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UFC Vegas: Fiziev vs Gamrot - Sep 23 🇺🇸


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Believe it or not, this is at the Apex 👀 


Rafael Fiziev vs Mateusz Gamrot 

Bryce Mitchell vs Dan Ige 

Marina Rodriguez vs Michelle Waterson 

Bryan Battle vs AJ Fletcher 

Charles Jourdain vs Ricardo Ramos 

Miles Johns vs Dan Argueta 

Tim Means vs Andre Fialho 

Jacob Malkoun vs Cody Brundage 

Jake Collier vs Mohammed Usman 

Mizuki Inoue vs Hannah Goldy 

Montserrat Rendon vs Tamires Vidal 


That’s got to be the best Apex card we’ve had in a while, hasn’t it? Obviously not counting the days when we were in lockdown and they were forced to even do the PPVs from there. As far as the ‘Apex Fight Night’ era goes since the crowds came back for bigger shows, this is one of the better cards I can remember. Some bollocks filler lower down the card as you’d expect but on the whole, I like the look of this. That’s how the bout order currently stands but I’ll edit as we go.



Rafael Fiziev vs Mateusz Gamrot headlines. This one’s really snuck up on us, hasn’t it? I forgot it was even booked until the other day, much less that it’s this month! Great fight. Love the matchup and the timing kind of makes sense at the moment. Both have been on the cusp of breaking through into that top level at 155, both seemed like they’d got to that point where they were one big win away from a contender fight or even a title shot. But they’ve both hit stumbling blocks recently and this is their chance to get back on track. Fiziev’s ranked #6, Gamrot’s ranked #7. They’re still in the mix.


That’s how we last saw Fiziev. He fought Justin Gaethje at UFC 286 in London in March and they had a scrap and a half. Incredible fight. It’s been remembered as a bit of a domination by Gaethje and I think that’s mostly because of the state of Fiziev’s face there. But it was a real battle and both had their share of dishing out and receiving punishment. Gaethje rightly got the decision in the end but what a fight. One of my favourites so far this year. If it was a 5 rounder it might’ve been taken to another level and been even better. Or maybe Fiziev’s face would’ve actually fallen off. Probably for the best for Fiziev that it was only 3 rounds. So yeah he’s on the rebound here. One of my favourite strikers to watch on the roster at the moment. Wins over Rafael Dos Anjos, Bobby Green, Renato Moicano, Brad Riddell, Marc Diakiese etc. And he was giving Gaethje issues early in their fight. He’s a handful. I don’t see him having quite enough about his overall MMA game to beat the elite of the Lightweight division but he’s probably gonna hover around just below that and trade wins and losses with some contenders for a bit yet. And he’s a lot of fun to watch.


Gamrot’s done pretty well for himself since signing with the UFC in 2020. He came in with some legit hype as an undefeated two-division champion for KSW in Poland. He dropped a split decision to Guram Kutateladze in his UFC debut, his first career loss, but bounced back strong with 3 finishes over Scott Holtzman, Jeremy Stephens and Carlos Diego Ferreira. It’s been a bit of a funny one since then though. In his last 3 fights he’s won a controversial decision over Arman Tsarukyan (I had him losing), then got beat fairly convincingly by Beneil Dariush, then in his last fight in March he won a split against Jalin Turner that most people seemed to have him losing. So he’s arguably won two fights he shouldn’t have in his last few fights. He’s a really good fighter but there’s a case to be made that he should actually be on a 3 fight losing streak right now. I can’t really remember the Turner fight much but I definitely had him losing the Tsarukyan fight.


Good stuff. Like I said, had no idea it was this close. Theoretically the winner should bag a big fight but it feels like it could go a bunch of different ways depending on who wins. And you know what 155 is like. Good luck getting one of the established names to fight these guys. Fair play to Gaethje for taking the Fiziev fight. We need more of that. I wanna see these two, along with Tsarukyan, mixing it up with that Top 5 now. Let’s see what the true pecking order is. Just looking at the rankings now, if Fiziev wins I’d love to see him against Dustin Poirier but I can’t see Poirier being interested at this stage. I could see a Fiziev win here landing him against Dariush or something. He’s currently ranked #4. If Gamrot wins, I’m stumped. He already lost to Dariush and I can’t see Poirier, Chandler, Gaethje etc being into that fight. At that point maybe just do the Tsarukyan rematch. Fuck knows? All that aside, just on its own merits, this should be a tremendous fight. I love that they’ve got 5 rounds to play with.



Bryce Mitchell vs Dan Ige is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. Really like this fight. To be honest, we’ve had much worse main events at the Apex than this, and this is just the co-main. They’re kind of meeting at a weird time with Bryce coming off his first loss and Ige coming off wins but that makes it more interesting in a way. Both have different points to prove. Bryce wants to redeem himself, Ige wants to keep his momentum going.


So yeah, this is new territory for Bryce Mitchell. Up until his last fight, he’d never known what defeat felt like. He was 15-0 and had some serious momentum. Was only the second fighter in UFC history to end a fight via twister, had just scored his biggest win to date with a dominant performance against Edson Barboza etc. He was flying high. Then in December he ran into Ilia Topuria and that was that. The shiny undefeated record down the shitter. And it wasn’t just a loss, it was a complete mauling. Bryce got ragdolled. Topuria beat him up on the feet, which was expected. But he also overwhelmed him in the grappling and ended the fight by submission. That was a surprise and an eye opener because the grappling has always been Bryce’s main strength. It was a bad loss. Crushing for Bryce. To the point he was making noises about just jacking it all in and retiring in the immediate aftermath of the fight. Emotions were obviously high and he quickly changed his mind. He was supposed to fight Movsar Evloev in May, which sounded like really rough matchmaking coming off that Topuria loss to me. To throw him straight back in with another unbeaten guy like that sounded way harsh. But Bryce had to pull out with a back injury. Hopefully he makes it to this one. Feels like the longer he sits out after that Topuria loss, the more it might fuck with him mentally. Seems like a case where he needs to just get back on the horse.


Dan Ige bounced back from his own setbacks with that beautiful KO against Damon Jackson back in January. He followed that up with a decision win over Nate Landwehr in June. He was in a right slump prior to that Jackson knockout. He’d lost 3 in a row and had gone 1-4 in his last 5 going into that one. Badly needed a W. It’s amazing what one big finish can do for a fighter’s confidence. If he’d fought Nate The Train immediately coming off that 0-3 skid I wouldn’t have fancied his chances at all. In all likelihood it would’ve been 0-4 and maybe him getting his walking papers. That knockout in January seemed to completely rejuvenate him. So he’s coming into this fight on good form and with his confidence high. And who knows where Bryce’s head is at? Just skill for skill, I’d pick Bryce to win this fairly confidently. But the timing of it and the unknown element of how Bryce will respond to his first career setback makes it a bit more intriguing. Still favouring Bryce but we’ll see how it goes.



Marina Rodriguez vs Michelle Waterson 2 then. Why? The matchmakers don’t seem to give a shite these days do they? Rematches for no reason whatsoever. We had that Anthony Smith vs Ryan Spann re-run on the Singapore show a few weeks back, now this? Not in love with it. I rated Rodriguez at one time and was actually predicting she’d become Strawweight champ a year or so ago in that ‘MMA Champions’ thread on here. She’s shat the bed since though and has lost to Amanda Lemos and Virna Jandiroba in her last two fights. And Waterson, bless her, she’s been struggling for a while. She’s lost her last 3 fights, she’s gone 1-5 in her last 6, she’s 37 years old now…yet for some reason they’ve just re-signed her for 8 MORE FIGHTS! Make it make sense.



Yeah, they met back in May 2021 in a 5 round headliner at the Apex. Forgettable stuff but my vague memories are of Rodriguez winning a clear decision. No controversy and it wasn’t some killer fight that anyone would be clamouring to see again. Yet here we are. My main memory of that fight is the absolute shitshow leading into it. The original main event (Dillashaw vs Sandhagen) fell apart really close to the show so, instead of just bumping a fight up to main event, they scrambled and put these two in there with barely any prep time. Rodriguez had Visa issues and all sorts and just about made it to Vegas in time to weigh in. Complete shambles. The fact she still handily beat Waterson under those circumstances doesn’t fill me with optimism that this is gonna be any more competitive. Forgive me if I don’t bother doing my usual rematch review of this one.



Bryan Battle vs AJ Fletcher might be decent. Battle’s a guy I was a little bit slow to get on board with, I think mostly because I stopped following TUF ages ago, but I’ve been won around. He’s 9-2 now with 7 finishes, won TUF in 2021 and beat Tresean Gore and Takashi Sato in his first couple of Octagon appearances. He lost a boring decision against Rinat Fakhretdinov in December but bounced back big time in May…



In his hometown Charlotte, North Carolina (WOOOH!), he knocked out Gabriel Green in just 14 seconds. The crowd came absolutely unglued as you’d expect. Genuinely one of my favourite moments of the year just for the way it played out and the reaction. Nuts. Fletcher I’m a bit less familiar with but I remember really enjoying his fight against Ange Loosa last year, albeit a losing effort. And he submitted Themba Gorimbo in his last fight in February so he’s on track now. Could be a bit of a sleeper based on the limited stuff I’ve seen from both.



Charles Jourdain vs Ricardo Ramos sounds like a fun one on paper. Jourdain’s coming off a points win over Kron Gracie back in May. Always nice to get a win over a Gracie on the record but it was a shitty fight and Gracie was coming off such a long layoff that it didn’t really tell us much. Jourdain’s alright though. Blows hot and cold a bit and he’s had his share of losses but he’s got a fan friendly style and will take risks in there. The Kron fight wasn’t much good but a win’s a win and with the right opponent Jourdain is exciting to watch. And Ramos could be an ideal dance partner. Like Jourdain, he’s no future champ or anything but I like this pairing. He hasn’t fought in over a year now but he’s coming off a sweet spinning elbow knockout over Danny Chavez. He stopped Aiemann Zahabi the same way years ago as well. He’s lost whenever he’s stepped up a level but he’s not bad.



Miles Johns vs Dan Argueta sounds alright on paper. Johns is 13-2 and coming off a points win over Vince Morales in November. Awful fight. Really wasn’t expecting a dud out of that one and I’d enjoyed a few of his fights before that. His once punch KO against Anderson Dos Santos a couple of years ago was a thing of beauty. But that Morales fight was inexplicably shite. Hopefully this one will be better. Argueta is 9-1-0-1 in MMA, a former LFA champion and a standout wrestler who fights out of Jackson-Wink in Albuquerque. His only loss so far came in his UFC debut against Damon Jackson but he took that on short notice. He came back and beat Nick Aguirre in January but then had a really weird 2 minute fight with Ronnie Lawrence in June that ended in a No Contest because the ref said Lawrence tapped and he didn’t.



Tim Means vs Andre Fialho could potentially be a ‘loser leaves’ situation. Probably won’t be because they always need bodies to fill up these cards now so they’re not so quick to sack guys these days. But both are coming in off 3 fight losing streaks, Means was finished in 2 of them and Fialho was stopped all 3 times. They’re struggling. Both good to watch though. I’d be sad to see either get released but they’re hanging on for dear life at this point. Means especially looks like he’s on his last legs. He’ll be 40 years old early next year and this’ll be his 50th MMA fight. He’s been around donkeys years and I actually think he’s a bit under-appreciated. He’s beat the likes of Thiago Alves, John Howard, Mike Perry and Bobby Green over the years. He got subbed by Alex Morono last time out and I just remember thinking the writing looked to be on the wall. Maybe fight #50 would be a good time to call it a day. Fialho’s younger and has had way less fights but his style is so wild I can’t see him having a particularly long career ahead. He’s been stopped brutally in his last 3 fights. Punches from Jake Matthews, a drawn out beating from Muslim Salikhov and a headkick from Joaquin Buckley. He’s taken a lot of punishment recently.



Jacob Malkoun vs Cody Brundage does absolutely fuck all for me. Nothing. I don’t recall enjoying watching Malkoun much. He’s 28 years old, Aussie and 7-2 with only 2 finishes. He beat Nick Maximov last time out but that was last October and I vaguely remember it being fucking rotten. He’s lost to Brendan Allen and Phil Hawes. Just a really forgettable run so far. The most memorable bit was him getting swarmed and done in by Hawes in 18 seconds. I hope he wins here though. Brundage is arse. He’s 8-5 and coming off 3 straight losses. Got walloped by Michal Oleksiejczuk and subbed by Rodolfo Vieira, which is whatever. But his last fight in June he lost to Sedriques Dumas and that’s unforgivable. Dumas is shite but Brundage fought like an absolute idiot going for failed guillotines and giving up top position all over the shop. Hopefully Malkoun beats him and they fuck him off. Even by today’s standards with the threshold for what’s considered ‘UFC level’ being at an all-time low, Brundage needs to be got rid of.



Jake Collier vs Mohammed Usman is the obligatory Heavyweight offering on this card. What a treat. Nothing really to say about this. Collier’s fights are as bad as his diet. He’s 13-9 and since signing with the UFC he’s gone 5-8. And I don’t recall any of those fights being good. He’s been on the roster since 2014, NINE BASTARD YEARS! In all that time, he hasn’t won 2 fights in a row even once! Shocking. And after nearly a decade in the UFC, the only thing he’s known for is the fact that he ate himself silly from Middleweight up to Heavyweight.



In fairness to the big gluttonous vat of dripping, I actually remember thinking he should’ve got the decision over Arlovski last year but who gives a bollocks really? Big Mo Usman hasn’t blown anyone away either though. He won TUF last summer, whatever that means these days, and he beat Junior Tafa on points in April in a fight I watched and immediately forgot about. Nothing against him and I’d rather see him win this than Lardy Collier but he hasn’t looked much good really. Not convinced he goes much higher.



Mizuki Inoue vs Hannah Goldy. Ugh. I don’t even know. Not a fucking clue. Didn’t even know Inoue was still on the books. She lost to Amanda Lemos in her last fight…in 2020. Don’t know what she’s been doing since. Her Wikipedia page says she was injured. She’s still only 29 but I don’t remember her looking like some major prospect before the time away anyway. She’s 14-6 now, went the distance with Alexa Grasso back in their Invicta days, made it to a title shot in Invicta but lost a split decision to Virna Jandiroba. After 3 years out though, who knows how she’ll look? And Goldy’s crap. 6-3 record, 1-3 in her last 4 and got stopped by Molly McCann’s spinning shit in a round in her last fight a year ago. Just going nowhere. If Inoue can’t beat her, even factoring in the layoff, it might be better to just call it a day.



Montserrat Rendon vs Tamires Vidal. Never heard of Rendon. She’s making her UFC debut here. Sherdog doesn’t even have her age listed but she’s Mexican and apparently undefeated at 5-0, all decisions. She’s fought mostly in Combate Global and Invicta. As for Vidal, I remember liking her Octagon debut back in November actually…


A flying knee to the body! Ramona Pascual was done the second that landed. Just shut her system down immediately. Perfect debut really. To get a first round finish, especially a finish like that, debuts don’t really get much better. She’s 25 years old and now 7-1 with 3 finishes.


That’ll do. 


Edited by wandshogun09
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27 minutes ago, Carbomb said:

I think it's a good idea for fighters to become judges - they're much more likely to have a detailed idea of what's going on in terms of subtleties and nuance.

They’ve also spent a large portion of their life getting hit in the head repeatedly. They’re also more likely to show bias, whether for a friend, training camp, or style of fighter. 

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2 minutes ago, Keith Houchen said:

They’ve also spent a large portion of their life getting hit in the head repeatedly. They’re also more likely to show bias, whether for a friend, training camp, or style of fighter. 

Even taking all of that into account as a distinct possibility, they still can't be any worse than the shit we've been served up by inept judges to this point. I'm all for it.

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12 minutes ago, David said:

Even taking all of that into account as a distinct possibility, they still can't be any worse than the shit we've been served up by inept judges to this point. I'm all for it.

Very true. Here’s hoping ex fighters take it up, both score a fight differently, argue, square up to each other and hey presto! You’ve got the co main event to the rematch of the initial contested fight. 

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