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UFC on FOX: Lawler vs Dos Anjos - Dec 16


wandshogun09
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December 16th. Winnipeg, Canada. Big FOX. This one looks fucking outstanding. 

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FOX MAIN CARD
Robbie Lawler vs Rafael Dos Anjos 

Ricardo Lamas vs Josh Emmett 

Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Mike Perry 

Glover Teixeira vs Misha Cirkunov

 

FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS
Jan Blachowicz vs Jared Cannonier 

Julian Marquez vs Darren Stewart 

Chad Laprise vs Galore Bofando

Tim Elliott vs Pietro Menga

John Makdessi vs Abel Trujillo

Oluwale Bamgbose vs Alessio Di Chirico

 

FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Jordan Mein vs Erick Silva

Nordine Taleb vs Danny Roberts 

 

Amazing. Top to bottom that's one of the best cards of the year, including the PPVs, for me. 

 

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Lawler vs Dos Anjos is probably going to be utter chaos. How can this be anything other than war? Two absolute savages going head to head. And they have 5 rounds, if they need that long. Can't wait for this. I'm split on it because I'm a huge fan of both and don't want to see either suffer a setback now but the pill is sweetened by the fact that it's got all the ingredients of the kind of spectacular fight where even the loser comes away with their stock raised. Both are in that rebuilding stage of their careers now after losses. Lawler bounced back from the loss to Woodley by beating Donald Cerrone in a great fight in July. And RDA this year has made a fresh start going up to welterweight and rattling off wins over Tarec Saffiedine and Neil Magny. Now they're in a position where this fight is likely a #1 contenders match. So a tremendous fight with potential title shot implications. If you're an MMA fan, you can't not love this one. 

 

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Ricardo Lamas, as I'm typing this, is still remaining on this card but is still without an opponent. He was originally scheduled to rematch Jose Aldo here but shit had to be reshuffled when Frankie Edgar pulled out of the Holloway fight. Any ideas who Lamas could face? If they had more time I could've seen them trying to slot Yair Rodriguez in here but I think it's probably for the best if they give Yair a chance to rebuild (after getting crushed by Edgar) rather than throwing him straight back in with the sharks. 

 

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Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Mike Perry stands out to me, even on a card as stacked as this one, so it's ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. Like the main event, I just can't envision anything other than mayhem out of this. Mike Perry, say what you want about his antics, just doesn't do dull. He's aggressive as fuck with serious venom in his punches. And Ponzinibbio is one of the better and more underrated strikers in the division, IMO. There's also the very real chance that the winner of this fights Darren Till as well. I could easily see the winner of this vs Till on the London show in March. That just books itself, doesn't it? Till has said he's down to fight either of them and I could swear he said recently that the UFC are flying him out to Winnipeg for this. It all lines up. 
 

 

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Glover Teixeira vs Misha Cirkunov should be a slobberknocker between 2 light heavyweight hosses. They're both on the rebound after bad losses too so they need to make a statement here. Glover got bashed up by Alexander Gustafsson in his last fight on the Sweden card in May. Cirkunov got KO'd by Volkan Oezdemir in 28 seconds on the same card. I like this matchup but I've got a bad feeling Glover is heading for the end of his career. As he showed against Gus, he's tough as shit. But he just has the look of a fighter on the way out to me. And Cirkunov is dangerous, younger and doesn't have nearly the miles on the clock that Glover does. Love to see Glover prove me wrong. 

 

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Laprise vs Bofando definitely has my interest. And it's nothing to do with Chad Laprise. This Galore Bofando guy is the reason. He popped up on the Scotland show in July making his UFC debut. I'd never heard of him before. He fought Conor McGregor's teammate Charlie Ward (the same McGregor teammate who was fighting on that Bellator show which Conor made a prat of himself on last week) and knocked him out cold by slamming him right on his fucking face...

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Can't have been fun for Ward, that. The fight only lasted 2 minutes but I saw enough of Bofando to have piqued my interest. From what I recall he had an unorthodox striking style, kind of a weird Kung Fu-ey stance and looked mega relaxed and composed in there. Not expecting anything huge from him but I liked what I saw in that first fight. 

 

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Elliott vs Scoggins should be non-stop and entertaining if these guys' past fights are anything to go on. Elliott's had a funny 12 months. It's kind of been forgotten now but last December he gave Mighty Mouse his hardest title defence to date. Went the 5 rounds with him and even gave him a couple of scares with some submission attempts. He followed that up with a win over Louis Smolka in an excellent fight in April. But then in June he got submitted by Ben Nguyen in under a minute, which was a bit of a shock. He needs to find some consistency. Scoggins is coming off back to back submission losses himself so his job could be on the line in this one. 

 

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Makdessi vs Trujillo is a fight a really love the sound of. Again though, two guys coming off losses. There's a few of these fights on this card that have that 'loser leaves town' feel to them. Makdessi hasn't fought at all in 2017. He was last seen getting spin kick KO'd dead by Lando Vannata last December. He's a decent fighter and a really solid and creative striker but he's lost 3 of his last 4 and his back is against the wall here. And Trujillo got submitted by James Vick in his last fight in February. Explosive, powerful and dangerous but he needs to get back in the win column. I like the way these two matchup style-wise though. 

 

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When you have a fight like Jordan Mein vs Erick Silva buried way down on the Fight Pass prelims it says everything you need to know about the depth of this card. Two of the most consistently exciting fighters to watch on the roster, win or lose. But they're both currently in a slump. And again, could be a 'loser leaves' thing. Mein is coming off 3 losses in a row and Silva is 1-3 in his last 4. 

 

Really fun card. It's got a bit of a WEC feel about it for me. Just quality throughout. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Whoever wins, Woodley at least gets a viable new challenger. 

I want Lawler to win as I have become of fan of his over the years. How could I not? Although, I used to be pretty indifferent to him. I despised Miletich's camp when I first got into the sport (Timmey, Hughes, etc). Lawler was guilty by association, despite not being as odious himself. While he did have exciting bouts in Strikeforce (Smith, Manhoef, etc), I always found his bouts against grapplers a bit too predictable. If he was up against a known and live grappler, he almost always lost by decision or submission. 

I really turned into an outright fan during his second stint in the UFC. I didn't have much expectations for his return to 170lbs, but he sure proved me wrong. I even fancied Koscheck to grapplefuck on the first fight upon his return. The fights with Hendricks and the rematch with Rory are classics. Previously, I would have never picked him to match those two, let alone beat them. On paper, Condit was a better style match-up for him admittedly, but the fight itself was another gem. If you took an average of any MMA fighter's Championships bouts based on excitement - past or present -  I am convinced that Lawler's run at Welterweight from 2014-2016 would come out on top. 

In many ways, he finally became the fighter that the UFC wishes he was in 2003. He was one of the UFC's pet projects for a time in the mid-00's. He featured heavily on their DVD's and highlight packages. One of his fights was picked to be the first to air on cable TV in the States. They gave him a nice main card slot on UFC 40 as well - which was their biggest show in years. A succession of losses in the UFC stopped the hype machine. A decade later, he more than lived it up to it. 

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I think the first time I saw Robbie Lawler was on an episode of Unleashed on Bravo which had his fight with Chris Lytle from UFC 45. Didn't know either of them but the sight of them just clobbering each other in the face and then Lawler maniacally laughing and cheering it on was nuts. That was my first impression of Lawler. Him getting whacked in the gob and seeming unsettlingly happy about it. Some things never change do they? 

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Sadly my first exposure to him was his Middleweight debut against Tanner. I got a copy of UFC 50 about 6 months after it happened. That fight didn't really do him justice, even at the time. I just thought he was a run of the mill fighter. No different to Joe Doerksen or Curtis Stout, who were also undercard fighters at the time (aye, I did have to look up those names)

 

Edited by jimufctna24
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It was his first fight back in a year, to be fair. You can't always just go on a fighter's last fight. I mean, RDA didn't look amazing against Saffiedine. Then in his very next fight he absolutely pissed through Magny. This fight is pretty much a coin flip for me. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Very much agree with wand there. Despite his current loss record, Cerrone is a hard fight back for anyone. You could tell watching the fight that Lawler, concerned with his cardio, essentially took a round off before going for it in the 3rd.

No idea how this fight pans out, though. RDA is going to come flying out and won't stop for 5 rounds, unless Lawler clips him. No rounds off v RDA. I adore Robbie Lawler, so I will forever hope he manages to get the win.

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Yeah. And Lawler's a bit of a slow starter these days anyway. Although admittedly he came firing out the gate against Cerrone. He's become more of a 5 round fighter over the last few years. If you look back over his current UFC stint, the 'championship rounds' are usually his best rounds. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Lawler seems to last the longest and thrive when the fire comes. Almost no one else on earth has his capacity to stand there and overcome. It's going to be interesting to see how that plays out because, as discussed, RDA is all action, all five rounds. You get the feeling one going to have to stop the other to win.

Edited by ColinBollocks
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Aye, Lawler does tend to come on strong in the later rounds. He's like a tub of ketchup, slow to get going, but when it does you can't stop it. Perhaps it is by design, as he came out firing against Cerrone, which was a 3 round fight. Over 5 rounds, he polished off Rory late on, and rallied to get the nod in the rematch Hendricks. He had his most success against Condit in the final round as well (one of the best rounds of recent memory). The only time he's been caught out late on that I can remember is in the first fight with Hendricks. It was 2-2 after 4 rounds, but Hendricks stole the fight in the 5th. 

Despite my affection for Lawler, I think RDA is going to win. RDA's losses against Ferguson and Khabib say less about him, and more about the other two. Ferguson is the current Champion at 155lbs, and one heck of a fighter. Khabib is perhaps the best head to head Lightweight in MMA history. He looks a monster when he actually fights. He just needs a high profile win at Lightweight to confirm his status (McGregor or Ferguson would do). There's also no shame in being clipped by Eddie Alvarez. On the quiet, Alvarez has one of the most impressive resumes in the game, it gets overlooked a bit because most of his most notable wins have either come in close fights, or fallen a bit under the radar; usually both (Pettis, Gil, Chandler).While the Pettis fight was a dud, he still just about deserved to get the nod. 

Elsewhere, RDA made a right mess out of Cerrone twice, Diaz and Pettis. Did any of those three win a round against him? He also stopped Bendo. I haven't seen any of his recent fights at Welterweight, but looking at his record, it's not like he's fought bums. There's an excellent chance that Lawler could catch him when he turns up the volume, but that could easily apply in reverse. If it goes to the cards, I see RDA getting the nod based on being more activity. 

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3 hours ago, jimufctna24 said:

Aye, Lawler does tend to come on strong in the later rounds. He's like a tub of ketchup, slow to get going, but when it does you can't stop it. 

And he usually needs a few whacks to get him moving.

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20 hours ago, jimufctna24 said:

RDA made a right mess out of Cerrone twice, Diaz and Pettis. Did any of those three win a round against him?

I think Cerrone won a round in the first fight with RDA. But RDA clearly won the fight, even dropping Cowboy with a punch despite most thinking he'd get tooled on the feet. Pettis might've nicked a round but I doubt it, I recall that being a shutout. And Diaz definitely didn't win shit against RDA. He got battered the whole 3 rounds. 

Dos Anjos is fucking quality. I did think he'd suffer from being undersized at 170 but the way he handled the much bigger Neil Magny in his last fight was a pleasant surprise. It's not like Magny isn't skilled either. That should've been a tough test for RDA but he went through him like a bad curry. 

We've yet to see if he can maintain the pace over 5 rounds at 170 like he did at 155. But if he can then the later rounds of this one could be something special because, as we've said, that's where Lawler's beast mode comes into play. At the same time, RDA hasn't been in with anyone at 170 who has the firepower of Lawler. I could easily see Lawler lighting him up like Alvarez did. Who the fuck knows? I'm still undecided on how this one plays out. I'm just chuffed as fuck we're getting to see it. 

And what about Perry-Ponzinibbio?! Talk about a fight flying under the radar. That's arguably the best fight no-one's talked about this year. And the winner is probably fighting Darren Till which makes it even more of a must-see. Can't wait. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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I'm very pleased this weight change has seen RDA produce again. The fear was post-PED era he was going the same way as some other suspicious cases, leading to further speculation, but happily it looks like it was legit that mental weight cut that was butchering his abilities. That nearly year run he had from mid-14 to late 15 is one of the most impressive I've seen; RDA looked truly like the best fighter in the world, at times. Looking back, that Khabib loss is maybe the best thing to happen to him, as it forced him to reassess his entire approach. Although, granted, he red-lined to such a degree his body turned on him. Still, what a year that was.

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