Fight Notes: UFC Fight Night 149
A fun midday card, lacking in name value — unless you're extremely versed in the Russian MMA scene — but high in violence potential managed to deliver some fun fights. It opened with a succession of violent finishes, then there was a patch of decisions which dissipated the event's momentum, but things got back on track by the middle-to-end of the main card. As with all streaming-exclusive events, the show pacing was very brisk and I really appreciated that in conjunction with the fact everything started at the very reasonable hour of 10:00AM EST.
Opening the main card was yet another decision, with Krzysztof Jotko snapping a 3-fight losing streak — and a year-long hiatus — with a smothering win over newcomer Alen Amedovski. Jotko took Amedovski down in every round and dominated from side control. Except for when Jotko had Amedovski stuck in a crucifix position, raining punches and elbows down on him in the final minute-and-change of round 2, the fight was all one-way traffic but not in danger of being finished.
Up next, Roxanne Modafferi was able to take Antonina Shevchenko down each round, but couldn't do much else except control her from top position. Shevchenko easily won the stand-up battles, but the vast majority of the fight took place against the cage or on the ground so that was rather moot. I have no idea how this was a split decision; at best, you could give Shevchenko the first round and that's about it. Not the most riveting fight, especially as the fourth decision in as many fights.
A pair of unranked heavyweights got things violently back on track; Sergei Pavlovich needed slightly more than a minute to leave Marcelo Golm crumpled against the cage, the victim of a 3-punch combo capped off with a savage right-hand uppercut. (Or, as commentator Paul Felder called it, a "murder uppercut.")
UFC newcomer — and last-minute replacement — Arman Tsarukyan got just about the worst match-up you could get in your promotional debut. That being said, Tsarukyam acquitted himself quite well against surging prospect Islam Makhachev, but ultimately could do little more than defend himself. Sure, he defended himself well, but Makhachev was the one dictating the pace and location of the fight. Makhachev extends his win streak to 5 fights, and Tsarukyan made a good case for another fight and showed a lot of potential even in defeat.
The main event delivered just under a round's worth of action, capping off the night with Alistair Overeem racking up a TKO win over last-minute replacement Alexey Oelinik. It looked like Oelinik may have briefly stunned Overeem in the opening part of the round, but on replay it seemed like Overeem was actually fine. Oelinik had Overeem backed up against the fence a lot, and threw a lot of punches but almost all of the head strikes were blocked while a large number of body shots got through. Overeem looked like might be tiring from the body shots, but then he staggered Oelinik with a series of stiff knees, dropped him with another, and scored a TKO with his follow-up ground-and-pound.
- Alistair Overeem def. Alexey Oelinik by Technical Knock Out (knees and punches) @ 4:45 of Round 1
- Islam Makhachev def. Arman Tsarukyan by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Sergei Pavlovich def. Marcelo Golm by Knock Out (punches) @ 1:06 of Round 1
- Roxanne Modafferi def. Antonina Shevchenko by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Krzysztof Jotko def. Alen Amedovski by Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-26)
The first pair of prelims were over in the blink of an eye, as Magomed Mustafaev made a successful return after a 2-year layoff and destroyed Rafael Fiziev with a spinning back kick and some cursory follow-up punches on the ground. Up next, Michal Oleksiejczuk dropped an overly aggressive Gadzhimurad Antigulov 3 times in rapid succession, en route to a quick KO win in the second fight of the night. Combined, both bouts barely broke the 2-minute mark.
The next 2 fights took a little longer to deliver finishes, as Shamil Abdurakhimov flattened Marcin Tybura in the second round of their fight, while Alexander Yakovlev — who looked like a skeleton as a 6'3" lightweight — strangled an exhausted Alex Da Silva in nearly the same amount of time. Things finally slowed down as we watched Sultan Aliev grind his way to a lopsided 30-27 sweep of Keita Nakamura in a fairly low-action fight.
The preliminary card ended with another one-sided mauling, this time feauring a pair of debuting featherweights. Movsar Emovloev, despite losing a point for an illegal knee strike, handily dominated Seung Woo Choi for the entirety of their fight.
- Movsar Evloev def. Seung Woo Choi by Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-26)
- Sultan Aliev def. Keita Nakamura by Unanimious Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Alexander Yakovlev def. Alex Da Silva by Submission (modified guillotine) @ 3:10 of Round 2
- Shamil Abdurakhimov def. Marcin Tybura by Technical Knock Out (punches) @ 3:15 of Round 2
- Michal Oleksiejczuk def. Gadzhimurad Antigulov by Knock Out (punches) @ 0:44 of Round 1
- Magomed Mustafaev def. Rafael Fiziev by Technical Knock Out (spanning back kick and punches) @ 1:26 of Round 1
As a whole, I give UFC Fight Night 149 a strong B grade. There were almost no big name fighters on the card, save for Alistair Overeem and Roxanne Modafferi, but the fights were overally pretty fun. Modafferi's was easily the least engaging of the night, but she still did well in stifling and ultimately defeating the sister of current flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko. Great pacing, fun fights, and everything was done by 3:30PM EST — I couldn't ask for much more.
Published: April 20th, 2019.