Misha Cirkunov
Smashed by Johnny Walker at UFC 235
Light HeavyweightUFC
March 2, 2019
Cirkunov lost to Johnny Walker via TKO (strikes) at 0:36 of Round 1 at UFC 235 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Cirkunov certainly wishes right now that his originally scheduled opponent, Ovince Saint Preux, wasn't forced to withdraw last month due to an undisclosed injury. Instead, he ends up facing a man who could very well be the UFC's next superstar and he barely lasts 30 seconds. While he has had some decent wins with the company, Cirkunov's chin is a major issue. His last three losses have all come via knockout and he has a tendency to struggle when the competition level rises. The 32-year-old makes for decent roster depth in an alarmingly thin division, but that's about it.
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Now facing Johnny Walker at UFC 235
Light HeavyweightUFC
February 12, 2019
Cirkunov (14-4-0) is now scheduled to fight Johnny Walker (16-6-0) on March 2 at UFC 235 in Las Vegas after the latter was added to the card in place of the injured Ovince Saint Preux (undisclosed), Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
As far as a late-notice replacement goes, Walker should represent a tough test for Cirkunov, who most recently fought in late October at UFC Moncton and earned a first-round victory over Patrick Cummins via submission. Though he's only fought twice for the promotion to date, Walker has won impressively on both occasions, finishing off Khalil Rountree in less than two minutes in Argentina back in November and then needing only 15 seconds to score a TKO win over Justin Ledet last month at UFC Fortaleza.
In search of new opponent
Light HeavyweightUFC
February 10, 2019
Cirkunov will no longer face Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 235 on March 2, as OSP has withdrawn due to an undisclosed injury, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Cirkunov is still listed on the UFC 235 card, thought his opponent says "TBD" while the promotion actively looks to find him a replacement. The current list of ranked light heavyweight prospective opponents without a scheduled fight includes: Corey Anderson, Ilir Latifi, Jimi Manuwa and Shogun Rua, in addition to Nikita Krylov, who Cirkunov has already defeated. It seems likely Cirkunov would have to venture outside the 205-pound rankings to remain on the card.
Booked for UFC 235
Light HeavyweightUFC
January 3, 2019
Cirkunov will take on Ovince Saint Preux in a light heavyweight bout at UFC 235 on March 2.
ANALYSIS
Cirkunov is coming off a dominant performance at UFC Fight Night in New Brunswick back in October, as he defeated Patrick Cummins via submission in Round 1 of the bout. It was a much-needed win for Cirkunov after he lost two straight fights, but Saint Preux, even though he has dropped two of his last three fights, will likely be Cirkunov's toughest fight to date.
Makes easy work of Patrick Cummins at UFC Moncton
Light HeavyweightUFC
October 27, 2018
Cirkunov defeated Patrick Cummins via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 2:20 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Moncton, New Brunswick.
ANALYSIS
This was a dominant performance from Cirkunov. He landed his first punch of the fight, and it clearly hurt Cummins. From there, Cummins tried to score a takedown from the clinch. Cirkunov defended well and scored a takedown of his own. He landed right in the mount. As Cummins tried to defend, Cirkunov locked in the arm-triangle choke and finished the fight. He needed this win to get back on track since dropping his previous two fights.
To fight Patrick Cummins at UFC Fight Night in Moncton
Light HeavyweightUFC
August 7, 2018
Cirkunov will face off against Patrick Cummins in a light heavyweight matchup during UFC Fight Night in Moncton on Oct. 27 at the Moncton Events Centre, Aaron Bronsteter of TSN reports.
ANALYSIS
The bout will mark Cirkunov's first of the calendar year. He's on a two-fight losing streak, but the losses were more than respectable, as he was defeated by former title contenders Volkan Oezdemir and Glover Teixeira. Cirkunov will hold slight height and reach advantages over Cummins, and is the younger fighter by more than six years. Though Cirkunov seems likely to enter as the favorite, he'll need to make takedown defense a primary focus of his camp. Cummings averages 4.62 takedowns per 15 minutes during his UFC career, while Cirkunov defends them at a below-average rate of 50 percent.