This is a play-by-play for the full UFC on FOX 11 event, which is headlined by a number 1 contender’s fight in the heavyweight division between Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne. Werdum has won his last three since returning to the promotion, but faces the toughest test since rejoining the UFC in Travis ‘Hapa’ Browne. Browne has also won his last three, and has only lost one fight in his whole career.
With Werdum finishing all but three of his wins, and Browne finishing 14 of his 16 wins, don’t blink. Werdum has some of the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the division, but Browne’s diverse striking attacks and massive reach makes him equally as dangerous. This is the archetypal striker vs. grappler match-up, and it should be a great one.
The co-main sees former title contenders Miesha Tate and Liz Carmouche square off, with a win equally as crucial as a loss for each fighter. Donald Cerrone makes his second appearance of a 2014 run in which he wants to fight six times, facing lightweight prospect Edson Barboza. To start the main card, Yoel Romero and Brad Tavares meet in the middle in a battle between two of the most underrated 185lbers in the division.
The preliminary card is also a fun one, headlined (so to speak) by a lightweight scrap between top ranked Khabib Nurmagomedov and Rafael dos Anjos, with both coming into the fight with significant momentum. Thiago Alves makes his long awaited return against Seth Baczynski, while Pat Healy and Jorge Masvidal square off in a fight between former Strikeforce contenders. There are six more preliminary bouts, with all 13 fights being covered in this article.
Fabricio Werdum vs. Travis Browne
Werdum is 3-0 since returning to the UFC, winning once via TKO, once via submission and once via decision. Browne, meanwhile, has won his last three via first round TKO after suffering his first professional loss. Hapa is 6-1-1 in the UFC, while Werdum has accumulated a 5-2 record in the promotion in his two spells. The winner gets Cain Velasquez next in Mexico for the heavyweight title. Werdum came in light (233) for this fight, perhaps this could play a part – more speed, better cardio?
Round 1 – Nice leg kick by Browne, but a good left from Werdum to counter. A huge right by Browne, and two knees in the muay thai clinch. Front kick to the body by Hapa, and a big right. Another big right, Fabricio is hurt here! He’s getting hit by hammer fists from the bottom, but he’s active here! He turns around the position and gets a huge takedown! Half guard for Werdum. That was big. Uh vai morrer chants from the fans in support of the Brazilian. Browne doing a good job so far at defending, but this is bad. Werdum working on the right arm of Browne. Browne tried to explode back up, but Werdum got the back. He gets back up! Head kick attempt, and a front kick, and another from Browne. Uppercut attempted from Hapa. Leg kicks exchanged. Huge body kick from Werdum, and Browne just takes it. Big right and a left from Werdum, he’s opening up. Then a leg kick, and another. Browne catches it, walks him down then lets go. Wheel kick by Browne, but very slow. Werdum tags him with a couple of shots. Leg kick by the Brazilian. Huge right uppercut by Werdum. A spinning kick to the body. Good end to that round by Werdum. Browne was staggered at the end of that round by a big combination! Boy oh boy.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Werdum.
Round 2 – This is where Werdum’s smaller weight could be decisive. A low kick catches Browne in the groin, and there’s a brief stoppage. Head kick attempted from Werdum, and a beautiful leg kick. High kick by Browne, and a brutal body kick from Werdum. Werdum looks outstanding. Takedown by Werdum!! That is huge. He has the back of Browne. One hook in. This is the best Fabricio Werdum we have seen inside the cage. He turns it around and is in half guard, perhaps working for an arm triangle here. He’s got his head and arm locked up, but needs side control here. He’s in side control! This is bad for a tiring Travis Browne. He abandons the submission attempt and instead gets some short shots in. He’s trying to pin down the left arm of Browne. Hapa is simply getting overwhelmed right now. Werdum looking for the armbar here, he steps over and this could be trouble. Browne escapes! Well done by the Hawaiian! Werdum clips him with a right. Side kick by Browne, and a straight left, followed by a body shot. Browne is very tired and winging his punches. Just 45 seconds remaining. This is disappointing to see, Browne is usually a lot crisper. Browne scores a big right there, and finishes the round with a failed takedown attempt. A big knee at the end by Werdum. Another good round for the Brazilian.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Werdum (20-18 Werdum).
Round 3 – Huge combination by Werdum, mixing it up with kicks and punches! He tagged Browne multiple times. Werdum is so much crisper at the moment, and it’s surprising how much better he looks on the feet. A huge spinning back fist and Werdum is charging forward! This is simply unbelievable to see. Big 1-2. Browne just has no answer so far. He keeps trying to regroup but he’s simply too tired to land combinations. Hahaha wow! Werdum just tried to entice Browne to the ground, Browne refused then Werdum did a Shawn Michaels-esque jump back to the feet. Werdum then charged forward with a knee. Wow Browne with a big left! Not sure if that landed, it looked big. Werdum with a couple of big knees and Browne is covering up! He goes body-head with punches. Browne circles out, then Werdum gets a big takedown. Browne gets back, lands a couple of elbows then holds Werdum against the cage. The Brazilian reverses, they separate. Spinning back fist from Werdum. Browne is simply exhausted. 123 Werdum to 44 Browne in total strikes. High kick attempt by Werdum. A lovely body kick follows. Browne is a shadow of himself in this fight. Lovely combination at the end by Werdum. He’s smiling as he goes to his corner, he knows how fantastic he’s looking. His corner is delighted with him.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Werdum (30-27 Werdum).
Round 4 – Can Browne muster up enough energy to get anything significant in? Nice couple of jabs by Werdum, followed by a couple of leg kicks. He has so much in his gas tank compared to Browne. Some nice jabs again. Browne trying to establish the jab of his own. Browne looking a tad fresher, but still not landing. Big right followed by a left from Werdum. Less action packed round so far, with 3 minutes left. Left body kick from the Brazilian has Browne moving backwards. A kick goes low from Browne, which could be a perfect time for him to recover some of his gas tank. The stoppage was only brief however. Big right by Browne there. Werdum looked for the takedown but it was shrugged off. He then lands a knee and a couple of shots, and circles out. Werdum seems to be coasting a little. Browne is too tentative while coming in and gets clipped. A right from Hapa, and a left, and a head kick! Werdum lands a 1-2. Stiff jab from Werdum. Werdum is staying just out of harm’s way when Browne comes in for the attack, and this must be frustrating the Hawaiian. Nothing much to that round. Browne needs a finish desperately.
Cooper scores round 4 10-9 Werdum (40-36 Werdum).
Round 5 – Stiff jabs from Werdum. A takedown from the Brazilian, and Browne gives up his back momentarily but works his way back to his feet. A nice jab from Browne. It’s now or never for the Hawaiian. Front kick by Browne, two in fact. Does he have enough left to muster up a big attack? Werdum doing a good job of moving out of the way, then swarming with combinations. Leg kick by Browne. Werdum is using his jab with ease so far. Browne’s attacks very predictable. Stuff takedown attempted by Werdum. A lovely combination from Werdum, each shot landing. Browne bloodied. He’s marching forward but finding little success against the better conditioned Brazilian. Werdum looks staggeringly good, and he’ll be a tough test for Velasquez. Lovely combination, and a nice body kick as Browne circles away. Head kick attempted by Browne. He’s going for it, but doesn’t quite have enough. Werdum is joking with him. A great double up on the jab followed by a right hook. Browne is going for broke now though. However I don’t think he’ll find much success, his attacks are too laboured. 30 seconds remaining. Travis looks up at the clock and stalks Werdum down. Uppercut, and a left, and a knee to the body, but not enough from Browne. All Werdum.
Cooper scores round 5 10-9 Werdum (50-45 Werdum).
Result: Werdum via unanimous decision (49-46, 50-45 x2).
Simply brilliant from Werdum, who showed a more multi faceted attack. He mixed his stand-up well, did a good job getting the takedowns and his gas tank looked phenomenal. This is a real feather in the cap for the Brazilian, who deservedly earns a shot at the title next. Cain Velasquez should be pretty worried after that performance.
Miesha Tate vs. Liz Carmouche
Both of these ladies need to make a statement if they want to make another run at the title. Tate has lost two in a row, Carmouche is 1-2 in her last three.
Round 1 – A nice left counter from Miesha, who is pressing forward. They exchange jabs. Miesha looking comfortable so far, opening up with kicks to the body. Miesha goes for a combination but Carmouche counters by getting the clinch. Tate turns her around against the cage, and Carmouche repays the favour, now working for a double leg, and she gets it. Tate sitting up against the cage, nothing much happening in this position. Tate dropped a 12-to-6 elbow to the body and Dean warned her for it. Carmouche trying to work her way to the back, Tate stands up by Liz has the position standing and is drilling her with knees to the back of the thigh and some short punches. She turns around and gets the double leg, tying her legs up and doing little once again in this position. Carmouche playing it safe so far. Tate back to her feet, working on a standing kimura. She gets out. Carmouche once again has Tate’s back in the clinch position, but doesn’t capitalise. Tate working on a kimura, Carmouche gets the trip and gets out of the arm lock. Good round by Liz.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Carmouche.
Round 2 – Tate needs more urgency this round. She gets caught with a jab, but gets in a couple of her own while pushing forward. Carmouche goes in for a takedown but Tate stuffs it, and Carmouche uses the position to get the clinch against the fence. Tate turns it around and lands a knee to the body, trying to trip Carmouche but fails. Carmouche doing a good job of nullifying Tate’s attempts to get the fight to the mat so far. Tate’s jabs are working well so far. A teep, and a hard left from Tate, but Carmouche gets the clinch. Girlrilla going in for the takedown once again, and she succeeds, tying the legs again, but Tate lands some nice short elbows and gets to her feet. Another takedown against the cage from Carmouche, but she isn’t doing anything with them. She’s simply stalling in these positions and making this a gruelling, boring affair. Tate is working on a guillotine, and uses it to get to her feet. Good job by Tate there, she’s now cranking on the neck of Carmouche, but it doesn’t seem very tight yet. She drops down, Carmouche in half guard here and she should be able to pop her head out. She’s attacking with this, and uses it to get on top. Great work by Tate there. Carmouche gets up, but Tate scored big there and has her against the cage. Carmouche sneaks out the back door and gets the back in the clinch, but big round from Miesha.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Tate (19-19).
Round 3 – All tied up, and this is a big round. A big left-right from Miesha as Carmouche came in for a leg kick. She goes in for the takedown, but Carmouche does a good job of stuffing it and landing elbows. Tate gets it, but Carmouche springs right back up, and another takedown by Tate! She has side control here, that could be crucial. She’s trying to work for a mounted crucifix here, Carmouche trying her utmost to at least gain guard. They’re against the cage, which allows Carmouche to wall walk and Tate gives up half guard now. Hard to work on a submission so close to the fence. Tate with some short blows, now she has Carmouche’s back and has one hook in. She’s got both, but doesn’t have the body triangle yet. She might have it here. No, just a neck crank. Just the one hook in, Carmouche doing a good job so far. Some nice short shots from Tate, and she’s trying to flatten Carmouche out. This is where Tate needs to make a statement. 90 seconds remaining and this is a big position for Cupcake. She’s flattened Carmouche out momentarily. Carmouche tried to stand but Tate might be under the neck now! She’s got it! Carmouche might be forced to tap now! Just 50 seconds remaining! She’s got it, surely?! Wow crazy defence by Carmouche. Tate had the body triangle and had it synched in, but Carmouche still didn’t tap. Huge, huge round by Tate – perhaps even a 10-8.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Tate (29-28 Tate).
Result: Tate via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
Another fantastic fight in the women’s bantamweight division, and hats off to both women. Carmouche did tremendously not to tap, and Tate really turned it on in the final round. Glad to see the judges make the right call.
Donald Cerrone vs. Edson Barboza
This should be a fun one. Cerrone coming in after two impressive finishes, while Barboza bounced back from adversity in his last fight against Danny Castillo to win a decision. A big win for either fighter could put them in the long row of contenders for Pettis’ belt.
Round 1 – Quick start to the fight, and they’re engaging from the get-go. Cerrone looks for a takedown but Barboza does a good job and Cerrone backs off. They exchanged kicks with Cerrone marching forward, but Barboza is the one landing the heavier blows of the two. Left from Barboza, then a brutal leg kick. They exchange punches from the inside. Cerrone lands a nice right, but a nice counter from Barboza in return. Barboza with a big body kick, and returned by Cerrone. A good pace to this fight so far. They exchanges big punches, Barboza getting the better of that exchange. He’s looking to open up, landing a stiff jab and he’s trying to utilise that brutal leg kick. Cerrone with a solid jab. Cerrone then gets in a huge jab which drops Barboza! That was big! He follows Barboza to the ground quickly! He’s got the back with both hooks in! He’s working on the choke, Barboza is dazed and he forces the tap! Big win for Cowboy, and that came out of nowhere. Huge.
Result: Cerrone via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:15 in first round.
That right there was a statement by Donald Cerrone, defeating a highly touted guy in Edson Barboza. He dropped him then capitalised before you knew it! Crazy finish. Another ranked fighter next for the former WEC star, while Barboza is left to regather his thoughts. I can’t believe how quickly he grabbed that submission, that was experience.
Brad Tavares vs. Yoel Romero
Tavares is #13, Romero #14 – the former has a five fight winning streak, Romero has a three fight winning streak. An impressive win could do big things for either fighter. A decision, I’m afraid, simply isn’t enough.
Round 1 – Stiff right from Tavares about 5 seconds in. A nice body kick by Romero, and Tavares replies. That is a technique that will be exploited with the orthodox vs. southpaw fight. Neither fighters are going for combinations so far. Exchanging leg kicks and punches. A huge left by Romero! He rocked him there and had him hurt with a combination against the cage! Romero working a kimura while Tavares is working for a takedown. Romero is just so explosive. Tavares tried a trip but was unsuccessful. And another huge trip by Romero, that was picture perfect technique. Side control right away for the Cuban. Bad position for Tavares just 3 minutes in. Tavares does a good job of getting to his feet but gives up his back in the clinch. Tavares once again looking for that kimura, a good technique for separating positions such as this. Romero drags him to the ground, but Tavares works his way back to his feet straight away. A lovely short left-right from Tavares on the exit. That was great by the Hawaiian there. A trip by Romero shortly after. Tavares tries to get up but leaves his neck up there, Romero considers it but lets go. Tavares gets a takedown! But Romero reverses it shortly after and has the back of the Hawaiian. The round ends with Romero on top.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Romero.
Round 2 – Tavares’ corner are suggesting that Romero has blown his load in the first round and will be tired from now on. I disagree, but it’ll be interesting to see how the Cuban’s gas tank is. Lead uppercut followed by a takedown straight into side control by Romero, that’s one way to start a round. Some short shots from the Cuban, who is looking very impressive in this fight against a tough Tavares. Brad explodes and gets to his feet. Head kick by Tavares followed by a knee, that was a good combination. A stiff left from Tavares. Romero is breathing through his mouth it seems. Tavares is pushing forward now, and this is where he can capitalise. A lovely elbow from Romero as Tavares charged in, and Brad is bloodied. That was huge. Big cut on the hairline of Tavares. Flying knee attempt followed by a superman punch that lands, and Romero then works for a takedown, but Tavares does a good job of stuffing before taking some shots. Tavares is covered in blood now. Romero has him against the cage, and Tavares works for a takedown now but is predictably unsuccessful. Romero working for a switch here, the ref calling for action. Romero now working a kimura, reversing the takedown of Tavares but they get back up. Short shot from the Cuban. Nice teep by Tavares, and a flying knee but Romero delivers a counter left. Tavares has Romero against the cage, but Yoel is just too powerful. 30 seconds left. Romero has Tavares against the fence, working for a takedown but just holding him in this position to see out the round. Perhaps the third round could be where Tavares shines, but he’s lost the first two.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Romero (20-18 Romero).
Round 3 – This has been a fun fight, Romero is a huge dude and Tavares is as game as they come. Romero should be 2 up, so Tavares needs to go into desperation mode. A body kick from Tavares, who is trying to establish his jab now. Romero is breathing heavily but still bouncing around. He stuffs the takedown attempt from Tavares and makes him pay with some knees in the clinch, before tying him up against the cage. Tavares with a couple of knees to the body, but Romero is just holding him in this position. They separate and Tavares delivers a straight right. He needs more urgency in the third after losing the first two. Stiff left by Brad, and a leg kick. They exchange kicks. A lot less frequency here by the Cuban. Tavares’ hairline cut has opened up again. A nice combination by the Hawaiian but only one of the strikes seems to have landed. Tavares failing to land with most of his strikes, while Romero’s infrequent strikes are landing. A huge takedown from Romero, who just suddenly gets a burst of energy. Two minutes remaining and the Cuban has the back of Tavares. The Hawaiian works his way up and turns the clinch around, but he needs something big here. The ref separates them after Romero used the clinch to rest. Tavares attempts a big right but Romero moves out of the way. Tavares simply doesn’t have the explosion of Romero, and with 30 seconds remaining this is a big problem. Spinning wheel kick attempt from Tavares fails. A trip from Romero straight into side control and he lands elbows to end the fight. Big statement by Romero, who is now top 10 calibre in my eyes. 36 is the new 21.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Romero (30-27 Romero).
Result: Romero via unanimous decision (30-27 x3).
A great performance from Yoel Romero, and Brad Tavares was simply out grappled, out powered and out worked. Tavares is back to the drawing board, while a fight with Tim Kennedy makes a ton of sense for Romero.
Preliminary Card (FOX Sports 1)
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
This should be one hell of a fight, RDA is #5 but the underdog, Nurmagomedov is #7 and the favourite.
Round 1 – Dos Anjos pushes forward early, but Nurmagomedov blitzes him and takes the centre. Khabib comes at you when you’re least expecting it. Slow start from both fighters so far. Nice body kick from Dos Anjos. Khabib goes in for the takedown, elevates RDA and gets to side control against the cage momentarily. Dos Anjos tries to get to his feet but Khabib is doing a good job of sticking to him. RDA gets up, well done by the Brazilian. Khabib drags him down, but Dos Anjos gets straight back up. Nice knee by Dos Anjos as they separate. Dos Anjos with a head kick, followed by a jab. Big flying knee and a leaping left by Khabib, great combination! He gets the takedown against the cage and gets half guard, Dos Anjos working for a kimura here. He lets go. But he gets back to his feet, Khabib doing a good job of keeping on him against the cage. A big knee by Dos Anjos as they disengage. A huge uppercut from Nurmagomedov! A nice lead uppercut from RDA, mixing it up. Good body kick as Khabib came in. Dos Anjos coming forward with a body combination. Khabib attacks to the body. Dos Anjos got in a nice hook, then Khabib got in one of his own. Nurmagomedov with a flying knee at the end of that round.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Nurmagomedov.
Round 2 – Dos Anjos is a lot more aggressive this round, but Khabib with his explosiveness is dangerous. Both have been doing a good job of getting out of the way of each other’s strikes. A good takedown from Khabib once again, that has been the story of this fight so far. Even on the feet, but the takedowns have been significant even though he hasn’t done much with them. Guillotine attempt from Dos Anjos, but unsuccessful and Khabib is now on top of a tired Brazilian. In an attempt to get back to his feet, Dos Anjos gives up his back in the clinch and Khabib uses that to drag him back to the ground at will. He has one hook in momentarily but abandons it and lands knees to the legs and body of Dos Anjos. Khabib is just brilliant in these positions at frustrating his opponents. Dos Anjos gets back to his feet, but Khabib lifts him and drops him down, with Dos Anjos once again trying for a guillotine and failing. Half guard for Nurmagomedov, who is dominating. It may not be pretty, but it’s damn effective. Dos Anjos works back to full guard. Neither attacking with anything significant. Nice elbows from Khabib, who gets half guard once again. Surprised to see Dos Anjos not working for any submissions from the back, instead just trying to work his way back up to his feet. Some nice short shots from the Russian, who then gets back to his feet and lands a couple of big shots as Dos Anjos gets to his feet. All Nurmagomedov.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Nurmagomedov (20-18 Nurmagomedov).
Round 3 – Dos Anjos’ corner doing a great job of telling him how it is – he needs a finish if he wants to win this fight and stay relevant in this stacked lightweight division. Two head kicks blocked by Dos Anjos. A body kick from the Brazilian, and Khabib replies with a 1-2. All of Dos Anjos’ attacks seem to be a little predictable, Khabib doing a great job of keeping out of the way then clinching up. He’s working for the single leg now against the cage. Dos Anjos avoids it, and gets in an uppercut. Dos Anjos pushing forward but not landing anything meaningful. He goes in for a takedown, surprising to see! And Khabib just stuffs it and uses his momentum to get a sambo throw, wow! That was huge. Khabib in half guard, that is why you don’t try to take Nurmagomedov down. Full guard now. 2 minutes left for Dos Anjos to do something significant. Khabib with short shots, Dos Anjos trying to wall walk rather than work for a submission. Half guard now for the Russian, who attacks with some short elbows and body shots. Dos Anjos is staying defensive rather than attacking from the bottom. Khabib lands a big blow, stands, then jumps on the back of Dos Anjos and drags him down. Simply overwhelming from the Russian so far. He finishes the round in Dos Anjos’ guard, and undoutebly wins all three rounds.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Nurmagomedov (30-27 Nurmagomedov).
Result: Nurmagomedov via unanimous decision (30-27 x3).
That was a big statement from Nurmagomedov. Sure, he may not have got the finish, but he overwhelmed the man ranked #5 in the world who had won five in a row over tough competition. I want to see him in a title eliminator next, perhaps against TJ Grant or Josh Thomson.
The whole finishes = title shots formula annoys me. Nurmagomedov is 6-0 in the UFC, 22-0 as a professional and has just dominated the #5 in the world at lightweight, and he’s a likeable personality too. Khabib needs a title shot soon.
Thiago Alves vs. Seth Baczynski
This is one of the fights I’ve been most excited for, Thiago Alves making his long awaited return to the cage but faces a tough fighter in Seth Baczynski. Will be interesting to see how Alves has changed in the two years away from the Octagon, which included four surgeries. The Bionic Pitbull returns. Wow that was some reception for Alves.
Round 1 – Seth lands a left immediately. He gets a body kick in and trying to establish his reach. Alves pushes forward with a heavy right. Head kick attempt from Baczynski. Alves’ leg kicks have a lot of power behind them, and he isn’t looking bad at all so far. Seth is keeping active with movement and jabs, and trying to spin towards Alves’ left. Baczynski gets the clinch against the cage, Alves escapes easily. A nice right hand counter from Alves. Uppercut from Baczynski lands, he’s doing a good job keeping unorthodox on the feet. The leg kicks are accumulating for the Polish Pistola. Head kick grazes the head of Seth, that had some power behind it! Thiago stalking Seth, lands a couple of strikes against the cage and does a good job of covering up. The reach is a problem so far, however. A lovely short right there, and Baczynski is bloodied around his right eye. A short cut on his right brow it seems. Combination from Alves, and a big body kick then a head kick attempt. A hard leg kick there from Alves! That was brutal to hear. Another nice body kick, followed by a knee by Pitbull. That leg kick, damn! Body then leg from Alves. A good end by the Brazilian, he doesn’t look too effected by the long layoff.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Alves.
Round 2 – Seth pressing forward and lands some nice shots early. The leg kicks are adding up from Alves, and they have ill intent. A left hook from Alves. Leg kick followed by a head kick, then a body kick. Mixing it up well. Alves is looking awesome. He’s doing a good job of getting his attacks in and making sure Seth doesn’t counter. A nice 1-2 from Seth, but Alves follows up with a 1-2 of his own which has far more power. Body kick by Alves again. He’s getting loose now and looking ultra comfortable. A couple of leg kicks, and a couple of knees in the muay thai clinch. Seth’s cut has opened up again and he’s bleeding heavily. Two lefts followed by a body kick from Alves. Seth leaps in with a punch then catches Alves with a left, that looked like it may have hurt Thiago. Alves circles away and continues to pepper the body. Alves has a closed right eye and bleeding nose. This is a war. They’re both landing heavily blows! A nice short jab from Seth, he seems to have a second wind now. Alves lands a couple of powerful kicks, he’s doing a great job at mixing up these techniques. A nice flurry from both fighters at the end of the round. Tough one to score.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Alves (20-18 Alves).
Round 3 – I have Alves two up, but originally scored the second for Baczynski. Alves hits Seth with some heavy blows, but Baczynski just marches forward and goes in for a takedown attempt. It fails but he’s keeping Alves guessing. Alves drops Baczynski with a heavy leg kick there, he’s lighting him up. Seth is landing some nice jabs, and gets in a big right as a counter for another Alves leg kick. Baczynski goes in for a takedown attempt, Alves threatens with a kimura and they separate. Big knee to the body from Seth. A great combination from Seth, but Alves just marches forward and lands a couple of left straights. Hard right from Alves, who then gets caught by a couple of jabs while coming forward. Another stuffed takedown, and another! Spinning punch from Baczynski attempted. Alves with a couple of nice combinations, he’s taking over now. Seth with a deep shot, but another good stuff from Alves. Another big leg kick by the Brazilian. Body kick from Alves, and a huge right! Seth is hurt! A flurry of knees inside the clinch! Alves looking for a trip but it’s stuffed. Man is Seth game! He gets the clinch, but Alves escapes and continues on the attack. Baczynski was a good test for Alves, but he’s passed it with ease. Alves needs to get back towards the top ranked fighters, and that was a good fighter to measure where he’s at.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Alves (30-27 Alves).
Result: Alves via unanimous decision (30-27 x3).
Great performance from Pitbull, who looked more impressive than I was expected. Seth did a good job, but Alves was too much for him and did a great job of mixing it up on the feet and stuffing takedowns. A fight with Mike Pyle could be fun next.
Jorge Masvidal vs. Pat Healy
Must-win for Healy if he wants to stay a UFC fighter, must-win for Masvidal if he wants to stay relevant. Crazy to think Healy could have been fighting for the Strikeforce belt in September 2012, but the card was cancelled, he won his first UFC card – which was overturned – and he has now lost his last two. A loss will make him winless in four, and that doesn’t look good for his hopes of staying in the Octagon. Masvidal lost his last fight, but won his first two UFC fights in impressive fashion.
Round 1 – Masvidal the aggressor early, but Healy opens up with a leg kick. Masvidal using a front kick to the knee, a devastating technique. A nice jab by Masvidal. Healy gets tagged coming forward, he’s leaving himself open to the counter when trying to get the takedown. He seemed to catch Masvidal but it wasn’t a staggering shot. Healy isn’t doing a good job of keeping his guard up when attacking, Masvidal is the more technical on the feet. That’s not to say Healy isn’t well versed and dangerous though. Masvidal lands a combination while going backwards but gets caught by a hook from Healy, who then works on the takedown. Masvidal stuffs it, then tries to crank on a guillotine but feels. He knees Healy while stuffing the takedown, then lands some elbows. Great takedown defence so far from Masvidal! That was huge. Healy lands a couple of small shots, then gets the clinch again, trying to wear on Masvidal. He finally drags the fight to the ground, and this is where it could get interesting. Gamebred gets to his feet but is pinned against the cage by Healy, who delivers a sharp elbow followed by a knee. Masvidal pushes him off and gets away from the cage, landing an elbow on the way. Masvidal rocks Healy with a job, and lands a kick. Impressive stuff from Jorge. A choke attempt by Masvidal, then he stuffs another takedown attempt from Healy.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Masvidal.
Round 2 – Healy with the same formula, throwing punches to try and attempt a takedown. Masvidal strikes him with a big knee, then turns Healy around in the clinch. The jabs from Masvidal have been the story of this fight so far. He’s keeping Healy on the outside with them and Pat is having little success because of that. Healy shoots in for the takedown but gives up on it and instead opts to hold Masvidal against the fence. Masvidal has been doing a great job in these positions and turns it around, then disengages and lands a stiff jab. A big spinning wheel kick, followed by some beautiful jabs! Masvidal is going to work here. Healy is winging and labouring his punches, but follows it up with a takedown against the cage, but he can’t hold Gamebred down for long. Masvidal to his feet but Healy staying on him and has back control from the standing position. Masvidal turns it around and tries to get Healy away from him, getting a couple of hard knees in from the clinch. He goes for a front choke momentarily but let’s go, and they disengage. Some nice shots to Healy, but Healy turns things around and gets the clinch once more. Masvidal clinches to end the round.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Masvidal (20-18 Masvidal).
Round 3 – Masvidal is really comfortable on the feet, and he’s doing a good job of clipping Healy while he’s coming in. Healy keeping it predictable, Gamebred quite the opposite. Another stuffed attempt at getting the fight to the ground. Healy is simply too susceptible to the counter when shooting in for these takedowns. He’s lucky he has such a good chin, or he would really struggle. A slam from Healy there, but Masvidal like a spring. Masvidal rolls for a leg lock and in the exchange gets top control, trying to work into half guard. He succeeds, and this is big for Gamebred after a lacklustre round. Healy against the cage, and he needs to work his way to the feet somehow. Great takedown by Masvidal shortly after Healy gets up, and that could seal the round for him if he keeps him here. 1 minute remains in this potentially decisive round. Masvidal working his way to the back, with one hook in. Healy standing now and tries to roll, but Masvidal ends up on top. They both get to their feet, Healy tries to secure a takedown and Masvidal lands some short elbows. He shakes him off with 20 seconds remaining. Body shots from Bam Bam. Knees from Masvidal in the clinch, and he should have his third UFC victory. Pat secured some takedowns, did nothing with them, Masvidal had a big advantage on his feet and was like a spring whenever he was taken down. Hopefully the judges see it that way and don’t make the same mistake some judges have made in the past. Takedowns do not automatically equal victory.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Masvidal (30-27 Masvidal).
Result: Masvidal via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28).
Masvidal with a big win, and disappointment once again for Pat Healy who suffers his third UFC loss in a row. I hope Healy gets another shot, he still has a lot of life in him yet and could still work his way back up the ladder.
Estevan Payan vs. Alex White
Must win for Payan, promotional debut for the undefeated prospect White. White comes into this fight on short notice.
Round 1 – They engage early but neither land cleanly. A nice body kick by White. Payan with a left, and follows it up with a body kick. Big left counter from Payan there. White opening up with his kicks, and lands to the body. Payan does a good job of attacking to the body there, and is doing well at countering White’s strikes. Big head kick attempt misses. Payan gets dropped by a big combination, the left counter was the catalyst and White follows up with some punches and Ortiz stops the fight! He wasn’t defending himself and White had a dominant position. He’s protesting the stoppage but it was a good one. Solid debut from Alex White.
Result: White via TKO (punches) at 1:28 in first round.
Rogan states Payan may have woke back up by the punches, he was certainly not defending himself. A good stoppage by Ortiz, good performance by White, and this could be the last we see of Payan in the Octagon.
Caio Magalhaes vs. Luke Zachrich
This is the sort of fight where I’d make a cup of tea, but oh well. Magalhaes has won two fights in a row inside the Octagon after dropping his debut, while Zachrich makes his promotional debut.
Round 1 – Zachrich opens up with a leg kick followed by a 1-2, and Magalhaes lands a heavy blow! Big combination of lefts and rights from Magalhaes! He hurts Zachrich! He knees Zachrich in the body, though I thought that hit the groin. He follows up with a flurry of punches and Big John McCarthy stops the fight. Magalhaes sprinted to the finish, and it paid off. A failed celebration from Magalhaes. Disappointment in the UFC debut of Zachrich.
Result: Magalhaes via TKO (knee to the body & punches) at 0:44 in first round.
Three in a row for Magalhaes and a step-up in competition is needed. Zachrich disputed the stoppage, but Big John made the correct call. That punch to the body was the main catalyst for the finish, an impressive win from the Brazilian.
Jordan Mein vs. Hernani Perpetuo
Jordan Mein made a promising debut, but suffered a setback against Matt Brown. I’m a believer that Mein can become a champion one day, and at 24 and with 36 fights under his belt, a win over Perpetuo is vital for him. Hernani has fought in the regional circuit his whole career, let’s see how he deals with the bright lights of the Octagon. Mein is a -400 favourite.
Round 1 – Mein pushing forward with a lot of faints. Leg kicks from each fighter, Perpetuo with the more forceful. A tentative start. Mein bobbing up and down, and lands another nice leg kick. Body shot from Perpetuo. A nice 1-2 from Mein coming forward. A beautiful level change from the Canadian who gets the takedown and drops some big shots on the Brazilian. Nice elbow to the body. He’s posturing up and landing big blows, picking his shots. Missed up kick attempt from Perpetuo. Mein gets into half guard, with Perpetuo trying to utilise a butterfly guard and work from the bottom. Mein could get side control here, but instead sneaks in some left hands. A beautiful sweep from Perpetuo, who explodes to his feet! Big knee from Mein on the feet! And another perfectly placed leg kick. The Canadian is really turning it up on the feet. 45 seconds remaining, Mein being the aggressor and landing the better strikes of the two in this round. Perpetuo has had some little flashes of success, but none too significant. Fun round.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Mein.
Round 2 – A nice leg kick opens the round, with Mein really finding success with that technique. Perpetuo struggling to get his combinations to connect, Mein doing a good job of blocking and getting out of the range of the Brazilian. Mein went for a standing elbow there but missed it. He’s really doing a good job of staying the aggressor. Perpetuo has been on the back foot for most of this round and has had little success when he’s trying to press forward. Mein with a lovely combination, followed by another leg kick, this time to the inside of Perpetuo’s left thigh. Nice uppercut followed by a right, the latter landing by Mein. Perpetuo seems a little uncomfortable, and is rarely attempting techniques. Mein with a nice takedown, and he gets half guard. Perpetuo working from the bottom, and may be setting up a sweep once again, but doing a good job of stifling the attack of Mein. Good job getting back to his feet. Body shot from Perpetuo, and answered by Mein. Mein did a great job of getting a punch in then moving just out of the way of Perpetuo’s. 10 seconds left, with Perpetuo pushing forward for the first time this fight. He lands a shot at the end of the round, and makes a ‘come on’ motion. Less active round, but another solid one from Mein.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Mein (20-18 Mein).
Round 3 – Perpetuo needs a finish here, and certainly needs a lot more urgency. Mein pushing forward once again utilising his jab. Perpetuo a lot more aggressive this round though, and he’s starting to become the hunter. He’s failed to land any of his attacks though so far this round. Leg kick from Mein. Perpetuo has a lot of blood around his head and on his body, but not 100% sure where that blood is coming from. A big shot by Mein agains, and he gets the fight to the mat with half guard straight away. Perpetuo working on a leg! This looks deep! Mein is grimacing in pain! Straight leg lock here from Perpetuo! The Brazilian is trying his very hardest to straighten it out! He’s out. Mein has the back. That was very deep at one point. Now Perpetuo is on top, in side control and lands a short elbow. Mein does a good job of regaining guard. Now he does a good job of getting back up. That was the biggest success of the fight from Perpetuo so far. Perpetuo is making more ‘come on’ motions and trying to will Mein on, winging punches and failing to land. Mein gets caught by a combination! He might be hurt there. Mein then gets the takedown. Perpetuo was landing there. The Brazilian trying to work on a sweep but is unable to, and Mein ends the round working on the takedown. That was a fun fight, but Mein did enough to seal the victory.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Perpetuo (29-28 Mein).
Result: Mein via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29).
Not sure how one judge could give either of the first two rounds in Perpetuo’s favour, but Mein is victorious anyway. Some strange judging so far.
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Dustin Ortiz vs. Ray Borg
Dustin Ortiz was supposed to fight on last Friday’s UFC Fight Night card in Abu Dhabi, and is now fighting in Florida just eight days later instead. Will this be good or bad for Ortiz? I’m unsure. He fights undefeated Ray Borg, who is coming off a win at Legacy 30 just two weeks ago.
Round 1 – Ortiz starts out very aggressive, lands a short combination and goes for a takedown. He has Borg up against the cage and is landing some short knees and punches. Borg looking for a standing guillotine here, but Ortiz gets the takedown. Inexperience there. Ortiz is fighting like you’d expect, the experience inside the Octagon and overall is showing. He’s a grinder. Nice switch by Borg there! He lands a nice knee. Great explosion from him. Borg blocks Ortiz’s attempt at doing the same thing. Ortiz landing short shots from the bottom and keeping active, but he isn’t doing anything significant and just expending energy. Ortiz working his way to the feet, but Borg catches his legs and gets a big slam! Borg jumps to Ortiz’s back! He’s capitalising on these short openings. Ortiz might come out the backdoor here, and he does. Ortiz now looking for head and arm control, maybe working towards a guillotine. He’s landing some nice knees to the body from this position. Borg gets to his feet and gets another big slam, but Ortiz works to his feet and Borg once again jumps on the back! A great reversal by Ortiz though! This is a great battle right here. 20 seconds left, and Ortiz might end the round on top which is pivotal. He’s trapping the arm from the guard, then seemed to be working on an arm triangle but can’t complete it. Borg gets to his feet, lands a couple of big shots and the round ends! Great round, tough one to judge. I think Borg did enough to get the round, he landed the more significant blows and had a couple of beautiful sweeps and slams.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Borg.
Round 2 – Nice body kick from Borg, followed by a wheel kick attempt as Ortiz pushes forward. Borg is very powerful and explosive. Ortiz with some nice lefts, and gets the clinch against the cage again. Borg does a good job of reversing using the double underhooks, but Ortiz returns the favour. A lovely judo throw from Ortiz, who ends up in side control. He needs to control the explosive Borg better this round, and learn from the first. Some nice short elbows by Ortiz, but a beautiful hip escape by Borg who gets back to guard. He then explodes, gets to his feet, gets the takedown and has Ortiz’s back! Crazy exchange! Borg is so impressive. He needs to keep these big positions better though. Ortiz holding the right arm of Borg, who has both hooks and Ortiz flattened out momentarily. Borg does a good job of going for the choke, but it’s only across the chin. He worked on a neck crank momentarily to no avail. Some big punches by Borg there. Ortiz trying to explode but he’s having no success. Ortiz is up but Borg sticking to his back like glue. Ortiz may be looking for a slam here, Borg is trying to still work on the rear naked. Now Borg seems to have tightened it! Ortiz turning, but that was deep! Damn Ortiz gets out! But great control from Borg who keeps on the back. Big round for the 20 year old.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Borg (20-18 Borg).
Round 3 – Ortiz showing some urgency this round. A big jab there. And a big head kick! Damn that was a great technique. They’re in the clinch now, with Ortiz getting him against the cage with over-under. Failed takedown attempt from Borg, and they separate. Ortiz with a nice leg kick, and a nice punching combinations. He’s very technical on the feet, and this is where he should try to stay this round. Nice body work from Ortiz. He’s keeping busy so far. A nice body kick answered by a leg kick from Ortiz. Spinning back kick by Borg. A big kick there from Ortiz! That clipped Borg’s head there. This is a close fight so far. A big flying knee from Borg connects! He just goes from naught to twenty in a second! So explosive. Ortiz gets him against the cage in the clinch, who is bloodied. A nice body knee from Ortiz as they separate. Ortiz pushing forward using his hands, but having little success in that exchange. These body knees are nice! But Borg gets a knee in! A takedown attempt from the 20 year old, and it’s almost complete against the cage. Ortiz working the body while in this position but this isn’t a great position for him. Takedown from Borg, who momentarily gets the back but Ortiz does a great job of escaping! Borg working another takedown while Ortiz is doing a good job of unloading with punches. Borg now holding Ortiz’s back, and slams him! That could be big this round. 20 seconds remaining for either fighter to solidify this round, and possibly the fight. Borg gets the back, and that should mean the fight for the 20 year old! That was a great fight, both fighters were competitive in that one. Three fun fights to start this card.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Borg (30-27 Borg).
Result: Ortiz via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29).
Man, I do not agree with that decision at all. Great performance by Borg, but a good fight from both fighters so I don’t mind Ortiz getting the victory. No one loses from a fun fight like that, and at 20 years old Borg will only get better. Promising flyweight prospect.
Mirsad Bektic vs. Chas Skelly
This should be a real fun one. Bektic is widely renowned as one of the biggest 145lbs prospects and, like Skelly, is undefeated. Bektic may be five years younger, but Skelly is a prospect himself and a win for Chas would be hugely impressive. Rogan tells a story of Cole Miller crying after training with Mirsad Bektic because of how hard Bektic trained – not the best story considering the concussion studies recently.
Round 1 – I’m already liking the stance of Bektic. He opens up with a few jabs but Skelly gets out of the way of all of them. Skelly attempts a front kick, then a long jab, but they look a little laboured. Nice combination by Bektic there. A minute of feelers and faints there. Skelly seems the less comfortable on the feet so far, Bektic looks very technical and has nice head and body movement. Wow is Bektic fast. A nice right by Skelly there, but he has a small cut under his right eye. Short right landed by Bektic as Skelly comes in for the clinch, but Bektic turns it around and has Skelly against the cage in the clinch. They exchange short shots, nothing significant. Half way through a tentative round. They break after an inactive minute in the clinch. A big combination there by Bektic, and another. He’s getting comfortable now. Laboured right again by Skelly, very telegraphed. A nice short left by Bektic there, he may have Skelly hurt. He’s on top landing some big ground and pound, and a couple of beautiful elbows right there. Man these are huge elbows. Skelly working on a triangle however, but it seems like he just trying to survive the round. Bektic doing a good job of posturing up, and passes to half guard with ease there. 10 seconds left. A tentative start but big finish by Bektic there.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Bektic.
Round 2 – Bektic once again taking the middle, and lands a nice counter after Skelly leaves an opening. A side note: Bektic looks & fights a little like Eddie Alvarez. The speed advantage of Bektic has been apparent this whole fight, and he lands a nice uppercut as Skelly comes in. Skelly is fighting like the less experienced fighter. Skelly just charges forward with reckless abandon and leaves himself vulnerable to counters all-too-often. Another stuffed takedown attempt from Skelly, who instead settles for the clinch and lands some short shots. Bektic turns it around and has Chas up against the cage, and seems to be working for a takedown up against the cage. He abandons it and they’re in the middle. Skelly gets in a hard shot on Bektic there! First significant shot by Bektic! Skelly got in a couple of knees and really rocked Bektic! The ref stops it but Bektic was down on the ground! I think Bektic was out there. He has five minutes to recover. A point deduction, if that even matters. So Bektic is now recovering, and took a huge knee while he had his hand on the ground. He was a downed opponent according to the rule book for both knees. I thought they were changing that rule of deliberately putting your hand on the ground? Bektic decides to carry on, damn!! How significant will that point deduction be, or will it be the damage done that will be significant? A minute remaining in a crazy round. A big knee by Skelly, but a big right back by Bektic. Skelly had a lot more success this round, especially with those knees.
Cooper scores round 2 9-9 (19-18 Bektic).
Round 3 – This is a big round for both fighters. Bektic certainly hasn’t looked himself since those illegal knees. Bektic is landing some nice jabs, while Skelly is just left punching air due to the speed disadvantage. Bektic with a big takedown attempt, and slams Skelly down! That was a big takedown! He’s in guard, and that was a sensible move from Mirsad. Some nice short shots by Bektic, who moves into half guard and seems to be working on an arm triangle. He’s pinning the left arm of Skelly. Skelly tries to use the cage to sweep, but Bektic does a good job. Then Skelly sweep again! That was brilliant! He has Mirsad’s back, damn! One hook in. But Bektic looks like he’s going to wind up on top now, that one hook wasn’t enough. Good job there by Bektic, who is now back in Skelly’s guard. 90 seconds remaining. Half guard now for the Bosnian. Skelly makes his way back to his feet, but Bektic has him in the clinch. They separate. Skelly with some more urgency with just 45 seconds remaining. A nice right by Skelly. A nice left by Bektic. Skelly with a knee! Then a huge takedown by Bektic! Skelly uses the momentum to work on a leg lock! That was a crazy exchange. He’s having no success with the leg lock however, and instead lands some blows from the position. Great debut from both fighters, this could be a draw! I have Bektic up, but that was a fun fight.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Bektic (29-27 Bektic).
Result: Bektic via majority decision (29-27 x2, 28-28).
Bektic says he was dazed, but at the time didn’t even know the knees were illegal i.e. wasn’t using the hand as a tactical thing. A good performance by Bektic in the first, was in a dangerous position in the second and did a great job to recover in the third. Good performance by Chas Skelly too, sad to see the first 1 in his loss column.
Derrick Lewis vs. Jack May
The UFC’s third card in eight days kicks off with a heavyweight bout between two debuting prospects in Derrick Lewis and Jack May. The former has lost just twice in his pro career and has a win over Jared Rosholt, while the latter is undefeated as a professional. May is 5 inches taller, at 6 foot 8.
Round 1 – May is pushing forward early and opens up with a couple of nice leg kicks. They were brutal. A winging right misses by May. Lewis gets a huge takedown, that was a big shot in there. May has his back up against the cage and is sitting up, but Lewis gets him to the ground and has half guard. May with double underhooks, he’s trying to stifle the attack of his opponent and get this stood up – Big John McCarthy is warning about just that. Lewis with a patient approach here. May does a great job of getting out and momentarily has the back of Lewis, but instead settles for getting up to the clinch. May with a beautiful trip and gets full mount, wow he is pulling off some beautiful techniques. This is where that 6’8″ frame plays a big role, this will tire Lewis a whole load. Some nice short shots from this position by May, who is attacking to the body with sound technique. He looks like he’s working for an arm triangle. Lewis explodes, momentarily gives up his back then gets up! It seems like he has May hurt here! Big strikes by Lewis, he’s in half guard unloading! Huge shots, but May gets out! He’s going for the takedown but takes some huge elbows. Lewis had him in mount! Unloads with some big shots and John McCarthy stops the fight! CRAZY FIGHT! Big debut for Derrick Lewis.
Result: Lewis via TKO (punches) at 4:23 in first round.
Joe Rogan suggests that Jack May’s knee blew out, which led to the finish. He was doing a great job until that Lewis rampage. Impressive debuts from both fighters, in all honesty.