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UFC Vegas: Cannonier vs Gastelum - Aug 21 🇺🇸


wandshogun09
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Posted (edited)

Another week, another Fight Night in Vegas.

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ESPN MAIN CARD
Jared Cannonier vs Kelvin Gastelum

Clay Guida vs Mark Madsen

Chase Sherman vs Parker Porter 

Trevin Jones vs Saidyokub Kakhramonov 

Vinc Pichel vs Austin Hubbard

Alexandre Pantoja vs Brandon Royval 

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Luis Saldana vs Austin Lingo

Brian Kelleher vs Domingo Pilarte

Bea Malecki vs Josiane Nunes 

William Knight vs Fabio Cherant

Roosevelt Roberts vs Ignacio Bahamondes 

Ramiz Brahimaj vs Sasha Palatnikov

 

This is apparently the bout order. For now anyway. Not a bad card, not the best. I don’t mind it though. I really like the main event, Pantoja vs Royval is a great fight and I’ve been wondering when Mark Madsen would make his return for a while now.

 

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Jared Cannonier vs Kelvin Gastelum headlines. Really like the sound of this matchup but it wasn’t the original plan. Cannonier vs Paulo Costa was supposed to top this bill. Costa pulled out due to ‘undisclosed reasons’ but there was a lot of stuff in the media at the time that he was complaining about his pay so that’s probably got something to do with it. Begs the question why did Costa agree to fight Cannonier in the first place if he wasn’t happy with his money? But it’s Paulo Costa and you’ll lose brain cells trying to figure the big mad lummox out. Maybe the UFC jumped the gun announcing it before Costa was on board. They’ve got form for that, to be fair. Cannonier gave his opinion on the whole thing and, refreshingly, didn’t shit all over Costa for pulling out.

“Well, I don’t know how much he’s getting paid per fight, but it’s a common argument. MMA fighters, UFC fighters, MMA in general, fighters don’t get paid as much in comparison to the organizations or the promotions are getting paid. So, yeah, I mean, I understand the argument. I can’t hate on him or knock him or chastise him for having his stance. And I’m not gonna turn down a fatter paycheck either. So, it is what it is.” - Jared Cannonier

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Cannonier is looking to get back in the mix himself. We last saw him at UFC 254 in October, where he lost on points to Robert Whittaker. Before that he’d rattled off consecutive stoppage wins over David Branch, Anderson Silva and Jack Hermansson. This was after years of mediocrity at Light Heavyweight. He dropped to Middleweight in 2018 and looked like a completely different and rejuvenated fighter. Unfortunately for him, Whittaker was just a step too far. But he’s still a force at 185 and you get the sense that he’s one or two big wins away from getting a big title eliminator. It’s a shame that fight with Costa fell through because I think that would’ve been total bedlam. Both of them are that blend of raw power mixed with just enough crazy to make for something wild. Wasn’t to be. Maybe we’ll see it another time.

In any case, the UFC did what they do when Costa pulls out of a fight.

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This is two fights on the trot now where Kelvin Gastelum has stepped in for Costa. He jumped into a 5 round main event against Whittaker in April on short notice. People can criticise Gastelum but one thing you can’t say is he doesn’t have a right set of bollocks on him. He’s fought some absolute killers for years now and even when he loses he‘s always up for jumping straight back into the fire. I don’t think people realise he’s not even 30 yet. His willingness to consistently take on the best has cost him in recent years though. He’s lost 4 of his last 5 fights now. You’d have thought he’d be looking to scale a back a tad for his next fight and just bag an easy win but no. Here he is again, jumping in against another beast in Cannonier. Should be a fun one this. The timing of it seems to favour Cannonier but Gastelum’s always game and his back is against the wall now so he’ll be coming in swinging. Looking forward to it.

 

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Clay Guida vs Mark Madsen. Bit of a past vs present collision here. Can’t believe Guida’s still going, to be honest. Historically, lighter weight fighters don’t have the longevity the bigger boys do at the best of times. Then you take into account some of the wars Clay was in earlier in his career and it’s nuts really that he’s still here at 39 years old. He noticeably ditched a lot of the Caveman Clay style when he joined Greg Jackson’s gym years ago and that no doubt extended his career. He’s with Team Alpha Male these days. Can’t see him going too much longer really but you never know. Fights like this could potentially speed up his retirement though.

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At 36 years old, Mark Madsen isn’t a lot younger than Guida. But he’s got considerably less miles on him in MMA. He had a long and successful career as an amateur wrestler though. He represented Denmark in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and won silver, as pictured above. He’s had a lifetime of wrestling so it’s not like he’s completely fresh. But he hasn’t been getting punched in the head for nearly 20 years like Guida has. In MMA, Madsen is undefeated at 10-0 with 6 finishes. I remember him looking like a bit of a star in his UFC debut back in 2019. He wrecked some jabroni called Danillo Belluardo in front of a rabid home crowd in Copenhagen and it felt like a big deal. He beat Austin Hubbard on points in his next fight but I seem to recall his conditioning kind of faded late and he suffered a scare from a big knee that hurt him. He’s been inactive for over a year since. I’m intrigued by him though. His striking obviously will need work but I quite like this matchup. Guida’s not a killer striker but he does actually pack a bit of a punch when he lets his hands go and he can wrestle enough to where maybe Madsen won’t have it all his own way. Madsen should be winning at this stage though. In simple terms he’s fighting a wrestler and his own wrestling is on another level. Still, it’s a decent matchup given the styles and Madsen’s time away.

 

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Chase Sherman vs Parker Porter. Nothing fight. You know the drill. It’s low level Fattyweight MMA. Watch at your own risk. Could be wildly and perversely entertaining or you might just waste 15 minutes of your life that you could’ve spent doing anything else. In fairness, Sherman’s been good value the couple of times I’ve watched him. He lost to Arlovski on points in April but was on a little 4 fight TKO streak before that. Granted over cack opposition. It wasn’t exactly a Goldberg in 98 streak. Likeable enough guy though and his brawl with Ike Villanueva last May just after the UFC started back up again in the first lockdown was so much fun. Porter is 11-6 and has never beaten anyone of note. The main bit of trivia about him is that he got battered by a young and green Jon Jones in 36 seconds back in 2008 before ‘Bones’ was in the UFC. I’m hoping for another Sherman slobberknockout here.

 

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Trevin Jones vs Saidyokub Kakhramonov. Right then. Surely Jones actually gets to fight this time. Fucking surely. He’s had the worst luck recently with opponent switches and fight cancellations. First his fights with Tony Kelley and Aaron Phillips fell through, he agreed to face Ronnie Lawrence on short notice but then Lawrence dropped out at the weigh in because he couldn’t cut any more weight. He got another fight booked with Mana Martinez for this card and guess what? Yeah, Martinez dropped out. For ‘undisclosed reasons’ but Martinez has already been rebooked in a different fight a week later on the Barboza vs Chikadze card. Odd. Felt really sorry for Jones. Hopefully he gets to do his thing this weekend and it’d be cool to see him get a win after all the bullshit he’s gone through to make it to the cage. Never heard of this Kakhramonov fella but a quick search tells me he’s 25 years old, 8-2 with 6 finishes, former Cage Fury Bantamweight champ and has a points loss against Umar Nurmagomedov in the PFL in 2018.

 

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Vinc Pichel vs Austin Hubbard. Can’t pretend to give much of a bollocks about this. Maybe it’ll pleasantly surprise us. Pichel’s been doing alright for himself of late actually. He’s 38 years old with a solid 13-2 record but he’s never made any waves, despite being on the roster since 2012. You look at his record though and maybe he doesn’t get enough credit. He’s won 6 of his last 7, has beat Jim Miller and Roosevelt Roberts in his last couple and his only losses are to Gregor Gillespie and Rustam Khabilov. No shame there. I vaguely remember him looking really good in the win over Miller now actually. Hubbard I’m hazy on. My main memory is of the aforementioned knee he wobbled Mark Madsen with in their fight last year, before being wrestled into oblivion for the remainder of the fight. He’s 13-5.

 

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Alexandre Pantoja vs Brandon Royval is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** and another excellent fight in the Flyweight division. To think they wanted to sack Flyweight off not too long ago. Anyway, this is a cracker. Pantoja is one of those fighters that’s gone largely unnoticed and been slept on in his career but he’s no joke. He’s 23-5 with wins over current UFC champ Brandon Moreno and former RIZIN champ Manel Kape. His only losses in the last few years came against Figgy who was the champion until recently and Askar Askarov who I rate as the darkhorse of the entire division. On a good night, he’s a handful for anyone. Royval hasn’t had as much experience but he’s quickly established himself as one of the more exciting ‘must see’ fighters at 125lbs. He came into the UFC last year and instantly got back-to-back FOTN bonuses for his submission wins over Tim Elliott and Kai Kara France.

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Mad little fucker. Who responds to getting rocked by throwing a spinning elbow to the gob? He made a hell of a first impression with those two fights. He then took on Brandon Moreno in November in a clash that promised to be absolute mayhem, and they were delivering on that promise until Royval suffered a shoulder injury late in the first round and got stopped. It was a shame. Not only that he lost in that fashion, but also that we were robbed of what looked like a battle that was shaping up to be a FOTY contender. I’d like to see Royval win here and get in the title shot conversation down the line. A rematch with Moreno at some point would be class. Pantoja is a banana skin for a lot of Flyweights coming up though. Interesting one.

 

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Luis Saldana vs Austin Lingo. Don’t know much about either. Can’t remember seeing Saldana fight but I might’ve. He decisioned Jordan Griffin in his UFC debut in April. He’s 15-6 with 14 finishes and he’s won his last 5 fights. Not bad going. I’ve definitely seen ‘Lights Out’ Lingo fight. He had a belting under the radar fight with Jacob Kilburn on the prelims of Holloway vs Kattar back in January.

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A fight well worth tracking down if you haven’t seen it and have some time to kill. Really fun scrap that I went into with zero expectations. Lingo got the nod from the judges taking him to 8-1 overall. Again, no real expectations here but maybe Lingo has form for these slugfests.

 

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Brian Kelleher vs Domingo Pilarte. Can’t say I recall this Pilarte fella but this should be worth a watch for Kelleher anyway. He hasn’t let me down yet. He’s no contender and he’s kind of found his level in the Bantamweight division at this point but he’s also no bum and he’s pretty much always exciting to watch, win or lose. He’s 22-12 now with 18 finishes. He’s lost whenever he’s stepped up a level but he’s never dull. Tough bastard as well. I remember him taking some sickening punches from John Lineker and somehow surviving into the third round before finally dropping. Looking up Pilarte, he’s 8-2-0-1 and hasn’t been very active in recent years. Does have a 2017 win over Adrian Yanez but nothing else about his record stands out. If Kelleher wins this I reckon he’ll be calling out Sean O’Malley. He was very vocal about wanting to step in at UFC 264 against Suga Sean but, for whatever reason, it never got done. Wouldn’t mind seeing it if he wins here.

 

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Bea Malecki vs Josiane Nunes. Going in blind really. Malecki is Swedish, she’s undefeated at 4-0 with 3 finishes and has fought twice in the UFC and I remember nothing. Zero. Maybe I missed those fights. Don’t wanna dismiss her though because any unbeaten fighter could potentially be someone to keep an eye on. Either that or they’re simply yet to be exposed. I’ve definitely never seen Nunes before. She’s Brazilian, 7-1 with 6 knockouts. Hasn’t beat anyone you’d know but her only loss was to Taila Santos (who I rate) back in 2013. That was only Nunes’ second pro fight as well. I don’t know. Record-wise this sounds alright actually. I’ll give it a look.

 

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William Knight vs Fabio Cherant. Got a feeling this is ending violently. Knight is an absolute tank of a man. 9-2 record with 8 knockouts. Was on a nice little run before losing a decision to Da Un Jung last time out. He’s not just a slugger either. I remember him having a really strong all around performance against Aleksa Camur at UFC 253. You definitely don’t need to be being hit by him though. Sod that. Never seen Cherant I don’t think but his record certainly suggests a contrast in styles here. Whereas all Knight’s finishes came by knockout, Cherant’s 7-2 with all 5 finishes by submission.

 

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Roosevelt Roberts vs Ignacio Bahamondes. It’s jerking the curtain but this could well be a sleeper on this card for me. I’ve enjoyed watching Roberts in the UFC so far. He’s 10-2-1 and has had a couple of setbacks but on the whole I think he shows a lot of promise. He’s still only 27 as well and I get the feeling he’ll be able to go up a couple of levels as he matures and gains more experience. There’s something about how he fights that I like. I’ve only seen Bahamondes once, his UFC debut in April, but it was some fight. Him and John Makdessi did battle in a show stealer and Makdessi narrowly took a split decision. If this kind of fight was typical of Bahamondes though, I’ll be making a point to check out his fights every time. Seriously, if you missed it, get it watched. One of the more exciting fights so far this year that seemed to get forgotten within days of it happening. Bahamondes is 11-4 overall with 8 knockouts. Only 23 years old as well. So yeah, mightn’t stand out to some but this could be a bonus winning fight. Two young scrappy fuckers with raw skills and some real potential, in my opinion.

 

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Ramiz Brahimaj vs Sasha Palatnikov. Haven’t seen enough of either yet. What I do remember about Brahimaj though, was the fight he had with Max Griffin in November where he nearly got his fucking ear completely ripped off his head Mick Foley style.

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Ugh. He hasn’t fought since, hopefully they’ve fixed it up and it stays where it should be this time. He doesn’t look anything special really. 8-3 record and he’s been alternating between wins and losses in his last bunch of fights. Palatnikov is 6-3 and got a TKO over Louis Cosce in his UFC debut in November but got choked by Impa Kasanganay in his last fight in April.

 

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Edited by wandshogun09
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Both main eventers made weight eventually but Kelvin needed some extra time and made weight on his second attempt.

What is up with that guy? Does he have really bad advice or something? Or perhaps he has a  really unusual metabolism or just incredibly bad discipline. He always struggles. What's his reasoning when he gets called out on it? I can't say I have ever heard him explain why he's so bad at it before.

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Old Kelvin Kipling and his exceedingly bad weight cutting.

Saw people going ‘this is why we need a 195 division’ but even then I think Kelvin would be stepping on the scale at 197.5 and needing an extra hour to try to sweat off the excess. Just seems like whatever division he’s in, it’s gonna be a battle every time. 

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Is this the first time in UKFF history where a UFC event has had zero response in the first couple of days after the event? Usually at least one person has said something by now. Can sort of see why, most of the fights were just...there. The main card was just a blur of perfectly fine, competitive matches, with nothing really kicking into top gear. Cannonier looked pretty good against Kelvin, but you dont exactly get the feeling he'd trouble Izzy based off this though.

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Yeah, there wasn't a whole pile riding on this show. 

Pantoja had a good win over Royval. Leaves him in a nice position. However if Figgy is ready or else Garbrandt if he happens to win his flyweight debut, then either one of them will probably be next for Moreno. 

Cannonier could have been next up for a title shot had Izzy Vs Whittaker went ahead. As it has been postponed, I think he'll have to fight again. Hopefully Derek Brunson beats Till, and then it could be Brunson or Cannonier for the shot at Adesanya/Whittaker sometime next year and not Till. Let's not even entertain the idea of Sean Strickland, and maybe then that won't happen either. 

Cannonier looked good I thought. I didn't have him in any danger of losing the decision. It wasn't a blow away performance, but Kelvin Gastelum isn't exactly someone that you just blow away. Despite the L's against his record at the moment, Kelvin is fighting all killer and no filler. The man needs two or three 'tune ups' in a row (not that the UFC do these, but he could definitely do with some unranked opponents). He's too young to be counted out yet, but he needs the opportunity to rebuild some confidence and put a run together because he's capable of that. 

As much as we all like Clay Guida, I'm glad Madsen got the win with the utter hell of a year and a half he has had. The man needs any kind of break he can get. I don't want to see him fight Gillespie though, I'd prefer to not have to cheer against one of them. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Dai said:

Is this the first time in UKFF history where a UFC event has had zero response in the first couple of days after the event? Usually at least one person has said something by now. Can sort of see why, most of the fights were just...there. 

It’s usually me, I’m the one person 😂 but we went out Sunday for a joint thing for our wedding anniversary and my wife’s 30th. Never got around to watching this until now.

Like you say, decent main card, nothing spectacular. Thought Cannonier had a pretty strong showing in the main event. Definitely agree with Al that Gastelum could do with scaling back a bit. Over his last bunch of fights he’s taken a bit of a step back once, and beat Ian Heinisch. Then they threw him right back in with the wolves. To be fair, maybe they were going to give him a few Heinisch types to at least give him a chance to get himself back on track but then Paulo Costa pulled out twice against Whittaker and Cannonier and Gastelum jumped in. I get why he does it, a win over either of those two would’ve catapulted him right back in the mix and with how amazing the first fight with Adesanya was, the UFC would probably jump all over the chance to book the rematch. But it’s just not happening for him. He’s in no man’s land really as well because he’s been unable to beat the top Middleweights, I doubt he can make Welterweight anymore, but he’d be severely undersized at Light Heavyweight. He’s not even 30 yet but I honestly don’t know what the next move is. As good as he is, I think he’s kind of reached his level. Cannonier’s up there and shouldn’t be too far off title contention but he’s only one fight removed from the loss to Whittaker so he’ll be behind Brunson in the queue I’d imagine. Whittaker’s got to get the next shot, Brunson should be right behind him, then there’s Cannonier and Hermansson. And I’m sorry to say Al, Strickland might be in with a shout if he batters Rockhold. Not saying he should be but it’s a route I could see them going depending on what happens in between.

Pantoja vs Royval was my FOTN. Thought it was a belting fight. Royval’s one of those fighters who cuts such a ridiculous pace that almost any fight you put him in is gonna be complete mayhem. Somewhere around the end of round one I was starting to think Pantoja might be starting to feel the pace but he’s too much of a pro, knew what to do and got Royval down and tapping to the choke early in the second. Cracking fight. 

2 hours ago, WeeAl said:

Pantoja had a good win over Royval. Leaves him in a nice position. However if Figgy is ready or else Garbrandt if he happens to win his flyweight debut, then either one of them will probably be next for Moreno. 

Pantoja deserves it, especially as he already holds two wins over Moreno. Askar Askarov is another one who I really wanna see challenge Moreno, and I think he’d have had a good chance of getting the next shot if his fight with Alex Perez had gone ahead the other week. He’s undefeated and him and Moreno went to a draw in a bit of a war a couple of years back. He also has a win over Pantoja. As much as I love Figgy, I think it’s way too soon to do Moreno vs Figgy 3. Especially with how decisively Moreno beat him in June. And Garbrandt can fuck right off. He hasn’t even made weight at Flyweight yet, much less won a fight. Fuck the dog mutilating wrong’un. Although, it wouldn’t shock me if you’re right. A lot of people seem to have a hard on for Garbrandt and see him as a ‘draw’ for some reason, so I could see them trying to fast track him. He’s fighting Kai Kara France in December though and I’m honestly not sure he gets past him. Wouldn’t surprise me if they go with the Figgy rubber match but I’d much rather see Pantoja or Askarov get the shot.

Agreed on Madsen as well. That bloke’s been through a rough as fuck couple of years. I didn’t realise how bad it’d been. Good to see him back with a win. You could see how much of a relief it was for him. Also, I’ll always have a soft spot for Clay Guida for those crazy fights he gave us years ago, but he’s Team Alpha Male now and bollocks to that lot.

It was one of those shows though where the prelims were better than the main card.

Ignacio Bahamondes stole the whole show for me with his spinning kick KO against Roosevelt Roberts on Fight Pass…

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Shades of Barboza vs Etim that, which I’ve always rated as one of the very best knockouts in UFC history. I really enjoyed Bahamondes’ debut against John Makdessi a few months ago as well, proper under the radar war, now he pulls this off. He’s quickly becoming ‘must see’ on the prelims. A knockout like this should hopefully see him on the main card next time. 

Speaking of knockouts, Josiane Nunes absolutely clobbered the tits off Bea Malecki;

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Nunes is gonna be fun to watch. Her striking isn’t pretty but she certainly commits when she starts throwing those hands. Malecki being so much taller and longer really should’ve been more effective at controlling the distance but Nunes wasn’t having it and just bulldogged her way in and battered her. 

I thought the Lingo vs Saldana fight was good as well. That’s a couple of fights of Lingo’s in a row I’ve really enjoyed now. William Knight got the big first round KO in his fight. And Brian Kelleher picked up a win which wasn’t the most exciting to watch but a clear win and got to call out Sean O’Malley again after. I wouldn’t mind seeing that next.

It won’t be coming up in any ‘show of the year’ discussions but it was an alright show with a couple of bright spots and a legitimate front runner for ‘knockout of the year’ thrown in. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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