UFC 249:Ferguson vs Gaethje Recap
Man how I missed Bruce Buffer's voice...We were live!!!!! On Saturday night the UFC returned and we were treated to an incredible night of fights. Coming to you live from Jacksonville, Florida the UFC gave us a distraction from everything going on in the real world. We got to watch a live sporting event and your boy got to place some bets and down some beers so I was happy.
Early Prelims-The night got started on ESPN+ with two fights on the early prelims. Originally we were supposed to have three fights, but due to Ronaldo Souza testing positive for the coronavirus, that fight was cancelled. The third fight on the early prelims was moved to the regular prelims. Now typically I don't watch the early prelims, but this card was too stacked and honestly it's not like I had anything else going on. So here's how the first two fights went down....
Light Heavyweight Bout: Ryan Spann(18-5-0) vs Sam Alvey(33-13-0)
I am not gonna act like I know much about either of these guys because I have no clue really about either of them. All I know is that this was a light heavyweight fight with no really major implications. The first round started and we had Ryan Spann all over Sam Alvey as Spann landed and early takedown and controlled most of the first round. There was a brief moment where Spann had Alvey in an arm triangle and it looked like Alvey was about to pass out but he recovered well. After Alvey was able to recover he hit Spann with a couple of nice shots but nothing too damaging and we headed to round 2. Not too much action going on in the first minute of the second round just a few minor shots. These two finally started making one moves and throwing some more kicks and punches with both guys hitting a few good shots throughout the round. As we headed to the third round we had a pretty even fight. I had it scored a little more in Spann's favor after two but not by much. The third and final round between these two light heavyweights and again not much action early on. About two minutes in Ryan Spann started throwing some big shots and was able to connect with a high kick but Alvey ate it pretty well. The boys really started going for it towards the end of the round with Alvey landing the biggest shot and he rocked Spann. Alvey went in for the choke but Spann was able to fight him off. As the clock ran down Alvey was definitely looking like the better fighter and he finished the fight strong. Was the last minute of the third round enough for Sam Alvey to pick up the win? Well according to the judges it was not enough as Ryann Spann picked up the win by split decision.
Result: Ryan Spann wins via split decision
Featherweight Bout: Bryce Mitchell(12-1-0) vs Charles Rosa(12-3-0)
Now with the second fight of the early prelims, I actually knew a little bit about both of these guys. Not much, but enough to know both had a lot riding on this fight. These two featherweights had the chance to make a name for themselves in one of the best divisions in UFC. Round one was pretty much as expected with a grappling showcase with Bryce Mitchell putting on a dominate showing.If you thought Mitchell was going to be tired after a dominating round one, boy were you wrong. Bryce Mitchell dominated the second and third rounds. I mean this dude was on fire and his wrestling skills were insane. Charles Rosa never stood a chance and the judges agreed as Bryce Mitchell picked up the win via unanimous decision.
Result: Bryce Mitchell wins via unanimous decision
Prelims-Next up we had the regular prelims, and we had what could have been a fight night main card with all of the great fights on here. Four fights in three different divisions, highlighted by the welterweight bout between Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone and Anthony "Showtime" Pettis. Lets take a look at what went down...
Welterweight Bout: Vicente Luque(17-7-1) vs Niko Price(14-3-0, 1 NC)
This was the rematch between these two welterweights as Price was looking to make up for the first time were he was defeated by Luque. Round one got underway with some heavy shots being thrown by both guys. Neither one was backing down and that setup for a very entertaining first round. Both guys landed some huge shots that would've knocked out any other normal human being. Round two started and these two showed no signs of slowing down. I mean these two were going after it trying to knock each other out and it was fucking awesome. Price got rocked with about 2:50 left in the second round and he looked wobbly for the rest of the round. Luque was trying to go for the finish but Price did a good job of slowing him down. We got to the end of round two with both men still standing and the third and final round coming up. Luque landed a sweet combo at the beginning of the round that was so vicious I yelled out "dammmmmnnnnn" in my best Chris Tucker impression. I don't know how Price stayed on his feet after that one but he did. With just under two minutes left Luque landed a huge left hook that dropped Niko Price, it looked like he was able to recover but the ref stepped in and called the doctor in to take a look at it. The doctor decided that he wasn't able to continue and Vicente Luque picked up the win.
Result: Vicente Luque wins via TKO/Doctor Stoppage
Women's Strawweight Bout: Carla Esparza(16-6-0) vs Michelle Waterson(17-7-0)
Our only women's fight on the card showcased two of the best in the strawweight division. Round one was more of a feeling out process for both of these ladies as we didn't have too much action. Waterson looked to be the more aggressive of the two fighters early on, but she didn't t really connect with any big shots. Carla Esparza landed the biggest shot of the round and it was a big hook that caught Waterson clean. Round one ended with both ladies on the ground and not much action so we headed to round two. The second round started similar to the first with a little bit of a slower pace. The whole second round the pace was more on the slower side as we didn't have too much action going on. Esparza had attempted a takedown but Waterson did a good job of stopping it. We would head to a third and final round. It was a pretty even fight through the first two rounds so one of these ladies needed to come out and take control of the fight. Esparza came out early looking to do just that and she landed a few shots but nothing major. Waterson responded with some nice leg kicks and body shots. Through the whole fight Waterson did a great job defending the takedowns from Esparza. Every time we thought Esparza might get a takedown, Waterson showed her great defense. As the fight wound down they both started throwing some bigger shots but, neither of them really landed anything major and we would head to the judges.
Result: Carla Esparza wins via split decision
Heavyweight Bout: Aleksei Oleinik(58-13-1) vs Fabricio Werdum(23-7-1)
The first of three heavyweight fights of the night saw two dudes that are old and have a lot of fights. Werdum hadn't been in the octagon for almost two years and Oleinik came out swinging for the knockout. The best part of heavyweight fights is the big dawgs always just go for the knockout until they get gassed. Oleinik was landing some huge shots and Werdum looked like he didn't know what hit him. I guess that's what happens when you take a couple years off. This was not a pretty fight by any means I mean it was slow and ugly but that was expected with these two giant humans. Werdum had little to no offense in round one and he just looked super slow. While Oleinik didn't look all that much better he was landing some nice shots and was really pushing the pace. Round two started with Oleinik continuing to push the pace and tried to take down Werdum but got caught and was in a choke hold for the early part of round two. After he got out of that you could tell Oleinik was getting tired. Werdum though was also looking pretty tired but he was still able to land a takedown(kind of) he had top control for a period of time but Oleinik was able to escape. We headed to round two with in my eyes Aleksei Oleinik up 2-0 on the scorecard. Third and final round started with a nice takedown by Werdum. He had control of the back and tried to lock in a rear naked choke but Oleinik was able to get out and gain top control. With Oleinik on top, Werdum tried doing what he could and he nearly had an armbar locked in. I gotta say for how bad Werdum looked in round one he really turned it around in round three. Now, he didn't look great but he looked better at least but in the end we would head to the scorecards once again.
Result: Aleksei Oleinik wins via split decision
Welterweight Bout: Donald Cerrone(36-14-0) vs Anthony Pettis(22-10-0)
Holy shit I was so pumped up for this one, Cowboy Cerrone vs Showtime Pettis for the second time and this could have easily been a main event on another card. I don't think I have ever been this excited for a prelim fight ever. Round one was pretty relaxed for the most part. It was by no means a boring round just nothing crazy happening. As in depth as I would like to go I was too focused on the action to type as I watched. We headed to round two and the action started right away. Pettis attempted a spinning backfist that nearly caught Cerrone clean but it just missed his chin. Cowboy landed a takedown later in the round but wasn't able to do too much with it and we would head to the third and final round. Pettis clearly was not interested in having this fight go to the ground at all as Cowboy was the more aggressive of the two with the takedown attempts. This was a super close fight going into round three and the final five minutes were super close as well. Pettis landed a shot that was an eye poke and it caught Cerrone and Pettis tried to take advantage but wasn't able to. The boys ended the round just fucking sending it and it was awesome. It was such a close fight and we headed to the judges once more...They decided the winner by unanimous decision Anthony "Showtime" Pettis. Not sure I completely agreed with the unanimous decision but it was still a great fight regardless.
Result: Anthony Pettis wins via unanimous decision
Main Card- Mannnnn after some great fights on the early prelims and prelims it was finally time for the main card. Two huge title fights, and plenty of great action. Yes, it was weird having no fans but at least we had some live event to talk about.
Heavyweight bout: Greg Hardy(5-2-0, 1NC) vs Yorgan De Castro(5-0-0)
First an foremost Greg Hardy is a piece of shit and I was really hoping he would get his faced smashed in. Unfortunately that did not happen as this fight started fast but ended slow. Both guys came out swinging and Yorgan actually landed some nice shots on Hardy but nothing that was able to take him off his feet. This fight would go the whole three rounds and it looked like Yorgan broke a few toes or messed up his foot somehow on one of the kicks he threw. After that happened he wasn't really himself and wasn't applying as much pressure. In the end, it was the Judges who would decide this one again.
Result: Greg Hardy wins via unanimous decision
Featherweight Bout: Jeremy Stephens(28-17-0, 1NC) vs Calvin Kattar(20-4-0)
What sucks about this one is that Stephens missed weight by like five pounds. Now im just glad the fight didn't get completely called off. Still disappointing that Stephens couldn't make weight though. The first round got underway and Stephens came out firing early and often. Kattar seemed somewhat hesitant and wasn't really throwing too many punches as Stephens controlled most of round one. Round two began and it was much more of what we expected with a lot more strikes being thrown. Kattar looked much better to start in the 2nd round and just over two minutes in the round Kattar connected with a huge right elbow that dropped Stephens and he finished it with some brutal ground and pound.
Result: Calvin Kattar wins via KO/TKO
After the Stephens vs Kattar fight we got the official announcement of one of the greatest fighters ever going into the Hall of Fame, Georges St-Pierre. Truly a legend in the sport and a well deserved honor for GSP.
Heavyweight Bout: Francis Ngannou(14-3-0) vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik(10-0-0)
The final heavyweight fight of the night and it was between two absolute powerhouses. You have to be crazy to call out Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik may just be an absolute lunatic because that is exactly what he did. These two had some big expectations to live up to in this one. My god did they deliver, or I should say Ngannou delivered. It took him all of 20 seconds and Francis Ngannou cemented himself as the next number one contender for the heavyweight championship.
Result: Francis Ngannou wins via KO/TKO
Bantamweight Championship: Henry Cejudo(15-2-0) vs Dominick Cruz(22-2-0)
The best bantamweight of all time returned as Dominick Cruz looked to retain his bantamweight championship, standing in his way was triple C Henry Cejudo. I was super excited for this one as I've always been a Dominick Cruz fan. When it comes to Henry Cejudo I think he's a fraud who hasn't faced real competition yet. He had the chance to shut me up on Saturday night. Round one started and Cejudo focused mainly on the leg kicks to Cruz as he tried slowing him down. As expected the first round was more of a feeling out process than anything. We headed to round two with Cejudo up 1-0 and he looked to continue to chop at the legs of Cruz. The boys started exchanging a little more in this round and we had some solid shots thrown. We had a brief stoppage as we had an accidental headbutt late in the round that cut open Cejudo. After they checked Cejudo he came out and hit Cruz with a big knee that knocked him down. Cejudo pounced on him and started throwing punches but it looked like Cruz was starting to stand up and the ref stepped in and stopped the fight...Not a great stoppage in my opinion. Henry Cejudo also announced his retirement after the fight and I for one will not miss him. It also could just be an act for him to try an get Dana White and the UFC to pay him more money.
Result: Henry Cejudo wins via TKO
Interim Lightweight Championship: Tony Ferguson(26-3-0) vs Justin Gaethje(21-2-0)
After an incredible night of fights it was time for the main event. A Lightweight showdown between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. As fans we were expecting an absolute war and that is not what we got...The first round started and these boys wasted no time getting after it. We all wanted to see two of the best lightweights stand and exchange and thats what we got. Round one was super close but Gaethje had the slight edge in round one. Round two and we got more of the same with Gaethje landing a big right hook but Ferguson wasn't phased. Another solid round of action where I think Gaethje won the round but at the end Ferguson caught him with an uppercut that dropped him. Round three and Gaethje continued to apply more pressure but Tony Ferguson just keto eating all of his big shots. Justin Gaethje has looked the best he ever has in this fight and was definitely up 3-0 in my eyes. We head to the championship rounds as round four starts and Gaethje shows no sign of slowing down where Ferguson has yet to really have an explosive round. We would head to a fifth and final round. Tony is clearly behind in the fight so he needed to come out with a sense of urgency. Justin Gaethje could not have fought a more perfect fight I mean he was on point with everything tonight. I mean literally everything Justin did was just fucking perfect from starting with the leg kicks to just dominating Ferguson. The only thing Ferguson had going for him is that he didn't get knocked out. He ate some huge shots from Justin Gaethje and in the end Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the fight.
Result: Justin Gaethje wins via TKO
An overall epic night of fights and even better news is we have another UFC card coming on Wednesday night!
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