UFC Vegas 28 post-topsy: Gettin ‘Bigi’ with it, Argentina’s weird night, and bonus checks
Several Ultimate Fighting Championship talents stood tall in big moments last night at UFC Vegas 28. While some others had serious nights to forget. We take a look at those pivotal events in this UFC Vegas 28 post-topsy.
UFC Vegas 28 Post-topsy: Coming up ‘Bigi’
If Jairzinho Rozenstruik would have lost at UFC Vegas 28, it would have likely set any title contention hopes he had back a year or more. He would have had to slowly climb up the rankings by winning at least three straight for matchmakers to even consider him for future championship opportunities. But “Bigi Boy” avoided all that headache in one fell knockout swoop on Augusto Sakai inside the UFC Apex.
After four straight knockouts to open his UFC run, the Suriname native had lost two of his last three and came up short in February against Ciryl Gane in his first main event opportunity. But in scoring a first-round buzzer-beater knockout of Sakai last night, the sixth-ranked thumper proved his top-five worthiness and kept himself within striking distance of a title shot. Assuming he can turn last night into a new winning streak. Simply put, Rozenstruik came up “Bigi” in a pivotal career moment last night in Las Vegas.
The best of times and worst of times in the UFC Vegas 28 co-main event
Marcin Tybura is on the best run of his career. Winning five straight in the UFC is a whole other level of streaking compared to winning your first twelve pro fights outside the Octagon. The eleventh-ranked Polish talent has wracked up a solid hit list in the last year and a half. Including victories over skilled fighters like Sergey Spivak, Ben Rothwell, and now eighth-ranked Walt Harris.
After weathering an early storm, like most Harris opponents often have to do, Tybura showcased the composure of experience and top-10 level talent in taking the fight where he needed it and quickly dispatching of the American big man. Who would have thought after knockout losses to Shamil Abdurakhimov and Augusto Sakai that “Tyber’s” career would be where it is today. But here he is as one of the hottest talents in the division and legitimate top-10 fighter in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
On the flip side of this equation is Harris. After a run in 2018 and ’19 where he finally seemed to be reaching his potential, he is in the midst of a career-low point. He has lost three straight for the first time and was on the wrong side of technical knockouts in each bout. It’s hard not to feel for the Alabama native when the worst time in his career follows up one of the worst moments in his life after the tragic 2019 murder of his step-daughter Aniah Blanchard.
As journalists, we are expected to be unbiased and objective when covering our chosen field. However, it’s a very understandable and human emotion to root for Harris to finally end an awful run of bad luck in his next Octagon outing.
A weird night for Argentina in the Octagon
UFC Vegas 28 featured not one, but two mixed martial arts talents from South America, in Argentine combatants Santiago Ponzinibbio and Laureano Staropoli. And those men’s night couldn’t have been any more different. Ponzinibbio was not only a part of the best fight of the night, he was party to one of the best scraps and rounds of the year, with young gun talent Miguel Baeza. He gritted through a lead leg clearly damaged from stiff low kicks and boxed up Baeza with technique and outright toughness to get a needed victory. It was a sight to behold.
On the other hand, in losing a third straight Staropoli looked like a blue-belt in a black belt class as the local Brazilian jiu-jitsu school. Roman Dolidze found out early that the standing back position was a riddle wrapped in an enigma for “El Matador.” He just could not get the Georgian off him for the better part of three rounds. It was a peculiar situation that turned that fight into one that benefited from no fans being in attendance. Because it surely would have been booed out of the building if they were. Staropoli did a lot in one fight to make UFC brass question if he truly is a UFC caliber talent.
Bonus check cashers
Fight of the night bonus: Santiago Ponzinibbio versus Miguel Baeza
Performance bonus: Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Performance bonus: Marcin TyburaJoin the discussion on this topic...