If you have read more than a couple of my blog posts, you will see that I am a huge MMA fan. So it’s no surprise that this weekend is a weekend that I have been looking forward to for a long time now. The reason? UFC 223.
Originally a co-main headline event with Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson fighting for the Lightweight Championship. Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Rose Namajunas also fighting for the Strawweight Championship. The whole card was packed with amazing fighters so what was not to be excited about! Until it all went wrong.
Where it all started…
Six days before the event, Tony Ferguson was pulled from the event due to an injury. Reports say that he tripped over a cable while doing UFC media obligations and now requires surgery. I can’t lie, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to see Tony get slaughtered by Khabib. Then I found out that Max Holloway was stepping in at last minute. Genius, win or lose the guy had everything to gain and nothing to lose. This fight just got a whole lot more interesting than before and suddenly, I found myself being happy with the prospect of either fighter winning.
Fast forward to Thursday 5th April. Three days before the event. The Mcgregor incident occurred.
The Mcgregor Incident
For those of you that don’t know what happened, here’s the cliff notes.
Artem Lobov, a close friend of Conor’s was accosted by Khabib for saying some rather crappy things about him on air. This angered Conor. In fact, it angered Conor so much that he grabbed 20 of his friends, loaded then onto his jet and stormed the Barclay Centre in Brooklyn.
The fighters had finished their media appearances and were on the buses waiting to be taken back to the host hotels. Obviously, it had been a stressful week for them and as they were still cutting weight, the stress wasn’t getting any less. Anyway, Conor got in, apparently The Mac Life Guys let him in. He then went to find Khabib. This resulted in him finding the bus that Khabib was on and for whatever reason, ‘allegedly’ throwing a sack lift truck through the window, along with throwing guard rails, chairs, etc.
Khabib did not get injured however, Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg did and were pulled from the fight… There goes two fights on the card. Then it transpired that Artem Lobov had been removed from the fight card too for allegedly being involved in the incident. So now three fights have been cancelled and a warrant is out for Conor’s arrest. He later turned himself in and has been charged with assault and some other stuff.
Now, I don’t really know what Conor was hoping to achieve but I’m guessing he’s probably regretting it all now. For those of you who haven’t seen the footage, here it is…
At least it can’t get any worse, right?
Wrong! Rose Namajunas was also on the bus and was so shook up by the incident it was uncertain if she was fighting or not…luckily she was fine or that would have made what happened next even worse.
So now it’s the day before the event and all the fighters are weighing in. It is announced that Max Holloway has now been pulled from the fight as he was unfit to weigh in. So that’s the main card event cancelled, right?
Wrong again! Anthony Pettis, who was originally supposed to fight Michael Chiesa was thrown in the mix. This was soon cancelled as it was rumoured Pettis wanted (puts finger to corner of mouth Austin Powers style) One Million Dollars. Then it was Felder’s turn… but the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) denied the fight as he is currently unranked. Luckily, they had one more opponent to try… Al Iaquinta, a guy that I happen to think is underrated so maybe it won’t be as one sided as some may think.
What happened after that?
I won’t go into too much detail about the fights as this post is already quite lengthy but here’s some of the highlights:
Clark vs Rodriguez
Devin Clark defeated Mike Rodriguez by unanimous decision.
Dunham vs Aubin-Mercier
Olivier Aubin-Mercier defeated Evan Dunham by TKO with knees to the body and punches.
Rawlings vs Evans-Smith
Ashlee Evans-Smith defeated Bec Rawlings by unanimous decision. I’m pretty disappointed with this result as I am a huge Bec fan but she fought hard and looking at Ashlee’s weight cut, I’d say she went in there a lot heavier.
Herrig vs Kowalkeiwicz
Karolina Kowalkiewicz defeated Felice Herrig by split decision. So proud of my girl Felice. She went in there and fought like an absolute champ, she left it all out there and that is all you can do.
Lauzon vs Gruetzmacher
Chris Gruetzemacher defeated Joe Lauson with TKO due to corner stoppage. Having watched Chris on The Ultimate Fighter I wasn’t surprised by the result, he is an absolute animal.
Magomedsharipov vs Bochniak
Zabit Magomedsharipov defeated Kyle Bochniak via unanimous decision. Zabit definitely dominated this fight and lived up to the hype.
Moicano vs Kattar
Renato Moicano defeated Calvin Kattar via unanimous decision.
Namajunas vs Jedrzejczyk
Rose Namajunas defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk via unanimous decision. This is probably the fight that I was most excited about and although I really wanted Rose to win, I wasn’t sure if she would be able to match up to Joanna coming back from her first defeat. After a pretty impressive display by Rose, I’m glad she was able to show everyone that becoming champion was not a fluke due to Joanna’s botched weight cut.
Nurmagomedov vs Iaquinta
It’s no surprises that Khabib defeated Al Iaquinta but I really did not think it would go to decision. Al fought valiantly and although the better man won, he should proud that he was able to finish the full 5 rounds against, in my opinion, one of the best fighters in the UFC at the moment. Congrats to Khabib the Champ! Now when do we get to see the Khabib vs Holloway fight?
Did you enjoy the fight? What are your thoughts on the Conor Mcgregor incident?