Junior Dos Santos vs Cyril Gane
We got the Heavyweights starting us off for UFC 256 and it did not disappoint. We see newcomer Frenchman Cyril Gane fighting his biggest opponent to date in UFC Heavyweight legend Junior Dos Santos. The first round we saw a lot of leg kicks, more from Gane who pretty well picked Junior apart from the outside. Junior was swinging wildly and even connected with a few but not before Gane connected with a right jab that stunned Junior and as he backed up he got tagged a few more times and took a massive elbow that was questionable because it was so close to the back of the head. The referee stopped the fight at 2:34 seconds of the second round. Junior tried to dispute the elbow but the ref did not overturn the decision and Gane goes to 7-0. As for “Cigano” no one knows what’s next but it is apparent that the wars that he has been in and have taken their toll and who knows what’s next for his career.
Winner: Cyril Gane VIA KO 2:34 2nd rd
Kevin Holland vs Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
Before I give the results, the referee Mark Smith officiated the first two fights of the card, and he was late on the JDS stoppage, and the stoppage for this one is sickening. This fight started with an immediate takedown by Jacare and he stayed on the takedown. At one point with Jacare on side control of Holland, Holland landed some hard elbows to the top of the head that made the sound as if you thumped a watermelon. When Jacare got back on top you see a PHENOMENAL right hand from Holland on his back! Jacare was folded back, he was clearly out, and as the ref stood there and watched Jacare take hard punches to the head, then the fight was finally stopped. After that it was sickening as Jacare attempted to stand up and almost went out again. If the Nevada state athletic commission doesn’t step in and do something about this poor officiating someone is gonna get hurt permanently or possibly killed. Great victory for Holland whose star is shining brighter by the fight and could very well be the next big thing in the UFC.
Winner : Kevin “Trailblazer” Holland VIA 1st round KO
Virna Jandidrobe vs Mackenzie Dern
This was an exciting fight from beginning to end, the former Invicta flyweight Champion Virna Jandirobe taking on BJJ whiz kid Mackenzie Dern. The first round was a lot of traded shots with Dern getting the better of Virna. Jandiroba connected with a one two and Dern really loaded up on her punches and connected with a few. Going into the second, the action never let up, Jandiroba landed a beautiful knee that more than likely broke Dern’s nose and after that Dern seemed to get sloppier in this round. I saw Jandiroba landing on the break of the clinch so I would give the second to Jandiroba. The third and final round was still on the table and could’ve gone either way. These girls were letting loose in this round and Dern getting the better of the exchanges. The end of the fight saw Dern finish out on top of Jandiroba and the judges saw it that way too. Mackenzie Dern picked up her third victory in a row.
Winner: Mackenzie Dern VIA UD
Tony Ferguson vs Charles Oliveira
This fight saddens me to no end, what can I say? Tony was outclassed from the beginning to the end. The ground game was the name of the game in this fight. Oliveira was simply too much for Ferguson in this fight. At the end of the first Oliveira had a vicious armbar that any normal, sane human being would have tapped out to, but the unhuman Ferguson didn’t tap even though it would appear as if his arm was extremely hyperextended. The second round wasn’t much different, Tony did land an elbow on the defense of a takedown, and after he got him down Tony landed a major upkick, but the referee deemed Oliveira down and gave him a minute to rest. The third was a lot of the same, with Oliveira slamming Ferguson down to the ground and keeping him there until the end of the fight. When the buzzer finally went off, it was clear to everyone who won. There are a lot of reasons Tony lost this fight, and one thing a lot of people said before the fight was that it was only a three round fight. After watching it I was glad that it wasn’t a five round fight, because Tony wasn’t in the fight from the beginning.
The biggest takeaway I took from the fight is that Tony had no corner and you could easily tell. Going into the third I’m not sure which of Tony’s “buddies” had nothing to say to Tony except “go out there and piece him up.” I was disgusted, no Eddie Bravo in the corner, just whoever those teammates were. It’s easy to say you don’t need a coach, anyone can train by yourself, but a coach is there to help you when you seemingly need an answer, and Tony just didn’t have that.
Charles “Do Bronx” VIA UD
Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno
The greatest fight in the flyweight division. I’ll just start with that. Let the record show that I think Brandon Moreno IS the very definition of a Mexican fighter. From Julio Cesar Chavez to Marco Antonio Barrera, Brandon Moreno showed us all tonight that he is Championship caliber material. Now that I have said that, this fight DID NOT disappoint. Moreno started the fight off with a piston-like left jab, and Figueiredo came out with a furious pace as per the norm. Let it be noted that Figgy came out much bigger than his opponent, if he was 125 pounds, then I’m ten feet tall. The first round was an absolute dogfight that would only get better. The second round started the same with a crazy pace from Figueiredo, swinging and connecting, landing some heavy power shots all to the head. Moreno got the first takedown and on the way up Figgy landed an eye poke, and Moreno was granted time to recover, and after the recovery and the fight resumed, he got another takedown. Look, I could go through the next two rounds and say things like “big action” and “threw heavy punches” but the whole fight was non stop and these two men fought with the hearts of warriors. In the third, Figgy landed a nasty kick to the groin and at one point they didn’t know if Moreno would be able to continue, it was that brutal. Brutal enough the ref took a point, which to me was no surprise, Figgy had been pushing the envelope all night with the finger. I think the 3rd round was easily Moreno’s best round scoring two takedowns throughout and wobbling the champion with a high head kick.
So going into the fourth there was still no clear winner in the fight. Moreno may have been able to finish Figueiredo, but instead he showed composure and picked his shots. The third round was easily the most exciting round of the year in my opinion. You saw Moreno outbox Figueiredo, and survive a vicious uppercut that would have landed a normal man on the planet Mars. More of the same can be said for the fourth, as the last two rounds could have gone to either man. Starting the fifth Figgy landed one of his chop-like kicks that was meant for the body but Moreno blocked it and in doing so injured his arm. The fifth round had us all on the edge of our seats, you didn’t know who was winning, which round went to what man, and this round was key for both of them winning the fight. The pace was much calmer in the fifth, both men were beaten and tired. Moreno had appeared to really be favoring the arm, and Figgy was swinging for the fences. When the round ended it was all in the judges’ hands now. I’ll go on record to say I thought Moreno did enough to win the fight plus with the point deduction in the third, I thought Moreno won the fight. But I also know that most times in a championship fight you’ve got to literally beat the champion, whether it’s a submission or knockout, you never want it going in the judges’ hands. The fight ended in a majority draw, which I guess is fair and definitely sets up a monster of a rematch. The main lesson learned from this fight to me was, Flyweight was on the road to extinction just two years ago, and because these two men and the top five in the division, the Flyweights are back and their star has never been shining brighter.