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UFC Vegas: Santos vs Hill - Aug 6 🇺🇸


wandshogun09
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Posted (edited)

We’re at the fucking Apex again in Vegas as we conclude another season of The Ultimate Fighter…

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ESPN MAIN CARD
Thiago Santos vs Jamahal Hill

Vicente Luque vs Geoff Neal

Zac Pauga vs Mohammed Usman - TUF Heavyweight Final

Brogan Walker vs Juliana Miller - TUF Flyweight Final

Augusto Sakai vs Sergey Spivak

Terrance McKinney vs Erick Gonzalez

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Michal Oleksiejczuk vs Sam Alvey

Takashi Sato vs Bryan Battle

Cory McKenna vs Miranda Granger 

Mayra Bueno Silva vs Stephanie Egger

 

Yeah, I’m not feeling this. There’s the odd decent fight but it’s leaving me cold really. Between having no confidence in Santos anymore, not having watched TUF at all and fucking Sam Alvey hanging around like a bad stench, then add in it’s at the Apex, I’m not in love with it. Maybe it’ll be a pleasant surprise. Not sure if this is the final bout order, it’s how Marcel Dorff’s got it and it looks about right for what’s there.

 

 

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Thiago Santos vs Jamahal Hill gets top billing this time. Not the strongest main event but not the worst either. I think a lot is gonna depend on which Santos shows up and if he’s up for it. Hill’s gonna bring it regardless and it’s a nice step up for him against a name and former title challenger. It’ll do. But I’m just not sure what Santos has left at this stage. He’s 38 years old now and he really hasn’t looked at the races since the double knee surgery and subsequent 18 month layoff. We’ve been burned in a few of his more recent fights where he’s just not been able to pull the trigger in there and I’ve seen talk of him as a boring fighter as a result. But he really wasn’t that way before the knees went to shit. The brutal headkick KO he scored against Steve Bosse has stuck with me ever since, the slobberknocker with Jimi Manuwa was insane, his knockout win over Jan Blachowicz was ace. And of course, he gave Jon Jones a run for his money just before the layoff. Since he came back though, he had his moments in the Glover fight but, aside from that, he’s been a shadow of himself. He’s 1-4 in his last 5 now and his last 3 fights (against Rakic, Walker and Ankalaev) were proper dull.

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He’s got everything to fight for now. Since his last fight, him and Yana Kunitskaya had a baby girl. There’s gonna be no lack of motivation but I’m not sure that was ever the issue anyway. I think it’s purely a physical problem with the knees. Hopefully he can find some of the old spark here because has gonna need it. Jamahal Hill’s no joke. He’s 31 years old with a record of 10-1-0-1. The only blemishes being the loss to Paul Craig where he got his arm broke and a No Contest against Klidson Abreu, which Hill originally won by TKO but got popped for weed. So the only legit loss was to Craig. He’s rebounded in style with back-to-back first round knockouts over Jimmy Crute and Johnny Walker.

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There’s the Walker finish. Walker even gets knocked out weird 😂 Hill’s a guy nobody is really talking about in the Light Heavyweight division but he looks a handful. I don’t see him going all the way but I think he’s certainly good enough to trade wins with that pack of 205ers just below the title mix at least. A big win here, especially if he gets a finish, would catapult him into a possible contender fight or at least another name/headline spot. For as much as Santos has slowed down though, he’s still no pushover and he’s not easy to put away. I really thought he’d be ripe for Ankalaev to make a big statement against last time out and it turned into a lacklustre 25 minute stalemate for large spells. You’d think timing favours Hill but we’ll see how it plays out on the night.

 

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Vicente Luque vs Geoff Neal is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** here. Didn’t even know this was signed but I like it. Two guys who at one point were thought to be potential darkhorses in the Welterweight division but it’s gone a bit wonky for both lately. Luque’s 21-8-1 with a high finishing rate of 19 inside the distance out of 21 victories. Wins over Belal Muhammad, Niko Price, Bryan Barberena, Jalin Turner, Mike Perry, Randy Brown. And recently he was on a nice little winning streak with back-to-back submissions over Tyron Woodley and Michael Chiesa. All went tits up in April when Belal shut him down over 5 frustrating rounds in their rematch. Neal’s 14-4 with 10 finishes and was starting to rack up wins over the same names Luque beat (Belal, Niko, Perry) until hitting a brick wall in the form of Wonderboy and Neil Magny, who proper derailed him with decision losses. He’s since clawed a win back over Santiago Ponzinibbio. So both are looking to rebuild and both are aggressive finishers looking to get back on track and in the contender conversation again. Should be a good ‘un.

 

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Zac Pauga vs Mohammed Usman will decide who wins this year’s TUF Heavyweight tournament. Again, I didn’t watch a single second of TUF so I’m going in blind really. Looking them up, Pauga is 5-0 with 1 finish and all his pro fights have been either in LFA or Cage Warriors. I see he did get a points win over former UFC fighter Markus Perez on a Cage Warriors show back in October, which was his last fight before going on TUF. ‘The Ripper’ is the nickname he goes by apparently. ‘Zac The Ripper’. Yeah. I know of Usman, although I’ve never seen him fight, purely because of who his older brother is.

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Yep. There’s Kamaru’s ‘little bro’. He’s 33 years old and has a record of 7-2 with 5 inside the distance. Already has a loss to Don’Tale Mayes on his record, which isn’t a great sign as Mayes has looked like a pretty bog standard average lower level Heavy in the UFC so far. We’ll see though. He’s got a big shadow to break out of with his brother being the Welterweight champ and one of the top P4P fighters in the sport currently. But hopefully he does well. He’s going for history here as well. If he wins this fight, him and Kamaru will be the first siblings to both win TUF, won’t they? I don’t think I’m overlooking anyone obvious. Be pretty cool if the Usmans got that done.

 

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Brogan Walker vs Juliana Miller is the other half of the TUF finals. This one will settle who the Flyweight season winner is. Walker’s 33 years old, from Guam, and she’s 7-2 so far. Only one submission finish (her last fight in Invicta), the rest decisions. Her 2 defeats also came by decision against ex UFC fighter Pearl Gonzalez and current UFC prospect Erin Blanchfield. And she does hold a win over Miranda Maverick on an Invicta card back in 2018. That caught my eye as I kind of rate Maverick. But Maverick would’ve only been about 20 at the time and it was only her 4th pro fight so probably not worth putting much stock into. And Miller’s only 2-1 so far but her 2 wins both came via first round submission. There’s not much information out there on her. I couldn’t even find her age! So a bit of a mystery.

 

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Augusto Sakai vs Sergey Spivak is an OK Heavyweight clash actually. I don’t hate it. Sakai’s coming off 3 straight stoppage losses so he’s in desperate need of a win here. The losses were all against strong opposition (Overeem, Rozenstruik, Tuivasa) but getting bashed 3 times on the trot is never a good look regardless. He’s not a bad fighter, has wins over Arlovski, Tybura, Ivanov etc. But I had him down as a shitehawk for years because of the absolutely rotten fight he had with Cheick Kongo in Bellator years ago. He finally won me over in the loss to Overeem but hasn’t won since. I’ve jinxed him. The KO from Tai last time was scary. That was a heavy knockout. Spivak’s only 27, has a 14-3 record, 12 finishes and wins over Tuivasa and Oleynik. He battered Greg Hardy out of the UFC in March as well ☺️ For that alone, I’m a fan.

 

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Terrance McKinney vs Erick Gonzalez. Don’t blink for this one. Don’t go and get something to eat or anything. McKinney really doesn’t fuck about. He’s only 27 years old, 12-4 record with all his wins coming inside the distance. Debuted in the UFC last June with a stunning 7 second KO over Matt Frevola and subbed Fares Ziam in 2 minutes in his next fight. But in March he got stopped by Drew Dober in one of the barmiest one rounders you’ll ever see. McKinney got off to his usual lightning fast start and had Dober in all kinds of bother early on. This time though, Dober was tough enough to weather the storm and came back to TKO McKinney himself. Gonzalez is 14-6 with 9 finishes. Made his UFC debut back in October and got knocked out in the second round by Jim Miller. I’ve only seen that one fight from Gonzalez so I might be being unfair but I see McKinney scoring another quick knockout here. I love Jim Miller but he’s not typically a big KO guy. If Gonzalez was taken out by Miller in that fashion, I don’t see him standing up to McKinney’s initial blast.

 

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Michal Oleksiejczuk vs Sam Alvey. Well, fuck. Look who’s got another fight. Didn’t they finally release Alvey after his last loss? I could swear they let him go. He must’ve threatened to leak whatever info or dodgy pictures he has of Dana or something. He must have something over them.

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Remember after the Montreal Screwjob when DX said Owen Hart was last ‘nugget’ of shite that wouldn’t flush? That’s Alvey now. An unflushable that just keeps bobbing back up in the toilet. He’s gone winless in his last 8 fights now, hasn’t won since 2018 and even then he only managed a split decision over fucking Gian Villante! That’s a fight I’ll never ever look up on Fight Pass. Alvey vs Villante. Stuff of nightmares. I’m still not over the fact that this fucker has a win over Rashad Evans. Oleksiejczuk should keep him in the L column. He’s 16-5-0-1, no world beater but he’s looked a handful at times and he’s a hitter. 11 of his 16 wins came by knockout. I think I mentioned it after he lost to Jacoby last time but I’ve long felt like he wasn’t in the right weight class at 205. He was clearly carrying some extra body fat and wasn’t in the best condition to really push the pace. Well, this’ll be his Middleweight debut. He’s finally cutting to 185. I’ll be really interested to see how he looks here. From what I’ve seen he should handle Alvey without much bother but the first time weight cut could fuck him if he doesn’t get it right.

 

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Takashi Sato vs Bryan Battle. OK. Not particularly fussed but it’s an alright matchup. Sato usually likes to trade so he could make it fun. But he’s not that good really. He made short work of Jason Witt and battered the shell of Ben Saunders but beyond that, whenever he’s stepped up to that next level he’s floundered. Belal Muhammad, Gunnar Nelson and Miguel Baeza have all schooled him in the UFC. I guess it’ll be a bit of a decent barometer for Battle in that way. He’s 7-1 and won TUF last summer but he hasn’t fought anyone we know really yet. He subbed Gilbert Urbina in the Finale and outpointed a gun-shy Tresean Gore in his next fight but the real tests will come now. If he falls at this hurdle, it won’t bode well. If he wins we can compare his performance to the more well known guys who’ve beat Sato already. If he finishes Sato he’ll have done something Gunnar wasn’t able to back in March.

 

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Cory McKenna vs Miranda Granger. Not mega fussed but I like McKenna so I’m rooting for her. She’s Welsh, 23 years old and 6-2 so far. She beat Kay Hansen in a decent fight in her UFC debut but had to take time out due to a knee injury after that. She missed well over a year of action, came back on the London card in March and dropped a split decision to Elise Reed. Granger is 30 years old, 7-2 and coming off consecutive losses to Amanda Lemos and Ashley Yoder. Barely remember her at all but I hope McKenna gets back to winning ways here.

 

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Mayra Bueno Silva vs Stephanie Egger. Can’t say I’m arsed. I’ve seen both and haven’t been particularly impressed by either. Silva’s 8-2-1 and has had very mixed results in the UFC. She has wins over Wu Yanan and Gillian Robertson and that’s about as good as it’s gotten for her. Lost to Manon Fiorot, drew with Montana De La Rosa. Just all over the place results-wise. Egger’s 7-2 and coming off a couple of finishes over Jessica Rose Clark and Shanna Young. She got outworked by Tracy Cortez before that.

 

And that’s that. 

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Edited by wandshogun09
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I fancy Brogan Walker and Zac Pauga to win the TUF Finale's. Only hope Miller has if she can drag Walker down and catch a sub, can't see that happening. Walker decision.

Usman isn't anything special, basic boxer/wrestler type but did come off great on the show. Pauga is definitely more the of the prospect, will likely drop to 205lb after the show too where he competed before TUF, like Usman came off great on the season, i'll be following his journey. Pauga by decision.

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7 hours ago, Egg Shen said:

all hail...

 

That article must be like an early Christmas present for @wandshogun09. Alvey's a right annoying bastard. Hate it or love it, the underdog's on top - as The Game might say. 

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Sadly, “someone’s going to sleep” has been in reference to the viewers for Santos’ last few fights. Hopefully he can bring a bit of the old madman out for this but I’m not holding my breath.

I read Alvey made weight on the second attempt but he can still fuck off. Hopefully Oleksiejczuk chins him. It’s his debut at Middleweight, a loss to Shitehawk Samuel would be a disaster for his fresh start in a new division. He was never a proper 205er anyway. Always looked undersized and chubby. He looked better on the scales at 185. 

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Yeah, Oleksiejczuk always looked undersized at 205. He could be a bit of a force 185 if he's made that cut right, looking forward to that.

This is one of those cards i'd imagine a lot of people are shitting up, but i'm well up for it. Maybe its cause of the added intrigue for me personally with the TUF fights? but outside of that, lots to like.

Wanna see how Battle looks at 170

Never seen Josh Quinlan fight but from im reading he's an exciting KO artist prospect.

Terrance McKinney and Vicente Luque are always must see TV.

Sam Alvey.

Popcorn is ready.

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Very entertaining main event. Wand wasnt holding his breath in seeing the old madman in this one, but the madman we got. He was on full on berserker mode for this one, and he was either winning or going down in a blaze of glory. The pace and energy he put into R2 especially was crazy/stupid (in hindsight). Hill comes out of it looking great. He took the best of what Santos had, and fought through it and delivered a nice little flurry to finish. He looked good on the ground too.

Speaking of looking great, how great did Neal look? That first round was a masterclass, and then he resumed business in the third to finish him off. Super smart fighting, and super smart corner work too. Worth checking out Saud's end of R2 speech to Neal. It certainly did the trick.

Everything else on the main card was fun to watch too. Usman looked like the modern day Brett Rogers. Only takes half of a punch from him to ring your bell. Spivak looked very good too.

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