UFC Philadelphia: Shots Fired, The Punch Heard Around The World
UFC Philadelphia was anything but a brotherly love fest as Edson Barboza and Justin Gaethje were set to wage a war, There were a couple big finish endings on the main card as multiple shots were fired and heard around the world. From “Highlight Reels” and “Jokers” to “Karate Hotties” and “BearJews” there was no shortage of personalities on this event and there was n shortages of flash finishes either.
Sodiq Yusuff defeats Sheymon Moraes via 3 Round Decision
This was a really close fight going into round three. It all came down to who wants it more and who could make a stand in the final stanza. Enter Sodiq Yusuff who landed shots but nothing doing damage until he connected on a big shot that dropped Moraes. Sheymon got up and survived the round but the young Nigerian had done what needed to be done and sealed the victory. Yusuff improved to 9-1 while Moraes fell to 11-3
Winner Sodiq Yusuff
Paul Craig defeats Kennedy Nzechukwu via Sub at 4:20 of Round 3
I was really high coming in on Kennedy Nzechukwu who I have seen fight here in the Dallas area. Kennedy showed a lack of discipline in this fight, Grabbing the cage going forward with his fingers extended as the ref warned him he went right back to it. Costing Kennedy a point in round 2 these were all things any well trained fighter should be able to avoid. Kennedy was in position to win the fight with just a solid third round. Craig was having none of that as he caught Kennedy in Triangle choke with just 40 seconds left to secure the submission. Craig moved to 11-3 while Kennedy suffered his first loss falling to 6-1. Kennedy has potential but his coaches need to do a better job of preparing and managing their fighter,
Winner Paul Craig
Michelle Waterson def Karolina Kowalkiewicz via 3 Round Dec.
This was a big one as two top 10 contenders look to make a run at a title shot. The fight was close with both fighters showing their kicking prowess and striking ability. Waterson was winning the ground game and almost got a submission on Karolina at the end of round two but she was saved by the bell. Going into the third round it seemed like the winner of that round would pull away and win the fight. Waterson wasted no time setting the pace of the match and working towards her strengths. Both ladies fought well but Waterson clearly had the better fight plan and worked it well.
Michelle climbed to 17-6 and Karolina fell to 12-4
Winner Michelle “Karate Hottie” Waterson
Josh Emmett def Michael Johnson via KO/TKO at 4:14 of Round 3
Here is the scene of the crime, well the first crime anyway. Shots were fired in killer fashion late in round three. Michael Johnson controlled the first two rounds easily. Dominated Emmett in round two and was doing so again in round three. Emmett couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn in this fight he was whiffing on everything. Round two the only thin Emmett hit was Johnson cup on an illegal low blow. With time running down Emmett loaded up and swung for the fences landing a huge overhand right that put “The Menace” straight to sleep dropping Johnson like a tree falling in the forest. Emmett landed one good shot, that was all he needed. Emmett improves to 14-2 while Michael eats another late loss falling to 19-14.
Winner Josh Emmett
Jack Hermansson defeats David Branch via Sub at 0:49 of Round 1
Crime scene number 2 fight fans. Somebody call Gotham city police the “Joker” is loose and he is ending people in vicious fashion. Not much to say about this one except don’t grab a beer when Hermansson is in the cage, it might be over when ya get back. With less than a minute gone in round one Hermansson locks in a guillotine choke to turn the lights out on David Branch. Hermansson is a rankings guy and with yet another quick and brutal finish he wants a ranking and a fight with top 10 talent. Hermansson cruises to 19-4 as Branch falls to 22-6.
Winner Jack “The Joker” Hermansson
Justin Gaethje def Edson Barboza via KO/TKO at 2:30 of Round 1
Forget Gotham city PD somebody call Batman cause the “Highlight Reel” looked super human when he assaulted Edson Barboza. Gaethje starts the fight firing off a couple really solid leg kicks at Barboza. Are you crazy Justin? Leg kicks at Barboza? That dude could be on “Kickboxer” chopping down trees with leg kicks along side JCVD. Gaethje continues the assault and lands a big shot on Barboza but can’t find the shot along the cage to finish him. Barboza comes back and lands a couple stiff shots that seemed to stun Gaethje but he just keeps coming forward. That’s when the shot heard around the world landed and dropped Barboza like a bad habit. Near midway through round one “The Highlight Reel” had added his biggest clip yet and made a statement to the lightweight division, Gaethje is coming! Justin jumps to 20-2 as Barboza crashes down to 20-7 and takes a step back away from contention.
Winner Justin “The Highlight Reel” Gaethje
Helluva night and some crazy fights as we step away from Philadelphia and look towards the next UFC battle as we move closer to July and the monster event in Vegas.
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Check out a previous article of mine with an installment of “Between Rounds” featuring Johnny Walker