UFC 222 went down last night with the inevitable happening, Cris Cyborg dominated. She got on the mic and made a big call out for Amanda Nunes. This wasn’t the only major story to come from the card, here’s what went down and the fights I’d make.
C.B Dolloway defeated Hector Lombard by DQ in round 1
What a shame. After an entertaining start to the fight, Lombard knocked Dolloway out with a 1-2 combo a second after the round. Lombard said he’ll appeal the loss but I don’t think he has a leg to stand on, two shots after the round that clearly ended the fight.
Dolloway can’t catch a break, he wouldn’t want to win in this way. I’d give Dolloway a fight with Chris Camozzi on his return, after some lengthy time off that is.
It’s a tough one for Lombard, but I think the UFC should call it quits. He’s a dirty fighter, he’s been popped for steroids in the past and he’s only won 3 fights in his 11 fight UFC career. He dominated in Bellator, maybe it’s time to go back.
John Dodson defeated Pedro Munhoz by split decision
Dodson won this fight, for one of the judges to say he didn’t is madness, but that’s normal these days. Dodson used his quickness against the bigger man to keep the distance and pop in and out. Munhoz applied pressure in the second half of the fight but it was too little too late.
Dodson’s win didn’t set the world on fire. He’s technically a free agent now, but everyone would assume he’ll resign with the UFC. A fight with Cody Stamann makes sense who won a fight in the fight pass prelims.
Munhoz should be matched up with Brian Caraway, who lost to Stamann earlier in the night. It’s simple booking, winner vs winner and loser vs loser.
Alexander Hernandez defeated Beneil Dariush by KO in round 1
WOW. Absolutely insane win for Hernandez in his UFC debut. He came out aggressive with a front kick, 40 seconds later he had Dariush out cold from a perfect punch that got him a performance of the night.
Hernandez came in relatively unknown and he left with a high chance of been a top 15 ranked lightweight. He could be a star in the making, but the UFC shouldn’t rush him. I’d have him face Francisco Trinaldo opening a PPV in the summer.
Dariush losing this could presumably knock him out of the rankings and he’ll want to get back in them quickly. A win over Joe Duffy would be a step in the right direction, both men are coming off loses and this makes all the sense in the world.
Mackenzie Dern defeated Ashley Yoder by split decision
Very close fight. Dern was a massive favourite leading up to the fight for her BJJ credentials, but she really couldn’t do much with her grappling skills until the last round. This was a gritty stand up performance that could’ve gone either way.
Dern is far from polished. She is a beast on the ground but showed sloppiness on the feet. The UFC shouldn’t rush this. Give her a fight with Jessica Penne, she’s a big name but slightly on the decline, a great test for Dern.
Yoder did brilliantly. She’s 0-3 in the UFC which isn’t great, but after this gritty performance she deserves another chance. A fight with Australian Alex Chambers could be a last chance fight for both women.
Ketlen Vieria defeated Cat Zingano by split decision
Yet again one of the judges were crazy, Vieria won this fight no doubt about it. She controlled Zingano on the ground for much of the fight. Zingano had her moments but was largely a step behind.
Vieria is on the rise. She’s young and skillful. A fight with Marion Reneau makes a lot of sense. A win for either women would put them within touching distance of a title fight.
Zingano is a big name but she’s clearly on the decline in an evolving women’s division. I’d match her up with Bethe Correia.
Andrei Arlovski defeated Stefan Struve by unanimous decision
These men fought to a bit of a stalemate. The big talking points are Arlovski grabbing the fence and the numerous eye pokes by both men, all of which could’ve drastically changed the outcome of the fight. It was Arlovski who picked his shots better in the 15 minutes though.
Arlovski has won his last 2 after losing his previous 5, he’s certainly not at his best but he’s put together a decent streak. If he’s serious about making it back to the top he needs to fight the hungry young fighters, have him fight Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa.
Struve had such potential, something that’s felt wasted. He’s never used his reach like he should, his game plans haven’t been there for years. It feels like he’s mentally checked out. I hate to tell people what to do with their lives, but Struve should retire for me.
Sean O’Malley defeated Andre Soukhamthath by unanimous decision
What a crazy fight this was. The fight of the night showed O’Malley’s skills of perfectly. He was sharp on the feet dominating round one. He was on his way to a lob sided win until he injured his foot and was unable to walk in the last round, having his victory interview laid on his back.
O’Malley is a star. He was absolutely incredible last night. He showed improvement in leaps and bounds. Aggressive on the feet and in grappling as well as showing monster heart. His interview was fantastic, his popularity will have went through the roof with this amazing win, had he not had the injury, he could’ve finished that one. When he’s back from his injury (however long that is) he needs a big name with some star power to attract to him even more. Renan Barao springs to mind, a passing of the guard style fight.
Soukhamthath showed heart making it out of the first round, but boy is he stupid. All he had to do was take a step back and stand with O’Malley, he would’ve had a much better chance, the ref might have even stopped it. Give him a match up with Russell Doane, both men coming off losses.
Brian Ortega defeated Frankie Edgar by KO in round 1
The shock here wasn’t that Ortega won, but it’s how he did it. Edgar has never been finished, and Ortega made it look easy with a picture perfect elbow followed up by an even sweeter uppercut.
I had Ortega losing this fight, he proved me wrong in more ways than one. It’s obvious what the next step is here, he should be fighting Max Holloway for the belt, and that’s certain. The fight will probably happen in summer, and boy am I hyped for it.
Frankie Edgar was looking good until he got caught, people saying that he’s done are moronic, he’s far from it. He didn’t have to take this fight so props to him for that, and he still looks more than capable of beating most guys. He’s faced off against most men in the division, a fresh match up for him would be Chan Sung Jung, that could be a wild fight.
Cris Cyborg defeated Yana Kunitskaya by TKO in round 1 to retain her featherweight title
This was the obvious outcome. She came out aggressive and landed some solid shots which caused Kunitskaya to grapple. As soon as Cyborg found space she started hammering Yana, the ref saved her after a couple minutes of punishment.
Cyborg called out bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes. I can see pro’s and con’s to this. The pro’s being it’s champion vs champion, Brazilian vs Brazilian. It’s a very marketable fight for the summer. The negative is a big one for me, Cyborg is yet to fight anyone her own size, she’s constantly fighting smaller women. Personally I’d have Cyborg fight Megan Anderson, a real featherweight. Then talk about superfights.
Kunitskaya will drop down to bantamweight after this defeat. A fight with Sara McMann would be a nice introduction to the new weight class. She’d have a full training camp and she’d be at a better weight for her, she could be a force at 135.