UFC Columbus went down last night (Sat., March 26, 2022) from inside Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. In the main event of the evening, Curtis Blaydes defeated Chris Daukaus via technical knockout to make an emphatic statement (see it again here). In the co-headlining act, Alexa Grasso submitted Joanne Wood to pick up her third straight win (video replay here).
Biggest Winner: Curtis Blaydes
Not only did Blaydes end Daukaus with vicious strikes, he did it all without setting it up with his outstanding wrestling, which has not only earned him wins, but criticism, as well. But, “Razor” made sure to silence all the critics who have bashed his fighting style in the past. With two straight wins under his belt, he has now won six of seven overall and called for an interim title shot against Ciryl Gane following his big win. While deserving, it likely won’t happen. If it does, it will not be against Gane because Dana White has already stated that Jon Jones could waltz in and get an interim title shot in his first fight at Heavyweight. Worst case scenario (if you can call it that), Blaydes doesn’t get Gane, but does get “Bones” instead, which is a bigger fight at the end of the day that will net Blaydes more viewers ... and more money.
Runner Up: Kai Kara France
Bryan Barberena and Alexa Grasso’s wins were exciting and great, but France gets the nod here because he likely earned himself a shot at the Flyweight title after defeating Askar Askarov. Since losing to Brandon Royval at UFC 253 in Sept. 2020, Kara-France has really turned it around, winning three straight fights, which includes back-to-back knockout wins over Rogerio Bontorin and former Bantamweight champion, Cody Garbrandt. But, his win over the previously-undefeated Askarov may have been his most impressive feat. After 15 minutes of action the Kiwi pulled out the unanimous decision win to hand Askarov the first loss on his record. Askarov is currently ranked No. 2, so it stands to reason that France (No. 6) could very well overtake him for that spot. What that also means is that he will likely get the winner of the upcoming fourth title fight between division champion Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno.
Biggest Loser: Joanne Wood
Coming into the fight, Wood was on our list of fighters that needed a win in the worst way. That’s because she was coming in with two straight losses. Once the dust settled in Columbus, “JoJo” went home with her third straight defeat after Alexa Grasso choked her out in the very first round. That is now two straight losses via first-round submission (rear-naked choke), three straight defeats and a record of 2-5 in her last seven fights A run like that usually doesn’t bode well for a fighter hoping to secure his or her spot on a UFC roster that is always thinning the herd, so Wood will definitely be nervous in the coming weeks expecting to see what the promotion decides to do with her moving forward. Something simply isn’t clicking for Wood, and it hasn’t been for a while.
For complete UFC Columbus: “Blaydes vs. Daukaus” results and play-by-play, click HERE.