Bloody Elbow fight experts, Zane Simon & Eddie Mercado, are here, recording for you late Saturday, December 4th., 2021, to breakdown the UFC Vegas 44: ‘Font vs. Aldo’ Fight Night event, which was broadcast at the APEX Center in good old Las Vegas, NV.
The guys have hot takes, possible next fights, as well as reactions to the overall event in the player above, or can be caught on our Bloody Elbow Presents YouTube Channel or any of our BE Presents Podcast Network. (SPOILERS...)
The Main Event:
The UFC showcased a Bantamweight brawl in the main event of UFC Vegas 44. We had the No. 4 ranked, former CES MMA FW Champion, impressive contender, Rob Font, with a 19-4 record, specializing in BJJ and Muay Thai, entering the octagon to combat the No. 5 ranked legend; the fourth and final WEC FW Champion, also the former UFC FW Champion, José Aldo, with a storied 31-6 career record. At one time the Brazilian MMA icon remained undefeated for a decade, even having been called “The greatest featherweight in MMA history”.
Although Font stayed active and put on an exciting performance against the 35-year old former champ, in the end the power of Aldo’s striking was just too much for him to handle. Beating away at Aldo’s legs, defending takedown attempts well and occasionally taking top control or staying busy on his back just wasn’t enough for Font to bring home the ‘W’ this time around. As he said with a battered face and severely swollen eye during the post fight interview, “this just wasn’t my night.” He would have needed a finish to win and the five rounds just never lended him that opportunity, no matter how hard he tried.
Aldo put on a master class and schooled Font throughout the battle, just coming alive. Even in the fifth round, he staggered Font with a heavy right hand and subsequent power shots that pinned Font to the octagon floor allowing Aldo back control, where he nearly got a late finish via choke, somehow Font managed to make it to the final bell. ‘Junior’ extends his win streak to three in a row now, proving he’s still a dominant force in the division.
"Dillashaw's right there. I want to fight Dillashaw." - Jose Aldo with the callout. #UFCVegas44— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) December 5, 2021
"I know for a fact this will make me better. I just went 5 rounds with one of the legends in the sport." - Rob Font #UFCVegas44— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) December 5, 2021
The Co-Main Event:
Meanwhile, the co-main event featured Lightweight contenders Rafael ‘Ataman’ Fiziev and Brad ‘Quake’ Riddell, in an evenly matched face off. No. 14 ranked, Kazakhstani-Kyrgystani LW tiger Muay Thai specialist, Fiziev, agreed to a bout no one thought would ever occur... a battle against his former training partner and good buddy, Brad Riddell. The New Zealander was ranked #12 in the division and matched Fiziev round for round with technical prowess and well-timed kicks and punches which aimed to end the fight...
In the second round Fiziev sliced ‘Ataman’ with a wicked bloody elbow, despite Riddell’s strong start to the round, it was a turning point. Overall it was a tough round to score. But when all was said and done, it was meaningless when Fiziev got a third round finish just 2:20 in with a thrilling wheel kick that stopped Riddell in his tracks, leaving him wobbling badly enough Herb Dean had to put an end to the contest. Rafael moves to 11-1 while taking home a Performance of the Night bonus, while Riddell falls to 10-2.
"I don't want to call someone, but give me 3 months and I'm ready to fight again." - Rafael Fiziev then calls out Vince Vaughn, who is seated cageside. #UFCVegas44— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) December 5, 2021
The Rest of the Main Card:
Prior to the headlining bouts, we were graced with promising showdowns including, additional Performances of the Night from Clay Guida who submitted Leonardo Santos in early in the second round, Chris Curtis who took out Brendan Allen with strikes also early into round two, & if you blinked you missed Jamahal Hill clashing with LHW contender Jimmy Crute for a total of 48 seconds, via a wicked heavy-handed right hook. Not to mention, our questionable choice for Fight of the Night, when Strawweight, Cheyanne ‘The Warrior Princess’ Vlismas scored her second win in a row in a well-fought prelim bout over Mallory Martin. Our second fight in had a sick knee bar submission which entangled his arm inside the sub, making Puelles the first fighter in UFC history to have multiple subs via kneebar (more on this from the guys on the show).
"I hear Paulo Costa is coming to play with 205ers." - Jamahal Hill who also called out Johnny Walker #UFCVegas44— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) December 5, 2021
"I don't need to call anybody, everybody needs to call me. I'm the star baby. I was champion before the UFC." - Manel Kape, who also says he didn't lose to Nicolau. #UFCVegas44— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) December 5, 2021
Seems judges liked the damage Knight delivered late in round 2, if not round 3. I'm good with it. Menifield really just tried to coast out that last round. #UFCVegas44— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) December 5, 2021
For much more detail on the main card and plenty of tidbits about the prelims, be sure to hit play on the show above, or below, and hear what our fight experts have to say about the event last night.
Overall, this now 13-bout card saw four exhilarating first round finishes, six KO/TKO’s, two sweet submissions, and five hard-fought decisions. Rounding things out, bonuses for putting forth POTN efforts went to Clay Guida, Chris Curtis, Jamahal Hill & Rafael Fiziev; FOTN honors went to Cheyanne Vlismas vs. Mallory Martin. What a wild Saturday night of fights we have to share with you, join us to discuss all the action!
Here’s a look at the UFC VEGAS 44: ‘ROB FONT VS JOSE ALDO’ updated fight records & results —
ESPN+ MAIN CARD | SAT. DEC 4
At 0:26 - 13. 135lbs: José Aldo (31-7) DEF. Rob Font (19-5) – DEC, Unanimous (50-45x2, 49-46)
At 10:19 - 12. 155lbs: Rafael Fiziev (10-1) vs. Brad Riddell (10-1) – KO/TKO, Wheel Kick at 2:20 of Rd 3, Total 12:20
At 19:29 - 11. 205lbs: Jamahal Hill (9-1) DEF. Jimmy Crute (12-3) – KO/TKO, Right Hook at 0:48 of Rd 1
At 26:11 - 10. 155lbs: Clay Guida (37-21) vs. Leonardo Santos (18-5) – SUB, Rear Naked Choke at 1:21 of Rd 2, Total 6:21
At 31:24 - 9. 185lbs: Chris Curtis (28-8) – DEF. Brendan Allen (17-5) – KO/TKO, Punches & Knees at 1:58 of Rd 2, Total 6:58
At 34:55 - 8. 170lbs: Alex Morono (21-7) DEF. Mickey Gall (7-4) – DEC, Unanimous (30-27x3)
At 37:52 - 7. 185lbs: Duško Todorović (11-2) DEF. Maki Pitolo (13-9) – KO/TKO, G&P at 4:34 of Rd 1
At 39:24 - 6. 125lbs: Manel Kape (17-6) DEF. Zhaigas Zhumagulov (14-6) – KO/TKO, Punches at 4:02 of Rd 1
At 42:15 - 5. 170lbs: Bryan Barbarena (15-8) DEF. Darian Weeks (5-0) — DEC, Unanimous (29-28)
At 45:24 - 4. 115lbs: Cheyanne Vlismas (7-2) DEF. Mallory Martin (7-5) – DEC, Unanimous (30-27, 29-28x2)
At 48:33 - 3. 205lbs: William Knight (11-2) DEF. Alonzo Menifield (11-3) – DEC, Unanimous (29-28x3)
At 51:07 - 2. 155lbs: Claudio Puelles (11-2) DEF. Chris Gruetzemacher (15-5) – SUB, Kneebar at 3:25 of Rd 3, Total 13:25
At 54:28 - 1. 135lbs: Vince Morales (11-5) DEF. Louis Smolka (17-8) – KO/TKO, Overhand Right at 2:02 of Rd 1
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Join us again for another episode of ‘6th Round’ next Saturday, December 11th, for UFC 269: ‘Oliveira vs Poirier & Nunes vs Pena’...