Paid Members wandshogun09 Posted May 15, 2021 Paid Members Share Posted May 15, 2021 (edited) Right then, this one’s sneaking up on us. Saturday 12th June in Glendale, Arizona. It’s an amazing card in its current form. No doubt it’ll get battered by pullouts like they all do but let’s hope most of it stays intact. PPV MAIN CARDIsrael Adesanya vs Marvin Vettori - Middleweight Title Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno - Flyweight Title Leon Edwards vs Nate Diaz Demian Maia vs Belal Muhammad Paul Craig vs Jamahal Hill ESPN PRELIMS Drew Dober vs Brad Riddell Eryk Anders vs Darren Stewart Lauren Murphy vs Joanne Calderwood Hakeem Dawodu vs Movsar Evloev ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMSPannie Kianzad vs Alexis Davis Matt Frevola vs Terrance McKinney Steven Peterson vs Chase Hooper Fares Ziam vs Luigi Vendramini Carlos Felipe vs Jake Collier What a fucking card this is! Couple of big rematches in the title fights, Edwards vs Diaz, Maia’s a favourite and it’s probably one of the last times we’ll see him fight, Dober vs Riddell is a cracker, another rematch in Anders vs Stewart 2 which should be a good one, Dr Kneevil’s on there. This card’s more loaded than Ted DiBiase. For now anyway. You know how it goes. As always, I’ll edit as and when the order changes or the inevitable drop outs start. Israel Adesanya vs Marvin Vettori 2. The rematch. I like it. Would’ve been lukewarm on this a year or so ago but given Vettori’s rise, the backstory of their first fight and the timing of it for both men, it’s an interesting one. Only negative for me on this is that I really think Robert Whittaker should be getting this title shot but for whatever reason, it seems like it’s never happening. So Adesanya vs Vettori 2 it is. The first fight went down in April 2018. It was only Adesanya’s second fight in the UFC and, although he was already 12-0 and had a ton of Kickboxing fights, he was new to UFC fans. And Vettori hadn’t really done anything yet. He was prelim fodder. So there wasn’t much investment in this fight. And it got even less attention because it happened on the same night that Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje tried to kill each other in the main event. Anyway, it went the distance and Izzy came away with a split decision victory. I can’t remember much of the fight, haven’t seen it since it happened. I vaguely recall thinking Vettori might’ve won but a mate of mine, who is usually fairly spot on with his MMA and Boxing takes, said he rewatched it recently and had it fairly straightforward for Adesanya 29-28. I’ll give it another look at some point before this show and review it in here. It’ll be an interesting one to revisit. They’ve both come on a lot since 2018. Obviously, Adesanya has risen all the way to the championship. Wins over Derek Brunson, Anderson Silva, Kelvin Gastelum in the FOTY, Robert Whittaker to win the title, Yoel Romero in a snoozer, and finally schooling Paulo Costa. But his move up to 205 in March didn’t go well and Jan Blachowicz smothered him and ruined his unbeaten record. 20-1. The streak is dead. We say it all the time but you never quite know how a fighter will rebound from their first loss. I think Izzy will be fine though. He lost in Kickboxing, and in much worse fashion than the Blachowicz defeat. Plus he can justify it in his own head that he was in with a naturally bigger man. At 185lbs, he’s still King. For now at least. This nutcase is on the hunt to become Italy’s first UFC champion. He’s been on quite a run himself. He hasn’t lost since the Adesanya fight. He’s gone 5-0 and has finally gotten on the radar and been accepted as a player in the division. He had the beef with Karl Roberson then steamrolled him when they fought. Then he won back-to-back main events with convincing wins over Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland. OK it’s not a streak on the level of what Adesanya’s accomplished but it’s undeniable he’s earned this shot. Despite me thinking Whittaker should be in this position, I can’t complain because Vettori’s more than worthy himself. They’re actually going to be rematching in the very same building as the first fight as well, which is a cool little quirk. It’s a good fight this. Especially now with how the Blachowicz fight played out. I have fuzzy memories of Vettori having some success with takedowns in the first fight with Izzy, and of course, the wrestling was a huge factor in Izzy’s loss to Big Jan. So there’s a blueprint there. Easier said than done but I think Vettori’s actually got the tools to give Adesanya some problems here. Looking forward to seeing how it goes. Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno 2. Well fuck me. Another rematch and I’m all for it. I love these two anyway. I could watch them fight once a month forever. But it’s the fight that had to happen anyway. First fight in December was an instant classic and it ended in a draw. There was only one way to go, the immediate rematch. Can’t bastard wait for this. It’s got a ridiculously tough act to follow. They set the bar so high that I’m not sure they’ll be able to reach it. But with these two, you’re not getting anything less than fireworks. They don’t know how to fight any other way. To the casual fan it might seem like these two have burst on the scene from nowhere but it’s been a long journey for both. 2011: Moreno makes his professional MMA debut at just 17 years of age in his hometown of Tijuana, Mexico. He takes a powerbomb but wins by submission in the first round. Love it. He loses on points in his second fight a few months later though. 2012: Over in Brazil, Figueiredo turns pro and quickly goes 2-0 with 2 first round finishes. Moreno’s run of inconsistency continues. He fights 5 times and goes 3-2. He ends the year a dismal 4-3. 2013: Figueiredo takes the year off. Moreno fights twice and wins both, one by TKO and one by submission. 2014: Figgy’s making up for lost time now. After going inactive the previous year, he fights a whopping 6 times, wins them all and 5 of them don’t make it past the second round. Moreno appears to be well back on track himself, racking up another 2 wins and winning the Flyweight title in a promotion called WFF. As we enter 2015, Figueiredo is 8-0, Moreno’s 8-3. 2015: No Fig Daddy Cool again. I’ve read a few times that Figueiredo had all kinds of jobs before going with MMA full time. His Wikipedia page lists bricklayer, hairdresser and chef among his professions. I’m guessing the layoffs were spent working these normal jobs. But then he also purchased a pet bull with his first bunch of fight purses. He named him Ferdinand apparently. Ferdinand. What a man. Anyway, yeah, he didn’t fight in 2015. Busy bull riding, cooking and cutting hair, I guess. Moreno’s winning streak steadily grows, he wins two more fights, successfully defending his WFF belt twice. 2016: Three more fights for Figgy Smalls, three more wins, three more finishes. The highlight being his September pimp slap KO against Denis Oliveira... Have it. He ends the year with a perfect 11-0 record and 10 finishes. It’s a big year for Moreno as well. He defends his WFF strap one more time then he gets the call from the UFC. He takes part in The Ultimate Fighter over the summer as part of Joseph Benavidez’s team, which is kind of ironic given how Benavidez and Figgy would cross paths later. Unfortunately for Moreno though, TUF doesn’t pan out so well for him. He lost to Alexandre Pantoja in his first fight in the tournament but he certainly didn’t disgrace himself. He came in as the lowest seed in the tournament and Pantoja was the #1 seed. Moreno gave him a hell of a fight. Pantoja ended up submitting him in the second round but Moreno showed enough in defeat that Dana signed him straight up and he was already fighting in the UFC by the time the show was airing in the States. His 2016 ended on a positive as he beat Louis Smolka and Ryan Benoit. 2017: Not to be outdone, now Figueiredo gets the call from the UFC. He makes his debut in June on the Fight Pass prelims of UFC 212 in Rio. And fucks Marco Beltran right up. Beltran’s corner pulled him out after the second round. Fig follows this win up with another by split decision over Jarred Brooks in October. Moreno has an up and down year. In April he wrecks Dustin Ortiz with a highlight reel performance... Got himself a POTN bonus for that. This earns him his first UFC main event in August. In Mexico City. Dream come true stuff for Moreno. But he loses on points to Sergio Pettis. 2018: Figueiredo claims another two bodies. In February he batters and stops Joseph Morales. Then in August he breaks up John Moraga and puts him away in vicious fashion. It’s a shite year for Moreno. He fights once and it’s against his old TUF nemesis Pantoja. And Pantoja beats him again. Moreno doesn’t get finished this time, so that’s something, but a L is a L. And to rub salt in the wound, the UFC sacked him following this loss. We end the year with Figgy at 15-0 and Moreno at 14-5 and jobless. 2019: Figueiredo tastes defeat for the first time. He drops a decision to Jussier Formiga in March. Can’t say I really recall that one but it sounds like Formiga won it with no controversy. Fig Daddy Kane bounces back nicely though, outpointing Moreno’s mate Pantoja in July and then strangling Tim Elliott in a round in October. Moreno heads to the LFA promotion and stops Maikel Perez in June to become the LFA Flyweight champ. Someone at UFC headquarters must’ve been watching and liked what they saw because just one fight removed from being released, they brought him back. Moreno’s Octagon return goes down in September in Mexico City against Askar Askarov. They end up going to a split draw. They had a hell of a fight. If you’ve never seen it, I strongly recommend you Fight Pass the shit out of it ASAP. Really engrossing battle. I remember having Moreno winning and thinking he got a bit of a raw deal from the judges. I’d love to see a rematch somewhere down the line. Moreno ends the year beating Kai Kara-France in yet another wild and entertaining fight. I love that. I know everyone got on the Moreno bandwagon after the war with Figgy but he’s been a mad bastard for a while. It’s worth going through some of his fights if you haven’t seen them before. He’s ace. Going into 2020, the Flyweight title picture in the UFC was an absolute shambles. And it was all thanks to this Lego headed cretin. Between injuries and just general piss arsing about, he basically held both the Flyweight and Bantamweight belts hostage for what felt like forever. Finally, at the end of 2019, it was confirmed that Cejudo would be relinquishing the Flyweight belt. 2020: With the gold now vacant, the two top contenders were matched up to crown a new champ. It was Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez. Just when the division seemed to be gaining some stability and order, Figgy went and missed weight, rendering himself ineligible to win the belt. Of course, he then knocked Benavidez out. So still no champ. And on top of the weight miss, there was a clash of heads before the KO which just further muddied the waters. It was a mess that seemed to be never ending and there was even some talk at the time that the UFC were actually considering just binning the whole division. Such was the frustration at how things were going. Thank fuck they didn’t, eh? Flyweight has become one of the more exciting divisions in the sport since Cejudo fucked off. Anyway, they decided against sacking off the division and booked the Figgy vs Benavidez rematch for July. This time there was no controversy. Figueiredo totally crushed him. Beat him up on the feet, dropped him a few times, then dominated on the ground before finishing it with a choke. It was exactly what the division needed. A performance worthy of crowning a new champion. Meanwhile, Moreno was continuing to climb the ranks. He beat Formiga (the only man to beat Figgy) in March. Then things got crazy. At UFC 255 in November, both Figgy and Moreno fought on the same card. Figgy defended his title against Alex Perez in the main event and just bulldozed right through him in less than 2 minutes. On the undercard, Moreno beat Brandon Royval in a round in a tremendous fight that unfortunately ended via injury. It was great while it lasted though. But behind the scenes, the next PPV in December had been falling to bits. UFC 256 was originally set to feature a triple main event of Kamaru Usman vs Gilbert Burns, Amanda Nunes vs Megan Anderson and Petr Yan vs Aljamain Sterling. All 3 fights went tits up in the space of a few weeks, leaving 256 without a headliner. The UFC scrambled and came up with a solution. Immediately following 255, it was announced that 256 would be topped by a Flyweight title match between Figueiredo and Moreno. Who’d literally just got done fighting and would now have to turn right back around and fight each other just 3 weeks later. Nuts. If it wasn’t for their fights ending early at 255, I don’t think it’d have been possible. The UFC just got lucky that both guys came out unscathed. And the fight was on. I really can’t do justice to how good this fight was. Easily the best title fight in Flyweight history. It was only a shade behind Zhang vs Jedrzejczyk for FOTY last year, in my opinion. If you had it #1, I wouldn’t argue. It was incredible. Two little maniacs throwing down for 25 minutes, refusing to take a backwards step and just trying to take each other’s heads off at every opportunity. It ended up being ruled a majority draw. One judge had it 48-46 for Figueiredo but the other two had it even. Figgy had also had a point docked for a low blow which ultimately wound up costing him the fight. Without that foul, the two judges who had it a draw would’ve scored it 48-47 for the champ. Regardless, it worked out great for us because now we get to see it again. 2021: The rematch is on! Can’t wait. I’ll have to revisit the first fight. It’s due a rewatch anyway but I remember watching it live absolutely bloody knackered so it’ll be good to give it another look with fresh eyes and score it properly. I remember thinking a draw was about right but the groin shot really did cost Figgy big time. Whatever the case, Moreno fought his arse off. Even if the low blow never happened and the decision went against him, I’d still be down for a rematch. How could you not be after how good the first fight was? Whoever you had winning, Moreno gave Figgy enough of a scrap to where I want to see it again. And in just a few weeks we get to. Leon Edwards vs Nate Diaz is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. Erdington vs Stockton! Never thought I’d type that. I think this one caught most of us by surprise. For the longest time Nate’s seemed content to follow his brother’s example and just sit out until a big or appealing fight presents itself. He’s only fought twice since those McGregor fights back in 2016 and both fights were in line with his usual M.O. He popped back to face Anthony Pettis in 2019 and bashed him up in an exciting fight. Then he bagged the Masvidal fight with the BMF trimmings and all that shite at MSG. And that’s the last we’ve seen of him. He hasn’t shut up on Twitter, mind. He’s been having pops at everyone from McGregor to Poirier to Masvidal to Gaethje, the lot. But he’s spent so much time talking and not doing over the last few years that I don’t think anyone takes that much notice anymore. Edwards has been inactive himself but not so much through choice like Diaz. COVID cocked up a lot of his last year or so. His planned big London headliner against Tyron Woodley got binned last year, then he had a bad bout of COVID himself. Then there’s been that cursed Khamzat Chimaev fight they kept booking and having to cancel. When the last attempt at Edwards vs Chimaev in January fell through, Edwards started calling out big names. One of them being Diaz. But I don’t think anyone saw it actually happening. Diaz didn’t seem that arsed and Edwards ended up facing Belal Muhammad in the old eye-poke fight. Then a few weeks later, we got this fight announced. Proper curveball. There were a handful of fights I had in mind as ones Nate would probably come back for, Leon Edwards wasn’t one of them. He’s not a huge ‘name’, he’s not typically the most exciting fighter to watch, not likely to just mindlessly stand and brawl with Nate, doesn’t talk a lot and hype his fights up. It’s not the type of fight you’d think Nate would like the sound of. But I’m glad it’s happening. I’d expect Edwards to win but you never know how Nate’s going to look one fight to the next. It sounds odd because Diaz has been irrelevant in the Welterweight division for a bit now, but if Edwards wins this it’ll probably do more to raise his stock than all his previous UFC wins combined. This fight was originally supposed to go down at 262 in May, as the first non-title co-main event scheduled for 5 rounds. But it got delayed. I’m assuming it’s 3 rounds now with it being third from top here. Demian Maia vs Belal Muhammad. Don’t know what to make of this. Maia’s a funny one like that for me. When he’s on he’s great to watch but when he’s not or it’s a bad matchup, his fights can be fucking rotten. I like that they’ve given Belal a big name after the crappy ending to his Leon Edwards fight though. It was a bad one. Hopefully no long term damage, I’m assuming (hoping) it looked worse than it was because he’s back quicker than I expected. It was gross though. Sucked that it happened in his first UFC main event as well. There’s never a good time to get your eye gouged but the timing was especially shite here. So it’s cool that he doesn’t seem to have been knocked down too far from it given the circumstances. This is still a big opportunity for him and a win here would still be his biggest to date. Maia’s a question mark though. He’ll turn 44 later this year but I don’t think that matters that much given his style. He’s not out there getting into brawls and taking crazy damage. He’s talked about retirement a fair bit recently though and I’m sure he said that he’s just finishing out his current contract and then he’s done. Any fight could be his last, I suppose. Not sure what to expect. Maia’s got the grappling where if he gets off to a strong start he can roll over anyone. If Muhammad can keep it standing though, it could be a long night for the Brazilian. Well, or a very short one. Paul Craig vs Jamahal Hill. This is a tidy little matchup at 205. It was supposed to happen on the Brunson vs Holland card in March but COVID took Hill out. There was a bit of back and forth at the time on Twitter and Craig was frustrated with the cancellation. Hill’s reply gave me a chuckle. 😂 It’s not going to set the world alight or anything but it’s a good fight between two guys trying to climb the ranks. Craig’s been up and down results-wise but he’s been pretty consistently entertaining to watch. He’s coming into this fight off the biggest win of his career to date, stopping and retiring Shogun in November. Hill’s been sneaking up on us for a bit now. He’s undefeated at 8-0-1. The one blemish came when Hill battered Klidson Abreu last year, then failed the weed test so it got overturned to a No Contest. Load of cack but what can you do? Even the UFC seemed to disregard that and cracked on as if Hill won anyway (which he did) and booked him against Ovince Saint Preux in his next fight. He put OSP away in 2 rounds. That was his first proper step up fight and he passed the test convincingly. Still a way to go with him but he’s looked good so far. Drew Dober vs Brad Riddell. Really like this bit of matchmaking. Dober’s a solid fighter. Been in with some tough guys, won some lost some. He ran into Islam Makhachev in his last fight and got chewed up but was on a nice little run of 3 consecutive knockout wins prior. Riddell’s 9-1 from New Zealand. He’s on a 6 fight winning streak and had an absolute barnburner in his UFC debut against Jamie Mullarkey. Seriously, if you missed it get it watched. It got overlooked at the time because it was two Octagon newbies, but it was a real blood and guts war. Since then he’s beat Magomed Mustafaev and Alex Da Silva. He was briefly linked to a fight with Gregor Gillespie recently but it never materialised. If he wins this, I wouldn’t mind seeing that rescheduled. Or Dober vs Gillespie actually. So many cracking fights to be made, not just at the top but up and down the Lightweight division. I think these two match up really well. Eryk Anders vs Darren Stewart 2. Happy to see they’re running this one back. They fought in March on the Edwards vs Muhammad undercard and it was shaping up to be a really good ruck. Until Anders went all Petr Yan towards the end of the first round anyway... Fight was over as Stewart couldn’t continue, and it got ruled a No Contest. Glad they’ve rebooked it straight away. It’s not like either had much else on their plate anyway. The Middleweight division is pretty much all booked up, might as well settle this unfinished business now. I’m expecting a good scrap here. Like I said, it was heating up nicely last time before that knee. I don’t really see either making a serious dent in the contender mix at 185 but there’s fun fights to make. I’d like to see Stewart win this one. He’s one of those guys who I think is a little bit better than his record suggests. Lauren Murphy vs Joanne Calderwood. Can’t say I’m massively into this fight but it’ll do. It’s certainly the logical fight for both and I’m almost certain this is going to end up being a #1 contender fight to determine who’s getting fed to Valentina Shevchenko next. Calderwood was actually supposed to get the shot at Val last summer but Shevchenko picked up an injury. Then Calderwood ended up losing to Jennifer Maia, which obviously stalled her climb. But she came back in January and beat Jessica Eye in a surprisingly good fight and got back on track. Big fan of Calderwood. I don’t think there’s a more likeable woman in the sport. She’s had a lot of setbacks though and as much as I’d like to see her win this fight, it’ll be bittersweet because she’ll get annihilated by Shev. It’d be cool to see her at least get a shot at UFC gold though. But it’s no foregone conclusion. Murphy’s experienced and on good form coming off 4 straight wins. She’s probably got a stronger case for a title shot than anyone in the division, to be honest. Heart says Calderwood, head says Murphy spoils the party. Hakeem Dawodu vs Movsar Evloev. I like this. Two guys on the rise in the Featherweight division. I’ve liked what I’ve seen of ‘Mean’ Hakeem so far. He’s 12-1-1 and has won his last 5 straight. He’s also got a 9-0 Kickboxing record and a 42-5 amateur Muay Thai record. He’s a pretty seasoned striker. I was a bit disappointed in his last fight with Tukhugov so I’m hoping he looks better here. But Evloev’s no joke and he won’t be easy to look good against. He’s 27 years old, former M-1 Bantamweight champ, unbeaten at 14-0. Really strong grappler. Nobody’s talking about him and he’s not the flashiest, in fighting style or personality, but he’s looking like a real handful. He’s beat Nik Lentz and Mike Grundy in his last 2 outings. Pannie Kianzad vs Alexis Davis. Don’t know. Haven’t seen a ton of Kianzad to really judge. She’s Iranian, 29 years old, former Cage Warriors Bantamweight champion, 14-5 in MMA. She’s beat Sijara Eubanks, Bethe Correia and Jessica-Rose Clark in her last 3 fights. Davis is the veteran here though. She’s been around a long time, turned pro in 2007 back when there weren’t even many promotions doing women’s fights. She’s 36 years old with a 20-10 record so you’d be forgiven for thinking she’s a bum. But she was one of the better women fighters around for a spell. Don’t adjust your phone screen. Yes, that is Alexis Davis TKOing Amanda Nunes back in 2011 in Strikeforce. Obviously it was a different time and Nunes has improved massively in the 10 years since but still, it’s a fight I don’t think many remember. Davis also has wins over Julie Kedzie, Sarah Kaufman, Shayna Baszler, Tonya Evinger x2, Liz Carmouche x2, Rosi Sexton. These were all solid wins back then. Sadly for Davis though, she’ll probably always be remembered more as the girl who got ragdolled into unconsciousness by Ronda Rousey that time. But yeah, history lesson aside, I don’t have much of an opinion one way or another on this one. You’d think Kianzad should be able to win but I think Davis might be crafty enough to get it done. Matt Frevola vs Terrance McKinney. Last minute change here. It was meant to be Frevola vs Frank Camacho but Camacho’s pulled out. Frevola’s a Serra-Longo guy so I instantly had a bit of a soft spot for him. He’s been fun to watch in his own right as well though. Although not very consistent. He’s 8-2-1 now and coming off a loss against Arman Tsarukyan in his last fight on the Poirier vs McGregor 2 card in January. It was a hell of a fight though. It got overshadowed with everything else going on that night but, honestly, if you get chance go back and watch it. It was ace. Probably the best actual fight on that card. McKinney steps in on just a few days notice. Never heard of him but the reaction on social media to him getting the call up seems mostly positive. He’s 26 years old, 10-3 with 10 finishes and has won his last 3 fights by knockout in very short order. The longest was just over a minute, the other two were 16 and 17 seconds! He’s just fought last Friday the 4th as well so he’s gonna be sharp and the weight shouldn’t be any issue. Here’s his finish from the other day… He must have some real venom in those hands. When do you ever see a guy go out cold, stiff legged from ground and pound from inside the guard like that? Could actually be a better fight than the original Camacho one. Frevola brings it and it sounds like this guy does as well. Steven Peterson vs Chase Hooper. Decent little matchup. Peterson’s so-so. 18-9 record, he’s going nowhere. He goes for it though. He pulled off a sweet spinning backfist KO against Martin Bravo in his last fight, but that was 2 years ago now. Make no mistake, this has been booked with the intention of feeding him to Hooper. He’s the young prospect here with all the upside and potential. 21 years old, 10-1-1, was on Dana’s Contender Series etc. He hit a stumbling block and lost to Alex Caceres last June but bounced back in December with a heel hook finish on Peter Barrett. Not sure how good he is, it’s still too early to tell. But although Peterson’s game, these are fights Hooper should be winning if he’s gonna go on to be something. Fares Ziam vs Luigi Vendramini. Not familiar enough with either really. Ziam’s 24 years old, French with a record of 11-3 and 9 finishes. He beat Jamie Mullarkey on points in his last fight. Vendramini is 25, Italian but fights out of Brazil. He’s 9-1 with all his wins coming inside the distance. Not the worst records and both seem to go for the kill judging by their finish ratios. Might be alright. Carlos Felipe vs Jake Collier. I have zero high hopes for this. In fairness to Felipe, he had a cracking slobberknocker with Justin Tafa in January. Really fun overlooked fight. Wasn’t pretty but it was genuinely one of the fights I’ve enjoyed most so far this year. Collier is just a fat slug though from what I remember of him. He was actually a Middleweight once upon a time but has eaten his way up through 205 and right up to Heavyweight. He’s been tucking in. He’s lost anytime he’s faced anyone even half decent and his best win is the 2020 version of Gian Villante, who seems to have given up on training and salads himself in recent years. Nothing fight. Felipe should clatter him. He’s 10-1 with the only loss being a close decision against Sergey Spivak. Hasn’t looked amazing but he’s leagues ahead of #EatClean Collier from what I’ve seen. Yeah. Some card that. Edited June 9, 2021 by wandshogun09 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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