Ankalaev Vs. Walker 2 Card


The first UFC fight card of 2024, UFC Vegas 84, went down on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. In the main event, highly ranked light heavyweight Magomed Ankalaev knocked out Johnny Walker in the second round. Meanwhile, the evening’s co-headliner saw UFC veteran Jim Miller add another fight and victory to his record-setting UFC career.

Below, we look at the winners and losers from the UFC Vegas 84 fight card, which streamed in its entirety on ESPN+.

Winners

Magomed Ankalaev: There was no controversy or question about the outcome of the Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker rematch. While the first fight ended with a questionable doctor stoppage, Saturday’s main event at UFC Vegas 84 wrapped up with Ankalaev scoring a knockout win that Walker did not protest.

Ankalaev, who entered the bout as the No. 3 ranked fighter in the UFC light heavyweight division, landed a right hook that dropped Walker to the mat. With his foe on his backside against the cage, Ankalaev landed a nasty uppercut that seemed to leave Walker with a broken nose.

The victory was Ankalaev’s first win since he knocked out Anthony Smith in July 2022. Ankalaev was 0-0-1-1 in his two fights heading into Saturday’s card.

Jim Miller: It’s hard to tell when the end will come for Jim Miller, but if the 40-year-old keeps performing like he did on Saturday night, his career will remain alive and well. Miller, who fought in his UFC record 43rd bout at UFC Vegas 84, picked up his UFC record 26th win, putting together a smart and complete fight while earning his 18th stoppage win under the UFC banner with a third-round submission.

Miller’s next fight will likely come at UFC 300. If so, Miller will have fought at UFC 100, 200 and 300.

Mario Bautista: The bantamweight contest between Mario Bautista and Ricky Simon was a fantastic 15-minute scrap that saw Bautista score his sixth straight UFC win. This victory should launch the 30-year-old into the top 15 of the division.

Bautista was the better technical fighter in this matchup, but Simon’s heart, tenacity, and counter-striking kept him in the contest. Bautista displayed crisp striking and the ability to string together impressive combinations. He mixed up his targets and techniques, and when the pressure was on to finish strong, he did just that.

Bautista isn’t the youngest fighter in the bantamweight division, but he is coming into his own. If he tightens things up just a little bit, he’ll be a threat to those ranked above him.

The win over Simon was Bautista’s best performance under the UFC banner.

Brunno Ferreira: Brunno Ferreira bounced back from his first career loss in July with a first-round knockout win over Phil Hawes. Ferreira has devastating striking power, but his fight IQ could use some work as he had Hawes on wobbly legs, and instead of pursuing the finish, he went for a takedown. That said, power can cover for deficiencies in the fight game.

Ferreira is now 11-1 with 11 finishes (eight KOs and three submissions).

Preston Parsons: Preston Parsons looked good during his decision win over Matthew Semelsberger. He fought all the way in or all the way out, which allowed him to transition to his takedowns and avoid the powerful punches of his opponent while racking up points with his own striking in close.

Parsons was more well-rounded than his foe, going seven for 11 on takedowns while racking up 6:26 of control time.

Marcus McGhee: Marcus McGhee was relentless in his pressure and striking. That approach prevented his opponent, Gaston Bolanos, from getting any time or space to operate as a kickboxer. While McGhee might not have been the better technical striker in this matchup, he was the more effective fighter, scoring big with his power and racking up damage. McGhee forced Bolanos to fight his type of fight, allowing him to end the fight via strikes at the 3:29 mark of Round 2. McGhee is now 3-0 in the UFC and ready for tougher competition.

Farid Basharat: Our fighter to watch on the UFC Vegas 84 fight card, Farid Basharat, moved to 12-0 with a clear decision win over veteran competitor Taylor Lapilus. With the victory, the 26-year-old bantamweight moved to 3-0 in the UFC.

While Basharat is young and inexperienced, he has a high fight IQ. He set the pace in this matchup and dictated where the fight occurred. His movement and feints in his striking allowed him to set up numerous takedown attempts, and his cardio was on point throughout the fight.

UFC Vegas 84 was a good showing for Basharat against his most formidable opponent to date. Basharat’s upside is still unclear, but his team is handling his career well. His team should look for another incrementally tougher opponent in his next fight as he develops and gets more comfortable under the UFC banner.

Jean Silva: The biggest favorite on the UFC Vegas 84 fight card at -900, Jean Silva made easy work of the long and lanky Westin Wilson, who did not use his physical attributes to his advantage. The 27-year-old Silva showed a lot of power throughout the fight. Along with his potent punches, Silva has an overabundance of confidence. The first-round TKO win put Silva, who made his UFC debut on Saturday, on the list of fighters to watch in the featherweight division.

Nikolas Motta: The 30-year-old Brazilian used the confidence and aggression of his young opponent, the 23-year-old Tom Nolan, against him in their lightweight bout. Nolan, who was a -355 favorite over the +280 underdog Motta, came out looking to establish his offense, but his lack of defensive acumen cost him when Motta tagged Nolan, who left his chin open to be touched. Motta stopped Nolan 63 seconds into the scrap.

Joshua Van: It was a tale of two rounds when it came to Joshua Van at UFC Vegas 84. The 22-year-old Van moved to 3-0 in the UFC and 10-1 overall with a second-round TKO win over Felipe Bunes, who made his UFC debut on Saturday.

Van had a slow first round, as he did in his first two UFC wins. Van put good pressure on Bunes in that stanza but didn’t throw many strikes and got tagged more than he and his team should be comfortable with. However, Van had an outstanding second round. He upped his output, kept his foe backing up, and used heavy ground strikes to end the fight.

Van’s slow starts are a concern and an aspect of his fight game that an aggressive foe can exploit. Another wrinkle Van needs to shore up is his defense. While his output was noteworthy, so was his opponent’s ability to connect while Van was looking for a way to finish the fight.

Van is a young prospect to watch, but he needs to tighten up some things before taking the next step up the flyweight ladder. His team needs to give him time to develop between UFC fight bookings.

Losers

Phil Hawes: Phil Hawes had a wrestling advantage over Bruno Ferreira. However, he opted to tangle with the powerful Brazilian on the feet and paid for that with his second straight knockout loss.

Hawes is 1-3 with three first-round KO setbacks in his past four UFC outings.

Andrei Arlovski vs. Waldo Cortes-Acosta: The heavyweight fight that opened the main card of UFC Vegas 84 did not deliver. Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski never got his striking game in gear, and colossal betting favorite Waldo Cortes-Acosta (-700) seemed more interested in putting on a show for the fans than capitalizing on the knockout he scored in his most recent outing. Cortes-Acosta won the fight 29-28×3, but the victory won’t elevate him in the UFC’s heavyweight division.

Matthew Semelsberger: Matthew Semelsberger is a powerful striker, but he is not a well-rounded fighter, and that has cost him throughout his UFC career, where he has more knockdowns than wins. Semelsberger is 1-4 in his past five UFC outings and on a three-fight losing skid.

Taylor Lapilus: Taylor Lapilus had good takedown defense against Farid Basharat but never got his striking game going. The veteran fighter, who is in his second stint with the UFC, saw his six-fight winning streak end as he wilted under the pressure of his younger and more active foe.



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