The Real Winners and Losers from UFC on ESPN 10

Kelsey McCarsonFeatured ColumnistJune 14, 2020

The Real Winners and Losers from UFC on ESPN 10

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    Chris Unger/Getty Images

    There was another action-packed night of UFC fights available to consume Saturday on ESPN and ESPN+.

    The world's premier MMA promotion has been a leader among U.S.-based sports leagues during the COVID-19 pandemic, with UFC on ESPN 10 at its fan-free UFC APEX venue in Las Vegas president Dana White and Co's sixth event since resuming in May.

    Now that the action is complete, it's time to sort through the results of the latest UFC card to determine the evening's biggest winners and losers.

    So read through our list, and see whether you can come up with better takes.

Winner: Valentina Shevchenko

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    The list of possible opponents for Valentina Shevchenko has grown by one.
    The list of possible opponents for Valentina Shevchenko has grown by one.Cooper Neill/Getty Images

    No, UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko didn't make an appearance Saturday, but the card featured main event matchup between Jessica Eye and longtime strawweight contender Cynthia Calvillo.

    But Shevchenko stood the most to win or lose from the outcome of the fight, and since Calvillo scored a dominant decision win, the women's flyweight champ will wake up tomorrow morning with a new contender to her 125-pound throne.

    That seems important. Eye had long been the best fighter in the women's flyweight division this side of its champion, and the 125-pound division was in need of a talent infusion heading into Saturday night.

    Shevchenko kicked Eye into oblivion last summer, so her being ranked the No. 1 contender at 125 pounds didn't do anything for the division as a whole. Calvillo's victory adds to the depth of the field.

    Shevchenko has huge superfights ahead of her against other UFC champs such as Zhang Weili and Amanda Nunes someday. But Zhang still has work cut out for her as the strawweight champ, and Nunes already holds two decision wins over Shevchenko.

    That means Shevchenko needs more legitimate flyweight contenders to keep her busy while those potential bouts develop. Calvillo beating the No. 1 contender in her first fight in a new division immediately makes her a legit threat to the titleholder.

Loser: Missing Weight

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    This card featured three fighters who missed weight and then lost.
    This card featured three fighters who missed weight and then lost.Chris Unger/Getty Images

    Making weight in combat sports is incredibly important, primarily because of how dangerous it is for fighters to lock horns with someone who should be fighting in a higher weight class.

    So when athletes miss weight for their fights, it's the type of unprofessional move that could lead to dire consequences.

    Even so, sometimes a fighter missing weight turns out to be good for them. In fact, one might argue that sometimes fighters choose to stop trying to cut weight because they know it will better serve them if the event goes on the following day.

    But that's not what happened on this card.

    Three fighters missed weight at the pre-fight weigh-ins Friday, and all three of them lost.

    Jessica Eye, Karl Roberson and Zarrukh Adashev all decided discretion was the better part of valor when it came to trying to reach the weight limits of the divisions for which they signed fight contracts.

    But none of those fighters ended up benefiting.

Winner: Viral Video Payoff

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    Marvin Vettori's matchup makes good on its viral video hype.
    Marvin Vettori's matchup makes good on its viral video hype.Chris Unger/Getty Images

    The co-main event didn't last long, but there was a host of solid fighting accomplished by both fighters before rising middleweight Marvin Vettori scored his submission win over rival Karl Roberson.

    There were big bombs thrown, some high-level scrambles, several strong ground-and-pound moves and, in the end, the middleweight showdown turned out to be worthy of all the extra pre-fight promotion the fight received because of the recent altercation between the fighters had that was captured on video.

    Vettori was scheduled to face Roberson at UFC on ESPN+ 29 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. But after Roberson didn't make weight and had to go to the hospital, the bout was removed from the card, and the two had a huge altercation in the hotel lobby over the matter.

    That viral video basically became a pre-fight promo for the rescheduled contest. Things got even better from that perspective after Roberson missed weight again for this one.

    It was a solid scrap.

    Vettori channeled his anger and aggression into a solid performance that should have him busting into the 185-pound rankings soon.

    Sometimes things like the hotel scuffle Vettori and Roberson found themselves in bring more eyes to the fight than is warranted.

    That didn't prove to be the case for this fight.

Loser: Georges St-Pierre's All-Time Takedown Record?

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    A rising star is on pace to overtake Georges St-Pierre.
    A rising star is on pace to overtake Georges St-Pierre.Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

    Is UFC legend Georges St-Pierre's all-time takedowns record in trouble?

    According to the UFC's online record book, the retired champ holds the all-time takedowns record for the promotion, but he might only be the placeholder.

    Sure, it's just one of the many accolades and accomplishments St-Pierre has attached to his name, but it's amazing to think that rising bantamweight star Merab Dvalishvili might already be on his way to smashing St-Pierre's record.

    St-Pierre landed 90 takedowns over the course of his UFC career. It took him 22 fights to amass that number.

    Dvalishvili? This guy already has 52 takedowns in just six UFC fights.

    To put that in a more contemporary perspective, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has landed 59 takedowns in 12 UFC fights.

    Imagine how many more Dvalishvili might have if he makes it to a 12th UFC contest.

    How many more if he makes it to 22 fights like St-Pierre did?

    Dvalishvili's total takedown pace is remarkable.

Winner: Fast Finishes

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    Fast finishes ruled the night during the preliminary card.
    Fast finishes ruled the night during the preliminary card.Chris Unger/Getty Images

    Four of the first five fights were first-round stoppages, and three of them happened in less than a minute.

    Was it the smaller Octagon?

    In May, MMA Junkie's John Morgan revealed the UFC was using a 25-foot cage for its slate of events at UFC APEX rather than its standard 30-foot Octagon.

    Per Morgan, UFC officials prefer the way the larger cage looks on television, but it can't always fit that into some venues.

    Regardless, maybe the confined space Saturday meant there was less room for the losing fighters to find respite.

    Or maybe the matchmakers just had a bad night?

    Or a good one?

    Only they would know, and the answers to whether they would consider the fast stoppages good or bad depend on one's point of view. Nothing sets up a prospect for failure quite as well as fights that are too easy. But nothing builds a fighter toward stardom faster than starching opponents fast and furiously.

    Whatever was going on Saturday night during the preliminary card, it sure made for some memorable moments. Christian Aguilera finished Anthony Ivy in 59 seconds to start the card. Tyson Nam obliterated Zarrukh Adashev in just 32 seconds in the second fight. And Julia "Raging Panda" Avila used a furious barrage of aggression to fell Gina Mazany after just 22 seconds during the third. 

    Fans of fast finishes were rewarded if they tuned into the action during the preliminary card.

UFC on ESPN 10 Full Card Results

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    Cynthia Calvillo headlines with a win over Jessica Eye.
    Cynthia Calvillo headlines with a win over Jessica Eye.Chris Unger/Getty Images

    Main Card

    Cynthia Calvillo def. Jessica Eye by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47).

    Marvin Vettori def. Karl Roberson by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:17, Round 1.

    Charles Rosa def. Kevin Aguilar by split decision (29-28, 29, 28, 28-29).

    Andre Fili def. Charles Jourdain by split decision (29-28, 29, 28, 28-29).

    Jordan Espinosa def. Mark De La Rosa by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26).

    Mariya Agapova def. Hannah Cifers by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:42, Round 1.


    Preliminary Card

    Merab Dvalishvili def. Gustavo Lopez by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-25).

    Julia Avila def. Gina Mazany by TKO (multiple punches) at 0:22, Round 1.

    Tyson Nam def. Zarrukh Adashev by KO (right hand) at 0:32, Round 1.

    Christian Aguilera def. Anthony Ivy by TKO (right hand) at 0:59, Round 1.