UFC Adelaide was a tale of two cards. The first half of the card was extremely dull. The second half had a lot of finishes and was a lot of fun. In the main event, Junior dos Santos maintained his place near the top of the heap at heavyweight with a good TKO win over Tai Tuivasa. When a technician fights a brawler, more often than not the technician gets the W. And that was certainly the case tonight.
Early on, Tuivasa was bullrushing JDS and keeping him mostly against the fence, which is a good strategy against him. Dos Santos landed some pretty counters though, and his hand speed advantage was readily apparent. Tuivasa landed a crushing leg kick near the end of the first round though, which could very well have changed the fight.
It didn’t. Dos Santos was obviously hindered based on his movement, but when Tuivasa got too wild, JDS took advantage. Big lefts at the right time and one crushing shot put Tuivasa down. He jumped into side control, then mount, taking his time and getting the finish with ground and pound.
- Dos Santos asked for a rematch with Alistair Overeem in his post-fight interview. That could work.
- The co-main event was kind of strange. Shogun Rua was badly hurt in the first round (maybe because of a clash of heads), and Tyson Pedro gave him a 10-8 worthy beating. In the second, ADCC Shogun came out. He got a takedown and totally dominated Pedro on the ground. That was a 10-8 for Shogun. So we went into the third in a unique 18-18 situation (at least on my card), before Pedro suffered some kind of leg injury. He got hit with a punch that wasn’t really that hard, but he just collapsed. Shogun jumped him and took the victory with his own ground and pound. Weird.
- Mark Hunt vs. Justin Willis was terrible. Just terrible. After the first round, Hunt looked like he didn’t want to be in there at all anymore. I don’t know if he suffered an injury, or it was a mental thing, but he just checked out for the final two rounds. Willis didn’t exactly take advantage or press the action, but he did land enough to easily take a decision. It was a sad and confusing end to Hunto’s UFC career.
- Tony Martin and Jake Matthews wasn’t really anything to write home about until the finish. It was your average run-of-the-mill fight with some action. Close second round. Then Martin secured a variation of an anaconda choke early in the third. Matthews looked fine - and then he was asleep. Just like that. Sick finish.
- Sodiq Yusuff made his debut a memorable one, finishing Suman Mokhtarian inside half a round with some extremely hard shots. After the fight, he admitted that his big brother died a week ago and he was barely able to hold it together. It was quite emotional and touching.
- Jimmy Crute and Paul Craig was a sloppy affair, but Crute looked pretty decent. Craig was just awkwardly diving for takedowns, and ended up tapping to a kimura with just a few seconds left in the fight.
- The entire undercard was rather dull. All six fights went to a decision and were generally one-sided. Kai Kara-France and Elias Garcia put on a good show and Kara-France in particular looks like a good prospect. Too bad it’s at flyweight, and that’s going the way of the dodo. Other than that, Alexey Kunchenko, Wilson Reis, and Damir Ismagulov looked solid if unspectacular in wide victories.