Hot damn. HOT! DAMN!
Showtime put on a helluva show last night in Nashville. Everyone said, “Oh, he’ll be outclassed at 170.” “He won’t be able to handle the heavier hands and size gap.”
Guess who called that? Ya boi! But anyways, let’s get on with it. For anyone who took any of my predictions to the bank, you got a nice ass payday. You can check out my predictions, but I only got two wrong, so I’m actually kind of proud of myself.
However, although the main event had me screaming for joy, the rest of the card was a little disappointing. 8 out of 12 matches went to decision, but it was still very enjoyable for those like me who like to see the technical side of fighting. So in Fight Freaks fashion, we’re going to start at the bottom and work our way up.
Jordan Espinosa def. Eric Shelton via Unanimous Decision
A lot of people counted out Espinosa as not having the experience or fight IQ to handle himself on the feet with Shelton. Not only did he prove them wrong, but he put on a solid performance and wound different parts of his game together to produce a solid show. Hopefully, the Flyweights aren’t scrapped because there are quite a few solid talents. How about a crack at Magomed Bibulatov next?
Chris Gutierrez def. Ryan MacDonald by Unanimous Decision
So this fight didn’t have the fireworks I was hoping for from two fighters with a lack of regard for defense. However, Gutierrez fought his way to a decision over an opponent who was completely overmatched. Honestly, the Bantamweight division is way too stacked for either of these fighters and they still haven’t shown me any Octagon potential. I don’t really see either of these fighters being solid bets going forward.
Randa Markos def. Angela Hill by Round 1 Submission
HELL YES RED! Randa brutalized Angela Hill on the ground after slapping her around on the feet. I may be a bit biased towards her after seeing her fight in person and I’ve always liked her fighting style. If she could keep up consistent performances at the level of this one, Markos may be a threat to the division and I am very excited to see more from her. I think she is an underrated fighter and I think she has a solid future as her fight IQ gets higher through experience.
Jennifer Maia def. Alexis Davis by Unanimous Decision
I thought Maia’s Octagon debut did not represent her as a fighter and I was right. Although Davis put up a solid fight, Maia looked to be more well-rounded. While she is still fairly new, I see her having promise and a serious contender for the Flyweights in the future. I think she handled the challenge of Davis well. Her biggest problem to me seems to be ramping up. I think she needs to adjust to three round fights and she will make a world of difference.
Marlon Vera def. Frankie Saenz by Round 1 TKO
Every time I’ve picked Marlon Vera he has not let me down. Saenz was seen by many as a live underdog but Chito just walked over him. Vera has been around for a while and I would like to see him take on some higher level competition. I’d love to see him take on Thomas Almeida. Make it happen, Uncle Dana.
Bryce Mitchell def. Bobby Moffett by Split Decision
This won FOTN quite deservingly. Normally when two grapplers go at it, they just stand and weakly fling shots for fear of submissions. Not these two. They dove right into it, with Moffett throwing d’arces and Mitchell countering with his own attacks. Although I disagree with the decision and thought that the Wolfman deserved the W, Mitchell fought his heart out and took a well-deserved win. Both these fighters showed a lot of promise and neither should be discounted going forward.
Maycee Barber def. JJ Aldrich by Round 2 TKO
My girl Maycee furthered her hype train with a savage KO in the second. What I find most notable for Barber isn’t her skill when she pressures or her power at 125. It’s actually the first round. Aldrich was all over “The Future” and Barber did not have an answer for her pressure, even suffering a knockdown. I am THRILLED by this. I think that these fighters who excited crowds get thrown to the elite without any pushback and it ends badly for them. However, getting to see her own weaknesses and find where her game can improve is a vital part of becoming a champion and I see a great Future for Maycee.
Luis Pena def. Steven Peterson by Unanimous Decision
Wowwww. Somehow Luis Pena missed weight. *insert eye roll emoji* His 6’3 frame held up in the cage and although missing weight did discount his performance a little, he holds promise, but I am going to hop off the Pena hype train. Although DC was oogling him the whole fight, he was kind of failing to impress. Well, impress me, at least. I think Pena would do better at Lightweight. Although that size advantage over Peterson (who is a tall Featherweight in his own right), I think he lost a bit of power for his punches. Either that or Peterson has a killer chin (which is definitely possible after watching his prior fights). Hopefully, Pena will put back on those ten pounds if only to save his purse. Or alternatively, drop down to 135.
Jussier Formiga def. Deiveson Figueiroda by Unanimous Decision
This wasn’t super surprising to me. I thought that if Deivy didn’t get the knockout, he would be looking at a loss and that’s how it went. Formiga knew how to use his advantages over the powerful striker and showed off his grappling by dominating Figueiroda on the ground, who is a black belt himself. If all is right in the world, Formiga will get the next title shot, but that won’t happen if Uncle Dana gets his way.
John Makdessi def. Jesus Pinedo by Unanimous Decision
This fight was just bad. Somehow, Makdessi, although being the smaller fighter, picked Pinedo apart from range while Pinedo just stood there. There’s not much else to say. This was just really disappointing.
Curtis Blaydes def. Justin Willis by Unanimous Decision
BIG TITTY, GO HOME!
Those were Blaydes’ words after utterly dominating Justin Willis for three rounds. Willis has absolutely no answer for Razor Blaydes’ wrestling, despite spouting all of Fight Week that he did. Curtis needed this win after being smacked good by The Predator, and he delivered. He showed that at a young age of 28, he is here to stay.
I keep rewatching the post-fight show and laughing over and over. Cormier just looked so sad after watching his protege in Willis get walked over and just had to stand in front of Blaydes and listen to him talk about it. HAHAHAH!
Anthony Pettis def. Stephen Thompson by Round 2 Knockout
The first two rounds told a tale of Thompson beating Pettis by being more technical. He was outstepping Pettis and using his counter shots to damage Showtime whenever he came in. However, Pettis always fired back with leg kicks. Over and over he smacked those legs and by the end of the first round, you could see what was happening to Wonderboy because of those kicks. Besides the massive red splotches, Thompson’s karate stance got even wider and more exposed. At the end of the second round, Pettis saw his shot and fired a Superman Punch right into Thompson’s skull. He was out before he hit the ground.
Goddamn, was this good for Anthony Pettis (and my bank account.) Pettis proved that he has serious skill at 170. He plans to switch between weight classes, but I would like to see him just stay at 170. Not only does it make his run for the title easier, but he doesn’t have to cut weight. I would love to see weight cutting becoming less of a thing in the future of MMA and Pettis could put us in the right direction.
Poor Wonderboy, though. This was his first knockout in MMA and his first knockout in 80 total fights. His stock isn’t looking too good, as he will have to put on multiple shows in order to run for the title and that isn’t good news for the 36-year-old. Yet, he is still a very impressive fighter who mounts a danger for many in the Welterweight division and it will be very intriguing to see where both fighters go next.
I hope all y’all enjoyed these fights. Next week we have some certified bangers on good ol’ regular ESPN for everyone to enjoy, so I’ll see you on Thursday for my predictions.
Until next time, Freaks.