UFC on ESPN 8: Overeem vs. Harris is finally in the books now after initially being cancelled due to the ongoing global Coronavirus pandemic. It is safe to say that the event was worth the wait, as it gave MMA and UFC fans around the globe just what they wanted, i.e. hard-hitting action. The event certainly delivered and was a barn-burner of an affair.
It was the third UFC event within a week, and the promotion’s management has done a commendable job organising three major events successfully in such a short period of time. Just in case if you missed today’s fight offering from the UFC, we have got you covered.
Read on to get complete details from results to quotes from the fighters from today’s event.
Song Yadong defeated Marlon Vera via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
First up was a featherweight battle as the opening fight of the main card. The fight was closely contested but almost everyone believed that the Ecuadorian Vera had done enough to get a much-deserved victory. Thus, fans and pundits alike were left puzzled when Song was awarded the win. Here’s what Yadong said on his victory:
I was thinking maybe it was a split decision but when I heard it was a unanimous decision I felt good but I didn’t do well in this fight. I feel like I learned a lot from this fight when I have the chance I will review this fight and get more experience fo when I come back. I feel that I’m on the right track and I trust my coaches, like Urijah Faber and I feel he’s leading me the right way.
Krzysztof Jotko defeated Eryk Anders via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Next up was a middleweight contest between the Polish Jotko and the American Anders. This fight was a lot decisive than the opener with Jotko dominating Anders from start to finish. He was rewarded with a well-deserved decision victory. Here’s what he said on his victory:
He wanted to put pressure on me and knocked me out, so let’s go. I want to fight. He tried to cuddle a little, but that’s okay. That’s his game plan, my game plan won this fight. I feel happy and very comfortable in my life and I’m just getting better and better. My body is 100% healthy and just ready for the next fight, even tomorrow. I’m just beginning to be successful and this is a comeback from a three fight losing streak, now I am on a three fight winning streak. I want to be top 5 at the end of 2020.
Danny Ige defeated Edson Barboza via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
An exciting featherweight bout between a dominant grappler, Ige, and an extremely popular and dangerous striker Barboza. Like most other times, the wrestler Ige controlled the fight with his grappling. Though the Brazilian too had a lot of success and this fight was very close to judge. Ige who eventually got the split decision victory had this to say:
I proved that I’m definitely a contender. I belong in there with the best guys, I’m one of the best and I showed that tonight against Edson. He is so good man, people don’t realise just because he has had a skid in his last five fights, but it doesn’t take anything away from him. He’s only lost to the best guys, the Khabib’s, the Gaethje’s, the Felder’s and now the Ige’s. I proved that I’m in this for real. I’m a fighter, I’m here and I’m one of the best in the world.
Claudia Gadelha defeated Angela Hill via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
A women’s strawweight bout between top contender Claudia Gadelha and Angela Hill too was an extremely closely contested affair. Both fighters gave it their all and put in strong performances. In the end, Gadelha slightly edged out Hill on the judges’ scorecards to get a win.
“I showed a lot of heart. I’m a jungle kid, I’m from the north-east in Brazil. I grew up very poor and had a tough life growing up, now I live a beautiful life. I’m still here fighting my 23rd fight. I’ve been fighting for so long that I am a pioneer of the sport. I came here to fight in these crazy times and you guys saw me going after it and trying to overcome adversity tonight,” Gadelha said.
Alistair Overeem defeated Walt Harris vs TKO (head kick and punches) in Round 2
The main event of the night between Harris and Overeem was the fight that everyone was looking forward to. The veteran Overeem proved that he may have turned 40, but he still has what it takes to defeat some of the relatively younger heavyweights. Here’s what he said on his victory:
Walt is a cool guy. It’s terrible that he has been through personal tragedy with his daughter. With the whole Corona thing going in the backround, it is important that we get back on the horse and keep going. I brought my best version of me out here tonight. I took training camp very seriously and all the details that go with it. We just have to get back on the horse and I think that’s also really important for Walt. Hats off to him, he needs to keep going. I just rely on my training, Team Elevation is excellent, preparing me for all the situations. There’s two things that I’m focused on now: one more crack at the title and the closing of my career.