Performances To Remember After UFC Fight Night: Holloway VS. Rodriguez

Riding high after the star studded UFC 268 pay per view in the Big Apple, the UFC's return to its bread and butter as of late, the UFC apex was headlined by a crucial featherweight main event pitting former UFC featherweight champion and arguably the best featherweight on the planet earth and the #1 ranked featherweight Max "Blessed" Holloway (23-6 MMA, 19-6 MMA) against Mexican sensation and the #3 ranked featherweight in the world Yair "El Pantera" Rodriguez. The fight 100% over delivered with it turning out to be a 5 round war, with Yair banking money into slowing down the former champ with calf kicks early in the fight and Holloway looking like the same Holloway we have seen time in and time out. However the self proclaimed "best boxer in the UFC" decided to stake his claim as the best wrestler in the UFC as he took Yair down 3 times and did major damage with ground and pound as well as a lively submission threat. The fight ended with a unanimous decision victory (49-46, 48-47 x2) for Holloway in a great fight and capped off a great night of action which continues a hot streak of UFC events and fights as of recent. All but 2 fights on the card (Holloway VS. Rodriguez and Casey VS. Jojua) ended in finish and out of the 9 that did not hit the scorecards, 8 of them ended in KO/TKO and there is no better day to spend an afternoon than watching some fist fights. With the spectacular moments that UFC 267 and 268, Saturday's event brought much to write home about.

Not So Great On The Scale But Phenomenal In The Cage

The scale noted Alvarez weighed in at 157.5, missing the lightweight limit by one and a half pounds and gave up 30% of his purse to his opponent on Saturday. This is not the first time Alvarez has had troubles on the scale, in the bout before Moises, Joel had missed weight by 3 and a half pounds against Alexander Yakovlev but the fight continued and Alvarez carried his UFC win streak to 3 and finished him via 1st round armbar. His opponent who received 30% of his purse was the #15 ranked lightweight Thiago Moises, who came off a loss to Dagestan standout and surging lightweight contender Islam Makhachev in a main event back in July. All weight issues aside, Joel "El Fenomeno" Alvarez performed but to his nickname. A short feeling out process started the fighting until Alvarez started firing away at range, using his 6.5" reach advantage to keep Moises at bay. Utilizing the jab and the low kick to dictate the range, the fight changed when Alvarez threw a right hand and followed it up with an elbow, dazing Moises as Joel stalked towards him like an animal to his prey. The fight ended when Moises threw a kick and Alvarez caught the heel and brought him back to the fence and threw an elbow that sliced a cut open on the forehead of Moises and Alvarez rained down with more punches for the 1st round TKO win and cracks himself into the top 15 rankings. Put all the struggles with making the lightweight limit aside, the already stacked lightweight division has another contender.

Wherever Khaos Goes, Chaos Will Follow

After a shocking 27 second KO win in his UFC debut back at UFC 247 against UFC veteran Alex Morono, the man known as "Khaos" made truth of the fact that he is not just a one fight fluke. His sophomore appearance was against fellow KO artist Abdul Razak Alhassan and Williams came in his co-main event slot as a +200 underdog and whoever bet the house on Williams saw the chaos unfold and won back every penny they bet. With only 30 seconds into the first round, Khaos threw a straight right hand that sent Alhassan flat as a board and unconscious for his second consecutive KO win. With a unanimous decision loss to madman Michel Pereira and a unanimous decision victory over fellow KO artist Matthew Semelsberger, Williams was given a matchup with DWCS contract winner and prospect Miguel "Caramel Thunder" Baeza who was coming off his first ever defeat to Argentinian standout Santiago Ponzinibbio. The fight was seen as what prospect would be able to get over the hump and earn themselves a crack at the top 15 welterweight rankings. The fight started with Williams controlling the center and Baeza circling the outside and finding success with calf kicks early on and continued to use them throughout the fight. By the end of the 2nd round, Khaos's lead leg was chewed up and he knew that a finish would solidify a win and with a little over a minute in the 3rd, Baeza overcommit on the calf kick as Khaos rushed in and delivered a right hook with dropped his opponent and after a few more punches the fight was called as a 3rd round TKO. With 3 KO/TKO wins in his first 4 UFC bouts, there is about to be some chaos entering the top 15 of the welterweight rankings.

The Saint Louis Sniper Takes Another Victim

The coveted first UFC finish as achieved by DWCS alum Sean "The Sniper" Woodson (9-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) on the prelims with deadly hooks to the body at 4:30 of the first round. Woodson's nickname makes much more sense once you realize that he holds a 79" reach (happens to be only 4 inches shorter than the UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou's reach) and stands at a whopping 6'2 and somehow makes the 145 featherweight weight limit. With a decision victory over the always tough Kyle Bochniak, Woodson suffered his first ever defeat to the hands (or could I say forearms) of TUF Season 22 veteran and now on his 3rd UFC stint Julian "Juicy J" Erosa. After the 3rd round d'arce choke loss, he bounced back nicely with a split decision victory over fellow prospect Youssef Zalal. He was booked for his latest showing against DWCS alum Collin Anglin who lost to Armenian prospect Melsik Baghdasaryan in his UFC debut only 5 months prior. The game plan was as simple as it can get, take Woodson down and control the fight on the floor but Anglin chose the path less chosen and paid the price for it. The fight was as striker versus grappler as you can get it as Woodson used his experience on the feet as well as his range to keep his opponent away. Keeping the fight long with jabs and crosses with kicks and knees up the middle until eventually roughly 4 minutes into the 1st round, Woodson found his opening and lands a straight right which stings Anglin and leaves him in defense mode. He found the kill switch to the body and earned himself his first UFC finish and a round 1 KO victory.

Backflipping Into His First UFC Win

With flips galore and picking up both the doctor and Michael Bisping after the fight had ended, Rafael "The Turn" Alves (20-10 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was the happiest man on the planet on Saturday after his 1st round guillotine choke win against Marc "Bonecrusher" Diakese (14-5 MMA, 5-5 UFC). Alves is most notably for weighing in 11 and a half pounds over the 145 featherweight weight limit (he even missed the mark for lightweight, he weighed in 2 weight classes heavy) at UFC Vegas 19 against former CFFC featherweight champion Pat Sabatini. The bout was cancelled and Alves infamously now holds the record for largest weight miss in UFC history. Now up at lightweight thankfully, Alves lost a competitive unanimous decision against now 23-1 prospect Damir Ismagulov. With a bad start to his UFC tenure after a contract earning submission on the Contender Series, Alves was booked to face Diakese as a classic striker versus grappler matchup but Alves showed he is more than just a Jiu jistu fighter. Despite a early kick to the groin to Diakese, the fight started very even on the feet with Alves more willing to play defense more than offense. With 1 minute 40 seconds into the first, Rafael turned the tide and landed a stiff jab that hurt Diakese, having him take a few steps back as Alves threw a flying knee and transitioned into a guillotine choke. Being a submission fighter and holding 8 submission wins to his record, the tap soon came after it was locked in and finally with the monkey off his back, Alves can jump and lift anyone he wants freely knowing he earned his 1st UFC win.

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