Hello, fight fans, and welcome to this week’s edition of the Monday MMA Round-Up, where we look at everything happening in the world of mixed martial arts. This was a relatively quiet week in the MMA world, as attention was mostly turned to other things going on. Let’s dive in and take a look at some of what happened this past week.
A Relatively Quiet Week
- Glover Teixeira turned back the clock and scored an impressive win as a heavy underdog in submitting Thiago Santos in the main event on Saturday. Teixeira was in serious trouble on more than one occasion, but weathered the storm and showed tremendous fight IQ in his win. That is now five straight wins for Teixeira, who, at the ripe age of 41, appears only to be getting better.
- Teixeira should get the shot at Jan Blachowicz next after this performance. I know Dana White has already said that Israel Adesanya would be moving up to challenge Blachowicz, and I get the reasons why, but this is a chance to call an audible. You could save Adesanya for the winner, but Teixeira isn’t getting any younger, and after this string of excellent wins he’s put together, he deserves a title shot. Not only has he won five straight, but four of the wins are via stoppage.
- If I were Santos, I wouldn’t take this loss too hard. He had Teixeira in serious trouble, but Teixeira is just too tough for his own good sometimes, and is very tough to finish. Santos was coming off of major injuries and didn’t show any ring rust. He will remain right in the mix at 205 pounds, especially if he gets a win in his next fight.
- Teixeira wasn’t the only 41-year-old scoring a win in the Octagon on Saturday, as Andrei Arlovski also scored a win. He got a decision over Tanner Boser in a disappointing fight. There’s not much else to say about that fight other than Boser turned in a real disappointing showing in what was supposed to be a showcase fight for him.
- Add Yan Xiaonan’s name to the list of viable strawweight contenders. It’s been a while since a female division was so rich in title contenders, but after moving to 6-0 in the UFC, Xiaonan could find herself really close to a title shot. Also, imagine if the UFC was able to pull off a title fight between two Chinese fighters, Zhang Weili and Xiaonan, in China sometime next year. It would be massive for that market.
- Other fighters scoring impressive wins were Giga Chikadze, Alexandr Romanov and Darren Elkins. Chikadze should be in line for a big opponent as he had to deal with a highly-ranked Arnold Allen turning him down on short notice, and he didn’t hold back his words in talking about Allen post-fight. Chikadze has a lot of potential.
- Corey Anderson had a successful debut in Bellator, but anything other than that would’ve been bad news. It was a fight designed for him to win. He was facing a 44-year-old Melvin Manhoef, who is a middleweight, at 205 pounds. It was as much of a gimme fight as there could be made, which is smart for Bellator to do, but people see right through it. Good for Anderson on getting paid, though.
- Just before writing this, news broke that UFC lost its main event for this upcoming weekend’s show as Islam Makhachev was forced out of his fight against Rafael Dos Anjos. I was looking forward to that fight, but now the UFC is scrambling for a main event for a show in less than six days as there is nothing else on that card worthy of headlining. Good luck to them.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) November 8, 2020
- There was lots of criticism about the booking of Cynthia Calvillo against Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 255 on November 21 that came from flyweight contender Lauren Murphy. Murphy was upset about Calvillo being booked, saying she was offered the fight for December and said yes, only for the fight to be changed. I get why Murphy is upset, but the fact of the matter was they needed a big flyweight fight with a back-up fighter on the UFC 255 card just in case Jennifer Maia misses weight, which she has twice in her last three fights. It’s not that they didn’t want to book Calvillo vs. Murphy, they just needed Calvillo for the November 21 card.
- Kudos to Kevin Holland for keeping his word to remain active. It got him a big spot in a main event on December 5 against Jack Hermansson after Darren Till had to pull out due to injury. It’s a huge step-up for Holland, and also a dangerous fight for Hermansson to take, though Hermansson said five fighters turned down fighting him. I’m not here to name names, but I know of at least three, and those three probably made a good call not to fight Hermansson on such short notice.
- Lastly, I hope with the election being over that many MMA fighters stop talking about politics on social media, because they’ve all come off really, really bad.
Here are some fights I would make for the fighters who competed at UFC On ESPN 17 on Saturday:
- Glover Teixeira vs. Jan Blachowicz
- Thiago Santos vs. Anthony Johnson
- Andrei Arlovski vs. Aleksei Oleinik
- Tanner Boser vs. Maurice Greene
- Raoni Barcelos vs. Merab Dvalishvili
- Giga Chikadze vs. Jeremy Stephens
- Yan Xiaonan vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Here are some notable fight announcements from this past week:
- Katlyn Chookagian vs. Cynthia Calvillo — UFC 255 — November 21
- Mike Perry vs. Tim Means — UFC 255 — November 21
- Jack Hermansson vs. Kevin Holland — UFC Fight Night — December 5 (main event)
- Stephen Thompson vs. Geoff Neal — UFC Fight Night — December 19
- Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Muslim Salikhov — UFC Fight Night — January 16
- Michelle Waterson vs. Amanda Ribas — UFC 257 — January 23
Coming Up This Week
Here are some notable events coming up this week:
- UFC On ESPN+ 40 on Saturday, November 14. The full card streams on ESPN+, with the main card at 7 PM ET and the prelims at 4 PM ET. There is no current main event scheduled due to Islam Makhachev being forced out. I will have my Guide To UFC On ESPN+ 40 later in the week.
- Dana White’s Contender Series on Tuesday, November 10. It streams on ESPN+ at 8 PM ET.
- XFC 43 on Wednesday, November 11. It airs on NBC Sports Network at 9 PM ET and features a number of UFC veterans on the card.
- Bellator 252 on Thursday, November 12. It airs on CBS Sports Network at 7 PM ET. The main event sees Bellator Featherweight Champion Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire defending against Pedro Carvalho.
This Week In MMA History
History was made on November 12, 2016 as the most famous arena in the world hosted its’ first-ever mixed martial arts event as UFC 205 took place from Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. It was one of the most anticipated events in UFC history, with one of the most stacked cards in UFC history taking place. The event ended up drawing 20,427 fans and a gate of $17.7 million and a pay-per-view buyrate of 1,300,000 buys.
Conor McGregor also made history in New York. He scored a second-round knockout of Eddie Alvarez to become the UFC Lightweight Champion, where he became the first UFC fighter to ever hold two championships in two weight classes at the same time, as he was also the current UFC Featherweight Champion at the time.
Also on the show was Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson fighting to a draw in a UFC Welterweight Championship bout, Joanna Jedrzejczyk successfully defending the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship against Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Yoel Romero knocking out Chris Weidman, Raquel Pennington scoring a decision over Miesha Tate, Frankie Edgar winning a decision against Jeremy Stephens, and Khabib Nurmagomedov submitting Michael Johnson.
You can watch UFC 205 on UFC Fight Pass here.