UFC Sydney: UFC Fight Night 121 Results:

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Fight Night 121 resulted in being the longest run event with 11 of 13 fights going full rounds and totalling up to 180 minutes. It also turned out to be a proving ground for preliminary card fighters, who delivered better performances than the main event line up. Except Shane Young, rest of the fighters making their UFC debut picked up the win including Jessica Clarke, Adam Wieczorek, Nadia Kassem and Tai Tuivasa. The ‘Performance of the Night’ bonus $50,000 went to Tai Tuivasa for his knockout victory and Nik Lentz for his second-round submission win. Frank Camacho and Damien Brown both earned the Fight of the Night bonus award $50,000 for a spectacular three rounder war.

 

PRELIMINARY CARD

 

Adam Wieczorek defeated Anthony Hamilton via unanimous decision. This was one close fight that went the distance as the two heavyweights battled for dominance. Adam’s kicks to the body, legs and head were the key to put on initial pressure as he pushed back Hamilton to the cage. Hamilton relied on his take downs and ground game but let Adam back on his feet every time. Hamilton tried to land a head kick but instead got taken down and Adam took full advantage as he dropped elbows from the mount position. Rest of the fight played the similar tune with a back and forth action that saw both he heavyweights trying to gain upper hand.

 

What’s Next: With a decent performance, Adam made his successful UFC debut against a fading Hamilton. This might not be a performance he would be proud of, but hopefully his next appearances would see him shine more. As for Hamilton, who suffered his fourth straight loss, this could be the end of his UFC journey.

 

Eric Shelton defeated Jenel Lausa via unanimous decision. The flyweight bout started on a slow pace but eventually turned out to be a one-sided performance as Shelton took the upper hand and countered every move from the game Lausa. Shelton kept on his takedown attempts and controlled from the top for most of the second round. In the third, Shelton got another takedown as he wore Lausa out with his relentless pressure.

 

 

What’s Next: After having couple of close fight losses, Shelton picked up his first UFC win, which should give him a sigh of relief. An improved performance in the next fight should see him build the confidence and finish the fights to slowly over up the scale.

 

Nadia Kassem defeated Alex Chambers via unanimous decision. It took Nadia 15 minutes unlike her previous first round wins, to get passed through the tough Alex Chambers. Ring rust caught with Alex as she struggled to keep Nadia on the ground with her takedowns and kept on eating leg kicks and punches. After going back and forth for two rounds, Nadia came out swinging for the fences in the final round as Alex kept her cool and just angled her out. Her takedown and submission attempts in the final sealed the deal in the judge’s scorecard.

 

 

What’s Next: Nadia improves to 5-0 and quickly calls for a Paige VanZant fight, which is premature on her part looking at her performance tonight. Alex has lost two in a row and looked out of sync with her performance. She should get another shot to redeem her place in the division.

Frank Camacho defeated Damien Brown via split decision. Welterweight Camacho missed weight and the fight had to be agreed at a catch weight with a promising a Fight of the Night candidate performance. Both Camacho and Brown went for each other as they worked punches, elbows and kicks early in the first. As the fight progressed, Camacho saw more of his power punches land and damage Brown’s left eye. Brown got himself back in the final round with his elbows, jab and body kicks but fell short.

 

 

What’s Next: Camacho bounced back after his UFC loss against Jingliang Li and with an exciting performance tonight proves he’s a game contender in the welter weight division.

Tai Tuivasa defeated Rashad Coulter via KO. The Australian heavyweight Tai picked up another KO victory in the first round as he shut down Rashad Coulter with a flying knee at 4:35 secs mark. This is Tai’s sixth KO victory in the first round. Rashad was no match for Tai who displayed excellent control as he brushed off Rashad in two separate clinch situations. Rashad did take Tai down for a moment but could implement his game as Tai scrambled back to his feet. Tai begins to land heavy kicks to the leg and body. A solid right leg kick sends Rashad to the canvas and as he tried to figure out his next move BANG! a brutal flying knee on Rashad’s chin drops him limp to the floor. This marks a sixth straight KO victory in the first round for Tai.

 

 

 

What’s Next: with a 6-0 record, all coming by knockout victories, Tai has send a clear message – he possesses KO power in his hands that can drop any heavyweight from the division. A few more wins for this 24-year-old and he’s ready to get into the top 10 rankings. Having lost two straight fights via KO, Rashad should consider taking a long time out and getting back to the drawing board for this next fight. His next fight result would decide his run in the UFC.

 

Nik Lentz defeated Will Brooks via submission. Both the lightweights were scheduled to meet earlier but Nik pulled out due to health issues. This time there was no reason for Nik to back out, instead he gave it all in as he went head to head with his former training partner Brooks to settle the bad blood. Brooks’ shots keep landing, and they slowly batter up Nik’s face. A lead uppercut followed up by a takedown led to Brook’s downfall as Nik saw the opening & slipped a tight guillotine. Brooks tapped at 2:05 secs of the second round.

 

 

What’s Next: It’s a big win for Nik Lentz and he was quick to call out any other former training partners and offered $50,000 to beat him. As for Brooks, a shattering defeat leads him to three straight losses making his hype train derail for good.

 

Ryan Benoit defeated Ashkan Mokhtarian via knockout. Ryan Benoit was running behind the scorecards and needed a miracle to get the victory. He did so by knocking out Ashkan in a spectacular head kick at 2:38 secs of the third round. Ashkanwas more cautious and kept on circling away from Ryan who seemed to slowly lose his patience following him up. Ashkan got the better of two rounds as he wobbled Ryan for a moment with his left. A head kick from Ryan stunned Ashkan for a second, who quickly recovered. Growing tired of having to go behind Ashkan, Ryan kept on putting the pressure and out of nowhere his head kick lands on the spot. He followed up with a right kick and dropped him to the canvas.

 

 

 

What’s Next: Ryan returned to the win column but with alternating wins and losses dating back from 2013 have surprisingly kept him going in the UFC. He needs to keep his wins consistent for him to shed the gatekeeper tag.

 

MAIN CARD

 

Alexander Volkanovski defeated Shane Young via unanimous. A one-sided beatdown for full 15 minutes from Alexander spoiled the UFC debut of Shane Young. Alexander was overmatched with his striking and cage control as Shane found it hard to get anything done in the first round after being taken down. Shane was tough to put away, but he kept on taking serious shots from Alexander. Shane’s desperation began to grow as he attempted a half-hearted takedown. Unable to finish his opponent, Alexander had to settle for the decision win.

 

What’s Next: Alexander has now three straights wins improving his record to 16-1. He has proved to be a worthy opponent in the featherweight division as he got a dominant win tonight.

 

Elias Theodorou defeated Daniel Kelly via unanimous decision. Elias had one thing in mind whenthe first round opening – Kicks! He landed several kicks on Kelly for a full two minutes in. Kelly tried avoiding the kicks and attempted for a takedown but couldn’t get Elias to the ground. In the second round, Kelly did get a takedown but unable to keep him down had to start eating more kicks. Kelly knew he was behind the scorecards and as he took more kicks grew frustrated unable to defend them.

Ultimately, Elias had his hand raised after 15 minutes of kicking it.

 

 

What’s Next: Elias has gone full 15 minutes in the last 5 fights, giving him the edge over any other middleweight in spending more time inside the octagon. Though he hasn’t fought any big names, Elias has got the skills to hang in there with them.

 

Jake Matthews defeated Bojan Velickovic via split decision. Jake returned to the welterweight division and picked up the win, but it was not an easy one. He had to really struggle against Bojan who seemed like an evenly matched opponent. It was Jake’s standup that put Bojan in tricky situations using his elbows, knees and body shots. Bojan was more comfortable fighting on the ground even when taken down using heel hooks, rear naked choke and guillotine choke.

 

 

What’s Next: Jake rebounded after two tough losses while Bojan lost for the second time. Despite these two having more than n5 UFC appearances, they have shown signs of vulnerability againt better strikers. It puts them in a bad spot if they don’t get back in the win column.

 

Belal Muhammad defeated Tim Means via split decision. Another razor thin decision win in the welterweight division saw the up and coming Belal pick up the win against the much experience Tim Means. This is the biggest win of Belal’s career and will only shoot up his stock in the division. A hard-fought win that required staying in the pocket and landing carefully drawn body shots and leg kicks. Belal coupled his striking with takedowns but Tim was right there to counter back with strikes and submission attempts.

 

 

What’s Next: Belal is now 4-2 in the UFC and didn’t shy away from calling out Colby Covington. This call out seemed a bit off and looked more like he wanted to ride on the Colby wave.

 

Jessica-Rose Clark defeated Bec Rawlings via split decision. Jessica showed up on a 11-day short notice and handed over the biggest upset of Bec’s career who looked to enter the flyweight division. With 5 UFC appearances and plenty of MMA experience, the brawler Bec came out swinging in the first round and landed a solid punch sending Jessica down to the canvas. Bec then mounted to unload heavy leather, but Jessica was smart enough to reverse. Up until the third round, it was a slugfest, with Jessica looking more comfortable with her high-volume strike rate.

 

 

What’s Next: With the recently formed flyweight division, Jessica can create a mark for herself if she keeps the professional approach of being on weight and picking up wins. But to hang with the superior breed of flyweights, she needs handful of octagon experience.

 

Fabricio Werdum defeated Marcin Tybura via unanimous decision. Number 8 ranked Marcin held his ground for 25 minutes with the former champion Werdum without ever getting into real trouble. Werdum did manage to put Marcin in bad spots but was unable to finish him on the feet. Once he took Marcin to the ground, but the Polish heavyweight neutralized and reversed it. On the feet Werdum kept outworking Marcin and in process took strikes that shook him. Marcin looked drained as the rounds progressed and having fought for the first time a full 5 rounder has gained immense experience. Marcin shined in the final round as he landed a head kick but Werdum stood there to end the round.

 

 

What’s Next: Werdum won his second straight since his loss to Overeem. Having picked up wins, Werdum would be looking for the title shot next year. But he’s fought only the lower ranked heavyweights who were last minute replacements. To contend for a title shot, he needs to get past someone like Francis Ngannou.

Sohail Syed

Sohail Syed

Writer, Fitness Trainer, Boxing & Kickboxing Coach, Marketing & Branding Professional with 10+ years of experience.

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