that sheer aggression and sound defense can be enough for the finish, keeping her posture up and hips tight throughout her time in mount and landing relentless shots that Dudieva just couldn’t handle.

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Fighter to Watch

Exclusive: Mike Ekundayo, “He could come with anything, I don’t care”



In a little less than a week, Rise of Champions crowns its inaugural bantamweight champion. The crowning of the first 135 lb. champion marks the young promotions first champion. It makes sense why the promotion owned and operated by UK MMA star, Brad Pickett, and Team Titan head coach, Mickey Papas plan to crown the promotions first champion in the bantamweight division. Pickett competed in the division throughout his tenure with the WEC, and ultimately the entity which absorbed the light weight promotion, the UFC. Even more-so, two young and rising prospects of the division. One undefeated in his professional and amateur career, the other riding a seven consecutive victories, five by submission. The two meet February 17th, Mike Ekundayo puts his career unbeaten streak up against Jonas Magard’s at ROC 5, for the aforementioned, inaugural bantamweight championship.

Speaking to the undefeated Ekundayo before his fight, he believes this opportunity to be inevitable. Born in Hackney, (a borough of London) early in life, Ekundayo was no stranger to cramming his belongings into large cardboard boxes. At the age of 7, he moved from Hackney to Herne Hill, a district located in South London. Two years later he found himself in similar situation, moving from his vaguely new home in Herne Hill to Brixton. A road trip in the car to his new home, took approximately 5 minutes.

It is admittedly, not an easy life. In a harrowing article describing the horrors of gang life in London by the, former gang member turned community activist, made the claim, “When you are from Brixton, from Peckham, west London, anywhere in London, you are seeing hardship where a lot of communities can’t reach their full potential”.

In his own words, Ekundayo describes his home as, “not the best start to have in your life. It’s not the best upbringing”. But that couldn’t matter any less for him. Not only does the London resident consistently work to grow his potential, he gets to see it every day. His coaches Brad Pickett and Mickey Papas hold the knowledge as well as first-hand experience, increasing his limits with every session. “We’re all close”, speaking of his coaches and team. “My head coach is Mickey Papas, he’s very knowable in the game. He’s been around for a very long time. He teaches me a lot, I can learn a lot of stuff from Mickey Papas. Sometimes I just think, how does he know all of this? Where did he get this information from?”

He continued, “While I was coming up through amateur, Brad (Pickett) was still an active fighter, but nowadays he’s taken a coaching approach. So he’s coaching us prospects getting us to where he got to and further… He’s been through it all, gotten to the top, and stayed at the top”.

Further discussing his coach, “For UK MMA, you could definitely call Brad a legend. He’s done a lot in his career, and someone who I rate highly as an MMA fighter is Demetrious Johnson, and of course Brad has got a win over (him). I feel like just being surrounded by someone like Brad, you’re working towards the right things. When he passes information onto you, you respect it that bit more because of far he got in his career. He’s definitely given me the right guidance, I trust his guidance”.

When it comes to the upcoming title fight, confidence poured out from where praise and respect had once been. “I just think it’s my time, to be honest. I really do believe it’s my time for all of this. The work I put in, certain things become inevitable”, he said. “I actually called this after I won my third fight, I called for belts and big shows. I spoke it to existence”. He continued, “It’s my time to finally to get a strap of some sort. All the straps is what we’re going for, all of them. We’re going for every one”.

“Rise of Champions is my show… That’s how I feel when I’m performing on ROC, it’s just my show, it’s my time to shine. Everyone knows who there here to see, there not really there to see the other guys. It’s my time, it’s my show and I’m going to put on a show on February 17th and I’m going to win that belt”.

The infectious nature of his positive attitude was palpable. Although we only spoke through small rectangular devices, I could feel his energy in the room. His attitude shined brightest when talking about what it would mean to be the first ever ROC Bantamweight champion. Ekundayo claimed, “It just means a lot to have my first belt in anything to be honest… Within myself, I call myself a champion, every day. But now, other people would have to call me a champion because I’ve got a belt… And one thing I really want to do is, which sounds a bit weird, I just want to take the belt home to my area, to Brixton.”

“I just want to take it to my area, and just show the people of that area what hard work can achieve… I want to just take it to my people and show them that not for nothing, we are from Brixton, it’s not the best start to have in your life. It’s not the best upbringing but you can rise above it and you can achieve your goals and that’s what the belt will mean”.

When the conversation shifted to the topic of his opponent, Ekundayo had less encouraging words rolling off his tongue. Jonas Magard, the second half of the ROC 5 main event, holds a record of 7-4. Currently he owns a seven fight win streak after starting his career 1-3. Ekundayo thought, “He did fight quite decent guys in his three loses… but in the seven fight win streak, none of his opponents have been of caliber”.

He elaborated further, “What’s in my thoughts is more me, then it is of him. So, he could come with anything, I don’t care. I’m just focused on how I’m going to be picture perfect. How I’m going to paint a masterpiece, how I’m going to make it a beautifully perfect performance. That’s what my primary focus is on, so what he does to me is irrelevant, I’m just going to focus on how I’m going to be perfect on the night of February 17th”.

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UFC 222 Re-Worked with Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya, and Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega



UFC 222 has been saved, and it didn’t take a superhero to lift the burning boulder which was Max Holloway’s injury and withdrawal. All it took was a female named Cyborg and a man with a demeanor so smooth, he could be mistaken for an alter-ego. Cris Cyborg now serves as the UFC 222 main event when she defends her featherweight belt against Yana Kunitskaya. Frankie Edgar bumped down to the co-main event to face Brian Ortega in what is likely a title eliminator. The news of the UFC 222 revival originally stemmed from a report by and confirmed later in the evening by the UFC.

Over the course of the week, reports surrounded the Las Vegas card and whether it would survive. Multiple options were reportedly being mulled over; cancelling the card outright, changing the pay-per-view (PPV) to a ‘Fight Night’ with an Edgar vs. Ortega main event, Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2 main event, among others. Ultimately, the promotion landed on Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya as the new main event, while also booking Brian Ortega.

This adjustment of the card places their women’s Featherweight champion in the second PPV main event in three months. Cris Cyborg recently put her undisputed Featherweight title on the line against Holly Holm at the year ending card, UFC 219. She successfully defended her belt by unanimous decision, in what was an amazing technical display from the Brazilian. In her octagon career, Cyborg is undefeated in her four appearances with three KO/TKO stoppages.

The second half of the new main event, Yana Kunitskaya, makes her UFC debut against the scariest women on the roster. If the 145 lb. champion was not enough of a challenge, Kunitskaya also makes her first appearance in the division since defeating Cindy Dandois in December of 2010. Of Russia descent, her most recent performances came inside the Invicta FC cage. At the female-only promotion, she posted a record of 1-1, with 1 No Contest. Her loss and no contest, both came at the hands of former UFC Featherweight title challenger, Tonya Evinger.

Turning to the co-main event, both fighters have been relatively inactive but, for good reason. Brian Ortega amazingly forced perennial men’s Featherweight contender, Cub Swanson, to tap in the second round of their ‘Fight Night: Fresno’ contest. Ortega fought twice in 2017, but more-so stayed inactive following his stoppage victory over Swanson. The Californian contender announced his desire to wait in line for the next title shot following the recent victory.

For Frankie Edgar, his last fight took place at UFC 211 when he absolutely demolished young and rising star, Yair Rodriguez. A card which took place last May. While Ortega holds an undefeated record, Edgar is undefeated in his previous 9 fights, excluding people named Jose Aldo.

UFC 222 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 3rd.

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UFC Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker Announces Birth of Third Child



Times seem dull and dreary for the UFC’s Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker. The New Zealand born fighter withdrew from the promotions event debut in the eastern region of his residence, Australia. UFC 221, which takes place this Saturday, booked Whittaker to defend his title for the first time against former division champion, Luke Rockhold. His withdrawal was due to mistreatment of a serious staph infection inside of the Australians stomach.

It couldn’t get much worse, having to disappoint fans, and missing the first UFC event in eastern Australia. As it turns out, it could not get worse for Whittaker. Life only got better, as he had the pleasure of announcing the birth of his third child.

His new child is the champions third and first girl. Information regarding his child is limited as this moment is a tender and special time for the Whittaker family.

UFC 221 takes place in Perth, Australia at Perth Arena on February 11th. The cards main event features Whittakers short notice replacement, Yoel Romero taking on Luke Rockhold. Much to the satiety of fans, an interim belt is not in the equation in this instance.

Thank God. Excuse me, thank Dana White.

UFC 221 also features the ‘Super Samoan’ Mark Hunt vs. Curtis Blaydes, Tai Tuivasa faces Cyril Asker, Alexander Volkanovski vs. Jeremy Kennedy and more.

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