For the second time in two weeks, UFC made its presence known to UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada last night (Sat., June 13, 2020) for UFC on ESPN 10. The promotion’s third event inside the UFC APEX was far from their most anticipated, as there was only a single match up between ranked fighters. Fortunately, lesser known fighters and up-and-comers can still put on exciting fights, so there was definitely some action worth talking about.
Let’s take a closer look at the best performances and techniques of the night:
A New Flyweight Contender
Cynthia Calvillo largely dominated Jessica Eye.
The first round was close, but otherwise? Calvillo was the faster and more accurate striker, sticking Eye with long jabs and crosses to the body then dipping away before Eye could land back. Really though, Calvillo’s takedowns won her the fight. After the first successful trip and back take, Eye never managed to find her groove again.
In fact, “Evil” looked downright clunky at times, slowly stepping forward and whiffing often. Calvillo’s combination of speed, footwork, and dangerous grappler really stymied the veteran, who has proven herself a tough out at 125 lbs.
Flyweight needs an influx of contenders, and it has at least one in “Spicy.”
Marvin Vettori has a historical issue with opponents pulling out. Roberson is the latest example, as “Baby K” missed weight twice opposite “The Italian Dream,” and the first time it cancelled their plan scrap.
Vettori was frustrated for obvious reasons, and last night, he was able to unleash all that pent up anger directly onto Roberson’s face. After a brief feeling-out process, Vettori ducked into a takedown. The fight was not instantly decided — Roberson nearly countered with a back take and choke! — but it was firmly in Vettori’s wheelhouse.
The two scrambled for much of the first round, and Vettori finished in top position each time. With about a minute remaining, Roberson finally settled to his back. Vettori was in no mood to let off the gas, so he postured up and just started dropping volume on Roberson. Dozens of punches connected or slammed into his guard, prompting Roberson to turn his back and try to stand.
It proved a fatal mistake.
In the two earlier women’s fights of the night, we saw two major discrepancies in size and strength. Predictably, this did not end well for the smaller athletes.
In the first example, Gina Mazany started quick, landing a few good left hands early on Julia Avila. That only served to piss off “Raging Panda,” who dug a knee into her foe’s mid-section. Mazany backed off in pain, allowing Avila to unleash a couple dozen punches on her shelled up foe, forcing the referee stoppage.
The next fight was even more vicious, as Mariya Agapova pretty much beat the crap out of Hannah Cifers. Agapova has a boxing background, but I don’t even think it mattered. She walked through Cifers’ punches with nary a care in the world, connecting with her left hand a half-dozen times in the opening minute. Moments later, she hid a same-side high kick behind that left, sending her foe to the mat briefly.
Agapova then jumped the back and strangled her foe.
In both cases, the smaller and less athletic combatant was overwhelmed from nearly the first bell. It’s an important reminder of the value of physicality in MMA, and just how much skill is required to make up for any disadvantage.
Watching those fights, it should be obvious why missing weight is common — no one wants to be the smaller punching bag!
- Tyson Nam defeats Zarrukh Adashev via first-round knockout: Tyson Nam is a counter puncher, one of the heaviest hitting Flyweights on the roster. At times, it can be frustrating to watch him fight, as smart opponents will refrain for committing too much, happy to win a decision based on volume. Then, he finally connects, and it all makes sense —- Nam absolutely flattened Adashev with a perfect counter right hand, timing his foe’s low kick to score a beautiful knockout.
- Christian Aguilera defeats Anthony Ivy via first-round knockout: Faced with an opponent who looked to move and kick, it took Aguilera less than a minute to track his opponent down with crisp straight punches. After a clean 1-2, Aguilera switched up the timing, throwing a cross-jab. Following the cross with a jab is a great way to extend range with a jab that carries real power, and the strike stunned Ivy. Aguilera immediately sensed his foe was hurt and swarmed, securing himself a quick finish.
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