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UFC 287: Pereira vs Adesanya 2 - Apr 8 🇺🇸


wandshogun09

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Posted (edited)

Pack your thongs, we’re off to Miami…

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PPV MAIN CARD
Alex Pereira©️ vs Israel Adesanya - Middleweight Title

Gilbert Burns vs Jorge Masvidal 

Rob Font vs Adrian Yanez 

Kevin Holland vs Santiago Ponzinibbio 

Raul Rosas Jr vs Christian Rodriguez 

ESPN PRELIMS
Kelvin Gastelum vs Chris Curtis 

Michelle Waterson vs Luana Pinheiro 

Gerald Meerschaert vs Joe Pyfer

Cynthia Calvillo vs Loopy Godinez

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Ignacio Bahamondes vs Trey Ogden  

Steve Garcia vs Shayilan Nuerdanbieke 

Sam Hughes vs Jaqueline Amorim 

 

What a card! As it stands at the time of me typing this, that is the bout order. You know it’s gonna change a load of times between now and the night though. Really like the look of this though. Everything on the main card has my interest and there’s enough about the prelims to tickle my fancy as well, couple of forum favourites on there in Meerschaert and Barnett. On paper, it’s one of my favourite cards in a while. Just looks like a really fun one.

 

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Alex Pereira vs Israel Adesanya 2 then. Well, 4 if you wanna count their Kickboxing fights. Let’s do it again. What a strange rivalry this has turned out to be. The scoreline is all Pereira. 3-0 so far. I talked about it in the thread for their last fight but the 2 Kickboxing fights back in 2016/17 were close and mega competitive. Of course, all anyone talks about is that Pereira knocked him out in the second fight. But if you actually watch those fights, Adesanya has a case for winning the decision in the first one and might’ve been winning the rematch as well before getting ironed out. The results on paper don’t tell the whole story. But the results are really all that matters in the end. Adesanya put that loss behind him, entered MMA and within a few years had risen to the top of the sport.

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Became champ in 2019 when he knocked out Robert Whittaker in front of what, to this day, is still the biggest crowd in UFC history in Melbourne. And he followed that up with 5 successful title defences. By the middle of last year, he was rapidly running out of interesting challengers. He’d already beaten all the top contenders, some of them twice. The fights were becoming a bit lacklustre to watch and, while he was winning and remaining champ, it seemed like the spark had kind of gone. Until a ghost from his past came back to haunt him…

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Alex Pereira had gone 33-7 with 21 knockouts in his Kickboxing career and was a two-division GLORY champion. He’d already had a dabble with MMA in 2015/16 in Brazil. He got submitted in his debut but stopped his next two opponents. He finally made the full time switch to MMA in late 2020 and he hasn’t looked back. I remember seeing a few of his GLORY fights and being vaguely aware of him jumping to MMA but I never really paid much attention. Even back then though, with Adesanya now UFC champ and at the peak of the sport, and given Pereira’s history with him, the talk of them potentially crossing paths again was always there bubbling away under the surface.

In his return to MMA, Pereira absolutely crushed Thomas Powell on a LFA card with his signature left hook of doom and that was all the UFC needed to see. By late 2021, he was making his UFC debut, at Madison Square Garden of all places!

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He made short work of Andreas Michailidis. A first round flying knee wrapped up a pretty much perfect Octagon debut. He followed that with a points win over Bruno Silva in March and then the UFC decided to just pull the trigger. In July, despite Pereira only being two fights into his UFC run and 5-1 overall in MMA, they chucked him in there with Sean Strickland. This was a big step up on paper as Strickland had way more MMA experience and was ranked. But I said it at the time, I always felt like Strickland was the most winnable fight for Pereira at the top end of the rankings. I didn’t think it’d be easy, I think I even picked Strickland to win. But he was the highest ranked, most favourable matchup for Pereira at the time no question. It was clear as day that the UFC were putting Pereira on the fast-track so they could hopefully get him to a title shot and rekindle the Adesanya rivalry. As it turned out, Strickland was an easy night’s work for ‘Poatan’. Definitely one of the most satisfying knockouts to watch in recent years for me.

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Ha! Never gets old. Eat a dick Strickland. The UFC knew what they were doing as well. They put this fight on the undercard of none other than Pereira’s old pal Izzy’s title defence against Jared Cannonier. Adesanya won a routine dull decision over Cannonier and that was that. I think everyone knew what was next. Adesanya and Pereira were on a collision course and it all lined up perfectly. It still seemed way too soon for Pereira to be getting a title shot. He still had less than 10 MMA fights under his belt and hadn’t even been in the UFC a full year yet! But Adesanya being the champion changed everything. If anyone else was champ I don’t think we’d have seen Pereira anywhere near a title fight so early but it was a unique situation and it actually did feel like it made sense.

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They met again in November on the big MSG card. It felt like a big deal and opinion was pretty split going in. I think I was favouring Adesanya myself. I just felt like, in MMA, it might be different and, although Izzy hasn’t shown much in the way of grappling, he’d had a big head start on Pereira and might have enough tricks in his overall game to make the difference. But Pereira’s always got that x-factor of a sledgehammer left hand. His striking in general is quality but the left hook in particular is just dynamite. As Izzy found out in the past. It was a fascinating fight because Adesanya had looked almost disinterested at times in his recent title defences but you knew there’d be a fire lit under him for this one. He’d had over 100 documented pro fights between Kickboxing, Boxing and MMA and he’d only ever been knocked out once. By Alex Pereira. So going into this fight, Pereira absolutely had the psychological edge. But by the time fight night rolled around I didn’t really have a clue what was gonna happen.

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What a bastard. This guy is like a nightmare Adesanya just can’t wake up from. Stalking him through combat sports and ruining his day repeatedly. It was a really good fight. And almost spooky how it kind of mirrored their previous Kickboxing bouts. Like in those fights, Adesanya was again doing really well in the early rounds, even badly rocking Pereira at the end of the first. From there it was very competitive. I had Adesanya up on the cards going into the 5th and final round but Pereira was doing good work with his jab and setting his traps for his bigger shots throughout. It was an engrossing battle but, while he wasn’t dominating the fight, I definitely felt like Adesanya was on top as the last round got underway. Then in the 5th, Pereira rendered the scorecards useless.

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There were actually people crying early stoppage but I think they must’ve just been Izzy haters who wanted to see him get properly put to bed. Nobody with any sense who’s spent a decent amount of time watching fights can genuinely believe that Adesanya was still in the game when the fight was waved off. Just because he never got flattened doesn’t mean he was OK. He’d completely stopped defending himself and seemed like he was frozen for a second while Pereira was teeing off on him. It was as done as done can be at that point.

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We go again. Never been a big fan of immediate rematches but I’m quite happy with this one. Adesanya deserves it anyway based on his title reign. And the way the last fight was going before that 5th round stoppage just strengthens his case for a rematch. And I actually think it’s good for Pereira as well because if they decided against running it back and threw Pereira in with more of a grappler, who knows how he’d look? As much as everyone’s on Pereira’s dick now, and as good as he’s looked so far, it’s easy to forget he’s still only 8 fights deep in his MMA career and he turns 36 this year. There are gonna be holes in his MMA game that he’s unlikely to ever close. But against Adesanya, style-wise it works. I’m well up for this! Can Adesanya finally win one? Can he actually get one back? Get something out of this series? Or does Pereira just have his number for life?

 

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Gilbert Burns vs Jorge Masvidal is gonna be fun. Although I’m half dreading the cringey gangsta talk and Masvidal love-in with it being in Miami. It’s a fight that’s been supposedly in the works for a while now and had been rumoured a bunch of times but kept falling through. If you believe Burns, and he doesn’t strike me as a bullshitter, it was Masvidal’s side dragging their feet on getting the fight made. Burns said the UFC tried to book the fight for 281 in November, 282 in December and 283 in Brazil in January but Masvidal didn’t seem in a hurry to sign the contract so Burns just cracked on doing his thing.

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Badass. Big fan of Burns. Great fighter and seems a good guy with it. He’ll fight literally anyone, which is a big reason why I believe his version on the delays for this fight. When the third attempt fell through, Burns just wanted to get on that Brazil PPV so he took a fight with Neil Magny. Usually a tricky and awkward fight but Burns absolutely breezed through him and subbed him inside a round. Really impressive stuff. Add to that wins over Wonderboy, Woodley, Maia and Gunnar and it’s not a bad resume at all. It’s not just the wins though, even in defeat he’s shown he’s legit. He dropped Kamaru Usman in their title fight and gave Khamzat Chimaev the first, and only, serious test of his young career to date. Just the fact he accepted that fight with Chimaev, when so many established names and top contenders would’ve likely swerved it, says it all. The man’s a throwback to the simpler days of MMA. Give him a name, a date, a contract and a pen. He will fight anyone.

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Last we saw of Masvidal he was getting arrested for attacking Colby Covington outside a restaurant. Man, he’s such a gangsta. A real G. 38 years old with 3 kids this berk. Not to mention he had 25 minutes to legally do physical harm to Covington just weeks before this assault and he got fuck all done and lost a shutout 50-45 on most peoples cards. That brief rise to stardom, the BMF belt and all that shite, seems like a distant memory now. And looking back now, even that run hasn’t aged well. Wins over Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz at the time felt like a big deal. And the Askren KO was epic, can’t take that away from him, as much as I hate seeing him win. That was an all time great knockout. But yeah, those wins have aged like milk. And even the old “3-piece and a soda” bollocks, who got the last laugh there? Leon Edwards is now champion of the world and just went 2-0 over the man who owned Masvidal twice. Pretty much everything that was once considered a positive in Masvidal’s career, the shine has come off it. But he plays the gangsta so he’s cool or something. He needs to make something happen now. A win over Burns would go a long way to redeeming him and restoring some much needed credibility after his recent embarrassments. Actually, a win over Burns would be by far the best of his career. And to be fair, as much as I enjoy having a pop at him, I don’t for one second think Jorge delaying this fight was because he’s scared of Burns or anything. I think he was holding out in the hopes of bagging that title fight with Edwards. He wouldn’t have deserved it obviously, but I can’t even blame him for trying. If he somehow wins this fight, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we see him in another title fight in the not too distant future. But I can’t see this ending well for him. Burns has been active and fighting tough opposition in Masvidal’s absence. Staying in the gym, staying in shape and staying sharp. What the fuck has Masvidal actually been doing in his time away? I just don’t think his heart is fully in it anymore and he’s not had the best discipline between fights in recent years as it is. I’ve got Burns in this one and, honestly, if he wins this in impressive fashion I’d say he deserves a title shot more than fucking Covington. But whatever. Hopefully these two deliver an entertaining fight.

 

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Rob Font vs Adrian Yanez is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** here. Forgot this was even booked but I really love this fight. Even on a card as strong as this, it’s a fight that immediately stands out as a likely show stealer. Interesting timing as well. It’s one of those kind of crossroads fights where one guy badly needs a win after a couple of rough losses, and the other guy is getting his big step up and first proper taste of the limelight on a big PPV main card. And then just style-wise, it’s a belter as well. Really looking forward to it.

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For Font this is a must win. I know every fight is technically a must win. No fighter goes in there thinking they can take a loss this time. But Font has fallen on hard times lately. I felt like he was a bit underrated for a while but he never had that consistent run of performances. From 2018 to 2021 it was looking promising for him though and he was starting to climb the ladder a bit. He put together 4 straight wins over Sergio Pettis, Ricky Simon, Marlon Moraes and then Cody Garbrandt in his first 5 round main event. It genuinely felt like his time had arrived and he’d finally get to mix with some of those top names at the elite level in the Bantamweight division. Well, he did. And it didn’t work out. He bagged another main event in December 2021 against the legendary Jose Aldo. A massive opportunity for him. But Aldo just proved too good for him and outclassed him over 5 rounds. Then in April last year, despite the loss to Aldo, he got his third consecutive main event against Chito Vera.

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Yeah, it didn’t go well. It was a fun fight and it wasn’t like Font just got schooled. In fact, he was getting the better of big chunks of the fight. It was a weird one in that, if you went purely on volume, shots landed and time in the rounds where one guy was winning, then Font looked the better of the two for longer spells of a lot of the rounds. But Vera’s power made the difference and in a bunch of the rounds, Font would be winning only to get hurt badly at the end and Vera would steal the round. That happened in a few of the rounds as I recall. I don’t know if it’s a habit or flaw in Font’s game where he tends to kind of switch off towards the end of the rounds but Chito had him hanging on for dear life at the end of a few of them and that’s ultimately what cost Font the decision that night. I’m sure he did the same against Aldo late in a few of those rounds as well. Something that could obviously do with addressing but, at 35 years old now, he’s kind of set in his ways and it might be too ingrained in him.

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I’ve become a big fan of Yanez ever since @Zebra Kid Mark brought him to my attention when he was coming off DWCS. He’s been great value so far in the UFC. Seriously, he’s fought 5 times in the UFC, every single time he’s either got a POTN or FOTN bonus and there hasn’t been a dull moment yet. Wiped out Victor Rodriguez with a headkick in his debut, then knocked out Gustavo Lopez with a beautiful counter right, then stopped Randy Costa with body shots, then won a decision over Davey Grant in a barnburner. And in his last fight…

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Bashed up that insufferable cretin Tony Kelley in a round and flipped him the double middle fingers. Loved that. I’m not sure how far Yanez can go. He’s in a deep division being a Bantamweight and he’s already had a couple of shaky moments. The first round of the Costa fight was probably the most worrying so far, especially given how crap Costa has gone on to be. But I like Yanez. Definitely one of the best finds off DWCS for me. Such an exciting little fighter to watch. And I have a really good feeling about this matchup in particular. Both of them love to mix it up on the feet and they’ve both shown themselves to have very solid boxing for MMA. It’s the toughest test for Yanez yet on paper. Font’s had his setbacks but he’s mixed with some of the best and he’s got the experience. He’s also got a good and pretty effective jab on him and Yanez was having fits with Costa’s in their fight so this could be a tricky one for him if he hasn’t tightened up in that area. Can’t wait for this. Font’s gonna be coming in with a point to prove and looking to redeem himself and Yanez is finally getting that PPV spotlight and trying to put himself on the map. Great fight. Could’ve easily headlined a Fight Night on its own and I’d have been quite happy with it.

 

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Kevin Holland vs Santiago Ponzinibbio is another fun, fan friendly matchup on a card full of them. Can’t really go wrong with this. Holland is coming off a couple of losses but the Chimaev mauling was a last minute switch up and, frankly, was always a nightmare matchup for him anyway. And his last fight against Wonderboy in December was fantastic.

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He lost the decision that night but it didn’t feel like he actually lost anything, if you know what I mean. I think a few of us were kind of expecting a bit of a weird and boring fight just based on the clash of styles but they went 5 rounds and it was awesome stuff. Surely a Top 5 in the FOTY convo. Holland’s had a proper hot and cold UFC run though. He had that brilliant 2020 when he went 5-0 with 4 finishes and stopped Jacare. But it’s been up and down since. His lack of wrestling got exposed in the losses to Brunson and Vettori and everyone kind of has the playbook on him now. Still plenty of fun fights to make with him though, if matched up against the right style, and this is one of them. Ponzinibbio isn’t gonna be shooting double legs. You know roughly how this is gonna look. Ponz just comes out and throws with bad intentions every time. It paid off for him in December when he scored a late knockout over Alex Morono. I didn’t think he looked too clever before that though and I’ve had a feeling he’s on the decline for a bit. He’s still obviously dangerous and Holland can’t afford to take him lightly but I think Holland should probably be winning at this stage in both their careers.

 

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Raul Rosas Jr vs Christian Rodriguez is currently slated to kick off the PPV. You know the score here. The UFC brass are high on Rosas and they’re positioning him to become a future star. The youngest fighter to ever compete in the UFC. He only just turned 18 in October! Some of us on here have been watching MMA longer than this lad’s been alive! Makes me feel like a right grandad. He earned his UFC contract by winning a fight on DWCS in September and he looked quite impressive from the clips I saw at the time. Made his UFC debut in December and…

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Submitted Jay Perrin with ease in under 3 minutes. I thought he looked very promising but it’s obviously still very early days. He’s got a long, long way to go. But for an 18 year old kid, he looked good. Imagine being thrown out there on the big stage at just 18? He looked very composed and relaxed in there all things considered. And Perrin was being a bit of a prick going in so it made Rosas schooling him all the more enjoyable. He’s 7-0 now with 5 submissions. So far, so good but I hope they take it slow with him. There’s enough bodies on the roster that there’s really no need to rush him at 18. Rodriguez is a step up from Perrin. Doesn’t seem like a world beater but I haven’t seen enough of him to properly rate him. He’s 8-1 with the only loss being a decision against Jonathan Pearce. He bounced back with a quick anaconda choke finish over Josh Weems in October. Interesting one. You’d think they’d be trying to give Rosas a couple of gimmes but this actually sounds like an evenly matched fight and a legitimate test.

 

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Kelvin Gastelum vs Chris Curtis is a decent fight. Just really not sure about Gastelum anymore. He was supposed to headline against Nassourdine Imavov in January but pulled out. I wasn’t heartbroken about it, to be honest. Gastelum’s lost 5 of his last 6 fights. At this point he has no business main eventing cards. If anything he needs scaling back a bit. I kind of feel bad even saying that because you have to respect his willingness to fight absolutely any fucker the company throws at him. Seriously look at his record and the list of names he’s fought between 170-185lbs. Adesanya, Whittaker, Woodley, Bisping, Belfort, Jacare, Weidman, Hendricks, Magny, Till, Hermansson, Cannonier etc. He’s put a bastard shift in over the years! Crazy to think he’s still only 31 years old. He’s got the resume of a grizzled veteran. But I really think that FOTY war with Adesanya in 2019 was the turning point. He hasn’t been right since. To put things in perspective, over the last 4 years Gastelum is the only guy Darren Till has been able to beat. That loss is ageing worse with every sloppy Till showing since. Considering he went life and death with Izzy not that long ago and gave him hell, the drop off in form has been very noticeable. It’s weird, Curtis is the older man at 35 and he’s had more fights. But he doesn’t look anywhere near as shopworn and battered as Gastelum. He’s 30-9 and has won 9 of his last 10 fights. He got to the UFC relatively late but he’s beat Phil Hawes, Brendan Allen, Rodolfo Vieira and Joaquin Buckley since signing. Some good wins there. Based on recent form, you’ve almost got to favour Curtis here. Gastelum’s obviously mixed at a higher level but at what cost? He’s looked bollocksed for a few years now and him and Curtis are on completely opposite career trajectories. Yeah, I’ve got Curtis. My confidence in Gastelum is shot to bits at this point.

 

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Michelle Waterson vs Luana Pinheiro is just there. Love Waterson. For obvious reasons plus she did have some fun fights years ago, especially towards the end of her Invicta run. But that was at Atomweight. She hasn’t quite been as effective in the UFC as a Strawweight. She’s 37 years old now and coming off a couple of losses. It’s winding down and, to be honest, has been for a few years now. Can’t see her fighting too much longer. In fairness, her recent losses have been at a decent-high level but that’s kind of the point. The fact she keeps losing when she steps in with these higher ranked opponents just confirms she can’t hang at that level.

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Should be a clause in the contracts for her fights prohibiting the opponent from hitting that face. Like Shawn Michaels vs The Model from SummerSlam 92. But for a while it seemed like she instead had a clause put in that her fights had to headline no matter what. There was a bit of the Holly Holms about it with the constant unwarranted main events but hopefully they’ve seen sense now. This is a clear step down in opposition. Waterson’s last 2 fights were against Marina Rodriguez who was on the cusp of title contention at the time, and Amanda Lemos who’s probably next for a shot at Zhang’s gold. Pinheiro is a significant drop in levels and a much needed one. She’s 10-1 with 7 finishes but really hasn’t looked very impressive so far in the UFC. Maybe she just hasn’t shown her best yet but I don’t rate her. Waterson clearly has no business being in with top contenders at this stage in her career but this fight should tell us if she’s even further gone than that. If she loses at this level, at 37, I can’t see her bouncing back. She’s in Miesha Tate territory then.

 

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Gerald Meerschaert vs Joe Pyfer. Our boy’s back. And once again, they’re trying to feed him to one of their shiny new prospects. They do this quite a lot with Gerald don’t they? They sacrificed him to Khamzat Chimaev and we know how that one ended. They tried to do the same throwing him in with Makhmud Muradov but that one backfired and Gerald strangled him. And even last time they gave him Bruno Silva, who’d just taken Alex Pereira the distance, and Gez subbed him as well! When are they gonna learn?

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What a lad. Not only does he seem like a top bloke, there’s something really satisfying about watching this guy who the promotion probably just see as a journeyman, they keep giving him these beasts they want to build up and he hands them a loss. Yeah, it never went that way against Chimaev but I absolutely believe the matchmakers thought he’d be cannon fodder for Muradov and to a lesser extent Silva. He wasn’t having it. He’s got a 35-15 record now with 33 finishes, 27 of them by submission! He’s ace. Like I said though, Pyfer’s the one who the guys in suits in the back want winning this. He’s 26 years old, 10-2 with 9 finishes and is a product of DWCS. He made his UFC debut in September and bullied, battered and finished Alen Amedovski in the first round. It was a total showcase for Pyfer but, I said at the time, I think it was always designed to be that way. Amedovski was coming off 3 consecutive losses and had been finished quick in his last 2. They knew what they were doing and that was setting Pyfer up with a squash match for his debut. Nothing wrong with that but I’m not sold on the hype based off a win like that. He looks dangerous and he’s aggressive and all that. But Meerschaert is a huge step up for him. He’s no Amedovski and he should be able to ask some questions of Pyfer here. Good stuff.

 

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Cynthia Calvillo vs Loopy Godinez isn’t doing much for me. It’s alright but I’m not that fussed. I like Loopy though so I’m hoping she can get back in the win column here. She’s shown flashes of legit potential but just hasn’t quite been able to string together a real run of consistency. She’s 8-3 now, former LFA champ and has looked a bit of a handful at times. Her dominance in the Carnelossi fight last year really had me believing she could be a force at Strawweight but then she lost to Angela Hill next time out and that kind of sums her up. No consistency. If she shows up in good form for this one, I think she beats Calvillo comfortably. Calvillo actually didn’t get off to the worst of starts in the UFC but that’s fizzled out big time now. She’s coming into this fight off 4 straight losses and, at 35 years old, it’s doubtful she can pull it back now. Loopy has no business losing this one, in my opinion, but we’ll see.

 

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Ignacio Bahamondes vs Trey Ogden is a pairing thrown together out of the rubble of two scrapped fights. Bahamondes was all set to fight Nikolas Motta on this card but Motta suffered a nasty cut in training and had to withdraw. And Ogden was supposed to fight Manuel Torres on the Chito vs Sandhagen card in late March but Torres dropped out. And here we are. When Motta pulled out he wanted to reschedule the Bahamondes fight in a few weeks but I’m glad they’ve kept him on this card. He’s been on the sidelines long enough. Really looking forward to seeing him back in there. If you don’t remember him, he’s the guy who did this to Roosevelt Roberts a couple of fights ago…

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One of the best knockouts in UFC history for me easy. Proper Barboza vs Etim shit. It wasn’t just this that got my attention though. Even before that, Bahamondes had an absolute belter in his UFC debut against John Makdessi. A real forgotten/hidden gem. He lost by split decision but instantly made a fan out of me. So seeing him bust out a spectacular KO like that in his next fight was cool. He followed that up with a sweet brabo choke submission over Rong Zhu in February last year as well. He’s been on the shelf since then though, so any momentum he’d built up off those two finishes has evaporated. He’s still only 25, he’s got some time, but hopefully he can stay healthy now and make up for some of that lost time. Not sure how far he can go, especially in a division like 155, but at the very least you can tell he’s gonna be one of those fighters who’s always exciting to watch. Can never have enough of them. Ogden’s 33 with a record of 16-5, 11 by submission. Lost a split decision in his UFC debut against Jordan Leavitt but beat Daniel Zellhuber on points in September. Hoping Bahamondes returns in style here.

 

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Steve Garcia vs Shayilan Nuerdanbieke is an OK fight for a prelim. Neither are anything special but it could be an entertaining enough little fight. I mostly remember Garcia as the guy who got knocked out and faceplanted by that Maheshate fella on the Singapore PPV last year. But looking at his record, that’s a bit unfair. Don’t get me wrong, he’s never gonna amount to much but I actually remember enjoying his fight with Charlie Ontiveros, which Garcia won by TKO. And in his most recent fight he gave poor Chase Hooper a right hiding. As for Shayilan, he’s been a busy boy. Only 28 years old but he’s already amassed a record of 39-10. He’s done alright so far in the UFC, going 3-1, but hasn’t blown me away. The most notable thing about him so far was his quick finish against Darrick Minner last time out, which was the fight which triggered the whole James Krause match fixing investigation and fiasco. I don’t think Shayilan had anything to do with it himself but it’s the first thing I associate him with now unfortunately.

 

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Sam Hughes vs Jaqueline Amorim. Don’t know. It’s pure filler and Fight Pass curtain jerk fodder but might be worth checking out for Amorim’s UFC debut. Hughes is 7-5 now, she’s been on the UFC roster since 2020. I actually remember seeing some positive comments about her when she signed but safe to say it hasn’t worked out. She’s coming into this fight off a points loss against Piera Rodriguez in October. This feels very much like a fight designed to showcase Amorim. She’s Brazilian, 27 years old, undefeated at 6-0 with 6 first round finishes and just became LFA’s Strawweight champion in her last fight in September. I’ll give it a bash.

 

Welcome to Miami 🏝️

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Edited by wandshogun09
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Interesting bits of trivia:

Luana Pinheiro is the first UFC woman fighter to be paid in Bitcoin (couldn't find out who the first male one was) - she was apparently advised to do so by her partner, Matheus Nicolau.

Interesting they're putting up Garcia against Nuerdanbieke - did they look at his fight with Maheshate and think "Let's make him the go-to opponent for the northern Chinese guys we get in"? Maybe they'll have him fight Aori Qileng afterwards.

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Posted (edited)

Nikolas Motta is out of the fight with Ignacio Bahamondes. Suffered a nasty cut in training. Gutted because I was really looking forward to seeing Bahamondes again but it’s totally understandable when you see Motta’s cut. Look at this shit…

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He wants the fight pushed back a few weeks and rescheduled but I’m kind of hoping they just find a replacement and keep Bahamondes on this card. I’m not convinced 3 weeks is gonna be enough for a wound like that anyway. And the placement of the cut being right above they eye doesn’t help. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Pereira doing some work with Chuck Liddell.

Thought this was proper random until I remembered they’re both close with Glover Teixeira. That would’ve been some stable if they’d all been in their prime at the same time. 

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I think it's probably down to the thinking that Izzy just needs to avoid that big shot to win. I was surprised when I saw the line though.

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I think Masvidal’s getting spanked on Saturday. I’ve thought Burns beats him since the fight was announced and I’ve felt like Masvidal’s heart isn’t fully in fighting anymore for longer than that. Then this week he’s been saying if he loses this fight it’ll probably be his last, which just further cements my opinion that he’s got a foot out the door already. I don’t think this ends well for him. When it comes down to it and the cage door closes, Jorge will scrap. And I think Burns will be up for that so Jorge has a bit of a chance. But I just don’t see him having much luck. Purely on skills I think Burns can beat him anywhere anyway but he also seems to be mentally laser focused and committed to MMA at the moment in a way Jorge isn’t. Burns lost his title shot against Usman and jumped back in against Wonderboy, a tricky rebound fight that I don’t think many would’ve taken. He’s still the only top contender at 170 who’s not only been willing to step in against Khamzat Chimaev, he gave him his hardest fight yet. He just pissed through Magny. He’ll probably fight Shavkat or something after this. He’s called out Colby, Edwards, the lot. He’s trying to fight everyone. Meanwhile Jorge has been piss-arsing about avoiding fighting for a year, waiting for an appealing or favourable matchup or another unwarranted title shot to drop in his lap. It tells you where both their heads are at currently. Burns is balls deep in this stuff. Whereas I get the impression Jorge is hanging around solely because Leon is the champ now and there’s a chance he can piggyback his way into a title fight off their history.

13 hours ago, Egg Shen said:

The UFC are using new gloves this weekend to try and minimize the eye poking, cant believe its taken this long

Great. Can’t wait for Rogan to bang on about that every minute of every fight, all night. 

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Just watched the pre fight press conference and Jesus christ Dana was really fucking on one man. Completely closing down the media asking what I believe are genuine and relevant questions, we have seen pissy dana before but it shouldn't be up to him to be so dismissive and angry at questions at a press conference it should be down to the fighters to shut them down if necessary 

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