Paid Members wandshogun09 Posted June 9, 2021 Paid Members Share Posted June 9, 2021 (edited) Just over a month away. It’s not being talked about because of the stupidly stacked 264 card the week before but this is a pretty strong card in its own right. ESPN MAIN CARDIslam Makhachev vs Thiago Moises Miesha Tate vs Marion Reneau Mateusz Gamrot vs Jeremy Stephens Rodolfo Vieira vs Dustin Stoltzfus Billy Quarantillo vs Gabriel Benitez ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMSDaniel Rodriguez vs Preston Parsons Amanda Lemos vs Montserrat Conejo Khalid Taha vs Sergey Morozov Francisco Figueiredo vs Malcolm Gordon Alan Baudot vs Rodrigo Nascimento Good stuff. As always, this isn’t the finalised bout order so take no notice. I’m going off how that Marcel Dorff bloke has it listed currently for now. Bunch of fights on there I’m not bothered about but there’s plenty I like as well, some prospects, a familiar face returning and a belting main event. What more can you really want from a Fight Night? Islam Makhachev vs Thiago Moises is the new main event. Gutted we lost that Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez fight and, although this is a perfectly solid matchup, it lacks the spark of Max vs Yair. Little bit of an odd piece of matchmaking for me this. Makhachev’s kind of fallen into that same spot Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush were in for years. He’s 19-1, on a 7 fight winning streak and he really appears to be coming into his own now. But his progress has been so slow and he never seems to get much higher up the ladder. Lightweight is just so deep that there always seems to be a logjam of killers who can’t get a look in as far as the title mix goes. Makhachev’s just gonna have to keep plugging away and stacking up the wins like those guys did and hope he gets that signature breakthrough win that elevates him to that next level. He was all set to headline against Rafael Dos Anjos in November but he had to pull out due to staph infection. So it’s not like there’s been a conspiracy against him to hold him back or anything. The RDA opportunity falling through was just bad luck and shite timing. He’ll get back there as long as he keeps winning. He looked phenomenal in his last fight. He submitted Drew Dober on the main card of the stacked UFC 259 PPV in March. Easily the biggest spotlight that’s been shone on him yet and he delivered. I was hoping after that that we’d get that RDA fight rescheduled, preferably as a Fight Night main event over 5 rounds. Don’t know why it wasn’t, to be honest. RDA isn’t booked. But they’ve gone with this Moises fight for some reason. Don’t get me wrong, Moises is a solid fighter in his own right. 15-4 and beat Alexander Hernandez, Bobby Green and Michael Johnson in his last 3. But it feels like another step sideways for Makhachev, if not a step backwards considering he was supposed to face RDA and just beat Dober convincingly. It’s a good fight and at least they’re keeping Makhachev active. Hopefully he gets another impressive win and can bag a fight with one of the names of the division later in the year. I guess the positive here is that it’s a 5 round main event now so it does feel a bit more like Makhachev’s progressing in that sense. Still wish it was RDA in the opposite corner though, to be honest. This’ll do. Miesha Tate vs Marion Reneau. Well look who’s back. Retirements never last, do they? This is one return I didn’t really expect to see though. Tate’s been gone about 4 and a half years now and in that time she’s had a lot going on. She went to work with ONE as their Vice President for a good while. She also finally got rid of that little scrote Bryan Caraway and has since had 2 kids with MMA fighter Johnny Nunez. Anytime I saw anything about her she seemed pretty busy and content with her post-fighting life. But she’s coming back. She spoke about her decision to fight again back in March; “Time is very valuable and I just feel in my heart, I want to do this. I don’t have to do this. Nobody’s twisting my arm. This is 100% because I’m in the best place I’ve ever been and I want to do this. I literally had to hunt Dana down. He blew off, like, my first five Instagram messages. It was really starting to piss me off. Finally I sat down with him and had that face-to-face conversation. He was kind of like, “You’re not hurting for money?” I was like, “No, I’m not. I’m actually making really good money right now with ONE Championship. This is because I want to come back and fight”. The reason I left the sport wasn’t because I was physically incapable. It was just because I had so many other things in my personal life. I was struggling with depression. I was having a really difficult time. I just didn’t have it to give anymore. I didn’t have the extra. I knew that, and that’s a very ugly place to be. So I needed to step away. What I was able to do under those circumstances really makes me believe in myself. What could I do under the right circumstances?” - Miesha Tate She’s talking a good game and saying all the right things. I don’t know though. 4+ years away is a lifetime in MMA. She’ll be 35 in August so I get why she wants to have one last go now. It’s now or never really. But that layoff is huge and, whether it was personal problems like she says or what, she lost to Raquel Pennington in her last fight in 2016. It seemed like the right time to stop. I hope she does well. People only really talk about her looks, and I get that. But it’s often forgotten she was tough as fuck. She had some of my favourite fights when women’s MMA was still growing and becoming a thing. The Julie Kedzie war, the comeback against Marloes Coenen, the Cat Zingano scrap, obviously the Ronda Rousey fights, the comeback against Holly Holm to win the title. Former UFC champ, former Strikeforce champ etc. She’s done a lot. It’d be nice to see her go out on a positive note. I never have a good feeling about these comebacks though. Even if she’s doing it for all the right reasons, it might just be too late. She’s been talking about having “the style to beat Amanda Nunes” recently. It’s gonna end in tears. Nunes has only gotten better since crushing her at UFC 200. We’ll see how this goes. There’s a reason they’ve given her Marion Reneau as her return opponent. She’ll be 44 years old by the time they step into the cage and she’s 9-7-1. She is a BJJ black-belt and has had the odd moment in the UFC over the years, submissions over Sara McMann and Jessica Andrade being the highlights. But she’s clearly finishing up now. She’s lost her last 4 in a row and she’s held down a job as a teacher throughout her MMA career. Fair play to her for that but she’s still essentially a part time MMA fighter. The UFC matchmakers are clearly being cautious with this Tate return, and rightly so really. If she looks bad against someone like Reneau here, they’ll almost certainly pull the plug. They’re testing the waters. If Tate’s still got it and she’s in as good a place as she says then she really should be winning this. But all bets are off really. Don’t know what to expect. Mateusz Gamrot vs Jeremy Stephens is this card’s ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** and should be a corker. Can’t wait for it. Gamrot was signed by the UFC last year and came in with a fair bit of hype and expectations. He was undefeated at 17-0-0-1, one No Contest, was a double champ at both Lightweight and Featherweight in the KSW promotion in Poland, trains at ATT etc. His UFC debut didn’t go to plan though and he dropped a close split decision against late replacement Guram Kutateladze. It was a really good fight, wasn’t like Gamrot looked bad or anything. It just didn’t go his way. He came back in style in April though, knocking out Scott Holtzman… His opponent here is no stranger to sending opponents into unconsciousness. Jeremy Stephens has kind of become more of a meme in recent years thanks to Conor McGregor hitting him with a “who the fook is that guy?” at that press conference years ago. Long time fans know though, he’s one of the hardest hitting fighters in the history of the game in the lighter weight classes. Highlight reel knockout after highlight reel knockout. He’s basically the 145/155 version of Paul Daley. The uppercut on Dos Anjos is the one that probably gets talked about the most but the Dennis Bermudez one in 2015 is the first one I always think of. It got overshadowed because Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald went out and tried to kill each other straight after but it was a beautiful KO. Stephens is 28-18-0-1 now and hasn’t won a fight since early 2018. He’s definitely on the slide but the thing with power punchers is they’re never out of the fight until it’s over. Even in a slump like he’s in now, if he connects with your jaw you’re probably hitting the deck. I don’t care who you are. On current form you’d have to favour Gamrot but it’ll be fun to watch and Stephens will either knock his head off or get battered trying. Rodolfo Vieira vs Dustin Stoltzfus. A chance at redemption for Vieira here. He came into MMA already known as a decorated grappler. He’s a multi-time BJJ champion and BJJ World Cup champion, ADCC champion etc. His list of wins in BJJ is really impressive. He made the switch to MMA in 2017 and went 7-0 with 7 finishes, including UFC victories over Oskar Piechota and Saparbek Safarov. All went tits up in his last fight though. He took on Anthony Hernandez at UFC 258 in March, faded horribly as the fight went on, got tagged a few times and ended up getting caught in a guillotine choke and being forced to tap. Just goes to show, no matter how accomplished you are as a pure grappler, adding in strikes is a game changer. It was alarming how rapidly his conditioning went downhill as well. Maybe there was a specific reason for that regarding this particular fight or maybe it’s going to be an issue going forward. Time will tell, I guess. But it’ll definitely need addressing. It’s one loss, it’s not the end of the world or anything. But it was a massive setback. I know little about Stoltzfus other than he was on DWCS and lost his UFC debut against Kyle Daukaus. He’s 13-2. Vieira could really do with a convincing win here. Billy Quarantillo vs Rafael Benitez. Tidy little fight actually. Quarantillo was originally scheduled to face Herbert Burns here but Burns just withdrew the other day. Benitez is a pretty good substitute though. Bit of a veteran, been in the UFC since 2014 and is 22-8 overall. He’s had his share of losses but he’s coming into this fight off a win by brutal knee to the body over Justin Jaynes in December. I got winded just looking at it. Should be a good little scrap this. Billy Q goes at a fast pace and I really enjoyed his fights with Spike Carlyle and his knockout over Kyle Nelson. He came up on the wrong end of a decision against Gavin Tucker last time out though so he’s on the rebound here. Daniel Rodriguez vs Preston Parsons. Dunno. It’s another late change and I’ve never heard of this Parsons bloke. Looking him up he’s 25, 9-2 with all 9 wins via submission and got TKO’d by Mike Perry back in 2015 before Perry was in the UFC. He’s won his last 4 fights. Rodriguez doesn’t play around, I know that much. He’s 14-2 and, aside from a points loss against Nicolas Dalby in November, he’s been on a solid run. He was on a 9 fight streak before that loss, including a submission over Tim Means and a knockout over Dwight Grant. He beat Mike Perry after the Dalby loss as well so he’s back on track now. You never know with these last minute replacements though. Amanda Lemos vs Montserrat Conejo. Actually looking forward to this. I didn’t take much notice of Lemos until recently but she fucking battered Livia Renata Souza in her last fight. First round TKO and Souza was a former Invicta champ and had never been stopped before. Lemos is currently 9-1-1 and on a 3 fight winning streak. Conejo is where most of my interest lies here though. She’s 10-1, from Mexico, trains at Kings MMA. She stepped in on short notice in March and beat Cheyanne Buys on points. Wasn’t the most exciting fight but Conejo seemed to have a bit of a wild and crazy side to her that I got a kick out of. There was talk after the fight that she spat at Buys right as the fight was ending but it looked to me like she just got in her face and was mouthing off. Still a bit twatty but whatever. Got a feeling she’s gonna provide some nutty moments. Beyond that though, she does have skills too and was a 7 time national champion wrestler. Khalid Taha vs Sergey Morozov. Not sure about this. I’ve only really seen them both when they’ve been fighting beasts and getting their arses kicked so probably not the best reflection of their skills. Taha’s 13–3-0-1 and my main memory is of him getting battered by Raoni Barcelos in his last fight. Similar with Morozov. He’s 16-5 but all I really recall is him getting dominated and submitted by Umar Nurmagomedov in his last fight. I’m guessing this’ll be a lot more competitive than those maulings were. Francisco Figueiredo vs Malcolm Gordon. Figgy #2 is back. He’s 31 years old, 12-3-1-1 with 10 finishes and beat Jerome Rivera on points in his UFC debut in January. Doesn’t look as impressive or flashy as his older brother but he showed glimpses of the same kind of swagger. I like him so far, although I don’t see him going nearly as far as his bro. Gordon hasn’t looked good so far in the UFC. He came in on a little win streak last year and had won titles in various different promotions. He’s been finished in a round twice in the Octagon though. In fairness, he’s came up against Amir Albazi and Su Mudaerji, who I rate as potential future players in the division. But still, a third loss here would be a disaster for him. I think Fig 2 beats him as well. Alan Baudot vs Rodrigo Nascimento. Heavyweight action. This isn’t bad though on paper. Baudot’s 8-2 with 7 knockouts. Got smashed by Tom Aspinall in his UFC debut but Aspinall’s looking like a standout himself so I’m not reading too much into that. Nascimento is a guy I thought was looking like a legitimate prospect until he got stopped by Chris Daukaus in 45 seconds last time out. He was 8-0 with 8 finishes before that though and looked a bit of a handful on the ground. He’s only 28, which by Heavyweight standards is a baby really. He should be able to bounce back. But he’s in with another knockout artist here so we’ll see how he handles that. On paper, this seems to be a bit of a striker vs grappler battle. That’s all folks. Edited July 17, 2021 by wandshogun09 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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