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UFC Vegas: Rodriguez vs Lemos - Nov 5 🇺🇸


wandshogun09

Who wins and how?   

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“Will this be the first show ever that doesnt have a Wand write up?” 😄 - @Dai

No.

Back at the bastard Apex on Bonfire Night with this lot.

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ESPN MAIN CARD
Marina Rodriguez vs Amanda Lemos 

Neil Magny vs Daniel Rodriguez 

Darrick Minner vs Shayilan Nuerdanbieke

Tagir Ulanbekov vs Nate Maness 

Mark Madsen vs Grant Dawson 

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Miranda Maverick vs Shanna Young 

Mario Bautista vs Benito Lopez 

Jinh Yu Frey vs Polyana Viana 

Johnny Munoz Jr vs Liudvik Sholinian 

Jake Hadley vs Carlos Candelario 

Ramona Pascual vs Tamires Vidal 

 

Yeah not great. That’s the bout order as it stands now, no doubt it’ll change a bunch of times over the next week and a bit before the show. This was the card that was supposed to have Bryce Mitchell vs Movsar Evloev as main event 😢 that would’ve gone a long way towards polishing this turd. Still some stuff of interest on this though. Might just be a Sunday afternoon watch on fast forward and cherry pick job.

 

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Marina Rodriguez vs Amanda Lemos headlines. Yeah, not ideal. A far cry from the fascinating potential ground classic we could’ve seen from Bryce Mitchell and Movsar Evloev. But this isn’t a bad fight at all, it just doesn’t feel worthy of a main event spot. To be fair, I think Rodriguez is in that position now where she should be in these 5 rounders, she’s a top contender now, decent to watch and she’s got to be on the verge of a crack at the gold. I’ve got no problem with her in a Fight Night main event. But as harsh as it sounds on Lemos, she’s dragging it down a few notches for me. We’ve had a couple of women’s headliners at the Apex in the last month or so that fit that mould. Dern vs Yan and Grasso vs Araujo felt very similar in that they only seemed to be headlining because the UFC wanted to build up the ‘A side’ in both fights and give them some spotlight. They were clearly looking to build Dern and Grasso up for title shots. Dern lost, Grasso won. In this case, I think it’s clear that Rodriguez is the one they’re looking to showcase but we’ll see how it goes.

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So yeah, I quite rate Rodriguez. So much so that I think I predicted she’d be the Strawweight champ by the end of 2022 in that ‘MMA Champions’ thread somewhere on here. That’s obviously not gonna happen now. Esparza vs Zhang goes down a week after this fight so the winner of that is gonna end the year on the throne. There was a genuine argument to be made for Rodriguez getting the title shot before Zhang though. As much as I’m a fan of Zhang, she’s coming off one win (over a Joanna Jedrzejczyk who had one foot in retirement) and before that she’d gone 0-2 in back-to-back title fights against Rose Namajunas. Meanwhile, Rodriguez is 16-1-2 and on a 4 fight winning streak. She knocked out Amanda Ribas in early 2021, stepped up last minute and beat Michelle Waterson over 5 rounds after that, then in her last two fights she’s taken decisions off fellow top contenders Mackenzie Dern and Yan Xiaonan. Even the blemishes on her record are all debatable. A couple of majority draws and a split decision loss to the current champ Esparza in 2020. Just the fact their first fight was close and Rodriguez has rebounded with 4 wins should’ve earned her another shot, in my opinion. But whatever. It just feels like a win here over Lemos isn’t even gonna make her case that much stronger. A big finish or something might. Maybe. But I can just as easily see them somehow shoehorning Rose back in which would be bullshit. We’ll see what happens but if she wins here, I think it’d be very harsh if she doesn’t get the winner of Esparza-Zhang in the first half of 2023. She’s ranked #3 now so she’s right there. At 35, it’s not like she has a ton of time.

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Lemos is also 35 and has a record of 12-2-1 with 10 finishes. I’ll say that for her, she’s not one of those women fighters who seems content to just go out and pitter patter spar to the scorecards. She’s always looking for the finish. She seems to pack quite a punch, 7 of her 10 finishes have came by knockout or TKO. She had a cracking FOTN scrap with Angela Hill last December which she barely won by split decision as well. This year’s been 50/50 though. She got submitted in embarrassing fashion in April when Jessica Andrade caught her in the first ever standing arm triangle finish in UFC history. She bounced back in July though with a POTN winning submission of her own against Michelle Waterson. She’s far from boring and I expect this to be quite an enjoyable fight to watch, in all fairness. It’s kind of dead on arrival as a headliner and it’s gonna be met with a mixture of criticism and apathy but on the night it’ll probably be decent enough to watch.

 

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Neil Magny vs Daniel Rodriguez was supposed to go down on the Oct 15th card but Rodriguez got a nasty infection in his elbow which forced the fight to be postponed a few weeks. Interesting one. For all the criticism Magny gets for being a bit of a dullard, and it’s valid criticism, you have to give credit where it’s due. He never shies away from the tough fights that others probably don’t fancy much. He just lost to Shavkat Rakhmonov in June and here he is back in another hard fight with another guy who’s on the rise. You look at Magny’s record as well - wins over Robbie Lawler, Carlos Condit, Johny Hendricks, Kelvin Gastelum etc. Even as recently as last year he took a decision off Geoff Neal. But it says a lot about just how utterly beige he is to watch that he’s got a list of wins like that and the fights aren’t memorable at all. But if nothing else he’s always a solid gatekeeper and a test for guys trying to break through into that upper level at 170. And that’s where Rodriguez (no relation to Marina) comes in. D-Rod’s coming off that chaotic UFC 279 fight week where he ended up winning a hotly debated decision over Li Jingliang. At 35, he’s not exactly some young prospect. But I guess he’s a bit of a late bloomer and he’s looked pretty good recently. I don’t see him going much further but he’s 17-2 and coming off 4 wins. He got some shit for the ‘dodgy decision’ over the Leech but it’s worth remembering he was scheduled to fight Kevin Holland right up until weigh in day. Everyone was thrown off by that 24 hour mess caused by Chimaev. This is a proper test for Rodriguez. Hard to look good against Magny, let alone beat him.

 

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Darrick Minner vs Shayilan Nuerdanbieke. Not arsed. Not even saying it’ll be bad, I’m just not invested at all. Minner’s 26-13 and going nowhere really. He’s decent at a certain level but he’s found his ceiling and it’s not particularly high. Very much a submission specialist, 22 of his 23 wins came via sub. He does have some alright wins on his record, most notably a pre-UFC win over Terrance McKinney by submission in less than a minute. He’s also beat Clay Collard and Charles Rosa. Not bad. But he’s still lost a big old chunk of his fights, including his last two against Darren Elkins and Ryan Hall, and he hasn’t fought at all this year. Very hazy on Shayilan but looking up his record, he’s been a busy boy. He’s only 28 and he’s already had 48 MMA fights! He’s 38-10 with 28 finishes. As you’d expect, the vast majority of his fights were in China against guys you’ve never heard of. But regardless, it’s all experience. He’s 2-1 in the UFC and has won decisions against Sean Soriano and TJ Brown in his last two outings.

 

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Tagir Ulanbekov vs Nate Maness. Outside chance of this being a bit of a darkhorse show stealer actually. I know a show like this most likely isn’t gonna be particularly difficult to steal but this might be fun. The Flyweights usually bring it. Ulanbekov is a guy I haven’t taken that much notice of really but I remember loving his last fight with Tim Elliott in March. Real action packed and fast paced fight as I recall. Ulanbekov lost on points but it was great to watch and just based off his performance in that fight, I’m looking forward to seeing him in there again. Maness is 14-2 and was on a nice little 4 fight winning streak before running into Umar Nurmagomedov in June. Maness lasted the full 3 rounds though, which might’ve been a bit of a moral victory in itself given how high most people seem on Umar. Certainly didn’t disgrace himself and he’s always game. Should be good.

 

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Mark Madsen vs Grant Dawson then. I’m actually gonna give this the ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. Genuinely think this is a very interesting clash. Madsen was all set to face Drakkar Klose on the Kattar vs Allen card a week before this but Klose is out with a knee injury. I think Dawson might be a tougher test though. And depending on where Dawson was at conditioning-wise and weight-wise when the call came, this could be a tricky one.

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Madsen’s undefeated at 12-0 but was a late starter in MMA. He’s 38 now and his prime years physically were spent on the amateur wrestling mats, where he went as far as winning the silver medal at the 2016 Olympics. He made his UFC debut in 2019 on home soil in Denmark and breezed through his opponent in a round. He looked like a star that night but he’s never quite been able to recapture that. He got a points win over Austin Hubbard in his second UFC fight and completely dominated for most of it.

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But he did get badly rocked by a big knee late in the fight and that started a run of awful luck for him. The knee itself broke his jaw, which then got infected and required a second surgery. Then he got COVID. Then his wife was diagnosed with MS. He was out for some time, finally returned last August and took a split decision off Clay Guida. He followed that up with another decision over Vinc Pichel at UFC 273 in April. Wasn’t the most exciting fight to watch but a win is a win. And the win became more satisfying in hindsight after seeing Pichel being a ‘grappling is for cowards’ twat after the fact. Dawson’s a decade younger at 28 and has been quietly stacking up wins for a few years now in the UFC. He’s 18-1-1 now with 16 finishes, mostly submissions. Hasn’t lost since 2016 and he’s beat the likes of Jared Gordon, Julian Erosa and Darrick Minner. He also fought BJJ black-belt Leonardo Santos last year, showed zero fear of his dangerous guard and blasted him out with a ground and pound knockout. He’s unproven against top opposition but he’s on a strong run and he’ll be coming in confident here. So yeah, an intriguing fight but I’m just not sure about Madsen. He’s obviously got the wrestling chops to ragdoll a lot of guys but I always get the feeling watching him that he’s about to get clipped. Like a modern day Matt Lindland.

 

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Miranda Maverick vs Shanna Young. Nothing fight. I think Maverick is decent but Young isn’t interesting at all as an opponent so this just feels like a squash match to me. Maybe I’ve got it all wrong, wouldn’t be the first time, but I just don’t see Young doing well at all here. Maverick’s 25 years old with a record of 10-4 and 7 finishes. She’s had a couple of setbacks but even in her losses I think she’s shown some potential and I remember thinking she should’ve got the decision against Maycee Barber. She got back on track in March with a submission win over Sabina Mazo. I like what I’ve seen. Young is 31 with an 8-4 record. She got a TKO over Gina Mazany in her last fight but that’s probably her best win. Says it all really. She lost to Stephanie Egger and Macy Chiasson before that. I think Maverick wins this comfortably myself.

 

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Mario Bautista vs Benito Lopez might be a decent little Mexican vs Mexican battle. Neither are gonna be shaking up any title pictures or rankings, especially in a division as strong as Bantamweight is these days, but it could be fun for what it is. Bautista is 10-2 with 7 inside the distance. And one of his two losses was against Cory Sandhagen so no shame there. He’s won 4 of his last 5, amongst them being this beautiful flying knee KO over Miles Johns in 2020…

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…and a quick submission over Brian Kelleher in his last fight in June. Lopez is a proper weird one though. Beat Steven Peterson on DWCS all the way back in 2017 and came into the UFC as an undefeated prospect. Suffered his first loss against Manny Bermudez, came back with a win over Vince Morales then…nothing. He hasn’t fought since July 2019. All I can find is that he got injured around that time but 3 years out is brutal. Even after all this time out, he’s still only 28 years old. Amazingly, it’s still not too late to make something happen. But he’s got a lot of lost time to make up for.

 

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Jinh Yu Frey vs Polyana Viana might not be a FOTY candidate but they’re both certainly nicer to look at than Sherman and Parisian. They’re going nowhere really though. Frey is 37 years old now and 11-7. Fought at Atomweight earlier in her career, winning the Invicta belt but wound up being stripped of it due to a weight miss. She moved up to Strawweight after that and made her UFC debut but she’s gone a dismal 2-3 since and comes into this one off a split decision loss to Vanessa Demopoulos. Polyana Viana is the one though…

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😍

The ‘Iron Lady’ is Brazilian, 30 years old and she’s 12-5 with all 12 wins coming inside the distance. She actually scored a first round knockout over Amanda Ribas on a Jungle Fight show back in 2015 but she’s had a really hot and cold UFC run. Made her first Octagon appearance in 2018 and she’s gone 3-4 since. At one point she was on a 3 fight losing streak, then scored a couple of quick submissions over Emily Whitmire and Mallory Martin but she dropped a decision against Tabatha Ricci last time out. Both seem nice enough but I hope Viana gets back to winning ways here. She’s never gonna amount to much sadly but she’s at least a finisher and more exciting to watch.

 

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Johnny Munoz Jr vs Liudvik Sholinian. Just filling a slot. Nothing much to it. Munoz is 11-2 with 9 finishes. He’s 1-2 in the UFC with a win over Jamey Simmons. He’s coming into this one off the back of a quick KO loss to Tony Gravely in June. Sholinian is Ukrainian and 9-2-1 with only 4 finishes. He’s bounced around and had spells in M-1, Bellator and LFA, among other feds. Made his UFC debut last September and got outclassed by Jack Shore over 3 rounds. Pretty sure he stepped in on short notice for that though, so maybe not a fair reflection.

 

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Jake Hadley vs Carlos Candelario should be worth tuning in early for. Being a fellow Brummie, I’d heard of Hadley and that he’d been doing pretty well, was undefeated and had already won Flyweight gold in both the Cage Warriors and EFC promotions. So when he was announced for DWCS last year, I made a point of tuning in. Well he won his fight and looked pretty good. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. By all accounts he was a right cock and a pain in the arse to deal with behind the scenes during fight week. On top of that he missed weight. Dana still gave him a UFC contract though, against the wishes of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard, who Dana said were pissed at his decision to sign Hadley. Dana said he had “a gut feeling that this kid has something special”. Hadley made his Octagon debut in May…and lost on points to Allen Nascimento. As much as I’d like to root for Hadley, he seems a bit of a helmet in everything I’ve seen of him so far. This doesn’t help either…

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Comparing himself to Marvin Hagler? Get the fuck out. Hadley’s a good addition to the Flyweight division, to be fair. He’s got the kind of style that should make for an enjoyable fight with almost anyone. And maybe most importantly, he might be the dickhead the division is missing. Always makes it more entertaining when a weight class has a twat to root against and he might be it. 8-1 now and only 26 years old. I don’t see him going on some streak but he’ll probably have his moments along the way and there’s plenty of fun fights to be made. Can’t help but think a Hadley vs Mokaev fight could be a cracking domestic scrap somewhere down the road. They’ve already had a pop at each other a few times. One for the future maybe. He’s got to get past Candelario first though. He’s 31, 8-2 with 5 finishes and lost his UFC debut by decision against Japanese prospect Tatsuhiro Taira on the same card as Hadley’s debut back in May.

 

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Ramona Pascual vs Tamires Vidal. Dunno. I’m not familiar enough with Pascual to really give much of an opinion and I’ve never seen Vidal before so fuck knows? Pascual’s Filipino, 34 years old and 6-4 with 5 finishes. Despite my limited knowledge of her, 6-4 does kind of suggest she’s not much good, doesn’t it? She’s gone 0-2 in the UFC so far as well. Losing decisions to Josiane Nunes in February and Joselyne Edwards in June. I only remember the Nunes fight and Pascual’s tough, I’ll give her that. Nunes is a heavy handed little fucker and Pascual ate some bad shots as I recall and hung in there. But that’s it. When the only positive thing that can be said is “she can take a dig”, it’s not something you wanna become known for, is it? Vidal’s Brazilian, 24 years old (I’m gonna need to see the birth certificate for that one) and currently 6-1 with 2 submissions. Only names I recognise on her record are a submission loss to Karol Rosa in 2019 and a DQ win over Ailin Perez in 2021. She comes into this fight off a heel hook finish in LFA in March. 


That’s your lot. 

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Edited by wandshogun09
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Really not feeling this one but here’s the card and start times. 8pm prelims means I’ll most likely whack them on live for a bit but I doubt I’ll be seeing this one through to the end tonight. I’ll skim through the rest tomorrow. 

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For what it was, this turned out alright all in all. Was a weak as piss card, even by Apex standards, but a combination of the early start, the card not having a ton of fights and 9 finishes out of the 11 fights, it was an easy enough watch.

Main event went different to how I expected. Amanda Lemos has always had heavy hands so there was always some risk involved with this one. But I just thought Rodriguez was a level above and would outwork her to a pretty clear decision. Got it all wrong. Whether I overrated Rodriguez, underestimated Lemos or what, Lemos surprised me a bit here. Not so much the finish, like I said, she always has that potential to change the course of a fight with her power. But even before that, I had her winning the second round quite clearly as well. Think I had them 1-1 going into the third, then Lemos rendered the scorecards useless…

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Rodriguez has called it an early stoppage and I’ve seen a few people agreeing. The ref could’ve let it go a few seconds longer but I don’t feel like anything would’ve changed. Rodriguez was offering nothing back, just shelling up, turning away and eating shots. She was clearly badly buzzed and turning away like she did, she really left the referee with no choice. Luckily for her, Lemos was quite sloppy with the finishing flurry and none of the shots landed flush, or that could’ve been bad. I didn’t see Rodriguez getting out of that position though. Fine with the stoppage myself, although I get why Rodriguez would think it was called too soon. A fighter is always gonna think they were still in the fight. Not sure where either go from here. Think Rodriguez was ranked #3 going in so this has to bag Lemos a big fight next. Maybe Rose Namajunas? The loser of this Saturday’s Esparza vs Zhang fight? She’s in the mix now.

Neil Magny did his thing again. I’ve made no secret he’s not a favourite of mine but credit where it’s due, he looked good here. One of his better fights. I’ve referred to him as a Katlyn Chookagian type in the past. I take it back, that’s too harsh. He’s never been that bad to watch. Never been a fan but he’s no mug and a real good barometer to measure up and comers against. Rodriguez wasn’t up to the task. He looked dangerous at times with that left hand but Magny did a good job containing him, shutting him down and then finally finishing with the D’Arce in the third round. First man to finish D-Rod, got a POTN bonus and now holds the most wins in UFC Welterweight history. Not a bad night’s work. Gotta hand it to him as well, calling out Gilbert Burns to fight on Burns’ turf in Brazil in January! Got a feeling Burns might not go for it though. Not that he fears Magny, Burns is as game as anyone. But I think Burns is still after that Masvidal fight. I’d be up for either.

Shayilan Nuerdanbieke vs Darrick Minner was over before it ever got going. Bit of a weird one. Minner apparently injured his leg throwing the body kick and Shayilan rightly jumped all over him and got the finish. All done and dusted in about a minute. I just took this at face value, it seems like we’ve had more fights end by injury this year than usual. But then I saw this on Twitter earlier…

Who knows? 

Tagir Ulanbekov made short work of Nate Maness. Looked like he was gonna pull his head off with that guillotine. Had a bad feeling about Maness after that weight cut pic. Not sure it was a factor here, the fight ended too quick really. But I think Ulanbekov would’ve beat him regardless.

Grant Dawson basically out Mark Madsened Mark Madsen, didn’t he? Pretty impressive, to be honest. I’ve never been fully convinced by Madsen, as good as he’s looked at times and as strong a wrestling base as he has, it’s always felt like he just got into MMA a bit too late for me. Almost every time I’ve watched him since his UFC debut a few years ago, I’ve had this feeling it’s all about to go wrong for him.

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Dawson did a great job here. Got dropped early in the fight but really took it to Madsen after that, had more success in the wrestling than I expected but just seemed to have more MMA tools overall and it made the difference in the end. Nice sub. Gotta say I cringed a bit when he called out Tony Ferguson post-fight though. I mean, I get why it’s an appealing fight to him. Ferguson’s a name etc. But calling out Ferguson these days just feels cheap. He’s about to turn 39, he’s shot to bits, coming off 5 straight losses and has been finished in his last 2, one being that horrific kick from Chandler. Calling out Ferguson in 2022 just isn’t a good look. Plus Dawson missed weight for this fight. Something just felt off about the whole thing. Miss weight then call out the empty shell of a once great fighter? Nah. He might as well have dropped to his knees and blew DC in the post-fight interview as well. Get your tongue out of his arse, for fuck’s sake.

Maverick vs Young did little for me. Maverick won and pretty much dominated from start to finish but I really thought she should’ve got Young out of there just because Young is so crap. Seemed like Maverick was just coasting at times but it wasn’t really competitive. Kind of liked Maverick’s callout of Molly McCann after. Obviously Meatball’s got Erin Blanchfield at 281 in less than a week, and I think she loses that. But I wouldn’t mind seeing Maverick against either McMann or a Blanchfield rematch.

Mario Bautista looked good breezing through Benito Lopez for the first round submission. Loved the triangle/armbar combo.

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Not the return Lopez was looking for. Bit of a disaster all around for him really. Missed weight badly on Friday then gets finished like that in the fight? He’s still only 28 but he’s gonna have to sort himself out. He was bragging the other day that he’d had an easy weight cut then came in 3lbs heavy or something like that. Given that he’d been inactive 3 years before this, his best bet now would surely be to just stay in camp, keep his weight down and try to get another fight ASAP. Make up for that lost time and get that weight under control. Otherwise he’s not gonna be on the roster much longer.

Polyana Viana took some time out from avoiding Colby’s arsehole and killed poor Jinh Yu Frey stone dead.

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47 seconds. Which is probably about how long I’d last with Viana. What? Get your filthy mind out of the gutter. I mean in a fight, of course. On a serious note, I think I touched on it in the opening post but Viana is very much a finisher. This takes her to 13-5 with all 13 wins coming by KO/TKO or submission. It’s at a fairly low level, of course. I’ve got no doubt she wouldn’t be putting the top few women in the division away but it’s refreshing to see a Strawweight who goes for the kill the way she does. Seen a few on Twitter hyping this up but this doesn’t convince me Viana goes very far. Even while she was swarming on Frey, she had her chin straight up in the air. And Frey has been barely hanging onto her spot on the roster for a while now so it’s not like this win means much. Viana’s always fun to watch though, win or lose she usually makes for an entertaining fight and these cards need all of that they can get.

Jake Hadley got a bit of redemption after losing his UFC debut a few months back. Thought he looked quality here. Always love to see the use of elbows from the bottom when setting up triangles and stuff.

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He looked better in the striking than I remember as well. Much better overall performance than his UFC debut and he made weight this time, unlike when he was on DWCS. Candelario missed weight this time so Hadley gets some of his money. Been a shaky introduction to the big leagues for Hadley but this was the type of performance he can build from. He’s the first to finish Candelario as well. Still something about him I find really unlikeable though. He’s from Brum and I’d like to support him but there’s something about him that always makes me wanna see him get decked. He’s good to watch though.

Tamires Vidal had an awesome debut in the Fight Pass opener. Couldn’t have gone better for her. Showed zero signs of Octagon jitters, dancing her way to the cage, then put Ramona Pascual away in the first round with a beautiful flying knee to the body.

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Fuck 😬

Not often you see that. Pascual was done the second it landed. Good stuff from Vidal here. Fair enough the opponent wasn’t great but as a debut fight this was ideal. Pascual’s looked tough and durable in her previous two UFC fights so Vidal getting her out of there early was fairly impressive. And for Vidal to look so relaxed in the walkout and in the fight, in her UFC debut at 24 years old, she’s gonna be one to keep an eye on. Pascual’s almost certainly gonna be shown the door now. This loss takes her to 0-3 in the UFC, she’s just been stopped in a round and she missed weight for this fight. She’s gone.

Yeah, not a bad bunch of nothing fights really. Always helps when these cards have a lot of finishes. I was sure the main event and Magny vs D-Rod were gonna go the distance but even they ended quite dramatically. Better than it looked going in, but that’s not saying that much.

Whatever. It’s 281 fight week now. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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I only watched the main card, and to be fair it was a pretty solid set of fights. Some solid performances in here, with my highlights being Magny and Dawson. Glad that the main event had a nice KO, as it was a stinker up until that point. Rodriguez looked terrible I thought. A main event slot, and she looked awful.

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