Tuesday Top Ten

Tuesday Top Ten: First Round Finishes From Current UFC Champions

At UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya we saw one of the most dominant performances in a championship bout. This gave me the brilliant idea for this week’s top ten list. The current list of UFC champions right now have multiple first round finishes under their belts. Just about all of them have been dominant. So here is the top ten first round finishes from current UFC champions. We are excluding non-title fights they have competed in.

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#10. Stipe Miocic vs. Fabricio Werdum

Many people were pretty sure that Fabricio Werdum was going to beat Stipe Miocic after seeing his performance against Cain Velasquez that won him the UFC Heavyweight Championship. So when Miocic put the former champion to sleep with a perfect cross counter during one of Werdum’s rushes, it came as a massive shock for the MMA community. It was just a sign of things to come from Miocic’s legendary title run.

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#9. Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo

Henry Cejudo was the best chance, since John Dodson, to beating Demetrious Johnson. He was an undefeated fighter and an olympic wrestler. This did not seem to matter to Johnson however, as he went in there and took Cejudo out in the first round with a series of knees in the clinch.

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#8. Stipe Miocic vs. Junior Dos Santos

Stipe Miocic continued his dominant championship run when he faced one of the two men to ever beat him in his MMA career. Although Junior Dos Santos looked promising as he was landing some leg kicks to Miocic, one would eventually hurt him, Miocic would eventually land a devastating right hand that dropped JDS to get the win in devastating fashion.

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#7. Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

This was the biggest upset win on this entire list. Rose Namjunas was subject to a lot of verbal abuse by Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the lead up to the fight. This ended up blowing up in Jedrzejczyk’s face however, as Namajunas was able to drop her adversary with a lead hook and then deliver some ground and pound that led her Jedrzejczyk to tap to the strikes (yes it was a tap).

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#6. Amanda Nunes vs. Miesha Tate

When this fight was named the main event to UFC 200, many people felt like it would not serve as a proper close to what should be an epic card (thanks Jon Jones and Conor McGregor). But when the fight took place, fans were stunned by Amanda Nunes’ quick annihilation of Miesha Tate that gave her the championship. She bludgeoned Tate with her fists of stone until Tate was a bloody mess and was forced to curl up in a ball until the ref stepped in.

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#5. Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya

In the most recent fight on this list, Cris Cyborg absolutely destroyed Yana Kunitskaya in this impressive performance by a champion. Kunitskaya had an oppurtunity to win when she took Cyborg’s back, but all hope was lost when Cyborg powered her way out and continued to throw bombs at Kunitskaya to get the victory in this dominant win.

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#4. Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez

In their first fight, Demetrious Johnson defeated Joseph Benavidez by decision. Benavidez felt confident the second time around as he had been working on his striking with the addition of Duane Ludwig to Team Alpha Male. Sadly for him though, Johnson had also been working on his striking. The feeling out process was going on for quite a bit in the first round and as Joe Rogan was complimenting Johnson’s form in his striking, Johnson caught Benavidez with a well placed hook/uppercut that shut the lights off for Benavidez (and his dreams of becoming champion).

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#3. Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey

The hype behind Ronda Rousey’s return was insane. Many were hoping she came back and reclaim her title in dominant fashion like the fighter of old. This was not meant to be. Amanda Nunes, angered by the lack of media attention to her, absolutely destroyed the MMA darling and sent her into retirement via one-sided beat down that was mercifully stopped before Rousey even went down.

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#2. Tyron Woodley vs. Robbie Lawler

Tyron Woodley may get a lot of criticism for being a boring fighter, but when he captured the UFC Welterweight Championship from Robbie Lawler, it was anything but boring. Similar to the Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez fight, both fighters were feeling each other out and looking for an opening. Leg kicks were thrown and they had a little clinch battle as well. But the only significant strike that was thrown on the feet was by Woodley when he threw a killer overhand right that shattered the iron chin that Lawler had. It was a real eye-opener as Woodley has been a tough puzzle to solve ever since that punch was thrown.

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#1. Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo

This is, without a doubt, the most dominant victory of any current UFC champion. It only took thirteen seconds and one punch for Conor McGregor to dethrone the former P4P king Jose Aldo from the featherweight throne. It’s what made McGregor the larger than life fighter that he is known to be. Now if only he can defend that belt of his. Oh well.

What's Going On?

What’s Going On? (August 6th – 12th)

A whole new week means a whole new set of MMA news and events that needs to be discussed by yours truly. So let’s get right into it with some interesting topics for this week:

Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather to pitch 8-oz gloves for fight to NAC

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We discussed last week about these two wanting to fight in smaller gloves. They will finally appear before the NAC and plead their case as to why they should have 8-oz. gloves. I’m surprised by both fighters’ decision as Floyd Mayweather would be giving Conor McGregor a greater chance of beating him and McGregor has stated in his Instagram post above that he does not care which gloves he uses yet he will try to convince a panel as to why they should use smaller gloves. The size difference won’t be that significant as the original size is 10-oz. and MMA gloves are 4-oz. However, this would still make the fight even more competitive (if it ever was to begin one).

Paulie Malignaggi and Conor McGregor sparring session

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Paulie Malignaggi has continued to voice his displeasure of Team McGregor after they leaked pictures of his sparring session with Conor McGregor which made McGregor look superior in comparison to Malignaggi. Although I feel he was used negatively in this situation, I think Malignaggi needs to drop it as it is starting to make him look bad and destroying his reputation more than the pictures. In all honesty, we will never know what happened in the sparring session between these two unless footage is release which I doubt would actually happen. McGregor’s team already did something similar with another boxer and was exposed on a twitter video. If we want to see McGregor’s true skills we will have to wait till August 26th.

Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm at UFC 217

This is possibly the biggest female fight the UFC can do right now. Both are amazing strikers who can knockout any other competitor in their division. If the fight stays standing then it would be a fun contest to watch. However, Cyborg should be looking to take this fight to the ground to utilize her jiu-jitsu. It would be a fun contest but the fight still needs to be made. Hopefully the UFC will not take forever in making a matchup with Cyborg this time.

Georges St-Pierre signs contract for fight with Michael Bisping at UFC 217

Can we get this fight over with already? Michael Bisping’s title reign is lasting a lifetime because of his inability to fight top contenders. Hopefully whoever wins this bout will face Robert Whittaker next. Also it is nice to see another of Dana White’s lies after he stated that “the boat has sailed” for this fight to happen.

Rose Namajunas poses nude

The Women’s Health magazine ran a “Naked in 3 Words” series with UFC Strawweight Rose Namajunas posing for it. The three words she chose were Cut, The, Shit. I, for one, cannot wait for her to return to the octagon as I feel she could be a tough challenge for the current champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Other News:

What Next?

What Next? (UFC 212: Aldo vs. Holloway)

Fighters do not always like to think what fights they will be in next after feeling the relief of finishing their last fight. The fight game is neverending, however, and so I list ouf the best outcome for the winners and losers from the UFC event that shook Rio de Janeiro up.

Erick Silva

The many wars that Erick Silva has been in may have attributed to his loss this past Saturday. He is still a fan favorite and should look to win against a slightly lower tier fighter in Luan Chagas who won on the early prelims of the same card. Chagas deserves the oppurtunity to fight a bigger name such as Silva and I hope he gets it plus it would be a fun fight to see since Silva always puts on exciting matches.

Next opponent: Luan Chagas

Yancy Medeiros

After taking out Erick Silva, Yancy Medeiros will be wanting to face off against a ranked opponent. That may not come just yet since most of them are pretty busy at the moment. So he should face another welterweight trying o become ranked. Peter Sobotta fits that description. Both men have finished there last opponent via KO/TKO in the second round which makes it sound even more like a good idea.

Next opponent: Peter Sobotta

Oluwale “Holy War Angel” Bamgbose

Oluwale Bamgbose is still a dangerous force in the middleweight division and needs to learn from this loss in order to improve as a fighter. A match against jiu-jitsu expert Antônio Carlos Júnior could do wonders for him. He may not do well if he is taken down by Júnior but the fight always starts on the feet where Bamgbose will have an advantage. This is an old fashion striker vs. grappler matchup.

Next opponent: Antônio Carlos Júnior

Paulo Borrachinha

It was impressive for Paulo Borrachinha to get the stoppage againsst a man who has stopped his opponents in all of his victories. This also shows that Borrachinha is not just a first-round-knockout-or-bust fighter. He took minimal damage in this fight and should fight someone who has done the same. My pick for him to fight is Nat Marquardt who has also fought on this card. Although Marquardt did not win to the judges, many believed he won in a great performance against his adversary. This would be a fun matchup as both men have great power and wrestling.

Next opponent: Nate Marquardt

Nate “The Great” Marquardt

See Paulo Borrachinha’s next opponent above for full details.

Next opponent: Paulo Borrachinha

Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort

Although it is highly unrecommended, Vitor Belfort is going to continue fighting in the UFC. He just barely beat an unranked Nate Marquardt in a controversial decision victory it is questionable whether or not he would want to face a ranked opponent. I’m just going to assume he would want to face a ranked opponent next. If he is looking for easy matchups then I could give an endless list of fighters for him to face. Instead, I’m going to match him with the most competitive he can get. David Branch seems appropriate. He is a former two division WSOF champion but put on a boring fight a few months back that he won by decision as well. The two are close to eachother on the ranking, making this match make all the more sense.

Next opponent: David Branch

Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Karolina Kowalkiewicz just revealed a massive Achilles’ heel in her game: her ground game. She needs to go back to the drawing board and develop that portion of her skillset. Her next opponent should be Jessica Andrade who just fought for the title in a losing effort earlier this year. Both are coming off high profile losses and should look to bounce back with a win over the other.

Next opponent: Jessica Andrade

Claudia Gadelha

This one is very complicated but bear with me. Claudia Gadelha has shown that she is the guaranteed second best strawweight in the UFC. She has stated that she does not want to challenge for the title yet and that she wants Rose Namjunas to challenge first. If this happens then Gadelha should definitely challenge the winner for the title. But if for whatever reason the UFC does not pull the trigger with Namajunas then Gadelha and Namjunas should face eachother for the title shot.

Next opponent: Rose Namajunas/Winner of Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk

José Aldo

Poor José Aldo was on top of the world and it all came crashing down. But contrary to what some are saying online, he is far from done. Aldo can certainly get back his title if he takes out a top contender to earn himself a title shot. For now t all depends on his health after suffering that beating in his last fight. If he wants to get back in there quickly then Ricardo Lamas is the perfect pick since his opponent, The Korean Zombie, pulled out of their contest at UFC 214: Cormier vs. Jones 2. If Aldo wants to take a bit of time to recuperate then his matchup should be with Cub Swanson who is also waiting as of now. I do not usually make picks like this but with Aldo it will be determined on what he wants to do.

Next opponent: Ricardo Lamas/Cub Swanson

Max “Blessed” Holloway

The logical choice for Max Holloway’s first title defense is the current top contender, Frankie Edgar. He has shown why he is one of the greatest of all time when he dominated Yair Rodriguez earlier this year. He had a great showing against José Aldo but ultimately came up short. Holloway may end up being a better matchup for him. This could be Edgar’s last chance to win that elusive second UFC championship.

Next opponent: Frankie Edgar

Who You Got?

Who You Got? (UFC 212: Aldo vs. Holloway)

The UFC returns to Rio de Janeiro when the two best featherweights on the planet go head to head in a title unification bout in the main event of the evening. Here are my picks and predictions for how all of the main card fights of the night will go down:

Erick Silva vs. Yancy Medeiros

This fight is a bit tricky to analyze so let’s look at what we know. Erick Silva is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. He also wins most of his fight by submission. Yancy Medeiros has only lost once by submission and wins by either knockout or submission mainly. Silva does not get submitted so by logic this fight should end with Medeiros knocking out Silva. I’m going to go with this because I feel any guess is a good one at this point. I’m also going to guess that this will end in round two due to Silva having great toughness but also havinng a weak chin. So it’s in the middle round for me. Predicted winner: Yancy Medeiros via Knockout/Technical Knockout Round 2

Paulo Borrachinha vs. Oluwale “Holy War Angel” Bamgbose

Paulo Borrachinha has won all of his fights in the first round by knockout. That alone makes it a safe pick. However, let’s give Oluwale Bamgbose a chance here. All of his wins are also first round knockouts but has suffered defeat twice. His only knockout loss is to knockout artist Uriah Hall. This is actually closer than people will think but I still have to go with the safe pick here. Predicted winner: Paulo Borrachinha via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort vs. Nate “The Great” Marquardt

This is going to be a barn burner right here. Two guys with knockout power going at it is something that MMA fans and casuals alike all love to see. For this fight, I have to go with the living legend that is Vitor Belfort due to Nate Marquart showing that he is able to b knocked out early in a fight. Belfort can also get knocked out quickly but usually against much more high-level strikers. Plus you throw in Belfort’s ground game and it spells a satisfying end to what might be the last fight for “The Phenom.” Predicted winner: Vitor Belfort via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Claudia Gadelha vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

This is going to be an exciting matchup that may take fight of the night honors. It features two of my favorite female fighters in the UFC going at it for a potential title rematch against Joanna Jędrzejczyk. This fight is going to be looked at as a striker vs. grappler contest which are always fun to watch. I normally go with the grappler in the UFC and I’m going to do that with this fight. I see Claudia Gadelha taking Karolina Kowalkiewicz down to the mat like she did with Joanna. This will cause her to win at least two out of the three rounds, but I don’t see her getting the finish. Predicted winner: Claudia Gadelha via Decision

José Aldo (c) vs. Max “Blessed” Holloway (ic)

This will, without a doubt, be the toughest title fight to predict this year. In one corner you have José Aldo who is the greatest featherweight of all time due to his quickness and ability to land almost every strike he throws with precision. Plus he has some of the most vicious leg kicks in the sport. Then you have Max Holloway who is extremely tough to finish and has shown some impressive striking with his reach advantage going into this fight. Taking all of this into account, Aldo is the favorite for a reason. He has dominated the division for over a decade until his sudden defeat by Conor McGregor. Since then he has came back with a win over Frankie Edgar to reclaim his title. Max Holloway has also suffered his most recent defeat to McGregor and has since went on a 10 fight win streak. Still, I have to go with Aldo because of the fact that his only loss in the UFC is by a guy who has some serious knockout power. Holloway took some time to put Anthony Pettis away after Pettis had a broken hand. I do see Holloway’s toughness forcing this to go to decision though. Predicted winner: José Aldo via Decision