Video Credit: CBS Sports

FSM Essential Recap: UFC 295

Two new champions were crowned in New York as UFC 295 saw a new king of the mountain rise in both the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions.

UFC 295 was action-packed!

UFC 295 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

After rearranging the main event due to Jon Jones’s injury, the UFC promoted the original co-main event to the spotlight as Jiri Prochazka took on Alex Pereira for the vacant Light Heavyweight title.

Prochazka (29-4) was looking to recapture the title. He had to fix himself because of a shoulder injury. After over a year of recovery, the former champ stepped back into the octagon to see if he could reclaim his spot at the top of the mountain at 205lbs.

Standing across from the former champion was the former middleweight champion Pereira (9-2), who was looking to become a champion in another division. The kickboxing champion turned MMA fighter had only his eleventh MMA fight and seventh UFC bout. Within two years of making his debut for the promotion, the Brazilian was looking to make history.

UFC 295 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Image

Early on, Pereira showed how powerful his leg kicks were as he attacked the left leg of Prochazka often, even scoring a knockdown from a leg kick. While unorthodox in his attacking style, Prochazka struggled with the leg kicks as his mobility slowed down with each kick. As the fight went on, Prochazka started to land some punches from different angles that seemed to open a window of opportunity, but the damage from the leg kicks prevented Jiri from jumping in for the kill.

In the second round, Prochazka started to find his groove and found a home for his right hand. As it seemed Jiri was starting to land enough shots to turn up the pressure, Pereira landed a right-left hook combo that dropped the former champion. Jiri tried to reach for a double leg takedown, but Pereira unleashed hammer fists and elbows to the head that rocked the former champion back, and the ref jumped in for the stoppage.

It was a questionable quick stop as with so much on the line, you’d like to get a definitive finish, but Pereira got his hand raised and looked excellent in his second bout at light heavyweight as he is the new king of the mountain. In two years, Pereira has captured gold in two different divisions with less than a dozen MMA fights in his career. The Brazilian called out his nemesis, Israel Adesanya, to come back up to 205lbs so they could add another chapter to their rivalry. Former champion Jamahal Hill hopes he can return soon enough to get the first crack at the new champion, but his recovery time will tell.

UFC 295 saw the crowning of a new champion.

The co-main event also saw the crowning of a new champion.

UFC 295 saw Tom Aspinall take down Sergei Pavlovich.

UFC 295 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Another shakeup to the card saw a new heavyweight bout set between Tom Aspinall and Sergei Pavlovich for the interim heavyweight title.

Two heavyweight stars who clearly were on their way to their respective shot at the title stood across from one another, looking to add UFC gold to their resume. Could Pavlovich‘s power and aggressive attacks be too much for the British fighter? Or will Aspinall‘s speed and quickness offset the power and lead to a win over the Russian?

Pavlovich (18-2) was able to land a heavy shot early on that put Aspinall on his heels, but a quick recovery saw things even out, and then Aspinall found a home with two right hands to the top of Pavlovich‘s head that put the big man out on his feet and finished once he hit the floor. With a first-round finish, the UFC now has a heavyweight title holder, and the UK has their second champion on the roster and third overall.

Obviously, these weren’t the proper circumstances under which these two wanted to meet, but an opportunity was presented, and they both gave it a shot. Aspinall, who won his first five UFC bouts before suffering an injury that benched him for a year, lived up to the hype many gave him, thinking he could be the next great heavyweight champion. His last four wins haven’t gone past the first round, so with Jones healing up, Aspinall has a chance to start carving out his own place amongst the greats in the meantime.

UFC 295 once again gave the fans a great showing!

Two divisions now have their champions. A young prospect is cashing in on his potential and a new addition to the double champ room. UFC 295 had its change-ups but still gave us a huge card to enjoy that delivered.


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-Kalani Lua – Franchise Sports Media

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