The best and worst from UFC Vegas 14: Felder vs. Dos Anjos

Rafael dos Anjos outworked Paul Felder in last night's UFC main event.
Rafael dos Anjos outworked Paul Felder in last night's UFC main event.

2020 has seen plenty of injury-hit UFC cards, but UFC Vegas 14 was definitely amongst the worst. The show lost a number of fights coming in, including the main event, and in the end, it was largely a disappointment.

Of the paltry nine fights we were given, only two of them finished before the final buzzer, and of the others, only the main event really stood out. Still, the show – like most UFC cards – gave a number of talking points.

Here are the best and worst moments from UFC Vegas 14: Felder vs. Dos Anjos.


#1 Best: Williams shows he’s up there with the UFC’s best power-punchers

Khaos Williams showed off his brutal punching power in last night's co-main event.
Khaos Williams showed off his brutal punching power in last night's co-main event.

The co-main event of the night featured Welterweights Khaos Williams and Abdul Razak Alhassan going toe-to-toe. Most UFC fans felt like this one wouldn’t last long based on the prior knockouts delivered by these two, and they were proven right.

In the end, it was the underdog Williams who came out on top. It didn’t take The Ox Fighter long, as he leveled Alhassan with a right hand in just 30 seconds. Incredibly, the punch didn’t even look like it took a lot of wind-up. It was a short, picture-perfect right to the jaw that left Alhassan as stiff as a corpse.

The knockout was easily the night’s most memorable moment and puts Williams on an eight-fight win streak, including two knockouts in the UFC.

Is he ready to step up to face some of the UFC’s more elite Welterweights? I’d be inclined to say no, as he’s still too inexperienced. However, with punching power like that, he’s definitely dangerous, and he almost certainly needs to be on a UFC main card again for his next fight.

If nothing else, he scored a contender for KO of the year last night.


#1 Worst: Felder’s gamble fails to pay off

Late replacement Paul Felder was second-best in all areas last night.
Late replacement Paul Felder was second-best in all areas last night.

When it was announced that Paul Felder – who hadn’t fought in the UFC since February and was in a self-imposed pseudo-retirement – would step up to face Rafael dos Anjos in last night’s main event, most fans felt he was crazy.

Felder had just five days to prepare for the fight, but The Irish Dragon comfortably made weight and actually looked to be in phenomenal shape when it came to fight time. However, despite not gassing out at all, there was to be no fairytale ending for one of the UFC’s most popular fighters.

Felder was simply outfought in all areas by dos Anjos, who looked sharper and more powerful than he’d done in a long time. For the former UFC Lightweight champ, this was a clear message that he still belongs at 155lbs, rather than up at 170lbs, where he’d been fighting since 2017.

Sure, Felder didn’t embarrass himself at all and should be commended for his guts in taking such a short-notice fight. But it was also a painful reminder of how difficult it is to succeed at the elite level in the UFC. Felder will probably be back in the near future, but he’ll probably have to face an opponent slightly lower on the ladder next time out.

#2 Best: Strickland produces a career-best performance to down Allen

Sean Strickland produced a career-best performance to knock out Brendan Allen.
Sean Strickland produced a career-best performance to knock out Brendan Allen.

The Catchweight fight between Sean Strickland and Brendan Allen was thrown together on late notice by the UFC and seemed to favor Allen, at least on paper. All In had been preparing to fight Ian Heinisch last week in a match that was scrapped, while Strickland had only returned to action on 10/31, giving him very little preparation time.

However, come fight time, it was Strickland who was the far sharper fighter. Allen continually pushed forward, but Tarzan caught him over and over with cleaner punches and eventually hurt him badly with a clean one-two in the second round.

Allen couldn’t recover, and some more heavy shots from Strickland were enough to seal the deal. This was a big win for Strickland, and was also probably the best performance of his UFC career, too.

Not only was Allen a highly-touted prospect, but Strickland’s earlier UFC career had seen him become renowned for a string of dull decisions. This was a much more exciting fight, and at the age of 29, there’s every chance now that Tarzan finally reaches his potential. With that in mind, his next fight will be one to keep an eye on.


#2 Worst: The odd judging in the McKenna vs. Hansen fight

Was Kay Hansen robbed by the judges in her fight with Cory McKenna?
Was Kay Hansen robbed by the judges in her fight with Cory McKenna?

Odd judging calls haven’t reared their head in the UFC for at least a few shows, but there were definitely a couple of questionable calls last night. For instance, Judge Chris Lee somehow managed to score the main event 48-47 in favor of Paul Felder, despite Felder clearly losing every round to Rafael dos Anjos.

That wasn’t the most egregious call of the night, though. That belonged to the UFC Strawweight fight between Kay Hansen and Cory McKenna. The fight was moved onto the main card at late notice and garnered a lot of publicity, as the two women had a combined age of 42 – making it one of the youngest fights in UFC history.

Sadly, it’ll probably now be remembered for a questionable call. All three judges – Lee, plus veterans Sal D’Amato, and Derek Cleary – scored the fight 29-28 for McKenna. However, to most viewers, myself included, Hansen appeared to have clearly won the first round and edged the third, too.

It was definitely a close – and exciting – fight, but Hansen had more control, landed the better strikes in the first round, and had more submission attempts too. It wasn’t the worst decision of all time, but it was another reminder that the UFC’s judges are very far from perfect.


#3 Best: McKee and Morono put on a war – with a bizarre UFC moment thrown in for good measure

Alex Morono's win over Rhys McKee also featured a genuinely bizarre moment involving McKee's missing mouthpiece.
Alex Morono's win over Rhys McKee also featured a genuinely bizarre moment involving McKee's missing mouthpiece.

The prelim card last night was largely forgettable, but we still had room for one genuinely fun fight, complete with one of the most bizarre moments in UFC history.

Welterweights Alex Morono and Rhys McKee went to war for 15 minutes, exchanging some huge strikes and never slowing down for a second. Morono ended up winning after landing the better shots, but McKee never stopped pushing forward and used his range to do plenty of damage of his own.

The highlight of the contest came in the third round, though. McKee’s mouthpiece was dislodged during a clinch, and referee Jason Herzog called time. However, rather than simply put the mouthpiece back in, Skeletor found himself in a bit of a bind.

Somehow, the mouthpiece had dropped into the small gap between the canvas and the fence of the Octagon, making it unable to retrieve. Things then descended into farce as a number of UFC officials – complete with torches – were left crawling underneath the Octagon in a search for the elusive piece of equipment.

This was one of the longest time-outs in UFC history, and at one point, it looked like McKee’s corner were going to have to fetch a replacement mouthpiece from backstage. However, somehow the UFC’s officials tracked the original down, and after washing it with water – it probably needed dipping in disinfectant! – the action resumed.

The two men should probably have been given some kind of bonus for the action they put on, but also for enduring such an odd incident. In all honesty, even in the sometimes wacky world of the UFC, this was another level of bizarre.

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Edited by Zaid Khan