The UFC made its debut in Poland this weekend with #UFCKrakow and whilst the card may not have delivered on all fronts, there was certainly a number of things to take away.
Home field advantage isn’t advantageous
It was a tough night for the Polish fighters who went two out of seven on the night. The only successful Polish fighters on the card came in the form of Pawel Pawlak who scored a unanimous decision win over Sheldon Westcott, and Bartosz Fabinski who also won via unanimous decision over Garreth McLellan. The 10 thousand strong crowd certainly got behind each and every one of their fighters but unfortunately the majority of them were unable to use that support to bring home the wins in front of their home fans.
Cro Cop rights the wrongs of UFC 70
In a highlight reel moment which will haunt him forever, Mirko Cro Cop came to Poland with a point to prove. And boy did he prove that point. Having endured a smothering top game from Gonzaga for the opening two round, Cro Cop found a second wind and was able to rock Gonzaga with some vicious elbows before taking top control of the Brazilian and unleashing as many elbows as he possibly could causing the referee to step in and stop the bout.
Leon Edwards would captain TUF Jamaica in a heartbeat
Following his incredible 8 second victory over tough veteran Seth Baczynski, Leon Edwards was asked in the post fight scrum this opinions on coaching TUF Jamaica. And in an exclusive for WHOATV, the UTC fighter was more than willing to put his name forward if the gig ever arises. Edwards rebounded from a difficult loss in Brazil with perhaps the most stunning knockout he will score in his career and is now the current holder of the 2nd fastest UFC knockout in history.
Stevie Ray channels his inner William Wallace
Draped in the Scottish flag and walking into the arena on only a two week notice was a huge ask for Fife’s Stevie “Braveheart” Ray. But the former Cage Warriors Lightweight Champion proved he is more than capable of mixing it up with the UFC talent in a stunning second round stoppage over Marcin Bandel. Ray who is due to become a father any day soon, pushed the pace throughout the first round and secured an arm triangle which nearly submitted Bandel with only seconds of the round to go. But a deflated Bandel was merely surviving as the second round started and an onslaught from Ray led to some vicious g’n’p and a lot of unanswered shots before the referee finally called a halt to the action.
Moroz stuns Calderwood and reshapes UFC Glasgow
With a Calderwood win it was almost a certainty that the UFC would have pushed Calderwood Vs Jedrzejczyk for the main event at UFC Glasgow. But UFC newcomer Maryna Moroz was in town tonight with one mission, and that was to ruin Calderwood’s title opportunities. She went after Calderwood from the bell landing some big shots before seizing an arm and forcing the tap. Calderwood looked somewhat depleted during fight day and talks of a rough weight cut may have had a serious impact on her performance. But all credit to Maryna Moroz who went on to call out Joanna Jedrzejczyk following her win.
Jimi Manuwa is a bad man
Following his first career loss to Alexander Gustafsson it was vital for Jimi Manuwa to win in Poland to keep himself on the lips of everyone when discussing the Light Heavyweight landscape. And get the win is just what Jimi done. Whilst it may not have come in the usual emphatic way that he has ended many of his fights, Jimi explained in the post-fight media conference that he in fact fought with a torn meniscus. “The Posterboy” was unable to spar for one month prior to his fight with Blachowicz but it wasn’t a fight he was willing to pull out of.