How Did Rafael Dos Anjos Fair Against Tarec Saffiedine?
After enduring three main card bouts that went the distance, many people would probably remember Holly Holm’s third-round head kick KO of Bethe Correira as the highlight of UFC Fight Night Singapore. While it’s hard to argue against that, perhaps a lot of you would agree that Rafael dos Anjos’ welterweight debut against Tarec Saffiedine was the most intriguing of the main card bouts. A former champion moving up or down in weight is always an interesting prospect. The perennial question of whether they retain their speed or power, among other attributes, could be glimpsed during their debut in the new weight class. And so, here’s our breakdown of RDA’s welterweight debut performance.
Many critics point to the size differential between lightweights and welterweights in general as an obvious disadvantage for Dos Anjos. Saffiedine in particular enjoys a significant height advantage over RDA, and he is not shy about using his range to maim his opponents with kicks. Last night, we saw RDA neutralize Saffiedine’s range by cutting the Octagon and making Tarec fight in the clinch. Dos Anjos would move forward and use his signature left body kick and right leg kick to keep Saffiedine in the pocket. He would then slug with the Belgian to get close enough for the clinch. Inside the clinch, RDA fires powerful knees that visibly bucked Tarec’s midsection. Dos Anjos’ inclination to target the body paid dividends as Saffiedine showed incredible agility whenever RDA went headhunting, but could not escape the Brazilian’s left body kick which repeatedly found its home throughout the three-rounder.
“It’s business nowadays. If you don’t talk, you don’t get anywhere.”
Ever since his famous/infamous mic drop during UFC London’s post-fight press conference, interest in Gegard Mousasi has steadily increased among news sites and fight fans. For someone who has perpetually been described as quiet, calm, and stoic, this version of Mousasi caught everyone off guard, surprising even the current middleweight champion Michael Bisping, at that time sharing the card with him and having just defeated the great Anderson Silva. “I’ve never seen so much personality out of Gegard,” said Bisping during the said presser. “I like this Gegard. Look at this guy. You’ve got a snappy shirt on.”
What came after was a string of victories – all four coming by way of KO/TKO – that catapulted the former Strikeforce, Dream, and Cage Warriors champion into the Top 5 of the middleweight division and very much into title contention.
“You’re not the champion until you defend the belt.”
Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang just satisfied UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes’ requirement to be a true champion. The Filipino MMA hero claimed victory against a very intense foe in Kiwi-Malaysian Ev Ting in a five-round war of attrition at ONE: Kings of Destiny. Making the night sweeter is Lakay teammates Kevin Belingon, Honorio Banario, Danny Kingad, and Gina Iniong’s wins, leading to a 5-0 sweep for the mythical Baguio-based team.
We saw a familiar “Landslide” last night, unafraid to throw kicks and back fists against an opponent who similarly enjoys trading shots. “E.T.” was a bit gun shy at first, but things picked up within the round, eventually culminating in a five-round classic.
Eduard Folayang was bloodied by Round 3, but continued to pour it against Ev Ting for five rounds.
Folayang essentially relied on his striking and improved grappling to establish three layers of offense against the taller Ting. From the get go, he looked to keep his distance with straight side, roundhouse, and spinning wheel kicks. In contrast to Ev’s headhunting tendencies, Folayang tried to play an endurance game with leg and body kicks that typically pay dividends at the latter rounds. They are also more efficient in terms of output: Head kicks take more energy to execute, more so against a taller opponent.
A straight side kick from Folayang.
A spinning wheel kick towards Ev Ting’s midsection.