Curtis Blaydes wanted to make a statement in his UFC Fight Night main event against Chris Daukaus, and he did just that.
The dust settled on three divisions at UFC Fight Night in Columbus, Ohio, as Curtis Blaydes, Alexa Grasso, and Kai Kara-France were so good that the existing champions are on notice. Should any of the three receive a championship shot in their next fight, it still unknown. But the fights were good and very technical.
Blaydes definitely hopes so, as the winner in the main event he has publicly stated his desire for a championship chance in the near future. While in the Octagon for his postfight interview, Blaydes acknowledged Stipe Miocic, who was in audience to watch the celebrations. With Francis Ngannou’s future and stint as heavyweight champion going more in doubt.
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Marc Diakiese, a well-known lightweight attacker, defeated Viacheslav Borshchev by unanimous decision, employing his grappling assault. Diakiese improved to 15-5 with 30-27 overall scores. Borshchev’s record now stands at 6-2.
Diakiese was determined to take the bout to the floor in the early phases, and he scored the takedown he desired two minutes in. Borshchev defended effectively and stayed out of major trouble, but Diakiese dominated in the grappling skirmishes.
Neil Magny won a three-round split decision over Max Griffin, tying Georges St-Pierre for the most welterweight wins in UFC history with 19 in the process. Magny, who is currently 26-9, won by scores of 29-28, 29-28, and 28-29. Griffin’s record now stands at 18-9.
Magny pushed hard towards the finish, only for Griffin to escape and get back on his feet with a little more than a minute to go. Magny, on the other hand, was persistent in his assault, dumping Griffin on his head as the closing seconds ticked away.
Kai Kara-France established his case for a crack at the flyweight title after defeating Askar Askarov by unanimous decision. For the No.6-ranked Kara-France, who is currently 24-9, 1 NC, the scores were 29-28 across the board. Askarov, ranked second, drops to 14-1-1.
In the final round, Askarov went all-in for the takedown, but Kara-France resisted effectively and was able to separate and return to seeking for the finishing punches. And, while Askarov’s strokes were good, there were enough of them for the birthday kid from New Zealand to win.
Welterweights Matt Brown and Bryan Barberena delivered a thriller for three rounds, with Barberena edging Columbus’ Brown via split decision. Barberena, who is now 17-8, won the welterweight fight by scores of 29-28, 29-28, and 28-29. Brown loses 25-19.
Brown locked up with Barberena in the second minute and then brought the fight to the ground, but Barberena got back up with two minutes to go. Both combatants had their moments in a tight round down the stretch.
Alexa Grasso won her first submission win of her career in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night, defeating fellow flyweight contender Joanne Wood in the first round.
In the opening minute of the fight, Grasso landed in Wood’s guard, bringing the predicted striking duel to the mat. After a brief period on the canvas, the two rose, and Wood was active and precise with her attacks until the action was relegated to the mat. This time, it was Grasso who took Wood’s back and sunk in the rear naked choke, forcing the tap at 3:57 of the first round.
Grasso improves to 14-3 with the victory. Wood, who was rated seventh, falls to 15-8.
Curtis Blaydes wanted to make a statement in his UFC Fight Night main event against Chris Daukaus, and he did just that, stopping his opponent in the second round and keeping his name in the hunt for a world championship opportunity.
Daukaus scored early with a couple of right hands, and Blaydes evened the score a minute later, each getting a taste of the other’s strength. Blaydes was the somewhat sharper of the two as the round went, both offensively and defensively, and he left Daukaus with a cut above the left eye when the round finished.
As the second round began, the fighters exchanged blows, with Blaydes’ right hand landing first, knocking Daukaus to the ground. The Philadelphia native attempted to recover, but Blaydes refused, and after a flurry of follow-up strikes, referee Herb Dean stepped in and halted the fight at:17 of round two.
Blaydes improves to 16-3, 1 NC with the victory. Daukaus, ranked ninth, falls to 12-5.