Impressive night in Dublin (UFC Fight Night 46 Review)

ufc_fn46The UFC would travel to Ireland for the second time for UFC Fight Night 46 and they would feature one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC. The UFC is always looking for new places to go and new fans to get to as they continue to expand globally. The first time they travelled to Ireland the Irish MMA world was small and held little talent that could be main fighters to carry a card. That has all changed now with the emergence of Connor McGregor who essentially gave the UFC a reason to go back to Ireland. McGregor is the biggest name in Irish fighting to ever come into the UFC and he has proved that the hype is real. He was not that undefeated fighter that the UFC finds because he could not lose but instead he was an exciting fighter. The one thing that he was great at was putting on some great fights and for the UFC that is exactly who they were looking for. When they added McGregor he was just coming off of a Cage Warriors Lightweight title fight which he won in usual fashion, via KO. He entered the UFC with plenty of hype surrounding him as he had never been in a fight that went to a decision. That would earn him a spot in the UFC Featherweight division where he would be pitted against the best fighters in the world to see if his skill would translate. In his first fight he would show exactly why so many people though he would be a great addition to the UFC when he beat Marcus Brimage via TKO in an impressive performance to open his UFC career. The talent in the UFC would make itself known in his next fight when he was taken the full fight for the first time ever. Max Holloway would take him right to the limit but McGregor would come out with the unanimous decision win. Now McGregor is looking for his third win in the UFC and his 11th straight win in front of a home crowd with one of his most important fights of his career. Not only would it be the first time that McGregor would step into the octagon in the biggest stage of the sport in front of his home crowd but he would also be carrying a card. He has proven time and time again that he has the ability to carry a card as the main event with his exciting fights but he would have to show it in that situation. With his first main event ahead of him McGregor was the fighter that most of the Irish fight fans came into the O2 arena to see. It was a lot of pressure for McGregor who would look to handle it while his opponent would be able to relax and realize he had no pressure. Diego Brandao has seen pressure before after winning The Ultimate Fighter 14 tournament and looking like one of the better prospects n the UFC. He has had mixed results in the rest of his UFC career earning a three fight win streak that was book-ended by two losses to top fighters. With his last fight ending with a loss this fight in Ireland was a chance for him to show that he can hang with the top fighters in the world and he would look to do it by spoiling the party in Dublin. The matchup between the two strikers was set up to be an immediate candidate for fight of the night and the two fighters would go out hoping to give the Irish crowd a show. That is what McGregor and Brandao would do as both wasted no time in getting going. The stand-up fight saw both fighters swing away from the sound of the bell before the fight got brought to the ground. On the ground McGregor would begin to take over with plenty of aggression. Standing up again that would continue for the Irishman as he began to unload big shots against the Brazilian and eventually one landed right on the spot. A big left hand would drop Brandao and McGregor jumped on the chance forcing the referee to stop the fight for the TKO win. The loss for Brandao was somewhat expected but he will still need to get back after two straight losses in the division. The win for McGregor could go down as one of his biggest as he did it in front of his home crowd and earned another finish to boost him up the rankings.

As the UFC went back to Europe they would feature a number of top European fighters that are not seen very often. Top fighters from the continent tend to stay on the continent to fight instead of travelling to USA or Brazil to fight. The travel can be a tough thing for a fighter and it has been seen multiple times as fighters travel long distances and just don’t look themselves. The comfort of staying close to home with a longer training camp in your own fight camp is very appealing to these fighters so they stay and wait for the UFC to return to Europe before making the trip. That means that they must make an impression in all of their fights with fewer opportunities to get fights. That is exactly what Gunnar Nelson has done in his three fights in the UFC, all of them in Europe, with impressive wins so far. He would get another shot to show what he has when he would travel to Dublin and take on Zak Cummings in his fourth UFC fight. The fight would be a chance for Nelson to move up the rankings while for Cummings it was all about moving into the rankings and beating a top prospect. The fight started out with a feeling out process between the two but the awkward stance and style of the Icelander proved to be a tough problem to solve for Cummings. It is a familiar story when Nelson fights as his strange style gives problems to a lot of people. Still the fight was a close one heading into the second round until Nelson took the fight where he is most comfortable, on the ground. He would lock in a body triangle and begin picking apart Cummings’ defence with short shots. The work would turn out positive for Nelson as he locked in a rear naked choke to earn the win and set the crowd off. With the loss Cummings will go back to the drawing board trying to get into the rankings as he hopes to get a good contender next. Nelson on the other hand takes the win and will move up the rankings in the welterweight division where he seems to be set to make a good title run. He will try to continue that run as is opponents will get better and better with every fight and if he keeps winning in style his title shot might not be far off.


Fight Bonuses

Performance of the Night
As the UFC returned to Ireland the focus was all on Connor McGregor and he would not disappoint his home crowd earning a TKO in the main event and an extra $50,000 for a Performance of the Night bonus

Performance of the Night
In a night where the top two fights represented crowd favourites the crowd would get what they were looking for as Gunnar Nelson earned the other Performance of the Night bonus for his Submission win against Zak Cummings

Fight of the Night
The Main card had plenty of good fights but it would be an undercard fight that would catch the attention of the UFC with Cathal Pendred and Mike King earning the fight of the Night for the 2 round fight that ended with Pendred taking the Submission win


Fight Results

Main Event:
“Notorious” Connor McGregor def. Diego “Ceara” Brandao
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Main Card:
Gunnar “Gunny” Nelson def. Zak Cummings
(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 2)

Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall def. Brad “One Punch” Pickett
(Unanimous Decision)

“Stormin” Norman Parke def. Naoyuki Kotani
(TKO; Rd. 2)

Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi def. Chris Dempsey
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Neil “2 Tap” Seery def. Phil “Billy” Harris
(Unanimous Decision)

Cathal “The Punisher” Pendred def. Mike King
(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 2)

Trevor “Hot Sauce” Smith def. Tor “The Hammer” Troeng
(Unanimous Decision)

Nikita Krylov def. Cody Donovan
(KO; Rd. 1)

Paddy “The Hooligan” Holohan def. Josh “The Gremlin” Sampo
(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 1)


Upcoming Events

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 vs. St. Preux (Saturday August 16th; 10:00 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

UFC Fight Night 48: Bisping vs. Le (Saturday August 23rd; 5:45 am ET)
Macau, China (Cotai Arena)
Main Event: Cung Le vs. Michael “The Count” Bisping
Notable: Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley vs. Dong “Stun Gun” Hyun Kim
Notable: Jianping Yang vs. Guangyou “Smasher” Ning [TUF China Featherweight Title]

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