Elbow wins Media Man 'MMA Newsite Of The Month' award
293: Adesanya vs. Strickland - Fights to make
the best, most interesting and unquestionably coolest
fights the UFC needs to book following their latest
event in Sydney, Australia.
dunno about this one, guys. UFC 293 was just one hell
of a weird night. Israel Adesanya put on a miserable
performance, leading what can only be thought of as
one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. As a result,
Sean Strickland is the middleweight champion. Alexander
Volkov beat the brakes off Tai Tuivasa, and Manel
Kape went life and death with Felipe dos Santos. The
rest of the main card didnt matter at all.
is the UFC really going to run Izzy right back into
the rematch with Strickland off a fight like that?
Is there anything for Volkov to do but keep treading
water? And why the hell is Kape so damn angry all
answer those questionsand a lot moreIll
be using the classic Silva/Shelby fight booking methodology
from the UFC of years past. That means pitting winners
against winners, losers against losers, and similarly
tenured talent up against one another. Hopefully,
by following that model, a few of these bout ideas
will actually make it off the page and into the Octagon.
Now, lets get to the fights!
I absolutely never thought I would type, but Sean
Strickland is the UFC middleweight champion. It wasn't
some kind of fluke; no magic act or miracle moment.
Israel Adesanya got absolutely outclassed by Strickland
in a pure kickboxing bout. Credit to the Xtreme Couture
talent, he brought his A-game, walking Adesanya down
with relentless pressure, popping the jab and the
front kicks, lining up the occasional big right hand.
Strickland's defense was on point as well, limiting
Adesanya's chances to low kicks and the rare surprise
fact thatto go along with Strickland fighting
a rock solid fightIsrael Adesanya showed up
with an incredibly miserable gameplan can't be overlooked.
With the possible exception of his bout against Romero,
Adesanya has never looked worse. That doesnt
change a thing though. Strickland earned his title.
this would be the point where I'd say book Strickland
vs. Du Plessis. Or, because I hadn't even considered
this idea until someone else brought it up, book Izzy
vs. Du Plessis and book Strickland vs. the Costa/Chimaev
winner. Dana White, however seems already sold on
the idea of an immediate rematch. Which, I get it,
Adesanya has been a title holder for a while now,
he's been active, and he avenged his last title defeat
in incredible fashion. He's also clearly the biggest
draw in the division. Wasting that fact in his prime
would be a little silly. Given the chance, I'd book
Strickland vs. the Costa/Chimaev winner, but we'll
probably see Strickland vs. Adesanya 2.
I kind of already gave my point away here in the Sean
Strickland write up, but I still feel like I should
use this space to say something. First and foremost,
what the hell dude!? Everyone and their dog knew that
Israel Adesanya would start this fight on the back
foot and Sean Strickland would fight it on the front
foot. Once that dynamic was set, however, Adesanya
seemed to have zero ideas of how to change it.
threw looping shots when Strickland went straight
down the pipe, ensuring that practically none of his
punches landed, and zero landed clean. Every time
he pushed forward, Strickland flailed and failed to
counter. But, Adesanya could only make himself do
it in short bursts, and rarely trusted himself to
lead with meaningful offense. Abus Magomedov may have
crumbled harder, but he also put a hell of a lot more
offense on Strickland while he did it. Opportunities
were there and Adesanya took none of them.
fact that he'll almost certainly get an immediate
title rematch off of this doesn't really sit well
with me. Losing 4 of 5 rounds to the new champion
shouldn't be grounds to get right back in there and
do it again. This wasn't one big shot that KO'd Izzy
or a crazy submission in a scramble. He got out-fought
in his own A-game. If I had it my way, Adesanya would
fight Dricus Du Plessis. Make that grudge match happen,
put it on the same PPV as Strickland vs. Chimaev (assuming
he bulldozes Costa), so that things can be switched
up in case of injury. That just makes good sense to
was always going to be a miserable matchup for Tai
Tuivasa. Fighting a huge, rangy kickboxer with a style
almost purely built to bang it out in the pocket?
Not a winning combo. Given Volkov's incredible durability
as well, it just seemed like opportunities for Tuivasa
to end things with a single bomb would be few and
far between. Credit to the Aussie, he found some great
success with his low kicks early in round 2. But it
wasn't enough to turn the tide, especially not when
Volkov started picking them off to dump Tuivasa to
kind of dominating win should keep Volkov in the conversation
for a top 5 opponent again. We're probably going to
see Aspinall fight Ciryl Gane and Pavlovich might
just get the next title shot. But, Curtis Blaydes
is about to face Jailton Almeida and the winner of
that wouldn't be a bad fit. Volkov already fought
Blaydes, but I could stand having that one run back,
and Almeida vs. Volkov would be a fascinating fight.
Otherwise, the obvious option is the Derrick Lewis
rematch. I guess, karmically, that last one makes
too much sense to pass up. Derrick Lewis vs. Alexander
Volkov 2. The first fight was too wild to never see
with as many cancelled fights as Manel Kape has had
lately, he had to take this one. But to that end,
this was a dangerous as hell booking for him to agree
to. All downside, no upside against a fighter like
Felipe Dos Santoswho had nothing to lose as
a 22-year-old coming in on short notice for his debut.
And credit to the Brazilian, he may not have come
close to winning, but he showed everyone his potential
for every minute of 3 rounds and never let Kape take
his foot off the gas for a moment. Kape threw everything
but the kitchen sink at 'Lipe Detona', and the kid
just would not stop going after him.
the bout, 'Starboy' made it clear that there's still
only one thing on his mind: a bout against Kai Kara-France.
The City Kickboxing talent was meant to meet the former
RIZIN champ on this card, before a concussion forced
him to withdraw. Kape has only seemed entirely furious
with that turn of events and seems to want to make
absolutely sure that 'Don't Blink' doesn't end up
avoiding him. Kai Kara-France vs. Manel Kape is the
fight to make, before Kape gets so mad he goes on
another rant nobody wants to hear.
absolutely clubbing win for Justin Tafa. We almost
got the horror show of another eye poke stoppage early
on, fortunately Tafa recovered this time. He still
struggled a little with Austen Lane's size at times,
but once he found his way past Lane's reach, everything
got a whole lot easier