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UFC Fight Night: Gaethje vs Vick - Aug 25


wandshogun09
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Saturday 25th August in Lincoln, Nebraska for this 'un. 

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FOX SPORTS 1 MAIN CARD
Justin Gaethje vs James Vick

Michael Johnson vs Andre Fili

Cortney Casey vs Angela Hill

Jake Ellenberger vs Bryan Barberena 

John Moraga vs Deiveson Figueiredo 

Eryk Anders vs Tim Williams 

 

FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS
Warrley Alves vs James Krause 

Iuri Alcantara vs Cory Sandhagen 

Andrew Sanchez vs Markus Perez 

Mickey Gall vs George Sullivan

 

FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Joanne Calderwood vs Kalindra Faria 

Drew Dober vs Jon Tuck

Rani Yahya vs Luke Sanders 

 

Not the strongest of cards but there's some decent stuff on there and I love the main event. 

 

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So yeah, Justin Gaethje vs James Vick then. How do you go wrong with this? It's at the point now where I'm struggling to think who they can match Gaethje up against that won't result in bell-to-bell chaos. He's just wired for war. This event was originally supposed to be headlined by Gaethje vs Al Iaquinta. A lot of people probably saw this fight with Vick as a slight comedown when Iaquinta pulled out but it might be just as good, if not better. Plus there's a bit of bad blood between Gaethje and Vick. 

Vick explains where the beef started here...

"Well basically, it was his UFC debut at International Fight Week. The dude...he beats Michael Johnson. He gets in the ring and starts popping off on the mic, saying 'Who's my equal? I'm waiting for my equal. Who's my equal?' Well of course, any top guy that's interested in taking a fight and has a set of balls is gonna say something. I'm cage side. I walked right down to Sean Shelby and said 'I want the fight'.

Of course, I didn't get the fight but I said 'I want that fight'. Then I get on my Twitter and I was like 'Yeah, I'll knock his ass out'. I start talking some shit. We've been going back and forth and then he brought my name up in some interview. In the interview, he's like, 'I'm just happy for this opportunity', he was talking about when he fought Poirier. He was like, 'You know, I could be fighting some guy like James Vick'. The whole time he's acting like I'm not worthy to fight him. This guy's 1-2 in the UFC and I'm 9-1 in the UFC, and he's acting like I'm not worthy. It's a joke.

My goal is always to be a winner. I'm gonna win August 25th. He's screwed. I'm gonna knock his ass out. That's my plan whether I hate him or I don't, if I like him or I don't like him". - James Vick 

Vick's done good in the UFC, to be fair. 13-1 record, 9-1 in the UFC, he's won 4 in a row and finished 3 of them. He just hasn't had that big fight against a name to really catapult him up the ladder. This is that chance for him. He's been calling out the top boys at 155 for a good year or two now. 

We all know the score with Justin Gaethje by now, right? He's had 3 fights in the UFC so far - vs Michael Johnson, Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier - and I'm not exaggerating when I say that all 3 were genuine FOTY candidates. He's a fucking madman. He's been fighting that way long before coming to the UFC as well. Watch any of his WSOF fights, for example. Especially the 2 against Luis Palomino. He's off his head. He does appear to have hit his ceiling in the UFC in his last 2 fights though. He was undefeated coming into the UFC but he lost the Alvarez and Poirier wars in his 2 most recent outings. He's 18-2 now and at just 29 years old, he's already making noises about planning on retiring after 5 more fights. We'll see about that but, given his punishing fighting style, I hope he doesn't hang around too long. As incredible to watch as he is, you can't fight the way he does long term without falling to bits. Enjoy him while he's here. 

Oh and he's not a fan of Vick either.

"He talks a lot of shit and I have no respect for him. He's never fought a Michael Johnson, Eddie Alvarez or a Dustin Poirier. He can call me whatever he wants, but I fought the best of the best my first three fights in the UFC. 

I won't be satisfied unless he's out cold. I'm so much better than James Vick. It sucks to say it, but if I was to go out there and get outclassed by James Vick, I'd have to hang them up." - Justin Gaethje

Don't like each other much, these two, do they? 

Should be an absolute cracker this. It's this card's ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH*** easy. I usually try to highlight something from the undercard but this fight shits all over everything else on here if we're being honest. It's by far the fight you must go out your way to catch. 
 

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Michael Johnson vs Andre Fili could be decent. Johnson can be hit and miss and I've never been much of a fan of Fili. If they're both on for this it should be exciting though. Johnson is a guy I always feel should be doing better than he is. He's got the skills and attributes to go far, IMO. He'll look like a real problem on a good night but seems disinterested other times. He's just a bit too inconsistent and in the shark tank at 155, you need to be firing on all cylinders to hang at the top levels. If these two both come in at their best I think MJ smashes Fili. 

 

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John Moraga vs Deiveson Figueiredo is a good little scrap. I've liked Moraga for a while. He's mostly known as merely being one of the more forgettable notches on Mighty Mouse's streak. Think what King Kong Bundy was to The Undertaker's WrestleMania streak. But Moraga is a solid fighter in his own right. He's 19-6. Pretty much all his losses were to elite guys. He's won his last 3 fights now, including a decision over Wilson Reis in April and a first round KO of Bibulatov at UFC 216 before that. He's also beat the likes of Dustin Ortiz, Justin Scoggins and Chris Cariaso. He's good. Figueiredo I know less about but he's unbeaten at 14-0 with 12 finishes, so he's worth keeping tabs on. 

 

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Cortney Casey vs Angela Hill has the makings of a good little standup battle. This could very well be a 'win or fuck off' situation for Casey. She's 7-6 now, lost her last 2, albeit both split decisions. It's Overkill Hill I'm interested in seeing here though. Wasn't much a fan of her during her stint on TUF a few years back but I've enjoyed her fights in the UFC since then. She had an absolute corker against Jessica Andrade last year, a real overlooked gem of a fight. She's 8-4 and beat Maryna Moroz in her last fight. Good striker. She went 16-0 as a Kickboxer before going on TUF. 

 

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Eryk Anders vs Tim Williams I'm highlighting just because I think Anders has potential. Going all Jim Ross now but he was a former college football player so he's a hell of an athlete, bah gawd. 10-1 MMA record but the loss was the decision loss to Lyoto Machida which most thought he won. He's looked pretty good from what I've seen. Packs some power and the experience of going 5 rounds with someone like Machida can only help him in the long run. I don't recall Tim Williams and can't be arsed to research him. He looks vaguely familiar but I might be mixing him up with a Crimewatch photofit. 

 

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Rani Yahya vs Luke Sanders could be alright. Or, as I suspect, could be just Yahya running through Sanders in the grappling. Seriously, Rani Yahya is a little beast. One of the more underappreciated ground fighters in the game. He's a wizard once a fight hits the mat. Sanders isn't bad, to be fair. 12-2 record and does hold a shocking first round submission win over Maximo Blanco so he's no jobber on the ground himself. The topknot is unforgivable though. 

 

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Warrley Alves vs James Krause is a standout fight to me on this card. I rate Alves. 12-2, won the TUF Brazil 3 tournament. He also submitted Colby Covington in under 2 minutes a few years ago, which is still Covington's only loss. He just needs to stay more active. His progress has stalled a bit because of injuries and time on the shelf. He's won 2 fights since coming back in October though, so hopefully he can start building some momentum. Krause is a good fighter himself. Decent standup, real good with his BJJ. Coming off 4 wins on the bounce. I hope Alves batters him though. Don't know if it's just me but Krause has one of the most punchable faces of anyone involved with the sport. 

 

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Mickey Gall vs George Sullivan is a fight I'm interested in, purely to see how Gall rebounds from his first career setback. He's got bags of talent and potential. Not just in terms of skills in the cage but also in his attitude and ability to make himself stand out. For a 26 year old 5 fight greenhorn, he's done a stellar job marketing himself. He couldn't have got off to a much better start. He went 4-0 with 4 submissions. And thanks to his gift of gab, he was in the UFC at 1-0, fighting CM Punk on PPV at 2-0 and fighting Sage Northcutt on FOX at just 3-0. After beating Sage, he got another big platform, fighting at Madison Square Garden on the Bisping vs GSP undercard. Unfortunately for Gall, he got derailed by his former training partner and fellow prospect Randy Brown. It was his first loss and his first time going to a decision. He's still young enough and good enough to learn and come back better. All depends how he handles it mentally, I guess. He seems to have his head screwed on. But George Sullivan is a potential banana skin just because of his experience. He's lost his last 2 fights but he's had 24 fights overall (17-6-1) and has been a pro for 12 years. When he turned pro, Gall was only 14 years old. 

 

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Joanne Calderwood vs Kalindra Faria is surely a must win thing for Calderwood. I mean, they might keep her around because strawweight can't really afford to lose depth. Plus, they usually like to run Scotland once a year these days and she's one of a few Scottish fighters on the roster. But regardless, she badly needs a win here. She hasn't won a fight in over 2 years. It's a shame because she'd looked great in Invicta before she went on TUF in 2014. Came into the UFC at 8-0. But it just hasn't worked out in UFC for whatever reason. She's 11-3 now and hasn't looked right since the second she stepped in the cage for her first fight on TUF. It's almost like it's a mental thing where she can't shake those 'Octagon jitters'. I'd love to see her turn it around because she's one of the most likeable people in MMA, but I don't know, I'm just not convinced she's got it anymore. Brazilian Kalindra Faria is no world beater herself. She's 18-7-1 and has lost her last couple of fights. She is a BJJ brown-belt though, and that's always a worry for Calderwood. Good grapplers have always been a nightmare for her. 

 

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Jake Ellenberger vs Bryan Barberena gives me a bit of an uneasy feeling. There's something about watching Ellenberger these days that just makes me a tad uncomfortable. He's looked fucked for a long time now. He's gone 2-8 in his last 10, for fuck's sake! He's been stopped in 6 of those 8 losses and KO'd in his last 3. But they keep giving him fights. It's all getting a bit Bigfoot Silva. It's not like Barberena is some monster or anything but if Ellenberger loses this one surely that's it. He was born in Nebraska so, who knows, maybe he's already decided this is his swansong and he just wanted to have his farewell on his home ground. 

 

So there you go. Not the best card, not the worst. Gaethje vs Vick is going to make it all worthwhile though. 

 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Yeah, that's why I'm thinking it could just be a case of him wanting to have his last fight in his hometown and they've granted his wish. I hope. 

In hindsight, that surprise win over Matt Brown a while back was the worst thing that could've happened to Ellenberger. I'm sure he even said after that fight that the UFC wanted to let him go and he'd basically begged them for that Brown fight as his one last chance. If he'd lost that night they'd have sacked him and maybe, hopefully, he'd have called it a day. But he won, saved his job...then he went and got knocked out in his next 3 fights :/ 

The Mike Perry KO was the point where it got really uncomfortable for me. That big elbow KO. Ellenberger was out cold before he hit the floor and the sight of him laid out with the medics basically drawing chalk outlines around him and Perry doing a fucking spinaroonie next to him was just too much. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Two Sage-killers on that card there. 

I'd like to see Gall go on to do better, as it would feel like a waste of that "lightning in a bottle" publicity the Punk win got him.

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What is that gear Angela Hill is wearing?

That's like something her mam's picked up, knocked off, from the market because she knew she was into 'that cage fighting rubbish'.

Literally couldn't look faker.

Also, Tim Williams looks like Frankenstein from Hotel Transylvania.

Edited by d-d-d-dAz
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15 minutes ago, d-d-d-dAz said:

What is that gear Angela Hill is wearing?

That's like something her mam's picked up, knocked off, from the market because she knew she was into 'that cage fighting rubbish'.

Literally couldn't look faker

Believe it or not Daz, despite it looking like something Delboy would've flogged on the market, that's actually not knock off UFC gear. It's the Team Melendez kit from when Hill was on TUF. 

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Gaethje and Vick from last night's press conference. 

I'm a Gaethje fan and this is a great fight but, fuck me, Gaethje isn't cut out for press conferences, is he? 

Vick: This is your last main event. You're about to be sent back to the B-leagues on a 3 fight losing streak. 

Gaethje: And I'll still have more money in my bank account than you.

Just came off really dopey here. What's the money talk even got to do with anything? So he's good with being on a losing streak because he'll get paid more than James Vick? OK. This 'you're broke' method of trash talk nearly everyone's adopted since Conor McGregor said the 'Red Panty' line is so lazy and shit. A man tells you you're a shit fighter, you suck and he's going to fuck you up and your response is '....errr...I got FOTN bonuses dude...' Alright, I guess you win the argument with that? It's Mayweather's and McGregor's fault, all this nonsense. And it's played out as fuck. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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On 8/4/2018 at 1:06 PM, wandshogun09 said:

 Vick: This is your last main event. You're about to be sent back to the B-leagues on a 3 fight losing streak. 

Gaethje: And I'll still have more money in my bank account than you.

Just came off really dopey here. What's the money talk even got to do with anything? So he's good with being on a losing streak because he'll get paid more than James Vick? OK. This 'you're broke' method of trash talk nearly everyone's adopted since Conor McGregor said the 'Red Panty' line is so lazy and shit. A man tells you you're a shit fighter, you suck and he's going to fuck you up and your response is '....errr...I got FOTN bonuses dude...' Alright, I guess you win the argument with that? It's Mayweather's and McGregor's fault, all this nonsense. And it's played out as fuck. 

The "I make more money than you" stuff doesn't really come off too well when you're sitting there in a Primark Essentials white t-shirt sporting a Supercuts economy hairstyle.

If you're going to go down that rubbish route at least have the foresight to try and dress like you're richer than the other guy.

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Yeah, I like Vick to win but fuck knows really. Gaethje is pretty good at dragging guys into his kind of fight. Just so happens that his last two were Poirier and Alvarez who are two of the most granite and war hardened guys in the game and were equipped to match him. 

Vick has beat some good fighters and he talks a pretty good game but this is his first big spotlight fight. First UFC main event and against a guy who's built up some name value over the last year or so. It's the opportunity Vick's been begging for for a while now so we'll see if he rises to the challenge or chokes. 

He seems like he's up to the challenge though. 

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Vicks one of the more deserving guys of a headline slot in some time, im glad they gave him the shot.

I think i may be guilty of writing Gaethje off him in my head because hes on a two fight skid, because i was favouring Vick too, the bookies have Vick as a favorite as well.

Really thinking about it though im not sure if Vick's backfoot style will really work for 5 rounds against Gaethje. I see Gaethje pressing forward and eventually getting to Vick who hasn't been known as someone who likes to get into a brawl. I think Vick needs to fight the perfect fight to pull it off over 5 rounds. So im taking Gaethje by TKO round 3.

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