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UFC Vegas: Smith vs Rakic - Aug 29 🇺🇸


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Some bank holiday weekend violence here. Saturday 29th August back at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. ESPN+ MAIN CARD Anthony Smith vs Aleksandar Rakic Robbie Lawler vs Neil Magny  Al

Little bit of an odd show really. First four fights all ended by submission then it was Decision City the rest of the night.  Rakic did the business against Smith. Seeing mixed responses to his p

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15 hours ago, wandshogun09 said:

I’m sad that we’ve reached a point where nearly all of us have picked Neil Magny to beat Robbie Lawler. 

He made it look easy too. Lawler is shot. He's in that same spot as Tyron Woodley, or where BJ Penn and Rashad Evans were three or four years ago. They can train and get into great shape, but in the cage on fight night, they can't pull the trigger anymore. At least that's what it looks like now with Lawler in his last couple of fights. It was really disheartening here. 

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Little bit of an odd show really. First four fights all ended by submission then it was Decision City the rest of the night. 

Rakic did the business against Smith. Seeing mixed responses to his performance online. Seen some negativity that he didn’t finish. Balls to that. If there’s one thing Smith is it’s tough. Jones couldn’t put him away in 5 rounds, a much less experienced Rakic not being able to in 3 is nothing to be ashamed of. Especially as he dominated anyway. There wasn’t any doubt who’d won when the final buzzer went. The leg kicks were fucking vile. I like him. Could’ve done without the showboating at the end maybe but whatever, who cares?

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Deal with it.

What’s next for these two then? My immediate thought for Rakic was the winner of the upcoming Santos vs Teixeira fight. But looking at the division, the winner of that is probably getting a title shot against the winner of Reyes vs Blachowicz. So maybe Rakic vs the winner of Walker/Spann? But I want Walker vs Prochazka. It’s a good problem to have, I suppose. There are options there. For Smith, fuck I don’t have a clue. He’s had a shitter of a year, hasn’t he? The home invasion, the Glover beating, now this. Give him an easy win. Where’s Strangebrew Thacker? 

Magny vs Lawler was depressingly predictable. Like the Covington fight, he just couldn’t get out of the blocks and never really pulled the trigger. Can’t knock Magny’s performance at all. Wasn’t the most exciting but he did his bit. The onus was on Lawler to do something about it and he couldn’t. Very rare a guy goes 15 minutes with Ruthless Robert and comes out pretty much unscathed so you have to give credit where it’s due. I’m not sure if Lawler is shot or if this was just a horrible style matchup for him. I’m under no illusions he’s lost a couple of steps, even against that wrestling style, Lawler used to do better than this. But Covington and Magny back-to-back will make a lot of guys look bad. The only way we’re truly going to get an idea on Lawler is if they throw him in with another striker next. If he looks bad in that kind of fight then he’s probably done. I vote Mike Perry. 

Alexa Grasso looked pretty good. Didn’t even realise this was her Flyweight debut. Might be a smart move actually. She’ll probably climb the ranks at 125 quicker than she would’ve in a deeper division like Strawweight. Only problem is, all roads lead to Valentina Shevchenko at Flyweight so this story probably doesn’t have a happy ending for Grasso. The 125 class could do with some excitement though, and Grasso can go. 

Lamas vs Algeo was a good fight. I was gutted when Ryan Hall dropped out and, knowing sod all about Algeo, he was underwhelming as a replacement. But I really enjoyed this. Although he lost, I liked what we saw of Algeo here and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do with more prep time. If that was Lamas’ last fight like he was hinting at, I think he’s had a nice break with Hall pulling out. At least here he got to go out on a win in a fun scrap. The Hall fight would’ve most likely been an awkward, frustrating and painful experience for his farewell. 

Sean Brady had one of the standout performances on the card for me. Really like the look of him so far. Seems to be starting to feel at home in there now and at 27, unbeaten and still improving he could be one to keep an eye on. That guillotine was nasty. 

Impa Kasanganay caught my eye as well. Nice debut performance. Pitolo was game as always but Kasanganay was just too sharp a striker and basically outclassed him. This fight got chucked together late in the day as well so it’ll be interesting to see a full camp version of him next time. 

Not a terrible show or anything but something about it just put me on a bit of a downer. Lawler losing is always cack, especially when it’s one sided like this. But I think the main thing with me was I kept thinking about all the good shit we were meant to see last night. Zabit vs Yair as main event, Neal vs Magny (which also would’ve meant Lawler avoiding this and possibly being matched up with someone he might’ve been able to do something against), Ankalaev vs Cutelaba 2, Caceres vs Chikadze, Ryan Hall! This card took so many hits. Still had its moments but I think this actually might’ve been the card that’s been hurt the most in the Corona/lockdown era of UFC shows. It got hammered and it seemed to be all the most interesting matchups that got taken out. Oh well, onto the next one.

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20 hours ago, wandshogun09 said:

Magny vs Lawler was depressingly predictable. Like the Covington fight, he just couldn’t get out of the blocks and never really pulled the trigger. Can’t knock Magny’s performance at all. Wasn’t the most exciting but he did his bit. The onus was on Lawler to do something about it and he couldn’t. Very rare a guy goes 15 minutes with Ruthless Robert and comes out pretty much unscathed so you have to give credit where it’s due. I’m not sure if Lawler is shot or if this was just a horrible style matchup for him. I’m under no illusions he’s lost a couple of steps, even against that wrestling style, Lawler used to do better than this. But Covington and Magny back-to-back will make a lot of guys look bad. The only way we’re truly going to get an idea on Lawler is if they throw him in with another striker next. If he looks bad in that kind of fight then he’s probably done. I vote Mike Perry.

Neil Magny is one of those fighters who I actually dislike watching. There's a few of them around. Complete soul-suckers with no notable qualities or anything about them to make them really stand out.

Lawler is at the stage where he's not competing for a title, so why the fuck stick him in fights like this? Put him in bouts that are fun and where he can slug it out with someone who's equally willing.

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It wasn't a very fun show overall. One of the least enjoyable of this time period I think. The Lawler loss (and the manner in which it happened, by not even being competitive) along with the main event being something similar for Rakic against Smith - it wasn't excitement personified. It did end up as a night that Rakic and Magny added statement wins to their records. Both men shut their opponents down and gave them nothing. 

I'm not sure what's next for Magny really, there are a lot of options. Similar for Rakic. He's not getting a title shot next though. That's going to Glover or Santos. Rakic will have to fight again. He might get the loser of Reyes/Jan or the loser of Glover Vs Santos. Maybe Prochazka. I think it's a deep, competitive division now, with a lot of guys that seem quite on par with each other. 

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Never thought of Lawler vs Pettis but I’d be well up for that. Why not at this point? Neither of them are really going anywhere but it’s a fun fight. 

As for Magny, I imagine they’ll try to reschedule that Geoff Neal fight again as soon as they can. But I’m not sure when Neal will be back. While we’re on the subject of Welterweights with no return date in sight, where the hell are Santiago Ponzinibbio and Gunnar Nelson? 

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There's elements of the UFC's booking that really bothers me sometimes. It happened with Anderson, and it's happening with Lawler. We have these fan-favourites at the tail end of their career, and instead of getting the best out of them, the UFC chucks them in there with a bunch of up & comers who you couldn't pick out of a lineup.

Why? Do they think fans buy their shite of "oooh, Neil Magny beat Lawler! That must means he's good!"

fuck off, it doesn't. He beat an ageing Lawler. I'd rather have my head stapled to the living room carpet than watch Neil Magny fight, and an insomnia-busting win over Lawler ain't changing that.

The UFC should have two categories of fighters when putting a card together. the "in their prime" types who are fighting for potential title shots and to move up the rankings, and legends and exciting fighters who aren't in their prime, and aren't really making any runs at a title. Those guys, like Clay Guida, Diego Sanchez, Anthony Pettis, Robbie Lawler, Anderson Silva and so forth should be matched accordingly.

Put them in fights that are exciting to watch against other "name" opponents who have an easy on the eye fight style. They can be like special attractions on a card, there to help sell the snoozefest shite we're served up by yet another no-name Khazak wrestle merchant with a shit beard and zero English.

We had the "Conor-lite" era, now we're getting the "Khabib-lite" era, where every fucker who had even a passing relationship with Kahbib or his old man is being flung on a UFC card for the commentators to lazily cream themselves over.

I think UFC is heading into a period of time where interesting fighters are at the lowest they've been in years. I'm not even talking stars here, I'm just talking about folk that I recognise when they appear on a fight card.

I never thought I'd say it, but we need TUF back. I want to see an injection of talent that I can at least give a fuck about. Be it someone who came across as a twat on the show, or someone who cried when his shoes got launched in the pool or something. I need fighters that i actually know. Very little of the new talent coming through is recognisable. They're taking unremarkable to a whole new level.

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The UFC's expansion has made the promotion near-impossible to follow. Too many shows, too many fighters, too much filler. Which is why I pick and choose which shows I watch. 

The UFC's overexposure also means that fans' appetite for other promotions is near non-existent, especially considering that the UFC has most of the world's best fighters. It also probably means that TUF can't be resurrected. Why watch novices battle it out on TUF, when you can wait a couple of days and watch a fight-night card?

Personally, I hope another Strikeforce comes along. A promotion with a smaller roster, but one that contains some of the best fighters in the world. I would find such a promotion much easier to follow and far more enjoyable than what we currently have. 

 

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14 minutes ago, jimufctna24 said:

Why watch novices battle it out on TUF, when you can wait a couple of days and watch a fight-night card?

For drama and human interest, mainly. What the up & coming fighters of today need is a platform like TUF to set themselves apart from the crowd. We've seen it happen countless times before.

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7 minutes ago, David said:

For drama and human interest, mainly. What the up & coming fighters of today need is a platform like TUF to set themselves apart from the crowd. We've seen it happen countless times before.

I still think it would be hard to generate interest in TUF in this climate.

In some ways, I think the UFC has become too big for its own good. 

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1 hour ago, jimufctna24 said:

 

Personally, I hope another Strikeforce comes along. A promotion with a smaller roster, but one that contains some of the best fighters in the world. I would find such a promotion much easier to follow and far more enjoyable than what we currently have. 

 

Have you an idea how many cards Bellator try to run, in a typical non-2020 year, Jim? 

I know with them being owned by a TV company, they are going to have to be on TV a lot, but is there legs in them using TV as their pre-lims for their bigger DAZN style shows, say 12-15 times a year? When you graduate from prelims, you go to the main card on the pay service. 

Maybe with the loss of ticket sales, and advertising etc this wouldn't be feasible, but it would help the show's feel more important, deeper and not get lost in the shuffle as much. If they currently try to do 20 shows then It would be possible, but if they do 35, then it would be way too much of a jump. 

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2 minutes ago, WeeAl said:

Have you an idea how many cards Bellator try to run, in a typical non-2020 year, Jim? 

Coker said at the start of the year that he wanted Bellator to run 30 shows in 2020. This was before COVID. Obviously, a lot has changed since then. 

Last I heard, it looked as though Bellator and DAZN were going to part ways. Bellator's new TV deal with CBS Sports starts in October. I assume that is where most of Bellator's shows will air in the US from now on. Although Coker has suggested that Bellator air shows on CBS's network channel at some point.

A writer on Sherdog actually suggested something similar to your idea. He proposed that Bellator split their shows between contender shows and main shows. Whether it is feasible or not, I have no idea. 

 

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