By Yashar Keramati
Maia Chokes Out Condit
We asked Carlos Condit during Thursday’s open mat workouts what he thought of Damian Maia’s jiu-jitsu; Condit told us it was the most dangerous in his division. He was right. Maia took him down early in the first round, stunned him with a punch that made Condit give up his back allowing Maia to put a tight rear-naked choke on Condit. Maia was emotional after his win, crying for a few minutes while Condit paced the cage pondering what he could have done differently. During the post-fight press conference Maia said he will wait for his title shot while Condit questioned the merits of going up against more top fighters.
“First off, congratulations to Demian. Mad respect for him as a martial artist and as a man. As far as my future, I have no idea… We’ll have to see. You know, obviously I’m disappointed tonight you know. What are you going to do? It wasn’t my night.”
“This was a performance that shows the discipline of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Its not just about control, but also defense. It helps me avoid the big shots I know Carlos is capable of. I have a lot of respect for him and he very well could’ve been champion as his fight with Lawler was extremely close. I knew I had the choke in tight but with MMA gloves, you always have the opportunity to escape. I didn’t think it was over until I felt him tap. If they give Wonderboy (Stephen Thompson) the next title shot, I hope its fast so I can have the next shot right after that.”
Pettis Dominate Oliveira On All Fronts
Charles Oliveira had nothing to offer Anthony Pettis who dominated in every aspect of the fight game. Pettis rocked his opponent a few times through out the match but Oliveira was tough enough to survive the assaults. On a few occasions Oliveira would get Pettis’ back, but each time Pettis would turn and execute a strong ground and pound game, let him up, and rock him on the stand up. While everyone thought that Pettis would finish his foe with strikes, he stunned the crowd in third and final round with a guillotine choke that shocked everyone inside Rogers Arena. In the post fight press conference Pettis reiterated that he was not used to losing, having just come off a career-first 3 fight losing streak. He said he is after the belt now.
From the horse’s mouth:
“Charles is a super tough guy. I hit him with some big stuff in the first round and he was able to recover. I knew he would continue to try and take my back so I just needed to be calm and then reverse whenever the opportunity presented itself. I wanted a challenge and when I dropped down to featherweight, I told them I want the best. I’m looking to become a two division champion. Because this was my first cut to 145 pounds, there are some things I’ll change for next time but overall I was extremely happy with how I performed.”
“I could have done anything in there. I could have submitted him, I could have knocked him out but a fights a fight.”
VanZant Flies High For A Kick Finish
You could tell early on in the fight that Paige VanZant wanted fireworks; she charged out of her side of the cage in round 1, jumped, and tried to strike but Bec Rawlings moved to the side. The rest of the round consisted of VanZant trying a series of flying and spinning attacks, none of which landed.
Rawlings would grapple, get a few punches in before they separated just to do it again. However, in the first few seconds of round 2, VanZant again jumped in the air, faked a left kick, swung a right kick, and connected with Rawlings’ face, sending her to the mat to meet some heavy hands to the face. During the post-fight press conference VanZant said she didn’t care who she fought next, but she did express a desire to fight in Sacramento, her adopted hometown.
“Holy Balogna, that’s it. I’m still on cloud nine. I’ve been drilling that kick with my team. We knew she would lead with her front foot so I kept landing the leg kicks to setup the head kick and it worked out. I’d love to get back at it in my adopted home town of Sacramento in December.”
Miller Had A Hard Time Decisioning Lauzon
It was their second meeting, and again it went Miller’s way via decision. This time, however, it was split. Lauzon landed more strikes and pushed the pace. Many in attendance were shocked when the split decision went Miller’s way. Lauzon didn’t like it. During the post-fight press conference Miller expressed disappointment, too, saying that every time a fight goes to a decision he has failed at his goal. However, he takes the win and Fight of The Night Honors.
“There aren’t many guys built like us. We live by the sword and die by the sword. I have a huge amount of respect for Joe Lauzon. After two rounds I could tell we were in another special fight, much like our first one. We were both tried there in the third but I knew he was going to keep going so I just forced myself to keep going too. I think that was my 24th fight inside the Octagon and I’ve only been in the UFC eight years so that means I’m averaging three fights a year for eight years. I’m like the Cal Ripken Jr. of the UFC. I plan to keep going too, I haven’t achieved everything I want to inside this sport.”
“I thought I had this one, I felt incredibly confident at the end of the fight. I knew it was close but I thought I took rounds two and three for sure, especially with my take downs and my strikes that landed. I’m going to take some time off and just recuperate now. I’m in no rush to get back out there so maybe I’ll look at taking another fight toward the end of the year.”