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UFC Beijing: Blaydes vs Ngannou 2 - Nov 24


Who wins and how?  

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Back in Beijing on Saturday 24th November with a big heavyweight rematch. 


Curtis Blaydes vs Francis Ngannou 

Alistair Overeem vs Sergey Pavlovich 

Song Yadong vs Vince Morales 

Lie Jingliang vs David Zawada


Alex Morono vs Kenan Song

Lauren Mueller vs Wu Yanan

Rashad Coulter vs Hu Yaozong

Jessica Aguilar vs Weili Zhang 

Syuri Kondo vs Yan Xiaonan

Pingyuan Liu vs Martin Day

Kevin Holland vs John Philips

Louis Smolka vs Su Mudaerji


Should be a few more fights added yet but can't see anything significant getting added. For Fight Pass, that main event and an Overeem co-headliner is about as good as you're getting. Doesn't do much for me this card but I quite like these shorter Fight Pass main cards, especially when they're on early like this will be, so I'll roll with it. 



Blaydes vs Ngannou 2 then. Not really a rematch the MMA world was crying out for but it'll do. They both needed a biggish fight and everyone else is either sidelined or already booked so sod it. Why not run this back? 


They first clashed back in April 2016. It was a Fight Night card in Zagreb, Croatia. Ngannou was 6-1 at the time, Blaydes was undefeated at 5-0. It was Blaydes' UFC debut. I've just rewatched the fight to refresh my memory as I hadn't seen it since the night it happened. 

Round 1: Ngannou did well defending the takedown attempts early on. He buckled Blaydes a bit with a straight left about halfway through the round but he recovered. Blaydes gets a takedown with a minute to go but Ngannou manages to get up just before the round ends. A Ngannou round. 10-9. 

Round 2: Both men seem more wary of each others' strengths now. Ngannou isn't committing so much on the feet because he doesn't want to be taken down again. And Blaydes seems a bit more desperate. Blaydes finally gets a takedown but Ngannou again gets up. Blaydes' eye is fucked. Looks completely swollen shut. And Ngannou jabs him straight in it. Ha. Another Ngannou round, 10-9. 


The doctor comes and checks on Blaydes' eye. It's a fucking state and he rightly stops the fight. 


Winner - Francis Ngannou. Rd 2 - 5:00. TKO via doctor stoppage.

As an aside, I forgot how much I enjoyed Brian Stann as a colour commentator. 

Interesting viewing that fight again. Rewatching that, it's obvious that Ngannou does actually have some clue on grappling. The thinking after Miocic schooled him seemed to be that he was Kimbo levels of bad on the ground. Not the case. He wasn't amazing defensively here but he clearly knew what to do and was largely effective at it. Whether Blaydes just had an off night or Miocic is just so good he made Francis looked all Kimbo, who knows? But Ngannou had clearly worked on defending takedowns here. He needs to pick that back up. 

Anyway, following that fight, Ngannou went on a tear. He finished Bojan Mihajlovic, Anthony Hamilton and Andrei Arlovski with ease, all in less than 2 minutes. In December 2017, he got his biggest fight to date. Co-main event on the UFC 218 PPV against Alistair Overeem. Not even going to bother going into detail. I'm sure you've all seen it a million times by now. Ngannou almost decapitated Reem with a monstrous left hook. Again, in under 2 minutes. That's where the fun ended though. He got a title shot in January and was completely exposed by champ Stipe Miocic. Then in July, in what was meant to be his showcase, bounce back fight, he went out there and stunk the building out with a rotten decision loss to Derrick Lewis. Never has a hype train derailed faster. I still think Ngannou has massive potential but he's got some serious work to do at this point. 

For Blaydes, that Ngannou loss seemed to be his career turning point. Since that defeat he's won 6 in a row (although one has gone down as a No Contest after he failed a test for weed). In his last 3 fights he's beat Alexey Oleynik, Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem. He's a legitimate threat now. A real contender. He looks in much better condition these days and he seems to be really putting it all together skills-wise. 

The timing of this fight makes me lean towards Blaydes. His confidence must be at an all time high right now. He's in the best shape of his career and has the momentum coming off those big wins over Hunt and Reem. Whereas Ngannou in his last fight looked like a man who'd lost all confidence in himself as a fighter. That Miocic loss seemed to have done a number on him mentally. Maybe he can rebound but we'll see. He's always got that terrifying power. 



Alistair Overeem vs Sergey Pavlovich co-mains. Overeem needs to make something happen now if he wants one last run at the title. He's 38 years old, this will be his 62nd MMA fight, he's lost two on the bounce and he's been knocked out 12, count 'em, 12 times in his long MMA career. He's done it before. I mean, everyone wrote him off a few years ago when he had that horrible run of getting KO'd by Bigfoot, Mr Rousey and Dancin' Ben Rothwell. He came back to have arguably his best 4 fight streak in his career after that. But he's been knocked out in brutal fashion by younger fresher beasts in his last two, it can't go on forever. Here he welcomes UFC newcomer Sergey Pavlovich to the big leagues. Pavlovich is Russian, a 6'3" brick shithouse and undefeated at 12-0 with 9 knockouts. Smashed Kiril 'Baby Fedor' Sidelnikov (he's still going?) in his last outing in a round. He hasn't mixed it with anywhere near the level of opposition Reem has and is vastly outmatched in terms of experience but I don't know, it's just got the feel of another bad night for Reem to me. If he loses this one, especially if he gets knocked out, it's hard to see a way back this time. Even in the crazy world of heavyweight MMA. 



Lauren Mueller vs Wu 'Tang' Yanan. I made that up. Her nickname's not 'Tang' but I wish it was. Protect Ya Neck, Wu Tang Yanan ain't nothin' to fuck with. She might not be actually. She's listed as 9-2 with 7 finishes at just 22 years old. Her opponent Lauren Mueller is undefeated at 5-0, she's fought on Dana's Contender thingy I think. 



Where's the beef? The big boys are back in there and Rashad Coulter vs Hu Yaozong is Beijing's ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH***. I've become a big fan of Coulter. Nothing about him is pretty, to look at or fighting-wise, but he's so entertaining once the bell rings. Tough as fuck, hits hard, constant aggression. He's 8-4 and he'll never be a title challenger but he's great to watch and is a highlight of any card he appears on. He's lost his last 3 in a row. He's 0-3 in the UFC. I hope he wins this one so he can stick around a bit longer. If you haven't seen his war with Chase Sherman from UFC 211 last year do yourself that favour. I know nothing about his opponent, Hu 'Bad Boy' Yaozong but you can pretty much chuck Coulter in with anyone and he'll make it watchable. 


Jessica Aguilar vs Weili Zhang could be decent. I find Aguilar a bit hit and miss to watch. Sometimes she looks class others she just seems off. One of the more experienced women in the game, 20-6 and 12 years as a pro. She's beat some top fighters over the years. Zhang is pretty experienced herself though at 17-1. She hasn't lost since her MMA debut back in 2013. So she's on a 17 fight win streak with 15 finishes. Regardless of the level of opposition, that's pretty impressive in MMA. 



Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos vs Li Jingliang might be this card's sleeper FOTN. I think I've bigged up Dos Santos on here recently. He fought on the São Paulo card in September so it'll have been in that thread. Good fighter. 20-5 riding a 6 fight streak currently. And he stopped his last two fights with a spinning wheel kick and a flying knee respectively. This guy deserves more attention than he gets. Reminds me a bit of RDA. Li Jingliang, nicknamed 'The Leech' (me neither), is 15-5 and has looked quite good in his wins over the likes of Zak Ottow, Frank Camacho and Dhiego Lima. He had a real good scrap against Jake Matthews earlier this year, he lost but marred his own performance by being a dirty, eyepoking motherfucker. Maybe the most blatantly deliberate eyepoking you'll ever witness. Glad he lost and I hope Dos Santos makes another highlight reel out of him. 



Syuri Kondo vs Yan Xiaonan, Japan vs China. I don't know much about these two. I remember that Kondo was a pro wrestler and was trained by Tajiri. So I like her already for that. She's 29, 6-1 with her only loss being against rising prospect Poliana Botelho. Kondo also has a 13-1 kickboxing record. Xiaonan is 9-1 with 5 TKOs and has beaten Kailin Curran and Viviane Pereira in the UFC so far. 



Frankie Saenz vs Song Yadong might be worth a gander. Saenz got on most MMA fans' radars when he unexpectedly gave Hall Of Famer Urijah Faber all he could handle in their 2015 fight. He made a fan out of me that night as it was expected to be a run of the mill 'keep busy' fight for Faber, Saenz had other plans. He lost but his stock actually went up in fans eyes. Unfortunately, he then lost his next two fights so wasn't able to capitalise and build off the Faber fight. He's rallied back to win his last two though, taking his record to 13-5. He's 38 now so the sand timer is running empty. But he's a Division 1 wrestler and on a good night he could surprise a lot of guys. He's in with Song Yadong. A 20 year old Chinese prospect who trains at Team Alpha Male. He's 14-3-2 and TKO'd Felipe Arantes on the Singapore show in June.


This should be a morning card over here, shouldn't it? Like I said, not a great lineup but could be a fun way to spend a Saturday morning. With the BT deal ending soon enjoy these cards while you can because fuck knows what this Eleven bollocks will be like. 


Edited by wandshogun09
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I like the main card, should be some short and sweet fights there. 

Cant help but feel that they've thrown Ngannou to the wolves here. He has the win over Blaydes but Blaydes has improved, hes confident and hes a bad style matchup for Ngannou. 

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Just checked Blaydes' record. If he beats Ngannou, depending on how he beats him, the UFC has a pretty marketable talent on their hands. If he beats him decisively, he avenges his one loss, which is probably the next best thing after a completely undefeated record, I guess. If it's close, they've got a rubber match they can push, and hopefully get a bit more out of Ngannou as well as Blaydes.

I don't want to be a downer on Ngannou, but unless he's learned from his last match and improved his game, or at least gets over being gun-shy, his days in the UFC could be numbered. Don't want to see that; his route out of Dana's Dog-House is obvious, but he needs to take it.

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the problem with Blaydes is that hes dull as dishwater outside of the cage and not overly exciting in there either. If he keeps winning he'll eventually get to the top but hes the kind of guy i could see them passing over in the future.

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Ngannou is like the heavyweight Vitor Belfort (90s and 00s version). If he connects with his initial blitz, he wins impressively. If the fight goes past 2-3 minutes, he either goes into his shell or looks like a fish out of water. But credit to him. He's caught out some quality opponents with his limited repertoire. I didn't expect him to win this morning. Not sure if he and Overeem winning is good for the division in the long-term. Heavyweight needs new challengers and has done for quite a while. Yet, the likes of Blaydes and Volkov have been caught out lately. Of course, both can rebuild, but it might take some time. 

At the moment, I can't see past Miocic regaining the belt by this time next year. Once DC and Lesnar do their dance (if they do indeed fight), and DC rides off into the sunset; the door is wide open for Miocic to reclaim his position as the division's reference point. He'd certainly start as favourite against Brock, and in rematches with Overeem, JDS, and Ngannou. 

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Just got around to this. Yeah, happy to see Ngannou back. I really feared he’d been mindfucked so bad by the Stipe loss that he was going to continue to plummet. Especially seeing how shit he looked against Derrick Lewis in July. He couldn’t afford a third loss on the bounce here. He had to pull the trigger and he did.  Like Colin said, there really aren’t many men walking this planet that can withstand that initial Ngannou blitz. This was over so quick that it didn’t answer any questions on if Francis has improved at all on his weaknesses but it’s what he probably needed more than anything right now and that’s a massive confidence booster. Can see them matching him up with the winner of next week’s JDS-Tuivasa fight next. And if he wins a fight like that, well fuck me he’s straight back in the title shot convo. That’s the heavyweight division! 

Overeem looked good. Granted this was probably a step down in level for him but after his recent setbacks he needed that. And to be fair, Pavlovich was unbeaten and landed some meaty shots early. I liked this performance from Overeem. He was aggressive but he mixed it up more than we’ve seen in a while, bringing back the knees and busting out that nifty trip that led to the ground and pound finish. Good stuff. 

Didn’t watch the prelims but read the results and was happy to see Rashad Coulter got the win. Another loss here would’ve almost certainly seen him get the chop. Didn’t even realise he’d dropped to 205 until I saw that he’d missed weight. Hopefully he gets the cut right next time. Also saw that Weili Zhang subbed Jessica Aguilar in a round. She improves to 18-1 and is on a 18 fight win streak with 16 finishes now. Pretty impressive. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Overeem is another of these fighters at heavyweight who seem to manage to reinvent themselves just as the curtain seems to be coming down, isn't he? I know the opponent was an unknown commodity, but Overeem looked like he'd turned back the years, he looked faster, more agile, and above all he looked happy to be in there.

Hopefully he puts a bit of a run together and maybe even wins the title. Would love to see him go out with a UFC title on his resume, he deserves it.

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I agree.

But I also never want to see Overeem smashed into oblivion again, either. That Ngannou knockout is as close as i've got watching MMA to thinking, JR-at-Hell-In-A-Cell style, "That's it, he's dead".

In a perfect world, Lesnar beats Cormier for the title and Overeem gets to beat Lesnar, wins the title and retires.

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Ngannou looked great, scary power, he barely touched Bladez head and he went down, I think he stopped for a second thinking Mark Goddard was going to stop it, he got back up dropped him again and was getting up but I was fine as he most likely would have been put back down 

Overeem is so well rounded but if he gets hurt he'll go down. What's mental as both him and Arlovski for example have been knocked out numerous times and went down like they've been shot but show no signs of slurred speach like you see in a Chuck Liddell, even before Chuck retired the first time, maybe it's the partying that hasn't helped.

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