Finisher Highlight Fight Night (UFC Fight Night 45 Review)

MMA: UFC Fight Night 44-Gerrone vs MillerThe UFC’s constant quest to get fighting legalized in every corner of the world to eliminate any limitations on where they can host an event one city remains the crown jewel. That city is New York as it has been the goal of Dana White for years. Imagine how big the UFC could do an event at Madison Square Garden and what type of money that would generate for them. Yet still the state of New York remains one of the few states in the USA that does not allow Mixed Martial Arts. In the USA 47 of the 52 states have legalized MMA and one of those remains New York despite the push from the UFC to legalize the sport. As the UFC continues to look for legalization in New York they continue to give plenty of great fights to their neighbours and New Jersey could not be happier. In a way fights in New Jersey are all about showing the neighbouring state exactly what they can bring to a city and to a state while many of the residents of New York take the time to travel to New Jersey to see the fights. The mission continues for the UFC and the real winners are the fans in New Jersey who continue to get to see great fights in their backyard. That would play true again when the UFC hosted UFC Fight Night 45 where it would not only be a great main event but a main event that would feature a home crowd favourite. Jim Miller would enter the octagon as the clear favourite for the home crowd as a native of Sparta, New Jersey. Miller represents a side of New Jersey that many might not think of when they think of New Jersey. Despite the views of New Jersey provided by reality shows there is a large section of the state that lives simply. Miller represents that perfectly as he fights to essentially move off of the grid completely in the New Jersey countryside. Miller dreams of living a simple life where he can hunt to provide food for his family and never require electricity to live. He is the other side of New Jersey, a quiet unassuming man who prefers to hunt in peace than go to the Jersey Shore. He is also a simple fighter as he needs no hype around him and no massive build up to his fights to perform at the top of his game. The fact that he has no nickname tells the story as Miller does not need the extra things all he needs is great training and a killer attitude to win fights. That is what has made him one of the best fighters in the lightweight division and despite his success in the division he has yet to find the title shot he has wanted since he entered the UFC. That title is only getting harder to find as well with the division getting more talented by the year and the group deserving of a title only growing. To get the title shot Miller would just need to keep winning and it would be a tough task against another top prospect looking to enter the conversation in Donald Cerrone. Both fighters had the same goal at UFC on Fight Night 45 but it would be a tough fight. Two of the most well-rounded fighters in the division would face-off against each other looking to enter that conversation for the title. That would be the makings for a great fight as not only were they looking for a win but they were looking for a bonus as well. The fight would not disappoint as everyone knew that it was set up for a finish or a fight of the night and both fighters would give their everything to get the bonus they knew they could win. Miller would immediately be looking to take the fight against the fence and eventually to the ground but Cerrone would continue to escape and keep the fight standing. That strategy would turn out well for “Cowboy” as he would unleash great kicks to the midsection throughout the fight. Eventually that midsection kick would take its toll when Cerrone faked it and brought Miller’s hands down. It would give Cerrone the opportunity to throw a head kick that would end the fight and give Cerrone the win. For Miller it is a setback as he is sure to find his way back to being a contender although it will now take him longer than planned. For Cerrone the win is sure to boost his title hopes as he will continue to fight top talent in the hopes of earning a title shot.

As two of the top ranked fighters in the lightweight division faced off in the main event two more lightweight just trying to make a name for themselves in the talent-packed division. The careers of Edson Barboza and Evan Dunham have taken similar turns in recent years as both seemed ready to make serious runs. Yet neither could keep their strong performances going and they would begin to falter. Evan Dunham’s UFC career would start with four straight wins but that is where it would get much rockier for the young fighter. Two straight losses would be followed by two straight wins only to be followed again by losing 3 of his next four fights. His rise up the ranks was over and he would fall out of favour and out of the rankings with the UFC. Meanwhile BArboza would also start his career with four straight wins only to lose to Jamie Varner. He would pick himself up to earn another three fight win streak that would come to an end against Donald Cerrone. The inconsistency would drop him to the bottom of the rankings in a division that is hard to make moves in. Both fighters would look to make an impression in New Jersey though as they faced off in the co-main event with a chance to show that they do belong in one of the most talented divisions in the UFC. The match-up would see two fighters that prefer different aspects of the game but can fight anywhere. Dunham is a ground fighter who has some power while Barboza is a stand-up fighter with enough ground game to hold his own. In a match-up of these two styles of fighters there is always one with the advantage as all fights start on the feet and it is up to the ground fighter to get the fight where he wants it. That would not happen for Dunham as he would stay standing with Barboza who unleashed a big body kick in the first round that dropped Dunham. Barboza jumped on Dunham and finished the fight with a TKO. The loss for Dunham would be a big blow for the former potential title contender as his UFC career could be winding down. Meanwhile Barboza is sure to move up but will now take on some better competition to continue to build on a title run after a good finish at UFC Fight Night 45.


Fight Bonuses

Performance of the Night
It was a good night for Cerrone but a night that has become typical as he would finish a fight for a UFC record 13th time and for his head kick knockout against Jim Miller he would earn a Performance of the Night bonus

Performance of the Night
Opening the main card with a big win is always a good way to make an impression and that is what Lucas Martins would do when he knocked out Alex White to earn a Performance of the Night bonus in the first main card fight of the night

Fight of the Night
John Lineker has had some great fights but has never won in the USA instead saving most of his great performances for his native Brazil except this time when he would earn a Fight of the Night Bonus by knocking out Alp Ozkilic in a three round war


Fight Results

Main Event:
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone def. Jim Miller
(KO; Rd. 2)

Main Card:
Edson Barboza def. Evan Dunham
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Rick “The Horror” Story def. Leonardo “Macarrão” Mafra
(Submission; Head and Arm Choke, Rd. 2)

Joe Proctor def. Justin “J-Bomb” Salas
(TKO; Rd. 2)

John “Hands of Stone” Lineker def. Alp “The Turkish Delight” Ozkilic
(KO; Rd. 3)

Lucas “Mineiro” Martins def. Alex “The Spartan” White
(KO; Rd. 3)

Gleison Tibau def. Pat “Bam Bam” Healy
(Unanimous Decision)

Leslie “Peacemaker” Smith def. Jessamyn “The Gun” Duke
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Aljamain “Funk Master” Sterling def. Hugo “Wolverine” Viana
(TKO; Rd. 3)

Yosdenis “Pink Panther” Cedeno def. Jerrod “J-Reazie” Sanders
(TKO; Retirement, Rd. 1)

Claudio “Claudinha” Gadelha def. Tina “Jellybean” Lähdemäki
(Unanimous Decision)


Upcoming Events

UFC Fight Night 46: McGregor vs. Brandao (Saturday July 19th; 12:00 pm ET)
Dublin, Ireland (The O2 Dublin)
Main Event: “The Notorious” Connor McGregor vs. Diego “Ceara” Brandao
Notable: Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson vs. Zak Cummings
Notable: Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall vs. Brad “One Punch” Pickett

UFC on Fox 12: Lawler vs. Brown (Saturday July 26th; 8:00 pm ET)
San Jose, California (SAP Center)
Main Event: “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler vs. Matt “The Immortal” Brown
Notable: Anthony “Rumble” Johnson vs. Antonio “Minotoro” Rogerio Nogueira
Notable: Clay “The Carpenter” Guida vs. Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez

UFC Fight Night 47: Bader St. Preux (Saturday August 16th; 8:00 pm ET)
Bangor, Maine (Cross Insurance Center)
Main Event: Ryan “Darth” Bader vs. Ovince “OSP” St. Preux
Notable: Brad Tavares vs. Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch
Notable: Sara McMann vs. Lauren Murphy

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