Last night (Sat., Oct. 17, 2020), UFC hosted another show on “Fight Island,” remaining inside the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for UFC Fight Island 6. While the card did lose its co-main event to COVID-19, there were still several talented up-and-comers either debuting or looking to make big leaps up the ladder. Plus, the main event between Chan Sung Jung and Brian Ortega practically guaranteed an amazing fight — or at least a quick finish!
Let’s take a closer look at the slickest techniques and best performances:
A Stylistic Shift
Ortega came into last night’s main event with a completely different look and strategy than past bouts, and it befuddled “The Korean Zombie.”
Jung did not expect evasiveness — when has Ortega ever evaded a punch with his legs? For literally his entire career barring last night, “T-City” made his money by pressuring opponents and breaking them. He through himself into the fire, confident that he could survive the flames and find the finish before he burned up.
Though he was likely already working on his metamorphosis anyway, Ortega realized that walking into Jung’s right hand was not a good idea. He fought long and evasive, forcing Jung to follow him around the Octagon. Rather than counter, Jung had to navigate his way through rangy strikes, and Ortega’s own counter shots were waiting for him.
Jung never got going. He tried to force the action, but his efforts only saw him take more and more damage. The second round saw Jung find his only moments of continuous success, and that’s precisely when a spinning elbow nearly knocked him out.
It was brilliant work from Brian Ortega.
There is no nickname more fitting than Jessica Andrade’s moniker of “Bate Estaca,” which translates to pile driver.
It does not seem to matter what weight classes the Brazilian competes at. Whether at 135 lbs., 115 lbs., or in her debut in-between, Andrade is simply a physical force, able to lift and slam her foes with mind-boggling consistency. Seriously, is there another fighter — male or female — who you can fully trust to pick up their opponent and introduce them to the canvas at a high velocity literally every fight?
Khabib may come closest, but not all of his takedowns are high amplitude.
Regardless of the slamming, Andrade impressed last night. Katlyn Chookagian fought smart, trying to land with power and use her length. She forced Andrade to work hard constantly, and though she was about to lose the first round, the fight as a whole was still seemingly up for grabs.
Nope! Andrade ate a clean elbow to the face but simultaneously ripped a hook to the mid-section. Chookagian literally yelled in pain, and the finish soon followed.
Look, I don’t want to be the guy who awards Andrade a title shot following a single win at her new weight class, but ... why not? The former champion seemingly has a better chance than anyone else opposite Valentina Shevchenko, and it would certainly be an entertaining fight.
Australia’s Next Big Thing
At 24 years old, Jimmy Crute is already really damn good.
The Aussie can already do it all. He wrestles really well, and he’s one of very few men to secure multiple kimura finishes inside the Octagon! Yet in this match up opposite a striker, his grappling expertise did not come into play. Instead, he timed a body kick perfectly with a right hand counter.
Modestas Bukauskas must have a hell of a chin, because that right should have put him down for good. Instead, he popped back up and gave Crute an opportunity to demonstrate his killer instinct, and boy, he delivered. Crute placed an uppercut perfectly — again, that strike too should have killed Bukauskas — before a left hook put him down a second time, and one final right sealed the deal.
It was brilliant work from the up-and-comer, who is already better than a solid handful of ranked Light Heavyweights. Imagine what he’ll look like in two more years!
A Different Smesh
Said Nurmagomedov has one of the most famous last names in the business, but he is a different fighter than his most famous cousin.
The Bantamweight Nurmagomedov is a long, rangy kickboxer. He may have some Sambo skill too, but that grappling usually rests in his back pocket. It certainly did not come into play last night, as Nurmagomedov almost effortlessly dispatched Mark Striegl in the opening minute of the fight.
Striegl is a wrestler, and he was looking to close the distance early. Almost immediately, however, he was walking into counter punches. The finish came suddenly, as Nurmagomedov landed a check left hook with one leg in the air! Striegl was hurt and latched onto a single leg, but that only allowed Nurmagomedov to pummel him from one leg yet again!
Striegl fell to his back, and a few more accurate shots put him to sleep.
- Jonathan Martinez defeats Thomas Almeida via unanimous decision: Almeida returned to the Octagon for the first time in nearly three years. Unfortunately, he did so opposite a young fighter really hitting his stride. Martinez has come a long way since his debut, developing a high-level Muay Thai game and shoring up his takedown defense. In this match up, Martinez really denied Almeida his usual high-volume comfort zone. Whenever the Brazilian tried to start building combinations, a stiff jab or long left kick would interrupt him. Almeida was never able to get into his rhythm, as Martinez punished his attempts to get offensive repeatedly.
- Max Grishin defeats Gadzhimurad Antigulov via second-round TKO: Antigulov is a strange fighter. Typically, he sells out in pursuit of the early submission, either landing some type of strangle or pretty much giving up. This time around, he waited until the second round before really trying, and he only sort of gave up! Is that progress? Either way, Grishin prevented his foe from securing any dominant positions, and once the fight got ugly, he landed the damaging shots. More than anything else, he simply didn’t stop fighting, which was ultimately enough to produce the TKO finish.
For complete UFC Fight Island 6: “Jung vs. Ortega” results and play-by-play, click HERE!