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Here’s everything that happened at UFC Kansas City last night | Holloway vs. Allen

Last night (Sat., April 15, 2023), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) traveled to T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Mo., for UFC Kansas City. In the main event, Arnold Allen put his 10-fight win streak on the line against consensus No. 2-ranked Featherweight in the world, Max Holloway. There were clear title implications on the line, which was also true for the undercard Flyweight clash between Brandon Royval and Matheus Nicolau. The card as a whole was filled with pretty well-known names, making for a fun night inside the Octagon.

Let’s take a look at UFC Kansas City’s standout performances and techniques:

UFC Fight Night: Holloway v Allen Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Holloway Gets It Done

Who said Max Holloway was slowing down? He sure didn’t look it against a well-prepared and very game Arnold Allen. The Hawaiian is quick and durable as ever, and his distance management has never looked better. In rounds three and four especially, Holloway was peppering Allen with jabs, pulling to avoid most of his shots, and ripping up his body with heavy kicks.

It was vintage Holloway, who managed to put up big volume numbers against a very sound defensive fighter. Holloway gets criticism for his defense, but he really made Allen swing at air quite often here, and “Almighty” is historically a very accurate and efficient striker.

Despite the loss, Allen represented himself well. He arguably won two of the five rounds, and when he turned up his aggression, he tended to land hard. It’s easier said than done to maintain that level of intensity for five full rounds, but Allen definitely proved he’s likely to remain a fixture of the Featherweight title picture for some time to come.

UFC Fight Night: Barboza v Quarantillo Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Barboza Ain’t Done Yet

Edson Barboza is 37 years of age. He’s fought for a long time, and he’s spent dozens of rounds inside the Octagon opposite elite opposition. He’s won some and lost some throughout his incredible career, but at some point, Barboza has to fall out of the rankings.

That day is not today! Billy Quarantillo brought the correct game plan to the cage with him, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to implement opposite the Brazilian. Quarantillo couldn’t really get his wrestling going, so he was forced to punch his way forward. Barboza saw opportunity in his aggression, ripping low and liver kicks, as well as taking powerful punches to the liver and skull.

Then, he picked up the timing on Quarantillo’s takedown attempts. Much like he did opposite Beneil Dariush six years ago, Barboza timed a lovely knee and instantly sent his opponent into a deep sleep.

UFC Fight Night: Boser v Cutelaba Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Cutelaba Finally Connects

Kindly disregard all of my future Ion Cutelaba X-Factor predictions, because they are never correct.

“The Hulk” is an enigma. Every so often, he fights with a bit of composure, and his combination of brutal punching power and top-shelf wrestling makes you wonder why he isn’t a ranked Light Heavyweight — it’s not like the division is that deep! Then, he’ll go and exhaust himself immediately, or just make baffling decisions that leave his chin on a silver platter.

Last night was one of the good nights. He showed Tanner Boser a massive overhand swing, then followed it up with a 1-1-2, and that cross was straight down the pipe. It stung Boser, and Cutelaba followed it up with a takedown and flurry of ground strikes to finish. It’ll take more than one knockout win for me to believe in “The Hulk” again, but the UFC roster is more fun with Cutelaba as a member.

As for Boser, it has to hurt to finally get in great shape, make the weight cut, and then get stopped. His jab looked sharp early, and he was managing distance well until the right hand ruined his evening. It’s a big adjustment in speed to make dropping from Heavyweight, especially against a smaller 205er in Cutelaba. Hopefully, Boser is given another shot, becaue he’s got an interesting and fun style.

UFC Fight Night: Royval v Nicolau Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Raw Dog Rises

Brandon Royval is known for chaos and aggression, but that’s not what happened last night. Instead, he was patiently pressuring Matheus Nicolau, and just when the fight was warming up, Royval smashed his knee directly into the Brazilian’s jaw. Nicolau hit the floor, and Royval followed up with a nasty salvo of elbows that gave him zero chance to recover.

It’s a hell of a statement from “Raw Dog,” who just fired his name into the immediate title mix. Perhaps Manel Kape can outshine him with a knockout win over Deiveson Figueiredo, but otherwise, he’s clearly next-in-line for the winner of Brandon Moreno vs. Alexandre Pantoja.

UFC Fight Night: Cummings v Herman Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Short Fuse Sendoff

Ed Herman went out as any good OG MMA fighter should — violently. Meanwhile, Zak Cummings put on for his home crowd, dropping Herman a half-dozen times with left hands and low kicks. He beat the hell out of “Short Fuse,” finally stopping him in the final minute of the third round. Herman’s corner should’ve stopped it before the third, but I understand why they let him go out on his shield for his last fight.

Both men retired after the bout. Herman left the cage as the longest tenured UFC fighter on the roster, an Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran from season three! If anyone would like to relive a great Herman moment, the heel hook he scored from his back against Kyle Noke was one of the slickest grappling sequences I’ve ever seen in the biggest weight divisions.

It’s worth watching again.

As for Cummings, he’s been a tough and underrated out at whatever weight class he’s chosen to compete since his signing in 2013. Technical everywhere, Cummings walks away with 17 finishes in 24 wins, and he’s never been knocked out.

UFC Fight Night: Algeo v Brown Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Additional Thoughts

  • Bill Algeo defeats TJ Brown via second round rear naked choke: This was a banger! Both men came to throw down but did so in different ways. Brown was boxing really well, slipping punches and firing back in combinations, which really bloodied up Algeo. Ever the opportunist, Algeo’s low hand position allowed him to sneak crafty counters through the guard, and he stunned Brown a couple times with his own punches. By the second, both men were wearing the damage when Algeo landed a crafty elbow as a counter to the left hook, and he jumped on the back instantly. Before Brown could regain his bearings, the choke was locked in, returning Algeo to the win column.
  • Gillian Robertson defeats Piera Rodriguez via second round armbar (HIGHLIGHTS): It’s satisfying to watch fighters who understand how they win fights. Robertson is a great grappler, so when the early takedown didn’t emerge, she was willing to pull guard to make some scrambles happen. That’s not typically a great strategy, but when the gap in skill on the floor is so large, why not? Robertson quickly wrestled up into a single leg off her back, and the fight was basically a wrap. Rodriguez had no defense to offer from her back, so Robertson dominated position, landed some good shots, then wrapped up the arm. Rodriguez protested the finish, but she tapped at least once, and that armbar was locked in tight anyway. More importantly, Robertson looked healthy in her Strawweight debut, and she’s an interesting addition to the division.
  • Denise Gomes defeats Bruna Brasil via second round knockout: This was a pretty sloppy fight overall, but Gomes did show some potential. The Brazilian talent is still rough around the edges, but there’s a nastiness to her offense that was on full display. Whenever Brasil put herself in bad position — which was often — Gomes punished her with mean kicks and aggressive swings. Eventually, a right hand connected clean, rocking Brasil and initiating the finishing sequence.

For complete UFC Kansas City: “Holloway vs. Allen” results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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