By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
There were two UFC events this past week, with one throwing a major monkey wrench into the longterm viability of Conor McGregor as a draw. Let’s get to the rundown.
UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs, Magny
GOOD- Omari Akhmedov submits Tom Breese
They beat each other up in the first round. The second round saw Breese almost win by submission before being submitted himself with an arm triangle a little over a minute and a half into the second round. Good win for Akhmedov.
GOOD- Lerone Murphy vs. Douglas Silva De Andrade
Murphy won the decision after three rounds of pretty good action. They went back and forth but Murphy did more and was rewarded for it.
GOOD- Tyson Nam vs, Matt Schnell
Schnell won the decision in a tightly contested fight. There was some good boxng and some hard hits in this one. Good win for Schnell.
GOOD- Roxanne Modafferi vs. Viviane Araujo
Modafferi showed good toughness as Araujo put a beating on her. She kept coming, though, and even landed a takedown in the third round. It wasn’t enough, though, as Araujo got the decision from the judges. Good win for Araujo.
GOOD- Ike Villanueva stops Vinicius Moreira
Villanueva got the better of the exchanges in the first round before blasting Moreira with a huge right hand that stopped things about forty seconds into the second round. Good win for Villanueva.
GOOD- Warrley Alves stops Mounir Lazzez
They traded strikes early before Alves landed several heavy body kicks that dropped Lazzez and finished him off on the ground about two and half minutes into the first round. Good win for Alves.
GOOD/BAD- Michael Chiesa vs. Neil Magny
To be honest, I didn’t care much for this fight. Both guys were trying but it was just kind of there. Maybe I feel that way because it was five rounds, but I just didn’t like this fight. Chiesa did more throughout the fight and was rewarded with the decision win. Good win for Chiesa.
GOOD- Marina Rodriguez stops Amanda Ribas
The first round saw Ribas get a takedown and ended the round on top. The second round saw Ribas get blasted with a right hand and dropped. After some shenanigans by referee Herb Dean, Rodriguez crushed Ribas with another big shot and finished her off. Good win for Rodriguez.
GOOD- Makhmud Muradov stops Andrew Sanchez
Muradov peppered Sanchez in the first round. More shots from Muradov in the second round. Muradov punished Sanchez even more in the third round and dropped him, then finished him off to get the stoppage win. Good win for Muradov.
GOOD- Joanne Calderwood vs. Jessica Eye
They came out firing early, landing kicks, knees, elbows, punches, pretty much everything you can think of. Calderwood was getting the better of it, but Eye kept coming forward. She got busted up and cut open but she showed good toughness. Calderwood won the decision and got back on the winning track. Good win for Calderwood.
GOOD- Michael Chandler stops Dan Hooker
They circled each other early, throwing out a few strikes here and there. Then, Chandler connected with a right hand to the body of Hooker, then a left to the head and floored him. Chandler jumped on him and pounded him out for the stoppage win two and a half minutes into the first round. Good win for Chandler.
GOOD- Dustin Poirier stops Conor McGregor
The first round saw Poirier score a takedown, but McGregor defended well. The second round saw them exchange low kicks before Poirier dropped McGregor with two huge left hands. He followed it up and got the stoppage. Big win for Poirier.
This isn’t the final nail in the coffin of McGregor’s drawing power, as he’ll remain interesting to some, but he’ll never again reach the heights he was once at. It’s one thing to lose on short notice at a higher weight to Nate Diaz. Hell, he even avenged that loss. It’s also one thing to lose to Khabib Nurmagomedov, one of the most dominant fighters in UFC history. You can chalk those losses up to short notice, or Nurmagomedov beating anyone he ever fought. But this? Nope, that puts an end to it.
Even the most ardent McGregor fans have to be dismayed by this loss. And especially how it came about. This is the first time McGregor has been stopped by strikes. A lot of the appeal of McGregor was that he was brash and had a lot of funny and cool sayings, he was a badass. And he won. He’s not winning so much anymore. We’ve seen him get his ass handed to him a couple times now. You’re not going to be a top draw if you keep losing, because part of what makes you a big draw is winning, and winning in explosive fashion. Sure, McGregor could avenge this loss, that’s actually his best route back to getting his drawing power back, but there’s also the chance of killing it off even more.
As for Poirier, this is obviously his highest profile win, and he did so in decisive fashion. It’s hard to say where he goes from here, though, because he’s beaten everyone but Nurmagomedov lately. So he clearly needs to be in a title fight in his next outing. The question is, who do you put him in there with?
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