Hello, fight fans, and welcome back to a new edition of the Monday MMA Round-Up. I am back this week after storms knocked my internet out for almost a week last weekend, and boy oh boy, there has been lots of stuff going on in the world of MMA. I am just going to focus on everything that has happened in the past week, including the main event at Saturday’s UFC event between Frankie Edgar and Pedro Munhoz.
Looking Back At A Busy Fight Week
- I thought Frankie Edgar lost to Pedro Munhoz at Saturday’s UFC event, but it is hard to be too mad at the decision. It was a very close fight and there were a couple of key rounds that could’ve swung either way. I thought Edgar looked in tremendous shape and his long-awaited move to bantamweight didn’t look much different than when he was fighting at 155 and 145 pounds.
- Dana White finally acknowledged that Aljamain Sterling is next in line for a bantamweight title shot following Saturday’s event, something that was a no-brainer. Seeing how it was convenient that he announced it now shows that they at least had the thought of potentially rushing Edgar into the title fight against Petr Yan, and a quick win could’ve done that. The fact that it was a close fight that could’ve gone either way sealed Sterling’s shot.
- Kudos to everyone at the UFC for pulling off this past Saturday’s card. There have been lots of shows during the pandemic that have been dealt a bad hand, but this was perhaps the event that has been dealt the worst so far. It ended up being a pretty fun show, helped by a very good main event.
- The UFC 253 one-two punch on top with title fights between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa, and Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz, is a very solid one-two punch.
- So much to make from the Jon Jones vacating the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship news. The fact is there wasn’t much left for him there in terms of fresh match-ups, and, sorry, but Blachowicz against Jones wasn’t exactly exciting. The wait for Jiri Prochazka to get to a title fight against Jones would probably take a good year, and Johnny Walker has already had his hype train derailed. Moving to heavyweight gives Jones some much-needed freshness.
- Ryan Bader started the week declaring himself the best light heavyweight in the world after the Jones news, and ends the week no longer the Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion after being starched by Vadim Nemkov. Rule of thumb – don’t put the cart before the horse.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) August 22, 2020
- Roy Nelson has always been a polarizing fighter to say the least, but his fights over the last several years have been the cure for amnesia. It’s time to hang it up. His comments seem to indicate he knows that, but he wants one more fight against Matt Mitrione to settle that beef. Let it be the last fight for both men.
- No matter who tries to spin it as a positive move, Bellator moving from the Paramount Network to the CBS Sports Network is not a good move at all. They were already dying in the ratings on Paramount, and now they go to a channel that’s available in not as near as many homes, and most of it’s availability is based on being in premium cable tiers. This would’ve been like moving the UFC permanently to FS2 during their FOX years, and very likely not even that bad. This is not good news.
- There were lots of fun fights announced this week. My personal favorite is the long-awaited announcement of Brian Ortega taking on “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung on October 17. It is about time.
- Tony Ferguson and Dustin Poirier are being targeted to fight each other in a five-round main event in November.
- One last thing – I’m tired of media members using Dana White’s post-fight press conferences to ask about Bellator fighters. He knows who they are, but won’t talk about them if they’re under contract to Bellator for a multitude of reasons. It is pointless to ask him questions about them when you aren’t going to get an answer. He knows who Patricio Pitbull Friere is.
Fights To Make Following UFC On ESPN 15
- Frankie Edgar vs. Dominick Cruz
- Pedro Munhoz vs. Cody Stamann
Coming Up This Week
Another week, another UFC event. They wrap up August with UFC On ESPN+ 33 on Saturday. Anthony Smith takes on Aleksandar Rakic in the main event, which will be only three rounds after the original main event for the card, Zabit Magomedshapirov vs. Yair Rodriguez fell apart due to injury. The co-main event is an excellent welterweight match-up as Robbie Lawler takes on Neil Magny. The rest of the main card sees Alexa Grasso vs. Ji Yeon Kim, Ricardo Lamas vs. Bill Algeo, and Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba. The entire card will stream on ESPN+, with the main card at 9 PM eastern time following the prelims, which kick off at 6 PM eastern time.
Dana White’s Contender Series is back for Week 4 of 2020 on Tuesday, airing at 8 PM eastern time on ESPN+. There are a pair of events airing on UFC Fight Pass on Friday as Titan FC 63 begins at 8 PM eastern time, and LFA 89 goes down at 9 PM eastern time. On Saturday, it will be KSW 54 at 12 PM eastern time.
This Week In MMA History
On August 28, 2002, the most-attended MMA event in history took place at the Tokyo National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, as Pride FC presented Pride Shockwave Dynamite!
A historic crowd of over 71,000 fans witnessed Mirko Cro Cop continue to add to his mystique as he defeated Japanese superstar Kazushi Sakuraba in the main event. The rest of the card saw Hidehiko Yoshida submit Royce Gracie, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira submit Bob Sapp, Jerome Le Banner knocking out Don Frye in just 90 seconds, and Wanderlei Silva knocking out Tatsuya Iwasaki in just 76 seconds.
You can watch the fight between Cro Cop and Sakuraba on UFC Fight Pass here: https://ufcfightpass.com/video/34109.