UFC 225 was this past weekend and it was a loaded show. Let’s get to the rundown, including the prelims for this stacked card.
GOOD- Charles Oliveira submits Clay Guida
There was some light sparring going on early, then Guida went for a takedown, got trapped in a guillotine, and had to tap. Good win for Oliveira.
GOOD- Sergio Pettis vs. Joseph Benavidez
This was a close fight, but I thought Benavidez should have won here. Instead, Pettis got the split decision win. Nice win for Pettis in a very close fight.
GOOD- Anthony Smith stops Rashad Evans
Smith dropped Evans with a huge knee and that was it about fifty seconds into the first round. I imagine Evans will be getting that call from the UFC soon about either retiring or getting cut. He’s now lost five fights in a row and hasn’t won in over four and a half years. This was a nice and decisive win for Smith.
GOOD- Chris De La Rocha stops Rashad Coulter
They both got a takedown and were throwing some heavy shots in the first round. In the second round De La Rocha took over and got Coulter down and pounded him out. Nice win for De La Rocha.
GOOD- Ricardo Lamas vs. Mirsad Bektic
Bektic controlled this fight throughout and got the decision win as a result. Not a great fight, but good and solid. Nice win for Bektic.
GOOD- Carla Esparza vs. Claudia Gadelha
The first round was crazy, as Esparza hurt Gadelha on the feet at the beginning of the round and Gadelha nearly secured the submission win at the end of the round. They ended up going the distance, though, because of the toughness of both fighters, and Gadelha got the split decision win. It was a hard fight to score but that seems right, though Esparza has a case as well.
GOOD- Curtis Blaydes stops Alistair Overeem
The first round was bad, but it heated up quickly after that. Overeem landed some big shots and had Blaydes scrambling but he came back with offense of his own, getting some takedowns. In the third round Blaydes caught Overeem with some big elbows and cut him open bigtime en route to the stoppage victory.
Big win for Blaydes, who’s now in a good position in the heavyweight division and could possibly get a title shot next, but it’s hard to say with the way the UFC is. I know I say that all the time, but I think it’s true.
BAD/GOOD- Mike Jackson vs. CM Punk
It’s all about perspective here. I wasn’t expecting a classic here, so I had low expectations going in. It played out the way most thought it would. This was a bad fight, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I added the GOOD for Punk giving it his all and having the guts to try to make it work in MMA.
GOOD- Tai Tuivasa vs. Andrei Arlovski
Not a great fight, but it was good and had some nice moments. Tuivasa won the decision, which I was surprised the fight went the distance, considering the guys involved. Both fighters dished out some big shots and took them as well. Nice win for Tuivasa.
GOOD- Holly Holm vs. Megan Anderson
Holm used her wrestling and grappling to get the decision win here. She completely controlled things and dominated the fight. Anderson couldn’t do much because of how good Holm was. Great win and performance by Holm.
GOOD- Colby Covington vs. Rafael dos Anjos
This was another great win and performance by a fighter using their wrestling, as Covington dominated this fight, but I will admit to getting a bit restless here. The problem with fights like this, and the previous one, are that as the fight wears on it becomes more and more apparent who’s going to win and how.
RDA is extremely tough so it’s unlikely he would get finished, so I can’t take anything away from Covington for not getting the finish, but I think the championship rounds worked against the fight enjoyment here. Maybe if there was a rule that said that if a fighter hasn’t won a round through the first three rounds, the fight is over. Or if they haven’t won a round through the first four rounds the fight is called and there’s no fifth round.
Of course, the obvious problem is that we’ve seen fifth round finishes before and it would be a shame to not have those, but they do happen quite infrequently. That said, easier is generally better so it’s probably better to just keep things the way they are. Nice win for Covington, who becomes yet another Interim UFC Title. Hopefully they can unify the UFC Welterweight Title soon after the champ Tyron Woodley recovers from his surgery.
GOOD- Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero
The first two rounds were bad, with the first being devoid of any action and the second round consisting of Romero just standing there and letting Whittaker punch him in the face over and over. The third round heated up bigtime, though, and featured some explosive action. Romero rocked Whittaker, who was able to recover and fired back with a big elbow then a spinning backfist. Then Romero got the Whittaker to the fence and had him in trouble before Whittaker landed a big headkick. The third round was just crazy.
The fourth round settled down some but still had both fighters landing big shots. In the fifth round Romero dropped Whittaker with a huge punch but Whittaker was able to survive. After all this action, Whittaker got the split decision win. Romero missed weight to make this a championship fight by 0.2 pounds so he was ineligible to win Whittaker’s UFC middleweight title but a win would have been huge for him. It would have thrown a major monkey wrench into the division and forced a third fight between the two men.
Good win for Whittaker, who broke his hand during the fight. I’m not sure who he fights next, maybe his recovery time will allow someone to step forward with a strong case?
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