Paid Members wandshogun09 Posted May 21, 2021 Paid Members Share Posted May 21, 2021 (edited) Saturday 5th June we’re back in Las Vegas. The Heavyweights are getting the spotlight, whether we like it or not. ESPN+ MAIN CARDJairzinho Rozenstruik vs Augusto Sakai Walt Harris vs Marcin Tybura Roman Dolidze vs Laureano Staropoli Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Miguel Baeza Dusko Todorovic vs Gregory Rodrigues Tom Breese vs Antonio Arroyo ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMSMontana De La Rosa vs Ariane Lipski Tanner Boser vs Ilir Latifi Francisco Trinaldo vs Muslim Salikhov Makwan Amirkhani vs Kamuela Kirk Alan Patrick vs Mason Jones Manon Fiorot vs Tabatha Ricci Youssef Zalal vs Sean Woodson Claudio Puelles vs Jordan Leavitt Quite like this actually. Could be hit and miss with so much Heavyweight stuff on there but I’ll roll with it. There’s a few sneaky good fights lower down the card as well, enough there to sink your teeth into until the mega stacked 263 the following week anyway. Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs Augusto Sakai. OK, I’ll get it right out the way, this has a decent chance of being a fucking dud. We know this. It’s Heavyweight MMA and it’s a 5 rounder. There’s always the chance and the risk that these guys fail to knock each other out early and it just goes to shite from about the midway point of the second round on. Rozey’s usually great to watch but he’s one dimensional and his last fight with Gane wasn’t the best. He just got shut down and jabbed to fuck the whole fight. And Sakai’s fight with Cheick Kongo in Bellator was terrible. So terrible that it single handedly soured me on anything Sakai did for a few years after. BUT...the positives. I think it’s more likely this exceeds expectations. Rozenstruik’s a finisher. 11-2 in MMA, 10 knockouts, 7 inside a round, 3 in under a minute. In Kickboxing he went 76-8-1, 64 by knockout. So yeah, not typically a boring fighter at all! And in fairness to Sakai, that Kongo snoozer was probably more Kongo’s fault. Forget the crazy one rounder with Pat Barry. The exception to the rule. Anyone who suffered through Kongo vs Cro Cop, Kongo vs Shawn Jordan or Kongo vs Carmelo Marrero (to name just a few) knows he’s got form for dragging guys to the worst fight of their career. Sakai won 6 on the trot after getting Kongo’d, including wins over Arlovski, Tybura and Ivanov. He headlined with Overeem in September and got stopped late but it was an excellent fight and finally redeemed him in my eyes. I’ve done a dodgy job of hyping this one, I know. Might be fun, might be utter cack. That’s Heavyweight MMA and it’s part of the charm. Walt Harris vs Marcin Tybura. More Heavyweights. I don’t mind this matchup either actually. Harris turns 38 a few days after this show. He has a 13-9-0-1 record, all 13 of his wins came via knockout. Is that the most typical Heavyweight MMA record you’ve ever seen or what? Almost as many losses as wins but the wins all came about by separating sods from consciousness. He’s been stopped himself in his last 2 fights though, by Overeem and Volkov. I like Walt but I think it’s clear he’s out of his depth in there with the top guys. Even though he did have Overeem reeling early on, Reem was smart and experienced enough to ride it and come out the other side. And Harris just wasn’t equipped to hang in there after his initial blitz failed. That fight was his return after his daughter’s murder so it’s understandable he blew his energy early. Sadly, I just don’t see him doing much more than he has. He’ll knock guys out but at a certain level, he just won’t cut it beyond that. And I’m not sure where that level begins and ends. Tybura is no pushover himself, as Shitehawk Greg found out in December. 😊 Beautiful. Tybura’s decent. 21-6 record, won his last 4, has wins over Arlovski, Rothwell, Spivak etc. Went 5 rounds with Werdum a few years ago. Solid everywhere. He’s been knocked out a few times though, and that’s making this interesting to me. Because Walt Harris can fuck you up quick, especially when he’s fresh. He put Oleynik out in 12 seconds and Spivak out in 50 seconds in consecutive fights. He doesn’t play around. If Tybura can get through the first round I think he’ll take over but it’s easier said than done. Roman Dolidze vs Laureano Staropoli. Decent fight this. Dolidze is 32 years old out of Georgia with a record of 8-1. Haven’t seen a ton of him but he came in undefeated with all finishes and then stopped Khadis Ibragimov in a round in his debut. Really looked the part. It’s kind of died off a bit though. He won an uninspiring split decision in his next fight and dropped down to Middleweight to fight Trevin Giles in March. And lost on points. His first defeat so it’s not the end of the world, obviously. But still, a stumbling block. We’ll see how he responds here. But he’s not gotten any favours. Staropoli is 28, Argentinian and 9-3 in MMA. Hasn’t set the world alight and he’s coming off 2 points losses. But they were against Tim Means and Muslim Salikhov who are both tough and a tad underrated IMO. He did beat Thiago Alves in a fun scrap back in 2019. Not sure about the new bleached hair look, it’s all the rage in MMA lately, isn’t it? It’s not worked too badly for Charles Oliveira and Derek Brunson though so who am I to judge? Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Miguel Baeza is this card’s ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** and it’s a cracker. Can’t go wrong with this. Ponz got done in a round in January by Li Jingliang but he’d been out over 2 years going into that one so it’s possible he was a bit rusty. Before the layoff he was on some run. A 7 fight streak and he’d just knocked out Neil Magny in front of his home crowd in Argentina. It was a cool moment for him and really should’ve been his coming out party and the win that catapulted him into that upper bracket of Welterweights. But he disappeared for 2 years. Staph infection and I’m guessing some injuries were to blame. Right when he was on the cusp of breaking into that title mix. Couldn’t have came at a worse time. His return couldn’t have gone much worse either. We’ll see how he looks here. The cobwebs should be gone now but he’s in with one of the more promising new faces on the roster for me at 170. Miguel Baeza AKA ‘Caramel Thunder’. OK his nickname game needs work but in the cage he’s looked the business so far. Undefeated at 10-0, 8 finishes, 7 by knockout. There he is putting Matt Brown to bed. He followed that up with a submission over Takashi Sato in his last fight. He looks the part so far. Not sure how far he can go but so far, so good. Still only 28 as well. If Ponzinibbio isn’t sharp and on his game here, I could see him getting sat down again, to be honest. But Ponz is always dangerous. Can’t see this being anything less than chaos. It’s a step up for Baeza but he might be catching Ponzy at a good time. We’ll see. Dusko Todorovic vs Gregory Rodrigues. OK this was meant to be Todorovic vs Maki Pitolo but Pitolo’s off the card. Glad they’ve managed to keep Todorovic on here. He’s been fun to watch so far. Doesn’t fuck about. 10-1 with 9 finishes, bashed up Dequan Townsend in his UFC debut and also has a first round stoppage over Michel Pereira on his record from 2018 in his native Serbia. He’s coming off his first loss here. Fellow unbeaten prospect Punahele Soriano TKO’d him in a round in January. But it was one of those shootouts that you felt could’ve gone either way, Soriano just connected sooner and cleaner. With Pitolo out, in steps Gregory ‘Robocop’ Rodrigues. Looks more like Barack Obama to me. That was literally just days ago. He knocked the guy out to become the LFA Middleweight champion just last Friday the 21st May. He got the call and here we go. He’s 29 years old from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and is 9-3 with 8 finishes. Quick glance at his record tells me he hasn’t beat anyone of note yet and apparently he was on DWCS at some point and failed to secure the contract. Still, he’s riding some momentum now coming off that KO in LFA. Big opportunity for him here but he’s in with a dangerous guy with heavy hands. Going off both guys’ records and finish rates, this isn’t likely going the distance. Which means I’ve probably just jinxed it and we’re getting a dull razor close decision now. Tom Breese vs Antonio Arroyo. Not sure how this goes but I’m pulling for my fellow Brummie Breese. I like him but he isn’t half inconsistent. He had that big spell of inactivity a few years back and since then he’s been on a win one/lose one merry go round. Got stopped by Brendan Allen last February, bounced back with a sweet jab knockdown TKO over KB Bhullar in October, but then got subbed by Omari Akhmedov in January. So going on that form, he’s due a win. Who knows though? It’s been a bit of a stop/start and up and down few years with him but at least, touch wood, he’s been able to fight more regularly of late. Can’t say I recall much of Arroyo. Quick glance at his record tells me he’s 9-4 with 8 finishes and he’s coming off back-to-back decision losses to Deron Winn and Andre Muniz. On paper, this sounds like a fight Breese should win to me but I’m done getting my hopes up. Montana De La Rosa vs Ariane Lipski. Not fussed really. Neither are bad fighters, their fights just don’t really interest me. De La Rosa is 26 with an 11-6-1 record. She went to a draw with Mayra Bueno Silva last time out but it would’ve been a loss if Silva never had a point docked for fence grabbing. My main memory of that fight though, is De La Rosa’s eye afterwards... Gross. The kind of eye swelling you’d see in a Rocky film and laugh at how over the top the makeup was. Anyway yeah, she’s not terrible or anything but I’m not really convinced. She’s lost pretty much every single time she’s gone up against someone with something about them. Her best wins to date are Mara Romero Borella and Rachael Ostovich, so yeah, not a glittering CV. Lipski is 27, Brazilian with Polish heritage and has a 13-6 record. Hasn’t really had any standout wins but she was the KSW Flyweight champ and pulled off one of the best submissions of 2020 with her calf slicer counter kneebar against Luana Carolina in July. Tanner Boser vs Ilir Latifi. Really like this pairing. Should be fun for what it is. Boser’s Canadian, 29 years old with a record of 19-7-1 and a mullet that looks like it’s been places and seen things. He’s alright as a middle of the pack guy, had some good knockouts against the ham and eggers of the mid to bottom end of the Heavyweight ranks. But he’s faltered at the next level. He went the distance with both Ciryl Gane and Andrei Arlovski in losing efforts. He’s pretty average but far from the worst in that circus of a division. Latifi’s the boy though. Long before we adopted Gerald Meerschaert as the UKFF mascot of MMA, ‘Some Fucker’ was that guy for stepping in against Mousasi on short notice that time. I’ve had a soft spot for the big lump since. He’s coming off 3 losses now, he’s 37 and he’s bounced around the weight classes. Let’s face it, he’s going nowhere as a Heavyweight, is he? He’s 5’8”, for fuck’s sake! He’s as wide as he is tall. Looking like a Swedish, less angry version of Big John Fury. I’d be chuffed just to see him get a couple of low level wins and retire, to be honest. He’s had his moments as well, subbing OSP being the highlight. As long as they keep him at this level, there’s actually some fun to be had with him against the tubby HW brawler types. Francisco Trinaldo vs Muslim Salikhov then. I actually really like this pairing. Got a bit of a soft spot for both. Trinaldo’s been a bit of a gatekeeper for years now, mostly at Lightweight. You don’t think of him when you think of killers at 155 but you look back over his record and you see wins over the likes of Bobby Green, Jim Miller, Paul Felder, Yancy Medeiros, Ross Pearson etc. He’s never been knocked out. He’s 42 years old now but, even still, he’s on a 3 fight streak and just stopped Jai Herbert (Cage Warriors champ who was on a streak himself going in) in his last fight. Trinaldo don’t play. He missed weight for that fight though, and he’s moving up to 170 here. And Salikhov is one of the more overlooked badasses on the roster for me. 17-2 in MMA, has won his last 4 fights and 15 of his last 16. A really seasoned striker. He’s nicknamed ‘King Of Kung Fu’, for fuck’s sake! He has a Kickboxing record of 185-13-1. Between Kickboxing and MMA he’s separated 88 men from consciousness! Like I said, Trinaldo’s never been knocked out but moving up in weight against a striker like this, at 42 years old, I don’t know. Good fight though and an intriguing clash of styles. Makwan Amirkhani vs Kamuela Kirk. Late switch up here. Amirkhani was all set to face Nate Landwehr on this card, a fight a lot of people were looking forward to. Unfortunately, an injury took Landwehr out. Don’t know anything about this Kirk fella. Apparently he’s 11-4 and was on DWCS a couple of years ago but failed to get the contract. He’s since racked up some wins in LFA and they’ve called him up. Amirkhani’s 16-5 and coming off a points loss to Edson Barboza back in October. Nearly all his wins came by submission but he did score an 8 second flying knee KO in his UFC debut against Andy Ogle years ago. He looked like a real prospect at one time and his likeable personality just added to it. One of those fighters you can’t help but want to see do well. Hasn’t exactly panned out though. He’s had a bunch of injuries and was just never able to put a run together. The brief initial buzz around him fizzled out but I still like him and enjoy watching him fight. Disappointed Landwehr’s out but I’ll give it a whirl. Alan Patrick vs Mason Jones. Right then, this will probably be one of the fights of most interest on this card. Wales’ former Cage Warriors double champ Jones makes his second trip to the Octagon, after an unsuccessful debut in January. He lost, for the first time in his career, by decision against Mike Davis. He was 10-0 previously. On the plus side, it was a cracking fight that got FOTN so Jones still bagged an extra $50Gs on top of whatever his fight purse was. I’m sure that first loss stung but that bonus will have sweetened the pill a little bit. He took the loss well and seems to have a great attitude so I’m expecting he’ll have used it as a learning experience and will be coming back better. He’s just turned 26 so he’s got a good few years in him yet. Alan Patrick could be tricky though, whether Jones is on point or not. He’s 37 years old and coming off a couple of losses. It definitely appears to be a fight booked to rebuild Jones. The word ‘journeyman’ isn’t used in MMA as much as it is in Boxing but Patrick fits the description. He’s 15-3, pushing 40, never been a contender but has beat the likes of Damir Hadzovic, Stevie Ray and John Makdessi over the years. He’s a guy Jones should be beating at this stage but he’s not someone to overlook either. Manon Fiorot vs Tabatha Ricci. Last minute change. Fiorot was supposed to fight Maryna Moroz here but that’s off. Actually looking forward to seeing Fiorot back in action, to be fair. I’d never heard of her before her UFC debut in January but she quickly caught my attention. She battered Victoria Leonardo and swarmed all over her for a second round stoppage. Granted, her opponent was an unknown but she treated her as such. It was enough to make me want to see more. She’s 31 years old, French, 6-1 with 5 knockouts and was the champion for the EFC promotion in South Africa. Her only loss to date was a split decision in her MMA debut against Leah McCourt. Ricci steps in on a matter of days notice. She’s 26 years old, Brazilian, unbeaten at 5-0and is coming off a couple of finishes in LFA. Not ideal for either woman really but could be alright. Fiorot looked impressive in her last fight and Ricci could be a decent prospect. Youssef Zalal vs Sean Woodson. Another darkhorse show stealer for me. They’ll probably never go that far but I’ve really enjoyed watching both so far, the short time they’ve been in the UFC. These are the kind of fights that keep me unable to just give up on checking the prelims. Zalal’s Moroccan, 24 years old with a record of 10-4 and 7 finishes. Coming off back-to-back losses which is obviously never good, but one of them was against Ilia Topuria and I think he’s one to watch so that loss mightn’t look so bad a year or two from now. Before those losses he’d gone 3-0 in his first 3 UFC fights. And Woodson is coming off a tremendous fight with Julian Erosa last June that nobody talked about. He got submitted towards the end but it was some scrap. He’d looked good beating Kyle Bochniak in his UFC debut before that. I genuinely think this might be the sleeper on the card. Claudio Puelles vs Jordan Leavitt. Should be worth a gander. Can’t really remember Puelles and a quick look at his record tells me why. He’s barely fought over the last few years. He fought once in 2015, once in 2016, disappeared for 2 years, fought once in 2018, once in 2019 and has been inactive since. What’s he playing at? He’s 9-2 overall now and coming off 2 wins. But nobody knows him because he’s never around. He’s like that kid in your class who’d attend school once in a blue moon and needn’t have bothered because you knew he’d piss off at dinnertime and be off for months again. What’s the point? Jordan Leavitt is reason enough to tune in though. Love watching him already. The mad Louis Spence mannerisms in his post-fight celebrations crack me up and it’s the last thing you’d expect from a guy who fights in a cage. Make no mistake though, he’s a dangerous little fucker. There he is killing Matt Wiman in his last fight in December. Just brutal. Wiman got released after that, what a way to go out. Hopefully he’s awake now, it’s been 5 months. On top of that, Leavitt’s unbeaten. 8-0, 6 finishes. Still only 25 as well so he’s got time. Hopefully he makes another highlight reel out of Part Time Puelles here and he can keep rolling. He’s in deep waters at 155 but there’s plenty of fun fights to make for now without throwing him to the wolves. And that’s that. Edited June 4, 2021 by wandshogun09 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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