Hello, fight fans, and welcome to this week’s edition of the Monday 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.
Looking Back at UFC Vegas 32
- The main event of Saturday’s UFC show between TJ Dillashaw and Cory Sandhagen might end up being the Fight Of The Year. It was an absolutely fantastic fight that went down to the wire and could have gone either way in the end. Dillashaw overcame some adversity with having his knee pop in the first round and having to deal with a cut over his eye and blood getting into his eye from the second round throughout the rest of the fight, but he was able to squeak out the close decision. Some fans out there felt Sandhagen was robbed of the decision, but that was far from the case, as it was just a razor-close fight that could’ve gone either way. It’s a big win for Dillashaw, who said afterwards he wants the next title shot. It’s hard to argue against him after such a strong win over the guy many thought was next in line, but, at the same time, it’s also a guy coming off a two-year USADA suspension. Not that it’ll make a difference, but Dillashaw definitely didn’t lose a step in his time away, and a fight against either Aljamain Sterling or Petr Yan would be a very interesting fight.
- I don’t think Sanhagen lost face with this loss. It’s obvious he was super disappointed, but there were a couple of mistakes that he made which likely cost him the decision. He’ll still be in the title picture, especially if he gets back into the win column in his next fight.
- Speaking of robberies, there absolutely was one in the fight between Maycee Barber and Miranda Maverick. Barber won the fight by split decision, and it was an absolutely horrible decision. Every single media outlet scored the fight for Maverick. Chris Lee, who for the better part of the last year and even longer, was the lone judge who had it for Maverick, which shows just how bad the decision was. It is one of the biggest robberies in UFC history, and Barber got lucky to escape with a win.
- As good as the main event was, the fight between Raulian Paiva and Kyler Phillips was just as good, as is worth going out of your way to see. Also worth going out of your way to see is the fight between Adrian Yanez and Randy Costa. Yanez has potential future star quality with his fighting style and his story, and he could be a threat in the title picture in the future.
- According to Ariel Helwani, UFC 267, scheduled for October 30 in Abu Dhabi, will actually not be a pay-per-view event, but an ESPN+ special numbered event with an 11:00 p.m. ET start-time. It would mark the first time UFC has used a numbered event for a non-pay-per-view show since UFC 138 in November 2011. Helwani also says the plan is for UFC 268 to take place a week later on November 7, possibly at Madison Square Garden in New York. While this seems odd on the surface, there are reasons behind this, the main reason being that UFC’s deal with Abu Dhabi guarantees at least one title fight take place in the country per year, and there was a need to fulfill that. UFC will still hit their scheduled twelve pay-per-view events for the year, as they’ve currently had eight, with events scheduled in August, September, November and December. They also scheduled two title fights on the show, the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout between champion Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira, and the UFC Bantamweight Championship rematch between champion Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan, as a safety net in case one were to fall apart. It will still be pushed as a major show, but this does feel like a bonus for fans, and the card is going to be very good, so I see this as a plus.
- When it comes to UFC 268 at Madison Square Garden, I could see the title bout between UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington being the headliner, with an outside shot of Francis Ngannou having a unification bout between the winner of the Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane fight being another option.
- UFC is very close to putting together a fight between Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler. It may not take place until December, but the hope is to book that. Another fight that is likely to happen next in the lightweight division is Islam Makhachev taking on Rafael Dos Anjos.
Here are some fights I would make next for those who fought Saturday at UFCUFC On ESPN 27:
- TJ Dillashaw vs. Aljamain Sterling-Petr Yan winner
- Cory Sandhagen vs. Jose Aldo-Pedro Munhoz winner
- Raulian Paiva vs. Adrian Yanez
- Darren Elkins vs. Lando Vannata
- Maycee Barber vs. Andrea Lee
- Brendan Allen vs. Andre Muniz
- Sijara Eubanks vs. Jessica Eye
- Danny Chavez vs. Kai Kamaka — UFC Fight Night — July 31
- Miles Johns vs. Anderson Dos Santos — UFC 265 — August 7
- Rory MacDonald vs. Ray Cooper — PFL 7 — August 13
- Kayla Harrison vs. Genah Fabian — PFL 8 — August 19
- Antonio Arroyo vs. Joaquin Buckley — UFC Fight Night — September 18
- Gustavo Lopez vs. Alatengheili — UFC Fight Night — September 18
- Devonte Smith vs. Jamie Mullarkey — UFC Fight Night — October 2
- Livinha Souza vs. Randa Markos — UFC Fight Night — October 23
- UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan — UFC 267 — October 30
- Michal Oleksiejczuk vs. Shamil Gamzatov — UFC 267 — October 30
Coming up this week
- UFC Vegas 33/UFC On ESPN 28 takes place on Saturday, July 31, from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The entire card airs on ESPN and ESPN+, with the main card at 900 p.m. ET and the prelims at 6:00 p.m. ET. Uriah Hall vs. Sean Strickland is the main event.
- Bellator 263 takes place on Saturday, July 31, from The Forum in Inglewood, California. The main card airs on Showtime at 10:00 p.m. ET, and prelims air on YouTube at 6:00 p.m. ET. Bellator Featherweight Champion Patricio Pitbull defends against AJ McKee in the main event in arguably the best fight in Bellator history.
- XMMA 2 takes place on Friday, July 30, at 7:00 p.m. ET. Stay tuned for broadcast details. Among the fighters on the card are UFC veterans Ben Saunders, Ramsey Nijem, Kyle Bochniak, Marcus Brimage, Will Brooks, Steven Siler, Justin Scoggins, Cody Gibson, Kenny Robertson and more.
- FAC 9 takes place on Friday, July 30, at 8:00 p.m. ET, airing on UFC Fight Pass.
- LFA 113 takes place on Friday, July 30, at 9:00 p.m. ET, airing on UFC Fight Pass.
- Cage Warriors 126 takes place on Sunday, August 1, from San Diego, California, their first event in the United States. It takes place at 600 p.m. ET, with broadcast details TBD.
This week in MMA history
On July 30, 2011, Strikeforce return to the Chicago area, hosting an event at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates (the home of AEW’s All Out pay-per-view events),with this card featuring a dream fight that many fans weren’t expecting, but were anticipating when it was announced. It would be a battle of PRIDE FC legends, as Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson would square off.
They had a crazy one-round battle, with both men rocking each other and going for the finish. In the end, it would be Henderson who would emerge victorious, as he would finish Fedor with punches at the 4:12 mark, which was actually the first time Fedor lost by TKO that wasn’t a doctor stoppage. It would be the final fight for both men in Strikeforce, as Fedor moved on back to M-1 Global, while Henderson would return to UFC just a few months later to have one of the greatest fights in MMA history, his war with Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua.
Also on the card: Miesha Tate submitted Marloes Coenen in the fourth round to become the new Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Tyron Woodley scored a decision over Paul Daley, Tim Kennedy won a decision over Robbie Lawler, and Tarec Saffiedine won a decision over Scott Smith. Among the winners on the prelims included current UFC fighters Derek Brunson and Alexis Davis.
You can watch Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson on UFC Fight Pass here.
In The Clinch
This week on In The Clinch, myself and Paul Fontaine will look back at UFC on ESPN 27, look ahead to UFC On ESPN 28 and Bellator 263, and talk all of the news and look back at how we did on our betting picks this week. You can listen to In The Clinch on The Fight Game Media Network, with our Patreon page found here.