Here’s everything that happened at UFC 275 last night

Last night (Sat., June 11, 2022), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) traveled to Kallang, Singapore for UFC 275. Though the card suffered a few late hits to the bout order, the two most important bouts — the pair of title fights atop the card — had all four combatants make it into the Octagon. Though the action was a bit slow to start, it all built up to the main card, which exceeded expectations.

Let’s take a look at the best performances and techniques:

Move Over, Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson

For my money, Glover Teixeira vs. Jiri Prochazka is the new greatest Light Heavyweight title fight of all time. Both men were fully committed to being themselves, and they made no apologies for it. Mistakes were made — frequently even — by both sides, but the fight was all the better for it.

Jiri Prochazka. I’ve never seen a fighter beaten terribly for his errors and so intentionally refuse to learn his lesson. How many times did Prochazka’s aggression land him in bottom position, stuck absorbing hellacious blows? Teixeira tried to pound the lesson into him, but Prochazka refused to accept that information. “No,” Prochazka replied with his actions. “I will not under any circumstances fight like a normal person.”

Teixeira, meanwhile, has a reputation for pulling out his grappling trap card the second he’s stunned by strikes. He did it a half-dozen times last night! Every time I began to expect the finish (which coincided with my fiancée shielding her eyes to avoid watching the sweet old Brazilian man get mangled), Teixeira miraculously wound up in top position! I know how tough Teixeira is, I’ve seen all his fights, and even I was ready to write him off as unconscious on at least a couple occasions.

He soon was in mount, slicing up the younger man.

All of this insanity built towards the fifth round, which only amplified the madness. Prochazka, the man known for his conditioning who had just spent much of round four roasting his 42-year-old opponent’s ribs, was suddenly the much more fatigued athlete. Teixeira’s right hand didn’t make an impact until the fifth and final frame, at which point it knocked Prochazka out on his feet.

Teixeira, jiu-jitsu legend, tried to jump guillotine, a strategy he’s successfully used before inside the Octagon. Before judging this decision, ask yourself, “Would I have made it to the fifth round at all were I in his shoes?” If not — and the answer is no, for all of us — bugger off.

Conversely, Prochazka started winning the scrambling more often. Twice, he abandoned top position only to start getting chewed up by that aforementioned right, which suddenly couldn’t miss. Teixeira got him back down and did damage, but Prochazka slipped away one last time, and this final occasion, he also slipped an arm under the neck for the second no hooks rear naked choke/bulldog choke finish in UFC title history.

I’m in awe of this fight, and both men involved. We’re all better off having seen it.

Damn The Headlock Throw

I wrote an entire piece about how a stupid technique nearly cost Valentina Shevchenko her Flyweight crown, so check that out HERE!

Zhang Weili 2.0

I remember when Zhang Weili decimated Jessica Andrade to win the belt. It wasn’t a gigantic statistical upset, but it was a shock nevertheless. Andrade is known for her physical gifts, her strength and power, but Weili absolutely stunned her that night with her own power and speed. Viewing audiences around the globe were similarly stunned.

Last night, Weili leveled up, and it was equally staggering. Not all that long after being out-wrestled by Rose Namajunas and losing her belt in the process, Weili demonstrated far more complex wrestling then ever before. Her transitions in the clinch and on the mat were lightning fast, and somehow, she still found time to land brutal elbows in bunches, doing major damage with her top control.

It was elite MMA grappling pared with top-notch athleticism — frightening.

The spinning backfist knockout itself was utter brutality. Joanna Jedrzejczyk put her soul into this performance, and she fought damn hard from the first bell. Unfortunately, her desire to win only ran her directly into the knockout blow, set up beautifully off Weili’s many side kicks.

Best of luck, Carla Esparza.

Jake F—king Matthews

Matthews has been a member of the UFC roster since he was 19 years of age. Gym stories and tales of talent were always surrounding the young talent, but the years continued to wear on, and a rise to contender status never materialized. Matthews climbed to somewhere around the Top 25 range, and he’s found himself stuck there since something like 2016.

Last night was the moment Matthews’ supporters have been waiting for. He’s always looked a touch uncomfortable inside the Octagon, which has resulted in some poor decisions that have cost him winnable fights. Against a legitimate knockout artist with momentum behind him, the 27-year-old Aussie fought with supreme confidence.

Matthews never attempted a takedown. He looked loose, and because of that comfort, he looked fast. “The Celtic Kid” was shocking his opponent with his speed, and he dug deep into his bag of tricks to set up powerful punches. He just couldn’t miss, put Fialho down hard early in the second. Outside of a moment of excessive eagerness at the end of the first, it was pretty much a perfect performance.

If Matthews can continue to perform at this level, the sky is once again the limit.

Welterweight Body Snatcher

In just his second UFC fight, Jack Della Maddalena proved himself a very real deal despite a gigantic step up in competition.

The Australian prospect faced some early adversity in the former of a takedown and anaconda attempt courtesy of Ramazan Emeev. As soon as he returned to his feet, however, Maddalena showcased his talent. Initiating offense, pulling back with a stance switch, and returning with strikes — Maddalena was immediately flowing beautifully, playing with range like a far more experience striker.

He was also touching the mid-section from both stances. A left hook to the liver from the Orthodox stance crumpled Emeev, announcing Maddalena as a potential contender.

Additional Thoughts

  • Hayisaer Maheshate defeats Steve Garcia via first-round knockout: When fighting a taller and longer opponent, pressure is important. It’s the antidote to length, a solution to range strikes that can mentally and physically fatigue even experienced combatants. Garcia went way too deep into that well far too early, however. He really rushed right at Maheshate from the first bell, make himself an easy target. An early right hand knockdown didn’t deter him, but the second clean counter shot put him to sleep. That’s a clean debut win from the 22-year-old prospect!
  • Silvana Gomez Juarez defeats Na Liang via first-round knockout: It’s not often you see knockouts this major at 115 lbs! Juarez showed off good composure and strategy, circling away from her opponent and avoiding giving up any easy takedown opportunities. In fact, she was fading off to her own right, trying to convince Liang to chase her … directly into the right hand. Just over a minute into the round, that right hand connection scored with a bang, and a few follow up shots ended this contest early.

For complete UFC 275: “Jiri vs. Teixeira” results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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