UFC Fight Island 4 Overdelivers: Fighter Grades

UFC Fight Island 4 underpromised and over-delivered. Imagine you go in to ask your boss for a raise and not only does he give you a raise but he also gives you a promotion. Yeah, that was what this fight card was like. Fresh blood was spattered all over this card with many UFC fighters still in the rookie stages of their career. Some bled well, while others not so much. Who delivered a perfect performance and who failed to deliver? Find out below:

 

Main Event: #2 Holly Holmes vs #6 Irene Aldana

 

Holly Holmes: A+

Review: Holly Holmes came out and executed her game plan perfectly. With Aldana’s strength being her boxing, Holly circled out of the way and used the teep kicks and side kicks to the body to push her back out of range. This gameplan allowed her to stay on the feet and dictate range only allowing exchanges when she wanted. On top of that, she was able to take her down each round and in this position Aldana looked helpless. It was a perfect fight for her winning all 5 rounds. Congratulation Holly Holmes.

 

Irene Aldana: D

Review: Aldana showed her lack of experience in this fight heavily. The inability to cut Holly off in the ring as she circled and to adjust to the sidekicks exposed her weakness of being able to adapt mid-fight. Irene is a great competitor and potentially a future title challenger but tonight just wasn’t her night. She was inches away from being TKOd as the 5th round ended. She had the best takedown defense coming in but Holly exposed this part of her game being able to take her down 5 times. Aldana has time to grow and come back from tonight’s lackluster performance.

 

Co-Main Event: Yorgan De Castro vs Carlos Felipe

 

Carlos Felipe: B-

Review: For someone who said they love watching the Diaz brothers fight, Carlos definitely showed flashes of their gamesmanship in the fight. Whether it was taunting or open hand slapping his opponent, he paid his dues. This was a good, but not great win for Carlos. He definitely showed an edge in hand speed and aggression but his technical skills weren’t polished as yet. At just 26 he has lots of room to grow and sharpen his tools.

 

Yorgan de Castro: D

Review: I was thinking of giving him a higher grade since he did win the first round but after him doing absolutely nothing in the third, I decided he didn’t deserve it. Yorgan has not looked good in his last two fights. He seems to burn out his gas tank by midway of the fight. At this point, he does an offensive line move and just pushes you up to the fence to get a break. With another loss, he might be on the chopping block. If he is able to increase his cardio or lose some fat he should be able to increase his chance at longevity. 

 

Main Card Fight 3: #1Germaine de Randamie vs #4 Julianna Pena

 

Germaine de Randamie: A-

Review: It seems like the only person that Germaine de Ranamie doesn’t look good against is current champion, Amanda Nunes. She seems to wipe everyone else. This fight was no different. She came out and in round 1 used her striking to perfection. Round 2 is why that “A” has a “-”. She was able to be taken down and did take some good ground and pound until she was able to get up. In the third round, Pena was the aggressor but this is where preparation meets opportunity. Pena gives her neck up and De Randamie ends it all for her. 

 

Julianna Pena: C

Review: Julianna Pena came out and it was clear that her stand up game wasn’t on the level of Germaine. She was able to land shots but they were few and far between. In the second round she was able to impose her will. She was able to take de Randamie and down and start to control the fight in her realm. Unfortunately for her, she was unable to dominate top position. GDR was able to reverse the position and almost secure a von flue choke. In the 3rd round Pena gave up top position into a guillotine that put her to sleep. If Julianna is able to increase her striking, she would be much more competitive as a fighter. Right now she’s too one dimensional but if she’s able to improve her stand up game, she would be a much more competitive fighter and certainly one more worthy of a title shot at that point. 

 

Kyler Phillips vs Cameron Else 

 

Kyler Philips: A

Review: This kid continues to deliver. At only 25 years old he goes out there and stops an opponent who was riding a 6 fight win streak. He showed an edge on the stand up game and once he was able to get the fight to the ground he showed dominant there too. Early in the second round he gets the early takedown, takes his opponents back and reigns down elbows for the TKO win. Keep your eye out for this kid, 

 

Cameron Else: C-

Review: It’s always hard making your UFC Debut on only 9 days notice. For Cameron Else this fight really showed his lack of preparation. He came out like a deer in headlights and seemed to struggle to find his range. Unfortunately for him he was not prepared for the ground game and struggled to work position. He also seemed to have a lack of cardio. For Else making your UFC Debut on this note isn’t the best impression but hopefully with some more time to prepare he will come back stronger.

 

Dequan Townsend vs Duško Todorović

 

Duško Todorović: A

Review: Dusko really looked good in this fight. Honestly it should’ve been over in the first round but Dequan took the most knockout shots that I’ve seen and still stayed up. Dusko showed his ability to utilize his full arsenal of skills wether it be stand up or on the ground. When he took the fight down, he completely outmatched and was able to deliver the ground and pound TKO. Now at 10-0 it’s time to make some noise

 

Dequan Townsend: C-

Review: Dequan came in having good knockout power and lots of experience under his belt. He was able to use it in some ways to keep the fight competitive initially but unfortunately when he was on his back, the power from Dusko was too much. For Townsend he has now lost his 4th straight and might’ve lost his spot in the UFC. Hopefully he get some wins outside and come back more polished. 

 

Prelims

Carlos Condit vs Court McGee


Carlos Condit: B+ 

Review: The former Interim UFC Welterweight champion came out and really turned a new page in his career. After losing 8 of his last 10, he seemed to have a performance where he put all his experience to good use. Winning by decision showing good striking and footwork showed his growth as a fighter this late in his career. Good dub

 

Court McGee: D+ 

Review: Court showed good heart in this fight. He came in and would land some strikes but not at the volume that Condit did. He didn’t dictate pace and took a knockdown at the end of the 1st that if there was 10 more seconds he wouldve been TKO’d. Definitely showed heart making it to the end but definitely left more to show. 

 

Charles Jourdain vs Joshua Culibao

 

Charles Jourdain: B 

Review: He seemed to have won the fight but this is a tough draw for him. He did win the first two rounds but it was interesting to see them give a 10-8 to Culibao in the 3rd

 

Joshua Culibao: B-

 

Review: He was able to make a comeback in the 3rd round and did impose his will. Showed good heart after clearly losing the first two to come back and get himself a draw. In the words of “The Hybrid” Niko Price, “Its not a loss!!”

 

Jordan Williams vs Nassourdine Imavov

 

Jordan Williams: C+

Review: You can say what  you want about the kid but he refused to go down. Showed incredible heart and durability

 

Nassourdine Imavov: A-

Review: Nassourdine was able to outlast the early flurry from Williams and delivered some nasty shots that should’ve knocked him out. Great fight from him. 

 

Loma Lookboonme vs Jinh Yu Frey

 

Loma Lookboonme: A+

Review: Loma was absolutely dominant in this fight. Her Muy Thai clinch with her knees and elbows just rocked Frey and it wasn’t even close.

 

Jinh Yu Frey: F

Review: Just did not look good. Got outstruck 3-1 and didn’t dictate pace at all. 

 

Casey Kenney vs Heili Alateng

 

Casey Kenney: A+ 

Review: Kenney is a rising star in this sport. His body kicks were nasty and delivered a masterful performance 

 

Heili Alateng: C-

Review: Props to him for lasting that long with all the nasty body kicks he was taking. He showed an ability to take a shot and was able to keep the fight competitive. 

 

Luigi Vendramini vs Jessin Ayari

 

Luigi Vendramini: A+ 

Review: Wow! What a finish by Vendramini. He was able to get Ayari backing up and then delivered a beautiful head kick that put him down. 

 

Jessin Ayari: F- 

Review: He was unable to get anything going and getting KO’d in the first round shows that you got some growing to do before you can hang with the big leagues. 

 

A look at UFC Fight Island 4: Battling for Nunes

At first glance, UFC Fight Island 4 isn’t the most stacked card. But taking a deeper look, this card is critical for title contention in a faceoff against the female GOAT Amanda Nunes. This fight highlights the Women’s Bantamweight division and offers crucial crossroads for many on this card.

 

Main Event: Title Hopes

One the line for Irene Aldana, this is the first time in her career that she is in direct title contention. With a win tonight, she will be next up to fight Amanda Nunes for the Bantamweight title. Her boxing and dominance she’s shown in 5 of her last 6 fights have put her in this spot against a legend of the division, Holly Holmes. For Holly, this is very familiar territory but no less very significant. After knocking out Rhonda Rousey, Holmes was thrust into UFC greatness. She comes in with 6 title fights winning her first two. She’s lost her last 4 championship fights and for her, this is a streak she is itching to get out of. Holmes needs this win to get herself another shot vs Amanda Nunes as a much more polished fighter

 

Co-Main Event: Ranking Contention

On the line for these two heavyweights, they’re a far way from title contention but the next step would be getting into those rankings. Both Yorgan and Carlos are ranked the high 40s but both only have 1 loss on their record. If Yorgan De Castro wants to make a title push someday, it’s going to have to be starting today. At 33, a loss here would be detrimental especially at his age. For Carlos Felipe, he’s only 25, so he has a lot more room to grow and to make mistakes on his way up. Still, having only one loss on his record makes him a lot more appealing as a ranked fighter hopeful. If he’s to lose this one and continue to take losses, his appeal to one day fight for the title would be diminished. For Yorgan, this fight is almost a must-win if he one day hopes to fight for the belt. For Carlos, he’s going to need to keep his record clean if he ever has dreams of one day becoming champion. 

 

#1 Germaine de Randamie vs #4 Julianna Pena: Title Hopes

On the line for these fighters is a shot at the title as well. Being ranked #1, Germaine de Randamie has shown a championship pedigree of her own. She was the inaugural Women’s Bantamweight champion and also fought Amanda Nunes for the belt. Her striking is world-class and it shows in each of her fights. For de Randamie, she needs to impressively win here to propel her name back to title contention. After her loss to Amanda Nunes, she needs to show a different side of her to make her an appealing challenger again. For Julianna Pena, this is a big step up in competition for her. Her last opponent is currently ranked 19th and Germaine is ranked #1. She has title aspirations of her own giving comments that she is the clear cut title challenger if she does win this fight. With such a big step up in competition, she needs to show the boss that she can hang at this level and is worthy of a date with Amanda Nunes

 

Kyler Phillips vs Cameron Else: Good Impression

On the line for these young fighters is the impression they will leave early in their UFC career. For Else, this is his first UFC bout and for Kyler, this is his second. They say you only have one chance to make a first impression and for Cameron Else, coming in on a 6 fight win streak leaves a lot to pay attention to. Early in their careers, on UFC Fight Island, the stage is set for them to make their name. Just look at Khamzat Chimaev; 3 months ago, no one knew his name, and now after just 3 UFC Fights his name is already being talked about in title discussions. For Philips and Else, they have this shot tonight to leave an impression for everyone to talk about

 

Dequan Townsend vs Duško Todorović: Fighting for Job vs Staying Perfect

On the line for Dequan Townsend is something I’m sure is weighing heavily on him. After starting his UFC career 0-3, Townsend is on the chopping block. A loss tonight means he no longer has a Job at the UFC. For him, a win is feeding his family tomorrow so look for him to come out with some passion. On the other hand, on the line for Todorovic is entering the UFC with a bang. Entering the UFC 9-0 is coming in with a huge advantage. That 0 at the end of the record is always an eye catcher. If Todorovic is able to keep his record flawless, his ability to shoot his way up the rankings into a title shot increases exponentially. Two fighters with a lot on the line in this one. 

 

Weekly Roundkick on MMA: Conor and More

Welcome to the Weekly Roundkick, where you can get all your MMA news in one spot. In the age of Covid, the UFC has done a great job of being the leaders of industry in making sure the show goes on. Here’s everything that you might’ve missed this week in the MMA world.

 

Fight Rumors and Announcements

  • Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier have been offered a fight for their rematch by the UFC according to Dana White. This comes after both agreed to fight for charity not under the UFC, after Dana White refusing to give Dustin Poirier the money he asked for to fight Tony Ferguson. It’s still not finalized yet but it will be interesting to see if they take the UFC fight or how the charity fight would work


  • Conor Mcgregor and Manny Pacquiao: Conor recently has also claimed that he is going to face Manny in a boxing bout sometime in 2021, according to his Twitter account 

 

  • Israel Adesanya vs Jarod Cannonier will happen as long as Cannonier beats Robert Whitacre at UFC 254 at the end of October. Adesanya has called for the fight and Dana agrees that it would be the fight to make given Jarod wins 

 

  • Colby Covington vs Jorge Masvidal: Colby said that he has signed off on a fight with Jorge Masvidal and that it is up to Masvidal to accept the fight (MMA Junkie)

  • Jan Blachowicz vs Jon Jones: After his Light Heavyweight Championship win, Champion Jan Blanchowics called out the man that vacated the title, Jon Jones. Jon replied on twitter teasing a potential return the LHW division but for now, we have yet to see anything concrete

 

  • Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya have been going back and forth on social media and on ESPN. Both have been talking about a potential superfight between the Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya and former Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones

 

  • Impa Kasanganay vs Joaquin Buckley on Oct 10th, UFC on ESPN+ 37 (MMAJunkie). Undefeated Kasanganay returns to replace Abu Azaitar who withdrew for undisclosed reason
  • Bobby Green vs Thiago Moises on Oct 31, in UFC Apex Las Vegas. Green comes in winning 3 this year so far. 
  • Edson Barboza vs Makwan Amirkhani on Oct 10th, UFC on ESPN+ 37(MMA Junkie). Makwan Amirkhani replaces Sodiq Yusuff who is out due to an undisclosed reason.
  • Cameron Else vs Kyler Phillips Oct 10th, UFC on ESPN+ 37(MMA Junkie). Cameron replaces Heili Alateng and will now step in on short notice. 
  • K.B. Bhullar vs Tom Breese Oct 10th, UFC on ESPN+ 37(MMA Junkie) K.B. Bhullar steps in on short notice to replace Roman Kopylov. 
  • Dricus Du Plessis vs Markus Perez on Oct 10th, UFC on ESPN+ 37(Combate) Dricus Du Plessis makes his UFC Debut on short notice replacing Rodolfo Vieira.
  • Nikita Krylov vs. Volkan Oezdemir on UFC Fight Night, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Oct. 17 (MMAJunkie)
  • Stefan Struve vs.Tai Tuivasa UFC 254, Oct. 24(MMAJunkie)
  • Miles Johns vs. Kevin Natividad UFC Vegas, Oct 31 (MMAJunkie)
  • Jared Gooden vs. Alan Jouban on UFC 255, Nov. 21 (MMA Junkie)
  • Omari Akhmedov vs. Marvin Vettori on UFC 256 Dec. 12(MMA Junkie)
  • Jack Shore vs. Khalid Tahaon UFC Vegas Nov. 7 (MMAJunkie)
  • Jason Witt vs. Cole Williams for UFC Vegas Oct. 31 (MMAJunkie)
  • Deron Winn vs Antonio Braga Neto on UFC in Dec. 19 (MMAJunkie)
  • Renato Moicano vs. Rafael Fiziev on UFC’s Nov. 28 (MMAJunkie)

 

MMA News

  • Paul Felder welcomes fight with UFC Newcomer Michael Chandler. Chandler is currently the backup for the KHabib vs Gaethje fight, while Felder is waiting for the right fighter to come out of his haitus following his loss to Dan Hooker.
  • Darren Till calls out Israel Adesanya for a fight after a possible win of Jack Hermansson
  • Cage Warriors Double Champ Mason Jones calls for a UFC Shot following a win to get his second championship. Cage Warriors well known for manufactoring Conor McGregor.

The Weekly Roundkick: McGregor Soon?

Welcome to the Weekly Roundkick, where you can get all your MMA news in one spot. In the age of Covid, the UFC has done a great job of being the leaders of industry in making sure the show goes on. Here’s everything that you might’ve missed this week in the MMA world.

 

Fight Rumors and Announcements

 

  • Conor McGregor: UFC says they’re in the works for “something fun” for Conor McGregor. The sports biggest star has been out since his win over Cowboy Cerrone and hopefully, soon we get an announcement for what he’s doing (UFC)

 

  • #5 Stephen Thompson, Former UFC title challenger and the NMF, Nicest Mother Effer, performed his first official twitter callout calling out #3 Leon Edwards. Leon has been all over twitter asking for a fight so we now sit and wait to see what his response is

 

  • Khamzat Chimaev, the summers hottest star, is scheduled to face a ranked opponent in the main event spot for a date to be announced (MMA Junkie)

 

  • Robbie Lawler is looking to bounce back against Mike Perry at UFC 255 on Saturday, November 21, 2020

 

  • #9 Nikita Krylov vs. #7 Volkan Oezdemir is now the Co-Maiin of UFC’s Oct. 17 card

 

  • #2 Thiago Santos vs. #4 Glover Teixeira lined up for Nov. 7 headliner (MMA Junkie)

 

  • Carlos Diego Ferreira vs. Drew Dober lined up for November 7

 

  • Ludovit Klein steps up a short notice to fight Shane Young (MMA Junkie)
  • Jessin Ayari vs. Luigi Vendramini lined up for (Combate)
  • Nassourdine Imavov vs. Jordan Williams – Two UFC Fighters making their debut (MMA Fighting)
  • Dusko Todorovic vs. Dequan Townsend – Dusko making us UFC Debut while Townsend looking for his first win in the UFC 
  • Merab Dvalishvili vs. Cody Stamann set up for UFC’s Dec. 5 Card (MMAJunkie)

 

Other MMA News

 

    • Cage Warriors FC Kicks off 3 days straight of Fights on UFC Fight pass starting September 25th
  • Anthony Smith responds to Johnny Walker’s callout saying “I’ll beat the ___ out of you” Would be an interesting matchup if it comes to fruition. 

 

You can follow Johnathan Ramlakhan on Twitter @ThreePieceCombo

 

UFC Vegas 11 Fight Ratings & Review

With the UFC heading to Abu Dhabi for Fight Island, UFC Vegas 11 wrapped up the fights in the U.S. 6 Knockouts, 4 Submissions, 2 Split Decisions, 1 Draw, and only 1 Unanimous Decision made for a card that gave us fights that went down to the final minute, as well as fighters showing the highest level of skill delivering a finish. Hype trains kept rolling and bad blood settled, a new phase of the pandemic era starts soon with Fight Island. Here’s one last look at Vegas 11 living up to all the hype

 

Main Card

 

Colby Covington def. Tyron Woodley via TKO (Broken Rib) 

Fight Rating: 6.5 / 10 

Review: This was the fight that went most like the way it was expected to go. Tyron was hesitant to go forward and Colby just wore him down more and more as the fight went on. Covington showed that he still is a top welterweight and probably only needs one more win to get a shot at the Welterweight championship. He showed improved striking game and continued his dominance on the ground while Woodley showed more waiting and waiting which has now cost him 15 straight rounds lost. For Woodley, leaving this fight with a broken rib is unfortunate, but hopefully, this extra time off allows for him to have some time to reflect and determine what he wants to do moving forward in his career. 

 

Donald Cerrone vs. Niko Price -majority draw

Fight Rating: 7.5 / 10

Review: This fight was one of those that had a high likelihood to end by knockout. Niko Price came a few strikes away from knocking Cowboy out. Cowboy was able to recover from the head shots after a few eye pokes coming from Niko, costing a point, giving him the allotted time. Cowboy came back in the second round and fought well, and then Niko closed out strong. Fun fight to watch, just wished it ended with a finish

 

Khamzat Chimaev def. Gerald Meerschaert via knockout 

Fight Rating: 10 / 10 

Review: All it took was 1 punch in 17 seconds to end it. Khamzat Chimaev showed his continued dominance in his 3rd fight. He has a potential fight coming up with Damien Maia. I don’t think that fight will end well for the veteran. Continuing on the Khamzat Express!

 

Johnny Walker def. Ryan Spann via TKO 

Rating: 8.2 / 10 

Review: This was an exciting fight from the start, with Spann catching Walker with a punch and getting him rocked. But for some reason, Spann decided to try and crotch sniff and try to get the double leg instead of going for the almost secured knockout. From here Walker Delivered nasty elbows and ended the night for Ryan Spann

 

Mackenzie Dern def. Randa Markos via armbar 

Rating: 8.8 / 10 

Review: Mackenzie Dern showed her extreme dominance on the ground while Markos really was outmatched. For some reason, Markos welcomed the ground game with the submission specialist and it did not bode well for her. Within the first 3 minutes, Dern had submitted Markos via armbar. 

 

Kevin Holland def. Darren Stewart via split decision 

Rating: 7.9 / 10

Review: Both of these guys kept going back and forth in this one. Holland started out strong and Stewart made a strong comeback in the end. The jaws were flapping heavily in the fight as both guys were talking back and forth during the fight. Even in the end, both showed great respect for each other and it ended being a good one.

 

Prelims Top 3 

  1. Randy Costa def. Journey Newson via knockout (head kick)

Rating: 10 / 10 

Review: The stock is rising fast for the Zohan, Randy Costa after he delivered a perfectly placed head kick. The fight was over in under a minute and the setup was perfect along with the mindset to not hesitate and deliver it. Exciting finishes will get you far in the UFC

 

  1. Jessica-Rose Clark def. Sarah Alpar via TKO (knee) 

Rating: 8.9 / 10

Review: This was definitely the most brutal fight of the night. JRC showed her dominance tonight in almost every manner vs Alpar. She was able to scramble and not get held on the ground and was able to deliver heavy shots. The only issue with this fight is JRC delivered a knee that put Alpar out. The knee was checked for legality and was deemed legal so the fight should’ve been over. Unfortunately, the referee allowed the beating to continue into the next round. JRC ended up winning with a TKO Finish. Good fight, horrible stoppage. 

 

  1. Damon Jackson def. Mirsad Bektic via submission (guillotine choke) 

Rating: 8.4 / 10

Review: The reason this fight is scored so high is because of the incredible comeback by Damon Johnson. After giving up the first two rounds, and getting dominated on the ground, he knew a finish was needed to get the win. And he did just that. Grabbing a guillotine in the 3rd round and not letting go until his opponent was out, he showed an incredible will to win the fight. 

 

You can follow Johnathan Ramlakhan on Twitter @ThreePieceCombo

UFC Vegas 11: Johnathan’s Picks and Preview

With UFC Vegas 11 right around the corner, lets first take a moment to be thankful for this PPV magnitude card to be taking place. With a main event that is filled with as much bad blood and animosity as this one, as well as exiting fights up and down the card, this one is a lock to have some performance of the night contenders. Let’s take a look at these fights on this card and take a look at who we’re picking. 

 

Colby Covington vs Tyron Woodley

 

Pick: Covington by Unanimous Decision

 

Backstory: “Where you at Tyron Woodley? I’m coming for you. You can’t run you can’t hide no more!” Moments after winning the UFC Interim Welterweight championship on Jun 9, 2018, Covington immediately called out then current Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. After saying that Woodley couldn’t hang with him while training, Colby assured he would steamroll him. Fast forward two years later, both men are still in title contention, but one is in jeopardy of falling down the ranks. Both men are coming off a loss, so this fight is going to be monumental for both of them. For Tyron, his key to victory would be using that advantage in boxing and throwing that power right hand. If he’s able to stop Covington from taking him down and keeping this a stand-up fight, Woodley might have the advantage. For Covington, he’s proven that stopping him from taking you down is almost impossible. Even if he doesn’t get it on the first try, he’ll lock on you and drag until you fall. If he’s able to take Woodley down, Covington dominates the fight.

 

Donald Cerrone vs Niko Price

Pick: Price by Knockout

 

Backstory: Donald Cerrone is one of the most well-known fighters in the UFC. But now losing 8 of his last 12, he’s been on a slippery slope down the rankings. He’s lacked aggressiveness and this lack of soul from the Cowboy has been the reason for his downfall. On the other hand, Niko Price has been alternating wins and losses over his last 6. All of them have ended in knockout whether win or loss. Niko is always willing to put himself into the firefight no matter if he comes out getting a knockout or getting knocked out. With an aging less aggressive Cerrone coming in this fight vs an explosive Niko Price, this one is built for a highlight knockout. 

 

Khamzat Chimaev vs. Gerald Meerschaert

 

Pick: Chimaev by decision

 

Backstory: The hottest prospect coming out of the pandemic era Khazmat Chimaev is back in action vs the man with the most submissions in the Middleweight division, Gerald Meerchaert. This fight comes with lots of animosity between the two. The disrespect comes from Dana double booking Chimaev, insinuating that he’s going to win this fight and move on to ranked Damein Maia. Gerald took this personally and stated he’s going to leave Chimaev bloody and unable to leave the ring. Chimaev responded in the presser asking how can Gerald possibly be a blackbelt when he got choked out by a white belt. We’re going with Chimaev because his ability on the feet and we’re resting assured that the submission games will neutralize each other. 

 

Johnny Walker vs Ryan Spann

 

Pick: Ryan Spann by Submission

 

Backstory: After starting his UFC Career 4-0, Johnny Walker has lost his last 2. His near straight shot to the top of the division has now been derailed and he has to work his way back up the hard way. Ryan Spann is coming in undefeated in the UFC and is looking to make his own run to the top of the wide-open Light Heavyweight division. This is going to be a good fight for two fighters on the crossroads of making it back into the doorstep of the rankings. If Spann is able to get this fight on the ground, he’ll have a huge advantage and get the win. 

 

Mackenzie Dern vs. Randa Markos

 

Pick: Mackenzie Dern by Decision

 

Backstory: #15 Ranked Mackenzie Dern is coming in bouncing back after her first loss in the career. Losing against a higher-ranked opponent is nothing to hang your head on, so she comes back and gets a nice win with a kneebar. Bring in Randa Markos, a fighter who in 14 ufc fights has only won 6. Neither fighter comes in with any wins by knockout so we are looking to see a ground war. Mackenzie Dern is the more proficient athlete on the ground so we should see her take this win. 

 

Kevin Holland vs. Darren Stewart

 

Pick: Holland by Decision

 

Backstory. Enter Kevin Holland, the most exciting fighter to watch this year. He talks trash in the ring and with no crowd you can hear everything he says. On top of that, his striking is crisp and he plays great mind games. Darren Stewart is coming in with a good amount of UFC experience and has diverse striking skills as well. Both these fighters are young, and the winner of this fight should set up a big run towards the ranking for either man. Being able to mix it up, Holland should be able to keep Stewart at bay and dictate the pace of the fight. 

 

The Weekly Roundkick on MMA: Chandler, Baeza, More

Welcome to the Weekly Roundkick, where you can get all your MMA news in one spot. In the age of Covid, the UFC has done a great job of being the leaders of industry in making sure the show goes on. Here’s everything that you might’ve missed this week in the MMA world.

 

Biggest Free Agent Landed

 

  • Michael Chandler, Former Bellator Lightweight Champion has signed with the UFC and will be in as a replacement in the Khabib vs Gaethje fight (via Bjpenn). For Chandler, this is huge for his career. He’s been wanting to prove that he’s one of the best 155 pounder on the planet and now being in the UFC, he has the chance to prove just that. 

 

Fight Announcements

 

    • Miguel Baeza vs Jerimiah Wells is off. Wells was replacing Mickey Gall for this fight. Mickey Gall had pulled out of the fight due to an undisclosed training injury. Jerimiah Wells had put his name in and was selected as a replacement for the fight. Now, for an undisclosed reason, Wells has also pulled out (MMAJunkie). For the undefeated Baeza, this delays his potential run to a title. For now the best option is to stay ready and hope someone in his division has a fight open up.
  • Dustin Poirier vs Tony Ferguson is off… for now. Dana has claimed that Dustin has priced himself out of the fight and that that he didn’t really want the fight. Dustin replied with a tweet “I WANT THE FIGHT”. Ferguson has gone to bat for Dustin telling Dana to pay him so they can fight. It seems like there is pressure from both fighters to have this fight but it seems it’s too expensive for Dana. Dana currently has said that Ferguson is also out of UFC 254.
    • #15 Drew Dober vs #8 Diego Ferreira is on for November 7th. #15 Ranked Lightweight Dober, is set to take on another rising star in #8 Ranked Diego Ferreira (MMAJunkie). Unsure if this is the main event or not, but no matter what other fight is on this card, I’m taking this fight for Fight of The Night. 
    • Malcolm Gordon vs Su Mudaerji has been agreed upon for November 28. Two Fresh UFC prospects in Malcolm Gordon and Su Mudaerji have agreed for a fight in late November (via MMAJunkie). For these two, this is going to be important for the near future of these prospects making a run for the rankings.
    • Khadis Ibragimov vs. Danilo Marques added to UFC 253 (via MMAFighting). For Ibragimov, he’s coming in off of 3 losses in a row after starting 8-0. If he wants to continue his UFC career, this is a must-win for him.
  • Weili Zhang Vs Rose Namajunas is in the works according to Dana White. When asked about the future of this division, Dana says they’re working on making this fight happen. After a potential fight of the year candidate effort by Weili, a fight with a game Thug Rose will undoubtedly make for another great fight.
    • Thiago Santos vs Glover Texiera has been cancelled. Thiago Santos has now tested positive for Covid-19. This fight was supposed to happen this last weekend but Texiera tested positive. Now the future of this fight is in Jeopardy.
  • Ketlen Vieira vs Sijara Eubanks has been scheduled for UFC 253 (via BJpenn). Sijara Eubanks is stepping in on short notice to replace Marion Reneau after her decision win last weekend. 

 

Other MMA News

    • Bellator has signed a deal with CBS Sports. Look for more MMA to be on the national scene starting October 1st!
  • Fight Island Confirmed! UFC will start running events on Fight Island Starting on UFC 253 on Saturday, September 26th and run weekly shows up until UFC 254 on October 24th (MMAFighting)
  • Dana White Contender Series. On Season 4 Week 7 of the the Contender Series, Dana awarded 3 contracts were awarded. Jordan Williams won a contract in his third attempt. Others awarded were 3x National Boxing Champion Danyelle Wolf and Collin Anglin.
  • Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson re-enters the USADA testing pool (via MMAFighting). With this being reported, this puts Rumble about 6 months away from being able to return to the octagon. 

 

You can follow Johnathan Ramlakhan on Twitter @ThreePieceCombo

Winners and Losers from UFC Vegas 10

No matter what the expectations anyone might’ve had going into this card, UFC Vegas 10 exceeded all of them. From top to bottom this card delivered anything one could’ve asked for. It had submissions, knockouts, underdogs, comebacks, and capped it off with Fight of the Night Main Event.

Let’s take a deeper look at who the winners and losers are coming out of this weekend.

 

Winners:

 

  1. Kevin Croom: Our biggest winner of the night has to be the man who came in on short notice of 2 days. He checked in as the biggest underdog of the night and was making his UFC debut. Even with all that riding on his back, Croom delivered the performance of a lifetime. He secured the fastest win for a debuting lightweight in UFC history. And on top of all that he ends up taking home a $50,000 performance bonus. With his name now on the minds of Dana White and UFC fans, Croom has the opportunity to make his journey to the UFC, which took 11 years, one that has significant impact.
  2. Michelle Waterson: After taking two straight losses in the UFC, Waterson was in jeopardy of falling down the ufc rankings and getting further and further away from a shot at the coveted strawweight championship. With this win tonight, she propels herself forward in the category of “2 fights away” from a shot at the belt. She would need to beat someone ranked 4-7 and then someone top 3 for her to secure that title shot. Getting this win was one that was key for the championship aspirations of the Karate Hottie.
  3. Bobby Green: For as long as a career that Bobby Green has had, it seems like its all coming together for him now. After last nights win, Green is currently on a 3 fight win streak, the longest of his career since 2014. Primarily known as a striker, he showed total domination in the wrestling department. He scored 4 takedowns which was a personal best while also stuffing 5 of 6 from Alan Patrick, a BJJ Black belt. For Bobby Green, winning this fight means getting himself close to the top 20 in the lightweight rankings. His potential seems to be hitting stride and with this streak we could see Green in the top 15 rankings with another 2 wins. 

 

Losers

  1. Mike Rodriguez: The biggest loser of the night was Slow Mike Rodriguez. He gets the biggest loser title because he was ROBBED from a win by the Referee and Ed Herman. Here’s the scene. Rodriguez has Herman in a muy thai clinch with his own back towards the referee. Rodriguez hits Herman with a knee straight to the solar plexus below the ribs, knocking the wind out of herman. After a few more punches to the face the ref comes and says the knee was to the groin which Sherman was pleased to abide by. He sells the groin strike and gets his 5:00 to recover from his near TKO. In the next round, after Rodriguez almost knocks Herman out, the referee doesn’t stop the fight and Herman gets a kimura lock to win. Huge mistake made by the referee and even Dana White said that it was a horrible job done by the ref. Fortunately for Mike even though he took the L, Dana was reluctant enough to give him his win money. 
  2. Angela Hill: Losing decisions are tough. Losing split decisions are even worse. For Angela Hill, she’s just lost her second split decision… in a row. Knowing that one judge had it scored where you won the fight is something that eats away in a fighters mental. With this loss, she’s in jeopardy of falling out of the top 15 rankings. And even though she seems to be improving in every fight, it seems that her skillset wont line up with her rankings. If she wants to get into the title picture, she seemingly would have to win 4 in a row at this point. Her striking is on point, it seemed like the ability to mix it up with the takedowns was the hole in her game. Her defense was on point when it came to the takedowns but she never threatened one herself. If she’s able to get a takedown game into her repertoire, she could definitely work her way back up the rankings. 
  3. Roosevelt Roberts: After winning 10 of his first 11, Roberts was looked at as a rising prospect in the UFC. Now losing two in a row, he sits at a record of 10-3. These last two losses for him were especially painful because it was two times in a row where he was caught in a submission quickly. As a brown belt in BJJ, he should’ve came in with much more awareness with defending the submissions. Now losing two in a row, he needs to do something to show out before he puts himself on the cutting board of the UFC. 

 

Other Winners and Losers:


Waterson def. Hill by split decision

Azaitar def. Worthy by TKO (punches) R1 1:33

Modafferi def. Lee by unanimous decision 

Herman def. Rodriguez by submission (kimura) R3 4:01 

Green def. Patrick by unanimous decision

Quarantillo def. Nelson by KO (punches) R3 0:07 

Eubanks def. Avila by unanimous decision

Croom def. Roberts by submission (guillotine choke) R1 0:31 

Romanov def. Martinez by submission (arm triangle choke) R2 4:22 

Turner def. Weaver by submission (rear naked choke) R2 4:20 

Barberena def. Ivy by unanimous decision 

Mazo def. Kish by submission (rear naked choke) R3 3:57 

 

You can follow Johnathan Ramlakhan on Twitter @ThreePieceCombo

 

Weekly Roundkick: MMA News at 5 Reasons Sports

Pretty busy week as far as UFC News is concerned, got some exciting fights announces, a few fights in the works, some unfortunate dropouts due to Covid-19, and much more. Here’s your one-stop for everything that happened this week

 

Upcoming Fights Announced

 

  • Kamaru Usman set to fight Gilbert Burns for UFC Welterweight Championship at UFC 256 on December 12 (Unnoficial Announcement confirmed by Brett Okamoto) 
  • Ovince Saint Preux vs. Alonzo Menifield added to UFC Vegas 9 this Saturday, Sept. 5  on ESPN + (Via UFC)
  • Brian Kelleher vs. Kevin Natividad (Replacing Ricky Simon Due to COVID) on UFC Vegas 9 this Saturday, Sept. 5 on ESPN + (Via MMAJunkie)
  • Herman vs Mike Rodriguez at light heavyweight on UFC Vegas 10 on Sept. 12 (MMAFighting)
  • Sijara Eubanksvs Julia Avila at UFC Vegas 10 on Sept.12 (MMAFighting)
  • Bobby Green vs. Alan Patrick at UFC Vegas 10 on Sept.12 (TheRingReport)

 

Fights Teased

 

Jorge Masvidal vs Nate Diaz for the BMF Title- Dana White among others confirmed that they are working to get this fight on a card in January. There’s no doubt this is one of the biggest fights you can put out as far as marketability. Masvidal in my mind is a heavy favorite in my opinion due to the fact that he’s got great boxing, great takedown defense and Nate Diaz doesn’t like checking leg kicks. Even if the fight didn’t stop the first time, it was pretty clear that Masvidal had won every round since. Hopefully we have the opportunity to have fans in the arena for this fight but even if they don’t, PPV numbers should be pretty high with the proven draw that both fighters are. 

 

Jon Jones vs Brock Lesnar- Now we don’t know if this is something that will come to fruition, but Dana himself said that he is open to it if both fighters want to do it. As far as competitiveness goes, this wouldn’t or shouldn’t be a tough fight for Jon Jones to win. He is way ahead of Brock in the MMA game. Jones is much more well rounded and has much better striking. On top of that Jon Jones hasn’t legitimately lost a fight in his pro career and it would be tough to see Brock be the one to break that streak. As far as breaking the streak goes Undertaker yes, Jon Jones no.

 

Fighter Cancellations and Suspensions

 

  • Glover Teixeira vs. Thiago Santos canceled on September 12th due to Texiera testing positive for Covid-19
  • Light heavyweight Jamahal Hill received a six-month suspension for marijuana (MMAFighting)
  • Flyweight Tim Elliott  received four-and-a-half month suspension for marijuana (MMAFighting)
  • Lightweight Luis Pena received four-and-a-half month suspension for marijuana (MMAFighting)
  • Jorge Gonzalez had temporary suspension extended following a positive drug test for several anabolic steroids (ESPN)
  • Middleweight Deron Winn received suspended for nine months after testing positive for amphetamines (ESPN)

Other News 

 

Daniel “DC” Cormier has pulled out of the USADA testing pool, which means his retirement seems to be final. We have seen many fighters say they’re retired, only to come back and try and get more hype in their name. Pulling out of the USADA testing pool makes it more official because now if he would want to fight again, he would need to reenter and be in the pool for a significant period of time before getting another fight. At 41, it seems we’ve seen the last of the legend DC in the octagon

 

Ricardo Lamas seems to be on that same route. After having a fight of the night performance against Bill Algeo, Lamas said he would love to leave on a high note. Coming into that fight, Lamas was 1-3 in his last 4 fights and was on the back end of his career. He spoke about not wanting to chase that feeling of getting a win as an addiction that could be his downfall. After a great extended career in the UFC, it may seem like that Fight of the Night performance could’ve been his last.

5 Takeaways from UFC Vegas 8: Rakic is Real Deal

Now that UFC Vegas 8 is in the books, we can look back at it as quite a backwards fight card. The main event and Co-main event were fights that were mediocre excitement wise. Looking at every single other fight on the card, almost every one of them could have gotten a performance of the night award, with Llamas vs Algeo being an absolute technical beauty on the stand-up and grappling game, and Maki Pitolo vs. Impa Kasanganay being an absolute stand and bang war.

 

Let’s look at 5 takeaways from UFC Vegas 8 

 

The Real Deal 

While it may have not been the most exciting fight, Aleksander “Rocket” Rakic put down Anthony Smith with ease. He chopped at Smith’s legs until he couldn’t stand anymore and once he was on the ground, there was no getting him off the top. With Smith being a BJJ black belt, you’d expect him to threaten a few more submissions but Rakic was quick to scope out anything Smith had in mind and just kept him on his back for almost 3 full rounds. The inability for Smith to check the leg kicks is the main reason he ended up on his back and he seemed content lying there taking ground and pound. With this win, Rakic seems to be set up with a path to the title. With Thiago Santos facing off with Glover Teixeira in about two weeks, the winner will probably end up getting a title shot. The loser of that fight will most likely fight Rakic, and with that, we could be looking at our next Light Heavyweight Contender. 

What’s Left in the Tank?

This weekend we saw the breakdown of 2 of UFC’s veteran staples. Smith showed almost nothing in this entire fight, after getting pummeled in his last fight vs Texiera. That begs the question of what does he have left in him? In his postfight comments, Smith flirted with the idea of dropping back down to 185 in hopes of rejuvenating his career. While this may be a good move for him, that division is filled with killers and won’t be a cakewalk even if he does have a size advantage going in. Smith would have to work his way back up and would be a great matchup for star prospect Edmen Shahbazyan to prove that he still has the makings of a ranked fighter. 

 

No Longer Ruthless 

Robbie Lawler was the second veteran that got dominated at UFC Vegas 8. He was matched up with a lengthy Neil Magny and showed a complete inability to get past the reach into his face. Lawler was kept at bay with Magny’s jab and when Lawler got into the clinch, he did nothing offensively. Robbie didn’t seem to have the explosiveness that  we’ve come to know, nor did we see much heart. For Robbie, this seems like the end of the line for him at UFC. He’s won titles, had multiple fight of the year awards and  has become a crowd favorite. But at this point of his career, it seems he needs a step down in competition to remain relevant. Maybe at the end of his contract, a move to Bellator would be smart, unless he’s content sitting out of the rankings,while fighting up and comers until he retires. 

Fresh Blood 

With a Performance of the Night award, undefeated Sean Brady seems to have all the makings of a ranked fighter and potential contender in the Welterweight division. He showed excellent distance management, heavy hands, as shown by busting open Aguilera in the first round, excellent pace without overextending, and to top it off he finished with impressive takedowns into a guillotine choke that left Aguilera squirming for breath until he passed out. At 13-0 and an impressive victory, Brady deserves to have a ranked opponent next to propel him to the next tier of contenders. A match with submission specialist Damien Maia or maybe a big name like Robbie Lawler just to get some name value would serve well for him. 

Perserverance Shines Through 

The comeback win of the night goes to Mallory Martin. After getting knocked down in the first round and absorbing over 50 shots, most of which to the head, she was able to recompose herself and get the Performance of the night win. She was out COLD in the first round after Cifers overhand right landed on the button and the ensuing hammer fist . Her legs go totally limp and by the time the second punch ends up on her face, she seems to wake up and is able to slightly recover. After about 30 more punches to the face, mercifully, the round ends. In the second round she seemed like a completely different fighter. She goes straight into the clinch and is able to take down Cifers into half guard. From here she’s able to get effective ground and pound to the point where Cifers turtles up and gives up her back. At this point it’s all academic as Mallory takes her neck and submits her via Rear Naked Choke. Amazing comeback by Martin and this win could propel her into getting a shot at someone either in or near the rankings of the strawweight division. At only 26 years old, she has lots of room to grow and can be groomed as a future contender if she stays on this path. 

 

You can follow Johnathan Ramlakhan on Twitter @ThreePieceCombo