411’s UFC Fight Night 101 Report 11.26.16
Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC Fight Night 101. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, mostly I’m happy to be back to one show at a time after last week’s double header madness. Tonight we’ve got a very diminished card on hand, but hopefully the action will make up for that. The original main event for this card was a middleweight clash between former champion Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in a fight that would have had serious title implications, then Rockhold got injured and Souza decided he only wanted a title shot or guaranteed title eliminator. That meant the co-main event got promoted, now two surging possible contenders will square off as Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson try to crack the top five. The new co-main event is a lightweight clash of potential prospects between Jake Matthews and Andrew Holbrook. This event comes to us from the Rod Lavera Arena, the home of the annual Australian Open, in Melbourne, Australia with Jon Anik and Dan Hardy on commentary.
Yao Zhikui has had a rough go of things lately, he’s 1-2 in the UFC and coming off of a pretty bad injury in his fight with Fredy Serrano when he dislocated his elbow while defending a high crotch single leg takedown. Think about what happened to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in his first fight with Mark Coleman from PRIDE if you need a reference point. Zhikui really needs a win here to avoid a losing streak, because if you combine that with his losing overall record and even his status as one of the few Chinese fighters on the roster likely won’t save him. Jenel Lausa is making his UFC debut tonight and brings a four fight winning streak with him. While Zhikui isn’t the biggest name in the world you only get one chance to make a first impression and Lausa wants to make his a good one at the expense of Zhikui. The odds are with Lausa at -130 while Zhikui’s comeback sits at +100.
Flyweight Bout: Jenel Lausa (6-2, 125 lbs.) vs. Yao Zhikui (2-3, 126 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: These two are the same height but Lausa has a significant reach advantage of four inches. Touch of gloves to get things going. Lausa lands a left hook but eats a good counter leg kick. Zhikui lands a combination but eats a counter right. Zhikui slips a left and lands a right. These two aren’t getting paid by the hour given the heat they’re bringing so far. Zhikui lands a leg kick but eats a counter right from Lausa. Stiff jab from Lausa then a couple of rights, he gets a takedown but doesn’t want to play on the mat and makes Zhikui stand up. Zhikui trying to work combinations, Lausa trying to time him. Lausa lands a hard right then a left hook. Lausa lands a hard straight right. Zhikui lands another leg kick but in boxing range he’s getting worked by Lausa. Zhikui misses a lunging left hook. Lausa with another straight right. Lausa lands a left to the body. Again that right hand lead from Lausa lands, that’s a really nice punch he’s throwing there. Zhikui lands a bit of a left hook, eats a counter then lands a leg kick. They trade hooks, Zhikui drops but regains his feet. Lausa is stalking him digging hooks to the body and head but Zhikui plants his feet and fires back until the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Lausa
ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Zhikui slips a right and lands a couple of counters. Lausa lands a jab but eats a couple of hooks to the body. Zhikui lands a leg kick. Lausa working long punches, again hits that straight right. Jab from Lausa lands. Zhikui tries a takedown, Lausa has to work for it but does avoid being taken down. Lausa lands a head kick, Zhikui falls like a tree in slow motion! Lausa all over him, Zhikui trying to survive, Lausa drops for a guillotine but Zhikui is in half guard and is able to yank his head free. Zhikui goes to side control then tries the back but he never gets hooks and Lausa escapes and we’re back on the feet. Lausa pushing forward with punches, he’s doing a good job of aiming at the body. They tie up and Zhikui winds up on his knees. Zhikui tries a single leg attempt and pushes Lausa into the cage. Zhikui disengages with a missed right hook. They trade rights again, Zhikui blocks a high kick and gets a takedown. Lausa on a hip though and trying to get to the fence to wall walk. Lausa sitting on the fence but Zhikui keeps him on the mat. Lausa to full guard but Zhikui is landing elbows and punches. Hard blows from top by Zhikui, I’m still shocked he recovered after that head kick. They trade elbows on the mat to close the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Lausa, 20-18 Lausa overall
ROUND THREE: Lausa might be a little gassed after that round, though Zhikui is hardly dancing around. They touch gloves for the last round of what’s been an exciting fight so far. Lausa blocks a one two combination. Lausa lands a jab, just avoids a counter right. Lausa lands a straight right. Lausa lands another straight right. Zhikui lands a leg kick. Zhikui trying to goad Lausa into a brawl, lands another leg kick. Zhikui throws himself off balance missing an overhand right but Lausa doesn’t jump on him. Lausa lands a couple of rights then avoids the counter. Another leg kick from Zhikui lands. Lausa sticks him with the straight right again, he’s got that punch dialed in and just needs to follow it up. They trade again, Zhikui has a heck of a chin. Lausa lands a right then a left, he knows the boxing distance very well and is landing without getting countered. Lausa lands another right. Zhikui misses on a takedown attempt, I mean just misses as Lausa had angled away from him. Lausa lands another straight right. They stare the last couple of seconds away.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Lausa, 30-27 Lausa overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jenel Lausa via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Really good debut for Lausa, showed crisp technical striking throughout. No interview though. The following clip was basically the story of the fight, good straight punches and slipping counters from Lausa.
— #UFCMelbourne (@ufc) November 26, 2016
Marlon Vera is 1-2 in the UFC and coming off of a loss, he needs a win here to avoid the first losing streak of his career and would put his job in danger as the new UFC ownership is cutting back on international shows so being the only Ecuadoran on the roster wont help him that much. Ning Guangyo is coming off of a minor fiasco with USADA when he was flagged for high levels of a chemical that is present in such levels in local beef in China that it enters the system even when cooked. Fortunately USADA displayed a degree of scientific literacy here and Guangyou was given no punishment. Guangyou is coming off of his first UFC loss when he lost a split decision but had won his two prior UFC fights, tonight he’s trying to avoid a losing streak and regain winning form. The odds have this one dead even at -115 for each man.
Featherweight Bout: Ning Guangyou 5-3-1, 146 lbs.) vs. Marlon Vera (7-3-1, 144 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Vera has three and a half inches of height and a whopping six and a half of reach on Guangyou. Guangyou fighting southpaw, and they touch gloves to get things going. Guangyou lands a heavy inside leg kick. Vera starting to circle now, he checks an inside leg kick. Guangyou wings a left that’s blocked. Guangyou lands an outside leg kick. Vera checks another inside leg kick. Very sedate pace so far, both men just measuring and getting a feel for things. Guangyou misses a wheel kick. Guangyou lands a spinning back kick to the body, Vera has switched to the southpaw stance. Vera back to orthodox. Vera has a high kick blocked and Guangyou lands a leg kick. Vera slips another windmill left. Vera lands a body kick. Guangyou has another left blocked but he’s getting the general distance right. Guangyou tries a body kick that’s caught and Vera pushes him into the fence with a rear waist lock. Vera jumps into the backpack position and starts looking for the choke. Guangyou pushes off of the fence and tries to slam down on a hip but Vera keeps the back and is really after the choke still. Vera has a body triangle going now while he tries to punch an arm through for the choke but he wont get it before the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Vera
ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Guangyou showing the jab early, Vera lands an inside leg kick. Vera goes southpaw and lands a leg kick. Guangyou trying to push forward with punches but Vera is covering up and circling well. Vera back to orthodox, misses a body kick and eats a hard leg kick counter. Guangyou lands a bit of a body kick. Vera lands a kick to the body. Guangyou slips a high kick and lands another leg kick. Guangyou has a couple of inside leg kicks blocked, but he keeps throwing them until they start landing. Vera eats a leg kick and lands a left but those kicks are starting to add up. Guangyou lands another couple of leg kicks. Vera finally catches on and gets to the clinch on the fence. Guangyou avoids giving up his back this time and winds up on top in half guard. Guangyou landing short elbows and punches. Vera switches to a heel hook, Guangyou scrambling out of it and gets into side control. More short elbows from Guangyou. Vera gets to half guard then full guard but Guangyou just punches him for his effort. Vera tries an armbar, Guangyou avoids it. Vera tries to roll but Guangyou is with him and in half guard on top again. Guangyou working very short elbows, then passes into full mount. Guangyou lands some punches before Vera gets to half guard. Vera able to get full guard, Guangyou lands some more punches. Vera back to his feet, during one of those exchanges Guangyou started bleeding from the nose. The round ends not long after they regain their feet.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Guangyou, 19-19 overall
ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Guangyou blocks a high kick then lands a couple of hard inside leg kicks. Vera is limping a bit, switches stances but eats a leg kick for his trouble. Vera back to orthodox and Guangyou lands an inside leg kick. Another inside leg kick from Guangyou. Vera lands a body kick then a couple of rights that drop Guangyou. Guangyou scrambles after eating a bunch of blows, he looked to have gone out for a second but recovered and Vera has his back now. Vera transitions to a standing position and lands a leg kick. Guangyou tries for a takedown, gets Vera to the fence and continues after the single leg. They break without incident. Guangyou lands a bit of a left. Guangyou lands a bit of a spinning elbow, Vera responds with a high kick that lands. Vera lands a front kick to the body and a couple of punches. Guangyou lands two low inside leg kicks then misses a wheel kick. Vera lands a bit of a right then a body kick. Vera lands a jab. Guangyou avoids a knee. Vera lands a bit of a one two combination. Guangyou lands to the body then a right, Vera responds with an inside leg kick. Hard knee to the body from Vera. They both throw some punches, Vera hits a knee to the body as the clock runs out.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Vera, 29-28 Vera overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marlon Vera via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Vera certainly closed the fight strong, he’s pretty amped up after the win and gets an interview. He says he loves talking to Jon Anik because it means the hard worked paid off. He puts over his new team and says fighting is letting him live his dream and pay for his daughters surgery. He talks us through a couple of highlights, then says he’ll fight anyone and looks forward to spending more time with his family.
Dan Hooker is 3-2 in the UFC but has been trading wins and losses for that time period, tonight he has a chance to get his first winning streak going in the promotion as he’s coming off of a win and trying to display the consistency that has eluded him so far. Jason Knight is 1-1 in the UFC, he lost his debut to Tatsuya Kawajiri but rebounded with a win over Jim Alers. Knight is looking to rebuild a winning streak tonight and prove himself a featherweight worth watching. Hooker has a decent edge in the odds of -160 a Knight win pays out at +130.
Featherweight Bout: Dan Hooker (13-6, 146 lbs.) vs. Jason Knight (14-2, 145 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Hooker has two inches of height and four of reach on Knight. Hooker fighting southpaw. Knight moving forward early, Hooker avoiding his offense with head movement. Knight lands a body kick. Knight pushes forward and lands a bit of a right. Knight lands a left then a right that drops Hooker for a moment. Hooker fires back with a straight left. Knight lands a left to the body. Hooker lands a straight left. They trade lefts, Hooker lands a follow up left though. Knight’s face is already a little busted up, under both of his eyes is turning red. Hooker lands another straight left. Hooker trying to lean out of the way of punches, Knight is starting to miss a lot now. Hooker lands another left. Hooker lands a series of straight lefts. Hooker lands a body kick. Knight hits a double leg and passes to half guard quickly. Hooker scrambles back to his feet and just avoids a knee while doing so. Hooker lands another straight left but gets taken down again. Hooker to the fence quickly but has given up full mount. Knight lands a couple of lefts then grabs for the choke but bails on it. Knight can’t keep the back and Hooker turns into him but Knight starts working a high guard quickly. Hooker postures through that and lands a few lefts as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-10 DRAW
ROUND TWO: Hooker ducks a right to get things going. Knight is the one moving forward now, Hooker lands a straight left. Another left from Hooker lands, that’s landing straight on the chin. Knight tries a single leg, Hooker avoids this one and lands an elbow. Hooker lands another straight left. Knight lands a body kick and a bit of a right. Hooker lands a body kick. Knight slips a left and gets a takedown, he’s trying to get the back and does after a brief suplex and has a body triangle now. Knight looking for the choke. Knight really after the choke, Hooker defending so far. Knight keeps getting close but can’t close out the choke, Hooker able to break his grip each time though. Knight lands an elbow. Knight after the choke as well, Hooker fighting to break the grip and manages to do so. Knight wont get the choke before the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Knight, 20-19 Knight overall
ROUND THREE: Hooker lands a head kick to start the final round then a straight left. Hooker slips a couple of punches then tries a high kick that’s blocked. Hooker now fighting orthodox. Knight is still throwing but Hooker is rolling with them. Knight misses a double leg. Knight lands a one two combination. Knight in on a single leg, Hooker against the fence and trying to defend. Hooker threatens with a front head lock and spins out of the clinch. Hooker lands a right. They split jabs and Knight lands an oblique kick to the body. They trade some weak jabs then both land straight rights. Knight fails on a single leg attempt. They both land power hand blows, Hooker really needs to get going here. Knight lands a right. Hard combination from Knight lands, Hooker lands a head kick though. Hooker defends a takedown attempt. Knight lands a couple of punches, Hooker avoids a takedown attempt. They trade but Knight is throwing three or four blows at a time while Hooker is trying singles. Hooker lands a left then a right. Knight tries more of those oblique kicks to the body but Hooker counters with three punches that land flush and Knight is rocked. They get close and we go full Road House, Knight tries a takedown but essentially pulls guard as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Hooker, 29-29 DRAW overall but this likely goes to Knight
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jason Knight via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-26)
I can see a 10-8 for round 2. Knight on the mic now, he says he knows he got booed but he didn’t come here to be one of them but he came here to beat the next guy in line and the crowd applauds that sentiment. He says he knew the fight was close and that Hooker was tough, he only knew he won the second as 1 and 3 were close. He says he chose his walkout music in honor of Dan Henderson, thanks his coaches, family, and friends as well. He says he wants to be fighting soon and thinks that was good enough for a bonus. He tells everyone ranked above him that he’s coming for them. That wraps up Fight Pass, now to Fox Sports 1 for the rest of the evening.
Ben Nguyen is 2-1 in the UFC and just snapped a nine fight winning streak when he was defeated by Louis Smolka. Nguyen needs to rebound from that loss here as Smolka is a talented fighter but two in a row at flyweight could drop him from the top fifteen, a spot he really needs to defend. Geane Herrera is 1-2 in the UFC but those losses are to Ray Borg and Ali Bagautinov, he needs a win here to avoid a two fight losing streak as well as get his UFC record to .500. The odds slightly favor Nguyen at -130 to the +100 of Herrera.
Flyweight Bout: Geane Herrera (9-2, 125 lbs.) vs. #15 Ben Nguyen (16-6, 126 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Herrera has a slight reach advantage of one inch. Herrera opens up with a flying side kick to the chest, Nguyen back up quickly and they start fighting in the clinch. Herrera tries a lateral drop but Nguyen stays upright and they wind up separating. Nguyen lands a leg kick. Herrera backing up, eats a knee to the body and a couple of punches. Nguyen lands a right then a left. Leg kick from Nguyen lands. Herrera still backing up and circling, Nguyen has a high kick just blocked. Nguyen lands a leg kick, eats a jab then lands a body kick. Nguyen lands a leg kick. Nguyen pushes forward, lands a head kick and Herrera goes down but is back up and eats a couple of punches while doing so. Nguyen still going forward with kicks, he apparently lands one to the groin so Herrera gets time to recover. Replay confirms it was a foot to the groin while Nguyen was kneeing the body. Herrera is good to continue and we’re back to fighting. Nguyen lands a left high kick, Herrera just eats it. Nguyen’s pressure is really working for him, as is the switching of stance. Nguyen lands a leg kick. Nguyen lands a long right, Herrera’s really being hot and cold here. Nguyen lands a body kick. Herrera lands a left body kick but eats a counter one two. Nguyen lands a three punch combination but Herrera is in offense mode. Nguyen lands a long combination of punches and they clinch up. Herrera after a single leg while Nguyen’s on the cage. Nguyen defending so far, Herrera bails on the takedown and settles for the clinch. Nguyen spins free and lands a couple of punches to close the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Nguyen
ROUND TWO: Nguyen tries a jumping spinning back kick to the face that’s blocked. Herrera misses a wheel kick. Nguyen lands a bit of a straight right. Herrera’s left eye is starting to swell up, Nguyen lands another three punch combination. Nguyen looks on point so far. Nguyen lands a body kick. They trade in close, Nguyen lands a knee to the head then a leg kick. Nguyen just looks to be a class above Herrera. As I type that Herrera lands a cracking right. They trade some body work in close. Nguyen blocks a high kick then lands a right. Nguyen lands a couple of jabs to the chest. Nguyen lands a good left then a right from a temporary southpaw stance. They trade rights. Nguyen lands another right then a left hook. Nguyen lands a short left hook in close. Nguyen has a left high kick just blocked then lands a spinning back kick to the body. Nguyen lands a couple of body shots from a brief clinch, Herrera lands a knee to the body. Nguyen lands a leg kick. Herrera gets a double leg to close out the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Nguyen, 20-18 Nguyen overall
ROUND THREE: Nguyen comes out jabbing, Herrera tries a double leg that Nguyen avoids. Nguyen lands a jab and a leg kick. Herrera just blocks a high kick but the volume of Nguyen is breaking him down. Nguyen lands a big combination including several body shots. Nguyen lands an uppercut. Nguyen lands a left from the southpaw stance. Nguyen backing Herrera into the fence, Herrera tries a double leg that Nguyen sprawls out of. Nguyen lands a stiff right then a left hook. Leg kick from Nguyen lands. Another straight right lands, Nguyen looks at least a full step ahead of Herrera. Left to the body followed by a right to the head from Nguyen then a leg kick. Nguyen’s volume is still working, now he’s mixing in body shots. Nguyen lands another right. Herrera lands an inside leg kick. Herrera lands a one two combination. Nguyen lands a bit of a combination. Nguyen ducks a right then lands a bit of a one two. Hard body kick from Nguyen. They clinch up and break without incident. Herrera misses a jumping knee then misses a kick, Nguyen lands a right and they trade in the clinch as time runs out.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Nguyen, 30-27 Nguyen overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ben Nguyen via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27 x2)
I think there’s a 10-8 argument for round 2, but that’s a big rebound win for Nguyen who’s on the mic now. He wishes happy birthday to Brian Ebersole then says his plan was to take punches and bang it out. He puts over Herrera as a tough guy and a hard worker. He says this was the best performance of his career, thanks his coaches for getting him ready for this fight. He closes by thanking another couple of guys then thanking the crowd for coming out.
Rich Walsh is 2-3 in the UFC and coming off of a loss, he needs a win to avoid what would be his second losing streak in the UFC and hopefully keep his job because another loss could easily spell the end of his time with the promotion. Jonathan Meunier is coming off of a loss in his UFC debut, the first of his professional career, and really needs to rebound as well because going 0-2 in the UFC frequently means getting the ax. The odds closed at a -115 pick ’em for this one.
Welterweight Bout: Jonathan Meunier (7-1, 171 lbs.) vs. Richard Walsh (9-4, 171 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Meunier has three inches of height and two of reach on Walsh. Touch of gloves to get things going. Meunier is fighting southpaw, actually he’s switching frequently. Walsh lands an inside leg kick. Walsh trying to pressure forward, lands another inside leg kick. They trade inside leg kicks. Walsh lands a right but eats a counter right. Meunier has a high kick blocked. Meunier starting to have the forward motion on his side now, Walsh lands a body kick. Meunier lands a leg kick. Meunier misses a wheel kick. Meunier ducks a right and lands a knee to the body. Walsh lands a spinning back fist. Meunier showing a lot of kicks so far. Walsh lands an inside leg kick. Meunier ducks a spinning back fist, they clinch and Meunier lands an elbow as they break. Meunier lands a long left, he’s using a lot of side kicks to the thigh to keep Walsh at distance. Meunier lands a left. Meunier lands a spinning back fist. Walsh lands a body kick but Meunier takes him down off of it and lands in half guard. Meunier lands a couple of short elbows as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Meunier
ROUND TWO: Walsh misses a kick, then both men miss punches. Walsh pushes into the clinch, Meunier avoids a takedown and grabs a front headlock. Walsh spins Meunier into the cage then eats a knee to the body as they separated. Meunier misses a wheel kick. Walsh lands a body kick. Walsh blocks a weak takedown attempt. Walsh blocks a high kick. Walsh tries a takedown, Meunier blocks it and lands a couple of knees before they break. Meunier lands a spinning back kick to the body. Walsh lands a bit of a right. Meunier lands a spinning back fist. Walsh lands a leg kick but Meunier tries a double leg that Walsh avoids. They trade knees in the clinch before breaking. Meunier working very long and making Walsh miss. Meunier misses a spinning back fist then a spinning hook kick. Walsh tries a double leg but Meunier wall walks before he can get position. Walsh on the fence, spins Meunier but Meunier gets free without incident. Meunier lands a knee from a brief Thai clinch. Meunier lands a front kick to the face, then a bit of a wheel kick and tries a couple of jumping knees from a Thai clinch as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Meunier, 20-18 Meunier overall
ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Walsh catches a kick and gets a quick double leg but Meunier wall walks quickly and we’re in the clinch. Walsh has Meunier on the fence and fighting to keep him there. They trade some knees to the body and thigh. Meunier lands a couple of good knees, Walsh tries a double leg but Meunier stays upright. Meunier spins Walsh and lands a knee to the body as they break. Meunier still working long, Walsh tries a spinning back fist that Meunier smothers, Walsh tries to transition to a guillotine but Meunier quickly spins to the safe side in side control and gets his head free. Walsh is bleeding from around the left eyebrow. Walsh able to scramble to his feet and they disengage. Meunier misses a wheel kick and Walsh wobbles him with a right. Meunier recovers and lands a knee. Meunier lands a knee to the chin. This is getting sloppy now, Walsh still can’t close the distance though. Walsh catches a kick and tries a single leg but can’t get Meunier down. They wind up clinched on the fence and Walsh finally gets a double leg. Walsh lands a few lefts from the ride position, Meunier back up but Walsh has the rear waist lock and drags him down again. Walsh with more punches, Meunier back up and they trade in the clinch as the clock runs down.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Walsh, 29-28 Walsh overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jonathan Meunier via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x2)
Not sure I agree with 30-27 but hardly a Clucky conclusion to reach. No interview for Meunier.
Damien Brown is 1-1 in the UFC but is coming off of an impressive stoppage win and looking to build on that momentum here with his first UFC winning streak. Jon Tuck is 3-3 in the UFC and has been trading wins and losses for that whole time, tonight he’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid his first ever losing streak and get back on the winning side of things. The odds favor Tuck at -135 to Brown’s +105.
Lightweight Bout: Damien Brown (16-9, 154 lbs.) vs. Jon Tuck (9-3, 156 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Tuck has an inch of height and four and a half of reach on Brown. They touch gloves to get things going. Tuck stalking forward early, feinting as he gets Brown towards the fence. Tuck lands a right and gets a double leg but Brown is on a guillotine choke. Brown really after that choke and constantly adjusting his grip and hip position. Tuck fighting to break the grip and he does while getting to half guard. Tuck lands a couple of short lefts to the head and some rights to the body. More lefts from Tuck. Tuck with some elbows to the body. Tuck lands a couple of punches then stands to land more punches. Brown able to kick him away long enough to wall walk and they trade while exiting the clinch. Brown moving forward now, lands a bit of a right. Brown slips a jab and lands an uppercut. Brown walks right into a big straight right that drops him, Tuck on him on the mat and has the back. Tuck only has one hook in, Brown is bleeding pretty badly after that right though I can’t see the source. Brown to his feet as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Tuck, though I’d accept a 10-8 argument
ROUND TWO: That cut is on the forehead, near the top of the bridge of his nose actually. They both miss some kicks, commentary tells me the cut is just on the bridge of the nose. Brown lands an inside leg kick. Tuck tries an inside leg kick but Brown moved and took it on the groin. Brown walks it off in less than ten second and we’re back to fighting. Some more low kicks going back and forth. Tuck backing Brown towards the fence. Brown lands a jab. Brown lands a leg kick then a jab. Tuck lands a bit of a right but Brown is happy to return it. Brown lands a couple of body shots, Tuck really needs to get going this round. Brown blocks a right and lands two or three counters. Brown misses a wheel kick. Tuck lands a jab. They trade rights, I think Brown got the better of that exchange. Tuck lands a jab then a follow up right. Brown has a right blocked. Tuck already breathing hard, they both miss some punches. Brown misses a jumping knee then lands a right while still in the air. Brown lands an inside leg kick then a right. They circle the last few seconds away.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Brown, 19-19 overall
ROUND THREE: They hug quickly to start the last round. Brown has a left high kick blocked. Tuck is moving forward, Brown lands a right and a leg kick. Brown lands a right, Tuck seems to have some energy back this round. Tuck lands a body kick that catches Brown off balance, Brown back up and they trade in close. Brown still bleeding, now it seems to be in his mouth as well. Brown lands a quick combination that ends with a leg kick. Tuck and Brown both using front kicks to the body. Brown lands an inside leg kick. Tuck lands a jab, Brown lands a body kick. Brown lands a bit of a high kick into a right hand. Tuck lands a jab. Brown lands a left hook, he’s trying to use volume to the sniping from Tuck. Tuck lands a leg kick, tries a double leg that doesn’t work and Brown lands an elbow as they break. Brown misses a spinning back fist. Brown pushing forward now, lands a spinning kick to the body. Tuck lands a jab but eats an elbow. Brown lands a bit of a right. Tuck lands a jab. Brown tries a double leg, Tuck counters with a throw, Brown slips on a kick and Tuck lands a right as he’s down as the clock expires.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Brown, 29-28 Brown overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Damien Brown via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)
That whole thing comes down to round 3, and I can see arguments for either man winning that round and therefore the fight. No interview for Brown.
Dan Kelly is 4-1 in the UFC and on a two fight winning streak, despite his advanced age of 39 the man continues to over perform in the UFC and is after his first three fight winning streak within the promotion. While a title run is unlikely Kelly could earn a bigger name opponent next if he can get to three in a row here. Chris Camozzi is in his third UFC stint and is 3-2 during that time but is coming off of a loss to Thales Leites, Camozzi is trying to avoid another losing streak and potentially another pink slip from the UFC. Fortunately for Camozzi the odds are heavily in his favor at -230 while Kelly would payout at a decent +180.
Middleweight Bout: Chris Camozzi (24-11, 186 lbs.) vs. Daniel Kelly (11-1, 186 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Camozzi has two inches of height and a massive six of reach on Kelly. They touch gloves, both of these guys are southpaws. Camozzi showing the jab early, Kelly trying to close the distance. Camozzi lands an inside leg kick. Kelly lands a one two combination. Camozzi lands a straight left. Kelly lands a bit of a left, Camozzi is moving very well so far. Camozzi lands a one two combination. Camozzi lands a straight left. Kelly misses a couple of looping punches, Camozzi’s footwork is on point thus far. Camozzi lands a leg kick but eats a couple of punches for his trouble. Camozzi lands another left. Kelly can’t cut Camozzi off, he’s just following him and eating straight punches. Kelly lands a couple of lefts. Camozzi lands a leg kick. Kelly lands a bit of a right hook. Kelly lands a left. Kelly slips a left and lands a counter left. Hard left lands for Kelly. Kelly’s pressure is starting to work, he lands a left and gets the clinch. Kelly lands lefts to the body and a few knees to the thigh. Camozzi able to spin out of the clinch. Kelly lands another left, he’s landing at the end of the punches. Camozzi lands a left elbow that opens up the forehead of Kelly. Kelly gets the back standing and takes Camozzi down. Camozzi back up but Kelly is all over him on the back. Kelly has just one hook in and is after the choke as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Kelly
ROUND TWO: That cut is on the hairline but most head wounds bleed rather profusely. Kelly back to forward pressure, Camozzi content to back up and counter. Kelly lands a left and Camozzi lands a jab. Kelly lands a left that might have wobbled Camozzi. Kelly pushes into the clinch and gets Camozzi on the fence then trips Camozzi down landing in half guard. Kelly lands a couple of short lefts. Kelly has a bit hematoma on his left eyebrow, likely an accidental clash of heads somewhere. Kelly lands more lefts to the body and head. Kelly with some short elbows, Camozzi able to get to full guard. Kelly lands a couple of punches, Camozzi trying to get his guard working but Kelly passes into north/south position. Kelly lands a knee to the body, then another one. Kelly into side control, Camozzi trying to bridge off of the fence but Kelly is keeping him grounded. Kelly lands a couple of elbows, Camozzi to full guard but Kelly still attacking him to the body and head. Kelly stands out of the guard as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Kelly, arguably 10-8 given positional dominance, 20-18 Kelly overall
ROUND THREE: That hematoma isn’t bad, but is visible. They touch gloves for the last round. Both men flashing the jab, Kelly lands a bit of a left. Kelly starting to back Camozzi towards the fence. They trade lefts and Kelly gets Camozzi to the fence but Camozzi gets free quickly. Kelly misses a wild left. Camozzi lands a short right. Kelly eats an uppercut. Kelly still pushing forward, lands an inside leg kick. Kelly lands a left. Camozzi lands a couple of jabs, Kelly returns them. Kelly into the clinch and gets Camozzi on the cage. Camozzi able to spin free and lands a jab. Kelly just misses a left. Kelly lands a left. Kelly pushing forward on Camozzi, lands a couple of lefts. Kelly into the clinch and again has Camozzi on the fence. Kelly after a single leg takedown, and gets it landing in the guard of Camozzi. Kelly lands some lefts to the body. Camozzi lands an elbow. Kelly blocks a triangle attempt. Kelly postures up and passes to side control. Kelly lands a flurry of lefts as the round ends. The ref stopped the fight a few seconds early, he says audibly he thought the round was over and it wasn’t a TKO finish, we’re going to the score cards.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Kelly, 30-27 Kelly overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Dan Kelly via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-27)
Like I said, 2 could easily be 10-8. Kelly on the mic now. He says he thought he had the first two rounds, wishes his son a happy birthday and promises to have cake with him later. Asked about the end of the fight he says he thought he had the stoppage but was confident in having won the rounds. That’s it for the prelims, though Fox Sports 1 will also be hosting the main card.
Danielle Taylor stepped in on short notice for her UFC debut and lost a split decision to Maryna Moroz in one of the more bizarre fights of the year. Taylor now has an opportunity to prove herself with a full camp behind her and give the fans a positive impression of her skills. Seo Hee Ham entered the UFC on a six fight winning streak but has gone just 1-2 in the promotion, though in her defense I thought she won her last fight against Bec Rawlings. Ham also needs a big performance here if she’s going to mount any kind of climb towards the top of the division. Ham has a slight edge with the odds at -130 to the +100 on Taylor.
Women’s Strawweight Bout: Seo Hee Ham (16-7, 115 lbs.) vs. Danielle Taylor (7-2, 115 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Ham has two inches of height and reach on Taylor. They touch gloves, Ham fighting southpaw. Taylor circling early, lands a bit of a right. Taylor lands a right, eats a bit of a counter left. Taylor lands a body kick. Ham lands a left. We get a time for an eye poke to Ham and the doctor is in the check on her. Replay confirms the accidental eye poke, the doctor says she can continue and we’re back to fighting. Ham back to forward motion. Ham lands a body kick. Taylor lands a left. Ham with another body kick. Taylor lands another straight right. Taylor doing a good job of keeping her back off of the fence. Ham lands a straight left. Ham lands a body kick but eats a counter right. Ham lands a counter left that staggers Taylor a bit. Taylor has a knot growing on her forehead above her right eyebrow. Ham lands another straight left. Taylor lands a bit of a right. Taylor lands a body kick. Ham lands another left. Taylor ducks a left and tries a takedown but Ham is able to avoid that attempt. Ham lands another straight left. Taylor lands a body kick. They circle the final ten seconds away.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Ham
ROUND TWO: Ham back to pressure again, Taylor misses a right. Taylor lands a couple of leg kicks. Taylor lands a right but misses the follow up left. Taylor lands a stiff right but Ham just eats it. Taylor lands another right, Ham has some swelling around the left eye now. Ham fades a combination and lands a left. Taylor lands a body kick but eats a counter left. Taylor lands a jab. They both miss power hand punches. Ham lands a counter left. They both miss lefts. Ham lands a bit of a left. Taylor lands a bit of a right hook. Hard straight right from Taylor lands. Taylor lands a body kick. Another right from Taylor, she’s starting to get the timing on that punch when Ham is coming forward. Ham lands a bit of a left. Taylor tries a takedown but Ham reverses through and lands in mount as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Taylor, 19-19 overall
ROUND THREE: Ham back to forward pressure, Taylor still circling well. Minor correction on Ham, the swelling is under her right eye not her left. Taylor lands a bit of a right. Taylor lands an overhand right. Taylor lands a counter left hook. Taylor lands a right to the body. Taylor lands another right, Ham not moving forward nearly as much this round. Taylor lands a right in close. Ham lands a glancing counter left. Ham slips a couple of rights. Taylor lands the overhand right. Taylor lands another straight right. Taylor lands a head kick that Ham ducked into but Ham just walks through it. Taylor lands a jab, Ham tries a takedown that fails, she complains of something but the ref orders them to continue and Taylor lands a hard series of punches before Ham gets back into things. Ham now has swelling under both eyes. They clinch up and Taylor gets a hip toss as time expires.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Taylor, 29-28 Taylor overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Danielle Taylor via split decision (28-29, 30-27 x2)
I don’t agree with 30-27 as I thought Ham had the first round due to her efficacy. No interview for Taylor but not the worst fight so far.
Between fights we get the official announcement of the change to UFC 206 as light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is injured and Anthony Johnson is content to wait for him, the UFC is stripping Conor McGregor of the featherweight title, Jose Aldo is now the featherweight champion and the fight between Max Hollowy and Anthony Pettis will be for the interim featherweight title. Boy, what a clusterfuck that is. They also announce Tim Kennedy vs. Kelvin Gastelum pending approval from the athletic commission as Gastelum is currently on a six month administrative suspension after not even appearing at the weigh ins for UFC 205. In my opinion UFC 206 isn’t worth the price of PPV, but Holloway and Pettis should be a cracking fight.
Khalil Rountree was the fighter the UFC wanted to win the most recent season of TUF, but he lost in the finals which is the first blemish on his professional record. Rountree is trying to overcome that set back tonight and remind everyone that he can be an exciting and dynamic finisher in a division that sorely needs some talented fighters. Tyson Pedro is undefeated as a professional fighter and making his UFC debut here, in a similar position to Rountree in that light heavyweight is so diminished a division that an impressive performance could instantly label him as a prospect to watch. Rountree has the favor of the odds at -135 while Pedro’s are at +105.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Tyson Pedro (4-0, 205 lbs.) vs. Khalil Rountree (4-1, 206 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Pedro has two inches of height and two and a half of reach on Rountree. Touch of gloves, Rountree fighting southpaw. Pedro showing side kicks to the thigh early. Rountree avoids a spinning back kick and lands a bit of a right. Rountree lands a left that drops Pedro but Pedro is up and gets a body lock takedown into half guard. Rountree looking to wall walk, he’s on a knee and Pedro is in the ride position. Pedro lands a short right. Rountree back up but eats more rights and Pedro still has the clinch. Pedro gets an inside trip and is back on top of Rountree in half guard. Pedro with some lefts to the body. Lefts to the head from Pedro. Pedro into mount, Rountree onto a hip but is giving up his back. Pedro has the back now and is after the choke. Rountree winds up belly down and has to tap out to the choke. Hallelujah we have a finish, the Decisionatti will not be pleased about that.
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tyson Pedro via Submission, rear naked choke, at 4:07 of Round 1
The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Pedro for his work this evening, they also have no knowledge of this likely fictional “Decisionatti” the recapper has mentioned. Pedro on the mic now. He says Rountree hits like a tank but he heard the crowd and couldn’t let him win off of just one punch. He puts over the crowd and says he approached this like any other fight. He jokes that Rountree hits so hard he could have knocked him out from the bottom and knew he had to get him out of there, says that everyone who had him down was wrong and he’s grateful to have been on the card then asks for a bonus as Christmas is coming.
Alex Volkanovski is riding an impressive ten fight winning streak coming into his UFC debut tonight, he’s looking to prove that success can translate onto the biggest stage in the sport and make a big impression here. Yusuke Kasuya lost his UFC debut in a fun fight against Nick Hein, now he’s trying to prove he can be a winning fighter and not just an entertaining one at the expense of Volkanovski’s winning streak. Volkanovski is the -185 favorite while Kasyua’s comeback stands at +150.
Lightweight Bout: Yusuke Kasuya (9-2-2, 156 lbs.) vs. Alex Volkanovski (13-1, 154 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Kasuya is an inch taller but Volkanovski has four and a half inches of reach on him. They touch gloves, Kasuya fighting southpaw. Both men circling and flashing the jab early. Kasuya lands a bit of a body kick. Kasuya lands another body kick then ducks a couple of punches and hits a double leg takedown. Volkanovski trying to wall walk, and they’re back to chest to chest in the clinch. Volkanovski has Kasuya on the cage. They trade some knees to the body and thigh, Kasuya misses an outside trip and eats a knee to the body as Volkanovski gets him back on the fence. Volkanovski gets a quick trip, Kasuya back up but eats a knee to the body. They scramble and Volkanovksi lands a right elbow then hits a double leg takedown. Volkanovski lands a right. Kasuya trying to wall walk, Volkanvoski passes to half guard. Volkanovski lands a right. Another couple of punches from Volkanovski. Volkanovski lands an elbow. Kasuya gets to full guard but eats some punches. Kasuya tries to spin for a knee bar, able to use that to get on top in the half guard of Volkanovski. Kasuya lands a couple of lefts. Volkanovski trying to escape, gets to full guard but is still on his back. Kasuya passes, rolls for a knee bar again but Volkanovski just punches him in the face a few times before the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Volkanovski
ROUND TWO: Volkanovski lands an inside leg kick then a right. Volkanovski falls into a double leg but does get Kasuya down against the fence. Kasuya sitting on the cage but Volkanovski muscles him down to a side and lands a couple of punches. Kasuya tries again to dive under for a knee bar, ill advised really, and Volkanovski avoids it and lands a couple of punches before Kasuya gets to full guard. Volkanovski lands more punches while standing in the guard. Volkanovski really teeing off, Kasuya lands an up kick but he’s getting crushed. More blows from Volkanovski, Kasuya doing just enough to avoid the stoppage. Kasuya after another foot lock but Volkanovski keeps punching him until the ref steps in.
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alex Volkanovski via TKO, punches, at 2:06 of Round 2
Holy crap, back to back finishes. Volkanovski on the mic now. He says this was a long time coming but that he should have been in the UFC a while ago. He gets the crowd to chant along with “Whoop, there it is” and I’m no longer sure what decade this is. He talks us through the strategy, that he felt stronger in the clinch and knew he could overwhelm him from there but promises to look for the knockout next time. He says he wasn’t happy just to make the UFC but wants to make his way through the ranks. He talks about his size, he’s small at lightweight, and that he might go all the way down to bantamweight as he wouldn’t even be a big featherweight but he’s fought as high as middleweight so he’ll go wherever the UFC needs him.
Kyle Noke is in a bit of a rough spot, he’s 3-3 over his last six but is on a two fight losing streak coming into this event. Noke needs a win here as a three fight losing streak could spell the end of his UFC run. Omari Akhmedov is also 3-3 in his last six and on a two fight losing streak. Akhmedov also really needs a win to avoid that dreaded three fight losing streak, this could easily be a loser leaves town style match. Akhmedov is favored to win at -150 to Noke’s +120.
Welterweight Bout: Omari Akhmedov (15-4, 171 lbs.) vs. Kyle Noke (22-9-1, 170 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Hoke has an inch of height and three of reach on Akhmedov. Touch of gloves to get things going. Noke lands a leg kick. Akhmedov lands a bit of a jab. Akhmedov lands a leg kick. Akhmedov lands a left body kick, Noke lands a body kick. Akhmedov lands an overhand that wobbles Noke. Noke moving backwards, Akhmedov pushes into the clinch. Akhmedov hits an outside trip and lands in half guard. Akhmedov lands an elbow, Noke able to get to full guard. Noke trying to set up a triangle, Akhmedov blocks it and lands a hard elbow. Akhmedov with some body shots then an elbow. Noke trying to get his legs involved, Akhmedov postures out and lands a hard right as he goes back into the guard. Another right from Akhmedov lands, Noke is bleeding now from around the left eye. Akhmedov lands an elbow. Akhmedov with more short offense to Noke and he passes back to half guard. Akhmedov lands a series of rights as Noke gets back to guard. Akhmedov lands a couple of short elbows to close the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Akhmedov, arguably 10-8 in some ways
ROUND TWO: Noke has some swelling around his left eye, Akhmedov measuring him. Akhmedov has a spinning back fist blocked. Noke lands a leg kick. Akhmedov lands a bit of the right, Noke responds with a left high kick that’s partially blocked. Noke lands an oblique kick to the thigh. Noke lands a left body kick. Akhmedov slips a left and just misses a right. Akhmedov tries a double leg, gets Noke up and down landing in his guard. Noke trying to control Akhmedov, Akhmedov lands a short elbow and a couple of punches. Akhmedov working short blows to the body and head, Noke seems content to wait for either the ref to stand them up or for a triangle attempt to become obvious. Akhmedov lands a couple of short elbows before the ref stands them up. Noke now bleeding from the forehead I think. Akhmedov lands a right. Another overhand right lands for Akhmedov. Noke lands a leg kick. Noke checks a leg kick then lands one. They stare the last few seconds away.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Akhmedov, 20-18 Akhmedov overall
ROUND THREE: Touch of gloves for the last round. Noke lands a leg kick. Noke lands another leg kick. Akhmedov lands a leg kick after they both miss lefts. Akhmedov lands a bit of a jab. Akhmedov has a spinning back fist blocked. Noke lands a left backfist of the non-spinning variety. They both miss rights. Noke lands a leg kick but eats a counter right. Noke lands another leg kick. Akhmedov might be in coasting mode and Noke isn’t bringing enough pressure to get him to reconsider. Akhmedov lands a right after slipping a front kick. Even the ref is getting bored now. Akhmedov tries a single leg, Noke blocks but eats an uppercut. Akhmedov ducks a right hook and gets a double leg takedown. Akhmedov lands a few short rights to the head and an elbow. Noke tries to kick him off, Akhmedov stands but stays close and keeps Noke on his back essentially until the clock runs all the way down.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Akhmedov, 30-27 Akhmedov overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Omari Akhmedov via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
Don’t care if Noke got the last round, that last round was just awful. No interview for Akhmedov.
Jake Matthews is 3-2 in the UFC but is coming off of a loss to the surging Kevin Lee, Matthews needs to get back on the winning side of things and show continued growth if he wants to prove some of the hype that surrounded him. Andrew Holbrook is 1-1 in the UFC, though that win was a somewhat Clucky decision, and coming off of a loss where he was knocked out. Holbrook is also trying to rebound, though in his case from his first professional loss, and prove he still belongs in the conversation as one of the better prospects at lightweight. Matthews is the biggest favorite on the card at -500 while Holbrook’s +350 payout has to be tempting to the gamblers out there.
Lightweight Bout: Andrew Holbrook (11-1, 154 lbs.) vs. Jake Matthews (10-2, 155 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Holbrook is two inches taller but Matthews has two inches of reach on him. Touch of gloves to get things going, Holbrook fighting southpaw. Matthews circling early, lands a knee as Holbrook leaned over reaching for a leg. Matthews lands a glancing right then a front kick to the body. Holbrook lands a body kick then just avoids a counter right. Matthews lands a hard inside leg kick. Holbrook lands a left and they clinch. Holbrook with some body shots. Matthews lands a knee to the head and disengages. Matthews lands a bit of a right. Matthews avoids a kick and grabs a front head lock. Matthews snaps Holbrook to the mat, tries to take the back, Holbrook shakes him off and they’re both up in the clinch again. They trade some body work while Holbrook has Matthews on the fence. Matthews able to spin Holbrook into the cage. Matthews lands an elbow as they break then misses a right. Matthews lands a left hook. Matthews lands a right to the body. Hard inside leg kick from Matthews lands, Holbrook trying for a double leg against the fence. Matthews down to a hip looking to wall walk, Holbrook can’t stop him but lands some elbows as he regains his feet. Holbrook trying to get the back standing, Matthews uses a double wrist lock grip to attack the rear waist lock. Matthes down to his knees, Holbrook in the ride position. Holbrook has the back now and lands some punches as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Holbrook
ROUND TWO: Matthews back to circling, they clinch quickly and trade some short rights as they break. Matthews lands a bit of a right. Another right lands for Matthews then a front kick to the body. Holbrook lands a left and clinches up agian. They trade knees to the body. Matthews lands a right as they break. Matthews lands a couple of rights. Matthes hits a single leg and lands in top position. Holbrook tries for a heel hook, switches to a toe hold, Matthews rolling out of it and gets top position. Holbrook to his knees, Matthews hs the front head lock again and tries to take the back. Holbrook has given up the ride position, he’s to his feet but Matthews has the rear waist lock. Matthews drags him back down, Holbrook after another leg lock, switches to a kimura from 50/50 guard but Matthews gets on top in half guard to nullify the finishing threat. Holbrook still holding the double wrist lock, Matthews lands a few rights to the body. Holbrook bails on the attempt and tries for another foot lock. Matthews rolling, Holbrook tries a toe hold but nothing comes of it before the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Matthews, 19-19 overall
ROUND THREE: Holbrook back to forward motion, Matthews circling. Matthews avoids a potential clinch. Matthews lands a bit of a right. They trade in close, Matthews lands a front kick to the face that may have wobbled Holbrook. Holbrook lands an inside leg kick. Matthews lands a bit of a right, Holbrook lands a right of his own. Matthews lands a bit of a right. They clinch, Holbrook lands a knee to the body. Holbrook lands a knee to the head as they disengage. Matthews tries a double leg, he has to turn the corner but does get Holbrook down to his knees. Matthews has the back after a scramble, just one hook though. Holbrook looking to attack with another toe hold as he transitions to 50/50 guard. Matthes is keeping close so he can’t turn the leg and Matthews starts working from the ride position. Holbrook trying for a kimura sweep, Matthews gets his arm free and lands a couple of punches as Holbrook gets to guard. Holbrook rolls to his back with butterfly guard, Matthews lands a couple of rights and Holbrook goes to full guard. Matthews lands a right then they trade small punches as time expires.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Matthews, 29-28 Matthews overall but could go either way
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Andrew Holbrook via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)
Perfectly valid outcome, Holbrook was very active even off of his back in round 2. Holbrook on the mic now, puts over Matthews as tough. He says the plan was to keep up the pressure until Matthews was done, he says he felt a bit of a pop on one of the toe holds he applied and credits Matthews for fighting through it. He thanks Australia and says they’ve been great.
Derek Brunson is on an impressive five fight winning streak and his only loss in the UFC is to the number one contender Yoel Romero. Brunson is trying to crack the top five of the division by knocking off fellow contender Robert Whittaker. Whittaker is also on a five fight winning streak and hasn’t lost since moving up to middleweight, a sixth consecutive win here could enter him into the title picture or at least get him a title eliminator next. Brunson has a slight edge at -140 to the +110 of Whittaker.
Middleweight Bout: #8 Derek Brunson (16-3, 186 lbs.) vs. #7 Robert Whittaker (16-4, 185 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Brunson has an inch of height on Whittaker but three and a half of reach as well. Touch of gloves, Brunson fighting southpaw. Brunson circling early, Whittaker stalking forward. Whittaker blocks a takedown attempt and clips Brunson with a right. Whittaker lands another straight right. Left uppercut lands for Whittaker. They trade lefts, Brunson tries for another takedown that stalls out on the fence. Brunson after a single leg, Whittaker fighting for wrist control. Brunson lands a couple of punches as they break, Whittaker fires back. Brunson getting wild, Whittaker firing back. Brunson still trying to flurry along the fence, Whittaker blocks a double leg and lands a knee to the body from the clinch. Whittaker blocks a body lock takedown. Whittaker lands a knee to the head. Brunson trying for a single leg, can’t get Whittaker down though and they break. Whittaker stalking forward, lands a right then a left. Brunson rushing forward and runs into a left hook that steals his legs. Brunson is rocked but upright. Whittaker stalking him landing rights, another right to the chin lands. Whittaker lands a jab, Brunson’s right eye is almost shut after that flurry. Whittaker lands a left then a head kick! Brunson is down and Whittaker swarms him for the finish!
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Robert Whittaker via TKO, head kick and punches, at 4:07 of Round 1
The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Whittaker for his work tonight and is pleased to welcome him back into the fold. Thank heavens for that, this event was already over six hours long and really needed a quick finish. Whittaker gets an interview after that wild fight. He thanks everyone, says Brunson surprised him with just how hard he came out but he stuck to the game plan of breaking free and working at distance. He says Brunson hits very hard but so does he and says if you come at him with holes in your game he’s going to take it from you. Asked who he wants next, he thanks his sponsors, names a few of them in a move that will likely get him fined, says he’s been in the top ten for a while but really all he wants is a top five guy next. He says he knows the crowd has his back to close out his mic time.
Well that wraps up Fight Night 101, thanks for being here and reading. Boy that was a long one. We’ll be talking about this event Sunday at 8pm eastern standard time on the 411 Ground and Pound Radio Show. We’ll also be talking about the changes to UFC 206, if you’ve got a question or comment feel free to call in at (323) 657-0901. I’ll be back next week for the finale of The Ultimate Fighter season 24 when probably my favorite active fighter, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, defends the flyweight belt against whoever wins that season. I hope you’ll all come back for that event, until then stay safe and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.