Hello, fight fans, and welcome to this week’s edition of the Monday MMA Round-Up, your one-stop shop for everything going on in the world of mixed martial arts. It was another week with a UFC event, and there’s plenty to talk about this week.
Excellent violence at UFC on ESPN 37
- If you missed Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 37 event from Austin, you missed one excellent event, with a solid main event that saw Josh Emmett score a close split decision over Calvin Kattar. The show featured eight fights that ended by knockout, which tied the record for most knockouts in a UFC event, and six of them came inside the first round. It was also a hot crowd inside of the brand new Moody Center in Austin, and I was at the show and can say it is a very nice, new building.
- I scored the main event for Josh Emmett, but it was a very close fight. I felt the second was a swing round. I did notice that the vast majority of us on media row had the first three rounds for Emmett and the last two for Kattar, while those watching at home mostly had it for Kattar. I can say from being five feet away that Emmett did have the more impactful blows early in the fight, and when both started to sweat heavily, you could see more sweat flying off of Kattar when Emmett hit him than the other way around. Both men’s’ faces were a mess afterwards and it was a fight that could’ve gone either way, but it was a big win for Emmett in scoring his fifth straight win.
- Emmett said afterwards that he was planning on sitting cage side at UFC 276 in two weeks when UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski squares off against Max Holloway, and he said he wants the winner. Emmett says there needs to be fresh blood in the title picture, and he really said all of the right things. Whether he’s next in line is the question, and I think he deserves a shot, and definitely far more than the winner of the July fight between Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez would. However, there have been rumblings of the winner moving up to fight Charles Oliveira next, so Emmett needs to make his case during that week that he’s next.
- There were nine finishes on the card, and they were all so spectacular in their own ways that it was going to be impossible to pick out who was going to get the post-fight performance bonuses, so all of the fighters who scored a finish got a bonus. They went to Kevin Holland, Joaquin Buckley, Gregory Rodrigues, Adrian Yanez, Jeremiah Wells, Ricardo Ramos, Cody Stamann, Phil Hawes and Roman Dolidze. I was most impressed by Holland, Buckley, Yanez and Hawes on the night, but they all had great showings.
- The fight between Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon fell apart on fight day once again as it was Lauzon, this time, who had to pull out. He said that when he was putting his socks on after weighing in on Friday that his knee popped and he could barely move, and even a cortisone shot didn’t help, and when he was still hurting on Saturday morning, he had to pull out. The funny thing is he said the pain went away by the time they would’ve fought, so he possible could’ve fought, but he might not have been able to warm up, so who knows if still fighting was even possible. Dana White said afterwards that they would not try and re-book the fight for a third time and that they were already looking at getting Cerrone a fight in July. Cerrone confirmed the same, but also said he wanted a catchweight fight as he didn’t want to cut to 155 for a third straight month. Based on openings, I see a Cerrone fight being added to either the Long Island card on 7/16, or, more likely, the UFC 277 card in Dallas on 7/30, which could use a solid fifth main card fight.
- Eddie Wineland took his gloves off following his first-round knockout loss to Cody Stamann on Saturday, and while he didn’t leave them inside the Octagon, he did announce on social media that he was retiring from MMA. Wineland was the first-ever WEC Bantamweight Champion, defeating Antonio Banuelos at WEC 20 in May 2006, and he had been with Zuffa under either the WEC or UFC banner since April 2009. He once fought for UFC gold, coming up short against Renan Barao at UFC 165 in September 2013 in an interim title fight. He struggled at the end of his career, losing three straight and five of his final six fights, but he was always known as a guy who would bring it inside the cage and was well respected inside the sport. Happy trails to a great career for Wineland, who finishes with a 24-16-1 record.
- Zabit Magomedshapirov announced his retirement from MMA this past week. There had been a lot of questions lately as to what his status was as he had not fought since November 2019. There were times where it was sounding like he was going to fight, but he also said that he’s been dealing with health issues the last few years. He still seems to train, but competing is another story. He’s going to be one of the biggest ‘what ifs’ in MMA history as many thought he had a good shot at becoming a UFC champion, and he has an 18-1 record with a perfect 6-0 record at the time of retirement. He’s 31, so this could be a never-say-never situation, but he also said he’s started training to become a doctor, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he doesn’t come back.
- There has been plenty of action in UFC’s bantamweight division this past week with a bunch of match-ups being reported. The big one is UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling defending against TJ Dillashaw at UFC 279 on September 10, though Sterling is saying that isn’t happening. It is, though. Two other big match-ups being reported are Jose Aldo taking on Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278 on August 20 in Salt Lake City, and Cory Sandhagen taking on Song Yadong in the main event of a UFC Fight Night event on September 17 with a location to be announced.
- PFL 4 took place on Friday and saw lightweights Alexander Martinez, Olivier Aubin-Mercier, Jeremy Stephens and Natan Schulte all score decisions to keep the lightweight standings close. Light heavyweight Antonio Carlos Junior scored a decision win while light heavyweights Omari Akhmedov, Delan Monte, Rob Wilkinson and Josh Silveira all scored finishes to add to their point totals.
The Crystal Ball
In this week’s edition of The Crystal Ball, we look at what’s next for those who won at UFC on ESPN 37 on Saturday:
- Josh Emmett scored a close split decision win over Calvin Kattar in the main event, which marked his fifth straight win. He was saying afterwards that he wants a title shot next, and I feel he’s the best potential next challenger in a deep division. He fights the Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway winner next.
- Kevin Holland scored a solid second-round submission win over Tim Means, which moved him to 2-0 since making his move down to the welterweight division. He looks great in the new division, but also teased about fight at both middleweight and welterweight. He talked about fighting Sean Brady next, since Brady mentioned Holland as a potential opponent if Brady can’t get a fight against Belal Muhammad. I think a fight with Brady needs to happen not next, but with another win or two, but Holland should fight someone either ranked or near being ranked. I would like to see Holland fight Daniel Rodriguez next.
- Joaquin Buckley scored a finish at the end of the second round when the doctors said Albert Duraev couldn’t continue due to his left eye being completely closed. Buckley was impressive throughout in scoring his third straight win, and he’s 5-1 over his last six overall. He deserves a high-profile bout next. The crystal ball sees him fighting Brendan Allen next.
- Damir Ismagulov continued his winning ways, but it was a tough one, as he won a split decision over Guram Kutateladze. It is Ismagulov’s 19th straight win, and he’s now 5–0 during his UFC career. He should be ranked and should get a ranked opponent next. I see him fighting the winner of Arman Tsarukyan vs. Mateusz Gamrot winner next.
- Gregory Rodrigues scored a first-round knockout of Julian Marquez in a wild brawl. That win got Rodrigues back into the win column after a loss in his previous fight, and he is 3–2 during his UFC career. The crystal ball sees him fighting Chidi Njokuani next.
- Adrian Yanez did what he said he was going to do and that was finish Tony Kelley in the first round in a wild fight. It is the ninth straight win for Yanez, and his fifth straight since his UFC signing. The bantamweight division is deep, but he’s ready for the upper echelon of the division. The crystal ball sees him fighting Kyler Phillips next.
- Natalia Silva had an impressive UFC debut, winning a decision over Jasmine Jasudavicius in a fight where her skills looked more than UFC-ready. She showed that she has the potential to compete in the flyweight division, though she might be best served moving down to strawweight. However, for the sake of the crystal ball, I’m going to keep her at flyweight for her next fight, and I see her fighting Shanna Young next.
- Jeremiah Wells scored a vicious first-round knockout of Court McGee for his fifth straight win. It also moved him to 3-0 since his UFC signing and he’s shown plenty of potential as he moves up the ladder. I would like to see him against Francisco Trinaldo next.
- Ricardo Ramos got back to his winning ways on Saturday, scoring a first-round knockout of Danny Chavez with a spinning back elbow. It put Ramos back in the win column after losing two of his last three, and he looked confident afterwards. The crystal ball sees him against the Billy Quarantillo vs. Bill Algeo winner next.
- Maria Oliveira got her first UFC win with a split decision win over Gloria de Paula on Saturday. It was only her second UFC fight, but she showed improvement and looked solid inside the Octagon. The crystal ball sees her booked against Sam Hughes next.
- Cody Stamann likely saved his UFC career on Saturday with a 59-second knockout of Eddie Wineland. It ended his three-fight losing streak and put Stamann back on track to getting back to being a ranked fighter. Stamann should look at fighting John Castaneda next.
- Phil Hawes finally got to fight Deron Winn on Saturday and scored an impressive win, looking his best thus far during his UFC career in finishing Winn in the second round. He even exchanged words with Daniel Cormier afterwards. It got Hawes back into the win column. I see him fighting Roman Dolidze next.
- Roman Dolidze, the man whose name you see right above, returned from a year-long layoff to score his second straight win, knocking Kyle Daukaus out in 73 seconds. Dolidze is 10-1 in his career and said he was eager to fight again soon. Since he also wants to return quickly, it makes sense for Dolidze to fight Phil Hawes next.
The Chopping Block
Some fighters didn’t have the best night on Saturday at UFC on ESPN 37, and we’ll look at whether they should worry for their futures on The Chopping Block:
- Calvin Kattar dropped a close split decision to Josh Emmett in the headliner on Saturday, which marks losses in two of his last three fights. The solace in that is both losses could are the likely next two challengers to the featherweight title. He’s definitely SAFE and I would like to see him fight Chan Sung Jung next as both are still highly ranked in the division but coming off losses.
- Tim Means has always been more of the more exciting veterans on the roster, but he saw his three-fight win streak ended at the hands of Kevin Holland on Saturday. While he’s had a long career and is 38-years-old, he’s GOING NOWHERE and will be one of those guys who chooses when it’s time to ride off into the sunset. He should try and get back on track against Danny Roberts next.
- Albert Duraev took lots of damage in his loss to Joaquin Buckley on Saturday, having his left eye closed and the fight being stopped by the doctors. Duraev was talking during the week about wanting to fight again in July, again yet another fighter looking to fight often to the point of look past what is ahead of him, but he won’t be fighting for a while now. He’s SAFE as far as continuing his UFC career and I see him fighting Eryk Anders next.
- Guram Kutateladze looked impressive on Saturday even though he came up short against Damir Ismagulov. Ismagulov is a tough opponent, though, and Kutateladze almost beat him. Kutateladze is 100% SAFE and should look at fighting Natan Levy next.
- Julian Marquez went to war with Gregory Rodrigues on Saturday, but it didn’t work out well for him as Rodrigues scored the knockout win in the first round. It ended his two-fight win streak and put him at 3-2 during his UFC career. He’s a fun and charismatic fighter so he’s SAFE and I would like to see him fight Deron Winn next.
- Tony Kelley continued to ruffle the wrong feathers during fight week, and it didn’t go well for him as he was knocked out in the first round by Adrian Yanez on Saturday. Kelley was already not well-liked by fans due to his comments about Viviane Araujo and Brazilians last month, and he continued to make enemies when he missed weight for Saturday’s fight and spent the entire ceremonial weigh-ins and moments before the fight giving fans the middle finger. He continued to talk trash to Yanez after the fight and even continued to flip off the crowd as he was walking to the back. He’s 2-2 thus far as a UFC fighter, but with everything going on, I would LET HIM GO if it were my decision.
- Jasmine Jasudavicius had a disappointing second outing inside the Octagon as she dropped a decision to debuting Natalia Silva. Jasudavicius is 1-1 during her two UFC fights, and she’ll be SAFE on the roster and should fight a debuting fighter next.
- Court McGee continued his UFC career on Saturday, but it wasn’t the result he wanted as he was knocked out cold by Jeremiah Wells, just the second time he’s been finished in his career. The former TUF winner was possibly looking at a quick turnaround to fight in Utah on August 20, but that won’t happen. As far as his future, he should be SAFE and will be the one making the decision when he’s done. I see him fighting Mickey Gall next.
- Danny Chavez suffered a brutal loss on Saturday as he was knocked out cold by a spinning back elbow by Ricardo Ramos. That was his fourth UFC fight, likely the last fight on his contract, and he’s gone 1-2-1 thus far. I see his contract NOT BEING RENEWED and him back on the regional scene but being on the short-notice call list.
- Gloria de Paulo had a hard-fought fight against Maria Oliveira, but she ultimately lost by a split decision. She’s just 6-5 in her career and 1-3 during her UFC career and I see her NOT BEING BROUGHT BACK without a few wins on the regional scene.
- Eddie Wineland suffered his third straight knockout loss on Saturday, being finished in 59 seconds by Cody Stamann. The 37-year-old veteran took his gloves off after the fight and announced his RETIREMENT on social media after the fight.
- Deron Winn returned from a long layoff on Saturday and was finished in the second round by Phil Hawes. It was also a tough weight cut for Winn as he needed the box on Friday, but he made it. He’s small for middleweight but he’s built big and making the weight is hard for him. He’s 2-3 during his UFC career but I see him STICKING AROUND for some more fights. It’s tough being short for middleweight but he should fight Julian Marquez next.
- Kyle Daukaus didn’t have a great night on Saturday as he was finished in 73 seconds in the opening fight on Saturday. It is the first time he’s been finished in his career and is now 2-3 with one no contest during his UFC career. However, he’s SAFE for now, but needs wins. He should look at fighting Ian Heinisch next.
Here are the fights that were announced over the past week:
- Phil Rowe vs. Abubakar Nurmagomedov — UFC Fight Night — July 16
- Jai Herbert vs. Kyle Nelson — UFC Fight Night — July 23
- Nathaniel Wood vs. Charles Rosa — UFC Fight Night — July 23
- Bryan Battle vs. Takashi Sato — UFC Fight Night — August 6
- Jason Witt vs. Josh Quinlan — UFC Fight Night — August 6
- Shamil Gamzatov vs. Misha Cirkunov — UFC Fight Night — August 6
- Jose Aldo vs. Merab Dvalishvili — UFC 278 — August 20
- Tyson Pedro vs. Harry Hunsucker — UFC 278 — August 20
- Victor Altamirano vs. Daniel Da Silva — UFC 278 — August 20
- Jessica Andrade vs. Manon Fiorot — UFC Fight Night — September 3
- UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling vs. TJ Dillashaw — UFC 279 — September 10
- Cory Sandhagen vs. Song Yadong — UFC Fight Night — September 17 (MAIN EVENT)
- Andre Fili vs. Lando Vannata — UFC Fight Night — September 17
- Sijara Eubanks vs. Maryna Moroz — UFC Fight Night — September 17
- Damon Jackson vs. Pat Sabatini — UFC Fight Night — September 17
- Randy Costa vs. Guido Cannetti — UFC Fight Night — October 1
The Pink Slip
Here are the fighters who are in search of a new home this week:
- Poliana Botelho, who suffered a first-round submission loss to Karine Silva at UFC on ESPN+ 65 on 6/4. This doesn’t feel like a surprise. Botelho started her UFC career off with two straight wins and was looking like a contender, but she had lost four of her last five fights, including three straight to end her UFC run.
- Askar Mozharov, who suffered a first-round knockout loss to Alonzo Menifield at UFC on ESPN+ 65 on 6/4. I was suspecting this was going to happen given the circumstances of Mozharov’s record changing multiple times during his UFC debut fight week, and the fact he and his team were allegedly threatening those who did the research on his true record. When you couple that with how bad he looked against Menifield and his comments towards Menifield during and after the fight, it’s really no surprise this happened.
Coming Up This Week
Here are some of the notable MMA events taking place this week:
- UFC on ESPN 38 takes place on Saturday, June 25, from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card airs on ESPN at 10 p.m. ET, while the prelims air on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. ET, with the entire card also streaming on ESPN+. Arman Tsarukyan takes on Mateusz Gamrot in the main event.
- PFL 5 takes place on Friday, June 24, from the Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. The main card airs on ESPN & ESPN+ at 9 p.m. ET and prelims air on ESPN+ at 5:30 p.m. ET.
- Bellator 282 takes place on Friday, June 24, from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The main card airs on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET while the prelims air on YouTube at 6 p.m. ET. Bellator Middleweight Champion Gegard Mousasi defends against Johnny Eblen in the main event.
- Ares FC 7 takes place on Saturday, June 25, from Paris, France, airing on UFC Fight Pass at 2 p.m. ET.
- Cage Warriors 140 takes place on Saturday, June 25, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, airing on UFC Fight Pass at 2:30 p.m. ET.
- Fury FC 65 takes place on Sunday, June 26, from New Orleans, Louisiana, airing on UFC Fight Pass at 5:30 p.m. ET.
In The Clinch
This week on In The Clinch, myself and Paul Fontaine will look back at UFC on ESPN 37, PFL 4 and The Ultimate Fighter. We will also look ahead to UFC on ESPN 38 and a busy week of MMA events as well as all of the news of the week. In The Clinch is available on The Fight Game Media Network, with all podcasts available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. You can also support us and all of the shows thru our Patreon page.