For a card without a whole lot of starpower, UFC on ESPN 9 sure did deliver when it came to entertainment. The “Prelims” undercard was full of wild back-and-forth fights and slobberknockers, and as usual the graduates from Dana White’s Tuesday Night “Contender Series” continued to shine.
On the main card, Billy Quarantillo edged out an extremely wild and game Spike Carlyle in a bout many considered the unofficial fight of the night — UFC execs gave the $50k honors to Brandon Royval vs. Tim Elliot, although Dana White promised he’d throw some money Quarantillo and Carlyle’s way.
As far as entertainment goes, it doesn’t get much better than watching “The Alpha Ginger” Spike Carlyle. Those who have followed him through his regional circuit days already knew the score.
Remember when we cashed the +180 Spike Carlyle on his UFC debut against Alon Cruz?— David☘ (@DaveManyun_) May 24, 2020
He's back again next week. This time he's available at +145. #FightNightApex #GamblingTwitter pic.twitter.com/ymZMvIs90n
And his UFC debut saw him make quite the impression with a first round thrashing of Aalon Cruz back in February.
Leading up to his bout with Quarantillo, Carlyle was his usual goofy self ...
... but proved he means business when it comes time to fight, starting things with a “This is Sparta!” running kick right off the opening bell.
Carlyle bullied Quarantillo through the first round, spending a whole lot of energy to physically explode out of multiple bad positions and rain down ground and pound. But by the end of the first round Carlyle was ready for a break ... so ready he actually turned around and walked away from Quarantillo with seconds left on the clock. It resulted in this memorable moment:
This was a huge turning point for Billy Q. Really bad fight IQ from Spike Carlyle pic.twitter.com/C5BBJy3LfY— MountedMMA! (@MountedMMA) May 31, 2020
“The Alpha Ginger” maintained a pretty impressive pace through the second round, but by round three it was Quarantillo who took the upper hand, with many thinking a 10-8 might be appropriate, setting up a 28-28 draw. Check out this final volley between the two:
But all three judges gave round two and three to Quarantillo, earning him the 29-28 win. The win brings Quarantillo to 14-2 and drops Carlyle to 9-2, but certainly puts both of them on our radar for future fights.
What did you think of this fight, Maniacs? Did “The Alpha Ginger” get robbed? Or did Quarantillo make him pay the obvious price for blowing his wad early?