Before we take a look at this week’s Kill Cliff FC lightweight Maheshate’s UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland bout vs. Rafa Garcia, a few words must be said about last week’s UFC 282 highly entertaining but ultimately very disheartening matchup between KCFC’s Jared “Flash” Gordon and British rising star Paddy Pimblett.
The co-main PPV event was pitted Gordon’s workmanlike 18-6 pro record against Paddy “the Baddy”’s fast-climbing 20-3 tally.
Things were looking good for Gordon, who was coming off an August win against Leonardo Santos in UFC 278, with a unanimous decision. On the other hand, he was also coming off an April submission loss (rear-naked choke) vs. Grant Dawson.
Pimblett, on the other hand, was coming off a four-win streak, between March 2020 and March 2022, including his first three UFC appearances that caught the eye of the Powers That Be. Pimblett’s charisma is undeniable, and he’s the most flamboyant fighter with an adorable accent since a certain bearded Irish fighter held down two UFC weight class championships simultaneously.
UFC did not lower the ladder to the top by staging the Gordon-Pimblett bout—so the blonde charmer could advance once again. Gordon, who is nobody’s tomato can, was seen as Baddy’s biggest test yet—and he was.
And then came the decision. It was unanimous. For Pimblett. 29-28, 29-28, 29-28.
The sad trombones started immediately. Pimblett wasn’t even out of the Octagon before he faced the “Gordon was robbed” music.
For the record, Sherdog’s judges had it 30-27 for Gordon. That’s not an official endorsement, but it’s an indication that anyone who watches fights as closely as they do saw something…different.
In any case, KCFC’s Gordon literally took the result on the chin and is processing it a lot better than his fans. Pimblett, to his credit, is generously calling for a decisive rematch in Britain, which is exactly the kind of thing the UFC Powers That Be were trying to gin up, right? A big money, top-of-the-card rematch on Pimblett’s home ground would be tremendous, right?
We’d be interested in that. Gordon certainly is.
But, like Gordon’s fans, we have doubts that’s going to happen. We’ll see in the coming weeks who they throw at Baddy. But it better be a goodie.
MAHESHATE Vs. RAFA GARCIA
KCFC’s Maheshate is the third youngest UFC fighter, at barely 23-years-old. Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, he’ll be stepping into the highest-profile spotlight for only the second time in his career after demonstrating destructive punching power in five straight WLF-W.A.R.S. battles.
In all, Maheshate—whose nickname really should be Machete, but who are we to give nicknames?—has a professional record of 9-1, with his first UFC matchup lasting all of 1:14 (punches, vs. Steve Garcia) and a face-off of champions in Dana White’s Contender Series, 2021: Week 10 vs. Achilles Estremadura that went the distance for a unanimous decision.
Now he faces another Garcia in Rafa, aka “Gifted.” Gifted is 13-3 and reeling from a July UFC loss to Drakkar Klose with a unanimous decision.
In interviews this week Garcia describes how his approach is to take opponents apart a little at a time, taking up to 20 percent off his punches to get the opponent to make mistakes. “You can’t go out there looking for the finish; you’ve got to go out there and work on your opponent,” he said.
Good luck with that! Maheshate’s last fight ended with a lightning fast, devastating short right hand that rung Garcia’s chime so loud, nearby Taco Bells were selling out burritos.
The prelims, including this even, start at 7 p.m. ET; you can see it at ESPN+ and ESPN+ PPV.
THIS IS AMUSING, KIND OF
By the way, you want to see the worst boxing ever to be broadcast on TV? Check out Chessboxing. This crap is crap.