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wandshogun09

UFC on FOX: Poirier vs Gaethje - Apr 14

Who wins and how?   

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Saturday 14th April. Glendale, Arizona. Big FOX. I know it's almost two months away but we really should start talking about this. 

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FOX MAIN CARD
Dustin Poirier vs Justin Gaethje 

Carlos Condit vs Alex Oliveira 

Israel Adesanya vs Marvin Vettori 

Michelle Waterson vs Cortney Casey

 

FOX PRELIMS
Tim Boetsch vs Antonio Carlos Junior

Muslim Salikhov vs Ricky Rainey

John Moraga vs Wilson Reis

Krzysztof Jotko vs Brad Tavares 

 

FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Gilbert Burns vs Dan Moret

Shana Dobson vs Lauren Mueller

Yushin Okami vs Dhiego Lima 

Arjan Bhullar vs Adam Wieczorek 

Alejandro Perez vs Matthew Lopez 

Luke Sanders vs Patrick Williams 

 

Look at that. Best Big FOX show we've had in a while for me that is. 

 

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Poirier vs Gaethje is just...do I really have to sell you on this fight? I know you never truly can say 100% how a fight will play out but in some cases, you just know it's going to be something special. When you put two guys like this in the cage, the ingredients for a dud just aren't there. Poirier is riding high at the moment. His last 3 fights he's looked great and had amazing fights with Anthony Pettis, Eddie Alvarez and Jim Miller. He's on fire right now. He's really got the look of a fighter who is hitting his peak form. And he's still not even 30. Gaethje is the one I'm really interested to see here though. He's coming off his first loss in an absolute war against Eddie Alvarez in December. Before that he was 18-0 with 16 finishes, was coming off a FOTY contender against Michael Johnson, was the WSOF champ etc. You never know how a fighter's first loss will effect them mentally but I wouldn't think Gaethje will lose any of his aggression. He's just wired funny. Even if he's planning to be more cautious, once he gets cracked the red mist will descend again. Can't see anything but a crazy slobberknocker with these two. And although they probably won't need the 5 rounds, it's nice that they're there just incase. Nothing worse than a crazy fight ending after 3 rounds just when it's on the verge of becoming a 5 round classic. Can't go wrong with these two. 

 

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Condit vs Brown in some ways is similar to the main event. These two have built their careers on having wars and both are known for being in exciting fights. The x-factor here though is that they've both been talking about retiring over the last year or so. Condit's got his own business ventures going on away from fighting and Brown was actually saying going into his last fight against Diego Sanchez that it would be his swansong. He backed off on that after KOing Sanchez in a round though. And here we are. I don't really know what to make of this. Condit didn't look great against Magny last time out but in fairness it was his first fight in a long time and Magny is an awkward opponent at the best of times. Brown is much more suited to Condit's style. Usually I'd be lukewarm to a fight between two guys with a foot out the door but with these two, once the cage closes I think all that goes out the window and they'll bite down on the mouthpiece and go balls out. Should be a wild one. 

 

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Moraga vs Reis will be good. It's almost a shame that these guys often go underappreciated because they're all victims of the Mighty Mouse reign. It gives them all the stink of being damaged goods but these are quality fighters in their own right. I've said for a while that I like Moraga. He's not got the best of UFC records (7-5) but he's one of those fighters who I watch and think he's better than his record would lead you to believe. He's won his last two fights and scored a crushing knockout over Bibulatov at UFC 216. Reis is going to be a tough opponent though. World class BJJ, decent enough striking and he's experienced and crafty. 

 

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Boetsch vs Shoe Face is a fun clash of styles. Boetsch has been an undercard favourite of mine for about a decade now. Ever since he dumped David Heath on his head way back. And his KO over Okami in Japan ranks among the greatest comebacks in MMA history. Seems a top bloke as well. He's won 3 of his last 4 and most recently battered Johny Hendricks which is always a good time. I like Carlos Junior as well though. He won TUF Brazil a few years back and has a ridiculous BJJ game. Had a bit of a rocky start in the UFC but really seems to be finding his groove now, winning his last 4 fights, 3 by submission. I don't fancy Boetsch's chances at all if this hits the ground. 

 

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Israel Adesanya is back! No fucking around. After a near perfect UFC debut at UFC 221 in Australia, he's still undefeated at 12-0 with 12 knockouts in MMA. That on top of 50 wins in his kickboxing career and 5 pro boxing victories. He's a seriously good striker. He showed glimpses of an improving defensive grappling game as well in his UFC debut but there's clearly still a long way to go in that area. This time he's up against probably the least Italian looking Italian on the planet in Marvin Vettori. He's 24 with a 12-3-1 record. Hasn't beat anyone especially noteworthy but he's got a few submissions under his belt so could potentially ask a few more questions of Izzy's ground game. 

 

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Vannata vs Burns is another fun sounding styles clash. Everyone's style clashes with Groovy Lando's, doesn't it? He's a wacky character with his own unique way of doing everything. Burns is a BJJ world champion who has shown KO power recently. I like watching both of these but definitely rooting for a Lando Vannata highlight reel KO. Love watching him fight. Never a dull moment. 

 

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Alhassan vs Salikhov is my ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH*** for this card. This could be mega explosive. Alhassan is a little beast. He scored one of the more brutal one punch knockouts of 2017 when he completely wiped out Sabah Homasi with an uppercut from hell in December. He's 9-1 and all his wins have been by KO or TKO. And I'm really looking forward to seeing Salikhov again. I hyped him up before his UFC debut but it was a bit of a flop. He lost to Alex Garcia by submission on the Bisping vs Gastelum undercard in Shanghai. But his striking credentials are ridiculous. His kickboxing record is listed as 185-13-1. His nickname is 'King Of Kung Fu' for fuck's sake. He's 13-2 so far in MMA with his two losses being submissions. So it's clear he's got issues in the grappling. But against a banger like Alhassan, I think this could be dynamite however long it goes. 

 

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Waterson vs Casey could be a good little battle. Waterson has a fun striking style with her karate background and she's got a pretty slick submission game as well. She's suffered a bit from being undersized for the division but skills-wise she's quality. She's lost her last two fights to Torres and Namajunas so she really needs a W here or it might be time to go back down to atomweight and back to Invicta. Casey's alright but with a 7-5 record, someone of Waterson's quality and experience should be beating her. 

 

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I like the Okami vs Lima pairing. Glad to see they're giving Okami another shot after he stepped in on short notice for them against OSP last year. He's back down at welterweight for this, where he's done pretty well outside the UFC. I'd like to see him win this and go on one last run in the UFC. I like Dhiego Lima but much prefer his brother. Bellator definitely got the better Lima. 

 

Absolutely love this show. It's got a little bit of a WEC feel to it to me for some reason. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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Yeah. He was meant to fight Olivier Aubin Mercier but he was 30 odd lbs over the weight limit on fight week so they understandably didn't let him make the cut for the Friday weigh in and pulled him off the card. Hopefully he comes in lighter for this. He's got until April so there's no excuse. 

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...and as good as that main event is, i still believe they should have gone with the Alvarez/Poirier rematch. Makes more sense and there's the story of the first fight to go with it.

Still, cant complain too much. Any combination of the 3 sells for me.

. 

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4 hours ago, wandshogun09 said:

Absolutely love this show. It's got a little bit of a WEC feel to it to me for some reason. 

Maybe because the top 3 fights on the card all feature the lighter-weight divisions, and the top two fights feature lightweight and welterweight fighters who while world class operators, are perhaps not the outright best in the world. That was how a lot of WEC cards were structured. For example, when Bendo and Pettis headlined the final WEC show, they were not thought to be the best lightweights in the world. They were perceived as serious prospects, but probably only top five in the lightweight division, rather than the division's reference points. It was only 1-2 years later that they established themselves as top 3 in the division. 

Gaethje was also the sort of fighter that the WEC would have showcased back in the day. He's not a household name compared to a lot of UFC fighters, but he's beloved by committed fans, and for very good reason. Condit being involved also gives it a WEC feel, with him being one of the biggest names in the WEC. 

I'm digging this card. It's rare that cards are stacked like this one is. 

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55 minutes ago, Egg Shen said:

weird how they didnt remake the Mercier fight.

Yeah, you'd have thought they'd have just rebooked it but I'm not arsed. OAM does nothing for me. Taking Burns out of that dead fight and sticking him in with Lando is a way more appealing fight. 

52 minutes ago, Egg Shen said:

...and as good as that main event is, i still believe they should have gone with the Alvarez/Poirier rematch. Makes more sense and there's the story of the first fight to go with it.

Yeah, what was the deal there? I was sure Alvarez vs Poirier 2 was the direction we were heading in. Especially with the timing of Poirier beating Pettis in November then Alvarez beating Gaethje in December. It all seemed to be lining up nicely. Poirier keeps acting like Eddie is ducking him but that doesn't sound like Eddie at all. There must be more to it. I'm thinking maybe the UFC might even have Eddie on standby incase Ferguson or Khabib get injured. 

20 minutes ago, jimufctna24 said:

Gaethje was also the sort of fighter that the WEC would have showcased back in the day. 

Definitely. I could really see Gaethje in WEC. He's exactly the kind of fighter they'd have got behind and he'd have been perfect in that mix with Cerrone, Pettis, Bendo, Varner etc. 

I think you've pretty much nailed why I'm getting the WEC vibe off this card, Jim. I think it's a combination of all your points plus the general quality of the card throughout.

All they need now is the smaller cage and dust off the blue canvas. And somehow put Brittney Palmer in a time machine back to before all the plastic surgery made her look like a wax dummy of herself :/ 

Edited by wandshogun09

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Eddie is indeed on stand-by in case "disaster strikes" with Khabib or Ferguson. He's also still angling for a fight with Nate Diaz. He's also on the last fight of his UFC contract - https://www.mmafighting.com/2018/2/4/16951904/eddie-alvarez-staying-ready-for-ufc-223-disaster-strikes-tony-ferguson-vs-khabib-nurmagomedov

Edit: Don't click the link if you want to avoid last night's results. 

 

Edited by jimufctna24

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Interesting. I guess he's best to just keep himself in the gym and in some kind of shape until April just incase Fergie-Khabib goes tits up again. If it does he can jump in, if it goes ahead maybe they can make that Diaz fight happen. But that's assuming Nate is even interested in it. 

I can see why Eddie is waiting though. If he can bag one of these big fights for the last fight of his contract and wins, it obviously puts him in a strong position when he goes in for the new contract negotiations. A rematch with Poirier at this point, while great for us, might not be such a good move for him right now. Say he agreed to the Poirier rematch now and then Ferguson or Khabib fell out. He's missed out on a PPV headlining title fight to cover old ground with Peahead. The timing for it is just a bit off. The potential rewards are higher if he can land a fight with Ferguson, Khabib or Nate. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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Yeah, and we're only 3 days into the bastard month. 

It seems like we had a nice little run there for a bit where there weren't that many injuries and pullouts. You had Holloway vs Edgar fall off 222 but apart from that we generally were getting the fights that were booked in the first 3 months of the year. April starts and we've already lost Ferguson vs Khabib and Condit vs Brown within 2 days of each other. I hope it's not a sign of things to come this month. 

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Alex Oliveira has stepped in and will take on Carlos Condit. 

Defintely a tougher fight for Condit I feel.

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