Paid Members wandshogun09 Posted February 19 Paid Members Share Posted February 19 (edited) Yet another Saturday night at the Apex this week. Hopefully one of the last times we’ll be doing this shit… ESPN MAIN CARD Andre Muniz vs Brendan Allen Augusto Sakai vs Don’Tale Mayes Tatiana Suarez vs Montana De La Rosa Mike Malott vs Yohan Lainesse ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS Erick Gonzalez vs Trevor Peek Gabriella Fernandes vs Jasmine Jasudavicius Jordan Leavitt vs Victor Martinez Ode Osbourne vs Charles Johnson Joe Solecki vs Carl Deaton III Nurullo Aliev vs Rafael Alves Not much better than the Andrade vs Blanchfield card, to be honest. It’s gonna get shat all over. I do think it’s a slightly better card overall just because there’s a couple of interesting fights on the undercard but I’m way less into this main event. Oh well. Can’t wait for them to finally get these shows back on the road. It’s always “fuck the Apex” in this house. Andre Muniz vs Brendan Allen is a good fight. I think it’s better than the main event myself. Muniz is one of the real darkhorses of the Middleweight division to me and has been for a while. I don’t see him ever becoming champion or anything but he’s a tricky fucker to deal with and a potential banana skin for a lot of guys coming up through the rankings. Probably why there isn’t a line of 185ers who seem too eager to fight him. He’s 33 years old now, a 3rd degree BJJ black-belt and has a 23-4 record with 19 finishes. 15 of them came by submission. He’s won his last 9 fights in a row and he’s 5-0 in the UFC with 3 first round armbar submissions in there. His most notable win to date came in 2021 when he finished Jacare Souza with a brutal armbar, breaking his arm in the process. Nasty stuff. You actually heard the snap on the broadcast. That wound up being Jacare’s last fight as well, he announced his retirement a few months later, although there have been rumblings of him returning to grappling competitions and even doing a Boxing match since, it seems the Muniz loss was his farewell to MMA. To finish a decorated BJJ beast like Jacare with an armbar like that is a hell of a feather in the cap. Since then Muniz also armbarred Eryk Anders and then won a decision off Uriah Hall in July. And guess what? Hall then announced his retirement! Fucker’s snapping limbs and ending careers left and right. You’d think people would be talking more about him but he’s almost the forgotten man at 185. This is where Brendan Allen deserves credit. Like I say, there hasn’t been a line of guys offering to fight Muniz. But Allen called him out after his last win. No silly fake beef, just genuinely seems to want to test himself in a tough fight, which is always admirable. He originally called for the fight to go down at UFC 283 in Brazil in January, which was even more ballsy. Not only challenging a guy who seems to be being avoided, but wanting to fight on his turf? Fair play. It obviously never got done in time but I’m glad they did make the fight. Allen’s no pushover himself either. His confidence will be high coming off a first round sub over Krzysztof Jotko in October. That was a good win for Allen. I’ve made no secret of my complete apathy towards Jotko. He’s a real dullard. The male, Polish version of Katlyn Chookagian. But he’s not easy to beat, and even harder to look good against. He was 24-6 and had just beat Gerald Meerschaert going into that fight, so for Allen to strangle him inside a round was good going. Allen’s 20-5 now, with 16 finishes and 11 submissions in his own right. He’s won his last 3 fights. This is a legit fight. I’d favour Muniz just because it’s probably gonna end up on the ground at some point and, as good as Allen is, Muniz is next level there. But Allen’s as game as they come and will be bang up for this. Really looking forward to it. Augusto Sakai vs Don’Tale Mayes. Yep. Every single card has to have one of these shitty Heavyweight fights. This isn’t as bad as some we’ve been subjected to of late but it’s still not a fight I’m looking forward to. Sakai is 15-5-1 and on a horrible 4 fight losing skid. He was stopped in all 4 fights. He went 4-0 in his first 4 UFC fights, then went 0-4 in his following 4. They matched him up tough in his last 4, to be fair, but that’s the point. Losing decisively to the Overeems, Rozenstruiks, Tuivasas and Spivacs just confirms he’s not on that level and never will be. As for Mayes, he’s 9-4-0-1 and his best wins are Josh Parisian and Roque Martinez. Yeah. He got ragged about by Hamdy Abdelwahab last time out but then Hamdy got done by USADA so it’s a No Contest now. Hopefully this just descends into some wild, sloppy, fun brawl but I’m fully expecting a shite, plodding decision. Remember when Angle, Benoit, Edge, Mysterio, Eddie and Chavo were dubbed the “Smackdown Six” when they were tearing it up in TV matches every week? Well Sakai, Mayes, Parisian, Sherman, Martinez and Collier are basically the “Apex Six” and it’s the total opposite. Every combination produces pure shite. Tatiana Suarez vs Montana De La Rosa is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. Might seem an odd choice and I’m not sure how good of a fight it will actually end up being but it’s the one I’m most intrigued by on the whole card and it hasn’t got much at all to do with De La Rosa. She’s 12-7-1 and 1-2-1 in her last 4. Never really done much of note or been particularly impressive from what I recall. My interest here is all to do with it being Suarez’s return after a load of setbacks and a massive layoff. I’ll give a bit of backstory because I’m not sure how well it’s known. Her story is pretty crazy. She started wrestling at just 3 years old after seeing her older brother wrestle and nagging her mum to let her do it. She fell in love with it, became obsessed and as she got older she dreamed of winning Olympic gold one day. She stuck at it and it turned out she was really good. By 20 years old, she was preparing for the 2012 London Olympics. “Going into an Olympic year, I was like ‘I’m finally going to do what I said I was going to do - I’m going to be an Olympic champ.’ It was so close, and then it happened.” - Tatiana Suarez The “it” she’s referring to is cancer. She went for a MRI because she was suffering with neck pain and during the scan they found it. “They said ‘By the way, you can’t wrestle anymore. There’s a node on your thyroid you have to get checked out, it might be cancerous.’ I’m like, I’m 20 years old! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me. So I go there and they tell me it’s definitely cancer and I need to get treated. I was like, what? It was a very difficult time. I stayed to myself. I didn’t involve my family too much.” - Tatiana Suarez It took a long time for her to get through it and get the all clear but during her recovery she discovered Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which naturally led her to MMA. By 2014, she was making her MMA debut. “I was in a really low place when I found MMA. Wrestling was very serious to me. It was everything, it wasn’t a hobby. Even in high school, I didn’t have a social life. I didn’t go to prom, I didn’t even walk at my graduation! I was at Olympic trials. I had a higher goal and it was all about getting that gold medal. So when it didn’t go my way, it was very hard to find my way back. But I did. Now I’m here. I’m trying to be the best in the world at this now. I feel like people have seen one percent of what I can do. When everything starts coming together, I 100% believe nobody will be able to stop me.” - Tatiana Suarez She came into the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter back in 2016, won the Strawweight tournament and then followed up with 4 more wins in the UFC. By the summer of 2019, she was undefeated at 8-0 and had beaten Alexa Grasso, Carla Esparza and Nina Ansaroff (now Nunes) in her last 3 fights. The fact that she was a high level grappler in a division more heavy on strikers had people thinking the sky was the limit for her. She brought a different skillset and posed different problems than anyone else in the division at that time. It all seemed to be lining up perfectly. Then it all went wrong again. Another neck injury has seen her forced to the sidelines again. She was scheduled to return in 2021 against Roxanne Modafferi but again had to withdraw through injury. Just fucking brutal. She’s still undefeated, she’s still relatively young at 32 years old, but she’s now been on the shelf for a whopping 3 and a half years. We’re only a week away from the fight now. Hopefully she can finally stay healthy and start making up for lost time. Who knows how she’ll look now? She was thought to be possibly the next big thing at one point. All bets are off now though. She just needs to get back in there, get herself a win and go from there. She’s moving up to Flyweight as well. Things are getting very interesting. Shevchenko’s got her upcoming defence against Grasso next month. There’s always that Taila Santos rematch, we’ve just seen Erin Blanchfield emerge as a fresh challenger. Suarez obviously has a lot of work to do but if she can get back on track she can add her name to the mix. Can’t help but root for her after all the shit she’s been through. What an amazing story it would be if she can somehow go on a run at the title against all the odds. Mike Malott vs Yohan Lainesse might seem like a nothing fight at first glance but I’m kind of looking forward to seeing Malott back in there. He’s Canadian, 31 years old and has a record of 8-1-1 with all 8 wins being finishes. He got a quick submission on DWCS in 2021 and made his UFC debut in April against Mickey Gall. The way that fight played out probably had poor Mickey pining for the glory days of fighting CM Punk. It did not go well. Timmy Malott made him do the old Flair Flop at 3:41 of the opening round. Nice debut but he sat out the rest of the year so any momentum he gained from that has fizzled away now. Lainesse is 9-1 with 6 knockouts. Got his arse handed to him in his UFC debut by Gabriel Green and that’s his only loss so far. He bounced back in September with a points win over Darian Weeks. Erick Gonzalez vs Trevor Peek is a complete patch up job. They were both originally paired off with different opponents but injuries took those guys out so the matchmakers slung these two together. The UFC really hasn’t been kind so far to ‘Ghost Pepper’ Gonzalez. He got knocked out by Jim Miller in his debut, then got subbed quick by Terrance McKinney in his last fight in August. Record stands at 14-7. This’ll be Peek’s first Octagon appearance. He’s 28, undefeated at 7-0-0-1 with 7 knockouts. The one blip was a No Contest in his MMA debut due to an accidental kick in the bollocks. Aside from that, it’s been all wins and all by knockout. He stopped ex UFCer Khama Worthy in August and got another KO on DWCS in September. Gabriella Fernandes vs Jasmine Jasudavicius isn’t leaping off the page. Brazil’s Fernandes makes her UFC debut. She’s 29 with an 8-1 record and 5 finishes. She’s been fighting for LFA most recently and stopped her last couple of opponents there. Jasudavicius is Canadian, 7-2 overall and 1-1 in the UFC. She won a decision off Kay Hansen in her debut but got completely schooled by Natalia Silva last time out. Not overly impressed by her but I don’t know enough about Fernandes to really judge this one. Jordan Leavitt vs Victor Martinez is whatever. I don’t mind Leavitt but I haven’t forgiven him for losing to Pimblett yet. It’s too soon and he’s yet to redeem himself. He’s 10-2 and quite average really. His most noteworthy win is probably his highlight reel slam KO against a washed up Matt Wiman a couple of years back. I like him though because he gets the homophobes of the MMA fanbase (so most of the fanbase) all wound up with his Louis Spence mannerisms. I don’t even know if Leavitt is gay, nor do I care, none of our business. I just love the insecurity he provokes in the neckbearded weirdos. Don’t think I’ve ever seen this Martinez bloke. Nickname is ‘The Brick’ apparently. Like ‘The Rock’ but rectangular, I guess. Vic ‘The Brick’. He’s 13-4 and coming off a decision win on DWCS in September. Ode Osbourne vs Charles Johnson is a decent enough undercard fight. Osbourne’s never gonna really advance up the ladder, especially in the stacked lower weight classes, but I usually enjoy watching him. He’s 11-5-0-1 and hasn’t really had those standout wins but he’s one of those guys I watch and think he should probably be doing a little bit better than he is. There he is knocking Zarrukh Adashev dead back in June. Sweet finish. Problem is he then got stopped by Tyson Nam in his next fight in August. He just can’t seem to put the wins together for whatever reason. He’s a decent fighter though. I seem to recall even in some of his losses he had his moments. I’m sure he was giving Manel Kape some issues before Kape got the finish. And Johnson is just a tricky little bastard. He lost his UFC debut to Mokaev but he did manage to take Mokaev the distance and make him work for it. Since then he’s took a decision off Zhalgas Zhumagulov and finished Jimmy Flick. He also stopped Carlos Mota in the 5th round of their LFA title fight early last year. He’s no joke, he’s never been finished and he’s not easy to look good against. Joe Solecki vs Carl Deaton III. Not a clue. Solecki’s a pretty good fighter from what I remember seeing of him. Solid grappling, 12-3 record and has wins over Jim Miller, Matt Wiman and Alex Da Silva in the UFC. He’s won 7 of his last 8 and the only loss was a split decision against Jared Gordon. Same Jared Gordon who FUCKING BEAT PADDY PIMBLETT in December! Never forget. Solecki was meant to fight on the Andrade vs Blanchfield card a week earlier but his opponent dropped out and here we are. Never seen this Deaton III chap. Nor did I ever see Carl Deaton II or Carl Deaton I. He’s 33 and fights out of American Top Team. His record is 17-5-0-2 and 12 finishes. Only names I recognise on his record are ex UFC fighter/jobber Justin Jaynes, who Deaton beat on points last year. And Abel Cullum, who submitted Deaton back in 2014. That’s about it on him. Nurullo Aliev vs Rafael Alves has my attention. Admittedly solely because of madman Alves but a quick search on Aliev and he’s also piqued my interest. He’s only 23 years old and 8-0. Got a first round TKO on DWCS in his last fight. Still though, Alves is the ‘A-side’ here. 🤣 Little lunatic. He’s never going far, he’s got a proper journeyman record of 20-11 and he usually loses when he faces stiff opposition. But he’s a lot of fun to watch, has 15 finishes and he does have a first round submission over Marc Diakiese. His last fight against Drew Dober in the second gif there was brilliant. I loved that fight. He got put away with a body shot in the third round but it was tremendous fun while it lasted. Hopefully more of the same here. Tough test for Aliev in his debut. So. Back to the Apex we go. Edited February 27 by wandshogun09 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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