UFC 275 was an outstanding PPV offering from the world’s premier MMA promotion. In terms of action and the tension that comes with championship fights this card had it all. It’s like the UFC is incapable of missing when it comes to delivering the goods and tonight was no exception.
The evening’s curtain jerker saw JOCELYN EDWARDS win an entertaining unanimous decision victory over RAMONA PASCUAL. EDWARDS managed to fend off the takedowns and pick her opponent apart at range. To my eye both fighters showed marked improvements but it was EDWARDS who was largely in control of the tempo. She notches her 2nd UFC victory and hands PASCUAL her 2nd UFC loss in the process.
SILVANA GOMEZ JUAREZ landed an overhand right that KO’d LIANG NA in the first round after she managed to fend off NA’s takedown attempts. She notches her first UFC victory/finish and hands NA her second KO loss in the Octagon.
KYUNG HO KANG wins a fairly decisive unanimous decision victory over DANAA BATGEREL. This after BATGEREL landed an illegal knee strike on a grounded KANG in the 2nd round. KANG went on to batter BATGEREL quite convincingly in the 3rd round and secured the decision. CONGRATULATIONS to KANG and everyone who took the plus money dog shot on him.
BRENDAN ALLEN squeaks by with a questionable decision victory over JACOB MALKOUN. TO BE FAIR I missed the entire 1st round of this fight which is a very rare occurrence for me but when I got back to my television I heard Daniel Cormier say that MALKOUN had likely won the 1st round. I thought MALKOUN also took the 2nd with Ground Control but it seems as though the judges were more inclined to reward ALLEN’S activity rather than MALKOUN’s “wet blanket” approach, which speaks to a new trend we are seeing in scoring criteria. Ground control and cage control are not being valued as much as they used to be and ALLEN manages to get the judges nod for his efforts. I was on ALLEN so I’m not the least bit upset about it but I imagine there are some MALKOUN backers out there who are probably upset about what was clearly a questionable decision.
HAYISAER MAHESHATE makes good on his UFC debut by KO’ing STEVE GARCIA in the 1st Round. The DWCS graduate out of China showed poise and composure before he found the seminal blow that slept GARCIA. Congratulations to everyone who tailed me and cashed on MAHESHATE as a sizable underdog. I expect he will not be a plus money going forward but I look forward to seeing what this young prospect will do in the UFC.
JOSHUA CULIBAO wins a very convincing split decision over SEUNG WOO CHOI after he dropped him on two separate occasions in the 1st and 2nd rounds. While CHOI managed some potent offense throughout the fight I still think it should have been a unanimous decision victory for CULIBAO who looked absolutely amazing throughout the fight. Congratulations to everyone who cashes on CULIBAO as a sizable underdog.
JACK DELLA MADDALENA KO’D RAMAZAN EMEEV in the first round with another one of his signature boxing combinations. This after he escaped a very deep anaconda choke that would have made most fighters tap. DELLA MADDALENA’S finishing combination was nothing short of spectacular. This fighter is a problem at welterweight. He moves to 2-0 in the UFC and I cannot wait to see what he does next.
JAKE MATTHEWS absolutely outclassed the prolific ANDRE FIALHO and knocked him cold in the 2nd round. Clearly MATTHEWS has leveled up since his last Octagon appearance because he looked like a bonafide contender versus FIALHO who showed a good chin up until he got slept. While it is admirable that FIALHO wanted to stay busy I think it’s safe to say that 4 UFC fights in six months took their toll on him at UFC 275. Congratulations to everyone who cashed on MATTHEWS as a sizable underdog.
WEILI ZHANG KO’D JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK in the 2nd round with a spinning back fist that was all forearm to jaw when it landed. JOANNA did a face plant and the ref immediately waved off the fight. Afterwards JOANNA announced her retirement and effectively closed out an era in the annals of MMA. Congratulations to WEILI ZHANG on a beautiful knockout victory and a deep heartfelt thank you to one of the UFC’s greatest champions JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK for all of her amazing work in the world’s biggest combat sports promotion.
VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO wins a questionable split decision over TAILA SANTOS and defends her flyweight title for the 7th time. To my eye SANTOS won the first 3 rounds with superior grappling. SHEVCHENKO made some uncharacteristic mistakes and continuously engaged in the grappling exchanges with SANTOS who consistently seemed to come out on top when the fight went to ground. SHEVCHENKO managed to take over in the championship rounds with distance management and vicious stand up striking as well as some late Ground control and GNP. It is worth mentioning that SANTOS was on the wrong end of an accidental clash of heads in the 4th round but despite this she proved to be SHEVCHENKO’s biggest challenge to date and managed to put the Flyweight champion in some very compromising positions. Congratulations to VALENTINA on another successful title defense and congratulations to SANTOS who nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.
The main event LHW title fight is worthy of the hall of fame in my opinion. GLOVER TEXEIRA and JIRI PROCHAZKA put on an absolutely spectacular show in what was easily the fight of the night and possibly FIGHT OF THE YEAR. Despite being up 3 rounds going into the 5th TEXEIRA was caught in a RNC and tapped with seconds to go before the final bell. This fight had it all. Striking, Grappling and near finishes on both sides provided all the required elements of an epic championship fight. I am amazed with the composure and durability that was shown by both of these amazing athletes but it is PROCHAZKA who prevailed in what had to be one of his toughest fights to date. This was easily one of the best light heavyweight championship fights that I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. I cannot say enough about the amazing 42 year old GLOVER TEXEIRA who continues to defy father time and compete at the highest level possible. As for JIRI PROCHAZKA, he has clearly proven himself to be a worthy champion who will not be dethroned easily. I cannot wait to see him defend his newly acquired LHW UFC title.
Another amazing PPV event is in the books and as usual we look to next week’s UFC FIGHT NIGHT: KATTAR VS EMMETT which has its work cut out for it in the aftermath of UFC 275.
Be sure to check out my rapid fire quick picks prediction article for next week’s offering right here at WE WANT PICKS.