FightWatch: UFC Fight Night- Waterson vs. Hill
So, last week's show- Overeem vs. Sakai- got ravaged by COVID and injuries- coming in with only 7 fights, leaving us without a prelim card. This card was affected too, but at the top level- the original main event of the show was Glover Teixeira vs. Thiago Santos, but Glover tested positive for COVID. So, on short notice, the Karate Hottie, Michelle Waterson and Angela "Overkill" stepped up to fill the 5 round main event spot. Let's have a look at how it all went down.
Fight 1: Women's Flyweight (125): Sabina Mazo def. Justine Kish via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:57 of R3
WORTH A WATCH? This was a really good way to kick the action off. And speaking of kicking, both fighters landed signficant head kicks- Mazo landed big in the first round, while Kish returned fire in the second. And just when it seemed like a hard-hitting, competitive bout that was going to the scorecards, Mazo landed some more heavy strikes, enabling her to take the back and quickly sink in the choke. Great work.
Fight 2: Welterweight (170): Bryan Barberena def. Anthony Ivy via unanimous decision (30-27 X2, 29-28)
WORTH A WATCH? It was a pretty good scrap. If you loathe wrestling and are yelling "stand em up!" at the ref 5 seconds after a takedown, this one might not be for you, as Ivy sticks to Barberena like glue looking to plant the man on the canvas. Barberena does a good job getting up and away though, and cracks Ivy with fire power every time he gets the chance. Barberena is one of those undercard fighters that is always good value, coming to scrap.
Fight 3: Catchweight (165): Jalin Turner def. Brok Weaver via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:20 (nice) of R2
WORTH A WATCH? Absolutely, this was a great showcase for Jalin Turner. From the first jab that kind of staggered Weaver, it was clear that Turner had sharper, superior striker. However, Weaver was tough as nails and displayed some skills of his own, including reversing position after getting dropped in R1. R2 saw a strange moment where Turner dropped his opponent and walked away, but it wasn't a KO. So they go to the ground for the sub. Top notch action, while Turner was clearly the better fighter, it was a nice showing from Weaver too.
Fight 4: Heavyweight (265) Alexandr Romanov def. Roque Martinez via submission (arm triangle choke) at 4:22 of R2
WORTH A WATCH? This Romanov is one to watch, that's for sure. He's like a heavyweight Khabib with his style, or as Bisping describes him, a "giant polar bear". Excellent wrestling skills, taking Martinez to Suplex City and then going Hulk Smash with the ground and pound- he literally threw down double hammerfists from the mount like the Incredible Hulk! After getting the dominant submission win, he throws his coach down with a suplex in celebration. As you do. An extremely fun and intriguing prospect!
Fight 5: Lightweight (155) Kevin Croom def. Roosevelt Roberts via submission (guillotine choke) at 0:31 of R1
WORTH A WATCH? Wow! The commentary team just finish telling us that Roberts is the biggest betting favourite on the card against the debuting Croom... and Croom immediately cracks him and snatches up a high angle guillotine! Damn son! MMA, man. The most unpredictable sport there is. Awesome.
Fight 6: Women's Bantamweight (135): Sijara Eubanks def. Julia Avila via unanimous decision (29-27 X 3)
WORTH A WATCH? This was really intense, with frenetic action in spurts. Both ladies started each round throwing bombs at each other in the pocket, like their fight camps consisted of them being tied to a chair to watch Wanderlei Silva PRIDE fights. Some slick grappling exchanges too, but Eubanks imposed her will on the ground midway through the fight, controlling Avila for the majority of the time. Still kept the action going with ground and pound and submission attempts. Never really a boring moment, with both Eubanks and Avila constantly attacking each other, even in defensive positions. Entertaining 15 minutes.
Fight 1: Featherweight (145): Billy Quarantillo def. Kyle Nelson via KO (punch) at 0:07 of R3
WORTH A WATCH? Damnnnn, Billy's got some power! Both guys were throwing heat throughout, but Quarantillo's shots had a bit more behind them, and Nelson barely made it out of R2 after some heavy strikes. The first 1-2 combination of R3 made Nelson faceplant. A near flawless performance.
Fight 2: Lightweight (155): Bobby Green def. Alan Patrick via unanimous decision (30-27 X 3)
WORTH A WATCH? This is the first fight of the card I would actually recommend skipping. Comfortable, grappling-based victory for Green. Grappling doesn't have to be boring... but this one was. Takedowns and ground control, minimal ground and pound to avoid stand-ups, no submission attempts from the top... a win is a win, but eh. Not exciting to watch at all. The last minute and a half of the fight picked up... but that's only 10% of the time in the cage.
Fight 3: Light Heavyweight (205) Ed Herman def. Mike Rodriguez via submission (kimura) at 4:01 of R3
WORTH A WATCH? It was fascinating viewing, but not entirely due to the fight quality. The referee Chris Tognoni called a low blow foul when it was actually a body shot on Ed Herman. Herman milked it, taking even longer than what someone would typically take after receiving a groin strike. Then we head into R3, when it should have been a R2 TKO for Rodriguez. Rodriguez dropped Ed again in the third, swarms to finish... and then Herman snatches a kimura from the bottom for the comeback and controversial victory! Dana White called the ref mistake "Mazzagatti-level", which is about as big an insult you could give to a MMA referee.
Fight 4: Women's Flyweight (125): Roxanne Modaferri def. Andrea Lee via UD (29-28 X 3)
WORTH A WATCH? This was your typical Roxy fight. I've always thought Modaferri isn't a particularly skilled athlete, but she gets it done more often than not through sheer hard work and grit. This was evident here- her striking is basic and she just seemed to get the better of grappling exchangers with her determination. This was okay. A light recommendation here. If you're short on time, you won't lose any sleep by missing it. It was better than Green vs. Patrick though.
A video package airs on Woodley vs. Covington, the main event of the next Fight Night (which is stacked). A lot of bad blood here, which almost gives this a WWE tone. I think both men are absolute dickheads, and best case scenario would be a double KO, but at a push, I want to see Colby's MAGA hat wearing head go flying into the nosebleeds.
Fight 5: Ottman Azaitar def. Khama Worthy via TKO (punches) at 1:33 of R1
WORTH A WATCH? First round finishes always are! This continued a trend of underdogs winning on this card- I had no idea who Azaitar was until I watched this fight, but I know now. The first minute or so, it was a measured approach, respecting each other's power... then Azaitar went berserker mode. Brilliant!
Main Event- Strawweight (115): Michelle Waterson def. Angela Hill via split decision (49-46, 48-47, 47-48)
WORTH A WATCH? This was simply non-stop action. Hill brought the heat early, in line with her pre-fight assertions that Waterson was a "point fighter". Her power punches gave her the early rounds, then the Karate Hottie started finding her target in the 3rd and 4th rounds, mixing punches and kicks. Round 5 was great with an unbelievable amount of speed and aggression for two fighters that had already gone at it for 20+ minutes. Both of them set a personal best record for significant strikes, which says a lot for the approach and the look of this fight. Extremely entertaining to watch, tremendous display of skill and heart. A well-deserved Fight of the Night bonus was awarded to these two.
Overall, a very entertaining show. Waterson vs. Hill, regardless of some debate over the decision, was one of the better fights we've had this year. Controversy of course in Herman vs. Rodriguez, and that always keeps things interesting. I'm just glad that the UFC is still running, helping to take my mind of the shit-show that 2020 has been. When life's bad, it's always good to watch people getting punched in the face.
Until next time, take care,