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UFC on ESPN: Barboza vs Gaethje - Mar 30 🇺🇸

Who wins and how?   

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Main event was good for as long as it lasted, although I feel we were robbed a bit after the unintentional eye poke that seemed to affect Barboza quite a bit. Decent little scrap though, and I wouldn't be against seeing the winner of Cowboy and Al get that fight next.

Jack Hermansson handled David Branch with relative ease in that co-main, didn't he? He's one of those guys who have snuck up on us, as his name has usually always been associated with the weak European cards, or a prelim of some sort. He's now three fights to the good and is building nicely towards facing a top ten guy before long.

Josh Emmett back to doing what he does best, cracking chins. Wouldn't mind seeing him go up against another stand up fighter like Cub Swanson in the future, add a "name" to his resume.

Nice to see Paul Craig get the win as well, although I thought he looked fucking terrible for most of the fight. Those takedown attempts were among the worst I've seen in ages.

3 hours ago, Silky Kisser said:

I just want Justin v Khabib. 

Settle down.

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Just now, David said:

 

Settle down.

They'll likely go with Pettis/Gaethje, but the Khabib fight gets me tingley. Beating Khabib seems like an impossible task, But I'd like to see Gaethje have a crack. Very good at keeping people on the back foot with constant pressure. 

Take my money. 

 

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1 minute ago, Silky Kisser said:

They'll likely go with Pettis/Gaethje, but the Khabib fight gets me tingley. Beating Khabib seems like an impossible task, But I'd like to see Gaethje have a crack. Very good at keeping people on the back foot with constant pressure. 

Take my money. 

He's also been stopped twice. Gaethje has a habit of getting everyone fired up when he wins because of how he does it, but there's a ceiling for someone who fights like he does.

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6 minutes ago, David said:

He's also been stopped twice. Gaethje has a habit of getting everyone fired up when he wins because of how he does it, but there's a ceiling for someone who fights like he does.

Oh for sure. I'm not saying he's a world beater and I'd likely pick Khabib to win, but I'd like to see how he'd get on with Gaethje just continually walking him down. Styles make fights and all that.

Plus there's always this talk of Gaethje's wrestling in the back pocket. I'd like to see if he'd try it, or how good his own TDD is.

Let me dream, Dave.

 

Edited by Silky Kisser

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1 minute ago, Silky Kisser said:

Oh for sure. I'm not saying he's a world beater and I'd likely pick Khabib to win, but I'd like to see how he'd get on with Gaethje just continually walking him down. Styles make fights and all that.

Plus there's always this talk of Gaethje's wrestling in the back pocket. I'd like to see if he'd try it, or how good his own TDD is.

Let me dream, Dave.

Thing is, the only way he'd have a chance of winning is to walk forward and throw heavy shots, and by walking forward he's literally walking right into Khabib's ideal scenario. He takes fools down for fun who do that.

Gaethje may be tough enough to see out the full fight, but it would be a lopsided beating in my view. I don't see it happening anyway, because Gaethje will have to be matched with a skilled striker or grappler before he gets to Khabib and it likely falls apart for him again.

Yes, I'm the crusher of dreams.

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Memory isn't the best, but I'm sure we've seen flashes of Khabib getting hit, and then trying fire back like a bull to a red rag. Was it the Barboza fight? 

Obviously, it didn't turn out well for Barboza. But I'm wondering if Gaethje could drag him into a firefight and keep the pressure on him. 

Far too much excitement for a Monday morning. 

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1 minute ago, Silky Kisser said:

Memory isn't the best, but I'm sure we've seen flashes of Khabib getting hit, and then trying fire back like a bull to a red rag. Was it the Barboza fight? 

It really does say it all when we actually have to think hard to recall a time we saw Khabib getting hit. It's like the time folk on here were wondering if McG had a shot because Michael Johnson managed to connect a few times in their fight, only for Khabib to actually drop McG and laugh in the face of the "big left hand."

Gaethje would get smashed by Khabib. Tough only gets you so far, and when your game is to walk forward, throw shots, then get in close you're going to face problems. Especially when you're facing a guy who wants you to walk forward and get close.

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He's been hit. I'm talking of times where he's been hit and needs to fireback in that 'I ain't having that' kind of way. 

And again, I'd probably pick Khabib. No one has really had an answer before now, I just wanna see how it would play out. 

Would be a story if the fight ever did happen and Gaethje just tried to wrestle. 

 

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It was a pretty wild half a round, much shorter than we were probably expecting, but probably for the best for the fighters that it went that way. This was a really good win for Gaethje. I'd like to see him fight pretty much anybody. Poirier II, Holloway, Iaquinta, Cerrone, Pettis, Felder, Aldo, McGregor, the list goes on. 

Michael Johnson suffered a scary KO. It's a shame for him, as I think it's the best he has looked since the Gaethje loss, and that he had taken the first two rounds probably, then Emmet obliterated him with that last big shot and he just fell like a tree. 

 

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7 hours ago, David said:

Nice to see Paul Craig get the win as well, although I thought he looked fucking terrible for most of the fight. Those takedown attempts were among the worst I've seen in ages.

11 hours ago, Silky Kisser said:

Aye. Delighted for the guy, but is technique reminded me of CM Punk's lame flailing arms pushing through when trying to secure a takedown in his last fight. Cruz and DC pointed out a few times how much harder he was making it for himself by falling to his knees after it.

The main event was filth. Gaethje sort of tried some grappling, but he seemed to realise early doors that Barboza couldn't handle his pace and power. Video game stuff; wonderful.

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Only just got around to this. Yeah, Gaethje vs Barboza was short and violent but delivered what we all expected. About as good a fight lasting 2:30 that you’ll see. Felt a bit bad for Barboza because he seems a top man but his baby daughter was born just hours after the fight so he ended the night a winner anyway. Gaethje rolls on. He’ll never be ‘the man’, especially in a division as loaded as 155. But sod it, I’d watch the shit out of him against Khabib. I’d have no doubt Khabib most likely smokes him but Gaethje is the type who is going to make it fun regardless. He either wins a crazy fight or loses a crazy fight. He doesn’t know any other way. I wouldn’t fancy his chances but I’d give him a better shot than McGregor because 1) he’s more of a one shot power hitter than McGregor. 2) he does have that wrestling background to maybe have a little bit of a chance of stuffing a shot or two. 3) he’s not a frontrunner like McGregor. He won’t fold mentally when it gets rough or sheepishly plead ‘it’s only business’. He’ll keep trying until it’s over. 

Doesn’t matter in the end because it’s surely going to be Khabib vs the Holloway/Poirier winner. So Gaethje vs the Cowboy/Iaquinta winner would do nicely. 

Hermansson vs Branch was quicker than I expected. This UFC stint just hasn’t panned out for Branch, has it? Weird run really. He managed to stop Thiago Santos but aside from that it just hasn’t gone his way. Hermansson looked good here though. Like David said, he’s gone under the radar due to card positioning and stuff but he’s a solid, awkward fighter and could potentially be a banana skin for a lot of the more recognisable names of the division on a good day. 

The Emmett vs Johnson KO was nasty. Johnson wasn’t looking bad those first 2 rounds, I also had him up 2-0, but that punch just wiped him right the fuck out. Mad to think Johnson was a fringe contender not too long ago, mixing with the likes of Khabib and knocking Poirier out cold. He’s never been quite the same since the war with Gaethje for me. Emmett is a weird one. He’s got this rep as this massive puncher but before the Lamas KO he was never particularly a knockout artist. The Lamas KO and now this Johnson one show he’s clearly a hitter now though. It’s something he seems to have developed later in his career. I guess he always had the power in there but maybe his timing or technique has improved and that’s why he’s started putting fuckers to bed. 

Thought that was probably Michelle Waterson’s best performance in the UFC so far. She looked more dominant against Paige VanZant but this was a really strong all-around display from her over 3 rounds. Going forwards, attacking on the back foot, her accuracy, timing, speed, grappling. Everything seemed to click. Kowalkiewicz is struggling now. She sadly seemed to peak with that win over Rose Namajunas a couple of years back, had her moments against Joanna but has stumbled every time she’s been in with a real quality fighter since then. 

Not sure who gets the next crack at the title at 115. After Rose vs Andrade plays out you’ve got Waterson and the winner of Suarez vs Ansaroff as the obvious choices. I actually think Waterson might get the nod. Suarez is still climbing and establishing herself and Waterson is more of a name than Ansaroff. 

Paul Craig pulling off the comeback submission in the last minute of the last round again was mad. Scottish Big Nog shit. He did look crap prior to that though. The weak takedown attempts plus his striking looked woeful. Really bad. I like him though. Loved Anik and DC trying to act like they understood a word he was saying in the post-fight too. 

Prelims weren’t much good really. Although Marina Rodríguez absolutely battered Jessica Aguilar and looked good doing it. I hope Ross Pearson stops soon. 

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14 hours ago, Silky Kisser said:

He's been hit. I'm talking of times where he's been hit and needs to fireback in that 'I ain't having that' kind of way. 

And again, I'd probably pick Khabib. No one has really had an answer before now, I just wanna see how it would play out. 

Would be a story if the fight ever did happen and Gaethje just tried to wrestle. 

 

Yep, its the fight i most want to see at the weight as well. Its a few fights off but stylewise i think its fascinating, and its an incredibly tough nut for Khabib to crack because for as easy as it to say Khabib would take him down and smash him, but you have to remember that Khabib has never fought anyone with the wrestling pedigree of a Gaethje, just two relentless fighters trying to impose their will, it would be intense. Only the Ferguson fight comes close for me really in terms of what i wanna see, and that aint happening anytime soon.

Put Gaethje in with anyone though and im tuning in.

Agree that Jack Hermansson's has sort of snuck up around the outside at 185lb. I was always aware of him because of Cage Warriors days but to walk through Branch was a proper breakout moment, real do or die fighter too, great submission, love that he has a little trademark set up for it too.

Paul Craig saved his UFC career, i think it may have been headed for a draw but that finish was tremendous. He was fighting an inexperienced guy but i always love to see an active submission game and guy willing to take risks.

Josh Emmett's KO was harsh.

Edited by Egg Shen

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