The Apex Fight Centre in Las Vegas, Nevada was home to another entertaining night of UFC, seeing a whopping three TKO’S, two submissions and seven decisions.
CO-MAIN EVENT: EMMETT VS BURGOS
Stealing the headlines from the main event, Emmett (16-2) and Burgos (13-2) graced the octagon for an incredible co-main event which saw both fighters claim an additional $50,000 for the fight of the night bonus.
All three judges voted in favor of Emmett after an exhilarating third and final round where he knocked Burgos to the ground twice.
What was incredibly impressive about the victory was the fact that Emmett appeared to have injured his left knee in the first minute of the first round. The injured leg proved tough for Emmett as the 35-year-old struggled to throw leg kicks but that did not stop the man from throwing his signature bombs.
In all fairness to Burgos, the man proved he was extremely tough and durable. To put it frankly, he was a bit of a walking punchbag as he constantly walked through Emmett’s right overhand to apply pressure of his own.
Looking at the stats, you could argue that Burgos deserved the victory after he out-landed Emmett in total strikes 155-121, although in fairness to Emmett, his were much more vicious and least forget that he did actually knock Burgos down twice.
The victory for Emmett puts him at five victories from his last six, including three via knockout. I'm expecting a top fighter and a well-known name in the 170 division for his next bout.
MAIN EVENT: BLAYDES VS VOLKOV
In the main event, Curtis Blaydes (14-2,1nc) showcased his superior wrestling skills to dispatch Alexander Volkov (31-8). It was an entertaining fight, however, I'm not that impressed with Blaydes intent in the octagon. He is an extremely skilful fighter and controls his opponent well, however, I feel that Blaydes fights with no intention of finishing his opponent.
Regardless, “The Razor” set a new record for the most takedowns in a UFC heavyweight fight with 14 takedowns over Volkov. As you can imagine, 14 takedowns during the course of a five-round fight means that meant that most of it is largely taken to the ground and like many including myself, find that less entertaining than two fighters who anchor themselves in the middle of the octagon and throw bombs. Dana White can be added to this category.
In his post-fight press conference, Dana slammed Blaydes saying he looked stupid: “Curtis Blaydes has the wrong attitude as far as I’m concerned. I don’t have anything against the kid at all. You know, you talk s**t like he did this week. Then you better come in a whopping somebody’s a** when you talk s**t like that.”
Despite stating that he doesn’t have anything against the 29-year-old, the UFC President said that the performance made the Heavyweight look “stupid.”
“When you talk the s**t that he talked and you perform like you performed tonight. You look stupid.”
Will the fight be remembered in the next 10 years? No, but will Blaydes be remembered after this fight? Yes! The win puts his name into second for the most heavyweight wins in the UFC since 2016 and he ties the likes of Francis Ngannou and Augusto Sakai for the most wins in the division. The man stays active and that’s all you could ask for from your fighters Dana.
The win for Blaydes puts him in a prime position for a title fight. However, the hurdle will be Francis Ngannou or Stipe Miocic.
RAQUEL PENNINGTON VS MARION RENEAU
Coming into this fight, Raquel Pennington (11-9) had to prove her worth in the UFC against Marion Reneau (9-6-1) after a demoralizing display against Holly Holm in her last outing.
All three judges voted in favour of Pennington and I was impressed with her response on the night after last times disappointment. I was particularly happy with her display of boxing after she threw an array of different strikes.
As Reneau was pressing the action against the cage, Pennington was doing her best to break free to unleash her best strikes. Pennington finally found an opening when she started controlling Reneau’s head with a powerful Muay Thai clinch that allowed her to start firing shots from the inside.
Any time Pennington found the smallest window, she targeted the head and body with a barrage of knees. By the time the third round got underway, Reneau feverishly sought out a takedown only to eat more strikes from Pennington as she struggled to get away from that same clinch.
The win puts her 2-1 in her last three fights and will launch her up the women's bantamweight rankings, but please Dana, don’t put her up against Amanda Nunes.
ELSEWHERE ON THE CARD
Newcomer Justin James knocked out Frank Camacho inside one minute, Gillian Anderson submitted Cortney Casey with a rear-naked choke and a name you may have heard of in Teccia Torres dismantled Brianna Van Buren to end a four-fight losing streak.
Marc Andre Barriault stopped Oscar Piechota just before the second-round buzzer and Belal Muhammed got his arm raised after an exciting match-up with Lyman Good.
This article was written exclusively for golear.co.uk