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The UFC’s International Fight Week had it’s share of ups and downs once again. UFC 226 co-main event of DERRICK LEWIS and FRANCIS NGANNOU had to be the most perplexing however. Both have a long heated disdain of each other which at the ceremonial weigh-ins ended in a pushing contest. It was a safe bet this fight probably wouldn’t go 2 1/2 minutes and someone would be KO’d. In actuality it went the full 15. Whereas DANA WHITE would criticize the likes of a TYRON WOODLEY for being “boring”; he kinda gave Derrick a pass; not so much one for Francis. It set a record for the fewest strikes thrown in a heavyweight fight and JOE ROGAN called it “the worst heavyweight fight he’s ever seen”.

Both guys started slow looking for an opening. Between rounds 1 and 2 Lewis told his corner that his back spasms were flaring up again. Despite that he was able to throw some kicks. When referee HERB DEAN warned them to step things up; the pace remained in super-slow mode. Things didn’t pick up till midway in the 3rd when they decided to throw hands a little. Afterwards Derrick said the unanimous decision win probably would set him back 2-3 fights.

The opposite side of the spectrum was MIKE PERRY and PAUL FELDER. Right off the bat both guys got opened up by an accidental headbutt. Leaking red liquid would be a sign of things to come. They threw everything in their arsenals at each other. In the clinch they hammered away with elbows and knees. While throwing a spinning back elbow Paul appeared to break his arm. But with the heart of a lion he pressed on continuing to throw. He also softened up Mike’s lead leg with a plethora of kicks. They had some nice exchanges of firepower but Perry was just stronger. He also power bombed Paul twice to the mat and followed with GNP. Mike connected with a right then left hook that opened a nasty gash above Paul’s right eye that the cageside doctor immediately looked at. Paul tried to keep Mike away with more kicks to the body; but he kept coming with controlled aggression. With about two minutes left they went into rock em sock em robot mode. It netted Perry his 1st decision win (VIA SPLIT) and it was his first as a member of JACKSON-WINK.

ANTHONY PETTIS and MICHAEL CHIESA finally got to meet up. Albeit Chiesa missed weight forfeiting 30% of his purse. Michael did say on the scale this would be his last fight at lightweight and he’d be moving up to 170. Pettis sent him up a division with a “loss” as Chiesa tapped out to a 2nd round triangle at 52 seconds after attempting a guillotine. Michael got a quick takedown and wanted to wrestle; but Pettis had other plans. He seemed to turn back the hands of time to when he was lightweight champ. He ripped into Michael’s body with kicks and dropped him with a right jab before the submission. At 1:36 into their fight KHALIL ROUNDTREE JR dropped kickboxing superstar GOKHAN SAKI with a straight left hand and finished him with hammer fists. PAULO COSTA and URIAH HALL battered each other for 1 1/2 rounds. Not counting 2 times Paulo had to be warned for low blows he wound up with the better of the deal. A combo then right to the body finally crumbled Hall to the mat to keep Costa undefeated at 12-0. It came at the 2:38 mark.

RAFAEL ASSUNCAODRAKKAR KLOSECURTIS MILLENDER all picked up unanimous decision wins over; ROB FONTLANDO VANNATAMAX GRIFFIN respectively. DAN HOOKER scored a TKO win 2:28 into round 1. EMILY WHITMIRE defeated JAMIE MOYLE by unanimous decision.


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