As we await an exciting end of September in the combat sports world, from the world of boxing featuring one of the top heavyweight stars in the division Anthony Joshua facing off against the heavyweight newcomer and cruiserweight star Oleksandr Usyk and the long-awaited UFC 266 that Nick Diaz will return to fight against Robbie Lawler and 2 title fights in the featherweight & the women’s flyweight division, The UFC & Bellator brought a mediocre fight card that can entertain audiences while they wait for the money show next week.
We start with the UFC featuring a few fights in the UFC Apex in Las Vegas as Anthony “Lionheart” Smith submitted Ryan Spann quickly in round 1. Smith looked better than ever in a perfect performance on the feet and finished the bout with a rear-naked choke submission at 3:47 in the opening round. In the post-fight interview, he looks to avenge the last loss on his record after falling to Rakic back in August 2020.
“I want Aleksander Rakic,” Smith shouted. “He’s just sitting around. He’s not next for the title. Either I get that fight, or I’m going to skip it. That’s what I want. I want someone ahead of me, and I earned that.”
In the world of Bellator MMA, The long-awaited debut of the former UFC middleweight contender Yoel “Soldier Of God “Romero against the NCAA wrestling champion Phil Davis at the end of the day was a masterclass of skills between two warriors that ended in Davis being the victor by Split Decision. Davis outworked Romero by utilizing patient striking & mastery of his wrestling skills to beat the man that the middleweight division often feared. “Man, he’s a monster,” Davis said afterward. “I felt that power more times than I wished I had tonight.” Davis is back in the winning column after suffering from a loss against the current middleweight champ Vadim Nemkov.
In a surprising turn of events, the co-main event features an unexpected TKO victory by a man whose family is always associated with grappling. Neiman Gracie won via TKO by landing uppercuts to Mark Lemminger. Referee Jason Herzog stepped in to save Lemminger at the 1:27 mark of the opening frame when Gracie knocked out his opponent on his feet. “I don’t need to take people down to win fights anymore,” Gracie said afterward. “I can win fights anywhere. But if I take you down...oh boy.” Gracie then proceeds to call out Michael Page, Jason Jackson, and Yaroslav Amosov.
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