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UFC Vegas: Munhoz vs Edgar - Aug 22 🇺🇸


Who wins and how?   

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Posted (edited)

Saturday 22nd August, we’re back at the APEX in Vegas...

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ESPN+ MAIN CARD
Pedro Munhoz vs Frankie Edgar 

Mike Rodriguez vs Marcin Prachnio

Mariya Agapova vs Shana Dobson

Daniel Rodriguez vs Dwight Grant 


ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Mizuki Inoue vs Amanda Lemos

Austin Hubbard vs Joe Solecki

Ike Villanueva vs Jordan Wright 

Matthew Semelsberger vs Carlton Minus

Timur Valiev vs Trevin Jones 

 

Bout order hasn’t been finalised yet so this’ll no doubt be shuffled up and there’ll probably be a couple of fights added still. I like this. The card’s taken a hammering and losing Romero vs Hall in particular has hurt it but Munhoz vs Edgar is ace and there are a few little highlights on the undercard. 

 

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So Pedro Munhoz vs Frankie Edgar headlines. Or at least it’s supposed to. I almost don’t even want to talk about this fight now because it seems jinxed. By my reckoning, this is the FOURTH attempt this year at making this fight happen. I know we’re living in strange times but even for 2020, that sounds like a cursed fight. When it was originally announced it was supposed to take place at UFC 251. Then it got moved to the Kattar vs Ige card. Then Munhoz tested positive for COVID and it got moved to UFC 252. Then it got shoved back again to this card. Hopefully that’s it now and we actually get the thing on.

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I guess the main story here is that it’s Edgar’s long talked about Bantamweight debut, which in itself has seemed jinxed. His intro to 135 was meant to go down in January against Cory Sandhagen but things got all fucked up and he ended up jumping in on short notice against Korean Zombie at Featherweight in December instead. That gamble didn’t pay off and the Zombie annihilated him in a round. Been a fan of Frankie since I saw his classic with Tyson Griffin back in 2007. One of the most universally respected fighters in the game and a nailed on future Hall Of Famer. Not sure what to make of this drop to 135 though. I get why he’s doing it, he’s out of the mix at 145 and, despite being a former champion at 155, I think he’s just too small for the current crop of beasts at Lightweight. But at the same time, he’s 38 years old and he’s been in some absolute wars. It’s late in the day to be dropping weight classes. And Munhoz is no easy introduction to the division. He’s 18-4-1 with finishes over Cody Garbrandt, Bryan Caraway and Rob Font. He also beat Brett Johns in an awesome forgotten fight a couple of years ago. Not to mention he’s 5 years younger than Frankie and has less miles on him. It’s a tough one. Assuming Edgar’s got the weight cut right, this has all the ingredients of a tremendous fight. And now it’s a main event, it’s most likely going to be 5 rounds which adds a whole new twist on what was already an intriguing fight. Frankie’s conditioning and cardio has always been top drawer. But for his first fight at 135, at 38 years old, in a 5 rounder with a top contender? I don’t know. I’ll just be happy if the fight actually materialises this time. Fourth time lucky?

 

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Mike Rodriguez vs Marcin Prachnio isn’t doing much for me. I’ve never rated Rodriguez, which is a shame because he’s a Joe Lauzon protégé. I want to root for him but he’s just not had much about him the few times I’ve seen him. He’s 10-4-1 now and coming off a quick KO loss to Da Un Jung in December. Prachnio is Polish, 32 years old, 13-4 record, 11 finishes. Hasn’t beat anyone you’d know and he’s coming off consecutive knockout losses to Sam Alvey and Magomed Ankalaev. Meh. Not arsed.

 

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Mariya Agapova vs Shana Dobson is a fight I’m looking forward to, purely to see Agapova back in action. She made her UFC debut back in June and submitted Hannah Cifers in about 2 minutes. I was impressed. It’s rare a debuting women’s fighter really stands out right off the bat but she did to me. Kind of got the early Joanna Jedrzejczyk vibes off her. She’s only 23 years old and I might be off but I think she’s the first fighter from Kazakhstan to fight in the UFC. Trains at ATT, 9-1 so far in MMA. Early days but she looks the business so far. Dobson is pretty crap from what I recall and looking up her record, it seems I recall correctly. She’s 3-4 and coming into this fight off 3 losses in a row. She got knocked out in 40 seconds in her last fight as well. Very much feels like they’re feeding Agapova a body here. Dobson’s probably a goner after this. If Agapova falls at this hurdle, she’s obviously not the prospect I think she is. I reckon she pisses this one though.

 

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Takashi Sato vs Daniel Rodriguez is this card’s ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH***. Got a feeling this could be a bit of an under the radar banger. Sato is a 30 year old Judo black-belt. Trains under Henri Hooft. Packs a punch too. He’s 16-3 with 13 finishes, 11 by knockout. Ironed out Ben Saunders in his UFC debut, stopped Jason Witt in just 48 seconds in his last fight on the Poirier vs Hooker card. He’s not without flaws and he’s been submitted a couple of times, but he’s dangerous and I’m yet to see a fight of his that wasn’t entertaining. Rodriguez is 12-1 with 10 finishes and has won 8 in a row. Looks like he could be a bit of a dark horse actually. Tapped out Tim Means in his debut in February then outpointed Gabriel Green in a fun fight in May.

 

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Mizuki Inoue vs Amanda Lemos is an alright little Strawweight tussle. Inoue is 14-5 and beat Wu Yanan on points in her UFC debut. Former DEEP champ. She’s had her share of losses but she had a couple of FOTNs in Invicta with Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Alexa Grasso. Kickboxing record of 11-2, trains under Ray Longo in New York. She’s knocked around. Lemos I’m hazy on. 33 years old, 7-1-1 record. She submitted Miranda Granger in a round on the Korea card in December. Nothing special, this fight, but we’ve had a lot worse.

 

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Austin Hubbard vs Joe Solecki is a late addition. Might be decent actually. Hubbard is 28 years old with a record of 12-4. He’s only 2-2 in the UFC but in fairness the losses were to Davi Ramos and Mark Madsen, who are beasts. And he did give Madsen a scare in the last round of their fight. He’s coming off a win here, he battered Max Rohskopf in June in a fight that got a lot of attention due to Rohskopf telling his corner he was done and to stop the fight only to be ignored. Hubbard did his job though and he won convincingly. Solecki looks quite promising to me. He’s 26 years old, 9-2 with 7 finishes. More of a grappler. He last fought in December and pretty much dominated Matt Wiman to a decision. Not a bad little fight this.

 

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Dwight Grant vs Jared Gooden. Kind of looking forward to this actually and it’s all because of Grant. Completely forgot he even existed! I remember thinking he had some real potential at one point but he just seemed to vanish. He last fought in April 2019, beating Alan Jouban on points. It was his knockout over Carlo Pedersoli in his previous fight that always sticks with me though...

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Jesus Christ. Don’t know how far he’ll go, I mean he’s 35 now, but he’s definitely got some weapons. If he goes as far as Pedersoli’s mouthpiece did there he’ll be doing OK for himself. Don’t know Gooden. Looking him up he’s 26 years old with a 17-4 record. That’s all I’ve got.

 

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Ike Villanueva vs Jorge Gonzalez isn’t likely to be pretty. Don’t expect a technical masterclass here. It’s most likely going to be a low level Heavyweight slobberknocker. And I won’t hear a word said against it. Villanueva made his UFC debut in May and lost to Chase Sherman. Like I said, low level, but it was a fun as fuck slugfest all the same. He’s 16-10 now, he’s got no business in the big leagues and I doubt he’ll be there long. But he should be good for a couple more brawls yet. Of his 16 wins, he’s got 13 finishes. And of his 10 losses, he’s been finished 9 times. So for all his faults, we’re probably getting a finish one way or the other. Never seen Gonzalez. He’s 16-5 and all his wins have come inside the distance. So yeah, the judges can probably pop out for a Tip Top or something during this one.

 

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Matthew Semelsberger vs Carlton Minus. Fuck knows. Both newcomers and I’ve never heard of either of them. Semelsberger is 28 years old, 6-2 with 5 finishes and coming off a couple of knockout wins on the smaller shows. Nicknamed ‘Semi the Jedi’. Yeah. Minus is 27 with a record of 10-1-0-1NC and 7 finishes. Has fought in PFL and has a loss to former UFC fighter Rick Story. He did beat that absolute bellend Justin Buchholz though so he’s alright by me.

 

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Timur Valiev vs Mark Striegl is another late addition to the card. Both are making their UFC debut and they both seem to be being talked up as good prospects. I’ve seen bits and pieces pop up on Valiev for a while now but can’t say I’m really familiar with him. The consensus opinion seems to be that his signing is long overdue though. He’s another one of those Dagestani fighters who trains in New Jersey with Zabit, Frankie Edgar, Marlon Moraes and that lot. Caught this on Zabit’s Instagram which made me laugh...

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The Wet Bandits!

He was supposed to fight Jamall Emmers on the Brunson vs Shahbazyan card the other week but ran into Visa trouble so here we are. He’s 14-2 and since 2014 he’s been fighting in PFL (formerly WSOF). He’s never been stopped and even his losses, one was his MMA debut, the other was a split decision against Chris Gutierrez that was said to be highly controversial to the point Ray Sefo (WSOF president) ordered an immediate rematch, which Valiev won. Striegl is Filipino, 18-2 with 14 submissions. He was the 145lb champ in a promotion called URCC and was a Sambo gold medalist in the South East Asian Games. Fought in ONE and he subbed Kai Kara-France in a round back in 2014. Like the sound of this one a lot now. Pays to do a bit of homework sometimes. Wouldn’t have given two shits about this before I did a bit of digging.

 

Yep. I like the look of this. One of the better Fight Nights so far this year. It won’t stay intact, they never do, but hopefully it doesn’t change too much from how it looks now. 

 

Edited by wandshogun09
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I'm not so sure about Pitolo fighting again so soon. It's one thing to fight a few days or weeks later after a quick KO win, but he's only after getting subbed out by Darren Stewart at the weekend. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, WeeAl said:

I'm not so sure about Pitolo fighting again so soon. It's one thing to fight a few days or weeks later after a quick KO win, but he's only after getting subbed out by Darren Stewart at the weekend. 

Perhaps, but it was a R1 loss, and submission losses aren't as damaging as KO/TKO losses (unless you're a Brazilian who refuses to tap out through macho bullshit).

Edited by Carbomb
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Posted (edited)

Yeah, Waterson vs Hill’s been moved to September as well. I saw all the changes. Just couldn’t be fucking arsed to edit with the amount of pullouts and moving about of fights they’re doing at the minute.

Edit - sod it, finally updated the OP. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Frankie looked pretty good weighing in for his first Bantamweight fight.

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135.5.

Can’t help feeling like this is too little, too late though. It’s probably a cut he could’ve done with making a few years ago after the second loss to Aldo or something. His frame was always more suited to 135. It’s a testament to how good he is/was that he did so well as an undersized 155er and even a kind of small 145er over the years. As unlikely as it seems though, I’d love to see him make one last run. Just don’t see it working out for him unfortunately. Bantamweight right now is deeper than its ever been in terms of quality at the top end. And with Frankie’s name and respected rep, he’s going to be straight in at the top end immediately. Purely on skills, I think he has the beating of Munhoz all day. But the combination of age, miles on the clock and it being his debut at the weight, I think Munhoz could be catching him at the right time. I like Munhoz but it’s Team Edgar all the way here. 

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It’s the eve of another UFC card so you know what that means. Last minute fight cancellations. Yay. My ‘one to watch’ Sato vs Rodriguez and Grant vs Born scratched. 

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Good news is, according to MMA Junkie, Rodriguez and Grant have agreed to fight each other. They’re opening up the main card. Best possible save but what a shitshow. I remember when a fight falling out a day before the show was thought to be crazy. Now it’s the norm.

I hope Dwight Grant wins. Nothing against Rodriguez but Grant’s been fucked about proper on this one. Started this week thinking he was fighting Jared Gooden, then it got switched to Calen Born, now the night before the show it’s Daniel Rodriguez. Be cool to see him get a win and some bonus money tomorrow. 

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Posted (edited)

The last minute changes are incredible at this point. The average lately seems like what, 2 or 3 fights within 48 hours of the show falling out? I'm actually surprised that it's not Edgar or Munhoz.

Part of me thinks that maybe it would be easier to book a smaller show, say 8 fights, and keep six or eight fighters on stand by, training and getting their weight down, to take a cancellation fight inside a 2 week period. It sounds ludicrous in a normal situation, but there are so many fights changed or cancelled at the last minute, that virtually all the stand by fighters would be needed.

Restrict cards to a couple of specific weight classes, then you know you have a replacement right up until show time. They won't be name replacements, they'll be people happy for the chance at that type of featured spot on the card. I'm sure something like this is already the case, with lots of fighters coming in on a few days notice. I'm just thinking something more structured and transparent like:

Main - Frankie Edgar Vs Pedro Munhoz

Replacement - 15-20 ranked BW. 

Co-Main - Menifield Vs OSP 

Replacement - Latest Contenders series LHW winner. 

The scheduled fighters would have to sign off on their replacement in advance, and it comes with all its own kind of problems, such as all three fighters preparing for two opponents. It might stop a wasted training camp though.

I have no idea how feasible an idea that is really. Probably not at all. I can just imagine though that all this constant flux must be a killer for the people trying to make this work for real. What's clear is that the usual way of putting together events probably needs a re-think, with as many ideas as possible being thrown out there, as I'd say it's bound to be utter chaos trying to put these events together/keep them from falling to pieces. 

Edited by WeeAl
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3 hours ago, jimufctna24 said:

OSP has tested positive for COVID and has withdrawn from tonight's card. 

i listened to the MMA Roadshow podcast Friday and they said not to be surprised if that fight was called off. OSP's pre-fight interview was done from his hotel room whilst everyone else was doing usual media stuff, they suspected something was up.

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