UFC Glasgow – Finally a 2017 Card that packed a Punch

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Guest Blogger – Logan Winger

UFC Glasgow was not without surprise, thanks to a couple of fights that took everyone by surprise and not just the fighters on the receiving end. Sunday’s event marked the second visit for the UFC to Glasgow, Scotland and thankfully this time there was some action for the fans to remember. The Preliminary card was packed with exciting fights from veterans as well as rising stars.

The Women’s Bantamweight division saw Leslie Smith bring her winning streak to two fights since her loss to Cris “Cyborg” in 2016. In this bout against a very hard hitting Amanda Lemos, Smith just simply kept the pressure on until Lemos had nothing left in the tank. Up to the fight ending flurry from Smith that resulted in a TKO victory, the fight would have been difficult to call. Both Women showed tremendous heart and scary power. I love the growth of the Women’s divisions in the UFC and cannot wait to see both of these women back in the Octagon.

After a pair of unanimous victories for Brett Johns and Danny Henry(Winner of the Fight of the Night bonus), the fans were witness to an odd, yet incredible KO victory.

Galore Bofando and Charlie Ward had barely even had a chance to get a feel for one another, when a botched throw by Ward and an aggressive shoulder shuck from Bofando ended with Ward getting knocked out by the canvas.

Literally. If you have not seen the highlight yet, let me tell you, it is worth seeing just for the “what the ….” factor. Bofando took no chances on whether Ward was going to stand back up by diving in for a few solid punches before the referee slipped between the two fighters. Of all the ways to lose a fight, that has to be among the most disappointing ways.

 

The last two fights of the Preliminary card managed to shine pretty bright too, ending in a rear-naked choke from Pantoja midway through the 3rd and final round, and a spectacular left hook from Danny Roberts that put Bobby Nash to sleep.

All-in-all, the Prelims were as exciting and eventful to watch as most Main Card fights have been in recent months, and in my opinion, they may have even trumped the Main Card for 113 as well.

The Main Card was an oddly consistent series of fights with 3 decision victories and 3 KO victories playing leapfrog. It all started with a dominating unanimous decision win for Justin Willis over James Mulheron that took me by surprise. Not that I didn’t feel like Willis won, but rather that I didn’t think he would win.

Following that Heavyweight bout, Khalil Rountree and Paul Craig faced off. Thankfully this fight ended in the 1st round because neither of these fighters showed any form of captivating aggression or pressure until the final seconds before the fight was stopped. Rountree essentially mocked Craig and stayed out of his range for the first four and a half minutes, only landing and absorbing a handful of punches and even fewer kicks.

Finally Craig got backed against the cage and Rountree cut off his exit with a vicious right cross that looked to temporarily shut out the lights for Craig. A few nasty hammer fists from Khalil later and the fight was over with just 4 seconds left in the round. Rountree absorbed a fair amount of boos from the crowd for standing over his beaten opponent, post KO, but it was certainly an exciting end to the fight.

At Middleweight, we got to see a very back and forth fight between Jack Marshman and Ryan Jones. Both fighters had the chance to put the other fighter away in this on, but somehow neither fighter got knocked out and a very swollen faced Marshman took the win via Unanimous Decision.

That is a fight I would love to see a rematch of at some point in the future. Next up was a lightweight bout between Paul Felder and Stevie Ray. This fight gave Felder a share of the Performance of the Night bonus, and for good reason. After a very closely contested first 3 minutes, where both fighters were digging for control in the clinch, Felder struck gold with a knee to Ray’s chin that buckled him. Felder immediately tried to finish but Ray was able to pull guard. Unfortunately for Ray, his return to the Octagon in Glasgow would not end in a victory like his first. Instead, Felder planted a couple strikes and then a pair of well placed elbows to end Ray’s night.

Sundays Co-Main Event was a Catchweight fight at 118lbs between Cynthia Calvillo and Joanne Calderwood(missed weight). There is something to be said about how entertaining Calvillo’s fights turn out to be.

It seems like every fight I have seen in and outside of the UFC has been a roller coaster of a fight. This fight was no different. As sometimes happens, the Judges were watching a different fight than 99% of us out there, scoring the fight 30-27 x2 and 29-28. Anyone who actually watched the fight knows that at best the fight should have been scored 29-28 x3 and the first round could have arguably been considered a draw. Both fighters pressed each other, Calvillo with furious hooks and snappy jabs, and Calderwood with long range kicks to the body and legs and well timed hooks when Calvillo would close the distance.

Calvillo landed a pair of takedowns in the fight, which undoubtedly contributed to her final score with the Judges. Unfortunately for Calderwood, if there was any doubt about who the winner should be, the second takedown and the following rear-naked choke sealed the deal. Calvillo’s win bringing her young career to a 6-0 start.

The Main Event of the evening pitted MMA Veterans Santiago Ponzinibbio and Gunnar Nelson against each other in a Welterweight matchup. Coming into this fight, it was hard to gauge which fighter would walk away victorious.

Ponzinibbio is a very heavy handed Welterweight, winning 14 out of 25 fights via KO or TKO. On the other hand, Nelson is equally as successful at submitting his opponents. Once the fight got started it appeared as though Nelson quickly figured out his range as he fired off a few combinations with decent success in the first minute. It looked like Ponzinibbio was just circling, biding his time to throw one of his bombs. Fortunately for all of us fight fans, we didn’t have to wait long. Ponzinibbio swung for the fences and landed an hard right cross that nearly brought Nelson down but he somehow recovered. His recovery was just long enough to give Ponzinibbio a nice square target against the cage to tee off on, which he did, landing a handful of punches one of which shut out the lights on Nelson. Another impressive KO victory to end the evening in Glasgow.

The UFC has had some struggles lately. Trouble retaining fighters, keeping fighters healthy, and just simply providing you and I with entertaining fights consistently.  I have high hopes that this Fight Night helps turn that around. The match-makers nailed it on this one, whether they realized it or not. Maybe this will show them that trying to revive older and more legendary fight careers should not take their focus far off of grooming next years class of Champions. We can but hope.

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Conor McGregor – Cultural Icon to the ‘140 Character’ Generation

 

I genuinely think 40 year old Floyd Mayweather didn’t get it. But Boy does he fucking get it now. It doesn’t matter how big his entourage of yes men is – There is only one  ‘A’ side and he’s not the guy in the iffy tracksuits.

Toronto, Canada was added to the world promotional tour at Dana White’s insistence and what a fucking superb stroke that was. Conor McGregor absolutely schooled Floyd Jnr last night in front of what has to be one of the wildest crowds i have ever seen at any event anywhere. There is no other way to put it. Conor McGregor blew in to the Province of Ontario like a hurricane from the Day After Tomorrow.

He used the mishap with the microphones from the day before in L.A. as his starting point and he just kept on rolling. If Conor McGregor adapts to Boxing like he’s adapted to boxing press conferences this fight could well meet his prediction of being over within 4 rounds.

Floyd Mayweather looked old and foolish tonight. A sad thing to see from such a long-standing champ. From the trashy tracksuits, to the routine with his school bag -everything was off tonight. It became clear early he was going to use the same routine from the night before. Conor killed any notions he had about that and the crowd most certainly killed it too. The Toronto fans were hungry for flesh and Mayweather was on the menu.

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Conor McGregor is a cultural icon for the new Millenium. Whether you like that fact or not – it is becoming abundantly evident on this World Press Tour about just how big he is. Fan’s don’t just like him. They adore him.

The brashness , the confidence, the expletive infused language, the obvious intelligence, the lightening fast retorts. He is the male messiah of the 140 character generation.

After tonight i do not expect Floyd to stand toe to toe with him on the podium again. He’ll wait for the ring and pray all this shit-talk is just that shit-talk. But here is the problem with that – Conor McGregor to date in his career has nearly always backed up his claims. That is why he is loved.  And that is why the fans love him. He has the balls to talk about the impossible, put it out there and go chase it down. Deep down each and everyone of us admire that in him because we lack or have lacked the courage to do it in our own lives to a greater or lesser degree – at some point.

Still Conor McGregor Can’t beat Floyd Mayweather. Hmmmm……are you as sure about that Today as you were Yesterday?

If Floyd is asking is Mcgregor prepared to weather a storm. Conor McGregor is responding  ‘ I am the Storm motherfucker’

The show continues….

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The Big Winners from BAMMA30

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The only let down with BAMMA30 last night in the 3 Arena was the main event – Philpott Vs Walsh. It brought a somewhat anti-climactic finish to what was an otherwise excellent card. If you haven’t already heard, the bout was ruled a no contest due to Philpott’s Illegal kick to Shay Walsh’s head while he was still on the ground trying to get up.

Philpott has only himself to blame for this one as with a little patience I believe he would have finished the fight inside the next 30 seconds. He was absolutely killing Walsh in that torrid 1st round. The two have been engaged in a war of words since the controversial finish as it has subsequently turned out that Walsh has suffered a broken jaw from the illegal blow and will be no doubt out of action for a long time to come.

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Paul ‘Redser’ Redmond defeated C4 Sinclair in the other Co-main event slot and I have to say that Redser looked very, very good in this one. C4 is a BAMMA legend but the Knee Bar finish by Redmond in the 2nd showed his ability to recognise an opportunity and implement the appropriate finish quickly. He has to be in line for a title shot after that and C4 after announcing his retirement in the ring by throwing his gloves on the floor said as much in his interview afterwards

Fabian Edwards for me was the most impressive fighter on show last night. In fact i’d congratulate Aaron Kennedy for actually making it into the second round. Fabian has a combination of speed and power that looked just different class here last night. He also showed his repertoire of skills by getting the submission finish.

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Interviewed afterwards ‘The Assassin’ sounded a little downbeat. He was I think miffed that he made a few mistakes that meant he didn’t get that first round finish he predicted. This is a kid in a hurry , maybe a little too much so, and the only word of caution i’d issue here is possibly skip that September BAMMA card and go again in the November Bellator/BAMMA offering. This is a minor quibble and I would be very surprised if Fabian Edwards isn’t in the UFC inside of 12 months. He’s that good.

Other Big winners on the night for me were Blaine O’Driscoll and Richard Kiely. Blaine has an all action style and got the submission in the second round. It took a little bit of work to get that rear naked choke but he worked the position and and eventually the finish. He is a work in progress but progressing definitely in the Right direction. It was Interesting to note, that as far as i could tell, his fight had the highest viewing figures on the Unilad Stream so it would seem he also has a quite a fan base. Definitely the streaming figures dropped by 2,500 to 3,500 in the subsequent fights.

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There was a war of words and feet between Daniel Olejniczak and Richard Kiely in the run up to their bout that even managed to seep out into the mainstream press. Richie is not shy about saying that he is the Face of BAMMA and the people’s main event. So it is fair to say that he had lumped a fair amount of pressure on himself in the lead up to this Welterweight bout but boy did he deliver in style with a clinical finish in the second round. The combination of Patience and devastating speed to set up the finish will I am sure have pleased his coach John Kavanagh.

In the 1st round both fighters were feeling each other out with not a huge amount in the way of action however Richie set up the finish with a beautiful straight left which knocked his opponent to the ground and hammer-fisted away until the Referee could jump and save Daniel from further punishment. That means Kiely is now 2-0 in his BAMMA career and he will be definitely looking for a shot at the Welterweight title very soon if not his next fight.

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