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UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs Smith - Jul 22


wandshogun09
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Another Sunday Fight Night on July 22nd. The UFC heads back to Hamburg, Germany with this lot. 

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FOX SPORTS 1 MAIN CARD
Shogun Rua vs Anthony Smith

Glover Teixeira vs Corey Anderson

Vitor Miranda vs Abu Azaitar 

Stefan Struve vs Marcin Tybura

Danny Roberts vs David Zawada

Marc Diakiese vs Nasrat Haqparast

 

FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS
Nick Hein vs Damir Hadzovic 

Emil Meek vs Bartosz Fabinski 

Nad Narimani vs Khalid Taha

Justin Ledet vs Aleksandar Rakic

 

FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Davey Grant vs Manny Bermudez

Jeremy Kimball vs Darko Stosic

Damian Stasiak vs Liu Pingyuan 

 

Card is almost complete. Should be another fight or two added yet to fill out the Fight Pass bit. Nice little card. And being in Europe, it'll be on at a nice convenient time for us to watch live. 

 

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Shogun vs Anthony Smith is your new Hamburg headliner. Obviously, the reshuffle forced this with Volkan Oezdemir being taken off this card to fight Gustafsson at 227. This is almost certainly ending by KO either way. Unfortunately as a huge Shogun fan, I think he's going to be on the receiving end of it. Shogun is actually on a 3 fight winning streak. His longest run of wins in about a decade. But I'm under no illusions, he's not the same fighter he once was and that guy is never coming back. He's 36 years old now, with a 25-10 record. But he's a proper legend and a sure-fire future Hall Of Famer. Former UFC champion. Former Pride Grand Prix winner. Holds wins over the likes of Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida, Rampage Jackson, Alistair Overeem twice, Forrest Griffin, Ricardo Arona, Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman. And over the years he's been consistently one of the more exciting fighters to ever compete. He had arguably the greatest UFC fight ever with Dan Henderson in 2011, and arguably the best Pride fight ever with Little Nog in 2005. Add to that he dragged a FOTY contender out of Brandon Vera for fuck's sake! He was a beast in his day. Still dangerous when he wants to be but, on top of the age and the miles on the clock and stuff, he also hasn't fought since last March.

Anthony Smith has a huge opportunity here. He's coming off a 57 second knockout over Rashad Evans at UFC 225 last month. Another win here over a legend like Shogun is big for him. He's going from Fight Pass to the main event so it's a real chance for a breakout performance. He got stopped by Thiago Santos recently but Santos is a beast in his own right and Smith has won 4 of his last 5. He's a finisher too and showed a ton of heart in his fights against Hector Lombard and Andrew Sanchez where he scored comeback knockouts. 

 

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Glover vs Latifi co-mains. Really like this matchup. Don't want to see either of them lose because they're both so likeable but the fight itself should be great fun. Glover is 38 now, 27-6 record. He's only really lost to top guys in the UFC but he seems to have settled in as that guy just under the top boys at 205. Can still probably smash most of the fighters below that though. He got absolutely battered by Gustafsson last May in Sweden. We've only seen him once since but he bounced back in style with a first round TKO over Misha Cirkunov in December. Latifi is a UKFF favourite. He debuted when he stepped in years ago to fight Mousasi on short notice and nobody knew who the fuck he was. We all had fun with the 'Some Fucker' thing but he's shed that a long time ago now. He's a good fighter and a loveable lump. He's 14-5-1 overall and looked really good in his last couple of outings. He derailed Tyson Pedro's undefeated record and in his most recent fight choked OSP unconscious with a first round guillotine. Tough fight to call, this. Seems quite even on paper. 

 

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Struve vs Tybura is the heavyweight offering on this card. We've said it before, Struve is kind of damaged goods at this stage. Sounds mad saying that when you consider he's still only 30 years old but he's really been through the meat grinder in his career, suffered some brutal knockouts and been on the wrong end of some horrific beatings. He just has that feel of a fighter whose best days are behind him. He's basically a giant Joe Lauzon. He lost his last 2 fights to Arlovski and Volkov and here he is, back in there with another hard fight. Tybura is also coming in off 2 losses, to Derrick Lewis and Fabricio Werdum. But he feels fresher and is definitely a lot less beat up than Struve is. Tybura took Werdum the distance last year, and beat Arlovski before that. At this point, I'd favour Tybura all day but you never know with the heavyweights.  

 

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Meek vs Fabinski could be fun. Meek needs to rebound with something exciting here after getting completely shut down by Usman in January. He's 9-3-1 now. Pretty entertaining fighter with the right dance partner. Beat Jordan Mein in the UFC and stopped Rousimar Palhares in less than a minute a couple of years back. Fabinski I know very little about. Other than he's Polish, 32 years old (fuck, he's had a hard paper round) and has a 13-2 record. He's actually fought a couple of times in the UFC but I remember fuck all of it. 

 

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Ledet vs Rakic is ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH***. Two of the light heavyweight division's new blood fighters squaring off. I like it. Both have shown potential and both are still the right side of 30 years old. Ledet is 29, unbeaten at 9-0-1, 3-0 in the UFC. He's got some solid Boxing from what I recall. Rakic is 26, Austrian, 9-1, lost his MMA debut and hasn't lost since. 8 of his 9 wins are stoppages. Definitely a fight to keep an eye on. 

 

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Hein vs Hadzovic probably makes the main card with Hein being German. I've said before, Hein seems like a really nice guy but I've found him dull as dishwater to watch in the cage for the most part. He's one of those fighters who's been around for ages, you've seen them fight a bunch of times yet there's nothing memorable at all. His fights come and go, they all kind of look the same and he never climbs the ranks or moves anywhere in his career. It's sad but the most exciting fight he's had was probably his last one against Davi Ramos last month, and he went and got subbed in a round. Hadzovic is Bosnian with a 11-4 record. I can't say I remember much of him either really, other than his KO over Marcin Held a while back. 

 

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Jouban vs Roberts is a darkhorse for FOTN, I reckon. It's usually a safe bet when Jouban is involved. Can't really think of a fight he's had that wasn't at least 'good' and on a few occasions he's had some right wars. Always got time for a Jouban fight. He's 16-6, knocked out Ben Saunders in February and also holds wins over Mike Perry and Belal Muhammad. London's Danny 'Hot Chocolate' Roberts is 15-3 with some good knockouts on his record. KO'd Oliver Enkamp on the London show in March. These two should match up for an excellent standup fight, I think.

 

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Diakiese vs Haqparast is another one like the above. Diakiese came into the UFC with a bit of a hype train. He was undefeated at 9-0 and was coming in with this unique look and a flashy striking arsenal. He won his first 3 UFC fights, advancing to 12-0 unbeaten and in particular his 30 second highlight reel KO against Teemu Packalen really turned heads and got people talking about him as a potential breakout star in the lighter weight classes. That talk's been cooled off big time though. He's lost his last 2 fights and was submitted by Dan Hooker most recently. He's only 25 though, he's still got time, he's got bags of potential and trains at ATT (I think). And is it just me or does Nasrat Haqparast look like someone shrunk Kelvin Gastelum in the wash? Seriously, when I googled him I thought 'OK, why's it throwing up pictures of Gastelum?' Anyway, he's 22 years old from Afghanistan. 8-2 record. 

 

Elsewhere on the card, there's a couple of debuts. Serbian prospect Darko Stosic is one. 12-1, 26 years old and looks a bit of a brick shithouse. He's facing Jeremy Kimball.

The other is Abu Azaitar. He's German/Moroccan, 32 years old, 13-1-1 record. Holds a 34 second finish over Jack Marshman a few years back. He's fighting Brazilian Vitor Miranda. 

 

Aside from the fact that Shogun's probably getting his arse kicked, I like this card a lot. Not usually a fan of Sunday shows but I don't mind the European cards on a Sunday because they're still on early enough that you can watch live and don't have to avoid spoilers at with the next day or whatever. Some exciting fights here and some prospects to look out for. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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I actually prefer this. I think for the level Shogun is at these days, Smith is a tough fight but a more winnable one than Volkan would've been. And if it means that this way we get Gus vs Volkan I'm more than happy with that. I've wanted to see that fight since Volkan KO'd Manuwa. 

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Yeah I said the same about Smith going into the Rashad fight. I'm favouring him here as well. But still, for Shogun I think he's got a better chance here than he had against Volkan. Still don't fancy it though.

Shogun's on a 3 fight win streak but he hasn't looked right for a long time. He hasn't looked great since...fuck...you're probably going all the way back to the second Machida fight. 2010! He's had his moments since like the quick KOs against Griffin and Te Huna but Griffin was on the decline by then and Te Huna was decent but very much undercard4life. Mad to think that by the time those FOTY contenders vs Hendo and Vera happened, Shogun was already past his best. He actually looked pretty sharp in his last fight against Villante. But that was Villante and that was over a year ago now. Smith is younger, bigger, fresher, less banged up and he's been active, has won 4 of his last 5, he's a finisher and is riding a wave of momentum after KOing Rashad Evans in under a minute last time out. 

Once upon a time I think this would've been an absolute killer fight and a serious FOTY contender. But the timing is all to cock. The Shogun we've got in 2018 just isn't the same and I think Smith's going to come in hungry to prove a point in his first main event. Love to see Shogun pull a KO out of his arse but I'm not expecting to be happy by the end of this fight. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Latifi has now pulled out of his fight against Glover, according to MMA fighting. I was looking forward to that clash of those two bulls. I hope they can get a replacement considering it's not too far away now. 

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Anthony Smith is saying if he beats Shogun and comes out healthy he's up for stepping in and fighting Gustafsson at 227. 

Can you fucking imagine? I don't think he'd beat Gustafsson, I think Gus would prove to be a step too far. But what a year it would be for Smith. At the start of the year he was just another undercard guy. Imagine he ends the year with wins over Rashad, Shogun and Gus? Gus is a big jump from the 2018 versions of Rashad and Shogun, obviously, but Smith's looking dangerous since moving up to 205 and Gus is coming off a year on the shelf. You just never know. 

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Shogun v ...Father Time.

Well, that was proper uncomfortable seeing Shogun get a pasting like that against someone the calibre of Smith.

Struve continues to be a bit of a joke. How often are the commentators going to whip out the "He's been working on his stand up and reach" at the start of all his fights, until they realise it's rubbish? Every time he falls back on his bad habits.

Edited by ColinBollocks
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