Thursday, 14 July 2016

TV Review: UFC Dos Anjos vs Alvarez

Following on from our recent Cage Warriors review we’re continuing our mini MMA marathon as we see how former Bellator lightweight king Eddie Alvarez got on when he challenged Raphael Dos Anjos for his title at the UFC’s most recent Fight Night event, shown recently on BT Sport here in Britain.

The broadcast began in the welterweight division as Mike Pyle faced Alberto Mina.

This one took a while to get going, but when it did it gave us a great display of striking from Mina. The Brazilian initially scored with a takedown in the first round, but when Pyle went on the defensive and locked him down it wasn’t long before the inevitable happened and the referee stood them up because of inactivity.

A few moments later Mina scored with a brilliant left hook that put the former WEC champ in trouble. A quick combination followed as the fight went to the mat again, and although Pyle went for a guillotine the clock went against him.

Mina’s great striking continued into the second round, and when he caught Pyle’s left kick attempt and put his man off balance he followed up with a right knee that sent Pyle crashing to the mat. Mina followed him down to finish the job until the referee stepped in to give Mina the knockout win.

It was down to lightweight for the next fight as Joe Duffy took on Mitch Clarke.

The blink or you’ll miss it affair of the evening saw both fighters testing the waters with kicks, but when Duffy connected with a big right Clarke crashed to the mat. Duffy quickly followed him down, and after two well-placed blows he soon took his back and locked in a rear naked choke, with Clarke tapping out after just 25 seconds to give the Irishman the submission win.

It was back up to welterweight next as Alan Jouban faced Belal Muhammad.

The first fight on the show to go the distance proved to be an entertaining three round affair, although after Jouban put his man down in the first minute it looked like it wouldn’t even get to the fifteen minute mark.

Jouban had two very successful rounds, his striking giving the debuting Muhammad no end of trouble. The only problem was that while he was connecting with some serious blows Muhammad kept surviving his onslaughts before working his way back into the fight.

But when the third round started it was a complete role reversal as Muhammad took control, and this time around it was Jouban who was in danger as Muhammad connected with a series of heavy blows, and although he was putting on a great performance you couldn’t help but feel it was perhaps too little too late.

So with the fight going the distance the judges came into the equation as Jouban took the unanimous decision.

The co-main event featured the big boys of the heavyweight division as Roy Nelson went up against Derrick Lewis.

The second three rounder of the broadcast should probably be termed interesting more than anything else. These two big guys gave us a somewhat frantic first round as Lewis unloaded with the heavy leather and Nelson countered with some nice grappling and takedowns.

It was kind of obvious that they wouldn’t be able to maintain that pace when the second round began, and from there this fight became the case of the grappler against the striker. Nelson put in a tremendous amount of effort as he took the Black Beast down time and again, and whenever he got back to his feet Lewis went back to his preferred striking game.

It was more or less how the rest of the fight played out, although it was obvious that Lewis was having more luck with his chosen tactic, especially when his big right rocked Big Country in the final seconds of the fight.

All of this meant more work for the judges, and this time around they couldn’t agree as Lewis took the split decision.

The main event saw Eddie Alvarez challenge Rafael Dos Anjos for the Lightweight title.

This one may not have lasted that long but they certainly gave us plenty of action. The first few moments looked to be pretty even as both fighters tested the waters a little until Alvarez scored with a takedown. It almost backfired on the challenger though when Dos Anjos went for a guillotine and connected with a strong knee as Alvarez got back to his feet.

The crisp exchanges continued afterwards, but when Alvarez connected with a big right to the sternum it was the beginning of the and for the champion. Alvarez was all over him with a flurry of blows, and although RDA managed to survive the initial onslaught it wasn’t long before he succumbed to the inevitable, and when he offered nothing in reply to the challenger the referee wisely stepped in to give Alvarez the TKO win and the title.

In conclusion – it’s been quite a while since I’ve taken in one of the UFC’s Fight Night events, and I’m glad I decided to go with this one.

From top to bottom we were treated to some quality encounters, with the welterweight encounters in particular proving to be quite enjoyable. However, even though those in the know chose the Jouban/Muhammad encounter as their fight of the night, this writer is giving his prestigious no-prize to Eddie Alvarez and Rafael Dos Anjos for their thrilling fight.

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