Rogers Place in Edmonton Canada was home to a decent night of fights. The card saw three (T)KOs, one submission and seven decisions, including one split-decision.
Fight of the Night: Alexandre Pantoja vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
Alexandre Pantoja and Deiveson Figueiredo put on a seriously fun scrap that saw a masterful performance from Figueiredo in all three rounds. Both men put forth their best efforts, but Figueiredo controlled the distance, hit harder, grappled better and managed to avoid the lion’s share of Pantoja’s attack. That’s not to say that Pantoja didn’t get his licks in, because he certainly did, but it just wasn’t enough to win him a round. Figueiredo dropped Panotja toward the end of the second, but Alexandre was able to recover sufficiently between rounds. Deiveson’s slicing elbows were also a big factor, leaving Pantoja’s face a bloody mask. The fight was a barnburner from start to finish with Figueiredo taking the win and a well-deserved $50,000 bonus for both men.
Performances of the Night: Geoff Neal, Hakeem Dawodu
Geoff Neal and Niko Price slugged it out for the better part of two rounds to the delight of fight fans in attendance and from around the world. The two men swung almost simultaneously in the first round, managing to drop each other. Was it a clash of heads? Maybe, but the visual was amazing. The two continued going hell for leather, and Price managed to hurt Neal again early in the second round, but that small victory would be short-lived, as a failed guillotine attempt would put him on his back. From there, Neal postured up and landed some nasty ground-and-pound until Dan Miragliotta intervened, signaling the fight was over. Both men put out gutsy, exciting performances, but Neal would leave the cage with the victory, a very likely Top 10 ranking, and a $50,000 bonus.
Hakeen Dawodu and Yoshinori Horie had a very competitive contest for the first two rounds, with Horie claiming the first (by my scoring) and Dawodu taking the second. They traded big punches and kicks at a wild, high-volume pace well into the second round before Dawodu started settling into a good rhythm and landing great combinations. By the time the third round was underway, Hakeem was piecing up Horie with vicious knees and elbows. A left high kick finally put Horie down and the ref mercifully stopped the action. Hakeem Dawodu gets a fantastic finish and a $50,000 bonus to go with it.
Gate: $1.4 million