By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
UFC 288 was this past weekend and it featured some terrible fights. To
be blunt, it was probably the worst UFC card (definitely pay-per-view)
in recent memory. What happened? Let’s get to the rundown.
UGLY- Kron Gracie vs. Charles Jourdain
Not much happens in the first round. They’re both throwing strikes but
nothing damaging. Gracie’s butt-scooting around by the end of the
first round. The second round is a carbon copy as Gracie keeps trying
to pull guard. The third round is the same thing. Terrible fight. I
understand and respect the strategy from both fighters, why fight in a
way that drastically increases your odds of losing? However, sports
are also entertainment as well so you have to do a lot better at your
strategy. Jourdain wins the decision and improves to 14-6-1 while
Gracie drops to 5-2. It’s a win for Jourdain.
GOOD- Movsar Evloev vs. Diego Lopes
They strike for a bit before Evloev gets a takedown. Evloev works his
ground-and-pound but Lopes threatens with submissions. They continue
that way until the first round ends. The second round starts with more
striking exchanges. Lopes connects with some nice strikes so Evloev
takes him down and starts laying into him with some damaging
ground-and-pound and the second round ends. The third round begins
with a little bit of striking before Evloev gets another takedown.
Lopes gets a few submission attempts but Evloev stays connected to him
and the fight ends. We go to the judges and Evloev wins the decision
to remain undefeated at a perfect 17-0 while Lopes drops to 21-6. Good
win for Evloev.
GOOD- Yan Xiaonan stops Jessica Andrade
They start off swinging. Andrade is aggressive and Yan is countering.
A big right hand from Yan drops Andrade and Yan swarms. The referee
jumps in quickly to stop the fight not quite halfway through the first
round. Yan improves to 17-3 with 1 No Contest while Andrade drops to
24-11. Good win for Yan.
UGLY- Belal Muhammed vs. Gilbert Burns
This fight was terrible. Muhammed threw and connected with a lot of
strikes but everything seemed to be in slow motion. Burns hurt his
shoulder early and Muhammed had an injured ankle but that doesn’t mean
it’s fine to have a plodding fight. If you’re that hurt, don’t fight.
When you step in that cage you’re going to be judged as if you were
healthy. And I have no clue why this fight was five rounds. There’s no
reason whatsoever to have made this a five round fight. This was like
a sparring session, I’ve seen heavyweights have higher output. Which
is weird to say because the numbers show that they did have good to
decent output. But as you watched the fight it felt like they were
underwater. I understand that injuries play a part but this was bad,
real bad. And speaking of the numbers, it feels like they were too
generous because the majority of strikes in this fight looked like
they were half power or so. This was one of the worst fights I’ve seen
in recent memory. Muhammed wins the decision but this fight does
nothing for him. I’ll be surprised if the UFC actually gives him the
title shot he was promised if he won. No one who watched this fight is
going to be clamoring for him to get the next title shot, even though
he’s probably earned it. Muhammed improves to 23-3 with 1 No Contest
and has won 5 straight fights while Burns drops to 22-6. It’s a win
GOOD- Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo
Sterling is defending his UFC Bantamweight Championship here, making
his third successful defense. They exchange a few strikes to begin
before Cejudo takes Sterling down. They grapple for a bit before
Sterling gets up. They clinch for the rest of the first round. The
second round begins with them each attacking the body. The pace is
even slower in this round. Not a lot happening and the second round
ends. The third round starts with Sterling using his kicks. Then they
grapple for a while and clinch before trading more strikes and Cejudo
gets another takedown. The fourth round starts with more kicks from
Sterling and Cejudo fires back with some of his own. Sterling works
his jab and they grapple again. The fifth round started very slowly
but they began striking a few minutes in and grappling as well. Cejudo
gets a takedown but Sterling is immediately up. They trade more
strikes and the fifth round ends. We go to the judges and Sterling
wins the Split Decision and improves to 23-3 and has won 9 straight
fights while Cejudo drops to 16-3 and has his 6 fight winning streak
The last fight soured me but this was a pretty good fight. I don’t
want to go too crazy but by the end I was into it. You could probably
argue the decision either way. I thought Cejudo did a little more and
should have won but I could see a case for Sterling as well. It was
obviously a very close fight and it’s a good win for Sterling.
ONE Fight Night 10 was also this past weekend.
ONE Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson (25-4-1) defeated Andriano
Moraes (20-5) by decision to retain his belt.
ONE Flyweight Muay Thai Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon (271-42-10)
defeated Edgar Tabares by Knockout in the 2nd round to retain his
ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling Champion Mikey Musumeci (20-3)
submitted Osamah Almarwai to retain his belt.
My new fantasy book is now out. It’s called Kingdom of Zarias: A Fight For
Survival. It’s the third book in my epic fantasy Kingdom of Zarias
series and follows the adventures of the Summers siblings as they
fight to defend the world from an evil villain named Galren. This book
also introduces lots of other characters as the scope of the world
grows. 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.