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UFC Vegas: Vettori vs Cannonier - Jun 17 🇺🇸

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Posted (edited)

Need more Apex in your life? Course you do. 


Marvin Vettori vs Jared Cannonier 

Arman Tsarukyan vs Joaquim Silva 

Christian Leroy Duncan vs Armen Petrosyan 

Pat Sabatini vs Lucas Almeida

Nikolas Motta vs Manuel Torres

Muslim Salikhov vs Nicolas Dalby 

Raoni Barcelos vs Miles Johns

Jimmy Flick vs Alessandro Costa

Kyung Ho Kang vs Cristian Quinonez 

Carlos Hernandez vs Denys Bondar

Zhalgas Zhumagulov vs Felipe Bunes

Tereza Bleda vs Gabriella Fernandes

Ronnie Lawrence vs Dan Argueta 

Modestas Bukauskas vs Zac Pauga 


Some alright stuff on there but there really isn’t much to like about this card. There are fighters I like on there but they’re mostly in unappealing matchups. Whatever. Maybe it’ll be a pleasant surprise. Bout order is right as I type but you know it’s gonna change a bunch of times before the day.



Marvin Vettori vs Jared Cannonier gets top billing this time. Not a terrible main event by Apex standards, we’ve had a lot worse than this obviously. But I’m not in love with it. Feels like we’ve been seeing some combination of these two along with Strickland and Hermansson rotating fighting each other forever now. To the point I was sure Vettori and Cannonier had already fought before and this was a rematch. They haven’t though. It’s a fresh matchup that for some reason feels anything but fresh.


This wally is usually fairly watchable, to be fair. He’s 0-2 down to Izzy Adesanya now so he’s locked out of the title picture for the foreseeable future. And judging by how Robert Whittaker outclassed him on the Paris card last year, I just don’t think he’s ever gonna be on that level. But he’s had some good scraps. The 5 round slobberknocker against Paulo Costa a couple of years ago being the highlight. I loved that fight. Real forgotten banger. He’s also got points wins over Kevin Holland and Jack Hermansson and he’s coming into this fight off another decision in a solid fight against Roman Dolidze on the London show in March. He’s basically falling into that role as a bit of a gatekeeper to the true upper level at Middleweight. Seems thick as mince. That pic there with his shorts on backwards is evidence of that. Andrew Tate fan as well so thick and a cunt. But overall I’d say he’s not a bad fighter, not amazing, but he’ll provide some tests to up and comers and some entertaining fights along the way.


Cannonier I’m neither here nor there on really. He definitely made the right move dropping down from Heavyweight to 205 and now 185. He was going nowhere at those higher weights. He’s had more success at 185 than he’d have ever had any higher. Wins over an old Anderson Silva, Hermansson, Kelvin Gastelum, elbowed Derek Brunson into dust last year. Worked his way all the way up to a title shot against Adesanya last summer. But failed miserably and it was a shitty fight. He ‘rebounded’, if you wanna call it that, in December, with a split decision win over Sean Strickland in another Apex classic. Rotten fight that neither man came out of looking good. I remember a lot of people saying Strickland got robbed but it was one of those fights where both men did so little that neither one of them can really have much to gripe about. Hopefully Vettori can drag something more watchable out of him here.


Yeah. Can’t say I’ve got particularly high hopes for this one. Like I say, Vettori is usually decent to watch but it feels like Cannonier has really dropped off in his last couple of fights. Maybe it was just a case of the matchups not being compatible with his style. Obviously, Adesanya was just a class above and Strickland is really good at dragging opponents into stinkers. Before those two fights he was doing alright and I don’t recall being bored by him. So maybe this’ll be a return to that kind of form. They’re going nowhere though. With Adesanya as champ again now, this lot are just treading water and ticking over with these fights. Izzy’s already beat most of the ranked 185ers, some twice and others so convincingly or in such dull fashion that nobody wants to see rematches. When Pereira won the belt these guys had an in, but now it’s like they’re fighting for nothing.



Arman Tsarukyan vs Joaquim Silva is such an odd piece of matchmaking to me. It really doesn’t make much sense. Didn’t even know this was booked until I just looked the card up to do this post. I literally had to double check because I thought it must be a mistake. I was expecting Tsarukyan to be paired up with a bit of a name in his next fight, and definitely a Top 10 guy. So this is a bit baffling to me.


Tsarukyan is one of the most promising rising contenders at Lightweight and has been gradually working his way up to where he’s now ranked #8 in the division. He’s 26 years old with a record of 19-3 and 12 finishes. Gave current champ Islam Makhachev a hell of a fight on short notice in his UFC debut. Since then he’s won 6 of his last 7 fights and the loss was a very controversial decision against Mateusz Gamrot last year. I haven’t rewatched it but I do remember thinking that was a bullshit decision. It was very competitive throughout but I just couldn’t see the argument for Gamrot winning. Most seemed to agree, from fans to media. He then went out in December and completely dominated Damir Ismagulov. Considering Gamrot got a big fight against Beneil Dariush off that ‘win’ over Tsarukyan, you’d think Tsarukyan couldn’t be far off those kind of fights himself. Especially since most had him beating Gamrot and then he went and schooled Ismagulov. But here we are. Silva’s not terrible or anything but he’s not even ranked and he’s lost 3 of his last 5 fights. He did win his last fight in October and got the finish and a POTN bonus. But that was against Jesse Ronson. I don’t get how this fight came together but I’m guessing it’s a case of the top ranked 155ers not wanting the fight. I get why they wouldn’t. It’s the old risk vs reward thing. We see it all the time, especially in the 155 division. But it’s still bollocks.



Christian Leroy Duncan vs Armen Petrosyan is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** here. Slim pickings on this card but I am interested to see Duncan back in there. He made his UFC debut on the London card in March and came in with some buzz around him. There were a few UK newcomers on that card and he was the one who stood out to me going into that show. Undefeated, Cage Warriors champion, good striker etc. His debut didn’t exactly go smoothly though. He was in with Dusko Todorovic, who’s a real slugger, so it had all the makings of a show stealer. But Todorovic injured his leg early on and it was over before it ever got going. Shame but it happens. Hopefully we get to see more of what CLD can do here. Can’t say I remember much about Petrosyan. He’s Armenian, 8-2 with 6 knockouts. Beat AJ Dobson in October, lost to Caio Borralho before that. The most notable thing on his record is his split decision win over our boy Gregory Rodrigues early last year. I know I saw that fight but I can’t recall it. Regardless, my interest here is to get a proper look at CLD.



Pat Sabatini vs Lucas Almeida just got thrown together. Almeida was supposed to face Hakeem Dawodu at UFC 289 in Canada but ‘Mean’ Hakeem is out. Tougher fight for Almeida on paper, although maybe the timing is good for him. Sabatini got off to a strong start in the UFC. Didn’t wow anyone but he quietly put together a solid 4 fight win streak and looked like he might be a difficult man to beat going forward. That all went tits up in September when Damon Jackson came in and just blitzed him in a minute. It was a feel-good result for Jackson, who’d just lost his brother, but it completely derailed Sabatini. He’s 17-4 now and 32 years old. It’s not the end of the world and he’s got some time to bounce back. But he could be a bit hesitant or shaky coming into this one. And if he is, Almeida could hand him another loss.


That was how Almeida’s UFC debut ended last June. He stopped Mike Trizano in the third round of an unexpected corker of a fight. Instantly got my attention but he’s been on the shelf since for whatever reason. I think he’s had a couple of fights fall apart in the meantime. Hopefully he gets to fight here. He’s 14-1 with 14 finishes, a lot of early finishes on his record so Sabatini might have to weather a storm early. But he’s also gone into the 5th round before as well. Interesting fight, style-wise and with the added factors of the short notice and Sabatini trying to rebound.



Nikolas Motta vs Manuel Torres isn’t grabbing me and I’m not really sure why it’s on the main card but whatever. Don’t know much about Motta. He’s 13-4 with 9 knockouts. He finished Cameron VanCamp last time out but got stopped by Jim Miller before that. I know he was supposed to fight Ignacio Bahamondes at UFC 287 in Miami but this happened…


🤢 Vile. Torres is Mexican, 13-2 with 12 wins inside the distance. He’s currently on a 4 fight winning streak, stopped Frank Camacho in just 3 minutes in his UFC debut last year but hasn’t fought since. Not much else to say about this one. Not even saying it’ll be a bad fight. I’m not familiar enough with either man to say either way.



Muslim Salikhov vs Nicolas Dalby is a decent fight. I really enjoy watching Salikhov. He’s a guy who, between Kickboxing and MMA, has had well over 200 professional fights and it shows in the way he carries himself. He’s so calm and calculated in there, almost to a fault sometimes. There’s been times when he seems happy to just coast in there and not really gone for the kill. That certainly wasn’t the case in his last fight though. He took on Andre Fialho in November and put a proper beating on him. It all started with this Superman punch…


Fialho was all over the place after that, wobbly legs and wasn’t quite right from that point on. I remember his cornermen kept asking him if he was OK between rounds then early into the next round this fucking helicopter propeller of a spinning kick connected and it was a wrap…


Scary kick. You could see it wobbled his whole skull. It’s a testament to how tough Fialho is that he still never went completely out from that kick but the ref was right to jump in and save him there. He was fucked up. I’ve got time for Salikhov. He’s not gonna be making waves in the rankings, he’s 38 and he’s come unstuck a couple of times in the UFC already. But he’s a good gatekeeper type in the Trinaldo mould. Dalby’s also 38 and has a record of 21-4-1-2. He’s alright but he hasn’t been that great to watch in this UFC stint. I do remember he had really good fight with Darren Till of all people back in 2015 and then he had that mad bloodbath in Cage Warriors. But he hasn’t blown me away since returning to the Octagon. He’s coming off a couple of decision wins over Claudio Silva and Warlley Alves here. I’m hoping Salikhov can get the best out of him here and get another win.



Raoni Barcelos vs Miles Johns should be an enjoyable enough fight. Could be a lot of fun if they’re both up for it. Barcelos is usually good value on these Fight Nights. No future champ or anything and, at 36, he’s not gonna have the longest shelf life now. But he’s got a fan friendly style and only adds more depth to an already stacked Bantamweight division. Rough times lately though. He’s 17-4 overall but 1-4 in his last 5. He just got knocked out for the first time in his last fight in January as well, thanks to Umar Nurmagomedov. Miles Johns is no world beater himself but he can definitely whack a bit…


Barcelos doesn’t need any of that coming off a bad KO loss himself. We’ll see how it goes. I hope it’s better than Johns’ last fight anyway. He fought Vince Morales back in November and it was inexplicably shit. Wasn’t expecting a dud out of that one but it was fucking awful. I’ve liked some of Johns‘ other fights though. I think him and Barcelos make for good dance partners but there’s a chance Barcelos might be a bit gun-shy now coming off his first knockout loss.



Jimmy Flick vs Alessandro Costa might be worth a look. Both will be coming in with a point to prove here after both were stopped in their last outings. Flick came into the UFC in late 2020, having won the LFA title and getting a win on DWCS. He came in and immediately turned heads in his Octagon debut, submitting Cody Durden in a round with a flying triangle choke of all things. Couldn’t have gone better for him but then he surprised everyone by prematurely retiring. I don’t know why but I think he had personal family stuff going on. He decided to return and came back in January this year but got swiftly finished by Charles Johnson. It always sounded like a potentially tricky return fight for him but the way it played out was a disaster. Still think there’s better to come from Flick but we’ll see. Costa’s 12-3 with 9 finishes but got fed to Amir Albazi in his UFC debut in December and got knocked out in the third round.



Kyung Ho Kang vs Cristian Quinonez is just there. I don’t have a strong opinion on it one way or another so I’ll just go through the motions. I’m hazy on Kang. He’s 35 years old, South Korean and 18-9-0-1 with 13 finishes. He beat Danaa Batgerel on points in his last fight but that was a whole year ago now at UFC 275 in Singapore last June. Quinonez is 27 years old, Mexican and has a record of 18-3 with 13 finishes. He won his UFC debut on the Paris card back in September, a first round TKO over Khalid Taha. That’s about it. Don’t really care but the 90s WWF fan in me will be rooting for Kang. Purely because Wiki has his nicknames down as ‘Mr Perfect’ and ‘Typhoon’.



Carlos Hernandez vs Denys Bondar. Dunno. Might be alright, the Flyweights usually bring it to be fair, but I haven’t seen enough of either. Hernandez is 29 years old and 8-2 with 4 submissions. He beat Victor Altamirano in his UFC debut but got subbed by Allan Nascimento in a round last time out. Bondar’s Ukrainian, 30 years old and 14-3 with all his wins coming inside the distance. He lost to Malcolm Gordon in his UFC debut last year via arm injury and hasn’t fought since. Not a clue on this one.



Zhalgas Zhumagulov vs Felipe Bunes then. It’s amazing what a weird new hairdo can do, isn’t it? Look at Zhalgas there, completely nondescript. He’s been on the roster 3 years now and nobody gave a shite. Now he’s rocking that ridiculous Pimblett barnet everyone loves him. His opponent is even getting in on it now as well. This made me laugh…


😂 Haircuts aside though, it’s actually one of the more interesting fights on the card for me. Zhumagulov has had a bit of a nightmare run in the UFC. He’s 14-8 overall and 1-5 in the UFC! It’s a tad misleading though, in fairness. A couple of the losses were to Albazi and Kape, no shame there. And his last two fights were close split decisions that could’ve gone either way. His last fight with Charles Johnson was one of the weirdest, foul filled shitshows ever as well. Nothing is straightforward for Zhalgas. So I’m kind of glad to see they’ve given him another chance. Bunes is making his debut here. He’s 33, trains with the Pitbull brothers and he’s 13-6 with 10 finishes. He became LFA Flyweight champion in his last fight as well.



Tereza Bleda vs Gabriella Fernandes. Again, I don’t know enough about these two to rate them. My only memory of Bleda is her UFC debut where she ducked into that brutal spin kick KO from Natalia Silva. Not the best first impression but aside from that, she’s Czech, 21 years old and 6-1 with 4 finishes. Fernandes is 8-2 with 5 finishes. She lost on points to Jasmine Jasudavicius in her UFC debut in February but I think I skipped that one. I’ll most likely skip this as well if I’m being honest.



Ronnie Lawrence vs Dan Argueta could be a bit of a sleeper actually. I’ve really enjoyed some of Lawrence’s fights so far. He had an absolute barnburner against Mana Martinez last year that went under the radar. It was on the undercard of Adesanya vs Whittaker 2 so I guess it got lost in the discussion of that fight but it was ace. If you missed it, give it a watch. He got beat pretty convincingly by Saidyokub Kakhramonov in his last fight though and he’s been on the sidelines close to a year since for whatever reason. This is a tough fight for him to come back to as well. Argueta is 9-1 with 6 finishes, a standout wrestler and was the LFA champion. He dropped a decision to Damon Jackson in his UFC debut but that was on short notice. He came back in January with a points win over Nick Aguirre.



Modestas Bukauskas vs Zac Pauga. Again, just filler really. Can’t say I’m too fussed about it. I was happy to see Bukauskas make it back to the UFC though. If you remember, he got released in 2021 after 3 losses and immediately after having his knee kicked backwards by Khalil Rountree. It was a long road back for him but he went away and got a couple of wins in Cage Warriors, won their title, then returned to the UFC on the Makhachev vs Volkanovski undercard in February and beat Tyson Pedro on enemy soil in Australia. All I remember of Pauga is him getting sparked by Mo Usman in the TUF finals and his fucking abysmal fight with Jordan Wright in February. Can’t see me tuning in early for this fight but I hope Bukauskas wins.


A-P-E-X 💩 


Edited by wandshogun09
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