The Sunday Aftermath


Yet again the MMA weekend was jam packed with fights. BAMMA, Cage Warriors, One FC, UFC, RFA, Bellator, WSOF and more put on shows from all corners of the globe. There was hardly a major fight of note on all the events, possibly due to it being a Floyd Mayweather fight weekend, but there was still plenty of action to sink your teeth into.

Around The Arenas

The best show of the weekend was probably Cage Warriors 72 which went down in Newport, Wales on Saturday evening. The promotion’s welterweight title was originally supposed to be on the line but the dreaded injury bug struck again. Challenger Gael Grimaud had been struggling for almost a year with a back injury and when it flared up again on fight week he was forced to pull out, leaving it too late to find a replacement opponent for Dalby. Instead, the champion Nicholas Dalby’s first official title defence will come against Mohsen Bahari at the Copper Box in London on November 15th at CWFC 74.

As always it was an enjoyable event with stand-out performances from Mateusk Gamrot, Jack Marshman (who TKO’d Che Mills) and Toni Tauru who tapped Cory Tait in the third to win the promotion’s bantamweight title in the main event. Elsewhere, Joey Beltran was knocked out with a spinning back fist in his Bellator light heavyweight title fight against Emmanuel Newton, Ulysses Gomez made weight at RFA before being submitted by Abel Cullum in round one and Paul Daley had another routine second round knockout at BAMMA before he restarts his Bellator career later this year.

Astonishing Arlovski

The Ginásio Nilson Nelson in Brasília, Brazil was the venue for this weekend’s UFC action and, as seems to have become the norm in Brazil, it was a low quality card full of fighters from the host country.

It was a mixed night for those for home-town fighters from the start with wins for Rony Yahya and Francisco Trinaldo either side of Sean Spenser’s dominating decision over Paolo Thiago. Then, American George Sullivan battered and bruised Igor Araújo before putting him out cold with a vicious right hand from the guard and Godofredo Pepey pulled off a magnificent armlock submission of Dashon Johnson in the top prelim.

The main card was more favourable to the Brazilians as, first up, Jessica Andrade made exremely light work of debuting Larissa Pacheco, tapping her fellow Brazilian in the opening round with a tight guillotine. After that It was another win for Brazil as Iuri Alcântara took the closest of unanimous decisions against the impressive Russell Doane before Santiago Ponzinibbio made it three in a row with a huge knockout of Wendell Oliveira and Leonardo Santos made it four in a row against Efrain Escudero. The co-main event kept the run going but was a borefest from the very start with Gleison Tibau taking the, better forgotten, split decision over Piotr Hallmann.

The final fight of the night, a rematch between Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Andrei Arlovski, was by far the most high calibre bout of the night and ended in the most miraculous fashion. The first fight between this pair was dominated by Silva from the outset but this one started differently. Arlovski was clear on his gameplan and refused get within striking range of Bigfoot unless he could land and immediately escape without taking a shot himself- and it worked. Silva was slow and wooden to every strike, landing only with a body kick in the opening exchanges. Arlovski realized his dominance and attacked Silva with confidence as the round progressed. As Silva desperately jumped into range just past the halfway stage of the opening round, Arlovski dropped him with a exocet of a straight right hand. Silva was badly hurt and it only took a pair of quick hammerfists on the floor for the referee to step in and stop the fight. The win was totally against the betting odds, will vault Arlovski up the rankings and amazingly, eight years after his championship reign ended, shove the Pitbull within touching distance of another contender bout.

The Aftermath’s Aftermath

After a number of extremely missable UFC events in the last few weeks, the upcoming UFC shows are absolutely mouth watering. Next week, the Octagon returns to the always special Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan with a card definitely worth watching topped by a main event of epic proportions between big boys Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson.

Then, UFC 178 is up the following week with a number of tremendous fights on arguably the strongest card of the year. Demetrious Johnson headlines the night with his flyweight title on the line while his old foe Dominick Cruz returns following three years on the sidelines through injury against Takeya Mizugaki. The co-main event sees fan favourite Donald Cerrone welcome Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez to the Octagon for his much anticipated UFC debut in an unmissable fight. Tim Kennedy, Yoel Romero, Cat Zingano and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson are amongst the other numerous stars featured on the unbelievably stacked undercard. There’s only one man who’s the main attraction, though, and that’s Conor McGregor. The Dubliner meets #5 ranked American Dustin Poirier in his first step to the upper echelons of world MMA. It’s a real test for McGregor and a fight which can silence his many, many doubters should be win. Don’t miss any of it!

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook

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