This is what Fight Pass is all about, a fun card from Berlin that took place at night for European audiences. It makes for a full fight day for a North American UFC fan as they started right around noon for most people in the U.S. The fights were mostly entertaining with an exciting main event between Gegard Mousasi and Mark Munoz.
A healthy Mousasi showcased his skills fully for the first time in the UFC getting the impressive first round finish over the tough Munoz. This puts Mousasi firmly in the top ten as he handled the wrestling based Munoz who was focused on the takedown. He did not have much choice as Mousasi was clearly the better striker in the few exchanges.
It was not much better for Munoz on the ground either. Mousasi easily used a mixture of ground and pound and grappling to secure the first round submission win via a RNC. It was a dominant win for Mousasi and puts him back into the title picture.
After the fight, Dan Hardy proposed a fight between Mousasi and ‘Jacare’ Souza next. That sounds like a great fight for them both and would put the winner in the front of the line for a title shot. They are two well-rounded fighters who would push each other. It would also be an exciting fight as they are both smartly aggressive fighters who go for finishes.
In the co-main event C.B. Dollaway continued his rise in the middleweight division has he took out a tough Francis Carmont. This was Dollaway’s fourth win in his last five fights and will move him into the top ten. He looked his best in dealing with a difficult and skilled Carmont.
We saw Dollaway’s ever evolving striking continue to emerge as he out struck Carmont in this fight. The improved striking is of course still anchored by a very strong wrestling base. Dollaway used it to secure three of four takedowns in the fight to help grind out a tough win over a very talented opponent.
Dollaway has continued to grow as a fighter since his time on TUF. He is really putting things together and another win or two he will find himself right in the title mix himself. Afterwards Hardy had another brilliant suggestion for Dollaway’s next fight in Yoel Romero who is coming off an impressive win himself over Brad Tavares. While Romero is ranked below Carmont most people would consider him to be the tougher test for Dollaway.
Luke Barnatt and Sean Strickland fought to an uninspiring SD. Strickland got the nod on the scorecards despite being out stuck in each round and only scoring one of two takedowns. Barnatt was the aggressor in the fight and had two seconds more octagon control and was credited with one submission attempt. Apparently that takedown meant a lot to the judges. In the end no one really won this fight and we all kind of wished that it had not happened.
The main card was kicked off in fine fashion by featherweights Tom Niinimaki and Niklas Backstrom. Niinimaki started out strong on his feet but Backstrom was too much in the grappling. He jumped into a guillotine that Niinimki defended. When they went back to their feet Backstrom used his height to blast Niinimaki with a knee. He took advantage of the dazed Niinimaki and secure a quick choke submission for the impressive first round win.
Other impressive performances included Magnus Cedenblad using a jump in guillotine to submit Krzysztof Jotko in the second round. This came on the heels on Iuri Alcantara stopping Vaughn Lee violently in the first round. Alcantara caught him with an overhand left as Lee came in and then quickly finished him on the ground.
In other action, Peter Sobotta defeated Pawel Pawlek via UD. While Maximo Blanco took a hard-fought UD over the game Andy Ogle. The card began with Ruslan Magomedov coming back to take the UD over Viktor Pesta in what was a heavyweight war.
cover image credit – Esther Lin for Strikeforce
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