Maki Pitolo
Coconut Bombz

USA

Drops epic battle in Vegas
MiddleweightUFC
February 13, 2021
Pitolo lost to Julian Marquez via submission (anaconda choke) at 4:17 of Round 3 at UFC 258 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
It's a crushing defeat for Pitolo in what was a back-and-forth war. Most everyone expected this to be a stand-up brawl from the very start, but Pitolo flipped the script and leaned on his grappling the first two rounds. It worked. Pitolo landed one takedown in Round 1 and three in Round 2. He had north of seven minutes worth of control time over the course of the first ten minutes. The issues for Pitolo came when the two men separated on the feet. He tried to stay aggressive, but it was quite clear Marquez was the much more powerful striker. Pitolo also made some minor technical mistakes on the mat that may have very well cost him. Losing three straight fights in less than six months is generally a recipe for disaster, but it would be shocking if the UFC sent Pitolo packing on the heels of this epic battle. While he didn't get the benefit of a Fight of the Night bonus here, it seems "Coconut Bombz" will at least stick around in the UFC for another bout after this strong effort.
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Facing Marquez in February
MiddleweightUFC
December 4, 2020
Pitolo will fight Julian Marquez in a middleweight bout during UFC 258 on Feb. 13, Farah Hannoun of USA Today reports.
ANALYSIS
Pitolo had two fights during August, losing to Darren Stewart via submission and Impa Kasanganay via unanimous decision. He gets a matchup with Marquez in early 2021, who hasn't seen the Octagon since July 2018 due to multiple lat surgeries and a fight cancelation in the fall.
Second straight defeat
MiddleweightUFC
August 29, 2020
Pitolo lost to Impa Kasanganay via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 27-30) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Fighting for the second time in three weeks and the third time in just over two months, Pitolo suffered his second straight defeat. He was simply unable to match the power and constant pressure of Kasanganay. Although he has three career wins via submission, Pitolo is essentially a one-dimensional brawler. He's going to struggle if he is getting off second in striking exchanges, and that's exactly what happened in this one. Pitolo has been a nice story given the fact he wasn't considered a legitimate prospect at the time of his arrival, but there is a decent chance we have already seen the best he has to offer for the UFC.
Next fight pushed back a week
MiddleweightUFC
August 18, 2020
Pitolo's next scheduled middleweight matchup against Impa Kasanganay has been pushed back to August 29.
ANALYSIS
Both fighters were coming off incredibly quick turnarounds, so it's not too surprising to see this bout get put on hold for another week. Pitolo is coming off a loss to Darren Stewart on August 9, while Kasanganay just received his UFC contract with a win on Dana White's Contender Series on August 11. Pitolo didn't see enough time in the cage to take much damage, however, as he was submitted at the 3:41 mark of Round 1. Roughly 10 days before the new event date, Pitolo is listed as approximately a (+130) betting underdog against the undefeated Kasanganay.
Facing Kasangay Aug. 22
MiddleweightUFC
August 11, 2020
Pitolo will fight Impa Kasanganay in a middleweight bout at the Aug. 22 UFC event, MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Pitolo lost to Darren Stewart via submission (guillotine choke) in Round 1 over the weekend, and he'll make a quick turnaround for his next fight. Kasanganay will have a similar timeline between bouts, as he defeated Anthony Adams at Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series to earn a UFC contract and will make his debut with the promotion less than two weeks later.
Choked out in first round
MiddleweightUFC
August 9, 2020
Pitolo lost to Darren Stewart via submission (guillotine choke) at 3:41 of Round 1 at UFC on ESPN+ 32 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Pitolo was on his bicycle in the early going, circling the cage while Stewart remained patient in the center. The striking battle was actually fairly close over the first few minutes, but Pitolo shot for the takedown, and that was the beginning of the end. Stewart clamped in the guillotine, went down to the mat and adjusted to a better grip. Pitolo had no choice but to tap. There's no questioning Pitolo has some power in his hands, but the 29-year-old is now 1-2 in three official UFC bouts. Don't expect him to be contending at middleweight any time soon.