Despite having a rather underwhelming undercard, UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Romero ended with 4 straight finishes that ultimately showed the importance of waiting for your opportunity and playing to your strengths to take out your foe.
Here is a look at all of Saturday night’s finishes and what we can learn from them.
Yoel Romero def. Lyoto Machida via KO round 3
Despite the ferocity and brutal end to this contest, there isnt much to be taken away from it. This finish showed just how effective immediate ground and pound off a takedown can be.
In many fights that go to the ground, there is a small pause immediately after a takedown where both fighters gather their thoughts, cement their positions, and figure out exactly what they need to do next, whether it be defensively or offensively. However, Saturday night’s main event did not have this pause. Immediately following a beautiful knee tap takedown from the clinch, Romero immediately started throwing short elbows as Machida attempted to clinch and control Yoel’s posture. The elbows immediately put Machida out and the fight was stopped.
Machida was unlucky in this fight as he looked to control posture rather than defend against strikes, which is a very smart thing to do, especially against a man with the wrestling pedigree of Romero. Yoel’s KO power was just too much for Machida and the moment the first few elbows landed Machida was too dazed to correctly defend himself and after a couple more he was completely unconscious.
Lorenz Larkin def. Santiago Ponzinibbio via KO round 2
The key to Larkin’s success at 170lbs comes down to one thing and that is speed.
In this contest, Larkin was one step ahead of Ponzinibbio throughout the fight, lading a variety of techniques before Ponzinibbio could have time to react. Larkin used footwork and angles to tire out Ponzinibbio and make his own pinpoint striking even more devastating.
The finish came after a short exchange with Larkin landing a huge elbow from the clinch. Ponzinibbio backed up and was greeted with a pair of hooks from Larkin dropping him. Larkin followed Ponzinibbio to the ground and did a great job of posturing up and putting everything into his strikes. Ponzinibbio was able to make it back to his feet but Larkin’s onslaught never relented and Herb Dean was forced to call off the contest as Ponzinibbio staggered against the fence.
Larkin’s speed, combinations and variety never let Ponzinibbio into the fight and he was never able to figure out the striking of Larkin showing us how using every aspect of the striking game can totally render your opponents defense useless.
Antonio Carlos Junior def. Eddie Gordon via submission rear naked choke round 3
This rear naked choke finish showed the difference between applying the submission in MMA versus straight jiu-jitsu, as after numerous attempts at setting up the choke earlier failed, Junior was finally able to lock the submission in due to strikes.
Junior had Gordon’s back and was threatening the rear naked choke for several minutes leading up to the finish, but Gordon used very good defense, hand fighting Junior to fend off any chance of the choke finish. After recognising this, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blackbelt Junior started throwing punches to Gordon, forcing Eddie to react to the strikes and stop hand fighting Junior, allowing Antonio to use the momentum from a punch to slide his arm underneath Gordon’s chin and secure the fight ending rear naked choke.
This finish showed how important strikes can be when setting up a submission. By adding in punches, this gave Gordon another aspect of offense to defend against meaning his submission defense suffered allowing Junior to take the submission win.
Thiago Santos def. Steve Bosse via KO round 1
This finish simply showed an elite kicker against an opponent with terrible hand placement and it was only a matter of time before Bosse paid for his defensive negligence with his consciousness.
Santos stayed out of Bosse’s punching range, but still in his own kicking range throughout this short fight, and used stance switches to confuse Bosse and keep him hesitant. Santos gauged Bosse’s defensive reactions by throwing a leg kick and a body kick and noticed Bosse’s lack of reaction speed and his commitment to keeping his hands low. Santos capitalized on this by throwing the same body kick he threw seconds earlier, but instead threw it high landing flush on Bosse’s temple putting him immediately out cold on the canvas.
There isnt much to take away from this one except just keeping to the basics of defense. When you are dealing in striking range, especially with someone with the kicks of Santos, you have to keep your hands up high and your reactions have to be on point. Kicks can be very hard to judge when they are coming at you and can be switched from a body kick to a head kick in mid-technique, so making sure you protect yourself is key to surviving against a kicker.
Tony Sims def. Steve Montgomery via KO, round 1
Being a boxer who was seriously outmatched in the height and length department, Sims did exactly what he needed to do in this fight, by staying either in a phone booth style close boxing range, or far out of the way of any striking techniques. Sims used the first part of the round to judge Montgomery’s timing and learn when and how he could dart in, land punches and dart back out before Montgomery had time to react.
The fight finish followed this range-playing perfectly, with Sims staying out of range after being rocked by a knee, but slowly creeping his way into range when he saw the opening and uncorking a picture perfect straight left dropping Montgomery and following up on the ground for a finish.
Sims showed perfect timing in this finish, being only in range when he needed to be and making every strike count, something that is vital on the grandest MMA stage and especially important when dealing with being the much smaller man in the cage.
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.
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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