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wandshogun09

UFC Somewhere: Overeem vs Harris - Apr 11 🇺🇸

Who wins and how?   

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Saturday 11th April with this lot...

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ESPN+ MAIN CARD
Alistair Overeem vs Walt Harris 

Carla Esparza vs Michelle Waterson 

Vicente Luque vs Randy Brown 

Don’Tale Mayes vs Rodrigo Nascimento 

Alessio Di Chirico vs Markus Perez 

Derek Brunson vs Edmen Shahbazyan
 

ESPN/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Tristan Connelly vs Alex Da Silva 

Julia Avila vs Karol Rosa 

Niko Price vs Muslim Salikhov 

Eryk Anders vs Krzysztof Jotko

Davi Ramos vs Arman Tsarukyan 

Cole Williams vs Phil Rowe 
 

Probably be a couple more fights added to the prelims yet but that’s how it’s shaping up. It’s not the standout card of the next few months but I quite like it. Some good stuff on this one, some possible breakout stars of the future and a couple of potential barnburners. Not bad. 

 

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Alistair Overeem vs Walt Harris headlines. Of course, this fight was meant to happen on the Washington card back in December. But that’s when the tragedy with Harris’ stepdaughter happened and he pulled out. Overeem ended up fighting Jairzinho Rozenstruik that night instead. Didn’t exactly work out for him.

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To be fair, Overeem was winning the fight fairly comfortably on points. Rozenstruik caught him with 4 seconds left in the fight. Harsh. At this point, you have to wonder how much longer The Reem can keep doing this. He looks far from shot, don’t get me wrong. But he turns 40 in May. This will be his 65th pro MMA fight. He’s won way more than he’s lost but he’s also been knocked out 14 times. And we’re not even factoring in his Kickboxing career as well. He’s been doing this shit forever.

Walt Harris was all set for the biggest opportunity of his career in December. His first UFC main event against a top name in Alistair Overeem. But in late October, Walt’s life took a horrible turn when his stepdaughter Aniah Blanchard went missing. After an agonising few weeks, everyone’s worst fears were confirmed when her body was found. Just an awful story all-round.

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Heartbreaking to see stuff like this. Can’t imagine the hell the family went through, and are still going through.

I did see a post from Walt of him and his wife at the Fury vs Wilder 2 fight last week so that was nice to see. But I can’t help but wonder if this comeback is too soon for him. He’ll know if it is or not better than anyone, obviously. But I think the last thing anyone wants to see now is Walt getting beat down. I get why the UFC have rescheduled it, and I’m sure they asked Walt if he wanted to get right back to it or take an easier fight on his return. But I’ve got a bad feeling about this. I’d have already been favouring Overeem if they’d fought in December as planned. But after the horrible few months he’s had, I’ve got no interest in watching Walt get twatted about here. It’ll be an emotional post-fight interview whatever happens.

 

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Carla Esparza vs Michelle Waterson is the co-main event according to the poster. For some reason. I mean, I don’t hate the fight or anything but co-main? I’d have whacked Brunson vs Shahbazyan in that spot. Even Price vs Salikhov. But Waterson definitely looks better on the poster. Never been a fan of Esparza. She’s had quite a successful career. 15-6 record, former Invicta Strawweight champion, she won TUF in 2014 and was the first ever UFC Strawweight champ. Don’t like her though. I remember her being a bit of a twat on TUF plus she’s bored me in the cage more often than not over the years. In fairness though, she had (and won) a fantastic fight with Alexa Grasso on the Mexico City card in September.

I’m pulling for Waterson...

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And not for the first time 😉 

Seriously, Waterson is the babyface here. Always liked her, and not just because she’s hot as fuck. She also seems like one of the nicest people in MMA and I like her fighting style. Kicks from all angles and she’s pretty nifty on the ground as well. She’s coming off that points loss to Joanna Jedrzejczyk in October but she’d won 3 in a row before that. I’ve always felt like Waterson isn’t best suited to Strawweight. She looked fucking tiny against Joanna, and in a lot of her fights at 115 actually. She’s not done too bad despite that but she’s always going to struggle against the stronger girls in the division. Which gives me fear that Esparza is just going to wrestle the shit out of her here. 

 

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Vicente Luque vs Randy Brown is one of those fights that’ll probably go under the radar but turn out to be bags of fun on the night. Luque has been one to keep an eye on for ages. Wins over Mike Perry, Niko Price, Bryan Barberena in an absolute war last year, he even stopped Thiago Santos in a round back in 2012! He got outclassed by Wonderboy on the MSG show in November though so he’s trying to rebound from that here. Brown is 12-3 and coming off a couple of nice finishes. Most probably remember him as the guy who handed Mickey Gall his first loss. He’s been a bit hot and cold but you watch him and you can see the potential there. Like this matchup a lot. Both still under 30 as well.

 

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Don’Tale Mayes vs Rodrigo Nascimento. Not familiar with either of them. Think they were both on Dana’s Contender Series. Mayes is 7-3 with 5 finishes. I did see his UFC debut but he got schooled and heel hooked by Ciryl Gane so it didn’t tell us that much. He’s a big boy though at 6ft6, and he’s only 28 years old. Nascimento sounds like the better prospect of the two though. He’s 27 years old, trains at American Top Team and is 7-0 with 7 finishes. Seems to be more of a submission artist going by his last few fights. He’s subbed his last 4 opponents.

 

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Alessio Di Chirico vs Markus Perez isn’t doing a great deal for me. It might be OK but it’s not getting the nipples hard or anything. Di Chirico is one of those guys who pops up on these cards and nothing memorable sticks out apart from his Dr Spock ears. He’s just there. Not a bad fighter but nothing remarkable about him either. He comes into this fight off the back of two decision losses. Perez has been more entertaining. 12-3 record and he’s been up and down results-wise but his fights are usually pretty lively, solid submissions and he’s not against throwing some flashy strikes either. Hopefully he drags Di Chirico to something more watchable than his usual style.

 

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Derek Brunson vs Edmen Shahbazyan is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** on this one. Don’t know why they moved this from 248 to this card but here it is. This really should’ve been the co-main. Such an interesting fight, this. Shahbazyan is one of the brightest prospects in MMA right now. I first heard of him just because he was managed by Ronda Rousey. But that’s mostly forgotten now because he’s quickly making a reputation for himself in his own right. He’s just turned 22 years old and he’s already 11-0 with 10 first round finishes. 5 of them in less than a minute! He doesn’t look like much but he’s a fucking animal.

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There he is, wiping out Brad Tavares with a huge headkick in his last fight. Bearing in mind Tavares had just gone 5 rounds with Israel Adesanya in his fight prior to this, and also took Yoel Romero to the judges before. So seeing this 21 year old kid just waste him in a round was quite the statement. Brunson should be able to test him though. He’s 20-7 with wins over the likes of Lyoto Machida, Uriah Hall, Lorenz Larkin etc. He’s a handful. If Shahbazyan wrecks him in a round as well then it’s really time to start getting excited about him.

 

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Tristan Connelly vs Alex Da Silva is a fight I’m interested in, mostly to see Connelly again. He made quite an impression in his UFC debut, beating Michel Pereira on short notice in a great fight. Really good performance from Connelly as well, just disregarding Pereira’s nutcase offence and outworking him. Aside from that, he hasn’t done anything particularly noteworthy. Just some Canadian with a 14-6 record. But that Pereira win got a lot of people’s attention. Da Silva I only recall vaguely. He’s got a very respectable record of 21-2 with 20 finishes but hasn’t beaten anyone that good. We’ll see how this one plays out.

 

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Julia Avila vs Karol Rosa then. The Raging Panda is back! This was booked and all set to go down on the Singapore card back in October but Rosa pulled out with a knee injury. This is all about Avila for me though. Quickly became a fan of her during the fight week for her UFC debut about a year ago. Think she’s ace. Seemed to be having the time of her life in front of the media and she’s refreshingly normal and nice for someone who gets locked in a cage and punches heads for a living. You couldn’t help but warm to her. She’s not doing badly in the cage either so far. 7-1 with wins over Pannie Kianzad in her Octagon debut plus she beat Marion Reneau and Nicco Montano early in her career as well. Hopefully she picks up another win here and Pandamania will keep running wild.

 

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Niko Price vs Muslim Salikhov is ***WAND’S OTHER ONE TO WATCH***. Couldn’t choose, had to highlight both fights. This could be complete and utter mayhem. Two animals who are both mega dangerous on the feet but both have totally different styles. Price is just a madman. He’s 14-3-1 now and he’s probably never going to make any real waves in the division but, fuck me, is he exciting to watch. He’s been knocked out a couple of times and a lot of it is due to his own wild and reckless style. But it’s paid off spectacularly as well. He KO’d Tim Means last year in a brilliant one round slobberknocker that you need to see if you haven’t already. On top of that he’s knocked out 2 opponents with strikes off his back - James Vick with an upkick, Randy Brown with hammerfists. He’s a fucking lunatic and I love him. The phrase ‘live by the sword, die by the sword’ sums him up. Salikhov is a beast of a different kind. Much more technical in his attacks but he’s a killer. 16-2 in MMA and a whopping 185-13-1 in Kickboxing. Between both records, he’s separated 88 men from consciousness. And his nickname is ‘King Of Kung Fu’, for fuck’s sake. Need I go on? 

 

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Eryk Anders vs Krzysztof Jotko might be alright. Not that bothered. I quite like Anders actually. He’s had a weird UFC run though. I had him beating Lyoto Machida and Elias Theodorou but the decisions went against him. Then in his last fight I thought he lost to Gerald Meerschaert but he got the nod from the judges. Regardless, he’s usually decent to watch. Bit of a power hitter and he’s had some big knockouts sprinkled throughout his odd decisions. Jotko is 21-4 and coming off a couple of decision wins. Never been blown away by him but he’s not a bad fighter. Only thing jumping out in the memory is that time he started randomly breakdancing after a win.

 

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Davi Ramos vs Arman Tsarukyan got added to this one pretty late. It’ll probably go under the radar but it’s a potential corker. Almost a third ‘wand’s one to watch’, this. Ramos is Brazilian, 33 years old. A world class grappler and BJJ black-belt nicknamed ‘The Tasmanian Devil’. Won gold at the ADCCs in 2015. He’s a physical specimen as well. A proper tank. He’s 10-3 in MMA and lost on points to Islam Makhachev last time out. He’d won 4 in a row prior to that though. Tsarukyan is Russian, only 23 years old and currently 14-2 with 10 finishes. He’s also fought Makhachev, in fact it was his UFC debut last April and they had a hell of a fight. One of the better grappling heavy fights in the UFC in a long time and a forgotten gem from 2019. Seek it out if you get chance. It was tucked away on a card not that many seemed to watch but it was excellent. Tsarukyan got back in the win column in July, outpointing Olivier Aubin-Mercier. This could be a really fun battle. You’d have to favour Ramos if it becomes a ground war but Tsarukyan is no slouch there, might be slightly more well rounded and he is a decade Ramos’ junior. Really liking this matchup.

 

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Cole Williams vs Phil Rowe. Neither name is ringing any bells. Williams is 36, 11-2 record, fought on the Covington vs Lawler undercard last year but I don’t think I saw it. Looking at his record he has beat Charlie Brown though. Poor Snoopy. Rowe is 29 with a 7-2 record, all his wins were finishes. He was on DWCS and is nicknamed ‘The Fresh Prince’. I guess with a big UFC debut here his life could get flipped turned upside down. 

 

That’s all folks. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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On 3/13/2020 at 10:28 AM, jimufctna24 said:

This card has also been moved to the UFC Apex in Vegas. 

Not anymore...

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