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Coffee, Cereal, and a UFC Recap

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UFC 219 was not the most awe-inspiring card on paper. In some cases, this turns out to be inconsequential and completely delivers unexpected excitement. This was not the case with the final UFC card to close out the year. While lackluster in hindsight, it still did possess some exciting moments and provide some clarity to where certain fighters are in their respective careers. Let us dive into the night.

Main Card

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Cris “Cyborg” Justino vs Holly Holm

– Cyborg rules a non-existent division; she is still a fantastic athlete and a class individual who deserves respect.
– Holm fought the fight she wanted to fight, it was close, I personally scored it for her, but I can also see how it was scored for Cyborg. Very difficult to score.
– Cyborg will likely fight another blown up Bantamweight. Unfortunate.
– Holm, at this point probably won’t get another title shot, retirement wouldn’t be a horrible decision.
Fight Grade: B-
 
 

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Edson Barboza

 
– Barboza kept going to the spinning back heel kick, he should’ve gone to the switch left head kick, it was there.
– Nurmagomedov’s top game is like a blanket made if iron. Fun stuff.
– Nurmagomedov is one of the best grapplers in mixed martial arts.
– Barboza is a fantastic fighter who ran up against a buzz saw in Nurmagomedov.
Fight Grade: B
 
 

Dan Hooker vs Marc Diakiese

 
– Diakiese is a fantastic athlete, but his fight IQ is not his strength, he’s 24, there’s plenty of time.
– Hooker locking up that front choke is one of the best submissions this year. Absolutely beautiful.
– Hooker should get a top ten opponent his next fight.
– Diakiese vs Northcutt? Please?
Fight Grade: A-
 
 

Cynthia Calvillo vs Carla Esparza

 
– Esparza’s boxing has exponentially improved, it was very bad before. It’s now borderline serviceable.
– Calvillo had success with her top game in the first, then became a kickboxer in rounds two, and three. Baffling.
– Esparza might be back to the elite talent group of the strawweight division.
– Calvillo with some adjustments is right there as well.
Fight Grade: B
 
 

Carlos Condit vs Neil Magny

 
– It baffles me to still see fighters accepting being put on their back when that is not their strength.
– Magny fought a very intelligent fight, nullifying Condit’s offense with continued pressure.
– Condit might retire, hope not.
– Magny vs Dariush?
Fight Grade: C+

 

Prelims

Michal Oleksiejczuk vs Khalil Rountree

–  Oleksiejczuk’s nickname is the Hummer. How can you not root for him?

– There was hope that Khalil Rountree would be a contender in the Light Heavyweight division, there isn’t much hope after his performance on Saturday

– Rountree has big power but a beyond terrible gas tank. He reminds me of the Light Heavyweight version of Phil Baroni

Fight Grade: C+

 

Myles Jury vs Rick Glenn

–  This fight was supposed to be one of the most competitive on the card, it wasn’t. Jury was better than Glenn in every situation

– Jury has gone 2-0 since his year-long layoff. Could he be back to the promising young fighter we thought he was? It looks like it.

– This is what it looks like when an A level fighter faces a B level fighter.

Fight Grade: C

 

Marvin Vettori vs Omari Akhmedov

– This was the most entertaining fight of the night.

– I think the judges got it right. I scored the fight a draw. Akhmedov won the first two rounds, but Vettori won the third round 10-8

– There is a lot of hype behind Vettori. I don’t see it. He is a UFC level talent, but I don’t see a contender

– Akhmedov moved up to Middleweight from Welterweight to help his gas tank. It didn’t help. His gas tank cost him this fight.

Fight Grade: A-

 

Matheus Nicolau vs Louis Smolka

– Nicolau looked fantastic despite the long layoff off. The left hook was landing every time he threw it

– The flyweight division needs new talent. I think Nicolau might be the guy. Improved striking backed by a world-class BJJ game

– The best thing for Smolka right now might be to be released. Go down to the regional scene and get some mojo back. He’s a UFC level talent who has suffered a rough go as of recent.

Fight Grade: B-

 

Tim Elliott vs Mark De La Rosa

– Tim Elliott is much better than his 4-6 UFC record would suggest

– Really nice to see Elliott win even though his head coach and mentor, Robert Follis just passed away

– Some people are saying Mark De La Rosa isn’t ready for the UFC. I think he is ready. He just wasn’t ready to make his UFC debut against a top 10 ranked fighter that recently challenged for the title on just 10 days notice.

Fight Grade: B-

 

Overall Event Grade: B-

– This card lost some really good talent (Dominick Cruz, Jimmie Rivera, John Lineker, Gohkan Saki) due to injuries and fight cancellations which hurts the grade

– 8 out of the 10 fights went to the decision which is never good

– The top 2 fights on the cardwere what got people to order the PPV and I believe both fights delivered.

 

 
 
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