UFC 215 was this past weekend and even though it lost one of its title fights it still had some good fights. Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD- Jeremy Stephens vs. Gilbert Melendez
Stephens ruined the leg of Melendez with repeated kicks. He just kept hitting him with these kicks over and over. Melendez showed good toughness to not get stopped, but Stephens kept landing them and got the decision win as a result. Good win for Stephens.
GOOD- Ilir Latifi vs. Tyson Pedro
Latifi had a solid game plan and executed it well. He kept getting repeated takedowns and was in full control throughout. Not a great fight, but good enough. Latifi got the decision.
GOOD- Henry Cejudo stops Wilson Reis
Reis is a good fighter and Cejudo made it look easy. He came out and was just all over Reis. He punished him with strikes, then got a takedown towards the end of the first round. Then, in the second round, he dropped Reis with a hook and finished him off. Big time win for Cejudo as he looks to make another title run. They’ll likely re-book UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg for next month, and after that the UFC will probably want him to fight a big name from the bantamweight division (possibly even a super fight with the champion) so Cejudo will need at least one more win before getting another title shot, but this was an impressive win.
GOOD- Rafael Dos Anjos submits Neil Magny
RDA got a quick takedown and started working towards the submission. He got it, locked it in, and forced the stoppage. Huge win for Dos Anjos. Magny is a solid fighter and RDA made it look easy. That’s two straight fights where a guy makes a stoppage over a quality opponent look easy. And both guys are looking to make title runs. Dos Anjos will find himself in the title picture with another big win. UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley will need an opponent when he returns from his shoulder injury, and if RDA gets another win in the meantime, maybe it’ll be him?
BAD- Valentina Shevchenko vs. Amanda Nunes
Nunes won the split decision, which I found fairly puzzling because I thought Shevchenko won rounds two, three, and four. Maybe I would feel differently if I re-watched the fight, but considering it was pretty dull, no thanks. I think Nunes just wasn’t expecting Shevchenko to battle back after Nunes won the first round. Shevchenko just needs to go back to the drawing board, get a couple victories under her belt, and try again. She’s already lost to Nunes twice, but the closeness of those fights means that she’s not completely out of title shots. If she gets a couple wins, she’s right there again.
As for Nunes, she should consider herself lucky to win this close fight and still be the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Even if you thought Nunes won three rounds, it’s still dangerous to be involved in these types of fights because judge’s scores can always surprise you. I expect her to learn from this and become an even better fighter moving forward. Yeah, this was a bad fight but that’s because both women are so evenly matched and neither wanted to make a critical mistake. That stinks, but it happens.
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NOW CHECK OUT HYDEN’S PREVIOUS TAKE: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly from UFC Fight Night 115