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UFC Mexico: Rodriguez vs Stephens - Sep 21 馃嚥馃嚱

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Saturday 21st September in Mexico City.聽


Yair Rodriguez vs Jeremy Stephens聽

Carla Esparza vs Alexa Grasso聽

Brandon Moreno vs Askar Askarov聽

Irene Aldana vs Vanessa Melo聽

Martin Bravo vs Steven Peterson

Jos茅 Alberto Qui帽贸nez vs Carlos Huachin

Marco Polo Reyes vs Kyle Nelson

Angela Hill vs Ariane Carnelossi

Sergio Pettis vs Tyson Nam聽

Paul Craig vs Vinicius Moreira聽

Sijara Eubanks vs Bethe Correia

Cl谩udio Puelles vs Marcos Rosa Mariano

Not the best of cards but it鈥檚 OK. The main event is a pretty safe bet to be awesome and there鈥檚 a couple of聽decent prelims there. When this card was announced though, there were rumours of a Yair Rodriguez vs Zabit Magomedsharipov headliner and there was also some talk of Korean Zombie vs Brian Ortega. Shame those fights never got made. A double-header of those two would鈥檝e made this show a must-see. Oh well.聽


Yair Rodriguez vs Jeremy Stephens tops this one. And what a fight it should be. Yair Rodriguez has long been considered one of the most promising prospects in all of MMA. But he鈥檚 been so inactive over the last few years that he鈥檚 kind of stifled his own rise up the ranks. He鈥檚 only fought 4 times over the last 3 years! He made up for it in his last fight though. He took on Korean Zombie in November on the UFC鈥檚 25th Anniversary show in Denver. And they delivered one of the best fights of 2018. It was a bit of a war and both had their moments. But as the fight drew to a close the Zombie was pulling ahead. Then it happened.聽


At 4:59聽of the 5th round, ONE second to go in the fight, Yair threw an upward elbow, blind, and knocked Zombie out cold. Talk about snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Maybe the nuttiest KO in UFC history. If the fight had gone literally one second longer, KZ would鈥檝e almost certainly won on the scorecards. Again though, inactivity,聽Yair hasn鈥檛 fought since. It鈥檚 been about 10 months.聽

In Jeremy Stephens he faces maybe the heaviest handed man in the lighter weight classes. Stephens puts people to sleep in a way featherweights just don鈥檛 do typically. Some of his knockouts have been the stuff of UFC highlight reels for years. And he鈥檚 been laying bodies out forever. That uppercut KO on Dos Anjos was 2008, for fuck鈥檚 sake. He鈥檚 coming into this fight off back-to-back losses to Aldo and Zabit though, so he needs to bounce back in style here. But taking on Yair in Mexico is going to be a challenge. Should be an incredible fight whatever happens.


Carla Esparza vs Alexa Grasso is the co-main according to the poster. Don鈥檛 really know what to make of this. Esparza is never much fun to watch but she鈥檚 generally pretty effective at what she does. She was the first Strawweight champ, former Invicta champ, TUF winner etc. She鈥檚 a twat though and I still love seeing the clips of when Joanna Jedrzejczyk battered her. Grasso is the hometown girl in Mexico, of course. She鈥檚 got a fan friendly style and she beat Karolina Kowalkiewicz in a really fun fight at UFC 238 in June. She鈥檇 had a hit and miss run prior to that but the Kowalkiewicz fight felt like she turned a corner a bit for me. We鈥檒l see. I hope she beats Esparza anyway.聽


Brandon Moreno vs Askar Askarov is聽***WAND鈥橲 ONE TO WATCH***. Could be fun.聽I quite like Moreno so I鈥檓 glad he鈥檚 back in the UFC. He鈥檚 25 years old with a 15-5 record. And he鈥檚 got some solid wins over the likes of Dustin Ortiz and Louis Smolka. He鈥檚 had some setbacks with injuries which have held him back but hopefully they鈥檙e behind him now and he can crack on. The UFC aren鈥檛 giving him a warm homecoming though. Askarov is undefeated聽at 10-0, all finishes. He鈥檚 fought in the ACB promotion, I think.聽


Irene Aldana vs Marion Reneau聽is of no relevance really but it鈥檚 an OK fight. Aldana usually brings it. She had a crazy fight with Leslie Smith a while back and dragged Bethe Correia to an enjoyable scrap in May. Reneau has had moments herself. She鈥檚 got submission wins over Jessica Andrade and Sara McMann on her record. But at 42 and coming off 2 losses, she鈥檚 on the slide at this point. Aldana should be winning this really.聽


Jose Alberto Qui帽贸nez vs Carlos Huachin聽is just there really. Haven鈥檛 seen much of either. Qui帽贸nez is 7-3 and got subbed by Nathaniel Wood on the London card in March. Huachin is 10-4-1 and got TKO鈥檇 by Raoni Barcelos at UFC 237 in May.聽


Polo Reyes vs Kyle Nelson is filler. They鈥檙e both coming off 2 losses. Reyes is 8-6, Nelson is 12-3. Reyes is generally in exciting fights though and from bits I鈥檝e seen of Nelson he鈥檚 up for a scrap too. Could be alright prelim fodder.


Angela Hill vs Ariane Carnelossi聽doesn鈥檛 interest me much. Hill has pretty good striking but I don鈥檛 rate her much overall in terms of her all-round MMA game.聽At 9-7聽and having gone 1-3 in her last 4, this could be it for her in the UFC if she doesn鈥檛 get the win. Carnelossi is making her debut. She鈥檚 Brazilian, 26 years old and 12-1 with 9 finishes. Mostly knockouts.聽


Sergio Pettis vs Alex Perez isn鈥檛 really聽filling me with anticipation, to be honest, but it could be good. Just can鈥檛 into Sergio鈥檚 fights in the same way I do for his brother鈥檚. The comparison isn鈥檛 kind to Sergio unfortunately but it鈥檚 one that will always be there. He鈥檚 decent but I just can鈥檛 see him ever getting over that hump. Sounds harsh and he is still only 25 but I don鈥檛 know, I just can鈥檛 see him ever putting it together and making a real run. He鈥檚 17-5 now and has lost 3 of his last 4. Despite his talent, it鈥檚 just not panning out for him. Perez is 22-5 and has apparently fought 5 times in the UFC. I have no memory of him at all. He got done in a round by Benavidez so I probably saw that but nothing is springing to mind.


Paul Craig vs Vinicius Moreira might be worth a look. After coming into the UFC unbeaten and looking promising, I think it鈥檚 clear now that Craig isn鈥檛 likely to get very far in the UFC鈥檚 205 division. But he鈥檚 certainly provided some moments. His submission wins from the jaws of defeat were nuts. One in the last second of the fight. The submission equivalent of Yair鈥檚 KO against the Zombie! Moreira is 9-3 and a big old lump at 6鈥4鈥. He鈥檚 struggled in the Octagon though. He鈥檚 gone 0-2 and Alonzo Menifield and Eryk Anders both stopped him in a round. Can see the loser of this one getting their walking papers, to be honest.聽


Sijara Eubanks vs Bethe Correia, I鈥檓 not arsed about. I鈥檝e never really enjoyed watching either of them. Eubanks is 4-3 and coming off a decision loss to Aspen Ladd in a close fight. Correia is 10-4-1 and hasn鈥檛 won a fight in 3 years. She鈥檚 mostly remembered for being Ronda Rousey鈥檚 last win.聽


Cl谩udio Puelles vs Marcos Rosa Mariano. Don鈥檛 know either really. Puelles is 8-2 with 7 finishes and won his last fight with a kneebar. I鈥檝e only Mariano once and he got schooled by Lando Vannata. Not much to go on.聽

UFC Mexico.聽

Edited by wandshogun09
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Its funny I was reading your write up for UFC 230 a few days ago, as I rewatched Cormier vs Lewis. I was reminded off and kind of feel sorry for Sijara Eubanks. She must have been over the moon when told she was going to main event MSG against Shevchenko. Then when its announced the backlash is horrendous, including Rogan saying he has no idea who she is on his podcast. Her title shot is cancelled and she misses weight to make things worse in her replacement fight. Now less than a year later here she is, now fighting halfway down the prelims on a forgettable fight night in Mexico.

With her record thats probably about right but it shows how brutal the sport can be.

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Yeah it鈥檚 an unforgiving game. She鈥檚 done herself no favours with the couple of weight misses at key times. If she鈥檇 come in on weight for that MSG fight against Modafferi, maybe they鈥檇 have rescheduled her title shot for a later date. Missing weight probably shelved that though.聽

In fairness, I remember thinking she might鈥檝e won the Aspen Ladd fight in May but it was scored Ladd鈥檚 way. Wasn鈥檛 a robbery or anything but I felt like Eubanks was a bit unlucky to not get the nod. She鈥檒l probably beat Correia, I reckon, but that鈥檚 more me not rating Correia than any real confidence in Sarge.聽

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Alex Perez is out of the show with an injury. So the UFC have signed Tyson Nam to replace him and fight Sergio Pettis.聽

I鈥檓 more into that fight than the original. Can鈥檛 say I鈥檝e seen Nam recently but I remember聽him being quite exciting and he鈥檒l always stick out to me from when he scored a shock KO over then Bellator champ聽Eduardo Dantas during the Bjorn Rebney regime.聽

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Decent little card in my opinion that has snuck up on us somewhat due to the great fights we've had of late.

Obviously I'll be rooting for big Paul Craig, but I don't hold out much hope. I think he could have done with looking into training camps in the US with more established coaches to be honest, because as great as the guys are that got him here, Coatbridge isn't exactly a hotbed of MMA talent. Calderwood has come on leaps and bounds since she decided to make the move from Scotland to Montreal, and I think Craig will look back on it as an opportunity squandered to be honest.聽

The main event should be a decent fight, Jeremy Stephens, despite being a complete prick by some accounts, is always exciting to watch.

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Got a bad feeling Stephens catches Yair and puts him out tonight. Really hope I鈥檓 wrong because he鈥檚 a fucking twat and I like Yair, but it鈥檚 a gut feeling. I think聽Yair is the better overall striker but I don鈥檛 know, I can see him getting clipped.聽

Did anyone see the Brian Ortega media scrum from Mexico?聽

Sounds like that beating from Holloway was a real eye opener to him. Didn鈥檛 know the plan was for Yair vs Ortega to headline tonight鈥檚 show. I鈥檇 heard the Yair vs Zabit and Ortega vs Zombie talk but not Yair vs Ortega. Would鈥檝e been incredible. Sounds like Ortega wasn鈥檛 ready though. I actually like that he鈥檚 taken some time out after that Holloway loss. That was a bad beating. Rushing back too soon might鈥檝e聽been the worst thing he could鈥檝e done and been counterproductive.聽

I鈥檝e聽actually been seeing some聽negativity recently towards Ortega with divs saying he鈥檚 ducked the Zombie and stuff. I think people are forgetting that this is a man who knocked out Frankie Edgar on about 2 weeks notice. But yeah, he鈥檚 a fanny apparently.聽Hopefully that Zombie聽fight gets made soon.聽

Pretty solid looking show tonight, I think. Can鈥檛 see Yair vs Stephens being anything less than at least exciting. It鈥檚 got FOTN written all over it. Then you鈥檝e got Alexa Grasso, Brandon Moreno, Irene Aldana and Paul Craig who are all usually in entertaining fights. Askarov is 10-0 with 10 finishes and Carnelossi is a finisher.聽Quite interested in seeing Tyson Nam against Little Pettis as well.聽

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