Curtis Blaydes earned one of the most impressive wins of his career at UFC Columbus, as he finished Chris Daukaus by TKO in the 2nd round. Going into the fight, 32% of the Verdict Community predicted Blaydes to win by decisions while 38% predicted a Blaydes knockout. This win earned Blaydes his first post-fight bonus in 4 years as he won performance of the night honors. The Heavyweight division is starting to heat up with more contenders as of late. Blaydes called out Ciryl Gane to fight for an interim Heavyweight title in his post-fight speech.
Alexa Grasso continues to improve as a fighter and we saw that at UFC Columbus when she earned the first submission win of her career by finishing Joanne Wood with a rear-naked choke. Only 0.62% of the Verdict Community predicted this outcome. It was the first time Grasso finished a fight in the 1st round since December of 2014. Grasso has now won 3 consecutive fights since making her Flyweight debut and is getting closer to a title shot.
Matt Brown has been competing in the UFC for over 14 years and he’s still putting on fight of the year contenders. There wasn’t a single slow moment between Barberena and Brown. They pushed the pace for 15 straight minutes and had the fans in attendance on their feet. After a clear 1st round for Brown on the Verdict Scorecard, rounds 2 and 3 were very competitive. The fight resulted in a split decision win for Barberena. This is an early candidate for the 2022 fight of the year.
Kai Kara-France handed Askar Askarov the first loss of his professional career at UFC Columbus when he defeated him by unanimous decision. This was a classic striker vs. grappler contest that resulted in a win for the striker. As per the Verdict Scorecard, round 1 was clear in favor of Askarov while round 2 was clear in favor of Kara-France. The fight came down to the 3rd round which was the closest round of the fight. Kara-France won the 3rd round with a differential of 0.25. Kara-France made his intentions clear after the fight. He wants to compete for the UFC Flyweight title.
Neil Magny vs. Max Griffin got bumped up from the prelims to the main card after a Heavyweight fight between Ilir Latifi and Aleksei Oleinik was cancelled on fight day. As he has often done throughout his career, Neil Magny started the fight slow but ended the fight in dominant fashion. After being dropped and losing the 1st round to Max Griffin, Neil Magny gained momentum in the 2nd round then dominated the 3rd. With this win, Magny tied Georges St-Pierre’s record for the most wins in UFC Welterweight history at 19. Magny called out Khamzat Chimaev in his post-fight speech which is something not many fighters are doing these days.
To the surprise of many, Marc Diakiese completely dominated Viacheslav Borshchev at UFC Columbus by using his wrestling. Diakiese was always a pure striker prior to his fight against Borshchev. After losing 2 consecutive fights, Diakiese knew that he needed to evolve as a fighter if he was going to be successful and that’s what he did. After the fight, Diakiese said that he’ll be using a lot more wrestling going forward.