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UFC Vegas: Costa vs Vettori - Oct 23 🇺🇸


wandshogun09
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Just over a week away.

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ESPN+ MAIN CARD
Paulo Costa vs Marvin Vettori 

Grant Dawson vs Rick Glenn 

Jessica Rose Clark vs Joselyne Edwards 

Alex Caceres vs Seung Woo Choi 

Dwight Grant vs Francisco Trinaldo 

Nicolae Negumereanu vs Ike Villanueva 

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS 
Jun Yong Park vs Gregory Rodrigues

Mason Jones vs David Onama

Tabatha Ricci vs Maria Oliveira 

Laureano Staropoli vs Jamie Pickett 

Khama Worthy vs Jai Herbert 

Jeff Molina vs Daniel Da Silva 

Livia Renata Souza vs Randa Markos 

Jonathan Martinez vs Zviad Lazishvili

 

Not an amazing card or anything but I like it a lot better than the Fight Nights we’ve had so far in October. Stronger main event and a couple of little gems on the undercard.

 

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Paulo Costa vs Marvin Vettori tops this card then. A battle of nutters. It’s a shame they haven’t been able to do those big press conferences lately, with all the fighters in the upcoming main events, because these two interacting and talking shit to each other could’ve provided us with some unintentional comedy gold. They’re both coming off losses to the champ Israel Adesanya, so this is the logical fight to make, I suppose. It should be a fun one anyway. Costa’s loss to Adesanya was last September, so he’ll have been out 13 months by the time this goes down. Not ideal. He was supposed to fight Robert Whittaker in April but pulled out. Can’t remember the reason why now but there were rumours it was because he was having a hair transplant and needed time to heal. I’m not joking.

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“I made a transplant hair, you know. We removed some part of hair here, back, and put some hair where you need to grow. Three days and I was back on the walk. But I hope when I fight Marvin Vettori, my hair will be better, you know, beautiful”. - Paulo Costa

Makes sense. Despite his weirdness, he’s a very dangerous fighter. The Adesanya defeat was his first. He’d gone 13-0 before that with 12 finishes and wins over Yoel Romero, Uriah Hall and Johny Hendricks in the UFC. Romero is the only opponent who took him the distance. He’s predicting a return to form here as well.

“It will be a wild fight. You understand? Savage. Everybody will see the old savage Paulo Costa. Going forward, so aggressive and sober”. - Paulo Costa 

Sober? 😂

Vettori has been much more active recently. He’s fought 3 times since we last saw Costa, and scored pretty big and dominant wins in main events over Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland. He lost to Adesanya in June and this is his attempt to rebound. He’s in a weird spot now though because even if he can beat Costa, he’s already 0-2 down to Izzy. So he’s got to be rooting for Whittaker to beat Adesanya in their rematch in early 2022. It’s the only way he’s getting a sniff of a title shot anytime soon. If Costa wins though, I think he’s immediately back in the conversation. He’s got a fan friendly style and him against Adesanya is always gonna be a fun pairing, in the cage and in the media. Not sure how I see this going. You’d think if Vettori can drag Costa into the later rounds his chances are good but Costa has the type of power where he can drop anyone and it’s quite a storm to have to weather. Looking forward to it either way. I just hope it actually happens. Costa’s got a history of pulling out of fights and Vettori’s had a few opponents drop out on him in the past. Hopefully this one doesn’t follow suit because it should be highly entertaining if it goes ahead.

 

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Grant Dawson vs Rick Glenn - co-main event. OK then. I don’t hate the fight at all though, it’s actually pretty good and I could see it potentially stealing the show. Dawson’s 17-1 and on a nice 8 fight streak now. He’s really flown under the radar but you look at that streak and he’s beat Julian Erosa, subbed TUF winner Mike Trizano, subbed submission artist Darrick Minner and knocked out Leonardo Santos in his last fight in March. His slow progress is probably mostly down to his attempt to go down to 145 where he struggled with the weight cut. The Santos fight was his first back up at 155 and it was probably his best win to date. Glenn’s been a bit up and down. He’s got wins over Dennis Bermudez, Gavin Tucker and Phillipe Nover, all of which had some high expectations at one time or another. But they’ve always been mixed in with losses so he’s never made any kind of headway. His 37 second knockout of Joaquim Silva in June was a real highlight though and it’s bagged him this fight. Have to favour Dawson, on skills and consistency. But Glenn is a tough little sod.

 

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Jessica Rose Clark vs Joselyne Edwards. Might be decent, although I’m not sure why it’s so high up the card. Aussie Clark is 10-6-0-1 with notable wins over Paige VanZant, Bec Rawlings and Carina Damm. Some OK names there but they weren’t hugely convincing performances. She beat Sarah Alpar in her last fight and I seem to remember it being a much more dominant showing and she did get the finish. But I don’t exactly rate Alpar so I’m not sure who that win said more about. I like Clark but I’ve never been convinced she’s that good. Can’t remember much of Edwards but from the vague, fuzzy memories I do have she seemed alright. She’s 26 years old from Roberto Duran’s neck of the woods in Panama, 10-3 with 8 finishes, trains at Kings MMA. She beat Wu Yanan in her UFC debut and I recall her looking decent in that one but she dropped a decision to Karol Rosa next time out.

 

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Alex Caceres vs Seung Woo Choi. Just filler really and, again, looks a bit weird being billed so high up on the card but it’ll probably be entertaining so whatever. Caceres has been on the roster since 2011 now. A fucking decade long run! Crazy when you think about it, especially considering he had a near 50/50 record not too long ago. He’s had some really fun fights on the undercards over the years though and he’s probably not putting much of a dent in the UFC’s budget so if you’re Dana and the higher ups, why not keep him around? And in fairness, he’s coming into this fight off a nice little 4 fight win streak. He’s also got a submission win over Sergio Pettis, which is mostly forgotten now, and went to a split decision with Yair Rodriguez in a 5 rounder in 2016. He’s had his moments. Choi should probably be winning at this stage though. He’s 5 years younger, 10-3 and coming off a vicious first round stoppage over Julian Erosa back in June.

 

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Dwight Grant vs Francisco Trinaldo is a bit of a weird one for me. Grant’s been in the UFC for a few years now but hasn’t been that active. He scored a crazy KO against Carlo Pedersoli back in 2019;

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…and beat Alan Jouban after that, so he was well on my radar then. But then he disappeared for a year and resurfaced only to get stopped by Daniel Rodriguez. Don’t really know what to make of him. And Trinaldo is no joke. He’s basically what Gleison Tibau used to be. The badass gatekeeper of the lighter weight classes. Although he’s up at 170 these days. I don’t think many realise the resume Trinaldo has. He’s beat the likes of Paul Felder, Jim Miller, Bobby Green, Ross Pearson among others over the years. Yeah he’s lost a bunch as well but he’s a tough cookie and if you’re having an off night, he can find you out quick. He’s 43 now, it’s coming to an end. But he’s been one of the unsung undercard hardcases for years now.

 

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Nicolae Negumereanu vs Ike Villanueva. This has the makings of a real banger actually. Romanian Negumereanu is 27 years old, 10-1 with 9 finishes. ‘Hurricane’ Ike is 37 with a cack 18-12 record but he’s only been the distance 4 times in those 30 fights. Generally, he either stops you or you stop him. At 37 with that kind of record, he’s never gonna become a contender. But there’s always room for a mad slugger, and they’re especially welcome on these Fight Night cards. Negumereanu has a loss to Saparbek Safarov who’s a bit of a useless slug so, unless he just had a really, really, really off night, I can’t see him amounting to much either. But it’s got the ingredients of a fiery scrap.

 

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Jun Yong Park vs Gregory Rodrigues. OK fight. Haven’t been blown away by Park so far but he’s doing alright. 13-4 and has beat Tafon Nchukwi, John Phillips and Marc-Andre Barriault in his last 3 outings. Rodrigues is the pull here for me though. Baddest Barack Obama lookalike on the planet. He must’ve been getting the comparison a lot because he even addressed it on Twitter himself.

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Yes Gregory. Yes we do. It’s uncanny though, isn’t it? Anyway, he can scrap a bit. He’s 10-2 with 8 finishes and got the decision over Dusko Todorovic in a bit of a bombfest in his UFC debut a few months back. I liked what I saw in that one. Should be plenty of slobberknockers for him in the Middleweight division.

 

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Mason Jones vs David Onama then. Originally supposed to be Jones vs Alan Patrick in a rematch but that went tits up so here we are. To be honest, as much as I’d have liked to have seen Jones clear up the unfinished business with Patrick, I’m not that arsed it’s not happening. Jones was giving him a proper pasting in the first fight before the unfortunate eye poke ending and it was pretty apparent who the better fighter was. It’d still be nice to see them rematch at some point, just for Jones to kind of erase that asterisk next to the first fight, but it’s not a must or anything. This sounds like fun though. I’ve never seen Onama fight but from the little bits and pieces I’ve caught since this fight was announced, he looks like he brings the violence. He’s 27 years old, Ugandan, or “Ugandese” as some might say, and has a record of 8-0 with 7 finishes. This might well be a better fight than the Alan Patrick rematch anyway. Fair play to Jones as well. Taking on an undefeated fighter like this on short notice is risky. Especially after the less than ideal start he’s had to his UFC run.

 

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Tabatha Ricci vs Maria Oliveira. Don’t know much about Ricci and nothing about Oliveira so I’m going in blind on this one. I did see Ricci’s UFC debut but it didn’t exactly give us a good read on what she can do because she took it on a few days notice and got fed to Manon Fiorot who just bullied and stopped her. Ricci was 5-0 prior to that though. Maybe she’s better than she showed or maybe she just got exposed by the first legit opponent she came up against. Oliveira is making her debut here. 24 years old with a 12-4 record and 8 finishes. Only name I recognise on her record is Marina Rodriguez back in 2018 and Rodriguez put her away in a round.

 

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Laureano Staropoli vs Jamie Pickett. Dunno. At one point Staropoli was looking like he had a bit of promise. He went 9-1 initially and beat Thiago Alves in 2019. Granted, Alves had lost a couple of steps by that point but it was still a strong win for a young guy with less than 10 fights under his belt. He’s lost 3 in a row since though. All against solid opposition but a losing streak is a losing streak. He’s only 28, there’s still time, but I’m not sure he’s got enough about his game to really make waves on a consistent basis. Pickett’s 11-6 and has beat nobody of note really. Not even sure I’ve seen him fight but he’s also coming off a couple of losses so the loser of this one could find themselves on the chopping block.

 

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Khama Worthy vs Jai Herbert might well wind up being a ‘loser leaves town’ match. Worthy got off to a flying start in the UFC with finishes over Devonte Smith and Luis Pena but it’s all gone to shite since and he’s been sparked inside a round in both of his last two fights. And Herbert came in with high hopes, a former Cage Warriors champ who was on a winning streak, and he’s gone 0-2 in the UFC so far. Got TKO’d by Francisco Trinaldo in his debut, then got subbed by Renato Moicano. Style-wise, I like this pairing a lot actually. They both like to strike, both have fight ending power but both also have that bit of vulnerability as well which adds to the unpredictably of it. There’s always a chance they come in mindful that they might be fighting for their job and fight more cautiously but I can see it just becoming a firefight once one of them gets tagged. Either that or it’s over right there.

 

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Jeff Molina vs Daniel Da Silva is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** and I’ve never even heard of Da Silva. It’s all about Molina for me. And all on the strength of one awesome fight. That being his UFC debut back in April. He took on fellow Octagon newcomer Aori Qileng on the prelims of a stacked UFC 261 card and they tore the house down. I’m not sure how many people actually saw it because it was tucked away on Fight Pass, but fuck me. If you didn’t see it, get it seen. Yesterday.

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On a card featuring names such as Usman, Masvidal, Namajunas, Zhang and Shevchenko, these two little bastards got FOTN and for me, it’s well in the conversation for FOTY. Considering I’d never seen either of them fight going in, it was a hell of a first impression. I think I remember @Zebra Kid Mark hyping Molina a bit from his appearance on DWCS before this, and that was the main reason I even bothered checking his fight. I was glad I did. He’s 9-2 now, on a 8 fight streak and still only 24 years old. Not sure how far he can rise but just off that debut, I can tell he’s gonna be great to follow. Da Silva is 25, from Rio de Janeiro and has a record of 11-1, all finishes. His only loss came via shoulder injury apparently. Trains with Alex Oliveira. Just from the little info on him, he sounds like another perfect opponent for some fireworks with Molina.

 

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Livia Renata Souza vs Randa Markos. Nothing special but not a bad fight. Souza is a former Invicta champion with a 14-3 record, BJJ black-belt etc. Not a bad record overall but she’s lost against most of the names UFC fans would be familiar with and she comes into this one off a first round TKO loss to Amanda Lemos in March. As for Randa, I’ve always been a fan and not just because I find her easy on the eye. She made a fan of me on TUF years ago when she beat and momentarily humbled Felice Herrig. Her UFC run has been arse though, there’s no getting around it. She’s gone an abysmal 6-10-1 since signing with the UFC. 6-10-1! She had some decent wins sprinkled in there but she was on a win one/lose one run for the longest time before the wins just stopped altogether. She’s lost 4 on the bounce now, although the last one against Luana Pinheiro was by DQ due to an illegal upkick that many felt Pinheiro milked. I can’t even remember properly now but the weird way it ended is probably the only reason Randa’s getting another shot here. It’s last legs stuff this. You have to think another loss sees her out the door. At this point she’s just a better looking Sam Alvey.

 

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Jonathan Martinez vs Zviad Lazishvili. Was meant to be Martinez vs Aaron Phillips but Phillips is out. I like this better actually. Martinez usually always brings it and is coming off a barnburner with Davey Grant. It was a losing effort but a hell of a scrap. And if Lazishvili’s name rings a bell it’s because he was briefly linked to a fight with Jack Shore last month but got injured. He sounded like a solid opponent so I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s about here. He’s from Georgia, unbeaten at 12-0 and was the LFA Bantamweight champion. Could be good this.

 

And that’s that. I’ll be watching it aggressively but probably not sober. 

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Edited by wandshogun09
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I'm glad you like Molina and see the upside in him. The kid can scrap.

Very solid main event here with a weak undercard. I'm starting to feel a bit like a broken record now complaining about the Fight night shows. They weren't this weak 3 months ago I am sure. Every apex show used to have at least 4 or 5 must see fights on there. They have really dropped off a cliff now. The sooner they leave the apex and start touring smaller cities the better. Dana has given no indication that will happen anytime soon, they are definitely in the Apex for the rest of 2021, whether that changes in 2022 we do not know yet.

Bruce Leroy being on the main card says it all, he has been prelim fodder his entire career.

I can't say I remember watching any of the two guys in the co-main. They both have decent records though.

Costa vs Vettori will be wild, but Costa has pulled out of way too many fights for me to get excited just yet. 

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9 hours ago, Zebra Kid Mark said:

Bruce Leroy being on the main card says it all, he has been prelim fodder his entire career.

He's put together four wins on the bounce, maybe he deserves the main card slot? He looked very good against the much-vaunted Chase Hooper during that run, giving the lad a lesson in MMA striking if I recall correctly.

You're right, his record has been patchy for most of his UFC run, but since early 2019 he's been on a roll and surely deserves to move up the rankings and the card to reflect that? A win here and he must be in line for a top 15 opponent next?

Edited by David
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Yeah, he’s had better individual wins in the past but Caceres is on probably the best little run of his career at the moment.

This card really, really couldn’t afford to lose that Mason Jones fight. Just read that the Jonathan Martinez vs Aaron Phillips fight is off as well. Not a huge loss but, again, Martinez is a guy who brings it and could’ve provided one of the card’s highlights. Saw a tweet from Jones last night saying he’s still trying to stay on the card so hopefully they find him a new opponent quickly but on this kind of notice it’ll probably be an unknown making their debut. 

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Until Costa steps in the cage, I'm anticipating a pullout any day now. However, should he make it all the way to Saturday night, I think he KO's Vettori. Should be a fun one though. 

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Another decent enough Fight Night card for me. There's five fights on this card I'll be watching. The main event, and the Caceres, Trinaldo, Villanueva, and Molina bouts. Zero interest in the others, but I'll give them the customary 90 seconds of round one viewing to decide if it's worth watching further before forwarding them.

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