HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly From UFC 299 and Francis Ngannou Gets Knocked Out By Anthony Joshua

By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist

UFC 299 was this past weekend and featured some exciting fights. Who
won and who lost? Let’s get to the rundown.

GOOD- Song Yadong vs. Petr Yan
They start off trading kicks before mixing in some punches as well.
Song gets a takedown but Yan is quickly back to his feet after some
grappling and the first round ends. The second round begins with both
men landing some powerful strikes. They keep trading strong strikes
throughout the rest of the second round until Yan gets a takedown and
cuts Song open with his ground-and-pound. The third round starts with
a lot of strikes being thrown and landed. Both men try for takedowns
but it’s not until toward the end of the fight when Yan finally
completes one and goes back to work with his ground-and-pound until
the final bell. We go to the judges to render their verdict. Yan wins
the decision to improve to 17-5 and snap his 3 fight losing streak
while Song drops to 21-8-1 with 1 No Contest. Good win for Yan.

GOOD- Jack Della Maddalena stops Gilbert Burns
Burns gets an early takedown but Della Maddalena is back to his feet
quickly and attacks the body with some strikes. Burns gets another
takedown in the final seconds of the first round. The second round
begins with the fighters trading good strikes. Burns gets a takedown
toward the end of the second round and they scramble until the bell.
The third round starts with a lot of fighting on the fence until Burns
gets a takedown. JDM scrambles to his feet and catches Burns shooting
in for another takedown with a tremendous knee that ends the fight,
though the referee is apparently so stunned that he just stands there
and allows JDM to tee off on Burns for several seconds before jumping
in to stop the fight a bit over three and a half minutes into the
third round. Della Maddalena improves to 17-2 and has won 17 straight
fights after losing his first two while Burns drops to 22-7. Good win
for Della Maddalena.

GOOD- Kevin Holland vs. Michael Page
They trade some nice strikes before they start fighting in the clinch.
They continue exchanging strikes after separating, with Page
connecting with some strong strikes that Holland absorbs as the first
round ends. The second round begins with more good strikes from both
men before Holland gets a takedown. Page works his way to his feet and
they trade a few more strikes before the second round ends. The third
round starts with Page dropping Holland but nothing comes of it and
they go back to exchanging strikes until the fight ends. Holland shows
good toughness to take these strikes. We go to the judges to render
their verdict. Page wins the decision to improve to 22-2 while Holland
drops to 25-11 with 1 No Contest. Good win for Page.

GOOD- Dustin Poirier stops Benoit Saint-Denis
They trade kicks to start before Saint-Denis starts trying for some
takedowns and landing some heavy strikes. BSD gets a takedown at the
end of the first round. The second round begins with Poirier landing a
hard strike and they scramble to the mat. Saint-Denis is connecting
with some strong strikes but Poirier fires back with some huge punches
that hurt Saint-Denis. Poirier follows up with a tremendous right hook
that drops BSD and a few follow-ups end the fight just over halfway
through the second round. Poirier improves to 30-8 with 1 No Contest
while Saint-Denis drops to 13-2 with 1 No Contest and has his 5 fight
winning streak snapped. Good win for Poirier.

GOOD- Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera
O’Malley was looking to defend his UFC Bantamweight Championship here
for the first time. O’Malley works the kicks early before mixing in
some punches as well. Vera answers with some kicks of his own but
O’Malley keeps him at a distance and continues landing kicks as the
first round ends. The second round begins with Vera being more active
but O’Malley is just picking him apart at distance with his kicks and
movement. However, O’Malley’s also having a lot of success with his
punches as well. This is domination so far as the second round ends.
The third round starts with more of the same. Vera can’t solve the
distance and length of O’Malley or his movement. O’Malley is tagging
Vera seemingly at will but he’s being cautious so he doesn’t make a
critical error. He continues to pick Vera apart as the third round
ends. The fourth round opens with Vera being more aggressive and
trying to get to O’Malley. Vera’s fighting with urgency but he can’t
get close enough to O’Malley to land a fight-changing strike he so
desperately needs. He’s taking what O’Malley is dishing out but this
doesn’t seem to be his night as the fourth round ends. The fifth round
begins with more of the same, as O’Malley continues to batter Vera.
Chito shows the toughness you’d expect from him and he’s able to get
into a firefight with O’Malley at the end of the fight but time runs
out before he can stop the champion. We go to the judges to render
their verdict. O’Malley wins the decision and improves to 18-1 with 1
No Contest and has won 3 straight fights as he successfully defends
his UFC Bantamweight Championship. Vera drops to 23-9-1. Good win for


Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-5) will join the 2024 class of the UFC Hall of
Fame. Jedrzejczyk is a former UFC Strawweight Champion with 5
successful title defenses to her credit. She had a great career and
this is a well-deserved honor. Congratulations to Joanna.


PFL fighter Francis Ngannou (17-3 MMA, 0-2 Boxing) fought Anthony
Joshua (28-3 Boxing) this past weekend at an event known as Knockout
Chaos. Joshua knocked Ngannou down with a right hand in the first
round then floored him again in the second round. Both times Ngannou
got up but Joshua knocked him down and unconscious with a clean right
hand at 2:38 of the second round.
This isn’t a particularly surprising result. Joshua was taking Ngannou
seriously after seeing what happened when WBC Heavyweight Champion
Tyson Fury (34-0-1) underestimated Ngannou and nearly lost to him.
It’s going to be extremely difficult for Ngannou to find wins in the
boxing world when he fights high-level boxers. He needs to fight a few
middle-of-the-road boxers at the most to try to get a few wins under
his belt before jumping back into the deep end. I understand the money
aspect is very appealing but that won’t last much longer if he keeps
It’s unclear what Ngannou will do next, more boxing or back to MMA. I
don’t think he knows what he wants to do next, and likely won’t for a
few weeks or so until the emotions settle down. Whatever he decides,
it’ll be very interesting to follow.
In the co-main event Joseph Parker (35-3), the man who beat Deontay
Wilder (43-3-1) back in December, won the Interim WBO Heavyweight
Championship by defeating Zhilei Zhang (26-2-1) by Majority Decision
in 12 rounds. Parker rallied after having been knocked down twice and
got the decision win with his punching volume.

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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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