HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from PFL 4 and UFC Fight Night: Perez vs. Taira, and UFC 303 Gets A New Main Event

By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist

PFL 4 and UFC Fight Night: Perez vs. Taira were both this past week
and featured some exciting fights and finishes. Who won and who lost?
Let’s get to the rundown.

GOOD- Johnson and Velasquez pick up finishes, others win decisions
Timothy Johnson (18-9) stopped Danilo Marques (15-6) by TKO in Round 1.
Juliana Velasquez (13-3) stopped Lisa Maudlin (6-5) by TKO in Round 2.
Sumiko Inaba (7-1) beat Saray Orozco (8-6) by Decision
Ilara Joanne (12-9) beat Shanna Young (9-7) by Decision
Tyrell Fortune (14-2) beat Marcelo Golm (10-6) by Decision
Oleg Popov (18-1) beat Davion Franklin (6-3) by Decision
Taila Santos (21-3) beat Jena Bishop (7-1) by Decision

GOOD- Liz Carmouche submits Kana Watanbe
They grapple for a while to start, with Carmouche landing some
powerful strikes. They’re both hunting submissions as well as the first round ends. The scond round begins with Watanbe really working
hard for a takedown but Carmouche keeps denying it. Carmouche hunts
for submissions again but Watanbe won’t allow anything and instead grabs her own choke that’s right but Carmouche is able to survive
until the end of the second round. The third round starts with more of
the same, both women fighting hard for position, landing some good strikes, and hunting submissions. Watanbe begins throwing some heavy
punches toward the end of the round but Carmouche grabs an armbar and
Watanbe is forced to tap with eight seconds left in the fight.
Carmouche improves to 22-7 and has won 9 straight fights while Watanbe
drops to 13-3-1.
Good win for Carmouche.

GOOD- Denis Goltsov stops Thiago Santos
Goltsov drops Santos early. Goltsov gets on top and hunts for a
submission before unloading repeated punches until the referee is
forced to jump in to stop the fight almost halfway through the first round. Goltsov improves to 34-8 while Santos drops to 22-13 with 1 No Contest. Good win for Goltsov.

Dakota Ditcheva stops Chelsea Hackett
They trade kicks early before they start fighting on the fence. Now they’re trading knees and punches before Ditcheva lands a brutal punch
to Hackett’s body that ends the fight. A few extra punches are thrown before the referee can get there and the fight is over almost three and a half minutes into the first round. Ditcheva improves to a perfect 12-0 with 10 Knockouts (1 Submission as well) while Hackett drops to 4-3-1. Good win for Ditcheva.

GOOD- Linton Vassell vs. Valentin Moldavsky
They trade punches for a while before Moldavsky gets a takedown.
Vassell is right back up, though. A groin shot crumples Vassell
shortly thereafter and after the recovery period they trade some more
strikes before the first round ends. The second round begins with Moldavsky getting a takedown but after some back and forth Vassell
gets up. They go to the ground and grapple for a while and we’ve got a
close fight as the second round ends. The third round starts with more
striking exchanges as well as grappling exchanges on the ground. It’s
really close as the fight ends so we go to the judges to render their verdict. Vassell wins the Split Decision to improve to 24-9 with 1 No
Contest while Moldavsky drops to 13-4 with 1 No Contest. Good win for Vassell.

The 2024 PFL Playoffs are officially set on the Men’s Heavyweight and
Women’s Flyweight sides.
To recap for those who may not know. PFL scoring is as follows.
Win: 3 points
Loss: 0 points
Failure to make weight: -1 points and cannot earn any points from the bout

Bonus points for Finish by KO or Sub
Round 1: 3 points
Round 2: 2 points
Round 3: 1 point

So a maximum of 6 points can be earned in one fight.

The Final Four Men’s Heavyweight matchups will be
#1 Seed Denis Goltsov (34-8) 10 points this season on 2 wins
#4 Seed Timothy Johnson (18-9) 6 points this season on 1 win

#2 Seed Oleg Popov (18-1) 8 points on 2 wins
#3 Seed Valentin Moldavsky (13-4, 1 NC) 6 points on 1 win, 1 loss

The Final Four Women’s Flyweight matchups will be
#1 Seed Dakota Ditcheva (12-0) 12 points on 2 wins
#4 Seed Jena Bishop (7-1) 6 points on 1 win

#2 Seed Taila Santos (21-3) 9 points on 2 wins
#3 Seed Liz Carmouche (22-7) 7 points on 2 wins

The Men’s Light Heavyweight and Lightweight playoff matchups will be
set next week at PFL 5 on June 21st.
The Men’s Welterweight and Featherweight playoff matchups will be set at PFL 6 on June 28th.

UFC Fight Night: Perez vs. Taira
BAD- Josh Quinlan vs. Adam Fuggitt
A very tentative first round, with mainly kicks and a few jabs
landing. The second round begins with more of the same, though mainly
kicks as this sparring match continues. The third round has a little more action but is also very dull. I don’t want to be too harsh but the whole fight never seemed to come out of first gear. The judges
give Fugitt the Split Decision so he improves to 10-4 while Quinlan drops to 6-3 with 1 No Contest. Good win for Fugitt. Moving on.

GOOD- Asu Almabayev vs. Jose Johnson
Almabayev gets an early takedown. They grapple for a moment before Johnson gets to his feet. Almabayev gets another takedown and they’re
up and down again before the first round ends. The second round begins
with Almabayev getting another takedown. They’re grappling and both
are trying submissions but neither can get anything solid and the second round ends. The third round starts with Almabayev getting another takedown but Johnson is able to get back up quickly. Almabayev
pulls him down again but Johnson is able to reverse to get full mount.
Almabayev avoids danger and they grapple for the rest of the fight. Almabayev was so active that Johnson couldn’t do anything other than
defend. We go to the judges to render their verdict. Almabayev wins the decision to improve to 20-2 and has won 16 straight fights while
Johnson drops to 16-9. Good win for Almabayev.

GOOD- Brady Hiestand submits Garrett Armfield
Hiestand spams some early takedown attempts and they start grappling.
Hiestand grabs some submissions but Armfield survives. Hiestand gets
some takedowns and the first round ends. The second round begins with
Armfield staggering Hiestand with a big right hand and they go to the
ground. They grapple for a while before Armfield stands up. It’s close as the second round ends. The third round starts with Hiestand getting
a takedown. Hiestand gets a body triangle and locks on a rear-naked
choke to get the tap not quite two minutes into the third round.
Hiestand improves to 8-2 while Armfield drops to 10-4. Good win for Hiestand.

GOOD- Timothy Cuamba vs. Lucas Almeida
They’re exchanging strikes early until Almeida drops Cuamba with a strong right hand. Cuamba survives and they go back to striking.
Almeida drops Cuamba again but Cuamba survives until the first round
ends. The second round begins with more striking exchanges. Almeida’s
landing some tough strikes but Cuamba shows toughness and won’t give
up. The third round starts with Almeida coasting until Cuamba pops him
a few times. Cuamba gets a takedown but Almeida stays active so not much can happen there. The fight ends so we go to the judges to render
their verdict. Almeida wins the decision to improve to 15-3 while Cuamba drops to 8-3. Good win for Almeida.

BAD- Douglas Silva de Andrade vs. Miles Johns
Not much happening in the first round, other than some sparring. It’s
a little better in the second round, as Johns lands some nice strikes.
The third round is also a little better but this is still a pretty bad
and dull fight. There were less than 90 strikes landed in total by
both fighters combined. With no takedowns either. Blech. We go to the
judges to render their verdict. Johns wins the decision to improve to 15-2 with No Contest while Silva de Andrade drops to 29-6 with 1 No Contest.
Good win for Johns.
Moving on.

GOOD/UGLY- Tatsuro Taira stops Alex Perez by Injury TKO
They fight in the clinch for a while before separating. They’re both landing some good strikes until Perez gets poked in the eye. When they
resume, Perez gets a takedown before the first round ends. The second round begins with another eyepoke by Taira. Of course, he only gets a warning. How about taking a point? Tell him one more and he’s
disqualified? Anything? Anyway, the finish comes when Taira is on Perez’s back trying to get him down. Perez’s knee buckles and the
fight is immediately stopped. Terrible way for a fight to end. You
never want to see a fighter get hurt like that, especially because it looked so serious. I’m no doctor but you can pretty much tell that it’s a bad injury. I wish him a full recovery.
Taira is awarded the TKO via injury and improves to an undefeated 16-0
while Perez drops to 25-9. Not an ideal way to win but sometimes this
stuff happens.


Conor McGregor (22-6) is injured and has pulled out of his scheduled
main event fight at UFC 303 on June 29th against Michael Chandler (23-8). The new headliner is UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Alex Pereira (10-2) vs. Jiri Prochazka (30-4-1). Injuries are never a good thing but this is a good replacement main event.

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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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