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TUF 24 – Episode 3 thoughts

It didn’t take long after the fight was announced before Damacio Page began talking to Coach Henry Cejudo about how to pronounce his last name.

The history between these two is that they were supposed to fight in the Legacy Fighting Championship a few years ago, but it never materialized because Cejudo never showed up, which cost “The Angel of Death” a payday and an opportunity at a championship.

They did not exchange best friend pendants.

Some backstory was provided for both fighters, and the camp’s game plans. For Page, Dana White talked about his rise through the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and then the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) with highlights, and said Page had a legitimate chance for a rematch with Demetrious Johnson.

TUF 24
Courtesy Zuffa LLC.

Everyone talked about how hard Page hits, with Coach Joseph Benavidez saying he is the hardest hitter he saw for 125. The gameplan: throw fast combos, keep Adam at range, then make him open up for heavy shots.

For Adam Antolin, they showed highlights of his wins in Tachi Palace Fights and White called him, a dark and elusive fighter, the “dark horse of the entire season.” The plan from the coaches: kill the body with the straight-cross to set up the bodykick. They noticed that Page cuts a load of weight, and the organs should be depleted. Go in southpaw and aim for the body, with heavy liver shots.

Before the weigh-ins, there was some tension between the coaches talking about being a role model. It’s not much of a discussion, and really amounted to nothing more than banter.

The fight. No. 4 Damacio Page vs No. 13 Adam Antolin.

Page established his jab quickly and unloaded a powerful punch that rocked Adam early. A little redness and swelling around the left eye of Adam, but that didn’t mean he backed off any. Adam showed great movement,  and ate several uppercuts, but managed to stand landing bodykicks. Adam started to unload more as the round progressed, connecting with a overhead right and popped kicks to the liver. Just seconds before the end of the round, Adam managed a takedown. The round was close, but because of the body shots and the last second takedown, I gave it to Adam.

Antolin opened the second frame with a back kick to the belly and then cracked Page with a combo of punches to the head. Page backed off toward the cage and when Antolin unleashed a left kick to the ribs, Page dropped to his knees. Antolin rushed in with a flurry of punches, but before he could follow up, the referee jumped in and stopped it. Naturally, Page protested and White said it was a terrible stoppage, but as Adam said later in the show, it sucks when things like that happen, but you can’t put yourself in a position for the ref to question things.

In the fighter’s warmup room, it was revealed that Page broke his hand so regardless of a win or loss, he would have been out of the competition anyway. That makes it 3-1 Cejudo.

For next week, we will see No. 2 Yoni Sherbatov vs. No. 15 Eric Shelton.


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