UFC: Khamzat Chimaev dismissed by Israel Adesanya

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the UFC‘s newest budding star, Khamzat Chimaev (9-0). Chimaev made his debut with the promotion during their first run on Fight Island back in July.

Chimaev won two fights in ten days on the UFC‘s Fight Island, but it wasn’t just the fact that Chimaev won two fights in ten days, it was the matter in which he won the fights. He completed dismantled two good fighters and made it look easy.

Chimaev had the biggest test of his career against Gerald Meerschaert at UFC Vegas 11. This was the fight that would really tell us where Chimaev was in his development. Well 14 seconds into the fight, Chimaev knocked Meerschaert out cold with a right hand.

Chimaev has all the makings to be a star. Dana White said he’s never seen anyone like him. He’s got wrestling like Khabib Nurmagomedov, but he also possesses fluidity and power in his striking. Combine that with his pressure and pace and he’s going to be a massive problem for anyone in the UFC.

UFC Middleweight Champ hasn’t seen him

Despite all of the hype, the UFC‘s middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, told Yahoo Sports that he hand’t even watched, “Rat lip,” fight yet. As he’s prepared for UFC 253, he doesn’t seem to know a lot about Chimaev, which tells you something.

There’s no way that Adesanya hasn’t seen or heard a lot about Chimaev. The fact that he’s downplaying him the way he is, tells you he knows a lot. Of course, Chimaev is going to have to beat more top guys before he can get a crack at UFC gold, but it won’t be long.

Chimaev is putting fighters at welterweight and middleweight on notice. I might sound like someone who’s conducting the hype train, but this guy is truly something special. He reminds me of the way Jon Jones looked when he was rising early in his UFC career.

Chimaev is rumored to be taking on Demian Maia on Fight Island. However, that fight hasn’t been confirmed. If Chimaev runs through Maia the way he’s ran through his first three opponents, the man could be just a fight or two away from a UFC title shot in whatever division he wants.

UFC President on Khamzat Chimaev: “I’ve never seen anyone like him”

Last night at UFC Vegas 11, Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) was supposed to have his toughest test yet. He was going into the octagon against a guy in Gerald Meerschaert (31-14) that was going for the record for most submissions in the UFC middleweight division.

Meerschaert was supposed to pose some interesting challenges for the Russian prospect to overcome. However, Chimaev silenced everyone in just 17 seconds. Chimaev pushed forward and turned the lights out on Meerschaert quick.

UFC Vegas 11 reinforced the fact that Chimaev is supremely talented. Chimaev has great wrestling and he just proved that he possesses dynamite in his hands. After the fight, Dana White said that, “I’ve never seen anyone like him,” referring to Chimaev.

What does the UFC do with Chimaev?

It’s going to be fascinating to see what the UFC decides to do with Chimaev after this performance. Despite him only having three fights, it’s clear that he’s on a completely different level than the guys he’s fighting against. Chimaev is ready for the top ten.

The logical next step for the UFC would be to continue with booking the Demian Maia (28-10) as planned. Maia is a jiu jitsu world champion, and he’s been a top contender for years. He’s currently ranked 7th in the UFC‘s welterweight division.

However, he would be a massive underdog in a fight with Chimaev. There’s no chance in the world that Maia would be able to take down Chimaev, and he can’t strike with him. If Chimaev takes Maia down, I’m not sure Maia would be able to submit him through the shots he’d take.

It’s crazy to sit here and say that a legend like Demian Maia would have no chance, but I can’t see him having a chance. Khamzat Chimaev is not a normal prospect. He’s very special, and I think the UFC should turn up the competition, but be smart. Chimaev has superstar written all over him.

 

UFC Vegas 11 Recap: Colby Covington dominates Tyron Woodley

UFC, Colby Covington

Tonight, the UFC hosted their final fight night in the US before they head over to Fight Island for the next five weeks. This was arguably the most anticipated ESPN card of the summer with such a heated main event.

In the main event of the evening, welterweight rivals Colby Covington (15-2) and Tyron Woodley (19-5-1) finally fought. UFC Vegas 11 delivered an incredible night of fights so let’s dive into the recap of the main card.

Colby Covington dominates Tyron Woodley

The main event of the evening featured arguably the biggest grudge match of the year. Former champions, Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley stepped into the octagon to finally fight. The two top UFC welterweights have been begging for this fight for years.

As the UFC Vegas 11 main event got underway, Woodley immediately pushed forward. Covington seemed really patient to get things going. Both men exchanged leg kicks in the opening minute. Woodley went for a big right, and Covington immediately took Woodley down.

Covington started going to work with the ground and pound. Woodley worked his way back to the fence and used it to get back to his feet. Woodley was able to separate with three minutes left in the round. Covington continued to press forward pressuring Woodley.

Woodley landed a really good right body shot, but Covington countered with a big body kick. Covington landed a big right hand that he used to get back to a clinch. He did a really good job of landing good elbows in the clinch. Very good first round for Covington.

As the second round started, the former UFC interim champion started the pressure again. Woodley tried to throw some big shots, but nothing major came close early. Covington pushed Woodley back to the fence with shots, and immediately started to work from the clinch.

The two men separated, but Covington immediately pushed forward. Covington landed another body kick, but Woodley timed a good takedown. Woodley threatened with a guillotine as Covington defended, but it wouldn’t stick. Covington worked his way back to his feet.

Covington again looked to press Woodley back against the fence. The two men clinched again, and Covington pushed Woodley back to the fence. After they separated, Covington pushed forward with more pressure. Woodley was more active in round two, but it’s still a round for Covington.

The third round got underway with more Covington pressure. Woodley did seem pretty fresh, but an eye poke immediately paused the action. After the action resumed Woodley looked to press forward with big shots. Nothing hit the target and Covington countered with kicks.

Covington did a good job of keeping his hands up. Woodley pushed forward with big shots again, but Covington clinched him and pushed him against the fence. Covington did a really good job of landing some elbows in the clinch.

Woodley could not get off the fence as Covington’s pressure was very heavy. He tried to explode a few times, but Covington just pushed him back. Much less action in the third round, but its’ still a round that should be scored for Colby Covington.

As we entered the main event rounds, Covington continued to push forward with pressure. Covington landed a big headkick as he pushed Woodley back. Woodley landed a few really nice body kicks before Covington shot in and pushed him back against the fence.

Covington finally got the takedown and pushed Woodley to the ground. Woodley started looking a little fatigued from his back. Covington began to work the ground and pound with punches and elbows.

A big elbow bloodied the eye of Tyron Woodley. Covington was really coming on strong with the ground and pound in the fourth round. Covington’s pressure and shots were very heavy in the fourth round. Dominant fourth round for the former interim UFC welterweight champion.

As the final round got underway, Woodley was bouncing on his feet, but Covington backed him right up to the fence. Covington shot in and got another takedown. As Covington started working his top control something happened to Woodley. He winced in pain from his ribs and called for the fight to stop.

An odd finish, but nevertheless, a dominant win for Colby Covington. Covington called out the UFC welterweight champion and UFC’s BMF after the fight was over. A devastating loss for Tyron Woodley who has been dominated in three straight fights.

Eye Pokes lead to a draw in the Co-Main

The co-main event of the evening featured the UFC‘s record holder in virtually every category. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15, 1 NC) was looking to get back on track after four straight losses. Niko Price (14-4, 1 NC) was the man standing in his way of snapping that skid.

As the fight got underway, Price immediately pushed forward with big shots. Cerrone was getting caught early and often. Price was stunning Cerrone with virtually everything he was throwing. Somehow, Cowboy stayed on his feet through the onslaught.

Cowboy landed a couple of big knees which slowed down Price. The two men engaged in a clinch as the pace slowed significantly. Cerrone looked to be regaining his composure while Price was trying to catch his breath. Cowboy landed a few additional big knees in the clinch.

Cowboy landed a big headkick as the two men broke. Cerrone looked to be more confident until an eye poke slowed his pace. After the fight resumed, Price landed a couple of additional big shots. However, Price caught Cerrone with another eye poke. This one loses him a point. The round should be a 9-9.

As the second round got underway, Price continued to push forward. The two men seemed a little more tactical to start the second round. Price landed a big body shot that backed Cerrone told the fence. Cerrone was looking to work the leg kicks as Price worked the jab.

Cowboy landed a big combination that seemed to get Price’s attention. Cerrone really started to find a rhythm with jab in the second. Price seemed more content to counter strike while Cerrone was throwing more combinations.

Halfway through the round, Price started picking up the pace again. Cowboy found himself against the fence and Price really started to throw some serious heat. Price started to pull away with the striking numbers late in the second round. Very close second round that I slightly lean towards Price.

The final round got underway with both men embracing. Price got the action started with some heavy leg kicks. Again, Price was pushing Cerrone back to the fence. Cerrone timed a nice takedown and briefly had Price’s back, but Price got right back to his feet.

The two men then started striking from distance. Cowboy was doing a really decent job of finishing combinations with kicks, but Price kept pushing the pace. Halfway through the round, Cowboy timed another really good takedown and got to Price’s back.

However, this time, Cerrone was able to hold onto the back for about 30 seconds. No damage, but significant control time. Both men then resumed the striking contest. These two were just trading, and both were landing good shots.

With one minute left, Cerrone really started to land the better shots. However, Price kept pushing forward. Cerrone was landing cleaner shots with 30 seconds left. Both men exchanged massive combinations near the end. I gave the final round to Cerrone which makes the fight a draw. The judges agreed scoring the fight a draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28).

Khamzat Chimaev’s UFC hype train continues

The biggest prospect in the UFC took center stage tonight. Khamzat Chimaev (8-0) was looking to continue to ride the incredible momentum that he gained over the summer. Veteran Gerald Meerschaert (31-13) was looking to derail the hype train.

As the fight got underway, Chimaev could not stop smiling at Meerschaert. Chimaev pushed forward with kicks and pressure. Meerschaert was pressed back to the fence and Chimaev lands one massive right that puts Meerschaert out cold. The Chimaev UFC hype train just went to the next level.

Johnny Walker finishes Ryan Spann in the first

The third fight on the UFC Vegas 11 main card featured a light heavyweight contest between Johnny Walker (18-5) and Ryan Spann (18-6). Spann was looking to remain unbeaten in the UFC while Walker was looking to get back to his old form after two straight losses.

As the first round started, Johnny Walker immediately landed a massive leg kick and followed it with a shot that wobbled Spann. After seeming rocked for a second, Spann shot in and landed a takedown. Walker worked his way back up to his feet, but Spann pressed him against the fence.

Walker was able to break the clinch, but Spann dropped Walker with a massive shot. Spann followed up with some big shots, but Walker regained his composure. Spann dropped him again briefly, but then shot in for a takedown.

In close quarters, Walker started landing massive shots to the side of Spann’s head. Spann seemed rock from the shots, but kept trying for a takedown. Walker landed a massive elbow that crumbled Spann. The ref called a stop to the action, and Walker got back in the UFC win column with a TKO.

Dern’s Jiu Jitsu too much for Randa Markos

The second fight that was live on the UFC Vegas 11 main card was a strawweight contest between jiu jitsu world champion, Mackenzie Dern (9-1), and veteran, Randa Markos (10-9-1). Dern was looking to make it two in a row on her climb in the strawweight division.

As the first round started, both ladies immediately had a big exchange. Dern slipped trying to throw a head kick and landed on her back. Shockingly, Markos followed her to the ground and almost found herself in a triangle.

Dern was really showing off her elite grappling skills. She was able to transition her triangle attempt into having top control. After landing some solid elbows, Dern moved to attacking an armbar. She was able to lock it in, and Markos was forced to tap. Another impressive display and UFC win for Mackenzie Dern.

UFC Vegas 11 final takeaways

UFC Vegas 11 delivered with some excellent fights. Of course one of the big stories of the evening has to be Khamzat Chimaev who decimated Gerald Meerschaert in the first round. Of course the main event was a one sided beating from Colby Covington.

Now, the UFC makes their way to Fight Island for an insane five weeks of fights. It’s going to be fun, and fans should be excited.

UFC Vegas 11 Preview: Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley finally meet

UFC, Colby Covington

Tomorrow night, the UFC will host their final event in the US before packing up and leaving for for Fight Island for the next five weeks. In the main event, we have a fight that has been years in the making and it has a ton of heat.

Former UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley (19-5-1), and former interim champion, Colby Covington (15-2), will finally meet. The entire card is fantastic so let’s dive into the main card for previews and predictions.

Former UFC Champions Finally Fight

Tomorrow night is a big night in the UFC‘s welterweight division. The main event of the evening pairs two former champions and two top five contenders against each other. There’s not one fighter who has more on the line than Tyron Woodley.

Yes, nobody can take away what Woodley has done, but if he loses convincingly for a third time in a row, it might be time to hang it up. When the calendar turned to 2019 last year, many wondered who could beat Tyron Woodley.

The champion was dominant. He had brutal power in his hands, and fantastic wrestling. He used those tools to get to the top. However, his last two fights have seen a tentative Woodley who was outworked and outclassed by Gilbert Burns and Kamaru Usman.

Standing across from Woodley will be Colby Covington. One of the more polarizing figures in the sport, but also one of the best fighters in the world. Covington rose to the top of the welterweight division with his world class talent, and effective use of the microphone.

Starting in 2016, Covington went on a seven fight winning streak where he was not only undefeated but nobody really challenged him. Covington puts on a pace that many fighters just can’t keep up with. Last December at UFC 245, Covington took on Kamaru Usman.

The fight was razor close. I had the fight 2-2 going into the fifth round, but one judge had Covington up 3-1. He went on to lose by TKO, but he showed great striking and very solid overall skills in that contest. A rematch between those two could very much be in the cards.

As for this fight, Covington poses massive problems for Woodley. Woodley has really struggled with guys who push the pace and come at him heavy. Well, Covington is going to do the exact same thing. Covington is going to push forward with good striking and a pace that’ll be tough to keep up with.

The only path to victory that I see for Woodley in this fight is first round KO/TKO. If this fight gets into the second or third rounds, I think you’ll see Covington really start to cruise. I just don’t see Woodley getting the better of Covington in this one.

Prediction: Colby Covington by Unanimous Decision

Donald Cerrone vs Niko Price

The co-main event of the evening features a fantastic matchup in the UFC‘s welterweight division. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15, 1 NC) takes on Niko Price (14-4, 1 NC) in a fight that promises to deliver. Many are saying this could be fight of the night.

Over the past two years, it’s pretty clear what’s going to happen in a Niko Price fight. He’s either going to knock you out or he’s going to get knocked out trying. He’s 3-3 in his last six with all fights getting stopped by TKO or KO.

Price has been in the UFC for a while and put together a pretty nice resume. He holds wins over Alan Jouban, Randy Brown, Tim Means, and James VIck. The one knock on Price over the last couple of years has been his inconsistency as he tries to climb the ranks.

What is there to be said that hasn’t been said about Donald Cerrone. Cowboy holds virtually every record there is to hold in the UFC and he’s making the walk again. This time he’s trying to snap a four fight losing streak inside the octagon.

Now, those four fights have all come against former champions. Prior to the losing streak, many thought Cerrone was going to get another crack at the title. Cowboy has great skills on the feet and on the ground which is why he holds the finishes record.

I think that we are going to see a fight that primarily stays on the feet. While Price has looked really good on his feet over his last few fights, I think Cowboy has a little more technical skill to get it done. I’m expecting a war, and in the end, I’m taking Cowboy.

Prediction: Cowboy Cerrone by Unanimous Decision

Khamzat Chimaev vs Gerald Meerschaert

The third fight on the main card features the UFC‘s new budding star, Khamzat Chimaev (8-0). Chimeav came out of no where over the summer, but with two dominant victories on Fight Island in just 10 days, the MMA world fell in love with him.

Taking on Chimaev is going to be veteran Gerald Meerschaert (31-13). One has to wonder just how much the disrespect is getting to Meerschaert. The UFC has already booked Chimaev to fight on Fight Island, and the fight with Meerschaert hasn’t even taken place.

Meerschaert is fantastic on the ground holding 23 professional wins by submission. He is by no means a cupcake opponent for anyone. While he hasn’t defeated any top guys, his losses have come against guys like Thiago Santos, Ian Heinisch, and Jack Hermansson.

Chimaev would remind you of a bigger version of Khabib Nurmagomedov. All he wants to do is slam his opponent to the ground and smash their face in. However, I think we might see a little different strategy at first with Chimaev.

I’ve seen a lot of footage of Chimaev’s striking, and it’s actually very good. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Chimaev look to strike a bit. However, eventually he’s going to want to take this down. While Meerschaert is really good on the ground, I think the storm of top pressure and shots are going to be too much.

Prediction: Khamzat Chimaev by TKO – Round 2

Johnny Walker vs Ryan Spann

In the second fight on the main card, we have a matchup in the UFC‘s light heavyweight division between Johnny Walker (17-5) and Ryan Spann (18-5). Walker is another case of how quickly the tide can change in a UFC career.

At this point a year ago, Walker was one of the top prospects in the division. His flashy style combined with his power and size made him look like a future champion. However, Corey Anderson put a halt to that at UFC 244.

Walker was finished in the first round. Then in his return fight, Walker lost to Nikita Krylov back in March. In both of those fights, Walker just didn’t look like the same guy. He’s going to look to get back to his powerful finishing style against Spann.

Spann will enter the octagon on Saturday night riding an eight fight winning streak. He made an appearance on the Contender Series back in 2018. and since making his debut, he’s 4-0 inside the UFC. Spann has looked fantastic minus his last outing.

In his last fight, he had a close decision win against Sam Alvey. However, before that he had finishes over Devin Clark and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Spann is a jack of all trades that will throw finishing strikes and submissions at you.

This fight is very close on paper. I can see both guys winning this fight, and a lot is going to come down to which Johnny Walker we see. If we see the Johnny Walker with swagger, I think he takes it. If not, I think Spann has multiple paths to victory. I’m going on a limb with Walker on this one.

Prediction: Johnny Walker by TKO – Round 1

Mackenzie Dern vs Randa Markos

Kicking off the main card is a good matchup in the UFC‘s strawweight division as Mackenzie Dern (8-1) takes on Randa Markos (10-8-1). Markos is a very seasoned vet who has been in there with some of the best that the division has to offer.

In her tenure, Markos has wins over the likes of Angela Hill and Carla Esparza. Her last three losses have only come against top competition like Amanda Ribas, Claudia Gadelha, and Nina Ansaroff. Markos is a tough out in this division.

She has really good skills on the ground, and she’s got a pressuring striking style that can give Dern problems. A key for this fight is going to be for Markos to keep it standing and strike from distance. That is her path to victory.

There might not be a better grappler in women’s MMA than Mackenzie Dern. She is an absolute wizard on the ground, and she operates like quick sand. Once the fight touches the mat, it’s just inevitable that she’s going to get the win.

Dern is still relatively green in her overall MMA game, but she’s improving with every outing. However, there’s no secret as to what her strategy is on Saturday night. She’s going to look for the takedown and submission to end the fight.

Randa Markos is so tough, but can she keep Mackenzie Dern off of her. That is going to be the question in this one, and I’m just not sure she can. If this fight gets in close quarters, I’m not sure it’s going to last very long despite Markos’ decent grappling skills.

Prediction: Mackenzie Dern by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 1

UFC Vegas 11 Outlook

This fight card is absolutely fantastic from top to bottom. The UFC is really putting their best foot forward on their final show before the promotion packs their bags for Fight Island. So many storylines and fun fights will fill up the screen on Saturday night.

UFC: Khamzat Chimaev to fight Gerald Meerschaert (Reports)

Dana White said yesterday that the UFC was working on two fights for their budding star, Khamzat Chimaev (8-0). White said that Chimaev would fight in the US before fighting again on Fight Island.

White did say that the UFC was looking to book Chimaev and Demian Maia (28-10) for Fight Island. While he said they were working on a fight for him in the APEX, he didn’t say who he’d fight. Well per multiple reports, Chimaev will be taking on Gerald Meerschaert (31-13) at middleweight.

UFC loves Chimaev

After Chimaev dominated his two opponents on Fight Island, he said that he would take on anyone at middleweight and welterweight. He actually said he would smash both UFC champions in the same night.

While the UFC is working on his welterweight matchup for Fight Island, his tune up fight will come at middleweight against Meerschaert on September 19th. Meerschaert is a UFC vet who’s made the walk to the octagon 11 times.

The last time we saw Meerschaert was back in June when he fought Ian Heinisch. Unfortunately for Meerschaert, he was knocked out in the first round. This is a very tough draw for Meerschaert especially coming off of a loss.

It’s very clear that Dana White and the UFC love Khamzat Chimaev. He is on the fast track now, and he has all the makings of a guy who could be a serious problem in the UFC. Like Chimaev said, he could be a problem at welterweight and middleweight.

UFC: Ian Heinisch out of UFC 250 after cornerman tests positive for COVID-19

UFC 250 has lost one of it’s featured prelims for Saturday night. Multiple reports have come out stating that a member of Ian Heinisch’s corner has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the UFC has decided to pull Heinisch from the card.

Heinisch (13-3), is currently ranked as the thirteenth best middleweight in the UFC according to the UFC’s official rankings. Heinisch was looking to use this fight against Gerald Meerschaert (31-12) as a way to get back on track. Heinisch was riding high last year entering his fight against Derek Brunson back at UFC 241. Many people were considering Heinisch to be a rising star in the division with a record of 13-1, and the Brunson fight was considered his first big step up in competition. Heinisch went on to lose that fight then he lost a decision to Omari Akhmedov back at UFC 245. Heinisch is still in the top fifteen, but needed a solid performance on Saturday night to right the ship.

As of right now, there is no word on what the UFC is going to do. There is no word on if Meerschaert will stay on the card or if they are going to move this fight to a later date. The UFC has enacted strict testing measures with the pandemic going on, and this is the second fight that has been cancelled due to COVID-19. At UFC 249, Jacare Souza tested positive for COVID-19, and his fight with Uriah Hall was cancelled. This has to be frustrating for Heinisch who by all signs tested negative for the virus, but the UFC is taking no chances with the pandemic going on. Assuming Heinisch does not test positive, you will likely see the UFC get him a fight as soon as possible even if the opponent is not Meerschaert.