The MMA world was back at it at Fight Island Wednesday evening for UFC Fight Night 172 on ESPN.
The headliner pitted Calvin Kattar against Dan Ige in a featherweight battle. Though, lesser-known fighters in that of Lerone Murphy and Taila Santos impressed big time.
These are among the biggest winners and losers from Wednesday’s midweek UFC event.
Winner: Lerone Murphy remains undefeated
This Brit could very well be in line for a bigger audience moving forward after disposing of Ricardo Ramos in stunning fashion Wednesday evening. Murphy, 28, knocked out his opponent in the first round after landing several punches with Ramos pinned to the Octagon. It was a sight to behold.
Murphy is now 10-0-1 in his career with his only draw coming during UFC 242 last year. There’s now a darn good chance the featherweight fighter will find himself ranked next time he takes to the Octagon. It also wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he were put on the UFC 252 slate now, even if it is as a prelim.
Loser: Cody Stamann with bad defeat
It was earlier this year that the Michigan native came away with a convincing win over Brian Kelleher in UFC 250. That set the stage for Stamann to ascend the featherweight division rankings against Jimmie Rivera Wednesday evening. After all, he’s currently the No. 9-ranked bantamweight fighter in the world.
That did not happen. All judges scored the fight in favor of Rivera despite the stats being darn close. In reality, it was all about significant strikes. Rivera landed 30 compared to 18 for Stamann. That was pretty much the end of it.
Winner: Calvin Kattar is so clean
There’s a reason why Kattar was heavily favored over Dan Ige heading into Wednesday night’s main event. Boasting a 21-4 record, he as coming off a brilliant performance in a win over Jeremy Stephens in UFC 249 back in May.
Kattar more than lived up to the hype. The No. 6-ranked featherweight fighter put on a clinic from a pure boxing perspective, landing considerably more clean punches than his counterpart. In winning by unanimous decision, Kattar has now put Alexander Volkanovski on notice after his win over Max Holloway in UFC 251 Saturday night.
Loser: Andreas Michailidis drops first UFC fight
After a three-match win streak on the international circuit, this Greece native took center stage on ESPN Wednesday evening. It did not go according to plan. Michailidis lost by technical knockout after Modestas Bukauskas landed elbow after elbow in the first round.
Those announcing the match questioned whether the elbows were legal. However, UFC head Dana White backed up the referee after the bout. “I think that was a good stop by the ref,” White said.
Regardless, this loss is significant in that the UFC gave Michailidis a platform to see what he could do after dominating international competition to the tune of a 12-3 record.
Winner: “The Middle East Conor McGregor”
The story of Mounir Lazzez really is something else. White signed him to a UFC contract after watching tape of the Tunisia native from a restaurant in Las Vegas. Quickly, White knew that he had a potential star on his hands in that of the first ever born and bred Arab fighter.
Boasting a 9-1 record in his native country, Lazzez more than proved White right during Wednesday’s match against Abdul Razak Hassan. He won via unanimous decision, pretty much dominating his opponent at every turn.
The boisterous Lazzez then lived up to that billing as the “Middle East Conor McGregor” by saying post-fight that he wants to take on “that idiot, “Mike Perry.” This will be a fun career to watch grow. That’s for sure.
Loser: Molly McCann loses first fight in more than two years
McCann entered Wednesday’s bout against Taila Santos ranked No. 16 in the women’s flyweight division. She had not lost a fight since all the way back in May of 2018 and was favored to come out on top against the lesser-known Santos.
It did not turn out that way. Santos absolutely dominated McCann in every possible way, landing more punches and taking down the latter five times compares to zero. It led to a unanimous decision in favor of Santos and a brutal loss for McCann. One has to wonder where she goes from here.
Winner: Taila Santos is going to be a force
As noted above, McCann was heavily favored to take out Santos during UFC Fight Night 172 Wednesday evening. Santos last fought back in February of 2019, a loss to Mara Romero Borella in UFC Fight Night 144.
The Brazilian more than made up for that against McCann, putting up a dominating performance. Other fighters took note. Those watching were stunned by the lopsided win en route to seeing Santos earn a unanimous decision. She’s certainly a rising star in the women’s flyweight division. That’s for sure.
Loser: Dan Ige just not up to task
Ige entered Wednesday’s highly publicized bout against Calvin Kattar having won each of his past six UFC fights after losing his debut back in January of 2018. Despite this, the odd makers did not necessarily give the featherweight much of a chance.
For good reason. Kattar proved himself to be heads and shoulders better than Ige. He connected on more punches and was clean throughout the match. In what might have been the biggest bout of his career, Ige was outclassed in the Octagon. It’s that simple.