411’s TUF 23 Finale Report: Jedrzejczyk Wins
FS1 Main Card
Main Event – UFC strawweight title fight: (c) Joanna Jedrzejczyk (114.5 lbs.) vs #1 Claudia Gadelha (115 lbs.)
Andrew Sanchez (199.5 lbs.) vs Khalil Rountree (205.5 lbs.)
Tatianna Suarez (115.5 lbs.) vs Amanda Cooper (116 lbs.)
Ross Pearson (155.5 lbs.) vs Will Brooks (156 lbs.)
Doo Ho Choi (146 lbs.) vs Thiago Tavares (146 lbs.)
Joaquim Silva (155 lbs.) vs Andrew Holbrook (155.5 lbs.)
Gray Maynard (145.5 lbs.) vs Fernando Bruno (146 lbs.)
#6 John Moraga (126 lbs.) vs Matheus Nicolau (125.5)
Cory Hendricks (204 lbs.) vs Josh Stansbury (205.5 lbs.)
Cezar Ferreira (186 lbs.) vs Anthony Smith (185 lbs.)
UFC Fight Pass Prelims
Jake Matthews (156 lbs.) vs Kevin Lee (155 lbs.)
Li Jingliang (171 lbs.) vs Anton Zafir (170 lbs.)
Hello everyone and welcome to night two of 411mania’s LIVE MMA coverage. I’m Robert Winfree and tonight I’ll be relaying all of the action from the finale of The Ultimate Fighter season 23. These TUF finale cards can be a bit of a slog, especially the downtime between the actual finals, but at least we’ve got two relevant fights. First up the linear Bellator lightweight champion Will Brooks is making his UFC debut, and since former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez claimed the UFC lightweight title last night via first round TKO Brooks should have a bit of hype behind him as well, and he’s taking on the tough veteran Ross Pearson. The main event is a very interesting fight for the UFC women’s strawweight title as champion Joann Jedrzejczyk goes for her third defense against Claudia Gadelha. The two fought before with Jedrzejczyk taking a very close and somewhat controversial split decision, now Gadelha has a chance to avenge her only professional loss and claim UFC gold. In a somewhat related trivia note, with Rafael dos Anjo’s loss last night to Alvarez the UFC is currently without a Brazilian champion for the first time since 2006 and Gadelha is the first Brazilian up for gold since then and could make it a drought of only 24 hours. This event comes to us from the Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Jon Anik and Brian Stann on commentary.
Anton Zafir took his UFC debut on short notice and was stopped by James Moontasri, but he had a five fight winning streak going before that and now with a full camp under his belt is looking to get his first UFC win. Li Jingliang has a 2-2 UFC record and looked really good in his last fight before making a single error and getting choked out, now he’s hoping to get his UFC record back over the .500 mark and potentially build some momentum going forward.
Welterweight Bout: Li Jingliang (10-4, 171 lbs.) vs Anton Zafir (7-2, 170 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Jinliang has an inch of height on Zafir but Zafir has a half an inch of reach advantage. Touch of gloves to get us going. Zafir lands a leg kick. Zafir lands a right. Zafir moving more early, looking for angles. Jinliang lands a short counter right. Zafir catches a leg kick and gets a takedown into the guard of Jinliang. Zafir passes to half guard quickly. Jinliang grabs a guillotine position and rolls Zafir over then stands but Zafir hits a quick trip and lands in half guard again. Jinliang back up, Zafir jumps for an arm in guillotine but Jingliang gets him to the fence and takes him down landing in half guard. Jingliang lands two or three really hard rights and Zafir is out!
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Li Jingliang via KO, punches, at 2:46 of Round 1
The First Round Finish thanks Mr. Jingliang for his work this evening. Jingliang has some serious power on the mat. Jingliang and his translator get some mic time. He thanks his coaches, his friends and family back home, then briefly speaks English to thank the live crowd. Asked about his adjustments from last fight to this one he puts over his coaches again, says he’s not afraid to stand and bang and is happy to have gotten the win. He says there’s a logo on the mat, Harley Davidson, and hopes to get one soon and also wants a post fight bonus to close the interview.
Kevin Lee has a stellar UFC record of 5-2 that at one point included a four fight winning streak and he’s coming off of a win over Efrain Escudero and hoping to build another winning streak here. Jake Matthews is 4-1 in the UFC and currently on a two fight winning streak and given how impressive he’s looked many people have tapped him as a future contender in the division, if he wants to continue making good on that potential he needs to keep winning here and start moving up in competition.
Lightweight Bout: Jake Matthews (10-1, 156 lbs.) vs Kevin Lee (12-2, 155 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: These two are the same height but Lee has five inches of reach on Matthews. Matthews circling, lands a leg kick. Matthews lands a front kick to the body, Lee pushes into the clinch and hits an elevated double leg takedown into half guard. Lee working some left elbows, Matthews able to get to full guard. Matthews works to his knees then up while still in the clinch. Lee lands a knee to the body. Matthews lands a knee to the body. Lee lands a right to the body and then Matthews lands an elbow as they separate. Lee lands a left body kick. Matthews lands a right hook, Lee fighting southpaw now. Matthews just has a high kick blocked. Lee lands a left that that knocks out the mouthpiece of Matthews, we get a quick pause for it to come back in. Lee tries a double leg, Matthews tries to reverse but winds up giving up his back, Lee has both hooks in and starts pounding away. Matthews trying to move, Lee doing a good job of control and working punches and the ref stops this. Matthews protesting a little but he was in a bad spot and not really getting out of it.
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kevin Lee via TKO, punches, at 4:06 of Round 1
The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Lee for his contributions to the evening. Mic time for Lee, he says he’s one of the best wrestlers in the world and can do that to anyone. He says Matthews is young and full of heart but he knew he could get under some of his aggression and get the takedown. He says he’s hard to deal with from top position and says he wants to fight Al Iaquinta in a rematch in New York City later this year.
That’s it for Fight Pass fights, we’ll be on Fox Sports 1 for the duration.
Cezar Ferreira has been with the UFC for a while now and just snapped a two fight losing streak by beating Oluwale Bamgbose and is looking to get his first UFC winning streak going since CB Dollaway snapped his three fight winning streak back in 2014. Anthony Smith just started his second UFC stint with a win over Leonardo Augusto Leleco and is riding an eight fight winning streak overall, tonight he’s trying to keep that momentum going and start moving up the middleweight ranks.
Middleweight Bout: Cezar Ferreira (9-5, 186 lbs.) vs Anthony Smith (25-11, 185 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Smith has four inches of height on Ferreira but Ferreira will have two and a half inches of reach on him. Ferreira fighting southpaw. Smith moving forward, both men kind of range checking with kicks early. Ferreira lands a body kick, then another one. Ferreira circling well, lands a bit of a left. Smith content to follow Ferreira so far rather than try to cut him off. Smith lands a left hook then has a high kick blocked. Smith lands a one two combination. Smith lands a knee to the chest but Ferreira gets him down, landing in his full guard. Smith working to control Ferreira’s posture and get stood up, and Ferreira can’t pass so the ref stands them back up. Smith lands an inside leg kick. Ferreira lands a body kick. Ferreira lands a straight left. Smith pushes close and lands a short right. Smith lands a one two but eats a counter left. Rights traded, Ferreira hits a double leg against the fence. Smith quickly gets to a closed guard but being against the fence he can’t control the posture quite as well here. Ferreira lands a left elbow. Ferreira lands another elbow. Another couple of short elbows will close out the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Ferreira
ROUND TWO: We get a false start for a forgotten mouthpiece, but it’s quickly fixed. Ferreira lands an inside leg kick. Smith lands a body kick then an inside leg kick. Ferreira lands an outside leg kick. They trade power hands, clinch and then break without incident. Ferreira lands a straight left then an inside leg kick. Ferreira ducks a right and hits a double leg into half guard. Smith tries for a headlock sweep, can’t finish it but uses the motion to regain his feet and we’re at distance again. Smith lands a front kick to the body. Smith lands a good right and misses a wheel kick follow up. Another right lands for Smith. Smith lands a left hook, he’s doing a good job of backing Ferreir up. Ferreira hits a double leg into the guard of Smith, Smith tries a triangle that never gets close but he doesn’t lose position. Smith has Ferreira kind of locked down again from bottom, Ferreira breaks the grip and lands a couple of elbows. Ferreira with some rights to the body and head but the ref stands them up anyway. Smith back to walking forward, lands a short elbow. Smith gets the clinch and lands a couple of elbows, and a hard combination as they break and Ferreira is hurt. Ferreira tries to fire back but he got wobbled and is now backing up again and they clinch without working for the last two seconds.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Smith, 19-19 overall
ROUND THREE: Smith lands a counter left hook, Ferreira lands a couple of body kicks then Smith lands a leg kick. Smith lands a good straight right. Ferreira ducks a right and hits a double leg into the guard of Smith. Ferreira is bleeding from the head, Smith used an elbow from his back to open him up. Ferreira with some lefts to the body. Smith mostly hoping for a stand up here, Ferreira lands an elbow. The ref stands them up after they stall out. Ferreira immediately dives on a double leg, Smith grabs a guillotine during it though and it’s arm in, he’s trying to crank it but Ferreira gives the thumbs up. Smith can’t hold the head and Ferreira gets free and lands a few more blows from top position. Ferreira passes to half guard. Ferreira not doing a whole lot here, some body shots mostly. Ferreira trying to set up an arm triangle on the far side, bails on it and looks to pass, and passes to side control. The round will come to a close there.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Ferreira, 29-28 Ferreira overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Cezar Ferreira via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Not the best fight to start things, but it could have been worse. No interview for Ferreira.
Cory Hendricks is undefeated as professional fighter despite being just 3-0, he was successful on this season of TUF but suffered an injury prior to the semi finals but gets to make his promotional debut here hoping to remain undefeated. Josh Stansbury also competed on this season of TUF, making it to the semi finals before losing but brings a seven fight winning streak into his UFC debut here and will be trying to keep that streak alive.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Cory Hendricks (3-0, 204 lbs.) vs Josh Stansbury (7-2, 205.5 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Hendricks has an inch of height and four of reach on Stansbury. Touch of gloves to get us going. Hendricks lands a leg kick and a right. Stansbury catches a leg kick and lands a couple of rights. Hendricks switching his stance frequently. They miss punches and clinch on the fence, Hendricks is on the fence. Hendricks able to spin him, they jockey a little then break without incident. Stansbury lands a right then an inside leg kick. Stansbury lands a counter left hook, Hendricks lands a left body kick. Inside leg kicks trade. Stansbury lands a left body kick. Hendricks lands a left to the body. Body kick from Hendricks is caught, Stansbury lands a couple of rights and gets the clinch on the fence. Hendricks defends a takedown attempt with some elbows, they break and Stansbury has a cut on his head from those elbows. Stansbury lands a counter left hook. Hendricks lands a left body kick. Jabs are traded. Hendricks lands a body kick. Stansbury has a spinning back fist blocked. Hendricks lands a head kick that might have rocked Stansbury, Stansbury returns fire with a wicked left hook. They clinch again, Stansbury getting Hendricks on the cage. They trade some knees to the body. They break and Stansbury lands a couple of body kicks then they split jabs to close the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Hendricks
ROUND TWO: Hendricks misses a middle kick. Hendricks lands a leg kick. Stansbury moving forward now, Hendricks misses a couple of lead had blows. Hendricks lands an inside leg kick but Stansbury lands a counter right. They clinch, Stansbury lands a left hook as they break. Stansbury lands a double jab. They clinch again, Hendricks fails on a trip and Stansbury is able to get on top in half guard. Stansbury with some body shots. Hendricks able to hip escape to full guard. Stansbury lands an elbow. Stansbury working some body punches, just trying to keep busy and not get stood up. They stall out and the ref stands them up. Hendricks takes his sweet time getting up, and they clinch then trade body shots and break. Hendricks lands a long left. Hendricks lands a left high kick. Hendricks lands an inside leg kick but eats a counter left. Stansbury working the lead hand now and backing up Hendricks. Hendricks lands a push kick to the body then gets the clinch. Stansbury gets Hendricks on the fence and works some knees to the thigh. They break as Hendricks misses a knee to the body and the round ends with them both slipping a couple of punches.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Stansbury, 19-19 overall
ROUND THREE: Stansbury resumes moving forward, Hendricks lands a left hook and tries to trip but Stansbury avoids it easily and gets to side control. Stansbury thinks about an americana, bails on it to land a couple of short blows. Stansbury working short elbows, now a couple of punches as well. Hendricks tries to bridge out but Stansbury is positioned over his chest and nothing comes of it. Hendricks spins his hips and gets to half guard but eats an elbow for his trouble. Hendricks tries to explode again, fails and Stansbury is in side control again. Stansbury working some left elbows now. Hendricks tries to bridge again, nothing doing and Stansbury gets the mounted crucifix and lands a couple of good elbows before Hendricks is able to get his left arm free. Stansbury with some more short elbows. This is terribly one sided now, Stansbury doing a great job of controlling and landing blows. More elbows from Stansbury here. Hendricks tries to buck again, Stansbury hits him a few times then stands and poses just as the horn sounds.
SCORECARD: 10-8 Stansbury, 29-27 Stansbury overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Josh Stansbury via majority decision (28-28, 29-27 x2)
I can see an argument for Hendricks stealing the second round meaning the 28-28 makes a degree of sense, at least no silliness like giving Hendricks the fight. No interview for Stansbury.
Matheus Nicolau is on a four fight winning streak including a successful UFC debut when he submitted Bruno Rodrigues and given that flyweight is still a relatively open division if he can keep that streak going here he’ll be set up well for his next fight. John Moraga is a former flyweight title challenger and has a 5-3 UFC record, in fact his only losses are to Demetrious Johnson, John Dodson, and Joseph Benavidez and coming off of that loss to Benavidez. If Moraga wants to make another run towards the top of the division he can’t afford to lose a second in a row here.
Flyweight Bout: #6 John Moraga (16-4, 126 lbs.) vs Matheus Nicolau (11-1-1, 125.5)
ROUND ONE: These two have the same height and reach. Touch of gloves to get things going. Moraga circling early, Nicolau feinting level changes. Moraga lands a low leg kick. Nicolau lands an inside leg kick. Very patient start from both men. Moraga lands another low leg kick to the calf. Nicolau lands a leg kick. Moraga lands a jab. They both land left hooks. Nicolau misses a chopping right. Moraga lands a jab. Moraga lands an uppercut, Nicolau lands a left hook. Moraga lands another calf kick. Nicolau lands a right then a left. Moraga lands a bit of a right. Moraga lands another calf kick, Nicolau lands a bit of a counter left hook. Moraga lands a counter right. They trade leg kicks. Moraga thinks about a double leg, Nicolau stuffs it. Moraga lands a right, Nicolau lands a good counter left. They stare the last two seconds away.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Moraga but a close round
ROUND TWO: Nicolau lands a leg kick to star the second round, Moraga returns it. They both slip punches from each other. Nicolau’s forward pressure seems to be throwing Moraga’s offense off just a bit. Moraga lands a bit of a double jab to a right cross. Nicolau hits a right hand. Nicolau lands a right then Moraga lands a calf kick. Nicolau just misses an overhand right. Nicolau lands an inside leg kick. Both men miss high kicks. Nicolau lands an outside leg kick. Moraga just catches Nicolau at the end of a long left. Moraga lands another calf kick, that’s starting to add up for him. Nicolau lands a right hand. Moraga lands a left body kick. Nicolau lands a combination of hooks. Nicolau lands a counter right, and a bit of a lunging left hook. Moraga misses a jumping knee to close the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Nicolau, 19-19 overall
ROUND THREE: Circling to start, Moraga lands a bit of a right. Nicolau lands a bit of a left hook after missing a right. Moraga misses a leg kick. Nicolau lands a bit of a left, Moraga lands a better counter left. Moraga lands a right uppercut. Nicolau misses a leg kick. Crowd starting to boo now, it’s not been a terribly engaging fight so far. Nicolau misses a spinning back fist. They trade in close, Moraga lands a hard calf kick. Nicolau lands a jab to the body, he might be starting to pick up his pace here. Moraga misses a high kick. Moraga lands a right. Nicolau stuffs a takedown attempt and reverses it to get on top in the guard of Moraga. Nicolau working some body shots. Moraga wall walks but Nicolau drags him down again and lands a couple of punches, then takes the back against the fence as time expires.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Nicolau, 29-28 Nicolau overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Matheus Nicolau via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)
No issues with any of those scores, the first two rounds were legitimately close. No interview for Nicolau.
Gray Maynard is a former two time UFC lightweight title challenger, but he’s in the middle of a rough stretch. Maynard is on a four fight losing streak, three of those were losses due to strikes and his last win was a split decision one over Clay Guida way back in 2012. He’s hoping a drop to featherweight will breathe life back into his career because a fifth consecutive loss and now spanning two divisions would certainly spell the end of his UFC career. Fernando Bruno lost his UFC debut but had won four in a row before that and getting his first win here over a recognizable name like Gray Maynard is important to getting his UFC career moving in a positive direction.
Featherweight Bout: Gray Maynard (11-5-1 1 NC, 145.5 lbs.) vs Fernando Bruno (15-3, 146 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Maynard has two inches of height on Bruno but their reach is identical. Bruno fighting southpaw. Bruno circling early, lands a quick flurry of hooks but Maynard fires back and wobbles Bruno with a left. We’re into Roadhouse territory for a moment, Bruno hits a judo toss but Maynard scrambles to top position. Bruno sitting on the fence now, working his way back to his feet and they trade in the clinch then break. Bruno lands a straight left and Maynard drops for a moment then back up quickly. Bruno misses on a left uppercut and they clinch, Bruno lands a couple of hooks as they break. Bruno wings a couple of punches to the body. Hard left hook lands from Bruno. They clinch again, Maynard pushes Bruno into the fence. Bruno spins Maynard, Maynard lands a knee to the body and they trade hard again as they break apart. Both men breathing a little heavy here, not surprising given how hard they’ve been throwing. Bruno lands a bit of a right hook. Bruno lands another couple of body shots from close. Maynard lands an outside leg kick. Maynard lands an uppercut and they clinch again then break and throw more hooks. Maynard drops for a double leg, Bruno defends and they separate from the clinch with body shots. Bruno now looking for a takedown against the fence, hits a single leg and gets the back while Maynard is on his knees. Maynard back up but eats some lefts along the way and Bruno drops for another takedown that stalls as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Bruno
ROUND TWO: Maynard comes out quickly, looking to keep up the pressure. Bruno dodges a right from Maynard. Bruno misses a couple of hooks. Bruno lands a right uppercut, wings a couple of hooks to the body from in close. Maynard lands a straight right. Both men miss power hand punches. Bruno grabs a single leg and pulls Maynard down, Maynard able to roll with him while grabbing the shorts pretty blatantly but he gets on top. Maynard lands a couple of rights. Bruno to his knees, Maynard into the ride position and pulls Bruno back down. Bruno to his knees again, Maynard holding a front head lock and drops for a guillotine choke but Bruno easily gives the thumbs up so far. Maynard bails on it and resumes the ride position. Maynard lands a right and Bruno crawls to the fence and wall walks back up while Maynard has the rear waist lock. Bruno turns into Maynard, lands a knee from the clinch. Bruno tries a couple of punches that are blocked as they break. They clinch again, Maynard gets the rear waist lock against the fence. Maynard tries for a high crotch but Bruno grabs a double wrist lock and drops to his back to try and use it but Maynard defends easily and lands a left while Bruno stands again. Maynard still on the clinch and trips Bruno down again and lands in half guard. Bruno trying to roll but he’s too tired, round ends with Maynard in the ride position.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Maynard, 19-19 overall
ROUND THREE: Bruno is very tired here, Maynard resumes walking forward. Maynard lands a jab. Maynard lands an uppercut in close. Bruno lands a right and tries a wild combination and they clinch again with Maynard throwing Bruno off and pushing him over to get on top. Bruno has half guard, Maynard lands a couple of rights. Bruno has full guard now but Maynard postures up and lands a couple of blows. Bruno trying to wall walk, Maynard all over him and lands a couple of more lefts. Maynard has the ride position again, Bruno can’t hit a roll but does get to his feet against the fence. Maynard drops for a double leg and gets a takedown but Bruno is on his knees again while Maynard has a rear waist lock. Bruno turns into him but Maynard is all over him like glue. Bruno avoids a trip, grabs a guillotine, transitions towards an anaconda choke but Maynard rolls, Bruno still has a grip under the neck but Maynard breaks the grip and stands up. Bruno lands a left, another left in close from the clinch. Bruno drops for a takedown against the fence, Maynard defends and we’re still in the clinch. Bruno lands a left as they break, he tries to follow up but Maynard slips them then Bruno slips to the mat and Maynard rides out the final ten seconds from top position.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Maynard, 29-28 Maynard overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Gray Maynard via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Disagree with Maynard winning the first but it was a wild enough round that I can’t complain too much. No interview for Maynard who just snapped a four fight losing streak and got his first win since 2012.
That’s it for prelims but we’re still on Fox Sports 1 for the main card.
Joaquim Silva is unbeaten as a professional fighter including a successful UFC debut at UFC 190, he’s looking to keep that momentum going tonight and start moving up the ladder at lightweight. Andrew Holbrook is also undefeated as a professional and while his UFC debut win was a somewhat Clucky decision in his favor he’s looking to erase that performance and have a more emphatic victory tonight.
Lightweight Bout: Joaquim Silva (8-0, 155 lbs.) vs Andrew Holbrook (11-0, 155.5 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Holbrook has three inches of height but just one of reach on Silva. Holbrook fighting southpaw. Holbrook lands a straight left. Holbrook lands a body kick but Silva catches it, trips him, and lands two or three hard rights as he was getting up that put him out.
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Joaquim Silva via TKO, punches, at :34 of Round 1
The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Silva for his contributions to the evening. Mic time for Silva now and his translator. He says he feels happy and that he’s been saying he was going to make history inside of three fights and he’s happy to be on his way to that now. He talks us through the finish and the decision to go for strikes when Holbrook tried to go to the mat, and says this is another step in his journey to success and that he’s not here to take away from anyone else just increase his own stature.
Here’s that finish if you’re interested.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) July 9, 2016
Thiago Tavares is in his tenth year with the UFC and coming off of the biggest win of his career when he submitted Clay Guida in the first round, while he’s still unranked by the UFC if he can get a win here over a highly touted prospect like Choi he’ll be showing arguably the best form of his career and be moving towards the top fifteen of the division. Doo Ho Choi is on an 11 fight winning streak including being 2-0 in the UFC, 10 of those wins are via stoppage including both of his UFC wins and if he can keep that streak going here against a tough veteran like Tavares he’ll be set up well to start fighting the top fifteen of the division.
Featherweight Bout: Doo Ho Choi (13-1, 146 lbs.) vs Thiago Tavares (30-6-1, 146 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Choi has three inches of height and an inch and a half of reach on Tavares. Touch of gloves to get us going, Choi very aggressive to start. Tavares tries a double leg off of a flying knee, gets it against the fence but Choi is sitting on the cage and regains his feet, Tavares takes him back to a sitting position. They stall in that position, Choi keeping Tavares from advancing position. Choi back up, and spins Tavares into the cage in the clinch. Tavares hits a trip from the clinch but Choi again sitting on the fence. Choi back up again, he seems content to let Tavares use energy in these grappling exchanges. Tavares with some knees to the thigh before Choi spins free. Choi lands a wicked one two combination the FLOORS Tavares, one follow up on the mat and Tavares is out cold.
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Doo Ho Choi via TKO, punches, at 2:42 of Round 1
The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Choi for his work this evening. Calling a little BS on the TKO, Tavares was out cold but not my call. Mic time for Choi now, who’s got a twelve fight winning streak going now. He says people think of Koreans as being humble but once the fight starts he’s all confidence, and thanks his coaches for getting him ready and setting up the game plan. He talks us through the finish, he says he thinks the stoppage might have been a little quick but he’s still happy to get the win. He closes by thanking his teammates and sponsors and supports back home, and finally says he wants to fight the winner of the upcoming fight between Cub Swanson and Tatsuya Kawajiri. I am all for that fight.
And the finish to that fight is right here in case you missed it.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) July 9, 2016
Ross Pearson has been with the UFC for a long time now but has been trading wins and losses for the last couple of years but is coming off of a win over Chad Laprise and a second one here would be his first UFC winning streak since 2013. Will Brooks was the reigning Bellator lightweight champion before his recent contract issues that led to his release and subsequent signing with the UFC. He’s on a tremendous eight fight winning streak with two wins over Michael Chandler during that time as well as coming off of a win over Marcin Held. Brooks has been considered a top lightweight for a while now and if he wants to prove that hype real he needs to win here and begin moving through the shark infested lightweight division.
Lightweight Bout: Ross Pearson (19-10 1 NC, 155.5 lbs.) vs Will Brooks (17-1, 156 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Brooks has two inches of height and three of reach on Pearson. Touch of gloves to get us going. Brooks lands an inside leg kick. Both men probing with jabs, Brooks lands an inside leg kick then a body kick. Pearson lands a body kick, Brooks counters with a couple of punches. They clinch then break without incident. Brooks switches to southpaw, lands a hard knee to the body. Brooks switching his stance frequently now. Pearson lands a left hook, Brooks knees the body. They clinch again, Brooks tries a trip and switches to a double leg but Pearson is defending against the fence and they stall out in the clinch. Brooks lands an elbow and a knee to the body then drops for another takedown. Pearson still defending, Brooks lands some lefts while still holding the single leg. They break without incident. Brooks lands a left body kick. Pearson slips a straight left. Pearson bleeding a little from a cut above the right eyebrow. Brooks lands a leg kick and pushes into the clinch again. Brooks drops for a takedown against the fence, Pearson still defending. Pearson switches and gets Brooks on the fence, Brooks lands a knee to the body. Brooks swtiches him to the fence and they trade some clinch fighting to close the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Brooks
ROUND TWO: Touch of gloves for the second round. Pearson moving forward this round, Brooks circling. Both men miss lead hand hooks. Pearson lands an inside leg kick but eats an uppercut counter. Both men probing with jabs now, both also slipping a lot of them. Brooks lands a knee to the body then a one two follow up. Pearson lands a counter right. Brooks lands a jab and a bit of a body kick. Brooks lands a one two combination. Brooks hits a knee tap takedown into the guard of Pearson. Brooks postures up and lands a couple of punches. Brooks lands a good right hand. Brooks stands, gets the ride position as Pearson stands, Brooks gets him back to one knee and gets one hook in. Pearson able to peel that off and get to the fence but Brooks is hitting him from the ride position. Pearson to his feet but he eats some more lefts and they’re still clinched. Pearson gets Brooks on the fence, both men trade some knees to the body. Brooks spins Pearson and lands an elbow then a knee to the body. Another elbow lands for Brooks. Brooks with some body work again from the clinch before Pearson spins him into the fence. They trade knees to the body then Brooks lands a right to the body as they separate. Brooks has a knee blocked, lands a quick combination follow up. Pearson pushes Brooks off balance and misses a right from his guard as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Brooks, 20-18 Brooks overall
ROUND THREE: Touch of gloves for the last round. Pearson lands a left hook, he looks more aggressive this round. Brooks fails on a takedown and lands a left after that. Pearson lands a body kick, Brooks lands a knee to the body then Pearson lands a left hook. Brooks tries a double leg that Pearson defends easily. Brooks lands a left knee to the body and gets the clinch where he lands more knees to the body. Pearson spins Brooks and lands a knee to the groin that will cause a quick break. Brooks good to continue and we’re back. Pearson ducks a hook and lands a knee to the body. Pearson lands a left to the body. Brooks lands a jab. Pearson gets a bit of a right, Brooks returns a one two combination. Pearson lands another left, he’s finding that punch this round. Pearson lands a left kick to the body and eats a counter right. Pearson backs Brooks to the fence and unloads to the body before they clinch. Brooks spins Pearson to the fence, Pearson slips out and starts working close quarters punches. They clinch again, trade some more body work. Brooks spins Pearson and they separate. Brooks lands a knee to the body. Pearson lands a body kick but they clinch and Brooks rag dolls him to the mat. Pearson back up but Brooks has the ride and lands some knees to the body and thigh before Pearson regains his feet. They trade more knees to the body in the clinch, Brooks lands a hard left elbow. They work more in the clinch, Pearson lands some blows and Brooks lands an elbow as time expires.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Pearson, 29-28 Brooks overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Will Brooks via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Tough fight but a good win for Brooks, who’s got mic time now. He says this was a long time coming and took a lot of sacrifices, he then says Eddie Alvarez got away from him in Bellator but he wont get away this time and he wants the belt. He talks about the bigger stage in the UFC and says fighting here is amazing, then talks about working to improve his striking and he knew Pearson would push him into working his striking, then puts over Pearson as a talented fighter.
It’ll be a while between updates here guys, we had a commercial then a cage side interview with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, then a video for Joanna vs. Claudia, then a commercial break, then the video for the next fight, then another commercial. Just a heads up for those following live.
This fight is the finals of the TUF 23 strawweight tournament. Tatiana Suarez is undefeated as a professional fighter and submitted both of her opponents during the show en route to this fight and is looking to claim the TUF title here. Amanda Cooper enters this fight coming off of a loss in her Invicta debut but won all of her fights on the show to earn her way here and potentially get her UFC run off to a good start.
Women’s Strawweight Bout: Tatianna Suarez (3-0, 115.5 lbs.) vs Amanda Cooper (1-1, 116 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Suarez has two inches of height and reach on Cooper. Suarez fighting southpaw, lands a body kick but ate a counter right. Suarez tries a double leg, switches to a single leg and gets Cooper down landing in her guard. Suarez with some right punches and elbows to the body and head. Cooper throws up an armbar attempt, she’s trying to finish but Suarez defends and scrambles back to top position while Cooper sits on the fence. Suarez spins Cooper to the mat and gets to half guard. Suarez stands and lands some rights but Cooper picks the ankle for a sweep and gets on top in half guard. Suarez trying to roll to her knees, Cooper can’t keep her down and they’re in the clinch with Suarez looking for a takedown, Cooper tries a guillotine but Suarez lands in side control on the safe side. Suarez pulls her head out and lands some more punches. Cooper has an open guard going now, Suarez standing and landing blows. Suarez passes to north/south position and tries to set up a d’arce choke. Cooper trying to roll away from the pressure but she can’t and Cooper eventually has to tap.
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tatiana Suarez via Submission, d’arce choke, at 3:43 of Round 1
The First Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Suarez for her work this evening. Mic time for Suarez now, she says being the TUF champion sounds great and then thanks her family and supporters. She says that Cooper said she’d break, but Suarez says she survived cancer and doesn’t break and she wont stop until she’s at the top. She talks us through the finish and says she loves proving people wrong, she says her heart goes out to the cops out there and all the people losing loved ones and thinks we all need to be nicer to each other.
Here’s that finish for those interested.
— Zombie Prophet (@ZPGIFs) July 9, 2016
Another break of time here guys, we got a commercial after the last fight then came back for the video previews for the next fight then hit another commercial before getting to the intros.
Up next is the finals for the light heavyweight’s of TUF 23. Andrew Sanchez is on a two fight winning streak, before those he was knocked out by Kevin Casey, but apparently had a decent run through the show coming into this fight and is looking to get his UFC career off on the right foot. Khalil Rountree lost in the opening tournament round but got back into the fights after Cory Hendricks got injured and will be looking to extend his unbeaten streak as a professional and make his UFC debut a big win.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Andrew Sanchez (7-2, 199.5 lbs.) vs Khalil Rountree (4-0, 205.5 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Rountree has two and a half inches of reach on Sanchez desipte them being the same height. Rountree fighting southpaw. Sachez has a high kick blocked and eats a bit of a one two counter. Sanchez tries a double leg, Rountree easily sprawls and lands a couple of uppercuts to make him pay. Sanchez has a couple of kicks blocked. Sanchez tries a single leg, takes some effort but he is able to turn the corner and get Rountree down. Rountree quickly scoots to the cage and starts wall walking. Sanchez lands a couple of short rights while Rountree regains his feet, Sanchez has a rear waist lock and spins Rountree down again. Rountree back up quickly but still stuck against Sanchez. Sanchez drops for a double leg and takes Rountree down again, Rountree again sitting on the fence but Sanchez has half guard now and looking to control Rountree. Sanchez controlling one of the wrists of Rountree now, landing a few short rights while keeping him from posting on the arm and wall walking. Sanchez with some more rights to the head. Rountree able to regain his feet, lands a couple of elbows and spins out of the clinch. Sanchez ducks a left and hits a double leg while avoiding a possible guillotine from Rountree. Sanchez in half guard now, lands a few short lefts over the last fifteen seconds.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Sanchez
ROUND TWO: Both men visibly a little tired after that round. Sanchez lands a front kick to the body. Rountree misses a couple of punches then defends a double leg. Rountree switching his stance now. Rountree lands a couple of lefts, Sanchez grabs a single leg and pushes him into the fence looking to finish it. Rountree defends, Sanchez tries to switch to the other leg but Rountree still defending. Sanchez bails on the takedown and settles for the clinch. Sanchez slips around for a waist lock and takes Rountree down again. Sanchez in half guard while Rountree is sitting on the fence. Sanchez lands a short right. Sanchez moves towards the back, he’s got one hook in. Crowd not happy right now, Sanchez trying to pull Rountree off of the fence. Sanchez lands some rights. They trade some blows here, very little actual damage being done. Sanchez stands briefly and lands a quick flurry to close out the round.
SCORECARD: 10-8 Sanchez, 20-17 Sanchez overall
ROUND THREE: Rountree moving forward this round, ducks a high kick and avoids a double leg. Rountree lands a body kick. Rountree lands a bit of a right hook. Sanchez tries a single leg, Rountree keeping his balanc and landing some punches but Sanchez gets him to the fence and settles for the clinch. Sanchez tries for an outside trip, Rountree defends that. Sanchez hits an inside trip and lands in the guard of Rountree. Sanchez and Rountree trading some elbows. Sanchez lands a couple of short elbows. Sanchez passes to half guard, Rountree trying to wall walk. Sanchez moves to the back, gets one hook in and starts looking for the choke. Sanchez bails on that, lands a couple of rights. Sanchez lands a few more short rights, he’s content to ride this out from this position it seems. Crowd really unhappy now. More short rights from Sanchez, which is how this fight will come to an end.
SCORECARD: 10-8 Sanchez, 30-25 Sanchez overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Andrew Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25 x2)
Very one sided, also very uninteresting. Crowd boos Sanchez, who gets some mic time. He’s breathing heavy, says Rountree hits hard and he’s a little punch drunk right now. He says Rountree is a little green but he’ll wind up being a monster. He mentions as a fighter he tries to take the path of least resistance, if his opponent is a striker he’ll grapple him or visa versa. He says his future is either at middleweight or welterweight, jokes about being the smallest guy in the competition but if you’re good then you’re good.
This one is for the strawweight title, and Claudia Gadelha is looking to claim it. Gadelha has lost just once as a professional fighter, that being a close split decision to the current champion, and she rebounded from that loss with a win over Jessica Aguilar and has the opportunity here to not only avenge her only loss but claim the UFC strawweight title. Joanna Jedrzejczyk is unbeaten and the defending champion, she’s completely dominated her last three opponents and her vicious striking game finished two of them in the first three rounds. Jedrzejczyk wants to cement her legacy as one of the best female fighters ever, and continuing her reign with a successful title defense here is critical to that goal.
Women’s Strawweight Title Bout: (c) Joanna Jedrzejczyk (11-0, 114.5 lbs.) vs #1 Claudia Gadelha (13-1, 115 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Jedrzejczyk has two inches of height and reach on Gadelha. Jedrzejczyk flashing the jab early, Gadelha lands a jab that catches Jedrzejczyk off balance and she pushes into the clinch quickly and spins Jedrzejczyk to the mat. Gadelha in half guard, now full butterfly guard for Jedrzejczyk. Gadelha passes to half guard, Jedrzejczyk working towards standing and is back up though stuck in the clinch still. Jedrzejczyk spins Gadelha to the fence. They separate with a quick right from each woman. Jedrzejczyk lands a body kick. Jedrzejczyk lands a couple of rights to the body as Gadelha bulls into the clinch. Jedrzejczyk lands an elbow while remaining upright against the fence. Gadelha able to spin Jedrzejczyk to the mat and passes to half guard. Gadelha with some short rights. Jedrzejczyk works to the fence and regains her feet again. Jedrzejczyk lands a hard elbow and they trade rights then separate. Gadelha backing up now, Jedrzejczyk lands a body kick. Jedrzejczyk lands an inside leg kick from the southpaw stance. Jedrzejczyk lands a quick counter right then a body kick. Jedrzejczyk lands another inside leg kick. Jedrzejczyk lands a couple of jabs. Gadelha eats a leg kick and lands a counter left. Jedrzejczyk lands a couple of inside leg kicks to close the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Gadelha
ROUND TWO: Jedrzejczyk comes out jabbing, lands an inside leg kick but Gadelha gets the clinch again and pushes her into the fence. Gadelha lands a couple of short elbows from the clinch. Gadelha hits another takedown into half guard. Gadelha lands a couple of short rights while Jedrzejczyk gets to sitting on the fence. Jedrzejczyk back to her feet and lands an elbow in the clinch. Jedrzejczyk is giving up double under hooks a little too easily here, Gadelha looking for another takedown. Jedrzejczyk lands some elbows, Gadelha lands some rights. Jedrzejczyk lands another elbow. Gadelha drops for a double leg, defended by Jedrzejczyk. Jedrzejczyk lands a knee to the head. Jedrzejczyk lands a knee to the body then a couple of elbows while Gadelha holds onto a single leg. Jedrzejczyk lands another elbow then hits a judo toss to get on top of Gadelha. Gadelha trying to hold a leg but Jedrzejczyk lands a couple of elbows before they settle into another clinch. Gadelha using a bit of wall and stall here. Jedrzejczyk lands a knee to the body then spins free. Jedrzejczyk lands a couple of body kicks then pushes Gadelha into the fence as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Jedrzejczyk, 19-19 overall
ROUND THREE: Jedrzejczyk lands a quick one two combination. Gadelha is slowing and eats a hard combination. Jedrzejczyk lands a right, Gadelha lands a counter left. Jedrzejczyk lands a right uppercut, Gadelha hits a double leg but Jedrzejczyk back up immediately. Jedrzejczyk tries another throw but Gadelha rolls through and stays pinned to her. Jedrzejczyk still upright but stuck. Jedrzejczyk lands a short elbow. Jedrzejczyk lands a knee to the body, Gadelha lands an elbow as they break but Jedrzejczyk lands two punches and a body kick. Gadelha starting to suck some wind now, Jedrzejczyk working the body now. Jedrzejczyk lands a jab and an inside leg kick. Jedrzejczyk lands an inside leg kick, eats a right but sends three punches back. Three punches from Jedrzejczyk land, Gadelha fading now. Jedrzejczyk lands a short elbow, and a right hand. Jedrzejczyk digs a left to the body, and a front kick to the body. Gadelha hits a double leg but Jedrzejczyk is out of danger with ease and landing some rights. Jedrzejczyk spins to the back and lands some hard rights. Gadleha pulls guard but Jedrzejczyk stands up and makes Gadelha stand. Gadelha is spent, Jedrzejczyk lands a quick combination. Jedrzejczyk lands an elbow, Gadelha lands an elbow and gets the clinch. Jedrzejczyk lands a knee to the body, spins Gadelha with ease to the fence. Jedrzejczyk lands an elbow, another elbow, and a third then fourth. They break and Jedrzejczyk lands a jab. Gadelha standing still, they trade in close to close the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Jedrzejczyk, 29-28 Jedrzejczyk overall
ROUND FOUR: Jedrzejczyk comes out jabbing, and working some combinations. Jedrzejczyk lands a body kick and three punches. Jedrzejczyk lands a stiff right. Jab lands for Jedrzejczyk. Jedrzejczyk lands a front kick to the body and a jab. Jedrzejczyk lands a right hand, then a left hook. Jedrzejczyk lands an inside leg kick, and a left hook. Jedrzejczyk lands a stiff left from the southpaw stance. A couple of leg kicks from Jedrzejczyk land. Jedrzejczyk lands three punches, Gadelha has visibly faded and eats another straight left. Jedrzejczyk lands a hard right then an elbow in the clinch then Gadelha lands a bit of a left. Jedrzejczyk digs a couple of body shots. Jedrzejczyk lands an inside leg kick and a left hook. One two lands flush for Jedrzejczyk. Jedrzejczyk lands a right to the body then a jab. Jedrzejczyk lands a left hook and an elbow. Jedrzejczyk lands an inside leg kick. Hard jab lands for Jedrzejczyk. Gadelha lands a glancing right but Jedrzejczyk doesn’t care and lands a couple of body kicks. Stiff left lands for Jedrzejczyk. Jedrzejczyk lands a left high kick. Jedrzejczyk lands an uppercut and a left. This is getting one sided in a hurry here. Jedrzejczyk lands an elbow and blocks a takedown. Jedrzejczyk lands a left to the body, we’re entering 10-8 territory here guys. They clinch and trade knees to the head then Jedrzejczyk lands three more blows. Gadelha is in full retreat mode as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Jedrzejczyk, 39-37 Jedrzejczyk overall
ROUND FIVE: Jedrzejczyk lands a hard counter combination as Gadelha tried to move forward. Jedrzejczyk lands another three punch combination. Jedrzejczyk lands a jab. Gadelha moving forward now and eats another couple of punches. Jedrzejczyk lands an inside leg kick then a couple of punches. Gadelha tries a double leg, stalls out on the fence. Gadelha trying to spin her down, she can’t quite finish this though. Jedrzejczyk breaks the body lock and lands a combination and a head kick as they separate. Jedrzejczyk lands a left hook and just misses a high kick. Jedrzejczyk lands a left, and a jab. Jedrzejczyk lands two jabs. Left to the body from Jedrzejczyk and a thrust kick to the face. Jedrzejczyk lands a right. Jedrzejczyk lands a left and a right. Gadelha dives for a takedown, nothing doing this time though and Jedrzejczyk gets her on the cage. Jedrzejczyk avoids a takedown, lands some hard elbows while Gadelha tries to pull guard. Jedrzejczyk makes her get up again, Gadleha takes her sweet time doing so. Jedrzejczyk landing jabs at will now. Jedrzejczyk lands a counter left hook. Gadelha lands a bit of a right. Jedrzejczyk lands three straight punches, and a stiff jab. Jedrzejczyk lands a thrust kick to the body. Jedrzejczyk lands a stiff right hand and a left, Jedrzejczyk opening up here. Jedrzejczyk works some uppercuts in the clinch, and a knee and an elbow. Gadelha gets her on the fence as time expires.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Jedrzejczyk, 49-46 Jedrzejczyk overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and STILL UFC Strawweight Champion – Joanna Jedrzejczyk via unanimous decision (48-45, 48-46 x2)
Yeah, I probably should have given Gadelha the second round, my bad. Mic time for the champion. She says she knew this would be a tough fight, puts over Gadelha as the number one contender and apologizes for some of the trash talk. Gadelha grabs the mic briefly after they hugged, says the belt is important but being a humble person and good to other people is more important. Back to Jedrzejczyk who talks about how much she worked for this fight, quotes Muhammad Ali, says fighting in the MGM Grand was a dream and now she wants to fight in Madison Square Garden. She thanks everyone in Poland, it’s 6 am there, for watching and thanks the live crowd again to close the interview.
Heck of a fight to close this event. Thank you all for being here, that’s two down with just one more to go. I’ll be back here tomorrow evening for UFC 200, which is still an insanely stacked card despite losing the most interesting fight it had. I hope you can all come back tomorrow night, until then keep checking 411mania for all your pop culture needs.