It’s no secret that I loved “Road to UFC: Singapore”, the quarter finals of a tournament in which many fighters from across Asia fight for a UFC contract. There were many standout performances in the quarter finals and I am expecting some great fights when the semi...
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That week off was both brutal and refreshing, but we are back for the layover card that is UFC Vegas 61. This event takes place at the Apex Center, but is rumored to be privately rented out by Mark Zuckerburg and friends, so no media or fans will be allowed in the...
UFC is back after the one week break and it’s a little bittersweet because we’re going on break next week as well. After this weird one card in three weeks schedule we get the final stretch of the year started with two more banger pay-per views left. This week it’s...
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AMAZING TURN OF EVENTS at UFC 278. This card was a masterpiece from start to finish. I have learned to Expect the unexpected when it comes to UFC action but somehow I am always amazed at how these things play out. This is the greatest sport ever and I am almost never disappointed with any of the offerings from the world’s greatest MMA promotion.
VICTOR ALTAMIRANO gets a 1st round ground and pound TKO victory over DANIEL DA SILVA after DA SILVA dropped him early. Big credit to ALTAMIRANO for staying composed and turning the tide. This was a short lived fight but it was a wild curtain jerker and it set the tone for an epic night.
AORI QILENG won a hard fought decision against JAY PERRIN. QILENG clearly won the 1st and 2nd rounds but PERRIN rallied and took the third. Both men unloaded on each other I the dying seconds of the fight, to my eye PERRIN could have landed the seminal blow if he’d had another 30 seconds to work with but on this night it was too little too late and QILENG survived the late rally to win an impressive 29-28 unanimous decision.
AMIR ALBAZI gets a 1st round RNC against FRANCISCO FIGUEIREDO. His takedown game and top pressure were far superior in this match up and FIGUEIREDO offered very little in the way of resistance. This was an easy night at the office for the almost 5 to1 favorite ALBAZI.
ANGE LOOSA wins a very gutsy 29-28 unanimous decision victory over AJ FLETCHER. LOOSA stole the 1st round after FLETCHER touched him up early. In the 2nd round FLETCHER had LOOSA on Bambi legs and took him to the brink but he unwisely empty his gas tank chasing the finish and as a result he had nothing left in the 3rd round which allowed LOOSA to take him down and ride out the round for a clear decision win. This was one hell of a fight and I was extremely impressed with the heart of both fighters. Unfortunately for me I was on FLETCHER and I was painfully aware that he had nothing left for the 3rd round. This is LOOSA’s 1st ufc win and FLETCHER’s 2nd loss in as many UFC appearances. I look forward to seeing both of these fighters again. Congratulations to everyone who cashed on LOOSA as a sizable underdog.
LUIS SALDANA had SEAN WOODSON dead to rights in the 1st round after he knocked him down twice. However instead of pouncing on him for a finish he chose to showboat and ended up landing an illegal knee to the grounded WOODSON which cost him a point. As a result WOODSON was able to get back into the fight and give a better account of himself in the 2nd & 3rd rounds. This one ended in a split draw but to my eye SALDANA should have won a decision. However as someone who was heavily invested in a WOODSON victory I was quite happy to get the draw. AFTER the fight I clearly heard Coach Santino Defranco tell SALDANA “you knocked him out twice in the first, all you had to do was land a couple more shots…” . I imagine there are quite a few WOODSON backers counting their lucky stars for SALDANA’s poor decision making and the questionable scorecards. Sometimes it comes down to lucky bounces.
JARED GORDON wins an attritional 30-27 unanimous decision victory over the aging LEONARDO SANTOS who visibly slowed down as the fight wore on. GORDON worked SANTOS with multiple body shots and his cardio advantage was on full display. Credit to SANTOS for going the distance in a losing effort.
MARCIN TYBURA won a 29-28 majority decision as a massive underdog and hands ALEXANDER ROMANOV his first loss as a pro. ROMANOV rag dolled TYBURA and dominated the first with takedowns and ground control but TYBURA came alive in the second and started to piece up the undefeated prospect who was visibly slowing down as the fight wore on. It was a close but clear 3rd round for TYBURA who completed what turned out to be a huge upset. Congratulations to everyone who tailed me and took the plus money dog shot on TYBURA.
TYSON PEDRO performed exactly like a -750 favorite should and he TKO’D HARRY HUNSUCKER 1 minute and 5 seconds into the 1st round after catching him with a sharp jab which he followed up with a nasty body kick that dropped HUNSUCKER and left him vulnerable for the ground and pound finish.
LUCIA PUDILOVA scores a surprising 2nd round ground and pound TKO victory over WU YANAN in a fight that most of us expected to go the distance. PUDILOVA showed new wrinkles to her game and made a triumphant return to the UFC after being released from the promotion. Congratulations to her. I look forward to her next outing.
MERAB DVALISHVILLI won a fairly one sided 30-27 unanimous decision victory over JOSE ALDO with pace and pressure but it was somewhat lacking in terms of the expectations I had for this fight. ALDO’S legendary takedown defense was on full display in this one but he was largely controlled by DVALISHVILLI up against the cage and in the clinch. DVALISHVILLI was fearless in open space and his amazing cardio continues to be a problem for his opponents. This marks 8 victories in a row for DVALISHVILLI and I cannot wait until his next outing. There is no telling what this young man’s ceiling is but I expect that he will continue to thrive moving forward.
PAULO COSTA won a 30-27 unanimous decision victory over LUKE ROCKHOLD who was badly gassed early in the fight. To his credit ROCKHOLD stayed in the fight and landed some big strikes but it was COSTA who was winning the bigger moments throughout. Unfortunately ROCKHOLD’s body language was not very good and despite a valiant effort he was largely outgunned. Afterwards ROCKHOLD announced his retirement to an emotional farewell from the appreciative crowd and he conceded that father time has finally caught up to him. Nonetheless this was still FOTN in my humble opinion and ROCKHOLD gsvr a gutsy account of himself in a loss. Congratulations and A MASSIVE THANK YOU to him on a legendary career. HE has provided this writer with a shitload of amazing thrills and I’m very grateful for his efforts. You were FORMIDABLE Luke.
The main event saw LEON EDWARDS shock the world with a 5th round KO of the world’s pound for pound best in KAMARU USMAN. This has to be one of the most amazing come from behind finishes in ufc history. EDWARDS managed to win the 1st round pretty decisively after he took USMAN down and backpacked him but USMAN roared back with a dominant showing of takedowns and striking in the 3rd 4th and 5th rounds. USMAN was 56 seconds away from another successful title defense and the most wins in UFC history when EDWARDS caught him with a picture perfect head kick and knocked him out cold. USMAN was out before he hit the canvas and EDWARDS got the walk off KO for his highlight reel. The slow motion replay was particularly dramatic as the sweat from USMAN’S brow sprayed down on EDWARDS’ shin just before he collapsed. I imagine there are quite a few disillusioned USMAN backers out there right now but that is the nature of this amazing sport and the game we play as MMA bettors. A massive Congratulations to Jacob Lines of WWP who scored his 8th consecutive and biggest Lock of the week to date and Congratulations to everyone who tailed us and took the big plus money shot on LEON “ROCKY” EDWARDS. SOMETIMES IT PAYS TO PLAY THE NUMBER. I honestly thought USMAN was the right side but I played the Value on EDWARDS and it paid off. This was an AMAZING night of fights to cap off 12 consecutive weeks of fights. Now we head into an 11 day break as the UFC goes dark next weekend. I’m just glad I can head into the break on a winning note and I will use the time to deep dive study the matchups on the upcoming September 3rd card headlined by Cyril GANE & Tai TUIVASA so be sure to check the next edition of RAPID FIRE QUICK PICKS which will be out later this week right here at WE WANT PICKS.
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