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UFC Vegas: Hall vs Strickland - Jul 31 🇺🇸


wandshogun09
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Posted (edited)

Back at the APEX in Vegas. Again. Are they ever taking these Fight Nights anywhere else again? 

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ESPN+ MAIN CARD
Uriah Hall vs Sean Strickland

Gloria De Paula vs Cheyanne Buys

Niklas Stolze vs Jared Gooden

Collin Anglin vs Melsik Baghdasaryan 

Bryan Barberena vs Jason Witt

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS  
Chris Gruetzemacher vs Rafa Garcia 

Danny Chavez vs Kai Kamaka III

Jinh Yu Frey vs Ashley Yoder 

Ryan Benoit vs Zarrukh Adashev  

Orion Cosce vs Phil Rowe

 

Yeah not the strongest lineup, is it? There’s stuff to like there though. Probably one of those cards that’s better to cherry pick certain fights the day after, when you can skip to the bits you want. As always, ignore the bout order. This is the way Marcel Dorff currently has it on Twitter but the final order hasn’t been confirmed yet. It’s definitely lacking something overall this card. But I quite like the main event and I love Askarov/Perez. One or two more quality scraps for the main card would’ve been nice but whatever. 265 is the week after. I’ll live with it.

 

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Uriah Hall vs Sean Strickland headlines then. A little bit underwhelming really as a main event but it’s decent enough and it feels like an opportunity earned by both. Hall’s been plugging away for what seems like forever now and has never truly fulfilled his potential. He’s always had hot and cold spells throughout his career. It’s been quite frustrating to watch at times because he’s clearly got the tools in the locker but there’s been so many times he’s not been able to pull the trigger. There’s been flashes of what he could be a few times. The one that instantly springs to mind was this devastating spinning hook kick KO against Adam Cella on TUF back in 2013.

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Just a breathtaking highlight reel knockout that had the MMA world buzzing at the time. Dana White was even declaring him ‘the next Anderson Silva’ during the promotion of the show and the Finale. True to form though, Hall never made it over that last hurdle and lost to Kelvin Gastelum in the finals. It’s been up and down ever since really. High highs like his win over Thiago Santos and stopping Gegard Mousasi in their first fight. And crappy lows like his 3 fight losing skid and just looking gun-shy in general a bunch of times. He turns 37 the very day of this show. It’s now or never really if he’s ever going to finally make it to at least a shot at the title. He’s on a 4 fight winning streak. He stopped Anderson Silva in Anderson’s UFC swansong last October. Which was kind of a cool little full circle moment, considering the comparisons when he was on TUF. Then he had that fight against Chris Weidman in April which ended in gruesome fashion for Weidman.

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🤢

Even Hall looked really shaken up after that. Regardless, it went down as a win and on we move. Strickland was pretty much just an also ran in the Welterweight division for the longest time. But in fairness, he was always decent. He went 15-0 at the start of his career. He’s 23-3 now and two of his three losses are to Santiago Ponzinibbio and Kamaru Usman. He kept trucking and gaining experience and somewhere along the line something seemed to light a match under him. He’s won his last 4 fights now and seems to have really upped the aggression of late, physically and verbally. He moved back up to Middleweight and battered Jack Marshman in October, while talking all kinds of shite to him. A few weeks later he scored a TKO over Brendan Allen who I really rated going in. And then in his last fight he beat Krzysztof Jotko. These aren’t top contenders but there’s been something about Strickland’s performances that’s finally got people noticing him. There’s a nastiness to him now that I don’t remember being there earlier in his career. Or maybe he’s just being more vocal about it. It’s paid off. Just a year ago you’d never have predicted that Sean Strickland would main event any UFC card. This is a big chance for him to finally break through. A decisive win over someone like Uriah Hall in a headliner would go some way to making people see him as a real player at 185. Seems a bit of a cock though so I hope this is one of Hall’s good nights and he Haduken’s him into unconsciousness.

 

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Gloria De Paula vs Cheyanne Buys. Nothing much to this but maybe it’ll be a pleasant surprise. De Paula is Brazilian, 26 years old with a 5-3 record. She’s Chute Boxe affiliated so I was kind of rooting for her in her debut but she dropped a decision to Jinh Yu Frey. Buys is also 26 with an almost identical 5-2 record. She fights out of Xtreme Couture and was on DWCS. Made her UFC debut in March and lost to Montserrat Conejo in a heated battle which nearly carried on post-fight. Don’t recall being all that impressed with Buys but maybe it was more Conejo making her look bad. Hopes aren’t high for this but we’ll see.

 

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Bryan Barberena vs Jason Witt. I’ll give it a gander purely for ‘Bam Bam’ Bryan. He’s one of those undercard guys who I’ll always make a point of watching. Tough as fuck. Anyone who hasn’t seen his slobberknocker with Vicente Luque from 2019 needs to rectify that immediately.

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He’s a nutcase. One of those fighters who will walk through fire to land a punch. Not the most intelligent way to fight granted. But it’s edge of the seat stuff to watch. He’s 15-7 now and comes in off a points win over Anthony Ivy in September. Can’t recall a great deal of Witt but I certainly remember him getting ironed out by Matthew Semelsberger in his last fight. It was a bad one. 16 seconds into the first round and he was toast. He’s 18-7 overall. Haven’t seen enough to judge his skills or how he matches up with Barberena. But he’s probably not fancying getting into a wild brawl here coming off being flatlined in March.

 

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Chris Gruetzemacher vs Rafa Garcia. I could be totally off on this but I’ve got a feeling this is gonna be a bit of a thumping. Gruetzemacher looked fucking awful in his last fight. He got lit up and put away by Alexander Hernandez in less than 2 minutes back in October. It looked like a complete mismatch. Could’ve just been a bad night for Gruetzemacher and he had been out of action since 2018 going in, but he just got squashed like he was nothing. Hernandez isn’t bad but it made him look like Goldberg in 98 or something. Like Gruetzemacher had no business being in there. He does have a win over a last legs Joe Lauzon but, that aside, he’s been finished every time he’s come up against someone of real substance. I’ve only seen Garcia fight once, he went 15 minutes with Nasrat Haqparast back in March. He lost but he took the fight on a few days notice and it was some scrap. I’m looking forward to seeing him here after a proper training camp. He’s 11-1 with 8 finishes and was the Combate Americas Lightweight champ. Based on that Haqparast fight, he’s hard as nails. Unless I’m severely underestimating Gruetzemacher, I’ve got a feeling Garcia is gonna roll right over him here.

 

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Collin Anglin vs Melsik Baghdasaryan. Not a clue. It’s the UFC debuts of both and I’ve never seen either fight before. Anglin was actually scheduled to debut against Seung Woo Choi in February but he withdrew. He’s 28 years old, 8-1 with 5 finishes. That’s about the extent of information out there. Baghdasaryan is 29, Armenian, 5-1 in MMA. He picked up a win on DWCS in September. He’s also 9-2 in Kickboxing and 3-0 in Pro Boxing. Bit of a mystery this fight but I’m quite intrigued by Baghdasaryan. He’s not massively experienced in any of them but I always like checking out fighters who’ve tried their hand at various combat sports.

 

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Jinh Yu Frey vs Ashley Yoder. Nothing fight. These two are both going nowhere. It’s been a bumpy ride for Frey in the UFC so far. She was the Atomweight champ in Invicta but missed weight at the end of her run there and was stripped of the title. She moved up to Strawweight, signed with the UFC and lost her first 2 fights. She managed to save herself from the chopping block in March with a points win over Gloria De Paula but at 36 years old I just can’t see her going much further. Strawweight is probably the strongest women’s division and the top women in the weight class are operating on an entirely different level to Frey at this stage. She might win this one though because Yoder isn’t much cop. She’s 8-7 now, mostly lost to strong opposition but it’s clear she’s not got what it takes to hang with the better fighters at 115lbs. Purely on skills I think Frey’s got this but she’s not looked that good herself in her last few fights.

 

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Ryan Benoit vs Zarrukh Adashev. Alright little matchup here. Neither are setting the world alight and they’ve been well left behind in the ever improving Flyweight division but it’ll do as prelim filler. Benoit’s knocked around for a while now. Been in the UFC since 2013, with very mixed results. Highlight of his stint would have to be his TKO victory over Sergio Pettis in 2015. He also lost a split decision to today’s Flyweight champ Brandon Moreno in 2016, that doesn’t look that bad in hindsight. But overall, it’s been patchy as fuck. He’s 10-7 now and coming off 2 losses. Adashev is a 28 year old Kickboxer from Uzbekistan who made the switch over to MMA in 2015. Hasn’t exactly panned out. He’s 3-3 overall now and 0-2 in the UFC. Loser probably leaves.

 

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Orion Cosce vs Phil Rowe. Another fight where I’m not that up on either guy. DWCS is really my blind spot. Always intend to give it a look and just never get around to it. I remember @Zebra Kid Mark speaking quite highly of Orion Cosce and his brother Louis a while back though. Both were on the Contender Series and both were set to make their Octagon debuts at UFC 255 in November. Louis did and got stopped by Sasha Palatnikov. Orion had to pull out though. He finally makes his delayed debut here. He’s 7-0 with 7 finishes so far. Don’t recall seeing Rowe fight. He’s 7-3 with 7 finishes, TKO’d Leon Shahbazyan (brother of Edmen) on DWCS in 2019 but lost his UFC debut against Gabriel Green in February this year.

 

That’s that.

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It’s alright. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Posted (edited)

Speaking of Strickland, did anyone catch the incident he had at a gym last week whilst grappling with super heavyweight BJJ black belt Orlando Sanchez? caused quite a stir.

Strickland was rightly pissed as it appears that Sanchez is purposely looking to do some damage to Stricklands arm. Seems Strickland may have had it coming though...

Here's Sanchez' side of the story:

and here's Strickland addressing all the internet trolls who've gone after him post-incident:

 

Edited by Egg Shen
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Just learned that my ‘one to watch’ and the fight I was most arsed about on this card, Askar Askarov vs Alex Perez, is off. Askarov’s injured. Gutted.

On top of that, ‘Korean Superboy’ Doo Ho Choi is also out of his scheduled fight with Danny Chavez.

With those two pullouts, my interest in this card has fucking plummeted. Main event’s decent and there’s still a couple of alright fights/fighters on the card, but there’s nothing on here I’m that into now. Good job we’ve got Pitbull vs McKee over in Bellator the same night. 

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1 hour ago, Egg Shen said:

Sam Alvey must know some shit Dana White doesnt want the public to know, he's never gonna get let go.

Alvey, Holly Holm and Michelle Waterson know where the bodies are buried. 

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I am flat out boycotting any UFC card that features Sam Alvey from this day forwards. I realise this means I'll probably miss 50% of their output but sometimes you need to make a stand. 

2-3 years ago Hall vs Strickland isn't even headlining the prelims.

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2 hours ago, David said:

Damn, ol' Strickland didn't want none of the big chap, did he?

nah, i dont blame him either 😄 The Cuban Tree Stump would probably ruin your day in a hurry.

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I was doing a bit of reading about Montaño's issues with having to pull out, and I can't help but feel bad for her - seems her health was legitimately in danger because of the weight cut, and she got a load of undeserved flak for it, including Shevchenko calling her "unprofessional", which seems a bit dickish. She's also had a ton of injuries, including a fucking concussion from being in a car accident.

On top of that, she really seems to have been a bit screwed over by the UFC publicity department, or the lack of effort therefrom - almost nobody knew she was the first ever flyweight champ, or the fact that she was apparently the first ever Native American to become a UFC champion. She announced a few months ago that she'd started a utility programme to get the Navajo reservation in Arizona better facilities like water, electricity, broadband internet, etc.: https://www.mmafighting.com/2021/4/3/22365342/ex-ufc-champ-nicco-montano-finds-new-purpose-by-bringing-much-needed-utilities-to-navajo-nation 

So I'll be rooting for her - nothing against Wu, but I have to pull for that kind of underdog. I know she most likely will lose and then be cut from the UFC roster, but fingers crossed she gets the win here.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/26/2021 at 9:08 AM, Egg Shen said:

Speaking of Strickland, did anyone catch the incident he had at a gym last week whilst grappling with super heavyweight BJJ black belt Orlando Sanchez? caused quite a stir.

Strickland was rightly pissed as it appears that Sanchez is purposely looking to do some damage to Stricklands arm. Seems Strickland may have had it coming though...

Here's Sanchez' side of the story:

and here's Strickland addressing all the internet trolls who've gone after him post-incident:

 

Ha, only just got around to watching these. Obviously you can’t tell exactly what went down before the video started rolling but considering Strickland seems a right helmet and this Orlando bloke comes off as a likeable chap, I’ll side with him and take his version. The more I see and hear from Strickland the more I dislike him and the more satisfying it’ll be when he inevitably gets sparked by someone. Hopefully Hall this weekend.

On 7/21/2021 at 11:15 AM, Carbomb said:

I was doing a bit of reading about Montaño's issues with having to pull out, and I can't help but feel bad for her - seems her health was legitimately in danger because of the weight cut, and she got a load of undeserved flak for it, including Shevchenko calling her "unprofessional", which seems a bit dickish. She's also had a ton of injuries, including a fucking concussion from being in a car accident.

On top of that, she really seems to have been a bit screwed over by the UFC publicity department, or the lack of effort therefrom - almost nobody knew she was the first ever flyweight champ, or the fact that she was apparently the first ever Native American to become a UFC champion. She announced a few months ago that she'd started a utility programme to get the Navajo reservation in Arizona better facilities like water, electricity, broadband internet, etc.: https://www.mmafighting.com/2021/4/3/22365342/ex-ufc-champ-nicco-montano-finds-new-purpose-by-bringing-much-needed-utilities-to-navajo-nation 

So I'll be rooting for her - nothing against Wu, but I have to pull for that kind of underdog. I know she most likely will lose and then be cut from the UFC roster, but fingers crossed she gets the win here.

Yeah, I’ve been a bit harsh in the opening post. I don’t wish any ill will on her. It’s mad though, that she was actually the first ever UFC Flyweight champion then immediately had 4 years of nothingness and bad luck. Thinking back to the cancelled Shevchenko fight, I remember thinking at the time that the UFC were very quick to strip her of the belt. But I can understand Shevchenko making the comments she did at the time, calling her unprofessional. As much as it’s scary when a fighter is suffering from a bad weight cut and none of us want to see them put their health in jeopardy like that, it’s still their choice. Montano decided to compete at 125 and in title fights you have to hit that weight on the nose. Shevchenko might’ve seemed harsh with her comments but she’d gone through her training camp and paid the price physically and financially that comes along with that, she did the weight cut and made championship weight, fulfilled her media duties, she’s done everything in her power to peak for that date and be ready for her shot at the title. She did everything right. Then the fight gets cancelled less than 24 hours before bell time. If anyone has the right to have a dig at that moment, it’s the opponent who’s made all those sacrifices for sod all. If it was something like Rob Whittaker’s intestine/collapsed bowel problem then yeah, it’d be out of order. But Montano being unable to make weight, as nasty as it sounds, is on her and I don’t think the shit she got for that was entirely undeserved. Maybe some of it was harsh but you’re not gonna get zero backlash under those circumstances either. Some of the other issues she’s had like the car accident are awful. But then there’s also other things like the USADA suspension. She’s not exactly been squeaky clean.

I wouldn’t mind seeing her win this fight just because it’s barmy that a UFC champion has amounted to so little since winning the thing. But I don’t see her doing much of anything anyway unfortunately. Maybe she’ll prove me wrong. It’s not like Wu Yanan’s some killer herself.

Edited by wandshogun09
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Posted (edited)

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I’ll live with it. Shamil Abdurakhimov vs Chris Daukaus is off as well. This card is the dregs. Was weak enough anyway, especially after losing Askarov vs Perez. But even cack like Alvey and these two slugs, the card couldn’t afford to lose anything else. Oh well. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Sam Alvey's fight being pulled improves this card. Even then it's pretty bleak though. Bryan Barbarena is always worth a watch, I'll check out Mounir Lazzez's fight, and the main event I'll watch. The rest? Well, we'll see. I'm going to be around the house all day Sunday, hanging like a bat, and I'm still not likely to pay this one much thought. 

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