UFC 259 was headlined by three title fights. We received somewhat little bit of every part out of them, together with the primary ever title change by way of disqualification. No disrespect to Jan Blachowicz or Amanda Nunes, the opposite winners within the night’s title fights, however the loopy ending to the bantamweight title contest was simply essentially the most memorable second of the night time.
Petr Yan was in full management, cruising on his technique to a victory when he stupidly landed a knee to the face of a downed Aljamain Sterling. Regardless of many accusations of Sterling placing on an Academy Award profitable efficiency, the knee that landed was a HARD knee that legitimately would have stopped the battle if it had been authorized. After all, it wasn’t and Yan threw it regardless of a agency warning from the ref to not throw the unlawful strike. The rightful plan of action was to offer the belt to Sterling. Earlier than everybody will get to feeling too badly for Yan, it’s a assure there can be a rematch.
Blachowicz held on to his gentle heavyweight title, turning away Israel Adesanya within the middleweight champion’s bid to turn into a two division champion. The primary three rounds of the five-round choice had been very contact and go, neither fighter clearly taking any of the rounds. Nevertheless, Blachowicz turned the tide within the fourth and fifth rounds, scoring takedowns midway by way of the rounds and delivering the punishment when Adesanya couldn’t get again to his ft. Maybe the Pole will start to get the respect he deserves at this level….
Regardless of some rumors floating round that Nunes would possibly name it a profession after disposing of Megan Anderson, no such announcement got here from the two-division champion. In reality she indicated she’s extra harmful than ever. Given the benefit wherein she beat Anderson — mixed with how simply everybody anticipated her to take action — the truth that Nunes is hanging round seems to be the larger story.
As for the remainder of the cardboard….
Most important Card
- Some have been calling Islam Makhachev the inheritor to his extra well-known teammate, Khabib Nurmagomedov. After the best way Makhachev dominated Drew Dober, these declarations carry much more weight. Makhachev did what he needed with Dober for everything of the competition, finally discovering a head and arm choke early within the third.
- The principle card opened with essentially the most “meh” efficiency of the night time as Aleksander Rakic and Thiago Santos traded strikes at a tentative tempo. There wasn’t loads of separation between the sunshine heavyweight contenders, however all three judges Rakic did somewhat bit extra.
- Whereas it was clear Dominick Cruz has misplaced a step from his heyday, he proved he nonetheless has one thing left within the tank, taking an in depth choice over a sport Casey Kenney. Cruz appeared to acknowledge he’s not what he as soon as was, indicating he’d love to do a charity battle subsequent. Maybe we’ve
- Whereas Tune Yadong’s chin is perhaps the preferred speaking level, it was Kyler Phillips’ kick to the face that began the dialog. Phillips landed a number of onerous photographs on Tune, delivering the Chinese language consultant his first UFC loss and certain launching Phillips into the official UFC rankings.
- Nobody likes to see a legend fade. It seems to be like we’re witnessing the twilight of Joseph Benavidez. Askar Askarov is not any slouch, however he has by no means been an athlete close to the extent of a major Benavidez. Benavidez couldn’t outathlete Askarov sufficient to beat Askarov’s technical prowess, Askarov profitable a one-sided choice. Askarov may very well be preventing for a title subsequent… supplied the UFC doesn’t maintain his weight miss in opposition to him.
- Rogerio Bontorin dominated Kai Kara-France for 90% of the primary spherical, having a number of alternatives to cinch in an RNC for the win. Kara-France refused to offer in, received the battle again to the ft, and secured a walk-off KO. I can’t keep in mind the final time I noticed a flyweight walk-off KO….
- The primary choice of the night time noticed Tim Elliott smother Jordan Espinosa in dominant style. It wasn’t essentially the most entertaining contest – he maintained management of Espinosa for nearly 90% of the competition on unofficial statistics – nevertheless it gave Elliott a a lot wanted win, giving him consecutive wins within the UFC for the primary time since 2013.
- Precisely zero folks had been predicting Kennedy Nzechukwu and Carlos Ulberg would ship a FOTN contest, however they did simply that. Ulberg damage Nzechukwu early, however the huge man hung in there and commenced to ship his personal model of punishment as Ulberg light from his makes an attempt to place away Nzechukwu. A heavy proper hand from Nzechukwu dropped Ulberg within the second, however hats off to each males.
- There isn’t something fairly about Sean Brady’s model, nevertheless it’s damned efficient. Overcoming an early knockdown by the hands of Jake Matthews, Brady plugged away scoring takedowns and carrying down the Aussie with shear attrition, scoring a late submission. Brady referred to as for a ranked opponent subsequent. Count on him to get it.
- The bloom is off the rose for Livinha Souza. She provided subsequent to nothing in opposition to Amanda Lemos, permitting the hard-hitting Brazilian to stalk her down and punish her. Souza wasn’t out, however after being knocked down twice and exhibiting each indication of not eager to be in there, the referee supplied some mercy.
- Whereas Uros Medic’s win was spectacular, it was sadly overshadowed by Mark Smith permitting the newcomer to ship an pointless quantity of punishment to Aalon Cruz. Medic continued to land blows after placing Cruz to the mat, Smith permitting the punishment to proceed a minimum of 30 seconds longer than it wanted to.
- I felt Trevin Jones’ debut victory had a little bit of a fluke really feel to it when he upset Timur Valiev. Now that he’s upended Mario Bautista, I’ve to confess he’s the true deal. After attacking early with low kicks, he landed a cool proper uppercut that put the explosive Bautista to the mat. Effectively of a technique to begin the night time.