Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
Well, it finally happened! Khabib Nurmagomedov fought
Tony Ferguson Max Holloway Anthony Pettis Paul Felder Al Iaquinta in the main event of UFC 223. Let’s break down the card and see what’s next for the winners and losers!
Chris Gruetzmacher bathes Joe Lauzon in blood
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a good ole’ fashion corner stoppage. Chris Gruetzmacher butchered up UFC veteran Joe Lauzon’s face and in the second round, Lauzon’s team called the fight due to the bleeding. There’s nothing wrong with throwing in the towel when you’re getting beat and your health is a concern. No tragedies, mate. Lauzon came out popping, though. Gruetzmacher was just more composed and took over midway through the first. Good look on him and he deserves a quick turnaround with his performance of the night.
Chris Gruetzmacher’s potential next opponents: Beneil Dariush, Oliver Aubin-Mercier
Joe Lauzon’s potential next opponents: Evan Dunham, Charles Olivera
Zabit Magomedsharipov and Kyle Bochniak = Fight of the Year
This was supposed to be a FREE FIGHT. But, when the McGregor stars aligned, they were moved to the main card because of the resulting lack of fights on the show. A lot of people wrote off Kyle Bochniak because of Zabit Magomedsharipov’s flashy striking. Let’s be real, Bochniak is a gritty tough som’ bitch. Case and point:
That was the THIRD ROUND and it was a slugfest. It is safe to say that both of these fighters’ stock rose after tonight.
Zabit Magomedsharipov’s potential next opponents: “Suga” Sean O’Malley (I don’t care that they’re a division apart. This is the ONLY person I want to see Magomedsharipov fight.)
Kyle Bochniak’s potential next opponents: Gilbert Melendez, Gray Maynard (give him some more experienced fighters)
Renato Moicano bullies Calvin Kattar
Calvin Kattar had all the momentum coming into his fight with Renato Moicano. A ten fight win streak and solid victories over Shane Burgos and Andre Fili showed a bright future for Kattar.
Plot twist: Renato Moicano ran through Kattar like a Mac truck. 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28 really doesn’t do it justice. Moicano really kept Kattar’s punching power at bay and dominated all three rounds of the fight.
Renato Moicano’s potential next opponents: (time for a top 10 fight) Josh Emmett, Chan Sung Jung
Calvin Kattar’s potential next opponents: Yair Rodriguez, Myles Jury
Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk put on a war
I’ll be honest, I counted Rose Namajunas out. I thought Joanna Jedrzejczyk was going to come in, put on a clinic, and resume where she left off. Defending and dominating.
Rose dominated the first two rounds, then Joanna took over three and four. I was feeling cocky, saying that “Joanna Champion” was back. Then Rose landed that takedown late in the fifth round and a stream of expletives spewed from my mouth. Rose really played it smart with Joanna, and she has some good contenders coming up the pipe. For Joanna, it’s back to the drawing board.
Rose Namajunas’ potential next opponents: Jessica Andrade, Karolina Kowalkiewicz rematch
Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s potential next opponents: Felice Herring, Jessica Eye at flyweight
Khabib plays nice with Ragin’ Al
Let’s be clear here. Khabib Nurmagomedov left some tools in the shed back in Dagestan. After dominating Al Iaquinta in the first two rounds, Khabib went into cruise control and boxed. Now all the couch MMA experts are swearing Khabib is trash, and that he would get walked over by anyone in the top five of the lightweight division. Yeah, just ask Edson Barboza about that.
I greatly appreciate Khabib not murdering eleventh ranked Iaquinta before our eyes. He took it easy on him, in all reality. Most likely, he was just grateful for an opponent, regardless of his skill level. Iaquinta, on the other hand, showed great heart, taking Khabib five rounds. His stock rose from the fight.
It’s time for Khabib to fight a contender, and it’s not like he didn’t try. Tony Ferguson, Max Holloway, even Brian Ortega would be a great test for him.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s potential next opponents: Conor McGregor, in Russia. “Isn’t he f**king awesome?” Or, Georges St-Pierre at 165
Al Iaquinta’s potential next opponents: James Vick, Nate Diaz (pay the man)
Even after all the controversy, UFC 223 was still quite the show. What was your favorite moments for the card? Sound off in the comments below!
Embed from Getty Images