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UFC Somewhere: Ngannou vs Rozenstruik - Mar 28 🇺🇸


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March Madness continues. Saturday 28th. This was supposed to be in Columbus, Ohio but Coronavirus TKO’d that plan. It’s now supposed to be going down at the APEX in Vegas. And it’s a good ‘un. If it even happens. 


Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik 

Raphael Assuncao vs Cody Garbrandt 

Matt Brown vs Miguel Baeza 

Greg Hardy vs Yorgan De Castro 

Khalil Rountree vs Sam Alvey

Laureano Staropoli vs Khaos Williams 

Eddie Wineland vs Marlon Vera 


Cody Stamann vs Raoni Barcelos

Davey Grant vs Louis Smolka 

Tecia Torres vs Mizuki Inoue 

Eric Spicely vs Roman Kopylov

Randy Costa vs Martin Day

Jeff Hughes vs Tanner Boser 

Obviously, that main event is where it’s at. But fuck me, I really like this card top to bottom. Good stuff throughout. 



Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik should be an absolute banger. If we’re just talking striking, these are probably the two most lethal men in the Heavyweight division. Ngannou is a murderous puncher. When he connects, I imagine there are people scurrying around backstage looking for contact details of the opponent’s next of kin. When he laid out Alistair Overeem with that massive left hook, it was like someone blasted Reem with a shotgun.


It was horrifying to see. Ngannou has been on fire of late. He had that shite spell in 2018 with the loss to Stipe and then that inexplicably awful fight against Derrick Lewis. But since then he’s firmly re-established himself with 3 first round knockouts over Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos. Even more impressive is he put those 3 away in just over 2 minutes combined!

Jairzinho Rozenstruik hasn’t been around MMA long but he’s already made a hell of an impression. A striker from Suriname with a Kickboxing record of 76-8-1 with 64 knockouts and quite a collection of title belts.


He’d been dabbling in MMA since 2012, but only really went full-time at it in 2017. After going 6-0 he signed with the UFC and made his debut in February last year. He had quite a successful 2019. Going 4-0 with 4 knockouts. He beat Junior Abini in his debut. In June, he knocked out Allen Crowder in just 9 seconds! In November at MSG, he took out Andrei Arlovski in 29 seconds. Then in December, he stepped in on short notice against Overeem...



Poor Alistair.

Overeem was winning the fight as well. Rozenstruik caught him at 4:56 of the 5th round. Just 4 seconds to go! So Rozenstruik comes into this fight at 10-0 with 9 knockouts.

Let’s be honest, they really shouldn’t need 5 rounds. Someone’s getting put to bed and tucked in for good measure. I’d favour Ngannou. They’re both dangerous as fuck but Ngannou has that next level, freaky KO power. You never know though. Jair is the way more experienced striker and he’s younger, fresher and has got a lot less miles on him than some of the bigger names Ngannou has smashed already. Love this fight.



Raphael Assuncao vs Cody Garbrandt is an interesting co-main event. Assuncao has been around forever and mixed at a high level. He’s never been ‘the guy’ but he’s given some of the best fighters in the lighter weight classes a tough night over the years and he’s got wins over the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Joe Lauzon, TJ Dillashaw and right up to current contenders like Marlon Moraes and Aljamain Sterling. On a good night, he can give pretty much anyone problems. He’s 37 now though. And after a long career, he might be starting to slow down and is coming into this fight off back-to-back losses. Garbrandt is in a similar boat, minus the age. He’s only 28 years old. His problem has been damage. He couldn’t have gotten off to a better start to his career. He turned pro in December 2012 and by December 2016, he was 11-0, the UFC Bantamweight champion of the world and had just schooled Dominick Cruz. Can’t stand the prick but it was genuinely one of the most impressive title winning performances I’d ever seen. He’s lost 3 in a row since then though. He got knocked out by Dirty Dillashaw twice, then Pedro Munhoz stopped him in their one round slobberknocker last March. Not looking good for Garbrandt. And this is a tough fight to come back to. Assuncao is slipping but he’s still a handful. Last thing Cody wants to be doing here is having another brawl. His chin just isn’t holding up. But grappling with Assuncao wouldn’t be wise either so it’s a tricky one.



Matt Brown vs Miguel Baeza is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH***, could be fireworks. You know what you’re getting when you see Matt Brown’s name on a card. He’s always been a scrapper. He loves it. He’s 39 years old now and, with a 22-16 record, he’s not going on any run at the belt. But he always brings it and he’s finished Ben Saunders and Diego Sanchez in his last 2 fights. Baeza is relatively unknown but it’s so far, so good. He’s 27, undefeated at 8-0 with 6 knockouts and he stopped Hector Aldana in his UFC debut in October. It’s one of those past vs future fights that are often sad for the veteran. But you never know with a guy like Matt Brown. The violence he brings can ask a lot of questions of a less experienced fighter. Either way it sounds like a fun one.



Greg Hardy vs Yorgan De Castro then. This shit again. The Greg Hardy saga continues. He’s 5-2-1 now. Stepped in on short notice in Moscow and lost to Alexander Volkov in his last outing. Before that he plodded to a win over Ben Sosoli but got it overturned because he’s a pillock and used an inhaler between rounds. Also had that DQ loss because he’s a berk who threw an illegal knee. Oh and there’s that wife beating stuff. Can’t be arsed with him. I’m hoping this is the fight where he finally gets ironed out. De Castro hasn’t blown anyone away but he is 6-0 with 5 knockouts and absolutely wiped out Justin Tafa in a round in his last fight.


I really hope Hardy suffers the same fate and we can stop pretending he’s some hot prospect like a lot of people bafflingly seem to want to do. Come on Yorgan son.



Khalil Rountree vs Sam Alvey is doing nothing for me really. It’s the Sam Alvey factor. I’m never excited to see him fight. Even when he was briefly linked to a fight with Shogun. This is Rountree’s last fight, apparently. At least that’s what Rountree said on his Instagram recently. Kind of unexpected, he’s only 30 and seemed to be making improvements in his game. His striking looked better than ever against Eryk Anders. He has been on the receiving end of some rough stoppages recently though. It’d be nice to see him go out on a win.



Laureano Staropoli vs Khaos Williams could be a total fireworks display. Staropoli is a fun fighter who gets no love from MMA fans really but I’ve enjoyed watching him so far. Tough bastard with a pretty good striking game. Beat Thiago Alves in May but lost to Muslim Salikhov on the Singapore card in October. Both really good fights. Khaos Williams is a guy I’d never heard of until a few weeks ago. He jumped in on short notice on the Jones vs Reyes undercard and smashed the usually durable Alex Morono to bits in 27 seconds. It was a hell of a debut. Remains to be seen if he can cut it when tested at UFC level but whatever the case, he’s going to be exciting to watch if his debut is anything to go by. Khaos indeed. 



Eddie Wineland vs Marlon Vera was a late addition to the card and is almost guaranteed to be a really entertaining fight. Both men love a scrap. Wineland is probably mostly remembered for getting spin kicked in the head by prime Renan Barao years ago but he’s had his moments of success. Wins over Brad Pickett and Takeya Mizugaki probably being the highlights. And Vera is on a sweet little run of form at the moment. He’s won his last 5 fights now, and got the finish in all 5. Should be good. I’ve never warmed to Wineland for whatever reason so I’m hoping it’s a 6th win on the trot for Vera here. 



Cody Stamann vs Raoni Barcelos will probably be good. Two of the slightly overlooked fighters at 135 for me. Stamann is 18-2-1 and was on a 10 fight win streak before the Sterling loss in 2018. He fought the hyped up Song Yadong in December and it was scored a draw. I thought Stamann got a bit of a raw deal there myself. I had him winning. Barcelos is 15-1, has won his last 8 fights and is coming off a win over Said Nurmagomedov on the Korea show in December. I’ve really liked what I’ve seen of Barcelos. Usually in exciting fights and he’s always trying for the finish. This should be a good one.



Davey Grant vs Louis Smolka will most likely be an entertaining fight. I’ve enjoyed watching both over the years. Although I haven’t seen much of Grant’s UFC run. He’s been under contract since his TUF stint back in 2013 but he’s been plagued by injuries and he’s only fought 4 times since. Always liked Grant though. He seemed a top bloke on TUF. He’s coming off a win over Grigorii Popov in November so hopefully he can stay healthy now and put some wins together. Smolka has had a decent run of late. He’s 16-6 overall and 5-1 in his last 6. I mostly remember him for his awesome fight with Paddy Holohan on the Dublin card in 2015.



Tecia Torres vs Mizuki Inoue is OK, I guess. Never really get excited for Torres fights though. Her style just isn’t much fun to watch and her fights usually tend to look the same. Her first fight with Rose Namajunas in Invicta years ago was fucking brilliant but she’s been dull since then for me. She’s also coming off 4 losses in a row. Granted, 3 of them were Zhang, Jedrzejczyk and Andrade but she desperately needs to win here. You can’t be going 0-5. Inoue is 25 years old with a 14-5 MMA record and an 11-2 Kickboxing record. She won her UFC debut on the China show in August. She’s Japanese (obviously) but she’s based in New York and trains under Ray Longo. The UFC are probably hoping Inoue wins this one. Torres is going nowhere and they need more Japanese/Asian fighters to break through.



Eric Spicely vs Roman Kopylov is a decent fight. Although I’m disappointed that the original matchup of Spicely vs Punahele Soriano got scrapped. Was looking forward to that. Spicely is a bit of an underrated fighter. He’s not championship material but he’s got legit skills, he’s a BJJ black-belt and has a submission win over Thiago Santos on his record. He also had a wildly entertaining brawl with Deron Winn in his last fight in June. His problem has been consistency though. He’s 12-5 now and, at 33 years old, he’s unlikely to go beyond ‘tough prelim fighter’ level. He’s the guy you put in with your prospects when they need a bit of a test. Kopylov came into the UFC unbeaten but got submitted by Karl Roberson in his debut. He’s 8-1 now, with 7 knockouts. 



Randy Costa vs Martin Day
is a fight I’ll be having a look at just based on Costa’s last fight. He faced Boston Salmon in October and they had a crazy 2 minute shootout before Costa landed the killshot. He looked wild and reckless but it was exciting as fuck. Trains under Joe Lauzon though so it makes sense. He’s 25 years old and 5-1 so far. Day is Hawaiian, 8-3. Don’t think I’ve ever seen him fight.



Jeff Hughes vs Tanner Boser is a late switch up. Boser is filling in for an injured Carlos Felipe. This is just taking up space really. And these two take up a lot of space. Hughes isn’t much good from what I’ve seen of him. He’s 10-3-1 and 0-2-1 so far in the UFC. Hasn’t been much fun to watch either. Boser is 17-6-1 and 1-1 in the UFC. Lost his last fight against Ciryl Gane in December. Can’t say I’m counting the days to this one but you never know with the Heavies. 




Edited by wandshogun09
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As expected, the upcoming UFC Columbus card is reportedly being moved to Las Vegas. This news comes from Brazilian publication Combate — the same outlet that reported that the imminent UFC Brasilia card will go down behind closed doors.

According to Combate, the UFC Columbus card — which will seemingly need a new name — will be held at the new UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas.

This development comes one day after Ohio governor Matt DeWine ruled against any mass gatherings, such as sporting events, in the state. The UFC Columbus card will be headlined by a heavyweight fight between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Francis Ngannou.


Source - https://www.bjpenn.com/mma-news/ufc/report-ufc-columbus-to-be-moved-to-las-vegas/

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Moving it to the Apex will actually be quite interesting. It'll have a different feel about it for sure. It might feel like we're back at the Palms again. 

The Garbrandt pull out sounds like an ordeal to say the least. Hopefully the guy can get better soon and get his health and career back on track somehow. 

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