Dayne Fox takes a look at an up-and-down UFC card from across the pond that ended on a high note.
In an event many people forgot about — much less couldn’t even bother to get excited about — Jimi Manuwa put an emphatic stamp on his resume, KO’ing Corey Anderson with a single left hook as Anderson was trying to circle off of the cage. Manuwa proceeded to ask for a title fight after Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson take care of business… and then called out professional boxer David Haye. Am I the only one tired of these boxing callouts?
The evening started out well enough before hitting a major lull. It rebounded to end the night strong with the final three contests ending before the time expired after just a single contest ended in a finish in the first eight contests.
- Does smiling create weakness? Gunnar Nelson did what he does, controlling the distance with Alan Jouban while waiting for an opening to present itself. A right hand that didn’t look very devastating wobbled Jouban. Nelson capitalized by throwing a head kick and jumping on Jouban’s back to get the RNC finish. Just remember people, Demian Maia manhandled Nelson….
- Emotions ran high for the Brad Pickett’s final contest before retiring. Things were going according to script the first two rounds as Pickett used a combination of boxing and wrestling to control Marlon Vera. Then to remind us just how cruel this sport can be, Vera landed a head kick which led to a questionable stoppage from the referee. Pickett was classy in defeat as an emotional Vera thanked him for the opportunity.
- I know I speak for everyone at Bloody Elbow when I say thank you to Brad for the years of entertainment and sacrifice of his body. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.
- Featherweight prospects Arnold Allen and Makwan Amirkhani kicked off the main card with a hell of a scrap chuck-full of scrambles and reversals that had grappling fanatics drooling. Allen got his hand raised in a split call, though Amirkhani had no reason to hang his head. Great showing from both.
- In the final fight of his UFC contract, Joe Duffy overcame some early control from Reza Madadi to sweep the scoreboards for a dominant decision. Was this the final time we see Duffy in the Octagon? Early indications are yes. Shame. The Irishman is a lot of fun to watch and is clearly still improving. Hope Michael Chandler is ready for him….
- Unlike last week’s contest between Alex Oliveira and Tim Means, the rematch between Francimar Barroso and Darren Stewart wasn’t one anybody cared to see. Then again, that describes all of Barroso’s fights. He did what he does and grinded out a boring decision after a fast start from Stewart.
- In a battle of middling heavyweight gatekeepers, Timothy Johnson and Daniel Omielanczuk had a fight. It happened, someone was declared a winner, and it will go in the record books. In other words, not much happened. It could have gone either way, but Johnson was able to get his hand raised in the end.
- So it wasn’t the entertaining contest most of us were hoping for, but can we please acknowledge that Leon Edwards is one of the top young welterweights now? Edwards used a combination of thudding kicks and his vastly improved wrestling to overcome another young welterweight in Vicente Luque.
- It isn’t often you see someone stiffen up on their feet after a single punch. Marc Diakiese was able to do that to Teemu Packalen in the most impressive performance of the night. All those that have been skeptical of Diakiese’s ceiling – myself included – need to reevaluate what the athletic freak is capable of. The rest of the lightweight division needs to watch out….
- The battle of Scotts – not Scots – was as entertaining as expected as both Brad Scott and Scott Askham threw down. It really could have gone either way as the final round was razor thin. Given Askham’s leg injury he gutted through to damn near win, I’d be disappointed to see the UFC cut him.
- The evenings opening contest started slow before Lina Lansberg and Lucie Pudilova began throwing down over the last half of the contest with a bloody and battered Lansberg emerging victorious.
- Bad start to the card as Ian Entwistle and Tom Breese were both found to be medically unfit to compete, resulting in a cancellation of their contests with Brett Johns and Oluwale Bamgbose respectively. This is the second such occurrence for Entwistle, and he retired shortly thereafter.