Sunday, July 23, 2017

UFC on FOX Strong Island : Weidman vs Gastelum

Not gonna lie, that straight left that put Weidman on his butt had me scared for a second, but Weidman's excellently timed takedowns from that upper body ride position he forces (note that sweet ankle pick from against the cage also) led to overwhelming Gastelum on the mat. Gastelum stayed relaxed and composed and frankly, not enough urgency getting a guy like Weidman from off the top of him on the ground.

I've been hard on the UFC cards as of late (critical AF) but other than the lack of Jiu-Jitsu overall on the card (some great chain wrestling in the Elkins/Bermudez scrap), the main card was full of entertaining fights despite only one stoppage (from Weidman).

Lyman Good came back from suspension to lose a close decision to Dos Santos (who continues to get it done with wins in tough fights, and Darren Elkins stayed busier, more active, and use his clinch/body control to drag Bermudez into round-losing positions on the mat.
I was glad to see Elkins take less damage in this fight and his move to team Alpha Male definitely paid him dividends here in a bout with a tough, dangerous opponent in Bermudez.
On that note, Almeida shored up some of his exposure to punches but the knockdowns let to some lopsided scores (one was 30-26) in what didn't bely the close nature of the fight overall. It was a fun scrap but Almeida needed the occasional shot/takedown attempt to force Rivera to have to change modes rather than just counter punch and threaten the takedown. Almeida's striking is super diverse at times, but overall if that puzzle is solved, he's predictable as he moves up the chain of opposition in the weight class.

Cummins time spent working on his boxing paid big dividends as the head hunting Villante continually missed with his jab and seemed befuddled as to how to put together the combinations in punching to win rounds against Cummins. Cummins as usual scared me with his early cut due to a head clash and then the way he abandoned that low single leg when Villante fresh in the beginning of the fight was hammerfisting him behind the ear. Credit to Dos Santos, Cummins, and Cummins for pulling out wins against very tough opposition. Lyman Good will be back, as the ring rust was a probably the deciding factor. Gastelum looked a bit undersized at 185 but his speed and composure against a former champ like Weidman is a long way from his early UFC fights. I find it tough to believe he'll do well going back down to welterweight given how laughably poor his weight fails were, but who knows, maybe he really has matured in that area of his fight preparation?

The hilarious DC/Jon Jones interview was a great boon to the show overall that ended with Jon Jones abruptly leaving as Brian Stann was closing it out. I'll always tune in to see two guys who are almost polar opposites and honestly do not like one another. It's a solid close to July for the UFC. Fight Week's cards were weak but that was due several fights falling through (though we did get an Interim Middleweight belt out of it), but this card and the one next week will make it one of the more eventful months this year for the UFC. 

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