This seems like a rough night for everyone. The English star lost in brutal fashion and I think pretty much everyone’s predictions just went out the window. Not all my predictions went the way I had hoped, but I’m here to explain what went wrong. What good is defeat if you don’t learn?
Mike Grundy def. Nad Narimani by TKO
I expected Grundy to be weaker on the feet. As soon as I heard that he trains with Darren Till, I immediately went “OP.” Grundy outstruck Narimani in the first round along with time in the top position. He finished that in the second round when the ref stopped it after Narimani was just standing there taking shots.
I really liked what I saw from Grundy. He was painted as a specialist wrestler, but he proved he brings in powerful striking as well. Looking forward to seeing more of him.
Molly McCann def. Priscilla Cachoeira by DEC
Hot damn, was this a good fight. They were both just piecing each other up and Priscilla clipped Meatball good, breaking the girl’s orbital. She rang out a decision though, in very impressive fashion. I thought a loss here would send the loser home, but both these girls will have more fights on their way after a performance like that.
Like just look at Meatball.
Dan Ige def. Danny Henry by SUB
This one hurt. I had Henry in every single lineup I made. And this is how he repays me? I thought sure Ige has the wrestling, but Henry has good takedown defense and will walk over him on the feet with his range. Ige popped him in the first minute and sent him to the ground. After that, he sunk in a rear naked choke to finish in under a minute and a half. This fight is what really stung and just put me in a bad mood for the rest of the prelims.
Just imagine someone pacing back and forth for about an hour, just occasionally muttering, “Little bastard Danny.”
Saparbeg Safarov def. Nicolae Negumereanu by DEC
Apart from blatant fence-grabbing in the first round, Safarov had an incredible performance. His striking had all the power of before but was much more technical. He also showcased his sambo skills, which he had never really used in the Octagon, despite being the World Combat Sambo champion.
Old buddy Nic had a rough night and lacked all of the explosive and wild style that brought him to the Octagon. Hopefully, it was just freshman jitters.
Marc Diakese def. Joe Duffy by DEC
This one really shocked me. Everyone knew Diakese hit hard, but he never was known for setting his shots up well, which is what led to his three-fight losing streak. I thought Duffy would clean him out on the feet and on the ground, but Bonecrusher had him beat pretty much everywhere. It looks like Diakese is going to turn his slump around and make it just a fluke.
Arnold Allen def. Jordan Rinaldi by DEC
This was a showcase for the breadth of Allen’s skills. He has an answer for everything that Rinaldi did. He shot a takedown, Arnold could get away. He throws a kick, Arnold follows with his own. Arnold Allen didn’t do anything too special, just outclassed his opponent in every way. Just like pretty much everyone expected.
Jack Marshman def. John Phillips by Split DEC
This was the most surprising thing for me. Not exactly that Marshman won, but that it went the distance. This was hyped up to be two sluggers who were just gonna go at it. Marshman decided to go for a more strategical approach and did not give in to Phillip’s provocations. To be honest, I thought Phillips won. He outstruck him, hit bigger shots, and pressure the whole fight. But I’m not a judge, so oh well.
Claudio Silva def. Danny Roberts by SUB
Roberts was killing it in the first two rounds. He avoided Silva’s submissions and flipped to top position whenever he saw an opportunity. He was dominating Silva on the feet and pounding the Brazilian on all fronts. In the third round, he got a little loose and let his arm go, which Hannibal gladly snatched up. If he hadn’t done that, this would have been a decision for him. Regardless of speculation, this was a great performance by both fighters and I’m excited to see more from both of them.
Nathaniel Wood def. Jose Quinonez by SUB
Wood outstruck him. He outgrappled him. He outclinched him. The only thing Quinonez had going for him was his kicks, and I would like to see Wood counter shots like that better going forward. The Prospect is definitely a huge prospect.
I think Quinonez would honestly do the best hopping up to Featherweight. He’s an absolute twig and he doesn’t have the chin or hands to contend at Bantamweight. Get some more meat on his bones, and things might play out a little better.
Dominick Reyes def. Volkan Oezdemir by Split DEC
Reyes did not look like his usual self in there. He never scored a big shot or knockdown on Oezdemir, and I credit that to Oezdemir’s chin. Oezdemir popped Reyes a few more times and the only reason the Dominator came out with a win is for his high volume kicks, and there is a DEFINITE argument that Volkan won there.
Heyyy, Uncle Dana. WOuld you please, please, pretty please, give me Oezdemir vs. Johnny Walker? Thank you, that’ll be all.
Leon Edwards def. Gunnar Nelson by Split DEC
I was practically in tears in the last minute. Nelson had him mounted and was just slapping him. I was screaming at my TV, “GO GO! GUNNI! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!?” He didn’t really listen and Leon Edwards rode out to a split decision victory. But props to Leon Edwards! The man dominated Gunnar on the feet and had a complete answer for him on the ground. I’m still not totally on the Edwards hype train, but I’m getting there.
Jorge Masvidal def. Darren Till by KO
Damn. This shocked everyone. Till was out on his feet and hit the canvas with his head bouncing. The entire O2 Arena was in complete silence along with me. This was a great fight and Till had Masvidal rocked a few times, but Masvidal’s chin held up where the Gorilla’s didn’t.
I want Till to fight Askren. That would be great. That one’s on me, Uncle Dana. Actually, I’ll give you a two for one. Masvidal vs. Woodley. There you go, chop chop.
So pretty much everyone was shocked by the results this weekend. Quite frankly, I’m disappointed that I didn’t perform as well, but hey, that’s MMA. I did realize I wasn’t watching as many prior fights like I normally do, so next weekend at UFC Nashville, I’m going to be back to watching every damn Octagon performance. I owe it to myself and all of you to offer the most researched and looked into predictions. SO keep an eye out, because we got a banger next weekend.
Until next time, Freaks.