First things first, let’s address the debacle that was the UFC essentially depriving 90% of their fans of watching fights 4 thru 8 on the card. Apparently no cable provider offers FS2? I’m told (thru a lil’ back and forth with my boy Jon Anik–NBD), the fights pretty decent. By all accounts though, this is unacceptable from the UFC, and being forced to watch Sr Circuit baseball while waiting for the fights to finally come on FS1 made me want to light fire to a Comcast building. Unfortunately, I have nothing to personally offer for analysis on these 5 fights other than Dustin Ortiz destroying my 3 fight parlay. I digress.
Lets begin with the 3 Fight Pass bouts, arguably the best implementation the UFC has offered in recent years. If you’re not already a subscriber–do it Bobby, do it. Well worth the dough. Let’s get down to business:
Fight 1: Schnell vs. Sandoval – I liked Schnell a lot in this fight, don’t know why, just a gut feeling. But after checking out Sandoval’s history after an impressive KO victory, this dude’s only losses are to Wilson Reis and Willie Gates–nothing to sneeze at. He’s 2-1 now in the Octagon–keep an eye on this guy. (Sandoval KO 1st round)
Fight 2: Barberena vs. Proctor – I’m a northeast guy, so I have unabashed love for Proctor. That being said, Barberena is a guy that trains with Mighty Mouse and goddamn he is relentless. Fans might remember him most for the weak tap from Sage Northcutt, but this dude Barberena is serious with 9 KOs in 13 victories. He looked extremely sharp and his next opponent could be a top 10 foe. (TKO punches 1st round)
Fight 3: Alexis Davis vs Cindy Dandois – Yawn. Don’t get me wrong, I love women fights a ton, but this was a snoozer. Davis dominated as I expected she would, although Dandois, whom admittedly this was my first time seeing her scrap, came on strong in the 3rd round to make it interesting. (Davis wins UD 29-28 all 3 judges)
Folks, I got zero analysis on the next 5 fights. I’d love to be held accountable for this travesty, but this was simply not my fault.
Fight 4: Danielle Taylor defeats Jessica Penne, via UD 29-28 all 3 judges. Penne was the slight favorite so a bit of a surprise here.
Fight 5: Scott Holtzman defeats Michael McBride via UD 30-26, 30-27 (X2). Not a shocker here–Hot Sauce is a beast and his nickname certainly helps his marketability.
Fight 6: Brandon Moreno defeats Dustin Ortiz via RNC Round 2. I was bullish on Ortiz, one of my favorite 125ers. He wins the 1st round and gets caught/rocked/choked out cold in R2. Solid W for Moreno, a submission specialist, should have a bright future ahead of him at flyweight.
Fight 7: Thales Leites defeats Sam Alvey via UD 30-27 all 3 judges. IMO, Leites is a guy that has faced some serious competition throughout his career. That being said, I believe his Octagon record is somewhat skewed by facing top competition. I’m an Alvey fan, can’t help it, but Jesus he’s had some tomato cans as of late, which certainly made his latest run that more unimpressive to me.
Fight 8: Mike Perry defeats Jake “Not Joe” Ellenberger via KO (Up Elbow). Last fight of the evening I was unable to witness due to contractual TV bullsh*t. Real quick, I liked Ellenberger a lot as a dog, feels like he’s always out to prove people wrong and he’s tough as f*ck. However, Mike Perry learned a little something from his last bout with one of my favorite fighters currently in the UFC–Paul Felder. Folks who don’t remember, Felder put Perry out with a gorgeous, subtle up elbow that shattered his nose and crumbled him into a heap ending the bout immediately. Seems as tho Perry learned from his mistake against a crafty fighter like Felder and used those techniques to his advantage.
Fight 9: HEY I GOT TO SEE THIS ONE! I’ll say, this was a pretty crazy fight to score as there were many ways to interpret ground control and damage inflicted. Lauzon dominated on the ground in Round 1 and did not let Ray leave the mat. With the new rules in place, easily a 10-8 round for Joe. Round 2- for a guy with a famous gas tank, Lauzon looks like he’s on empty. Although Joe lands a weak takedown, Ray uses this round to his advantage and ultimately prevails as the fresher fighter. Here’s where it gets crazy. IMO, as gassed as Lauzon is, he’s still grinding and going for takedowns, albeit nothing extraordinary. Yes, he did not win the 3rd round and I have no issue with that. I had it 28-28, with Joe winning round 1 10-8 and Ray winning the last 2 rounds 10-9.
Long story short, 2 judges give Ray a 10-8 third round giving him a majority decision. Not right. Big props to Joe Lauzon as he is always humble in defeat. Even when he beat Marcin Held, he said post fight that he didn’t deserve the win. Love guys that tell it like it is.
Fight 10: John “The Magician” Dodson defats Eddie Wineland via UD 30-27. Holy smokes is Dodson fun to watch. Wineland had a 4 inch reach advantage and did not once in 3 rounds decide to close the range. Stann said during the bout, which I 100% agree with–where were the low kicks from Wineland? He was wide open to attack that lead leg given an orthodox vs. a southpaw stance. Giant missed opportunity by his team. Right decision from the judges, Dodson fought a near perfect fight. He could go down with Rumble as the best, most entertaining fighters never to win the big one.
Fight 11: OSP defeats Large Brazilian Mammal via Von St. Preux choke R2. MY GOD. Can we take a poll of how large de Lima was in the ring at fight time? Good lord! My guess is 270 and that’s being conservative. He tooled OSP in round 1 which I mean, Christ you’d expect. But in all honesty, we all knew he was bound to gas quickly, and OSP took advantage once he smelled it. Coolest thing about that fight is that I’m betting de Lima has 2 smashed orbitals. MMA guy for sure.
Fight 12: Al “I tawk the tawk and wock the wock” Iaquinta defeats Diego Sanchez via first round KO. Boy, this was the biggest shocker of the evening for me based on a number of variables. First, the NY native Iaquinta hasn’t fought in nearly 2 years due to various injuries, which will always be a concern once re-emerging. Diego, who granted has a ton of miles on him, had never been stopped and will literally fight you with half of his face this hanging off–just as tough as they come in any division. To see him get dropped not once but twice in less than 2 minutes was nothing less than shocking to myself.
Fight 13: The Most Anticipated bout so far in 2017. For reals tho. Who the hell made this fight and how in the world does Cub even agree to this?? He had nothing to gain and absolutely everything to lose. Preposterous.
I’m not going to lie folks, this fight couldn’t have moved the needle if the force of gravity failed. I turned it off after round 2 because frankly, I don’t enjoy vomiting (that much). It ended up going all 5 rounds which I’m sure UFC fans were thrilled about–Cub got the UD 50-45, 49-46 (x2). To be fair, I will give Artem props for going 5 rounds in his first main event bout against a known killer, but everyone in their right mind knows he’s a run of the mill undercard guy at best.
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