The real winners and losers of UFC on ESPN 32 | Launderer’s report

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0 out of 6

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    Sports fans were not at all without options on Saturday.

    A complete NBA game schedule. A complete schedule of NHL games. A pair of NFL playoff games.

    And in the packed scrum, the UFC kicked off its first competitive show of the calendar year – a 10-fight card from the Apex facility in Las Vegas headlined by featherweights Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze. .

    ESPN’s Fight Night went live at 5 p.m. ET and ran until the end of the main event just after 10 p.m., and served as a fitting appetite stimulant for the next show. high-end promotion.UFC 270which is scheduled for Jan. 22 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and features a pair of title bouts.

    In fact, Saturday’s show was originally scheduled for 12 fights, but illness canceled a welterweight match between Muslim Salikhov and Michael Pereira. Salikhov has been replaced by Andre Fialho, whose date with Pereira will now be at UFC 270.

    The story was similar for a strawweight bout matching Vanessa Demopoulos and Silvana Juarez, which was moved to UFC 270 due to COVID-19 protocols.

    Remaining on Saturday’s show was TJ Brown, who faced replacement Charles Rosa at lightweight after potential featherweight foe Gabriel Benitez was pulled due to injury. Due to COVID-19 protocols, bantamweight Saidyokub Kakhramonov, leaving Brian Kelleher to face Kevin Croom at featherweight.

    Needing no substitutions, the B/R combat sports team was in place for Saturday’s show and took it all in while assembling a final list of winners and losers. Take a look at what we found and let us know what you think with a thought or two in the comments section.

1 of 6

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    After a Fight Night card, this is the best fight of 2022.

    And don’t be surprised if he’s still there in December.

    Top 10 contenders Kattar and Chikadze engaged in a consistently competitive and extremely violent five rounds of sparring in their featherweight main event before Kattar – who had arrived as a +195 underdog despite his No. 5 ranking – emerged with a unanimous decision.

    “That’s what was missing in my life,” ESPN’s Brendan Fitzgerald shouted during a particularly hectic part of the fight, in which the fighters combined to throw nearly 900 strikes and land better than 400. ‘Apex is on fire because of Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze. Wow.

    His hyperbole barely exceeded the action.

    An aggressive Kattar was on the short end of a barrage of hard, cutting strikes from Chikadze in the opening 90 seconds before surging when his rival slid to the ground on a left leg kick attempt.

    The Massachusetts veteran took control and kept the fight there for the rest of the round, never landing particularly decisive blows but effectively draining a significant portion of Chikadze’s gas tank.

    Kattar, who hadn’t fought since losing a five-rounder to Max Holloway in last year’s first main event, maintained his momentum in the second and steadily pushed forward with jabs, crosses and elbows while forcing Chikadze to fight back. foot.

    The former Soviet republic Georgia native bled from a gash on his right eyebrow from that round, and only turned the tide intermittently as Kattar’s striking out and ground rate increased in third (25 of 87), fourth (36 of 102) and fifth (51 of 125).

    Chikadze had his gash open, two blackened eyes and blood spatter on his chest as Bruce Buffer read the 50-45, 50-45 and 50-44 scorecards, and Kattar recognized his own bumps and bruises by the following.

    “I feel like shit, but I’ve never looked so good,” he said. “It’s not a form for a winner.”

    It was Chikadze’s first loss in eight UFC appearances and only the seventh time he has gone past the first round in 17 career fights. Kattar, meanwhile, took his UFC mark to 7-3 and won for the third time in his fourth in five career rounds.

    “They all counted me out for this fight. But like I said, as long as you believe in yourself, that’s all that matters,” he said. “I knew what I had. I think everyone learns how good I am. He was a great opponent to test my skills and prove that I belong at the top of the division.”

2 out of 6

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    Don’t get me wrong, Jake Collier won’t win many bodybuilding contests.

    But the middleweight-turned-light-heavyweight-turned-heavyweight wins fights nonetheless.

    Weighing in at 264 pounds with speed and head movement that belies his meaty frame, Collier earned the quickest finish on Saturday night with a submission victory over Chase Sherman in their scheduled three-rounder.

    “I didn’t think I was going to go for the finish,” he said. “But it is what it is.”

    Indeed, the two fighters combined for a weight over 510 pounds and came out trading heavy punches as expected, but the decisive streak began when Sherman attempted a kick to the body with his left leg. Collier grabbed the kick and pushed forward to drive Sherman towards the man, landed a series of punishing elbows as his foe squirmed to escape, then grabbed his back and locked in in a rear naked choke.

    Sherman tapped quickly, firing a flurry of Herb Dean at 2:26 into the first.

    “It’s not my style, but I told my coach if he tried a kick I was going to catch him,” said Collier, who tied his UFC record at 5 -5 and pushed his career to 13-6.

    “Chase is a warrior. I knew he was going to come out with all the guns on fire.”

    Sherman fell to a combined 3-8 in two UFC stints, losing his third straight fight and fourth by finish.

    “He grabbed the kick, forced it down and went to work,” ESPN’s Michael Bisping said. “It’s simple.”

3 out of 6

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    Maybe title shots can be better the second time around.

    Or so hopes veteran flyweight Katlyn Chookagian.

    The 33-year-old veteran from the northern suburbs of Philadelphia was knocked out by 125-pound champion Valentina Shavchenko when the two met at UFC 247 in early 2020.

    The title fight came three months after Chookagian dispatched contender Jennifer Maia by unanimous decision, a task she accomplished once again on Saturday night when the two met in a rematch in the third main card fight.

    Now ranked second at flyweight, Chookagian swept all three scorecards by 30-27 margins after beating her foe in every five-minute session, scoring the bout’s only first-round takedown and working well from the outside in as the fourth-ranked Brazilian. pressed for a late finish.

    “I’m really happy,” Chookagian said. “I tried a lot of new things.”

    The winner is 4-1 since her title loss, and she launched another high-profile fight in stride as Maia fell to 2-2 from Chookagian’s first duel and 1-1 from her own. loss to Shevchenko at UFC 255. .

    “The goal is always to be UFC champion,” Chookagian said. “If there’s any girls left in the top 10 that I haven’t fought, line them up and I’ll fight them.”

4 out of 6

    Sometimes it’s just not your night.

    Although James Krause is one of the most prominent trainers in the UFC, in addition to being one of its most successful fighters, lining up with him isn’t guaranteed to guarantee success.

    The Missouri-based trainer was in the corner for four of the first five fights on Saturday’s show, but three of his proteges returned to the locker room after seeing the other man’s hand raised.

    Krause’s team rep Brown won two of three rounds from the late sub Rosa to earn a narrow unanimous decision in the card’s first bout, but subsequent teammates Croom, Joseph Holmes and Dakota Bush are out at short notice, including Bush in the first finish of the night.

    The 27-year-old who drives three hours to train with Krause at Glory MMA & Fitness, the frenetic Bush came out on top against Russian export Viacheslav Borshchev, scoring two knockouts and racking up 90 seconds of control time in the bout. initial. three minutes.

    He had held his ground and also landed 11 significant strikes, but the fight was over in the blink of an eye when Borshchev landed a devastating blow to the liver that instantly rendered Bush defenseless.

    He collapsed to the ground in a fetal position and took four more strikes until Dean stepped in at 3:47 of the first, leaving Bush 8-4 in his pro career and 0-2 in the UFC.

    Borschev, who celebrated with a mid-cage break dancing session, won his octagonal debut after graduating from Dana White’s Contender Series in October.

5 out of 6

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    Preliminary cards are often a stage for the emergence of young talents.

    But in Saturday’s case, it was much more about veterans.

    The fighter with more UFC fights has raised his hand three times during the evening portion of the show, including Court McGee, 37, and Kelleher, 35, both welterweight and featherweight.

    McGee swept through all three scorecards in a brutal three-round formation from 29-year-old Ramiz Brahimaj, more than doubling his opponent’s ground strike count and racking up nearly 11 minutes of ground control time.

    Meanwhile, Kelleher’s fight with replacement foe Croom was much more of a competitive contrast, with Kelleher succeeding with a wrestling approach while Croom attempted to defend with his fists.

    It turns out Kelleher was able to do more, knocking his man down six times and spending almost half of the 15 minutes of fight time with ground control to offset Croom’s 83-67 advantage in overall strikes.

    He had a 29-28 advantage on one scorecard and 30-27 on two others.

    The win was McGee’s ninth in 18 UFC bouts and Kelleher’s eighth in 13 UFC tries.

    33-year-old middleweight Jamie Pickett, who won 29-28 on all three scorecards and improved to 2-2 in the UFC against octagonal newcomer Joseph Holmes, also won the veteran position.

    Pickett landed five fewer strikes overall than Holmes (54-59), but executed the only two takedowns of the fight and actually edged Holmes in the second and third rounds.

    Lightweight Brown was the only fighter with less UFC experience to win, beating fire under Rosa by a unanimous decision that saw him win two of three rounds on all three scorecards.

    Brown has two wins in four UFC fights compared to Rosa’s 5-7 mark.

6 out of 6

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    Main board

    Calvin Kattar beats. Giga Chikadze by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-44)

    Jake Collier won. Chase Sherman by submission (rear naked choke), 2:26, ​​Round 1

    Brandon Royval beats. Rogerio Bontorin via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

    Katlyn Chookagian defeated. Jennifer Maia via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

    Vyacheslav Borshchev defeated. Dakota Bush by KO (punch), 3:47, Round 1

    Bill Algeo won. Joanderson Brito via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

    Preliminary map

    Jamie Pickett beats. Joseph Holmes via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

    Court McGee beats. Ramiz Brahimaj by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

    Brian Kelleher beats. Kevin Croom via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

    TJ Brown won. Charles Rosa by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)


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