Main Card (Tim B.)
Alexander Volkov put it on Alistair Overeem tonight in the main event of UFC Vegas 18. Overeem was doing okay for the first half of the first round, but he got tagged with a counter left and went down. It may have just been because he was off balance, but it was the beginning of the end for him. He was bleeding by the end of the round, and was bleeding buckets a few minutes later when the fight was stopped.
Volkov’s jabs were hurting Overeem in the second, and he dropped him twice with combinations. Overeem desperately tried to wrestle, but he was done. Volkov clubbed him a couple of more times, then dropped him again and Overeem wasn’t having any more of it.
Huge win for Volkov, and I’d like to see him maybe in a rematch with Derrick Lewis next.
- Cory Sandhagen. Wow. Just wow. I can’t do his jump knee KO justice, you have to see it. Frankie Edgar is a legend, and he got dusted in 28 seconds. Edgar’s head snapped to the side BADLY when he got clipped, and it’s very good that he was able to get up fairly quickly. Because that was straight scary. I’d love to see Sandhagen fight anyone at the top of the division, even a rematch with Aljamain Sterling would be great.
- Clay Guida is still relentless. He got wobbled by Michael Johnson very early in the first and third rounds, but he just went to his wrestling game and smothered Johnson for most of the fight. He looked to have it wrapped up in the third with a choke but Johnson managed to get to the final horn. Guida took the easy decision and a badly-needed win.
- Is this the end of the line for Johnson? Four losses in a row, 2-7 in his last nine. His KO win over Dustin Poirier seems so long ago now, and he’d get smoked in a rematch. He’s still only 34, but with the UFC cutting costs, he might end up being a victim.
- Manel Kape got going too late. He didn’t throw much of anything in the first round, while Alexandre Pantoja threw a bunch of kicks and rights to easily take the early lead. The second was more of the same, though Kape did step up a bit. He was finally competitive in the third, but he clearly lost the fight. His reaction to the decision was almost funny, because he had to know that he wasn’t getting his hand raised.
- Beneil Dariush vs. Diego Ferreira was a great fight with some wonky scoring. They brawled a lot in the action-packed first round, but Dariush racked up some top time as well with his excellent takedowns. Ferreira used a variety of fun techniques to get up though. The first two rounds were clearly Dariush’s, and I gave Ferreira the third for managing to stop the takedowns and get some good shots in. I would have no issue if it was 30-27 Dariush. But one judge had it 29-28 Ferreira, which is lunacy. Luckily, the right man got two scorecards and Dariush took home the split decision victory.
- In the main card opener, Danilo Marques easily outclassed Mike Rodriguez with his stellar grappling, never letting him get into the fight. After a few takedowns, Marques finally got to his back late in the second round, securing a body triangle and a rear naked choke. Rodriguez didn’t tap, but he did go to sleep.
Preliminary Card (Mookie)
- Devonte Smith had been out of the Octagon for more than a year but he didn’t miss a beat in his TKO win over late replacement Justin Jaynes. I mean… look at Jaynes’ left eye during that one-sided round two. No need for the fight to continue and Keith Peterson rightly said that was that.
- Karol Rosa suffered a nasty cut on the side of her mouth but she nevertheless outclasses a game but overmatched late notice replacement Joselyne Edwards. Rosa tore up Edwards’ lead leg and secured takedowns in every round, giving Edwards too much to handle with her top control and ground strikes. Edwards had her moments and she’s a fun fighter to watch but Rosa is 3-0 in the UFC and a potential new contender at bantamweight.
- Brazilian women’s flyweight Lara Procopio picked up a unanimous decision win over Molly McCann in a fight that featured a lot of grappling and control time. McCann’s lone quality moment was a deep armbar in round two but Procopio did well to escape. McCann left her gloves in the cage but that was not in retirement but rather a tribute to her late father.
- Seungwoo Choi notched his second straight UFC win with a unanimous decision over Moroccan featherweight Youssef Zalal. It was hardly scintillating stuff but Choi had the better striking, scored a couple of takedowns, and fended off a third-round guillotine by Zalal to pick up the W.
- Timur Valiev played it safe and still easily beat Martin Day on the scorecards (30-25 x2, 30-26) to pick up his first UFC win. Day is 0-4 inside the Octagon and he’s surely outta here, as he had no answers for Valiev’s leg kicks, takedowns, or grappling.
- Ode Osbourne and Jerome Rivera fought on short notice at featherweight, and we got a short fight. Osbourne decked Rivera with a straight left off of a caught kick and that was that. Over in 26 seconds and Osbourne gets his first UFC win in impressive fashion.
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