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UFC Sacramento: De Randamie vs Ladd - Jul 13 🇺🇸


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On Saturday 13th July (my birthday, send presents), the Octagon lands in Sacramento with this. 


Germaine De Randamie vs Aspen Ladd 

Urijah Faber vs Ricky Simon 

Josh Emmett vs Mirsad Bektic    

Karl Roberson vs Wellington Turman 

Marvin Vettori vs Cezar Ferreira 


Mike Rodriguez vs John Allan

Sheymon Moraes vs Andre Fili 

Nicco Montaño vs Julianna Peña 

Darren Elkins vs Ryan Hall 

Liu Pingyuan vs Jonathan Martinez 

Livinha Souza vs Brianna Van Buren 

Benito Lopez vs Vince Morales


Not the strongest of lineups but not the worst. That main event has caught some flack though. No doubt the return of the hometown boy Urijah Faber will be the ‘people’s main event’ here. 



So yeah, Germaine De Randamie vs Aspen Ladd then. Seems a bit of a funny choice of headliner, doesn’t it? It is a bit weak. You have to think they could’ve came up with something a bit better. But whatever. I actually like the matchmaking here. Just don’t really see it as a fight to carry a card. Even a Fight Night. GDR isn’t the most popular or well known of names, despite being a former UFC champion. And Ladd is still on the climb and isn’t quite there yet. I guess that’s the logic. Put the spotlight on a young, undefeated prospect like Ladd and if she comes through you can build off that. 

But yeah, the announcement of this as the Sac-town main event didn’t exactly go down well. 


”Stay home fuck face.” 

I get the criticism but in the end, who really gives a fuck? If you don’t like this main event, there’ll be another one in a week. And the week after that, and the week after that. At a time when there’s a UFC show on about 3 weekends out of the month, they’re not all going to be killer fights. It’s not like in the days when you’d wait a month for the next UFC, only to get a 20 second Andrei Arlovski vs Paul Buentello main event, then have to wait another month again for the next show. 

Like I said though, I actually quite like the matchup itself. People forget but GDR was the first ever UFC women’s featherweight champion. 


She beat Holly Holm in January 2018 to become the inaugural champ at 145. The reason people forget though, is because she never defended it and basically dodged facing Cyborg by relinquishing the belt. Whether she had legitimate reasons to stay on the shelf or whether she just didn’t fancy it against Cyborg, the end result was the same. The title became vacant and it became the Cyborg show. Until Amanda Nunes came along and axed it anyway. 

De Randamie is a real fighter though. Her reputation has taken a knock with the way she handled the title situation but she is a tough and one experienced fighter. She went 37-0 in Kickboxing and was a world champion in that sport. She’s 8-3 in MMA, won her last 4 fights and she’s 35 years old. 

Ladd is 24 years old and on the rise. She’s unbeaten at 8-0 as a pro, with 6 finishes. She also has a 8-1 amateur record, with another 6 finishes. So altogether she’s gone 16-1 with 12 finishes. She first really got on my radar when she smashed up veteran Tonya Evinger in a round on the Khabib-McGregor undercard in October. She then outpointed Sijara Eubanks a tough fight in May. I think she’s got bags of raw potential but there are clear holes in her game still, especially in the striking, and someone like GDR could exploit that. It’s also Ladd’s first 5 round main event. So it’s an interesting fight and a big test for Ladd. If she passes this one, as early as it seems for her, it probably won’t be long before she’s thrown into a title shot. 



Urijah Faber vs Ricky Simon co-headlines. The California Kid is back. A real pioneer of the lighter weight classes, former WEC champ and poster boy and one of the more popular names in the sport over the last decade. You just know the roof is going to blow off when 2 Pac’s ‘California Love’ hits. But I’m not really feeling this comeback. Faber retired back in December 2016 after a decision win over Brad Pickett on FOX. That fight was also in Sacramento and at the time it really felt like he was stepping down at the right time. He’d lost 3 of his previous 4 fights going in and had came up short in all 4 of his cracks at UFC gold. I don’t know what’s triggered this comeback really. He’s always stayed in shape and has never really left the Alpha Male gym so I guess he feels like he can still hang at the UFC level. I’m not sure this is a good idea though. He was floundering before he retired in 2016. Can’t really see what will have improved in the 3 years since. He’s become a Dad in his time away so that’s new motivation, but he’s also turned 40 and I’d say the bantamweight division is stronger now than it was at any point in Faber’s career. Just look at UFC 238 as an example. You had Cejudo, Moraes, Yan, Rivera, Sterling and Munhoz all tearing it up. I can’t see Faber beating any of that lot. There’s depth there at 135 now like there never was before. And Ricky Simon is nobody’s tune-up fight. He’s only 26 years old with a 15-1 record and he just beasted the tricky and awkward Rani Yahya in his last fight in February. He’s strong, has solid wrestling, decent striking and power, he’s aggressive, he’s hungry. And maybe most importantly, he’s been active. Simon has gone 8-0 since Faber retired. It’s a tough one for Faber. Tougher than a lot of people probably think. 



Josh Emmett vs Mirsad Bektic is a good fight on paper. Emmett has kind of grown on me over time. Wasn’t that arsed to see his name on a card for a while but that’s changed with his huge one punch knockouts against Ricardo Lamas and Michael Johnson. He definitely packs a punch. And Bektic is a bit of an animal. He’s 13-1 and the loss was a fight he was winning handily until he got KO’d by Darren Elkins in one of the most stunning comebacks in UFC history. He’s a real handful though. His kryptonite seems to be injuries. Seems like I’ve previewed a bunch of fights with him that haven’t ended up happening over the last couple of years. Hopefully this one goes ahead. 



Beneil Dariush vs Drakkar Klose is another one I like the sound of. Always enjoyed watching Dariush. On a given day I honestly think he can give a lot of guys a real issue. He just hasn’t found the consistency to put together a proper streak and build momentum. He’s got skills though. Especially on the ground. He has wins over Jim Miller and Michael Johnson when both were in better form. He’s also finished James Vick, Drew Dober and Anthony Rocco Martin. Klose I’m a little less familiar with but he’s decent from what I recall. 10-1-1 with wins over Bobby Green, Lando Vannata and Marc Diakiese. 



Karl Roberson vs Wellington Turman is a late switch up. It was supposed to be Roberson vs Welshman John Phillips, which I was looking forward to, but Phillips pulled out. Newcomer Wellington Turman got the call. All I can really find on him is he’s Brazilian, 22 years old and has a 15-2 record with 11 finishes. Doesn’t sound too shabby for a 22 year old. Roberson has fought less but at a higher level. He’s 7-2 with wins over Jack Marshman, Darren Stewart and Ryan Spann. He also went the distance with Jerome Le Banner in a Kickboxing bout in 2015. 



Marvin Vettori vs Cezar Ferreira opens up the main card. Could be decent but I’m not sure how this one goes. Both can be hit or miss. I mostly remember Vettori for his fight last year where he took Israel Adesanya to a very close decision. He hasn’t fought since then. Ferreira I remember mostly for winning the first TUF Brazil in 2012 and looking like he had all the potential in the world. It fizzled out and he never fulfilled that potential but he’s had his moments. Wins over Thiago Santos, Anthony Smith and Jack Hermansson being the highlights. You’d think with those names on his resume he’d be up there in the title mix but he caught them all at different times in their careers. Hopefully this is a good fight but truthfully, these guys are just treading water at this point. 



Sheymon Moraes vs Andre Fili will probably be alright. Moraes is usually in entertaining fights, win or lose. Fili I can’t really take to, but he was considered a future breakout prospect at one point. He hasn’t lived up to that but he’s had some moments with wins over Dennis Bermudez, Artem Lobov and Myles Jury. Can’t say I’m massively into this fight but it could surprise me. 



Nicco Montaño vs Julianna Peña is a complete shot in the dark at this point. Montaño’s situation very much mirrors Germaine De Randamie’s. In late 2017, Montaño became the first ever UFC women’s flyweight champion. 


She won TUF and beat Roxanne Modafferi in the finale to take the gold. She was meant to make her first defence of the title against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228 last September. The fight got cancelled at the last minute when Montaño was pulled out due to health concerns with her weight cut. She was stripped of the title and roundly accused of running scared from Shev. She then got herself a 6 month USADA suspension. Now she’s back. Julianna Peña has been on a milk carton herself for a while. She hasn’t fought since her January 2017 loss to Shevchenko. She had a baby in 2018 so that’ll be why. She was on a nice little win streak before running into Shevchenko so it’ll be interesting to see how she does here. But really, we haven’t seen these 2 for so long, who the fuck knows? 



Darren Elkins vs Ryan Hall is this card’s ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH***. Something about this matchup I really love. Two excellent but very different grapplers locking horns. Elkins is a tough bastard with a scrappy BJJ/wrestler style. He’s also fucking nuts, if you saw his mad comeback against Bektic you’ll know that. And Hall is a grappling wizard and, in particular, a real leg lock specialist. If he gets anywhere near your leg, just save yourself the pain and tap. I love Hall’s whole demeanour too. Always looks like he’s just rolled out of bed and can’t be arsed. But he’ll rip your legs off in a heartbeat. Looking forward to seeing if Elkins has any answers for Hall’s game. 



Livinha Souza vs Brianna Van Buren I’m not sure what to expect. Souza has shown to be decent but nothing remarkable in her UFC outings so far. She has won her last 4 fights though, taking her to 13-1 overall. She’s also a former Invicta strawweight champ. Van Buren is the intrigue here for me though. She’s making her UFC debut. She’s 25 years old, trains at AKA and has an 8-2 record. She’s won her last 5 fights including wins over former UFC fighters Kailin Curran, Juliana Lima and Jamie Moyle. She’s also listed as being 4’11, which surely makes her the shortest fighter in UFC history to date? 



Benito Lopez vs Vince Morales will probably be worth firing up Fight Pass for. I really like what I’ve seen or Lopez. He’s a bit of a madman. Typical Mexican fighter, balls out, ‘kill or be killed’ style. He’s only 25 years old, fights out of Team Alpha Male and he’s 9-1. Morales is 28, 9-3 record with 7 finishes. He beat Aiemann Zahabi last time out. 


”Now let me welcome everybody to the Wild Wild West...”


Edited by wandshogun09
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You get the feeling that Ryan Hall is still viewed as a bit of an oddity in the UFC, and is taken lightly by fans due to his demeanour, but the dude is no joke. He's undefeated in the UFC at the moment and his three wins have come against Artem Lobov, and two former UFC champions in Gray Maynard and BJ Penn. 

If he goes out there and taps Elkins it's maybe time that he was viewed more seriously and considered more than an attraction fighter on the prelims. Some serious questions will have to start being asked as to who exactly can stop this guy? He's not lost a fight since his MMA debut thirteen years ago.

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Yeah he’s a guy you’ve got to think nobody is relishing the prospect of fighting against. I think what’s slowed his progress in the UFC so far is definitely mostly what you’re saying but also he had long spells of inactivity between his 3 UFC wins. There was a year out between the Lobov and Maynard wins. Then after Maynard he was gone another 2 years before the BJ Penn fight in December. That can’t have helped. 

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That's true, I think he does have a pretty lucrative career teaching and whatnot, but surely if he wins this one he's due to get a bump up the card at some point soon? I'm also not so sure that his inactivity is all down to him, I'm sure I read an interview with him where he claimed that the UFC don't call him with many fights.

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Yeah there seems to have been a few factors to do with him not fighting regularly. I definitely saw an interview where he was saying there were spells when either the UFC weren’t offering him fights or fighters weren’t taking the fight. His career away from the cage is probably part of it as well and maybe there was an injury lay-off in there at some point as well. Hopefully he can put some wins together now and gain some momentum. He’s both an interesting character and fighter to me. If he gets another submission here, that’s back-to-back subs over BJ Penn and Darren Elkins. That’s got to move him up the card surely. 

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I looked at his Wiki, and there's an interesting anomaly: his debut and the rest of his career is separated by 6 years - debuted in 2006, didn't fight again until 2012. So, in real terms, the trained, more developed version of Ryan Hall is professionally undefeated. Anyone know anything about this Saul Rogers who beat him in TUF? Maybe he could get that win back, brother.

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2 minutes ago, Carbomb said:

Anyone know anything about this Saul Rogers who beat him in TUF? Maybe he could get that win back, brother.

If my memory serves me correctly he's an English dude, from Manchester I think. Goes by the nickname the noose or something. 

Wasn't he on a Bellator UK card recently? Or am I thinking of someone else?

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19 minutes ago, David said:

If my memory serves me correctly he's an English dude, from Manchester I think. Goes by the nickname the noose or something. 

Wasn't he on a Bellator UK card recently? Or am I thinking of someone else?

Dunno about if he fought on Bellator but you've got the right bloke, heavily tattooed black guy. I saw him post-TUF fighting in Manchester at the ACB event that ran at the arena, he got a massive response from the crowd. Decent hand but he's been round the UK circuit for years.

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That's fucking ridiculous. Look at the pain she is in just trying to strip to get onto the scales. Then looking like she's about to faint by trying to hold her arms up. There's no way she should be allowed to fight but I highly doubt that she would be withdrawn from the card. 

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Yep, that is mental. I’m sure she looked terrible for one of her other UFC weigh ins as well, although I don’t remember it being quite this bad. Sadly, this isn’t going away until someone actually dies on the scales or in the sauna or whatever. And even then you’ll still get some fighters thinking it’s worth it to get some kind of a perceived edge. It’s mad. And I always think it’s counterproductive. However she looks tomorrow night, even if she wins impressively, there’s no way you can look at her weighing in there and tell me she’ll be the best version of herself in 24 hours time. She’s just not. 

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