UFC 212 Recap

 

Max “Blessed” Holloway (18-3) vs Jose “Scarface” Aldo (26-3)

Holy shit Max Holloway did it he’s the featherweight champion and it wasn’t easy. The first two rounds saw Aldo working his hands very well even landing a perfectly placed jump knee against the cage. Around the end of round two though Holloway seemed to decided to say “fuck it” and just started dropping his hands even going as far to slap the featherweight great Aldo up the side of the head. Brian Stann called it though as Holloway started to really break up his rhythm cause Aldo had the speed advantage but ultimately boxing isn’t about speed it’s about timing. Holloway started switching it up and Aldo’s speed couldn’t save him if he couldn’t find the timing not to mention the four piece that dropped Aldo involved Holloway staying in the pocket drawing out the counter. A big part of Aldo’s game relies on his opponent to respect his fast powerful counters so you don’t want to stand and bang. This is how Aldo shuts down pressure but Holloway used Aldo’s own tendencies against him and once he had him hurt he never let up. Who the hell can keep up a beating like that besides Holloway? This kid just improves every fight and at only 25 I can’t even imagine what he can accomplish with the skills he has right now let alone after he adds more and more over the years. Either Frankie Edgar or Cub Swanson should be up next for the belt and I favor Holloway over both cause he really is a different newer breed of fighter.

I should also talk about this nonsense about Aldo not being the greatest featherweight of all time. Plain and simple Aldo has the resume and the historical context in the division getting knocked out by Conor McGregor doesn’t erase that. If we go by Joe Rogan’s and many fans thinking then here is a short list of greatest fighters from other weight classes.

  • Welterweight – Matt Serra
  • Middleweight – Chris Weidman
  • Women’s Bantamweight – Holly Holm

 

Claudia Gadelha (15-2) vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-2)

I thought this would go to decision but Claudia just smashed Karolina on the feet and the moment Karolina started to find her range Claudia used her strikes to get double underhooks and take her down. From there it was textbook grappling into one of the tightest RNC’s I’ve ever seen. I can’t say much else Claudia is one of my favorite fighters to watch and that 2 on her record is always a hard pill to swallow. If she keeps improving like this she will earn herself another shot at the belt and I will be picking her. I don’t think Karolina was exposed on the ground instead I think she was just clearly out matched and just didn’t stand a chance. If i’m the UFC I keep Claudia away from most of the division cause she’ll win. Throw her in there with someone like Carla Esparza or Randa Markos someone willing to wrestle with her so she can test her other tools.

 

Other Notes:

The only thing worse than Belfort vs Marquardt was Belfort’s post-fight press conference #cringeallday. Bamgbose is a ridiculous character who probably shouldn’t be in the UFC maybe KSW where they have three minute rounds? Borrachinha will always look good coming off the bus but I really wonder what will happen when he fights legit competition. Strikes me as the kind of fighter who lets Elias Theodorou leg kick him for three rounds from the outside with no idea what to do. But as long as Borrachinha is in there with real low level guys I will watch him bang it out especially if he is gonna work the body like he did against Bamgbose. I said it in my pick that Yancy would KO Silva and I also said Yancy doesn’t have great pop in his hands and that is basically what we got. Silva looked decent but he has too many defensive holes and no durability which is a big part of being a elite fighter. Nothing to complain about the stoppage Silva went down in a heap and smashed the back of his head of the canvas and was only taking more punishment. Can’t Blame a ref for jumping in after seeing a man go down like that. Assuncao is a split decision king and in my picks I laid out exactly how this fight would go it was razor close but I feel Moraes did more and should have gotten the win. But Assuncao is just great at winning these kinds of fights. Poor Spicely getting tapped he’s a fun grappler but the more technical guy in Carlos Junior pulled it off. I hope Carlos can keep getting better but I will never forget the Daniel Kelly loss and hopefully neither will he. Lopez put a hurtin’ on Eduardo and like I said this fight was going one way or another and when that is the case I tend to favor the grappler over the striker. Kelleher has multiple wins grabbing a choke off his opponent’s take down Alcantara basically dove into the a late replacements best move sucks to be him. Pereira ate up Moyle on the feet but she did run into the clinch in the first round like I thought but she escaped and once she took over she never punched her way into the clinch again. Great win for the undefeated Pereira can’t wait to see where she goes and it’s awesome to see a young fighter improving. I picked Luan Chagas by KO and I was right but instead of following up with strikes he easily sunk in the RNC. What a performance for the young Chagas who looked so smooth on the feet. I’ll be honest he was so relaxed on the feet I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it before. Daico destroyed Beltran in the night’s opener like I thought Beltran has never looked like a UFC level fight to me and looked at his worse on Saturday night. Daico put on a show and further solidified me as a fan.