The Good, The Bad & the Ugly: UFC on FOX 11 Edition

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Im gradually coming to realise that I might be too old to reliably sit up and watch the fights. I only managed until Thiago Alves’ fight before passing out. Thanks be for sites like -redacted- which allow me to catch up in the morning…

The Good:

First of all, it was awesome to see one of our favourite fighters, Thiago Alves return to the cage after more than two years. Even better, he put in a good performance like he’d never been away and we hope for more ‘Pitbull’ based goodness in the near future.

The card provided consistently good action despite a few less compelling fights, with particular mention going to the awesome flyweight scrap between Dustin Ortiz and Ray Borg, Mirsad Bektic vs. Chas Skelly, Alves vs. Baczynski, the gunfight between Donald Cerrone and Edson Barboza and Fabricio Werdum‘s fine performance in the main event to win a title shot.

The Bad:

Aside from some screwy judging – one split decision that shouldn’t have been and one that went the wrong way IMHO – the worst thing was Chas Skelly’s illegal knees to Mirsad Bektic.

Interesting to see the referee give Bektic time, as if it had been a groin shot and take a point before allowing the match to continue. Bektic also deserves warrior points for continuing and giving as good as he got in the remainder of the fight to take the majority decision.

It produced a compelling fight and a new fighter for me to be a big fan of, but was it the right call with fighter safety and the letter of the law in mind?

The Ugly:

For a night that saw it’s fair share of blood, there was nothing especially gory or egregiously uncool from a fighting or officiating point of view. Good work folks.

If We Had The Chequebook…

Fight of the Night:

Easily Dustin Ortiz vs. Ray Borg for a back and forth bout which saw some high impact strikes and some awesome grappling exchanges. For me, this was an advert for all that is good in MMA and it’s lack of acknowledgement in the UFC’s post fight dissection is a travesty.

Performance of the Night:

Mirsad Bektic for being aggressive and entertaining before the illegal knees and having the sheer stones to see the fight out afterwards. Such performances are what makes you a fan favourite.

Finish of the Night:

Donald Cerrone for his quick reactions in hopping onto Edson Barboza’s back and slapping on a tight rear naked choke after rocking him with a nice jab. Even more impressive considering that Barboza had the best of the early exchanges.

Full Results:

MAIN CARD
Fabricio Werdum def. Travis Browne via unanimous decision (49-46, 50-45, 50-45) – Round 5, 25:00
Miesha Tate def. Liz Carmouche via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) – Round 3
Donald Cerrone def. Edson Barboza via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:15
Yoel Romero def. Brad Tavares via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – Round 3

PRELIMINARY CARD
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – Round 3
Thiago Alves def. Seth Baczynski via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – Round 3
Jorge Masvidal def. Pat Healy via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) – Round 3
Alex White def. Estevan Payan via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:28
Caio Magalhaes def. Luke Zachrich via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:44
Jordan Mein def. Hernani Perpetuo via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – Round 3

FIGHT PASS PRELIMINARY CARD
Dustin Ortiz def. Ray Borg via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – Round 3
Mirsad Bektic def. Chas Skelly via majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28) – Round 3, 5:00
Derrick Lewis def. Jack May via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:23

 

 

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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: UFC FN Abu Dhabi Edition

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You know the drill…

The Good:

Friday Night Fights! A better end to a heinous work week, I have yet to find. The fact that it also aired at a nice civilised time (for us in Scotland, anyway) really helped.

Back and forth action all night was a theme, with compelling action from Jim Alers & Alan Omer, Ryan LaFlare & John Howard and Clay Guida & Tatsuya Kawajiri more than making up for not providing a finish with some great competition.

In fact, all three of those bouts were an advert for why grappling is not boring and is an important part of MMA that shouldn’t be traded away just to satisfy the urges of folks who are only interested in knockouts, blood and finishes. Excellent work guys.

To countermand the decisions, there were impressive knockout victories for Thales Leites, Ramsey Nijem and Roy Nelson who all raised their stock considerably with decisive victories that will have improved their rankings and highlight reels in equal measure. Expect some very tasty matchups for these three next.

The EMEA broadcast team of John Gooden, Dan Hardy and Andy Friedlander all performed well with Hardy a natural in the colour commentator role, Gooden as reliable as he ever was and Friedlander much smoother and more confident than in London. Again, excellent work.

The Bad:

It’s never nice to see a match called off in the first round due to injury, especially when it’s from a foul but the decision to rule the headbutt between Rani Yahya and Jonny Bedford accidental was a good one.

The Ugly:

I’m sure I speak for all men when I say that I have no desire to ever see Ryan LaFlare’s (admittedly accidental) knee to John Howard’s nuts ever again. It was probably the most solid, impactful and empathically brutal strike to the man jewels I have ever seen.

The fact that Howard not only continued the fight, but damn near took the decision after absorbing that blow has only raised my already considerable respect for him. Howard is a warrior beyond compare. I would have just died, and been grateful that the pain went away.

Our Bonus Award Winners

Fight of the Night

On a great night of fights, this was a tough call but it has to go to Clay Guida vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri for an excellent display, which despite the 30-27 nature of Guida’s victory, all the rounds were close and Kawajiri was several times very close with submissions.  That is an example of an exciting grappling based match.

Performance of the Night #1

Thales Leites for the utter dominance he showed in securing his first TKO victory in almost nine years. A top ten fight awaits.

Performance of the Night #2

I like to spread the bonuses around, so where I might have selected Clay Guida here, I’m going to give credit to Ramsey Nijem for overcoming a super tough Beniel Dariush in such concussive and bloody fashion. This was Nijem’s best UFC performance to date and I’d also like to credit him for putting himself forward as a positive ambassador for those of middle eastern heritage in a distinctly American promotion. That was a brave call to make so respect to Ramsey for that.

Finish of the Night

Roy Nelson for utterly starching Big Nog with his trademark overhand right, complete with Mark Hunt-esque walk away. Stunning in every sense. Nelson vs. Hunt would be a match I’d pay to see now…

All in all, this was a cracking event, easily one of the UFC’s best so far this year. More like this please…

MAIN
• Roy Nelson def. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 3:37
• Clay Guida def. Tatsuya Kawajiri via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
• Ryan LaFlare def. John Howard via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Ramsey Nijem def. Beneil Dariush via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:20

PRELIMINARY
• Jared Rosholt def. Daniel Omielanczuk via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
• Thales Leites def. Trevor Smith via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:45
• Jim Alers def. Alan Omer via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
• Johnny Bedford vs. Rani Yahya declared no-contest (accidental head-butt) – Round 1, 0:39

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: #CWFCJordan Edition

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Cage Warriors Fight Night 10: Azaitar vs. Marshman

March 28, 2014
King Hussein Youth City Boxing Arena
Amman, Jordan

The Good

I’ve always liked the way Cage Warriors cards keep a good pace up, with minimal gaps between matches but with four first round finishes on the main card, it was all done in less than one hour and forty minutes – less time than it takes a standard football match to play out.

Thats loads of exciting finishes and having a big chunk of evening left to play with. What’s not to love?

All those finishes made it an explosive night as well, with the concussive victories of Carl Booth and Abu Azaitar sure to live long in the memory, while the slick subs of Marcin Lasota, Dave Hill and Marat Pekov a joy for any fans of the gentle art.

Competitive, aggressive action with top notch production and excellent commentary. As usual. Keep up the good work folks, you’re on a hell of a run.

The Bad

From a purely nationally biased point of view, the losses for John Cullen and Allan Love soured the evening a bit for us (and most Scottish MMA fans, I’d imagine) but both acquitted themselves well against high level opposition, with Love surely only needing another round to change the result over Paraisy.

The Ugly

It’s never nice to see a fighter concede a contest and after surviving some brutal submission attempts from Malik Merad, Mohamed Ali verbally submitted seconds into the third round. This is ‘ugly’ because it invariably indicates an injury and we hope ‘Felix’ is better soon.

Similarly, we hope Jack Marshman and Jarrah Al-Silawi recover quickly from their concussive knockouts.

Bonuses (if we had the chequebook)

Fight of the Night

Dave Hill vs. Miguel Haro was a fast paced technical fight which lit me up. With some stunning grappling on display and a real back and forth battle, I couldn’t give the award to anyone else.

Performance of the Night 1

Yazan Janeb dominated his fight with Hicham Laghzali and was a constant threat with submissions through the first two rounds. As Laghzali proved to have exceptional heart and a tendency to survive and escape subs, Janeb changed it up in the third to achieve a dominant position and earn the TKO win via ground & pound.

Tremendous skills and maturity for a pro debut.

Performance of the Night 2

Marcin Lasota may be undefeated and a submission specialist but the way he disposed of the excellent Paul Marin was impressive beyond words.

Finish of the Night

Carl Booth’s knockout of Jarrah Al-Silawi was so sudden, so brutal that I still have a sore jaw more than a day after watching the fight. In the words of Ron Simmons… DAMN!

Cage Warriors return on April 12th where James Brum will challenge Brett Johns for the Bantamweight belt in Swansea, Wales.

Main Card

Abu Azaitar def. Jack Marshman via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:34
Marat Pekov def. John Cullen via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 3:45
Malik Merad def. Mohamed Ali via submission (eye injury) – Round 3, 0:09
Norman Paraisy def. Allan Love via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – Round 3, 5:00
Marcin Lasota def. Paul Marin via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 3:02
Carl Booth def. Jarrah Al-Silawi via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 0:31

Preliminary Card
Dave Hill def. Miguel Haro via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 2:11
Yazan Janeb def. Hicham Laghzali via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 2:57

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: #CWFC66 66 Edition

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March 22, 2014
Ballerup Super Arena
Copenhagen, Denmark

This is the first time I’ve done this for a non-UFC show, but CWFC provided my Saturday night card this weekend and it ended up being my event of the year so far, so here goes.

The Good:

Everything. The fights were of a high standard and entertaining, the production was top notch, the commentary from Josh Palmer, Brad Wharton and Rosi Sexton was insightful, informative and added to the broadcast, the standard of refereeing and judging was beyond criticism and there was a real sense of this being an event, not just another MMA card.

The main event was a fun, technical brawl (not a contradiction in terms for once) between two very game and proficient fighters , with Churilov definitely proving he wasn’t here just to make up the numbers.

Let’s be honest, you can’t end an event in better fashion than the hometown hero knocking his opponent out with a head kick to win a world title. Beautiful.

Seven of the nine televised bouts ended in finishes and the two decisions were hard fought and entertaining bouts and of the main card bouts, four resulted in underdog victories – you can’t beat that for drama and excitement.

While much of the praise and column inches will rightly go to Dalby, Bahari, Hazdovic and Tauru for their standout victories, I feel that I have to give credit where it’s due to Martin Svensson for a cracking performance against the in-form Robbie Olivier.

Svensson is a fighter I’ve criticised before and who’s personality and usual fight style really don’t make me a fan but he put on a hell of a fight and scored a career changing victory, so credit to him.

The Bad:

The finish to the last preliminary bout between Jussi Halonen and Frodi Hansen came via DQ when Hansen threw an illegal kick, right on the buzzer which knocked Halonen down and, eventually out.

It’s never nice to see an illegal move, especially when it results in a stoppage but these things happen in combat sports and the really bad thing was the online reaction where a vocal bunch of fans disputed the decision to rule it a DQ, criticising the rules regarding a downed fighter, often while completely misquoting or misunderstanding those rules.

A lack of concern for fighter safety and the rules of the sport in favour of a ‘just bleed’ mindset is one of the biggest obstacles to the furtherance of MMA as an established sport and it’s sad to see fans of a credible promotion cleaving to such beliefs.

The Ugly:

The blood gushing from the back of Robbie Olivier’s head wasn’t exactly attractive…

Bonuses:

Fight of the Night:

I’m totally torn here, so I’m splitting this between the Nicolas Dalby and Sergei Churilov for their cracking main event and the super close and competitive tussle between Martin Svensson and Robbie Olivier.

Performance of the Night #1:

Has to go to Nicolas Dalby for a breakout performance against a more experienced and undoubtedly dangerous fighter. In the most high pressure bout of his career so far, the Dane didn’t just get the job done, he did it in entertaining style, showing sportsmanship towards his opponent, with a smile on his face and then turned it on even higher in the championship rounds. Truly a joy to behold.

In his own words ‘fucking awesome!’

Performance of the Night #2:

I’m keen to spread the credit around so I’m giving Toni Tauru the first performance award for his absolute domination and submission over Martin Akhtar.

Finish of the Night:

Plenty to choose from, with Hakon Foss and Toni Tauru’s submissions being particularly sweet and Nicolas Dalby’s head kick and follow up in the main event being a thing of beauty, but… Damir Hazdovic‘s combination to become the first man to TKO John Maguire was extra special and a career defining moment for the Bosnian/Danish fighter.

Full Results:

MAIN CARD
Nicolas Dalby def. Sergei Churilov for vacant welterweight title
TKO (kick, punches) – Round 4, 2:19
Mohsen Bahari def. Bruno “B.C.” Carvalho
unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) – Round 3
Damir Hadzovic def. John Maguire
TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:58
Toni Tauru def. Martin Akhtar
submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:14
Jack Hermansson def. Enoc Solves Torres
submission (strikes) – Round 3, 4:36
Martin Svensson def. Robbie Olivier
split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – Round 3
PRELIMINARY CARD
Jussi Halonen def. Frodi Hansen
disqualification (illegal strike) – Round 1, 4:59
Hakon Foss def. Per Franklin
technical submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 3:26
Lina Akhtar Lansberg def. Emma Delaney
TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 2:26
Rioo Ibrahim def. Alexander Jacobsen
submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:49
Shamal Tashkilot def. Binh Son Le
unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) – Round 3
Matthias Lodahl def. Haci Firat Dogan
submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:26

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: UFC 171 – Hendricks vs. Lawler Edition

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Full results at the bottom of the article, but let’s break it down..

The Good:

I might be a tiny bit biased but seeing Robert Whiteford become the first Scot to earn a UFC win was a very special moment.

Mixing some excellent striking with effective judo takedowns and a measured ground game (understandable against a noted submission artist like Pineda, and coming off a submission loss) Rab showed flair and composure in equal measure to earn his (and our) first UFC victory.

The rest of the prelims totally outshone most of the featured bouts with standout performances from Sean Strickland, Justin Scoggins, Frank Trevino and Dennis Bermudez alongside fun brawls from Alex Garcia & Sean Spencer, Jessica Andrade & Racquel Pennington and Kelvin Gastelum & Rick Story.

Ovince St-Preux becoming the first fighter I’ve ever seen secure a Von Flue choke (basically countering a guillotine by linking hands behind your opponents back, stepping over their opposite arm and choking them with your shoulder) was just awesome to see. Also worth noting good reffing from Dan Miragliotta to call Kyrlov being out with a lag of only a second or so.

Lastly, the main event was a fine back and forth brawl, rightly won by Johny Hendricks (taking the first, second and fifth rounds on my card) but with Robbie Lawler taking his share of the credit.

The Bad:

The clutch of matches which seemingly held the key to who gets to challenge the new champion for the 170lb title fell a bit flat, as neither Hector Lombard or Tyron Woodley won their fights in the most entertaining or convincing fashion with Lombard being more conservative than we’re used to and almost getting choked by Jake Shields at the end, while Woodley’s win came via a freak ACL tear to Carlos Condit*.

At this point, I’d actually say Dong Hyun Kim would be the best choice for no.1 contender…

*Also, as big fans of the Natural Born Killer, it’s pretty bad to see him injured, especially with something as nasty as an ACL tear.  Here’s hoping Carlos’ recovery goes well and he’s back soon.

The Ugly:

This might come across as a little bit biased, but Joe Rogan‘s commentary was awful last night – especially when he criticised Robert Whiteford for a conservative ground game (coming off a sub loss and fighting a guy known for his submissions) and saying he was running away (when he was winning the striking battle at distance and his corner were telling him to avoid getting drawn into a brawl.)

Also laughable was Rogan’s decision to praise Daniel Pineda’s butterfly guard as Whiteford took him down (six times).

There were a fair few other incidents

This wouldn’t bother me if it was consistent, but some fighters are lauded for exactly the same tactics and it seems a clear case of Rogan picking favourites or simply not doing his research on the relative newcomer and choosing to build up the guy he was more familiar with despite the fact he was clearly losing the fight.

This leads to commentary that is a detriment rather than asset to a broadcast and it is harmful to both fighters involved (as the commentator’s praise becomes meaningless) and ultimately the promotion as a whole.

Usually, I quite like Rogan and his enthusiasm and usual insightful calling of the ground game are fantastic, but this growing tendency to pick favourites and ignore the objective truth of a match is a serious issue. Joe could take lessons from Julie Kedzie, Frank Trigg and Josh Palmer on how to do excellent colour commentary without bias.

BONUSES

The UFC gave bonuses to Hendricks & Lawler, Ovince St-Preux and Dennis Bermudez but we’d give the cash to…

FIGHT OF THE NIGHT – Alex Garcia vs. Sean Spencer – if you want to reward fighters (especially undercard fighters) who come to throw down, this was the one to back. The main eventers don’t need another $50k and this was the fight that had easily the most edge of seat action all night.

PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT #1 – Justin Scoggins

Scoggins was on fire last night, outclassing the veteran Will Campuzano in every area, constantly going for a finish and displaying ultimate confidence and charisma. While he didn’t get the finish that was exactly the kind of all-action performance the UFC should be rewarding.

PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT #2 – Dennis Bermudez

While I feel a bit bad about denying OSP an official bonus for his stunning submission, nowadays it’s about performances and Bermudez completely swarmed the very good Jimy Hettes en route to a TKO earned via sheer dominance rather than one Hail Mary punch.

HONOURABLE MENTION (locker room bonuses) – Ovince St-Preux, Kelvin Gastelum, Rick Story, Jessica Andrade, Racquel Pennington, Frank Trevino & Sean Strickland.

MAIN CARD
Johny Hendricks def. Robbie Lawler to win vacant welterweight title unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) – Round 5, 25:00
Tyron Woodley def. Carlos Condit via TKO (injury) – Round 2, 2:00
Myles Jury def. Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) – Round 3
Hector Lombard def. Jake Shields via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) – Round 3
Ovince St. Preux def. Nikita Krylov via submission (Von Flue choke) – Round 1, 1:29
PRELIMINARY CARD
FOX Sports 2, 8 p.m. ET
Kelvin Gastelum def. Rick Story via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27) – Round 3
Jessica Andrade def. Raquel Pennington via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – Round 3
Dennis Bermudez def. Jimy Hettes via TKO (knee) – Round 3, 2:57
Alex Garcia def. Sean Spencer via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) – Round 3

PRELIMINARY CARD
Frank Trevino def. Renee Forte via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) – Round 3
Justin Scoggins def. Will Campuzano via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – Round 3
Sean Strickland def. Robert McDaniel via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:33
Robert Whiteford def. Daniel Pineda via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) – Round 3

The Good, The Bad & the Ugly: UFC London Edition

You know how this works by now…

The Good:

The action throughout was of a high quality but the undoubted high points have to be the standout performances by Alexander Gustafsson and Gunnar Nelson, with the compelling bouts between Pickett/Seery and da Silva/Scott and big wins for Ilir Latifi, Luke Barnatt and Louis Gaudinot.

The new announce team of John Gooden and Dan Hardy did a fine job, offering informative and engaging commentary while not stepping on the action or indulging in self aggrandisation – a rare and special feat in terms of MMA announcing it seems.

A lot of UK cards have felt a tad second rate in the past, headed by bouts that wouldn’t make the main card of a US show but that criticism simply cannot be aimed here. Two number one contenders were decided and some other fighters took big steps towards the top echelons of the divisions.

Even the late replacements to the card were significant with Neil Seery proving a great test for Brad Pickett and really showing his quality (Dana White was vocally impressed, for one thing) while Michael Johnson added to his win streak with plenty to spare against Melvin Guillard.

The Bad:

A strangely lacklustre co-main event where some promising trash talk resulted in a tepid match with long periods of reluctance to engage interspersed with burst of compelling action was a bit disappointing.

Indeed, I don’t recall another match that had several near knockdowns that proved so unsatisfying and unmemorable.

The new EMEA ring announcer (who’s name I’ve forgotten already) wasn’t convincing and I can totally understand the criticism of some US commentators feeling that his delivery made the show seem like a regional level event. Do we not have anyone in the UK who won’t fluff the information given on their cue cards and doesn’t make their ring announcing sound like a pro wrestling bout in a working men’s social club, circa 1982?

In truth, it wasn’t a great night for British fighters as they went 1-4 on the card, with only Luke Barnatt really adding to his stock (I’m not counting Pickett vs. Seery here as it was pretty much a derby fight) but Brad Scott can feel aggrieved at losing the decision in his fight and Manuwa and Mitchell both showed plenty of skills and entertainment value.

The Ugly – this week retitled, The Funny:

Towards the end of the Igor Araujo vs. Danny Mitchell match, the two fighters were locked in a mutual leg lock and with time winding down, they flailed at each other like (admittedly large and strong) toddlers fighting over who gets to play with the toy bricks.

Totally understandable in the circumstances, but visually hysterical nonetheless.

Disclaimer: We watched the whole show on Fight Pass / BT Sport, so didn’t have first hand experience of the Channel 5 offering of the top fights, but by all accounts their broadcast was embarrassingly bad which shouldn’t surprise anyone who witnessed their half assed attempts on BAMMA shows.

If we’d had the UFC chequebook we would have given bonuses to…

Fight of The Night:

It had to be Pickett vs. Seery for sheer competitiveness, quality and variety of action and a sense that the fight mattered. While not quite the OMG spectacle I had built the fight up to be, it still had a bit if everything and I can’t criticise Brad Pickett for doing the sensible thing and taking Seery down to ensure what was a vital win for him.

Performance of the Night #1:

Alexander Gustafsson, who waited till he had Jimi Manuwa’s measure and then ended his undefeated streak almost at will, choosing to turn up the heat midway through the second round and quickly dropping the powerful Englishman. This was exactly the result Gustafsson needed following his razor thin loss to Jon Jones and he is back as #1 contender once again.

Performance of the Night #2:

Gunnar Nelson for handling the very dangerous Omari Akhmedov with his characteristically unhurried style. Nelson has never been one to rush things or look particularly stressed by a situation, but his calm demeanour through the early striking exchanges and his supremely smooth jiujitsu towards the end made a worthy opponent look like a beginner at Mjollnir MMA that Nelson was demonstrating techniques to.

Surely a top ten opponent for Gunnar next, maybe Mike Pyle or the winner of Matt Brown vs. Erick Silva?

Notable mentions go to Ilir Latifi for a good performance and brutal neck crank submission win, Luke Barnatt for a big KO over a very underrated Mats Nilsson and Louis Gaudinot for his party pooper early sub of Phil Harris.

MAIN CARD

Alexander Gustafsson def. Jimi Manuwa via TKO (knee and punches) – Round 2, 1:18
Michael Johnson def. Melvin Guillard via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) – Round 3, 5:00
Brad Pickett def. Neil Seery via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) – Round 3, 5:00
Gunnar Nelson def. Omari Akhmedov via submission (guillotine) – Round 1, 4:36

PRELIMINARY CARD

Ilir Latifi def. Cyrille Diabate def. submission (neck crank) – Round 1, 3:02
Luke Barnatt def. Mats Nilsson def. TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:24
Claudio Henrique da Silva def. Brad Scott def. unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) – Round 3, 5:00
Igor Araujo def. Danny Mitchell def. unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – Round 3, 5:00
Louis Gaudinot def. Phil Harris def. submission (guillotine) – Round 1, 1:13

The Good, The Bad & the Ugly : UFC Fight Night Macau Edition

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The Good:

First up, watching MMA while I’m eating my lunch on a Saturday is pretty damn cool.

As far as I’m concerned, the more UFC events in Asia and all points East of the UK, the better because it’s much more fun to watch in the daytime of Saturday than stay up till the wee small hours of Sunday morning to get your fix.

Despite the shallow nature of the card, there was good action throughout and IMHO, my Fight Pass subscription for this month has already paid for itself.

Between some great finishes, some fantastic individual performances and some competitive and entertaining (if debatable in terms of objective quality) matches this card did everything it promised and a whole lot more.

Dong Hyun Kim‘s impressive display and highlight reel knockout improved his streak to 4-0 and with back to back memorable stoppage wins, he can no longer be dismissed as a dull grinder. Kim is a clear and present danger to all at 170lbs and I’d like to see him fight someone like Rory MacDonald next, possibly to earn a shot at the title after the Hendricks/Lawler vs. Condit/Woodley mini tourney has worked itself out. A Kim title challenge would be a great headliner for an Asia card sometime in early 2015…

Lastly, credit where credit is due – Matt Mitrione came across as a class act in his post fight interview, taking the chance to thank everyone he could remember, rather than trash talking or bigging himself up.

His final act of trying to help a teammate who has been afflicted by a terrible tragedy was a tremendous thing to do and in my eyes, goes a long, long way to redeeming him for his unfortunate comments last year.

If you can help Luis Guerra. out please do.

“@mattmitrione: Luis Guerra fund, lost entire family (6) in fire this week. Anything helps. http://t.co/p9Zh2Sh19f

The Bad:

Bizarre judging, at least in the TUF China tournament final where one judge scored the bout 30-27 to Wang Sai and the other two scored it 29-28 to Zhang Lipeng. To me, that is just a bizarre scorecard.

For all that the card delivered in terms of action, I have to disapprove of the level of fighters who are now deemed UFC calibre – in the second match on the card, the bout between Albert Cheng and Anying Wang saw fighters with a combined prior record of 3-2 competing in the Octagon.

I’ll expand upon this in a fuller article, but that’s just not ‘UFC calibre.’

The Ugly:

The state of Kazuki Tokodome‘s face (header picture above) following his FOTN against Yui Chul Nam. That’s gonna sting in the morning.

The post-fight interview for the TUF China final was one of the most cringeworthy and awkward such segments I can remember – suffice to say that the Chinese translator isn’t a patch on the Nice Japanese Lady or Brazilian Josh Wheedon.

OTN Awards:

Fight of the Night – we have to agree with the UFC and go with Yui Chul Nam vs. Kazuki Tokudome as the FOTN thanks to the wild back and forth nature of the bout.

Performance of the Night – we’d split one of the awards between Dong Hyun Kim and Matt Mitrione for their highlight reel knockouts (Kim’s being the more impressive, but you can’t ignore a classic bashing-your-opponent-so-hard-his-mouth-guard-flies-out one like Mitrione’s) and we’d give the other to Vaughan Lee for his best UFC performance to date, in comprehensively out-everything-ing Nam Phan.

Final Thought: Where Have All The Submissions Gone?

MAIN
• Dong Hyun Kim def. John Hathaway via knockout (elbow) – Round 3, 1:02
• Zhang Lipeng def. Wang Sai via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28) – to win “TUF: China” welterweight tourney
• Matt Mitrione def. Shawn Jordan via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 4:59
• Hatsu Hioki def. Ivan Menjivar via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

PRELIMINARY
• Yui Chul Nam def. Kazuki Tokudome via split decision (29-27, 27-28, 29-28)
• Vaughan Lee def. Nam Phan via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
• Anying Wang def. Albert Cheng via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 5:00
• Mark Eddiva def. Jumabieke Tuerxun via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)