Fox Sports Asia takes a look at all the action in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 127.
This showdown was a rematch between a Polish giant and the ‘Poster Boy’ Londoner. Both fighters looked stoic, showing a little personality during their introductions before returning to their business personas.
The fight started off much like their last fight, Manuwa pushing forward and Blachowicz being cautious. There was some trash talk coming from Blachowicz which caused Manuwa to start swinging for the fences looking somewhat off balance.
After the failed haymakers, Blachowicz landed a decent head kick which was punished by some vicious leg kicks from Manuwa – looking like someone swinging a baseball bat into Blachowicz’s leg. A battle of ferocious kicks ensued.
The battle didn’t last long as both men decided it would be better to trade hands. Blachowicz caught Manuwa overextending himself and countered with a decent combination, sending Manuwa into an alternate universe.
Manuwa was able to scramble to his feet but Blachowicz continued to ride his wave of momentum, pummelling Manuwa for the better part of the last half of the round. Manawa’s nose was gushing blood as Blachowicz ended the round with more trash talk.
— UFC (@ufc) March 17, 2018
Manuwa looked angry as he was dabbing off his nose. The beginning of the round saw Manuwa landing some devastating combinations, throwing vicious uppercuts to the body that looked simply evil. He was working to target Blachowicz’s liver, which will cause an instant shutdown of the body if the shot lands properly.
Manuwa, showing a little bit of fatigue, got caught a few more times by Blachowicz with some long uppercuts. Then Blachowicz began pushing the pace even more, smashing Manuwa against the cage and securing a takedown for a short time before Manuwa scrambled back to his feet.
Manuwa got aggressive again, but was expending too much energy. He had a decent amount of success as long as he kept the fight at range.
Towards the end of the round, Manuwa landed a massive head kick causing Blachowicz to wobble like a baby giraffe, before diving in for a takedown and smashing Manuwa against the cage as the round ended.
— UFC (@ufc) March 17, 2018
The third round started with both fighters visibly tired but showing good sportsmanship as they slapped hands. Then the exchanges started with both men biting down on their mouthpieces and stepping into the pocket to swing away.
The exchanges were decent with both men landing, but Blachowicz was out striking Manuwa with pure volume. Blachowicz was having decent success countering with some good variety, finally securing a takedown and landing some ground and pound as the fight ended.
The pace set by these light heavyweights is not something we normally get to see. Blachowicz won the unanimous decision by using a series of diverse striking techniques mixed with takedown attempts. Manuwa was clearly frustrated as he left the octagon, knowing he had lost the fight. Both fighters put on a show at a pace that is not normally seen in the light heavyweight division, which was a treat for everyone watching.
Now at 1-1, I have a feeling we will see a trilogy match one day as these two fighters will continue to climb the ranks in their division.
Tommy “WildCard” Hayden is a former UFC fighter and Head MMA Coach at Elite Fight Club, Bangkok.