Another Night of Finishes (UFC Fight Night 30 Review)

ufc_fn30Two fighters would enter the octagon in Manchester, England for UFC Fight Night 30 looking to make an impact in the middleweight division. There was a lot more to this fight than just two fighters looking to move up the rankings. The fight was originally scheduled to be Mark Munoz against the hometown hero in Michael Bisping but Bisping would be forced to drop out of the fight with an eye injury. So the UFC would call on a legend in the promotion to step in and main even the card against Munoz. There were a few problems with the plan though as the man they called was former Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. One problem was that Machida was not a middleweight fighter as he spent his entire career in the Light Heavyweight division. He had planned to move to the middleweight division but with a short notice fight Machida would be forced to drop the weight faster than he had anticipated. That was only the start to the problems with putting Machida in the fight as only three days before he got the call he was training with the man they had asked him to fight. Mark Munoz and Lyoto Machida were training partners before Machida took the fight and when he got the call he had a serious decision to make. It is a decision that a lot of fighters have had to make with mixed results. There are only so many good gyms for MMA and the best fighters will always gravitate towards the best training partners they can find. If these fighters are good enough they will likely have to face each other if they want to get a shot at the title. When this happens two fighters have to decide if they will fight each other. It can be difficult as the two fighters can become friends and fighting a friend can be difficult. The decision has caused plenty of rifts and has caused some fighters to miss great opportunities with a big fight. For Machida the decision was an easy one though as Munoz was a friend but to pass up a chance to face the #5 fighter in the division was something that he couldn’t pass up on. It would not cause a rift as Munoz would not take offence, as some fighters have in the past, to the decision to fight. Instead it created a fight between two friends where for at least 15 minutes they would try to knock each other out. Before and after the fight they would remain friends with a true business decision leading to the fight. It would be an interesting fight too with the karate expertise of Machida would meet the wrestling background of Munoz. Both fighters were looking for different ways fo fighting as Machida wanted to keep the fight standing while Munoz would try to get the fight to the ground. They both knew each other very well too as they had trained with each other for years preparing each other for other fighters. This would mean that both fighters would go into the fight not expecting too many surprises even though they likely would not let everything out of the bag while they trained together. With the familiarity both fighters would not need the usual feeling out period where they dance around the middle of the octagon trying to figure out what they are going to do. They would take that to heart as Munoz would come out swinging in the first round trying to put the pressure on Machida. The former light heavyweight champion would not fall for it though as he would typically avoid the strikes. His ability to avoid strikes would once again work to his advantage as Machida would avoid the strikes and land his own. Not too long into the first round Machida would land the last strike as he would unleash a head kick through the defence of Munoz sending him down immediately. Machida would go after the fallen Munoz but in a show of class and respect would not unleash another punch instead waiting for the ref to come and stop the fight. Munoz would take the loss and will likely drop to the bottom or out of the top 10 rankings as he will need to work his way back to the top once again. For Machida it was a great middleweight debut and one that would show that he is here and ready to make his way to the title. He will have to take out a few more fighters before he can get there and may end up facing another good friend in Anderson Silva to either get to the title or to win the title.

Before the middleweights faced off in the main event an English star was looking to make an impression in his division and in his home country. Ross Pearson would take on Melvin Guillard in a matchup of two up and coming fighters trying to climb up the lightweight division. For Guillard it was a chance to put together two wins in a row and to finally fulfilling his potential. As one of the hardest hitting lightweights Guillard has all of the talent and athleticism to challenge the champion but has yet to string enough wins together to really challenge the top fighters in the division. Meanwhile Ross Pearson seems to have found his stride in the division as he was riding a two fight win streak into the fight. Before the fight against Guillard, Pearson seemed to be a much improved fighter who was ready to make his way up the rankings. Now both fighters would face off at UFC Fight Night 30 with a chance to move up the rankings and begin a run at the title. The fight was seen to be a slugfest in the making with both Guillard and Pearson known for their standup games. Wrestling was not going to be a part of this fight as both fighters believed they were better on the feet and so they would look to keep the fight standing. Then one of the strangest moments of the night would take place as Guillard seemed to be on the brink of winning the fight until the referee stopped the fight. With Pearson against the cage Guillard would land two straight knees with the second knee landing as Pearson was on the ground. The two knees would open Pearson up and would force the referee to stop the fight due to the illegal knee. As a result of the knees Pearson would get a large cut on his forehead and the doctor would end the fight. It would end up as a no contest with neither fighter taking the win that they both wanted. The fight may end up in a rematch as a mistake by Guillard caused the stoppage but never really determined who the better fighter was. With no winner the likelihood of either fighter ending up in the top 10 is essentially none as the fight would stall both fighter’s attempt to rise through the rankings.


Fight Bonuses

Submission of the Night
There were plenty of submissions to choose from but only one fighter could earn the $50,000 bonus and it would be Nicholas Musoke who would get the bonus for his Armbar victory over Alessio Sakara

Knockout of the Night
Lyoto Machida would kick off his middleweight campaign in a big way as he would earn the Knockout of the Night bonus for his head kick KO of Mark Munoz earning an extra $50,000 for a fight he took on short notice

Fight of the Night
The fight of the Night bonus would go to Luke Barnatt and Andrew Craig for their back and forth battle that saw Craig continue to hang in to the fight until Barnatt finally finished with a rear naked choke


Fight Results

Main Event:
Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida def. Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz
(KO; Rd. 1)

Main Card:
Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson vs. Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard
(No Contest)

Jimi “Poster Boy” Manuwa def. Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo
(TKO-Injury; Rd. 2)

“Stormin” Norman Parke def. Jon “The Super Saiyan” Tuck
(Unanimous Decision)

Nicholas “Nico” Musoke def. Alessio “Legionarius” Sakara
(Submission; Armbar, Rd. 1)

John “Hands of Stone” Lineker def. Phil “Billy” Harris
(TKO; Rd. 1)

“Raging” Al Iaquinta def. Piotr Hallman
(Unanimous Decision)

Luke “Big Slow” Barnatt def. Andrew “Highlight” Craig
(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 2)

Jessica “Bate Estaca” Andrade def. Rosi “The Surgeon” Sexton
(Unanimous Decision)

Cole “Magrinho” Miller def. Andy “The Little Axe” Ogle
(Unanimous Decision)

Jimy “The Kid” Hettes def. Robert Whiteford
(Submission; Triangle Choke, Rd. 2)

Brad “Bear” Scott def. Michael Kuiper
(Submission; Guillotine Choke, Rd. 1)


Upcoming Events

UFC Fight Night 31: Fight for the Troops 3 (Wednesday November 6th; 7:00 pm ET)
Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Main Event: Tim Kennedy vs. Rafael “Sapo” Natal
Notable: Liz “Girlrilla” Carmouche vs. Alexis Davis
Notable: Ronny Markes vs. Yoel “The Soldier of God” Romero

UFC Fight Night 32: Belfort vs. Henderson (Saturday November 9th; 8:00 pm ET)
Goiânia, Brazil (Goiânia Arena)
Main Event: Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort vs. Dan “Hendo” Henderson
Notable: Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira vs. Daniel Serafian
Notable: Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante vs. Igor “The Duke” Pokrajac

UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks (Saturday November 16th; 10:00 pm ET)
Las Vegas, Nevada (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Main Event: Georges “Rush” St. Pierre vs. Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks [Welterweight Title]
Notable: “Suga” Rashad Evans vs. Chael Sonnen
Notable: Rory “Ares” MacDonald vs. “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler

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