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UFC 212: Aldo vs Holloway


wandshogun09
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Where's Jose Waldo? In Rio on June 3rd, we hope.

 

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PPV MAIN CARD
Jose Aldo vs Max Holloway - Featherweight Title

Claudia Gadelha vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz 

Vitor Belfort vs Nate Marquardt 

Oluwale Bamgbose vs Paulo Borrachinha

Erick Silva vs Yancy Medeiros 
 

FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS
Raphael Assuncao vs Marlon Moraes 

Antonio Carlos Junior vs Eric Spicely 

Johnny Eduardo vs Matthew Lopez 

Iuri Alcantara vs Brian Kelleher 

 

FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Viviane Pereira vs Jamie Moyle

Luan Chagas vs Jim Wallhead

Marco Beltran vs Deiveson Figueiredo 

 

It's nowhere near as stacked as 211 was but I like most of what's there. 

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Aldo vs Holloway should be amazing. Post-McGregor, the 145 division has been a little bit of a mess. It's rolled on nicely with some tremendous stuff going on - Swanson vs Superboy, return of Korean Zombie etc - but the title picture has been in limbo since McGregor vacated it. Now we'll finally get that settled.

I don't like interim titles at the best of times, unless they're absolutely necessary. And this one didn't feel necessary. Aldo won the title again at UFC 200, with a dominant and really impressive performance against Frankie Edgar. Then Holloway beat Anthony Pettis at UFC 206 to become interim champion. This was just 5 months after Aldo won the title. Unnecessary. They could've booked this fight with no titles and I'd still be counting the days for it. But that's the UFC in 2017. Almost everything has to be for a title. 

Regardless, this is a hell of a fight. Two of the best strikers in the game and both also have great ground games that we barely see. Aldo showed against Edgar that he's far from done and still has plenty in the tank. And Holloway's been on the rise for a long time and it really feels like it's his time now. He's grown into a true championship level fighter. 

I don't have a strong feeling one way or another how this one's going. As incredible as Holloway's looked with this 3 year winning streak, Aldo is a massive test on a higher level than the guys Holloway's beaten. But at the same time he's looked so good that I wouldn't be surprised if he pulls it off either. It doesn't get any more high level than this. 

 

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Gadelha vs Kowalkiewicz is a fight I really like the sound of too. This could easily be a number one contenders fight, despite both coming up short in title fights fairly recently. These two both gave Joanna Jedrzejczyk probably her toughest title defences. I see these two as the definite #2 and #3 in the division. I just don't know which order I'd put them in. And that's what we'll find out here. It's a battle for the silver medal at 115, I guess. It's a great fight on paper though. I'm interested to see how Kowalkiewicz deals with a strong grappler like Gadelha.  

 

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Belfort vs Marquardt would've been a legit title eliminator in 2009. Today it's a battle between two worn out old vets. Still should be fun though. They both have a few slugs left in the chamber. And this is supposed to be Belfort's retirement fight so the Brazilians are going to be loud for this one. Belfort's one of the most loved fighters ever in Brazil. It's been a long road. I like Marquardt but it'd be cool to see a vintage Vitor KO here in his last fight on home soil. 

 

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Silva vs Medeiros is down as the PPV opener at the minute. I like it. An explosive Brazilian vs a scrappy Hawaiian. Erick Silva is so inconsistent but he's usually good for an exciting fight. He's coming off his first win in a while, a submission over Luan Chagas in September. Medeiros is kind of the same, he'll win one then lose one. But he's generally pretty fun to watch. Lanky fucker with decent striking and good submissions. I'm hoping Silva wins this one and finds a bit of consistency. He was looking like he had huge potential at one point then it all fizzled out. 

 

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Assuncao vs Moraes is ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. Very intrigued by this one. I've been a fan of Marlon Moraes since I first saw him fight in WSOF a few years ago. He's 29 with an 18-4-1 record and hasn't lost since 2011. He was the WSOF bantamweight champ and never lost the belt. He hasn't been beating household names or anything but he's been doing about as well as you can outside the UFC. If I could've chosen say 5 fighters out there to bring into the UFC, Moraes would be on that list no question. So they sign him and they're not fucking about. He's straight in the deep end with Raphael Assuncao! A guy who's been on the fringes of title contention forever. This is a real test. If there's any octagon jitters at all, fighting a crafty and seasoned veteran like Assuncao in your UFC debut is NOT where you want to be. It's a baptism of fire but I like this a lot. No pissing about, let's see what Moraes can do against top level UFC guys. Assuncao only really loses to champions and top contenders so if Moraes can beat him in his debut that's a big statement made right out the gate. 

 

There's not really that much of note on the rest of the card for me. It's a shame the Anderson Silva plans fell through because he'd have certainly added that extra kick to this card. Especially if they'd have got that rematch with Belfort sorted. Oh well. 

There's fighters I like sprinkled lower down the card, but they're not really in matchups that particularly grab me. I like Iuri Alcantara and Shoeface. The Bamgbose vs Borrachinha fight on the main card could be fireworks as well from the little I've seen of Borrachinha. It's not a bad looking show. The top 3 fights and Assuncao vs Moraes are where it's at for me. Anything good on the undercard will be a bonus. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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The Silva withdrawal has definitely hurt it, sadly (star power wise, anyway).

Fight-by-fight, it's a solid card that should be a good watch, but you can make the argument, while the main event is strong, the actual overall card is the weakest PPV they've put on in sometime, certainly this year.

Edited by ColinBollocks
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I think it's better than 208 and maybe 209 too once Khabib-Ferguson fell out. I'm more into Aldo vs Holloway than I was Woodley vs Thompson 2 or anything on 208. 

Its definitely not what I'd call stacked but there's enough on there to have me looking forward to it. And again, I think Aldo vs Holloway is one of the best fights currently on the schedule for this year. I'm pretty much dead on 50/50 for that one and I think the way they match up it could be something special. 

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Aldo vs. Holloway should be explosive, it's nice to see Aldo against a fresh opponent. He's had a couple of fights with Edgar, a couple of fights with Mendes and just the 14 seconds against Conor, but the whole deal consumed a year of his life in general. Holloway poses an interesting challenge too. Aldo goes from short wrestlers with not a great reach, to a lanky bastard with fluid striking and underrated submissions. Not sure the last time Aldo's had to deal with someone with those kind of physical attributes and skills.

Gadelha vs Kowalkiewicz should be a great strawweight fight, don't know if the winner gets Joanna given there's a new challenger in Thug Rose waiting in the wings.

Erick Silva vs. Yancy Medeiros should be chaos.

The rest, I'm lukewarm on. Fair few names I don't know in all honesty.

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yeh i like the look of this, the main event is going to be a classic. 

Really looking forward to the debut of Moraes, there's no way that fight disappoints like the Branch fight (WSOF Champs coming over). I'd liked to seen that fight on the PPV. 

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The main event will draw little to fuck all in terms of buys, but it's an absolutely fascinating fight. We will finally find out truly where Holloway stands right now as a fighter. He's looked amazing against the fighters he's beaten in the lead up to this fight, but the last stepping stone is facing 1 of the 3 elite fighters of the featherweight division.

He's yet to face Aldo, Edgar or Mendes throughout his run and I can't wait to see where Max stands against these guys. 

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He's without question top 5, he's beaten a top 5'er in RIcardo Lamas to warrant that tag. As I said though, he's yet to beat the true elite of the division in Edgar, Aldo and a pre banned Mendes which is why I said we will truly see where Holloway stands after this fight.

 

Edited by lambyUK
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I think Mendes might have peaked already, to be honest.

I think that stretch where he fought Jose Aldo, Ricardo Lamas, Conor McGregor and Frankie Edgar consecutively might've left him less than what he was before that. Looking back at those four fights, the only one that went great for him was the Lamas one. He won that one quick by KO. But the other 3 fights...jeez. 5 rounds of absolute war with Aldo, the McGregor fight he got stopped and took a lot of punishment leading up to that and then Edgar slept him inside a round. That's a lot of damage in a relatively short time frame. And the fact that Edgar was able to whack him out of there with such ease might've been an indicator that his punch resistance is going. I love Frankie but he never been a hitter like that, has he? I know it can happen (Bisping/Rockhold 2) but when you look at the shots Mendes took in the Aldo and McGregor fights, it's hard not to think he might've been damaged goods by the time Frankie clobbered him. 

I think Max is top 3 now, to be honest. Just by default in that McGregor's no longer in the division and Mendes is suspended and lost 3 of his last 4. Holloway has looked on point for about a good 3 years straight now. The way he dismantled the likes of Pettis and Swanson was beautiful. As was his dominations of Lamas and Stephens. As it stands today, I think Aldo, Edgar and Holloway are the nailed on top 3 featherweights in the world. Holloway now has to prove where he stands in that pecking order. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fuck me, this is this weekend.  Barely heard a peep about it.  I reckon the title bout is going to be epic, I'm leaning towards Aldo home win.  Anything else on the card jumping out at anyone?  I know you mentioned Marlon Moraes on the prelims wand mate, any other sleepers? The co-main is pretty weak. Alcantara vs Kelleher could be fun? 

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2 hours ago, OzExile said:

Fuck me, this is this weekend.  Barely heard a peep about it.  I reckon the title bout is going to be epic, I'm leaning towards Aldo home win.  Anything else on the card jumping out at anyone?  I know you mentioned Marlon Moraes on the prelims wand mate, any other sleepers? The co-main is pretty weak. Alcantara vs Kelleher could be fun? 

I like Bamgbose vs Borrachinha myself. Look out for that one. There's a reason that's on the main card despite neither of them being well known. And that's because it's likely to be short, wild and violent. Like my wife. 

Bamgbose is 6-2, Borrachinha is unbeaten at 9-0. All of their combined wins have come in the first round. Nearly all of them by KO. Borrachinha looks huge for 185 and he's powerful but he might a bit one dimensional in his striking, whereas Bamgbose has a much more varied and unorthodox striking style. It's probably not lasting long and it's probably ending with one of them laid out. 

So yeah, looking forward to that one. 

Elsewhere, I'll be surprised if Erick Silva vs Yancy Medeiros isn't fun. Again, that's not on the PPV by accident. Silva's gone massively off the boil, from hot prospect to just some fucker, but he's consistently exciting to watch. That's never changed win or lose. And Medeiros is the kind of opponent that such match up really well with him. Good striking, good BJJ, lanky, tough Hawaiian and Diaz teammate. 

Even Shoeface vs Spicely should be a solid fight. If you like grappling this should scratch that itch for you. Shoeface has fantastic BJJ. Spicely is no slouch there either (submitted Thiago Santos recently) but Junior is on another level. 

Then you've got a Brit on the Fight Pass bit, with Jim Wallhead trying to net his first octagon win. 

Assuncao vs Moraes was my ONE TO WATCH for the reasons in the OP and I'm sticking with that. Great fight. 

And all that's without even touching the top 3 fights. I think Gadelha vs Kowalkiewicz in particular is really being overlooked. That's a hell of a fight between what I believe are the silver and bronze strawweights behind Joanna's gold. Then you've got the last legs fight of Belfort vs Marquardt, which would've been way better 7-8 years ago but still should be enjoyable now. Belfort's dropped the idea of retiring and is hinting at going to Bellator after this as well. 

Fuck, I've pretty much done another preview post there. But it is a good card this. It's not going to be a blockbuster but who cares? They can't all be. It's chock full of interesting and exciting matchups. 

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yeh Moraes is the highlight outside of the main card. I'll tune in for Wallhead too, i just hope he puts his foot on the gas and tries to mix his game up a bit. He always gets stuck in long, drawn kickboxing matches.

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Ooh, Borrachinha's that Brazilian dude that absolutely merked his opponent inside of about a minute in his Octagon debut a couple of months ago, right? He stood out massively to me in the virtual sea of prelim fighters we have these days, both due to his violence and aggression, and also how wrong I was in my predictions league, picking against him because I had never heard of him. Had I been aware of his record and fighting style, no way would I be so foolish. It'll be interesting to see how he responds to a more experienced, well rounded fighter- typically explosive fighters like him don't have a great gas tank and get exposed that way. My interest in this card just went way up in recognising that name.

Got a little wager on Holloway, Gadelha and Marquardt in the top 3 fights. Holloway's proved himself to be the real deal, gaining so much experience in the Octagon at such a young age. I don't know if he'll finish Aldo, but I just see his style and frame giving Aldo fits. As I said before, Aldo hasn't had to deal with someone like that in the UFC.

I can't pick against Claudia when she's only lost to Joanna (and looked damn good even in defeat). Even though she's 0-2, I'd love to see a trilogy happen with the champ. Kowalkiewicz should make it a very competitive, entertaining fight though.

Belfort vs. Marquardt is a fight I would have loved years ago, now I'm not too fussed. I think Nate has a bit more in him though- to say Vitor's been shot since coming off TRT would be the understatement of the year. Marquardt has that demolition job of Tamdan McCrory to his recent credit. Could honestly see him finishing Vitor, whereas I probably would have picked The Phenom with little hesitation in 2009-2010. Always liked Nate, so I'm hoping for the big finish.

Looking at it now, that main card should be very good and I'm getting a little excited for it. Helps that I got the result I wanted in tonight's State of Origin rugby league game, so that'll cover the PPV cost. :D 

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It may not be the biggest card as name value goes, but most of the fights on it look very exciting and I'm expecting a good show. The main event could easily be a Fight Of The Year candidate.

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