Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor
It’s here. The big one. The stakes for this fight seem incredibly high for McGregor, but they always do. Every single fight.
As I mentioned above, it’s almost impossible to call this fight. I’m picking McGregor because he appeared to be winning the last fight until he wasn’t. But honestly, it could go the exact same way as the last fight.
Got the butterflies for this one. Let’s go.
Man this is intense. McGregor looks amped, the opposite of relaxed, which is when he does his best work. Let’s see how this plays out.
McGregor coming out leg kick heavy. The fight is being fought at a furious pace. Poirier somehow clips McGregor and takes it to the ground after McGregor attempts a guillotine choke. After a barrage of ground and pound the fight goes back to the feet and after an exchange McGregor rolls his ankle
And it looks as though he’s broken his ankle? The doctor calls it. The fight is over.
Wow. What a strange ending.
McGregor is furious. He’s screaming “Doctor’s stoppage”.
Regardless of the result, McGregor was losing this fight comprehensively. It was called a doctor’s stoppage in the end. Afterwards, Joe Rogan conducted an interview with McGregor as he was getting his leg attended to. He claimed this was “not over”. But realistically, it’s hard to tell when McGregor will be back — if he’ll be back. Poirier made reference to karma playing a part here, given how low McGregor stooped in the lead up.
There was a real poisonous atmosphere to this whole scene. Reminded me a lot of the Khabib vs. McGregor fight. Left a bad taste in my mouth.
Dustin Poirier wins via doctor’s stoppage
Gilbert Burns vs. Stephen Thompson
I’m really looking forward to this one. Stephen Thompson is maybe the best technical striker the UFC has even seen, Gilbert Burns is a jiu-jitsu specialist with hammers for hands. The winner of this fight will almost certainly get a title shot at some point in the future.
I’m picking Thompson here. He’s one of the most difficult, unique fighters on the roster and he’s outclassed almost everyone he’s faced in the Octagon.
Can’t blog anymore did a drinking game where I take a shot every time Joe Rogan says “karate style” and I’m dead.
Burns appears to be trying to take this to the ground, which is smart, but Thompson has great takedown defence. A lot of the early part of this round is taking place on the fence. Not really great for either fighter.
And of course the crowd is booing.
But wow — surprise — Burns got it to the ground. This could steal him the round and make Thompson a little more hesitant to through his world class kicks.
Wonderboy eventually gets back to his feet, but a strong round for Burns here.
CNET scores it 10-9 for Burns
A frantic 2nd round fought on a hair trigger. Really tough one to score. Thompson appeared to control the fight on the feet, but Burns snagged a takedown in the last thirty seconds, which could have stolen him the round. Hard to say. I think Thompson, but who knows.
CNET scores it 10-9 for Thompson
Good start for Thompson, with a stinging straight over the top.
Whoa… Thompson clips him with a SWEET wheel kick that almost knocks Burns off his feet. Unreal. Thought we might get a finish, but Burns appears to recover. Now he’s got Thompson to the mat. Can Thompson get back to his feet? He’s running out of time here and Burns has got side control now. This looks bad for Thompson.
CNET scores it 10-9 for Burns and 29-28 for Burns overall.
Official decision: Gilbert Burns defeats Stephen Thompson by decision (29-28 on all three scorecards)
Tai Tuivasa vs. Greg Hardy
Oh man, nothing like a heavyweight slobberknocker. Tai Tuivasa, is famous for his victory shoeys (a shoey is when you drink beer out of a stranger’s shoe, after the stranger has spat in it — yes, I know, gross). Greg Hardy is notorious as an ex-NFL player with a tarnished history. Many are divided on whether he should be fighting in the UFC at all.
This fight should be absolute chaos. Tuivasa is explosive and loose and fun to watch, I’m picking him to get it done tonight.
Holy shit, Tai Tuivasa comes out to the Spice Girls. This is the best entrance I’ve ever seen in my life. Please win Tai. I’m begging you.
Wow. What a wild minute of fighting. Tuivasa comes out chopping the legs. Hardy hits back with a thunderous shot and PROPERLY wobbles Tuivasa, but as Hardy comes in to finish he gets utterly melted by a counter left hook. Unbelievable scenes. Tuivasa climbs up to the cage and goes straight for the shoey babyyyyyyy! Amazing. What a fight as long as it lasted.
Tai Tuivasa wins va KO in the first round
Irene Aldana vs. Yana Kunitskaya
This is a big fight for the women’s bantamweight division, between two of its top contenders. Interestingly, Aldana is coming off a bad weight miss, hitting the scale at 139.5 pounds, when she needed to hit 136. Will that affect this fight? Historically fighters who miss weight have an advantage, but sometimes that weight cut struggle can have a massive impact on stamina. Let’s see what happens. I’m picking Kunitskaya.
Kunitskaya is throwing heat from the outset, landing big leg kicks. She’s moving aggressively and really looks up for this. But once Aldana settled in she began landing big punches, including one to the body that appeared to really affect Kunitskaya.
And then all of a sudden Aldana absolutely cracks Kunitskaya coming in with a heavy counter check hook that lays Kunitskaya out. She tries to defend with upkicks, but eventually Aldana gets on top and lands bomb after bomb on Kunitskaya, who struggles to defend. This one is over.
Irene Aldana wins via TKO in the first round
Sean O’Malley vs. Kris Moutinho
If you’re new to “Suga” Sean O’Malley, brace yourself. He is one of the rising stars in the UFC and one of the most entertaining fighters on the roster. There’s a reason he’s opening this card.
Unfortunately, his original opponent, Louis Smolka, was removed from this fight thanks to a staph infection. The replacement fighter, Kris Moutinho, represents something of a mismatch. He’s a last minute replacement and not a strong one either. It would be a wild upset if O’Malley lost this fight, but stranger things have happened in the UFC.
Moutinho absolutely marching forward trying to catch O’Malley with legs kicks. But O’Malley seems to be landing at will, probing front kicks, precision jabs, straights. Just incredible land percentage. At one point O’Malley had him hurt and was… pretending to play basketball? Incredible.
But Moutinho’s ability to absorb damage and walk forward does appear to be causing O’Malley some issues. That said, O’Malley absolutely sparked him in the last second of the round. One more minute and he’d have been out.
Incredibly, O’Malley broke the bantamweight record for most strikes landed in a round
CNET scores it 10-8 for O’Malley
O’Malley can’t miss and Moutinho has one of the craziest chins I’ve seen in a fight. He is still walking forward is crazy. O’Malley’s shots seem to have lost their sting. This guy is fighting like it’s his last day on earth. It’s wild that’s he’s still here to take these shots.
O’Malley is landing at a 84% accuracy rate. Anderson Silva levels here. But Moutinho is STILL HERE.
CNET scores it 10-9 for O’Malley
Another crazy round where Moutinho just marched through shots and O’Malley just landing at will with precise, clean hard shots. Again, I’ve never seen anything like this.
Eventually, Herb Dean waves it off. O’Malley had a few exchanges where he was really teeing off with every strike you can imagine — knees, punches, kicks.
To be honest, I would have liked to see that continue. Regardless, a wild fight. O’Malley landed huge shots at an incredible rate and Moutinho just took it all.
Sean O’Malley wins via TKO in the third round