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Jake St-Pierre’s UFC 250 Review

June 7, 2020 | Posted by Jake St-Pierre
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Jake St-Pierre’s UFC 250 Review  

We are LIVE from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV. Smaller cage too, which is always great news.

Your hosts are Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier, and Joe Rogan.

Evan Dunham vs. Herbert Burns
Worth noting that this is a 150 lbs. catchweight as Burns is normally a Featherweight and Dunham was last a Lightweight before retiring.

Burns opens with a stiff body kick, but Dunham eats it and knocks Burns off balance with a left hand. Jab for Burns scores countering a Dunham front kick, and he scoots to Dunham’s back and gets him to the mat, and Dunham is all of a sudden in big trouble as Burns locks on a body triangle and works for a choke… and he locks it on quick and Dunham taps there. Herbert is up and limping though which isn’t good.

Not much to really talk about here since the fight was so quick and easy for the younger Burns, but it was certainly a Maia-esque performance from him. We didn’t really get to see what Dunham had left before Burns imposed his grappling on him, and at the very least it’s clear that Gilbert isn’t the only threat in the family. Dunham isn’t a slouch at all and got completely tooled here in short order, suffering only his second submission loss in his career. Fun opener and it’s going to be interesting to see what they do with Herbert next.

Alonzo Menifield vs. Devin Clark
Good on Devin Clark for kneeling and throwing up the fist during the introductions. Clark shoots a double leg immediately, but Menifield keeps vertical and turns him around against the fence. Clark is throwing leg kicks from the small distance as he uses an overhook to keep Menifield against him. But the second Menifield breaks, he clobbers Clark with an uppercut and hurts his eye and has him fleeing. Menifield tries to follow up, but Clark grabs ahold of a leg and recovers. Menifield breaks off and eats a shot from Clark, who looks like he might have a broken orbital. He has no desire to get hit anymore as he’s borderline cowering away when Alonzo throws. Menifield breaks off again and dodges some Clark offense and continues just leaning on him. Clark grabs ahold of him, but Menifield breaks off. Clark slams in a good combo as he pushes forward, and he grabs Menifield again and keeps him close against the cage. The round ends on the fence. Difficult round to score as Menifield did the most damage, but Clark came through at the end with a great strategy and turned the tide. Clark just didn’t do the damage to even it up though, so 10-9 Menifield.

Menifield charges to open up the second, but eats a right hand from Clark upon entry. They TRADE WILDLY before clinching back up again, and they both just clubber each other with a head kick on behalf of Clark and some wild punches from Menifield. It’s basically a crazy brawl in between clinches against the fence. Big body shot from Clark before clinching back up. Clark continues to work closely and throwing knees and those small leg kicks from inside. Clark starts working some knees to the body in the plum clinch, and Menifield is sucking wind and leaning. Menifield breaks off, and a huge flurry scores for Clark at the horn. 10-9 for Clark as Menifield had basically nothing – not even the power – and Clark dictated where the fight went and wherever it ended up going, he excelled there.

Big right hand scores immediately as the third round starts for Clark, and they’re back up against the fence immediately after. Alonzo lands a good right hand, but it’s slower than anything Clark slows. Menifield shoots for a double leg now as he’s starting to feel the deep waters. Clark turns it around and lets off a flurry of body shots as he makes Menifield carry his weight tot he point that Clark gets him down and on his back. He gives up the dominant position and lets Menifield get his back to the fence, but he still makes Alonzo carry his weight. They get back to their vertical bases, and Menifield is just holding on for dear life as Clark works on his body. Big uppercut scores close for Clark, and they trade to end the fight. 10-9 Clark for a pretty clear 29-28 win for him, but who’s to say anymore?

The judges have it 30-27, 29-28, and 29-28 for Devin Clark. This was a super intersting trench war, as Clark solved the puzzle of Menifield’s power by keeping him as close as possible and using every easy trick in the book to wear him down over the 15 minute allotment. It wasn’t always uber-exciting but you felt the pace wearing on both men in different ways and that made this fight compelling to watch at the very least. Menifield definitely needs to make some adjustments coming out of this, because a better fighter than Clark would eat him alive in the second round with how badly he faded. That power is always going to be there though and he’s green enough yet to make those changes in a division that doesn’t really have the depth to make him pay for it. I don’t see Clark making it much higher in the division than he has given he’s fought ten times so far in the promotion, but he showed here he’s more than formidable as a gatekeeper for these big bad prospects, which is a good spot to have if you want longevity.

Jussier Formiga vs. Alex Perez
Perez opens with a leg kick as Formiga tries to feel him out. Calf kicks again from Perez. Flurry is dodged by Formiga, but Perez is definitely the aggressor here as his calf kicks are working offensively. Punch lands for Perez, and Formiga lands with a glancing shot in an exchange. More calf kicks for Perez. Formiga catches Perez off balance with a punch as he continues throwing the kicks, but Perez is unfazed and continues executing the gameplan. Left hook for Perez scores, and he’s working some good shots to the body here too. Some swelling beside Formiga’s right eye is starting to show. Glancing uppercut scores for Perez. Right hook now for Perez. Formiga’s calf is showing the wear from those kicks right now. Knee to the body lands for Formiga as Perez charges in, but Perez lands a great combo a few seconds later. Another calf kick buckles Formiga, and he drops to the mat in pain. Formiga gets back to his feet, but Perez DESTROYS his leg with another calf kick and Keith Peterson stops it there. Wow.

Hell of a finish for Perez here against a long-term stalwart in a division that desperately needs some new blood at the top. The brutal calf kicks were the story throughout this entire bout since nothing else really got going, but the kicks were obviously all it took the make the difference. It benefited from the lack of crowd as the smack of the kicks would cause a visceral reaction in even the most sociopathic of MMA fans, and the last few were especially disgusting and the stoppage they caused was more than justified. With the constant state of flux the Flyweight division finds itself in, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Perez matched up against Brandon Moreno in a title eliminator, especially after such a unique finish and given both men just dispatched of Formiga within the last three months. Either way, I’m using the ESPN break to go ice my leg while I have the chance.

Charles Byrd vs. Maki Pitolo
Weird card placement here, it must be said. Not that I’m not used to it after all these years but still. Might as well put this on that awful June 13 card, ya know? Pitolo takes the center of the cage as the fight starts and he lands a good one-two as Byrd tries to rush his way in. Byrd is unfazed and clinches against the cage, getting a bodylock only for Pitolo to use his weight to shift things and end up on top. Pitolo settles in half guard, but Byrd pulls a great sweep and ends up on top. He grabs an underhook above Pitolo and moves into something of a mount, but he uses it to set up a guilltoine that doesn’t quite register. Pitolo uses a great switch and gets a big slam to land himself back in half guard. Byrd turns and gets back to his feet, and he gets a big slam of his own off of a high crotch single leg, right into side control. Knee on belly for Byrd and he moves to Pitolo’s back, but Pitolo scrambles away and eats a couple shots on the ground before another scramble gets us to the end of the round. This is one of those rounds that was dead even in a lot of ways, but I think Byrd just about was more impactful on his offensive attempts – the guillotine attempt, the initial takedown, the ground and point – to give him a close 10-9.

Second round and Byrd is definitely the aggressor, but Pitolo is the more accurate striker in the opening seconds. Byrd fires right back though and lands with a looping right hand, but Pitolo’s accuracy wins him the day, throwing leather against the cage, slamming him down, and finishing things with punches on the ground. Weird finish in a way but it looked like Pitolo just made Byrd wilt under his volume and that’s what did it.

Fun little fight here, with a lot of interesting wrestling exchanges in the first round. You had slams, switches, sweeps, and a lot of even fights for position that you don’t see very often. Byrd was more than adept on the ground, but he dealt with Pitolo’s pressure on the feet very badly and couldn’t adjust on the fly, leading to his doom early in the second. I don’t think we’ll see much of him in the UFC after this but it’s going to be interesting to see where Pitolo goes from here after his rough run at welterweight. He definitely has that Hawaiian killer instinct and it’s very rare that a fighter from the island isn’t a riot to watch in action.

Cody Stamann vs. Brian Kelleher
This is a Featherweight fight between two normally Bantamweight competitors. Stamann lands an early right hand in the first ten seconds. He blocks a Kelleher head kick and nearly connects on a one-two comb of hooks. They trade leg kicks until Kelleher very nearly lands on another head kick attempt. Jab lands for Stamann, who counters a leg kick attempt nicely with a one-two. Inside leg kick scores for Stamann. Kelleher blocks a lunging right hand but can’t quite connect with an uppercut as Stamann rushes in again. Front kick whiffs for Kelleher, who is being kept on his back foot nicely by Stamann in the opening stanza here. Side kick tot he body for Stamann, and a roundhouse to the body follows for him too. Kelleher tries boxing him in against the cage, landing a few good body shots in a flurry. Flurry connects to the body for Stamann but he can’t quite score up top. Kelleher flicks out a front kick to the body, but a good jab from Cody knocks his head back a little bit. Kelleher can’t really connect on anything as the round ends. 10-9 Stamann pretty clearly. He was able to strike a good balance between pressure and staying at distance, and Kelleher wasn’t able to land anything to get his respect.

Second round starts with both men attempting to take the center of the cage. Kelleher shoots for a single leg, but Stamman is able to keep vertical and Kelleher breaks off. Stamann continues the same pressure he exhibited in the first round, using his feints to keep Kelleher guessing. A one-two bounces off of Kelleher’s gloves, but Stamann is able to land a couple jabs in the meantime. A big flurry largely misses for Stamann but Kelleher is having trouble doing anything of note. They trade some good punches as Kelleher starts pushing forward, but Stamann FIRES BACK to get Kelleher back at his preferred distance. Kelleher got an eyepoke in there somewhere in that exchange. Stamann shoots on a single and eats an uppercut, but he’s able to get Kelleher on his back. Stamann doesn’t really do much from the top, so Kelleher attempts to work a rubber guard and work for some submission attempts. Stamann opens up with a nice elbow, but Kelleher gets back to his feet pretty easily still. Kelleher tries shooting but doesn’t get anywhere with it, and the round ends there. 10-9 Stamann. Kelleher made a better account of himself but really isn’t landing anything worth worrying about, while Stamann is imposing his will in a much more efficient manner.

Last round and Stamann takes the center of the cage immediately, landing a few jabs and tripping Kelleher down. Kelleher gets back up and tries a single, but doesn’t get too far on it. Stamann continues pressuring Kelleher, who whiffs on a spinning backfist. Leg kick scores for Kelleher, but Stamann is telegraphing his kicks and piecing him up with his jab. Nothing powerful, but Stamann is clearly the better fighter so far. Glancing right hook scores for Kelleher, and he starts trying to push forward to no avail. Another jab lands on Kelleher’s nose, and a left hand finds its home for Kelleher in return. Stamann telegraphs another kick and ends up clinched for a second, but nothing really comes of it. Kelleher doesn’t quit though and digs to the body for a couple nice shots. A pair of jabs still land for Stamann. Double jab for Stamann, and Kelleher lands a good left hand through Stamann’s guard to set up for a shot. Kelleher tries the single leg, but Stamann drops to his back for a guillotine as the round ends. 10-9 Stamann for a clean sweep even if Kelleher had his best showing of the fight.

Stamann – coming off the death of his brother – breaks down following the fight. Poor guy. The judges have it 30-27 for Stamann, thankfully. Another entertaining fight on this show even if it wasn’t anything special. Stamann did a great job toeing the line between distance fighting and pressure, and Kelleher couldn’t really get any sort of significant period of time where he wasn’t having to worry about fighting on his back foot. Kelleher had pockets of success where he was able to get Stamann in the phone booth, but Stamann stayed to his gameplan and quite clearly swept the fight with it. They fought a technical fight at a torrid pace and on the undercard of a UFC PPV, there’s not much more to ask of two Bantam/Featherweights.

Ian Heinisch vs. Gerald Meerschaert
Heinisch lands a stiff leg kick early, and Meerschaert doesn’t take it well. Another one lands for Heinisch. Gerald fires back with a body kick… but a HUGE overhand right glances for Heinisch, and Heinisch rushes Meerschaert on the ground to finish things.

Well, that’s MMA for ya. Meerschaert looked uncomfortable immediately once Heinisch hit that first low kick, and he never really seemed to find some sort of rhythm before he got caught behind the ear. Pretty easy work for Ian Heinisch here, as it goes.

Chase Hooper vs. Alex Caceres
Bruce Leroy lands a pair of right hands in the opening seconds. He connects with a couple jabs, and he puts Hooper on his knees with a nasty uppercut! Side kick to the head is blocked, and Hooper is looking rough facially so far. Overhand right from Caceres and Hooper starts looking to take things to the ground to no avail. Hooper gets to Bruce Leroy’s back, but Caceres is doing a solid job defending. Hooper finally hops up on him, but Caceres breaks off. Uppercut lands off a slip for Bruce Leroy, and a one-two finds a home for him too. Two left hands glance for Bruce Leroy as Hooper tries to put some pressure on him. A left hook scores as Hooper tries to push forward. Side kick to the body lands for Caceres too, and he’s piecing poor Chase up with his jab as well. Straight one-two for Bruce Leroy who nearly runs over Keith Peterson as he moves. Caceres clinches up and Hooper very nearly catches a leg but there’s not enough time to work before the round ends. 10-9 Caceres. Hooper’s problems with Daniel Teymur re-entered the fray here as he just doesn’t have much to offer on the feet and Caceres made him pay for it the entire way.

Hooper, to his credit, continues to pressure as the second round starts. He’s just not landing anything though, and he’s getting caught on the entries by jabs and straights from Bruce Leroy. One-two glances for Caceres followed by a stiff uppercut, but Hooper catches his back, only for Bruce Leroy to shake him off. Another entry for Hooper actually sees him land a good left hand, but Caceres’ defense is doing well for him. Hooper just leans on him against the fence but doesn’t get much going, and Caceres breaks off. Caceres ducks a head kick and poor Chase just falls right on his face in an embarrassing spot. Chase eats some shots on the entry but is able to pull guard, with his legs high. His best position in the fight so far, but Bruce Leroy escapes nicely. Hooper tries pulling guard again, but Caceres doesn’t even give him the time of day for it. He stays too close to a butt-scooting Hooper and ends up on the ground, but Bruce Leroy gets back up without much problem and the round ends on the feet. Another 10-9 for Caceres, whose defensive grappling is making this a long fight for young Chase. Hooper isn’t giving up though, which is making this fun to watch.

Hooper throws some lanky punches in the opening seconds of the third, but Caceres is landing the better shots even so. Head kick missed for Hooper, and Caceres flicks out a jab and lights his body up to boot. Thudding jab does land for Hooper and he tries to go for his back, but Caceres breaks off. Hooper accidentally catches Bruce Leroy low but it doesn’t make much of a difference or break the action for long. Left hand finds a home once more for Bruce Leroy, and he doesn’t bite when Hooper tries pulling guard again. Hooper is landing a decent punch here and there but can’t do anything to Caceres even so. He tries pulling guard and fails again, and Caceres just stays on the outside and boxes him up. Straight left snaps Hooper’s head back. Hooper pulls guard sloppily and Caceres moves to half guard and despite Hooper threatening, Bruce Leroy just isn’t threatened whatsoever and the round ends with them on the feet, Hooper yet eating another big punch. 10-9 Caceres. Same story as the rest of the fight and it’s a clear-cut 30-27 for Bruce Leroy for me. He had a chance at 10-8 even in the first round had he capitalized on the knockdown, but either way it was a whitewash.

Sure enough, it’s a 30-27 trio of scorecards for Bruce Leroy. I was worried about Caceres’ chances in this fight after he got completely ransacked by a ground wizard in Kron Gracie, but as Joe Rogan said on commentary, there’s an entire universe of difference between Kron Gracie and Chase Hooper and that was on display in bright lights here. Hooper ended up being way greener than the UFC brass expected, and it’s clear he needs a much slower climb up the ladder if he’s going to have a significant career in the promotion. He just doesn’t have anything resembling threatening striking and his ground game wasn’t good enough to give a journeyman like Caceres any real trouble either. The dude is 20 though and has so much life to go in and out of the cage, and this was probably a lesson he needed to learn if the UFC was going to throw him to the wolves so quickly. He has tons of heart but sometimes that isn’t enough. This was a lot of fun to watch though, as any Bruce Leroy fight is going to be.

Sean O’Malley vs. Eddie Wineland
O’Malley tries to find his distance with his feet in the early goings. Neither man lands anything big in the opening minute though. A pair of front kicks to the body score for O’Malley and a right hand lands for Wineland. Spinning back kick to the body lands for O’Malley, and he KNOCKS WINELAND TO HELL WITH A STRAIGHT RIGHT HAND~! WOW. Feinted with the uppercut and murdered him with the straight. Wineland comes to fairly quickly and gives O’Malley props in a cool moment.

Since the Andre Soukhamthath fight, Sean O’Malley has given me the vibe that he’s one of those prospects that the UFC may actually have a star in. The USADA problems put a pin in that for a while, but he may have used that break to shape up and make a run in this crazy 135lbs division. Eddie Wineland is not a top guy in the Bantamweight division, but he’s also an incredibly tough veteran with elite experience and it took the 25 year old one straight punch to leave him snoring. And it wasn’t a lucky shot either. His technical striking is legitimately impressive beyond all that wacky spinning stuff that makes him stand out, and once he found his distance Wineland was on borrowed time. I hate to make the comparison because personality-wise I don’t see it, but O’Malley’s fighting gives me a hardcore Conor McGregor vibe and when he’s uncorking shots like this, it only continues to make sense. I cannot wait to see where he goes from here after what might be KO of the Year.

We get a look at next week’s Fight Night card and boy, it is dreadful. One of the worst cards I can remember seeing in fact. I know it’s a rough time for sports but this one probably didn’t need the timeslot.

Neil Magny vs. Anthony Rocco Martin
Magny keeps his distance early as the longer fighter of the two. Martin closes the distance and clinches against the cage but nothing really comes of it. Magny starts taking the center of the cage and looks to pressure, but Rocco counters and gets to Magny’s back against the fence. Martin attempts to get it to the ground, but Magny is doing a good job on defense. Magny is finally able to break off, and he does a good job of peppering Rocco with a few jabs before initiating another clinch that goes nowhere. Good leg kick for Magny, who dodges a flurry before Rocco puts him up against the cage again. The round ends on the feet. Not much really happened here as Martin could only put Magny up against the fence to do anything, but Magny landed better on the feet and even though there wasn’t much there either, it’s enough to clinch the round for me. 10-9 Magny.

Jab scores for Magny, but Martin catches him with a right hand coming in and has Magny on the retreat for a bit. Martin shoots for the takedown and this time gets it, right into half guard. He threatens a Japanese Necktie, but Magny gets to his feet and gets double underhooks for a brief moment. Magny pushes off and continues pressuring him on the striking. Magny clinches up, but he’s getting outmuscled by Martin in these sequences so far. Martin threatens a kimura, but it doesn’t go anywhere. Magny lands a good right hand on the end of a flurry, and he cuts off the cage nicely, but for some reason continues to clinch and not do much with it. They break off and exchange leg kicks, and they clinch up at the end of the round. 10-9 Martin as Magny’s strategy of pressuring and clinching, only to end up getting outmuscled, is proving to kind of throw this fight away for him, especially since he gave up a big takedown and right hand earlier in the round.

Good jab lands for Martin in the opening seconds, but Magny pressures him immediately. He’s doing a much better job of trying to pick Martin apart here early, but Martin clinches up for a moment. Magny breaks off within seconds though and continues pushing forward before throwing a right hand and attempting another takedown to no success. Martin breaks off but eats an elbow on the exit from Magny. A one-two staggers Martin, who tries to clinch up again, but Magny is actively starting to wear Rocco down and wilt him. Elbow scores up close for Magny as Martin tries to take him down again, but he’s tired. A trio of straight punches pepper Martin, but Magny tries another takedown to no avail. They break off again, and Magny is working Martin hard with this pressure. Another elbow scores for Magny as Rocco closes the distance again. Magny just chases him down but Martin lands a big overhand. Magny is unfazed and cracks him again, and he just walks him down until Martin clinches up as the round ends. 10-9 for Magny and I have it for him 29-28.

Judges have it 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28 for Neil Magny. Not sure about the 30-27 scores at all because I just don’t see what he did to win the second, but I think the right man won in the end. I didn’t think this was Magny’s best performance though, as he was clearly the better striker and showed it the whole way through, but initiated grappling exchanges that didn’t do anything for him which gave Martin too many opportunities to implement the grappling he wanted. But in Magny’s defense, he might have been doing that to get Martin tired enough to style on him like he did later in the fight. So who really knows? But sure enough, once Magny figured out how to properly get that striking going, he was giving Martin tons and tons of trouble and ran away with it. Magny is the consummate all-rounder and showed it here, even if the fight itself took a while to get going due to some of the stalemate grappling early on.

Aljamain Sterling vs. Cory Sandhagen
Big fight here. Sterling takes the center of the cage immediately and shoots for a takedown off of a Sandhagen kick, and he jumps to Sandhagen’s back and tries a choke, but Sandhagen toughs the face-crushing out. Sterling has the body triangle and he works a little more and SANDHAGEN TAPS AS HE GOES OUT~! That’s a man that should be in a title fight right now without a shadow of a doubt. That was so impressive.

It’s taken him a little while to live up to his initial promise, but Aljamain Sterling now might be the best Bantamweight fighter on the planet. This was one of the most impressive and dominant performances in a Top 5 fight I can recall seeing in recent memory. The Bantamweight division is a battlefield of epic proportions and wins like this do not come often, and when they do, it should be seen as something to take note of. Even the mere idea that UFC wants to put Jose Aldo in a title fight over Aljo right now is one of the dumbest booking decisions in its history. Aljamain Sterling proved his worth in such a big way that I don’t see how the UFC doesn’t change course. It wasn’t a good fight with a close decision. He smothered Cory Sandhagen and made him look like he didn’t even belong in the cage with him. With his grappling acumen, I don’t know if there’s a man in the division that can handle him anymore. Sure would like to see that damn Petr Yan fight though. This was awesome.

Raphael Assuncao vs. Cody Garbrandt
Here we go. Cody lands an early leg kick, and follows with another one as Assuncao tries to feel him out. Both men land in an exchange, but nothing heavy yet. Leg kick scores for Assuncao. Garbrandt blocks a head kick and tries a spinning back kick to no avail. Assuncao tries one of his own to similar success. Straight right scores for Cody, and he slips the counter and circles out. Big leg kick scores for Garbrandt. Another leg kick for Garbrandt, and while there’s not much activity here, Assuncao is a step behind. The round ends with Cody slipping a spin kick. Gotta say it’s 10-9 Garbrandt, but he’s clearly gunshy and worried about getting caught. His leg kicks are doing a number though so it’s not like he’s just staring at Assuncao in there.

Speaking of leg kicks, Garbrandt lands one in the early seconds of the round. They scramble on the feet and Garbrandt lands a big shot on the break as they come back standing. Body kick is blocked by Garbrandt. Right hand glances for Assuncao, but it doesn’t seem to do much. Big body kick for Cody at the same time as one comes in for Assuncao. Head kick misses for Assuncao. Cody rushes in with a flurry but doesn’t land anything major. Big right hand brings Assuncao to his knees and Cody keeps his composure so far. Cody continues pressuring and landing some leg kicks. They exchange as the round ends… AND GARBRANDT KILLS ASSUNCAO DEAD RIGHT AT THE HORN~! That man is still really goddamn scary. That reminded me a lot of Rashad Evans’ murder of Chuck Liddell in how it totally just pointed Assuncao’s body in an entirely different direction.

The fight wasn’t much before the KO, but it showed that Cody is far from a shot fighter and has all of the quickness and precision that brought him to the top of the mountain. It was probably a performance that he needed to have in a way, a lot like Darren Till’s reserved showing against Kelvin Gastelum at MSG. It’s not a very fun fight to watch in a lot of respects, but it’s a reset that had to be made to give Garbrandt confidence in staying calm and using the vision and technique that turned in the all-time great performance he had against Dominick Cruz. It remains to be seen how things go from here for Cody, but on form, he absolutely still has championship potential. He showed that here even if he didn’t have the best fight of the year or anything.

Women’s Featherweight Title: Amanda Nunes (c) vs. Felicia Spencer
Talk about a big fat nothing for a main event. Nunes lands an early front kick to the body. Spencer tries closing the distance with some punches, but Nunes breaks off. Big right hand cracks Felicia off a one-two. Uppercut lands nicely for the Lioness. Felicia pushes in again but eats another right hand. Felicia catches a kick and shoots for a single leg, but Nunes hip-tosses her into side control. Nunes gets a hook in and threatens for a choke, but Felicia escapes. Nunes tries to land some elbows from the top and Spencer is offering no threat from the bottom here. An elbow cuts Spencer as Nunes continues to impose her will. Spencer tries working a higher guard but she gets elbowed again as the round ends. 10-8 Nunes. It wasn’t a death smashing but Felicia Spencer literally has nothing to offer to Nunes and got smothered and beaten up the entire time.

Spencer rushes into another combo from Nunes early into the 2nd. Superman Punch from Spencer is countered by a straight right from The Lioness. Felicia lands a jab before feinting out. Big right hand cracks Spencer again. Spencer changes levels but Nunes reverses her like it’s nothing and gets her down. Nunes lands some elbows as Felicia tries to explode out and they stand back up. High kick glances for Spencer. Round ends. 10-9 Nunes, and she’s kind of playing with her food here. Not much really happened there.

One-two lands for Nunes, and Spencer is starting to take some chances. Nunes shakes off another takedown attempt like it’s nothing. Left hand knocks Spencer’s mouthpiece out and the action stops for a second so Spencer can get it back. That was a little suss. To her credit, Felicia’s landed a few jabs, but she has nothing. Just nothing. Amanda just picks her ankle up and throws her down on the mat just because she can. Head kick glances off the gloves of Spencer. Right hand scores off the end of a combo for Nunes. Rinse repeat until the round ends. 10-9 Nunes, of course.

Championship rounds somehow and it’s the same as usual. Nunes lands and does anything she wants to Felicia. The leg kicks are starting to give Felicia trouble now too. Spin kick to the body scores for Nunes. Leg kicks, punches, spin kicks. Whatever Nunes wants, she gets. Felicia has taken some nasty shots in this round but she still has enough to shoot for a takedown. Nunes slaps on a choke but Spencer survives until the horn sounds. 10-8 Nunes and the commentary thinks the corner should stop this one. Not sure I disagree. Of course, her corner doesn’t.

Amazingly there’s a fifth round here. Spencer is still trying her best but she’s just not in the same galaxy as Nunes. Just a bunch of laying around at this point with a few Nunes elbows here and there. Nunes gets to her feet and Spencer wants no part of it. She gets to her feet eventually and Herb Dean wants to check Spencer’s cut. The fight isn’t stopped of course. Nunes throws some more punches and lands a couple more takedowns to end the fight. 10-9 Nunes. 50-43 overall, but Nunes seriously could have finished her at any point and just kind of coasted. But hey, when you’re that good, who’s gonna tell you what to do?

Judges have it 50-44, 50-44, and 50-45 for Nunes. This fight being announced pretty much told you the state of Women’s MMA at 135 and up, and the fight itself gives you no indication that there’s any sort of threat or impending change of the guard. The idea of a 145 lbs division was basically so Cyborg could continue convincing people that she was some kind of great, and when she got exposed by Nunes, the purpose of the division kind of went away. Fair play to Spencer for being tough and whatnot, but she is nothing resembling a championship-level fighter and really had no business being in there with someone like Nunes, who really just gets an easy payday and another notch on her belt. Again, it’s neither of their fault for it happening as I like seeing fighters get opportunities and money, but there was nothing to prove by signing this fight and it really just didn’t need to happen. The question now is what to do with Nunes, and I don’t have a good idea. A Shevchenko rematch is the only thing that would give her problems, and with Valentina similarly feasting on much inferior talent at 125lbs, it might just end up happening to give the girls something to do. I guess the winner of Aspen Ladd vs. Julianna Pena would be up next but what threats do those girls really offer, if we’re being realistic? The fight itself was just a glorified sparring session between a pro and a beginner, and one of the weakest PPV main events of the last couple years. Sometimes that’s how it goes when you’re as good as Amanda Nunes.

The final score: review Good
The 411
This was about as consistently fun a PPV as you're likely to watch, even if the main event brought the joy to a screeching halt. There weren't any fights that will win Fight of the Year or anything, but there are two legitimate KO of the Year contenders on the main card alone and a prelim card full of interesting action between relevant fighters. The main card had perhaps the slowest fight on the card (before the Nunes mugging, of course) in Magny vs. Martin, but even that turned into a good little scrap so there's not much to complain about here. So while this isn't a show that will do any business or win awards, it panned out wonderfully for the hardcore fans and furthered a Bantamweight division that now looks even MORE exciting than it did prior to this event taking place. Just stop after the Garbrandt KO, and you're in for some super enjoyable fighting.

article topics :

UFC 250, Jake St-Pierre