Well Buzz Fans, UFC 257 is finally behind us, but after last night’s card we have plenty to talk about.
So ladies and gentlemen let’s start from the beginning at #10 ranked Amanda Ribas taking on #8 Marina Rodriguez in the strawweight division. If you followed me on D.BAKE’S “Cage My I.Q” show that is an exclusive show on what-the-buzz.com, I had said that this could have easily been my choice for fight of the night. Although it wasn’t “fight of the night,” it was a classic case of Rodriguez being the striker against the grappler in the ultra adorable Amanda Ribas, and this fight didn’t disappoint. The first round started with some fireworks as they both came out and went right at it. Ribas was stalking Rodriguez until she got the first takedown and planted Rodriguez directly on her face and before you knew it Ribas had top control and finished out the first round on top. But the tides had definitely turned because when the second round started Rodriguez came out guns blazing and cracked Ribas with a huge right hand, dropped her and was on top, then Herb Dean got extremely close to stopping it, so much that Rodriguez walked away thinking she had won and in fact Herb Dean had NOT stopped it and told them to continue. Even if it was too late, Rodriguez went right back to work and landed another HUGE right hand and Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the fight 54 seconds into the second round. A very entertaining fight to say the least in which the underdog triumphs again.
Moving on to the next fight of the card, a Middleweight fight that was moved to the main card after Ottman Azatair broke the UFC’s COVID protocol and was not only dropped from the card, but cut from the UFC. His opponent, Serra/Longo fighter Matt Frevola was moved to the prelims to fight Arman Tsarukyan who took the fight on short notice, and STILL came in as a heavy favorite. Arman actually won the fight by Unanimous Decision.
Moving forward the fight replacing that one was TUF winner Andrew Sanchez taking on the MMA protege of Floyd Mayweather, Makmud Muradov. Muradov came into the fight with a lot of hype as he was on a 13-fight win streak. The fight started with Muradov shutting down takedowns and tearing the leg of Sanchez apart with calf kicks. Sanchez did show improvement with his striking but it wasn’t enough because by the third round as Muradov came in slinging leather and cracking Sanchez with a huge right hook. The hook gave Sanchez what I like to call “baby deer legs” as he wobbled around and was eventually finished against the cage with strikes at 2:59 of the third round. Your winner was Makmud Muradov.
The next fight of the night was #6 ranked Jessica Eye fighting the #7 ranked Joanna Caulderwood, and the winner of this fight could be in the talks for a title shot against Valentina Schevchenko. Eye started out good with her striking on the inside and Jojo setting up the Thai clinch and both exchanged knees and dirty boxing. But the story of this fight was Jojo taking this fight over with overhand rights and kicks from the outside. Caulderwood out-struck Eye in distance strikes 123 to 56, and even though Eye had gotten a takedown to end the third, she did nothing with it. Joanna won the fight with a Unanimous decision, and she personified the saying “talks lightly but carries a big stick!”
As we move on to the co-main event, it’s hard for me to say what I want to say because I’m still to this point choking on my words! I have bashed Michael Chandler since his early days in Bellator, and when he got signed to the UFC, I turned the volume up to a very loud ten. Not only did I think Tony Ferguson would annihilate Chandler, but when Hooker signed on to “break the UFCs new toy,” I rallied behind “The Hangman” and just knew he would quick work on “Iron” Mike Chandler….man was I wrong. Not a lot to say about the actual fight as Chandler chased Hooker around the cage. Hooker looked a lot like Gerald Meerschard against Khamzat Chimaev. He was like a deer in the headlights, and when Chandler landed a “nuclear” left hook and obliterated Hooker…the end. It was stopped at 2:34 of the first round. After the fight Chandler did his best to quote Ric Flair (which he never should do ever again!) and called out Poirier, Mcgregor, and Khabib. So Chandler made a hell of a debut in the UFC and planted his seed in the top of the lightweight division.
Now ladies and gentleman to THE MAIN EVENT of the evening (to quote Bruce Buffer). If anyone watched the whole UFC 257 card, you’ll know that the UFC did everything they could to cram Conor Mcgregor down our throats, video game promotions, his Proper Twelve liquor was every other commercial, but I get it, McGregor is a huge draw. But as I ate crow on the Chandler/Hooker fight, I will pat myself on the back on this one. I did an article talking about the inactivity of McGregor and the fights Poirier has had since, and it showed I was correct through this fight. McGregor came out and looked good, crisp striking in the first, but the real story was the front shin kick of Poirier, which absolutely showed throughout the fight. By the second round Poirier looked to be gaining confidence and really got into a rhythm, and before you knew it Poirier cracked McGregor with a right hook and then followed up with a barrage of punches that finished “Mystic” Mac at 2:32 seconds in the second round. People can say what they want about Conor, but you can’t say that he isn’t a good sport, he was humble in saying that it was just inactivity and Poirier had a great game plan and he simply wants more fights, for himself and the fans. All class from Conor McGregor, and congratulations to Dustin Poirier for showing Dana White, the UFC and all the fans, that Conor McGregor isn’t the only big star in the UFC.
I’ll finish this up with Poirier saying that this fight should have been for the Lightweight Championship, so I ask you guys, Is Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier the uncrowned LightWeight Champion? After this fight, I would definitely say so!