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UFC Singapore: Holloway vs Zombie - Aug 26 🇸🇬


wandshogun09

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Off to Singapore with a clash of maybe the two most popular fighters in Featherweight history…

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ESPN MAIN CARD
Max Holloway vs Korean Zombie 

Anthony Smith vs Ryan Spann

Giga Chikadze vs Alex Caceres

Rinya Nakamura vs Fernie Garcia

Taila Santos vs Erin Blanchfield 

Junior Tafa vs Parker Porter

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS 
Waldo Cortes-Acosta vs Lukasz Brzeski

Toshiomi Kazama vs Garrett Armfield

Chidi Njokuani vs Michal Oleksiejczuk

Song Kenan vs Rolando Bedoya

Yusaku Kinoshita vs Billy Goff

Na Liang vs JJ Aldrich 

Seung Woo Choi vs Jarno Errens

 

Pretty strong Fight Night card that. Main event feels like a bit of a sacrifice at this stage in both men’s careers but it’s still a big fight at 145. Some other good fights on there as well and the bonus for us is, with it being in Singapore, it’ll be on at a nice time for us. Looking on the UFC’s site, they’ve got the prelims kicking off at 10am and the main card starting at 1pm. So we can be watching the Holloway vs Zombie fight live at around 3pm on Saturday afternoon.
 

 

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Max Holloway vs Korean Zombie headlines. I’m gonna sound like an ungrateful prick but I’m not a huge fan of this matchmaking. Don’t get me wrong it’s definitely not gonna be boring. It’s gonna be all action however long it lasts. But fuck’s sake. It just feels a bit sadistic. If this fight had been made 5 or more years ago, I’d have been buzzing for it. 100% in. I still think Max would’ve spanked him. I think Max wins this fight at any time in both their careers. But in 2023, with Zombie making noises about retirement? It just feels too late. We’ll see how it plays out but I think I know how it plays out and it just makes me sad.

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Max Holloway is still Max Holloway. I think some were doubting that and starting to write him off after that third loss to Volkanovski last July. When he fought Arnold Allen in April I saw a lot of people predicting he’d lose and a fair bit of talk that Max might be on the slide. But, with all due respect to Allen, Allen isn’t Volk. And it seems it takes a Volk to beat Max. The fact is, you look back over Holloway’s awesome run at Featherweight, it’s only Volk who’s been able to better him over the last 10 years! You have to go all the way back to 2013 to find a loss to someone other than Volk at 145 and that was way back when Max and Conor McGregor fought as young pups on the rise. Seems like a lifetime ago now. Since then he’s beat Aldo twice, Edgar, Yair, Ortega, Kattar, Allen etc. And he’s put on some of the most amazing performances in UFC history. The beatdowns of Ortega and Kattar were crazy and the 5 round war with Yair is probably my favourite fight ever in the Featherweight division. He’s only 31 but he’s already a shoe-in for the Hall Of Fame. No question. He’s a lock. So yeah, talk of Holloway’s supposed decline was greatly exaggerated. No doubt it’s coming one day. Father Time is undefeated. You either get out before he strikes you down or it all catches up to you eventually. And for a 31 year old, Max has put some miles on himself and been through some battles. He can’t keep going like he has been forever. He just can’t. Nobody can. But I didn’t see a declining fighter when I watched him against Allen. I just think Volk is that good.

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Zombie is a guy who’s on the way out though. A 36 year old Featherweight is usually on borrowed time anyway. But when you factor in some of the insane wars he’s been in and then think about some of those injuries he’s dealt with over the years, we’re lucky we’ve had him around as long as we have. He’s 17-7 now and the last time we saw him was his title shot against Volk (him again) last April. So well over a year of inactivity for the Zombie.

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He took a proper beating off Volk, got stopped in the 4th round and was pretty vocal about considering retirement after. It’s seemed to be on the cards for a while but I think people are really gonna be hoping he stops after this one. What a career though. He was never ‘the guy’ but I’d argue there were points in his career when he was probably the most popular Featherweight on the roster. Likeable as fuck, exciting in the cage, cool nickname, the entrance. Like I imagine most fans, Zombie first got on my radar with that nutty fight with Leonard Garcia in WEC way back. From the moment I watched that, I was checking for every fight he had. He had his ups and downs after but one thing that remained consistent was that, win or lose, he was always great fun to watch. Whether it was pulling off the first ever twister submission in UFC history, the 7 second KO against Mark Hominick, the classic with Poirier, the madness against Yair or bashing up Frankie Edgar in a round in Korea. He’ll be missed but it’s probably time.

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Holloway respectfully called out Zombie after beating Allen in April. There was a lot of talk about a card in Korea in February that the Zombie was pencilled in to headline and I’m sure the reports were that it was gonna be his retirement fight. The idea got binned when he got injured and the card got moved to the Apex. I’m assuming this is still gonna be his swansong. And what a way to go out. I think he’s getting battered here. Hopefully he’s got one last good scrap in him but, I don’t know, I just don’t see any way this ends positively for him. As you can probably tell by reading this post so far, I wasn’t that keen. It’s kind of cool in that it’s two of the biggest names and most popular and beloved 145ers ever, and they’ve never faced off before. It would’ve been a bit of a dream match at one time for me. But now, not so much. I don’t mean to be so negative. Like I say, it’s gonna be exciting to watch whatever happens. But it’s one of those bittersweet fights where I really don’t wanna see a loser.

 

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Anthony Smith vs Ryan Spann 2 then. A rematch for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I don’t get this booking at all myself. Even more baffling that they’ve been given co-main event status! I mean they’re both going nowhere and pretty much all the other names at 205 are booked already. But aside from that, I genuinely don’t see any reason to run this one back. Certainly not now anyway. They headlined the Apex back in September 2021 and Smith just rolled over him in 3 minutes…

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It wasn’t a barnburner, it wasn’t a back and forth war, it wasn’t even that competitive at all from what I remember of it. My main recollection of the whole thing was just how timid and disinterested Spann looked. At the weigh in and on fight night. Just looked like he didn’t wanna be there and Smith had no trouble with him. Weird really. Spann stopped Ion Cutelaba and Dominick Reyes after that, don’t know why he just didn’t really show up against Smith. I’m sure he’ll look better this time…because he can’t really look any worse. But I’m not arsed about this. 205 isn’t much good anyway these days but these two especially just seem to be floundering. Smith comes into this fight off losses to Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker, Spann got subbed by Nikita Krylov last time out. Whatever.

 

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Giga Chikadze vs Alex Caceres is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** here. Really interested to see how this one goes down. Really not sure what to expect out of this. We know the score with Caceres. He’s always great to watch. It’s Giga who brings the element of uncertainty here. Last time we saw him he was getting smashed to bits for 25 minutes by Calvin Kattar…

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Before that he’d been rising up the ranks and being talked about as a future title contender. He was on a 9 fight winning streak, coming off TKO wins over Cub Swanson and Edson Barboza and he was name dropping all the top Featherweights in the title mix and calling them out left and right. Kattar messed him up though. Bad. That was January 2022 and we’ve not seen him since. 20 months on the shelf! Before the Kattar beating and massive layoff, I’d have picked Giga to beat Bruce Leroy quite confidently. Now I’m not sure what happens. Caceres has been active, has fought 3 times since Chikadze last got in there and he’s won 7 of his last 8 fights. He’s coming into this one off a decision win over Daniel Pineda in a fantastic FOTN scrap in June. Seriously, one of the best fights so far this year for me. And he knocked out Julian Erosa with a beautiful headkick his fight before that. If Giga can come back close to what he was pre-Kattar hammering, I’d still favour him here. But all bets are off at this point.

 

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Rinya Nakamura vs Fernie Garcia is worth a look. Nakamura is a 28 year old standout wrestler who’s gone 7-0 with 6 finishes since switching to MMA. He went through that ‘Road To UFC’ thing last year and got a couple of quick first round finishes and made his UFC debut in February this year against fellow ‘Road To UFC’ fighter Toshiomi Kazama.

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Just 33 seconds into the opening round that happened. Can’t fault it. We never got to see any of his much talked about wrestling but you can’t beat a quick KO as a first impression in your debut on the big stage, can you? Looking forward to seeing more of him. Not sure how far he can go in a shark tank like Bantamweight but he’ll be an exciting addition to watch whatever his ceiling is. I’m hazy on Garcia but he’s 10-3, only 3 finishes, and he’s coming off a couple of decision losses to Journey Newson and Brady Hiestand. Yeah feels like they’re setting him up for a twatting here but we’ll see.

 

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Taila Santos vs Erin Blanchfield is an interesting fight to me. They were supposed to headline an Apex card back in February but Santos pulled out injured. Glad they’ve rebooked it because I really like this fight. Surely this is a title eliminator. As I type this, Santos is ranked #4 in the Flyweight division, Blanchfield is ranked #3. So they’re already right there. We’ve got the Grasso vs Shevchenko rematch in September. To me, it makes all the sense in the world to have the winner of this fight challenge whoever the champion is after Grasso vs Shev 2. Bit of a mini tournament. Although you’ve also got Manon Fiorot at #2. After years of Shevchenko dominance, things are finally getting interesting at 125. Grasso pulling off the upset in March has given the division the shake up it badly needed. This woman almost did it first though…

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We haven’t seen Santos since the last Singapore show, UFC 275 in June last year. And she gave then dominant champ Valentina Shevchenko the toughest fight of her title reign at the time. Santos ultimately lost via split decision and I haven’t rewatched the fight since but I remember a lot of people saying they thought Santos should’ve got the nod from the judges that night. She’s 19-2 now and both losses were split decisions. She doesn’t have the strongest resume of wins but that performance against Shev certainly proved she’s legit. Speaking of legit…

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Blanchfield has looked the business so far. She’s only 24 years old, a BJJ black-belt and she’s 11-1 in MMA with the only defeat coming against Tracy Cortez by split decision in a LFA fight back in 2019. She’d have only been 19/20 at the time. Like Santos, she doesn’t have a who’s who of names on her record but she’s been on a roll and looked impressive. She got some attention for her submission win against an overhyped Molly McCann late last year. Then she scored the biggest win of her career to date in February, submitting former champ Jessica Andrade. That was the night Blanchfield was meant to fight Santos originally. So yeah, interesting matchup and likely with #1 contender stakes attached. Good stuff.

 

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Junior Tafa vs Parker Porter. Yay. Heavyweights. Funny one this. Porter got sparked in a minute by Tafa’s older brother Justin at UFC 284 in February. Now Junior’s having a go. He’s 4-1 with 4 knockouts and has also fought in GLORY Kickboxing as well as some Boxing fights. Made his UFC debut in April and lost a decision to Mohammad Usman. Not the best. Porter’s shite though. If Tafa can’t basically do what his big bro did then there’s not much hope.

 

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Waldo Cortes-Acosta vs Lukasz Brzeski is most likely gonna be fucking abysmal. I’ve found Cortes-Acosta especially frustrating to watch the few times I’ve had the displeasure to see him fight. He’s 9-1 with 5 finishes and has gone 2-1 so far in the UFC. He’s gone the distance with Jared Vanderaa, Chase Sherman and Marcos Rogerio De Lima in 3 consecutive rotters and I can’t see him ever bouncing back from that in my eyes. One of those annoying fuckers who’s doing the bare minimum in fights but taunting and dancing about as if he’s putting on a masterclass. Fucking ‘Salsa Boy’ is his nickname. Shitehawk. Brzeski is Polish and has a 8-3-1-1 record and 7 finishes. He hasn’t really been any better to watch and he’s gone 0-2 in the UFC with points losses to Martin Buday and Karl Williams. No way I’m watching this load of old wank. Wand’s One To Skip.

 

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Toshiomi Kazama vs Garrett Armfield. Apex fodder but in Singapore. Kazama was on ‘Road To UFC’ and got ironed out by Rinya Nakamura in seconds in his Octagon debut in February. He’s 10-3 with 8 finishes. Armfield’s 8-3 and made his UFC debut last July, stepping in on short notice only to get subbed by David Onama. Not ideal that. UFC debut, short notice and against a beast like Onama. Fuck that. At least he’ll have had a full camp for this, we’ll see if that makes much difference.

 

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Chidi Njokuani vs Michal Oleksiejczuk sounds like an absolute dogfight on paper. Njokuani bounced around for years before the UFC picked him up. He finally got in through DWCS in 2022 and got off to a hell of a start with a 16 second knockout over Marc-Andre Barriault in his debut. He followed up with an elbow KO against Dusko Todorovic. It’s gone wonky since though. He had that wild fight with Gregory Rodrigues in September where he put a big fuck off hole in Greg’s forehead but ended up getting stopped himself. Then Albert Duraev decisioned him in a rotten fight. I’m blaming Duraev for that one because Chidi’s usually ace. Fuck Duraev. This should be a return to form though. Oleksiejczuk only knows one way to fight and it’s just 100% aggression until he gets the finish or gasses trying. He got subbed by Caio Borralho last time out but I’m glad he’s sticking with 185. His years as a chubby 205er were a waste of time in my opinion. This should be fireworks.

 

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Song Kenan vs Rolando Bedoya might be alright. Not gonna pretend I’m mega excited or anything but it’s decent enough. Song got battered by Ian Garry in his last fight in March but, in fairness, he was coming off a 2 year layoff and he did crack Garry early on with a good shot if I’m remembering right. Didn’t matter in the end though, he got a right hiding. Bedoya made his Octagon debut at UFC 288 in May and narrowly lost to Khaos Williams on points. I remember it being a solid fight and Bedoya looking good. Think I might’ve even had Bedoya winning but the judges went against him.

 

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Yusaku Kinoshita vs Billy Goff. Not a clue. Kinoshita’s fought once in the UFC and he got TKO’d in a round by Adam Fugitt. He’d won a fight on DWCS before that and fought in Pancrase and RIZIN before that. He’s 22 years old and 6-2 with all his wins coming inside the distance. Goff’s making his UFC debut. He’s 25 with a record of 8-2 with 6 knockouts and he’s on a 6 fight winning streak. Got a first round TKO in his last fight on DWCS a year ago.

 

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Na Liang vs JJ Aldrich is nothing to write home about. We last saw Liang getting absolutely obliterated by Silvana Gomez Juarez on the last Singapore card in June last year. She’s now 0-2 in the UFC, having been previously stopped by Ariane Carnelossi in her debut. Overall she’s 19-6 now with 17 finishes. Aldrich is also struggling. She’s 11-6 and coming off back-to-back losses herself to Erin Blanchfield and Ariane Lipski. It’s got the feel of a ‘loser leaves town’ thing but they’ll probably keep them both anyway for Apex reasons.

 

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Seung Woo Choi vs Jarno Errens will probably be decent enough. Choi badly needs a win at this point though. He’s gone 0-3 in his last few fights and been finished in two of them. His last fight on the MSG card in November was a really fun one rounder against Mike Trizano but he came out on the wrong end of it and got knocked out. A fourth loss here could be it for him. Errens is Dutch, 28 years old and has a record of 13–4-1 with 8 finishes. Made his UFC debut on the Paris card in September and lost a razor close majority decision to William Gomis. He’s had a right mixed bag of results in recent times and I remember that Gomis fight being a bit lacklustre. So I’m hoping Choi can get back to winning ways here and hopefully drag something watchable out of Errens.

 

 

UFC Singapore then 🇸🇬 

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Edited by wandshogun09
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Current bout order for this. I know it’s probably gonna be shuffled a bunch of times but I’m scratching my head at the decision to put the pointless and unnecessary Anthony Smith vs Ryan Spann rematch as co-main while a legit fight and probable title eliminator in Taila Santos vs Erin Blanchfield is the second fight on the main card.

On a more positive note though, check out those start times! 

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Smith and Spann is such a nothing happening fight as you say. Both men going nowhere. On a PPV these days I'd have it on the Fight Pass prelims, such is it's level of importance. That it's so high in the placement here is a bit head scratching alright. 

Holloway by stoppage in the third. It won't be pretty for Zombie. He'll give it a good fucking rattle, but ultimately he'll be too slow and unable to get out of the way of enough of Max's shot's that he'll overwhelm him, with the last of Zombie's durability allowing him to make the third round - either that or there's a tentative, almost friendly, first round. I hope KZ can make it more competitive than we're expecting, but we'll see. 

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1 hour ago, Dai said:

Holly Holm probably!

I assume Bones Jones has the longest streak. 

 

Yeah, Bones has to hold the record.

Holm doesn't come close when talking consecutive main events.

Edited by Egg Shen
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This isn't the absolute best card of all time by no means.... but the fact it starts at 10am for us means I will be enjoying it way more than normal just because I won't be dying and trying to fight to stay awake.

I am looking forward to some fights the main event looks like it could be a good one...I don't feel like it's going to be a good one for the Korean zombie though 

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This is genuinely one of the best days I've had in ages. Four fight's left on the main card, I'm six beers in and it's beautiful sunshine outside not pitched black.

I would say I could get used to this but no point cos next week we go back to normal 

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2 minutes ago, Kfogg1991 said:

I would say I could get used to this but no point cos next week we go back to normal 

That’s where you’re wrong. Next week’s card is in Paris. Won’t be as early as this card but the prelims start at 5pm, main card at 8pm. 

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Absolutely Incredible main event and the emotional stuff aside those two went in knowing the stakes and just slugged it out.

I like both fighters but I was absolutely behind zombie today because I didn't want to see him retire.

Holloway landed a unbelievable shot but seeing zombie get knocked out like that knowing he is about to retire got me and once again I was crying seeing it.

All together it was a good fight night card and the main card was really good and enjoyable

All I can say is thank you zombie for everything you have done and given to us the fans 

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I only got around to watching it this morning and I was thinking to myself that Justin Tafa's looking a little leaner than usual. Then I saw the actual Justin Tafa in the corner and realised it said Junior Tafa. I'm blaming it on my hangover. 

It was an enjoyable card overall. 

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