The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Combat Sports Dominate Headlines: New Champions Crowned

It has been an eventful past couple of weeks in the world of combat sports, especially with the remarkable action that transpired in UFC 300 on April 13. The lineup most notably featured two lightweight cards, Charles Oliveira (34-10-0) vs. Arman Tsarukyan (23-3-0) and Justin Gaethje (25-5-0) vs. Max Holloway (26-7-0), in addition to the main event, featuring the dynamic favorite Alex Pereira (10-2-0) vs. Jamahal Hill (12-2-0) in a fight for the title of light heavyweight champion of the world.

27-year-old Arman Tsarukyan’s power was on full display in his fight against the underdog Oliveria, with Tsarukyan winning by split decision after an entertaining three rounds. Tsarukyan dominated the entire fight, landing 75 total strikes to Oliveria’s 33, despite Oliveria’s four submission attempts. After withstanding a scary chokehold from Oliveria that extended through the final horn, Tsarukyan’s victory puts him in a position to challenge for the lightweight title later this year.

“I showed everyone that I deserve to be number one in 155,” Tsarukyan said in a post-fight interview. “In my mind, I knew that I was going to win and fight for the belt.”

The following lightweight fight saw the underdog Max Holloway defeat Justin Gaethje in a five-round bout. Holloway, a former featherweight champion, was in control from the beginning, landing 34 more strikes than Gaethje in the first three rounds alone. Holloway concluded the fight with 181 total strikes, 62 of which came in the fifth round.

It appeared that the fight was going to come down to a decision, until Holloway landed a nasty right hook to Gaethje’s jaw with one second remaining in the fifth round, knocking him out cold and leaving Holloway one step closer to the lightweight belt. This was a historical win for Holloway, as it ties him for the fourth most victories in UFC history.

“Any weight, I’m a gladiator — I don’t care,” Holloway said in his octagon interview. “Whoever is next […] let’s get it.” 

Oliveira vs. Tsarukyan and Gaethje vs. Holloway set the stage for an engaging bout between Alex Pereira and Jamahal Hill for the light heavyweight championship. The fight was a quick one, but noteworthy nonetheless. Pereira, who came in as a -125 favorite, knocked Hill to the canvas with a forceful left hook midway through the first round. Pereira took advantage of the opportunity, pouncing on Hill immediately and repeatedly striking him until the referee called it just three minutes and 14 seconds into the main card. Pereira commented on his victory in a post-fight interview.

“I feel very happy with the result. This is what we’ve been talking about,” Pereria said. “Obviously UFC 300 is very special, but I want to put on a good performance regardless of when I fight.”

Pereira’s win against Hill added to one of the most sensational resumes in the history of the UFC, as the man known as “Poatan” now has three straight victories coming within the 205-pound weight class as well as three championship fights within the last three years. 

This past weekend, boxing fans around the world experienced their fair share of excitement, as well. Ryan Garcia (25-1, 20 KOs) faced off against Devin Haney (31-1, 15 KOs), who was favored at -900, in a highly anticipated 12-round bout. The two 25-year-olds had been jawing at each other over social media for weeks leading up to the fight, and the animosity was on full display this past Saturday.

Despite expectations, the fight went the full 12 rounds and was jam-packed with intense action. Haney was able to recover from a strong left hook from Garcia early in the first round, as the champion went on to outbox his opponent in the second, third, fourth and fifth rounds. However, Garcia fired back in round seven, knocking Haney to the canvas — the first time anyone has done so in Haney’s 32 pro fights.

Garcia continued dishing out blows to the face and body for the remainder of the fight, knocking Haney down twice more in rounds 10 and 11. Haney was able to go the distance despite an impressive showing from the underdog Garcia, although Garcia ultimately claimed the victory via split decision. However, some pre-fight controversy regarding Garcia’s fighting weight made him ineligible to claim the WBC junior welterweight title. Therefore, Haney remains the champion.

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