Paid Members wandshogun09 Posted July 21, 2021 Paid Members Share Posted July 21, 2021 (edited) Another week, another Fight Night in Vegas. ESPN MAIN CARDJared 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 PRELIMSLuis 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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Edited August 21, 2021 by wandshogun09 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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