Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight knockout artists Abdul Razak Alhassan and Niko Price battled last night (Sept. 8, 2018) at UFC 228 inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
A battle between wild men took place last night in Dallas. Price is an oddball of a fighter; he moves in different rhythms, strikes with shifting punches often, and last time out managed to knock an opponent out with a hammer fist from his back. Alhassan is a more straight forward ball of violence: a heavily muscled Judoka who largely abandoned hip tosses in favor of bludgeoning hapless fools with his right hand. Which man would win was anyone’s guess leading into the fight last night, but violence was damn near a guarantee.
This one didn’t last long at all.
Price struck early with a nice counter right hand, but Alhassan was the man moving forward and backing Price into the fence. The second Price hit the fence, Alhassan unleashed a flurry of overhands. Price was aware of this strategy, keeping his left hand high and trying to counter back by blocking and firing back with a right hand.
At first, both men got their licks in. However, Price began attempting to throw left kicks while Alhassan was mid-punch — not a bad strategy on paper, but Alhassan was far too close already. The result was Price getting knocked off-balance. Once Price’s feet were no longer beneath him, Alhassan’s advantage of hand speed and punching power amplified in a big way.
Another overhand was partially blocked, but the follow up left hook landed flush and sent Price crumpling to the mat. There was really no follow up needed.
What’s there to say for Alhassan? The man destroys people with his fists; he’s an immensely powerful athlete with ferocious punching power. Now on a three-fight win streak with a trio of knockout wins — in which he fought about the same way all three times — Alhassan has earned another step up in competition.
If he truly has solved his takedown defense issues (something we didn’t really learn about in this fight), Alhassan could just be a contender.
As for Price, this is a great example of terrible decision making. Where did Price hold an advantage on paper? Plenty of places, like distance striking, transitions between strikes and grappling, and on the mat. Instead, he found himself placed on the fence almost immediately and tried to trade right hands with the man known for murdering people with right hands.
Predictably, it did not work.
Just about every other possible game plan was better, and Price decreased his odds of winning exponentially by choosing to trade with Alhassan on the fence. The fact that he did a nice job of mostly blocking the right hands from Alhassan is really evidence of that fact: a well-executed game plan won’t work if the initial plan is awful.
Last night, Abdul Razak Alhassan flattened another opponent. Who should Alhassan face next?
For complete UFC 228: “Woodley vs. Till” results and play-by-play, click HERE!