Tony Ferguson to the UFC regarding Poirier: “Pay the man!”

Tony Ferguson, UFC

The UFC‘s lightweight boogie man is trying to campaign for his fight to be saved. Tony Ferguson (25-4) has been training and getting ready to fight Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) next month on fight island. However, the fight has failed to materialize.

After some negotiations, the UFC decided to scrap the fight. The promotion couldn’t come to terms with Poirier on the financial figures. While there was hope for the fight to be saved, Dana White said that the UFC wasn’t even trying to save it.

However, El Cucuy has voiced his opinion on the matter. He believes that the UFC needs to step up and pay Dustin Poirier to make this fight happen. Of course, his opponent fully agrees with Ferguson’s statements.

What does the UFC do?

This is a fight that the fans want to see, and Dana White always says that he wants to make the fights happen that the fans want to see. Granted, we don’t know how far apart the UFC and Poirier were on the financial terms of the deal.

Poirier is in a tough spot not actually being the champion. He’s not in a Conor McGregor position where he can demand a ton more from the promotion. That being said, Poirier knows his popularity is growing, and he wants to be compensated.

A fight between these two men would clearly determine the number one contender in the UFC‘s lightweight division. Despite both hovering in the top five for some time now, these two lightweight standouts have yet to cross paths.

Of course, if the UFC was too far away, there are a couple of options for Ferguson. My favorite option outside of Poirier would be the fight with Michael Chandler. I think that would be a fantastic fight for both Ferguson and the debuting Chandler.

Time will tell what the UFC decides to do. I know that Tony Ferguson wants to fight, and it’s clear he wants to fight Dustin Poirier. It’ll be interesting to see what the promotion decides to do.

UFC: Could Tony Ferguson – Michael Chandler be next?

Tony Ferguson, UFC

This week, UFC fight fans were dealt a tough blow as we found out that the highly anticipated lightweight matchup between Tony Ferguson (25-4) and Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) would not happen. Negotiations for the fight fell apart between Poirier and the UFC.

There were questions surrounding what would be the next move from the promotion. Many thought that the UFC would take a step back and try to renegotiate with Poirier, but Dana White said that is not the plan. They are working on a new fight for Ferguson.

Could Ferguson welcome a UFC newcomer?

“No, we’re not even trying to salvage it (the fight between Ferguson and Poirier),” White said in his post-fight press conference following UFC Vegas 10. White then said that the promotion was going to get another fight for Tony Ferguson.

The media then asked about a guy who could be an interesting matchup for Ferguson, and that’s Michael Chandler (21-5). White commented on if the UFC has talked with the free agent. “Yeah, we’ve talked to Chandler. I like the kid, so we’ll see,” White said of Chandler.

White said if they brought Chandler in, they would have to see what would be available for his UFC debut, but a fight with Ferguson wasn’t dismissed. In fact, that’s a fight that would make a lot of sense.

Michael Chandler has said that if he joins the UFC, he wants to go right into the top five. There’s no one better to test yourself against than El Cucuy. While UFC fans might be sad Poirier – Ferguson isn’t happening, I think Chandler – Ferguson would be a very nice replacement.

UFC: Tony Ferguson – Dustin Poirier fight not happening

Tony Ferguson, UFC

One of the most highly anticipated lightweight matchups of the fall will not happen. The UFC was planning on having Tony Ferguson (25-4) and Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) co-headline UFC 254. The promotion has been working on this fight for a while.

Things started to get bumpy when Poirier said yesterday that he was a, “Prize fighter and the prize needs to be right.” Seemingly, Poirier was suggesting that the negotiations with the UFC were not going well.

Well, ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is reporting this afternoon that the highly anticipated matchup between Poirier and Ferguson is off. According to Poirier, “UFC and I couldn’t come to terms. I won’t be fighting on October 24th.”

What does the UFC do now?

It’s tough to say what the UFC is planning to do next. We don’t know how far they were apart with Poirier, but for the fight to fall apart publicly, my guess is that the numbers were not close. I think the promotion will still try to keep Ferguson on the card.

In looking at the rankings, it’s possible that the UFC tries to throw Dan Hooker (20-9) in there. Hooker is coming off of a loss back in June to Poirier, but from a rankings perspective, he would be the next in line. I’m not counting Conor McGregor here.

Of course, there is a much sexier option that I would offer the UFC. Why not call up the hottest free agent in the business in Michael Chandler (21-5)? Chandler said that if he comes to the UFC, he wants to go right into the deep end. Doesn’t get much deeper than El Cucuy.

Of course, the UFC could always try to renegotiate the fight with Poirier for a later date. Time will tell what happens, but this is a tough blow for fans that were pumped for this fight.

Is the UFC finalizing Tony Ferguson – Dustin Poirier?

Tony Ferguson, UFC

There is no better division in MMA than the lightweight division. It’s the deepest talent pool in the sport. In October, the current two best in the world, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje, will battle for the UFC lightweight championship at UFC 254.

Behind them, former interim lightweight champions, Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) and Tony Ferguson (25-4) have both been on social media teasing their next UFC fight. When asked if these two were going to fight each other, UFC President Dana White smiled and said, “Probably.” We now might know our timeline for the event.

A UFC Card in October

At the end of next month, the UFC will be heading back to Fight Island, likely starting with UFC 253. White has said that the promotion is expecting to stay there for five or six weeks straight. UFC 254 headlined by Khabib – Gaethje will be on Fight Island.

With Poirier coming out and stating that his next fight is two months away, it’s likely that the anticipated matchup with Ferguson will also be on Fight Island in October. It’ll be interesting to see which card the UFC decides to place this matchup.

A lot of fans were jumping at the possibility of this being the co-main event to Khabib – Gaethje. While that would certainly boost the PPV card, I feel like fans would be robbed a little if this was a co-main event.

To me, a fight between the two former UFC champions needs to be it’s own main event. One of the fight nights on Fight Island so we can see these two guys go five full rounds. Both men are capable, and you know it would be an insane fight.

Ferguson is coming off a loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 while Poirier is coming off of a win against Dan Hooker at UFC on ESPN 12. A win for either one of these men would likely make them next for whoever wins between Khabib and Gaethje.

Of course, the one thing that could throw a wrench into the plans is Khabib’s desired fight with Georges St. Pierre. If Nurmagomedov decides he wants to fight GSP then walk away, it’ll leave the winner of Ferguson – Poirier with no one to fight.

Perhaps the UFC would pivot to another title fight with the Notorious Conor McGregor in that case. So Khabib would ride off into the sunset after fighting GSP and McGregor would fight the winner of Poirier – Ferguson for the UFC lightweight title after it’s vacated. A lot of interesting scenarios in the UFC‘s lightweight division.

Conor McGregor on Recent UFC Callouts – “I accept!”

Conor McGregor, UFC

Well you had to know that the biggest star in UFC history couldn’t stay quiet for too long as people continue to call him out.

Conor McGregor is notorious for using Twitter to respond/callout fellow fighters in the UFC. The former double champion seemingly responded to some of the recent callouts today.

Now of course, this tweet doesn’t really tell us a lot about McGregor’s UFC future. What we do know is that McGregor “retired” due to the lack of options when it came to fighting. McGregor wanted an active 2020 and it’s been anything but.

Who in the UFC is calling him out?

One of the most recent callouts that makes the most sense would be Tony Ferguson. Ferguson recently told ESPN that he was wanting to either fight McGregor or Dustin Poirier next.

McGregor and Ferguson have had verbal back and forths in the past. A fight between the two never came close to getting done. When Ferguson was ready for a title shot, McGregor was boxing Floyd Mayweather.

Another person who has called out McGregor in recent months is Dustin Poirier. Poirier has fought McGregor once at UFC 178 and was knocked out in the first round.

Of course, that fight was a long time ago, and Poirier is much better know. The Diamond has wanted to get that fight back and believes he could beat McGregor if they rematched at lightweight.

One of the latest callouts is coming from the UFC‘s budding star, Khamzat Chimaev. Chimaev has been very vocal about his dislike of McGregor. He tweeted this out earlier today.

We do not know who McGregor is talking about with his cryptic “I accept,” tweet. Nobody really believes he’s retired so it would make sense that he would start angling for another fight soon. Who do you think he’s talking about in his tweet?

 

UFC: Tony Ferguson – Dustin Poirier is the fight to make

Tony Ferguson, UFC

There is no division in the UFC that is as talent heavy at the top as the lightweight division. The top five guys in the division all rank within the top fifteen in the promotions pound-for-pound rankings.

Two of the guys at the very top are former interim UFC champions, Tony Ferguson (25-4) and Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC).

Ferguson is coming off of a loss to Justin Gaethje for the interim title back at UFC 249 in May. Prior to that loss, Ferguson had a 12 fight winning streak that dated back to 2013.

Since the loss where Ferguson took a lot of damage, many were wondering what would be next for Ferguson. Ferguson laid out what he thinks the plan should be moving forward to ESPN.

Battle of two of the UFC’s best

I love what Ferguson is thinking, but realistically, I only see one of these being an option for his next UFC fight. I think the only fight that Conor McGregor will take next is a fight for the title.

With that being said, it leaves The Diamond. Poirier is coming off of an insane victory in a war with Dan Hooker back in June. Poirier is 6-1, 1 NC in his last eight fights. He holds a victory over current interim champion, Justin Gaethje.

These top UFC lightweights would make for a perfect matchup. If they were to fight, the winner would make a very clear number one contender for the winner of Khabib – Gaethje.

Of course, there are a few hurdles in the way of that. The hurdles being Conor McGregor and Georges St. Pierre. The UFC lightweight champion, Nurmagomedov, wants to supposedly retire 30-0 meaning he’d only fight two more times.

If Khabib defeats Gaethje, he said that he wants to fight GSP next year in his final fight. This is a fight the UFC is open to. The promotion will also likely try to push for a McGregor rematch given the magnitude of that fight.

Those hurdles will create a massive headache and problem for Ferguson and Poirier. These two men would be the most deserving of a shot at the title, but will likely be in limbo if Nurmagomedov wins in October.

Regardless, this is the fight that the UFC needs to put together. It makes sense from a rankings perspective, and I mean who wouldn’t want to see these two throw down?

UFC: What’s next for Dustin Poirier?

Dustin Poirier, UFC

There is no doubt that Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) is one of the best lightweights in the UFC. In fact, you could definitely say he’s one of the best fighters in the promotion.

The Diamond is 6-1 with 1 NC in his last eight fights defeating some of the best names in the sport. His lone loss coming to the UFC‘s undisputed lightweight king, Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Last month, Poirier defeated Dan Hooker at UFC on ESPN 12 in an instant classic. Poirier has had some time to heal and was interviewed by Jim Rome about his future this week.

“I’ve been fighting for a while, I have 40 fights, and I want these last four or five years to really mean something every time I get into the octagon… I really want to leave a legacy” Poirier told Rome.

When asked about what he wants next, Poirier said, “It needs to be a really big name or a title fight. I’ve been doing this for 10 years in the UFC, and I still love fighting, but I want these fights to mean more than just a fight.”

What should the UFC do?

Given how brutal the last fight was with Hooker, I would still give Poirier a little time before offering him a fight if I was the UFC. If he’s not going to get a title shot next, ESM’s Olivier Dumont suggests he start with Tony Ferguson (25-4).

Like Poirier, Ferguson is also a former UFC interim lightweight champion. Ferguson just suffered his first loss in May after going on a winning streak that spanned seven years.

A fight between the two men would determine a clear number one contender in the lightweight division. The fight would be a fight that fans would love to see.

Another matchup that the fans would love to see is the rematch with the sports most famous fighter, Conor McGregor (22-4).

McGregor is retired for now, but he’s likely going to fight for the title upon his return to the octagon. However, if the UFC persuades him to take another fight, Poirier makes perfect sense.

The two men fought at featherweight years ago, and McGregor stopped Poirier in the first round at UFC 178. The two men are much better now and a rematch would be fascinating to watch.

One outside the box idea that I like would be a fight with Nate Diaz (20-12). Yes, Diaz has said that he doesn’t want to cut to 155 anymore, but this fight was already scheduled once. The fight was originally scheduled for UFC 230.

If Poirier wants a big name, he’s not going to get much better than Diaz. Who knows when we will see Diaz again, but a fight with Poirier would be one I’d be excited for.

There are several avenues the UFC can go with Poirier. I think Ferguson is the most likely if you ask me, but it will be interesting to see how the promotion moves forward with The Diamond.

ESM’s Men’s UFC Pound-for-Pound rankings ahead of Saturday Night

One of the things that never seems to make sense to the world is the UFC rankings. If you go over to the UFC’s official rankings page, the pound for pound rankings make you scratch your head. At ESM, we have decided to throw our hat into the ring to create our own rankings that we will keep updated following every major UFC/MMA event.

Men’s Pound-For-Pound Rankings

  1. Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC)
  2. Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0)
  3. Israel Adesanya (19-0)
  4. Kamaru Usman (16-1)
  5. Stipe Miocic (19-3)
  6. Daniel Cormier (22-2, 1 NC)
  7. Alexander Volkanovski (21-1)
  8. Justin Gaethje (22-2)
  9. Conor McGregor (22-4)
  10. Francis Ngannou (15-3)

To me, Jon Jones is still the best to ever do it inside the octagon. In reality, the man is 28-0 just like Nurmagomedov but due to an elbow rule and a picogram, he’s got two blemishes on his record. Still when “Bones” is on his game, he’s the best in the world possessing elite skills in all aspects of MMA.

In comparison to the UFC‘s official rankings you’ll notice some differences. I personally left Dustin Poirier and Max Holloway outside of the top ten. Holloway is 1-2 in his last three fights which hurts his case. Poirier was a tough call, but I went with Gaethje and McGregor from that division. I think if Poirier were to rematch both men especially the new and improved Justin Gaethje, it could be a long night for him.

Francis Ngannou is the one who needs to be ranked higher in the UFC‘s rankings. The Predator is currently ranked 14th, but he belongs in the top ten. The most prolific knockout artist in UFC history is on a Mike Tyson like tear right now. His last four fights have gone a combined 2:42 against top heavyweight competition.

UFC 251’s Potential Impact

There are a couple of fights that will have an impact on the P4P UFC rankings this Saturday. The main event of the evening features Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal (35-13). Masvidal has won three fights in a row, but if he’s able to defeat Usman, he will finally launch into the top ten pound for pound rankings. Usman will likely hold in the fourth spot with a win on Saturday night.

Alexander Volkanovski can jump in the rankings even more if he’s able to defeat Holloway for a second time. The Australian has won 18 fights in a row including all eight of his UFC fights. If he’s able to retain his title on Saturday night and do it impressively, you could make the argument that he belongs in the top five.

Holloway could get back into the top ten if he’s able to regain his title. 2019 was not a great year for the former champion losing two fights. However, the Blessed Era can make an emphatic return if he’s able to dethrone Vokanovski on Saturday night. Fight Island definitely has the potential to shake up our UFC men’s pound for pound rankings.

UFC: Halfway through 2020, what has been the FOTY so far?

We are officially halfway through 2020. The UFC has put on some incredible cards, and the UFC has overcame a worldwide pandemic over the last two months to bring sports back to the world. There have been some incredible fights so far in 2020, but what has been the fight of the year?

Best of the Rest

This year has been so much fun when it comes to the UFC. We have seen the return of Conor McGregor, we’ve seen highlight reel knockouts, and we’ve seen some unforgettable fights. I have come up with a list of the three best fights of 2020, but there are several fights beyond my list that have brought many to their feet. Some of the fights that come to mind are: Emmett/Burgos, Felder/Hooker, Yadong/Vera, and many more. However, the three fights I have picked, I believe stand above the rest.

Justin Gaethje vs Tony Ferguson – UFC 249

When this fight was announced in April, did you expect anything else? Tony Ferguson (25-4) was the boogieman of the lightweight division, and Justin Gaethje (22-2) lives up to his name in being the highlight of the lightweight division. After UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, was pulled from his fight with Ferguson due to COVID-19 restrictions, Gaethje stepped up.

The UFC booked Ferguson/Gaethje for the interim lightweight title at UFC 249. The smart money was on Ferguson leading into the fight. Ferguson hadn’t lost in eight years, and many believed that he was the best lightweight in the world. Gaethje might have been the most exciting fighter in the world, but his reckless style has caused him to drop a few of his bigger fights. However, it became very apparent from the beginning, this was not the old Justin Gaethje.

Gaethje immediately took the center of the octagon throwing sharp and crisp combinations at Ferguson. “El Cucuy” was fully prepared to go to war firing back. The first round was action packed with Gaethje hitting Ferguson often. However, most got the sense that Gaethje would slow down as the fight went on. In the second round, Ferguson picked up his pace and dropped Gaethje near the end of the round.

Personally, I thought Ferguson was going to assume control, but that wasn’t the case. Gaethje came right out in the third with the same pace he started with. However, he was much more calculated. Gaethje was smart and picked his shots wisely against the former UFC interim champion, Ferguson. After putting on a clinic in the later rounds, Gaethje smashed Ferguson’s nose which caused Ferguson to turn away. The referee stopped the fight giving Gaethje the interim title. Both men threw everything they had at the other in an absolute war for five rounds, but on May 9th, Justin Gaethje was the better man.

Dustin Poirier vs Dan Hooker – UFC on ESPN 12

Man, I think I’m still recovering from this one. This past Saturday at UFC on ESPN 12, Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) and Dan Hooker (20-9) put on an absolute show. The fight was booked earlier in the summer after Hooker had called Poirier out back in February. Poirier was coming off a title shot against Nurmagomedov, and was looking to get back to victory. A win for either man would put them squarely in title contention.

There was really no feeling out process with this fight. After throwing big kicks early, both men looked to focus completely on the other man’s face. In the first two rounds, Hooker did a fantastic job of landing clean and precise shots. Poirier was landing his shots too, but Hooker seemed to have the cleaner lands. Several times early, both men ended up in close quarters just throwing reckless power shots at the other.

Late in the second round, Hooker unleashed a combination that would have put most lightweights down. In fact, if it wasn’t for the cage, I’m not sure Poirier would have stayed on his feet. Poirier went back to his stool down to rounds to the contender from New Zealand. At this point, I thought we were looking at the next UFC title contender in Dan Hooker.

Starting in the third round, Poirier drastically turned the tables. Both men were still throwing all they had at the other, but it was Poirier who was now landing the cleaner shots on Hooker. Both men really started to fatigue in the middle rounds, but Poirier seemed to have just a little more in the tank.

The last two rounds were where Poirier really won the fight. Hooker had slowed massively, and Poirier was taking advantage. Despite getting caught a few times coming in, Poirier’s relentless pace took over in the later rounds. Both men were absolutely battered coming down the stretch of this one.

The fight went to the scorecards and all three judges gave the fight to Poirier. Hooker had won the first two rounds on all scorecards, but Poirier won the final three rounds. A tremendous back and forth battle that will go down as one of the better fights in UFC history.

Weili Zhang vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk – UFC 248

You really can’t get much better than the fight between UFC strawweight champion, Weili Zhang (22-1), and former champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-4). A few years ago, Jedrzejczyk was known as the best female fighter in the sport. Since losing the title back in 2017, Jedrzejczyk has desperately tried to get back to UFC gold. UFC 248 gave her the chance.

Weili Zhang is the first UFC champion to be born in China. She is turning into a superstar, but she needed an opponent that could truly shine a light on her greatness. She found that opponent back in March when she took on the former champion, Jedrzejczyk.

This fight was so special because it was on the highest of levels, and the action was non-stop. From the opening bell, both ladies threw precise combinations at the other. The pace was unlike anything that I had ever seen in a title fight. Both women were putting everything on their shots, but it wasn’t wild.

This was a striking match on the highest of levels. Jedrzejczyk was really light on her feet throughout the entire fight landing great shots from the outside. Zhang did a tremendous job at stepping in and countering as Jedrzejczyk threw. Both women hit the other frequently, and they hit each other clean. Watching this fight you just had to keep wondering when someone was going to get tired.

All the way into the championship rounds, the women never slowed down. Both ladies pushed forward throwing everything. You had spinning attacks, leg kicks, head kicks, straights, uppercuts, hooks, you know it. It was a striking clinic put on by both women. Both women were visibly beat up, and the fight was razor close.

Entering the final round, I don’t think anyone knew who was winning. The fight was dead even at all times. Every time one woman would land, the other would land a counter. The UFC fans were getting spoiled back in March. In the end, two of the three judges gave the fight to the champion, Weili Zhang. The fight was truly one of the best fights I had ever seen, and it was at the highest level of the sport for a UFC title.

The UFC’s FOTY in 2020 (So far)

All three of these contenders are excellent fights, but if I’m going to give the award, it’s going to Zhang and Jedrzejczyk. The fight was truly a thing of beauty. The perfect balance of technique and violence. It never turned into a brawl where technique went out the window, but you would think with the damage that both women suffered, it was a massive brawl with no defense on display. Also the fact that it was for the title puts it over the top. Women’s MMA has come so far over the last few years, but the fight that Zhang/Jedrzejczyk put on back at UFC 248 is the greatest female fight of all time, and it’s not close in my opinion.

UFC on ESPN 12 Recap: Dustin Poirier edges Dan Hooker in instant classic

Dustin Poirier, UFC

UFC on ESPN 12 was the final card on US soil before the UFC takes it’s talents to Fight Island in July. The main event of the evening featured a big-time lightweight contest between Dustin Poirier (25-6, 1 NC) and Dan Hooker (20-8). The card had six main card fights, and the card was filled with action from start to finish.

Poirier & Hooker put on an instant classic

The main event of the evening was one of the more anticipated fights of the summer. The winner of the Poirier/Hooker fight might be the next person in-line of the UFC title shot if Conor McGregor stays retired. Hooker called out Poirier because he felt that Poirier would be a good style matchup for him, and he felt he would be the perfect opponent to vault him towards a title shot. Poirier, who was coming off of the longest layoff of his career, was looking to get back on track after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov last September.

Both men came out of the gate with big kicks. Hooker continued to throw nice leg kicks throughout the first minute of the round. Hooker was doing a really good job early at fighting from range. Hooker’s jab looked sharp early on. With about 90 seconds left in the round, both men exchanged in close quarters. Both men landed some massive shots, but neither man seemed hurt. Razor close round in the first, but I might lean towards Hooker in the first.

In the second round, Hooker came out immediately with range strikes. Poirier seemingly rocked Hooker for just a second, but then Hooker landed some massive counters which seemed to hurt Poirier. The two men got in close quarters again, and both men unloaded massive shots on the other. Both men landed clean shots, but again, neither man seemed seriously hurt. The rest of the round both men continued to land bombs. With about 30 seconds left in the round, Hooker unleashed an insane combination that rocked Poirier. Poirier was able to stay on his feet, but Hooker landed some serious shots at the end of the round.

The paced slowed as the third round started. Both men kept an insane pace in the first couple of rounds. However, with about three minutes left in the round, Poirier landed some massive shots. Hooker shot in for a takedown, but he shot right into a guillotine choke. The choke was incredibly tight, but Hooker fought out of it. Hooker stayed on top, but with a minute left, the two men ended up back on their feet. Once they were, Poirier landed a few massive shots, but Hooker just ate them. The round ended with both men exchanging.

The pace slowed significantly entering the fourth round. Both men plotted around the cage for the first minute. After Poirier landed a couple of solid straight shots, Hooker was able to get a brief takedown. Poirier got back up to his feet, but Hooker shot immediately for another takedown. However, Poirier was the one who was able to get a takedown. Once on the ground, Poirier landed some big shots then came close to securing an armbar. With 30 seconds left, Poirier tried to get another guillotine, but couldn’t lock it up. Incredible fight that I had 2-2 going into the fifth round.

Both men looked incredibly exhausted as the fifth round started. Both men started flat footed just plotting forward. Poirier was landing some clean shots throughout the first half of the round. With about three minutes left, Poirier landed some big shots. However, Hooker was able to shoot in and secure a takedown. Poirier did get back up to his feet shortly after. Poirier landed some clean shots and Hooker continued to look for the takedown. With about thirty seconds left, Poirier was able to transition a choke attempt into a takedown. Poirier spent the rest of the round in top position. An instant classic that I gave to Poirier 48-47. In the end the judges agreed giving the fight to Poirier (48-47, 48-47, 48-46). Poirier looks primed for another shot at the UFC lightweight title.

Mike Perry dominates Mickey Gall

The co-main event of the evening was contested between Mike Perry (13-6) and Mickey Gall (6-2). This fight was one of the more anticipated matchups on the card not just because of the fight, but because of the fact that the only person in Perry’s corner was his girlfriend.

When the fight started, Perry immediately came forward with big shots. Gall did a pretty good job early of staying on his bicycle, but Perry was just walking him down. However, about halfway through the first, Gall landed some big shots which changed the momentum. Gall did a really good job of landing some straight shots while Perry was looping with hooks. Late in the round, Perry landed a massive takedown, and he controlled the rest of the round from the top position.

As the second round started, Gall looked to continue landing some good shots from the outside. After landing a couple of good shots, Gall shot in for a takedown, but Perry was able to use his strength to fight it off. Perry was then able to land a takedown of his own. Gall was able to use a kimura attempt to get back to his feet. Once the two men got back to their feet, Gall tried again for a takedown, but he wasn’t able to land it. With about 20 seconds left in the round, Perry was able to land a massive right hand which put Gall down. The round ended with Perry landing a massive elbow from the top.

In the third round, Perry started by throwing some bigger combinations. Gall was still moving good, but Perry seemed to sense Gall slowing down. Perry landed some nice jabs throughout the first half of the final round. Gall was visibly tired in the third round often backing away from exchanges with deep breaths. With about two minutes left in the round, Perry was able to get another takedown. With a minute left, Perry was able to get to the mount position. Perry landed some nasty elbows. After a scramble, Gall had a triangle choke locked in, but didn’t have the strength to finish it. I gave Perry all three rounds in what was a dominant performance. The judges gave Perry the unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Greene submits Villante after being dropped in the 3rd

One of the more interesting fights of the main card featured heavyweights Gian Villante (17-12) and Maurice Greene (9-4). Villante was making his UFC heavyweight debut after spending years in the light heavyweight division. Early on in the first round, Greene was fully using is 80-inch reach. Greene was also landing some nice kicks as Villante was trying to gauge the range. Villante was able to land some decent leg kicks, but struggled to get much going in the first. Greene was able to land at a much higher rate throughout the round. However, Villante did land a nasty body kick near the end of the first which looked to hurt Greene.

In the second round, Greene continued to be more aggressive in the standup. Greene came out throwing combination after combination while Villante seemed to be looking for one big shot. There was no question that Villante was throwing with more power, but Greene had such a higher output in the first half of the second round. Villante did do a good job of landing some solid shots in the second. While Greene had the higher output, the judges might give the second to Villante due to the pop that was on the shots that he landed.

Villante came right out and landed two massive right hands to begin the round. Right when Villante was starting to get some momentum, he caught an accidental eye poke which paused the action. When they resumed the fight, Greene missed a superman punch, and Villante countered with a massive left that floored Greene. Villante followed-up with some vicious elbows. Greene did a good job of catching Villante’s wrist and defending which held off Villante from finishing the fight. Out of nowhere from his back, Greene was able to lock up a head and arm choke. The choke didn’t look tight, but Villante tapped giving Greene the impressive and odd submission victory.

Allen edges Daukaus in entertaining scrap

The third fight of the main card featured middleweights Brendan Allen (15-3) and Kyle Daukaus (9-1). Allen was supposed to take on Ian Heinisch, but due to an injury, Daukaus was able to get the opportunity in his UFC debut. Right out of the gate Daukaus landed a massive body kick and left hook. Daukaus then tried to shoot in for a takedown, but Allen was able to keep it standing. Shortly after, Allen landed a massive knee that floored Daukaus. After having Daukaus’ back for about a minute, Allen was reversed. Daukaus took Allen’s back, and then Allen was able to reverse the position again. Once back on top, Allen landed a massive elbow that cut Daukaus as the round ended.

In the second round, Daukaus was actually getting the better of the stand up landing some really clean shots. Daukaus shot in for a takedown, but Allen was able to use a guillotine choke to reverse the position to get back on top. Both men were showing excellent grappling throughout the fight. Halfway through the second round, Daukaus reversed the position again to get back on top of Allen. However, Allen was able to reverse the position again with about a minute left in the round, and he held the top position the rest of the round.

In the third round, Daukaus came out again looking sharp on his feet. After landing a couple of shots, Daukaus was able to land a takedown. Daukaus was able to land some solid elbows before getting to Allen’s back. After having back control for most of the final round, Daukaus lost the position late, and Allen was able to get off some solid shots. Despite those, the last round was a clear round for Daukaus and I scored the fight 29-28 for Brendan Allen. The judges were unanimous in giving the decision to Allen (29-28, 29-27, 30-27).

Takashi Sato stops Jason Witt in the 1st round

The second fight of the main card featured two talented welterweights as Takashi Sato (16-3) took on UFC newcomer, Jason Witt (17-6). Early on in the first round, Witt took the center of the octagon. However, Sato landed a massive 1-2 which floored the UFC newcomer. Witt tried to shoot in for a takedown as Sato rushed him, but Sato landed a few more clean shots which ended the fight. A big bounce back win for Sato after losing his last fight to Belal Muhammad.

Erosa gets dropped then submits Woodson in the 3rd

The opening fight of the UFC on ESPN 12 main card was a catchweight contest between the undefeated Sean Woodson (7-1) and Julian Erosa (23-8). Erosa came into the fight with his back against the wall losing his last three fights, while Woodson was looking to remain unbeaten. When the first round started, Woodson immediately took the center of the octagon. Woodson has an astonishing 78 inch reach advantage which was giving Erosa a lot of problems in the first round. Erosa was able to land some solid leg kicks, but the first round belonged to Woodson who was constantly touching Erosa with some solid straight shots.

To start the second round, Erosa tried to put more pressure on Woodson to neutralize the range. Erosa even shot in for a takedown. Erosa continued throughout the round trying to add a ton of pressure on Woodson. However, Woodson did a really good shot at continuing to land straight shots. Woodson doesn’t hit with a lot of pop, but he is consistent with his contact. Erosa’s pressure along with some timely clean shots made the round extremely competitive. Woodson landed his shots, but the round really could have gone to either man.

In the third round, Erosa continued to pressure Woodson. However, when rushing forward, Erosa was clipped with a massive left hook from Woodson which floored him. Erosa immediately got to his feet, and went back to pressuring Woodson. Despite the pressure, Woodson did a really good job of landing straights and check hooks. Halfway through the round, Erosa was able to secure a takedown. Woodson worked his way up to his feet, but got caught in a D’Arce choke. Erosa was able to lock it up and finish the fight. An incredible performance for Erosa who was the biggest underdog on the card this evening.

Final Takeaways from UFC on ESPN 12

The main event was one of the best fights that I have ever seen. Both men exchanged massive shots throughout, but neither man hit the canvas. Dustin Poirier looks like he’s ready for another shot at the title. I think a fight with Conor McGregor would be perfect, but we will see what the UFC decides to do. From here, we go onto Fight Island for an insane month of July.