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By Dan Rebain – Summer Staff Writer
UFC 250 was an underwhelming card for most “casuals” when the it was announced. But I can tell you that UFC 250 could go down as one of the best fight cards of the year. Multiple outstanding KO’s, guys choked out and put to sleep and history made again by the GOAT of female fighting in Amanda Nunes. Here’s everything that went down Saturday Night in Las Vegas
Amanda “Lioness” Nunes (20-4) def Felicia “Feenom” Spencer (8-2) via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-44, 50-44)
Amanda Nunes has made history once again. She is the first fighter, male or female, to defend two belts simultaneously! (Connor, Daniel Cormier and Cejudo never did). Spencer, for what it’s worth got two decision losses against two of the most feared women (Cyborg and Nunes) in the sport which is amazing. But a big “no offense” to Felica Spencer as she really wasn’t in this fight at all. The champ champ was all over her right from the get go. It became clear that there are levels to this game and she is at least one level below Nunes. Nunes showed that she can do it all, strike, wrestle and roll with the best of them. She landed 124 significant strikes and 90 just to the head while also taking down Spencer six times and controlling her for eight minutes on the ground. With Nunes taking no damage in this fight, she could realistically fight and defend one of her titles next month on the grand opening of “Fight Island” for UFC 251 which is also “International Fight Week” for the UFC.
#9 Cody “No Love” Garbrandt (12-3) def #5 Rapheal Assuncao (27-8) via R2 KO
Cody “No Love” Garbrandt is BACK!!! Garbrandt, to take the words out of Joe Rogan’s mouth, looked ‘faster than he’s ever looked’. That’s a big statement for a former champ that’s been KO’d in his last three fights and has been out of action for 15 months. He also changed champs and moved from Sacramento to New Jersey to train with the legendary Mark Henry. As the first round went by, Garbrandt looked fast and dropped Assuncao in the process. As round two commenced, Assunco looked to be more active and appeared to take control of the fight as the round winded down. In the last 10 seconds of round 2, Garbrandt had his back on the fence, luring Assuncao in before reaching behind his knee and landing a MASSIVE right hook to end the fight as the horn sounded. Garbrandt springbaorded himself back into the #1 contender conversation and with one more win against a top 5 opponent, he will have another shot at the Bantamweight Title.
#2 Aljamain “Funk Master” Sterling (19-3) def #4 Cody Sandhagen (12-2) via R1 Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Both of these fighters with a huge finish would ultimately be the #1 contender for the Bantamweight Title and face the winner of the eventual fight between Petr Yan and former Featherweight Champion, Jose Aldo. Right as the fight started, Sterling sprinted and attacked Sanhagen. Aljamain, while standing close to the cage, quickly caught the back of Sanhagen, backpacked him and took him down to a very threatening spot. Eventually Sterling fought Sanhagen’s hands in order to get position for a submission. He got under his chin and wrenched in a vicious choke hold that would have Sandhagen out unconscious 1:28 into the first round. Sterling is now projected as the #1 contender in the Bantamweight Division. Shout out to the LI product in Aljamain Sterling, NY represent!
Neil Magny (23-8) def Anthony Rocco Martin (17-6) via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
From my own and most other people’s perspectives watching this fight, it wasn’t even close when you look at the stats. When Bruce Buffer announced the score cards and the winner, it showed. Martin came out of the gates flying and controlled the fight early against the cage, but when they separated, Magny showed his striking superiority and also chopped Martin’s legs down with calf kicks. The second round saw Martin tag Magny early. Shortly thereafter, he got the fight to the ground, but Magny reversed. As the round progressed, both momentum and control swung back and forth. The most one-sided round of the fight was the third and cardio became an X-factor when Martin visibly slowed, breathing deeply. Martin ate a series of hard punches from Magny, who ultimately won the fight by unanimous decision. Magny has now won four of his last five fights, and could possibly could back into the Top 15 mix with his current run of form.
“Suga” Sean O’Malley (12-0) def Eddie Wineland (24-14-1) via R1 KO
In the words of Snoop Dogg, “O’MALLEY, O’MALLEY, O’MALLEY”. The Sugar Show just showed us all probably one of the best walk away KO’s of All-Time. O’Malley took on his biggest career challenge in former WEC bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland and not only aced the test, but produced a “Knockout of the Year” contender in the process. O’Malley faked with a right uppercut, then hit Wineland with a clean straight right hand to put Wineland to sleep. “I seriously believe I do have the best striking in all of MMA,” O’Malley said afterward to Joe Rogan. “Suga” Sean O’Malley is now 4-0 in the UFC and now has eight first round finishes out of his 12 wins. He will most certainly wake up Monday morning with a number next to his name and could possibly be in the top 10.
Other Fight Results
Alex Caceres (16-12) def Chase Hooper (9-1-1) via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Chase Hooper entered UFC 250 with a lot of buzz, but Alex Caceres didn’t let the hype get to him. The 20 year old Hooper was in only his second UFC fight but looked like he might have taken too big a step after he faced some difficult moments in his first fight, but ultimately got the win. Hooper did come forward and dictated pace somewhat, but was really out matched in the standup and was knocked down early in R1 by Caceres. Hooper tried to get the fight down to the mat and appeared to be successful in moments on the ground, but Caceres did a good job frustrating the young Hooper and kept the fight standing up. Caceres, who has been in the UFC since 2011, hands Hooper his first loss and is on a winning streak of his own for the first time since 2016.
Ian “Hurricane” Heinisch (14-3) def Gerald Meerschaert (30-13) via R1 TKO
Heinisch had gone the full 15 minutes in each of his first four UFC fights, so he switched up his training and went to Thailand and showed his newfound aggressiveness right off the bat. After Meerschaert dropped his hands, Heinish made a level change, The ”Hurricane” dropped Meerschaert with a vicious right overhand and finished him on the ground with some ferocious strike on the ground, getting the TKO win in just 74 seconds. “The whole mantra of this fight was movement, kicks, and set up that right hand,” Heinisch said. Heinisch’s fifth career KO/TKO snapped his two-fight losing streak.
#12 Cody Stamann (19-2-1) def Brian Kelleher (21-11) via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Stamann defeated Brian Kelleher by unanimous decision Saturday night after his 18-year-old brother, Jacob, unexpectedly died in his sleep last week. As soon as the final horn sounded, Stamann broke down crying and made us all tear up with his very emotional interview with Joe Rogan after his win. “I’ve been fighting tears all day, just trying to hold everything together,” Stamann said after the fight. “It’s a hard time for me. I had to buckle up and be a man and get this done for him, for my family, and myself.” The victory gets Stamann back in the win column after fighting to a majority draw against Song Yadong in December.
Maki “Coconut Bombz” Pitolo (13-5) def Charles Byrd (10-7) via R2 TKO (Hammer Fists)
“Coconut Bombz” Pitolo really hurt Byrd with a jab early into R2 and then started pounding Byrd with 11 unanswered strikes against the cage. Byrd covered up and was tripped to the ground while Pitolo finished the fight on the ground. Pitolo has now won four of his last five fights. It is also his seventh career TKO and 10th career finish. Byrd, after the loss, decided to hang up his gloves after losing his third fight in the UFC, with just one win. “Never thought I’d say this at this moment but I’m ok and accepting that sometimes things in life don’t go as expected.”
#9 Alex Perez (24-5) def #4 Jussier Formiga (23-8) via R1 TKO (Leg Kicks)
Perez put his division on notice by taking out one of Flyweight’s long standing contenders in Formiga. Perez clobbered Formiga with calf kicks, landing kick after kick as Formiga couldn’t take it anymore. Perez dropped Formiga twice with those calf kicks, and after the second fall, the referee had to stop the fight 4:06 into the first round with Formiga holding his leg in pain. Perez has now earned three of his five UFC victories by finish, and has won three straight, to put Perez possibly next up for the Flyweight Title.
Devin Clark (11-4) def Alonzo Menifield (9-0) via Unanimous decision (28-29, 28-29, 27-30)
Clark wanted to close the distance with Menifield early in the fight and was successful but Menifield landed a massive right uppercut compromising Clark’s left eye. Menifield slowed down significantly in the second round but both continued to land strikes. Clark, using his experience in longer fights, saw this and was the more active fighter in R2. This was new territory for Menifield as he had never been in a third round in his career. The inexperience showed as Clark took advantage of his timidness, landing multiple hard shots and took him down, ultimately winning the round and the fight.
Herbert Burns (11-2) def Evan Dunham (18-9-1) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
After two years away from the octagon, Evan Dunham was looking to come back with a bang, but just as his brother Gilbert did last week, Herbert Burns got an impressive submission win 1:20 into the first round and now has won 5 in-a-row. He could make a jump into the Top 15 in the Featherweight Division or could face a ranked opponent in his next fight.
Post-Fight Press Conference
No Fight Of the Night Bonuses
$50k Performance Bonus: Sean O’Malley, Aljamain Sterling, Cody Garbrandt, Alex Perez
Amanda Nunes says she will most likely take thes rest of the year off to prepare for motherhood with her wife Nina Ansaroff, also a UFC fighter, as they expect their child in the upcoming couple of months. Dana White was asked since Nunes has cleared out both the Women’s Bantamweight and Featherweight Divisions, would this set up for a trilogy fight between Nunes and current Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko. White said he wouldn’t want that fight and said eventually a fight between Shevchenko and Strawweight Champion Weili Zhang could be in the works. White also stated at his post-fight press conference that he will announce where “Fight Island” is in an announcement sometime next week.
The next fight card will be next Saturday June 13th again at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas for UFC Fight Night, between Jessica Eye and Cynthia Calvillo in the (W) Flyweight Division. Eye was KO’d viciously in her last fight against the current champion Valentina Shevchenko and Calvillo will be stepping up from Strawweight to fight Eye, who is still #1 in the Flyweight rankings.
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