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wandshogun09

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

Livia Renata Souza vs Sarah Frota 

Thiago Alves vs Max Griffin


ESPN+ PRELIMS
Johnny Walker vs Justin Ledet

Ricardo Ramos vs Said Nurmagomedov 

Magomed Bibulatov vs Rogério Bontorin 

Markus Perez vs Anthony Hernandez


FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Junior Albini vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik

Mara Romero Borella vs Taila Santos

 

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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