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Here’s everything that happened at UFC Singapore last night | Holloway vs. Korean Zombie

UFC Fight Night: Holloway v The Korean Zombie Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Yesterday (Sat., Aug. 26, 2023), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) traveled to Singapore Indoor Arena in Kallang, Singapore for UFC Singapore. A step up from the usual “Fight Night” card, UFC Singapore brought Featherweight legends Max Holloway and Chan Sung Jung to South East Asia. In addition, there were sneakily good match ups throughout the morning, as well as a bevy of knockouts that started early. For those who woke up early to tune in, that decision paid off!

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

UFC Fight Night: Holloway v The Korean Zombie Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Holloway Slays The Zombie

Max Holloway was too sharp for Chan Sung Jung.

That’s not to say Jung didn’t sneak some punches through the guard. “The Korean Zombie” found several good openings, particularly with his lead hand. Shifting into the left hook or showing the right hand then blasting a power jab were both effective strategies for Jung. Unfortunately for the South Korean, Holloway’s boxing and movement were too clean.

Jung could only score in huge advances. Holloway, however, was always landing. He was working Jung with clean straight punches to fill the space between exchanges, and his feints allowed several hard left hooks to sneak through. Meanwhile, when Jung did open up, Holloway’s composure and tighter punches often resulted in more impactful lands. Really, Holloway did most of his best work on the counter, including the fight-finishing right hand.

I’m still not sure what the next step is for the Hawaiian, but he looked great.

UFC Fight Night: Smith v Spann Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Co-Main Coasting

Anthony Smith vs. Ryan Spann 2 was weird. Frustrating too, even if both men did manage to take some lumps out of the other.

Round one was the best “Lionheart” has looked in a while. Spann’s striking seemed perfectly set up to make Smith succeed. He didn’t low kick at all, allowing Smith to gain the distance edge with his own kicks then repeatedly counter inside Spann’s swings with the left hook. Smith appeared to be thoroughly in control and en route to another finish over “Superman.”

A Spann left hook changed all that midway through the second, shattering Smith’s eye and sending him to the canvas in a world of hurt. For a moment, a finish seemed imminent, then a classic Smith turtle to a decision loss seemed imminent, then Smith actually recovered and fought reasonably well again ... partly because Spann didn’t really pursue the finish.

The fight had all the setup necessary for a dramatic third round, but instead, it fizzled out. Nothing really happened, and Smith walks away with a split-decision that doesn’t seem to change much for either man.

UFC Fight Night: Chikadze v Caceres Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Chikadze Bounces Back

Giga Chikadze vs. Alex Caceres was a lot of fun!

The two strikers showed off their wide arrays of technique. Caceres kept it funky, attacking with spins and tricky setups. Meanwhile, Chikadze was continually working with his fast and powerful kicks, as well as some powerful counter punches. There were not any huge knockdowns or massive momentum swings, but it was a fun 15 minutes of kickboxing.

Really, that’s all Chikadze needed. After a brutal beatdown at the hands and elbows of Calvin Kattar then subsequent 18-month layoff, Chikadze just had to prove he was still with it. Indeed, he looked as skilled as ever, and it’s good to have Chikadze back in the Featherweight mix.

UFC Fight Night: Tafa v Porter Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Tafa Bros 2-0

Junior Tafa smoked Parker Porter. It was a simply massive improvement from his last fight versus Muhammad Usman, which was a truly miserable affair. Fortunately, Tafa followed in his brothers footsteps, keeping Porter away from him and timing the veteran coming forward with heavy blows.

Tafa was supremely relaxed inside the cage, which goes a long way in building off an already significant speed advantage. Porter tried to slip his head as he moved forward, but Tafa still stabbed him with sharp straight punches down the middle. Surprisingly, however, it was clinch work that sealed the deal. First, Tafa blinded Porter with a jab, then grabbed his head and dropped him with a knee.

Porter wrestled to survive, but that ultimately led him to another clinch. Elbows and short punches connected hard, and Porter hit the floor again — Tafa’s first UFC win was in the books!

UFC Fight Night: Njokuani v Oleksiejczuk Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Middleweight Dynamite

Michel Oleksiejzcuk fights are not to be missed.

I don’t expect the 28-year-old UFC veteran to suddenly develop into a champion. He just hasn’t shown the wrestling defense or cardio necessary, and improvement in those areas has been slow. That’s okay though, the vast majority of athletes will never reach those heights. Fortunately, Oleksiejczuk has been blessed with incredible hand speed, and since moving to Middleweight, his punches thud even harder than ever.

Chidi Njokuani gave him everything he could handle on the feet. He was landing cracking kicking and punishing knees, shots that prevented Oleksiejczuk from finding too much success with his body punching and would have folded a lesser man. Then, Oleksiejczuk ate an absurd head kick midway through the first that had him slipping all over the cage.

The man is tough, however. He fired back and clipped Njokuani, then found his way into top position. Njokuani was a bit tired from all his big lands, and he wasn’t ready for the flurry of ground strikes. It started with a precise right hand, but Oleksiejczuk was fully battering him before long to force the finish.

He’s now 3-1 at Middleweight with three finishes, so perhaps a ranked opponent is next sooner than later. I just hope it’s a striker!

UFC Fight Night: Kazama v Armfield Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Additional Thoughts

  • Waldo Cortes-Acosta defeats Lukasz Brzeski via first-round knockout: Waldo Cortes-Acosta has pretty boxing for a big man, but he likes to hang around at range and jab. That’s a difficult strategy in an era where low kicks are so prevalent, which lead to his first career loss to Marcos Rogerio de Lima last time out. Brzeski tried to recreate similar success, but this time, Cortes-Acosta was far more willing to commit and fire his right hand. He timed a pair of beautiful right hands over the top, sending Brzeski to the canvas face-first — that’s a nice adjustment!
  • Garrett Armfield defeats Toshiomi Kazama via first-round knockout: Armfield made a much better second impression compared to his UFC debut, which isn’t a shock given a short-notice fight up a weight class. With his foot in the door, however, Armfield looked pretty nasty at 135-pounds! His boxing looked really crisp, pummeling Kazama to the point that the referee was looking for an opportunity to stop this one. Armfield provided him the moment with a perfect right hand counter to a naked low kick, showing that he’s more than just a former D1 wrestler.
  • Billy Goff defeats Yusaku Kinoshita via first-round knockout: The right stance to the body against an opponent along the fence is such an underrated shot! These two were scrapping from the first bell, with Goff pressing forward to land good combinations and nice inside low kicks, but he walked into a lot of offense in the process too. Kinoshita was dinging him with counter punches repeatedly, but pace and continued body work added up. The momentum swung in the debuting Goff’s favor, and he took advantage with that gorgeous body shot.
  • JJ Aldrich defeats Liang Na via second-round knockout: Aldrich has been a fixture of the Strawweight and Flyweight division for a while, becoming known for her technical kickboxing but occasionally getting overwhelmed by better athletes. Na attempted to do just that, landing some early head-and-arm throws (gross), but Aldrich defended well from bottom and wound up on top repeatedly. Na couldn’t handle the pace, leading to a nasty flurry of elbows from the veteran.

For complete UFC Singapore: “Holloway vs. Korean Zombie” results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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