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UFC Fight Island: Holloway vs Kattar - Jan 16 🇦🇪 🏝


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Saturday 16th January, it’s the first card of the new year. Pretty sweet for a Fight Night actually. Although half of it will no doubt get cancelled anyway. Let’s try and be glass half full...

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ABC MAIN CARD
Max Holloway vs Calvin Kattar

Carlos Condit vs Matt Brown 

Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Li Jingliang

Joaquin Buckley vs Alessio Di Chirico

Punahele Soriano vs Dusko Todorovic

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Wu Yanan vs Joselyne Edwards 

Justin Tafa vs Carlos Felipe

David Zawada vs Ramazan Emeev

Sarah Moras vs Vanessa Melo

Austin Lingo vs Jacob Kilburn 

 

The bout order isn’t confirmed yet. I doubt there’ll be anything else added now though. 15 fights there already. The main event is a bloody corker and there’s a bunch of stuff I like scattered throughout the undercard as well.

 

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Max Holloway vs Calvin Kattar. What a fight this is. First UFC main event of 2021 and it’s a beauty. The only thing I don’t like about this is that I don’t want to see either lose. But if I have to pick a side, I’m Team Holloway all day. Crazy to think he’s still a whole year off turning 30. He’s been so good since such a young age that he feels like a proper grizzled veteran these days. He’s just turned 29. Easily one of my favourite fighters in all of combat sports at the moment. Great to watch bell to bell and he’s always seemed like a genuinely good lad with it. Says it all that he’s gained such a following and is one of the more popular fighters on the roster without resorting to talking a bunch of crap on opponents or creating fake beef. People just like Max, don’t they? He really could do with a big win here though. He’s 1-3 in his last 4 and is coming off those back-to-back losses to Volkanovski. The rematch was closer but when you’re 0-2 down to the champ, there’s a lot of work to be done. And Kattar is no joke. He’ll be seeing this as a huge chance to really break into the title mix. And it is. If Kattar can beat Holloway he’s instantly in the conversation with guys like Ortega and Zabit.

Tremendous fight on paper and I love that they have 25 minutes to work with if they need it. Kattar has looked the dog’s bollocks recently but this is his toughest test to date against a true elite fighter and one of the best Featherweights ever. Buzzing for this.

 

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Carlos Condit vs Matt Brown is this card’s ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** yes even with the 2021 versions of both and I don’t give a bollocks who disagrees. These two have been booked against each other a few times in the past but they’ve never managed to actually get the fight in the cage. They were originally supposed to square off on a FOX card all the way back in December 2013 but Brown pulled out with a back injury. Then the next attempt was in April 2018. They were lined up to be the co-main event under the epic Poirier vs Gaethje war but Brown got hurt again. Hopefully it’s third time lucky because I love this fight, even now with both a few years past their best. It’s a shame it didn’t happen in 2013 because back then I really think we’d have been looking at a FOTY contender. Not so much these days but it’s still a fun fight. You can’t lock Carlos Condit and Matt Brown in a cage and it not be at least good. It’s the type of fight you get the feeling they’ll both still get up for. They’re kind of cut from the same cloth so they’re both probably motivated and excited to be in this kind of scrap. Condit’s coming off that win over Court McGee in October as well. He finally snapped that losing streak. Really looking forward to this. 

 

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Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Li Jingliang. They’ve found The Ponz! Seriously, where the hell has he been? MMA is very much an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ sport and Ponzinibbio has really become the forgotten man at Welterweight. He was on a hell of a run, a 7 fight win streak and had just knocked out Neil Magny in a UFC main event in his native Argentina. A massive moment for him. His career highlight to date. That was November 2018. He hasn’t been seen since. Not sure exactly what the issue has been, injuries I guess, and I know he had staph infection at some point. Nice to see him back. He was supposed to face Muslim Salikhov here and I was chuffed with that matchup. Salikhov fell out with health issues and Jingliang has stepped in. Never been a great fan of Jingliang, ever since that Jake Matthews fight where he was blatantly and deliberately gouging the eyes. But aside from that he’s generally been decent to watch. He’s coming off a points loss to Neil Magny but was on a solid little streak prior to that, including a stoppage over Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos who I rate. Good fight. I’m not quite as jazzed about it as I was the original Salikhov clash but it’s still a fun pairing on paper and it’ll be good to finally see Ponzinibbio back in there. Against anyone at this point.

 

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Joaquin Buckley vs Alessio Di Chirico. Solid fight. Can’t say I’ve ever really gotten into Di Chirico’s fights but Buckley has been awesome to watch so far. A real highlight of 2020. He’s 12-3 overall now. His Octagon debut in August didn’t go to plan, but in fairness he took on Kevin Holland on short notice. He still made a hell of a fight of it but got stopped late. Talk about bouncing back though...

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THE knockout of 2020 right there. I’ve seen people on Twitter trying to make a case for other KOs but it’s just divs trying to be different and force a ‘hot take’. Buckley got it sewn up. There wasn’t a KO that was more breathtaking, creative and devastating all year. It’s not just one of the best of this year, it’s one of the best knockouts of all time to me. I’d put it right alongside Barboza vs Etim and Yair vs Zombie. And then to put the cherry on the cake, Buckley capped off the year with a vicious stoppage of Jordan Wright at UFC 255 in November. Di Chirico is one of the few Italians on the roster. Not a terrible fighter or anything but I’ve never found him particularly exciting to watch and this fight feels very much like they’re trying to fuck him off. He’s 12-5 now and he’s coming off 3 consecutive losses. Bit odd that they’re matching him with a surging Buckley, unless of course, they’re seeing him as a lamb to the slaughter and he’s going to be one of Dana’s Jobcentre 60 in the new year.

 

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Punahele Soriano vs Dusko Todorovic should be an absolute banger. Two undefeated prospects, both still under 30 years old, both finishers, both were on Dana’s Contender Series. Soriano is Hawaiian, 7-0 with 6 finishes. He made his UFC debut at UFC 245 in December 2019. That was the glorious night Usman cracked Covington’s gob. Wasn’t the only jaw that got jacked that night though. Soriano fucking walloped poor Oskar Piechota on the prelims...

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One of the most brutal yet least talked about knockouts in recent memory. I think mostly because a lot of people just didn’t see it. Soriano clearly has a dig on him though. As does his opponent here. Todorovic is Serbian, 10-0 with 9 finishes. He made his first Octagon appearance in October and bashed up Dequan Townsend. He also has a first round stoppage over Michel Pereira on his record from 2018. Really like the look of Todorovic so far. From the limited footage I’ve seen he doesn’t look the most technically pretty of strikers. He’s going to be fun to follow though. He just comes out swinging and tries to remove your head from your neck. Of all the DWCS newcomers who seem to be taking over the roster, few have captured my attention as quickly as these two. Matching them against each other gets a thumbs up from me.

 

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Wu Yanan vs Joselyne Edwards. They’ve been trying to make Yanan vs Bethe Correia happen on what seems like every single card over the last few months to no avail. This time Correia is out and needs surgery. Doesn’t upset me one bit. I mean, I wish her no ill will and I hope it’s nothing too serious but I can’t pretend I’m sad she’s off the card. It says it all when a replacement steps in and a fight between someone I barely remember and someone I’ve never heard of feels like an upgrade. Anyway, yeah, my memory is very hazy on Yanan. She’s 24 years old, 11-3 with 9 finishes and has lost pretty much anytime she’s come up against someone even half decent. Edwards is completely new to me. She’s 25, from Panama and she’s 9-2 with 8 finishes. Hasn’t beat anyone you’d know but she is coming off a 28 second knockout on some show in Mexico in July.

 

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Justin Tafa vs Carlos Felipe. Nothing special but could be a fun Heavyweight slugfest. Tafa is Aussie, 4-1 with all 5 fights ending by KO. His lone defeat was a brutal one punch knockout at the hands of Yorgan De Castro but he bounced back with a quick stoppage of his own against Juan Adams. Felipe is Brazilian, 9-1 with 6 knockouts. His only loss was on points against Sergey Spivak but he returned with a decision over De Castro (the man who beat Tafa) in his next fight. Don’t have especially high expectations for this. You know the score with Heavyweight fights by now. Could be fireworks, could be an embarrassment, or anything in between. Given both guys’ track records though, you’d fancy a stoppage either way.

 

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David Zawada vs Ramazan Emeev isn’t grabbing me. Just don’t know enough about either of them to give much of a shite. Zawada is German, 17-5 record and comes into this fight off a submission win over Abubakar Nurmagomedov. That was on the Moscow card back in November 2019 though. Emeev is from Dagestan, 19-4 and has won 8 of his last 9. Some decent wins on his record, to be fair but nothing sticks out in the memory about him.

 

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Sarah Moras vs Vanessa Melo. Nothing to see here. Moras is 6-6 and has lost 4 of her last 5. Melo is 10-8 and coming off 3 losses on the bounce. Surely this is a loser leaves town situation. I understand this level of fighter comes significantly cheaper than the bigger names but the fact that the UFC just let Yoel Romero and Rumble Johnson walk yet dross like this is all over the roster, purely as a spectator, its the shits obviously. Sounds harsh but these two are going absolutely nowhere.

 

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Austin Lingo vs Jacob Kilburn. Yeah, not familiar with these two at all. Lingo fights out of Texas and is 7-1 with 5 finishes. Lost to Youssef Zalal in his Octagon debut on the Jones vs Reyes card in February. Kilburn is from Tennessee, 8-3 with 6 finishes and lost his UFC debut against Billy Quarantillo in December 2019. Feels like a fight designed to get rid of the loser.


 

I like it. Some cack at the lower end of the card as usual but there’s plenty to be positive about there. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Fight Night main cards dont come much better than that. What a show to have as their ABC showcase, class from start to finish. More thoughts tomorrow, im off to bed.

Love it... That should be a cracking fight by the way. 

As everyone else has said, what an awesome show that was. It always seems to happen when there’s been a break. It was similar with UFC 249 last year after 2 months of no shows when COVID first really

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https://www.mmafighting.com/2020/12/15/22176107/muslim-salikhov-vs-santiago-ponzinibbio-fight-canceled-for-jan-16-event

It's far enough out that I think they'll try to find a replacement to fight Ponzinibbio. Hopefully. It's been a long ass time from he last fought, it'd be a shame if it's delayed any longer for health issues that aren't his own. 

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  • wandshogun09 changed the title to UFC Fight Island: Holloway vs Kattar - Jan 16 🇦🇪 🏝
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Bit of a switcheroo here. The Julianna Pena vs Sara McMann and Tim Elliott vs Jordan Espinosa fights have been moved to different cards for some reason. But they’ve added JOAQUIN BUCKLEY vs Alessio Di Chirico and Nassourdine Imavov vs Phil Hawes to this one. I think that’s an improvement myself.

Li Jingliang has stepped in against Ponzinibbio as well. 

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AS IF this is the card that gets the early start time and not the Conor vs Dustin card. I did hear on the UFC open mat award show last night that indeed the Conor VS Dustin card will be on BT sport box office (like anyone thought anything different) I think with that one if it's not being put on a reasonable time for the UK I will just download the following morning instead of shelling out for the show on box office that I won't watch live at 3am anyway

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8pm start time for this one is perfect for me. It'll be my weekend to work, so it'll be nice to be able to watch it before I even go to bed, rather than avoiding spoilers until Sunday evening. 

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Posted (edited)

It’s tough times out there but it’s nice to see Tom Breese giving one of our young British boxers the opportunity to earn a few bob as a sparring partner.  

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Edited by wandshogun09
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Ah, that's very cool. Really glad to see Ponz back in there. I seen an interview he did the other day and he has had a really hard time of it health wise this past two years. Hopefully he can get back in the running again.

His last fight out, he stopped Neil Magny, and now he's returned and Magny is main eventing a card within the same week as him. Ponzinibbio was looking like a very dangerous commodity before his hiatus. I'd expect some fireworks between him and Jingliang this weekend. 

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I must admit, whilst I want Ponz to win, I also want to see some more shithousery from Li. He's an otherwise interesting but not particularly stand-out fighter in a packed division, and it'd be good to see him heeling it up. Everyone loves a villain.

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