A Proper UFC Fight Night
Written by Emjay on September 21, 2020
Some superb 1st round finishes and a main event that should lead to some serious soul searching, are just some of what this fan experienced in one of the more eagerly anticipated cards that the UFC has put on in recent weeks.
The main card of UFC Fight Night had a fantastic mix of young-blood hype and old-school “grudge”, starting with the Holland versus Stewart middleweight bout. This was a fun fight to watch with both fighters coming to handle business as well as talking to each other throughout all three rounds. The unorthodox striking of Holland was enough to get him the split decision win despite a dominant final round from Stewart. This fight is definitely deserving of a rerun as it seems the judges preferred quantity of strikes over quality and effectiveness.
Next up saw Mackenzie Dern showcase her Ju-Jitsu transitions for a well-worked armbar victory in her women’s strawweight bout against Rand Markos. It is still kinda surprising that despite her pedigree, Markos wanted to be on the gound and in her guard instead of testing the work that Dern had reportedly put into her striking. A rather quick workout for Dern, defeating Markos via 1st Rnd submission.
The Light heavyweight bout between Johnny Walker and Ryan Spann was a fascinating matchup with Walker – having recently moved to SBG Ireland – needing a win following back-to-back losses while Spann came into this bout on an 8-fight win streak. After being dropped twice in the opening minutes, Walker came back with a series of devastating elbows to end the challenge of Spann via 1st Rnd KO.
Oh, did I mention that I was really excited about this main card for the first time in quite a while, well the next fight was all it took to make this card great!
The Kamzat Chimaev “hype-train” continued with the very first punch of the fight, putting an embarrassing end to the many comments made by Gerald Meeschaert. That 17 second knockout – the 3rd fastest in UFC middleweight history – made a strong statement against all those who continue to place Chimaev in the shadow of Nurmagomedov. The win keeps him undefeated and he becomes the fastest fighter to 3 wins in the UFC – just 66 days! If that fact is amazing, then you should be bowled over by the fact that Chimaev has had to absorb only two strikes since joining the UFC, both landed by John Phillips in Chimaev’s UFC debut.
The co-main event was the welterweight clash between two hard-core strikers in Donald Cerrone and Niko Price. Cerrone came into this bout on four-fight skid – the longest losing streak of his 51-fight career, while Price was coming off that loss to Luque at UFC 249. Two eye-pokes from Price in the first round saw a point deduction. The consistent leg-kicks in the 2nd round saw Price come back into the fight with what fans have come to expect from him – always walking forward with hard strikes backed up by his solid chin. The one thing this bout showed us is that Cerrone still has some fight left in him despite what many have been saying. The result was a majority draw, but one cannot help wonder that for the eye-pokes, it would have been a win for Price, who landed the more significant strikes throughout the fight.
That 5th round TKO loss must come close to being one of the highest falls from greatness I have ever witnessed in MMA. From his annihilation of Darren Till inside two rounds to losing 15 rounds, ultimately tapping due to a rib injury from a failed guillotine choke attempt. Tyron Woodley’s fall must certainly have him, if not the UFC, considering his future. We all know that the UFC are all about “bringing the entertainment” and unless you see entertainment in what Woodley has brought over the last 75 minutes then methinks we could see him fighting elsewhere soon.
As for Covington, the win puts him back in the hunt for getting “his title” back, having only the loss against Kamaru Usman at UFC 245 as his only blemish in his last nine bouts.