Dan Ige had an opportunity to make a massive leap up the UFC featherweight depth chart on Saturday when he faced Chan Sung Jung in the main event of the UFC Vegas 29 fight card. Ige had his moments during the five-round scrap, but he fell short in his bid to put his name among the 145-pound elite. Jung walked away with a unanimous decision win.
The win was a bounce back performance for Jung. Brian Ortega handed it to Jung in his last outing. That performance, which saw Ortega double up Jung in significant strikes left questions about Jung’s feasibility as a top-ranked featherweight. The former featherweight title challenger answered those questions in securing the win and showing that he’s not ready or willing to give up his spot in the top four of the division.
With the loss, Ige has dropped two of his past three outings by decision. Before he lost to Jung, Ige knocked out Gavin Tucker. The fight before that, Calvin Kattar, who is now ranked No. 5 in the division, defeated Ige by decision. With this setback, Ige is going to have to field questions about his place in the division. Now ranked No. 8, the inquiries will center on his place as a legitimate title contender in the division.
UFC Vegas 29’s main card began with three impressive finishes before Marlon Vera and Davey Grant delivered an incredible scrap that went the distance. In the co-main event, Serghei Spivac defeated Aleksei Oleinik.
Read on for the winners and losers from UFC Vegas 29.
Chan Sung Jung: Fans who wanted a classic Korean Zombie brawl might have left UFC Vegas 29 a bit disappointed. Jung did not deliver that, instead a fought a patient and tactical fight and secured a unanimous decision win over Dan Ige.
Jung scored three takedowns during the contest. Heading into UFC Vegas 29, he had not landed a single takedown since he scored four on his way to a win over Dustin Poirier in 2012. The same goes for submission attempts, Jung had three against Ige and three against Poirier. Unlike the Poirier fight, Jung could not finish Ige.
Jung needed a fight like this, a more controlled and technical victory. The style in which he fought Ige gives him options going forward and will have his opponents wondering just how he is going to approach each fight. This was a big win for Jung and it should serve as a confidence builder for the 34-year-old.
Marlon Vera vs. Davey Grant: Two underrated and underappreciated bantamweights squared off in an incredible 15-minute scrap in the middle of the UFC Vegas 29 main card. Vera cut up Grant with strikes and pursued submissions, but no matter how badly Grant was hurt or how close he was to getting finished, he would not give up. The two men are now 1-1 against each other and this might be a matchup that needs a trilogy.
Seung Woo Choi: Seung Woo Choi loudly extended his UFC winning streak to three in a row with a powerful knockout win over Julian Erosa. Choi’s striking techniques flew at Erosa with incredible speed. It turns out that Choi’s strikes are not only fast but implausibly powerful. Choi’s profile is going to increase in a big way after Saturday’s event.
Bruno Silva: Bruno Silva was set to make his UFC debut in 2019, but that did not happen thanks to a two-year suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency, who found the anabolic androgenic steroid boldenone in his system. He made his first trip to the octagon on Saturday and he made a big statement in his matchup against Wellington Turman, showing that he has some nasty ground striking skills. Silva postured up inside the guard of his opponent and knocked him out cold.
Matt Brown: In case you didn’t catch it during the broadcast, Matt Brown is 40 years old. Anyway, Brown scored a NASTY one-punch knockout win over Dhiego Lima at UFC Vegas 29. To hear Brown tell it, he and his team worked on that finishing set up during camp. If that is true — and I’m not doubting Brown — that was a nice catch because he faceplanted Lima. The win ended Brown’s two-fight losing skid.
Virna Jandiroba: Virna Jandiroba fought an aggressive bout against Kanako Murata. She showed improved striking and strong grappling in dominating her opponent on the way to a doctor stoppage victory. Jandiroba, a former Invicta strawweight champ, has two career losses. Both of her setbacks came under the UFC banner. Jandiroba dropped a decision to ex-UFC champ Carla Esparza in her UFC debut. Her other loss was a decision to Mackenzie Dern, who is looked at as a potential future UFC champ.
Khaos Williams: Khaos Williams bounced back from a December decision loss to Michel Pereira with a unanimous decision win over Matthew Semelsberger on Saturday. The name of the game for Williams in this matchup was pressure and volume. Williams pushed forward and whenever he had a chance, he unloaded combinations to rack up points against Semelsberger. An impressive return to the win column for Williams.
Rick Glenn: Rick Glenn was off for nearly three years before he faced Joaquim Silva at UFC Vegas 29 and he set himself for a quick return to the octagon thanks to a quick knockout win. A big left dropped Silva. Glenn then followed up with a litany of short strikes to Silva’s exposed chin. Silva got back to his feet for a second, but referee Mike Beltran was rushing in to finish the fight by then. It was a good stoppage by Beltran.
Casey O’Neill: It took Casey O’Neill a few minutes, but once she found her groove, she overwhelmed Lara Procopio in their flyweight matchup. O’Neill noted she had a slow start, and she told UFC commentator Michael Bisping that she plans on working on that before her next fight. O’Neill’s pace and output were impressive. She also handled herself especially well on the mat. When O’Neill found herself on her back, she worked an aggressive guard, including landing some nice elbows. In top position, O’Neill was also aggressive with her striking, but it was her pursuit of the submission, which ended the fight as she choked out Procopio in the third stanza. The 23-year-old O’Neill is undefeated and heading in the right direction.
Dan Ige: Dan Ige might have fought too defensively in the first three rounds of this scrap, but outside of that, and an ill-advised body kick in the fourth stanza, he shouldn’t be ashamed of his performance. He and his team had the wrong game plan for Chan Sung Jung and were late in changing things up, but I can’t say I blame them either. A hard-changing, all pressure approach is also an unsafe bet against Jung.
Wellington Turman: Wellington Turman’s loss to Bruno Silva should serve as a lesson to other middleweights. That lesson? If Silva gets inside your guard, you need to control his hands and his posture because that man has knockout power from the ground.
Dhiego Lima: Dhiego Lima learned a lesson that Avon Barksdale imparted to D’Angelo Barksdale on the HBO show The Wire, “You only got to f*** up once. Be a little slow, be a little late. Just once. And how you ain’t gonna never be slow, never be late? You can’t plan for no sh*t like this, man. It’s life.”
Kanako Murata: Kanako Murata spent a decent amount of time in the first round of her fight opposite Virna Jandiroba fighting off an armbar. Murata did not tap to the technique, but her left arm was useless in the second round. Murata gets some points for doing her best with one arm, but Jandiroba overwhelmed her.
Matthew Semelsberger: Matthew Semelsberger let Khaos Williams take control of octagon early and he paid by eating some crisp combos. While Williams just looked to put volume out there, Semelsberger seemed happy to throw single strikes. When his corner got in his ear, Semelsberger worked pretty well behind his jab, but by that point he had ceded control of the fight to Williams and he could not get that control back.
Roque Martinez: Roque Martinez gave up a lot of height to Josh Parisian in this heavyweight scrap, but he made up for it by pushing his opponent to the cage, holding him there and working in close with powerful strikes in the first stanza. Martinez took off most of the second round and that might have cost him the victory as he dropped a split decision to Parisian. This fight should serve as a learning lesson to Martinez. There are only three rounds in a most UFC fights and each of those stanzas counts the same.
Joaquim Silva: Joaquim Silva made a big mistake when he wound up for a huge right hand against Rick Glenn. The big swing left Silva exposed for a counter left and that punch put Silva down and on his way to a 37-second TKO loss.
Lara Procopio: Lara Procopio could not handle the pace or offense of her opponent, Casey O’Neill and she was choked unconscious in the third stanza.
Mike Beltran: Mike Beltran tolerated too many fence grabs by Nicolae Negumereanu, who won via split decision.
Serghei Spivac vs. Aleksei Oleinik: This fight happened and it slowed down an incredible main card.
Aleksa Camur vs. Nicolae Negumereanu: The light heavyweight bout between Aleksa Camur and Nicolae Negumereanu was a fun one, but I’m not sure how far either of these men will go in the division with their complete disregard for defense. Camur showed excellent offensive boxing skills, but less than stellar defense. Negumereanu packed a lot of power in his strikes, but seemed to rely on a concrete chin as his first line of defense. Like I said, yes, this was a fun one, but these fellas both have to shore up their defense in a big way.
Josh Parisian: I did not love Josh Parisian’s approach to his heavyweight scrap opposite Roque Martinez. He was not as busy as Martinez, and he seemed to allow his opponent to dictate where the fight took place. Parisian was more comfortable in the open. Inside the clinch, Parisian looked happy to use his size against Martinez and hold him against the cage. Parisian won the fight via split decision, but for a man his size, he was too willing to let the smaller Martinez push him around.
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