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UFC: Grasso vs. Araujo Results & Thoughts (15/10/2022)


By Mick Robson


This past weekend- Saturday Night in the US, Sunday Morning in Australia- UFC hosted a Fight Night at their Apex facility. The last UFC event at the Apex saw Mark Zuckerberg take over the facility to simp over Mackenzie Dern... I mean, test out some new technology or something.


This card is headlined by a women's flyweight showdown between Alexa Grasso and Viviane Araujo. The main card also features veterans like Cub Swanson and Raphael Assuncao, while the prelims features names like Jacob Malkoun (training partner of Robert Whittaker) and Mike Jackson (of whooping CM Punk fame- before the ganja got his W overturned).


Let's do this!


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Prelims


Fight 1: (170) Pete Rodriguez def. Mike Jackson via KO (punches and knee) at 1:33 of R1


Thoughts: Well. That was an impactful way to open the card! The talking points in this one from commentary during each fighter's entrance was that both men were aggressive strikers, and that it could be "loser leaves the UFC". Jackson got absolutely starched, and you have to think being on the receiving end of such a highlight reel finish, in such a one-sided fight, probably spells the end of Mike Jackson's time in the Octagon. Hee hee.


Fight 2: (Catchweight- 129) Tatsuro Taira def. CJ Vergara via submission (armbar) at 4:19 of R2


Thoughts: Really intriguing ground battle to contrast with the quick striking in the first fight. Taira maintained a lot of ground control- over a full round of top control- but Vergara was good with his defense, managing to sweep a couple of times in the first, including a great transition into an arm triangle choke attempt. R2 saw Taira get the back, and while Vergara was adept at fighting off the rear naked choke for the majority of the round, a slick transition from the back to the armbar spelled the end of this one.


Fight 3: (W-115) Piera Rodriguez def. Sam Hughes via unanimous decision (29-28 X 3)


Thoughts: The former LFA champion comes through and stays undefeated! It wasn't easy though- all the rounds were close, with the first being razor close. Even on the striking, it really came down to the incorporation of takedowns- Rodriguez wasn't able to keep Hughes down, but it was that mixing of the martial arts that made the difference here. Not as exciting for the highlight reel here, but definitely a gritty, competitive battle.


Fight 4: (145) Joanderson Brito def. Lucas Alexander via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:02 of R1


Thoughts: And right back to the highlight reel content! Brito was pure aggression all the way, throwing strikes with bad intentions, jumping on the back and working for that choke, which he got from the standing position, dragging Alexander to the mat in violent fashion in the process. Brito is a scary prospect!


Fight 5: (185) Jacob Malkoun def. Nick Maximov via unanimous decision (30-27 X 3)


Thoughts: Malkoun quipped in his post-fight interview, "Aussies can wrestle now!" We've seen great striking and jujitsu through the prelims so far, and this was an exhibition of wrestling dominance, where Malkoun largely controlled the fight with clinches, takedowns and ground and pound. No awe-inspiring moments here, but a convincing win for Malkoun as he battles for notoriety and success in the middleweight division.


Fight 6: (135) Leomana Martinez def. Brandon Davis via split decision (28-29, 29-28 X 2)


Thoughts: Great back and forth battle. A little wrestling action, but the majority of this took place in the striking realm. The second round definitely had the biggest moments, as Martinez hurt Davis and dropped him in the waning seconds of the round. Likely what made the difference in a narrow split decision, as Davis was aggressive and actually seemed to have more in the tank in the third. Fun fight.


Main Card


Fight 1: (205) Alonzo Menifield def. Misha Cirkunov via KO (punches) at 1:28 of R1


Thoughts: Big boys throwing hands with bad intentions without delay, and Menifield landed on the button first. Perfect way to open the main card at the Apex.


Fight 2: (135) Raphael Assuncao def. Victor Henry via unanimous decision (30-27 X 3)


Thoughts: Excellent performance from the 40 year old Assuncao. Great use of movement and timing to prevent Henry from really getting anything done in the striking, managing to use the threat of the clinch and takedowns to keep the strike volume at bay. Particularly impressive was the 2nd round, where Assuncao ducked a wheel kick and landed a takedown, and later in the round, caught a kick and proceeded to punch Henry across the Octagon while still holding the leg! Extremely impressive from the UFC veteran, who many counted out going into this according to the odds.


Fight 3: (185) Dusko Todorovic def Jordan Wright via TKO (elbow and punches) at 3:12 of R2


Thoughts: The talking points coming in were that both were fast finishers and heavy strikers... and then the first round featured a lot of wrestling. Wright was on top, and when Todorovic rolled for a kneebar, Wright landed heavy ground and pound. Round 2 was a different story- it was the longest fight of Wright's 17 fight career, and his gas tank didn't pass the test. Todorovic landed at will on a fatigued Knight, who wilted until falling, being mounted, forcing the ref to eventually wave it off. Entertaining, mixing the martial arts more than many thought they would.


Fight 4: (135) Jonathan Martinez def. Cub Swanson via TKO (leg kick) at 4:19 of R2


Thoughts: Kicks for days from Jonathan Martinez! First round was body kicks with incredible force, then a knee towards the end of the round dropped Swanson and almost saw the fight stopped. The second saw a switch of target, with each kick to the legs drawing a noticeable reaction. with Cub doing his best to try and tough it out. But after perhaps the 5th significant kick to the legs, Cub crumpled to the floor and that's all she wrote! Huge name victory for Martinez.


Main Event: Alexa Grasso def. Viviane Araujo via unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46 X 2)


Thoughts: Textbook striking battle for the majority of 5 rounds. Araujo got a bit of ground control time in R2, leading to the 49-46 on 2 judges' cards, but otherwise Grasso was largely in control, stringing together combinations. Araujo was mainly offering a boxing attack, whereas Grasso was able to integrate kicks. High level work on both sides which shows why Grasso and Araujo were ranked #5 and #6 respectively coming in. Grasso was the better woman on this night, but Araujo doesn't lose a lot in defeat either- besides the winner's purse.

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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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