UFC Vegas 73 has come and gone and we’re not going to waste any time getting into the nitty gritty of the details. After all, this is the Rapidfire Recap. Just a few sentences on every fight, no fluff. Let’s get into it:
UFC Fight Night: Mackenzie Dern vs Angela Hill Main Card
Mackenzie Dern appeared to pick up a mean streak amidst her divorce. She was out to hurt Angela Hill and did so on several occasions. Hill was never able to open up her own offense out of fear of Dern getting her to the mat. Then again, it may be because Dern hurt her on several occasions. Regardless, Mackenzie Dern may not have found the submission, but dominated in every way.
Anthony Hernandez won a grueling, gritty contest over Edmen Shahbazyan, just as most expected. Hernandez overcame a strong start from Shahbazyan, keeping his composure and waiting for Shahbazyan to slow. It didn’t happen as soon as many expected as Shahbazyan was more measured than he was in the past, but it did happen. Both displayed improvement.
Loopy Godinez is one of the ultimate gamers. Despite being one of the smaller members of the roster, she’s not afraid to walk forward and throw fisticuffs. Emily Ducote had a chance to take the win and Godinez faded some down the stretch. It didn’t happen, Godinez sealing the deal with an intelligent takedown near the end of the fourth.
Both Joaquin Buckley and Andre Fialho had their moments. The difference was Buckley letting his fists and feet fly. Fialho spent too much time making reads. There’s something to be said for accurate reads, but there’s also something to be said for throwing stuff out there, increasing the odds that something lands. That said, brilliant finish from Buckley.
In classic Michael Johnson fashion, he was finished in the second by Diego Ferreira after a strong first round. What wasn’t classic is Johnson was fighting the fight he was supposed to fight. He just got caught by a massive overhand from Ferreira. In other words, I’m not convinced Ferreira isn’t on the downside and I don’t blame a mental miscue on Johnson’s side for the loss.
UFC Vegas 73 Prelims
I don’t know why anyone would want to voluntarily stand with Viacheslav Borshchev. Both of his UFC losses have come by opponents taking and keeping him on the mat whereas he’s blasted away those who’ve opted to stand with him. Maheshate is bigger and probably has more natural power, but he was added to the list, even after Borshchev struggled with his vision due to an eye poke.
Karolina Kowalkiewicz is a supreme example of what a fighter can do when they’re confident. Having looked like a shell of herself at the end of her five-fight losing streak, she picked up a couple of wins and looked better than she has in years in outworking the always dangerous Vanessa Demopoulos. I’m not saying Kowalkiewicz is anywhere back to being a title contender, but she’s far from being washed up as many of us were saying.
So… Rodrigo Nascimento vs. Ilir Latifi happened. Nascimento’s reach was the biggest difference, allowing him to land more volume and avoid Latifi’s power. Smart fight from the big Brazilian, but it wasn’t much to look at.
Beating Orion Cosce doesn’t prove you belong in the UFC. Dominating him the way Gilbert Urbina did might be enough to convince any haters Urbina belongs. His size at welterweight is going to be a hell of a puzzle for his opponents to solve moving forward. With his weight loss, expect Cosce to join his brother on the outside of the UFC.
It can’t be denied that Chase Hooper looked like a million bucks when he overwhelmed Nick Fiore from bell to bell. But those declaring he has arrived need to rein in their excitement as Fiore is one of the least experienced fighters on the roster. The move to lightweight appears to be good for Hooper and he’s progressing, but let’s slow the roll.
Victoria Leonardo was the aggressor early on, but it was no competition once Natalia Silva got her feet underneath her. Once the Brazilian did so, she overwhelmed Leonardo with punches and kicks that left Leonardo battered and broken before the first round was up. Silva looks like she’s going to be a contender in short order.
Themba Gorimbo is a rabid dog. Even when clearly exhausted, he continued to press forward against Takashi Sato. That extended to refusing to accept position as well. Despite not finding the finish, it was a promising performance which will likely send Sato packing his bags.
For more in-depth discussion, click here for the 6th Round recap.
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