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UFC Austin: Kattar vs Emmett - Jun 18 🇺🇸


wandshogun09
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Posted (edited)

They’re finally leaving the Apex and taking this Fight Night on the road! Off to Texas for this one and it’s a beauty.

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ESPN+ MAIN CARD
Calvin Kattar vs Josh Emmett

Tim Means vs Kevin Holland 

Joaquin Buckley vs Albert Duraev 

Damir Ismagulov vs Guram Kutateladze 

Julian Marquez vs Gregory Rodrigues 

Adrian Yanez vs Tony Kelley

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Natalia Silva vs Jasmine Jasudavicius

Court McGee vs Jeremiah Wells 

Ricardo Ramos vs Danny Chavez

Gloria De Paula vs Maria Oliveira 

Cody Stamann vs Eddie Wineland 

Phil Hawes vs Deron Winn

Kyle Daukaus vs Roman Dolidze 

 

I know half of this is likely gonna get cancelled before the 18th rolls around but as it stands right now, for me, that’s the best Fight Night card we’ve had in a while. I’m into every single fight on that main card to some degree and when you’re getting the likes of Yanez and Daukaus on the prelims it’s a testament to the depth of the card. Good stuff.

 

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Calvin Kattar vs Josh Emmett tops this one. Love this fight. Can’t go wrong. Two guys who are just on the outside fringes of getting into that title talk mix squaring off, with 5 rounds to play with if necessary. And just style-wise, this has no right to be anything other than fireworks. Really looking forward to it.

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Kattar’s 34 years old with a record of 23-5. Came into the UFC in 2017 and racked up wins over the likes of Andre Fili, Shane Burgos, Ricardo Lamas, Jeremy Stephens and Dan Ige. There were a couple of setbacks in the form of decision losses to Moicano and Zabit in there but by the time he fought Max Holloway in January 2021, he was seen as a nailed on future contender. It never gets talked about now but there were a fair few people predicting he’d beat Holloway before that fight. We saw how it went. Holloway bludgeoned Kattar for the full 5 rounds. A complete massacre to the point Kattar took a full year off after and there were doubts he’d ever be the same again. He finally returned in January this year, taking on rising Georgian contender Giga Chikadze. A lot of people had serious doubts on Kattar going in. Me included. The beating he took from Holloway, then the subsequent layoff, plus just Chikadze’s skills and being on a roll himself. It didn’t look good. We needn’t have worried…

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He basically flipped the script and did to Chikadze what Holloway did to him a year earlier. It was a really exciting fight and Chikadze showed amazing toughness but Kattar basically broke him up for the bulk of the 25 minutes. Of course, MMA fans being the fickle fucks they are, everyone jumped off the Giga bandwagon and back on Kattar’s dick after the fight. Despite talking like he was shit because he got battered by Max Fucking Holloway in his previous fight! It was some statement for his return though. To come back from that kind of loss and put on what was, for me, probably his best performance in the UFC to date, was a big deal. He’s got another tough test in front of him here though.

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It’s kind of ‘now or never’ for Emmett. He’s 37 years old now, 17-2 and on a 4 fight winning streak. But oddly, he’s almost the forgotten man at Featherweight. I don’t really know why that is either because it’s not like his fights are boring or anything. If I had to put it down to anything it’s probably more to do with him just not being a talker or big personality. He just goes about his business. Can’t argue with his recent results in the cage though. It’s weird because he’s been in the UFC for years now, came in as one of a bunch of Team Alpha Male fighters, never really stood out and he was one of those guys who was becoming a bit of a decision merchant. Then in 2017…

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He nearly took Ricardo Lamas’ head off when his bomb of a left hook detonated on Lamas’ chin. Lamas wasn’t far removed from being in the title picture at 145, had gone the distance with Jose Aldo and Max Holloway. He’d also submitted Charles Oliveira and Cub Swanson. He was no joke. For Emmett to iron him out inside a round like that was a bit of a shocker at the time. Since then he’s also scored brutal finishes over Michael Johnson and Mirsad Bektic. It’s funny because he’s understandably got this rep as a power puncher now but he was never known as a big finisher before that Lamas KO. Even now he’s only got 6 knockouts out of his 17 wins. He found his power relatively late in his career but there’s no question he packs a punch. He hasn’t managed to finish his last two fights but he did win them. The Shane Burgos fight in 2020 is a bit of a forgotten gem.

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That was one of the best fights of 2020 easily for me. It ultimately got overshadowed by thrillers like Zhang vs Jedrzejczyk 1, Figgy vs Moreno 1 and Poirier vs Hooker but it was an incredible back and forth battle in its own right. If you missed it I’d highly recommend going back to it. He followed that up with another points win over Dan Ige in December. And here we are. Interesting that they’ve got a few common opponents but I almost feel like it’s pointless comparing those performances. Once the cage door shuts these two are gonna go for it regardless. A lot of it is probably gonna become a matter of who makes the first big mistake but my initial feeling is to slightly favour Kattar. It’s a fight that likely plays out on the feet mostly and I definitely think he’s the more technical and well rounded striker of the two. But Emmett probably has the power advantage and one big shot or flurry could end it or at least change the course of the fight. Gonna be a lively one.

 

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Tim Means vs Kevin Holland sounds like a fun one. I know everyone’s a Kevin Holland fan these days and some might see this as an underwhelming matchup but Tim Means should make for a hell of a fight with him here. At 38, and after 46 MMA fights, you’d think Means would be winding down now but here he is on a 3 fight win streak and in a featured main card spot. He’s beat Laureano Staropoli, Mike Perry and Nicolas Dalby in his last 3 fights. He’s also submitted Thiago Alves, knocked out John Howard, taken Belal Muhammad to a split decision etc. He’s a guy that gets slept on, I’m guessing mostly due to his unassuming demeanour, but he’s no pushover.

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Holland’s gonna be favoured here and I get why. He’s younger, flashier, more vocal (in and out of the cage) and he’s had the more memorable moments in the UFC. That winning streak he went on in 2020, culminating with the Jacare KO, was ridiculous. He got exposed big time in those losses to Brunson and Vettori but he looked pretty great back at Welterweight in his last fight against Alex Oliveira. I’m leaning towards Holland here myself but I think it’s a lot tougher of a fight than I’m expecting people to make out as the show draws close. I wouldn’t be shocked if Means wins, to be honest, but I think Holland probably gets it done on the night. Either way, this could well steal the show, I reckon.

 

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Joaquin Buckley vs Albert Duraev. Could be good. Buckley’s certainly had his moments in the UFC so far. I won’t post the gif of that knockout again, we’ve all seen it a thousand times. It’s gonna go down as one of the greatest knockouts in UFC history. He’s 14-4 now and aside from that KO, he’s beat Abdul Razak Alhassan, Antonio Arroyo and Jordan Wright in the Octagon. He was also giving Kevin Holland all he could handle, on short notice, before getting stopped late. He’s not without flaws but at 28 years old, he’s got some time to make a run. And even if he never gets any higher, at the very least he’s an exciting addition to any undercard. Duraev I’m less familiar with. He’s 15-3 with 12 finishes and on a 10 fight streak. Took a decision off Roman Kopylov in his UFC debut in October and has some alright wins over a few ex UFC/Bellator names earlier in his career as well. Solid fight.

 

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Damir Ismagulov vs Guram Kutateladze is one of the fights I’m most interested in on the entire card. Which is weird really because I haven’t seen a great deal of Ismagulov and I’ve only seen one fight of Kutateladze but I’m intrigued by him. Ismagulov is 20-1 and hasn’t lost a fight since 2015. He’s a former M-1 Lightweight champion and has beat Thiago Moises, Joel Alvarez and Rafael Alves so far in the UFC. Not too shabby. Kutateladze is where my interest lies here though. Not sure just how good he is yet. He’s 12-2 and has trained out of Allstar in Sweden alongside Khamzat Chimaev and Alexander Gustafsson. He made his UFC debut in 2020, stepping in on short notice against Mateusz Gamrot. All the attention and hype was on Gamrot going in but Kutateladze wound up beating him on points in a cracking fight. Came across well in the post-fight interview as well, saying he thought Gamrot won. You don’t hear fighters say that often but I thought he was being harsh on himself. I had him winning, as I recall. It’s been a while but I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do on a full camp. Although the layoff kind of throws that off now.

 

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Julian Marquez vs Gregory Rodrigues is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** here. Might seem like an odd choice unless you’ve actually watched them both. This has all the ingredients of a slobberknocker. Both seem pretty much allergic to having dull fights. I’ve probably gone and jinxed it now but, in this case, I’d be amazed if two rights somehow make a wrong. Marquez is 9-2 with all his wins coming inside the distance. Got in the UFC off a headkick KO over Phil Hawes on DWCS in 2017. In his UFC debut he submitted Darren Stewart in a forgotten barnburner and even as recently as his last fight in April 2021, he subbed and somehow dragged Sam Bastard Alvey to a FOTN! He brings it every time. And it seems Rodrigues is from the same cloth. He’s 11-4, 9 finishes, former LFA champ, beat Dusko Todorovic on short notice in a dogfight then got the TKO over Jun Yong Park in a wild FOTN scrap. Lost his last fight but, like Marquez, he’s quickly became a highlight of any card he’s on for me. These two against each other sounds like pure chaos.

 

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Adrian Yanez vs Tony Kelley. OK, looking forward to this just to see Yanez back in there. I’ve become a big fan of him since he signed with the UFC. I remember ZebraKid bigged him up on here after seeing him on DWCS…

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Not surprised seeing that. And he hasn’t disappointed so far in the UFC. He’s 15-3 now with 11 finishes and is on an 8 fight winning streak. Hasn’t been a dull moment from him in the UFC yet either. The headkick KO over Victor Rodriguez in his Octagon debut, the beautiful counter right KO over Gustavo Lopez in his next fight, the body attack and finish over Randy Costa and then a FOTN war with Davey Grant in his last fight in November. Not sure what his ceiling is but he’s still only 28, he’s gonna be around a while. I remember even Teddy Atlas gushing over his Boxing on Twitter after one of his fights. Can’t remember much of Kelley but he’s 8-2 and coming off a decision win over Randy Costa himself.

 

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Natalia Silva vs Jasmine Jasudavicius. Not gonna pretend I give much of a bollocks but I’ll give it a chance. To be fair, I remember thinking Jasudavicius looked alright in her UFC debut back in January. She beat Kay Hansen by decision and had a very solid performance. But I don’t rate Hansen much so it might’ve been misleading. Time will tell, I suppose. She’s 33 years old, 7-1 and on a 3 fight streak. Silva is making her UFC debut here. She’s 25 years old, 12-5-1 with 10 finishes, mostly submissions. That’s about all I can find on her.

 

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Court McGee vs Jeremiah Wells. To me this feels like an attempt to feed an old veteran to a fresh face but we’ll see. And to be fair to McGee, he’s coming off a couple of wins himself. He’s 21-10 as I type this, with decisions over Claudio Silva and Ramiz Brahimaj in his last two fights. Before that though, he’d lost 5 of his last 6. Tough guy, former TUF winner, has a hell of a story beating heroin addiction. But it always feels weird when I see his name on an upcoming card these days. There are fighters on the roster who started before him but I don’t know, he just feels like a relic of a bygone era in 2022. And for all the ‘old vet’ talk there, I was surprised to learn that Wells is only 2 years younger at 35. He’s definitely got less miles on him though. He’s 10-2-1, 8 finishes and coming off 4 straight wins inside the distance.

 

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Ricardo Ramos vs Danny Chavez. Dunno. Haven’t been impressed with Ramos really. He’s only 26 so maybe I’m being overly critical but I just don’t see anything special there. He’s 15-4 with 10 finishes. He does have some decent wins over Bill Algeo, Luiz Eduardo Garagorri and a wicked spinning elbow against Aiemann Zahabi a few years back. But I don’t know. He’s quite inconsistent and whenever he’s faced a proper prospect, he’s lost. Chavez is nearly a decade older at 35, 11-4-1 and coming off a draw against Kai Kamaka in his last fight. He’s fought 3 times in the UFC so far - a win, a loss and a draw - and I can’t say I remember any of it.

 

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Gloria De Paula vs Maria Oliveira. Not arsed. Seen limited footage of both but what I have seen hasn’t blown me away. De Paula’s gone a dismal 6-4, lost her UFC debut against Jinh Yu Frey, then got her face kicked off by Cheyanne Vlismas in a minute in her next fight. She finally got her first UFC win in February, outpointing Diana Belbita. Oliveira is 12-5 with 8 finishes. She hasn’t beat anyone notable but got bashed by Marina Rodriguez in a round before they were both in the UFC. Lost on points to Tabatha Ricci last time out. Pure prelim filler.

 

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Cody Stamann vs Eddie Wineland. This feels like last legs stuff for both in the UFC to me. Bit of a ‘loser leaves’ feel. Neither are bad fighters and both have had their moments but they’ve both been in slumps of late. Stamann is 19-5-1 now and coming off 3 straight losses. All against good opposition but losses are losses. And Wineland is 24-15-1. Proper journeyman record. Once challenged prime Renan Barao for UFC gold and has wins over the likes of Brad Pickett, Takeya Mizugaki and Scott Jorgensen. That was then though. Now he’s 37 and coming off back-to-back first round knockout losses. Got viciously laid out by Sean O’Malley in 2020 then John Castaneda boxed his head off last year. Stamann’s the younger man and probably considerably less beaten up, he should probably win this, but fuck knows at this point?

 

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Phil Hawes vs Deron Winn. I feel like I’ve previewed this before. Probably one of the many fights that’s been booked and fallen apart in the COVID era. Might be alright. Hawes got in the UFC in 2020 after a quick knockout win on DWCS. His Octagon debut went much the same and he blitzed Jacob Malkoun in just 18 seconds on the Khabib vs Gaethje undercard. He followed that up with strong decision wins over Nassourdine Imavov and Kyle Daukaus but got knocked out by Chris Curtis at MSG in November. Winn’s 7-2 and came into the UFC with a little bit of hype in 2019. Standout wrestler from AKA, was basically being built up as Daniel Cormier’s ‘mini me’ and beat Eric Spicely in a fun unexpected brawl in his debut. They probably moved him along a tad too quickly though and he swiftly lost to Darren Stewart and Gerald Meerschaert back-to-back. He did bounce back with a win over Antonio Arroyo last time out but that was 2020. He’ll have been inactive for 18 months by the time this fight goes down.

 

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Kyle Daukaus vs Roman Dolidze. Good fight this. I like the Daukaus brothers, Kyle especially. If you never saw it, go back and check out his absolute belter against Brendan Allen from 2020. Would’ve got FOTN on almost any other card but they were unlucky to land on the same night as Poirier vs Hooker. Daukaus has had his ups and downs since and unfortunately I don’t see him ever finding the consistency to put a serious run together. But he’s been fun to watch every time I’ve seen him. 11-2-0-1 now. Still hoping we get him and Kevin Holland rematch at some point. If you remember their fight last year ended on a clash of heads. With both men on this card, I actually wish they just booked the rematch here, to be honest. But this’ll do. Dolidze is 9-1 with 7 finishes. Came in undefeated with a bit of buzz but had only beaten unknowns. Barring a points loss to Trevin Giles, he’s done alright for himself in the UFC, although he hasn’t been finishing fights like he was pre-UFC. 3 wins though and, if the rumours are true, he’s also robbed Cheyanne Vlismas off her husband JP Buys. Homewrecker Dolidze on the prowl.

 

So that’s UFC Austin. What? I said that’s UFC Austin. 

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Edited by wandshogun09
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Very strong card for a fight night and even better that they are out of the Apex for it.

Adrian Yanez surely has to end up on the main card, he's been racking up wins since his debut and is always in fun fights. His opponent got into a bit of bother a few weeks ago. He was cornering Andrea Lee at the last PPV and he said to her something about how those dirty Brazilians always cheat. A few people on Twitter went for his head.

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I knew there was something I’d forgot about Kelley but couldn’t be arsed to look it up.

And yeah, I’d have thought Yanez would be a bit higher up the card given his exciting style and being on a nice win streak. I think that bout order is correct at the moment though. It’ll probably change multiple times yet. I’m fine with the fights that are on the main card currently, there’s nothing there that stands out as not warranting a spot. But as much as I like Buckley and as much as I’m looking forward to seeing Kutateladze back, I’d have put Yanez on the main card over either of those fights. I’d probably have gone with Ismagulov vs Kutateladze as the ‘prelim headliner’ myself. But I guess the method to the madness with these bout orders is that they wanna scatter quality throughout the card to get you tuning into the Fight Pass bit, the TV prelims and the main card. The way it stands currently, Yanez is most likely gonna be on Fight Pass.

It does feel a bit weird though. Even Kelley as an opponent feels like a step sideways, or even backwards, for Yanez coming off a FOTN win over Davey Grant and his 3 finishes before that. 

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16 hours ago, Zebra Kid Mark said:

Adrian Yanez surely has to end up on the main card, he's been racking up wins since his debut and is always in fun fights. His opponent got into a bit of bother a few weeks ago. He was cornering Andrea Lee at the last PPV and he said to her something about how those dirty Brazilians always cheat. A few people on Twitter went for his head.

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17 hours ago, Zebra Kid Mark said:

Very strong card for a fight night and even better that they are out of the Apex for it.

I get the feeling that the Apex will be used for the foreseeable future to host "contenders" style cards. Let's be honest, the cards we've seen in the Apex of late haven't really been worthy of an audience, have they? Who's buying tickets to see those fights?

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They've probably taken advantage of the Apex to just loads cards up with any old guff because they've not had to worry about ticket sales, plus it's easily allowing them to fulfill their TV contract with ESPN. 

I know i harp on about it, but the shows are just a drag, especially if you tune in early. Its just a drab experience that has slowly turned fans off, especially if its a poor night of fights. Not an Apex show goes by where Twitter isn't full of people complaining that their starting to get tired of MMA, the Apex for me is a big part of that. Combine the Apex with a lot of fans obsession with watching from start to finish and you are testing the patience of a the most hardcore of fan. 

 

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1 hour ago, Egg Shen said:

I know i harp on about it, but the shows are just a drag, especially if you tune in early. Its just a drab experience that has slowly turned fans off, especially if its a poor night of fights. Not an Apex show goes by where Twitter isn't full of people complaining that their starting to get tired of MMA, the Apex for me is a big part of that. Combine the Apex with a lot of fans obsession with watching from start to finish and you are testing the patience of a the most hardcore of fan. 

The days of fans watching the UFC from first buzzer to last have been over for some time though, right? No one is watching every fight nowadays, are they? 

For Apex shows I'll throw them on when I have a lazy Sunday, and at most I'm paying attention to the co-main and main event. At most.

The PPV's are the only shows I'm really paying attention to.

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Nah, I still think there's a fair portion of die hard fans who watch from start to finish, and at a time when there's so many shows it must be draining to do it all, i've felt that. I very much skim the prelims these days unless they are particularly loaded.

Prelims and main cards on an Apex show just all melds into one though, there's no sense of anticipation or buzz in the building as you lead towards the main event as the crowd fills up, it just all feels the same, from first fight till last, over and over. Even the press days and media leading is exactly the same, every single time.

All this said, I do think it has lead to the PPV's and shows like the London show feel much bigger and be way more enjoyable to watch.

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With the size of the roster and the sheer amount of shows they have to put on now, the Apex events make perfect sense. 

I see UFC events split into two categories. The first is the PPV and "crowd" shows. These usually feature title fights, top 5/10 fighters all competing for ranking and title shots, or settling grudges and so forth.

The Apex shows are for up & coming talent (most of which won't make the grade) and for fighters who are lower-tier PPV level who are offered a "main event" slot to keep the TV companies happy.

If a new fighter comes in and looks impressive on a few Apex shows they can hopefully expect to find themselves shifted to the lower end of a PPV card, or a PPV prelim show. 

Personally, I tend to skip about 90% of the Apex shows. Unless @wandshogun09 makes me aware of someone worth seeing. PPV's are where I really focus my attention these days.

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Yeah, thats a good way to look at it. Id imagine the actual Apex cards will get even thinner if they are going to be putting more regular Fight Night shows on with audiences too.

I have no issue with the Apex fight cards in terms of quality they are what they are, it's purely the aesthetic and setting that i'm not a fan of.

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Latest bout order, a few prelims shuffled around. @Zebra Kid Mark will be pleased to see Yanez has moved up the card a bit.

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Still not on the main card but at least he’s not gonna be on Fight Pass now. Still a bit baffled why they’ve got Daukaus vs Dolidze in the curtain jerker spot but whatever. 

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That's a bit better. Though he should be opening up the main card in my mind! Small win though, I'll take it.

Kyle Daukaus curtain jerking is absolutely bizarre. He got performance of the night in his last fight and made Kevin Holland tap out in the fight before (then it was rightfully changed to a NC).


Crazy matchmaking.

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I think Wand is right, they try to sprinkle bits and pieces through each portion of the broadcast. It doesn't work for me though as there's no way I'd sign up for Fight Pass again. The most useless app I've ever had. The complete opposite of the quality of the content that they have on it. 

That's as good a looking main card as they have had on a fight night since the London one. Hoping Hawes, Daukus and Stamann all get wins early on the show. 

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