UFC Calgary: Proving Grounds - Alverez vs Poirier 2

UFC Calgary on Saturday, we have three ex-champs doing just that as American Eddie Alvarez, Brazilian legend Jose Aldo and Polish phenom Joanna Jedrzejczyk all look to re-establish their reputations after recent setbacks Jose Aldo especially is taking a huge risk in Calgary. He is, without question, a featherweight legend, unbeaten for ten years, and a defensive master, slick and cerebral, with a style that made it very difficult to imagine how he could be beaten, until Conor McGregor knocked him out in 13 seconds.
29 July 2018
by:   Mateusz Fenrych

Since then, he has won one, and lost two straight to new featherweight champ Hawaiian Max Holloway, in a manner that suggests that the MMA game has caught up with him finally.

The opponent he has to prove himself against is no joke either; Yank Jeremy Stephens, when on form is incredibly dangerous, a heavy-hitting and technically improving kickboxer. Aldo’s defensive instincts will need to be on point in his first non-title fight in nine years.

Jedrzejczyk was also incredibly dominant while her reign lasted, but in a different manner.

She was spiky and hyper-aggressive in fight mode, who instead of defensively outmanoeuvring her opponents would cut them into a thousand tiny pieces over a fight, with relentless output and a taste for technical weaknesses.

She was a feared predator, until American ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas put paid to that aura, also twice. In the first fight, it appeared that Jedrzejczyk both bought into her persona and mis-prepared for the fight badly. And she fought badly, with bad timing and a weak chin, suffering a shock first round KO.

For the second fight she prepared and fought much better. The fight was extremely close and Jedrzejczyk was on the cusp of taking it over, but Namajunas held on and won a technical striking match.

Despite the improved showing, it’s hard to argue that her standing is somewhat diminished after having her persona bluffed out quite so brusquely.

Torres is a good wrestler and a game striker; she’ll be a significant underdog, and rightly, but if Jedrzejczyk doesn’t learn from her two previous fights, Torres could capitalise.

For Alvarez the stakes are not quite so high. Although his title defense was meek, he has disproved his meekness since, against Arizonian Justin Gaethje, were he took insane damage but doled out just enough to prevail.

He has also fought this weekend’s opponent – Dustin Poirier, fellow American and title challenger - once too, and showed heart; it ended inconclusively though, when Alvarez got hurt, then illegally kneed Poirier in the head, and the fight was ruled a No Contest.

He must prove he won’t get stage fright on the highest stage – the stakes are not quite so high for him, as his demons won’t be slain here, but in a potential title fight earned from a win against Poirier.

Alvarez’s redemption journey is well under way, while the other two are just taking their very first steps on the road to recovery.



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