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UFC Fortaleza: Assuncao vs Moraes 2 - Feb 2 🇧🇷

Who wins and how?   

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Saturday 2nd February the UFC is in Fortaleza, Brazil with pretty strong card featuring all-Brazilian main and co-main events. 

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ESPN+ MAIN CARD
Raphael Assuncao vs Marlon Moraes 

Jose Aldo vs Renato Moicano 

Demian Maia vs Lyman Good

Charles Oliveira vs David Teymur 

Johnny Walker vs Justin Ledet

Lívia Renata Souza vs Sarah Frota


ESPN+ PRELIMS
Markus Perez vs Anthony Hernandez 

Thiago Alves vs Max Griffin

Mara Romero Borella vs Taila Santos 

Junior Albini vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik

Geraldo De Freitas Jr vs Felipe Colares

Ricardo Ramos vs Said Nurmagomedov 

Magomed Bibulatov vs Rogério Bontorin 

 

Quite like this. Main event is a quality fight, a rematch of a controversial decision and a #1 contenders match. Then you’ve got an Aldo co-headliner, Johnny Walker back in there and a few interesting debuts. Not bad at all. 

 

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Raphael Assuncao vs Marlon Moraes 2 then. Dana has already confirmed that the winner of this gets a title shot. So you’re looking at one of these two against the Dillashaw vs Cejudo winner later this year. Any way you mix that up, you get a great fight. 

So yeah, this is a rematch. They first met back in June 2017 on the UFC 212 prelims in Rio. It was Moraes’ UFC debut. Don’t remember much of the fight so I’m going to fire up Fight Pass here to refresh my memory. 

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Round 1: Kind of a cautious start to the fight. Moraes quicker on the draw and is beating Assuncao to the punch for the majority of it. Assuncao doesn’t really do any damage, apart from a kick to the groin, until he lands two big right hands in the last 10 or so seconds. Not enough to steal the round though. Moraes 10-9. 

Round 2: Assuncao a little bit more aggressive this round. Mostly leg kicks with the odd hook thrown in. Crowd starting to boo which is a bit harsh but, although far from a bad fight, it’s not particularly exciting so far. A better round from Assuncao here but Moraes comes on in the final minute and lands some good stuff which might’ve nicked it for him. It’s a close one but I’m leaning ever so slightly to Assuncao 10-9. 

First two rounds were all standup but Assuncao’s corner are telling him to take Moraes down now between rounds. 

Round 3: They’re getting after it now. Assuncao with a hard right that almost drops Moraes but Moraes fires back with a left hook of his own. Moraes doing well with his kicks now but Assuncao catches him in the balls again and that will put a stop to anyone’s momentum. Moraes really looking good now though. He’s found a home for his left hook, is being effective with leg and body kicks and in the last minute he mixes it up with a surprise takedown attempt and a spinning back kick which is partially blocked but still clips Assuncao. Moraes’ best round for me, that. You could almost see the old ‘Octagon Jitters’ evaporate and him starting to feel comfortable in there. Moraes 10-9. 

So I’ve got Moraes winning 29-28. The official scorecards are read out and the winner is announced...

Winner - Raphael Assuncao by split decision.

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That picture kind of sums it up. Assuncao looks pleasantly surprised to have got the nod, Moraes looks baffled. I agree with him. Can’t remember what I made of the decision at the time, I’ve always remembered it as this razor close decision. I’ve got to say though, watching it back here I can’t really see a strong argument for Assuncao winning. 

Offical scores were 29-28 Moraes, 29-28 Assuncao and...30-27 Assuncao? 30-27 for Assuncao is utterly ridiculous. The only round I felt Assuncao could’ve won was the second and even then I think a case can be made for Moraes stealing it. No way you can give Assuncao all three rounds. 

Just look at the scorecard though;

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Who is the dumb cunt who wrote “AHSUNSOW” instead of Assuncao? When the correct spelling of his name is clearly printed a few inches above? This is what we’re dealing with. These wallies hold peoples’ careers and earning potential in their hands. 

For what it’s worth, here’s how the media had it at press row;

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Anyway, it was a pretty good fight. Definitely one of those three rounders where it ends and you think ‘I wonder how that’d play out over 5?’ Now we get to find out. And the stakes are high with a title shot up for grabs. 

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They’ve both looked great since the first fight as well. Assuncao scored a highlight reel one punch knockout over Matthew Lopez and a decision over Rob Font. Moraes outpointed John Dodson and KOd Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera in a combined 90 seconds or so. They’re both on top form right now and this has all the ingredients of a fantastic fight.

 

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Jose Aldo vs Renato Moicano should be a good ‘un. Brazil vs Brazil. Old school vs new breed. This is a great matchup. Dana said recently that he actually wanted this fight to headline this card but Aldo wanted a 3 rounder and ”you don’t say no to Jose Aldo” according to Dana. Not sure why he pushed for a 3 rounder but I saw Luke Thomas saying something like Aldo would’ve made the same money for a 5 rounder anyway. If he’s not making any more coin, I guess why do the extra 2 rounds? Regardless, it’s an interesting fight. Aldo is a legend, one of the best ever and a monster of the lighter weight classes. A lot has been made of him slowing down but I’m not sure how much of it is that and how much is just that some of the younger guys have simply caught up to him. He showed in his last fight you can’t sleep on him though, stopping Jeremy Stephens with a vicious body shot inside a round. He’s still got a few rounds left in the clip. I’m high on Moicano too though. He’s one we missed out of the ‘Prospects/Breakout stars of 2019’ thread or whatever it’s called. Moicano looks the business. 13-1-1, his only loss is to Brian Ortega in a great fight which Moicano was winning before getting caught in a late guillotine. Since then he’s looked impressive beating Calvin Kattar on points, then dropping and subbing Cub Swanson in a round in his last fight. He’s a BJJ black-belt, good striking, aggressive, seems durable, lanky. He’s got a lot of tools. He was the backup last month to step in if Holloway vs Ortega fell apart, so he’s in line for a title shot. A win here over a name like Aldo would surely secure that for him. 

 

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Demian Maia vs Lyman Good could be decent but I’ll admit I’m not really here nor there on it. I really like Maia myself. He’s been involved in some absolutely rotten fights over the years so I can see why some aren’t a fan, but when he was on he was brilliant to watch. One of the very best grapplers in MMA history, regardless of weight class. Seems a really, really top bloke as well. All class, nobody’s got a bad word to say about him. You have to think he’s near retiring now though. He’s 41 years old, has had failed title shots at both 185 and 170 in awful fights and he’s coming into this one off the back of 3 consecutive losses. I don’t think he’s as shot as some might think though. While he’s coming off 3 defeats they were to Tyron Woodley, Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman. 3 of the division’s top current fighters and all bad style matchups for Maia due to their wrestling nullifying Maia’s BJJ. Lyman Good is...good but he’s certainly a significant step down from those guys and, on paper at least, a better style for Maia to work his game against. Good is solid enough, 20-4, 4-1 in his last 4 and coming off a KO over Ben Saunders. But if Maia is anywhere near what he was, he should be winning this. It should be a nice gauge to tell us what Maia has left in the tank. Either way he’s probably only got a handful of fights left. 

 

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Charles Oliveira vs David Teymur is the latest addition to the card and it might well steal the show. Really love this matchup. I’ve always enjoyed watching Oliveira. He’s one of the most exciting grapplers on the roster and his BJJ is so aggressive which is why he gets so many submissions. He really commits to going for them, which might also be why he’s been caught a few times himself. He’s on a good little run of form at the moment. 4-1 in his last 5. Included in that are submissions over Will Brooks, Clay Guida and in his most recent fight Jim Miller. He’s 25-8-1 and of his 25 wins, 17 were by submission. Teymur is Swedish, 8-1 with the only defeat being a decision in his pro debut. He was on the McGregor vs Faber season of TUF. He’s beat Lando Vannata, Drakkar Klose and Nik Lentz in his last 3 outings. He also has a 39-2 Kickboxing record. He’s kind of been flying under the radar so far but he’s one to keep an eye on for sure. His brother Daniel fights in the UFC as a featherweight but I think David is the better of the two Teymurs myself. This should be an excellent fight. 

 

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Livia Renata Souza vs Sarah Frota is another Brazil vs Brazil derby. Don’t really know either of these two. Think I’ve seen Souza fight. She made her UFC debut in September, submitting Alex Chambers. 12-1 overall with 10 finishes, BJJ black-belt, former Invicta strawweight champ. Frota I know fuck all about but she looks bloody terrifying. She’s 31, 9-0 with 7 finishes and was on the Brazilian version of Dana’s Contender Series. She scares me. Makes Cyborg look like Michelle Waterson. 

 

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Thiago Alves vs Max Griffin is a decent fight that I didn’t know was booked. I’ve always been a fan of Alves. At one point he looked every bit the future of the sport and I even remember fancying the upset when he fought GSP at UFC 100. That sounds laughable now but he was a proper beast back then. Over the years he’s slowed down massively though. I think injuries played a huge part in that, bad weight cuts earlier in his career wouldn’t have helped and the USADA effect might've been a factor as well. I usually hate speculating but he was fucking JACKED around the time he crushed Matt Hughes at the O2 in London. I was in attendance that night and it really didn’t seem like a fair fight at all. Like a rottweiler vs a Yorkshire terrier. Alves still has his moments but he’s far from what he once was. Griffin is one of the new blood at 170. He’s looked OK so far but has a hit and miss UFC record. Highlight of his career so far is undoubtedly his points win over Mike Perry last Feb. Alves has lost 4 of his last 5 now so this is crucial for him. He’s only 35 but he’s got a lot of miles on him as a fighter. If he loses this I honestly wouldn’t be shocked if he calls it a day. 

 

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Johnny Walker vs Justin Ledet is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** here. Really looking forward to this. Two of the new faces at 205. I’ve been talking forever about this new wave of light heavyweights coming up. Some look like real potential future players, others not so much, but it’s all much needed depth in a division which had been crying out for it. They’ve clearly made a conscious effort to strengthen the 205 division and I think it’s going to start paying off soon. And with only one UFC fight under his belt, Johnny Walker is one of the ones I’m most excited about. He’s 26 years old, 15-3 record with 14 finishes, he’s 6ft6 so a good size for the weight. Made his UFC debut in November and completely wiped out Khalil Rountree with an elbow in 2 minutes. Rountree was coming in off a big win over Gokhan Saki as well and Walker just obliterated him. He looked scary. Seems a fun character as well from little bits I’ve seen. Early days of course but I’m really liking him already. Ledet, less so. He’s alright, 9-1-1 record, decent boxer. Just not that into him. Could be an interesting clash though between Walker’s Muay Thai and Ledet’s Boxing. 

 

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Ricardo Ramos vs Said Nurmagomedov is a real dark horse fight between two promising up and comers. Ramos is only 23 but he’s already 12-1 with 9 stoppages. Got on most MMA fans’ radar when he knocked out Aiemann Zahabi (Firas’ brother) with a spinning back elbow on the Bisping vs GSP undercard at MSG. He’s in with Said Nurmagomedov (Khabib’s cousin) who is also 12-1 and beat Justin Scoggins in his UFC debut in July. I didn’t see the fight but I’ve heard and read enough about Said that I’m intrigued to see him. Guys who have trained with him like Frankie Edgar rave about him so he must have something about him. 

 

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Magomed Bibulatov vs Rogério Bontorin is another fight where I’m not too familiar. I’ve seen Bibulatov but I think only once. And that was his last fight, which was also his lone MMA loss to John Moraga where he was knocked out in under 2 minutes. Probably misleading as he was 14-0 prior to that. That was October 2017. He missed all of 2018 with a back injury. Hopefully he’s good to go now and we can see what he’s got. I know nothing of Bontorin, never heard of him. Looking him up he’s Brazilian, 26 years old, 14-1-1 record and this is his Octagon debut. 

 

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Junior Albini vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik is the heavyweight offering. Albini is mostly known as the man who wore a nappy for one of his UFC fights. Lost his last two to Alexey Oleynik and Andrei Arlovski. He’s 14-4 now. Not really a fan. He’s just a big sloppy fat bloke but not in the good way like a Chris De La Rocha or someone like that. He’s not been much fun to watch in the fights I’ve seen. It’s this Rozenstruik chap I’m interested to see here. This is his UFC debut. He’s Surinamese, 30, 5-0 with 4 TKOs, his last fight was in Rizin. They actually signed him to a multi-fight deal but agreed to terms for him to go to the UFC. He’s the first Surinamese fighter to sign with the UFC.

He also had a successful Kickboxing career. Won a fair few titles...

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From what I can find he went 76-6-6 as a kickboxer. I’m very much intrigued. 

 

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Mara Romero Borella vs Taila Santos I’m going in a bit blind on. I’ve only seen Borella once and nothing of Santos. Borella is Italian, 11-5-2. Looked great in her UFC debut, choking Kalindra Faria in a round but she lost to Katlyn Chookagian in her last outing. Taila Santos is Brazilian, 25 years old, undefeated at 15-0 with 12 finishes. Fought on Dana’s Contender Series in August. This fight is at Flyweight but Santos did win a title at 135 for a company called Aspera FC (hence the belt in the pic there) in Brazil with a first round body shot. Repped by MTK Global as well, which you don’t see often. Never heard of her but she sounds promising. 

 

That’s UFC Fortaleza. A good card, I think. Love the top two fights, can’t wait to see Johnny Walker back and the debuts of Sarah Frota, Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Taila Santos have me more interested than most debuts. If you’ve read all that, Obrigado. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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This is on Saturday, incase you forgot. 

And look at this. The UFC were considering moving this show out of Fortaleza due to a wave of gun crime and bomb attacks! Crazy. Especially given last month’s Jones-Gus event being moved on fight week. 

From MMAMania;

On the heels of UFC 232’s last minute relocation from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, the UFC had reportedly considered switching venues for their second UFC show in two months. 

However, the potential change of venue for February 2nd’s UFC Fight Night: Fortaleza wasn’t because of discrepancies in a fighter’s drug testing results. Instead, according to MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz, the possible move away from Fortaleza was because of a wave of violence that has gripped the city’s state of Ceará. 

Ceará is a coastal state located in northeast Brazil. It’s the eighth most populated of Brazil’s 27 states with over 8 million residents. Around half of the state’s population live in and around the capital city of Fortaleza; which has hosted the UFC on two prior occasions.

The trouble that has risked the UFC’s third visit to Fortaleza began in early January when, according to Aljazeera, drug gangs operating inside prisons ordered their non-incarcerated members to commit acts of violence on the streets of Ceará. 

It’s alleged that the days of violence were ordered by cartel bosses in reaction to efforts to curtail their business from inside prison. Those measures included cracking down on cellphone use and the relocation of several cartel members to other prisons. 

The violent scenes crafted by the cartel included the torching of buses and gun attacks on banks and public buildings. There was even a bomb explosion in the state that has been attributed to the cartels. 

Over the past two weeks there were more than 200 attacks in Ceará leading to 400 arrests (per MMA Fighting). Brazilian outlet Globo1 reported that 138 vehicles, 51 public buildings, 13 bridges, and 10 banks have been attacked since January 2nd.

President Jair Bolsonaro (a friend of many a UFC fighter) was recently elected in Brazil thanks, in part, to his promise to respond to violent crime with extreme force. Ceará has presented Bolsonaro with the first opportunity to fulfill that campaign promise.

According to The Guardian five hundred national guard troops have been deployed to the region.

Despite the situation in Ceará, UFC Fight Night: Assuncao vs. Moraes 2 appears to be going ahead at Fortaleza’s Centro de Formação Olímpica (CFO). However, multiple sources told MMA Fighting that a potential move away from Fortaleza had been discussed.

In response to questions from MMA Fighting the Secretary of Sports and Youth of Ceará said that the government will double the security around the CFO during the event.

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That's some crazy shit! Had always fancied Brazil as a nice travel destination, after reading that... err, maybe not.

On the card, I'm really liking the depth. Honestly more stars and better fights than the Aussie card a week later. Going to have to watch that first Assuncao vs. Moraes fight back, because I don't remember it at all. Aldo vs. Moicano is a great tester of where Aldo is these days, plus a huge opportunity for Moicano who has really impressed me to this point.

And Charles Oliveira. Loved watching him since his debut, and he really seems to have it all together these days after hitting a rough patch of inconsistent performances a few years back.

Thiago Alves is always in fun scraps. Gonna be a solid afternoon of fights for me!

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5 hours ago, Shane O' Mac Version 2 said:

Going to have to watch that first Assuncao vs. Moraes fight back, because I don't remember it at all. 

The UFC have it up on their YouTube channel. It’ll be gone after this show though, so if you’re planning to watch it you’ve got a few days.

Not a great fight but warms up nicely as it goes on. Definitely think there’s a better fight to be had now, especially with Moraes now being more at home in the Octagon, them having 5 rounds to play with and a potential title shot at stake. Although that’s probably out the window now with the Cejudo win the other week. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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Johnny Walker motherfuckers. Look at the first knockout in this highlight. Fucking. Hell!...

MMAJunkie did an interview with him as well. Really likeable guy; 

Not predicting him to be champion or anything but I hope he goes far. Seems a good guy and he’s exciting as fuck to watch. You don’t often see a man of his size throw strikes with the volume, variation and creativity that he does. Obviously, as his opposition gets tougher it won’t be as easy to look so flashy but I really like him already. Of the new batch of young 205ers coming through you have some real standouts like Dominick Reyes and Aleksandar Rakic who I really rate. But I think Walker is going to be my favourite of the bunch. I get the feeling he might not go quite as far as the others due to his reckless style but he’s going to be a favourite of mine going forward, I can tell already. 

Oh, and Sarah Frota came in 7lbs heavy. Christ. She’s losing 40% of her purse for that. Great start to her UFC career. Wouldn’t be shocked if they sack her if she loses and looks bad tomorrow night after that. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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The "thwack" on that knee! Jesus. 205 could use the new blood. The way Gus got handled, Glover aging, and Lionheart Smith set to take a Bones whooping surely, the time is right for this Johnny Walker character to make a statement. Reyes and Rakic are good, but Walker has some intangible "x-factor" about him.

7 lbs is ridiculous. Just had a quick look and it doesn't seem that Frota was a late replacement, so what is she playing at?

More interested in this show than I've been in quite some time for a Fight Night. Wasn't even this keen for the ESPN debut, and that had a stronger card. Think it's the Aldo/Oliveira combination that's got me excited. The whole thing has the feel of an "under the radar" gem.

Edited by Shane O' Mac Version 2

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That was fun, wasn’t it? I know it’s early in the year and I know it’s usually only PPVs that get the ‘Show Of The Year’ praise but this is probably going to be on my shortlist come December. Loved almost everything on this one and the main card was packed with great finishes. 

First of all Johnny Fucking Walker!!! Jesus Christ. I love the mental bastard. I was pissing myself at his dancing during his walkout, then the fight starts and the laughing stops. Spinning backfist KO in 15 seconds! Ledet had looked pretty solid prior to this as well. Walker couldn’t have looked a much bigger star here though. The mad entrance, how calm and cool he looked with his arms on the cage as the fight was about to start, casually strolls over and gets the 15 second knockout, then does the bloody Worm post-fight. He’s class. Thank fuck that kick didn’t land on the ground though. Would’ve been disaster. I love how wild he is but that’s going to have to be managed. 

Love the nutter though. I’m sure he’ll get caught out eventually, he’s so reckless and wild that you can see him being made to pay for that as his opposition improves. But whatever, he’s exactly the kind of character the 205 division needs right now. 

Moving on...

Marlon Moraes deserves his crack at the gold. He most likely won’t get it yet because of this Cejudo-Dillashaw thing but Moraes has really shown that he’s also earned the shot. I think when this rematch was announced everyone expected a hard fought, gruelling battle. Moraes going out and submitting a black-belt like Raphael Assuncao in a round is a massive statement. You have to go back 9 years to find Assuncao being subbed, and that was prime Urijah Faber in WEC! Moraes is 4-1 in the UFC now (should be 5-0, IMO) and now he’s avenged the one loss anyway. And he’s now finished Assuncao, Rivera and Sterling consecutively in a round apiece. I’d love to see him against either Cejudo or Dillashaw. 

Jose Aldo is still a beast. Let that be known. I’ve said for ages that I thought the McGregor and Holloway losses gave a distorted sense of Aldo’s decline. You don’t dominate Frankie Edgar or crush Jeremy Stephens in a round if you’re shot. And now he’s just big brothered a legit young prospect in Moicano. This was impressive stuff. I think Aldo’s really motivated right now. He’s talked about only wanting a few more fights and I think that’s really driving him to go out on a high. Could possibly see him in there with a Brian Ortega or Alexander Volkanovski next. But he’s also been talking about fighting Anthony Pettis at 155. 

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That gets my vote. Let’s finally see it. I know Pettis is fighting Wonderboy soon but I’d be well up for Aldo vs Pettis regardless of that result. It should’ve happened in 2013 for fuck’s sake. Get it made. 

Chuffed to see Demian Maia look like Demian Maia again. He really needed something like that coming off those 3 losses. As soon as it hit the ground you could just see Maia was in a completely different galaxy to Lyman Good. Good’s no jobber and Maia just cut straight through him. 

This as well...

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Great to see Maia get that moment in Brazil. Would’ve been a cool way to retire but from the sounds of it he’s going to finish to his contract first. 

Oliveira vs Teymur was a good but odd fight with the eye pokes and timeouts and stuff. Was happy to see Oliveira get the submission in the end. He had a rough night with the eye poke and knockdown but he came through in the end. The finish was great, the way he hurt Teymur on the feet then pounced all over the choke. That’s 4 subs in a row now for Oliveira, over some good names as well. 

Markus Perez vs Anthony Hernandez was an entertaining, all-action fight. Thought Hernandez was starting to get the better of it but Perez got him with that beautiful D’arce and that was it. 

Mara Romero Borella vs Taila Santos was a weird one. I enjoyed it when they were grappling and the few times they were striking but the clinch work sapped the energy out of the thing. And the bulk of the fight probably took place in the clinch. I liked the bits of Santos we’d seen with the brutal leg kicks and stuff but she just didn’t really have any answers for Borella’s ground game as the fight went on, despite coming fairly close with that choke in the first. 

Thiago Alves vs Max Griffin was an excellent fight. Proper scrap. Alves is battered and has clearly slowed down from his 2008/09 peak but he can still go. He’s not shot like a Bigfoot or Diego Sanchez or something. This was a bit of a war. I was happy for Alves that he got the win but I’ll be honest, I had it scored for Griffin. Was a bit surprised at the decision. Had them 1-1 going into the last round and thought Griffin won that third quite clearly. Real good fight though. 

I was excited about the debut of Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the opening post. He got the W and the stoppage here but it’s clear he’s going to struggle. He’s got fuck all in the way of grappling really. He’ll be fun against some of the strikers and brawlers of the division though. 

And Said Nurmagomedov had a great showing, stopping Ricardo Ramos quick with a nasty body kick. I like his striking. Apparently he’s not actually Khabib’s cousin, I’d read he was. Doesn’t fight anything like Khabib either. Looking forward to seeing more of him. Apparently he wants to fight Sean O’Malley. I’m down for that. 

Oh and I really enjoyed Bisping on commentary. He even made Brendan Fitzgerald sound decent and I’ve never really rated him before. Thought they worked well together. 

So yeah, fantastic show. Very little fat on it. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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I only managed to catch the top five fights, but what a five to catch. Like you say Wand, Johnny Fucking Walker indeed. Is it too early to say Johnny Walker could be 2019's version of Israel Adesanya in 2018? He's got charisma coming out of his ears, talent, extremely athletic, humongous for the division and power for days. He's going to wreck shop against some of the less agile blokes in the 5-15 range of that division. Takes chances galore surely, and will get caught out at some point I would imagine, but from all I've seen of him so far, he's going to be a somebody very soon at 205.

Jose Aldo looked absolutely dynamite here. Moicano is no joke and he had a significant height and reach advantage over Jose, and Also made it look easy. Brian Ortega struggled to get the W over Moicano, and just managed it at the death in a fight he was losing. Aldo here, looked no less the athlete than he has ever been, with his speed, reflexes and timing looking sharp as a tack and he still has the incredible power that he has always possessed. Absolutely delighted for him. If anything, Aldo's win's here over Moicano, Stephens and Edgar only serve to highlight how truly impressive the McGregor and moreso the Holloway wins against Jose were. The man is a phenom and he has plenty left in the tank yet.

Charles Oliviera is never going to give anybody an easy night's work. An animal on the ground and dangerous on the feet. His toughest opponent always seems to be himself with never having the weight class nailed down. I can understand why as well, as he clearly has trouble with the cut to 145 but his frame looks small for 155. Having said that, when you have BJJ skills like that, I don't think he would mind some of the wrestlers at 155 trying to put him on his back. 

Marlon Moraes deserves the shot at 135. He already did, but even moreso now. The dude is an animal. He hits like he is from two weight classes higher (he kind of is considering he balloons back up by twenty pounds on fight night). If he fights TJ then I'm picking Marlon, by brutal KO in the first. I don't know who he fights if he doesn't get the title fight though. Who's available, that is in his vicinity, that he hasn't beaten already? 

I was very happy for Maia. One of the real good guys of the sport. I feel like if he fights people that aren't elite wrestlers, he could probably right this way and win for the next 3 or 4 years. He's impossible to handle if you can't keep him at distance. 

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Johnny Walker needs to fight a ranked opponent next. Preferably on a PPV opening bout. 205 needs someone like him. He's like a cartoon character. 

I'm fully onboard.

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The upcoming May PPV in Brazil, UFC 237, could be quality. Between rumours and fighters calling each other out, these fights could all potentially happen at 237...

Amanda Nunes vs Holly Holm - Featherweight Title - A few places, including MMAMania and BloodyElbow, are reporting this is currently being discussed to headline. Makes sense given the recent scrapping of Holm vs Aspen Ladd and, if not Nunes vs Cyborg 2, this is about as good a title fight as they can make right now at 135. 

Rose Namajunas vs Jessica Andrade - Strawweight Title - This has already been officially confirmed by all the reputable MMA news sites. 

Jose Aldo vs Anthony Pettis or Dustin Poirier - Aldo badly wants on the 237 card. He talked about it constantly going into this Fortaleza show and again in his post-fight interview. He said he’s sent the UFC a list of names he’s down to fight in May, and said it’s basically every Top 15 featherweight on the roster and a few lightweights too. He specifically named Pettis and Poirier. 

Demian Maia vs Michael Chiesa - Maia called for this in a post-show interview with MMA Fighting last night. Never even thought of it myself but I’d love to see it. Chiesa looked the part in his debut at 170 and subbed Condit. But he’s a bit of a twat so I’d be more than up for seeing Maia show him who the real daddy is at 170 when it comes to BJJ. 

Tatiana Suarez vs Nina Ansaroff - Seen this in a few places as being ‘in the works’ for 237 but the top sites don’t seem to have picked it up yet. I’m a big fan of Suarez. I could see why they’d put her on this card as a potential backup incase Rose or Andrade get injured. Plus Nunes and Ansaroff on the same card makes sense too, I guess. 

Shogun Rua vs Glover Teixeira - Glover respectfully called to fight Shogun after his win on the Brooklyn show the other week. Good fight between two guys coming off a win, both at the tail end of their careers, both exciting styles etc. 

Good stuff if it comes off. You could also possibly see the likes of John Lineker and Johnny Fucking Walker on there. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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Johnny Walker is Louie Spence in a killers body. Mad bugger very nearly ruined all his good work with that kick. Impossible not to fall in love with him a bit, however. Mostly because he's as legit in the cage as he is on the dance floor.

Anyway, delighted for Aldo. Similar to wand, I've never had time for the talk he was on the slide, and again he makes it look foolish. That charge in the 2nd was terrifying. How many fights does Aldo have left on his deal? I can see him pissing off to One or Bellator, despite all the retirement talk. He's still one of the best about.

Maia seems like the nicest man in the sport, so bloody lovely seeing him win again.

Bisping was as good as you would hope. He has a bit DC in that he's a great blend of knowledge and passion.

Excellent show.

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I've been so sketchy over the last few months with my UFC viewership, but I've just gotten all caught up on last night and what a great show to pop back in for.

Moraes looked the absolute business in there. He looks really good everywhere, with wins coming via both KO and submission. I'd love to see him batter Dillashaw, and hopefully that'll be the next fight to make. Let Cejudo get his win back against Benavidez or something in the meantime, I'm absolutely over the concept of "champion vs champion" fights now.

Same can be said for Aldo. Makes you realise just how fucking immense Holloway is to be able to hand him two defeats on the bounce. Unless you're part of the absolute elite, you're not getting anywhere against him. I can see the reasoning for him going up to 155lbs (losing to Holloway twice, not as rough a weight cut, more chance of the albeit unlikely McGregor rematch, lots of new opponents) but I really hope we get to see him against either Ortega or Yair at 145lbs. I can't see any way in which either of those fights wouldn't be incredible.

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@ColinBollocks Not sure how many fights Aldo’s got left contractually but he was saying going into this that he wants to be done by the end of 2019 and was hoping to get 3 fights in this year. This one, another on the May PPV, then the swansong towards the end of the year. How realistic that is is anyone’s guess though. Especially given Aldo’s track record with spells of inactivity. 3 fights in a year for him sounds very optimistic but I’d love to see it. 

@AdamTH17 Aldo vs Yair would be ace but I’m still holding out hope for that Yair vs Zabit fight getting made. Similarly, Aldo vs Ortega would be awesome but at this point, if Aldo’s retiring this year, it might be a little bit counterproductive putting him in with top contenders because he’s probably just going to beat them and leave the division with no viable challengers when he does retire. This Moicano fight being a case in point. Before this fight Moicano was pencilled in as the backup to step in at UFC 231 if either Holloway or Ortega got hurt. That’s how close he was to a title shot. Now Aldo’s just schooled him and all it’s done for the 145 division is eliminate a legit challenger. Because let’s face it, Aldo’s not getting a third go at Holloway anyway. As good as Aldo vs Ortega would no doubt be, it might be a risk not worth taking because if Aldo wins Ortega is 0-2 in consecutive fights and out of the title picture for a long time, and with zero payoff because they’re not doing Max vs Aldo 3. 

I like Aldo at 155 for his last two fights. Fuck it. Let him sod the weight cut off (which has always reportedly been quite rough on him) and come in fresh for his last couple of fights. Fights with Pettis or Poirier or Cerrone or Nate, whoever. He deserves to go out in a couple of biggish ‘name’ fights. 

I didn’t know until the other day but we very nearly got Aldo vs Cerrone at 155 as the headliner for September’s São Paulo Fight Night. Aldo said it was agreed to but never ended up happening. And now the Cerrone vs McGregor thing is gaining momentum it’s unlikely. 

If lightweight in 2019 throws us Khabib vs Ferguson for the gold, McGregor vs Cerrone, Aldo vs Pettis and maybe Poirier vs Iaquinta then I’ll be over the bastard moon. 

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