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UFC 290: Volkanovski vs Rodriguez - Jul 8 🇺🇸


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Posted (edited)

Should probably get talking about this one…

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PPV MAIN CARD
Alexander Volkanovski©️vs Yair Rodriguez- Featherweight Title 

Brandon Moreno©️vs Alexandre Pantoja - Flyweight Title

Robert Whittaker vs Dricus Du Plessis 

Jalin Turner vs Dan Hooker 

Bo Nickal vs Val Woodburn 

ESPN PRELIMS
Robbie Lawler vs Niko Price 

Edgar Chairez vs Tatsuro Taira

Yazmin Jauregui vs Denise Gomes

Jimmy Crute vs Alonzo Menifield 

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Vitor Petrino vs Marcin Prachnio 

Cameron Saaiman vs Terrence Mitchell

Shannon Ross vs Jesus Aguilar 

Kamuela Kirk vs Esteban Ribovics

 

What a card! And to think, this was the show they were targeting for the big Jon Jones vs Stipe Miocic title fight. Even with that going tits up though, that’s still quite a lineup, isn’t it? As it stands, this is the bout order but of course we’re still over a month out yet. You know the drill.


 

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Alexander Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez sits on top of this stacked card. Yeah it feels like a bit of a mismatch but I’ll take it. And let’s be honest, what fight for Volk at 145 wouldn’t feel like a mismatch at this point? The man’s put himself clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the pack at Featherweight but he’s got to fight someone and this is the fight that has to happen now because of the interim title. Regardless, it should be an entertaining fight for however long it lasts.

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The King of 145. What else is left to say about Volkanovski at this stage? He’s 25-2, undefeated at Featherweight, has defended the belt 4 times, has beaten one of the all time best in Max Holloway 3 times, on top of that has convincing wins over the likes of Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes, Brian Ortega and Korean Zombie. I mean, fuck! He isn’t the most powerful puncher or the fastest kicker or the most dominant wrestler or slickest submission specialist. But he’s a really good all-rounder, rarely puts a foot wrong or finds himself out of position, never really wastes anything, is always in ridiculous shape and never gasses in fights. He’s just so technically sound, so well conditioned and such a hard worker. And on top of all that, he has those intangibles you can’t train as well. He’s durable and you’re not gonna break him mentally. Anyone who saw him survive that deep guillotine choke in the Ortega fight knows there’s no quit in him. Basically, he’s gonna be an absolute bastard to beat for any man weighing 145lbs. You never know when someone’s gonna crack the code in an unpredictable sport like MMA but I just don’t see anyone on the horizon at Featherweight who’s beating him on this kind of form. Maybe Topuria has a shot down the road? Maybe? But there’s a lot of questions we need answered before that’s a realistic prediction. All that said…

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He is coming off a loss here though, up at 155. The big champion vs champion Superfight against Lightweight champ Islam Makhachev at UFC 284 in February. As I type this, my front runner for FOTY so far this year. An incredible fight. As high level as it gets. And although Volk lost, it almost felt like his stock went up even in defeat.

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It was a close one and I remember seeing a fair bit of moaning that Volk should’ve got the decision. I disagree myself. I don’t dislike either but I was rooting for Volk and still had Makhachev winning. I think a lot of the overblown and silly outcries of robbery post-fight were just Makhachev haters. It was close and maybe there’s a legit case for Volk winning but it wasn’t a robbery. Not every close fight has to be a robbery. But just the fact that Volk ran Makhachev so close and gave him such a fight, a weight class above his own, it paints a pretty bleak picture if you’re a Featherweight contender. Watching that fight, I’ve got no doubts Volk can beat some of the other top names at 155. If his Superfight came against Oliveira instead then who knows? We could be looking at Volk as a double champ now. He’s good enough, he just came up against a really tough matchup in Makhachev and still only narrowly lost.

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Yair’s got his work cut out. I wouldn’t have fancied his chances against Volkanovski anyway but after that performance against Makhachev, it just further cements that feeling for me. He’s a good fighter, your typical tough Mexican scrapper, exciting to watch. My main knock on him has just been his inactivity over the years. There were spells there when he’d disappear for a year or two at a time and for no obvious reason. Really frustrating. He came back and had that incredible 5 round war with Max Holloway in late 2021 which I loved. Then he had that win over Brian Ortega which had a bit of a weird anti-climatic ending. Then in his last fight in February, on the same night as that Makhachev-Volk FOTY contender, Yair beat Josh Emmett to become interim champion.

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I actually thought it was probably the best overall performance of his career to date. Emmett’s no spring chicken but he was on a decent winning streak and Yair completely schooled him. I thought he looked sharper and he seemed to find the balance between still being unpredictable and creative but not getting too reckless. It paid off and he hurt Emmett with the flying knee and submitted him in 2 rounds. I don’t know whether it was just a good style matchup for him to showcase his skills or whether him being a bit more active recently has kept him sharper. All that said, I really don’t see him getting much out of this. As great as Volk is, he’ll lose at 145 eventually if he sticks around long enough. But I don’t see it being now and and don’t see it being Yair who ends the reign. I’ve been wrong before obviously. But I wouldn’t give him any more than a puncher/kickers chance. Yair does have a bit of a different style. He’s not gonna be straightforward to prepare for. But unless he times one of his wacky strikes to perfection and lands clean, I can’t see how else he wins. I reckon this’ll look similar to when Volk dismantled the Zombie. I think Yair probably disappears for a couple of years again after this.

 

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Brandon Moreno vs Alexandre Pantoja 2 co-mains. Although it’s actually their third meeting. They fought on TUF back in 2016. They’ve both came a long way since. Especially Moreno. But this is such an interesting matchup. Moreno’s obviously gone onto big things and became champion. But he’s 0-2 down to Pantoja and the little fucker’s coming back to haunt him now. I like it.

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Big fan of Moreno. To be honest, it’ll be refreshing just to see him against someone other than Deiveson Figueiredo at this point. As much as I enjoyed their fights, we’ve got to move on sometime, right? It’ll be nice to see something new in the title picture. They fought for a whopping 4th time on the Brazil PPV in January and Moreno got the doctor stoppage TKO when Figgy couldn’t come out for the 4th round due to an eye injury. It was a bit of a flat ending to a great rivalry. That’s assuming it is the end. I wouldn’t be shocked to see them do a fucking 5th fight at some stage! But that last fight was the weakest of their series. As it stands, the scoreline is 2-1-1 for Moreno. He did beat up Kai Kara-France in there as well but, aside from that, he’s basically been married to Figgy since 2020. Time to move on. It says it all about how much they milked that rivalry when Moreno’s facing Pantoja now for the third time and it feels completely fresh in comparison. And that’s because, unlike the Figgy thing, the Moreno vs Pantoja story has been given time to breathe. It wasn’t by design. I don’t think the UFC ever planned to put Pantoja in title fights. But it’s come full circle and played out naturally. Now it’s unquestionably the fight to make at Flyweight.

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Pantoja has had that ‘darkhorse’ feel about him for a while now. He’s been one of the most overlooked guys at 125 for ages. He’s 25-5 with 18 finishes and has a really strong submission game. Of course his calling card is that he has those 2 wins over Moreno. That’s only aged better as Moreno became more of a success. But Pantoja also has wins over Manel Kape and Brandon Royval and he completely bulldozed and strangled Alex Perez in about 90 seconds in his last fight. He lost a decision against Figgy a few years ago as well, which I remember being a brilliant fight. He’s been in and around the mix for years now but Moreno rising to champion status and finally escaping that Figgy feud, for now anyway, has opened up the doors to this opportunity for Pantoja. If they never had that history and he wasn’t already 2-0 over the current champ, he’d probably be toiling away in nothing fights in the middle of the pack forever. I don’t know why that is because it’s not like he’s boring to watch or anything. But I don’t get the feeling he’s a favourite of the matchmakers. Maybe I’m wrong. That history is there though and it makes for a fascinating story heading into this one.

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Moreno’s road to the top is such a crazy and unlikely one. He went on that season of TUF in 2016 as the lowest seed and was matched with #1 seed Pantoja. I can’t remember if I saw that fight. Probably not. I think I’d already checked out of TUF by 2016. I’ll have to give both fights a look before this third one. Moreno wound up getting submitted by Pantoja but from everything I’ve read and heard over the years, he didn’t disgrace himself at all. Whatever he did in the fight, it was enough to impress Dana to the point he signed Moreno to a UFC contract despite the loss on the show. By the time that season of TUF was airing, Moreno was already fighting in the UFC.

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They met again in 2018 on the prelims of a UFC Fight Night in Chile. A forgettable card headlined by what I remember being a dull as shite main event of Kamaru Usman vs Demian Maia. I most likely saw the fight at the time but I’ve got no real recollection of it. Again, I’ll do a rewatch and review it in here closer to this show. Anyway, Pantoja won again, this time by decision.

“I can’t deny the truth. He beat me twice and I’m not going to be able to shake that off. He’s making a big mistake saying I’m scared of him because that’s a lie. I’d like a rematch but not in a way that I’m angry or from my ego wanting to beat him because he defeated me. I would like that fight to see how much I’ve evolved and to prove to myself and also to the people how far I’ve come in this sport.” - Brandon Moreno

Moreno has definitely improved since these two last fought but has he improved enough or does Pantoja just have his number? It’s a great fight. Heart is saying Moreno, head is saying Pantoja gets it done again. The x-factor here might be the timing of this fight and the difference in recent activity for both men. Pantoja’s only fought 4 times in the last 3 years. Before the Perez win he’d been out 11 months and now that Perez fight was last July. So another year layoff. Moreno’s had 7 fights in that same timeframe, 5 of them were scheduled 5 rounders and 2 of them actually went 5 rounds. So he’s been putting serious time in. It depends how you look at it though. You might think Moreno’s been more active so he’ll be sharper. But the other way of looking at it is that Moreno’s been fighting those wars with Figgy while Pantoja’s been resting up and training, occasionally popping back in to choke a Royval or Perez out. He’ll be fresher plus he’s got that psychological edge being 2-0 already. Great, great fight this.

 

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Robert Whittaker vs Dricus Du Plessis then. Well, it was fun while it lasted but I think DDP’s little streak is about to come to a crashing halt. I think it’s safe to say this’ll be anything but boring but I just can’t really see past a one way arse kicking with Du Plessis on the receiving end. Unless I’m massively overrating Whittaker or underrating DDP, I think there’s levels and Whittaker is about to show that again.

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I think it’s clear as day that he’s the nailed on #2 guy in the Middleweight division. This isn’t like the Colby Covington thing at 170 where he’s only beating old relics. This is more like the situation at 145 with Max Holloway and Volk. There’s just that one guy Whittaker hasn’t been able to beat and that’s the champ Israel Adesanya. Everyone below that absolute top of the mountain level he’s beat handily. Back when Jacare Souza was thought to be the bogeyman at 185, Whittaker stopped him in his tracks. Yoel Romero was the monster everyone was dreading having to fight and Whittaker beat him twice. When the UFC badly wanted to get Darren Till to a title shot against Izzy, Whittaker beat him. He beat Kelvin Gastelum, snuffing out any chance of an Izzy-Gastelum rematch of their FOTY. And in his last fight on the Paris card in September, he completely outclassed Marvin Vettori. He’s such a good fighter. It’s just a shame he seems destined to always be the runner up to Adesanya. Although I do think he’ll get one more crack at it. According to Dana, the winner of this fight is next in line for a title shot.

“The winner of that fight will fight Adesanya later this year. And that fight is targeted for Sydney, Australia”. - Dana White

I think they’re secretly hoping DDP wins. I can’t deny it’d be nice to have a fresh fight for Izzy. And there is bad blood brewing there between Adesanya and Du Plessis over comments DDP made about his plans to become the first “true African UFC champion” or some shite. Something like that. But I seriously doubt DDP gets past Bobby Knuckles. He’s done well so far in the UFC but his best wins so far are Brunson and Till and both were on their last legs. He had that barmy slobberknocker against Brad Tavares but I’ve seen nothing to suggest he’s got the goods to deal with the top Middleweights. Should be fun regardless but I’m expecting a bit of a beatdown here. And then we’re reheating Adesanya vs Whittaker for a third fight. I’m not totally against it myself and their last fight was close enough that you can justify another one. We’ll see what happens soon enough.

 

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Jalin Turner vs Dan Hooker should be good. It was originally booked for UFC 285 in March but Hooker dropped out with a hand injury and Turner ended up facing Mateusz Gamrot instead. He lost a razor close split decision but most seemed to have Turner winning. Can’t even remember how I had it scored but credit where it’s due to Turner anyway. I’d say Gamrot was a trickier style opponent for him than Hooker would’ve been so to accept that switch up on short notice was ballsy. He was on a nice little 5 fight win streak, all finishes, before that and had just subbed Brad Riddell in 45 seconds. It’s a shame that momentum got derailed by a late change of opponents but I’m happy they’ve rebooked this one. It feels like the matchmakers recognised he was unlucky with the judging and he hasn’t gone backwards too much. I like him to win this one as well. Just not sure about Hooker anymore. Tough bastard, no doubt. But I don’t think he’s been quite right since that 5 round war with Dustin Poirier in 2020. He looked good in his last fight beating up Claudio Puelles but that might’ve been more because Puelles is a one trick pony who couldn’t get his one trick going. Before that, Hooker was 1-4 in his last 5 and had been stopped in 3 of them. It should be exciting but I can’t help feeling like Turner’s catching him at the right time.

 

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Bo Nickal vs Val Woodburn then. Originally supposed to be Bo against Tresean Gore but that’s went tits up so this has been cobbled together less than a week out. You know the score with Bo by now. Every now and then a prospect comes along who instantly gets the UFC machine behind them. Granted, he’s looked the business so far. Came in with ready made buzz because of his amateur wrestling background. He’s a Division I champ and one of the most decorated wrestlers in NCAA history. He’s only 4-0 in MMA and already the UFC big wigs seem to be in love with this fucker. His Octagon debut was also a PPV main card opener back in March and he got the submission win against an outmatched Jamie Pickett in less than 3 minutes.

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It wasn’t without some controversy though. There was a lot of talk that just before that finishing sequence there, Bo hit Pickett with a knee to the spuds and on the replays it did look that way. But, I know it sounds harsh, I doubt the result was gonna be any different anyway. There’s a reason they chose Pickett as Bo’s debut opponent and it wasn’t because they thought it’d be a fun competitive fight. It was designed to be a showcase. A squash match. Pickett was brought in as cannon fodder. He was on about appealing it but I doubt that went anywhere.

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Proper Bo. From the wrestling mats to the Octagon. From the singlet to the Venum shorts. It’s gonna be interesting to watch his progression. I sound like a hater but I always half hope these ‘chosen ones’ and ‘golden boys’ fail. It was the same with Aaron Pico in Bellator for me. They come in with so much hype, before they’ve even actually done anything in MMA, that part of me wants to see them get chinned. Doesn’t help that Bo gives off a bit of a cocky twat vibe himself at times. He was barely in the bastard door and he was talking about what he’d do to the likes of Adesanya, Pereira and Chimaev. Part of me admires the confidence but at the same time it’s hard to warm to someone talking like that at 4-0. Anyway, Woodburn got the call on just a few days notice. Tough task for his UFC debut but he doesn’t sound like the worst signing. He’s 29 years old and unbeaten at 7-0 with 5 knockouts. He was already slated to fight on DWCS in August but now he’s straight in the door here. From the couple of little clips I’ve seen on social media, his striking isn’t pretty but he clearly packs a punch. Looks like he swings like a maniac though. If he does lack takedown defence and he’s overcommitting swinging haymakers on the feet, he’s probably gonna find himself on his back quick here. Whatever. Glad they got a replacement. And I don’t have a problem with it at all. Considering Bo’s lack of cage time, fighting a 7-0 guy at this stage is more than acceptable.

 

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Robbie Lawler vs Niko Price is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. I had to do it. It’s a fight that’s worthy of being highlighted in its own right but as soon as it was announced that this would be Lawler’s retirement fight, I couldn’t choose anything else. And Niko Price is just about as perfect a final opponent as there is for him on the roster in 2023. End of a fucking era. This one more than most really feels like a big one as far as retirements go for me. It’s almost like we’ve grown up with this mad sod.

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Lawler was a young kid when I got into MMA. A wild, insanely aggressive, at times full-on reckless, ball of raw pure violence. Some of my earliest and most vivid memories of watching the UFC involve Lawler. Usually blasting some poor sod into crumbs. When he broke in, the Miletich gym were on top of the world. At least one of Matt Hughes, Tim Sylvia and Jens Pulver always had a belt and Jeremy Horn was a constant fixture on those cards. But Lawler stood out as something completely different coming out of that camp. He was only 20/21 at the time and it was like they were letting a rabid dog off the leash every time he got in the cage. He’s mellowed out a bit as he’s got older but he’s always been the same old maniac once the Octagon door slams shut. He might just have been the most consistently awesome fighter to watch in MMA history. And I don’t think that’s any exaggeration. And there’s something quite endearing about the total contrast between that and his demeanour outside the cage. He couldn’t be more laid back, to the point he’s almost falling asleep doing media. Fight night is obviously a different story though.

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Absolute legend. This card coincides with International Fight Week and Lawler’s epic fight with Rory MacDonald from 2015 is being inducted into the Hall Of Fame that weekend. Rightly so. One of the greatest fights in UFC history. But he should go in on his own anyway. His body of work has been nuts when you really look back. You can go all the way back to his UFC debut in 2002 and he’s in a banger against Aaron Riley. And from there you’ve got that mad scrap with Chris Lytle, the first Nick Diaz fight, his wild fights with Falaniko Vitale in Hawaii, the savage KOs he inflicted on Frank Trigg and Matt Lindland, the back-to-back slugfests with Scott Smith in EliteXC, that legendary come from behind one punch KO against Melvin Manhoef…just an unbelievable run. And that’s before you even get to his UFC return in 2013…

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This is what really put Lawler over the edge and solidified him. When Strikeforce went belly up and the UFC brought those guys over, I don’t think anyone expected much from Lawler. I remember thinking it’d be cool to see his career come full circle and see him in the UFC again but he was coming in off a dodgy run at 185 in Strikeforce and had lost 3 of his last 4. Then when it was announced that Josh Koscheck was gonna welcome him back to the UFC, I think every Lawler fan groaned. But the UFC return lit a fire under Lawler and that run remains one of my favourites of any fighter in the sport’s history. Bashed up Koscheck, which is always a good time, and the rest is history. Nobody could’ve predicted he’d go all the way to becoming UFC champion! That’s got to be my favourite unlikely title win ever. And the fights were something else. Even by Lawler’s standards. That Rory fight and the Carlos Condit classic were insane. I don’t think there’ll ever be another champ who has consecutive title defences in fights that great. It all comes to an end though. He’s 41 years old now and it’s been diminishing returns for years. He’s 1-5 in his last 6 at this point and the only win came against a washed up and out of shape returning Nick Diaz. Lawler still has that dog in him even now, you can see it when he fights. Even his last fight against Barberena, he had spells in the fight where he looked great. But he seems to have just lost enough of a step, enough of his speed and enough of his durability that he doesn’t hold up in those wars quite how he used to. I’m glad he seems to have recognised that and I really hope he doesn’t go the Bare Knuckle or silly bollocks gimmick Boxing route after this. Like I said, if I could’ve chosen his final opponent myself I can’t think of one much better than Niko Price. He’s exactly the kind of scrapper Lawler’s style is made for and it’s the kind of dangerous fight he always thrived on. There’s a decent risk he gets knocked out here but I don’t think Lawler would want to go out against someone who didn’t pose that threat. You couldn’t do Lawler’s farewell against some boring fence humper. This is the one. If Lawler scores one last KO win here and then leaves his gloves in the cage, it’s gonna be hard to top that as the moment of the year. End of an era.

 

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Edgar Chairez vs Tatsuro Taira has been added fairly late. Taira was supposed to fight Kleydson Rodrigues on the Jacksonville card in late June but Rodrigues missed weight and the fight got binned at the eleventh hour. I was disappointed with that because I was really looking forward to that fight but I’m glad they’ve got Taira rebooked quickly. Never heard of Chairez but he’s Mexican, 27 years old and 10-4, all finishes. He lost to Clayton Carpenter on DWCS last summer but has since bounced back with a couple of submission wins. Doesn’t sound bad for a late replacement. They’ve signed a lot worse. It’s Taira I’m more interested in though.

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I’ve really liked what I’ve seen of him so far. Definitely one of the better young Japanese fighters to come through the Octagon doors in years. Not proclaiming him a future UFC champion or anything, it’s way too soon for that talk, but he looks promising. He’s 23 years old, undefeated at 13-0 with 10 finishes, former Shooto champ and has gone 3-0 so far in the UFC. Subbed his last couple of opponents as well. Not sure how good he actually is yet but you can’t really fault him so far. Hasn’t put a foot wrong yet and he’s looked calm and relaxed in there beyond his years and experience.

 

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Yazmin Jauregui vs Denise Gomes. Even the women’s fight on this card is pure heat. I’ve only seen a couple of fights each from these two but it’s enough for me to expect a fun fight out of this. Jauregui especially is someone I’ve quickly became a fan of.

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She’s 24 years old, Mexican and undefeated at 10-0 with 7 by KO/TKO. Think she’s a teammate of Brandon Moreno and he was bigging her up before her UFC debut last summer. I just dismissed it as Mexican loyalty but after seeing her fight I get it. She debuted last August against 20 year old Iasmin Lucindo who was also making her debut. I remember some moaning because it was put on the main card but they went out and had a hell of a fight. Won me over straight away, both of them but especially Jauregui. If you skipped it give it a watch. Fantastic stuff. If it wasn’t for the fact it happened the same night as that mental Landwehr-Onama fight it would’ve got FOTN easily. Jauregui then followed that up with a TKO win over Istela Nunes in December. She’s ace. In just 2 fights, she’s absolutely must see for me now. And on paper Gomes is tailor made for a firefight with her. She’s 23 and she’s 7-2 with 5 knockouts. Absolutely battered Bruna Brasil in her last fight in April.

 

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Jimmy Crute vs Alonzo Menifield 2 then. The immediate rematch the world was crying out for. They fought at UFC 284 in February and it ended in a draw because Menifield grabbed the fence towards the end and was deducted a point. Not really sure why we needed to see it run back straight away but whatever. It’s hardly like there’s a bunch of other appealing fights for these two in the Light Heavyweight division. Might as well just chuck them back in there with each other. And to be fair, I vaguely remember that fight in February being a bit of a pleasant surprise. I recall quite enjoying it, although my low expectations going in probably helped. Ehh, it’ll do. They’re going nowhere but I don’t hate it and it’ll probably be decent enough for prelim fodder.

 

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Vitor Petrino vs Marcin Prachnio. Hoping Petrino waffles him. I’ve only seen him fight once and already found him more entertaining than Prachnio’s entire UFC run. He’s 25 years old and 8-0 with 6 knockouts. Made his UFC debut in March and beat Anton Turkalj on points in a really enjoyable fight that got FOTN. Prachnio comes into this fight off a fucking rotten 3 rounder against William Knight in February. He ‘won’ that fight but nobody really won, if you catch my drift. It was horrible. He’s 7 fights into his UFC stint now and I can’t say any of his fights stand out. I’ve probably seen most of them as well. Just a dullard. Somehow holds a win over Khalil Rountree but Rountree has been so hot and cold over the years I’m just chalking that up to his inconsistency. Yeah, hoping Petrino does us all a favour here and wallops him quick.

 

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Cameron Saaiman vs Terrence Mitchell is a late change up and a bit of a disappointing one. Saaiman was all set to face Christian Rodriguez here, which was a nice pairing of up and coming prospects. But ‘CeeRod’ is out. Saaiman’s only 22 years old, South African and unbeaten at 8-0. He’s beat Steven Koslow and Mana Martinez in the UFC so far and looks promising when he’s not committing fouls. This could potentially be a bit of a risky one for him, having his opponent switched on him. Not ideal for anyone, much less a 22 year old. Mitchell’s 33 years old and 14-2 with all 14 wins inside the distance. He’s currently on an 11 fight win streak and, although I don’t recognise any of the names, a bunch of his finishes came in less than a minute. It doesn’t go on his official record, obviously, but apparently he fought Kai Kara-France on TUF in 2016 and got knocked out in 30 seconds.

 

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Shannon Ross vs Jesus Aguilar is just filler. Maybe I’m selling these guys short but I’ve only seen them both getting squashed so far. Ross is Australian, 34 years old and has a 12-7 record. He made his UFC debut in February and got blitzed in under a minute by Kleydson Rodrigues. Aguilar is Mexican, 27 years old and has a record of 8-2 with 6 submissions. He also debuted in February and got subbed in a round by Tatsuro Taira. Maybe I’m being a tad harsh. They both lost to tough opponents. But yeah, not too arsed if I miss this one.

 

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Kamuela Kirk vs Esteban Ribovics jerks the curtain. Kirk’s fought in the UFC a couple of times but I don’t really remember much about him. He’s 12-5 with 11 finishes, beat Makwan Amirkhani in his debut but got submitted by Damon Jackson in his next fight. Ribovics is Argentinian, 11-1 with all 11 wins being finishes and the one loss being against Loik Radzhabov in a very enjoyable fight on the Jones vs Gane undercard in March. Based on that Radzhabov fight, this might actually be worth tuning in early for.

 

 

So 290 then. 

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Edited by wandshogun09
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@Panhead yeah I think him fighting Max Holloway three times makes it feel like a bit of a time warp as well. And of course he did go up to 155 for the Makhachev fight. It does feel longer though. I think the whole COVID thing has a lot to do with things like that. He won the title in December 2019, so right as that was all starting to kick off. The pre-COVID world seems like forever ago now. 

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Seems Matt Brown has broken some news on Maddalena’s new opponent.

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Then someone did some guesswork and Matt’s fully let it out 🤣

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Never heard of Harrell but just looked him up and he doesn’t sound like the worst replacement. He’s 8-0-1 with 7 finishes (the draw was in his pro debut) and he’s coming off a TKO win on a LFA show a couple of weeks ago so he should be in shape. Not sure about the nickname though. Just glad JDM’s staying on the card, to be honest.

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2 hours ago, Egg Shen said:

Probably means he's been in camp with Mark Coleman, he'll be alright.

You joke but he is a teammate of Matt Brown in Ohio. Matt Brown who trains with Coleman sometimes. Coleman who is also from Ohio. 

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Holland was pushing to step in against Maddalena as well. He’d have probably got that fight but he’s already booked on 291 against Michael Chiesa. 

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Yeah, i was only half joking but Holland would pretty much be perfect. A name who's is tailor made for Bo Nickal. Maybe that's a leap too far at the his stage though, i'd imagine they'll rope in some DWCS cast off.

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They’ve got him a fight now anyway. For some reason tweets aren’t embedding for me now, but it’s this guy. Val Woodburn.

IMG-1066.jpg

Seen a bit of moaning but he’s 7-0 and on a few days notice it’s not bad. Bo’s only had a few fights himself so it’s not like he should be in with top contenders and stuff yet anyway. I’m fine with this.

But…they need to do the right thing now, relegate this to the prelims and bump Robbie Lawler’s farewell up to the main card where it belongs. No way Lawler should be having his final fight on the fucking prelims without a televised entrance or anything. 

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