This show is really becoming one of my favorite MMA promotions, especially with the added benefit of cutting up the MMA weekends nicely.
I just don’t want more of Dominick Cruz on the mic, let’s cut that shit out right now. Annnnddddd, it’s Dom on the mic.
Anyways, we have a card that finally features more women since the appearance of recent UFC fighter Hannah Goldy, along with an appearance for Gilbert Burns’ brother, Herbert.
Contract winner(s) are highlighted in gold.
Omar Morales def. Harvey Park by Round 2 Knockout (LW)
Omar Morales is one of these fighters similar to Michel Pereira or Johnny Walker, who use their power to throw wild strikes and entertain the crowd, while giving them an incredible highlight-reel knockout along the way. Morales did that once again, dismantling Park with his striking to the point where the only success Park had was holding Omar in the clinch for a few moments.
In the second round, Morales’ leg kicks put Park in a bad spot, with what was a probably a broken leg. Omar turned it on at that point, able to use Park’s handicapped movement to land some bombs and send Park to sleep. Although the Lightweight division is already talent-stacked, Park will likely become a fan favorite with his style and heavy hands. If he gets more experienced, he will be well-suited with his expert striking, power, and takedown defense.
Lucrezia Ria def. Marilia Santos by Split Decision (FLW)
What a fight. I mean really, from standing and trading on the feet to elite transitions and battles on the ground, this had the best of both martial arts worlds.
This was such a close fight and I thought Santos deserved the win. She does still have holes in her striking defense, but for a fighter who hasn’t ever seen a third, she fought through incredibly well. The judo brown belt often found her way into top position, even off of impressive takedowns by Santos and her defense was next level against all the various submission threats thrown at her.
I wish I could have seen more of her own entries, but she utilized her length well and this experience having her cardio and fight pacing extended will really round out her game. I liked what I saw from her striking in those first two rounds before she was entirely gassed and the kicking she used really worked wonders for her whether she was pressuring or being pressured.
Herbert Burns def. Derrick Minner by Round 1 Submission (FTW)
Herbert Burns went through hellfire here to get that round 1 finish. He leaned heavily on his jiu-jitsu against another jiu-jitsu expert. I can’t blame him, as we did see him getting picked apart on the feet by minner. He loves to roll for heel hooks or pull guard and that eventually helped him out when Minner got overjealous when looking for his own finish.
Although Burns has expert BJJ, I am wary on him getting pulled up too quickly off his brother’s (Gilbert Burns) name, similar to Antonina Shevchenko. One of the things that has kept Burns in such a high place in the UFC is his combination of power with elite jiu-jitsu. Burns doesn’t have the same striking technique or power and also carries a different jiu-jitsu style. I need to see better striking from him before I am as confident in him as his brother.
Andre Muniz def. Taylor Johnson by Round 1 Submission (MW)
Johnson had never seen even the three-minute mark of the first round and the reason why became apparent as soon as the ref said “Fight.” Johnson blitzed Muniz but ended up walking into a counter, which he replied to with a takedown. From there, he started to get off his famous ground and pound. However, a postured-up top game is a jiu-jitsu practitioner’s delight, as Muniz threw up triangles and armbars. Once, it returned to the feet, Muniz wasted no time taking the back and locking in a RNC.
Muniz is another jiu-jitsu practitioner and ground elite, but at Middleweight, there are less ground specialists than other weight classes. I mean there’s Jacare, Meerschaert, and a few other middling fighters, but Middleweight is mainly a striking division. Even Yoel Romero leans more on his striking these days. Muniz may switch that up and find success there, but clearly has some heavy hands that he showed in his well-placed counter.
Dwight Joseph def. Jason Perrin by Unanimous Decision (BW)
The oddsmakers were dead on here, as this was an incredible and extremely close fight. Joseph had the edge in power and clearly was hurting Perrin with his leg and teep kicks, as well as mixing in some wrestling. Perrin took control time on the mat, but a portion of that was lodged in the guillotine of Joseph. The cardio was a large role in this match, as the more deadly finisher prior to this, Joseph, had seen less mat time and his utterly jacked form does not lend him many favors in the cardio side of things. Although it was a decision and those are somewhat frowned upon at the Contender Series, a dangerous fighter with an incredible backstory will be sure to be seen again by UFC fans and Joseph is no different.
I am loving this show and the influx of talent it is bringing with it. Check out last week’s review right here, but otherwise, we have three more episodes of DWCS comign this summer.
Until next time, Freaks.