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UFC Vegas: Walker vs Hill - Feb 19 🇺🇸


wandshogun09
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The 19th. The Apex. 

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Johnny Walker vs Jamahal Hill 

Kyle Daukaus vs Jamie Pickett 

Parker Porter vs Alan Baudot

Jim Miller vs Nikolas Motta 

Joaquin Buckley vs Abdul Razak Alhassan 

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Gabriel Benitez vs David Onama

Jessica Rose Clark vs Stephanie Egger

Chas Skelly vs Mark Striegl

Diana Belbita vs Gloria De Paula

Jesse Strader vs Chad Anheliger

Jonathan Pearce vs Christian Rodriguez

Mario Bautista vs Jay Perrin


I really, really like this card. At least in its current form anyway. Goes without saying not to count your chickens but hopefully the best stuff here stays intact. Killer main event and an undercard featuring favourites of mine like Walker, Miller, Romanov and Buckley vs Alhassan. I’m in. Bout order’s not final. 

 

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Johnny Walker vs Jamahal Hill is the new main event. Huge comedown from RDA vs Fiziev but what can you do? Still should be all kinds of fun. Really like this pairing. Everyone jumped off the Walker bandwagon a long time ago but I’m still on board up in first class. He’s ace. MMA fans are fickle divs. As soon as it became apparent that Walker just wasn’t at the level to become champ, 99% of them abandoned ship and now he’s supposedly a bum. Get out. You can still be a fan of someone even if they’re midcard for life. Who gives a bollocks? Some of my favourite fighters on the roster are probably never getting a sniff of a title shot. Honestly, I don’t think many ever really expected Walker to become champion or anything. For me he was just a breath of fresh air in a division that didn’t have much going on. And he came along at a time when Jon Jones was sleepwalking through title defences and looking disinterested doing it. At the very least, Walker would’ve been an exciting challenger for him to bounce off. Personality-wise and in the cage. Of course, he never got there. But I’ve always got time for his fights. Still don’t get how him and Thiago Santos had a stinker last time out. I guess two rights can make a wrong. But in general, he’s one of those guys who’s very rarely gonna give you a dull fight, win or lose. Hill’s looking like a legit future player at 205 though. Only real loss so far was the Paul Craig one but he’s stopped OSP and wiped out Jim Crute in his last fight. With how reckless Walker can be, I could well see Hill walloping him with something nasty here but a lot could depend on if John Kavanagh’s still got Walker trying to fight like Lyoto Machida and failing miserably. For all the faults with Walker’s old wild style, that was his style and I still think his best chances of winning these key fights are gonna be if he sticks with what brought him to the dance. I get what Kavanagh’s trying to do but Walker’s unpredictability was one of his main assets. Harnessing that into a slightly more refined style where he doesn’t leave himself quite so vulnerable would’ve been one thing but Kavanagh seemingly trying to totally revamp him and make him Wonderboy 2.0 is falling on its arse. Either way I’m fancying Hill here but I’d love to see Walker get the W.

 

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Kyle Daukaus vs Jamie Pickett was originally supposed to be Daukaus vs Julian Marquez and I liked that better. Marquez is out, Pickett is in. You wouldn’t necessarily think so looking at his recent win/loss record but Daukaus is a really promising fighter. He’s had a bumpy start in the UFC but he’s definitely got skills. If you never saw his fight with Brendan Allen from June 2020 I recommend it. Cracking fight that was just unfortunate to happen on the same night as Dustin Poirier vs Dan Hooker so it got overshadowed. He lost that night but fought his arse off. Won a decision against Dustin Stoltzfus, lost a decision against Phil Hawes, then had that controversial fight with Kevin Holland which ended on a clash of heads. Still think there’s potentially a lot better to come and he’s still the right side of 30 so there’s a bit of time to turn things around yet. Pickett is 13-6 and coming off a couple of decision wins over Laureano Staropoli and Joseph Holmes. Can’t say I really remember much of him at all. 

 

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Parker Porter vs Alan Baudot. Yeah, nothing much to this. Typical low level Heavyweight filler. Porter is 36 with an 11-6 record and coming off a couple of points wins over Chase Sherman and Josh Parisian. The main thing of note on his record is that he got knocked out by some rookie kid called Jon Jones back in 2008. Baudot is French, 34 years old with an 8-2 record and recently got done in a round by Tom Aspinall. My expectations aren’t exactly high for this.

 

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Jim Miller vs Nikolas Motta. It’ll be worth checking out just because it involves Miller. He made his UFC debut in Birmingham all the way back in 2008 and I was in attendance. I’ve had a soft spot for him pretty much ever since. He’s had his slumps but I’ve always enjoyed watching him and he seems like one of the most likeable fighters on the roster. He’s had his moments in the cage as well. His bloodbath with Joe Lauzon remains one of my personal favourite fights to this day and his kneebar sub over Charles Oliveira hasn’t exactly aged badly. Still dangerous as well.

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That’s him knocking out Erick Gonzalez in his last fight in October. A rare knockout from Miller and it was a beauty. He said after that he wants to stick around and fight until UFC 300. He fought at both 100 and 200 so it’d be a cool achievement if he can make 300 as well but it’s still a bit of a way off. Seems a stretch to think he’ll still be going by then but who knows? Don’t know this Motta bloke. Sherdog tells me he’s 28 with a record of 12-3 and 8 knockouts. Team Miller.

 

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Joaquin Buckley vs Abdul Razak Alhassan is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** and just sounds like a total fireworks display, doesn’t it? It was supposed to go down on that Kattar vs Chikadze card in January but Alhassan withdrew and it thankfully got rescheduled for this show. Buckley’s 13-4 with 10 knockouts and scored, in my opinion, one of the very best knockouts in UFC history against Impa Kasanganay in 2020.

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It gets brought up every time he fights and it probably always will. Breathtaking knockout that you just can’t really see being repeated anytime soon. He’s a talented fighter beyond just that KO but it was such a crazy finish that it’s probably always gonna be the main thing people talk about regarding him. Alhassan’s a finisher himself. He’s 11-4 with all his wins coming by knockout. All of them inside a round, 7 of them in under a minute! Yeah, this is gonna be explosive. Don’t blink.

 

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Gabriel Benitez vs David Onama. This could be good. Benitez is no world beater but he’s one of those names I’m always pleased to see on a card. Typical tough Mexican scrapper who’s rarely in a dull fight. He’s 22-9 now and has lost 3 out of his last 4. He’s going nowhere but at a time when the prelims are often full of uninteresting matchups, he’s a guy who brings it. And while he’s coming off a loss, his last fight in July against Billy Quarantillo was a cracker. It got FOTN at the time but it was one of the forgotten highlights of 2021 for me. Onama made his UFC debut in October, jumping in on short notice against Mason Jones. He lost a decision but put in a strong performance, especially given the lack of prep time and the fact he was clearly outsized by the naturally stronger man in Jones. It was Onama’s first defeat. That was at 155, this fight will be at 145 so I’m interested to see what Onama looks like here at presumably a better weight class for him and after a proper training camp. He’s 8-1 with 7 finishes.

 

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Jessica Rose Clark vs Stephanie Egger. Nothing fight really. Clark is 34 years old, Australian and fucking gorgeous. Seems cool as well and after a promising start in the UFC with wins over Paige VanZant and Bec Rawlings, I was hoping she’d climb the ranks but she fizzled out big time after that. She’s got back on track a bit in her last couple of fights but I don’t think she’ll ever go too high up the ladder, even in a fairly shallow division like women’s Bantamweight. Egger’s from Switzerland, 33 years old and 6-2. Nothing spectacular on her record.

 

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Chas Skelly vs Mark Striegl. Don’t know. I’ve enjoyed watching Skelly in the past and I’ve bigged it up a bunch of times on here over the last few years and I’ll keep doing it. Skelly vs Jordan Griffin from the Fight Night in Vancouver in September 2019, if you haven’t seen it and you fancy watching a really fun grappling heavy fight, get Fight Pass fired up for that one. Thing is, Skelly’s been inactive since then. He missed all of 2020 and 2021. Not by choice. He had 4 fights scheduled in that 2 year period and they all fell to bits. The one with Jamall Emmers being the most bizarre as it got as far as Skelly actually making his entrance and waiting in the cage and the fight was scrapped with Skelly stood in the Octagon!

One of the oddest things I’ve ever seen in MMA, and I’ve seen Dennis Hallman fighting in tiny blue speedos and Ben Askren trying a spinning backfist. Hopefully this fight actually happens. All I’ve seen of Striegl was him getting wrecked by Said Nurmagomedov in his last fight in 2020. He’s 18-3 with 14 submissions.

 

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Diana Belbita vs Gloria De Paula. Can’t say I’m counting the days but whatever. Belbita is 25 years old from Romania, 14-6 and had an awful start to her UFC stint, dropping losses to Molly McCann and Liana Jojua at Flyweight. She dropped to Strawweight for her last fight in July and beat up Hannah Goldy. To be fair, I remember her looking really good in that fight. Don’t know if it was a case of her being more suited to fighting at 115lbs or the fact that Goldy isn’t much good. Probably a bit of both. De Paula’s 26, Brazilian and has a record of 5-4. She’s gone winless so far in the UFC, losing to Jinh Yu Frey on points then getting her head kicked off by Cheyanne Vlismas in a minute last time out.

 

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Jesse Strader vs Chad Anheliger. Not a clue. Strader is 5-2 and my only recollection of him is Montel Jackson decking him in a round last year. And Anheliger is 11-5 and is making his UFC debut here. He fought on DWCS before that but I’ve never seen him. Yeah, dunno.

 

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Jonathan Pearce vs Christian Rodriguez is a late switch up. Was meant to be Pearce against Austin Lingo but Lingo’s out. Disappointed about that because I’ve really enjoyed his last couple of fights. Oh well. My main memory of Pearce is when Joe Lauzon blitzed him in front of a rabid hometown crowd in Boston in 2019. I don’t think there was a soul on the planet who wanted Pearce to win that night. In fairness, he’s since dropped to 145lbs and stopped Kai Kamaka and Omar Morales. Rodriguez is 24 years old and unbeaten at 7-0. He fought on DWCS late last year and got a decision win. I did actually see that, it was a rare occasion of me actually tuning in to DWCS, mostly to see Jake Hadley’s fight but I seem to recall Rodriguez was being tipped as one to watch going in as well. He got the win but he missed weight and Dana basically told him to go and win in the little leagues again. I thought it was a bit harsh, to be honest. Especially because Hadley had also missed weight for the same card and still got straight into the UFC. Whatever. Rodriguez did go and pick up a quick submission in January in a promotion called NAFC. And here we are.

 

Yes.

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Edited by wandshogun09
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Great post, and got me thinking about RDA. The whole drug thing is even more baffling in 2022 than it was at the time. Has there ever been a fighter tarnished more by being associated with drugs, despite the fact hes never failed a test? My memory might be off, but wasnt the general opinion of the 'Rogan clan' pretty much "This guy lost to Gleison Tibau not long ago, how'd he get so good?". Again, my memory might be off, but maybe there was an unfortunate timing issue with his Alvarez and Ferguson loses being post USADA? Added fuel to the fire for the idiots, not even factoring in that those two guys are killers.

Youre absolutley right though about him being a forgotten champion. Maybe all the drugs stuff sort of stuck with him in a "no smoke without fire" way. Maybe the fact he wasnt from the US? Maybe because he was a foreigner and beat a lot of fan favourates at the time in Diaz, Benson, Pettis and Cerrone? Maybe because he lost the title quickly? Whatever it was, that run he had on the way to the title was mighty impressive.

Edited by Dai
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I think I remember wand mentioning some years back that one of the main reasons for RDA going from upper-midcarder to champion was his changing of gyms - that he seemed to have all the tools to get to the top, but never seemed to be able to put it together until then.

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On 1/27/2022 at 6:28 PM, Carbomb said:

I think I remember wand mentioning some years back that one of the main reasons for RDA going from upper-midcarder to champion was his changing of gyms - that he seemed to have all the tools to get to the top, but never seemed to be able to put it together until then.

I can’t remember if that was me but it probably was yeah. It makes sense anyway. He joined Kings MMA in 2012 and if you look back at his record that coincides with that 11 fight hot streak where he beat a bunch of top 155ers, won the title and the only loss was to Khabib. 

On 1/27/2022 at 6:18 PM, Dai said:

My memory might be off, but wasnt the general opinion of the 'Rogan clan' pretty much "This guy lost to Gleison Tibau not long ago, how'd he get so good?". Again, my memory might be off, but maybe there was an unfortunate timing issue with his Alvarez and Ferguson loses being post USADA? Added fuel to the fire for the idiots, not even factoring in that those two guys are killers.

Yeah I vaguely remember the Tibau stuff. Utter shite isn’t it? They were using that to cast doubt on how RDA ‘suddenly’ got good enough to beat the almighty Pettis, as if Pettis was invincible himself or something. Of course, Pettis was riding high at that time and coming off a great 2013/14. He was looking like he was on the verge of becoming a huge star in MMA. But it wasn’t like he was unbeatable. He’d lost his UFC debut against Clay Guida and RDA always had the capability to have success with a similar Guida-like grappling heavy gameplan. It really wasn’t the upset many made it out to be. The only thing that was a bit surprising was just how dominant RDA was but style-wise, RDA always had the tools in the locker to give Pettis serious issues with the right gameplan.

A lot of times with these situations it just feels like bullshit excuse making because the guy who wasn’t supposed to come out on top wins. There are certain fighters who come in with hype and buzz who seem to be earmarked to be champions and future superstars from early on. When someone comes along and fucks up the script the likes of Rogan make all these excuses and put out some narrative to discredit the guy/girl who wasn’t meant to win. We saw it when Cain lost to JDS the first time, when Cain lost to Werdum, the countless times we hear about how Conor McGregor wasn’t motivated after he loses, this RDA vs Pettis example. I’m sure there’s tons more that aren’t springing to mind right now. And of course there was the stuff about UFC execs saying Amanda Nunes was just “cannon fodder” for Ronda Rousey before their fight.

Anyone else remember all that crap after McGregor beat Aldo as well, when Rogan was obsessed with Aldo apparently looking ‘deflated’? He even put up side by side pictures to show Aldo’s physique had changed but it was ridiculous. He had one photo of Aldo tensed up after a knockout win and another of him relaxed in his gym or something. Complete wank. Aldo looked the same as he always does but Dr Joe decided he was ‘deflated’ and flogged that horse well past its death. I never understood that anyway. Everyone was on McGregor’s cock then and that Aldo win was the height of it. I never got why Rogan and McGregor fans kept saying Aldo looked smaller for that fight. Surely it’s a bigger boast for McGregor if he beat a supposedly juiced up Aldo than one all fucked up coming off the PEDs? It was proper weird how fixated people seemed on it at the time, Rogan especially.

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I get that but it wasn’t like Pettis was on some mega long reign as champ. He won the title in August 2013, was out well over a year with injuries and coaching TUF, defended it once against Gilbert Melendez in December 2014 and that was his reign. RDA took the belt off him in March 2015. Wasn’t like it was a prime Anderson Silva run of dominance. Similar with Cain. He rotated dominant wins over JDS and Bigfoot for a few years and that was that until Werdum beat him. Not to say Pettis and Cain weren’t great fighters, especially back then, but they didn’t have long enough runs on top for all the GOAT talk nonsense for me. And in Cain’s case in particular, he just never fought enough of a variety of challengers. Wasn’t his fault, there wasn’t much to choose from and potential big fights against the likes of Overeem and Carwin never happened because those guys were losing/retiring at the time. But if a champ fights the same couple of challengers for their whole reign it’s hard to gauge. If Barao fought Faber and Wineland on a loop he probably would’ve stayed champ for much longer. Same if Ronda just defended against Zingano and McMann etc. They never would’ve met their boogeyman/woman in Dillashaw and Holm respectively. 

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I think it wasn't just his reign, though. Leading up to the title, he'd beaten Benson Henderson twice, in which he'd hit him with the Showtime kick, and he'd also beaten Cerrone, who wasn't shot yet, and Stephens and Lauzon. It was the second Bendo fight, when he took the belt, that made me sit up and take notice, because Bendo had been on a hell of a tear himself previously - I remember in the lead-up to the title bout, they'd really played up his record, both in the UFC and WEC, the big thing being that he'd only lost once in ages, and it was to Pettis. I hadn't been there for Henderson's rise - it was roughly around the title fight that I started getting into MMA - but I did track down some of the fights they'd both had, so I was hyped for it. Plus Bendo seemed a bit obnoxious, so I wanted to him lose the belt. But he was a hell of a fighter before Pettis got him, so I think that might be part of why Pettis got the plaudits he did, in addition to his flashy style.

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Yeah don’t get me wrong I was as swept up in Pettis’ rise as anyone at the time and there was definitely good reason to be excited about his future. First and foremost he had skills, he was exciting as fuck to watch, he was young, then throw in the clip of that ‘Showtime Kick’ that you can always replay, and as you say the previous wins over Bendo, Cerrone and Lauzon. He also was a success story when he had every chance of going off the rails when his old man was killed. Didn’t hurt that he’s a good looking bastard either. He had a bright future and seemingly all the ingredients to become a massive star. But he was also in the toughest division in the game and RDA just ragged him about all night the night they fought.

So back to the original point, I know I’ve taken it off on a tangent, I totally get why there was buzz around Pettis, but I do think the likes of Rogan and co were gutted that RDA ruined the Pettis party before it really got going there. And that’s partly why all that shite about PEDs started coming out, in my opinion. They had to have an excuse for why Pettis lost and RDA was a guy nobody really saw coming until it was too late and he was ragdolling fan favourites like Pettis, Cerrone and Diaz. There was never any plans or hype around RDA when he was coming up. That’s what I mean when I say some fighters are kind of earmarked for big things and they seem to get the opportunities a bit easier. Nothing wrong with it, it’s prize fighting and it’s always gonna be the way it is. But there’s always something a bit more satisfying to me when you see the fighter who never really had the promotional machine behind them so much, and they often take a tougher path and get there through sheer graft and refusal to fuck off. Charles Oliveira is the obvious recent example. Max Holloway and Amanda Nunes are two more. Junior Dos Santos was another. And of course RDA. There’s a bunch of them. These were all just names on a card and brought in with little expectations but they all went beyond what they were ‘supposed’ to do. Always have a soft spot for fighters like that. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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100% agree. My post wasn't so much about RDA as it was about people hyping up Pettis - I think, ultimately, one of the worst tendencies of people in general is to get carried away when someone has style, and confuse that style for substance. Pettis had substance, but he ended up being rated way above his material, unfairly both to him and to RDA.

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Smashing.

272 did need a proper co-main, to be fair but getting to the point of being a week away from RDA vs Fiziev only to have it pushed back to March is a pisser. I’m guessing Walker vs Hill will just get bumped up to headline this card now. Surely they won’t try to book a completely new fight a week out? 

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  • wandshogun09 changed the title to UFC Vegas: Walker vs Hill - Feb 19 🇺🇸

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