Paid Members wandshogun09 Posted May 24, 2022 Paid Members Share Posted May 24, 2022 (edited) Apex again 🥱 ESPN+ MAIN CARDAlexander Volkov vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik Dan Ige vs Movsar Evloev Mike Trizano vs Lucas Almeida Poliana Botelho vs Karine Silva Ode Osbourne vs Zarrukh Adashev Alonzo Menifield vs Askar Mozharov ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs Felice Herrig Joe Solecki vs Alex Da Silva Damon Jackson vs Daniel Argueta Benoit St Denis vs Niklas Stolze Tony Gravely vs Johnny Munoz Jr Jeff Molina vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov Andreas Michailidis vs Rinat Fakhretdinov Erin Blanchfield vs JJ Aldrich As always, pay no attention to the bout order. It’s not confirmed yet and it doesn’t look right. Just going off how Marcel Dorff has it. Not much of a card really. Couple of alright fights and some new faces but it’s gonna be a flick through on Sunday morning job. Alexander Volkov vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik is your 5 round Heavyweight headliner. Not blown away by it but we’ve had much worse. Both are coming off complete one way traffic losses so the timing seems a bit weird for them to main event but whatever. It’s not a bad fight on paper. Volkov’s looking to rebound from getting steamrolled by Tom Aspinall on the London card in March. Probably the most decisive loss he’s had in the UFC to date. He’s been knocked out before by Derrick Lewis but was winning right up until the last minute. And he’s been dominated by Curtis Blaydes but survived the full 25 minutes. Nobody had ever just breezed through him though, until Aspinall took him down and submitted him inside a round. He’s 34-10 now. One of the more experienced guys in the division. And at 33 years old he’s not that old by Heavyweight standards. But it’s pretty clear at this stage that he’ll probably never quite get over that hump and break through into the title picture. He’s a solid fighter but he’s just lacking something that the handful of elite HWs have. Rozenstruik is kind of in a similar spot. 34 years old, 12-3 in MMA. But has a ton of experience when you add in his Kickboxing record of 76-8-1. Between MMA and Kickboxing, he’s now had 100 professional fights. And out of them, he’s scored 75 knockouts. He doesn’t fuck about. Very mixed results in the UFC though. Has stoppage victories over the likes of Junior Dos Santos, Alistair Overeem, Andrei Arlovski and Augusto Sakai. But like Volkov, he’s stumbled against the current top boys. He got blitzed by Francis Ngannou in just 20 seconds back in 2020 and dropped lopsided decisions to Ciryl Gane and Curtis Blaydes last year. He’s only losing to the cream of the crop. Those three, along with Stipe Miocic, are the title mix right now. But like Volkov, I don’t see him ever clearing that next hurdle. I like Rozenstruik though. I’d love to see him win this but really I’m just hoping for a good fight. Dan Ige vs Movsar Evloev is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. Wasn’t exactly spoilt for choice but it’s the fight that instantly stood out to me the most on this card when I first looked at it. Even then though, it’s not so much the matchup itself that interests me, it’s seeing Evloev back in there that’s got my attention. Ige has shown little flashes of potential over the years but he’s never quite been able to put it all together. Decent striking, decent wrestling etc. But he’s not outstanding at anything. His best win by far is his split decision over Edson Barboza in 2020, but I remember most had Barboza winning that one. He comes into this one off back-to-back decision losses to Korean Zombie and Josh Emmett. I think my main problem with Ige though, was his nickname was ‘Dynamite’ yet, of his 20 MMA fights, he’s only scored 4 knockouts. Now he’s going by Dan ‘50K’ Ige. Presumably a reference to fight night bonuses? But he‘s only ever got 2 of them. Just feels like false advertising. Maybe his nickname should be ‘Wolf Tickets’. Anyway yeah, it’s Evloev piquing my interest here. He’s undefeated at 15-0 and looking like a real handful so far. He hasn’t been beating people in highlight reel fashion, he’s just been shutting sods down left and right with his wrestling. Nobody’s had an answer for it yet. He’s beat Mike Grundy, Nik Lentz and Hakeem Dawodu so far. So we’re waiting to see how he does when he steps up in competition. But Grundy and Lentz are standout grapplers in their own right and got nothing done as I recall against Evloev. Probably not gonna be a barnburner, especially if Evloev has his way. But there’s something to be said for a guy like that who just keeps getting it done. Remains to be seen how he looks as he goes up in levels but, while this is kind of a step up on paper, I don’t see Ige being the one to give him too much bother. Mike Trizano vs Lucas Almeida. No fucks given really. Trizano’s just one of those guys on the roster who’s completely forgettable for me. To the point I forget he exists until the next time he pops up on a card like this. He actually won TUF back in 2018 as well. Remember when that used to feel like a big deal? I have no recollection of him in the TUF house or winning the thing. He’s 9-2 now and his best wins are decisions over Ludovit Klein and Luis Pena. Lost his last fight to Hakeem Dawodu. Partridge shrug. Almeida’s making his debut here. At first glance, he’s got a decent record of 13-1 with 12 finishes, but he hasn’t beat anyone of note so far so the jury’s out. Poliana Botelho vs Karine Silva. Not a clue. I’ve seen Botelho a few times and I actually thought she had some legitimate potential at one point but it hasn’t panned out. She’s mostly a striker from what I remember. Started off alright in the UFC and I remember her body kick finish against Syuri Kondo being nasty. That’s probably what raised my expectations, to be honest. I’m a sucker for a body shot stoppage. She’s lost 3 of her last 4 now though and has fought very sporadically over the last few years. Never heard of Silva but according to Sherdog she’s 28 years old and 14-4 with all 14 wins coming inside the distance. She scored a submission win on DWCS in October. That’s about all that’s out there. Hasn’t beat anyone you’d recognise yet but at the very least she’s been more active than Botelho recently. Ode Osbourne vs Zarrukh Adashev. Not a bad little fight, to be fair. Neither are climbing the rankings but style-wise it’s probably gonna be an entertaining fight. Osbourne’s 9-4-0-1 and going nowhere really but I’ve quite enjoyed watching him on the undercards so far. My main memory of him though, is him getting slept by Manel Kape’s flying knee last summer. Adashev’s gone a dismal 4-3 in MMA so far but, in fairness, 2 of those losses were against Su Mudaerji and Tyson Nam, who I rate. He went 19-3 as a Kickboxer but it’s just not working out for him in MMA. Like I said, they’re going nowhere but they both go for it and they both leave themselves vulnerable so they should match up for a bit of drama at least. Alonzo Menifield vs Askar Mozharov. Right then. I’m intrigued by this. Quite like Menifield. Seems a good guy. He got off to a strong start in the UFC. Came in unbeaten, all finishes, and quickly put away Paul Craig and Vinicius Moreira with first round knockouts his first two fights in. That took him to 9-0 but he hit the wall after that, losing back-to-back fights against Devin Clark and OSP. He rebounded with a couple of wins last year but then dropped a decision against William Knight in his last fight in December. Mozharov is a complete mystery. He signed a while back but his debut has been delayed a couple of times. And just looking at the cunt, I assumed USADA must’ve got him. Apparently it was Visa issues though. Hopefully he makes it to the cage this time. He’s Ukrainian, 21-8 with 19 finishes. Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs Felice Herrig 2. Yes 2. Apparently these two fought back in 2018 on the undercard of UFC 223. Kowalkiewicz won via split decision. In fact, that was the last time Kowalkiewicz tasted victory in the Octagon 😞 I almost certainly saw the fight but remember fuck all of it. At this stage in both women’s careers, this is surely a ‘loser leaves’ situation. Kowalkiewicz has lost 5 on the bounce now and got armbarred in a round by Jessica Penne last August. It seems like a lifetime ago now but she actually was a contender at Strawweight a few years ago. She’s fallen off big time. And Herrig has lost her last 3 in a row and hasn’t fought since 2020, when she was armbarred by Virna Jandiroba in less than 2 minutes. Fully rooting for Kowalkiewicz here. Always liked her and never warmed to Herrig at all. On the other hand, it might be kinder to Kowalkiewicz if she loses again here and finally steps away. She was hinting at retirement after her last fight and it’s been hard to watch her for a while now. It’s been time for a couple of years. Joe Solecki vs Alex Da Silva. Not grabbing me but might be alright. I’m vague on Solecki but I remember him looking quite good in the couple of his fights I’ve seen. 11-3, wins over Jim Miller, Matt Wiman and Austin Hubbard. Strong grappler as I recall. Still only 28 as well. But he’s coming off a points loss against Jared Gordon. Barely remember Da Silva at all but he’s 26 years old with a respectable record of 21-3 and 20 finishes. Lost to Brad Riddell last time out though and hasn’t fought in 2 years now. Fuck knows? Damon Jackson vs Daniel Argueta. This is a late switch up. Jackson was originally scheduled to face Darrick Minner but Minner withdrew. I mostly remember Jackson for the time he got wrecked in a round by Ilia Topuria. But that’s probably a tad unfair. He’s coming off a couple of wins since the Topuria loss and he’s fought pretty much everywhere over the years. He’s got 20 wins, 15 by sub. Argueta is an interesting replacement though. He’s 28 years old, undefeated at 8-0 with 6 finishes. He won the LFA Bantamweight title in his last fight and he’s a standout wrestler from what I can tell. People who still watch TUF might recognise him as he was on there last year, losing on points to the eventual tournament winner Ricky Turcios in the Quarter Finals. That’s the only ‘blemish’ so far but it doesn’t go on his record as an official loss. Benoit St Denis vs Niklas Stolze. Both men are looking for their first Octagon win here. St Denis got fucking battered by Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos in his debut back in October. Just 15 minutes of a beatdown that really should’ve been stopped. The referee caught a lot of criticism for not stepping in, and rightly so. But St Denis’ corner were just as much to blame. Seriously, it got uncomfortable to watch. And Stolze is 0-2 in the UFC so far, with losses to Ramazan Emeev and Jared Gooden. The Gooden loss was a bad one as well. He got flattened in about a minute. Don’t know what to expect. I’ve literally only seen both of them getting a kicking. Tony Gravely vs Johnny Munoz Jr. I’m like a stuck record now but, again, my memory is hazy on these two. I’m a little bit more familiar with Gravely. He’s 22-7, hasn’t looked terrible from what I’ve seen but he’s lost every time he’s gone in with someone with real substance. Don’t remember seeing Munoz fight before but he’s 11-1 with 9 finishes, 1-1 in the UFC and coming off a submission over Jamey Simmons last August. Jeff Molina vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov might just be the sleeper on the card, I reckon. At a time when there’s a never ending revolving door of new faces coming and going on the UFC roster, it’s hard for newcomers to stand out. Molina is one of the few who I’ve instantly became a fan of though. I think ZebraKidMark brought him to my attention initially, bigging him up from whatever he did on DWCS. So I tuned into his UFC debut last April and… Him and Aori Qileng went to war for 15 minutes in what was genuinely one of my favourite fights of 2021. It didn’t get a ton of praise at the time because it was on the prelims of a big card. But it was ace. If you missed it and you’ve got Fight Pass, fix that and get it watched. Trust me. Molina got the decision and then followed up with a TKO win over Daniel Da Silva in October. In just two fights, he’s a highlight of any card he’s on for me. Zhumagulov hasn’t had the best of results lately but he could be a tricky test for Molina here. He’s 14-6 and lost to Manel Kape last time out but he’s beat Tyson Nam, Tagir Ulanbekov and Ali Bagautinov over the years. He’s no pushover. Should be a fun one. Andreas Michailidis vs Rinat Fakhretdinov. Not a single clue on this. It’s Fakhretdinov’s UFC debut and my first look at him. Never even heard about his signing, to be honest. A quick search tells me he’s 30 years old, 18-1 with 16 finishes and has won 14 in a row. Like most Russian fighters coming to the US, he’s fought a lot of guys who aren’t known, so we’ll see how he does here. He did knock out ex UFC veteran Eric Spicely in his last fight in January though. 55 seconds is all it took. Apparently, Dana attended that one as part of his ‘Lookin’ For A Fight’ series and signed Fakhretdinov up there and then. Michailidis is 13-5 and coming off that vicious flying knee KO loss to Alex Pereira back in November. It appears they’re looking to use him as cannon fodder here as well but we’ll see how it plays out. Erin Blanchfield vs JJ Aldrich. Might be worth a look for Blanchfield. She’s looking like a bit of a prospect, I think. Just turned 23 years old, BJJ black-belt, former Eddie Bravo Invitational champ, 8-1 in MMA with the only loss being a split decision against Tracy Cortez a few years ago. Hasn’t blown anyone away so far but it’s early days and she‘s looked quite dominant in her two UFC outings so far, points wins over Miranda Maverick and Sarah Alpar. Time will tell but so far, so good and time is on her side. As she rounds out her overall game she could be a real problem in the Flyweight division. I’ve never really been sold on Aldrich but she’s 11-4 and coming off 3 wins. Not a bad fighter but she’s someone a rising prospect like Blanchfield needs to be beating on the way up. That’s that. Edited May 31, 2022 by wandshogun09 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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