Just In MMA Junkie’s ‘Fight of the Month’ for August: Middleweights meet expectations MMA Life

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With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMA Junkie looks at the best fights from August 2019: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMA Junkie’s “Fight of the Month” award for August.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

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The Nominees

Antonina Shevchenko def. Lucie Pudilova at UFC on ESPN 5

Antonina Shevchenko (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) never got a tap, but she still finished her fight with Lucie Pudilova (8-5 MMA, 2-4 UFC) before judges could get close in the women’s flyweight bout.

Shevchenko almost trapped Pudilova in the first round, and she finished the job to leave her opponent unconscious in the second. The fight was off as Shevchenko cranked on a rear-naked choke. The referee initially had gotten a physical response from Pudilova as he checked to see whether she was out. But after advancing to back mount, Pudilova went out, forcing the stoppage.

Vicente Luque def. Mike Perry at UFC on ESPN+ 14

Vicente Luque (17-6-1 MMA, 10-2 UFC) and Mike Perry (13-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC) was a back and-forth affair. The high-action bout resulted in a high-energy crowd, who were seemingly thrilled as the welterweight bout lived up to expectations.

Although the contest was tight in a lot of areas, one department that heavily leaned in Luque’s favor was damage inflicted. He broke Perry’s nose in absolutely gruesome fashion, and that certainly contributed to Luque’s split decision victory.

Drakkar Klose def. Christos Giagos at UFC 241

Drakkar Klose (11-1-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) added to his near spotless record when he defeated Christos Giagos (17-8 MMA, 3-4 UFC) in an entertaining lightweight fight with multiple highlight moments.

Klose scored the biggest highlight of them all when he picked Giagos up over his shoulder and slammed him to the mat. It might have been the difference in an exciting, back-and-forth affair that ended in a unanimous decision for Klose.

Paulo Costa def. Yoel Romero at UFC 241

Paulo Costa (13-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) validated himself as a true middleweight contender when he defeated Yoel Romero (13-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) that was every bit as exciting as it was billed to be.

Costa joined reigning 185-pound king Robert Whittaker as the only fighters to beat Romero in UFC competition when he earned a unanimous-decision victory in a matchup that was deemed “Fight of the Night” on one of the best cards of the year.

Stipe Miocic def. Daniel Cormier at UFC 241

In one of the more anticipated rematches in heavyweight history, Stipe Miocic (19-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) won a grueling battle against Daniel Cormier (22-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) to regain the title he lost to Cormier last year.

After losing two of three rounds on most scorecards, Miocic made a brilliant adjustment to attack the body. That set up a big flurry of head shots to finish Cormier by TKO in the fourth round and begin his second reign as UFC champion.

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The Winner: Paulo Costa vs. Yoel Romero

On paper, the middleweight bout between Costa and Romero looked like a classic matchup of an up-and-coming hotshot facing his biggest test against a cagey veteran determined to hold his spot.

In practice? That’s exactly what the fight delivered – an absolute barnburner of a brawl. Costa proved himself to be a legitimate championship contender at 185 pounds in a bout where both men were dropped and bloodied. The result was a unanimous decision in favor of the undefeated Brazilian.

The bout got off to a frantic start, with both fighters trading gigantic haymakers from the get-go. This included one sequence in which the duo took turns dropping one another within a matter of seconds.

The duo continued to stand and trade heavy strikes of all sorts, right up until Costa landed a bullseye of a knee in the clinch, which dropped Romero. After a timeout due to the foul, the pace picked up where it left off.

By the time the second round started, it was clear we were in for a grueling battle of attrition. Both guys continued to land heavy punches, frequently throwing simultaneously. Costa moved forward with his offense, while Romero found success countering. Romero landed a takedown as the second round wound down.

This marked the first time in Costa’s career he was pushed to the third round. The pace was a bit slower, but the shots landed just as heavy. There was a timeout after Romero landed an eye poke on Costa. The fighters took turns taunting one another in between exchanges. The heavy shots landed right up until the horn, whereupon the crowd gave both fighters a well deserved ovation.

“Romero isa beast, the toughest guy in the division, after me now,” Costa said. “Everyone knows that I am the toughest guy in the division now. I trained for every part of the fight: ground, cage, stand up, clinch and I showed everyone that I can beat anyone. Romero is a beast, a true martial artist, very tough.”

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