It’s not too often that the UFC ventures outside of its Las Vegas home nowadays, but European fight fans are being treated to two consecutive cards being played out in a primetime slot.
The first leg was in Long Island and it was breathtaking from the first to the final fight, and it’s only going to get better as the UFC heads to London this week, where we’re going to see another Card of the Year contender.
We were merely 4 minutes and 11 seconds in when Brian Ortega collapsed back to the floor, holding his shoulder, with Rodriguez and referee Keith Peterson stopping to check on the Mexican-American. His shoulder was clearly dislocated and there was no chance he was carrying on.
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For Rodriguez, this means he can live comfortably for the next few months. A rematch with Ortega is almost guaranteed, he would’ve had to wait for a shot at the champion regardless of his method of victory, but for now he can enjoy the sweet feeling of victory that sees him become the number two ranked fighter in the featherweight division.
The Fight of the Night winner, and rightly so, was an epic comeback from the Ultimate Fighter graduate. Facing China’s Su Madaerji, he was on the receiving end of a pasting for the majority of the fight. Countless strikes were being landed and Schnell somehow endured.
Cue the takedown, and Daniel Cormier was screeching down the mic in excitement as Schnell unloaded some ground & pound before beginning the fight-ending triangle choke. It was more than deserving of the $50k bonus and a phenomenal watch.
Another performance bonus winner, Amanda Lemos choked out Michelle Waterson-Gomez via guillotine, a relatively new route to victory for the Brazilian who is known more for her striking than BJJ.
It was a solid win on the night against one of the stalwarts of the women’s strawweight division and she will no doubt be eyeing up an attempt of sneaking into a rematch with Jessica Andrade before the end of the year.
Another banger on the night, Li Jingliang is only adding to his stardom with wins like he got on Saturday night, as he dispatched Muslim Salikhov via TKO in the second round. Jingliang kept the distance well in round one, fighting using his frame to halt Salikhov in his tracks, before unleashing heavy hooks that eventually won him the fight.
Jingliang should follow the footsteps of his former foe Khamzat Chimaev and aim as high as possible in his next fight. A scrap with Michael Chiesa or Jorge Masvidal would likely be an excellent shot of proving his worth as well as earning some money on a fight night card that he’s big enough to headline.
It wasn’t supposed to be an easy fight on Saturday for Ricky Simon, with Wales’ Jack Shore arriving in Long Island with a perfect MMA record of 16 wins, zero losses. Simon wasn’t having any of it though, and caught ‘Tank’ in a nasty arm triangle that he tapped out from.
He immediately used his time on the microphone post-fight to call out ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley, and that would be a decent matchup if O’Malley wasn’t pretty much guaranteed to rematch Pedro Munhoz after their eye-poke no-contest last time out.
There’s no worse feeling than having to forfeit a fight due to an injury, especially if that injury is caused by something as mundane as pulling your arm out of the grasp of the opposition fighter. That happened to Brian Ortega just four minutes into his fight with Yair Rodriguez, resulting in a dislocated shoulder and the visible image of his shoulder being popped out of place.
It’s disappointing for ‘TCity’, but there’s no doubt that he’ll return stronger. Up until that point in the fight, Ortega was the stronger fighter and looked to be finding his flow, but we won’t know until the pair rematch. It’s a fight that deserves a crowd so hopefully it isn’t forced to be in the UFC Apex and gets another show in a big arena.
It might be strange to some that Jack Shore is fighting the week before the flagship UFC London event. Given his decision victory last time at the O2 Arena over Timur Valiev, you would’ve expected him to be the featured prelim of the UFC London card, but instead he fought in Long Island.
It was a close fight until he got clipped by Ricky Simon, and from that point Shore was unable to escape the wrestling skills of his opponent that resulted in submission. Jack Shore will return, he’s proven his worth already and it’s his first professional loss. The comeback starts now.
The brother of Gilbert Burns probably didn’t want the eyes of eager UFC fans on him this weekend. His older brother has been so successful since his debut back in 2014, it raised the bar for what to expect from young Herbert, who himself had won three times in the UFC and Dana White’s Contender Series.
It was very clear from the outset that Burns was entering his fight with Bill Algeo with an injury. He started strong with a triangle submission attempt but after that, his tank had run completely dry in the first round. Algeo piled on the pressure and Burns ended up being retired from the fight after being unable to get back to his feet. It was uncomfortable to watch as his brother lifted him out of the ring and backstage, and it leaves doubt over his future in the organisation.
*18+ | BeGambleAware