All eyes were open Islam Makhachev on Saturday night. On the way to his first major UFC event, the participants in the fighting game talked about the Dagestani star and student of Khabib Nurmagomedov. He answered all questions and dominated thoroughly thoroughly James Moses before finally submitting it in the fourth round.
The top of the lightweight class has officially been announced, as have the straw weights that have been watching Amanda Lemos scored another knockout victory. Lemos’ power opens her eyes, and it’s likely that her next fight, which she hopes comes later this year, will be against a top contender in the division.
But perhaps the biggest statement of the night was made by Bad Tate. When Tate returned after five years without exercising, she looked like she never left and slipped into the third round against Marion Reneau. Will Tate run into a familiar face in her next fight at the Octagon? With this first step back, did she immediately join the title contenders?
Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Morgan Mularski look back on a busy night of fighting in Las Vegas.
Makhachev is a future lightweight champion
Islam Makhachev had 8 minutes and 11 seconds of control time in his fight against Thiago Moises. Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC
Okamoto: I feel like Islam Makhachev could fight for the title tomorrow. He is ready. And I would say he’s more likely to win the championship in the end.
All fights in UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs. Moises can be viewed on ESPN +.
• Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises
• Marion Reneau vs. Miesha Tate
• Jeremy Stephens vs. Mateusz Gamrot
• Rodolfo Vieira vs. Dustin Stoltzfus
• Gabriel Benitez versus Billy Quarantillo
• Daniel Rodriguez versus Preston Parsons
• Amanda Lemos vs. Montserrat Rabbits
• Khalid Taha versus Sergey Morozov
• Francisco Figueiredo versus Malcolm Gordon
• Alan Baudot vs. Rodrigo Nascimento
Check out the full map on ESPN +
Right now, I don’t think odds makers would prefer a single lightweight over Makhachev. I think he would be the favorite against Charles Oliveira, Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler — all of them. When Makhachev was supposed to fight Rafael dos Anjos last year he was favored by more than 5 to 1.
What did he prove in his victory on Saturday James Moses? Nothing too wild, which we didn’t already know – but it was reminiscent of Makhachev’s former teammates and current coach Khabib Nurmagomedov insofar as you are forced to really try, look for areas to nitpick. Moises was able to hold it against the fence a little on the second round, I guess? Moises almost turned his back for a split second before losing his position completely. What else can you point out?
We did the same with Nurmagomedov. Hello, Michael Johnson hit him once, and it looked like he’d been rocked for maybe half a second. Nurmagomedov could not finish part of his competition, even if the opponents were clearly overwhelmed. Could his cardio hold out during a lengthy fight? We were picky, and when Nurmagomedov reached his true heyday – at age 30, his championship run – he dominated the top of the division in a way that showed he was several levels above it.
Will Makhachev do the same? To be honest, that’s the expectation at this point. Because I’m looking for points of criticism here and can’t find many. And I bet the rest of the UFC lightweights don’t find many either.
In my opinion, the best fight for Makhachev would be now Tony Ferguson. And before you say I’ll kick Ferguson while he’s on the ground – he’s lost three in a row – I think it would actually be the best fight for Ferguson. Yes, the challenge is great, but also the advantage.
Ferguson is in the worst crisis of his career, but the interest in a fight between him and Makhachev would be huge. Nurmagomedov versus Ferguson fell apart five times; it’s the fight that got away with it in mixed martial arts. It would be huge in some ways to repeat it with Makhachev against Ferguson. And imagine if Ferguson had pulled it out; he would jump right back into the title contest. All in all, however, I suspect Makhachev’s next fight will be against Rafael Dos Anjos.
Tate back like she never left
Miesha Tate scored a third-round TKO against Marion Reneau in her first fight in almost five years. Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC / Getty Images
Raimondi: Bad Tate had not fought since 2016, a one-sided defeat against Raquel Pennington at UFC 205. Tate then retired. After almost five years of absence, expectations of their return have been dampened – as they should have been. Tate had two children in her absence and worked as an executive at ONE Championship in Singapore. Her comeback, when it was announced in March, seemed to come out of nowhere. But the former women’s bantamweight champion – and one of the most popular female fighters in MMA history – destroyed those expectations Completely.
Tate dominates Marion Reneau on Saturday night in their rematch. Tate looked better than ever before, despite the long 1,708 day layoff, which is the longest gap between UFC bouts for anyone who hasn’t participated in another promotion in between. Reneau had never finished. Tate, on the other hand, was never a great finisher; She didn’t have a TKO win in the UFC before Saturday night.
Tate deserves a lot of credit. She put the work into it. She was clearly in excellent shape. She also seems to be in a good place in her mom life with her partner Johnny Nunez. It is evident that this is not just a money robbery for them; She’s serious about a comeback.
After beating Reneau, Tate reiterated that not only did she come back for that win, but also to regain the title. Amanda Nunes has been the champion since stopping Tate by filing it on UFC 200 in July 2016. Who knows what’s next for Tate, but it’s likely going to be a big fight. Holly Holm, who Tate has beaten for the title, has already expressed interest in a rematch. That could be a title eliminator. It’s wild to think that Tate could be a shot on the belt in 2022, or even late 2021. But it doesn’t seem too unusual after seeing how good she looked on Saturday.
The women’s bantamweight is a sluggish division. Nunes has dominated everyone on their way. Things have stagnated, apparently since Tate left. Well, “Cupcake” is back now, giving this weight class a much needed shot in the arm. There are a lot more interesting matchups now than there were before Saturday at 135 pound women and it seems like we are expecting some exciting, unexpected times in this division.
There’s a new straw weight contender in town
Amanda Lemos drops Montserrat Conejo in the first round of her fight at the UFC Fight Night.
Mulski: Amanda Lemos showed up and showed himself over for the 500th UFC women’s fight with a 35-second KO Montserrat rabbit, the second fastest finish in UFC history in strawweight. There is no doubt that Lemo’s strength and accuracy make her a top contender – and even a potential champion – in the strawweight division. Lemos now has four straight wins, which is the same for the third-longest active UFC winning streak in the division.
Lemos showed her clout with a knockout of Livinha Souza on March 6th. On Saturday, Lemos proved that it wasn’t a coincidence. Lemos is an accurate striker; And as she progresses, her strength will allow her to measure up to two of the other heavy strikers at the top of the straw weight division – Champion Rose Namajunas and Zhang Weili.
“I don’t know why two top five opponents refused to play against me, but I’m here, I’m waiting,” said Lemos. “I will fight. No matter who my opponent is. If you don’t want to face me now, there will be a time when you can’t run away from me. “
She is right. If Lemos continues like this, the division’s top contenders will have to fight her if they are to keep their place in line. Lemos said she would fight in October, hopefully on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. After this current knockout round, she is a must and a potential star in the marking.