UFC Fight Night 159 Ends in Unfortunate Fashion

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The main event at UFC Fight Night 159 had a decent amount of hype coming into the fight card in Mexico City but was unfortunately brought to a very sudden end. 

The fight card consisted of only one TKO/knockout victory, which was awarded to Steve Peterson knocked out his opponent Martin Bravo in the second round. So we were all hoping for a show-stealing main event and unfortunately, it did not even get out of the first round, and not for the reason you may think. 

Yair Rodriguez came out swinging early against his opponent Jeremy Stephens. Hitting Stephens with two solid kicks before going to a punch. While going for the punch though, Rodriguez accidentally poked Stephens in the eye, and veteran referee called time and gave Stephens plenty of time to recover. 

Stephens did his best to play it off so he could continue in the fight, but the damage was too much, as Stephens could barely open his eye. So Herb Dean had no choice but to call the fight as a no contest, with neither of the two fighters participating in the main event earning a victory. 

Fans inside the Mexico City Arena were visibly upset about the decision. As fans were throwing objects in the direction of the cageside area. 

Rodriguez was hoping to get a victory for the hometown crowd since he fights out of Mexico. Though that one mistake he made only 15 seconds into the fight, cost both fighters the chance at earning the win, and climbing the ladder of the Featherweight rankings. 

“I apologize a great deal.” said Rodriguez during the post-fight interview. “We both trained very hard for this fight, everyone spent a lot of money to come down and compete, and to support us. I feel really bad about it, Jeremy will be back, let’s do this again.”

It was obvious that Rodriguez was upset about what happened inside the cage Saturday night. He wanted to go out there and give a great fight in front of his home country and get even closer to Featherweight title contention, but this outcome leaves that possibility up in the air.

We will not know exactly how this fight will shake up the Featherweight rankings, but one thing we do know is that both competitors will have to wait for their next fight to try and better their positions in the rankings. 

It was a difficult thing to see two fighters who work very hard to fight at the highest level in MMA, have to give it up due to a no contest. Both Rodriguez and Stephens will have to just keep working and be ready when Dana White calls them for the next fight.

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UFC 242 Analysis: What Went Down.

UFC 242 had a plethora of action on Saturday night in Abu Dhabi. Everything from a TKO knockout, a submission victory, and a controversial split decision win. The co-main event between Paul Felder and Edson Barboza went the distance but ended in some controversy. The main event with Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier ended earlier than expected but was still able to jam a lot of action into it. Here we’ll take a look at what went down and analyze what to look for next after this event.

Co-Main: Paul Felder Defeats Edson Barboza via split decision

Edson Barboza vs. Paul Felder was a tough fought contest for both fighters, both were putting all they had into this fight to hopefully move up in the rankings. After the final horn rang out, most people had the fight going to Barboza for the victory, but the crowd, as well as everyone else watching the event, were shocked to hear Bruce Buffer announce the winner by split decision was Paul Felder. Barboza looked to have won at least two of the rounds during the fight, but the judges apparently saw it a different way. Barboza was, of course, upset at the result of the fight, but his camp was even more upset from the aftermath. It has been reported that Barboza’s fight camp is looking to appeal the decision from UFC 242. There has not been word yet on what an appeal will do for both fighters, but it is definitely something to keep an eye on in the future.

Main Event: Khabib Defeats Poirier via Submission

The Main Event of UFC 242 had a bunch of drama inside the cage. Poirier was his usual self, giving his all to prove that he is one of the top lightweights in the world and fought with so much heart and determination. While Khabib stuck to what made him undefeated, taking his opponent down and wearing them out throughout the fight. Poirier was able to get some shots in when he could, he tagged Khabib a few times in the standup game, and even put Khabib in a tight Guillotine choke that almost gave him the title. Khabib somehow was able to slip out of it and went right back onto the attack. The third round was the turning point for Nurmagomedov, he took Poirier down and sunk in a rear-naked choke and got the submission win.

A great thing to see after the fight was the respect shown by both fighters. The two fighters hugged and shook hands after the ref called the fight, which is a big difference from what went down after Khabib’s last fight. Both showed class and mutual admiration for each other and was a really great way to end the night.

What Happens Next?

As for where we go from here after this night of fights, UFC President Dana White has already announced that Tony Ferguson will be next in line for a title shot against Khabib, but that’s only if Ferguson accepts the fight. Ferguson last fought in June of this year, beating Donald Cerrone, and if he accepts the fight against Khabib, fans will finally get the fight they have been waiting for. If for some reason though, Ferguson does not get the fight, Dana White has stated that Conor McGregor will get a shot at revenge against Khabib in a rematch for the lightweight championship. Only time will tell what the UFC decides to do with the options they have for the lightweight division, and there will no doubt be great things to come with “The Eagle” returning to dominance.

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UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier Preview

In just five days, one of the UFC’s most dominant and successful fighters will make his return to the octagon. Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov will defend his UFC Lightweight Championship belt for the first time in almost a year, and he will face the current Interim Lightweight champion, Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier. These two veteran fighters will be sure to live up to the hype, and put on one hell of a show for one of the biggest live crowds of the year in Abu Dhabi on September 7th. 

For the challenger, Poirier has been on a crazy run in recent years, coming off five straight wins minus a no contest that occurred against Eddie Alvarez back in the summer of 2017. Poirier comes into this fight with a boatload of confidence. He has believed that he has been looked over for too long at this point. “The Diamond” is not satisfied with just being considered an interim champion. He wants the title of undisputed lightweight champion of the world. 

Now, in order for Poirier to achieve this accomplishment, he is going to have to trust his grappling defense. He cannot get sucked into one of Khabib’s traps and let the fight go to the ground. In order for Poirier to come out of Abu Dhabi as champion, he has to look for the knockout. His stand-up game is on a different level then Khabib’s, which is proven by 12 of Poirier’s professional victories coming via knockout. 

With that being said, there is no other MMA fighter in the world who has better wrestling and grappling skills than Khabib Nurmagomedov. Khabib’s fighting style can go either two ways: he is either going to take you down and wear you out for the duration of the fight and get a decision victory or he is going to take you down and wear you out until his opponent gives him an opening to lock in a submission and make his opponent tap out. 

If Khabib relies on his world-class wrestling and Poirier cannot stay calm and stuff the takedowns, Khabib will stay undefeated. The fact is Khabib has been so dominant for so long now, it’s hard to bet against him. Khabib is so good at tiring out his competitors that when the fight goes into the championship rounds, he can just do whatever he wants at that point. 

Poirier will have to connect with a hard shot early in the fight to rock Khabib, then capitalize on it. Poirier has faced some of the top fighters in the UFC in his career, ranging from guys like Anthony Pettis to Max Holloway, but he has never faced someone like Nurmagomedov. This fight is a classic matchup of textbook execution versus unrivaled heart and grit. Whatever happens inside the octagon this Saturday, it will no doubt be a fight people will be talking about for years to come.