UFC Fight Night 83 / #UFCPittsburgh Review by Siris King
The first fight of the prelims featured Jonavin Webb vs Nathan Coy. Nathan Coy stays in control for most of the fight. He defeated Jonavin Webb via Unanimous Decision.
The next fight featured Anthony Smith vs Leonardo Guimares. Both men came out throwing heat, but I think Anthony Smith got the better of Guimares. Anthony Smith was getting the better of the stand up, even in the second round until Guimares lands a big shot. Smith does the smart thing, taking the fight to the ground to give himself time to clear his head. The ref actually stood the two men back up, which gave guimares an advantage to end the round. Yet Smith in my opinion still won the wrong, so he went into the third with a 2-0 advantage. The round was a wrong decision as I feel Guimares clearly won, but it was not enough in the end. Anthony Smith got the decision via an unanimous 29 to 28.
The next fight was between Oluwale Bamgbose and Daniel Sarafian. Bamgbose comes in as a more raw talent with only six fights before this one. Sarafian is from Brazil comes in with a bit mroe experience. It became apparent very quickly in the fight that Bamgbose had the speed advantage and more power in his hands. Bamgbose faked low & Sarafian took the bait, then Bamgbose hit him with a kick to the head. Bamgbose finished him with blows on the ground. Early on this looked like a potential fight of the night.
The final fight of the prelims featured Alex Garcia vs Sean Strickland. The first round was close but Strickland had a clear advantage. Two vicious leg kicks from Strickland changed the tone of the second round. Giving Strickland a clear advantage in the second round. The third round was more of the same. Yet Strickland who controlled with the jab the whole fight, but more circular motion in his footwook, totally overwhelmed Garcia finishing him with 35 seconds to go in the third round. I would have to say Sean Strickland had the best performance of the prelims. His ground work looked solid, but his striking was even more impressive. Controlling the pace of the fight with the jab.
The first fight of the main card was between Shane Campbell and James Krause. Campbell was 12-3 before this fight. Campbell is more the striker, James Krause is more a submission guy. The first round was even for four fifths of the fight. As both men were trading blows with each other. Eventually it does get to the ground and Krause has a deep rear naked choke, but not enough time as the round ends. The second round had Krause on the offensive, and Campbell having to defend take downs. Yet because Krause controlled the pace of the first two rounds I scored it 2-0 for Krause. Alot of the third round took place in the clinch. The third round was more a clear round for Campbell, but James Krause wins and unanimous decision 29-28. I definitely agree because Krause controlled the pace of the fight more, and had Campbell on the defensive.
Chris Camozzi versus Joe Riggs came up next. This was one of the quicker fights on the card lasting only 26 seconds with Camozzi overwhelming Joe Riggs.
Dennis Bermudez featuring Tatsuya Kawajiri was actually the fight I was most excited about on this card. Bermudez has lost two straight fights, and this was very important for him to win this fight. Kawajiri is moving up in age, but is 3-1 in the UFC. I was not excited because I thought Kawajiri would win, I felt like Bermudez is a very underrated fighter. In the premiere MMA organization on the planet, two straight losses can really set you back. I thought this would give Bermudez the opportunity to show his skills, because Kawajiri is a formidable opponent. It seemed like Bermudez had a hard time getting in rhythm. The second round was a very different story though. Kawajiri several times tried spinning back fists, spinning kicks and missed them all really badly. The second round was mostly Kawajiri trying to take down Bermudez, but Bermudez avoiding them and landing a series of strikes. The third round was more of the same with Bermudez landing many kicks to the body, and shots to the head. Bermudez took down Kawajiri to the ground in this round. Kawajiri was able to exape but when he did, Bermudez would land a series of blows to the older fighter. I had Bermudez winning two rounds, and the judges agreed with a 29–28 unanimous decision.
Cody Garbrandt got a huge pop from the crowd. As he grew up not too far from Pittsburgh. Augusto Mendes took this fight on short notice. So short he could not make weight, so this fight took place at catch weight. The pressure was on Cody Garbrandt and he totally delivered, knocking Mendes out with an incredible shot. Mendes is a world class jujitsu fighter, but he only has five MMA fights. Garbrandt comes with incredible boxing credentials, and according to many from team alpha male he is their next star. Augusto Mendes comes in with serious jujitsu credientials. The gym Garbrandt trains in is team alpha male known for their wrestling, and handling jujitsu fighters is what they do. No way Mendes would be able to strike with Garbrandt, and it showed. Cody avodied going to the ground with Mendes, and knocked him what appeared to be clean and decisive. Garbrandt starting to celebrate but the referee Yamasaki told him to keep fighting. Garbrandt eventually ended it with strikes while Mendes was on the ground. Before this fight Cody Garbrandt was better known as the boyfriend of Paige Vanzant, but it looks like he could be a potential contender very soon.
The next fight featured Derek Brunson vs Roan Carneiro. Carneiro is a very solid fighter who might have lost alot of his best years trying to make weight at welterweight. Brunson came in as a heavy favorite. This fight was more about Brunson than Roan Carneiro, because before this fight Brunson was best known as the fighter who almost beat Yoel Romero. With Romero’s lackluster performance against Jakare Souza and a potential substance abuse violation, many people have been given Derek Brunson another look. Derek Brunson delivered in spades as he took advantage of a mistake by Carneiro and dismanted him with blows. The offensive onslaught seemed to go on forever until the ref finally stopped the fight 2:38 seconds in the first round.
The main event was finally next, it featured Donald Cowboy Cerrone vs Alex Cowboy Oliveira. This fight took place at 170 with Donald Cerrone moving up. Fighters often move up when they at times do not have a clear path to the belt. Cerrone lost twice to Rafael Dos Anjos, so he can have a new start in a new weight class until maybe RDA loses the belt. While Oliveria is a serious talent, Cerrone is the far more technical fighter in both the striking department and on the ground. Yet a loss to Oliveria would have been a big time set back for Donald. Both men like to stand up so many were expecting this to be a strikers delight. In the beginning it seemed like this would be the case. Yet once the fight went to the ground Donald Cerrone was able to close things very quickly. So quick Cerrone had to tell the referee Mario Yamasaki that Olivieira was tapping to the submission. What is next for Donald Cerrone? The sky is the limit. Conor Mcgregor might have a whole country behind him, Ronda Rousey might have holllywood behind her. Jon Jones might be more talented, but when it comes to which fighter is the most loved by true mma fans, it is not even close it is Donald Cerrone. His teammate Benson Henderson did something similiar when he went up weight classes after several losses at Lightweight. Before Benson Henderson went to Bellator it looked like he could be the most versatile fighter in the UFC. Fighting anyone, anytime in either 155 or 170, it seems like Donald Cerrone can now take that mantle, and with more drawing power than Benson Henderson, the sky is the limit. This fight actually reminded me why people love Donald Cerrone so much. He actually finished the fight very quickly as he submitted Olivieria two minutes and thirty eight seconds into the first round. Cerrone is such a striker you almost forget he is a black belt in jujitsu. Casual MMA fans love striking and do not respect the BJJ or wrestling aspect of MMA. I am not saying that is good, but strikers would always be more popular for the most part. Anderson Silva is a black belt in BJJ, but people remember him for his knockouts. Anthony Pettis was called the most talented fighter in the UFC by Dana White, and it was because he produced the most unusual striking techniques seen at the time. We all know Conor McGregor loves strikers and does not hide that fact. This is MMA so you have to be proficient in all areas(especially the ground in my opinion) to be a great, yet striking is what gets the attention of casuals. Cerrone is an incredible striker, yet he is just as proficient on the ground, and it seemed like Olivieira was shocked that Cerrone took it to the ground and finished the fight from there. In an era where trash talking is seen as a way to rise to the top. Donald Cerrone is a breath of fresh air. He does not trash talk but is good on the mic, which gives him the ability to defend himself against trash talks like Conor. So while Cerrone is not a trash talker, I am not sure Conor would be able to assassinate him verbally as he does his other opponents. Cerrone stays active, this is a guy who seems to like to fight every other month. Things like that both hardcore & casual MMA fans appreciate.
Where he goes from here is not clear, but there are alot of options now for Cowboy at both 155 and 170. All in all I think this card was a solid seven out of ten.
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