By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
UFC 281 was last night and featured some huge fights, including two
title fights. Who won and who lost? Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD- Dan Hooker stops Claudio Puelles
Hooker is throwing kicks early. They scramble on the mat for a while
but nothing comes from it and the first round ends. The second round
starts with Puelles trying for some takedowns but can’t complete any
of them. Hooker’s landing a few strikes here and there where he can.
Puelles keeps trying for a takedown and gets hurt by a Hooker kick to
the body. Hooker makes him get up and then ends the fight with another
body kick as the referee jumps in to stop the fight a little over four
minutes of the second round. Hooker improves to 22-12 while Puelles
drops to 12-3 and has his 5 fight win streak snapped. Good win for
GOOD- Chris Gutierrez stops Frankie Edgar
They’re trading kicks early until Edgar rushes in close and gets
nailed with a knee to the face that ends the fight two minutes into
the first round. This was Edgar’s final fight and never should have
been booked. More on that in a moment. Gutierrez improves to 19-4-2
and has won 4 straight fights while Edgar drops to 24-11-1 and has
lost 3 straight fights. Good win for Gutierrez.
GREAT- Frankie Edgar’s career comes to a close
Edgar retires at the age of 41 with the most fight time in UFC
history, nearly 8 hours. He’s a former UFC Lightweight Champion
(defended it 3 times) and also landed the 2nd-most significant strikes
in UFC history. He’s tied for the most Fight of the Night awards in
UFC history with 8 and was always ready to fight. Edgar would walk
straight into the UFC Hall of Fame if they actually inducted people on
anything remotely resembling a regular basis. Edgar’s had a great
career and I wish him good times with his family.
GOOD- Dustin Poirier submits Michael Chandler
They trade strikes early, with both men landing huge punches. Chandler
gets a takedown and lands another one when Poirier gets up. Chandler
hurts Poirier but gets dropped by a counter. Poirier is mobbing him
but Chandler survives until the end of the round. The second round
sees Chandler get another takedown. He’s bleeding from the nose,
though. He’s trying for a rear-naked choke but can’t get it and the
round ends. The third round opens with Poirier hitting some nice
strikes. They scramble and Poirier’s on his back and locks in a
rear-naked choke to force the tap two minutes into the third round.
Poirier improves to 29-7 with 1 No Contest while Chandler drops to
23-8. Good win for Poirier.
GOOD- Zhang Weili submits Carla Esparza
Esparza was looking to defend her UFC Strawweight Championship here.
They trade strikes early, with Esparza throwing punches while Zhang
throws kicks. This continues until they scramble to the ground. Some
elbows land until they rise to their feet. They scramble to the mat
again but stand just before the first round ends. The second round
opens with them trading strikes again until Esparza tries for a
takedown and they scramble again. However, this time Zhang locks in a
rear-naked choke and gets the submission win a little over a minute
into the second round to become the new UFC Strawweight Champion.
Zhang improves to 23-3 while Esparza drops to 19-7 and has her 6 fight
win streak snapped. Good win for Zhang.
GOOD- Alex Pereira stops Israel Adesanya
Adesanya was looking to defend his UFC Middleweight Championship here.
The fight starts with a lot of kicks from both men, no surprise there.
They continue throwing kicks and they’re each doing solid damage to
the other. Adesanya staggers Pereira with a punch but the first round
ends. The second round opens with more kicks but they quickly add in
punches as well. They clinch a few times as they’re wearing each other
down. Pereira gets a takedown to end the second round. The third round
starts with them trading strikes. Adesanya catches a kick and gets a
takedown. Adesanya starts his ground-and-pound but Pereira works his
way up after taking some damage and the third round ends. The
championship rounds begin with them trading strikes. Pereira is
gassing but he’s still fighting. Adesanya is starting to overwhelm
him, though. As I write that, Pereira fires back and they trade some
more before the fourth round ends. The fifth and final round starts
with Pereira pushing forward. Adesanya is firing low kicks until a
huge left hook from Pereira hurts him. Pereira is pouring it on and
Adesanya’s buckling under the barrage. Finally, mercifully, the
referee jumps in to stop the fight two minutes into the fifth round.
I’m actually seeing some people say that was a bad stoppage. There’s
no way in hell that’s true. Pereira was teeing off on him and Adesanya
wasn’t defending enough. It was a good stoppage. The referee gave
Adesanya a chance but it was over. At best there might have been a
0.01% chance that Adesanya fights through that and wins somehow.
That’s nowhere close to being worth it. Adesanya’s a young man with a
lot of life left, why risk it? That was a good stoppage.
Pereira is the new UFC Middleweight Champion and improves to 7-1 and
has won 7 straight fights while Adesanya drops to 23-2 and has his 3
fight win streak snapped. Adesanya successfully defended the UFC
Middleweight Championship five times. I’m not going to expect Pereira
to match that, I think it’s unfair to expect that level of success
from anybody, but I certainly think Pereira is very capable of
equaling that or going even further. We’ll see, though. I could
certainly see Adesanya getting an immediate rematch and he could
definitely win that. He was ahead on the cards before getting stopped
but a lot’s going to have to play out. Regardless, this was a great
win for Pereira.
My new fantasy book is now out. It’s called Kingdom of Zarias: The Steep
Price of Revenge. It’s the second book in my epic fantasy Kingdom
of Zarias series and follows the adventures of the Summers siblings as
they seek revenge for the wrongs inflicted on them. This book also
introduces lots of other characters as the scope of the world
continues to expand. There’s lots of action, magic, and monsters in
the Kingdom of Zarias. It’s like a tabletop game in novel form. It’s
on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other places. If you’re
interested, I would greatly appreciate it if you would check it out
and support me. Also, here’s the link to my new Compendium book about
the Kingdom of Zarias series- KoZ Compendium Thank you
very much, have a good day.
Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at
email@example.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank.
Thanks for reading and have a good day.