Wow. Just wow. What a show the UFC and Dana White put on Saturday night in Jacksonville, Florida. I just love how much cajones Uncle Dana and the UFC have, just disregarding all the BS thrown their way and doing what they want in a safe and professional manner just shows how putting on events is possible throughout this time.
Lets get to the fights. The Main event. My goodness Justin Gaethje. MY GOODNESS WE HAVE A PROBLEM IN THE LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION. I picked Tony Ferguson to win this fight. I knew gambling wise, it would’ve been smart to take Gaethje as the dog but i just couldnt pick against the anomaly that is Tony Ferguson who was on a 12 fight win streak the last 8 years. But, at the end of the day Tony had been preparing for a ground war with Khabib since November, and had only known Gaethje would be his opponent for a month. 2 completely different stylistic matchups.. He also put his body through 2 different weight cuts, and i dont want to get into why that is such a big deal, but it is, its really really tough on the body and drains it like none other. But this is the game he played and signed up for.
Justin Gaethje meanwhile changed his approach to a fight, he has had 2 losses where he was going for the kill in the first round and made crucial mistakes that costed him. He and his boxing coach, Trevor Wittman put on a fantastic game plan for Tony, hung around and picked him apart instead of going for the kill. It was a masterful performance by Gethje and his team and he has a legitimate shot to upset Khabib for the Lightweight title this summer. While Khabib is known for his wrestling and is a better wrestler than Justin, Gaethje was a division 1 all-american wrestler in college and has NEVER tried to take anyone down in the UFC. Crazy. I also feel bad for Tony Ferguson, to not get a real undisputed title shot yet is heartbreaking. He’ll be back, but he needs to heal up from this war and take some time with his family.
Now for the Co-main event for the Bantamweight crown between Henry Cejudo and Dominick Cruz. This was an interesting fight with a controversial stoppage. I’ve re-watched this a few times now and idk, when i initially had saw it I thought good stoppage, he got rocked in the head by a knee went down, BUT he then was starting to stand back up, and the ref had enough with just 2 seconds left in the round. Now,m for a bantamweight title fight, where these smaller dudes can take shots and be ok, normally a good ref would let this play out and if Cruz got knocked back down again, then it would’ve been good to stop. Idk. All in all tho, Cejudo was going to win this fight. He then pretty surprisingly announced his retirement after the fight.
I didn’t know how to feel about this, It could definitely be a negotiation tactic to get more money from Dana. He has a legitimate claim to being the greatest Combat Sports athlete of all time. An Olympic Gold Medalist, and a 2 weight division champion in the UFC. He has beat all of the greats, including, Demetrious Johnson, Tj Dillashaw and now Dominik Cruz. Just a phenomenal phenomenal resume, hard to beat. If TRIPLE C wants to retire early in his prime and on top, then so be it, he’s earned it and has given his life to this great sport. A Bantamweight like him isnt going to be making millions like the big names. Thats what he wants, but i dont imagine he’ll ever get it, he’s just not a big enough draw, its a shame but its also reality. All hail TRIPLE C.
For the 3rd biggest fight on the card, it only lasted 20 seconds. Francis Ngannou KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT out of Jarzinho Rozenstruik. While it wasn’t really a technically skilled knockout, his form was terrible and his footwork was ultra lacking, he did the job he needed to do and just went swinging for the fences. KA BOOM! Out cold. Francis Ngannou now needs to wait for the winner of DC-Stipe 3 and be the next in line for a shot at the Heavyweight title.
For the other 2 fights on the main card, I thought Calvin Kattar, Boston native, looked PHENOMENAL. He messed Jeremy Stephens up with that elbow to end it. What a performance by Calvin, expect to see his name in big fights in the future for the featherweight division.
Greg Hardy vs Yorgan De Castro sucked. Greg Hardy is a beast, but he won’t be able to get to the top tier of fighters. He will get SO fucked up. But lets see if he can get a little win streak going and go from there. I’m sure Dana would love to put him in the cage against a ranked heavyweight.
Overall, the prelims were pretty fire as well. Pettis vs Cowboy delivered and so did Luque vs Price, absolute banger of a fight. This is the recap for me. We got a fight night on Wednesday AND Saturday this week. ITS A GREAT TIME TO BE A FIGHT FAN. LETS KEEP GOING.