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UFC Vegas: Rozenstruik vs Gane - Feb 27 🇺🇸


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Saturday 27th February in Vegas. This is looking like a corker so far...

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Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs Ciryl Gane

Nikita Krylov vs Magomed Ankalaev

Montana De La Rosa vs Mayra Bueno Silva 

Pedro Munhoz vs Jimmie Rivera 

Alex Caceres vs Kevin Croom

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Alexander Hernandez vs Thiago Moises

Alexis Davis vs Sabina Mazo

Vince Cachero vs Ronnie Lawrence

Dustin Jacoby vs Maxim Grishin 

 

That won’t be the complete card and it’s not the final bout order but I’m loving the look of it so far. I expect a few fights to be added to this yet but probably nothing major as it’s already looking strong at the top end for a Fight Night.

 

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Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs Ciryl Gane headlines. Of course, it was originally supposed to be Reyes vs Prochazka topping this one. Gutted that’s off but this is about as good a save as they could’ve made, to be fair. The Heavyweight division gets a lot of stick for its lack of depth but there are some standouts there. And these are probably the best two as far as the relatively new faces go. I love this matchup. It’s a fight I could’ve seen headlining a card in Europe if the world wasn’t still being buggered with no lube by COVID. Two big Heavyweight strikers, stylistically it’s a fight that would go down well in front of a Dutch or UK crowd especially. Oh well. Suriname vs France. Actually, I may be wrong but I think Rozenstruik might be the first Surinamese fighter to grace the UFC’s Octagon.

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Jairzinho Rozenstruik is a bad dude. Before he got into MMA, he was a Kickboxer. And as you can see by the photo above, he did pretty well for himself. He went 76-8-1 overall. And of his 76 wins, 64 came by knockout. Yeah, Rozey doesn’t play around. He’d already had a bit of a dabble in the MMA side of things in 2012 but he didn’t make the full switch until 2017. By the end of 2018, he was 6-0 in MMA with 5 first round knockouts. That’s when the UFC came calling. He made his Octagon debut in early 2019 and found immediate success, knocking out his first 3 opponents in less than a minute. He put Allen Crowder away in just 9 seconds! Which surely has to rank high on the all time fastest knockouts in Heavyweight history. Off the top of my head I can only think of Todd Duffee vs Tim Hague from way back that was quicker. After that, Rozenstruik steamrolled Andrei Arlovski in 29 seconds at MSG and that was that. He’d arrived. He got his first real big break in December 2019, a main event spot against Alistair Overeem. For 4 and a half rounds, it wasn’t looking good. Overeem was in control and well on his way to handing Jair his first MMA loss. But at 4:56 of the 5th and final round...

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Yes, with just 4 seconds to go! Rozenstruik snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. And split Reem’s lip wide open in the process. One of the most gruesome cuts I’ve seen in years. But with how the fight had gone before that and with the circumstances surrounding the finish, it didn’t really feel like Rozenstruik’s stock was raised much. A lot of people seemed to chalk it up as a fluke. I mean, he was losing every round and even the stoppage itself might’ve been a bit iffy. But I still think it’s a bit harsh on Rozey. In the end, it was his toughness that kept him in there for 25 minutes and his refusal to break mentally and him still trying to win what looked like a losing battle right to the end is what created the opportunity to pull that knockout off in the dying seconds of the fight. It’s also forgotten that Rozenstruik had taken the fight on just 2 weeks notice after that horrible tragedy took Walt Harris out. Regardless, Rozenstruik’s first loss was coming anyway. He got done in 20 seconds by Francis Ngannou at UFC 249 in May. But he bounced back nicely with a TKO over Junior Dos Santos in August. His record stands at 11-1.

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Ciryl Gane is 30 years old and fights out of Paris, France. Anthony Joshua’s twin brother from another (French) mother. Like his opponent here, he also travelled the path of Kickboxing then transitioning over to MMA. Much less experienced than Rozenstruik in combat sports overall but I’ve got a good feeling about him. I’ve been saying for a while now that I think he’s the most promising new Heavyweight that’s came through in ages. There’s so much shite at Heavyweight and we really haven’t had much in the way of exciting new blood in recent years. But Gane sticks out like a sore thumb in the UFC’s big boy division as someone who has the potential to become something a bit special. He went 7-0 in Kickboxing with 5 knockouts. He jumped over to MMA in 2018 and he’s now 7-0 in that game as well with 6 finishes. You look at him on paper and he’s from a striking background and just physically looks like a destroyer, you assume he’s just going to be a big lump going for the knockout. But there’s layers to his game. He’s not really a slugger at all. He’s more of a volume and combination striker. Deceptively light on his feet and fast for a big unit. And so far in his MMA career, he’s had as many wins by submission as he has by knockout. He even pulled off a heel hook finish in one of his UFC fights. Hes more than just a striker. He’s clearly working on everything. An interesting wrinkle here is that he trains with Francis Ngannou...

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So he’s probably already pretty much done a camp for Rozenstruik last year when Ngannou was training for him. He’s had a head start to learn Rozey’s strengths, weaknesses, habits and little quirks. I also love that Gane and Ngannou train together. I mean, it’s cack that it probably means they’ll never fight each other but it’s like Randy Couture used to say all the time, “iron sharpens iron”. They’ll only make each other better. Anyway, Gane started his MMA career going 3-0 in the TKO promotion in Canada. The same promotion where GSP started out. In his MMA debut, Gane won the vacant TKO Heavyweight title. He debuted in the UFC in the summer of 2019 and right away there was a bit of mystery about him. He said at the time that 7 different opponents turned down the fight before his debut. Raphael Pessoa stepped up and got submitted in a round on the Uruguay card. From there Gane heel hooked Don’Tale Mayes in Singapore and decisioned Tanner Boser in South Korea. But again, he struggled to find willing opponents and ended up being inactive for nearly all of 2020 due to opponents pulling out. He had 5 fights scheduled between April and October last year and they all fell apart. And 4 out of the 5 were the opponents dropping out. Because of this, Gane’s had to be stepped up a level sooner than was probably planned. The lower and mid level Heavies didn’t seem to want any so they threw Gane in with former champ Junior Dos Santos at UFC 256 in December. While JDS has clearly lost a couple of steps, he was still a considerable step up for Gane.

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But Gane rose to the challenge and got him out of there in 2 rounds. You can’t really go backwards after beating a name like JDS so he was always going to get another biggish fight next. This was supposed to go down in March as co-main event under Edwards vs Chimaev but with the reshuffle it’s a bigger fight now. Main event over 5 rounds. Love it. Rozenstruik’s shown before he can go 25 minutes and he’s still dangerous at the very end. But this is new territory for Gane. I like both but I’d like to see Gane win. It’s a tough one on paper though. I’ll be interested to see how he approaches it. I think we might see more of his ground game in this one but we’ll see how it plays out.

 

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Nikita Krylov vs Magomed Ankalaev. Didn’t know this was booked. I like it. Krylov beat Johnny Walker on points last March. The bastard. He’s also got wins over OSP, Fabio Maldonado, Ed Herman and he even stopped Walt Harris back in his Heavyweight days. He’s 26-7 now and his only losses in recent years have came against Glover Teixeira and the current champ Jan Blachowicz. He’s decent. On a good night he can catch a lot of guys slipping. But I don’t see him ever really hanging with the cream of the crop at 205 on a consistent basis. I think Ankalaev could be that guy though. Really like what I’ve seen of him. He’s 28 years old from Dagestan, 14-1 with 9 knockouts. His only loss was that crazy submission against Paul Craig back in 2018. A fight Ankalaev was dominating but then got caught in a triangle and subbed at 4:59 of the third round. Yes. If he’d hung on ONE MORE SECOND he’d still be undefeated now. He’s bounced back in style though, rattling off 5 straight wins, 4 by knockout. He had probably the standout performance of his career last time out, destroying Ion Cutelaba in their rematch on the Khabib-Gaethje undercard in October. I think Ankalaev should be winning this but Krylov’s surprised me a couple of times before so who knows? Should be good while it lasts regardless.

 

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Montana De La Rosa vs Mayra Bueno Silva. Not grabbing me. De La Rosa has been a bit hit and miss for me. I remember her looking decent on whichever season of TUF she appeared on, and she had a couple of nice wins after that. But she’s stumbled a bit recently. She’s 11-6 now and coming off a points loss to Viviane Araujo. She’s still only 26 so there’s some time, I guess. Don’t know much about Silva. Quick glance at her Wiki page says she’s 7-1 with 6 finishes, mostly submissions. She was on DWCS and she’s submitted Gillian Robertson and Mara Romero Borella so far in the UFC.

 

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Pedro Munhoz vs Jimmie Rivera 2 is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. Quality fight. I just hope it happens this time. So far it’s been scheduled for the Chiesa vs Magny and UFC 258 cards and has fell apart both times. Belter of a fight if it comes off. Like the Dariush vs Ferreira rematch recently, I didn’t remember these guys fighting before at all. They first met in November 2015 on the undercard of Vitor Belfort vs Dan Henderson 3 in Brazil. I must’ve seen it at the time but I have zero memory of it. Rivera won a split decision. Of the two, I’m more of a Munhoz fan so I’ll be pulling for him to even the score here. Not sure how it goes though. Munhoz is really tough and exciting to watch. His recent record doesn’t really do him justice. I think I had him beating Frankie Edgar in their 5 rounder in August but the decision went against him. Before that he lost to Aljamain Sterling in a corker. Before that he walloped Cody Garbrandt into oblivion. Similar with Rivera really. He’s lost 3 of his last 5 but those losses were to Yan, Sterling and an in-form Moraes. He went 21-1 at the start of his career with wins over the likes of Urijah Faber, Thomas Almeida and, as mentioned, Munhoz himself. Looking forward to this. I’ve really grown to love the Bantamweight division over the last year or so. As good a fighter as Henry Cejudo is/was, the division has improved tenfold for me since he vacated the belt and pissed off. It’s allowed what was a total mess of a title picture to be sorted out and now all these guys have a clear goal to focus on and aim for. So many quality fighters at 135 and whoever wins this puts themselves right back in the race.

 

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Alex Caceres vs Kevin Croom. Or if we’re using nicknames - ‘Bruce Leeroy‘ vs ‘The Hard Hitting Hillbilly’. This’ll be fun. Caceres has been a fixture of the undercards for years now. Mad to think he was on the TUF with GSP and Josh Koscheck as coaches all the way back in 2010! He’s 17-12-0-1 now. He’s a journeyman card filler but he’s had his moments. The highlight probably being his submission win over Sergio Pettis in 2014. Even as recently as last year, he derailed Chase Hooper and handed him his first loss. He’s coming off 3 straight wins now. He’s not a bad fighter at all. His record doesn’t look pretty and he won’t beat your contenders but he’s got some sneaky skills and he’s usually consistently entertaining to watch. I’m not as familiar with Croom but this seems pretty evenly matched. He’s 27-12-0-1 with wins over Darrick Minner and, randomly, Charles ‘Krazy Horse’ Bennett. He made his UFC debut in September, taking on Roosevelt Roberts on just 24 hours notice and pretty much stole the show. He submitted Roberts in just 30 seconds.

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His celebration wouldn’t last long though. The win got overturned to a No Contest because Croom likes a spliff.

 

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Alexander Hernandez vs Thiago Moises. This is a good little piece of matchmaking. I’m saying it all the time but fucking hell Lightweight. The depth at 155 is just stupid. This is a cracking fight and these two will probably never get within a sniff of a title shot at Lightweight. Never liked Hernandez. Seems a prick. Not a bad fighter though. He’s come unstuck against Cowboy Cerrone and Drew Dober, which was satisfying to watch, but there’s certainly potential there and he’s still only 28. He looked great in his last fight, bashing up Chris Gruetzemacher in 2 minutes. But Gruetzemacher hadn’t fought in over 2 years and it looked like a total mismatch and a squash. So it’s hard to heap too much praise on Hernandez for that. Plus I don’t want to because he’s a twat. Moises is 14-4 and coming off wins over Bobby Green and Michael Johnson. He’s had his ups and downs but he’s been on good form recently. Hopefully he keeps that up here and sends Hernandez back to the loss column.

 

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Alexis Davis vs Sabina Mazo. Not too bothered about this. Davis hasn’t ever really been a world beater but she was one of the better women fighters in the game at one point. She’s a real veteran who was around when women’s MMA was just an occasional novelty. Wins over Tonya Evinger, Julie Kedzie, Rosi Sexton, Shayna Baszler, Sarah Kaufman etc. She even has a TKO win over Amanda Nunes back in 2011! If you were watching at the time you know Davis was legit but to people who’ve only seen her in the UFC, she’s a bit of a jobber. If she’s remembered at all it’s probably for getting ragdolled and knocked goofy by Ronda Rousey in seconds that time.

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Brutal. She’s 36 now and coming off 3 losses. She’s got the look of a fighter on the way out. She’s up against Sabina Mazo. A 23 year old Colombian with a record of 9-1. She submitted Justine Kish last time out. Davis obviously has a huge experience advantage here. But the timing of this feels like they’re trying to give her a little nudge out the door and using a younger model to do it.

 

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Vince Cachero vs Ronny Lawrence. Fuck knows. Don’t recall hearing of either of them. Cachero fought in the UFC in August apparently. Lost a decision to Jamall Emmers 🤷‍♂️ He’s 7-3 with 4 finishes. Lawrence was on DWCS and from the tiny bit of digging I’ve done, he’s being talked about pretty highly for whatever he did on there. He’s 6-1 with 3 knockouts and fights out of American Top Team.

 

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Dustin Jacoby vs Maxim Grishin. Looking forward to this one. Got a feeling this could well steal the show. Jacoby is a hard bastard. He’s taken his lumps and lost fights along the way but he’s kept plugging away and he’s back in the UFC. He’s had quite a journey. From the unsuccessful UFC stint about a decade ago to WSOF, Bellator, GLORY Kickboxing, a dabble in Pro Boxing. He’s had a bash at everything. He won a fight on DWCS in August and got back in the door. His first fight back in the Octagon went down in October on the Uriah Hall vs Anderson Silva undercard. And he kicked the absolute shite out of Justin Ledet and put him away in a round. Grishin isn’t exactly lacking in experience himself. He’s 36 years old with a record of 31-8 and 22 finishes. He dropped a decision in his UFC debut against Marcin Tybura in July but bounced back with a TKO over Gadzhimurad Antigulov in October. He has a submission over Alexander Volkov on his record as well from way back in 2010 as well as a win over Trevor Prangley (blast from the past). No cakewalk for Jacoby this. Should be a tougher battle than Ledet provided.

 

Well up for this one. 

 

Edited by wandshogun09
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5 minutes ago, Egg Shen said:

had no idea Prochazka was getting a headline slot😮

The UFC have been slow confirming it. They still haven’t made it official but Jiri confirmed the fight;

MMA Fighting reported it as the likely headliner but I don’t know what the holdup is on the UFC’s end in making it official. 

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Fuck sake. Looks like Reyes vs Prochazka is either off or being moved to another card. Rozenstruik vs Gane (originally scheduled for March 13th) is now the main event for this apparently.

I’m hoping this means Reyes vs Jiri is being moved to the 258 co-main spot to replace the cancelled Hall vs Weidman fight but we’ll see. It’ll be shit if it’s off completely. 

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  • wandshogun09 changed the title to UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs Gane - Feb 27 🇺🇸

Ronnie Lawrence was great in his DWCS fight, he got a unanimous decision victory which he just dominated from start to finish. He took his opponent down over and over and continuously tried to get the submission but the guy was made of rubber and kept getting out of there. Sometimes I think a 15 minute dominance shows a lot more an impressive knock out in the first round. He certainly looked a good prospect.

One thing of note I remembered was he was incredibly critical of his own performance which was madness when you see how dominant he was so I look forward to seeing him try and do better this time.

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1 hour ago, wandshogun09 said:

Updated the opening post and the redone the poll for Rozenstruik vs Gane. 

Nice write up there Wand for the new main event. It's rare that we lose such a good fight and get a replacement of this standard in it's place. 

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The name Barcelos always reminds me of Nando's - one of the restaurants I went to had a story painted on the wall about the inspiration for their logo, a rooster in the middle of the Portuguese amulet, which was apparently from the story of the Barcelos Cockerel.

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looking at this, its one of those sneaky good cards that ive completely overlooked. 

Randy Brown in out against Cowboy though. They are bringing in a Russian bloke named Ramzan Kuramagomedov who's 8-0. Expect him to be a beast.

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  • wandshogun09 changed the title to UFC Vegas: Rozenstruik vs Gane - Feb 27 🇺🇸

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