Sanabul Fight News: UFC 275
UFC 275 was full of surprises, from the beginning of the card to the end. The night was filled with exciting finishes, wars, and some crazy unexpected endings. With two title fights on the line and a rematch of potentially the best female fight ever, things were looking to be exciting on Saturday night.
Joselyne Edwards and Silvana Gomez Juarez started the card off with women’s featherweight and strawweight matchups in the early prelims. Joselyne Edwards was matched up against Ramona Pascual to set the stage for UFC 275, the fight was a pretty fun striking matchup with Joselyne utilizing lots of front kicks to score over 115 more significant strikes than her opponent and secure a unanimous decision. Silvana was matched up against Na Liang in a fun matchup, with Liang as the underdog after coming off a loss in her UFC debut. Silvana earned a performance of the night bonus after a beautifully timed knockout, getting the card started off in fun fashion.
Kang Kyung-Ho and Danaa Batgerel had an extremely fun scrap between the two strikers that was a fun-filled war for fans to enjoy. Danaa showed some great power and timing on his counter strikes, with Kang dealing an insane amount of damage as the volume striker, constantly pumping out the jab and lead leg kicks, which Danaa was wearing by the second round. Kang ended up winning on the judges scorecards, and pulled through as the betting underdog for the decision win.
Jacob Malkoun came into the fight with Brendan Allen as a huge betting underdog, as the better wrestler and potentially grappler, many were counting on Brendan to get the finish on the feet. Malkoun and Allen had some fun grappling exchanges, with Malkoun being the pressuring wrestler and finishing 7/14 takedowns, Allen ended up on top twice throughout the fight and the pair had relatively even striking stats. Many thought Malkoun had done enough to secure a unanimous decision, but the judges thought differently with Allen coming out on top via split decision.
Hayisaer Maheshate was a big underdog in his UFC debut against Steve Garcia who was expected to have the advantage with 7 more professional fights in his career. Maheshate came out strong and landed an insane knockout over a surging forward Garcia who was looking very unorthodox and attempting to brawl his way to a knockout in the first. Maheshate showed some very good patience and accuracy for such a young fighter, and I look forward to seeing him fight again soon in the lightweight division.
Joshua Culibao and Choi Seung-Woo was expected to be a fan-favorite from the start, with two extremely fun strikers who are very technical but aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and have a fun scrap. The fight played out exactly like expected, with both man landing some bombs on each other throughout three rounds, and Culibao landing two scored knockdowns, Josh ended up taking the well earned decision victory over a very dangerous surging featherweight in Seung-Woo Choi to really secure his place in the division.
Jack Della Maddalena is an australian welterweight who has been taking UFC fans by storm with his incredible skill and talent throughout his early career and his first two showings in the UFC, including Saturday night. Ramazan Emeev was 20-5 going into his matchup with Jack, and was the small betting underdog, looking to be the better grappler and have the disadvantage on the feet. Jack ended up looking a bit dicey to start the round off, but pulled through with a first round knockout over Emeev to impress UFC fans as another Australian superstar storming the roster emerges.
Jake Matthews had his first UFC fight at 19 years old in 2014, and won his first two fights by submission. Early in his career Jake was looked at as a dark horse in the division, and a submission threat to anyone he was matched up against. In 2021 Sean Brady submitted Jake in the third round, and many began to wonder if he still had it in him. With Andre Fialho coming off two early knockouts and a pretty substantial betting favorite on Saturday night, Jake was pretty adamant about wanting to finish Andre on the feet and get back to the warrior he was earlier on in his career. Jake ended up completely starching the surging Fialho, and Andre had no answer to anything Jake was throwing at him, and Jake ended up taking an extremely impressive first round knockout to stun UFC fans everywhere.
The rematch of potentially the best women’s MMA fight in the history of the sport was on the horizon, the stage was set for a three round return of Weili Zhang and Joanna Jędrzejczyk in the octagon. Joanna was physically looking a lot different than she had in many of her past fights, many fans noticed a considerable drop in size and muscle mass, as well as an assumed drop-off in her training regiment. Weili had been training with Henry Cejudo at Fight Ready for two years to really solidify her ground game, as well as noticeable improvements in her striking. Weili dominated the fight from start to finish, with 50 more strikes, 3 takedowns, and 1 knockdown in two rounds, Weili knocked out Joanna cold with a spinning backfist that put her out cold on the mat. Joanna ended up taking her gloves off, and announcing her retirement after 8 years in the UFC octagon, to the dismay of UFC fans everywhere. Joanna will be missed in the octagon, her charisma, energy, toughness, and exciting lead-ups have been savored by UFC fans ever since she graced us with her presence in 2014 to the moment she retired on Saturday night, thank you Joanna.
Valentina Schevchenko, the queen of the flyweight division, has only looked relatively beatable in one of her eight last appearances, but Talia Santos was not going to let that stop her from reaching her goal of becoming the champion. Talia came into the title shot on Saturday night at 19-1 on her professional record, and planned on following the blueprint Jennifer Maia set on how to take advantage of the weaknesses in Schevchenko’s game. The fight played out very surprising to fans, with Talia seemingly winning at least 3 of the 5 rounds. Talia was able to take Valentina down three times, and finish with almost 9 minutes of control time. The fight ended up going to the judges' scorecards, with one of the judges scoring the fight for the challenger, and one scoring the fight 49-46 for Santos. Talia has been the most successful woman to challenge the Flyweight Queen for her decorated belt, and many believe she had done what it took to snag that gold off of her waist.
The main event was here, and Jiri Prochazka was finally ready to step foot inside the octagon for a five-round fight against the new champion Glover Teixeira as his first challenger at Light Heavyweight. Glover was being looked at as the superior grappler in this matchup, with the odds being in the favor of Jiri Prochazka on the feet. The fight was a twenty-five minute war, with Glover landing only 5/17 takedowns attempted (29%) Jiri impressed fans with his ability to defend the takedowns, and when the fight did end up on the mat he was able to end up on top in multiple positions and land some devastating ground and pound. This fight was a judges nightmare, but after Glover was seconds away from finishing Jiri and 30 seconds away from winning the decision on two of the judges' scorecards, Jiri had to take matters into his own hands. Jiri jumped on a Rear-Naked/Bulldog style choke (with no hooks in) and forced Glover to tap in the final minute of the five-round clash. Jiri Prochazka is the first ever Czech champion of the UFC, and becomes the third Light-Heavyweight champion in less than two years, with Jan Blachowicz cageside to give him a new challenger post-fight.