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UFC 269: Oliveira vs Poirier - Dec 11 🇺🇸


wandshogun09
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Last PPV of the year and it’s another beast of a card.

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PPV MAIN CARD 
Charles Oliveira vs Dustin Poirier - Lightweight Title

Amanda Nunes vs Julianna Pena - Bantamweight Title

Geoff Neal vs Santiago Ponzinibbio

Kai Kara France vs Cody Garbrandt 

Raulian Paiva vs Sean O’Malley 

ESPN PRELIMS 
Josh Emmett vs Dan Ige

Pedro Munhoz vs Dominick Cruz 

Augusto Sakai vs Tai Tuivasa

Bruno Silva vs Jordan Wright 

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Andre Muniz vs Eryk Anders

Miranda Maverick vs Erin Blanchfield

Alex Perez vs Matt Schnell

Ryan Hall vs Darrick Minner 

Randy Costa vs Tony Kelley 

Gillian Robertson vs Priscila Cachoeira 

 

After 267 and 268, they've got two seriously hard acts to follow but on paper this actually looks up to the task. Really love this card. Bit of everything on there. Fingers, toes and pubes crossed that it all stays intact. There’s already been a couple of undercard fights drop off over the last few days, hopefully that’ll be it.

 

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Charles Oliveira vs Dustin Poirier tops the bill. The last title fight of 2021 and it should be a fantastic one. There mightn’t have been a more pure babyface vs babyface battle since Bret Hart vs British Bulldog headlined SummerSlam 92 at Wembley. This is THE fight at 155 for me as well. When Khabib retired late last year, Oliveira and Poirier were the two names that were coming up all the time as the most deserving of competing for a vacant title. This was the fight that probably should’ve happened then but Dana wanted to get Conor McGregor back in the mix and that sidetracked Dustin for a bit. We’ve got there in the end though and I can’t wait.

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Charles Oliveira has had such a long and rocky road to get to this point. A great fighter but for years it seemed like he was destined to end his career as just another ‘also ran’ in the stacked Lightweight division. He came into the UFC all the way back in 2010 and had his ups and downs at Featherweight over the next 6 years. He had really slick BJJ but the knock on him at the time was that he didn’t really have the stomach for a really gritty, hard scrap and would fold if things got too rough in there. Despite being a big fan of him, I kind of bought into that thinking myself back then. But in 2017 he moved up to Lightweight and, aside from a loss to Paul Felder that year, he hasn’t lost since. He’s been on fire for nearly 4 years now. Went on a winning streak beating tough veterans like Clay Guida and Jim Miller along the way before finally getting his big break. 2020 was the year he really separated himself from the pack. He headlined against Kevin Lee in Brazil in the March and got the submission. Then he got the big name fight against Tony Ferguson and completely dominated him from start to finish. That was the one thing Oliveira had been missing, that signature win against one of the top established names at 155.

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Meanwhile, Dustin Poirier had come into his own as one of the players in the Lightweight mix. Like Oliveira, he’d had mixed results and some bad losses at 145 but had gone from strength to strength since moving up to 155 after the devastating knockout loss to McGregor in 2014. He’d go on to rack up wins over Carlos Diego Ferreira, Bobby Green, Jim Miller, Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez and Max Holloway before finally receiving a well earned shot at the gold in September 2019. Unfortunately for him, it was against Khabib Nurmagomedov.

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It didn’t go well.

But he gained a lot of fans during the incredible win streak going in, and the wars with Alvarez, Gaethje and Holloway in particular. And even in defeat against Khabib, he went out on his shield and handled himself like a champ the whole time. In 2020, he bounced back with a points win in yet another crazy barnburner against Dan Hooker and then Khabib retired a few months later. Just like that, the ‘Diamond’ was right back in the conversation.

2021 has been a massive year for both. Of course, with Khabib stepping away the Lightweight landscape completely changed and has had to go through a period of transition. After months of Dana badgering Khabib to continue fighting, he finally accepted that he needed to crown a new champ at 155. Like I said, the logical and ideal fight to do that would’ve been Oliveira vs Poirier but Poirier was off to the McGregor circus.

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Knocked him out in January, then beat him up some more and left him one legged in July. He’s spent a big chunk of this year sending McGregor on a physical and mental downward spiral and it’s been beautiful to watch unfold. McGregor’s tried to put a brave face on it, flaunting his money and buying yachts and shit, but he can’t help himself. Whenever he’s been let out into the community, he’s made a proper arse of himself. No sooner was he off the crutches, he was embarrassing himself left and right.

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From the Machine Gun Kelly stuff, to reports of him giving some Italian DJ a slap, to his trusty old ‘snort, tweet, delete’ method of coping with the wretched little cretin he’s become. Can’t take him anywhere. Khabib screwed him up and threw him away, now Poirier’s tying the binliner up and slinging him in the wheelie bin. It’s magnificent.

With Poirier busy taking out the trash, that left the title picture unsettled. Oliveira and Michael Chandler would resolve that in May. After a wild back and forth round and a bit of action that saw Chandler drop Oliveira and nearly put him away, Oliveira rallied back to stop Chandler with a sweet left hook. He’d done it.

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“It was a wonderful moment, unique moment. I’m sure there are things in our life that we will never forget and this is one of them, that I will never forget. To be able to arrive with the belt for my family, for my friends, for those people that I have never even seen in my life and were celebrating as if it were their title. As I said, this title is ours. It belongs to the Brazilian people. To all the people who cheered, cried and vibrated with me. I will never forget that moment. Never.” - Charles Oliveira

It was one of the real feel-good moments of the year for me. And there’s been a few of them. This along with the unexpected title wins by Brandon Moreno and Glover Teixeira have been great to see. Granted, Oliveira and Teixeira have benefitted massively from the timing of when they got their title shots. Had Khabib and Jon Jones still been active in those respective divisions then it’s unlikely either would’ve ever won the gold. But who cares? It’s been quite a year for the Brazilian underdogs and with how likeable those three are, it’s been heartwarming to see.

Over the summer, Poirier was briefly being linked to a fight with Nate Diaz. They’d been booked to fight a couple of years ago and it fell apart so there was some needle there. But I’m glad that talk fizzled out. I get Poirier entertaining the idea of exciting ‘money fights’ at this stage but in terms of the division and ranking-wise it didn’t make any sense. Oliveira vs Poirier, for the title, was the fight to make and thankfully it was made official in October.

“Charles is a great champion and has paid his dues. We’ve both been in the UFC for a long time. I’ve been watching him a long time. He is a very dangerous guy. I think he’s improving more and more in his striking, putting guys down, he’s long especially for that weight class and I think he’s probably the best Jiu-Jitsu practitioner on the UFC roster right now.

For me, being undisputed world champion was the goal from the beginning. If I can tick that box, I’ve done it all in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.” - Dustin Poirier 

He also hinted at possibly retiring soon. It sounds very much like winning the belt would be the last goal he has in MMA and when asked what would be next after that, he said, “We’ll see. I’ll probably just go and sell hot sauce”. I think he’d carry on for a few fights at least. As champion, obviously a lot of doors open and you get figured into the PPV cut and all sorts. That’s your window to make as much coin as possible so I can’t see Poirier winning the strap and immediately retiring. It’d be some way to go out but it’s very unlikely. This is a great fight though. It’s one of those matchups that feels like it should’ve happened years ago. Even when talk first started of them possibly facing off, I was sure they must’ve fought on some Fight Night in Brazil years ago or something. But no. Here they are, after years of taking the hard path through the toughest division in the sport, finally colliding for the first time. And it’s for the gold. Can’t beat it. As always with these babyface matches, it’s a shame one of them has to lose and I’m struggling to even decide who I’d prefer to see win. But purely as a fight, this should be tremendous.

 

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Amanda Nunes vs Julianna Pena. How many more women have to be sacrificed to the ‘Lioness’? This was supposed to go down at UFC 265 in August but Nunes tested positive for COVID. Now it’s back on. Yeah, it’s not the most interesting of title fights but what can you do? They’ve got to keep Nunes active and she’s got to defend the title against someone.

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Scariest woman on the planet. She’s 21-4, she’s won 12 in a row, champion at both Featherweight and Bantamweight simultaneously. And has actually defended both belts unlike most so called ‘champ champs’. Knocked out Cyborg in a round, twatted Ronda Rousey out of the sport, battered Miesha Tate to a bloody pulp and submitted her, beat Valentina Shevchenko twice, was the first to stop Holly Holm with strikes in MMA, beat Germaine De Randamie twice. She’s a serial killer. You know a champ is on another level when she’s ending a title defence with an inverted triangle/armbar like she inflicted on poor Megan Anderson in her last fight. It’s like it’s too easy for her so she’s having to invent new ways to end these squash matches. We’re at the point now where the only challenges left for her are probably outside the UFC. A Cyborg rematch that we’ll never see, and possibly Kayla Harrison and Claressa Shields somewhere down the road if they both keep winning and improving their overall skillsets. But even they’re a stretch. Shields especially has just started her MMA journey and has already picked up a loss. Harrison is probably more realistic, she’s just become a free agent, she’s done everything there is to do in the PFL. And she was in attendance at UFC 268 the other night. But we’ll see. It’s just as likely that Bellator snap her up for a Cyborg fight. In the UFC, we’re struggling now to find anyone interesting for Nunes. There’s a third go around with Shevchenko maybe but aside from that? Yeah, not much left. Someone forgot to tell this wally though…

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“Amanda Nunes, I wanna fight you. She’s fighting a girl who’s only had 3 wins. Nobody’s had a tougher road in the UFC than me. I wanna fight Amanda. It’s time for her to quit ducking. That’s my fight!” - Julianna Pena 

🤣

That was her post-fight callout after her last win in January. “Quit ducking”. Deary me. Even Jon Anik looks like he’s stifling bursting out laughing there.

OK yeah, I get what she was doing. Trying to secure the title shot. But I cringed so hard listening to it. Pena had lost her previous fight then beat a 40 year old Sara McMann and was going on like this? I’m sure Nunes, the woman who stood and traded bombs with fucking Cyborg and came out on top, was trembling with fear watching Pena. Nunes and Nina Ansaroff were straight on Twitter after that little promo…

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Regardless, it did the trick for Pena. Although, I think she’d have got the shot anyway because who else is there right now? She got what she wanted but the phrase ‘be careful what you wish for’ springs to mind. I think Pena’s getting royally fucked up here. I know it’s the easy pick to go with Nunes against anyone at the moment but I honestly can’t see where Pena troubles her at all. She’s not a bad fighter but she’s always been the same. Gets one win and lets it go to her head. She’s the female Kevin Lee. I remember people saying she was the one to beat Ronda Rousey during her reign on top, I remember people predicting she’d beat Shevchenko when they fought a few years back as well. And no doubt there’ll be some predicting the upset here just so they can act the genius on the tiny, minuscule chance it actually happens. I’ve never really seen it with her though. Even in the grappling, which is supposedly her bread and butter, people talk her up like she’s Demian Maia at times but she’s only one fight removed from getting subbed by De Randamie, who’s a Dutch Kickboxer with an iffy ground game. She’s got fuck all for Nunes, in my opinion. If she somehow pulls this off, it’ll be a bigger upset for me than Serra knocking out GSP. I hope Nunes wrecks her as well. I find Pena annoying anyway but she was insinuating that Nunes was faking having COVID to get out of fighting her when the August fight got scrapped. She’s due a kicking for that.

 

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Geoff Neal vs Santiago Ponzinibbio is another fight that sounds like bell-to-bell fireworks. Neal was starting to turn some heads a while back as one of the better up and comers at 170. He beat Belal Muhammad and stopped Niko Price and Mike Perry in impressive fashion and was looking like a right handful. It’s cooled off since and he’s lost two on the trot but they were decision losses against Wonderboy and Neil Magny who are two of the more awkward and hard to look good against guys in the division. This fight won’t be easy but it’s more straight forward and up his alley. You know what you’re getting from Ponzinibbio and it’s similar to what Neal will be looking to do. Ponz was on a tear a few years back and was right on the cusp of getting in the title mix. He’d put together a win streak and had just knocked out Neil Magny on home soil in Argentina.

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It should’ve been the star-making performance that catapulted him into title contention but he never fought for over 2 years afterwards. He was in a bad way with staph infection for a long time and when he finally returned early this year, he got waffled by Li Jingliang inside a round. A disastrous comeback but he clawed it back in June with a win over the previously undefeated Miguel Baeza in an awesome FOTN corker. This should be a banger. I don’t wanna jinx it but this really has no business going to a decision. I’ll be surprised if the judges are required for this one.

 

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Kai Kara France vs Cody Garbrandt. This should be an action packed fight and it’s the Flyweight debut for Garbrandt so it’ll be interesting to see how he looks, on the scales and on fight night. Needless to say, I’ll be fully hoping for a KKF win here. Preferably by knockout. Fuck Garbrandt and his fetish for mutilating puppies ears. I think Kai has a very good shot of derailing Cody’s fresh start at 125lbs before it ever gets going as well. He’s a really good fighter, tough and has a style where I could see him dragging Cody into a slobberknocker, and that always raises the chance of Cody’s jaw getting spun because he loses all composure and goes full meathead mode. And depending how the weight cut goes, he might be even more susceptible to getting ironed out here. When Garbrandt first announced he was planning to drop to Flyweight there was a fair bit of talk of him leapfrogging the other contenders and getting a title shot. Despite having never even made 125 before, let alone beating anyone. It’s forgotten now but he was even briefly scheduled to challenge Figgy for the gold late last year but he got injured. I can see this Flyweight experiment blowing up in his face, to be honest. I’m not sure the weight cut is gonna be good for his already questionable durability and while he’ll be a bit bigger than the other 125ers and will be naturally more powerful, I think their speed is gonna give him fits. Rob Font was outslicking him and making him miss when they fought in May, a lot of the Flyweights are probably gonna be able to do similar. The Flyweights are probably gonna be harder to hit as well.

 

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Raulian Paiva vs Sean O’Malley opens up the PPV. Should be fun. There’s been a lot of talk about O’Malley ducking the tougher fights in the division and the UFC kind of protecting him. I definitely have felt like there’s something to that. He was meant to fight Louis Smolka in July and when Smolka dropped out, you had guys like Ricky Simon and Brian Kelleher, among others, offering to step in yet ‘Suga’ somehow ended up beating up newcomer Kris Moutinho. It’s all a bit weird but O’Malley has actually embraced the ‘can crusher’ label.

“What does Chael Sonnen say? Fight the worst guy on the highest spot on the card. I literally would get paid the same amount if I fight Khabib as I would if I fight Kris Moutinho. I get paid the same amount. What do I do?” - Sean O’Malley

As much as I dislike the Starburst headed pillock, there is actually some logic to what he’s saying. If his contract states that he’s only getting X amount per fight, you can see why he’s not arsed about taking the riskier fights yet. I get his point but it’s a battle he’s ultimately not gonna win. To be fair, I think Paiva is a solid step up. He’s not that well known but he’s got skills, he’s game, he’s 21-3 and coming off 3 wins in a row and he just beat Kyler Phillips (who was starting to get that hot prospect tag) in a really good fight. He’s certainly the biggest test for O’Malley since he lost to Marlon Vera. Should be a really exciting fight to kick off the main card, possibly a show stealer.

 

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Josh Emmett vs Dan Ige. I like this. Could end up being the sleeper on the card. It’s weird but for years I was indifferent to Emmett. Every time I saw him he seemed to be going to dull decisions but then he flattened Ricardo Lamas and it seemed like overnight he realised he could knock people cold. He’s on a nice little streak now, won his last 3, knocked out Michael Johnson and Mirsad Bektic then won that mad slugfest against Shane Burgos last year. Not sure why he’s been out so long since but he’s right back in another potential dogfight here. Ige is coming off that loss to the Korean Zombie in June but he wiped out Gavin Tucker with a 22 second one punch KO before that. He’s beat Edson Barboza, gone 5 rounds with Calvin Kattar etc. He’s no pushover. Should be a good ‘un. Emmett will probably have the edge in raw punching power but Ige is a few years younger and probably bit faster and more technical.

 

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Pedro Munhoz vs Dominick Cruz. Another really good fight. So many of these could’ve easily headlined Fight Nights. Here it’s just a prelim! Insane depth on this card. These guys are on the home stretch of their careers at this point. Munhoz is 35, Cruz is 36. That’s a good innings for a couple of lighter weight fighters. They’re both still hanging in there and looking pretty good and I don’t feel like either have lost too many steps but it’s all diminishing returns from here on in. This could be decent though. Munhoz is a hard little bastard, 19-6-1 record and you look at his recent run of opponents and he’s been rumbling with some of the very best. He got taken to school by Jose Aldo in August and he was fairly vocal about how disheartened he was by that. He’s right back in with another big name and former champ here though so it’s a nice opportunity for him. I’m not really sure what to make of Cruz these days. He’s not shot but his style just doesn’t work like it used to. He’s a bit older and slightly slower, the division is way better than when he was on top and too many guys have taken that fancy footwork style of his and upgraded it. When he was doing that back in the WEC days it wasn’t common and nobody really knew how to tackle it. He’s not unique anymore. Decent fight though. Just not sure where either are going. I’d still like to see Cruz fight Aldo at some point. Just for completion’s sake of having two of the last remaining WEC champs square off. But I just don’t see him making waves in the current 135lbs title scene now the likes of Yan, Sterling, Sandhagen etc are about.

 

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Augusto Sakai vs Tai Tuivasa bringing the big boy action. You never know how the Heavyweights are gonna look but I actually really like the sound of this. Sakai’s grown on me over the last year or so. Mostly on the strength of his losing effort against Overeem in a really enjoyable fight. He’s lost his last two now though - to Overeem and Rozenstruik - so his back his against the wall a bit here. And Tuivasa will always be a favourite for me now after his last fight in July. Comes out to ‘Wannabe’ by the Spice Girls of all songs, and proceeds to knock that sack of shite wifebeater Greg Hardy out. It got overshadowed by Conor McGregor getting stretchered out with his ankle going 7 different directions in the main event, but it was a beautiful moment all the same.

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I don’t even rate Tuivasa all that highly and the stories and footage out there of his brutal and boneheaded sparring sessions with Mark Hunt don’t fill me with hope that he’ll have a long career either. And if that doesn’t kill him, it’ll be something he catches from the rancid ‘Shoey’ thing he does. But he’s a fun character and seeing him put shithouse Greg on his arse made me a fan for life.

 

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Bruno Silva vs Jordan Wright. I’m all over this, mostly just on account of Silva. I don’t think I’d ever heard of him before this year but he’s quickly becoming an undercard/Fight Night favourite of mine. He’s 21-6 with 18 knockouts. Absolutely pulverised Wellington Turman with some of the most sickening ground and pound I’ve ever seen in his UFC debut in June. Then he got the late KO against Andrew Sanchez in October. Bashed up former Bellator champ Alexander Shlemenko on a M-1 card in Russia a few years ago as well. He doesn’t fuck about and seems to have a serious vicious streak. Great to watch so far though. And Wright might look unassuming but he’s 12-1-0-1 and has ended all 12 of his career wins inside the distance. His only loss so far has been against Joaquin Buckley. Sounds like a bit of a bombfest.

 

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Andre Muniz vs Eryk Anders. Alright fight. Muniz is on a nice little run, to be fair. I’ve just grown to be a bit indifferent to Anders. He’s had his moments during his UFC stint and has had a bit of bad luck along the way. I think I had him winning the Lyoto Machida fight a few years ago for example, which would’ve been a big name scalp for him. But he just never put it all together. He’s coming off a win over Darren Stewart but even that was surprisingly dull. Muniz is looking good though. 21-4, on a 7 fight winning streak and just pulled off the performance of his career in May, breaking Jacare’s arm with an armbar, in what’s ended up being Jacare’s last fight. Not sure how much of that was down to Jacare just being on the way out but this was a submission. If Muniz caught him on the feet and knocked him out I’d say it was probably a case of that but to catch Jacare in any grappling situation is impressive, regardless of where he was at in his career.

 

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Miranda Maverick vs Erin Blanchfield. Unlike a lot of the women’s fights outside the very top level that are often very skippable, this could be one for the future. I’ve liked the limited footage I’ve seen of both so far and they both look like they have some real potential. Maverick is 24 years old with a 9-3 record. She was on a solid little win streak and looked a handful in beating Liana Jojua and Gillian Robertson in her first two UFC fights. She lost a split decision against Maycee Barber in July but I disagreed with that, as did pretty much all the media scoring it at press row on the night. I felt like she got a raw deal there. Blanchfield is just 22 with a record of 7-1 and beat Sarah Alpar in her UFC debut in September. She looked good but Alpar isn’t much cop so not sure how good. I like the matchup here. From what I’ve seen of Maverick she’s very aggressive and throws some nasty elbows. And Blanchfield is meant to be a bit of a grappling phenom, BJJ black-belt at 22, trains at Renzo’s academy etc. They’re both fairly green but it’s an interesting one to me. One of those where it could be two future players meeting early in their careers like Poirier and Holloway did way back.

 

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Alex Perez vs Matt Schnell. I feel like they’ve tried to book this fight a bunch of times this year. Pretty sure I’ve previewed this a few times only for it to get scrapped so I’ll keep it brief because I’m not holding my breath it happens this time. If it does it should be pretty good though. Perez has put together a very respectable 24-6 record and chopped down Jussier Formiga with leg kicks in a round not too long ago. He got a title shot off the back of that but came up short against Figgy about a year ago. This is his attempt to rebound. Schnell’s 15-6 with wins over Tyson Nam, Louis Smolka and Jordan Espinosa. I’d definitely favour Perez here but Schnell should make a good scrap of it and I expect an entertaining fight however long it lasts.

 

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Ryan Hall vs Darrick Minner. He’s back. Everyone’s favourite weird leg lock enthusiast returns to action. The Ryan Hall bubble got well and truly burst in his last fight, he got crushed in a round by Ilia Topuria at UFC 264 in July. This is quite an intriguing return fight for him, I think. Because Minner is all about the submissions as well. He’s 26-12 with 22 subs, 8 of them in less than a minute! This could get very interesting if it hits the ground but you know how it goes. Two guys who are dangerous submission artists, it’s bound to degenerate into a sloppy standup mess. Even then though, with specialists like this, one slip up on the feet could see either man end up tied in knots and in a world of bother on the ground. And you know Hall can drop and roll for a leg lock from almost anywhere in the cage. I like this pairing a lot actually. Like with any Hall fight it’s got the very real possibility of shitting the bed but I’d rather see him against grapplers at this stage.

 

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Randy Costa vs Tony Kelley. This is currently set to open up the Fight Pass prelims but I wouldn’t skip it if I were you. Costa has been must see in the UFC so far. He’s only 6-2 but there hasn’t been a dull moment yet. He’s typically fought like a bit of a wild man but he’s coming off that great fight with Adrian Yanez in July where he showed some new wrinkles to his game. He got stopped in the end but Yanez is one of the hottest prospects in the Bantamweight division for me and Costa looked fantastic and gave him hell for a round or so. Only 27 as well. He’s far from done. Can’t remember much of Kelley but he’s 34, a member of Team Alpha Male and has a record of 7-2. I’d like to see Costa get back to winning ways here. More upside to him and he’s exciting to watch.

 

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Gillian Robertson vs Priscila Cachoeira. Isn’t doing much for me but it might be a pleasant surprise, to be fair. Robertson has shown flashes of potential in the past, especially in the grappling, but she’s seemingly hit her ceiling of late, dropping consecutive decisions against Taila Santos and Miranda Maverick in her last two fights. She’s got a fun style to watch on the ground if she can get it there though. Very aggressive and always looking to finish. I mostly remember Cachoeira for getting absolutely mauled in her UFC debut by Valentina Shevchenko. One of the most disturbing beatings I’ve seen in a women’s fight. She’s turned things around a little bit recently though and scored a couple of stoppages in her last two outings. A 40 second knockout over Shana Dobson and a complete beatdown on Gina Mazany. Yeah, shite opposition but she treated them as such.

 

 

And that’s that. Going out with a bang. 

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Edited by wandshogun09
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@wandshogun09 I believe Josh Emmett severely injured his leg in that Burgos fight, very early into it too if memory serves me right. Snapped ligaments in the knee and fractured some of the bones in the leg. 

Edit: Here it is. Full ACL tear, partial MCL tear, damaged cartilage and a fractured Femur. Fifteen seconds into the fight. The hardest of hard bastards. 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.mmafighting.com/platform/amp/2020/6/23/21300630/josh-emmett-describes-what-it-was-like-fighting-on-one-leg-against-shane-burgos-shredding-his-knee

Edited by WeeAl
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16 minutes ago, wandshogun09 said:

Cunt…

 

So, Dana is on the blower at this very minute to . . . Chimaev? Or Luque? Winner fights Usman in March.

Masvidal Vs Covington. Seems to me that you just go right ahead with that one, with Edwards Vs Masvidal being lost to the sands of time. 

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Chimaev is surely gonna be the first choice. Especially given that they tried to book that fight a few times with no luck in late 2020/early 2021. I’m just waiting to see how the narrative somehow gets spun into this being Leon’s fault 😂 he does seem cursed though.

And yeah, Covington vs Masvidal is a no brainer at this point. They’ve both got to know they’re gonna have to win a couple of fights now to get back in the title hunt. Both 0-2 to Usman. With their history I can’t think of a more obvious fight for either.

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Gilbert Burns has already offered to step in against Edwards.

Edit - OK, sod all that. Doesn’t sound like Leon’s planning on fighting a replacement anyway.

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Dana’s gonna be raging but, honestly, depending on when Usman wants to get back in there, why not just go straight to Usman vs Edwards 2 now. I was saying in the opening post that the ideal scenario would be for Edwards to beat Masvidal, setting up Usman vs Edwards 2 and Covington vs Masvidal. Well now those two fights can happen and we don’t have to gamble on a result going the right way to get there. You know Dana’s not gonna go for it now though, just to spite Edwards for not taking whatever replacement they wanna throw at him. I get the whole ‘it’s not smart to sit out and wait for a title shot’ thing but in this case, with Usman running low on challengers and Edwards now without a fight booked, I’d just do that in the first quarter of next year.

Edited by wandshogun09
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It's a big shame to see Masvidal pull out, he doesn't have much of a history of pulling out of fights so it must be a serious injury. 

Leon Edwards has done himself no favours in tweeting that, publicly stating that he was now going to sit out and wait for Usman does his reputation no good. I get where he is coming from, he does deserve a fight and is the clear next contender now but every interview I saw of him this year he said he has been out for too long and just wants to fight. It's a different picture to the reality.

This fight card is so stacked, I really wish they would stick some of those pre lims on a fight night card. Dominic Cruz should be headlining a fight night, not fighting on the prelims. 

Josh Emmet being back is great too. I remember he tore something in his knee when he fought Shane Burgos in that scrap so that's why he's been out for so long. 

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I think Edwards probably does want back in there now, he’s not getting paid sitting on the sidelines. But he’s obviously looked at the current lay of the land at 170 and is seeing there’s no clear next challenger for Usman right now so he’s trying to slot in there. Remember it’s Jorge who pulled out here. Edwards was going to fight in a few weeks. It’s frustrating but I don’t blame him for not taking some replacement on short notice. I’m seeing all over Twitter people acting like Leon’s a bitch but this card is a month out, he’s been training for a striker in Masvidal and now they’re probably trying to chuck Chimaev or Burns at him who would be coming in with completely different styles and game plans to what he’s been preparing for. His title shot hinges on that? And just to save a fight on a card that really doesn’t need it.

I totally get why fans are disappointed when fights like this fall off. I’m gutted myself. It was my ‘one to watch’ for a reason, I was really looking forward to it. But a lot of fans are so entitled with this stuff sometimes. I understand not wanting to lose a big fight off this card and wanting to see something in its place. But people shitting on professional fighters and calling them pussies and stuff, for not gambling their position and potential title shot on a late switch up, is ridiculous. And people can go ‘well he’s got 4 weeks to train for the replacement’, I don’t think those people know how training camps work. Let’s just say it’s Chimaev they want in there against Leon. The show itself is 4 weeks away, that doesn’t mean you get 4 full weeks of training. They’d have to bring in different training partners/wrestlers, revamp the whole game plan and stuff. By the time that’s sorted you’ve probably lost a good part of a week maybe. Then you can forget the last week because that’s fight week. Training camp’s over by then anyway and you’re focusing on cutting weight and doing media. It’s 2 weeks tops. That’s not a training camp. So imagine you’ve done all this work to get to this position to where you’re one fight away from finally getting that shot at the title. You haven’t lost since 2015 and even the current champ is saying he’d like to do the rematch. Your opponent drops out and you’re expected to roll the dice on all that, against Khamzat Chimaev, with no training camp? He signed to fight Chimaev 3 times around Dec/Jan, COVID killed all 3 attempts but 2 of them were cancelled on Chimaev’s side. It’s not like he’s scared to take the fight. But with the timing here and under these circumstances? Fuck that. 

So I totally get Edwards’ position here. But all that said, yeah it’s gonna backfire on him because Dana. I’d honestly just go with Usman vs Edwards 2 next but you know how much Dana loathes it when fighters don’t dance to his tune. Expect quotes from the pink blob in the next few days insinuating that Edwards is terrified and “doesn’t wanna fight” so he’s not interested in seeing him in a title fight.

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Hmmmm 🤔

I never usually cast doubt on why fighters pull out of fights. Like I said, they’re not ‘scared’. That’s silly talk. But Masvidal pulls out with an ‘undisclosed injury’ and now this? If Covington vs Masvidal gets announced in the next month or so then it’s all gonna make sense. Is there a season of TUF coming up or something? If so, whack them on there as coaches.

Funny thing is, even if it turns out that Masvidal pulled out to get the Covington fight/TUF on, it’ll still get twisted somehow as if it’s Edwards’ fault. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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I saw a lot of talk on twitter of a potential Covington/Masvidal TUF season prior the injury pullout. I mean if the UFC want to generate interest in TUF and get people excited to watch week to week after the dud of a season this year (in terms of general interest), that's the way to go.

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Definitely is. I can’t stand either but that’s the kind of pairing you want on TUF. A throwback to the old days of Ortiz vs Shamrock, Serra vs Hughes and Rampage vs Rashad. There’s very few things that’d get me watching TUF regularly again. A Nick Diaz coached season would’ve been gold but that ship has long sailed. Something like a Khabib vs McGregor season would’ve been must see if that rematch was on the cards. Or even Poirier vs McGregor if/when the fourth fight happens. You need something with a bit of juice on a show like TUF. Just having ‘good fights’ isn’t enough, DWCS scratches that itch and we’re drowning in fights these days anyway. Covington vs Masvidal is made for a show like TUF. I know TUF is usually used to hype a title fight or build a number one contender up and that’s out in this case. But with them both 0-2 to Usman now, they need something to do and this could build them back up a bit. 

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17 hours ago, wandshogun09 said:

Dana’s gonna be raging but, honestly, depending on when Usman wants to get back in there, why not just go straight to Usman vs Edwards 2 now.

Because the UFC's worst nightmare is Edwards winning that title. They'll do whatever they can to keep him away from it I think. 

 

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