Francis Nganu killed another opponent in the first round, this time Junior Dawson Santos at the UFC Fight Night Main Event in Minneapolis. His strength is clearly unmatched in the UFC. Ngannou is 3-1 after his unanimous loss from the decision of former champion Stipe Miocic in January 2018. Have we learned anything about his whole set of skills after a heavy defeat?
Our associates from ESMN MMA – Brett Okamoto, Mark Raymond and Jeff Wagenheim
Is Francis Nganu changed after his loss to Stipe Mocic?
Okamoto: It's hard to say final to be honest. On the one hand, he completely crushed the last three men he had led – three knockouts in the first round in a row, against those like Curtis Blades, Cain Velasquez and now Junior Dodos Santos. On the other hand, how can we really learn about a person in one-minute races? UFC has loaded another pay-as-you-go card with two titles: Jon Jones vs. Thiago Santos and Amanda Nunes vs. Holly Holm. Also, popular Ben Accreen takes Jorge Masvidal with potential consequences for the 1
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That's why I think we can safely say that Nganu has changed. First, it's lighter. We saw this change right away. Ngannou weighed 263 pounds before this title against Miocic. Since then, he has not weighed anything higher than 258. This one weighed 255.5. You can see it in its frame. He is weak. And I have no doubt that this is good for his speed and cardio.
He also told me he had a healthier way of thinking after Miocic's loss (he has eliminated the pressure he has imposed on himself). ), and just by reading his body's tongue in and around the fight week, I believe him. Whether he can cope with the fight of myochet or Daniel Kormier, I do not know. But I think there is reason to believe that many things have changed for Nganna over the past two years. Raimondi: It is hard to claim that Ngannou has not gotten better than this loss of Miocic. That Nagano had only 12 career and never seen the second round in the UFC. There is no doubt that this Ngannou has been upgraded and one of the most dangerous heavyweight perforators we have seen for some time. The question is how much better. While the rapid knockouts of Curtis Blades and Cain Velasquez were impressive, Nganu has not yet faced the tactical caliber of Miocic for a considerable period of time. Can not get everyone in the first round, right? Well, maybe he can. But he will probably fight with someone of that kind.
Wagenheim: Ngannou does what Ngannou does. He will keep doing it until someone makes him rely on something other than his big fists. Stipe Miocic struggles with the strategic struggle against The Predator last year, and if he goes back to Octagon with Ngannou, he will probably pursue the same plan of the game: Save your distance, move, threaten the demolition, and take the demolition. If Daniel Kormier is in the cage when Ngannou gets his title, DC probably will seem to do the same as Stipe. Can Francis stop it?
From his loss to Mikos and his 15-minute sleepwalker against Derrick Lewis, Nganu struggled with two boys fighting to get him on the canvas – Curtis Blades and Cain Velazquez – for a minute before the night. This does not necessarily mean that he has perfected his defensive struggle. But that tells us that the thunder in Nanguu's arms is a reliable antidote for anything.
Will Henry's next fight be against Benavides on a fly or another adversary on the fifth?
Okamoto: I know what? I think it will actually be Benavidez. Can you believe? I did not see this coming. I thought the flies division was wrapped up, boys. I really did. I am not yet fully convinced of her long-term future. But on Saturday, June 29, 2019, I think Cejudo vs. Benavidez II will happen. Anyway.
I can not stress enough how impressed I've been with Benavedez over the last six years. Benavidez has almost always been the first contender for 125 pounds. No one suffered more than Demetrius Johnson's domination than Benavides. Benavides has encountered the heaviest race he has had to offer, defeating almost every one of them and knew all the time that he will not get a title for Johnson's losses in 2012 and 2013.
Benavides deserves a shot. He has a win over Cejudo in 2016. The revenge must happen, and I'm happy to say he will. Raimondi: Benavidez must be next following his Formiga TKO. There is no doubt about that. "Deserved" is a weak word in the MMA, but no one deserves it more than Benavedes, who has paid his due contributions and already has a victory over Chejuddo. He must be the least weight, Benavidez's division, which has been detained since its creation in the UFC. "Joe B" should get one more fever in the title in a division he has been honored for so long.
That said, I find it hard to imagine that he is going back to the fly after his return from the shoulder surgery, maybe next year. Cejudo has never been a big fan of the cut weight, and now he's the champion with spots. If Benavidesz is to fight again, he may have to persecute Sejudo by 135. Waggheim: The world is a oyster in the Sejudo. He has two UFC belts, and the rumor is that he once won an Olympic gold medal. Anyone who is lighter than Butterbins wants to fight with him. So, yes, he has options, but Option 1 should be protecting the title of flies against Benavides, if not otherwise, unless it does not allow the Envoy to close Joe and his burning message that he is the last man defeated Henry. That would be a title deserved for Benavedes – and poetic justice. The flies' division always looked fictional for him. Namely he, not Demetrious Johnson, was preferred to win the tournament with four men who in 2012 was crowned the first 125 pound UFC champion. But Benavides lost his mind to the "Mighty Mouse" in the final, then it was less than a year later than the champion, and it put him in no-man's land. Now Johnson is gone, and the belt has a man he once defeats. This is the perfect setting for Joe's delayed response to claim the throne that was placed for him in the first place.
Alonso Menifield is impressed by another knockout. Is he – or someone else – your favorite rising light weight?
Okamoto: Honestly, I love them all. Because, if we are honest, this 205-kilogram division has felt old and thin for years. This new culture of talent is the drinking of lukewarm water, friends. You can say I'm exaggerating if you want, but that's the truth. This division is likely in the best shape since it was in 2011 when John Jones won his first championship.
My favorite group is 27-year-old Johnny Walker. At this point in his career, he is best known for having hurt himself while he was performing the wound's dance move after his last victory, but I believe he will soon change. Walker has youth, athleticism, creativity and a greater personality than life. He has a lot of experience about his age and equal trust. If I had to put the money to which the farthest heavyweight candidate would be the farthest, he would have been to Walker. Raimondi: I'm extremely high on Menifield and ever since I saw him fight for LFA. Its raw punching power is one of the best in the division. He's almost like Francis Nganu. Plus, his Fortis MMA camp is on a hockey run right now, run by coach Saif Saud. But it's hard for me to get Johnny Walker and his graduates (and holidays) to get rid of my consciousness. Menifield can get there soon, but right now, Walker is the guy I want to see against top-5 and top-10 rivals. The heavyweight category is by John Jones and a bunch of undisputed contenders to be a terrible meeting from which a future champion is likely to appear (probably not until the Bones move to heavyweight) . Will Menifield be the one to claim the summit of the mountain? This is a tough conversation that surrounds him against Dominique Reyes, Johnny Walker, Alexander Rakić and other rising forces, including Thiago Santos, who next week makes his strike against Jones. It will be fun to watch them yourself. One thing that 9-0 Menifield has in his favor: his coach. In his battle against Paul Craig, he calmed down early in crashing the cage, which was not the place to take advantage of his pronounced ending. His corner immediately informed him, with a clever, clear instruction to break away and unleash his arsenal. Which made Menifield, which led to the first round of TKO. The show speaks of how dangerous and training he is.
Okamoto: First, let me say that I do not think Maya has to retire soon (if she decides she wants to continue). He is 41 years old, but I believe he still beats at least 80% of the UFC. It does not bear much damage. Yes, he recently lost three in a row, but these were Tyron Woodley, Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman.
If Maia is ready to call it a day, obviously there is nothing more to prove. He has the second most victories in the history of the UFC. He can walk away with a tall head. Mention Diego Sanchez, I'm good at this. I would also be good with a revenge against Carlos Condy if Kondit was interested. Condit actually did not put his best foot forward when he met in 2016. Raimondi: This is hard, because if you really will be the last of Maia you do not want to risk killing a future contender . And no one is more rigid than beginner rivals than Maya, with his suffocating Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I'm not sure how to deal with matchmaking, but the enemy I'd most like to see Maya's face is Ben Accreen. This stylistic clash – Maya's fight against Acre's fight – will be world class.
The only problem is that Askren fights Jorge Masvidal on UFC 239 next week and has bigger things if he wins. If he loses, let's make Acrer against Maya. If he won, maybe someone like Randy Brown. It would be a good way to find out how far Brown is as a fighter. Victory over Maya would become Brown, but loss would not cause him much damage. If Demian Maya wants Diego Sanchez, as he says after his battle, he must take Diego. Sanchez. Or if, after having had time to think about it, it comes with another name, that's fine, too, as long as the name is not attached to a belt for a championship. Having spent 6 hours, 18 minutes, 12 seconds in Octagon, the second most in the history of the UFC, behind Frankie Edgar at 6:47:33 – Demian has earned the right to go out of his own terms. It is also not just about longevity. His 21 UFC wins are the second most in the promotion after 23 Donald Cerrone. Give the man the fight he wants.
As far as what I want, I do not care to see Maia against a murderer or a neutralizing killer. wrestler. I want to look at it once again, because it's a great experience. Can Sanchez give this challenge to jiu-jitsu? Unlikely. Who then? Any way we can get Charles Oliveira or Gilbert Burns to eat a high-calorie diet that piles up one of them with ease? Or can we send Maya back into the middle category and go promotional with Bellator for a match with Rafael Lovato Jr.? Well, well, Diego Sanchez is.
The Biggest Surprise of the Night
Okamoto: I'm going with Amanda Ribas's victory against Emily Whitmer on weak. Ribas has not been running since 2016 because of an unsuccessful drug test she has caused from a contaminated supplement. This is a long dismissal for the fight – and although I do not think Whitmire as a title contender on any stretch (she is young and her game is still developing), she is in the process of assembling a nice little move from the latter Raimondi: Just how good Amanda Ribbass looked at the victory over Emily Whitmer with a second round, jammed feed. Ribbas had not fought for more than three years and never competed in the UFC, so it was a big question. The Brazilian prospect, only 25 years old, was highlighted by the people around her, but it is hard to know for sure, especially after a long dismissal. Ribo's Judith and grappling resembled the real deal. It's good to see her back after a two-year battle with USADA, which stopped her last month after making some changes in her scientific approach to the banned substance. Wagenheim: in Minneapolis left me as an indifferent jaw by looking at Judge Vans Surdaran who faces Demian Maya and Anthony Rocco Martin while they were on canvas grappling … with Maya in full mount and landing strikes . Of course, the hits were far from the hawks, more discomfort from the damage, but the point is that Miaa was actively fighting. He was constantly trying to get Martin out of the cage and get back on his back to obey.
I'm surprised Surerdad can not stand Maia while the Brazilian is resting on the stool between the circles.
Honorable memorial to Nick Palmer, Judge in this battle, which puts in a draw after Martin gave a 10-8 third round. It is true that Maya has done nothing in these five minutes – he has only hit four strokes, landed one – but it's not like he ran away. He was walking around, and Martin could not interrupt him and did not want to look for him. Give the rounds to Rocko, of course, but this battle was all about Maya.