LAS VEGAS — Unbeaten middleweight Paulo Costa was successful in baiting veteran Uriah Hall into a brawl on Saturday. He was even better at finishing him off.
The native Brazilian, who goes by the moniker of “The Eraser,” did just that to the equally dangerous Hall via second-round TKO at UFC 226 inside T-Mobile Arena.
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The preliminary card main event was dramatic and intense from the opening horn as Costa successfully passed his toughest test to date and was forced to show a strong chin in doing so. With the victory, the explosive Costa (12-0) also became the first middleweight in UFC history to record knockouts in his first four fights.
“We came here to make a great fight for you,” Costa said. “Every time I come here, I come to make a great show to get my money and get my bonus. That’s it. I am here to show my application and I go to the belt sometime.”
Costa, 27, was lucky to avoid a point deduction (along with anything worse) from referee Mark Smith as the chiseled slugger twice hurt Hall (13-9) in the opening round with blatant low blows. The first came on a flush kick and the second via a grazing right hand as the crowd showered him with boos.
The low blows also gave Hall a chance to get a breather amid the intense action. The illegal shots also visibly angered the native of Jamaica, only adding to the frantic pace of the fight.
“This is just one more victory on my way to the world title. Now I want to face a top fighter, I want to fight Chris Weidman. No one in this division can win against me, I’m the most powerful middleweight and I’m showing that in every fight,” Costa said. “Uriah had very good timing and connected the jabs, but I knew he would not be able to handle my power. I’m ready for the next battle.”
Both fighters traded huge shots at close range throughout. Hall found success with a stinging jab while boxing. Costa mixed in outside leg kicks with hulking right hooks upstairs.
Hall, 33, briefly dropped Costa to one knee in Round 2 after packaging a kick to the body with a left hand. But Costa got right back up and completely turned the fight into a brawl, getting the better of Hall as he hurt him with a jab and finished him with a left hand.
Smith jumped in to save Hall after he went down at 2:38 of the round as Costa made an emphatic statement that he’s not only for real but a dangerous threat to the 185-pound title picture.
Anthony Pettis performed in vintage fashion at UFC 226. In the second round, ‘Showtime’ managed to catch Michael Chiesa with a slick triangle-armbar and scored a much-needed submission win in Las Vegas. On Twitter, pro fighters praised his performance.
Emily Whitmire scored her first UFC victory Saturday night, defeating Jamie Moyle via unanimous decision at UFC 226 in Las Vegas, and sounded off after the win.
The 27-year-old strawweight, who improved to 3-2 as a professional fighter, wasn’t happy to see fellow Xtreme Couture fighter Vinny Magalhaes cornering her opponent at the T-Mobile Arena. Whitmire shouted at “Pezao” after the bout, calling him a “piece of s*it”, and then explained the beef in her post-fight interview.
“Vinny is supposed to be my teammate,” Whitmire said. “He said he wasn’t cornering against me like, five times. Then today I showed up, saw him getting off the bus, didn’t message me or anything. So he can go f*ck himself.”
MMA Fighting reached out to Magalhaes about Whitmire’s comments, and he says that he had actually reached out to one of her coaches to inform them he would be cornering Moyle at UFC 226.
“This woman got angry because I train at Xtreme and was in Jamie’s corner,” Magalhaes said, “But Jamie is my student and my purple belt, and I don’t even see this girl training at Xtreme. I have zero training relationship with her. I even told one of her coaches that I would be in Jamie’s corner. He didn’t deliver the message, it’s not my fault.
“I asked if there was a problem, didn’t like the idea, kind of let it aside because I was fighting [at PFL] and didn’t want to worry about this. When I came back from my fight, I told her coach I would be in Jamie’s corner, told him to let Emily know, but apparently the message didn’t get to her.”
Moyle dropped to 1-2 in the Octagon after leaving the Ultimate Fighter 24 house in 2016, and Magalhaes holds no grudges towards Whitmire for her post-fight comments.
“Not at all because in a way I understand her side,” Magalhaes said, “But the fact that she trains at the same place I train doesn’t make us training partners. I don’t even know what she does, what her background is, I know nothing. I was there for Jamie.”
Out of all the fights that might have been stinkers on the UFC 226 card, not many would have thought it would be the Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis heavyweight tilt that sucked. But suck it did, to the point that the most entertaining aspect was Rogan’s roasting of it.
Afterwards at the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White had one word to describe the fight.
”Horrible,” he said.
As for who was to blame, he defended Derrick Lewis while throwing Francis Ngannou firmly under a big ol’ bus.
”I think that [Ngannou] had a pretty quick rise here and obviously the fight over Alistair Overeem catapulted him, everybody was talking about him,” White said. “I thought he was going to be the next [big] guy. I think his ego ran away with him, big time. I can tell you that his ego absolutely did run away with him. The minute that that happens to you in the fight game, you see what happens. You start to fall apart.”
”I had some personal encounters with him, as did other people in the organization, and this guy’s ego was just so out of control,” White continued. “It’s like, before the Stipe fight, he took off and went to France. Didn’t even really train for that fight. And you see the results. Well, he came back and did train [this time], but ego is what hurt Francis Ngannou.”
That’s two fights in a row now that White has buried Ngannou. It was a bit questionable following the loss to Stipe Miocic at UFC 220, but a bit more understandable now with White going more in depth on Ngannou’s decision to take a trip to France. (Just keep in mind, fighters, that White isn’t above revealing the intimate details of your camp if it takes place at the Performance Institute.)
And hey, I’m not about to defend Ngannou after the egg he laid in the cage tonight, but I do have to wonder whether this is just another example of Dana White burying a fighter the moment they no longer seem like the Next Big Thing. Your thoughts, Maniacs?
Earlier today (Thurs., July 5, 2018), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier suffered a nasty fall at the conclusion of the UFC 226 pre-fight press conference.
Though a limping Cormier had to be helped off stage in visible pain, “DC” eventually made his way back on stage to take part in the traditional post-fight showdown (see pic here). Thankfully, it seems Cormier didn’t suffer a major injury, as someone in his camp informed ESPN’s Brett Okamato the fight is not in jeopardy.
Though the 205-pound champion is not in the best of moods after tripping over a speaker.
And it’s a good thing, too, as UFC couldn’t afford another major blow to the International Fight Week headliner, as Max Holloway was forced out of the UFC 226 co-main event after he was hospitalized with concussion-like symptoms, leaving Brian Ortega without a dance partner.
For now, all systems seem to be a go for the the main event of UFC 226, which will now feature a co-headlining bout between fellow heavy hitters Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis. Elsewhere on the card, Anthony Pettis battles Michael Chiesa in an intriguing Lightweight showdown.
To see who else is fighting at UFC 226: “Miocic vs Cormier” click here.
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champions, Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz, were at the promotion’s seventh annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony last night (Thurs., July 5, 2018) inside The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The sources I don’t have and didn’t talk to report that neither “The Iceman” nor “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” were on the official guest list, but hey, they are both residents of the hallowed hall, so I guess they can come and go anytime they please.
Not surprisingly, Liddell and Ortiz had an impromptu face off in front of the step-and-repeat because why turn down an opportunity to promote their fight with so many cameras nearby? The aging veterans will run it back for Golden Boy MMA later this year.
“Knocked out twice and still talking shit?!? What a tool,” Liddell wrote on social media.
For more on their upcoming showdown click here.