video review : Mackenzie Dern versus Tecia Torres at UFC 273

video review : Mackenzie Dern versus Tecia Torres at UFC 273

The most entertaining round of this fight for me is the second, which jumps off when, just as Joe Rogan is about to suggest it, Mackenzie Dern pulls guard against the cage and goes for a standing Kimura. She eventually brings Tecia Torres down to the ground; commentator Paul Felder makes a funny “weight” joke here; which results in a sexy tangle that lasts to the horn.

my rating : 4 of 5

2022

video review : Gilbert Burns versus Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 273

video review : Gilbert Burns versus Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 273

The betting odds for this bout were so ridiculously in favor of Khamzat Chimaev; it seems most fans thought he’d “smash” Gilbert Burns in the very first round; that even given a hard-fought victory, his hype train takes a massive hit. It’s actually the loser (Burns) whose stock goes up as he makes what seemed like an unbeatable enigma look human.

Of course Chimaev deserves a lot of credit for proving himself against a top contender. Burns is number two under champion Kamaru Usman and, though this is a damn close fight, the winner of which could’ve went either way, Chimaev beats him by unanimous decision. That’s quite a feat for someone who’s relatively new to the world of UFC.

my rating : 4 of 5

2022

video review : Johnny Walker versus Jamahal Hill at UFC Fight Night

video review : Johnny Walker versus Jamahal Hill at UFC Fight Night

Johnny Walker fights usually end with him either knocking someone out or getting knocked out and this bout is no exception. Jamahal Hill finishes him with a punch to the forehead, of all places, which, after being dropped twice by Ryan Spann when they fought, suggests he simply can’t take a punch. Perhaps it’s that same brain defect that makes his body react in cartoonishly amusing ways. Here he goes unconscious after a delayed back flop à la Ric Flair.

my rating : 3 of 5

2022

video review : Jeremiah Wells versus Blood Diamond at UFC 271

video review : Jeremiah Wells versus Blood Diamond at UFC 271

Mike Mathetha, known as Blood Diamond and better known as Israel Adesanya’s training partner, fails to live up to his hype in this UFC debut. Jeremiah Wells makes a blunder at the very start of the bout, which Diamond attempts to capitalize on, but he allows himself to get grabbed and eventually taken down. That’s the beginning of the end for the “highly touted” kickboxer who misses his one strike thrown.

my rating : 3 of 5

2022

video review : Miranda Maverick versus Erin Blanchfield at UFC 269

video review : Miranda Maverick versus Erin Blanchfield at UFC 269

In hindsight, it’s easy to say Miranda Maverick shouldn’t have taken this fight. She stepped in, on about a month’s notice, to replace a reportedly injured Maycee Barber, who gave Maverick her first UFC defeat back in July, but gets mostly dominated.

“How you feel right now,” Maverick’s coach starts to say between rounds, but she takes it as a question. “I’m losing,” she answers. She does good at limiting “damage”, but it’s Blanchfield’s offense; takedowns and ground game; that does her in.

my rating : 3 of 5

2021

video review : Charles Oliveira versus Michael Chandler at UFC 262

video review : Charles Oliveira versus Michael Chandler at UFC 262

Michael Chandler comes close to a TKO victory in the very first round of this fight, but Charles Oliveira survives. What happens early in round two is akin to Oliveira; “the number-one submission guy in the history of The UFC”; being submitted by Chandler, the “gorilla”.

Oliveira lands a left to Chandler’s face that puts him on his ass. He (Chandler) spins back up only to get caught again, with the same punch, a few seconds later. Down he goes again and Dan Miragliotta’s seen enough, which makes Oliveira the new Lightweight Champion.

my rating : 4 of 5

2021

video review : Li Jingliang versus Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 267

video review : Li Jingliang versus Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 267

This would be an amazing showcase for Khamzat Chimaev if not for Li Jingliang’s defensive skills. The way Chimaev holds him up in the air like a rebellious toddler and slams him to the ground, all while talking to Dana White, is certainly, as Paul Felder suggests, impressive, but Jingliang is able to survive for a couple of minutes.

Chimaev is a scary prospect. He’s currently the most hyped “phenom” in The UFC. This victory puts him near the ranks of the top lightweight, not to mention welterweight and middleweight, contenders. He says he’s come to “kill everybody” and, considering his ten-fight MMA win streak; all early finishes; he might not be playing.

my rating : 4 of 5

2021

video review : Jan Błachowicz versus Glover Teixeira at UFC 267

video review : Jan Błachowicz versus Glover Teixeira at UFC 267

After his last five fights, including surprising wins over Dominick Reyes and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, I thought Jan Błachowicz would beat Glover Teixeira relatively easily. What happens is the opposite. Błachowicz predicted a second-round finish and he was right. This makes Teixeira, at 42, the oldest-ever UFC champion after Randy Couture.

my rating : 3 of 5

2021

video review : Dustin Poirier versus Conor McGregor at UFC 264

video review : Dustin Poirier versus Conor McGregor at UFC 264

Ever since this fight, the third and hopefully final in the Dustin Poirier versus Conor McGregor trilogy, was announced, I thought it was a bad idea. McGregor, who’s “won exactly one fight since Barack Obama was president”, didn’t deserve an immediate rematch with the number one title contender. I also figured it would end like the previous one with McGregor getting finished early.

To his credit, he sort of finishes himself by breaking his own leg or ankle after probably fracturing it during the barrage of outside leg kicks he starts the fight with. Still, though I was actually rooting for the fallen Irishman to win this bout and reclaim his former UFC glory, it’s hilariously ironic to see him being rolled out on a stretcher after he predicted that exact scenario for Poirier.

The most poignant moment happens several minutes before when the Notorious one, in terrible pain and grasping onto what’s left of his pride, yells to the officials to make sure this loss comes with the asterisk of being a “doctor stoppage!” He then goes on, in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, to throw angry jabs at Poirier and his “little ho” wife like the villain in a superhero comic.

my rating : 4 of 5

2021

video review : UFC 261

video review : UFC 261

Despite Jake Paul, this has got to be one of the best events in the history of The UFC. Every bout on the main card ends early either shockingly or spectacularly. The first two are TKOs in the loosest sense. Anthony Smith continues the trend of leg kick finishes after a doctor steps in to give an injured Jimmy Crute the MMA equivalent of a sobriety test, which he fails. Uriah Hall, in a surreality destined to be a viral sensation, breaks Chris Weidman’s leg the same way he (Weidman) broke Anderson Silva’s.

Jéssica Andrade’s loss to Valentina Shevchenko, a traditional TKO by strikes, serves as a bit of an intermission as its the one fight that ends as expected. Then, just when you think you can breathe again, Rose Namajunas shocks the world by knocking out Weili Zhang with a first-round head kick; the aftermath of which provides the most endearing moment of the night. “I’m the best,” Namajunas chants just before becoming champion and weeping with the belt around her waist. Joe Rogan apparently cries too.

The main event was unwarranted; Jorge Masvidal didn’t deserve another title shot and I figured he’d lose again, even with a full training camp; but Kamaru Usman delivers a surprisingly impressive finish by knocking him out with a punch to the jaw. If you hadn’t been putting respect on Usman’s name up to this point; the crowd boos not only him but also Weili Zhang on their way to The Octagon; it’s about time you start. The Nigerian fighter is on his way to becoming, much like this UFC event, one of the best ever.

my rating : 4 of 5

2021