UFC 295 is in the books, and we have two new champions.
UFC 295: Alex Pereira stops Jiri Prochazka to become two-division champ
Alex Pereira beat Jiri Prochazka, and became a two-division UFC champion in just seven bouts with the promotion and 11 overall MMA fights. That’s an insane achievement, which also mirrors what he did in Glory when he held two titles.
Commentators brought up the stoppage being slightly early, and while I can see the case for that, I don’t think it was too bad and it wouldn’t have changed the outcome. Prochazka was also very classy in defeat, completely shutting down that early stoppage narrative that Joe Rogan kept pushing hard. Others could’ve taken the built in excuse being presented to him, but respect to Jiri for being able to say “I was out” and handle it all well.
Pereira showed that he was far more technical on the feet, chopping his leg down with nasty calf kicks and cleanly countering him with punches. It was a great performance for Pereira, who keeps achieving great things despite his relative inexperience in the sport.
Light heavyweight really seemed like a better division for Pereira, who still looks big for the division, and he will probably be a real problem for a lot of these top contenders. As for what’s next, Pereira immediately offering Israel Adesanya a rematch and noting how he won’t need to win several fights to earn this title shot at 205 was nice to see.
If I’m being honest, I’d honestly rather see that than a bout with Jamahal Hill, which doesn’t seem as interesting both as a spectacle marketing-wise or with the style match up.
Perhaps that big money rematch makes Adesanya end his hiatus a lot earlier than anticipated.
UFC 295: New “interim” heavyweight champion crowned
Tom Aspinall is the new “interim” heavyweight champion. He got tagged early, but kept composed and eventually landed two clean shots to the temple that quickly put Sergei Pavlovich out. Most times one exchange is all that it takes at heavyweight, and with his unbelievable speed for this division, he will certainly be a problem for everyone else.
He also becomes the second champion from the UK, and it was nice to see him share a moment with Michael Bisping after as well.
With Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic rumored to both retire after their eventual fight, this might have been the actual heavyweight championship, with that interim tag probably just being a formality at this point.
UFC 295 main card analysis: Should Mackenzie Dern switch camps?
Jessica Andrade broke out of her three fight slump by beating up and repeatedly knocking down Mackenzie Dern. She came in as an underdog, and while most people predicted Dern would pull this off, I think this outcome was fairly predictable.
Dern, despite having a massive advantage on the ground against everyone, always tries to strike and rely on physicality and athleticism to bully opponents. That can work against Angela Hill and others, but it was a bad idea against Yan Xiaonan who could match her physicality and had way better striking. It’s an even worse idea against a powerhouse in Andrade. I understand trying to improve on striking skills, but it’s frustrating to watch a BJJ legend approach fights like this every time, and I think she can benefit with a change in camps or coaches.
Benoit Saint-Denis took advantage of Matt Frevola’s bad footwork as he was retreating, and slammed a perfect headkick to get a clean KO. He got a highlight reel finish, and tried to call his shot after too. He probably won’t get Gaethje and Poirier like he asked, but his fifth straight win likely gets him a number next to his name next.
Diego Lopes is having a really nice breakout year, and put on a third bonus-worth performance with that quick beating of Pat Sabatini. We know he has good grappling, but he’s been improving and showcased his striking this time around. Jacked Tom Delonge continues to impress.
You know you can count on us for quick, consistent quality UFC coverage. Bloody Elbow is an independent, reader supported publication. Please subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with our best work and learn how you can support the site.
About the author