UFC Vegas 20: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

UFC Vegas 20
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 27: Ciryl Gane of France battles Jairzinho Rozenstruik of Suriname in a heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

UFC Vegas 20 took place last night in Las Vegas, and when the dust had settled, the card wasn’t tremendously fun to watch. The event lost some key fights, including the contest between Angela Hill and Ashley Yoder. Both of those fighters made weight, but the fight was scrapped at the last minute due to Covid-19 testing.

The show was headlined by a pair of heavy-handed heavyweights, but after 25 minutes of less than exciting one-way traffic, Ciryl Gane was awarded a 50-45 clean sweep on the judge’s scorecards over Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

UFC Vegas 20: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good: Ronnie Lawrence puts on a wrestling clinic

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Ronnie Lawrence absolutely mauled Vince Cachero from the opening bell. It was Lawrence’s official debut in the UFC after earning his contract via The Dana White Contender Series. He looked very impressive in his debut and used high-paced wrestling and a smothering top game earning the only stoppage on the card. For that, Mr. Lawrence took home a nice UFC bonus for the performance of the night. All in all, it was a good night for Cobra Kai. Oh wait, that’s Johnny Lawrence, not Ronnie Lawrence, isn’t it?

The Bad – Good fight, bad night for Jimmie Rivera

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The best fight on the card last night had to be the clash between highly regarded bantamweights Jimmie Rivera and Pedro Munoz. It was probably the fight heading into the night that I was most excited to see, and it didn’t disappoint. Despite the scorecards being one-sided in favor of Munhoz, this was a competitive, good fight. I scored the third round in favor of Rivera, but the first two for Munhoz.

What made the fight fun was the fact that they never stopped pushing forward and engaging. They had multiple occasions where they met in the center of the Octagon and exchanged big shots. The loss hurts Rivera who has now lost four of his last six. He only loses to the elite in the weight class, and losses to Munhoz, Petr Yan, Aljamain Sterling, and Marlon Moraes are nothing to be ashamed of. The victory was big for Munhoz who himself had dropped two consecutive bouts heading into this one.

The Ugly: Five Rounds of Heavyweight “Action”

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When the UFC put this main event together, people must have expected some dramatic knockout. I certainly anticipated this one not going the distance. That said, it’s not a big deal if a fight goes the distance, but this one should have been fun and wasn’t. UFC Vegas 20 saw all but one fight go the distance. Rozenstruik landed less than 50 strikes in five rounds. In four of the five rounds, he landed ten or fewer total strikes.

It was a really one-sided affair from the start, and not the kind of fight fans are truly excited to watch. Rozenstruik only landed fourteen signature strikes to the head in 25 minutes. He just seemed to look only to counter, but was unable to pull the trigger. For Gane, the win keeps him undefeated and he should climb in the rankings. For Rozenstruik, it was a disaster. His top-five standing in the division is likely a thing of the past. He’s going to have to work hard to rebuild himself after this loss.

With UFC 259 on the horizon, I’ll be happy to move on from this card. Between the dreaded injury bug and Covid-19, it really hurt the overall quality of the card. We have three big title fights to get amped for this coming week. You can find all the results from UFC Vegas 20 right here.

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