Proving the benefit of making callouts, Dan Ige got his wish when he headlined against The Korean Zombie, Chan Sung Jung at UFC Vegas 29. Unfortunately for Ige, despite a valient effort, he was unable to overcome the legendary action fighter over five rounds.
Proving he isn’t over-the-hill after a flat performance against Brian Ortega, Zombie methodically picked apart a game Ige after an extremely close first round. Whether it was with his precision counters and long stints of ground control. It wasn’t a classic Zombie brawl, but it was a fantastic performance from one of the best in the division. It sets Zombie up for a potential contest with the likes of Max Holloway or Calvin Kattar.
Ige was competitive enough he proved he deserved his spot in the top ten, but the top five appears to be a bit of a stretch. He’s young enough in his career that he might be able to scale that wall, but there are indications he’s close to scratching his ceiling. As for the rest of the card….
- No doubt Serghei Spivac was looking to make a statement by getting a W over Aleksei Oleinik. He got a W, but about the only thing he successfully did was scare away people from wanting to tune into his fights. Even with Oleinik’s short gas tank, Spivac was reluctant to display any aggression, taking a tepid decision and hurting his stock in the process.
- Who knew Marlon Vera and Davey Grant was the rematch we needed to see? The two seasoned vets went to war, delivering heavy leather to one another in search of a finish. Grant took the early lead with his volume, but Vera maintained the course and came thisclose to finishing Grant several times in the last round. It didn’t happen, but not for a lack of trying. Bottom line: Vera took the win, but there wasn’t a soul who watched that fight that didn’t have infinite respect for both men.
- There were some who weren’t sold on Seung Woo Choi being a UFC caliber fighter heading into his contest with Julian Erosa. After deading Erosa with a brutal left hand to deliver the South Korean his third win in a row, I don’t think there’s anyone left in that camp. Add Choi to the seemingly infinite list of prospects to keep an eye on at 145.
- Wellington Turman had the right idea. Bruno Silva can be controlled and submitted. Of course, he also has serious power and doesn’t hold back on the GnP. When Silva finally attained the positional advantage – Turman flat on his back – he didn’t hold back, delivering several brutal punches that put Turman out cold. Hell of a debut for the Brazilian.
- While Uncle Dana will probably have “The Talk” with 40-year old Matt Brown soon enough, it won’t happen this year. After getting picked apart by Dhiego Lima for a round and a half, Brown found the opening he was looking for the entire contest, landing a laser-like right hand on the counter that put Lima out cold. That tied Brown for most KO’s in UFC history with Vitor Belfort and Derrick Lewis.
- Nick Negumereanu picked up his first UFC win over Aleksa Camur, but all anyone is going to remember is the nonstop fence grabbing from the young Romanian that was rewarded by Mike Beltran’s reluctance to issue a point deduction. Both fighters showed improvements from their previous contests, but no one is going to remember that.
- For the second week in a row, viewers got to witness a nasty arm injury. Virna Jandiroba caught Kanako Murata in an armbar in the first, but it was slapped on in an angle viewers couldn’t see the injury occur. When Murata continued with a clearly compromised arm, the referee stopped the fight between the second and third round at the advice of the ringside doctor. There’s no good reason Jandiroba shouldn’t get a top ten opponent next.
- Khaos Williams wasn’t able to produce the finish many expected in his contest with Matthew Semelsberger, but he did deliver a clear decision, cowing Semelsberger’s usual aggression with a series of flurries that landed just enough for Semelsberger to feel Williams’ power. Semelsberger woke up a bit late, but it was too late by then.
- If you enjoy heavy slabs of beef bodying up against one another for 15 minutes, the contest between Josh Parisian and Roque Martinez is for you, though I’d also recommend getting your head checked. The two traded dominant position against the fence for the entirety of the fight. While they largely stayed active, it wasn’t fun to watch. Perhaps controversially, Parisian got the nod from the judges.
- You’d be forgiven if you forgot Ricky Glenn was still in the UFC, but he made the most of his first fight since 2018, disposing of Joaquim Silva in 37 seconds. The end began with a hard left from Glenn, followed by a flurry of punches that Silva was unable to recover from. In addition to a win, it gave Glenn his first UFC finish.
- If an example is needed for how great of an asset cardio can be, look no further than Casey O’Neill and Lara Procopio. Procopio jumped to early lead as the utilized similar attacks, but faded down the stretch while O’Neill maintained her ridiculous pace, securing a third round RNC. It gave the promising Aussie/Scot her second consecutive win in the Octagon.
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