Paid Members wandshogun09 Posted July 26, 2022 Paid Members Share Posted July 26, 2022 (edited) Fight Nights are back on the road again. Fuck the Apex. We’re off to sunny San Diego, California with this lot… ESPN MAIN CARDMarlon Vera vs Dominick Cruz David Onama vs Nate Landwehr Yazmin Jauregui vs Iasmin Lucindo Devin Clark vs Azamat Murzakanov Ariane Lipski vs Priscila Cachoeira Gerald Meerschaert vs Bruno Silva ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS Angela Hill vs Loopy Godinez Lukasz Brzeski vs Martin Buday Cynthia Calvillo vs Nina Nunes Gabriel Benitez vs Charlie Ontiveros Ode Osbourne vs Tyson Nam Jason Witt vs Josh Quinlan Youssef Zalal vs Da’Mon Blackshear That’s the bout order. I like the card quite a bit actually. It’s certainly got my juices flowing more than the Santos vs Hill one on the 6th. Main event is good and there’s a handful of fights and fighters I like sprinkled throughout. Obviously they’ve got to sell tickets to this so you’re gonna get a better card than the Apex ones. Marlon Vera vs Dominick Cruz is your 5 round main event. Good fight. Bit of an new breed vs old school feel to it but I quite like the matchup. I wasn’t really expecting this fight to get made. I kind of thought Vera would be matched with someone else given the run he’s been on of late, maybe Sandhagen or someone like that. And I was half expecting Cruz to be paired off with Aldo or Edgar in a bit of a legends fight. But this’ll do nicely. ‘Chito’ Vera is on a good little streak at the moment. He’s 19-7-1 currently and he’s had a few setbacks over the years. But he’s always game for a good scrap and he’s been putting some wins together recently. In his last 3 fights he’s beat Davey Grant on points in a FOTN winning barnburner, then he kicked poor Frankie Edgar’s face off with a POTN winning knockout, then in his last fight in April he battered Rob Font over 5 rounds in another FOTN. Font got all lumped up. The kind of beating that shaves years off a career. It was competitive throughout, Font was landing a lot and would be winning a few of the rounds, then Vera would just assault him in the last minute and steal the rounds on damage. It was a strong performance from Vera. I always knew he was tough. That was confirmed when I saw him go the distance with John ‘Hands Of Stone’ Lineker years ago. And even now, you look at the guys he’s faced over a 27 fight career and it’s crazy to think about but he’s never been knocked down. He’s hard as nails. I’ve said a few times on here that I’m not really a fan. It’s nothing to do with his fighting, I love watching him, it’s always been more to do with a bit of a dickhead vibe he’s given off at times. But he’s been winning me around a bit. The fact he handed Sean O’Malley his first (and, to date, only) loss and that it bothers the Suga fans so much is enough on its own to make me warm to him. Cruz is one of the true pioneers of the lighter weight classes. He’s 24-3 now, which doesn’t seem like a ton of fights considering how long he’s been around, but you have to factor in those horrific layoffs he had years ago through injuries. He’ll turn 37 years old a few weeks after this fight. It’s winding down. But what a career. He doesn’t get the credit these days but he’s probably the GOAT at Bantamweight. You look back over his career. He won the WEC belt, won the UFC belt, defended both more than once. Beat Urijah Faber twice, Joseph Benavidez twice, Demetrious Johnson, TJ Dillashaw, Brian Bowles, Scott Jorgensen, blitzed Takeya Mizugaki in a minute. Even recently with his career approaching the finishing line, he’s coming off wins over Casey Kenney and Pedro Munhoz. There are Bantamweights who I think are better than him and the division as a whole is a lot stronger and deeper now than when he was on top. But in terms of a body of work and accomplishments in the division, I can’t think of anyone who’s got a better overall resume at 135 than Cruz. I think newer fans just see him as the dull commentator who jumps in the cage every now and then. But he was a hell of a puzzle to solve at his peak and deserves his props. And I’m not even really a fan. I think I rooted for most of his opponents to beat him over the years. And even today, I can’t stand his boring commentating and I don’t particularly find his fighting style pleasing to watch either. He deserves credit for bringing that frantic movement and footwork style to MMA at a time when nobody was really doing it. But these days, there are so many fighters who’ve adapted that and do it better, now he just looks weird when he’s galloping around and flailing his arms about. “I just see it as total destruction. How? When? I don’t know what round. Who cares? But he’s going down and I’m going to move forward.” - Marlon Vera on fighting Cruz. It’s an interesting matchup this. Not sure what to think about it. The timing definitely favours Vera. He’s not even 30 yet and looking at his recent performances, it really feels like he’s just coming into his prime. Cruz is obviously past his and I’m not sure how many fights he has left. It all depends on how Vera responds to Cruz’s awkward herky jerky movement. You’d think most fighters today are used to that stuff now, unlike the guys Cruz would bamboozle in his prime. But you never know until the fight starts. Vera is very straight forward. He doesn’t dance around much, he wants to come forward and smash your face. On paper, that’s the kind of style that plays into Cruz’s game. But I think Cruz being older now and having gone through so many injuries, he’s just lost that little half step of speed that was once there. And I think that’s why we’ve seen him get tagged and dropped more in recent years. Even in his last fight, Munhoz had him badly hurt at one point but couldn’t close the show. I can’t help thinking if ‘Chito’ gets him wobbly like that, he won’t let him off the hook. Solid main event. Don’t know where the winner goes after this. The division is kind of wide open at the moment. Vera is ranked #5, Cruz is ranked #8. So they’re in the conversation. But we’ve also got fights coming up over the next few months like Aldo vs Dvalishvili, Yan vs O’Malley and Sandhagen vs Yadong. It’s all up in the air and it kind of feels like a spectacular win from almost any of these guys could potentially catapult them into a title fight. David Onama vs Nate Landwehr has potential show stealer written all over it. Very high likelihood that one or both of these two leave with some bonus money. This fight was actually supposed to happen in March but Landwehr pulled out. Then Landwehr was set to face Zubaira Tukhugov on this card but Tukhugov withdrew. And here we are. Onama steps in. We got there in the end. Hopefully it happens this time because it’s such a fun fight on paper. Can’t see anything but bell to bell chaos here. Onama has really made a fan of me since signing with the UFC late last year. He made his UFC debut jumping in last minute in October against Mason Jones. Up in weight as well. He lost on points but gave such a great account of himself and made a lot of fans. Since then he’s returned to his weight class, 145, and knocked out Gabriel Benitez in February and submitted Garrett Armfield in July. Quick turnaround for him here but he seems the type who will perform better by staying active. And Landwehr’s a mad bastard. He’s 15-4 now and coming off an anaconda choke sub over Ludovit Klein in October. He’s been very inconsistent in terms of results but when it comes to entertaining scraps, he’s been consistent as fuck! Never a dull moment. This should be no different. Yazmin Jauregui vs Iasmin Lucindo. Couple of Octagon newcomers here. Can’t say I’ve heard of either but, after doing a bit of digging, it doesn’t sound bad. Jauregui’s Mexican, 23 years old and undefeated at 8-0 with 6 knockouts. Almost all her fights came in the Combate Global promotion. Apparently Brandon Moreno’s already hyping her up as a future UFC champion. Obviously early days and it could just be Mexican loyalty speaking on Moreno’s part there. But she’s definitely off to a strong start. Lucindo is Brazilian and 13-4 with 10 finishes. Can’t find a lot of info about her but she’s only 20 years old, which makes her now the youngest fighter on the roster, even younger than Muhammad Mokaev. She was born in 2002. I feel old as fuck. Marcel Dorff tweeted that she made her pro debut at just 15 years old as well! Nuts. Devin Clark vs Azamat Murzakanov. Quite like the sound of this. I’ve been critical of Clark in the past but, fair dos, he’s been fun to watch lately. Up until his recent fights he always struck me as a guy whose heart just wasn’t really in it. Like he had all the physical gifts and the athleticism and all that, but never really had the stomach for a gritty, ugly fight. He’s proven me wrong recently. Especially the fight against Ion Cutelaba where he literally got his teeth smashed up but kept going for it and somehow went the distance. He took a fight at Heavyweight last time out and stopped William Knight as well. He’ll never be champ, or even a contender, but he’s alright. And my initial opinion on him was definitely harsh and wrong. Looking forward to seeing Murzakanov back in there as well… That’s how his UFC debut ended back in March. A beautiful third round flying knee KO against Tafon Nchukwi. He’s undefeated at 11-0 with 9 finishes. 8 by knockout. A lot of his opposition are unknown Russians but I did spot that he scored a 50 second KO over Andre Muniz in 2016 that’s ageing well. Muniz is looking a right handful in the Middleweight division these days. Decent fight this. Like I say, Clark’s no contender but he’s mixed with a few of them. So this should give us a good read on what Murzakanov is about. At 35 years old, he’s no spring chicken so why waste time? Let’s see what he’s got. Ariane Lipski vs Priscila Cachoeira. Yeah, nothing really to see here. This was meant to happen on the Santos vs Hill/TUF Finale card on the 6th but got pushed back a week. I don’t really mind Lipski but she’s never gonna amount to much. She’s already stumbled at the Joanne Wood, Molly McCann, Antonina Shevchenko level so there’s not much chance of her suddenly levelling up and going on some run at a belt. She did beat Mandy Bohm and I loved that kneebar she pulled off a while back but she’s pretty much found her level at this point. I’m not a fan of Cachoeira ever since that dirty and blatant eye gouging shit she pulled against Gillian Robertson. But she might actually make this more watchable. She’s aggressive, to a fault sometimes, and she’s coming off an unexpected wild FOTN scrap with Ji Yeon Kim in February which I really enjoyed. Not expecting much from this but we’ll see. Gerald Meerschaert vs Bruno Silva is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. Partly because I always like to highlight our Gez’s fights but also, it’s a genuinely fun and interesting piece of matchmaking. In a way I’m a bit torn on this one because I always root for Meerschaert but I’ve become quite a fan of Silva too. And with both coming off losses, I wanna see both return to the win column but obviously only one will. This’ll be Meerschaert’s 50th processional MMA fight. The big 50. He’s 34-15 now and of his 34 wins, only 2 were by decision. The man’s a legit finisher. A whopping 26 came via submission so you know what his bread and butter is. Love Gerald. Not only a tough as nails battler but seems a top bloke with it. Silva’s a little bit less experienced but still, this will be fight number 30 for him. He’s 22-7 with 19 knockouts. So on paper you might think it’s grappler vs striker, and I guess it kind of is to an extent, but these two can do damage wherever the fight goes. They’ve both pretty much seen everything in there at this point. Meerschaert’s coming off a ball achingly dull points loss to Krzysztof Jotko in April. Says it all about how boring Jotko is that he was able to drag Gerry into a dud. And Silva lost a decision to Alex Pereira in March. A loss that’s not ageing too badly considering how devastating Pereira’s looked against everyone else. Silva’s the only guy who’s taken Pereira the distance so far in MMA. This’ll be good. Both go for the kill from whatever position they find themselves in. It’s got the feel to me of Meerschaert catching a beating but I thought the same when he fought Makhmud Muradov and, while he did get battered early, he found a way to get the sub. Good stuff this. Angela Hill vs Loopy Godinez was actually supposed to go down in October but it’s been rushed forward for some reason and chucked on here. It’ll be at a catchweight of 120lbs due to the short notice for both women. I like the matchup but I’d rather they’d have left it where it was in October. Now they’re gonna be coming in with very limited prep time and we probably won’t get the best out of them. Loopy’s done this a few times as well. The company must love her because she’s willing to jump in at a moment’s notice but I said before I wish she wouldn’t. I think she’s got serious potential but these last minute fights aren’t always a good idea and it’s already cost her a couple of times. I get why she does it because they’re probably paying her peanuts so she wants to stay active. She’s probably thinking that by bringing this fight forward a couple of months, she’ll be able to get paid then squeeze another couple of fights in before the end of the year. I get it. But it’s a shame fighters feel they have to do shit like that because, while the short term financial gain is a plus, it can really hinder their long term progression if they’re jumping in not fully prepared and losing fights they’d have otherwise won. Anyway, this should be an enjoyable fight. Like I said, Loopy has shown real promise. She’s 28 years old, 8-2 and looked an absolute beast in her last fight in particular, dominating Ariane Carnelossi at UFC 274 in May. Strongest performance of her career to date. Completely schooled Carnelossi the whole 15 minutes and got a couple of 30-26 scorecards. Can’t ever accuse Angela Hill of trying to take easy fights. She’s nearly a decade older at 37 and she’s gone 1-5 in her last 6. She’s been in with a higher level of opposition and a couple of those losses were dodgy decisions but it’s still not a good look. She could’ve done with an easier fight this time but she’s signed to face Godinez so fair play. The short notice is a wild card for both, it’s mostly gonna depend on who was in better shape when the call came. But I’d have to favour Loopy here. She’s younger, stronger, more well rounded and her style is the type that could really give Hill fits. Lukasz Brzeski vs Martin Buday. Don’t know. Never seen Brzeski, seen Buday once and barely remember him. Looking up Brzeski, he’s Polish, 8-1-1-1 with 7 finishes. Don’t have a clue about any of his opposition in Poland but he’s already managed to pick up a loss, a draw and a No Contest. The NC was in his last fight on DWCS in September. Anyone know the story there? And is this guy any good or just another Heavyweight jabroni? Buday is Slovakian, 10-1 with 8 finishes, mostly knockouts. He dropped a decision to former TUF winner Juan Espino in 2017 but hasn’t lost since. Made his UFC debut in April and beat Chris Barnett. Cynthia Calvillo vs Nina Nunes is doing sod all for me. It was originally supposed to go down on the Fiziev vs RDA card in early July but Nunes dropped out with an illness. The delay has done nothing to increase my anticipation. They’re not even terrible fighters, it’s just a nothing fight. I remember Calvillo had a bit of a promising start to her UFC career. She came in undefeated and rattled off 3 wins in quick succession, won 6 of her first 8 inside the Octagon etc. I remember Dana seemed quite high on her at the time but it’s fizzled out. She’s 9-4-1 now, has lost 3 on the bounce and is coming off back-to-back TKO losses to Jessica Andrade and Andrea Lee. Nunes is 10-7 and coming off a couple of losses herself. She’s had her moments, the 2018 decision win over Claudia Gadelha being the high point. But she’s never been consistent enough to make a serious run at a belt or anything. She lost to Tatiana Suarez in 2019, took a long break to have her daughter and came back last April only to get submitted by Mackenzie Dern. At 36, I can’t see her making a splash now but this is basically a coin flip at this stage. Gabriel Benitez vs Charlie Ontiveros is alright undercard filler. Benitez has never been anything to write home about and every memory I have of him is him losing. But I don’t remember him ever being boring. He’s a jobber who jobs in style. I’m being harsh. He’s had his moments. He scored a nasty knee to the body stoppage on Justin Jaynes a while back, and a slam KO before that. But it’s mostly been losses. He’s 22-10 overall now, and 1-4 in his last 5. At 34, I think it’s safe to say the ship’s sailed on him going on some big run. He’s basically become a guy they feed to prospects on the way up the ladder. We’ve seen it in his last 2 fights where David Onama and Billy Quarantillo added him to their highlight reel. I think they’ve finally given him a winnable fight here though. Ol’ Sideshow Bob Ontiveros is back. He’s 31 years old and 11-8 in MMA. He’s going nowhere. Didn’t help that they threw him straight in with Kevin Holland in his UFC debut. That ended about as well as you’d expect as he got slammed and injured 2 minutes in and the fight was stopped. He returned a year later and got stopped by Steve Garcia in a fight I remember quite enjoying, to be fair. So yeah, neither are any great shakes but I’d expect Benitez to have enough about him to pull a win out of this. Could be a ‘loser leaves town’ situation though. Ode Osbourne vs Tyson Nam just got added late in the day. I like it. Osbourne has been wildly inconsistent in the UFC and when he first came in I had him down as some nothing happening ham and egger for a bit. He’s really grown on me though. He’s from Kingston, Jamaica and he’s 11-4-0-1 with 9 finishes. Not gonna give any of the top boys at Flyweight sleepless nights but he’s solid for where he is on the cards and he’s always enjoyable to watch, win or lose. There he is ironing out Zarrukh Adashev in his last fight in June. Lasted about a minute. He beat CJ Vergara on points before that and walloped Jerome Rivera in just 26 seconds up at Featherweight last year. Even in his KO loss against Manel Kape, I recall him doing well early in that one too. He’s one of those guys who you see on a card and might skip over but his record doesn’t really do him justice as far as being an exciting fighter goes. He’s pretty much always a highlight of the prelims for me. And Nam is much the same way so I expect this to be all kinds of fun. I’ve had a soft spot for Nam for years, ever since he sparked then Bellator champ Eduardo Dantas on a card in Brazil. That was in the Bjorn Rebney days of Bellator and Bjorn was so cocky he thought his champ could take a squash match on the side and Nam would just be cannon fodder. He fucked up and Nam uncorked the shock KO about 90 seconds into the first round. Always love when an underdog does shit like that. I remember Nam and Kai Kara-France having a belter on the New Zealand card in 2020 as well. He’s 38 years old now with a record of 20-12-1. He hasn’t fought for well over a year either so this could be a rough return for him but he’ll be up for it as always. Jason Witt vs Josh Quinlan. Dunno. Maybe it’ll be good but I don’t know enough about either to say I give much of a shite. In fairness to Witt, I vaguely remember enjoying his last fight with Phil Rowe and I know I loved his slugfest with Barberena before that. But everyone has slobberknockers with Barberena don’t they? Witt actually got the win though, which I didn’t remember. He’s 19-8 now and has been alternating wins and losses for the last 2 years. Never heard of this Quinlan bloke but he’s unbeaten at 5-0-0-1 with the No Contest coming in his last fight on DWCS in September. Anyone see that? Apparently the fight was stopped 47 seconds in and ruled a NC. For him to get straight in the UFC off the back of that, I’m guessing he was hard done by somehow? Youssef Zalal vs Da’Mon Blackshear is a late switch up. Zalal was originally scheduled to face DWCS newcomer Cristian Quinonez but Quinonez is out. Zalal’s nothing special but, to be fair, I vaguely recall enjoying watching him in the past. He’s Moroccan, 25 years old with a 10-5 record. Comes into this fight off 3 consecutive losses and, seeing as his name isn’t Sam Alvey, that means he could be on the chopping block here. He’s not as bad as his record suggests. Even during this recent losing streak, he went the distance with Ilia Topuria and took Sean Woodson to a split decision. Has UFC wins over Austin Lingo, Jordan Griffin and Peter Barrett. There’s a man who loves his job. I don’t think I’ve ever looked that happy at work. So yeah, Blackshear makes his UFC debut. He’s 27 years old, 12-4 with 9 finishes (8 by submission) and fights out of Jackson-Wink. He’s the Cage Fury champ and has also fought in Bellator and Titan FC. And that’s UFC San Diego. Edited August 12, 2022 by wandshogun09 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.