Past evening (Sat., Oct. 24, 2020), UFC hosted one more exhibit on “Fight Island,” remaining within the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for UFC 254. A single of the major pay-for each-view (PPV) activities of the year, the primary occasion was a greater part of the attraction, as the Lightweight title would lastly be unified. The major card dropped off a little bit after the initially 3 fights, but there were being really much better bouts on the undercard!
Let’s just take a nearer appear at the slickest approaches and best performances:
A Legend Retires
Each champions entered the cage renowned for drowning opponents. Gaethje did so by means of violence and exhaustion, whereas Nurmagomedov pinned his opponents to the mat till they sought the sweet release of loss of life (or a straightforward submission).
As it turns out, Nurmagomedov can employ Gaethje’s brand of force as nicely. Right after a short sensation out course of action, Nurmagomedov rushed Gaethje in pursuit of a little something very equivalent to a brawl. Gaethje chopped at the leg as Nurmagomedov highly developed, but the grappler held his own, sticking Gaethje with jabs and front kicks in the system.
All the even though, the takedown danger was constantly there.
The pair of instances Nurmagomedov actually fully commited to the takedown, he landed it, cutting the angle nicely to drive Gaethje to his back again. The two times, Nurmagomedov straight away landed in mount. Clearly, Gaethje was properly trained to avoid turning absent from his foe, which is good … except Nurmagomedov has some slick submission from mount also!
Nurmagomedov went to the S mount 2 times, climbing higher up into the armpit of his foe to assault the armbar and triangle. He ran out of time in the to start with spherical, but there was no escape in the second, as he place Gaethje to snooze quickly.
That is one particular hell of a way to ride off into the sunset.
Do not Get in touch with It A Comeback
Ever since Robert Whittaker missing his title to Israel Adesanya, I’ve under no circumstances been a fan of the storyline that resulted.
Significantly and vast, fans and pundits knocked his general performance and speculated no matter if or not his wars with Yoel Romero manufactured him weakened goods. Legitimate, fighting “The Soldier Of God” for 50 minutes might be unhealthy, but there was practically nothing in his performance in opposition to Adesanya that showed a slide — “Stylebender” is a person of the sport’s best! It is not unreasonable to get rid of to that guy.
That narrative continued even as Whittaker battled by way of Darren Until, showing off a good deal of craft and explosiveness en route to a apparent-slash final decision win. Once more, it was published off for the reason that Till is fewer established.
What is the justification this time? Whittaker set on a classic functionality final night, allowing for his foe to land fewer than 10 major head strikes in 15 minutes. Cannonier did regulate to rating some strong reduced kicks, but in any other case, it was all “Bobby Knuckles,” who also countered those kicks time and time yet again. Whittaker did actual destruction, snapping his foe’s head again with various appropriate fingers, and landing his trademark higher kick to seal the offer with a close to-end in the final frame.
Whittaker dropped one battle to arguably the finest striker in the sport. He didn’t fall off, and he’s not back again — he’s been this good.
Volkov Breaks Harris Down
Walt Harris did truly very well for the first pair minutes.
“The Massive Ticket” appeared lean in the walkout to the cage, and his efficiency confirmed that. Harris was firing rapid combinations, stringing together his punches and kicks much better than at any time before. For a moment, it seemed like his pace and electric power may be a serious dilemma for Volkov, who generally was on the defensive.
As an alternative, “Drago” was just obtaining his timing. When the lanky Russian starting up taking pictures out extended jabs and crosses, he was intercepting Harris’ bursts with excellent regularity. Those straight shots limited Harris, forcing him to fight with his again to the fence on the outside the house — a negative put to be from a rangy kickboxer with tons of working experience.
The complete came when Volkov’s favored snap kick dug into the mid-part. Even Harris’ new ab muscles could not shield him, as he folded above from agony and succumbed to strikes in the second spherical.
UFC place Phil Hawes vs. Jacob Malkoun alongside one another as a showcase struggle for Hawes, and he sent.
What more can you inquire of a young fighter producing his debut? Hawes straight away walked his opponent to the fence, and the third punch he threw put him down challenging. A number of much more follow up shots place his opponent wholly unconscious. It was a mismatch built to encourage an explosive up-and-comer, and it did just that.
Seem, Tai Tuivasa is not the to start with man to knock out Stefan Struve.
As this kind of, I never want to go way too overboard with praise for the Australian hitter. Even so, he did impress for the first time in a when, and the prospect seems to be relocating in the proper path. Reverse “The Skyscraper,” Tuivasa managed assortment rather very well. At length, he was chopping at the direct leg and seeking to counter kicks with large swings — wise!
What impressed me more was Tuivasa’s clinch perform. Struve is in fact rather tricky in the clinch, and I would have recommended Tuivasa keep away from that vary. As an alternative, Tuivasa trustworthy his get the job done at American Kickboxing Academy to retain him secure, and it paid out off. By jamming his brow into Struve’s chin, Tuivasa nullified his opponents takedowns and bided his time, waiting around for moments to unleash flurries of offense.
It is also promising that Tuivasa appeared significantly leaner than in past appearances.
A New Welterweight To Watch
Shavkat Rakhmonov rather a lot styled on Alex Oliveira last night time in his UFC debut to advance to 13-.
Oliveira is a predictable problem, but he’s verified a pretty challenging a single. Early on, he landed his sprinting proper hand that looks to catch really considerably anyone off-guard at some place. Then, Rakhmonov began finding his array, and times afterwards, a clear right hand adopted by a really hard knee to the mid-area prompted some wrestling from the Brazilian.
When the stand up is not working, Oliveira relies on muscly double legs alongside the fence. It’s not difficult, but “Cowboy” is a serious athlete, and it gives most of his opponents trouble. Rakhmonov didn’t show up bothered, having said that, as he pushed back again in the clinch till Oliveira went to the one leg.
Rakhmonov wrapped up the neck, jumped guard, and concluded his foe immediately.
- Lauren Murphy defeats Liliya Shakirova via 2nd-round rear naked choke: Having out a leading 5-rated contender on a short-see debut is a challenging undertaking at any pounds class. Shakirova gave it a recreation try, but all her strength expenditure in the to start with round from a lot of motion and kicks caught up to her. Murphy was in a position to rating a takedown on her slowing foe in the second, and she hopped onto the neck to keep on being 1 of the next fighters in line to experience Valentina Shevchenko.
- Magomed Ankalaev defeats Ion Cutelaba by using to start with-round knockout: Ankalaev may ordinarily acquire fights by throwing opponents to the mat and destroying them, but he really confirmed off his counter punching chops in this bout. Any time Cutelaba tried to get extravagant — whether or not by using a spin or stance change — Ankalaev was there to meet up with him with a crisp cross or check out hook … or both of those! Following all the drama, Ankalaev proved himself a apparent notch earlier mentioned “The Hulk,” and Light-weight Heavyweight’s best prospect seems prepared for a leading 10 problem following.
- Miranda Maverick defeats Liana Jojua through initially-spherical TKO: Miranda Maverick gained this bout on the power of physicality. She punched straight ahead, rarely concerned with what was coming again her way, and it labored! She did damage, both of those with her straight punches and system kicks, and that was in advance of an elbow wrecked her opponent’s nose in the closing moments of the initial spherical. The medical professionals referred to as the bout, and Maverick earns her debut earn in design.
- Joel Alvarez defeats Alexander Yakovlev by means of 1st-round armbar: Throwing up submissions from bottom position is not a recipe for dependable achievement within the contemporary UFC … unless of course you’re Joel Alvarez, evidently! Once once again, Alvarez handed a veteran Light-weight a defeat from inside of his very own guard. This time, he did so by means of the armbar, reaching amongst the legs to speedily swivel his hips and assault the arm. Yakovlev tried to cling tough, but he was shortly knocked around and pressured to faucet.
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