By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
UFC 266 was last night and featured a UFC Featherweight title fight
and a UFC Flyweight title fight and the return of Nick Dia as he faced
Robbie Lawler. Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD- Jessica Andrade stops Cynthia Calvillo
They traded kicks and punches early until Andrade hurt Calvillo with
some big right hands. Calvillo tried to escape but Andrade pursued and
blasted her with an uppercut followed by several big right hands to
force the referee to jump in to stop the fight with just seconds to go
in the first round. Good win for Andrade.
BAD- Curtis Blaydes vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Blaydes scored some takedowns in this fight but it seemed like they
were fighting underwater or in a ’90s SNES game with a lot of
slowdown. To be blunt, this fight sucked. Blaydes won because he got a
couple takedowns. Moving on…
GOOD- Robbie Lawler stops Nick Diaz
Lawler started fast and was throwing a lot early in the first round
but slowed down after a while. Lawler was punishing Diaz with all
sorts of strikes. They were throwing bombs at each, crazy toughness on
display here. Diaz was throwing lots of punches, though Lawler did
fire back with strikes in the latter half of the second round. The
third round opened with Diaz blasting Lawler with body shots before
getting dropped with a big hook. The fight ends as Diaz is unable to
continue. Good win for Lawler.
GOOD/BAD- Valentina Shevchenko stops Lauren Murphy
Shevchenko successfully defended her UFC Flyweight Championship here.
Shevchenko landed some good strikes in the first round but Murphy
didn’t seem to want to throw anything. Shevchenko kept beating her up
and this wasn’t a competitive fight. Murphy got dropped with a right
hand but Shevchenko couldn’t finish her until she started landing some
brutal elbows and punches. Murphy landed 19 strikes, that’s terrible.
Good win for Shevchenko but this wasn’t much of a fight.
GOOD- Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega
Things started with plenty of strikes and the first round was close
but Volkanovski took it. The second round saw Volkanovski start
landing heavier strikes and doing some real damage. Ortega’s toughness
kept him in it but he was taking a lot of punishment. The third round
got really crazy. Volkanovski landed some huge shots but Ortega fired
back, dropping the champion. He couldn’t get the submission, though,
and Volkanovski swept and got on top and started raining hellfire down
onto Ortega. Volkanovski avoided a triangle and kept pouring the
punishment on but Ortega survived. The fourth round was even worse, as
Ortega looked like he could barely stand at the end. Volkanovski laid
into Ortega with an almost unbelievable amount of damage done. I’m
surprised the referee didn’t stop it there. Ortega kept coming in the
fifth round and actually did some of his best work then. He landed
some good punches but it wasn’t enough and Volkanovski dished out more
punishment. Volkanovski successfully defended his UFC Featherweight
Championship with this decision win. Tremendous toughness by Ortega
but Volkanovski was impressive with his striking. Good win for
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