Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) made its presence known to TD Garden in Boston, Mass., last night (Fri., Oct. 18, 2019) for UFC on ESPN 6. There was plenty to be excited about ahead of last night’s event, which featured the Light Heavyweight debut of Chris Weidman, a grudge match between Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens, and action bouts littered throughout the card. Let’s take a closer look at the best performances and techniques of the night!
Too Long, Too Powerful
Chris Weidman probably should have taken an easier opponent to introduce himself to the Light Heavyweight division, because Dominick Reyes proved himself an elite contender last night.
The fight didn’t last long, but Weidman started well. His first takedown was timed perfectly, a thing of beauty. Weidman switched to the body lock and put his foe down, but like in each of his past fights, Reyes simply used the fence to stand up. One minute later, Weidman was unconscious (watch it) courtesy of a perfect counter right hand (and some brutal hammer fists) from “The Devastator.”
There’s not much to break down from a technical standpoint. It’s a huge result for each man however, likely the push Reyes needed to earn a title shot. For Weidman, it’s a truly devastating loss, one that really ruins his chances at capturing a title again.
Bad Blood Battles
Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens 2 lived up to the hype!
In the first round, Rodriguez’s speed was far too much for “Lil Heathen.” He dug deep into his arsenal of kicks and ripped them before Stephens could respond. The two also spent a surprising amount of time working in the clinch, where neither was able to really take advantage.
A Southpaw left kick to the liver defined the second round. Stephens hit the ground in absolute misery, and Rodriguez emptied the tank looking to secure a finish. Somehow, Stephens survived, even finishing the round by returning to his feet and battering Rodriguez along the fence.
Stephens gain top position and clearly took the third round, but it was not enough to overcome his foe’s dominance in the first two rounds. It has to a frustrating result for Stephens — this bout was supposed to be five rounds after all! On the bright side, it was a great fight, and both men represented themselves well.
The Future Arrives!
Maycee Barber picked up her third straight Octagon victory last night, and it was perhaps the biggest win of her career. If nothing else, it was definitely her best performance.
Gillian Robertson came in with a pretty solid game plan. The grappler moved well on the outside, stuck some jabs and low kicks, and generally tried to deny the pocket to Barber. In past bouts, Barber has chased a bit sloppily, and it’s clear that Robertson was trying to draw that flaw out of her young foe.
Barber didn’t take the bait. She was aggressive but composed, walking her foe down and flinging power shots when within range. Robertson switched it up by using a guard pull to set up a takedown — again, not a bad strategy given the situation. The end result, however, was the clinch.
At close distance, Barber’s athleticism shined. She quickly reversed her foe into the fence, broke away, and unleashed a torrent of power shots. Robertson tried to circle to safety, but she was stuck along the fence and could do little to stop the onslaught.
- Darren Stewart defeats Deron Winn via split-decision: It wasn’t necessarily action-packed, but I thoroughly enjoyed this fight. Winn’s wrestling is excellent, and he spent a lot of the fight controlling Stewart. However, “The Dentist” prioritized damage from the first bell, countering his foe’s wrestling with hard knees and elbows early. As Winn tired a bit, Stewart was more able to keep the fight on the feet, where he landed a lot of stiff jabs and crosses. Winn was never out of the fight though, always storming back to make it close. Ultimately though, the right man won, and Stewart has now picked up a trio of consecutive wins.
- Charles Rosa defeats Manny Bermudez via first-round arm bar (HIGHLIGHTS!): Charles Rosa did not have the least bit of success prior to the fight finish. He circled around the cage and threw some side kicks, which led to an early takedown from Bermudez. From top position, Bermudez was really mauling Rosa, but “Boston Strong” kept fishing for submissions. Suddenly, an armbar connected, and it was all over in an instant! It’s been over three years since Rosa’s last UFC win, and he earned it in his home town. Meanwhile, Bermudez has lost two in a row and basically missed weight three straight times.
- Randy Costa defeats Boston Salmon via first-round knockout (HIGHLIGHTS!): Salmon is in a tough situation. He’s big for the division and known as a dangerous boxer, but he’s now been knocked out twice in the first round. It’s odd, as Costa really didn’t do anything overly complicated. He came out aggressive and fired a lot of crosses, and most of them landed. Salmon was hurt early, never recovered, and it’s hard to see what exactly needs to be fixed other than a total defensive overhaul. As for Costa, he had never faced anyone nearly as good as Salmon, but that didn’t stop him from overwhelming his foe quickly — the future seems bright!
- Brendan Allen defeats Kevin Holland via second-round rear naked choke (HIGHLIGHTS!): Holland does not fight smart. The rangy striker routinely grapples with opponents when it would be wise not to. In this bout, he finally paid for that habit. Allen put himself in bad positions to force a grappling match, but when he finally found an opportunity to jump on the back and strangle his opponent, he capitalized. It was a fun, sloppy, thoroughly Middleweight fight.
For complete UFC on ESPN 6: “Weidman vs. Reyes” results and play-by-play, click HERE!