UFC Minneapolis in tweets
UFC Minneapolis is in the books and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Kicking off the main card was a pair of light heavyweights as Paul Craig faced off against Alonzo Menifield. Craig is looking to break back into the top 15 after a few inconsistent performances and is coming off a submission victory over Kennedy Nzechukwu back in March. Across the cage is Contender Series graduate Alonzo Menifield who made his UFC debut at the start of year, is aiming to keep his undefeated record against Scotland’s Craig. Surprisingly, it was Menifield who initiated the grappling exchanges early on to the displeasure of his coaches. As Craig attempted a spinning kick, he lost his balance and Menifield jumped into Craig and put him to sleep with 4 hammer fists.
Next up was Drew Dober against Marco Polo Reyes at lightweight. Both fighters were on verge of breaking into the divisions top 15 and a win in Minneapolis would do that. After a 3 fight win streak, Dober dropped his last fight via submission to Beniel Dariush and was aiming to get back into the win column against Polo Reyes who has been inconsistent in the UFC since his debut in 2015. Reyes is coming off a TKO loss to Damir Hadžović back in February. From the first horn, both were looking for the finish and it was Drew Dober who found his range more often as he floored Reyes twice on his way to a KO win and back towards the top 15.
Another contender series graduate was up next as the streaking Roosevelt Roberts looked to remain unbeaten against Vinc Pichel. Since his 1st round win on the contender series, Roberts has gone 2-0 in the UFC and this was a big step up for him. Across the cage was veteran Vinc Pichel, who has had a injury ridden time in the UFC since his debut in 2012 with only 6 fights to his name. It was clear to see the majority of this fight would be spent grappling and we saw a bunch a slick transitions throughout the 15 minutes. It was Pichel who took Roberts’ 0 and earned the unanimous decision victory on the judges scorecards.
It was a typical Veteran vs Prospect next up as Demian Maia went up against Anthony Rocco Martin. Since Maia fought for the title back in 2017, he has slipped to a 1-3 record and will looking to put a stop to the prospect Martin. Since moving up to Welterweight, Rocco Martin has gone 4-0 and is on the verge on breaking into the top 10 in the division. It was the veteran who prevailed with a trio of 29-28 scores via the judges to cement himself inside the top 10.
In the co-main event of the evening, a flyweight title eliminator as Joseph Benavidez squared off against Jussier Formiga. The pair previously fought back in 2013 and it was Benavidez who got the better of Formiga but 6 years on and with a title shot on the line, Forminga was determined to exert revenge. Joe Jitsu has gone 2-1 in his last 3 and is only one away from another fight with champion Henry Cejudo. He beat Cejudo in 2016 and would certainly fancy his chances in a rematch should he win. Formiga is riding a 4 fight win streak and will be looking for a maiden title shot despite all the uncertainty around the flyweight division. From the off, Benavidez was finding a home for the low leg kicks and his strikes. In the second, Joe landed a high kick and and a series of punches which floored Formiga and he saw out the fight and has now earned himself a rematch against Henry Cejudo.
In the main event of the evening, KO artists Francis Ngannou and Junior Dos Santos faced each other in another title eliminator, this time at Heavyweight. With a combined fight time of 1:11 in his last 2 fights, Ngannou is one win away from another title shot and the chance to become the baddest man on the planet. You can’t talk about the UFC Heavyweight division without coming across the name Junior Dos Santos. Cigano is on a 3 fight win streak and a win over ‘The Predator’ would guarantee him a 6th world title fight. As expected the fight didn’t make it out of the first round as JDS overreached with a right hand Ngannou caught Cigano with two shots and finished the fight within 1 minute 11 seconds to extend his winning run to 3.
Check out fellow pro’s reactions to an explosive night of action in Minneapolis
Francis Ngannou vs Junior Dos Santos
OH. MY. WORD!!!!
It should be illegal for someone to have that much power!! 😳😳 #UFCMinneaopolis
— Megan Anderson (@MeganA_mma) June 30, 2019
I’m definitely trying to punch everyone like @francis_ngannou
— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) June 30, 2019
Joseph Benavidez vs Jussier Formiga
If I lost the first crack at @HenryCejudo to @JoeJitsu, I wouldn’t be mad at all. Joey B is legend of the game and with that performance it’s tough to argue who should get the first chance to dethrone the King. Congrats Benevidez! #UFCMinneapolis
— Aljamain Sterling (@FunkMaster_UFC) June 30, 2019
Demian Maia vs Anthony Rocco Martin
Those Tony Martin Chops are serious!!! #UFCMinneaopolis
— Mike Rodriguez (@mrodmma) June 30, 2019
Vinc Pichel vs Roosevelt Roberts
I know alot of ppl might disagree but I'm gonna take a small chance on JDS, Polo Reyes and my boy Vinc Pichel #Vickspicks
— James Vick (@JamesVickMMA) June 30, 2019
Drew Dober vs Marco Polo Reyes
— Justin Gaethje 🇺🇸 (@Justin_Gaethje) June 30, 2019
Alonzo Menifield vs Paul Craig
— Charles Byrd (@dynamitebyrd170) June 30, 2019
Check out the full main card results below
Francis Ngannou def Junior Dos Santos via TKO (punches) Round 1- 1:11
Joseph Benavidez def Jussier Formiga via TKO (head kick and punches) Round 2- 4:47
Demian Maia def Anthony Rocco Martin via Decision (majority) (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
Vinc Pichel def Roosevelt Roberts via Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Drew Dober def Marco Polo Reyes via TKO (punches) Round 1- 1:07
Alonzo Menifield def Paul Craig via KO (punches) Round 1- 3:19