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Elsalvajeloco

UFC Fight Night on ESPN 3: Ngannou vs. Dos Santos (6/29/2019) - Minneapolis, MN (Target Center)

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Posted (edited)

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UFC Fight Night on ESPN 3: Ngannou vs. Dos Santos 
June 29, 2019
Minneapolis, MN (Target Center)

Francis Ngannou (255.5) vs. Junior dos Santos (249) - Ngannou, TKO (punches), R1 (1:11)
Jussier Formiga (125.5) vs. Joseph Benavidez (126) - Benavidez, TKO (strikes), R2 (4:47)
Demian Maia (171) vs. Tony Martin (170) - Maia, DEC (majority)
Roosevelt Roberts (156) vs. Vinc Pichel (155.5) - Pichel, DEC (unanimous)
Drew Dober (156) vs. Polo Reyes (155) - Dober, KO (punches), R1 (1:07)
Alonzo Menifield (204.5) vs. Paul Craig (204) - Menifield, KO (punches), R1 (3:19)

ESPN Preliminary Card:
Ricardo Ramos (136) vs. Journey Newson (135.5) - Ramos, DEC (unanimous)
Eryk Anders (205) vs. Vinicius Moreira (206) - Anders, KO (punches), R1 (1:18)
Jared Gordon (155.5) vs. Dan Moret (155) - Gordon, DEC (unanimous)
Dalcha Lungiambula (205) vs. Dequan Townsend (205) - Lungiambula, TKO (elbows and punches), R3 (0:42)
Emily Whitmire (115) vs. Amanda Ribas (115) - Ribas, SUB (rear naked choke), R2 (2:10)
Maurice Greene (256) vs. Júnior Albini (266) - Greene, TKO (punches), R1 (punches)

Event Bonuses ($50,000)
Performance of the Night: Eryk Anders
Performance of the Night: Alonzo Menifield
Performance of the Night: Joseph Benavidez
Performance of the Night: Francis Ngannou

Attendance: 10,123
Gate: $952,204
Rating: 1.09 million viewers

Cancelled Fights:
Roman Dolidze vs. Vinicius Moreira - Injury to Dolidze
Tyron Woodley vs. Robbie Lawler - Injury to Woodley (Hand)
Chas Skelly vs. Jordan Griffin - Injury to Skelly
Sergio Pettis vs. Ricardo Ramos - Injury to Pettis
Justin Ledet vs. Dalcha Lungiambula - Injury to Ledet
Jordan Griffin vs. Vince Murdock - Murdock Not Medically Cleared

Edited by Elsalvajeloco

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

 

One of the greatest KO's ever seen by Francis Ngannou. The Uppercut from Hell. Alistair Overeem was KTFO.

Edited by The Natural

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Posted (edited)

If Junior pulls off the upset tonight, I think that would be the most impressive win of his career. Not saying the first Velasquez fight was a fluke, but you had both guys entering the bout with serious injuries. Given how Cain performed against Junior in the subsequent two H2H matchups, in hindsight, you have to view that first fight as an outlier. In the first fight with Stipe, it looked he was just trying to hold on to whatever skill he had left. In the fight with Overeem, Junior looked all but done. He looked physically diminished and off. I think in his last three fights, Junior has realized he can't be the Junior of old. He doesn't possess the speed and quickness anymore. Plus, he knows his opposition has all the intel on him now. He's extremely hittable, he languishes on the fence way too much, and besides brief success against Stipe in the rematch with low kicks, he is fairly one dimensional. I think besides physical wear and tear from the Velasquez II & III and Miocic I fights, his biggest issue has been trouble pulling the trigger. I think like a Donald Cerrone, Junior fights best when he isn't waiting for opportunities to create themselves.

Where I struggle to pick Junior is the fact being so one dimensional has caused him to overcommit on his punches. He throws these wild high arching punches that come from different angles. When they land, they can do some damage. When they don't land, he leaves himself open. We're talking about someone who has already shown himself to be an easy target when things aren't going his way and he's too timid to throw back. I think being faster earlier in his UFC run allowed him to not feel the obvious consequences that come with that. Against someone like Ngannou who does throw tighter punches with less wasted motion, how can you feel confident Junior can avoid being stopped in the first round? I would compare it to Glover Teixeira against a Rumble or Gustafsson. Glover was going struggle mightily against fighters who were throwing quality straight punches. Teixeira at least had another option in his ground game even if it didn't play a factor in either fight.  I find it funny that some of the talk going into tonight's fight was Ngannou not believing Junior was a real BJJ black belt. I can't even remember the last attempt Junior made at a submission. How would he even get the fight to the ground? His best (and only) way to me would be knockdown leading to a surprise submission. Other than that, I don't see Junior doing anything to show Ngannou his black belt is legit. If Junior can't beat Ngannou with what got him here, I don't see him beating Ngannou at all.

Edited by Elsalvajeloco

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Andrei Arlovski is an interesting name for Maurice Greene to call out. I mean Andrei is doing a rematch with Rothwell on the next ESPN card (RDA vs. Leon Edwards in San Antonio), and that pretty much could be the end of Andrei in the UFC should he lose that one. I am not sure what a win over Arlovski would do for Greene at this point. On the same card, you have Oleinik vs. Walt Harris. I think the winner of that would be a more serviceable opponent given where Greene is in his career.

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White belt in English

Amanda Ribas despite being on USADA suspension forever shows a ton of promise

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Dequan Townsend probably offered up more resistance against Lungiambula than Justin Ledet probably would have. I am guessing Townsend will get another shot down a weight class at 185.

Lungiambula's takedowns are fast as hell and he looks strong as an ox. The first flaw I see with him is he leaves himself open for anything up the middle. I think Townsend stunned him with a knee up the middle right as round one ended. Lungiambula walked back to his corner a little dazed. He has to be cognizant that as his UFC career rolls on that most people will expect him to come out super aggressive, and they will try to counter off that. Still a solid UFC debut for him.

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Nasty, nasty, nasty, nasty KO by Eryk Anders. Damn.

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Paul Craig getting pummeled into another realm by Alonzo Menifield in slow mo looks like Craig got a heavy stone dropped on his head. Brutal.

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Called it. Junior overcommitted and was so off balance, he ended up giving his entire back to Ngannou. Ngannou just clocked him. Over.

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3 hours ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

Nasty, nasty, nasty, nasty KO by Eryk Anders. Damn.

Haven't seen it yet. Will make a note to. 2019 is the Year of the KO, we've had some brutal ones.

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5 minutes ago, The Natural said:

Haven't seen it yet. Will make a note to. 2019 is the Year of the KO, we've had some brutal ones.

I would also recommend the Menifield/Craig one as well.

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Glad to see Anders bounce back in style from his 3 fight skid

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4 hours ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

Nasty, nasty, nasty, nasty KO by Eryk Anders. Damn.

Certainly was. Ref should have been in there sooner.

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54 minutes ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

I would also recommend the Menifield/Craig one as well.

Bisping: "Craig's learning to strike". 

Craig gets KO'd

Commentary curse by the Count.

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Overall, I thought it was a good card, and glad it was on ESPN.

Ngannou looked like a killer tonight. I'm not sure I see him winning the title as long as Cormier or Miocic have the belt.

I'm a big fan of Benavidez, and that was an awesome win, but flyweight is so uncertain right now. Could he even fight for an interim title if Cejudo gets stripped? Would Cejudo even defend the title at flyweight?

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9 hours ago, TheVileOne said:

Ngannou looked like a killer tonight. I'm not sure I see him winning the title as long as Cormier or Miocic have the belt.

I'm a big fan of Benavidez, and that was an awesome win, but flyweight is so uncertain right now. Could he even fight for an interim title if Cejudo gets stripped? Would Cejudo even defend the title at flyweight?

I thought it was interesting he had Usman in Ngannou's corner tonight. Usually if I see people other than Fernand Lopez (imo the Paul Bearer to his Undertaker) in his corner, I'm skeptical about how Ngannou is going to perform. However, based on what I can glean from social media, it seems like Francis is full time training in Las Vegas and Lopez is more focused getting MMA legalized in France (he was successful because it will be legal in 2020) and training the native fighters over there. So that relationship looks done for time being. Maybe he has adjusted to training in Vegas and looking to make it where his defensive wrestling is good enough to beat anyone. I'm just not sure who the guy running the show will be. I don't see Dewey Cooper being that guy. He isn't really known to be the authoritarian type. He is more known for being half hype man/half trainer and bouncing around the boxing and MMA gyms of Vegas as like a glorified assistant coach/padholder. He will be at the Mayweather gym one day and then another gym the next day. I think he has done a good job with Kevin Lee, but at the same time, I think Kevin is missing that guy who will be a straight shooter with him. Dewey is a likeable fun mascot figure who seems to work well with everyone, but he ain't that guy. You can see it when Kevin fights that he is missing that right trainer who will guide him to the next level. Ngannou is in a much easier division than Lee and has gifts you can't teach, but he needs someone to help steer the ship against the best guy or best two guys in the division. I take the ego thing during his two fight skid with a grain of salt, but it is vastly different training in France and Las Vegas especially with no stability. That's why I thought Lopez was so important. He has been with Ngannou throughout his entire career. But if you have three different guys + Cooper or Lopez, Cooper, and two random guys, my question is that due to trust issues or does his personnel always change based on who he is fighting? If it's the latter, that does make sense. If it's the former, then his problem is more trust and accountability than ego. I think he can be champion and champion for a long, long time if he get past who wins Cormier/Miocic II. Maybe the performance in the Miocic fight at 220 caused a rift w/ Lopez that ultimately couldn't be fixed, but I'm not sure who really can replace Lopez as his chief second in Vegas.

Last night his corner consisted of Cooper, Eric Nicksick (one of the coaches at Xtreme Couture), Usman (who left the ESPN desk with Rashad and Karyn Bryant to corner him), and Marquel Martin (his agent at CAA who also reps Rory MacDonald, Kevin Lee, and Khalil Rountree). That's not exactly the who's who like you get with ATT, JacksonWink, AKA, and some other notable gyms. Maybe he doesn't need that because his technique and power when it comes to punching cancels all high level coaching out, but imagine what he could achieve with a top tier coaching staff? I don't think it's like Roy Jones Jr. with Alton Merkerson where Roy Sr. got Roy to an Olympic medal, Roy fired his dad a few years after the 1988 Olympics, Roy Jr. hired Alton due to their relationship during the Olympics, and then Alton was basically there for the duration of RJJ's career just because you have to have someone there as your chief second. Roy's personality was domineering, and he was more than gifted enough to run his own show. Ngannou needs someone to get across that one hump. However, to do that and have the desired longevity, it probably requires more than what he has. So if I pick Ngannou against the winner of DC/Miocic II, I'm doing that because of Ngannou's freakish talents. It certainly ain't due to my faith in his coaching staff especially without Lopez. Maybe since Ngannou and Usman are repped by the same guy, Ngannou can go to Hard Knocks 365 and get with Henri Hooft and Greg Jones. That's a better combo than what can be conjured up in Vegas.

Speaking of ATT,  I'm listening to Junior in the post fighter presser. He is saying everything I said right before the show. He said he doesn't know why he went for the overhand right and how he should have thrown straight punches. Does he watch his own fights? It's a bit ironic they did a piece on him about his relationship with Luiz Carlos Dorea during the prelims and how Dorea has been there since the beginning. His performance doesn't reflect well on Dorea. Dorea has trained world champion boxers like Acelino Freitas, Kelson Pinto, and the first Brazilian Olympic boxing gold medalist in Robson Conceição. How does that same guy train someone who throws a punch like Kerry Von Erich throws the discus punch when he was Texas Tornado and then stumbles like a drunk man afterwards? Now that I think about it...Junior probably does throw punches like Kerry did when he showed up to matches in no condition to perform. Hell, under the influence Kerry was likely closer to his target than Junior. That was some World Star shit last night where it looked like Ngannou sucker punched him because Ngannou was standing behind him. Except it was a real sanctioned fight where one guy threw a punch so bad he ended up with his back completely turned to his opponent. Junior really does need to do some tape study, but of his own fights. The recent ones at least. Is he throwing his punches wider and wilder now to compensate for the lack of speed? I mean I called him one dimensional yesterday, but his low kicks were good for the ones he threw. If you can't throw punches that are tighter and have less arch, you might as well just go with low kicks. That will save you getting punched in the head when you're in no position to defend yourself.

Quote

I'm a big fan of Benavidez, and that was an awesome win, but flyweight is so uncertain right now. Could he even fight for an interim title if Cejudo gets stripped? Would Cejudo even defend the title at flyweight?

I don't see Cejudo getting stripped. Aljamain conceded the first crack at Cejudo to Benavidez last night on Twitter. So I mean Cejudo vs. Benavidez II is what we're looking at next. I'm guessing Joseph will wait until Cejudo is ready. The question is what happens with Aljo? Does he wait to fight Yan who is just coming off surgery as well? Does he fight with the Assuncao/Sandhagen (8/17 in Anaheim) winner in the fall? If Raphael wins that fight, it would give Aljo a chance to avenge his loss. However, should Aljo lose that fight, he is giving up his hard earned title shot to Petr Yan. Benavidez waiting makes sense. Aljamain needs another fight because the earliest he would get a shot is late spring/early summer next year. Sterling/Yan would be a great five rounder as the defacto #1 title eliminator, but I'm not sure it warrants an interim title. If Cejudo has a setback, then maybe I would pull the trigger on that.

 

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12 hours ago, TheVileOne said:

Would Cejudo even defend the title at flyweight?

with all the Champ-Champs we've had in the UFC, none of them have ever defended both belts. They've always given one (the lighter one) up. i don't know if Cejudo follows that trend, but i'm in for the ride.

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53 minutes ago, twiztor said:

with all the Champ-Champs we've had in the UFC, none of them have ever defended both belts. They've always given one (the lighter one) up. i don't know if Cejudo follows that trend, but i'm in for the ride.

Flyweight is not replete with challengers. Plus, Cejudo is basically carrying both divisions as the only fighter who is close to being any type of star. The dominos fell in a way that Cejudo continuing to win kept flyweight open for business.

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