Paid Members wandshogun09 Posted September 29, 2021 Paid Members Share Posted September 29, 2021 (edited) Nearly forgot this was this weekend. Just a couple of days away. Once again in Vegas and it’s a battle of Brazilian babyfaces. ESPN+ MAIN CARDThiago Santos vs Johnny Walker Kevin Holland vs Kyle Daukaus Niko Price vs Alex Oliveira Misha Cirkunov vs Krzysztof Jotko Alexander Hernandez vs Mike Breeden ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMSJoe Solecki vs Jared Gordon Antonina Shevchenko vs Casey O’Neill Karol Rosa vs Bethe Correia Jamie Mullarkey vs Devonte Smith Douglas Silva De Andrade vs Gaetano Pirrello Shanna Young vs Stephanie Egger Alejandro Perez vs Johnny Eduardo A card of two halves. I think the main card looks alright. The top 3 fights will do nicely. The prelims look very skippable for the most part though. Couple of exceptions. Thiago Santos vs Johnny Walker headlines. Two fan favourites who go for the kill. Should be good. They’ve definitely both had their ups and downs but they’re consistently entertaining to watch. I don’t recall ever being bored watching either. Two of the more likeable personalities in the Light Heavyweight division as well. Santos has always came across as a good egg and Walker, weird as he is, has a happiness and energy about him that makes him difficult not to like. Santos could really do with a win right about now. I mean, you never want to lose, obviously. But he’s coming into this one off the back of three consecutive losses now. In fairness, those losses were all at a high level and one was a split decision defeat to Jon Jones where he gave Jones one of his toughest nights. So it’s not like he’s losing to scrubs. But the fact he’s in another main event while 0-3 in his last 3 is a testament to how exciting he is to watch. At some point though, he’s got to get back in that win column. He’s 37 years old now so time is of the essence if he’s planning on making another run at the gold. He does hold a knockout victory over the current champ Jan Blachowicz as well and he’s still dangerous, as Glover Teixeira found out early in their fight last November. But he’s gone winless since returning from double knee surgery last year. This mad bastard was the flavour of the month for a little bit. He burst into the UFC back in late 2018 and put away Khalil Rountree, Justin Ledet and Misha Cirkunov in short order. The longest fight of the 3 only went 1:57. The other 2 came inside the first minute. He wasn’t pissing about. The most damage he suffered in his first 3 UFC outings was self inflicted when he dislocated his own shoulder during his post-fight celebration. There was real excitement around him but the party got well and truly pooped when Corey Anderson walloped him on the MSG card in 2019. Prick. He lost another one to Nikita Krylov after that but has since rallied back with a knockout win over Ryan Spann in a wild one rounder. The losses once again brought out the fickle side of MMA fans though. All of a sudden he went from ‘entertaining prospect’ to ‘bum’. All this week I’ve seen tweets along the lines of ‘remember when everyone thought Johnny Walker was gonna beat Jon Jones?’ But it’s pish. I don’t remember many, if anyone, predicting that. It was just refreshing to have some new blood come along at 205, which was badly needed at the time. And also a guy who’d be a fresh challenger for Jones down the line and had a reckless style that would likely make it fun to watch however long it lasted. Haven’t got a clue how this one goes, to be honest. It’s very much a ‘whoever lands clean first’ kind of matchup for me. Both have fight ending power and they’re not shy about letting the strikes fly. Walker’s got a bit more of an unpredictability about him but Santos is more well rounded overall and could probably dominate this one on the ground if need be. However it plays out it should be lively. Hate to see either lose but if I had to choose I think I’d rather see Santos get the W here. He needs it more at this stage, I think it’s more of a ‘must win’ for him. He deserves better than going 0-4. Plus, I read recently that him and Yana Kunitskaya are expecting a baby so it’d be nice to see him come out on top here and get the winner’s cheque etc. This would’ve been the perfect main event for a Fight Night in Brazil actually. Oh well. Kevin Holland vs Kyle Daukaus could well steal the show. I think a lot of people have kind of forgotten how good Kevin Holland looked before the hype train hit a brick wall. He was in the conversation for ‘Fighter Of The Year’ in 2020 after fighting 5 times and going 5-0 with 4 knockouts. The cherry on top being his first round finish of Jacare Souza. He was on fire coming into 2021 but it’s all gone to shit. He took on Derek Brunson in March and got completely shut down, schooled and outwrestled over 5 rounds. He then jumped in on short notice a month later and suffered almost the exact same fate against Marvin Vettori. Just 10 rounds of utter frustration for him. He’d lost a few fights earlier in his career through grappling but these two fights in particular, back-to-back, really exposed a major weakness in his game. This is gonna be interesting because Daukaus on paper is a step down from Brunson and Vettori, but he’s still a strong grappler. He’s more of a BJJ guy than a wrestler but he still has that style that’s been Holland kryptonite in the past. My main memory of Daukaus is his corker with Brendan Allen last summer, which is a fight I’d highly recommend if you never saw it. This is another step up to that next level for him. Looking forward to it. Hopefully Holland comes to scrap not just talk crap in there the whole fight. That’s all fun and games when you’re winning, not so much when the losses start accumulating. I think this’ll be a good one though. Niko Price vs Alex Oliveira is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. Love this pairing. To be honest, there aren’t many fighters you could match Niko Price with and it result in a dud. He’s got his flaws and he’ll never make a splash in the title mix but who cares? He’s one of those fighters who you’ll see listed on a card and you just know you can count on at least one fight delivering. Reminds me of early Robbie Lawler in a way. Just one speed, one direction and one objective - to take the other guy’s head off. He’s coming off a points loss to Michel Pereira in July, in a stupidly fun fight. He hasn’t won a fight in 2 years but hopefully they keep him around a while longer because he always brings it. Oliveira is a bit of a wildman himself. He’s had some great fights as well over the years. The standout being the one with Yancy Medeiros. He’s been very inconsistent recently but he’s a crafty sod and has notched wins over the likes of Carlos Condit, Tim Means, Will Brooks and KJ Noons over the years. Fully on Team Price here. Ideally he wins this in style and we get him against Lawler or something next. Misha Cirkunov vs Krzysztof Jotko. Not doing much for me really. Not an awful fight or anything, just not grabbing me. Cirkunov is a bit of a tank. If you need a jar opening, Cirkunov’s your man. You look at him and expect some devastating puncher, and I’m sure it’s no fun to take a smack off him, but his best wins in the UFC have actually come by submission. Ion Cutelaba and Nikita Krylov got choked and he even pulled off a Peruvian necktie on Jim Crute. He’s pretty much found his ceiling at 205 though. Any time he’s stepped up to that next tier, he’s come unstuck. He’s dropping to 185 for this so it’ll be interesting to see how that effects him given his usual bulk. Jotko’s no world beater but he could be a tricky test for Cirkunov making his Middleweight debut. I’ve never found him that enjoyable to watch though so I’m hoping Cirkunov busts out another sub here. Alexander Hernandez vs Mike Breeden opens up the main card. I don’t know who this Breeden chap is but I’m rooting for him. Never warmed to Hernandez at all. Seems a right knob. Decent fighter but not elite. He’s one of those guys who will win one fight and let it go to their head and start talking silly. Like a less likeable Kevin Lee. He does have a KO win over Beneil Dariush in 2018 that I have zero memory of though. He was supposed to fight Leonardo Santos here originally but Santos pulled out and here we are. Sherdog has Breeden listed as 10-3 with 8 knockouts. That’s about all I can find on him. Joe Solecki vs Jared Gordon. Not that fussed but it might be decent. Solecki could be worth keeping an eye on actually. He’s 28 years old, a BJJ black-belt with a record of 11-2 with 8 finishes. He’s on a 6 fight winning streak and has already beat Jim Miller and Matt Wiman in the UFC. OK, neither of those two are at their best anymore, especially Wiman, but they’re still crafty veterans and Miller is still usually dangerous on the mat. Solecki beat both handily. Gordon is 17-4, coming off a couple of wins and is a BJJ brown-belt under John Danaher. Like I say, not the worst pairing. Could be better than I’ve given it credit for, to be fair, especially if they grapple more. Antonina Shevchenko vs Casey O’Neill is a fight I’m quite into actually. Obviously Shevchenko is nowhere near the level of her little sister Valentina. It almost feels unfair to compare them but it’s natural with siblings in the same sport. And even more when they’re in the same division and have common opponents. She’s no slouch herself in combat sports though. She went 39-1 in Kickboxing and won a bunch of world titles. In MMA she’s gone 9-3 and, while she’s looked good in some fights, she’s been outworked in others, especially on the ground. O’Neill is where the intrigue lies here for me. She turns 24 years old just days after this fight, she’s undefeated so far at 7-0 and she’s won her first two UFC fights inside the distance. She’s looked promising but this should be a tougher test than anyone she’s faced previously. Just on the strength of Shevchenko’s experience alone, how many fights she’s had between Kickboxing and MMA etc. She’d be wise to make this a ground fight. Karol Rosa vs Bethe Correia. Ugh. Nothing happening fight. I could swear Correia retired already but here she is. Apparently she announced last year that her next fight would be her last but then her fights have been getting cancelled ever since so it’s been delayed. Don’t know if this is still her swansong but it probably should be. I don’t wish anyone out of a job but I genuinely don’t get how she’s kept her spot on the roster all this time. She’s been fucking woeful ever since Ronda Rousey bashed her up in 2015. She’s gone a dismal 2-4-1 since and none of it was enjoyable to watch. Not a bit of it. Rosa’s a lot younger at 26 years old, 14-3 and on a 5 fight winning streak. Don’t know about her. Don’t recall actually seeing her fight and she hasn’t beat anyone of note yet. But let’s be honest, if she’s any good at all she really should be beating a 38 year old retiring Correia. Jamie Mullarkey vs Devonte Smith. This could actually be the sleeper on this card for me. I’m not basing it off very much but the little I’ve seen of both I loved. Mullarkey is one of my ‘must watch’ undercarders ever since he had that crazy FOTN war with Brad Riddell in both their UFC debuts. His quick knockout over Khama Worthy in March was cool as well. Doesn’t look like much but he can definitely scrap. Smith was looking like a hot prospect when he debuted coming off DWCS in 2018. In his UFC debut he sparked Julian Erosa in 46 seconds and followed up with another first round stoppage over Dong Hyun Ma after that. A TKO loss to Khama Worthy ballsed things up and he was inactive for about 18 months following that loss so the momentum he had coming off his first couple of UFC wins was all gone when he returned in Feb this year. He did get back to winning ways though at least, putting Justin Jaynes away. Just from my memory of both, I think this could be fireworks. Douglas Silva De Andrade vs Gaetano Pirrello. Might be worth a gander. De Andrade is no contender but he’s also no pushover. He’s mixed with some of the best and had his moments. Bit of a Gleison Tibau or Francisco Trinaldo vibe to him. The tough gatekeeper. He’s beat Marlon Vera and a shot Renan Barao along the way but lost to the likes of Petr Yan and Rob Font. He also lost on points in his last fight against Lerone Murphy in January. At 36 years old in a lighter weight class, the writing is on the wall at this point but he’s got the skills to give a lot of guys issues on a good night. Pirrello’s fought once in the UFC, dropping a decision against Ricky Simon. Can’t recall seeing it but he’s 15-6-1 overall. If he can win this fight it puts him in some good company. Shanna Young vs Stephanie Egger. Yeah. Pure filler for the curtain jerk section of the card. These two are going nowhere. Young AKA ‘The Shanimal’ is 7-3. Previously fought in Invicta, DWCS and KOTC. Made her UFC debut in early 2020, lost a decision to Macy Chiasson and hasn’t been seen since. Stephanie ‘Ham &’ Egger is 5-2 and lost her debut to Tracy Cortez about a year ago. Unless these two are way better than they showed and were just suffering from the old ‘Octagon jitters’ in their respective debuts, this’ll probably be instant skip material. Alejandro Perez vs Johnny Eduardo. Dunno. It’s two names I know have been on the roster for a while but couldn’t really tell you anything about either from memory. Looking them up, Perez is 21-8-1 and coming off a KO loss to Song Yadong. But that was 2019 and he hasn’t fought since. No wonder I don’t remember him. He does have wins over Eddie Wineland, Scott Jorgensen and Iuri Alcantara though. Not too shabby at all that. Eduardo has been out even longer. He was last seen in 2018, getting choked by Nathaniel Wood. He’s 43 now and, like Perez, has some solid wins on his record. He’s also beat Wineland as well as Manny Gamburyan. He’s lost to most of the top talent he’s faced though, and he faced some killers. From Takanori Gomi to Raphael Assuncao right up to Aljamain Sterling. Odd fight this. It’ll do. Edited October 4, 2021 by wandshogun09 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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