Wombat Jones is on the scene in Melbourne, Australia, for UFC 234, where Anderson Silva faces Israel Adesanya in the night's main event.
UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was initially scheduled to headline the show, but after suffering hernia-related issues after weigh-ins, he was forced to pull out of his bout vs. Kelvin Gastelum.
As it stands, there will still be plenty of action in this one, and Wombat is ready to bring it all right to you.
Take it away, Wombat...
Israel Adesanya vs Anderson Silva
Well here it is ladies and gentleman!! The Main event and its going to be wild, trust me! I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen in this one and will be on the edge of my seat for the whole thing. Hope you all enjoy it.
Round 1: Adesanya comes out looking to establish range and lands an early leg kick. Both guys look super relaxed as another leg kick lands for the broen native. Another nice leg kick scores for Adesanya and silva is yet to land anything significant.Silva starts his bouncing around and Isreal hit a nice teep to the body. The lads are starting to stand a lot closer than initially and silva puts the pressure on Adesanya but he responds landing a few hard shots and backs silva up.
A big shot lands for adesanya and silva responds with a body kick of his own. They are really starting to open up now and strikes are now landing at a better clip for both fighters. Some shared leg kicks as Adesanya barely misses with the high kick and they both acknowledge it. Silva tries to stalk Isreal but he is composed and just circles away from it. The crowd has gone absolutely crazy at the end of the round... I have goosebumps!
Round 2: Nice jab early from the kiwi and one feels that there is no chance of a take down in this one. Silva lands a nice counter right for his most significant strike of the fight. SIlva puts his hand down and Isreal grazes a 1/2... so close. A nice left hand from Adesanya and follows it up with another high kick that just misses.
Silva pushes forward and lands some nice strikes for his best moment of the fight. This is some Matrix kinda stuff going on in here. Another nice leg kick from Isreal but Silva pushes forward and lands a nice jab. They lock up the plums for a bit but nothing doing there. Another nice jab/leg kick combo from the kiwi and they are just standing and banging.
Isreal tries an axe kick which falls short and starts to stalk again but here comes Silva who lands a nice body shot and is turning up the volume Silva looks over to the media section at the end of the round and is starting to look confident.
Round 3: The final round!! who will take it. Big chants of Silva go around the crwd for the first time as Isreal lands a very nice hard leg kick. Isreal for a moment loses his balance and makes it to his feet as silva throws a flying knee ala michael bisping. SIlva now is asking for Adesanya to come to the cage which he briefly does before making him come back to the middle. Another hard leg kick which are scoring everytime.
Half way through the round and Silva is now marked up under his right eye. More Silva chants go around the crowd as Adesanya lands a nice shot. Silva rushes forward but Isreal slips all the punches and stand closer in the pocket now. 1 minute to go. More leg kicks from Adesanya and he lands 3 or 4 hard strikes to a hands down Silva. Silva snaps Adesanyas head back with a nice shot. Isreal goes back to the leg kicks that have been working all night. 10 seconds left the crowd is going nuts!! WHAT A FIGHT!!!
Result: Isreal Adesanya wins via Unanimous decision
Main event done and dusted! What a night. Thanks to everyone who followed along. Don’t forget to check out @justinwhitey on insta for some sick photos later on and @FloCombat for all of our #ufc234 coverage pic.twitter.com/4WQWHNA0aA— Wombat (@wombatjones23) February 10, 2019
Lando Vannata vs Marcos Rosa Mariano
Well no one seen this coming yesterday. What an opportunity for these 2 guys going from 3rd fight of the night all the way to co-main event UFC 234. This should be a striking war and I wouldn't blink.
Round 1: Mariano comes out throwing some nasty kicks but Vannata lands a nice hard calf kick. Some more kicks from the Brazilian but Vannata steps in with a nice body lock and takes Silva protege down. Lando slides into half guard and is looking to pass. Lands a few short strikes but is unable to gain an advantage and the Brazilian throws up a submission and regains guard from doing so.
Vannata goes to work inside of Marianos guard and is starting to land some nice strikes from top. Some hard right hands by Vannata and Mariano is realy having a hard time getting off his back here. Hard right elbows by Vannata and he postures up and lands some more hard strikes. Some more strikes open up for an opportunity for Lando to attack the submission and locks up a Kimura which the Brazilian has to tap to. Very impressive performance by the American. He lands only the 32nd Kimura in UFC history.
Result: Lando Vannata wins via Kimura in the first round
“I knew the submission was going to come but I thought it would take time, very pleased with the time that it did come through. We practised a few different submissions in training and we had a really good game plan coming in to this fight and we were ready to execute. Hands down this has been my favourite fight trip of my whole career, Melbourne, Australia has been absolutely amazing.”
Rani Yahya vs Ricky Simón
Many believe like myself that not enough respect is been put on Rani Yahya's name. 7 wins in his last 8 and the last 4 finished by submission in the first round. He has a big test in front of him tho with Ricky Simon who is looking to take his spot in the rankings.
Round 1: Ricky comes out stalking Yahya. The guys are throwing wild wide shots on the fence but nothing significant lands. A nice inside leg kick by Yahya but Simon presses forward. Interesting to see Yayha willing to strike and is calling him on. Yahya lands a nice left and barely misses with the 2 behind it. Simon lands a hard right uppercut and knocks Yahya off balance for a second. Rani tries to shoot from a long way out but Simon just steps back and out of the way. Simon nails Yahya with a right hand which floors Yahya and comes in with a barrage of strikes trying to finish the fight.
Simon lets Yahya up and lands some more heavy strikes as Rani is either covering up or throwing very wild punches. SImon stuffs another attempt at a take down as Rani now is looking to get this to the mat. Another takedown easily stuffed and Simon is intent on letting the BJJ star back to his feet so he can get back to work.With 30 seconds to go Rani end up on his back and Simon this time thinks about playing some BJJ but lets it back to the feet again. A few nice leg kicks by Yahya to end the round but that one is a big one for Simon.
Round 2: Yahya open up with some strikes but nothing much doing with them. Its getting a little wild in there now and strikes are coming in from every which angle. Yahya end up no his back again but they are back on their feet and he lands a nice left hand which splits Simon open near his right eye. A little success for Yahya and for the first time in the fight Simon is now the one backing up.Simon ducks under a punch and lands a double leg take down but instantly stands back up.
A BIG right hand lands for Rani and he is now stalking SImon trying to land another hard shot. Another right hand lands and a big counter left hook but Simon floors him again with another hard shot! What a fight! Simon thinking about playing some BJJ but they end up on their feet again. Couple of swings and misses by the lads and Simon lands another well timed double leg and this time goes down to the ground and lands some GNP. The end rounds with SImon on top
Round 3: The boys come out swinging and briefly it ends up on the ground again. Simon complains to the ref about a low blow but Percival is having none of it. They start trading again on the feet and end up in a scramble where it hits the floor again. Yahya is desperately trying to get a handle on Simon on the mat but he is too quick and avoids everything the BJJ star has for him. Both men cut open now and the fight is getting bloody.
The knowledgeable Australian crowd is now clapping every time Simon stuffs a take down. 2 minutes to go in this one and it really is anybody's. Nice jab lands for Ricky but Yahya counters with a nice 1/2 of his own. Another double leg by Simon and they are on the Mat again but this time Rani has a good grip of Simon for the first time in the fight. Only 10 seconds left and Simon separates and throws a few hard strikes to end the contest. Great fight !
Result: 30-27, 30-27 and 30-25 Ricky Simon by Unanimous Decision
“I was surprised how durable Rani was, I feel like I pride myself in being relentless and setting the pace, man he came after me. I’m young and I am still trying to put it together, I feel like I am a lot better than I perform. I preform better in the gym so I need to get a lot more comfortable out there under those lights and the crowds. First of all, I asked my manager to get me a fight out here in Australia, I’ve wanted to come out here for a while, I love the Aussie fans. I wanted to do a shoey, I got the win so it’s a good week.”
Montana De La Rosa vs Nadia Kassem
The sleeper fight on the main card
Round 1: Montana comes out pushing forward and lands some hard strikes. Pushes Nadia to the cage and Kassem throws up a standing submission but its shrugged off and now Montana works from top position.Nadia doing a good job of avoiding damage and is not allowing Rosa to pass. It is a desperate struggle for position and Nadia finally grabs full guard.
Referee Peter Hickmott is letting Montana work on the ground here even tho there really isn't that much happening. A few short strikes but not much doing here for the last 3 or so minutes. 1 minute left on the clock and still some awesome top control from Montana as she is not giving Nadia an inch t move. Montana passes to side control and then to North south and is looking to wrap up an arm from this position but falls off it. 10 seconds to go and Kassem just sits in that position waiting for the bell. Possible 10-8 I call 10-9 De La Rosa.
Round 2: Kassem pushes forward but is caught by a hard straight right and backs off. Montana uses that to take her down and starts landing some GNP. Montana dropping some nasty elbows as Kassem is desperately trying to shrimp out and get back to her feet but De La Rosa is HEAVY on top. De La Rosa grabs full mount and works to a triangle and lands some big elbows. Montana transitions to an arm bar and its very close but Nadia gets out of it but is still caught in a triangle. Hard shots from Montana from the bottom with this position and uses it to turn her back over
Montana looks for that arm again and it's over! Very impressive performance by someone everyone should really keep their eye on moving forward.
Result: Montana De Le Rosa wins via Armbar in Round 2
“This win means everything to me, it means I can keep climbing up the ranks and doing what I love. It all went to plan, I didn’t want to get it to the ground that fast, I wanted to stand up and bang more but I did what I had to do. I’d like another fight as soon as possible, hopefully in the next two months and keep showcasing my skills.”
Jim Crute vs Sam Alvey
Well this really is a big fight for both guys. Leading off the PPV with rapidly rising Aussie star Jimmy Crute. He takes on fellow PPV debutante Sam Alvey in his 17th fight for the promotion. Don't blink boys and girls.
Round 1: They touch em up and we are under way . Crute comes out throwing a front foot question mark kick. A hard inside leg kick by Crute and teep to the midsection. The crowd is going up every time Crute throws a strike. Another very hard inside leg kick lands for Crute and narrowly misses a straight right. BIG body kick which echoes around the arena. Another inside leg kick by Crute. Sam throws a hard 1/2 that just misses. A massive right hand floors Alvey and Crute walks away like he has won the fight and doesn't want to throw another punch but Goddard refuses to stop it and they are back on their feet. Alvey tries for a take own and they end up on the ground where Crute reverses the position and pounds him out for the finish!
Alvey bounces straight to his feet after Goddard stops the fight and is very upset with the stoppage!
Result: Jimmy Crute wins via TKO in Round 1
“My coaches tell me, my training partners tell me, everyone tells me, when I am relaxed no one can touch me. I never believed it but now I do and my whole preparation wasn’t about strength and conditioning and all that, it was about getting my mind right, and being in that happy place when I fought. I want some time off now, I’ve had a busy year but if the UFC offer me something big I’ll come back. For now I want to enjoy some time off, see my family, see my dog, I hardly get to see my dog. Hopefully I’ll get fifty grand and I can buy myself a nice house, you never know.”
Devonte Smith vs Dong Hyun Ma
Another sleeper fight on the card for me, I expect nothing but fireworks from this one. How is everyone enjoying the coverage? Don't forget to check out our Instagram and Twitter @flocombat for some more sneaky highlights and photos of the event.
Round 1: Devone comes out and assumes centre position of the Octagon as Ma is happy to dance on the outside. A hard calf kick lands for Smith. More strikes to the limbs of Ma from Smith as Ma is looking to get into the fight still. Smith throws up a head kick which grazes by Ma's head. A nice left hook to the body followed by a straight right by Smith as he really is asserting himself as the aggressor in this fight.
3 minutes into this one and I don't think Ma has landed anything of significance but starts to move forward now. A big right hand lands for SMith and he follows up with more heavy shots and MA GOES DOWN. 3 or 4 more heavy handed strikes lands whilst Ma is hurt from those flurry of shots and Herb does his best to save him from any more damage.
Result : Devonte Smith wins via TKO in Round 1
“I had to be very patient, I knew if I was overly anxious in there I knew he would grapple me and we would have to deal with all of that and it would be dragged out. So, I knew I had to stay smart and keep my distance and when I saw his leg go weak, I knew it was time to go home and do what I do. I’m now go to chill, I’ll be back in Denver training until I get that fight with Francisco Trinaldo , so once I get that fight I’ll be back.”
Devote Smith with the big finish!! pic.twitter.com/NkRB3t1qff— Wombat (@wombatjones23) February 10, 2019
Shane Young vs Austin Arnett
The most exciting face off of the whole weigh ins yesterday. Austin Arnett in somewhat hostile territory not taking a backward step. This should be a fun one!
Round 1: Shane comes out with a few body shots and leg kicks to open proceedings. Nice short jab lands from Arnett and Young goes back t working at that body. A few random Maori chants come out from the crowd as the lads have now got their range and are landing frequently. Arnett has the range on Young but it is Young pushing forward and lands a very nice right hand. A nice inside leg kick by Young buy Arnett is still firing, especially with his jab; which is starting to find its target.
Another nice right hand to the body by Young which is clearly a strategy now. Another inside leg kick lands on Arnett and he jokingly yells out "ouch" which sends some laughs through the crowd. Another nice body kick and punch lands for Young. A nice 5 shot combination landing for Young at the end of the round which cements for him. 10-9 Young.
Round 2: Shane once again taking the centre and landing a few inside leg kicks. Arnett throws a nice head kick/jab combination which gets Young's attention. Much more of the same as the lads are replicating round 1 here. The body work by Young is very impressive to see at this level of competition. A nice straight right lands for Shane and another body kick. Austins jab is landing often and is his best weapon of the fight so far.
A nice right hand lands by Young and the crowd responds. He is hunting down here but as he comes in Austin lands a big right hand which forces Young to clinch for a bit. Arnett lands a strike on the exit and calls him on and cops a few for his troubles. The round ends with Arnett with his hands in the air, taunting but cops a few more. 20-18 Young.
Round 3: A nice outside leg kick by Young as he assumes what seems to be his role of leading the dance as Arnett keeps on the outside circling. A combination by Young and lands the straight right at the end of it. This really is a carbon copy of the first 2 rounds. Young hits him with another couple of strikes but Arnett answers with his own. Both men are marked up now as the pace of the fight is showing on their faces.
A crisp counter left by Arnett lands hard but Young keeps moving forward. More forward pressure and combination by Young as Arnett still looks to counter. Strikes land and the crowd responds...boy it gets loud in here when the crowd go up.10 seconds to go and they throw down and Young lands a massive right hand that drops Austin. He swarms but that is the end of the round and the fight! 30-27 Young IMO
Result: Shane Young wins via Unanimous Decision 30-27 x 3
Shane Young with the big win! What a performance. pic.twitter.com/4MKDkCo7tF— Wombat (@wombatjones23) February 10, 2019
“The whole fight I was just doing my thing, whenever I heard corner advice I just tried to take it on. I didn’t know it was going to be tough but when I cracked him a couple of goodies, I was like damn, he’s tough. Then he showed it a couple of times that he was hurt, it wasn’t until the very end when he ran right in and I dropped him, I thought, finally!”
Kai Kara France vs Raulian Paiva
Why dont we ask the question again for the 1,000,000th time.... Is the flyweight division staying? Pretty silly question considering their are fights still actually happening in the UFC's flyweight division. Kai's second fight for the organization after a masterfull performance in his first. He faces a debuting 17-1 Paiva who has beat some very experienced opponents on his rise to the UFC. This should be nothing but fireworks!!!! Massive pop from the crowd again for Kai Kara France you would think he is an Aussie!
Round 1: Kai comes out leading the dance and pressures Paiva backwards. A little bit of a feeling out process going on as usual and just like that DON'T BLINK lands a nasty shot that stuns Paiva. The guys exchange some big right hands and the action heads back to the middle of the octagon.
Paiva shoots in for a double and briefly has his hands clasped together but France defends well and the boys are back standing.A nice right uppercut left hook combination by France but Paiva eats it well and still pressure forward. Octagon control is now taken over by the Brazilian as France is happy to use his movement. A big right hand lands for France but once again it is eaten well by Paiva.
A nice low calf kick for Paiva with 1 minute left on the clock. A shot from a long way out by the Brazilian and France makes him pay. This is a cracking pace and the lads exchange combinations and little flurries. Very close round in my opinion and one that the judges will be having a hard time deciding who to give it to.
Round 2 : Paiva comes out pressuring again with his range but Kai shoots a single and briefly gets it but Paiva does a great job in reversing the position and is now on top and moves to side control. Landing a few short shots and Kai explodes and gets back to his feet and lands a heavy right hand!
Paiva grabs a body lock and is working against the fence but once again France works his way out of the position. France back to the middle of the Octagon and pushing forward throwing nice combinations. Paiva is opening up his striking now and lands a big knee as Kai looks to shoot again. France ends u p on his back and Paiva lands a few big right hands to the body but eats and upkick for his troubles. An amazing upkick to stand up for Kai and then Rocks Paiva with a massive right hand!! Boy can this Brazilian take a shot.
Some claret starting to flow now out of France's nose as the lads exchange combinations in the pocket. How can you not love the 125 division! Paiva tries a knee top biut France shrugs it off. A takedown attempt and a quick little submission attempt but the bell sounds and we are going in for round 3! I have no idea how the judges are scoring this.
Round 3: A touch of gloves and a show of respect which has been well earned. Much more of the same with combinations and flurries and a lot of strikes landing for both guys. Neither of them has taken 1 step backwards in the fight.A massive low blow lands on France and both guys are on their haunches. The crowd reacts accordingly when its put up on the replay; even the ladies felt that one.
Marc Goddard restarts them and they start throwing down hard! with 3 minutes left it really is anyone's fight still. A big right lands for Paiva and again as France lands a left hook of his own. Paiva moves forward and lands another nice couple of strikes and France ducks down, grabs the body lock and takes him down all be it briefly. Man these guys are just trading in the pocket. A nice check left hook, jab combo by France. Another big left hook lands for France but the Brazilian sure can take a shot. 15 seconds left and the crowd fires up.... both men on top of the cage! Who won that? Not a clue. WHAT. A. FIGHT!
Result: Kai Kara France win via Split Decision
“Melbourne is a hometown fight for me so when you are representing not just New Zealand but ANZ on the world stage it definitely helps you push through adversity, I was doing that for all of my friends and family that turned up today everyone who came to the arena. We missed out on the main event but we’re making up for it in the prelims. I felt good going into that fight, I was feeling sharp, I was more than ready to put on a show. 18-1 record, my opponent was durable and tough, tough as they come. Young and hungry, he’s got a bright future, but this isn’t my first rodeo and that’s what pushed me through that fight. All that experience I’ve accumulated over the years, fighting in 13 different countries, being an Ultimate Fighter, I’ve taken a hard route to the UFC. I am going to sit down with my coaches and see what the next step is for me, I’ve taken a fight back to back and I think it is time for me to rest up now and get back in there maybe if the UFC goes to Brisbane later this year.”
Teruto Ishihara vs Kyung Ho Kang
Crowd is pretty quite on this one as the 2 combatants walk out to the ring. I feel this could be a big sleeper on the card and possible fight of the night. Lets see how it plays out. A massive pop for crowd favourite Herb Dean however!
Round 1: The lads touch it up and we are under way. Ishihara opens up with a few leg kicks as the feeling out process begins. A nice right hook by the Japanese man which gains Kangs attention. Another hard right hook lands for Ishihara and Kang goes after him but runs straight into a counter left hand and he drops! WOW the boys are really throwing down as strikes land for both guys.
Kang is starting to land and now the crowds is going off its absolute head! WOW this is an fire fight! Ishihara gets rocked and Kang is swarming. The crowd is even cheering the cage wrestling and take down. Kang is now working his BJJ and looks to sink in the RNC and does! WOW what a fight! Could even be round of the year so far.
IF YOU DID NOT WATCH THIS FIGHT, GO WATCH IT NOW!
RESULT : Kyung Ho Kang wins via Rear Naked Choke in Round 1
“I got hit in the fight, it wasn’t a big shot but it dropped me to my knee. All I was thinking was to get back up and keep fighting. My goal for this year is to fight against top 10 athletes in the UFC and next year I want to go for a title shot. From this moment forward, all Korean athletes will win in the Octagon, we’re going to prove that Koreans are strong in the UFC.”
Jalin Turner vs. Callan Potter
Well this is the first fight of the night where the crowd will be cheering for one of their own. Potter has been ranked number 1 or 2 in Australia at lightweight for a very long time and finally he gets his opportunity vs a very game and willing Jalin Turner. This should be a cracker! A massive pop from the crowd as Callan walks out from his home Melbourne crowd! UFC vet Dan Kelly in his corner.
Round 1: A touch of gloves from the boys and its on. Callan opens with a nice inside leg kick and rushes Turner for a takedown and ends up pulling guard. A quick sub attempt and Turner wants nothing to do with the black belts ground game. Turner lands a brutal barrage of strikes on the feet and swarms the Aussie and he goes down. 1,2 ,3 HARD shots on the ground and Potter is out cold! The crowd has gone silent.
In true Australian sporting spirit they cheer Jalin as he is introduced as the winner
RESULT: Turner wins via KO in Round 1
“I’m feeling great, I was working hard for this win and I’m happy that the win came the way it did. I thought he was a little tougher than how he came out but hats off to him. He (Potter) took the fight on two weeks notice, same thing happened to me in my debut so I know how it is. I’m thankful for the opportunity to fight here in Australia, I love it here. Throw me back in there right away, I am ready for another fight whenever, I’ve got a baby due in June so I need another cheque before then.”
WuIiji Buren vs Jonathan Martinez
Well with all the commotion over Whittaker's pull out you would think that the crowd would be somewhat sombre. However, the Melbourne crowd is on fire during this first fight of the day as Buren and Martinez are showing the full array of MMA. A very close contest in rounds 1 and 2 and the already 3/4 full Rod Laver Arena is loving every minute.
Martinez starting round 3 with some nice leg kicks and Buren has had enough of that and shoots a double and gets it! Martinez' corner is imploring him to get his back to the cage to wall walk but the control from Buren is on point. Buren catches him in a nasty armbar WOAH! but Martinez unbelievable escapes and gets Burens back and is working some nasty ground and pound.
Sticking to his opponents back like glue Martinez is looking for a choke but Buren is doing a very good job escaping when he gets into a bad position. Martinez' BJJ is really coming to the fore here as he works some more GNP trying to open up Buren for a sub but he is doing a great job of escaping everytime and just like that ends up on top! 1 minute to go and one feels that its Martinez' fight if it goes the distance.
This fight is amazing for the first fight of the day! Martinez makes his way on top again and it looks like this is the way the fight will end. Lnding some hard strikes for the last 15 seconds to put a stamp on it!
RESULT : 30-27 30-27 and 29-28 Martinez!
"This win feels really good, my training with Factory X helped me out a lot and I learnt a lot there, helped me feel ready. Buren didn’t surprise me that much as I felt ready and had been training for this. I’m ready for whatever, whoever comes next."
Martinez getting the victory by decision! pic.twitter.com/fdeQcWJwXn— Wombat (@wombatjones23) February 10, 2019