UFC on FOX: Five takeaways from Saturday’s fights in Orlando

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(Getty Photographs)

The UFC hit the community tv airwaves for the second time in as many months in 2018 on Saturday with a top quality battle card from Amway Middle in Orlando, Fla.

Whereas loads of individuals have been sleeping on this card as a result of it lacked main names, the matchups have been even and intriguing with a few them carrying critical divisional ramifications. From prime to backside, it was truly one of the crucial full playing cards of the yr. As soon as the motion hit the Octagon, the outcomes spoke for themselves.

This is a take a look at the important thing takeaways from Saturday’s UFC on FOX occasion in Orlando.

Stephens shines in second 2018 important occasion, flattens Emmett

Over the fifty five days of 2018, Jeremy Stephens has headlined two occasions and completed each in spectacular style. Final month, he iced Doo Ho Choi in St. Louis and Saturday night time, he rallied following a primary-spherical knockdown to place away Josh Emmett in the second in his first UFC on FOX foremost occasion task.

These two have been joyful to commerce proper from the bounce and it produced a wildly entertaining scrap, with Emmett countering a telegraphed uppercut to place Stephens on the canvas late in the primary. Each got here out throwing to start out the second, however this time it was Stephens who related with drive, toppling Emmett towards the fence earlier than unloading a torrent of photographs that final put the Workforce Alpha Male rep away.

It was a blistering efficiency from the 31-yr-previous veteran, who has been a fixture in the Prime 10 since shifting to featherweight and an entertaining, all-motion fighter all through his profession.

Stephens lobbied for a title shot following the bout, which is asking just a little an excessive amount of at this level, however he ought to get a date with one of many prime names in the division subsequent trip and if he retains settling opponents the best way he has in his final two outings, that championship alternative may come up.

Andrade calls subsequent

Jessica Andrade made it clear that she needs the subsequent title shot in the strawweight division, turning in a suffocating efficiency that showcased her energy and toughness towards Tecia Torres in the penultimate struggle on Saturday’s card.

This struggle was velocity versus energy and Andrade’s energy gained out. Early in the battle, Torres was connecting with clear photographs and shifting properly, however they by no means stopped Andrade from coming ahead and each time the Brazilian landed, it had an influence.

After a late, excessive amplitude takedown punctuated the top of the primary, Andrade’s persistent strain and appreciable power benefit began to put on on Torres, who tried diligently to muster offense and drive the oncoming former title challenger to take a backwards step, nevertheless it by no means occurred. Andrade stored urgent ahead, stored touchdown the heavier photographs and stored slamming Torres into the canvas to emerge with a unanimous determination victory.

Having now turned again Torres and Claudia Gadelha since arising brief in her first try to say UFC gold, Andrade ought to be subsequent in line to problem for the title, dealing with the winner of the upcoming rematch between Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk someday later this yr.

Latifi mauls Saint Preux, emerges as a contender

Ilir Latifi rolled into the Octagon and straight up mauled Ovince Saint Preux, blistering the Prime-5 fixture with strikes earlier than placing him to sleep with a nasty standing guillotine choke. In lower than 4 minutes, the Swedish powerhouse went from cult hero to darkish horse contender in the sunshine heavyweight division.

After which he lobbied Daniel Cormier for a shot on the title.

Whereas asking to battle “DC” was a bridge too far, this was simply one of the best efficiency of Latifi’s profession. Coming off a one-sided choice win over beforehand unbeaten Tyson Pedro final outing, the 34-yr-previous related with large energy photographs as Saint Preux appeared to seek out his openings and when he had OSP harm, “The Sledgehammer” swarmed, snatching up his neck and squeezing out a end harking back to Jon Jones placing away Lyoto Machida.

In a division that has felt stale for years and is all the time in want of recent contenders, Latifi simply shook issues up and turns into an intriguing fighter to comply with all through the rest of the yr.

Time to cease pushing Mike Perry

Competing at house in Orlando, Mike Perry was the most important favourite on the cardboard Saturday night time, however Max Griffin spoiled his homecoming, handing “Platinum” a unanimous determination loss in the primary-card opener.

And with that, the Mike Perry push ought to be accomplished.

The polarizing welterweight has now dropped again-to-again contest and is 2-three in his final 5. He seemed worn out on Saturday night time, unable to get inside Griffin’s attain whereas looking for energy photographs and he was pressured to go away the Octagon busted up, bloodied and crushed. With consecutive setbacks on FOX major playing cards, it’s time to tug the plug on making an attempt to make Perry a factor and simply let him be an entertaining motion fighter who lives in the center of the welterweight division.

Whereas he’s all the time entertaining, Perry has additionally come up brief towards the 2 greatest opponents he’s confronted and acquired pieced up in what was presupposed to be a showcase battle. He’s been handled like a contender and somebody to concentrate to in one of many deepest divisions in the game, however his outcomes don’t benefit that type of positioning and push.

Dismissed card delivers large motion

Lots of people have been down on Saturday’s struggle card, however people who tuned in have been handled to a wildly entertaining occasion that featured a set of high quality finishes and a lot of critically necessary performances.

The eight preliminary card fights yielded 5 finishes, together with a slick come-from-behind triangle choke from Marion Reneau and a blistering knockout courtesy of Alan Jouban, whereas Brian Kelleher spent the ultimate ninety seconds of his win over Renan Barao throwing murderballs on the former bantamweight champion. As coated above, the primary card offered a bunch of intrigue and spectacular performances as nicely.

I’m not going to take a seat right here and say, “It is best to watch every part since you by no means understand how an occasion goes to end up” as a result of some playing cards are weak on paper and may be loved on DVR or by way of Twitter.

However this wasn’t a type of playing cards: it was a strong assortment of prelims and the primary card was excellent, even when considerably missing in true star energy. It was higher from begin to end that final weekend’s present in Austin, Tex. that obtained a ton of affection, which exhibits you simply how a lot we focus on acquainted names and never simply the standard of the matchups.