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UFC Vegas: Lewis vs Daukaus - Dec 18 🇺🇸 🎄


wandshogun09
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Last UFC card of 2021. And sorry @Egg Shen, we’re back at the Apex.

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ESPN+ MAIN CARD 
Derrick Lewis vs Chris Daukaus 

Wonderboy Thompson vs Belal Muhammad 

Amanda Lemos vs Angela Hill

Raphael Assuncao vs Ricky Simon

Carlos Diego Ferreira vs Mateusz Gamrot 

Darren Elkins vs Cub Swanson

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS  
Gerald Meerschaert vs Dustin Stoltzfus

Justin Tafa vs Harry Hunsucker

Sijara Eubanks vs Melissa Gatto

Charles Jourdain vs Andre Ewell

Raquel Pennington vs Macy Chiasson 

Don’Tale Mayes vs Josh Parisian

Matt Sayles vs Jordan Leavitt

 

Not the best card, not the worst. There’s enough to sink your teeth into for a Fight Night though. As always, the bout order will likely change several times between now and the night of the show.

 

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Derrick Lewis vs Chris Daukaus headlines. The last UFC main event of the year. Hopefully it delivers. You never really know what to expect when it comes to the Heavyweights but this should be fun. Although it could get very ugly if it goes any longer than 3 rounds. Lewis is coming off that disastrous showing against Ciryl Gane in August. It wasn’t just that he lost and got stopped, he got completely outclassed and went into his shell. In his hometown as well. We’ve seen the odd stinker from The Beast in the past but this one had to be soul destroying. Style-wise, this fight is much more up his alley because Daukaus doesn’t go in for all the pretty techniques like Gane does, he comes to knock heads off. He’ll be there to be hit much more than Gane but he also packs a big punch himself so Lewis is gonna have to return fire in this one. In that way it’s kind of the perfect rebound fight for Lewis because I can’t see anything but a slobberknocker playing out here. But at the same time it’s a risky one because Daukaus absolutely has the capability to knock him out. He’s 12-3 now with 11 knockouts and coming off 5 straight KOs. He’s also a BJJ black-belt but as you’ll know, grappling doesn’t work on the Beast. It’s a step up for Daukaus but also a big opportunity. Pulling for Lewis because I always am but I’m 50/50 on this one really. I still think beyond the funny one liners and all the silliness, Lewis is actually one of the better fighters in the division. He’s obviously a few steps behind the top boys but he beats almost everyone below the elite level for me. But I’ve just got a feeling Daukaus might be quicker on the draw here for some reason. Should be fun but usual disclaimer that it’s Heavyweight MMA so watch at your own risk.

 

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Wonderboy Thompson vs Belal Muhammad. Very solid fight this. No real stakes to it and both guys are kind of out of the picture at the moment as far as contender fights go but it’s an alright fight. We last saw Wonderboy in July, losing a decision fairly convincingly to Gilbert Burns. That was a fight I fancied him to win going in but Burns fought really well, smartly went back to his grappling and got it done. Wonderboy’s one of those fighters though who can be a tricky fight for almost anyone in the division on a good night. I still remember the first time I saw him, his UFC debut back in 2012. First impressions go a long way and this…

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Blew me away at the time. Beautiful KO. You look back over his record and he’s definitely had his moments. I always forget he has a first round TKO over Robert Whittaker on his record. Add to that wins over Johny Hendricks, Rory MacDonald, Jorge Masvidal etc. Even in recent years we’ve seen him beat up and comers like Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal. But as much as he looks about 12, he’ll be 39 in February. I’m not sure how much longer he wants to keep going but you have to think he’s winding down now. Surely. He had a 58 fight Kickboxing career before he even started MMA, for fuck’s sake. How he doesn’t have the old ‘cauliflower face’ like Big Nog by now, I don’t know. Muhammad’s only a few years younger but he’s had way less miles on him. He’s 19-3-0-1 now and, while I don’t see him ever breaking through as a player in the title mix, I do think he’s slightly underrated. He’s got some solid wins on his record over tough mid level guys and he did beat Demian Maia in his last fight. It was cack to watch but Maia’s never been the easiest to look good against, has he? Got Wonderboy here though. Belal’s decent and he’s tough but I just don’t see him having much luck here. On the feet I think Wonderboy is just too advanced and I can’t see Belal finding a way in. And I don’t think he has the grappling to replicate what Burns did either. It’s another really awkward fight for him coming off the Maia win. But this is one I don’t see him winning.

 

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Amanda Lemos vs Angela Hill. Not a bad fight at all this. Been a fan of Hill for a bit now. Shit record at 13-10 but it doesn’t really tell the whole story or do her justice. I mean, you look at the start of her career and in her first 4 fights she’d already fought Rose Namajunas and Tecia Torres. And some of the decision losses later were definitely questionable. She had those back-to-back split decision losses to Claudia Gadelha and Michelle Waterson in 2020 and I had her winning both fights. They would’ve been big wins for her and possibly even seen her getting a title shot but the judges saw them differently and it’s cost her big time. Not that I think she’d have actually won the title or anything but she’s had a couple of bad breaks for sure. And this could potentially be another one. Lemos is 10-1-1 now, she wasn’t really on my radar at all until recently but she’s looked dangerous in her last few fights. I remember noticing her when she battered Mizuki Inoue for 15 minutes last year and since then she’s put both Livia Renata Souza and Montserrat Conejo away in the first round. You don’t really see that from Strawweights much but Lemos doesn’t fuck about. 10 wins so far, 9 finishes. Between Lemos’ aggression and Hill’s Muay Thai style I think it’s a really fun matchup.

 

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Raphael Assuncao vs Ricky Simon. OK fight but I don’t really know what to make of Assuncao at this point. I don’t get the feeling he’s completely shot or anything but he’s 39 now, coming off 3 losses, over a year on the shelf and had a car accident and COVID at the start of the year. Christ. 2021 has not been kind to him. He’s got skills, he’s always been one of those tough matchups that guys would have to get through just under the title mix but it feels like it’s coming to an end now. Simon’s most memorable UFC moment is probably that time he got blitzed by an old Urijah Faber in seconds but he’s better than that. He’s put together a very solid 18-3 record with wins over the likes of Brian Kelleher, Rani Yahya and Merab Dvalishvili along the way. He’s no pushover. His last loss was against Rob Font, who’s risen up the ranks himself since. Simon’s coming into this off 3 wins. Tough one for Assuncao to come back to but not an insurmountable task either. Quite like the matchmaking here.

 

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Carlos Diego Ferreira vs Mateusz Gamrot is this card’s ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** and I’m really looking forward to it. Should be a fantastic fight. I’ve been a fan of Ferreira for years now. For a while I really felt like he was a darkhorse in the Lightweight division and he put together a sweet little win streak before losing to Beneil Dariush and Gregor Gillespie in his last two. They were still great fights though. Love watching him. At this point I think the ship’s sailed on him climbing the ladder at 155, he’s kind of settled into that gatekeeper/stepping stone spot in the division now. But he’s someone who can provide a test and a fun fight with guys as they come up. And that’s where Gamrot comes in. Former KSW champ at both 145/155lbs, 19-1-0-1 with the only loss being a razor close split decision against Guram Kutateladze in a cracking fight. That was his UFC debut and Kutateladze was a late replacement. Since then Gamrot’s got right back on track. He knocked out Scott Holtzman in April, then damn near ripped Jeremy Stephens’ arm off in July.

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Have it. That was a fight where I think everyone was expecting fireworks but it only lasted just over a minute and Gamrot twisted him up. Really like the look of him so far. I saw little bits and pieces of him before he signed with the UFC but he seems to be really coming into his own now. Definitely one to watch at 155 going forward. Like I said, Ferreira’s kind of in that gatekeeper role these days so an impressive win here for Gamrot would be great for him and probably see him get a biggish fight next. Timing-wise I’d say this does favour Gamrot. He’s on the rise while it seems like Ferreira is kind of struggling a bit but I wouldn’t sleep on Ferreira either. If Gamrot takes him lightly he’ll pay the price. I’m expecting a really good fight here though. If Gamrot pisses through him like he did Stephens then we definitely have a player on our hands but I’m thinking this’ll be much more competitive.

 

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Darren Elkins vs Cub Swanson. Liking this. Neither are spring chickens anymore. Elkins is 37, Cub’s 38. They’ve both been around the block several times and been in some rough scraps. Elkins especially seems to bleed buckets every fight.

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Who can forget his crazy comeback KO against Mirsad Bektic a few years ago? Mad bastard. And Swanson’s been a fan favourite forever. He’s had his slumps and mixed with some of the best to mixed results but he’s still knocking around and looked great beating Kron Gracie and Daniel Pineda before running into Giga Chikadze last time out. Not sure which way this goes but I’m glad it got made. I’d say this has a very good chance of bagging FOTN actually.

 

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Gerald Meerschaert vs Dustin Stoltzfus. This one’s been thrown together out of the remains of other cancelled fights. Both their original opponents fell off so here we are. Our Gez is back. This’ll be his 48th MMA fight. That horrible loss to Khamzat Chimaev is a distant memory at this point. He’s rattled off back-to-back submission wins since then. Most impressively being his last fight in August when he weathered an early storm and came back to strangle Makhmud Muradov.

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Muradov had some buzz about him and was looking like a can’t miss prospect prior to this. Honestly, I thought it was gonna be another bad night for Meerschaert but he soldiered through it and pulled out the sub. Probably his best win to date in the UFC for me. Can’t say much sticks out in the memory about Stoltzfus though. All I really remember him for is when he got choked by Rodolfo Vieira a few months back. Hopefully Meerschaert can keep the momentum going here and stay in the win column.

 

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Justin Tafa vs Harry Hunsucker. The Heavies are back at it. You know the score. Could be exciting or excruciating or anything in between. Tafa’s 4-3 and going nowhere. I’m not gonna slag him too much though because I absolutely loved his fat man brawl with Carlos Felipe from January. If you missed it, there’s worse ways to spend 15 minutes. Just two big lumps knocking the shite out of each other for 3 rounds. I’m less familiar with this Hunsucker fella, other than his name is funny I don’t have any thoughts on him. He had an awful UFC debut back in March, Tai Tuivasa twatted him in under a minute. Hopefully this fight is like my wife, short and explosive.

 

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Sijara Eubanks vs Melissa Gatto. Not particularly fussed about this. It’s the Eubanks factor. They could book her against pretty much anyone at this point and I wouldn’t give much of a bollocks. Never rated her. She dropped back to Flyweight for her last fight and battered Elise Reed. I saw some talk after that she’s gonna be a beast at 125 but I’m not buying it. She fought at Flyweight in the past and even competed on TUF in that division. She was pretty average and missed weight twice at crucial times. She’s 36 now with a 7-6 record. If she’s gonna go on some monster run then she better get a move on. Gatto’s a funny one. 25 years old, undefeated at 7-0-2 but she’s had a very stop-start career. Signed with the UFC years ago but got had by USADA and hadn’t fought since 2018 before finally returning in August. She looked good though, dominating Victoria Leonardo. Jury’s out but she could be good, I suppose. If she’s gonna go on to be someone then she should be beating Eubanks.

 

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Charles Jourdain vs Andre Ewell. Not bad. As prelim filler goes, this should at least be an entertaining scrap. Jourdain came in being hyped up as a big time prospect as I recall. There was some talk of him possibly becoming the new face of Canadian MMA. It hasn’t exactly worked out. He’s only 25 so I’m not gonna write him off but he’s gone a dismal 2-3-1 since signing with the UFC. I’ve enjoyed watching him, his fight against Marcelo Rojo in March was bags of fun if you haven’t seen it. But he’s not getting those Ws on a consistent enough basis. Ewell’s similar. Nicknamed ‘Mr Highlight’ and he is decent to watch but he’s 17-8 now and lost his last 2 fights. It’s one of those weird fights though where you feel like they’re both going nowhere but the matchup itself will probably be exciting for what it is.

 

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Raquel Pennington vs Macy Chiasson. Decent enough I guess. This was supposed to be Pennington against Julia Avila but the ‘Raging Panda’ is out. Always liked watching Pennington. 12-8 now and you look at her list of losses and it’s clear she hit her ceiling a long time ago. She just doesn’t have it at the higher levels but she’s a tough scrapper and always game. Notable wins over Miesha Tate, Jessica Andrade, Irene Aldana and Roxanne Modafferi. Not bad at all. They’ve just been surrounded by losses. She hasn’t been very consistent but she’s got the experience and she won’t go away easily. Chiasson steps in on short notice, she’s a former TUF winner, 7-1 and she’s looked alright from what I remember of her but, despite being on the roster since 2018, she still hasn’t really beat anyone that good. Her best wins are Marion Reneau and Pannie Kianzad. The rest, Sarah Moras, Gina Mazany…she’s just stayed at pretty much the same level throughout her UFC stint. Gone are the days of TUF winners getting the rocket strapped to them. 

 

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Don’Tale Mayes vs Josh Parisian. Nothing much to this. Just a couple of Heavyweight ham and eggers jerking the curtain. Mayes is 8-4 with 5 finishes and coming off a ‘big win’ over Roque Martinez. I only really remember him because they fed him to Ciryl Gane in one of Gane’s early UFC fights. Parisian is 14-4 with 12 inside the distance and also just scored a colossal split decision win over Roque Martinez. You never know, I guess, but my hopes aren’t high for this one.

 

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Matt Sayles vs Jordan Leavitt. Might be alright. Barely remember Sayles but looking him up just now, he’s the guy who Bryce Mitchell beat via twister a while back. He’s 8-3 and hasn’t fought since the loss to Mitchell 2 years ago. Leavitt was on DWCS and caused a bit of a stir when he submitted his opponent then followed up with a hilariously camp post-fight celebration that really seemed to wind up a certain section of the MMA fanbase, for some reason. He had a great UFC debut, knocking out Matt Wiman with a slam, but lost a decision to Claudio Puelles in his last fight in June. That was his first loss, he’s 8-1 now. He was looking quite promising before that so I’d expect him to get back to winning ways here but we’ll see.

 

That’s that. Where Ronda Rousey’s fine ass at? 

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Edited by wandshogun09
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Marcel has done Henry dirty with that picture😄

I didnt recognise the name so i googled Victor Henry, he's been around the block. Fought in Rizin, DEEP and Pancrase over the years and has a few solid wins on his record that leap out, Hideo Tokoro, Albert Morales & Kyler Phillips. Nice to see a vet. like that get a shot.

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On 12/8/2021 at 6:28 PM, wandshogun09 said:

Yeah I updated the opening post with some of that info. Not a bad record. We’ve seen with Chris Curtis recently that there’s always a chance these veterans can come in and surprise us. 

yep, some really good fighters just never catch that break. 

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To be honest, I’d be fine with them just sacking off the 265 limit for Heavyweight. Just let them get to their maximum bigness and load the division up on giants and freaks. Maybe create a Cruiserweight division (215-225ish) for the smaller guys at HW who don’t fancy fighting those monsters and you’re good to go.

Quite looking forward to this tonight. I think it’s a sneaky good card. Main event could be fun and Ferreira vs Gamrot and Elkins vs Swanson stand out as your likely show stealers. Also not sure if he knows but @Scott Malbranque your boy’s on this one. 

Interview’s worth a watch as well. Talks about the opponent change, thoughts on Stoltzfus, being a new Dad, his opinions on Pena vs Nunes and Oliveira vs Poirier from last week, bringing the beard back etc. Always thought Meerschaert is a pretty good talker. I don’t always get around to watching the interviews on fight week these days but I always check out Meerschaert’s. We were talking about fighters we’d like to see in the colour commentary seat on here recently and Meerschaert is a guy I think could be worth a try in the role actually. 

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Aye, the world could be doing with a few more Emmanuel Yarborough's knocking about the division getting, well, knocked about. 

Justin Tafa can start the trend, and maybe the likes of Jake Collier can join him. Gian Villante, if he hasn't retired, was on his way too. They can be the UFC's equivalent to Bastion Booger, The Headhunters, or Viscera. Fat boy jobbers to the stars. Time a take down wrong though, and you're going to get smothered to death. 

First things first though, they need to replace Joe Rogan with Art Donovan before any of this carry on can begin. Art is going to ask the important questions. 

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