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UFC Rio Rancho: Anderson vs Blachowicz 2 - Feb 15 🇺🇸


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On Saturday 15th February, the Octagon comes to Rio Rancho, New Mexico. 

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ESPN+ MAIN CARD
Corey Anderson vs Jan Blachowicz 

Diego Sanchez vs Michel Pereira 

Montana De La Rosa vs Mara Romero Borella

Brok Weaver vs Kazula Vargas

Ray Borg vs Rogerio Bontorin

Lando Vannata vs Yancy Medeiros 

 

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Tim Means vs Daniel Rodriguez

John Dodson vs Nathaniel Wood

Jim Miller vs Scott Holtzman

Devin Clark vs Dequan Townsend

Casey Kenney vs Merab Dvalishvili

Macy Chiasson vs Shanna Young

Mark De La Rosa vs Raulian Paiva 


Not the best. It’s that main event, to be fair. Still, it’ll do. And the undercard isn’t bad at all actually. Dodson vs Wood and Vannata vs Medeiros in particular stand out and make this a worthwhile show to set the old Sky+ for. 

 

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Corey Anderson vs Jan Blachowicz 2 then. Bet you didn’t even remember them fighting before, did you? I know I didn’t. Apparently they met at UFC 191 back in September 2015 and Anderson won on points. Zero recollection here. It was on the PPV main card as well. These two have always kind of been like that for me though. Not bad fighters by any means. But they both just tend to be in fights that I instantly forget about once they’re over. I won’t forget Anderson’s last fight in a hurry though. He fought Johnny Walker at MSG in November and stopped him in a round. Walker was looking like one of the most interesting and exciting potential challengers for Jon Jones and Anderson the prick went and ended the fun for everyone. Blachowicz’s last fight is one I wish I could forget. Him and Jacare went 5 rounds in São Paulo in November, in what was easily one of the dullest UFC headliners of 2019. To be fair to Blachowicz, he did knock out Luke Rockhold before that so he’s not all bad. But aside from that and a fun fight with Jimi Manuwa in London, he’s been pretty boring.

So yeah, I’m not too jazzed about this fight. The matchup definitely makes sense though. These two were both in the running to get the next shot at Jones before Dominick Reyes was granted the shot. So like them or not, this is probably a title eliminator. If they stink the place out again though, I wouldn’t be surprised if the UFC went a different direction. We’ll see what happens. Hopefully it’ll be better than I’m expecting but I’m not holding my breath or anything. 

 

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Diego Sanchez vs Michel Pereira is the co-main. Unlike the main event, this should be anything but boring. Firstly, the styles obviously match up for complete and utter chaos. But also, it’s in New Mexico where Diego has trained pretty much all of his career. He’s a beloved fighter anyway for all the crazy fights he’s been in but you have to think he’ll get a superstar reaction from the crowd here. Don’t know what to think about this one. I mean, it’ll be fun while it lasts but I just don’t know what Diego has left anymore. He got beat by Chiesa last time out and he’s taken so much punishment over the years. And for all Pereira’s faults as a fighter, many of which were exposed in his last fight, he’s dangerous as fuck and hasn’t got anywhere near the miles on him that Sanchez does. He’s coming off that loss to Tristan Connelly so he’ll be looking to make a statement here. Huge opportunity for him against a name like Sanchez.

 

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Montana De La Rosa vs Mara Romero Borella might be OK. Again though, not particularly arsed. De La Rosa might have some potential. She’s 24 years old, 10-5 record with 8 submissions. Lost her last fight but won 4 in a row, all by submission, before that. Borella is Italian, 12-6-2 record. Hasn’t really done anything of note that sticks in the memory. Lost to Lauren Murphy last time out. Checkered past from the sounds of it though. Apparently, she was arrested in Italy years ago for distributing and selling cocaine and spent a bit of time in jail over it.

 

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Brok Weaver vs Kazula Vargas is a complete shot in the dark to me. I think both were on Dana’s Contender Series. Weaver is 13-4 and has a win over Charles ‘Krazy Horse’ Bennett on his record. He caught Dana’s attention on the Contender Series with his personality from what I can gather. He was supposed to make his debut in October but got injured. Hopefully we’ll see what he’s about here. Vargas is 11-2 and lost his UFC debut back in August. Don’t recall seeing that. Looks like a bit of a bargain bucket Paulo Costa to me.

 

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Ray Borg vs Rogério Bontorin is a little bit of a mystery to me. Haven’t seen Borg fight in ages. Think that Mighty Mouse fight where Mouse hit a German suplex into an armbar might actually be the last time I saw him. That was 2017. He’s fought twice since and gone 1-1. And I don’t recall ever seeing this Bontorin bloke fight. He sounds pretty solid on paper though. 16-1-0-1, won his last 4 and is 2-0 in the UFC. Not bad. Might be worth a look. Borg was usually decent to watch and Bontorin sounds alright.

 

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Lando Vannata vs Yancy Medeiros is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** on this card and has all the makings of FOTN. Love this matchup. Neither are ever going to be in the title hunt but they’re pretty consistent in having entertaining fights. Vannata especially. He’s been great value so far in the UFC. He’s fought 8 times in the Octagon and gone 2-4-2. But fuck the win-loss ratio. I hope they keep him around forever. In that 8 fights he’s nearly knocked out Tony Ferguson, he delivered one of the most amazing spinning wheel kick knockouts on John Makdessi and dragged Bobby Green to the most fun fight of his career by far. He’s just got one of those styles that makes it almost impossible to have a bad fight with. And Medeiros should be an ideal dance partner for him. Like Lando, he’s lost against the higher level guys but he’s had his moments. Most notably his TKO win over Alex Oliveira in a tremendous forgotten fight in 2017. Can’t see how this doesn’t deliver. Vannata’s wacky style vs a scrappy Hawaiian like Medeiros, it’s just a recipe for excitement.

 

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Tim Means vs Daniel Rodriguez. Means was supposed to be facing Ramazan Emeev here but an injury to the Russian scuppered that one. Means is coming off a strong first round submission over Thiago Alves in December. Always liked Means. Never a contender but he’s always been good value on the undercards over the years. If you haven’t seen his one round slobberknocker with Niko Price from last year yet, get on it now. Never heard of Rodriguez but he was on Dana’s Contender Series and he’s 9-1 with 8 finishes. Sounds like an ideal opponent for Means to have another good scrap with.

 

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John Dodson vs Nathaniel Wood is an interesting fight. Still think I’d have preferred seeing this as a featured fight on the upcoming London card myself but whatever. New Mexico is Dodson’s stomping grounds so I guess he’s got the homefield advantage now. Weird one for me. I like it in that it’s a step up for Wood against an established name and former title contender. But Dodson is typically not very enjoyable to watch so this could be a frustrating watch. Even if you win, you rarely look good coming out of a fight with Dodson. Fuck, even Mighty Mouse had a bit of a stinker against him in their second fight. He’s just awkward. He’s coming off a couple of losses now and as a 35 year old Bantamweight, his best years are almost certainly behind him. Wood is 9 years his junior, on a 8 fight winning streak and has gone 3-0 with 3 submissions so far in the UFC. He’s looking good. But like I say, hard to look good against Dodson. Tricky one for Wood. He’s definitely in the better form of the two, and he’s got youth on his side. But Dodson’s a slippery little fuck and it’s in his backyard.

 

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Jim Miller vs Scott Holtzman should be decent enough. Could actually be a bit of a darkhorse on this card, I reckon. Miller’s had an up and down career over the last few years but he’s looked good in his last couple of fights, subbing both Jason Gonzalez and Clay Guida in the first round. He’s been dealing with Lyme disease for a while so no doubt that’s played a part but he’s been doing good recently. Haven’t seen much of Holtzman but I enjoyed his last fight against Dong Hyun Ma on the Covington vs Lawler undercard. He’s someone I’d expect Miller to beat but he could make a good scrap of it from what I’ve seen.

 

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Casey Kenney vs Merab Dvalishvili I’m not bothered about. Kenney is 13-1-1 with wins over Manny Bermudez and Ray Borg in his last couple. Dvalishvili is a Serra-Longo guy, 9-4 and beat the previously undefeated Brad Katona in his last outing. Not terrible or anything but it’s not grabbing me by the bollocks.

 

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Macy Chiasson vs Nicco Montaño could be decent but I’m not particularly into it. Both TUF winners. Chiasson is 5-1 and suffered her first defeat against Lina Länsberg in Copenhagen in September. Montaño is 4-3 and lost to Julianna Peña in July. Montaño was actually the first UFC women’s Flyweight champion but ended up relinquishing it due to injuries or illness or to duck Valentina Shevchenko. Depending on who you believe.

 

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Mark De La Rosa vs Raulian Paiva is another fight I’m pretty indifferent to. Only notable thing about this really is that De La Rosa is fighting on the same card as his wife Montana.

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That’s got to be a UFC first, hasn’t it? A husband and wife on the same card? Anyway, De La Rosa is 11-3 and coming off back-to-back losses. Paiva is 18-3 and also coming off 2 losses on the bounce. Wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up being a ‘loser leaves town’ thing.

 

So a mixed bag. Not feeling the headliner at all but the rest of the main card is pretty solid. Prelims are hit and miss but there’s a few fights I’m liking the sound of. 

 

Edited by wandshogun09
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That main event is gonna get a collective groan around the MMA world isnt it. Both guys definitely deserve the billing though and the stakes are pretty high. Im hoping to be pleasantly suprised on the night.

 

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Yeah, it’s actually not even a bad little card. That main event is pretty off-putting though. It’s a logical fight, there’s nothing wrong with the matchmaking. I don’t even think they’re undeserving of the headline spot. But Christ, it’s just not very appealing on paper is it? I’m hoping Blachowicz just whacks him early or something. Anderson is a weapon and I’ve still not forgiven him for pooping the Johnny Walker party. Blachowicz doesn’t do much for me but, aside from that snoozer with Jacare, he’s not been typically boring and he did make Rockhold do this face...

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Rockhold maybe didn't intend to be a great wrestling heel, but he was - obnoxious, unlikable, and showed a lot of arse when he finally got his comeuppance.

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On 2/14/2020 at 3:08 PM, wandshogun09 said:

I’m hoping Blachowicz just whacks him early or something.

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I was indifferent but I’m starting to become a bit of a Jan Blachowicz fan. Between sparking Rockhold and now eliminating Corey Anderson from the title mix, he’s doing MMA a good service. I was listening to Rashad Evans on Joe Rogan’s podcast earlier in the week and they were proper hyping Corey up as some threat to Jon Jones. Which I found fucking hilarious. I give Rashad a bit of a pass because he’s trained with Corey, of course he’s going to back him and try to talk him up for a title shot. But Rogan was talking like he’s someone Jones should be worried about. Don’t get me wrong, Anderson isn’t a bad fighter but fuck me, were we really at the point where we were going to pretend he could do anything to Jon Jones? Just because Jones had a tough night with Reyes, that doesn’t mean every fucker can run him close. Rogan wasn’t talking like that before Corey knocked out Johnny Walker. One good win and suddenly he’s a problem for Jones? Laughable. 

Anyway. Doesn’t matter now because Jan The Man has completely taken him out of the conversation.

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Beautiful.

Not sure what’s next for Jan. If Jones vs Reyes wasn’t so close then he’d probably be getting the next crack at the belt. But I’m not so sure now. I think they might just go with the Reyes rematch. Maybe Blachowicz ends up fighting Oezdemir or someone in the meantime. 

Sanchez vs Pereira...I don’t know what the fuck it even was. You knew from the second it was announced that we were in for some weird shit but it was even more odd than I imagined. My thinking going in was basically either Pereira catches him early with some mad flippy KO. Or he Eddy Gordo’s his arse all over the cage and gasses out, and Diego swarms on him late. We got neither. It wasn’t the best fight in terms of action and shots landing, it wasn’t one of Diego’s classics. I was entertained though. It was a weird one but I was never bored, couldn’t take my eyes off it and the crowd being so into it helped. Probably won’t watch it again though. It sounds strange but I think they were both thrown off by being in there with someone as weird as them, if that makes sense. The clash of oddness resulted in them cancelling each other out and not a lot happening. It was the MMA equivalent of trying to push two magnets together and them repelling. They both looked lost at times. Then to top of off, it ends by DQ because of Pereira’s illegal knee. 

Montana De La Rosa got the win over Borella but I found it pretty fucking boring. I thought the right woman won but it was a proper buzzkill for me. Livened up slightly in the third with the knockdown but my interest was already lost by that point. I actually think De La Rosa has some potential but this wasn’t the fight to showcase that. 

Brok Weaver vs Kazula Vargas...yep, another DQ for an illegal knee. Weaver was looking decent as well despite being outwrestled. He was threatening off his back all the time. Then Vargas threw that fucking knee. Shame. Don’t even know why there was any discussion about whether it was illegal or not. This was as blatant as it gets. Weaver was sitting down when the knee landed, for fuck’s sake. 

Ray Borg vs Rogerio Bontorin wasn’t the most exciting of fights but it was a solid performance from Borg. Dominant with the takedowns, which really makes what Demetrious Johnson did to him even more crazy. Borg missed weight for this fight though so he’s probably not going to move forward much off this win. Dana already hates wrestling so if you miss weight and then win via endless takedowns...yeah, you’re getting fuck all.

Lando Vannata vs Yancy Medeiros was a fun fight as expected. Was never going to be anything but. Wasn’t the crazy scrap most were anticipating though, more technical than I thought it’d be. Good stuff and I think both have improved. But I can’t lie, I was kind of wishing they’d just abandon the technical approach and really let loose. There was a Korean Zombie vs Leonard Garcia type slobberknocker to be had here but it just never got to that point. Entertaining fight though and, as much as I like Yancy, it was nice to see Lando get the win. The bloke’s got to have one of the weirdest UFC records ever. He’s fought 9 times in the UFC now and he’s had 3 wins, 4 losses and 2 draws. And all alternating. Literally the only consistent thing has been how fun to watch he’s been. 

Daniel Rodriguez had a pretty sweet UFC debut. Submitting a crafty veteran like Tim Means is good going. Even more impressive because he took this fight on short notice. I’d love to see the stats on these short notice fights. It seems like it goes well for the guy/girl stepping in more often than not. Maybe I’m wrong but that’s how it seems. It feels like every other card we’re seeing at least one fight where a late replacement comes in and shakes shit up. It shouldn’t even be considered an upset anymore, it’s a regular occurrence. 

John Dodson vs Nathaniel Wood was a real downer for me. Wood, for me, is one of the better UK prospects at the moment and this has derailed him badly. He’s only 26, he’s got plenty of time to bounce back. But he really could’ve done without getting stopped by a 35 year old shrunk in the wash OJ Simpson who was coming off 2 losses. It was the typical Dodson fight for two rounds. Frustrating to watch, low blows, head clashes etc. But then it all went tits up in the third. Dodson has always been an awkward fucker though. And to be fair, his recent losses have come against Petr Yan and Jimmie Rivera. It’s not like he’s shot. Wood talking before the fight about wanting a quick turnaround and getting on the London card in a few weeks wasn’t a good sign though. You can’t look past someone with Dodson’s experience and his combination of power and speed is something few have in the lighter weight classes. A blip for Wood but I’m sure he’ll be back. 

Enjoyed Scott Holtzman vs Jim Miller. Shame to see Miller back in the losing column but it was another one of those gritty, entertaining scraps he’s become known for. The talk seems to be about Miller’s decline, and there’s definitely some of that in play. But I thought Holtzman put in a really strong effort in his own right. 

Didn’t pay much attention to the rest of the prelims. Merab Dvalishvili vs Casey Kenney looked alright. 
 

Not the best card. Couple of crap fights dragged it down, Dodson derailed Wood and then 2 of the more appealing fights on the card ending in disqualifications for illegal knees. At least the main event closed out the show on a positive though. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Just finished watching the card. Was solid enough, Dodson vs Wood was a pretty fun fight. Glad to see Dodson stay relevant.

Pleased Jan got a really nice KO, Anderson is fucking boring so I'm glad it ended decisively. Agree they will go with Reyes next for Jones but if the do go with Blachowicz with a little bit of work I could convince myself just maybe he would catch the champ.

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Such a bizarre fight from Sanchez, the cornering was bizarre, very reminiscent of Edmond Tarverdyan, he didn't seem to be able to do anything against Pereira. The DQ sucked and I feel like Diego will have his rep tarnished from it, but having listened to him talk on Helwani's show where he said he wouldn't take the fight if Pereira didn't make weight pretty much told me as soon as it happened that he'd take the win rather than fight on. On the one hand I get it, he was clearly down and was going to lose a decision, so why continue? But it was pretty obvious he could have continued.

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That card wasn't much to write home about at all. Two complete downers with the illegal knees. Especially in spots where it wasn't a close call between being legal or illegal. They were both clear as day, and hard to see what the fighters were attempting to do, other than getting completely caught up in the moment. 

It ended on a good note with a clean KO in a main event that had the ability to be dire. As good an ending as you could have asked for in that one. 

Disappointed that Wood got stopped by Dodson. Rodriguez had a tough debut on paper against a veteran Tim Means but he looked great in finishing Tim. Means won the first round for 4:59 of it for me, but that punch at the end took it from him completely and then Rodriguez just put it on him in the second. 

I must be the only person on earth who hasn't the faintest interest in watching Lando Vannata. He does nothing for me and I was bored in this one too. It wasn't a terrible fight or anything, quite clearly. But he doesn't live up to the hype for me at all, in talent or excitement. Having said that, Medeiros didn't bring what I thought he would to the fight either. I just don't see the upside in Vannata. I can't see him as a future top ten fighter, and a win over him doesn't tell me an awful lot about his opponents UFC prospects either. 

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52 minutes ago, WeeAl said:

I must be the only person on earth who hasn't the faintest interest in watching Lando Vannata. He does nothing for me and I was bored in this one too. It wasn't a terrible fight or anything, quite clearly. But he doesn't live up to the hype for me at all, in talent or excitement. 

Did you never see his fantastic fight with Tony Ferguson? Or the time he dragged a corker out of the usually dull and frustrating Bobby Green? Or this against John Makdessi?...

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