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Elsalvajeloco

UFC Fight Night 141: Blaydes vs. Ngannou II (11/24/2018)- Beijing, China (Cadillac Arena)

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UFC Fight Night 141: Blaydes vs. Ngannou II 
November 24, 2018
Beijing, China (Cadillac Arena)

Curtis Blaydes (260) vs. Francis Ngannou (254) - Ngannou, TKO (punches), R1 (0:45)
Alistair Overeem (247) vs. Sergey Pavlovich (257) - Overeem, TKO (punches), R1 (4:21)
Song Yadong (136) vs. Vince Morales (136) - Yadong, DEC (unanimous)
Jingliang Li (171) vs. David Zawada (170) - Li, TKO (strikes), R3 (4:07)

Fight Pass Preliminary Card:
Song Kenan (170) vs. Alex Morono (170.5) - Morono, DEC (unanimous)
Wu Yanan (126) vs. Lauren Mueller (126) - Yanan, SUB (armbar), R1 (4:00)
Hu Yaozong (205) vs. Rashad Coulter (208)* - Coulter, DEC (unanimous)
Weili Zhang (116) vs. Jessica Aguilar (115) - Zhang, SUB (armbar), R1 (3:41)
Liu Pingyuan (135) vs. Martin Day (136) - Pingyuan, DEC (split)
Xiaonan Yan (116) vs. Syuri Kondo (115.5) - Yan, DEC (unanimous)
Kevin Holland (186) vs. John Phillips (186) - Holland, SUB (rear naked choke), R3 (4:05)
Su Mudaerji (134.5) vs. Louis Smolka (135.5) - Smolka, SUB (armbar), R2 (2:07)

*Forfeits 20% of purse for missing weight

Event Bonuses ($50,000):
Performance of the Night: Jingliang Li
Performance of the Night: Francis Ngannou
Fight of the Night: Song Kenan vs. Alex Morono
 
Attendance

Cancelled Fights:
Shana Dobson vs. Wu Yanan - Injury to Dobson
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Jingliang Li - Injury to Dos Santos (Knee)
Song Yadong vs. Frankie Saenz - Injury to Saenz

 

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2 hours ago, Oyaji said:

What are your thoughts on the main event, @Elsalvajeloco? Does Blaydes grind him out?

I think he has the ability to, but Ngannou is coming into this fight with his back against the wall and can't really afford a lackluster performance. If he had beat Lewis his last time out and by stoppage, this would be the perfect trap fight. Blaydes was his toughest opponent prior to getting the title shot earlier this year and has gotten significantly better over his UFC run. I think the one thing to consider is I would have picked Blaydes over Hunt and Overeem before those improvements because he has always had the ability to be a big powerful wrestler with brutal ground and pound. I think Blaydes is at his best when he isn't concerned with getting hit because he can open up more offensively. He can take a punch better than most of the heavyweights on the roster. My one concern for Blaydes is him not having early success and then going for desperation takedowns. That's going to give Ngannou confidence and if there is one thing he needs right now...it's confidence. Whereas with Ngannou, I'm concerned with how he deals with what I'm assuming a more aggressive Blaydes going for takedowns. If he can stop them, I don't see how Ngannou loses this fight. Maybe momentum is everything and that's obviously is in the corner of Blaydes, but I think overall Ngannou is the more dynamic fighter. From his IG, it looks like he back training exclusively in Paris. I think for whatever faults come with training in France, I think he meshes more with Fernand Lopez and no one else. I think there maybe was something psychological after the lackluster performance against Stipe, but I still think the camp in Vegas was probably more a distraction than anything. I didn't like the John Wood pairing either. As much as I always favor a fighter going to a better camp and staying for more than one fight, he has something with Lopez that I don't think should be messed with until he finds a clearly better arrangement. I can see him going to Hard Knocks with Henri Hooft or going to ABQ to train with either Winkeljohn or Brandon Gibson, but for right now, Lopez is still the answer. Chemistry is hard to come by, and the Lewis fight proved it.

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If Martin Day can show some defensive capability, I think there is some real upside at bantamweight.

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Man goddamn that was utter domination. That was on par with Cachoeira-Shevchenko except it didn't go forever.

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This only confirms my belief that if there is a real top level MMA fighter from China, the first one is going to be a woman. Xiaonan Yan had a quality performance against Kondo, and Weili Zhang looked like a legit top 10 strawweight. So far, just like the Shanghai card, they just looked more polished (and versatile) than the men.

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That's an upset considering they were pushing Mueller coming off the Contender series and considering Mueller beat Yanan's original opponent Shana Dobson.

Also, Yanan shouting out her haters was sorta funny.

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It looked like Overeem was gonna get caught on the way in, but once he got Pavlovich down, it was all but academic. He pounded the Russian into mush.

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I think the stoppage was fair even if it looked like Goddard was gonna stop the fight initially right as Blaydes was getting back to his knees. Blaydes was kinda twisting around with the momentum of Ngannou's strikes. He wasn't defending himself as much as trying to  survive that onslaught.

Anyway, this again goes to show that Fernand Lopez is Paul Bearer to Ngannou's Undertaker. The Lewis fight was a terrible showing for Ngannou, but that wasn't about Ngannou being in this fear zone. It's not like Stipe was just on the verge of knocking Ngannou's head into the fifth row. Ngannou went to Vegas full time for the Lewis camp to fix his wrestling deficiency and that was a major overcorrection. Maybe his ego did get into the way, but to me at least, it looked like someone who had no confidence or belief in his new trainer. Syndicate MMA is a solid gym and has came on recently, but it's not really cranking out the best of the best at the highest level. Who there is going to push Ngannou to where he needs to be? So if there isn't anyone, he may as well stay in Paris with the trainer he really believes in and gels with until a better opportunity comes around like I said. It would be different if he was still on his way up, but it's too late in the day to be directionless at some Vegas gym and the UFC PI. He is too good to be doing that.

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Zhang needs to fight a ranked fighter in her next fight and she should be in the Top 15 when the ranking come out. 

The Ngannou stoppage was fine because all Blaydes had in his future was more strikes to his head. 

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It's one of those cards where you have these impressive performances, but you aren't sure if it's a great young fighter, or a limited young fighter with a really well suited style matchup against another limited guy (except the main event, which was classic Ngannou). Even Overeem, we don't know if that's an improvement he's made or if Pavlovich was a punchbag with a padded record.

Both of the Heavyweight matches had those finishes where the guy seemed OK right away, but the stoppage looked a few seconds too late, not too early.

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35 minutes ago, Hail Sabin said:

Zhang needs to fight a ranked fighter in her next fight and she should be in the Top 15 when the ranking come out. 

The Ngannou stoppage was fine because all Blaydes had in his future was more strikes to his head. 

I think Xiaonan Yan deserves a slightly better opponent too.

The male Chinese native fighters are better than the TUF China guys (none of those guys are still on roster and for good reason), but there is still a tremendous gulf between your top 20-25 fighters in any decent or above average division and the best Chinese fighters. Jingliang Li is an ok fighter, but he cannot be the MVP for the mainland shows. LATAM ain't turned into a hotbed for the UFC, but they at least produced Yair Rodriguez, Chito Vera, and Ponzinibbio. Polo Reyes isn't a top lightweight, but he is fairly competent and entertaining. Li is closer to Polo Reyes, but you don't see the UFC sticking Reyes on main cards really. Gabriel Benitez and Enrique Barzola ain't knocking them dead, but they too are on the same level as a Jingliang Li. Li is over with the fans, but they have to find someone better him than him fast. They can't keep digging up randoms for him to beat. I have no problem with Li, but that fight was prelim fodder.

 If they can find and develop 2-4 Chinese male fighters who can become quality prospects, I think they would be sitting pretty since they're not running China often. Now a few years into the future, it will be mandatory they have those guys to justify potentially running multiple shows in a calendar year on the mainland and building that big performance center. Currently, they can only rely on the women. Through two cards in mainland China and some away performances, the women have been consistently on par with actual UFC level female fighters. Even the weakest female fighter on this card for China in Wu Yanan had a good upset victory against a competent prospect. At some point (and you would hope sooner rather than later), they have to find that same consistency with the men. They have too much riding on it.

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30 minutes ago, AxB said:

It's one of those cards where you have these impressive performances, but you aren't sure if it's a great young fighter, or a limited young fighter with a really well suited style matchup against another limited guy (except the main event, which was classic Ngannou). Even Overeem, we don't know if that's an improvement he's made or if Pavlovich was a punchbag with a padded record.

Both of the Heavyweight matches had those finishes where the guy seemed OK right away, but the stoppage looked a few seconds too late, not too early.

It's the latter. Pavlovich is one of the European heavyweights where he is better than most of the local crop on the regional scene and the local crop that made it to the UFC for a cup of tea, but he isn't on like a Volkov or Marcin Tybura level. He had a very disappointing title fight in Fight Nights Global and once I saw that, I knew he wasn't going to be successful in the UFC...at least from the start. You gotta be winning those fights handily if you're heavyweight and want to be in the UFC.

Overeem, who I didn't know made the switch to Elevation Fight Team to help Blaydes train for Ngannou on this card, is still good for beating those guys. He almost ducked into a punch from Sergey that probably would've ended his night, but he avoided an embarrassing fate and did what he needed to do. I think no matter the team, he is going to either win big or lose big. This just happened to be the former.

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The New China UFC Performance Center they mentioned in the broadcast should help the Chinese men try to get to the Chinese's Women's Level. 

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From what I gather, the reason it's so big is because it's actually an arena as well. So they can keep running TUF China or Contender's Series China indefinitely without having to rent buildings.

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