Sanabul Fight News: UFC 287
As one of the most exciting cards of the year, and anticipated rematches in a very long time, UFC 287 was a storybook being laid out in front of us in every way. With the title on the line once again between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira, the fourth bout between the two men was set and Israel had his legacy in the UFC on the line. The card began with Sam Hughes, Steve Garcia and Ignacio Bahamondes all getting wins of their own against impressive opponents. Sam Hughes outlasted Jaqueline Amorim after a grappling heavy first round, with Jaqueline being a very dominant Jiu Jitsu athlete prior to her MMA career. Steve Garcia ended up getting a second round finish over Sha Yilan, getting his second win in a row to start moving up in the featherweight division. Ignacio Bahamondes proved himself once again as a dominant athlete in the sport after a layoff of over a year, showing tremendous improvement in his striking, dominating Trey Ogden to a decision win.
The prelims started off with Lupita Godinez and Joe Pyfer earning victories in front of the Miami crowd. Lupita won a close decision over Cynthia Calvillo in what was a mostly standup battle, with both women showing impressive striking skills in a close fight. Joe Pyfer came out guns blazing against the veteran Gerald Meerschaert, finishing him with multiple hard strikes, and following up on the ground to get the TKO victory in the first round.
Closing off the prelims were Luana Pinheiro and Kelvin Gastelum both earning decision victories in very close fights that could have potentially gone the other way. Michelle Waterson was right in the fight with Luana, and the striking battle was relatively fun for fans to watch, with Michelle using her front kicks and many other weapons to keep Luana at bay, the brazilian fighter was still able to land many hard shots on Michelle, taking over with her power and durability. Chris Curtis also kept the fight relatively close with Kelvin Gastelum, but Gastelum definitely did what he had to do to get the job done. The fight was an absolute war, with both men rocking each other constantly throughout the whole fight, Kelvin pulled ahead with durability and speed, as well as controlling the range throughout the whole fight.
The main card began with Raul Rosas Jr, the 18 year old prodigy, making his main card debut against Christian Rodriguez. Raul made it very clear what his game plan was from the beginning, with very evident takedown attempts any time there was separation between the two men. Christian Rodriguez showed his experience advantage by surviving the first round, with Raul clearly gassing out, and Christian taking over in the striking and grappling department for the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Raul showed that he is unfortunately not ready yet for this level, but this loss may have been a better lesson than any win could have been for him. Kevin Holland ended up finishing Santiago Ponzinibbio in the third round, in what was a very fun fight, with Kevin rocking Santiago multiple times throughout the fight. Holland called out Jorge Masdvidal after the fight, saying that he’d like to resolve the words they traded during fight week.
Rob Font had his “Y’all must’ve forgot” moment against Adrian Yanez, knocking out the prospect in the first round, showing that he is still a force to be reckoned with and a great boxer in the bantamweight division. Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns were set for a very important welterweight matchup in Jorge’s hometown of Miami, FL, and the stage was set for a war between the two top-tier fighters in the UFC. Gilbert ended up dominating the battle from start to finish, winning on the feet as well as the ground, and showing why he deserves to be the next up for the title shot against Leon Edwards.
The storyline was laid out for us, with Alex Pereira being up 3-0 over the former champion Israel Adesanya in combat sports, with two finishes. Israel had everything on the line going into this one, being brave enough to take the fight so quickly after the loss, and to take a fight against someone he was 0-3 too both showed how badly he must’ve wanted to beat this man. The fight was relatively even in the first round, with both men getting good shots in. In the second round Alex started to back Izzy into the cage, and start ripping shots on him, with his guard up, Izzy fired back, landing two hard right hands and a left hook that put Poatan out cold on the canvas. Israel Adesanya showed how much power he has in his hands, and how impressive of a fighter he truly is, when all of the odds were stacked against him he proved everyone wrong and took back what was rightfully his.