Bloody Elbow fight experts, Zane Simon & Eddie Mercado, are here tonight – Saturday, August 28th., 2021, to breakdown the UFC Vegas 35: ‘Edson Barboza vs. Giga Chikadze’ & TUF 29’Finale’ event, which was broadcast from the cozy confines of the Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The guys will 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 our BE Presents Podcast Network. (SPOILERS...)
The UFC featured a Featherweight showdown when strikers clashed in the main event of tonight’s Fight Night card. It was anticipated to be a worthwhile bout to catch, between fight veteran, number 9-ranked former lightweight, Edson Barboza ‘Junior’, who was sporting a 22-9 record, and former GLORY fighter, the number 10-seeded DWCS alum, up-and-comer, Giga ‘Ninja’ Chikadze with his 13-2 record, coming into the octagon on an eight-fight win streak.
Outcome: The Brazilian Chikadze rocked Barboza early with lightening fast strikes and wickedly effective kicks, showing an improved ground game with notable speed throughout every round. Barboza kept the incredible fight going, but It was all over in the third round when Edson got rocked hard, went down and was then pummeled with KO/TKO Punches, followed up by a precise knee and a big right hand from Giga, and it was all over. Nine wins in a row for Chikadze, three finishes in a row – understandably he called for a title shot next, or maybe Max Holloway, either way he would be satisfied.
"Honestly, I'm here to fight the best fights, biggest names. If it's a title shot, I'd love to cover the title fight and be a replacement fighter." - Giga Chikadze looking to back up UFC 266 and also calls out Max Holloway. #UFCVegas35— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) August 29, 2021
For the co-main event, we had a TUF 29 Finale Tournament Middleweight Championship bout between Bryan ‘Pooh Bear’ Battle, (yes you read that correctly, his fight nickname is ‘Pooh Bear’), making his UFC debut, with his 5-1 record, against Gilbert ‘The RGV Bad Boy’ Urbina with his similar 6-1 record, also making his UFC debut tonight.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 29 finalist, Tresean ‘Mr. Vicious’ Gore, unfortunately suffered a meniscus knee injury recently and was forced to withdraw from his Middleweight showdown opposite Battle, so Urbina (who lost to Gore on Episode 12 of the combat sports reality show) stepped in just nine days ago to take his place. Due to this change, not one fighter from Team Ortega made it onto tonight’s special Fight Night/TUF Finale show.
Prior to that bout, we had another TUF 29 Finale Tournament Bantamweight Championship bout between the 10-2 Ricky ‘Hadouken’ Turcios and the 5-1 Brady ‘Bam Bam’ Hiestand. I hate to admit it, but I just didn’t have time to catch TUF this season, and can’t really find a lot to say about these two - or this bout until we hit the results.
"It's crazy, man. It's not a dream anymore. I've been thinking about this for a long time. And I told everyone before I stepped in the house I was going to be the Ultimate Fighter." - Bryan Battle #UFCVegas35— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) August 29, 2021
"I want to go ahead and give a message to the CHILDREN. Believe in yourself, don't fear failure. Dream BIG. Work HARD. Stay positive, enjoy the journey." - Ricky Turcios #UFCVegas35— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) August 29, 2021
TUF 29 Finale Outcomes:
‘Pooh Bear’ looked like he might not come out victorious for awhile there, taking a ferocious beating from Urbina in the first round. Urbina was definitely giving it all he got. But Battle was eventually able to tough it out and lock in a Rear-naked choke in the second round for a Submission victory, coming away the TUF 29 Finale Winner.
Ricky Turcios and Brady Hiestand used all three rounds to try to finish one another, Hiestand showing strong resilience against the strong attack from Turcious. Ultimately Turcios was just meaner and earned himself a Unanimous Decision ‘W’, which came with all the bells and whistles: a fancy glass engraved Trophy and getting his Black Belt! Both awarded to Turcios on the same night.
Dana White is 100% phoning in the presenting of these TUF trophies. Not to say I blame him, but he might as well just Zoom in on the jumbotron and call it good #UFCVegas35— Eddie Teach (@TheEddieMercado) August 29, 2021
Additional TUF competitors further down the card, Andre Petroski and Michael ‘The Gentleman’ Gillmore, put on an impressive Middleweight battle that nearly went the distance. Petroski dominated for all three rounds with an impressive performance, but Gillmore got a couple of good shots in early on and tried to put up as good a defense as he could on his back the majority of the fight, trying to gas Petroski. Regardless, at the end of the third round Petroski mercifully finished Gillmore with a hard take town followed up by a flourish of bloody elbows and punches, taking the late KO/TKO win via Ground & Pound.
"Sombody call Jeff Bezos because the next dude that steps into this Octagon with me, I'm sending them into orbit." - Andre Petroski #UFCVegas35— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) August 29, 2021
Also on the card, we had a highly-anticipated Lightweight bout between Kevin ‘Motown Phenom’ Lee and Daniel ‘D-Rod’ Rodriguez, a Middleweight bout between fight veterans Gerald ‘GM3’ Meerschaert and Makhmud ‘Mach’ Muradov who was on a 14-fight win streak, a couple hot prelim bouts between Dustin ‘The Hanyak’ Jacoby and Darren ‘The Dentist’ Stewart, and a Women’s bout between JJ Aldrich and Vanessa ‘Lil Monster’ Demopoulos.
If you blinked or went for a snack, you missed the seventeen-second first round bout in our featured prelim between Abdul Razak Alhassan and Alessio Di Chirico. Early on in the event we had another fast first round finish between Pat Sabatini and Jamall Emmers.
"I've got the record in the middleweight division for a reason, and I'm looking to get the record in the UFC." - Gerald Meerschaert on his submission record. #UFCVegas35— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) August 29, 2021
‘D-ROD’ came out victorious thanks to the judges scorecards with a Unanimous Decision victory tonight, despite taking this fight on just two weeks ago. Let’s see what he looks like with a full fight camp behind him against a top name soon.
Gerald Meerschaert put an end to Mach’s massive win streak when he locked in a Rear-naked choke, submitting Muradov in the second round. “Well you know, we trained together for so long I just kind of inherited some of your habits.” - Gerald Meerschaert to Paul Felder on taking a bunch of damage on the way to a comeback win.
That seventeen-second first round finish I mentioned? That was when Abdul ‘Judo Thunder’ Razak Alhassan let loose with a wicked Head Kick and Knocked veteran Middleweight Di Chirico ‘TFO’, in what seemed like an instant. He now holds the record for the fastest Head Kick KO in UFC history, replacing Nikita Krylov who held the record previously, and he is also the 7th fighter to earn three or more KO’s in under a minute each.
Dustin Jacoby banked an exciting first round finish as well, at just 3:04, via a Standing TKO after landing a flurry of Punches against Darren Stewart.
JJ Aldrich went the distance to win a hard fought unanimous decision victory over Vanessa Demopoulos.
Prior to that, Featherweight prospect Pat Sabatini finished Jamall Emmers via first-round submission, heel hook, in just one minute and 53 seconds.
I was almost certain that Alhassan was headed to bare knuckle... not quite yet tho#UFCVegas35— Eddie Teach (@TheEddieMercado) August 29, 2021
Aldrich olé'd Demopoulos' face into the fence#UFCVegas35— Eddie Teach (@TheEddieMercado) August 29, 2021
This week the guys’ picks heading into the event were:
Zane: Barboza, Eddie: Giga
Zane: Urbina, Eddie: Battle
Both: Di Chirico
Zane: Alvey, Eddie: Turman
Overall, this 12-bout card saw three exhilarating first round finishes, four impressive KO/TKO’s (including our main event), three sweet submissions, and five decisions – three split. Rounding things out, bonuses for putting forth POTN efforts went to Pat Sabatini, Abdul Razak Alhassan, Gerald Meerschaert & Giga Chikadze; FOTN honors went to Ricky Turcios & Brady Hiestand (undisclosed bonus) tonight. What a night of fights we have to share with you, join us to discuss all the action...
Here’s a look at the fight card, updated fight records & results —
ESPN/ESPN+ MAIN CARD | SAT. AUG 28
12. 145lbs: Giga Chikadze (14-2) DEF. Edson Barboza (22-10) – KO/TKO at 1:44 of Rd 3 of 5, Total 11:44
11. TUF Tourney Championship - 185lbs: Bryan Battle (6-1) DEF. Gilbert Urbina (6-2) – SUB, Rear-Naked Choke at 2:15 of Rd 2, Total 7:15
10. TUF Tourney Championship - 135lbs: Ricky Turcios (11-2) DEF. Brady Hiestand (5-2) – DEC, SPLIT
9. 170lbs: Daniel Rodriguez (16-2) DEF. Kevin Lee (18-7) – DEC, Unanimous
8. 185lbs: Andre Petroski (6-1) DEF. Michael Gillmore (6-4) – KO/TKO, G&P at 3:12 of Rd 3, Total 13:12
7. 185lbs: Gerald Meerschaert (33-14) DEF. Makhmud Muradov (25-7) – SUB, Rear-naked choke at 1:49 of Rd 2, Total 6:49
6. 185lbs: Abdul Razak Alhassan (11-4) DEF. Alessio Di Chirico (13-6) – KO/TKO, Head Kick at 17 seconds of Rd 1
5. 185lbs: Wellington Turman (17-5) DEF. Sam Alvey (33-16) – DEC, SPLIT
4. 205lbs: Dustin Jacoby (15-5) DEF. Darren Stewart (12-8) – KO/TKO, Punches - Standing TKO at 3:04 of Rd 1
3. 125lbs: JJ Aldrich (10-4) DEF. Vanessa Demopoulos (6-4) – DEC, Unanimous
2. 145lbs: Pat Sabatini (15-3) DEF. Jamall Emmers (18-6) – SUB, Heel Hook at 1:53 of Rd 1
1. 135lbs: Mana Martinez (9-2) DEF. Guido Cannetti (8-6) – DEC, SPLIT
Be sure to follow Zane - @TheZaneSimon & Eddie - @TheEddieMercado; and follow @BloodyElbow on twitter as well, for all the latest in MMA happenings. ‘Bloody Elbow Presents’ is a mixed martial arts podcast network presented to you by Bloody Elbow:
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UFC announces the rematch of Rose Namajunas vs. Zhang Weili at UFC 268. Tough luck to Esparza and Joanna. #UFCVegas35— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) August 29, 2021