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FightWatch- UFC: Font vs. Aldo


Back with a stacked Fight Night card! Great to see a number of Aussies on the card too- sadly, Jake Matthews was forced out of his fight with hours to go, originally scheduled to face Jeremiah Wells, but one of Wells' cornermen tested positive for COVID-19. Heart-breaking news for the Celtic Kid, travelling from Melbourne to Vegas for this fight.


The main event should be a banger as well, as the legendary Jose Aldo takes on Rob Font in a five-round showdown at bantamweight. Aldo seemed to find a new lease on life at 135, let's see if he can keep that momentum going against Font!


Prelims


Fight 1: (135) Louis Smolka vs. Vince Morales


Thoughts: The lighter weight classes aren't known for their one punch stopping power, but that's what Morales delivered here. It was in a surprising situation too, as Smolka applied a clinch and Morales landed a massive overhand to break the hold and drop him. Great start to the fights tonight!


Winner: Vince Morales via KO (punch) at 2:02 of R1

Fight 2: (155) Claudio Puelles vs. Chris Gruetzemacher


Thoughts: Puelles showed an excellent ground game throughout this fight. In the first round, he got into mount towards the end of the round. In the second, he almost locked in a triangle. And finally in the third, he outmanuevered Gruetzemacher to get the finish. Gruetzemacher was tough, but ultimately it was superior technique by Puelles that got the job done. Proof that the ground game is far from boring when done right.


Winner: Claudio Puelles via submission (kneebar) at 3:25 of R3


Fight 3: (205) Alonzo Menifield vs. William Knight


Thoughts: The result was a tad surprising to me here. It seemed like Knight won R1 with a flurry towards the end that almost ended the fight, then Menifield had a solid second to even things up. In R3, Menifield played it safe by clinching against the cage for 4 mins, then Knight had a few shots in the waning seconds before the final score. An audibly frustrated DC on commentary wondered which two rounds Knight won, and I'd like to know as well. Was fun to watch before the fairly dull third round.


Winner: William Knight via unanimous decision (29-28 X 3)


Fight 4: (W-115) Cheyanne Vlismas vs. Mallory Martin


Thoughts: This was a striking clinic! Both ladies threw with intent for 3 rounds, and the "let's fucking go!" that Vlismas screamed in the final seconds as she unloaded a final barrage said it all. No bad blood though, as they hugged after a hard second round and again to end the fight. Won Fight Of The Night, and deservedly so.


Winner: Cheyanne Vlismas via UD (30-27, 29-28 X 2)


Fight 5: (170) Bryan Barberena vs. Darian Weeks


Thoughts: This was a classic Bryan Barberena fight, in that it was a war. Weeks was game every step of the way, at one point exactly matching Barberena in significant strikes, but Barberena was able to use his veteran instincts in the 3rd round, turning up the heat and aggression to another level. Weeks got a late takedown, but Barberena was able to get back up and land a couple more bombs before the horn sounded.


Winner: Bryan Barberena via UD (29-28 X 3)


Fight 6: (125) Manuel Kape vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov


Thoughts: Incredible performance by Kape. Just leagues ahead on the striking, with sharp punches and heavy kicks, and something like a 30 punch combo against the cage that eventually sat down Zhumagulov.


Winner: Manuel Kape via TKO (punches) at 4:02 of R1

Fight 7: (185) Maki Pitolo vs. Dusko Todorovic


Thoughts: Pitolo looked like the sharper fighter on the feet in the early going, but then things got to the ground. Todorovic was ahead everywhere there. Pitolo went for a guillotine choke, but Todorovic escaped and worked his way to mount, where he just rained down ground and pound until the referee was forced to call it off. Very impressive adjustments by Todorovic.


Winner: Dusko Todorovic via TKO (ground and pound) at 4:34 of R1


Main Card


Fight 1: (170) Alex Morono vs. Mickey Gall


Thoughts: Mickey Gall was "game", as the commentators said, which was a nice way of saying he was a bit outmatched by Alex Morono. Morono got the better of the striking and avoided Gall's excellent grappling game. Very clear cut victory. Gall has made striking improvements from his early days, but there's still a major gap between his striking and grappling skill.


Winner: Alex Morono via UD (30-27 X 3)


Fight 2: (185) Brendan Allen vs. Chris Curtis


Thoughts: Interesting battle here. Allen came kinda close with a leg lock towards the end of R1, but it was in R2 where the power of Curtis came into play, with a nice body-head combination that wobbled Allan. Curtis swarms and gets the finish following a flurry against the fence, punctuated by some brutal knees. Excellent performance and finishing instincts by Curtis.


Winner: Chris Curtis via TKO (punches and knees) at 1:58 of R2


Fight 3: (155) Clay Guida vs. Leonardo Santos


Thoughts: What an f'n comeback! Santos beat the hell out of Guida in R1, landing 36 significant strikes to Guida's 0, but Guida moved just enough to survive. Then in R2, Guida managed to choke an exhausted Santos and got the tap. Amazing!


Winner: Clay Guida via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:21 of R2


Fight 4: (205) Jimmy Crute vs. Jamahal Hill


Thoughts: Damn! This one really ended before it could get going. Hill drops Crute with a massive right hook in the opening seconds, Crute faceplants but somehow recovers, only to get blasted with the same shot moments later! Huge finish.


Winner: Jamahal Hill via KO (punches) at 0:48 of R1

Fight 5: (155) Brad Riddell vs. Rafael Fiziev


Thoughts: Earned a Performance of the Night for Fiziev, but this was also a good contender for FOTN. Razor-close bout between two in the top 15, with frequent explosions of speed and power in the striking exchanges. As Din Thomas noted, Fiziev looked calm while Riddell often looked panicked, and it was that composure that saw Fiziev land the finishing blow. Riddell wasn't completely out, but he was definitely seeing stars after that kick! Excellent fight.


Winner: Rafael Fiziev via TKO (spinning wheel kick) at 2:20 of R3


Main Event: (135) Rob Font vs. Jose Aldo


Thoughts: Crazy to see Jose Aldo still operate at the level he does. He was looking a step behind early against Font, but found success late in the first, scoring a knockdown and almost a finish. That gave the King of Rio renewed confidence, and he carried that through the rest of the fight. High level action, where Font gave his best, but Aldo showed why he's one of the all time greats. A masterful performance by Aldo.


Winner: Jose Aldo via UD (50-45 X 2, 49-46)


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Image of Mick Robson, founder of The Arena Media

Mick Robson is a freelance writer from Australia. A lifelong fan of pro wrestling and MMA, he endeavours to bring that passion through his coverage in news, reviews and opinion pieces.

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