MMAjunkie’s ‘Fight of the Month’ for August: A comeback TKO after ‘Round of the Year’

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best fights from August 2018: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Fight of the Month” award for August.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

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The Nominees

Alex Perez def. Jose Torres at UFC 227

Alex Perez (21-4 MMA, 3-0 UFC) capped off an incredible first year in the UFC, earning his third consecutive octagon victory by halting Jose Torres (8-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) in the opening round.

A clean combination from Perez saw Torres stagger to the cage, and Perez began to hunt the finish. Non-stop punches streamed forward from all angles, and Torres simply couldn’t recover, crashing to the floor less than four minutes into the opening round of the flyweight bout.

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Thiago “Marreta” Santos def. Kevin Holland at UFC 227

While the result was expected, Thiago “Marreta” Santos (18-6 MMA, 10-5 UFC) and Kevin Holland (13-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) proved to be one heck of a wild ride.

Holland, who took the middleweight matchup on roughly 10 days’ notice, showed no signs of intimidation against the powerhouse Brazilian striker Santos. He was boisterous and talked a lot of trash, which made it entertaining, but ultimately he did not have the necessary skills and lost a unanimous decision.

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Henry Cejudo def. Demetrious Johnson at UFC 227

Henry Cejudo (13-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) made the most of his second fight with Demetrious Johnson (27-3-1 MMA, 15-2-1 UFC), edging out “Mighty Mouse” to become just the second flyweight champion in UFC history.

After a rough first round where he appeared to suffer a leg injury, Cejudo rallied and put his striking and wrestling together efficiently. It was an extremely competitive fight over five rounds, but two of three judges sided in the favor of “The Messenger,” giving Cejudo a UFC belt to put alongside his Olympic gold medal.

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Cory Sandhagen def. Iuri Alcantara at UFC Fight Night 135

Cory Sandhagen (9-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) showed ridiculous flexibility and unwillingness to give up, and that’s what allowed him to stage one of the biggest comebacks of the year against Iuri Alcantara (36-10 MMA, 10-7 UFC) in their bantamweight bout.

Alcantara came out on fire, quickly grounding Sandhagen and applying a deep armbar. He cut Sandhagen with punches, too, but somehow couldn’t get the finish. Sandhagen then turned things around and put a pace on his Brazilian foe that Alcantara couldn’t handle. The result was a thrilling second-round TKO.

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Cortney Casey def. Angela Hill at UFC Fight Night 135

In a back-and-forth battle that could’ve gone either woman’s way at any time, Cortney Casey (8-6 MMA, 4-5 UFC) took a split decision from Angela Hill.

Casey topped Hill with 30-27 and 29-28 scores in the strawweight matchup. A third judge dissented with a 29-28 for Hill. It was Casey’s third straight split-decision fight, but first that she’s come out on top in.

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The Winner: Cory Sandhagen vs. Iuri Alcantara

Sandhagen survived a ridiculous set of submission attempts from Iuri Alcantara in the first round to rally, then finish the Brazilian with a second-round TKO. The end came 61 seconds into the middle frame.

“It wasn’t what I was going for,” Sandhagen said. “My arm was straight (from Alcantara’s first-round armbar). It popped. I said you might as well break it. I’m not very flexible – that popped it bad. But in my head, coming into this fight, I’m not losing. Nothing’s going to stop me.”

Alcantara caught Sandhagen early, then took him immediately to the canvas. Alcantara went after an armbar and torqued hard on Sandhagen’s left arm. He had a triangle choke on from the side, as well. When Sandhagen refused to tap despite his elbow being ripped in a bad way, Alcantara drilled him with hammerfists and had him bleeding.

Somehow Sandhagen reversed position and got on top – and freed himself from teh armbar. He went to work on top with heavy ground-and-pound and hammered away on Alcantara with punches. With huge left elbows and punches, Sandhagen put Alcantara in trouble and had more than two minutes to work.

Sandhagen kept working, and one of his big punches knocked Alcantara’s mouthpiece out. Sandhagen jumped to full mount and kept pounding away while teh referee took a close look. Somehow, Alcantara survived the first round.

Right away in the second, Sandhagen put Alcantara in trouble with his fists, then with Alcantara covering up on the canvas, he went back to work on him. Sandhagen looked at the ref to ask what more he had to do. And finally, a minute in, Sandhagen had his finish.

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