Going into this fight card, I wasn’t too pumped up about it. Other than the main event and the co-main, none of the earlier fights on this PPV were very enticing. Boy, was I wrong. We saw four amazing fights to start a fantastic card with a disappointing title fight for the middleweight belt.
Alex Oliviera vs. Max Griffin
Alex “Cowboy” Oliviera wins by split decision in a great fight to start off the card. Griffin won the first round, then Oliviera second. For about half of the third round, Oliviera had control and had Griffin in the clinch and kept hitting Max Griffin good causing Griffin to have bleeding into his eyes a good amount, compromising his vision. Then Griffin flipped the clinch and took control but Oliviera just held out as Griffin didn’t really get any strikes in. Oliviera just held out till the end of the round and got the split decision in a ridiculously close fight. This fight christened the octagon with blood to start a great PPV.
Neil Magny vs. Li Jingliang
Neil Magny won the first round after Li really drained a ton of energy trying to get Magny in the clinch. Then Magny overwhelmed Li the entire second round and dominated. Li advanced the fight in the third round, but Magny still outclassed him. Dominant win with Magny have an advantage of 113-23 in strikes and 78-20 in significant strikes. Great fight.
Beneil Dariush vs. Drakkar Klose
Dariush had Klose in a rear naked choke most of the first round but Drakkar Klose managed to survive. Then a minute into the second round, Diriush finished Klose by KO after a wild exchange for the first time that Drakkar has been finished in his career. Fight of the night until the next fight tonight.
Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
I was pretty hyped up for the UFC Women’s strawweight championship with the powerful Weili Zhang defending her title vs. the former champ that built the strawweight division, Joanna Jedrzejczyk. We started with a great first round of boxing, with so much power from both girls. The second round was awesome too with very good striking for both of them. Such an even first two rounds and it was tough to even guess who won those two. Joanna won the third round while Zhang still did damage, making the shape of Joanna’s head change. In Weili’s first time in championship rounds, this fight got insane. What a great matchup. Joanna definitely won Round 4 with some stellar striking while Weili Zhang followed it with definitely winning Round 5. Best UFC women’s fight I’ve ever see. And STILL, Weili Zhang defends her title in a split decision. Fight of the year, without question.
Israel Adesanya vs. Yoel Romero
Going into this fight I thought there was no way that this one could be disappointed. My prediction was Izzy in a close win in an entertaining fight. I thought he was more talented but that he had his shows that Romero said he was aware of to exploit him.
For almost the first three minutes of the fight almost no strikes were thrown by either fighter and Yoel let The Stylebender dictate where the fight was gonna go. And it went no where. This might’ve been the boringest first round of a fight I’ve ever watched. Real weird round. First half of the second round was a lot of the same with Adasanya advancing the fight but neither guy really doing much until Romero put a lot of pressure on Izzy. Round 3 saw a lot more kicks thrown but was still pretty boring after a stellar card and following the fight of the year. Adasanya actually moved during this round so I’d give him the win on it. Before the fourth round, the referee even told these guys “you’re getting paid for a title fight, gotta give the judges something to score”, which is something I’ve never heard a ref say before. Coming out of a stop for an inadvertent eye poke on Romero, Yoel got Izzy on the ground for the most action of the fight but he didn’t get the takedown and it quickly went back to nothing going on in the octagon. Adasanya was effective with the leg kicks and definitely got the win on the fourth round. Down in the final round, Romero did almost nothing to advance this super boring fight. And STILL, The Last Stylebender, Isreal Adasanya by unanimous decision. After the fight, in his interview with Joe Rogan, Yoel said it was bullshit that Izzy made it such a boring fight, which I actually agree on BUT, to be the champ, you gotta beat the champ and Romero didn’t attempt to do that. Kind of a bullshit fight from both sides. What a disappointing fight to close out this awesome card.