Eagle FC 47 & ONE 157
JDS comes to the Khabib show + UFC's frontal assault on Chatri's domain
With RIZIN taking a break for THE MATCH, it seems there’s not much Asian MMA for me to write about lately, so in lieu of that I’ll cover Khabib’s Eagle FC and tonight’s big debut of Juinor Dos Santos. I’ve watched some Eagle FC before and it’s decent quality and I’m a fan of both JDS and Khabib, so seems good to me.
Before that though, I caught the main event of ONE 157 live when I woke up this morning with Petchmorakot taking a split decison win to retain the Featherweight Muay Thai title. I might have picked Vienot, but it was a close fight and worthy of a rematch at least. I’m going through the rest of it now and it’s okay, but, despite some gritty fights and upsets, it really lacks spice and energy. Why is there no crowd?Singapore is mostly back to normal and the upcoming UFC show is nearly sold out. What’s up with the dark and empty arena for ONE? The lackluster production is a real disservice to quality fights and fighters.
One nice thing about ONE, haha, is their willingness to do some different stuff and crowd or no crowd, it was fun to watch the Baka Survivor get worked for 10 minutes in submission grappling. Following Sexyama pounding him, Shinya Aoki has had a bad few months; he was smiling about it though. Gary Tonon had a similar experience, getting smoked by Thanh Le a while back and getting submitted in two minutes here. Elsewhere, Rodtang tore through some unfortunate Brit.
Speaking of UFC’s Singapore card… wow, very interesting! And not even some lame afternoon fight night card, but a big and stacked PPV. UFC is clearly sending a shot across ONE’s bow: You may have a big new contract with Amazon Prime, but we’re the top dogs. Considering RIZIN-buddy Jiri is headlining that Singapore card, I figure I’ll break my non-UFC bias and do a post on it. Look out for that in a couple of weeks. UFC also recently announced a Paris show, which is definitely Bellator terrain, and I see that in a similar light.
Eagle FC is exclusive and free on the FLX app which indicates Khabib has some Chatri-level skills in bilking money from his investors. He also has what must be the most expensive and addled commentary line-up since Big John’s lifetime Bellator contract, with a drunk Cejudo and methamphetimine-guzzling Chael. Champ Kamaru Usman shows up later, probably as a favor to his agent and Eagle FC shady backroom figure Ali Abdulaziz.
I’m occupied with other things for the first portion of the card but I see Akhmed Aliev absolutely spark Darrel Horcher and start to pay attention. (Sorry, despite their largesse in other areas, Eagle FC apparently can’t afford an official photograher and I wasn’t screen-shotting my TV, so few pics.)
Next up, big new signing Andrew Sanchez faces grappler Gabirel Checco, who recently lost to an ancient, creaky Rashad Evans. The UFC vet dominates the fight but is unable to finish Checco. The latter seems like the big tough guy Eagle FC brings in to fight the new names; he doesn’t have the skills on the feet, but he’s very durable and nigh impossible to put down.
Another UFC/Bellator vet Maki Pitolo is up next against Doug Usher, who Chael tells me is rocking a PRIDE tattoo in homage to the defunct JMMA org, not his proclivities. Pitolo finishes the fight in like twenty seconds with a wicked left hook. Usher retires after the fight, which seems like maybe a good idea.
Where the fuck do you go after BKFC? Well Eagle FC, of course. Former PRIDE fighter and not just tattoo-haver Hector Lombard is up next against another super veteran in Thiago Silva. But before that, we get a weird video with JDS talking about Cain Velazquez’s situation, which seems kind of strange, even as those two shared some absolutely brutal fights. Oh, then Chael mentions the rumor Khabib wants to get a JDS vs Fedor fight going, which I’m absolutely all about. Make it happen Scotty!
Nice Sepultura walkout from Thiago followed by AC/DC from Lombard so we’re doing well in that department. In the fight, Lombard puts Thiago into the shit in the first minute but can’t finish, then backs off and the old dudes are getting tired. Thiago drops Lombard in the second and thinks he’s in Japan and knees him in the face. The commentators are debating whether it was a foul and if it was intentional. Dudes, he fully kneed him in the face. The prohibiton on grounded knees is ABSOLUTELY the first thing I would change in the unified rules, but it’s surely illegal here.
The fight’s over and they’re calling it an accidental foul and a No Contest. Ha! The weirdo commentators are all over the place with their weirdo takes. Alright, it’s main event time.
JDS was such a skilled heavyweight and an all around good dude, but he took so much damage through the years (most especially against Cain) and his skills were in preciptious decline at the end of his UFC run. In the other corner, Yorgen De Castro lost to Greg Hardy. Let’s see what happens.
It’s a relatively even first round, with Yorgen doing a little better than expected and throwing with much more power (and landing a couple), while Junior works leg kicks and body shots. JDS is struggling a bit to start the second, doing that thing he did in the UFC when he moves backwards, gets trapped, and knocked out. De Castro is fading though, and his legs are hurting from the kicks. Neither of these guys look great to be honest, and I think I’d take Fedor over this version of JDS. Either way, it’d be a fun fight to watch and likely competitive.
Ewwwwww… JDS’s shoulder just popped out and moronic ref doesn’t stop the fight and just indecively wanders around. Okay, finally they’re saying De Castro won. Correct decision at least, probably unlike the last fight. That’s a weird enough loss that I think they can probably still make the Fedor fight.
Well, that’s the end of the night and the main and co-main were weird, but that’s what you get with old guy MMA. Thanks Khabib. See you next time.
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