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Monday Morning MMA Round-Up: UFC in Jacksonville Recaps

UFC Jacksonville

May 16, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Alistair Overeem (red gloves) defeats Walt Harris (blue gloves) during UFC on ESPN at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of the Monday Morning MMA Round-Up, where we look back at the week that was and look ahead to the week that is in the world of mixed martial arts. Let’s dive in.

Looking Back At UFC’s Week In Jacksonville

  • This week went as smoothly as possible for the UFC in regards to COVID-19 testing. After learning from mishaps that happened during the first wave of fighters being tested for UFC 249, the process was much more streamlined, and, of course, it always ends up smoother when there are no positive test results.
  • You can’t help but feel badly for Walt Harris. He was fighting with an immense amount of pressure, and he easily could have gotten the stoppage of Alistair Overeem in the first round. Most referees would have stopped it. He just tired himself out trying to finish and Overeem made the big comeback.
  • Overeem, in becoming the second fighter to win a fight in four decades, showed he still has plenty of fight left despite winning just minutes before turning 40.
  • To anyone who believes ESPN and the UFC was exploiting Harris and the death of his stepdaughter, please stop talking right now and move on.
  • There were a lot of questionable decisions on the scorecards this week, especially on Saturday. I did not think there were any robberies, just enough close fights that could have gone either way.
  • I do think the lack of crowd reactions did play a hand in how judges determined who won rounds, and it seems that may play a bigger factor than we thought.
  • Speaking of winning and losing bad decisions, the show/win model needs to be dumped for a flat rate. Too many close decisions that could go either way cost the losing fighters a lot of money. It will likely never change, but it needs to.
  • Anthony Smith’s corner did a horrible job. Your job as a corner is to protect your fighter, and they failed big time.
  • I like that Jason Herzog admitted that he didn’t do the best of jobs as a referee in the Glover Teixeira vs. Smith fight. There needs to be more referees that are willing to step up and admit this. It also tells everyone they learn from their mistakes.
  • Teixeira winning four straight fights at 205 pounds at age 40 isn’t something I was expecting.
  • Claudia Gadelha was lucky to get the win over Angela Hill and didn’t look to be in her best physical shape.
  • Dan Ige was also lucky to score a win over Edson Barboza, but he has quietly put himself in position for a big fight at 145 pounds with a six-fight win streak.
  • Marlon Vera’s social media reaction to losing a close fight to Song Yadong was way over the line, borderline racist, and yet another example of how bad fighters are on Twitter.
  • Drew Dober has been impressive in putting together his run at lightweight, and finishing Alexander Hernandez proves how better he’s gotten. Dober has gone from an early prelim staple always fighting for his job to a legit darkhorse contender at 155 pounds.
  • The UFC does want the May 30 event in Las Vegas at the UFC Apex, which is the reason for pushing the show back. They are hopeful they can get clearance this week. Despite how well they’ve been treated in Florida, if they don’t get clearance in Nevada, they are going to run in Arizona, as close to the Nevada border as possible. It is just way easier on staff and logistics to get it as close to their home base as possible.
  • While it has been reported as the main event, a fight between Tyron Woodley and Gilbert Burns isn’t a complete lock to be the main event of the May 30 card.
  • Time is ticking on fight announcements for the UFC 250 card. While it was scheduled for June 6, the possibility of it getting pushed back to June 13 or June 20 still remains high as they try to make fights happen.
  • Despite what you may see online, it has been really difficult putting fights together in order to fulfill the 42 events they are contractually obligated to do. Having to hold off on booking international fighters at the moment has been quite the challenge to overcome.
  • Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou do want to fight. They want to get paid very well for the fight. I don’t expect the fight to get made.
  • Empty arena MMA still comes off better than empty arena pro wrestling. When the UFC is able to run at the UFC Apex, it will come off even better as that place is perfect for shows with little or no crowd involvement.

Coming Up This Week

Nothing. There are no major MMA events this week.

This Week In MMA History

On May 23, 2015, one of the best fighters in the history of the sport finally had UFC gold wrapped around his waist.

Daniel Cormier submitted Anthony Johnson in the third round in the main event of UFC 187 in Las Vegas to become the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Cormier actually took this fight on short notice after Jon Jones was stripped of the championship stemming from his hit-and-run incident.

UFC 187 also featured Chris Weidman successfully defending the UFC Middleweight Championship against Vitor Belfort, as well as a crazy heavyweight fight between Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne. It was one of the more entertaining pay-per-view main cards, and one of the last shows before the Reebok uniform deal took over.

You can watch the UFC 187 main card on UFC Fight Pass here: https://ufcfightpass.com/video/52664.

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