UFC 252: Looking back on the event that ended an era


Main Card: 

John Dodson vs Merab Dvalishvili (W) – Bantamweight Bout 

Kicking off the main card for UFC 252 is a bout between two top-ranked bantamweight contenders as 12th ranked contender John Dodson takes on 15th ranked contender Merab Dvalishvili. The first minute or so of the first round was just both guys putting feelers out there to see what the other would as a reaction. That was until Merab finally shot for the takedown and Dodson managed to stuff all 4 attempts by Merab. However, Merab was laying in some nasty knees to the back of the legs of Dodson whilst having dominant clinch control. 10-9 Merab for me. 

Round 2 was a lot of the same as the first one with Merab scared of shooting in knowing Dodson has the power and speed to catch him, and Dodson reluctant to throw some hands as Merab would be open to shooting for the takedown. Dodson has done a fantastic job of stuffing the takedown attempts by Merab but he isn’t following up with anything. Maybe 20-18 Merab. 

Round 3 saw much more success for Dodson as he seemed to have the hope that he could land a few more shots, allowing his hands to go and really go at Merab but he just couldn’t find a way through the constant pace and pressure Merab was putting on him. One thing to note about Dodson, even when Merab got him down, he bounced straight back up but for me, Merab won 30-27 and all 3 judges agreed as Merab extends his UFC win streak to 5 in a row. 

Herbert Burns vs Daniel Pineda (W) – Featherweight Bout 

We move up to the featherweight bout for this next fight on the main card as impressive prospect Herbert Burns welcomes Daniel Pineda back to the UFC after some time with other promotions. Pineda found some early success with a couple of right hands down the middle that stunned Burns. Burns went for the level change and got the takedown but Pineda flipped dominant position on him and held it for almost 4 minutes whilst raining down a variety of ground and pound. 10-9 Pineda. 

Round 2 started and Burns shot and got the takedown straight away, looking to lock in a quick submission. He took the back of Pineda and looked to be in a good position but Pineda just easily powered out and got full mount. From there Pineda managed to lock in a crucifix position and just rained down constant elbows and punches for a solid minute before the ref stepped in and stopped the fight, a huge win for Pineda. 

Junior Dos Santos vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik (W) – Heavyweight Bout 

We now move back to the heavyweight division as two top-ranked contenders do battle with the 5th ranked contender Junior Dos Santos takes on the 6th ranked contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Round 1 was very much of a patient game between the two heavyweights as both know how much power eachother holds. Rozenstruik started with some leg kicks early on and he caught Dos Santos with a little flurry after catching his leg from a body kick. Dos Santos landed a nice overhand right and to end the round, connected with a spinning head kick. 10-9 Dos Santos for me, but extremely close. 

The round started and both guys were sitting off eachother and Dos Santos found some success with a nice jab to keep Rozenstruik out of range. Rozenstruik was trying to close the distance with some leg kicks but was struggling to get inside. A huge overhead right from Dos Santos connected and then Rozenstruik hit one of his own that gave him some needed confidence, from there Rozenstruik hit Dos Santos with a beautiful flurry and put Dos Santos down, from there he layed in some ground and pound before Dos Santos looked to get to his feet before eating another right hand and that was the fight. 

Continued on the page below.

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports