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Here’s everything that happened at UFC Charlotte last night | Almeida vs. Rozenstruik

MMA: MAY 13 UFC Fight Night - Rozenstruik vs Almeida Photo by Matt Davies/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last night (Sat., May 13, 2023), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) traveled to Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C., for UFC Charlotte. In the main event, one of the most interesting prospects to join the Heavyweight roster in ages, Jailton Almeida, took a major step up in competition against experienced knockout artist, Jairzinho Rozenstruik. The co-main event between Anthony Smith vs. Johnny Walker could’ve easily been the headliner on another night, too, and a bevy of fun fights throughout the card made for better-than-average “Fight Night”-themed event.

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

UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik v Almeida Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Almeida Steamrolls Rozenstruik

Jailton Almeida did what he always does last night, and it was far too much for Jairzinho Rozenstruik to handle. Rozenstruik stuffed the first shot, but otherwise, Almeida’s high kick, double leg, and strangulation strategy claimed yet another victim.

Early next week, Almeida will enter the Top 10, and one has to wonder about his ceiling at Heavyweight. Are we looking at a future champion? To me, it’s very possible. Curtis Blaydes feels like a nightmare match up, but he just got knocked out. Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic, meanwhile, are halfway out the door, meaning Almeida could soon find himself in a title fight with someone like Ciryl Gane or Sergei Pavlovich.

If he gets either man to the floor, is there any doubt about what will happen?

UFC Fight Night: Smith v Walker Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Walker Picks Apart Smith

Johnny Walker won every round against Anthony Smith, but I have to say, I found neither man impressive in this one.

To give Walker his due, he broke apart Smith’s lead leg. He also showed a bit of defensive improvement by hiding his chin behind his should more effectively in response to Smith’s overhand. The rest of his performance though? Walker stood flat-footed for most of the fight. His boxing game consists entirely of the check hook. When Smith was barely able to stand in the final round, Walker showed very little killer instinct.

The win is enough to inject Walker into the Top 5, but I’m not optimistic about his chances against the rest of that rank.

As for Smith, this was a bad look. He basically let Walker kick his leg to pieces, and he offered up no alternative strategy when his right hand didn’t land. He looked tired early and generally fought as if he’s lost a step.

UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez v Garry Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Garry Shines In His Toughest Test To Date

Ian Garry was perfect against Daniel Rodriguez, his first ranked opponent.

From the first bell, the young striker was managing distance well. He established his long range weapons, sticking Rodriguez with long, hard jabs and some ripping body kicks. Rodriguez attempted to pressure, but Garry responded smartly, either pulling and firing or simply standing his ground with head movement before hunting the counter.

The body kicks in particular were working, causing “D-Rod” to drop his hands. Halfway through the first round, Garry unfurled a right hand and sent his right shin directly behind it — a perfect same-side cross-kick combination. His right leg collided with Rodriguez’s temple, and the fight was over a few punches later.

Does this win make Garry a title threat? Not yet. But, it’s a major sign of potential from the undefeated young talent, as well as the biggest victory of his career.

UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik v Almeida Weigh-in Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

A New Light Heavyweight Contender

Carlos Ulberg sparked Ihor Potieira last night to extend his win streak to four, including a trio of knockout wins.

The City Kickboxing representative has experience in the ring, and it really shows in his composure and range management. Potieira was pressuring and presenting some funky looks, using awkward swings in an attempt to catch his foe off-guard and set up the takedown — not a bad idea given his foe’s striking credentials.

None of it disrupted Ulberg, who patiently snapped kicks to calm down his advancing opponent. When Potieira fell into range with a big swing, Ulberg timed him perfectly with a check hook and sent him to the canvas face-first. A flurry of follow up shots secured the stoppage and hopefully a big opportunity for the Kiwi next time out.

It’s time to put a number next time Carlos Ulberg’s name. At the very least, it’s time to get him in the cage with a ranked opponent. It’s not like the 205-pound division is overflowing with top prospects!

UFC Fight Night: Brown v McGee Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The Immortal Forever

At 42 years of age, Matt Brown is still must-watch entertainment.

Brown is far from his peak physically. Brown clearly shows up in great shape, but his cardio doesn’t hold up like it used to — that’s just how aging works. Durability has proven an issue too, as Brown no longer has the iron chin that saw him go five rounds with prime Robbie Lawler and 34 fights total without getting stopped by strikes.

Fortunately, Brown’s power remains, and his kickboxing form remains crisp. In general, Brown’s physical strength has really held up as well, as he’s still able to wrestle effectively. Last night, it was Brown’s composure and experience that won him the fight, as he timed a Court McGee 1-2 perfectly with an overhand of his own.

One shot, one knockout. Matt Brown, a WELTERWEIGHT, is now tied with Derrick Lewis for the all-time UFC knockout record. That’s remarkable on its own, but even more impressive when one considers how up-and-down Brown’s early UFC results were.

How can you not root for “The Immortal?”

UFC Fight Night: Kim v Bohm Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

A New Low

Mandy Bohm vs. Ji Yeon Kim was embarrassing for everyone involved. It was embarrassing for the athletes, the fans, the officiating and the promotion. Truly, it was unbearably bad MMA. I have seen countless amateur fights featuring more intelligent and effective performances.

Cut ‘em both.

UFC Fight Night: Battle v Green Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

13 Seconds!

It’s a real shame Bryan Battle missed weight by a couple pounds on Friday, because this was an incredible moment that would’ve cleared scored him an extra $50,000. Gabe Green came storming out of the gate, firing combinations and backing Battle into the fence. Battle did a great job of maintaining his stance and composure — he didn’t allow his hips to get square along the fence! — which allowed him to fire back a crisp right hand that detonated on Green’s jawline.

Battle’s hometown crowd went wild! Battle is now 4-1 inside the Octagon, and his last two wins were pretty tremendous knockout wins. Did anyone predict that from the unlikely The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) winner?

UFC Fight Night: Means v Morono Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Additional Thoughts

  • Alex Morono defeats Tim Means via second-round guillotine: As expected, this was a really fun scrap between Welterweight veterans. Both men were landing in the first round, as Morono’s counter right hand did work and demonstrated his speed advantage. Means’ combinations and forward pressure was effective too, and he finished the round with a perfect uppercut that wobbled his opponent’s legs. Just as “The Dirty Bird” was getting his hand-fighting game going, Morono stormed back in the second to connect on a series of rights then catch a perfect arm-in guillotine when Means started trying to wrestle. Smart strategy from both men, but Morono was just a bit sharper and more dangerous last night.
  • Tainara Lisboa defeats Jessica Rose-Clark via third-round armbar : Lisboa really impressed in her UFC debut! The experienced Nak Muay was sharp on her feet, sticking Rose-Clark with fast combinations and long 1-2s. When Rose-Clark tried to wrestle to change things up, Lisboa largely defended and reversed the shots. She did show a bit of grappling inexperience in the third by trying a sloppy trip then failing to work up for much of the round. As soon as she did kick Rose-Clark off her, however, she capitalized on her opponent’s desperation to wrestle with a rear naked choke! That may be the last time with see the Australian in the Octagon, but women’s Bantamweight gains an interesting prospect — rare!

For complete UFC Charlotte: “Almeida vs. Rozenstruik” results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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