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.
*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)
Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando
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.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) December 14, 2017
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.
Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem
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.)
EXCLUSIVE: My sources tell me that Eryk Anders (@erykanders) has gotten his wish. He'll headline UFC Fight Night: Belem against Lyoto Machida (@lyotomachidafw) in Brazil. Ask and you shall receive. #UFC pic.twitter.com/qX62A9qH6k
— The MMA Kings (Nolan King) (@mma_kings) December 14, 2017
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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