PIERCE: UFC Fight Night brings PPV-worthy entertainment in excellent night of fights
Photo: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
UFC Vegas 11 on ESPN+ delivered great fights, with even more entertainment value than some past Pay-Per-View events.
There wasn’t a single fight that disappointed; all six delivers on action and excitement. Although the main card started out a bit slow with the first bout, each of the following fights were fast-paced and awesome to watch.
In the second fight of the night, rising contender Mackenzie Dern made quick work of Strawweight Randa Markos by securing an armbar only a couple minutes in the first round. Her dominating Jiu-Jitsu was apparent right away and had Markos on her heels in no time.
Following up this first-round finish was another. Light Heavyweight Johnny Walker came in and TKO’ed Ryan Spann with 2:42 left in the first round. Although this was a quick and impressive finish, what came next was insane.
A contender rising faster than anyone else
Middleweight Khamzat Chimaev delivered an excellent performance, a highlight on his fast-paced journey to UFC gold. Chimaev knocked out Gerald Meerschaert with the first punch he landed. It only took Chimaev those 17 seconds to prove that he is a top contender in the Middleweight division.
As a testimate to this fact, Chimaev was able to win three fights in the UFC in just 66 days. This insane feat may make him the fastest rising fighter in UFC history.
Chimaev’s ability to control his opponent and avoid damage is incredible. He has outstruck his last three opponents 196-2. To my knowledge, no other fighter has ever been so dominant over a three-fight period.
I don’t believe that Chimaev’s recent success is a fluke, and he really does deserve a top contender in his next fight. It would be I tereting to see his response in a situation where he has to manage his opponent while also taking some pretty significant damage. We’re anticipating s heated fight with a a top-5 opponent soon.
Cowboy has an impressive performance despite outcome
The most active fighter in the UFC entered the Octagon yet again on Saturday. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone took on fellow Welterweight Niko Price as he looked to snap a four-fight skid. Price came out looking great as he landed 33 significant strikes in just two minutes at the beginning of the bout. What makes Cowboy so great is his ability to handle damage, and he only gets better as the fight goes on. This is a side of him that we haven’t seen in a long time but that he was able to bring for this fight.
Price’s shots were heavy and connected early. I thought Cerrone would be finished pretty early in the first round, but his resilience showed. He created separation and landed a lot of big shots himself.
Unfortunately for Price, an illegal eye poke cost him a point, which later ended up costing him the entire fight. The bout went all three rounds and ended in a majority draw. However, the eye poke ultimately meant that Price could not come out on top.
This fight definitely said a lot about Cowboy’s longevity as this recent losing streak has prompted a lot of talk about retirement. The man who owns the record for the most wins in UFC history does not want to stop. His ability to hang with a rising contender and be issued a draw says a lot about his ability to handle adversity.
Although Cowboy really isn’t contending for a belt anymore, it is always fun to see him in the Octagon.
Main event beef
The main event was a long-awaited bout between No. 2 Welterweight Colby Covington and No. 5 Tyron Woodley. The beef between the two started years ago when Woodley hired Covington to train for an upcoming fight. Ever since then, the two never got along and always took the opportunity to chirp at each other.
Recent tensions outside of the cage have reached a boiling point, and it became clear that these issues needed to be settled inside of the cage. Covington, a known Donald Trump supporter, recently called Woodley a “domestic terrorist sympathizer” in a pre-fight Instagram post. This comment likely stemmed from Woodley’s outspoken advocacy for the Black Lives Matter movement and his fight for social justice.
Political views aside, this was an interesting matchup that was gonna have a lot of fire behind it. However, once the Octagon door closed, it was basically all Covington. His work in the clinch allowed him to run the show and control the pace.
He led in strikes in every round and Woodley just couldn’t handle it. This bout seemed to prove that Woodley’s days of contending for a title seem to be over. It was a fifth-round TKO that gave Covington the win; an apparent rib injury made Woodley tap out of the bout.
Overall, this UFC Fight Night was incredible and had the feel of a highly anticipated Pay-Per-View. The UFC is doing something right with their fight matchups. Hopefully, they can continue growing the momentum in the coming months.