HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC 290

By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist

UFC 290 was this past weekend and it featured two title fights and
some exciting finishes and upsets. Robbie Lawler also had the final
fight of his great career. Who won and who lost? Let’s get to the

UFC 290
GOOD- Robbie Lawler vs. Niko Price
This was on the Prelims but it’s Lawler’s retirement fight so I’ll include it.
They start off throwing bombs immediately, no surprise there. Lawler
pops Price with several uppercuts until he nails him on the temple and
it’s over not quite forty seconds into the first round. What a way to
end your career, with one more monstrous knockout. Lawler finishes his
career at 30-16 with 1 No Contest while price drops to 15-7 with 2 No
Contests. Good win for Lawler.

GREAT- Robbie Lawler retires
Lawler had a great career, with 22 of his 30 career wins coming by
knockout. When Lawler was fighting you knew it was going to be
exciting. He might not always win but it was going to be exciting.
Lawler is a former UFC Welterweight Champion and successfully defended
the title twice. He also had multiple fights that were considered
Fight of the Year and was Fighter of the Year multiple times. He had a
great career and I wish him well in his retirement.

GOOD- Bo Nickal stops Valentine Woodburn
Nickal blasts Woodburn with an early right hook that staggers him then
smashes him with a big uppercut that forces the referee to jump in to
stop the fight just under forty seconds into the first round.
Nickal remains perfect at 5-0 with all 5 wins coming in the first
round and 3 of them in the first minute with a fourth at 1:02 while
Woodburn drops to 7-1 after winning his first 7 fights, 2 of those
wins coming in the first round. Good win for Nickal.

GOOD- Dan Hooker vs. Jalin Turner
They start off exchanging kicks. Hooker continues throwing kicks even
after nailing Turner low with one. Turner fires back with a series of
kicks of his own and both fighters are also mixing in some punches
well and a close first round ends. The second round starts with Hooker
throwing more leg kicks while Turner throws kicks to the body. Turner
hurts Hooker with a head kick but Hooker survives a flurry of attacks
and then hurts Turner with a combination. Turner slips to the ground
and Hooker jumps on him and locks in a rear-naked choke but the second
round ends before anything can happen. The third round begins with
them exchanging some heavy strikes. Turner lands some good body kicks
and punches and scores a takedown but Hooker fires back with some big
strikes and drops Turner. They fight on the ground for a bit before
the third round and the fight end.
We go to the judges and Hooker wins the Split Decision to improve to
23-12 while Turner drops to 13-7. Good win for Hooker.

GOOD- Dricus du Plessis stops Robert Whittaker
They’re exchanging strikes early before Whittaker gets a takedown. DDP
gets up quickly and goes to work, peppering Whittaker with strikes
before getting a takedown of his own and finishing the first round on
top. The second round starts with both men being aggressive with their
striking. DDP seems to be having more success and he drops Whittaker
with a jab and he swarms with big follow-ups to force the referee to
jump in to stop the fight and gets the big upset not quite two and a
half minutes into the second round. Wow.
DDP improves to 20-2 and has won 8 straight fights while Whittaker
drops to 24-7. Good win for Du Plessis.
After the fight, UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya got in the
cage and had a face-off with DDP, as they’ll be fighting next. Things
got a little heated and spicy, which will make the build to that fight
all the more interesting.

GOOD/BAD- Brandon Moreno vs. Alexandre Pantoja
Moreno was defending his UFC Flyweight Championship here. They start
off grappling as Pantoja keeps going for takedowns while Moreno is
throwing some nice combinations. But then Pantoja drops Moreno with a
big left hook before following him to the mat with elbows. Moreno gets
up but now has a big cut by his right eye. Pantoja is fighting well,
mixing up his strikes to keep Moreno off-balance and the first round
ends. The second round starts with Moreno firing back with his
striking. Both fighters are moving well and mixing up their strikes.
Moreno gets a takedown about halfway through the round but Pantoja
gets up. Moreno is opening up his striking but Pantoja is firing back.
Moreno gets another takedown as the second round ends. The third round
opens with a Pantoja low blow to Moreno but they fight on. Moreno cuts
Pantoja open with a big elbow. They go to the ground again but are
quickly back up and exchanging. Pantoja gets a takedown and Moreno
hunts for a submission. They reverse positions and Pantoja is fighting
like hell on bottom. An upkick and big elbows allows Pantoja to get
back to his feet and the third round ends. The fourth round begins
with them trading hooks before they begin slugging it out. Moreno
lands some strong strikes but Pantjoa fights through to get the
takedown. They’re grappling hard as neither man can get a big
advantage. They reverse and now Moreno’s on top. Pantoja connects with
another big upkick and stands before the fourth round ends. The fifth
round sees more big striking exchanges. They’re trading hooks and
other strikes, neither wanting to surrender. Moreno lands some good
elbows but Pantoja fights through them to get another takedown. The
fifth round and the fight ends as they’re still battling so we go to
the judges.
Pantoja wins the Split Decision to become the new UFC Flyweight
Champion and improves to 26-5 and has now won 4 straight fights while
Moreno drops to 21-7-2. All three judges gave Pantoja round 1 and
Moreno round 2. Judge Ben Cartlidge gave Moreno rounds 3, 4, and 5
while the other two judges gave Pantoja rounds 3 and 5 and Moreno
round 4. So one judge scored it 49-46 in favor of Moreno while the
other two judges scored it 48-47 in favor of Pantoja. Regardless of
whether you were rooting for Moreno or Pantoja this was a hell of a
fight. Good win for Pantoja.

GOOD- Alexander Volkanovski stops Yair Rodriguez
This fight was to unify the UFC Featherweight Championships.
Volkanovski had defended his title four times up until this fight but
the UFC created an interim belt while Volkanovski was going after the
UFC Lightweight Championship, both of those fights coming at UFC 284.
Rodriguez won that fight and set up this unification bout.
The fight starts with some kicks before Volkanovski catches one and
dumps Rodriguez to the mat. Volkanovski works his ground-and-pound for
a while before Rodriguez gets up. Volkanovski takes him back down and
goes back to his ground-and-pound as the first round ends. The second
round starts with some nice striking exchanges that hurt both
fighters. Volkanovski gets a takedown but Rodriguez stands, only to
get taken back down. They grapple around for a while before
Volkanovski starts unloading some big ground-and-pound. Rodriguez is
fighting hard off of his back but Volk is landing some stiff elbows.
The second round ends so we move to the third round. Rodriguez comes
out firing kicks and mixes in some good punches as well. He even
stuffs a Volkanovski takedown attempt. Rodriguez is opening up his
striking and landing well until Volkanovski slams a hard right hook
into him and hurts him. Volkanovski’s going for the win, attacking the
body and then slamming Rodriguez to the mat and unloading bombs on him
until the referee is forced to jump in to stop the fight not quite
four and a half minutes into the third round.
Volkanovski unifies the UFC Featherweight Championship and improves to
26-2 while Rodriguez drops to 15-4 with 1 No Contest. Good win for

My new fantasy book is out. It’s called Kingdom of Zarias: A Fight For
. 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
hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank.
Thanks for reading and have a good day.

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