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wandshogun09

UFC Wichita: Lewis vs Dos Santos - Mar 9 🇺🇸

Who wins and how?   

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Saturday 9th March in Wichita, Kansas. Someone’s getting knocked out. 

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ESPN+ MAIN CARD
Derrick Lewis vs Junior Dos Santos 

Curtis Millender vs Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos 

Tim Means vs Niko Price 

Blagoy Ivanov vs Ben Rothwell 

Beneil Dariush vs Drew Dober

Tim Boetsch vs Omari Akhmedov

 

ESPN+ PRELIMS
Sergio Moraes vs Anthony Rocco Martin

Yana Kunitskaya vs Marion Reneau 

Julian Erosa vs Grant Dawson 

Maurice Greene vs Jeff Hughes 

Louis Smolka vs Matt Schnell

Alex Morono vs Zak Ottow

Alex White vs Dan Moret

 

MMAJunkie’s bout order there. Surely it’s going to be reshuffled though. Dariush-Dober as co-main? I’m not in love with this card, to be honest. I really like the main event and there are some good fights underneath, but I don’t know. It’s lacking something for me. Certainly isn’t helped by being sandwiched between a stacked UFC 235 a week earlier and the really strong London card a week later. 

 

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Derrick Lewis vs Junior Dos Santos will be fireworks though. I know Lewis has had a couple of shit fights but I can’t see it playing out like that here. JDS isn’t what he was but he’s still a top heavyweight and is still going to beat most of the division. He fought twice in 2018 and went 2-0 with wins over Blagoy Ivanov and Tai Tuivasa. And of course, we last saw the Black Beast in November, losing in his title shot against Daniel Cormier at MSG. JDS has lost a step but he’s far from shot. He’s always going to bring it and he hits hard so Lewis is going to have to fire back. Like with pretty much every Derrick Lewis fight, he’s outmatched in skill and technique here. JDS is the way superior boxer, he’s faster, can throw in combinations and has a nice jab. But Lewis always has that one punch x-factor and it’s got him  out of trouble a bunch of times. He’s got a knack for landing that bomb when he most needs it. I really don’t want either man to lose this fight. It’s the only drawback for me of the matchup being made. 

 

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Beneil Dariush vs Drew Dober is OK. Like I said though, this can’t be the co-main event. I know it’s not the deepest of lineups but there are at least two better options to fill the co-main spot. Whatever the case, I hope Dariush wins this. I’ve always had a soft spot for him for some reason. He’s had some bad setbacks, most memorably that flying knee KO he suffered against Barboza springs to mind. But he’s a good fighter, an excellent grappler and he has wins over Jim Miller, James Vick and Michael Johnson on his record. He’s had a patchy run of late but he is coming off a win now. Hopefully he continues that here because I’ve never taken to Dober. Decent enough and is coming off 3 wins but something about him has always bugged me. I think it’s his face. He has a very punchable one. Look at it. Thankfully for me, he’s in a line of work where he’ll get punched in the face regularly. 

 

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Sergio Moraes vs Anthony Rocco Martin again, feels too high up the card. Could be a bit of a darkhorse fight though. Both are on good form at the moment. I’ve always quite liked Moraes. He’s nothing special but I remember him seeming like a real good egg on the first TUF Brazil years ago. He made the finals but lost to Cezar Ferreira. He has won 4 of his last 5, to be fair though, with the only loss being to Kamaru Usman. Tremendous grappler. He’s a 3rd degree BJJ black-belt and has multiple gold medals on his mantle. Martin is a guy who’s been on the roster for ages but went pretty unnoticed for the longest time. He’s looked good recently though. Won 3 in a row, submitted Jake Matthews in his last fight and scored a headkick KO against Ryan LaFlare before that. Why’s he going by Anthony Rocco Martin now though? It was just plain old Tony Martin for years now he’s trying to make himself sound like a Goodfellas character? 

 

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Blagoy Ivanov vs Ben Rothwell in another heavyweight clash. I like this. Could well be sloppy as fuck if it goes past about a round and a half but it could also be a right slobberknocker. Ivanov is 16-2-1, was the WSOF heavyweight champion and fought for years in Bellator. He’s probably most known for the story of him being stabbed and almost dying though, hence that scar just below his tits in the picture there. Crazy story and it’s remarkable that he survived much less returned to MMA. He made his UFC debut in July and lost a 5 round decision to JDS. Tough debut fight for him but I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s got here. Rothwell hasn’t fought since April 2016, also losing to JDS. He was supposed to fight Fabricio Werdum after that but failed a drug test and got a 2 year USADA suspension. He’s served his time and here we are. Rothwell was actually on a hell of a run before that JDS loss. He’d racked up 4 consecutive wins with finishes over Brandon Vera, Alistair Overeem, Matt Mitrione and Josh Barnett! People forget but Rothwell was legitimately knocking on the door of a title shot in 2016. Mixed in with his cringeworthy post-fight promos he was stopping heavyweights left and right. But in light of his USADA ban, how much of it was down to PEDs? This is his chance to try to redeem himself. Could see this maybe ending up as the co-headliner. 

 

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Tim Boetsch vs Omari Akhmedov could be fun. Boetsch is quality. Always been an undercard highlight for me ever since he made his debut all those years ago and dumped David Heath on his twatty head. The comeback KO against Okami in Japan is up there amongst the maddest comebacks in MMA history as well. He’s 38 now, 21-12 record and coming off a one-sided submission loss to Shoeface. It feels like he’s reaching the end of his career now. Akhmedov is no cakewalk though. Just looking at him, he looks like he could eat broken glass and nails and wash it down with petrol. Russian fighters just have that aura don’t they. He’s 17-4-1, wins over Abdul Razak Alhassan and Kyle Noke. A winnable fight for Boetsch but a tough one. 

 

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Yana Kunitskaya vs Marion Reneau is just there really. Kunitskaya is Russian, 29 years old, 11-4-1 record. She’s going to be mostly remembered as one of Cyborg’s victims. She did rebound with a win over Lina Lansberg on the Khabib vs McGregor prelims in October. Reneau is American, a BJJ black-belt with a 9-4-1 record. She’s 41 years old, which I think makes her the oldest woman to fight in the UFC. Not a bad fighter, Reneau. No world beater but she’s certainly had her moments in the UFC. She took Holly Holm the distance, scored a come from behind submission over Sara McCann and in 2015 she submitted Jessica Andrade, in Brazil, inside a round! The matchup here doesn’t do much for me, but it might be a pleasant surprise. 

 

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Curtis Millender vs Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** on this one. This should be on the main card, no ifs ands or buts about it. I hope it gets bumped up. Millender is a real prospect, one of the brightest on the roster for me. And Dos Santos is one of the better and more underrated prelim guys in the UFC as well. Love this pairing. Millender is 17-3 and coming off 9 wins in a row. He debuted in the UFC less than a year ago and is already 3-0 with wins over Thiago Alves, Max Griffin and Siyar Bahadurzada. Dos Santos is 20-5 with 16 finishes and coming off 6 wins in a row. He ended his last 2 fights with a flying knee and a spinning wheel kick respectively. One of the unsung badasses on the undercards. This is probably stealing the show unless the Beast and JDS decide to go all Hunt vs Bigfoot 1 on us. 
 

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Tim Means vs Niko Price could be great. I’ve always said I thought Means was one of those fighters who’s better than his record suggests. You look at his record (28-10-1-1) and think journeyman. But when I watch him I think ‘this guy should’ve done better than he has’. A couple of his losses were split decisions, then he’s taken top guys like Masvidal and Magny the distance. He’s a solid fighter and a good all-rounder. It just hasn’t panned out for him results-wise for whatever reason. Speaking of results not panning out, Niko Price got KO’d by Abdul Razak Alhassan in his last fight. He’s 12-2-1 now but he still has loads of potential, IMO. He’s 29, a BJJ brown-belt, exciting to watch. He’s a real finisher too, 11 of his 12 wins are finishes. He’s stopped Alan Jouban and Brandon Thatch in the UFC, both were considered hot prospects at the time. And he KO’d the fuck out of Randy Brown with hammerfists off his back! 

 

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Louis Smolka vs Matt Schnell is one I’ll keep an eye on purely because of Smolka. Always enjoyed his fights. Him vs Paddy Holohan on one of the Dublin shows a few years back remains one of the highlights of the flyweight division for me. Fantastic forgotten fight that was. I didn’t even realise Smolka had left the UFC. He lost 4 in a row between 2016 and 2017 and went away and won 3 fights in 2018, all finishes, and came back and got a submission win on the Ngannou vs Blaydes 2 show in China in November. Didn’t know he was gone but I’m glad he’s back. 

 

Hey look, I went from barely giving a bollocks about this card to talking myself into quite liking it. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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Tim Boetsch? Ben Rothwell? I thought you'd bumped a fight thread for a few years ago!  

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Even the show being in Wichita feels like a throwback. Might as well dig up Karo Parisyan, Jorge Gurgel and Mustapha Al-Turk as well. Throw them all on there. 

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16 minutes ago, wandshogun09 said:

Even the show being in Wichita feels like a throwback. Might as well dig up Karo Parisyan, Jorge Gurgel and Mustapha Al-Turk as well. Throw them all on there. 

Those names would probably have me more inclined to watch actually.

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Wonder how Rothwell looks, the mental bastard went all pro wrestling and went on abit of a run before popping for PED's. He's not ancient for a heavyweight so he may still have something left in the tank.

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Rothwell will always be remembered for this gem. It's right up there with Paul Buentello's post-fight cringe-fest in 2005. 

 

 

Edited by jimufctna24

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I see Lewis is already talking about his conditioning, saying that it's hard being 280lbs and moving around for 15 or 25 minutes.

I like Lewis, but I don't think he's all that strong mentally. He seems pretty fragile in my opinion, and looks like he's already making excuses in his own mind for why he'll lose this fight if it goes past a round or two.

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he's just a big, lazy fucker isnt he. I'd be surprised if Lewis does anything half resembling a professional training camp. He probably goes on a diet and does some takedown defence drills. 

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JDS career resurgence continues. Wild little 2 rounder, lots of fun but once highlighted The Black Beasts limitations but also showed why he can be so dangerous, crazy fucker almost went full-Scott Smith in round 1.

JDS is probably the nicest man on the planet too, cant sing for shit though.

JDS vs. Cormier? Its not something id really considered before but its a real strong possibility now, Junior has earned it the hard way.

Decent stuff sprinkled throughout.

Price/Means was barmy, Dos Santos cut through Millender like he was nothing, Ivanov/Rothwell had a decent heavyweight punchup (the right man won for me).

Edited by Egg Shen

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Well, it was a good night to be called Dos Santos. Fun show all in all, I thought. 

Loved JDS vs Black Beast, every bit of it. Proper heavyweight slugfest. Like probably everyone expected, JDS was the more skilled fighter. We knew that going in. But Lewis always has that x-factor. People knock him but he has a habit of landing those fight finishing haymakers when he needs them most, it’s no fluke. He’s one dimensional but he’s perfected that one dimension. He’ll beat pretty much anyone who chooses to stand and brawl with him. Sadly for Lewis, Dos Santos just has more layers to his striking game. He still got fucking clobbered a few times though. But in the end, JDS was just operating at a higher level. That spin kick to the body in round 1 was the beginning of the end for Lewis. There was a feeling of desperation in his corner between rounds after that and then JDS was all over him after that big right in the second. 

I’ve loved seeing JDS getting his shit back together these last few fights. Still not convinced he hangs with the top 2 or 3 in the division but there was a time not too long ago when he was looking genuinely a bit shot. He’s got himself back in a good place now though and proven he’s still got plenty left in the tank. Everyone’s been on about DC vs Brock or DC vs Jones 3 or DC vs Stipe 2 but if the Brock thing doesn’t end up happening and Jones fights a Santos or Walker next, I could honestly see JDS sneaking in the back door and nabbing the title shot. Stipe won’t like it but Stipe’s also not fighting and JDS has won 3 fights while Stipe’s been sitting on the sidelines. 

Now Cro Cop is retired and Mark Hunt might be done, JDS and Cormier are by far my two favourite active heavyweights and Lewis has fought them back-to-back now. It’s been hard rooting against the Black Beast because I love the big daft lump. It’ll be nice seeing him fight someone who isn’t one of my favourites next. 

Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos shocked the shit out of me. Not that he won, I’ve rated Dos Santos for a while now and was back and forth on who’d win this fight, but it was how quickly and easily he got it done that surprised me. Millender had looked like a real legit future contender to me in his last few fights so for Dos Santos to just breeze through him in 2 minutes was nuts. Really was an eye-opening performance. I’ve said it before but he really reminds me of Rafael Dos Anjos the way he fights. 

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There was no getting out of that was there? Tighter than my step-dad’s wallet when it’s his round at the pub. 

I agree with Felder. I’d give Dos Santos a top 5 or 10 guy next. Best thing is he took no damage here so he’s probably ready to go again really soon. 

Niko Price is stupidly entertaining to watch. Win or lose there’s never a dull moment with him. He needed this coming off that quick KO loss to Alhassan. And Means had never been knocked out in a 15 year, 40 fight MMA career before this. Price putting him down inside a round was big for him. I actually felt a bit bad for Means because he was looking good right before the finishing shot from Price. Means was fucking him up then Price just waffled him. I saw someone on Twitter suggest Price vs Condit. I’d be all over that if Condit is still planning on fighting. I think Price is exactly the kind of opponent that could bring out the old Natural Born Killer. 

Ivanov vs Rothwell was a close one. Had Ivanov winning the first and Rothwell taking the third. The second round was the decider for me and it was very close. I had Ivanov just about shading it 29-28 but wouldn’t have had a problem with it going to Rothwell either. It was one of them fights. Could’ve seen it 29-28 to either man or a draw. Some of the cries of robbery I’ve seen are a bit much. I think some people are just going off Rothwell’s big third round and are forgetting the first two. Like they only have a 5 minute memory or something. And others seem to have just looked at Ivanov post-fight, saw his eyes all marked up and gone off that. But fights aren’t scored solely on who looks more bruised up after the fight, if they were then Nick Diaz would’ve got the decision over GSP, for fuck’s sake. And we know that’s wrong. This was a close fight. Nothing more, nothing less. I can see why Rothwell feels hard done by but nobody was robbed here. 

Enjoyed Dariush vs Dober. They proper went for it in the striking exchanges and Dober got the better of that, but Dariush was clearly the more advanced grappler and once he got that going for him in the second I felt like it was a matter of time as it really became his kind of fight. Was happy to see Dariush get the submission. Hopefully he can start putting a little run together off the back of this. Really like him. Could do without all the God squad stuff but he always comes off as a class act. 

Akhmedov vs Boetsch wasn’t the best. Bit of an ugly, gruelling fight. Boetsch has been one of my undercard favourites for well over a decade now. Always had a soft spot for The Barbarian but he looked really flat here. Whether it was the lay-off or the broken nose fucking with him or whether he just doesn’t have it anymore, who knows? Whatever the case, it wasn’t happening for him here and Akhmedov was just sharper, younger and fresher and beat him to the punch all night. 

Side note - How fucking old did Marcus Davis look in Boetsch’s corner? I didn’t even realise it was him until Anik namedropped him. He’s aged a ton over the last 10 years. He fought Dan Hardy in 2009 but 2019 Marcus Davis looks like he could be 2009 Marcus Davis’ dad. 

Thought the prelims were mostly really cack and boring apart from Schnell vs Smolka. Main card was good though. 

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yeh was nice to see Davis in there cornering Boetsch. He was the classic mid-carder in the prime-TUF era. 

Sounds like Boetsch is gonna hang em up too. Good innings, would liked to have seen him go out in a more exciting fight though. He got busted up pretty bad in there though.

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JDS is probably not the best heavyweight ever. But his resume is perhaps better than any other Heavyweight. 

He has wins over. 

Cain
Miocic
Werdum
Mir
Hunt
Carwin
Lewis
Cro Cop
Gonzaga
Rothwell
Nelson
Ivanov
Yvel
Tuivasa
Struve

Mental list. Werdum and Cro Cop were not at their best, of course. You can also argue that Miocic hadn't reached his peak either. But the likes of Cain, Hunt, Mir and Carwin certainly were. 

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Yeah, right up there with Werdum’s list of wins that is. JDS’ initial run to the title from 2008-2011 was mega impressive. He pretty much cleared out the division before he even got the belt. 

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He's right in the mix when you talk greatest heavyweight. He's had a couple of real bad defeats though which keep him off the top, not the sort of one punch heavyweight defeats either which everyone suffers at some point.

How about JDS/Miocic 3 next? They are 1-1, Miocic is complaining that he should get DC off the bat which doesnt look like it'll happen. Winner of JDS/Miocic would be a shoe in for a title shot.

DC/Ngannou

JDS/Miocic

 

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Sorry to piss on all this great matchmaking, but it looks like all the talk is they're planning on doing Ngannou v JDS. Tears of joy if JDS manages to see off Ngannou, because I'm forever terrified for JDS whenever he fights, these days. He's just such a sweetheart of a killer and one of the great singers. I agree that this was a rubbish bit of matchmaking because I enjoy both men.

I've only had time to watch the main event, but it was tremendous. Lesser fighters probably would have got clipped by Lewis on the charge, but JDS managed to avoid the worst of it. With Lewis, he has a habit of feigning injury and countering his opponent whenever they charge in - as DC pointed out, he's craftier than some will give him credit for. JDS probably shattered Lewis' Just-Eat order, but Lewis still played that game, which made me initially think he was acting up.

Quite the scrap, though. If Lewis is to lose, then I suppose I'd rather it be to someone like JDS. As wand typed, JDS looked absolutely done a couple of years back, but he's somehow managed to have this resurgence. When you think about the state of both men, maybe a broken Cain won the battle but a thriving JDS won the war. Cain can't have a Sunday morning wank without dislocating his shoulder.

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