Tuesday, 3 June 2014

UFC Miocic vs Maldonado on BT Sport - TV Review

It’s time to make a quick return to the Octagon for the second part of our UFC double header. With Stipe Miocic facing Fabio Maldonado in the main event of Brazil’s Fight Night, shown live in the early hours of this past Sunday morning on BT Sport here in Britain.

The show began in the featherweight division as Rony Jason faced Robbie Peralta.

This proved to be a very entertaining opener. Both fighters put in sound performances throughout this three round affair. The striking exchanges were top notch throughout, although when Jason connected with a spinning back elbow in the first Peralta showed that his jaw may have been made of adamantium. He just shrugged off the blow and moved on.

As we as the striking exchanges we had some brief moments of ground fighting with the combatants countering each other’s moves. At one point Jason went looking for a triangle choke, and it turned out to be the most meaningful ground exchange until the dying seconds when Jason scored with a takedown, with Peralta reversing the positions as the fight came to an end.

Which meant some early work for the judges as Peralta took the split decision.

Welterweight action followed as Demian Maia took on Alexander Yakovlev.

The debuting Russian certainly had his hands full as Maia continued his rebirth as welterweight. The Brazilian put in another good performance in this three rounder, although it wasn’t without it’s little scares.

The first round or so clearly belonged to Maia, especially on the ground. Whenever the fight went there Maia always ended up in the mount. Yakovlev did a good job of tying him up at times, but it didn’t stop Maia from getting in a few good strikes.

Yakovlev’s best work came in the second when he managed to reverse the positions on the ground. It didn’t really lead anywhere, but it showed that he could counter Maia. His striking in the third wasn’t that bad either, but once again he soon found himself on his back with Maia in control, although he managed to connect with a good up kick towards the end of the fight.

No finish meant more work for the judges, and this time around they agreed on everything as Maia took the unanimous decision.

The first of the Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 finals followed, with Marcio Alexandre taking on Warlley Alves for the middleweight crown.

To say that Alves put in a dominating performance would not be underestimating things. He controlled the action beautifully with his takedowns and his ground work, so much so that he stopped Alexandre from even getting out of the blocks.

Such was his dominance it was only a matter of time before he got the finish. That came early in the third when a big right hand rocked Alexandre. Alves quickly followed up with a guillotine, and after he pulled guard it wasn’t long before Alexandre passed out to give Alves the submission win.

The heavyweight final followed, with Vitor Miranda going up against Antonio Carlos Junior.

The second final proved to be just as enjoyable as the first. It may not have had a spectacular finish, but it did give us some great action.

Miranda came into this one with the studio experts backing him all the way. Unfortunately Carlos hadn’t read the script because everything he did during the entire fight just looked so good.

His best work came on the ground. The takedowns had been impressive enough, but the ground work was even better. He was able to transition at will as he went looking for various submissions, and even when he called Miranda into his guard he still looked the better fighter.

Miranda had some good moments, but sadly for him they were few and far between, and by the time the third came around it was obvious to anyone with the gift of sight that he needed a stoppage to get the win.

That stoppage never came, which meant more work for the judges as Carlos took the unanimous decision.

The main event featured more heavyweight action as Stipe Miocic faced Fabio Maldonado.

The quickie of the night saw Maldonado coming forward as soon as the fight began, but a big left from Miocic sent him back a few paces. Miocic pulled back a little, but when he connected with a big right Maldonado crashed to the canvas. A brief moment of ground and pound followed before the referee stepped in to give Miocic the TKO win.

In conclusion - the second part of the UFC’s double header was even more enjoyable than the first. Unlike the Berlin gig every fight here delivered, especially the two tournament finals.

As for my fight of the night no-prize that’s going to the Carlos/Miranda heavyweight final. The proverbial underdog certainly put in a good performance there.

So with all of that out of the way there’s just one more thing left to do, and that’s to give this Fight Night the thumbs up.