UFC head to Maine for the first time with the UFC Fight Night 47 card, which is headlined by a light heavyweight attraction between top ranked Ryan Bader and Ovince St. Preux. The bout marks the second UFC main event of Bader’s career, while this is St. Preux’s highest profile bout since joining the promotion in 2013.
Bader comes into the bout fresh off a victory over former Strikeforce champion Rafael Feijao in June, his fifth win in his last eight and his second consecutive win. He will look to make it three straight against the #10 ranked St. Preux, who has gone 4-0 since joining the UFC as part of the Strikeforce merger. ‘OSP’ has finished his last three opponents, and has suffered just one loss in his last 14 outings.
In the co-main event, Ross Pearson will meet Gray Maynard in a bout between two highly respected lightweights eager to get back to winning ways. Pearson, a former TUF 9 winner, is coming off one of the biggest robberies in UFC history after losing out on the judges’ scorecards to the surprise of many against Diego Sanchez. Maynard, a former title contender, has lost three of his last four and looks to get back on track here.
Also on the main card is a middleweight attraction between Tim Boetsch and Brad Tavares, with both fighters looking to get back on track in a talent stacked division. Seth Baczynski, fresh off a Fight of the Night performance, meets UFC debutant Alan Jouban, while Shawn Jordan faces Jack May in the heavyweight division. Kicking off the main card is the featherweight debut of Thiago Tavares, who takes on Robbie Peralta.
The undercard also features some noteworthy bouts, with flyweight contenders Zach Makovsky and Jussier Formiga squaring off, as well as a women’s bantamweight bout between Olympic medalist Sara McMann and Invicta champion Lauren Murphy.
Here is the play-by-play for the full card, which will be updated on a round-by-round basis.
Main Card: FOX Sports 1 (10pm ET/7pm PT)
Ryan Bader vs. Ovince St. Preux
A crucial bout in the light heavyweight division between Ryan Bader, who has won his last two, and Ovince St. Preux, who has gone 4-0 since joining the UFC. Winner could get a fight with the likes of Evans, Rumble or Gustafsson.
Bader has been criticised for going the distance in his last two bouts, and he has five rounds to try and get a finish here.
Round 1 - St. Preux is having a lot of fun and seems very confident. He’s got his hands low and he’s trying to bullrush Bader. Left hook and a right from Darth. St. Preux lands, but Bader gets the takedown right into side control. Shoulder strikes from Bader, and now some short softening shots. St. Preux trying to buck him off but having little success, and Bader staying in this dominant position, now landing short elbows and trying to pin the arm of OSP. OSP gives up the back now and Bader tries to roll. But OSP explodes to his feet, well done there. High kick attempted by OSP then a left. St. Preux pushing forward but Bader with a counter to back him up. Left by Bader. OSP gets caught coming in sloppy. Huge left lands from St. Preux, that caught Bader’s attention. Bader rushes in to get the clinch but avoiding from St. Preux. Head kick misses from OSP, who is comfortable trying unorthodox combinations. Bader with a counter as OSP is caught with his hands down. Huge right hook coming in from Bader but a counter right staggers him. Nice combo from OSP. 30 seconds left in a closely contested first round. Straight right by Bader, who drags St. Preux down straight into side control and ends the round in that position.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Bader.
Round 2 - OSP faking the left kick and the spin. Bader gets caught coming in but OSP missing with some wild techniques. OSP with a kick then misses an overhand left. Good kick by OSP as Bader charges forward. Both land a left there. OSP with a left as Bader comes in with the jab. OSP with the body kick, that was huge. Bader got hurt by that, but OSP isn’t following up. Good combination from St. Preux. OSP with two wild lefts, both way off the mark. He avoids Bader’s bullrush, but misses his counter. Bader misses the combination, and unable to get the fight to the mat on that occasion. St. Preux doing a great job of timing Bader, who seems to be getting frustrated. Left from OSP, who avoids the right of Bader. Huge overhand left misses from OSP, who then lands a straight left. Big combination by OSP, who lands a left hook before exiting the clinch. Bader’s output has decreased a ton in this second round, possibly due to it being a five round fight. OSP lands a nice shot to the body, which hurt Bader. Bader shoots in and OSP counters, getting on top. Nice ground and pound and St. Preux charges forward, landing a couple of lefts before eating a right counter from Bader. 10 seconds. Stiff jab from Bader. The hook misses. St. Preux misses a hook and Bader times it, dragging him to the ground to end the round.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 St. Preux (19-19).
Round 3 - OSP goes up high with that kick, but checked by Bader. Bader catches OSP coming in. Body kick from Bader. OSP with unorthodox movement, charging in with a couple of big lefts. Bader with a right, then shoots in and lands the takedown, getting into half guard before OSP gets right back to the feet, giving up his back in the process. He’s up but Bader drags him right back down, now into side control. This is where Bader has had the most success. Short shots from Bader. OSP regaining guard, now half guard and OSP explodes to his feet. Big right by Bader, then a shot in for the takedown and he slams OSP to the mat! OSP gains guard and seems to be working on the rubber guard. Unsucessful. Bader into half guard. He’s landing at will and softening St. Preux up with these punches. OSP works his way back to the feet and tries to hit the switch, Bader recognising and dragging him to the ground momentarily. OSP is struggling in the grappling aspect. He turns around but Bader still has a hold of him. They separate and Bader lands a short blow. The round ends.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Bader (29-28 Bader).
Round 4 - Nice combination from St. Preux. He will want to keep it standing this round. Front kick from OSP. He charges forward with a 1-2-1, but Bader gets the takedown with the momentum. OSP straight back up and escapes the clinch. Leg kick then a right hand by OSP, who stuffs Bader’s shot. Stiff left by St. Preux. OSP misses the left hook then pushes Bader off him. Uppercut from St. Preux. Great sprawl from OSP, but Bader has a hold of him in the clinch and lands a knee to the body. Bader shoots in and drags him down. He’s got the mount! Now possibly the back. He does. No hooks in. Short shots by Bader, who doesn’t look bothered about advancing his position. OSP wall walks once again, but Bader keeping hold of him. Darth tries the duplex but unable to. But he gets it on his second attempt, with OSP giving up his back as he tries to get to his feet. Bader overwhelming him, in half guard now and should advance to mount. Bader’s wrestling is overwhelming OSP now.
Cooper scores round 4 10-9 Bader (39-37 Bader).
Round 5 - OSP’s corner trying to pump him in, but he doesn’t look pumped at all. Body kick from OSP. Left hook is blocked. OSP looks very tired and his attacks are predictable now. He lands a nice left straight though. Bader with a left of his own. OSP blitzing forward but unsuccessful. OSP now gets a takedown! Half guard! This could be big! 3:30 remaining in the fifth and final round, and this is huge. Bader now in the sprawled position, OSP may attempt a choke now. But no, he lets Bader up and that’s a big opportunity wasted. Bader gets the trip and is now on top, in half guard. Bader now trying to get the kimura, but OSP recognises. Great reversal by OSP, who gets back to his feet. Bader shoots in straight away and eats some elbows which have bloodied him up. OSP trying for a takedown of his own, Bader against the cage now. Less than 90 seconds left. They’re back to their feet. Bader shooting in almost immediately, OSP greeting him with elbows. Bader has the clinch, getting the back of St. Preux and trying to get the fight down for the dozenth time. 30 seconds. More elbows from St. Preux, who fails on the switch attempt. This fight will go the distance. Bader failing on the shot at the end of the round. Not the greatest fight ever.
Cooper scores round 5 10-9 Bader (49-46 Bader).
Result: Bader via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46 x2).
Bader gets his third win in a row, handing OSP his first UFC loss. He’ll likely get a high calibre opponent next.
Gray Maynard vs. Ross Pearson
If Maynard wants to get back in the hunt for a title shot, he desperately needs a victory. I feel like I say that a lot in the intro, but this has never been more apparent. Maynard has lost three of his last four, all via TKO, and his last two inside the first round. Formerly unbeaten and a title contender, he hasn’t looked the same in recent bouts. Pearson is coming off the robbery vs. Sanchez, and looks to get back to winning ways.
Round 1 - Pearson takes the centre, and gets caught by a left hook. Maynard pushes forward, and again, landing a right on the second attempt. Nice body shot from Maynard, and again. Pearson ducks under the hook of Maynard. Nice exchange, both landing. Pearson is timing Maynard well, and lands a high kick there. Right hook almost lands for Pearson. Maynard shoots in for a takedown, and he has Pearson down to his knees, almost taking the back now. Pearson does a good job there, he’s back to his feet. Body shots by Maynard in the clinch, but Pearson lands on the exit. Half of the round left. Pearson almost lands a huge left hook. Maynard landing the jab, Pearson getting a nice leg kick in and using great head movement. Both fighters are moving well. Leaping left straight for Pearson, almost landing there. To the body from the Brit. Maynard to the body also. High kick attempt for Pearson. Maynard pushes forward with a combination then drops down and scores the takedown. Full guard, Pearson against the cage. Pearson back up, landing a couple of shots in the clinch before they separate. Good slip and rip from Pearson. Body kick from Pearson, then a straight by Maynard before a combination from Pearson to close the round.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Maynard.
Round 2 - Pearson dodges the combination of Maynard, landing a leg kick as he pushes forward. Maynard with the level change, Pearson utilising a wide base and doing a good job stuffing it so far. He has the clinch though, but Pearson lands a knee before separating. Stiff jab from Pearson. Nice attack to the body by Maynard. Huge right rocks Maynard! He’s rocked! Pearson drops him! He follows up with some sharp rights! And that’s it! Pearson has got the victory! That’s a big win for the Brit.
Result: Pearson via TKO (punches) at 1:35 in second round.
That settles it, Maynard isn’t the same man. He looked good in the first but his chin just doesn’t hold up anymore. Expect him to announce his retirement. Pearson avoids the judges and makes a statement after the robbery vs. Sanchez, and may enter the 155lbs rankings as a result.
Tim Boetsch vs. Brad Tavares
Must-win for the Maine native Boetsch, who has dropped three of his last four after winning four straight at middleweight. His only win in two years was over CB Dollaway, in what many consider one of the biggest robberies in the promotion’s history. Tavares lost his last outing against Yoel Romero, which snapped an impressive five fight winning streak.
Round 1 - Boetsch shoots in for a takedown, well defended by Tavares, who gets Tim against the cage in the clinch and lands some short shots. This is where Tavares will want the fight. Trip attempt by Boetsch, who almost drops Tavares, but well defended. Boetsch shoots in again, and it is defended once again, but Boetsch gets the better of the clinch exchange. Tavares spins Boetsch around and lands some short shots from this position. Short elbow that opens Boetsch up from Tavares. A couple more short elbows by the Hawaiian before he separates. Uppercut by Tavares. That seemed to stun Boetsch, who is backing up. Jab by Tavares, who ducks the counter of Boetsch. Jabs landing for Tavares, and Boetsch’s winging attacks are failing. Boetsch lands a right and has Tavares down, but Brad works his way up and lands a couple of his own. Boetsch has him against the fence but Tavares gets him down, Boetsch working his way up but giving up his back in the clinch. Knees to the head from Tavares now, he’s keeping active in the clinch. Knees to the body now. Boetsch doing nothing from this position and he’s getting overwhelmed by the pressure of Tavares.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Tavares.
Round 2 - Boetsch eats a right before Tavares gets him in the clinch against the cage, short shots landing from this position. Boetsch now has a new cut open from that exchange. Tavares overwhelming again, picking up where he left off. Boetsch lands a right. Nice exchange there, Tavares getting the better. There’s a big speed advantage for Brad. 3 minutes left in the second. Boetsch shoots in and easily defended from Tavares, who spins the clinch around and has Boetsch against the fence. Double underhooks for Tavares, full control over Boetsch. The referee separates them. Tavares gets dropped by a huge left! And a right now! Boetsch gets the finish! Holy moly! Another huge comeback! Just like the Okami win! That was crazy.
Result: Boetsch via TKO (punches) at 3:18 in second round.
The comeback kid does it again. I am stunned. It was looking like Boetsch was heading for a fourth loss in five, and he lands a huge combination to get the victory. Incredible.
Seth Baczynski vs. Alan Jouban
Baczynski has lost three of his last four contests, though is coming in off a spectacular fight with Thiago Alves. Jouban makes his UFC debut after going 3-1 under RFA, winning his last two coming into this fight and coming off a fun fight of his own against Ricky Legere jr.
Round 1 - Baczynski circling on the outside, trying to frustrate Jouban with his jab. A lot of feints and feelers from both fighters. Baczynski misses with a hook and Jouban almost lands a counter. Nice short left by Jouban, now a body kick. Leg kick by Jouban, and a left counter by Baczynski. Baczynski lands a nice 1-2 and Jouban sneaks in a right hook. A couple of leg kicks from Alan. Great right counter lands, that hurt Baczynski. Baczynski struggling to land, Jouban timing the strikes very well. Huge high kick lands, but Jouban gets dropped by a counter! Crazy exchange! Jouban now gets the clinch and has Baczynski against the fence. Jouban dropped to his knees for a second. Baczynski lands a combination, then drops for a takedown and he has it. He’s in the guard. Jouban already active from the bottom, but Baczynski landing some big shots. Jouban gets back up to his feet, and lands a knee then a short shot in the clinch. Big combination by Polish Pistola, who then goes in for a takedown which is stuffed. Each fighter landing some big shots. Baczynski pressing forward and overwhelming Jouban now. Huge shots. Jouban with the knee, then a body shot, but Baczynski having a lot of success. Jouban misses the spinning elbow. A huge combination lands on Baczynski and he’s hurt! He’s out! A huge shot by Jouban! Holy moly what a fight! He was on the cusp of defeat and Jouban gets a huge knockout!
Result: Jouban via KO (punch) at 4:23 in first round.
No exaggeration, that’s up there with one of the greatest one-round contests in UFC history. Simply brilliant action. This Jouban guy has some holes, but boy is he fun.
Shawn Jordan vs. Jack May
Must-win for both fighters, after Jordan has dropped two straight via first round KO. Prior to that, Jordan won three in four fights, taking his UFC record to 3-3. May, meanwhile, was unsuccessful in his UFC debut, and showed little promise in that performance against the much-heavier Derrick Lewis. May is eight inches taller than Jordan, and is the underdog for this bout.
Round 1 - Jack May takes the centre, and misses with a looping right. Jordan with a left, but blocked by May. Neither fighter landing these early exchanges. May pushing forward but huge counters from Jordan, which seemed to stagger the taller fighter in May. Jordan circling around, May trying to catch him with the leg kicks and having some success with them. Jordan lands a 1-2 to the body, but May lands upstairs on the counter. Lovely quick combination by Jordan, who now has May in the clinch against the fence. May spins away. Jordan is opened up. High kick attempted by May. Jordan avoids the right and lands a heavy combination. Body kick then two rights land for May. Jordan doing a great job avoiding May’s strikes and countering with his own, though he ate a body shot in that exchange. If one of Jordan’s haymakers land, it will be night night. 1 minute left in the first. Jordan in for a single leg, and he gets it, straight into half guard and some nice short shots land. May with double underhooks, trying to prevent any damage but Jordan gets out of the control and lands to the body, then the head. He ends the round on top.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Jordan.
Round 2 - May utilising the jab now. He avoids Jordan as he charges forward. Huge left lands for May, that backs Jordan up, but he’s unable to follow up. That’s opened up a cut on the right eye of Jordan. Nice combination from May. He’s having a lot more success now, and Jordan’s really starting to bleed out of that right eye. Neither fighter staying too active. But now May is unloading! He has Jordan rocked and covering up! But wow, Jordan gets the takedown and advances to mount! Half guard now. Jordan was in real trouble there but somewhere stays on top. May trying to use the cage to get to his feet but Jordan persistent. 2 minutes left in the round. Jordan trying to keep May down, and landing short shots in the process. Jordan keeping busy with short shots, and he has the mount now. May pushes off the cage to get Jordan out of the mount, and he’s now in north-south. Side control now, with May’s right arm pinned to the mat. Less than a minute left in the round, Jordan on top and landing short blows. Half guard. Jordan staying active on the top. Full mount once again. Not long to work, but he’s making a statement after being rocked earlier in the round. Short body shots as the round ends. Jordan’s right eye is a mess.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Jordan (20-18 Jordan).
Round 3 - They hug at the start of the round. May with the knee, and Jordan capitalises by getting a takedown. He’s got the back now! Huge shots on May! He’s picking up where he left off in the second round and overwhelming May on the mat. Jordan continuing to land these short hammerfists and elbows. Miragliotta warning May to do something. Jordan continuing to land shots and he gets the stoppage! Big turnaround for Jordan in a fun contest.
Result: Jordan via TKO (strikes) at 2:03 in third round.
A fun contest, even if neither fighter looked like they could make a run at the top. May should get another fight, and Jordan gets a win that he needed a lot.
Thiago Tavares vs. Robbie Peralta
Tavares finally makes his featherweight debut after having two fights cancelled. Peralta is coming off a win over Rony Jason, his third win in four contests.
Round 1 - A lot of feints from Peralta. Tavares shoots in, Peralta defending well so far. Short shots by Peralta as he defends but Tavares lifts him, getting him to the mat and getting side control. Peralta gives up his back but uses it to get to his feet. Tavares drags him down though whilst on the back, and has both hooks – great job from the Brazilian. This is dangerous. He has him flattened out and is landing some huge lefts and rights. Peralta is in deep trouble now. This will be a statement. Peralta somehow survives that position but Tavares still on the back, and flattens him out once again. Mount now. Peralta trying to recover half guard now. Short shots by Tavares, who regains the mount and continues to pepper the head. Big strikes there. An elbow, then big lefts and rights from Tavares. Peralta wilting now. Body shots from Thiago. 90 seconds left in the first, a dominant display so far. Peralta tries to explode but gives up his back once again, getting both hooks in and trying to flatten him out. Elbow by Tavares. He’s trying to work on the choke, but instead lands some short shots. He has it now! Great job! And he gets the tap. Holy moly, what a performance.
Result: Tavares via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:27 in first round.
That is one of the greatest debuts in a new weight class I have seen, and Tavares becomes a dark horse now at 145. Peralta is a tough dude, and has lost just once in six UFC fights coming into this one.
Preliminary Card: FOX Sports 2 (8pm ET/5pm PT)
Jussier Formiga vs. Zach Makovsky
Two top 10 flyweights in a pivotal bout headlines the preliminary card, and this should shape the 125 division. An impressive win for either fighter gets them into the title frame.
Round 1 - Formiga lands a right. Feeling out process between the two. Makovsky sneaks a left in. He ducks the left of Formiga, that had cruel intentions. Head kick attempted from ‘Fun Size’. Formiga gets the clinch, has the back and jumps on it. He rolls beautifully and now has Makovsky to the mat. He tries to explode and get on top but Formiga recognises it and stays on top. Formiga now may be working on an arm, but might give up top position in the process. Great job by Makovsky there, who is now in the guard postured up and lands some nice shots. Sharp left by Makovsky, who then stands up. Makovsky doubles up on the left, but misses a hook on the follow-up. Nice combination by Formiga, who then eats a superman punch. Formiga ducks under the combination of Makovsky and drags him to the mat from the clinch, getting half guard and lands some short blows. Lovely technique. Makovsky trying to buck him off but Formiga relentless, landing short shots and trying to advance. Makovsky doing a good job of preventing much damage, though. Short shots land for the Brazilian, who ends the round in half guard in a solid round.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Formiga.
Round 2 - Makovsky goes up high, almost landing. He halts the attempt to clinch up from Formiga. Surprising that Makovsky is struggling in that area, where he holds the advantage. Good combination from Makovsky, who then gets a single leg into half guard but Formiga back up like a spring. Switch kick misses for ‘Fun Size’. Beautiful left, and another by Makovsky – they caught Formiga flush. Body kick from the former Bellator champ. Up high from Formiga with the kick. Another left by Makovsky, who dodges the right counter of Formiga. The Brazilian gets the clinch and lands a couple of knees, Makovsky trying a risky move and giving up his back once again. He’s still standing but this is big for Formiga, with one hook in. Short elbows by the Brazilian, Makovsky trying to shake him off but Formiga is relentless. Formiga has full back mount, body triangle in. 90 seconds remaining. This is big. Formiga with softening blows. Panic mode for Makovsky, as Formiga is a tremendous grappler, and he peppers to the body with some short shots. Makovsky unable to do anything from this position, and he’s giving up another round. Formiga still can’t get the arm under the chin, and Makovsky doing well from that perspective. Another big round from the underdog.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Formiga (20-18 Formiga).
Round 3 - Makovsky desperately needs a finish here. Formiga misses the overhand left. Makovsky lands a sharp right, and a big left lands! He’s sneaky with those attacks, faking one then landing the follow-up. Good combination from ‘Fun Size’. He has a big speed advantage, it seems, he just needs to keep the fight standing. That head kick attempt misses. Body kick from Zach. Formiga gets the clinch, but Makovsky shrugs him off. Superman jab misses for Makovsky. Formiga attempts a takedown and Makovsky counters, ending up on top! This might be big. He’s in guard though, so he needs to advance. He’s peppering the body. Calls from Keith Peterson to keep up the action. Formiga trying to throw him off, but Makovsky explodes and lands a big shot. Makovsly trying to land ground and pound, and gets side control! But Formiga shrugs him off again. More short shots from Makovsky, but not fight-ending shots. Guard again. Nice overhand right there. And a left. 90 seconds remaining in the round. Huge couple of lefts land for Zach. He’s still in full guard, though. Body-head now. Formiga trying to control the arms, but eats an elbow. Good ground and pound from Makovsky, but he’s not quite doing enough to win the fight. Good shots by Zach. Nice work now. Formiga has done nothing in this round but his work in the first two should be enough. 10 seconds left. Formiga gets back to his feet, goes in for a takedown which Makovsky stuffs and lands some short elbows at the end. Not quite enough, for me. Formiga should get the upset win.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Makovsky (29-28 Formiga).
Result: Formiga via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
Very solid performance from the Brazilian, though Makovsky showed what he was capable of in the third round. If the former Bellator champ did the same in the first or second, this may have been his night, but it is Formiga who continues his win streak in the 125lbs division.
Sara McMann vs. Lauren Murphy
Some brilliant matchmaking from Sean Shelby, as Invicta champion and undefeated prospect Lauren Murphy meets Sara McMann, who is fresh off an unsuccessful shot at the title. How this is on the prelim card is beyond me, but fun nonetheless. McMann the -600 favourite, surprising odds considering how dangerous Murphy is.
Round 1 - McMann shoots in on a single leg immediately, and trips Murphy, who lands some nice elbows from the bottom. They look nasty and she’s relentless with them. Murphy trying to get rubber guard. McMann is doing nothing from the top. But she explodes and keeps on top, trying to get in some short shots. Murphy doing a good job of stopping McMann from doing any damage. McMann lands a few short shots. Murphy using the cage to try and get a better position, McMann recognising that. Nice elbow from McMann. Murphy with the heel kicks. Neither fighter are landing anything too notable, but Murphy has been the more active of the two. Short elbow, then body shots from Sara. Murphy relentlessly landing shots from the bottom. None too significant, but they’re adding up and she’s winning the round. McMann posturing up and lands some big right hands, that was the most significant moment of the round. No attempts to improve position from McMann, with only 30 seconds left in the first. A couple more rights land for Sara. Murphy with some shots from the bottom but a nice right lands for the Olympian from the top. McMann lands a couple of rights at the end of the round. Tough one to score.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Murphy.
Round 2 - McMann now trying to unload on the feet, but Murphy dodging. Murphy lands a big leg kick then a big right hand. McMann gets the clinch and has Murphy against the cage, good job by Lauren at staying up so far and she exits. McMann lands a couple of jabs then tosses Murphy to the mat but only in the guard once again. That was a lovely manoeuvre by the Olympian, but she needs to try advancing her position once it hits the ground. Laying in the guard isn’t enough. Murphy with an elbow from the bottom, and she’s once again stopping McMann from doing much. McMann gets half guard, but barely has it. Now she adjusts. McMann trying to pin Murphy’s left arm to the mat but the former Invicta champ recognises it. 2 minutes left. Murphy still trying to keep active from the bottom. She regains guard now. Elbows once again. McMann lands to the body. The referee calls for action, and stands them up with 1 minute left in the second. McMann shoots in, Murphy spiralling but McMann sticks on her in the clinch. Short shots by Murphy, McMann landing knees to the body. Nothing happening here. Now McMann drags her to the mat, straight into side control. Elbows from the bottom by Murphy, but McMann has a dominant position. She ends the round in side control, much better from the Olympian.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 McMann (19-19).
Round 3 - Murphy lands a nice left, and dodges the strikes of McMann. Leg kick from Sara lands. Nice sneaky right from McMann. Both ladies land on that exchange. Slip and rip by Sara, who then lands to the body and a teep. Stiff left by Murphy, who is utilising a lot of movement. Murphy moves just out of range as McMann attempts a big combination. Stiff jabs from Murphy, and she buckles the leg with the kick. McMann landed a nice combination. McMann with the feints then shoots in, Murphy stuffing and making her pay with short strikes. Murphy gets to her feet, escapes the clinch and lands. McMann hits her with a right but Murphy fires back. McMann landing some stiff shots now. Overhand right misses. Half of the third remaining. McMann goes for the single leg, Murphy trying to prevent in but wall walking but unable to. Short shots by Murphy from the bottom, with McMann doing little now. Murphy gets to her feet, McMann staying on her and attempts a trip but Murphy does well. Murphy stuffs the takedown and lands some nice elbows now. Good job by the undefeated fighter. She’s unloading with the elbows and trying to control the left arm of McMann. Possibly a kimura attempt for Murphy. Nope. But more short elbows, and McMann has done almost zero in this round. This isn’t the sort of performance that will get McMann back into the title hunt. Murphy circles away. McMann with a nice jab, then a 1-2 and a leg kick. Murphy ducks below the right. They exchange. That’s the round. I bet McMann gets it, but she really shouldn’t.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Murphy (29-28 Murphy).
Result: McMann via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29).
Disappointing judging, only one judge got that right. It may look good getting a takedown, but if you do nothing with it, it shouldn’t score. Murphy the more active, more aggressive and deserved to stay unbeaten.
Tom Watson vs. Sam Alvey
TUF 16 competitor Sam Alvey makes his UFC debut after winning, and defending, his MFC title. Watson looking for his second UFC win after going just 1-3 since entering the promotion. Must-win for the Brit.
Round 1 - Watson immediately presses forward, Alvey sticking to the cage. Watson using his kicking game from the get-go, landing to the body and leg. Alvey with a nice couple of lefts. Leg kick from Watson, then a switch kick. Alvey is flat footed and inactive at the moment, Watson going to town on the legs of the Canadian. Alvey pushes forward but misses on the 1-2. Another blitz, none landing too cleanly. Head kick by Watson, Alvey missing the counters. More leg kicks by the Brit. Body kick, Alvey trying to counter but unable to. Watson doing a good job of letting go, then just moving outside of the range of Alvey. Alvey with a huge uppercut that drops Watson! that came out of nowhere! Watson back up and taunting, but that was big. Watson has the clinch now, possibly trying to recover. Muay-thai clinch and some knees to the body from Alvey. Watson with a huge combination of his own there! And a right, but Alvey scores with his own. Elbow by Watson in the clinch. A right by Watson, who then gets the clinch. High kick by Watson. Nice overhand left from ‘Kong’. Alvey seems to be limping a little. He tried a superman punch from the cage but misses. Big kick and a punch from Watson. Good round for the Brit, though Alvey landed a huge shot of his own.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Watson.
Round 2 - Watson once again the aggressor at the start of the round, and unloading with the kicks once more. To the body then the leg is Watson. Alvey’s nose is busted up, and he seems to be breathing out of his mouth. A left by Alvey. Nice right by Watson, who then gets the clinch but Alvey once again trying to get the muay-thai clinch. Nice left by Watson but a counter from Alvey, that seemed to hurt Tom. Big left from Alvey as Watson pushes forward. Watson has landed double the strikes of Alvey. He lands a leg kick and causes the Canadian to limp with that one. And again. He seems to be targeting the calf, and it’s working wonders. Alvey tries to blitz but it’s very predictable. Watson ducks Alvey’s attacks, and continues to press the action. Alvey with a big left, but misses the follow-up. Watson gets the clinch, Alvey trying to land a knee but eats a sharp elbow. Alvey is stunned. Big combination from Watson. He ducks under the hook of Alvey. Sharp elbow again by the Brit, who gets the clinch again. A minute remaining in the second. Alvey is freezing and Watson is having his way with him, opening up. Alvey lands a huge shot and presses forward with a blitz! A lot more success there. But now he’s backing up again. Nice right by Alvey as Watson misses a shot of his own. Overhand left for the Brit, Alvey getting the clinch at the end of the round.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Watson (20-18 Watson).
Round 3 - Watson pressing forward and landing the leg kicks, but Alvey blitzes forward with the ‘rock ‘em sock ‘em’ style. Watson lands a huge left hook, but Alvey now unloading on Watson! Wow he looked out on his feet. Watson somehow staying in it. He’s hurt badly. Alvey pressing forward now. They’re both landing, but Alvey getting the better. Watson needs to keep his composure. He gets the clinch, but Alvey too powerful and reverses the position to get Watson against the fence, landing some knees to the body. Alvey attempts to go high with the kick. Watson has a cut above his left eye. Alvey just grazes him with the knee there, that would have been big. Sharp right from Alvey, who lands a combination as he pushes forward. Left straight, but Watson exits the position and now presses forward. Good combination by Watson. Solid left by Alvey, and a big body kick. Watson lands but Alvey gets one in too. Hard to see who got the better there. Watson gets the clinch but nice short shots from Alvey, who exits the position. Solid combination by Watson, that backed Alvey up. 1 minute left in the round. Watson presses but Alvey gets in a 1-2, before Watson gets the clinch – Alvey reverses before separating. Big left there from Alvey. Watson shoots in for the takedown, Alvey stuffing it and landing as Watson circles away. Watson gets the clinch again, landing a right at the end of the round. A very fun third round, but shouldn’t be enough for Alvey to get the nod.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Alvey (29-28 Watson).
Result: Watson via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
A fun contest, and Alvey did well to stage that comeback in the third – not quite enough for the Canadian after a slow start. Watson did enough to seal a much-needed win.
Nolan Ticman vs. Frankie Saenz
Two UFC debutants squaring off in the bantamweight division. Ticman has gone 4-1, while Saenz holds an 8-2 record and is riding a four-fight winning streak.
Round 1 - Saenz is the aggressor but gets caught with a nice hook from Ticman and is forced to back up. Double leg takedown lands for Saenz, but Ticman straight back up. Big right lands for Ticman, who then strikes Saenz to the body. Saenz pressing the action, Ticman trying to counter with the right. Saenz gets the clinch, getting Ticman against the fence but Ticman escapes the position. Both men landing now. Saenz tries to level change but is unable to land, and Ticman hits a nice counter. Saenz counters Ticman’s leg kick with a sharp left, that was a damaging blow right there. Uppercut lands for Ticman. Saenz gets Ticman to the ground with just seconds remaining, closing the opening round by diving into the guard of Ticman and landing some ground and pound.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Saenz.
Round 2 - Big double leg by Saenz, slamming Ticman to the ground but once again Ticman is quick to get back to his feet. Saenz sticking on him though, not allowing Ticman to get his rhythm going. Saenz misses on the flying knee but follows up by getting Ticman to the mat, Ticman once again getting back up like a spring. Saenz has back control from the clinch, hitting him with knees to the thigh before they separate. Saenz pushes forward but slips, Ticman following him to the mat before Saenz gets back to his feet. Saenz gets the clinch once more, getting it to the mat and landing some short elbows. Ticman covering up but Saenz ends the round on top.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Saenz (20-18 Saenz).
Round 3 - Ticman looking very hesitant now. Saenz unloads with a flying knee and he’s opening up now. Ticman just doesn’t have an answer for Saenz’s attacks, and he’s forced on the outside by the more active Saenz. Saenz doing a good job blocking Ticman attacks, and he pushes forward with a combination, ending with a flying knee and getting Ticman to the ground. He has the back momentarily but well done there from Ticman. Saenz has him in the clinch now. Ticman reverses the position, and Saenz does the same. Huge elbows from Saenz hurt him there. Another takedown from Saenz, Ticman straight back up but Saenz sticking to him like glue. Nice short elbow from Frankie. And another. Knees to the body landing now. Ticman just has nothing for him. A further takedown from Saenz, who has the back of Ticman before getting to his feet as the round comes to a close. Dominant performance.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Saenz (30-27 Saenz).
Result: Saenz via unanimous decision (30-27 x3).
Ticman was out of his depth, with a solid debut from Frankie Saenz.