UFC 175 is perhaps the biggest card of the year, being hosted on Saturday night at Mandalay Bay Events Centre in Las Vegas, NV, featuring two UFC title fights. In the middleweight division, Chris Weidman will defend his 185lbs strap for just the second time, facing former light heavyweight kingpin Lyoto Machida in the main event. In the co-main, Ronda Rousey looks to continue her unbeaten streak and defend her UFC women’s bantamweight title in the process against Alexis Davis.
Elsewhere on the card, Stefan Struve makes his long awaited return in the heavyweight division, facing 7-3 Matt Mitrione. Former TUF runner-up Uriah Hall meets Thiago Santos in the middleweight division, with both fighters looking for their second win in a row in the talent stacked division. Marcus Brimage makes his bantamweight debut to open the card, facing Russell Doane, who has won four of his last five.
The preliminary portion is also intriguing, with Urijah Faber meeting Alex Caceres to top the FOX Sports billing, who are both looking to make an impact in the wide open bantamweight division. Another one to watch comes on the UFC Fight Night segment, with former RFA champion Kevin Casey making his return against former Legacy champion Bubba Bush.
Here is the full play-play-for the event, which includes the pay-per-view main card, and preliminary portions on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Main Card: Pay-per-view
Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida
Chris Weidman hoping to defend his belt for a second time, while Machida looking to become just the third UFC fighter to held a belt in two different weight classes. This is the big one, and I cannot wait to see how it plays out.
Round 1 - Leg kick by Weidman, who misses with the head kick. Another leg kick. This may be a Shogun-esque strategy. Weidman taking the centre, and lands a push kick. Machida starting off slow, trying to get his timing and doing a good job of avoiding most of the kicks the American is throwing. Weidman looking very comfortable. Machida’s kick is caught and Weidman is deep on a single, well defended by Machida who gets the clinch then pushes away. Well done there by Lyoto. But a warning sign for him. Inside kick, and another from Weidman. They’re engaging, each land a couple of short shots. Inside leg kick again by Weidman, and Machida misses the counter. Weidman’s kicks are landing effectively. Two body kicks by Weidman. Inside leg kick again but Machida counters with the left. Machida went for the high kick but misses. He lands his second attempt. Weidman with a spin which is very telegraphed. Machida is so quick, and nearly gets a lead uppercut to land. Nice fake for the takedown and a sharp left by Weidman. Front kick to the body by Machida lands, and he avoids the catch. 20 seconds left. A close round, mostly a feeling out process and neither fighter committing too much. Machida with the knee to the body at the end, and avoids the counter.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Weidman.
Round 2 - Inside leg kick by Machida. Weidman doubles up on the jab, then hits an inside leg kick of his own. Machida now taking the centre. Front kick to the body is blocked by Weidman. He doubles up on the jab and lands a short left on Machida, who’s back peddling now. Leg kick is checked. Machida gets countered. But he lands a nice body kick there. Another really tentative round so far. Machida with an inside leg kick. Weidman with the teep. Machida returns. Short left by Weidman counters Machida. Jumping front kick backs Machida up. Lyoto simply isn’t keeping busy enough. Machida now feinting that crane kick. Good overhand left lands for Lyoto. Weidman with a big shot in and he gets it. Lyoto held the cage momentarily, and he has his back against the fence. Not completely taken down but it will score with the judges. 30 seconds remain. Good ground and pound by Weidman, and he is overwhelming Machida from this position. The Brazilian works his way up but eats a couple of knees from the clinch. Machida tries landing a short shot to the body which seemed to land. They end the round in the clinch, with Weidman having Machida pressed against the fence.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Weidman (20-18 Weidman).
Round 3 - Leg kick by Machida. Weidman with the jab, pushing forward. Machida opening up with the kicks more, going leg then up high but both blocked. Weidman shoots in for a takedown but shrugged off by Machida, who circles away from his subsequent punches. High kick is checked by Weidman. Another very laboured takedown attempt is stuffed from Weidman. That’s better! He lands a couple of shots to disguise the takedown, and completes it. He’s postured up in the guard and trying to land some heavy shots. Nice short elbow from Weidman. He has the back now. One hook in. He lands a big knee. But well done by Machida at disengaging. Big combination from Weidman there but a nice left counter by Machida. Huge right rocks Machida, who has a cut now on his face. Weidman pouring it on now. Machida seemed to land there but Weidman got the better for certain. Machida lands a knee to the body but unable to block to takedown from Weidman. Machida is bleeding heavy and eating some ground and pound. He works his way up but Weidman ragdolls him to the ground. Machida is in trouble. Big shots from Weidman. Machida gets back up but he’s bloodied and beaten and has two rounds to rescue this fight. He lands a kick to the body at the end of the round, but too little too late.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Weidman (30-27 Weidman).
Round 4 - First time in the championship rounds for Weidman. He lands a teep, then a leg kick. Nice long jab, and the two are hand fighting. Knee to the body from Weidman. Body kick by Machida, and another. Both landed heavy. Good combination from Weidman is followed by a knee to the body. Uppercut then a left by Machida lands. Weidman just eats it and pushes forward. Weidman gets the takedown but eats a knee to the body along the way. Machida only briefly down, he works his way up and separates straight away. Big left hook by Lyoto there! He caught Weidman sleeping. Head kick misses for Weidman. Another left hand by Machida. Weidman may be tiring. Machida pouring it on. Huge combination! He’s landing big shots now! Weidman with an uppercut. Machida misses the high kick. Body kick lands though. Weidman is fading now. Body kick again for Machida. Tags him with the left. Weidman needs to protect himself better. Machida with the combination but Weidman trying to fire back with the jabs. Overhand left then a takedown attempt by Weidman, unsuccessful. Lead uppercut from Machida. Front kick to the body by Machida, much more volume now. Weidman’s pace has slowed significantly, and his combinations don’t quite have the same pop to them. Deep shot is stuffed by Machida, who then pushes forward and lands a big combination. Flying knee from Weidman. Lyoto lands a huge left at the end of the round! What a round!
Cooper scores round 4 10-9 Machida (39-37 Weidman).
Round 5 - Weidman’s corner tell him he’s letting Machida get back into it, and it’s true. Machida had a lot of success in the fourth, and he needs to do more of the same if he wants the belt. Leg kick by Machida, and Weidman slips. Body kick from Machida. Huge combination! Lefts and rights backing Weidman up. This is gonna be an interesting round. Weidman’s combinations aren’t landing now. Left hand counter by Machida. Weidman with the single attempt but great takedown defence from Machida and he’s landing some short shots against the cage. Weidman pushes him off, and lands a knee to the body. Big right by Weidman there. Big right by Machida, a left by Weidman. They’re each trading jabs. Big combination by Weidman but Machida coming forward! They’re both really tired. Nice leg kick by Weidman who just avoids the counters of Machida. Knee to the body. Beautiful elbow and a left hook by Weidman. Great combination from the champ. Lyoto with a combination of his own. Weidman with a huge takedown with 90 seconds left in the round. In half guard and landing some short shots from this position. Machida is too tired to get to his feet, it seems. Full mount! Now the back. An elbow by Weidman. He has both hooks. He’s flattened out! Weidman landing shots but Machida shakes off the right hook, not full back control now. Machida explodes. 30 seconds left and they’re standing. Big rights by Machida! He had Weidman hurt there right at the end! What a fight that was! Machida pouring it on late but Weidman barely survives. He’ll defend the title but boy was he tested!
Cooper scores round 5 10-9 Weidman (49-46 Weidman).
Result: Weidman via unanimous decision (49-45, 48-47, 49-46).
One of the best title fights I’ve seen, and Machida proved his worth. Weidman is a worthy champion but he was more than tested there. Belfort next, please.
Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis
Alexis Davis is all smiles coming to the Octagon, and aims to shock the MMA world with a win over dominant, unbeaten champ Ronda Rousey to capture the title. She’s a BJJ black belt and has a ton of experience, possibly giving the champ her toughest test to date. Both have gone 3-0 in the UFC, Rousey finishing all of her fights and Davis going the distance in all of hers. Rousey doing her patented mean mugging, storming to the cage.
Round 1 - Rousey lands a couple of stiff jabs. Davis eats a huge right then a knee, then Rousey with a huge judo throw and pins the arm, lands some huge shots and it’s over! Holy moly! Davis was so out she was literally tackling Lavigne for about 15 seconds! That was brutal, devastating and was over in less than 20 seconds. Rousey landed 10 shots from the ground. Judo kills. They replay the fight about four times as it was so short, and Davis hugs Rousey in congratulations. Phenomenal.
Result: Rousey via TKO (punches) at 0:16 in first round.
Ronda Rousey is unstoppable. Alexis Davis is no joke, but Rousey handled her like she is nothing. Rousey is ever improving and just absolutely killing it.
The second fastest TKO ever in a UFC title fight, the fastest being 15 seconds between Andrei Arlovski and Paul Buentello.
Joe Rogan offers Rousey a title fight at UFC 176 in less than a month time, being forced to put her on the spot by the producers. She says that if it is cool with her coaches, it’s cool with her.
Stefan Stuve vs. Matt Mitrione
According to UFC officials, Stefan Struve feinted backstage and his fight with Matt Mitrione is off as a result. Struve has had a history of heart problems and was set to make his comeback, though this is expected to result in his retirement. A shame for such a young, talented guy. Dana White suggests it is just a panic attack, but you have to be careful with these things.
Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos
Hall looking for just his second official UFC win, with the same being said for Santos.
Round 1 - Both fighters exchange spinning attacks which miss. Santos with a couple of body kicks. Hall with the jab and avoids Santos’ counters. Santos misses the wheel kick, and Hall misses the spinning back fist. Neither of these guys are coming close. Body kick by Santos doesn’t land too clean. Nice leg kick though. Jab by Hall lands, and he counters the leg kick with it on the follow-up. The leg kicks of Santos are doing a good job thusfar. Hall is seeing most of his techniques coming and reacting accordingly. Nice jab by Hall, and another. They’re stiff jabs. Half of the round left. Hall catches the leg kick of Santos, chucks him to the ground and lands a couple of shots before letting him up. Great work at making Santos pay. Great counter by Hall as Santos comes in recklessly, and that staggered him. The leg kicks are landing well for Santos so far, though. Great jab and leg kick combination, but the spinning attack misses badly. Good left hook from Hall, which backs Santos up. Hall marching forward, lands a couple of stiff rights, and a nice jab. He’s mocking him, hands down and using head movement. This is fun to watch. He avoids the right hook and lands a jab. Santos trying to stay calm, landing the leg kicks. Wheel kick from Hall misses. Solid round.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Hall.
Round 2 - They just zoomed in on Hall’s broken foot, but he’s amped up and wants to finish this fight as soon as possible. Leg kick from Santos lands and causes Hall to spin. Jab by Hall and a sharp leg kick. Another jab. This is the Hall of the Ultimate Fighter, such great movement. He lands a big leaping right. He’s eating this leg kicks but continue to be the aggressor. Nice leg kick and right hand by Santos but Hall nods as though it was nothing. Hall catches the leg and drops Santos, landing a couple of shots before letting him up. Hall is throwing the broken foot, crazy! How can someone still throw that?! He’s avoiding everything Santos throws. The side kick lands. Santos with a high kick which is blocked. That had cruel intentions. Leg kick and a jab to the body by Hall. 1 minute remaining of a fairly uneventful round. Easily stuffed takedown attempt from Santos. Urijah throws a head kick, then misses a spinning kick. Santos going for a kick of his own, then goes for the crane kick and a spin kick – none landing cleanly. Cartwheel kick attempted by Hall! Crazy.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Hall (20-18 Hall).
Round 3 - Santos pushing forward but unable to land his opening shots. The toe of Hall is nasty and way out of place. Santos misses with the kick. Hall with a crazy spinning technique missing. He catches Santos’ kick and makes him regret throwing it. Hall with some nice combinations now, he’s picking up the pace. Santos with the spinning back kick to the body. 3 minutes left in the round and this has certainly been the least active of the three. Good overhand right by Uriah. Good right hand to the body. Santos sticking with the leg kicks but he needs a finish and there’s only 2 minutes left. Hall with a spinning back kick to the body with his broken foot. Beautiful technique by Hall, and he’s avoiding Santos’ attacks. Santos missing badly. Hall with a leg kick and doubles up the jab. Hall gets caught in the cup but limps away. Hall does’t take much time at all, and is coping with the pain of his foot. Santos gets the clinch and has the back of Hall now against the cage. Short knees by Santos, a high volume of them in fact. Hall drops down for the kimura. But well defended by Santos, who ends the round in Hall’s guard landing some ground and pound.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Hall (30-27 Hall).
Result: Hall via unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 30-27).
That’s a brutal injury to Hall, the bone is sticking out and bleeding bad, and he did a great job of getting through that and getting the UD. Good performance from Hall, and he seems to be getting back to his old TUF self. Santos put on a good showing.
Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane
Brimage making his bantamweight debut against the tough Hawaiian. He looked good at the weigh-ins, so interesting to see how he does here.
Round 1 - Doane gets countered coming inside. Leg kick from Brimage. Tentative opening minute. Doane with a nice takedown there, and he’s in the butterfly guard of Brimage. Doane passes straight into side control. Now looking for a d’arce choke, but instead gets the back of Brimage. What a scramble there for Doane. Doane has one hook in and Brimage is in a bad spot. Both hooks in now, but Brimage defending thusfar. Good short shots by Doane. This is really tiring for the BW debutant. Doane keeping very active on the back of Brimage, and trying to soften him up before attempting to sink in the choke. He’s sticking to him like glue. Brimage explodes to his feet! Very well done. Less than a minute remaining in this first round. 1-2 by Brimage, missing a body and leg kick. Head kick by Doane is blocked. Brimage catches Doane coming in, then lands a kick. Inside leg kick by Brimage. Good end to that round but nowhere near enough.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Doane.
Round 2 - Couple of kicks by Brimage land, nice technique there. The leg kicks in particular are working effectively. Big 1-2 there! Not sure if Doane slipped there but he certainly dropped. He’s working for a single leg now but Brimage stuffs it. Beautiful inside leg kick and Doane is limping now. Another stuffed takedown. Doane is uncomfortable now. Another big leg kick. These are brutal. Doane shoots in and gets a pivotal takedown. Brimage is up and takes the centre, trying to score with that leg kick. He catched the kick of Doane and tries to counter but is unable to. They get the clinch and Doane lands a couple of solid knees in the thai clinch, before dropping for a takedown. Brimage with some short shots and is unable to get him to the mat but Brimage then gives up his back. Great roll by Brimage and he gets to his feet! Beautiful technique. Brimage attacking to the leg, which was the most significant weapon of the round.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Brimage (19-19).
Round 3 - Brimage catches a high kick of Doane and gets it to the ground. Doane working on an omaplata and Brimage escapes before he is unable to sink it in. Brimage with another big leg kick. He’s attacking the other leg, his technique on that kick is perfect. Another big leg kick. Brimage looks great at 135. And another. He’s targeting the same spot and dropping Doane almost every time. These are significant. Front kick attempt by Doane then a nice series of leg kicks. Doane with a big shot, well defended but some nice knees from the clinch. He pulls guard but Brimage gets out of there quickly. There isn’t too much to report on this round (or fight), unfortunately. Mostly faints and fillers, and the odd jab in-between. The leg kicks have been the key to this one and Brimage has some great technique to them. Mixing it up on the outside and inside. Another stuffed takedown attempt by Doane. High kick by Doane grazes the head of Brimage. Nice 1-2 by Brimage. Another leg kick. Doane pushing forward at the end of the round. Brimage should have his first win at 135.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Brimage (29-28 Brimage).
Result: Doane via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27).
I really thought Brimage had the last two, but Doane gets the split decision nod. Brimage is a very respectful guy and claps Doane. A solid fight nonetheless.
Preliminary Card: FOX Sports 1
Urijah Faber vs. Alex Caceres
The main event of the prelims, Urijah Faber trying to bounce back from a loss to Renan Barao, meeting Alex Caceres who comes in on a five fight unbeaten streak. Faber is a 10-to-1 favourite.
Round 1 - Caceres goes for a leg kick and Faber gets a takedown, but Leeroy back up straight away. Faber in the clinch trying to get it to the mat, but great job from Caceres. Faber holding him against the cage now, and lands a knee to the body. Caceres with a short right. Faber drops down for a takedown but unable to, Caceres gets out and eats a big right. Faber gets a takedown and is now inside the guard of Caceres. Nice short shots to the body by Faber, and he lands a sharp elbow to the head of Caceres. Faber doing a really good job of mixing it up body-head, and Caceres has no choice but to eat these big shots. Caceres is surprisingly inactive from the bottom, he’s usually throwing up triangles from all angles. Faber slams him down from the guard and keep very active, stacking him and landing big shots. Faber overwhelming him in the first, and his ground and pound looks great so far. Caceres attempts an up kick and gets to his feet at the horn.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Faber.
Round 2 - Caceres with a nice 1-2, but Faber pushes forward and lands a big combination. Then the single leg takedown. Caceres is smiling throughout but he’s really getting outworked. Big shot by Faber, but he’s only able to get the guard at the moment. Faber posturing up. Caceres gets up, great job there! Faber pushed back. Nice uppercut then an overhand left. Lovely combination from Caceres there. That got Faber’s attention. Faber got in a 1-2. Big kick by Caceres, Faber catches it and trips him. Caceres right back up but gives up his back. Caceres turns in the clinch and lands a knee to the body. Faber pushing him against the cage now and drags him to the mat once more. Caceres gets up and gives up his back in the clinch once more, but once again spins around. Elbow by Faber on the exit. Head kick by Caceres. Nice jab. Caceres with a spinning leg kick but Faber clinches him against the cage. Beautiful hip toss by Faber there! But Caceres with a good job of getting right back up. Clinch once again for Faber, who drops down for a takedown but well recognised by Bruce Leeroy. They each trade knees at the end of the second. Another round for the former contender.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Faber (20-18 Faber).
Round 3 - Nice combination by Caceres. He’s opening up more now. Keeping active and mixing it up well. He gets the clinch now, Faber against the cage and has a hold of one of the legs. Right by Caceres. Faber catches the leg and lands a couple of shots. He has him down, and gets the back straight away! Just one hook in but has the arm pinned. He’s got the rear naked and forces the tap! Big win for Urijah.
Result: Faber via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:09 in third round.
It was hardly a statement if I’m honest, but Faber ended up getting a win, and a solid finish over a tough opponent. He looked real tired and the third and made it a gruelling fight.
Caceres put in an admirable performance and proved his worth against a top BW, but he needs to learn not to give up his back so easily.
Kenny Robertson vs. Ildemar Alcantara
I really like this match-up. Robertson’s last performance was really fun, and his BJJ skills are top notch. Alcantara has been lacklustre inside the UFC, but a win over Robertson would tell a different story. Good welterweight scrap, this. Robertson is 2-3 inside the Octagon, Alcantara going 3-1.
Round 1 - Robertson with a lot of movement while Alcantara trying to stay tall. Robertson charing in with winging hooks and gets the clinch, trying to drag the fight to the mat straight away. Nice short knees. He’s unable to trip Alcantara so far, but he’s certainly tiring the Brazilian. Alcantara goes for a trip of his own and Robertson uses that momentum to get him to the mat, great job there. Half guard now. Robertson landing short shots, now pinning the arm. He goes for a d’arce momentarily. He’s really active on the ground. Softening Alcantara up so far. Nice punch there. Alcantara regains guard but not attempting any offence. Robertson’s elbows are brutal, I’m shocked Alcantara isn’t bleeding just yet. Sharp, sharp elbows. Robertson pouring it on. 90 seconds left in the round and it’s all Robertson. The American is just staying calm, in the guard, and landing when he likes, while Alcantara is offering little in return. Robertson now posturing up, but doesn’t advance his position. Good short shots, a nullifying approach so far. All Robertson that round.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Robertson.
Round 2 - High kick attempted by Alcantara. Nice shots to the body from Robertson, then a leg kick lands. Alcantara once again going for the high kick, but blocked once more. Right hook lands though. Robertson does not look as comfortable on the feet, he goes for the takedown which fails but lands a short knee. Good movement and blocking thusfar from the American. Nothing much happening on the feet after 2 minutes. Robertson with a big shoot for a double, he fails at first then a great trip for Robertson. Great job. Wow, Robertson is looking for the neck crank, that looked nasty for a moment. He let’s go but has the back and is landing some nice short shots. Alcantara gets to his feet and lands a short knee, but Robertson gets another takedown. Half guard. Full mount! Big shots. Alcantara is in trouble. Robertson is overwhelming him now. Huge shots. The elbows are brutal especially. He goes to side control and goes for the kimura but Alcantara rolls, Robertson rolls him back and is still working on it. Wow he may have it. Nope. He lets go and instead lands some big shots with knee on belly. 20 seconds left and overwhelming once again. Huge elbows by the American ends another dominant round.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Robertson (20-18 Robertson).
Round 3 - Leg kick by Robertson. He’s looking more relaxed on the feet now and Alcantara seems a little gassed. Nice short shot by the Brazilian, I believe that was a standing elbow. Robertson backing him up and gets the clinch. A low blow to Alcantara there. The action reumes, and Alcantara really needs a finish. Solid right by Kenny, and he’s really backing Alcantara up now. Takedown attempt stuff and Alcantara disengages. Another low blow, damn. Seems like that one really hurt Alcantara. They resume. Spinning back kick from Robertson just misses. Takedown by Alcantara! Robertson already offensive on the mat, and trying to work on a sweep. Warning from the ref for inactivity. The sweep is there, and Robertson in guard. 90 seconds left. That was big. Nothing significant really, mostly Robertson landing shots in the guard and Alcantara unable to do nothing. The referee stands them up with 10 seconds left. Alcantara tosses Robertson to the mat and lands some big shots at the horn goes, but Robertson cruises to victory here.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Robertson (30-27 Robertson).
Result: Robertson via unanimous decision (30-26 x3).
I’m not too surprised to see one of the rounds given a 10-8, I imagine it was the 1st or 2nd. A great performance from the American, who gets his first two fight winning streak inside the Octagon.
Chris Camozzi vs. Bruno Santos
Camozzi has been on a recent two fight skid, and Santos will look to make it three in a row. Santos lost his UFC debut, so he will also look to bounce back. Camozzi the -225 favourite for this middleweight clash.
Round 1 - Leg kick by Camozzi opens the fight. A lot of pawing. Camozzi attempts a jab-head kick combination. He catches the kick from Santos but fails to capitalise. Santos catches Camozzi’s leg kick and lands one of his own. Camozzi is the aggressor thusfar, Santos trying to bob up and down and catch him with counters. Nice sneaky left by Camozzi. Big right staggers Santos. He’s having a hard time closing the range but that one was very powerful. Camozzi catches Santos coming in lazily. Nice teeps. Santos with a powerful leg kick, and eats one in return. Camozzi pushes forward trying to land the straights, but nothing too hard there. Camozzi is looking very comfortable. Lovely right lands! That was big. He gets the clinch but Santos does a good job of turning it around and is attempting to get the fight to the ground. He’s unable to but is holding Camozzi against the cage and using his power. Camozzi breaks. Santos gets the clinch again as Camozzi comes in recklessly, the tactics of the Brazilian is evident here. Double underhooks now for him. Santos should be able to drag this to the mat now. Trip attempt fails. Great job by Camozzi thusfar, and some nice knees as he’s keeping busy. Santos drops down for a double but what a great job by Camozzi, who lands a short elbow. Short shots by Camozzi, and he avoids the strike of Santos. Good first round for the American, and that round will be significant on Santos’ gas tank.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Camozzi.
Round 2 - Santos lands a huge left hook there, Camozzi lands a kick. Body shot by Santos. He gets a huge takedown! Great job from the Brazilian. Camozzi regains guard and is utilising a butterfly hook. Camozzi might be looking for an armbar and trying to use the cage it seems. Santos trying to land ground and pound but Camozzi doing a good job of avoiding damage, and landing some nice elbows from the bottom. Santos needs to take advantage of this position as much as he can, this is his golden ticket. He’s just staying in the guard and eating some elbows. Yamasaki calls for a timeout after Santos loses his mouthpiece – is that through fatigue? Santos now gets half guard. Now full guard! He may be working on an arm triangle here, and he is a really powerful dude. North-south now. He’s going for the mount now but a big mistake, Camozzi regaining full guard. Now he passes to half. Camozzi looking a tad bewildered and frustrated on the bottom. Full guard and Camozzi is landing some nice elbows, he’s busted Santos up now. Half guard, but Santos is bleeding in a pretty bad spot. Camozzi works his way up, and attempts a trip but Santos ends up on top. Big shots by the Brazilian from the half guard. Camozzi gets guard but he’s lost this round badly.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Santos (19-19).
Round 3 - It all comes down to this final round, and both corners are urging their fighters to look for the finish. Jab by Camozzi there, nice in and out. Santos with a nice 1-2, he’s so powerful. Leg kick staggers Santos, who misses on the follow-up. Camozzi the aggressor so far in the third, and Santos is missing his counter. Nice front kick attempt by Camozzi, who eats a body punch. And another. Camozzi doing a good job of mixing up his kicks and keeping Santos at bay. Nice double jab. Wow lovely stuff by Camozzi, the jabs are busting Santos up now. Four or five landed there as he was pushing forward. Santos unable to land at all. But he gets a big takedown! Camozzi was trying to grab the fence and gets a stern warning. Camozzi working on rubber guard but lets it go. He looks frustrated now, Santos is on top with half way to go in the final round. Santos in half guard now. Camozzi trying to get a kimura, and uses it to get to his knees against the cage, trying to work his way up. Santos drags it back down but Camozzi still working on that left arm. Yamasaki giving a warning for inactivity. Camozzi trying to wall walk, and he does so. That’s better. 1 minute left in this round. Santos attempts a couple of huge hooks. Big mistake by Camozzi! He throws the knee and Santos catches it and drags it to the mat. Camozzi needs to be in desperation mode now. He’s really frustrated. Half guard for Santos and some short shots as the horn goes.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Santos (29-28 Santos).
Result: Santos via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29).
Split decision, how on earth? That was a clear cut win for Santos, but luckily just one judge got it wrong. Solid win, I guess, for Santos and he really did little on the ground. Camozzi looked good on the feet but on the ground he was simply smothered.
George Roop vs. Rob Font
Font making his UFC debut, Roop searching for his sixth UFC win. Roop is 3-1 as a BW, and the tallest in the division.
Round 1 - Teep by Roop is caught by Font. Right kick by Roop, who gets caught by a right as Font charges in. Font is coming in with reckless abandon and Roop countered well. Roop gets the clinch and his Font against the cage, nice knees to the body and thighs. Font with a short punch and he breaks. Roop with a nice sharp left hook. Body shot. Nice jab by Roop, but he gets caught with one in return. Leg kick by Roop, who’s trying to fight tall. Head kick misses. font with a huge right! Wow that came out of nowhere! One punch knockout! He followed Roop up but he was out anyway. What a shot, and that might be Roop’s last taste inside the Octagon.
Result: Font via KO (punch) at 2:19 in first round.
Rob Font was having some problems in the early going but showed his worth with a fantastic KO over a respected veteran. The underdog wins again. Roop was as out as you can be, his legs were goooone. What a highlight reel KO that is for a UFC debut!
A very exciting addition to this bantamweight division, and he states that UFC jitters is a myth.
Preliminary Card: UFC Fight Pass
Luke Zachrich vs. Guilherme Vasconcelos
Zachrich lost his UFC debut in 44 seconds, albeit on short notice, so this is must win for him. UFC debut for the Brazilian.
Round 1 - Vasconcelos taking the centre. A nice little combination from Zachrich. He’s trying to utilise a nice jab, and great level change to the body. His stand-up looks sharp so far, and he’s countering the kicks of Vasconcelos. Nice sharp right from Zachrich, then an inside leg kick. Vasconcelos looks frozen on the feet, Zachrich outclassing him and using some nice movement. Good leg kick from Vasconcelos, his first notable attack thusfar. Body shot from Zachrich lands. Vasconcelos rarely trying to throw anything other than the kicks thusfar. Good combination by Zachrich, who is starting to get a little more aggressive now. Vasconcelos is doing a good job of keeping his guard up. Nice left by Zachrich lands, and another hook as he closes the distance. Keeping active is the American. Vasconcelos with the leg kick once again. Slip and rip by Zachrich, beautiful technique there. Vasconcelos with a nice left that grazes his chin. Zachrich landed a hard left, but Vasconcelos tries to urge him on. His legs stiffened up then, I don’t think Vasconcelos liked that. Jabs from Zachrich land, and he’s landed almost three times that of Vasconcelos. That’s better from the Brazilian, punch then a body kick, he needs to get loose now. Good short shot and he’s stalking Zachrich now. Left to the body from Zachrich, who then avoids the attack of his opponent. A good pace to this first round, Zachrich looks tons better with a full training camp.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Zachrich.
Round 2 - Leg kick by Zachrich, very sneaky technique. Vasconcelos still pushing forward but eats a hard right, that hurt him there. Zachrich trying to counter the sloppiness of Vasconcelos but he’s leaving himself open too. Vasconcelos slips. He’s having a really hard time getting his range. Vasconcelos tries for a takedown but it’s stuffed easily. Accidental eye poke by the Brazilian. Hard body kick from Vasconcelos. The jab of Zachrich is landing at will, and all he is being forced to eat is the leg kicks. Body kick from Vasconcelos misses, and beautifully countered. Another telegraphed takedown attempt stuffed by Zachrich. Vasconcelos is in desperation mode, past the mid-way point of the round and getting outclassed on the feet. Sharp left by Zachrich. Zachrich is lighting him up now, landing almost every shot. Vasconcelos is just trying to land the one shot, while Zachrich is getting in two, three and four. Great pace from the 185-er. Vasconcelos lands a left there, but doesn’t faze his opponent. Vasconcelos showing a bit more urgency but struggling to land anything significant. Slip and rip again by Zachrich, great timing from the American. His angles are great. Uppercut. He’s really putting it on Vasconcelos now. In and out, jabs and movement, masterful. Body kick by Vasconcelos lands at the horn.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Zachrich (20-18 Zachrich).
Round 3 - Vasconcelos’ corner telling him how it is, he’s down 2 and needs a finish. More urgency from the Brazilian, but he eats a solid leg kick. They both seem to have enough in their gas tank for this to be another good round. Zachrich ducks and lands a body kick, great stuff. Another leg kick. Vasconcelos with a takedown attempt, once again stuffed easily – very laboured attempts. 0-3 in attempts. Zachrich lands the kick and sweeps the leg of Vasconcelos, but lets him back up. Great stuff and that’s the stuff that scores with the judges. Vasconcelos with a telegraphed hook. He needs to disguise his power punches more, as Zachrich is getting out of the way easily. Another nice combination from Zachrich, mixing it up well and level changing. That’s better from Vasconcelos, especially that shot to the body. Left hook lands. This is better. Half of the third round left. Jab lands again for Zachrich, while the hook of Vasconcelos is missing badly. Nice body shot by Zachrich. Zachrich is pressing forward now and he seems the fresher of the two coming into the closing minute of the fight. Vasconcelos with a nice combination but he’s getting countered while pressing forward. Zachrich with the nice leg kick, and again. Less than a minute left and Zachrich is cruising. Vasconcelos with a nice combination there and landed a nice right hook at the end. This is more like it. Zachrich is using good movement but Vasconcelos is really trying. Knee to the body. 15 seconds left. Fair play to Vasconcelos, at least he is trying. Right hook there, and an uppercut. A solid fight, but easy decision for Zachrich who looked much, much improved.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Zachrich (30-27 Zachrich).
Result: Zachrich via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28).
I really enjoyed that fight, and Zachrich looked solid to say the least. Vasconcelos will be back I’m sure, but Zachrich simply outclassed him on the feet.
Zachrich in tears, what a guy he seems like. Showed tremendous improvement and explains his injury history. A very good performance from the American.
Kevin Casey vs. Bubba Bush
Battle of two champions, Casey making his UFC return after going 0-1 in the Octagon. This could be very interesting. Casey is a dangerous guy, especially in the early going. Both searching for a first UFC win.
Round 1 - Bush comes in aggressive and Casey with a beautiful counter that drops Bush! Just a handful of seconds into the fight. Casey in half guard, trying to pass. He has some great ground skills and this is where Casey wants the fight, even though his stand-up does look great. Nice patient approach for Casey, and some damaging short elbows! That’s it! Wow them short elbows cracked Bush open and forced the ref to step in. Masterful from ‘King’ Casey.
Result: Casey via TKO (elbows) at 1:01 in first round.