After The Fights: UFC Santos vs Hill

What a night of fights! Out of all the fights, main card and prelims, not one went to the judges.

A new contender emerged in the Heavyweight division, and the winners of season 30 of The Ultimate Fighter were crowned.

Two fights did not go ahead. Jason Witt vs Josh Quinlan was cancelled; there has been no word if that fight will happen at a later date. Ariane Lipski vs Priscila Cachoeira was moved to next weekend’s San Deigo card.

Jamahal Hill def Thiago Santos

A new challenger in the heavyweight division has arrived, and his name is Jamahal Hill. ‘Sweet Dreams Stadium’ (better known as the Apex) is a happy hunting ground for the Chicago native. Hill was taken into the championship rounds for the first time in his career and handled it well.

Santos proved that he still has some fight left in him. He did fight smart, mixing his stand-up with some good takedowns. It’s hard to know what Santos should do. He has only won one fight out of his last seven, so maybe taking time to see where he is at will be a good thing.

Fantasy Matchmaker: It’s a no-brainer; Hill needs to fight someone in the top 10. Even though he already has a fight, Volkan Oezdemir would be a good fight for Hill. Like Santos, Oezdemir is a former title challenger and made a triumphant return against Paul Craig. It will most likely depend on if he beats Nikita Krylov.

As for Santos, a match-up against Scotsman Craig mentioned would be a good fight.

Geoff Neal def Vicente Luque

Neal put forward an impressive performance to Beat Luque. ‘Handz of Steal’ not only won, but he stopped the durable Brazilian.

After a one-sided first round, Luque was able to make a comeback and make it a fascinating final round. However, Neal came out as he did in round 1, making sure it didn’t go to the judge’s scorecards.

Luque is now on a two-fight skid and will need to return to the gym and assess a few things.

Fantasy Matchmaker:  Neal called out Gilbert Burns after the win. It’s quite the step up in competition, but it’s a good call out. Burns seems to be a little preoccupied with Jorge Masvidal. Anyone in the top 10 would be suitable for Neal; maybe avenging his loss to ‘Wonderboy’ is on the cards.

As for Luque, he could have a trilogy fight with Belal Muhammed, but that may not be something the fans would like to see just yet. Sean Brady would be a good fight for him.

Embed from Getty Images

Mohammed Usman def Zac Pauga 

Mohammed Usman is the Heavyweight winner of TUF season 30. The brother of Kamaru Usman pulled off an impressive knock-out over Zac Pauga.

Pauga won the first round, landed the crisper strikes, and controlled the Octagon. The second round was different, as Usman put Pauga to sleep with a nice left.

Fantasy Matchmaker: It will be exciting to see how the younger Usman goes in the promotion. He has heavy hands and good wrestling, maybe taking on UFC newcomer Hammy Abdelwahab.

Usually, those that make the finale get signed to the UFC, so Pauga may get a contract even with a loss. Maybe William Knight can welcome Pauga to the promotion.

Julianna Miller def Brogan Walker

There was a lot of bad blood in this fight. ‘Killer’ Miller was far too strong, imposing her will on Walker. If someone new were watching the fights, they wouldn’t have thought that Miller had the least experienced of the two.

Walker tried hard, but it just wasn’t her night. She may still get a UFC contract. As for Miller, she has a very bright future ahead of her.

Fantasy Matchmaker: The matchmakers will not want to throw Miller in the deep end. Mandy Boehm or Hannah Goldy will be the best ones to welcome her. As for Walker, Victoria Leonardo would be good as her first opponent.

Serghei Spivac def Augusto Sakai

It was a must-win fight for Sakai; he had lost three fights in a row. Unfortunately, Spivac made it four.

He survived into the second round, but the Brazilian was thoroughly out-classed by the Sambo practitioner. Spivac tool Sakai down at will, landing the cleaner strikes on the feet and ending the fight with a TKO.

Fantasy Matchmaker: The ‘Polar Bear’ will surely be a ranked fighter now, and his next fight should be against Blagoy Ivanov. As for Sakai, he should still get a fight but will need to win to keep his job. He should take on Jared Vanderaa.

Terrance McKinney def Erick Gonzalez

This fight was promoted to the main card due to the Lipski/Cachoeira postponement.

‘T-Wrecks’  made short work of his opponent again. McKinney got the first-round submission via rear-naked choke. He looked good doing it as well.

Fans have to tip their hat off to Erick Gonzalez; in his UFC debut, he took on veteran Jim Miller on short notice. He put a couple of good shots on McKinney but came up against a fighter on the rise.

Fantasy Matchmaker: McKinney called out Paddy Pimblett after his win, which is 100% the fight to make next for both Lightweights. As for Gonzalez, going up against a veteran like Clay Guida would be an exciting battle.

 

UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Hill Preview

Embed from Getty Images

It’s fight night at the Apex again (or, as it’s sometimes known, ‘Sweet Dreams Stadium) as two Light Heavyweights look to move up the rankings. Ultimate Fighter Alum Thiago Santos takes on a man who came up through the Contender Series, Jamahal Hill.

Champions of season 30 of The Ultimate Fighter will be crowned. In the Heavyweight division, Kamaru Usman’s brother Mohammed will take centre stage, taking on Zac Pauga. In the Bantamweight division. Brogan Walker takes on Julianna Miller.

UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Hill

Thiago ‘Murreta’ Santos vs Jamahal ‘Sweet Dreams’ Hill

This should be a cracking fight. A victory here for Jamahal Hill will get him one step closer to a title shot in a crowded division. Hill is ranked fifth, and a win over a former title challenger will help that cause.

Santos has been there before; he’s challenged for the title. The Brazilian will do anything to get back there, and Hill is standing in his way. Santos also sorely needs a win here; he has won only one fight in his last five. If ‘ Murreta’ is to make a charge for the title, a win is a must.

Both men have knock-out power, and the winner may come down to who strikes first.

Betting Odds on Neds: Thiago Santos $3.60 Jamahal Hill $1.30

Vicente ‘The Silent Assasin’  Luque vs Geoff ‘Handz of Steel’ Neale

Luque will be looking to get back in the title hunt after coming off a loss to Belal Muhammed. ‘The Silent Assasin’ is a quality fighter who can put on a show on his day. He is very experienced and has been in the Octagon with the division’s best.

Neale will want to crack the top 10 at Welterweight, and both fighters share a couple of opponents. Beating Luque convincingly is what Neale should aim for; anything less is a disappointment.

Like the main event, this is also an ‘Ultimate Fighter’ vs ‘Contender Series’ fight; maybe we will see which is the better reality show at the end.

Betting Odds on Neds: Vicente Luque $1.52 Geoff Neale $2.55

Augusto Sakai vs Serghei ‘The Polar Bear’ Spivac

Like it has been said in this blog before, there is nothing like a Heavyweight fight.

Sakai’s back is against the wall; he must win this fight. Losing his last three fights, even if they were against top-tier competition, won’t help him. A veteran of MMA, before making it to the UFC via the Contender Series, Sakai fought in Bellator. His only loss came to former UFC fighter Cheick Kongo (he also had a draw).

Like his opponent, Spivac has also fought some of the best of the division and has even beaten them. It’s unusual to see someone with his fight experience not be ranked; maybe it’s because of a couple of losses to key opponents. Beating Sakai here should get him ranked.

Betting Odds on Neds: Augusto Sakai $3.45 Serghei Spivac $1.32

Ariane ‘Queen of Violence’ Lipski vs Priscila ‘Zombie Girl’ Cachoeira

The main card starts with a fight between two women who probably have the best nicknames in all of MMA. Fans should be treated to a knock-down drag-out fight.

The fight will be at a catch-weight; Lipski failed to make the Flyweight limit and has been fined 20% of her purse.

Both women are coming off a win; they want to keep their momentum going to make it two in a row. Lipski likes to come forward and is known as a striker, but she does have a few submissions on her record. Could this be the way to victory for the Brazilian?

Cachoeira, like Lipski is a striker. If there is one area where she is uncomfortable, it’s off her back. Cachoeira will want to keep the standing; Lipski has the better ground game.

Betting Odds on Neds: Ariane Lipski $1.53 Priscila Cachoeira $2.55

Note: The author hasn’t watched enough of the Ultimate Fighter to comment on the finalist’s journey.

 

 

 

UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Hill

Photo Credit: Sherdog.com

It’s fight night at the Apex again, as the UFC returns to Las Vegas for UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Hill.

This fight night also acts as The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 Finale. The main event sees Jamahal Hill take on former Title challenger Thiago Santos.

In the co-main event it’s a showdown in the Welterweight division. New Jersey’s own Vicente Luque will face Geoff Neal.

In the TUF finale fight, Mohammed Usman meets Zac Pauga and Brogan Walker squares off against Julianna Miller.

UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Hill

Main Card

Thiago ‘Marreta’ Santos vs Jamahal ‘Sweet Dreams’ Hill

Vicente ‘The Silent Assasin’ Luuque vs Geoff ‘Handz of Steel’ Neale

Mohammed ‘The Motor’ Usman vs Zac ‘The Ripper’ Pauga

Brogan ‘Brogie The Bear’ Walker vs Julianna ‘Killer’ Miller

Augusto Sakai vs Serghei ‘Polar Bear’ Spivac

Ariane ‘Queen of Violence’ Lipski vs Priscila ‘Zombie Girl’ Cachoeira

Preliminary Card

‘Smile’n’ Sam Alvey vs Michal ‘Hussar’ Oleksiejczuk

Terrance ‘T-Wrecks’ McKinney vs Erick ‘The Ghost Pepper’ Gonzalez

Bryan ‘Pooh Bear’ Battle vs Takashi ‘Ten’ Sato

Jason ‘The Vanilla Gorilla’ Witt vs Josh ‘Bushido’ Quinlan

Cory ‘Poppins’ McKenna vs Miranda ‘Danger’ Granger

Mayra ‘Sheeta’Bueno Silva vs Stephanie Egger