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5 largest takeaways from UFC on ESPN 56: Derrick Lewis magic returns and Dana White criticism of foremost card winner

What mattered most at UFC on ESPN 56 in St. Louis? Here are a few post-fight musings … * * * * 5 Esteban Ribovics takes Terrance McKinney’s M.O. May 11, 2024; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Terrance McKinney (red gloves) fights Esteban Ribovics (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff

What mattered most at UFC on ESPN 56 in St. Louis? Here are a few post-fight musings … * * * * 5 Esteban Ribovics takes Terrance McKinney's M.O. May 11, 2024; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Terrance McKinney (red gloves) fights Esteban Ribovics (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff

What mattered most at UFC on ESPN 56 in St. Louis? Listed below are a number of post-fight musings …

* * * *

5

Esteban Ribovics takes Terrance McKinney’s M.O.

Might 11, 2024; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Terrance McKinney (purple gloves) fights Esteban Ribovics (blue gloves) throughout UFC Battle Night time at Enterprise Middle. Necessary Credit score: Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports activities

Coming into their light-weight bout on the prelims, Terrance McKinney was often known as the person succesful placing opponent’s lights out within the blink of an eye fixed. After it, although, these sort of expectations should positioned on Esteban Ribovics.

Ribovics (13-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) needed just 37 seconds to punt McKinney’s head into the bleachers with an attractive proper head kick whereas within the movement of a mixture. The Argentinian fighter set McKinney up completely and landed the brutal knockout shot, and the sort of efficiency isn’t overseas to him – we simply haven’t seen it within the UFC so far.

Out of his now 13 skilled wins, Ribovics has received inside two minutes a complete of six occasions. That features a seven-second knockout again in December 2020 on the regional scene, and now he’s transitioning these outcomes to the most important stage. He in some way didn’t get a Efficiency of the Night time bonus for this, both, which is sort of tragic.

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McKinney is an admittedly inconsistent competitor and defines “kill or be killed” in there. This time it didn’t go his method, and that allowed Ribovics to shine.

4

Chase Hooper’s stunning efficiency

Might 11, 2024; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Chase Hooper (purple gloves) fights Viacheslav Borshchev (blue gloves) throughout UFC Battle Night time at Enterprise Middle. Necessary Credit score: Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports activities

Chase Hooper now not might be described as one-dimensional after his efficiency towards Viacheslav Borshchev.

Yeah, Hooper (14-3-1 MMA, 6-3 UFC) spent more often than not on the bottom and finally finished the job with a D’Arce choke within the second spherical, however it was all began within the opening spherical of the light-weight bout, when he scored his first UFC knockdown.

Borshchev was floored by the shot and by no means discovered a second of success from that time ahead. It was a promising second for Hooper followers. He’s now 3-0 since transferring as much as 155 kilos a yr in the past, and this effort confirmed he’s evolving.

At 24, Hooper nonetheless has loads to of labor to do on his recreation earlier than competing with the elite of the division. However he’s taking promising strides towards more and more tougher competitors, and that’s all you may ask for out of a prospect like him.

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3

Robelis Despaigne’s hype prepare derailed, and Dana White’s response

Might 11, 2024; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Waldo Cortes Acosta (purple gloves) fights Robelis Despaigne (blue gloves) throughout UFC Battle Night time at Enterprise Middle. Necessary Credit score: Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports activities

Robelis Despaigne advised MMA Junkie previous to entering into the octagon with Waldo Cortes-Acosta that he was going to be combating for the UFC heavyweight championship by 2025. These ambitions took an enormous blow together with his first profession loss.

Coming in, Despaigne (5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) appeared like he was able to wreaking havoc over the division. He blew threw his first 5 profession opponents within the first spherical, with 4 of these wins coming in lower than 20 seconds. That sort of fighter is horrifying, but additionally a goal for a lot of questions.

Despaigne gave us solutions to numerous unknowns, however not in a great way. His takedown protection and conditioning have been lower than par for somebody seeking to put their title in title competition, nor was his resistance to adversity.

All due respect to Cortes-Acosta, who rightfully did what he wanted to do to get this win, however a superior fighter to him would’ve had the referee pulling them off Despaigne on this night time.

UFC CEO Dana White seemingly felt the identical. He fully crapped on Cortes-Acosta’s win on the post-fight information convention, claiming it could’ve gotten a bonus for “sh*ttiest combat of the night time” if he was in a position to give one.

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White was appropriate in his description that Cortes-Acosta vs. Despaigne was the worst combat on the cardboard. He went down this street at first to indicate that the remainder of the motion on the night time was entertaining, however it’s additionally laborious to know what extra Cortes-Acosta might’ve achieved. Standing with Despaigne for any size of time would’ve been silly, and the takedowns got here straightforward.

The criticism ought to finally fall greater on Despaigne, as he had no protection for Cortes-Acosta’s fundamental recreation plan. It’s a troublesome lesson for Despaigne, however one which’s finest to study now if he’s going to attain any of the potential that’s clearly there with him.

2

Joaquin Buckley’s welterweight run rolls on

Joaquin Buckley demanded an opportunity to combat in his hometown of St. Louis towards anybody the UFC wished him too, and the matchmakers took that actually in giving him Nursulton Ruziboev, who introduced a 10-fight first-round stoppage streak into the co-main occasion bout.

Not solely that, however Ruziboev carried a harmful 6-foot-5 body into the octagon, which was a stark distinction to the 5-foot-8 Buckley (20-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC). None of that mattered to Buckley, although, as a result of he exploited the weak spot of his opponent with takedowns over the course of three rounds to say a clear unanimous decision.

With victories over Ruziboev and Vicente Luque in the span of six weeks, Buckley is now 4-0 since he dropped right down to the welterweight division from middleweight in Might 2023. His total recreation and combat IQ is way more refined on this run, and he’s little doubt earned a major alternative.

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Buckley has the combating type, charisma and confidence that, in principle, ought to encourage the UFC advertising machine to hop on board. UFC boss White indicated post-fight that’s going to be the case, and it’s warranted.

1

Derrick Lewis does it once more

Derrick Lewis did what he does finest but once more in the primary occasion when he entertained the plenty from starting to finish towards Rodrigo Nascimento.

The combat itself left a bit one thing to be desired, if we’re being overly essential. However Lewis (28-12 MMA, 19-10 UFC) received the tip consequence he wished, as he has so many occasions previously, when he surprised Nascimento early within the third spherical then completed the job for his 15th octagon knockout, which prolonged his personal all-time document.

Lewis was simply getting began as soon as the referee pulled him off Nascimento, although. He took off his shorts, fanned off Nascimento whereas he was being taken care of by the medical doctors, then proceeded to drag out his cup, threw it into media row, then mooned your complete crowd.

If that wasn’t sufficient, Lewis delivered one other basic post-fight interview within the octagon with Michael Bisping to shut out one other memorable night time for “The Black Beast.”

Though Lewis stated he’s in his prime at 39, everyone knows he’s unlikely to seize the belt. He’s a necessary a part of the UFC product, although, and the followers will take as a lot of all these nights as they’ll get earlier than he ultimately calls it a profession.

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For extra on the cardboard, go to MMA Junkie’s occasion hub for UFC on ESPN 56.

Make sure you go to the MMA Junkie Instagram web page and YouTube channel to debate this and extra content material with followers of blended martial arts.

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