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UFC Fight Night: Almeida vs Garbrandt - Sun May 29th


Who wins and how?   

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Might as well let the old Fight Night mega thread die after the Overeem vs Arlovski show tonight. I want to get talking about this one as it's a cracking looking card that's been kind of sneaking up on us.


Another fucking Sunday Fight Night though.





Thomas Almeida vs Cody Garbrandt

Renan Barao vs Jeremy Stephens

Tarec Saffiedine vs Rick Story

Chris Camozzi vs Vitor Miranda

Jorge Masvidal vs Lorenz Larkin

Josh Burkman vs Paul Felder



Sara McMann vs Jessica Eye

Abel Trujillo vs Jordan Rinaldi

Jake Collier vs Alberto Uda

Erik Koch vs Shane Campbell



Aljamain Sterling vs Bryan Caraway

Chris De La Rocha vs Adam Milstead




Almeida vs Garbrandt is an excellent main event between two undefeated rising prospects. It's become quite rare these days that you see two young undefeated fighters pitted against each other. And these are two who have had a fair bit of hype around them.


Thomas Almeida is 24 years old fighting out of the legendary Chute Boxe academy in Brazil. He has a perfect 21-0 record with 19 finishes. He's a lethal striker and he's not afraid to throw flying knees and spinning attacks. He's also a BJJ brown-belt so he's well rounded. He's still in that fearless, almost reckless, stage at the moment where he often gets into brawls leaving himself vulnerable (see the first round of the Pickett fight at UFC 189) but it makes him a wildly entertaining fighter to watch.


Garbrandt is also 24 years old and fights out of Team Alpha Male in California. He's 8-0 with 7 knockouts. He's looked good so far but hasn't really been tested against anyone that good yet. No knock on him, he's only 8 fights into his career. This will be by far his toughest test to date.


I'm hoping Almeida smashes him though. Almeida's fucking great to watch and Garbrandt comes off as a bit of a dick to me.


I like this fight a lot though. I get building guys up but every now and then I like to see them just throw two unbeaten fighters in there and see what happens.


Someone's 0's gotta go. Well, unless it's a draw, obviously.




Barao vs Stephens is the co-main. Barao's finally going up to featherweight and knocking the foolish and dangerous cut to 135 on the head. I really like Barao and it was so shit seeing him continually killing himself to boil down to bantamweight. As great as he was at 135, it became clear with all his issues making the weight, that he just shouldn't be in that division anymore.


I'm glad he's taken time out as well. He hasn't fought since last July, when he lost for the second time to Dillashaw. He was brutally stopped that night and that combined with his bad weight cuts...he probably needed a break. Win or lose here, going up to 145 is the right move.


He's got a tough featherweight debut though. Jeremy Stephens is nobodies warm up fight. He might just be the hardest hitting featherweight on the roster for pure raw punching power. And he's looked pretty fucking good at 145 so far. His jumping knee KO on Dennis Bermudez last year was one of the best knockouts in years IMO.


Should be a really good fight this.




Saffiedine vs Story is another solid fight. Bit of a sleeper for FOTN, I reckon. Saffiedine's a really good technical striker. He's one of the best leg kickers in the sport. It's not like Aldo's or Barboza's leg kicks where they swing their leg like a baseball bat and just smash your legs to bits. With Saffiedine it seems to be more just about accuracy and repeatedly hitting the exact same spot until the leg is useless. I'll never forget the way he took Nate Marquardt apart with leg kicks.


Rick Story is a beast though. He runs hot and cold but when he's on he can give pretty much anyone in the division a rough night. He was the first man to beat Johny Hendricks, he was the first man to beat Gunnar Nelson, he beat Thiago Alves. He's a powerhouse with solid grappling and heavy hands. And as you can see in the picture there, he has no eyes. Biggest overachiever in the game.




Camozzi vs Miranda is a fight few will probably be arsed about but give it a chance. These two are well matched, I think. Camozzi is usually in decent scraps, he's tough and often gets into brawly type fights. I struggle to take him seriously because of his John Travolta face but he's granite tough. And Miranda is the technician, he's a seasoned striker with K-1 experience.




Masvidal vs Larkin is yet another excellent bit of matchmaking. Can't go wrong with this. Masvidal is a fucking twat. 'Gamebred'. Never liked him but he's a skilled fighter, no denying that. I could never really get into his fights though because, despite his tough guy talk, he'd always seem to do the bare minimum to win his fights. He's looked better since moving up to 170 though. And I love Larkin. His striking is just a joy to watch. I think he's the only MMA fighter I've ever seen bust out the old Andy Hug spinning back kick to the leg. I hope Larkin wins this but like a lot of the fights on this card, it's a tossup prediction wise to me.




It was a bit of a tough choice as there's a lot of quality fights on this card, but Burkman vs Felder is ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. This is going to be fantastic, isn't it? Burkman has been so much fun to watch in this UFC stint. He hasn't had the results go his way a lot of the time but the fights themselves (especially the Stun Gun and Cote ones) have been bags of fun. And throwing him in with Felder is genius. Burkman's aggression and toughness vs Felder's wacky spinning shit offence is a win.


Prelims look decent as well.




Speaking of looking decent...there's something about that Jessica Eye :love:


With that out of the way, McMann vs Eye is a good fight between two women who are at a bit of a crossroads in their careers. They both seem to be just aimlessly bouncing around at the moment. McMann's an Olympic silver medalist wrestler but she just hasn't been able to put everything together in her MMA game. It's a shame because she's been through some horrible shit (brother was murdered, boyfriend died in a car crash), I've always hoped this MMA thing would click at some point for her but it doesn't seem like it will. I still think Eye can get herself into contention. I've always rated her and she's one of the better strikers in the division but, like McMann, she doesn't seem to quite have all her bases covered as far as all around MMA skills go. Bit of a weird fight. They're both stronger where the other is weaker so fuck knows how it plays out.




Trujillo vs Ferreira again is a great fight on paper. This was my other pick as one to keep an eye on. Trujillo's an animal. Muscles on top of muscles and one of the most explosive 155ers in the UFC. He looks like a walking PED factory. Not accusing him, it's based purely on jealousy on my part that I'll never have a physique anything close to his. But yeah, it wouldn't exactly shock me if his piss glows in the dark. He also seems a right cock. And Ferreira is likable as fuck. So I'm fully on the Ferreira bandwagon for this one. It's a big ask but if he can weather the storm and Trujillo starts to fade, Ferreira could shock him with his BJJ. More likely a Trujillo KO though :/


And on Fight Pass...




Sterling vs Caraway is an interesting little fight. Love to see Funkmaster Sterling make a highlight reel out of Miesha Tate's bag carrier. Caraway's a slimy little turd. Just look at him. Sterling looking like he based his look on Eddie Murphy in Coming To America wipes the floor with Mr Tate and his lime Primark shirt. Seriously, I've come to like Sterling a lot. He's getting better and better in the cage and I like him being more outspoken recently when he was leveraging the Bellator offer. Plus he's a Serra-Longo guy. Hopefully he remains undefeated here. Of all people, I'd hate to see Caraway be the one to end the Sterling Streak.


Oh and Erik Koch is back. If anyone cares. Thought not. The only interest I have in him is what shade of pink his face will be this time. He looked like my bellend last time I saw him.


I'm loving the look of this card. There's a bunch of really interesting and tough to call fights on there, a few undefeated fighters, a few dickheads to root against. All good stuff.

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Well this is tomorrow night, for those that forgot (seemingly everyone, including me!). Sunday night card but with it being a bank holiday weekend that's fine by me this time.


This is a really strong card on paper. It mightn't be big on names or hype but it's choc-full of quality. I expect it to be really fun to watch.

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yeh, not a lot of chat for this one :laugh: this card is lacking big names, but fight for fight this can't fail to be one of the best shows of the year surely. Anyone been following Garbrandt in the MMA news this week? there was talk of him nearly fighting Almeida's team in hotel, tensions be high.


There's some good little hype videos over on the ufc youtube channel if you're interested.

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Garbrandt seems to have a bit of a temper. Every time I see him he looks like he's chewing a wasp. Plus it didn't take much to get him kicking off at Conor McGregor during the McGregor vs Faber TUF. He's an angry young man, that one. Although I don't know why, considering he was (and could still be for all I know) shagging Paige VanZant! Seriously, he's got fuck all to be angry about.


Saying that, Almeida's a Chute Boxe fighter so I'm guessing it wouldn't have taken much from Garbrandt and those guys would be all up in his grill like George Foreman.

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Yeah, Chute Boxe thrive on intimidation. Or at least they did in the heyday in Pride when the camp had Wanderlei, Shogun, Ninja, Anderson etc. It's no coincidence that all the feuds between gyms back then seemed to involve those guys - Chute Boxe vs Brazilian Top Team, Chute Boxe vs Hammer House. They could have a ruck in an empty room back then.


This picture is a classic...




It's like something from an NWA video. Straight Outta Curitiba.

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Who's the guy to the right of Shogun? (Your right, not Shogun's).


From left to right I've got - Rudimar Fedrigo, Ninja Rua, Wanderlei Silva, Shogun Rua, ??? and Jose Pele Landi-Jons.


Edit - actually, is it Elvis Schembri?

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Didn't see a win for Garbrandt by knockout coming! Fair play to him, he looked a bit reckless and willing to take a shot in places but had great movement and clearly has KO power.


Why was the arena so empty? I thought I was accidentally watching the prelims when Burkman / Felder came on. There was nobody there!

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For me the card looked better on paper and we didn't really get a really good fight when I was expecting at least 2 or 3. Nearly all the guys I wanted to win, lost as well. We got a great performance from Cody that should rocket him towards the title picture, it's just a pity he is so dislikeable. Still, he has two ready-made feuds in the top five with TJ Dillashaw and Dominic Cruz. 

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Garbrandt looked like a monster. One of the cool aspects of MMA is seeing fighters improve and Garbrandt seems to be coming along at a frightening speed. Still only 24 too, which is pretty mental.


I didn't mind the rest of the show, but I can see why folk were underwhelmed given it's promise. 5 decisions and that.

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Garbrandt shocked the shit out of me. And Almeida, I'm guessing. Considering Garbrandt looked fairly lacklustre against fucking Henry Briones less than a year ago, he looked phenomenal here. Of the two, I always thought Almeida was the hotter prospect. He could still go on to be the bigger success, they're both still young. But fuck, I didn't expect to see Cody stop him in a round. This was by far Cody's biggest test to date and he rose to the occasion big time.

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