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411’s UFC Fight Night 103 Report: Rodriguez Wins

January 16, 2017 | Posted by Robert Winfree

FS1 Main Card
#10 Yair Rodriguez (145 lbs.) vs BJ Penn (146 lbs.)
Joe Lauzon (155 lbs.) vs Marcin Held (156 lbs.)
Court McGee (170 lbs.) vs Ben Saunders (170 lbs.)
#8 John Moraga (126 lbs.) vs #15 Sergio Pettis (125 lbs.)

FS1 Prelims
Devin Powell (155 lbs.) vs Drakkar Klose (156 lbs.)
Frankie Saenz (135 lbs.) vs Augusto Mendes (135 lbs.)
Aleksei Oleinik (242 lbs.) vs Viktor Pesta (239 lbs.)
Tony Martin (155 lbs.) vs Alex White (155 lbs.)

UFC Fight Pass Prelims
Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger (115 lbs.) vs Nina Ansaroff (116 lbs.)
Walt Harris (254 lbs.) vs Chase Sherman (246 lbs.)
Bojan Mihajlovic (205 lbs.) vs Joachim Christensen (205 lbs.)
Dmitrii Smoliakov (257 lbs.) vs Cyril Asker (248 lbs.)


Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for this special Sunday UFC card, thanks for being here. The UFC is kicking of 2017 here, and on paper it’s more of a whimper than a bang in all honesty. The main event sees MMA legend and former two weight world champion BJ Penn return from retirement to take his second fight at featherweight, but Penn hasn’t won a fight since 2010 and looked like a walking cadaver in his last fight against Frankie Edgar at featherweight. He’s taking on Yair Rodriguez, a rising prospect known for flashy spinning kicks and general recklessness in the cage. Also here is a lightweight clash between Joe Lauzon and Marcin Held which has some fun grappling potential, Court McGee and Ben Saunders should be fun, and Sergio Pettis tries to keep climbing the flyweight ranks against former title challenger John Moraga. This event comes to the world from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoeniz, Arizona, USA and features the commentary duo of Jon Anik and UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. That isn’t my favorite commentary pairing as Cormier’s color commentary debut was a tad rough, hopefully he’s improved since then.

Of note tonight, this is the first event in a state with the new rules. Specifically the change to what constitutes a grounded opponent, you need both hands down now instead of just one to be grounded but a knee down is still downed, and extending a hand with the fingers open is now considered a foul regardless of if it makes contact with the opponent. So this could be an interesting event as we get the new rules going.

Dmitrii Smoliakov just suffered his first professional loss in his UFC debut when he was defeated by Luis Henrique, tonight he’s trying to bounce back from that and get the all important first UFC win out of the way. Cyril Asker is also looking for his first UFC win after he was defeated in his UFC debut by Jared Cannonier, but a win here would go a long way to helping people forget that setback. The odds closed at a -115 pick ’em.

Heavyweight Bout: Dmitrii Smoliakov (8-1, 257 lbs.) vs Cyril Asker (7-2, 248 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Smoliakov is two inches taller but the reach is identical. Touch of gloves to get things going. Asker is circling early, both men feinting. Asker has a right blocked. Asker lands an overhand right but eats a bit of a counter right from Smoliakov. Smoliakov lands a right after a failed takedown attempt. Smoliakov lands a series of rights to the body while bulling forward, Asker complains of an eye poke and we’ve got time for him to recover. Replay is a tad murky, but Asker is good to continue. Asker eats a right but gets a double leg, Smoliakov is throwing a bunch of rights despite Asker being in side control. Asker passes to full mount and postures up while throwing punches. Smoliakov seems unaware of how to break this position, he’s just covering up while Asker is throwing punches. Many of these are being blocked but Smoliakov has to do something or the ref will stop it, and there he does. Smoliakov complains because he wasn’t even close to hurt but you can’t just get pounded on like that.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Cyril Asker via TKO, punches, at 2:41 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Asker for his work this evening. Asker looks very happy, he speaks French and some broken English, I gather he wants more fights and is happy that he got a win. He asks the crowd if they want to see him back, the audience seems amicable to that proposition. He says he was very injured before his last fight but he’s a warrior and wasn’t going to pull out, he closes by saying he’s 100% now and wants to kick “every big ass”. Well he’s at heavyweight so there’s no shortage of those. Here’s that finish, not damaging but you can’t just sit there and get hit that much.

Bojan Mihajlovic just had a ten fight winning streak snapped when he debuted in the UFC up a division against Francis Ngannou, now back at his more natural weight class he’s looking to start a new winning streak in the UFC. Joachim Christensen also lost his UFC debut, in his case to Luis Henrique, and is trying to turn in a performance that will make people forget that loss. Christensen is a notable -220 favorite while Mihajlovic pays out at +175.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Bojan Mihajlovic (10-4, 205 lbs.) vs Joachim Christensen (13-4, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Christensen has four inches of height and three of reach on Mihajlovic. They touch gloves to get things going. Mihajlovic stalking forward, Christensen circling. Christensen fades a right and lands a counter left. Christensen lands a front kick to the body, he’s the one moving forward now. They clinch up and Christensen spins free without much happening. Mihajlovic misses a right and eats a short counter right. Mihajlovic lands a leg kick and a left but Christensen lands a counter right. Christensen lands a left body kick. Mihajlovic slips on a kick and Christensen follows him down, landing in his guard. Christensen is postured up, he lands a couple of left elbows. Christensen with some more short blows, he finally stands and lands a couple of lefts before going back down to the guard. Mihajlovic is doing very little, he lands a few heel shots to the kidney and the ref stands them up after they stall out. Mihajlovic misses an ugly wheel kick then lands a right. Christensen pushing forward now, lands a high kick and we get another clinch as Mihajlovic tries to force a brawl. Christensen lands a flush knee to the head as the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Christensen

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Mihajlovic lands a leg kick. Christensen moving forward. Mihajlovic is missing a lot of his punches, they’re wide and winging so it’s easy for Christensen to avoid and counter. Mihajlovic pushes into the clinch after eating a few punches and he gets Christensen on the fence. Mihajlovic lands a couple of knees to the body. Christensen misses an uppercut as they disengage. They clinch up yet again, this time Christensen has Mihajlovic on the fence. They trade knees to the body. Christensen with some knees to the thigh and they break. Christensen tries an inside leg kick that hits the groin so Mihajlovic gets time to recover. Replay confirms the kick landed low. Mihajlovic is good to continue and we’re back to fighting. Mihajlovic lands a bit of a right, then a left body kick. Christensen lands a body kick then they trade in close for a moment. Christensen pushes into the clinch again. They trade punches as they break. Mihajlovic lands a right to the body then misses the follow up left. Mihajlovic lands an outside then an inside leg kick. Christensen lands a right and they clinch up. They jockey for position along the cage. Christensen works the body a bit. Christensen breaks the clinch and then misses as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Christensen but a closer round, 20-18 Christensen overall

ROUND THREE: They hug to start the final round. They trade leg kicks. Christensen tries a double leg that winds up as a clinch against the fence. They trade knees to the body. Christensen lands a knee to the head as they break. Christensen lands a leg kick, Mihajlovic lands a better one. Mihajlovic lands a bit of a left hook. Christensen pushes into the clinch again and lands a knee to the body. They break and Christensen slips a left then lands a right uppercut that drops Mihajlovic like a sack of flour, a few follow ups prompt the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Joachim Christensen via TKO, punches, at 2:05 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Christensen for his work this evening. Christensen on the mic now after that. He puts over Mihajlovic as tough, thanks his coaches for helping him. He talks about losing his debut and feeling good about this win. He talks us through the finish, and seeing that opening for the uppercut, he talks briefly about Daniel Cormier as they’ve got the same background and professor at Check Mat. Not sure if that’s the right spelling but they have a shared history there.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why you never duck your head consistently.

Walt Harris is 1-2 in his second stint with the UFC, he went 0-2 in his first, and is coming off of a loss to Shamil Abdurakhimov. Harris is in real danger of getting cut a second time and needs a win here to prove that he’s a heavyweight worth keeping around the promotion. Chase Sherman lost his UFC debut but put on a decent enough performance while being out struck by Justin Ledet, he needs a win here though as going 0-2 could get him cut even in the anemic heavyweight division. The odds favor Harris by -145 and Sherman’s comeback stands at +115.

Heavyweight Bout: Walt Harris (8-5, 254 lbs.) vs Chase Sherman (9-2, 246 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Harris is an inch taller but Sherman has an inch of reach on him. Harris fighting southpaw. Sherman circling, Harris misses a kick. Sherman lands a right to the body. Harris lands a jab. Sherman moving very well so far, just misses a head kick. Harris tries to clinch, they break without incident though. They trade side kicks to the body. Harris lands a right. Sherman switching his stance now. Harris lands a heavy body kick. Sherman lands a right. Sherman avoids a right hook. Harris lands a bit of a left, Sherman lands a jab then a right to the body. Harris lands an inside leg kick. Sherman lands a leg kick. Harris lands a left then a right hook. Harris lands a hard one two combination, he’s found the range and lands a couple of more punches. Sherman just eating them, they clinch briefly and Harris tries a knee that hits the groin so Sherman has up to five minutes to recover. Replay confirms, Harris was trying to knee the body and his foot went into the groin, shame for Harris as he had all the momentum. Sherman takes about a minute but he’s good to continue. Harris lands a counter left. Sherman has a head kick blocked. Sherman lands a counter combination after ducking a right. Sherman lands a right to the body and avoids a counter right. Sherman might be playing for time a bit, hoping that Harris will gas as the fight goes on. Sherman lands an inside leg kick. Sherman lands a leg kick then an oblique kick to the thigh. Harris lands a jab and misses the follow up cross. Harris lands a left then they both have high kicks blocked. They clinch up and Harris misses a knee to the body but his foot hits the groin as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Harris

ROUND TWO: Sherman misses a high kick to get things going in the second. Sherman lands a right to the body, Harris might be fading a little bit. Harris lands a jab. Sherman lands a bit of a leg kick. Sherman lands a right in close, Harris clobbers him with a left. They trade in close, these two are throwing heavy blows. Harris lands a jumping body kick. Sherman lands a leg kick, eats a glancing counter left. Harris lands a right hook, Sherman has a heck of a chin. Harris lands a jab. Harris lands a left to the body. Harris lands a knee then a left that finally drops Sherman, a couple hammer fists get the ref to end this one.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Walt Harris via KO, knee and punches, at 2:41 of Round 2

Sure, this one gets a BOOM. . . heavyweights! Harris on the mic now after that big finish. He wishes his wife a happy anniversary then dedicates the win to a former college team mate who passed away recently and gives a shout out to his kids. He says his coaches rekindled his killer instict, and thanks both Tyron Woodley and Daniel Cormier for their criticism and making him better. He talks us through the finish and notes that Sherman kept his head on the center line and anyone who trades with him like that is going to sleep.

And for posterity, here’s that finish. I encourage violence.

Nina Ansaroff is 0-2 in the UFC and in pretty desperate need of a win here as going 0-3 likely gets her fired despite strawweight needing bodies. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger is also 0-2 in the UFC and needing a win badly, making this a possible loser leaves town match. The odds here a close but a slight edge goes to Ansaroff at -150 to the +120 on Jones-Lybarger.

Women’s Strawweight Bout: Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger (6-3, 115 lbs.) vs Nina Ansaroff (6-5, 116 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Jones-Lybarger has two and a half inches of height but just half an inch of reach on Ansaroff. They touch gloves to get things going. Ansaroff lands a couple of body kicks then a leg kick. They clinch and trade rights then break. Ansaroff lands another leg kick. Jones-Lybarger lands a right but eats a couple of counters. Another clinch and Ansaroff lands a series of uppercuts then Jones-Lybarger lands a knee to the body as they break. Jones-Lybarger lands a right then a left and another right. Jones-Lybarger has some timing down for that overhand right. Jones-Lybarger lands another right, Ansaroff lands a leg kick. They trade rights again. Jones-Lybarger lands a leg kick. Ansaroff lands a jab then a leg kick. Front kick to the body and a leg kick both land for Ansaroff. Jones-Lybarger lands a left, Ansaroff lands a couple of close counters. Ansaroff catches a leg kick and takes Jones-Lybarger down, landing in her guard. Ansaroff lands a short elbow. Ansaroff lands some short rights. Jones-Lybarger throwing some blows from her back. Ansaroff stands and lands a right then passes to half guard. Ansaroff lands some hard punches, Jones-Lybarger scrambles back up and misses a right as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ansaroff

ROUND TWO: Ansaroff lands a jab quickly, then misses a leg kick. Jones-Lybarger misses a windmill right and eats a couple of counters. Jones-Lybarger slips after eating a leg kick while trying a superman punch, Ansaroff on top in half guard now. Ansaroff gets the back as Jones-Lybarger was moving onto the wrong hip. Ansaroff after the choke, Jones-Lybarger trying to hand fight. Ansaroff bails on the choke and lands a couple of punches. Ansaroff after an arm triangle now as Jones-Lybarger is on a hip. Jones-Lybarger back to her knees and Ansaroff is still riding her. Ansaroff lands a couple of punches. Hard lefts from Ansaroff, Jones-Lybarger trying to roll but Ansaroff is riding well. Jones-Lybarger to her feet briefly but can’t hold it. Ansaroff lands a couple of lefts. Jones-Lybarger back to the tripod position trying to shake Ansaroff off of her. Ansaroff keeps position and drags Jones-Lybarger back down to the mat. Ansaroff still after the choke, she bails and lands lefts. Ansaroff tries for the choke one more time but the round ends before it can materialize.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Ansaroff, 20-17 Ansaroff overall

ROUND THREE: Ansaroff lands a leg kick but eats a counter right from Jones-Lybarger. Ansaroff slips a right, lands a right of her own. They trade knees in close. Ansaroff trying to work the jab while she circles. Ansaroff lands an uppercut, Jones-Lybarger tries a double leg but can’t finish it. Jones-Lybarger lands a windmill right, not much on it though. They trade rights in close. Ansaroff lands a leg kick. Jones-Lybarger lands a right but Ansaroff lands a low leg kick that sweeps Jones-Lybarger off of her feet, Ansaroff on top in half guard again. Ansaroff passes to full mount immediately. Ansaroff lands some palm strikes. Jones-Lybarger gives up the back and Ansaroff lands some rights. Ansaroff after the choke, she’s under the chin this time and adjusts her grip a couple of times before Jones-Lybarger finally taps.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nina Ansaroff via Submission, rear naked choke, at 3:39 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Ansaroff for her work this evening, and would like to note that they’re one up on the First Round Finish Club for 2017. Ansaroff gets an interview now. She says getting the first UFC win feels amazing, she’s just happy to have gotten the win. She says she was inspired by watching her girlfriend, Amanda Nunes, knock out Ronda Rousey. She says she wants to move towards the top of the division and doesn’t care who’s next.

Here’s that finish, I appreciate the way Ansaroff switches her grip a couple of times depending on how Jones-Lybarger is hand fighting.

That’s it for Fight Pass, on to Fox Sports 1 for the rest of the evening.

Alex White is 2-2 in the UFC and coming off of a win over Artem Lobov, tonight he’s trying to get a UFC winning streak going and start making a move in his new home at lightweight. Tony Martin is 2-3 in the UFC but is also coming off of a win, his over Felipe Oliveiri, and looks to get his UFC record back to the .500 mark. Martin is a -175 favorite to the +145 on White.

Lightweight Bout: Tony Martin (10-3, 155 lbs.) vs Alex White (11-2, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height but Martin has a two inch reach advantage. They touch gloves, White fighting southpaw. Martin lands a right then a body kick. They clinch up and Martin gets White on the fence. We get time for something, Martin actually had his cup break during an exchange of knees. Fortunately Martin’s corner has a replacement and they reset at distance with a touch of gloves. Martin lands a right, they get close and trade. Martin tries a double leg, White defending against the fence. Martin switches to a single leg and spins White down into half guard. Martin after a kimura now, White quickly grabs his own wrist to defend. Martin lands a couple of body shots. Martin lands an elbow. Martin with rights to the body and head, he’s after the kimura again. Martin has the double wrist lock, he bails though as White is defending. Martin basically in 3/4 mount, he’s got the double wrist lock now and passes to half guard while trying to finish the kimura. White tries an inverted triangle choke, can’t finish but it does break the grip of Martin. Martin to knee on belly position and is landing rights. White tries to kick off of the fence, Martin keeps top position but White got back to full guard. Martin lands a couple of elbows. White lands an elbow, Martin stands and lands a hard right as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Martin, there’s a 10-8 argument in there based on the one sided offense

ROUND TWO: Touch of gloves for the second round. They trade inside leg kicks. Martin lands a body kick. White lands a right that drops Martin for a moment. White lands a body kick, Martin tries a double leg that works against the fence. White has full guard but Martin is looking to pass and just keep White on the mat. Martin lands some rights. White trying to wall walk now, Martin keeps him parallel to the fence to keep him from doing that. White back against the fence but Martin is keeping him grounded and landing rights. White lands an up kick as Martin was standing, Martin lands a right as he comes down into the guard and passes to half guard quickly. Martin landing some elbows. Martin into full mount now, White trying to buck and rolls for a leg lock to get out of that position. White now after the single leg from his knees, Martin back to his feet but White finishes a double leg against the fence. Martin on his knees, back up and trying to sit for a kimura but White avoids it and lands a couple of punches while Martin regains his feet. White lands a body kick but Martin ducks some punches and tries for a double leg that stalls out on the fence. Martin just kind of holding on and landing rights to the body. The round comes to a close in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Martin, 20-18 Martin overall

ROUND THREE: Martin tries a double leg immediately, White defending against the fence. White lands a couple of elbows to the head. Martin bails on the double leg and settles for the clinch. Martin with knees to the thigh. Martin drops for a double leg, White defends. White lands a knee to the head, Martin landing rights to the body and head. White really needs to break this position but he’s struggling to get under hooks from here. Martin tries a double leg, White blocks it with a guillotine threat and they break with a right from White. Martin lands a right but White lands a leg kick, Martin is backing up then lunges into the clinch and gets White on the fence. They trade some knees. Martin with knees, White just being controlled. White tries to spin free, Martin stays on him like glue though. I’m a little surprised the ref hasn’t separated them by this point, and the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Martin, 30-27 Martin overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tony Martin via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Not the best way to get the Fox Sports 1 prelims going, no interview for Martin.

Aleksei Oleinik just had an eleven fight winning streak snapped, that loss also cost him his spot in the top fifteen rankings for the division. Time isn’t on his side as at 39 if he’s going to make a serious run towards the title he can’t afford another loss here. Viktor Pesta is 1-3 in the UFC and currently on a two fight losing streak, he needs a win here badly as a loss could easily see him get his walking papers. The odds are with Oleinik at -145 while Pesta pays out at +115.

Heavyweight Bout: Aleksei Oleinik (50-10-1, 242 lbs.) vs Viktor Pesta (9-3 1 NC, 239 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Pesta is an inch taller but Oleinik has three inches of reach on him, the biggest difference is age where Oleinik is thirteen years older. They touch gloves, Oleinik then lands a right and a leg kick. Pesta tries a knee but eats a right. Oleinik lands a leg kick then they trade jabs. Pesta lands a jab. Lefts go back and forth again. Oleinik lands a leg kick then pushes into the clinch and has Pesta on the cage. Pesta defending so far, and spins Oleinik into the cage. Pesta gets a takedown into half guard, Oleinik was holding an Ezekiel choke and got taken down. Pesta lands some rights, Oleinik sits to his knees looking to reverse, Pesta holding a cradle while Oleinik is on his knees. Pesta spins towards the back and lands some rights then drags Oleinik to his back again. Pesta in side control now. Pesta into full mount, Oleinik is after the Ezekiel choke again and Pesta actually taps from full mount, he’s way out of it that choke was tight. That might be a UFC first, someone submitted while in full mount.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Aleksei Oleinik via Submission, Ezekiel choke, at 2:57 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Oleinik for his work, and reminds the upstart Final Round Finish Club that there’s a lot of fighting left to come this evening. I’m in a little big of shock after that one, wow. Oleinik gets the mic now. That was actually the first Ezekiel choke finish in UFC history, much less from bottom while mounted. He puts over American Top Team in English and thanks the crowd, the English is appreciated but as things get more complicated he uses the translator. He offers to demonstrate the finishing choke on Anik to show it off, Anik politely declines. He closes by thanking everyone again and hopes to continue winning.

Here’s that finish again, incredible that he pulled that off at the hypothetical elite level. I’ve only ever seen that choke during an EBI event and that was from top position, never in the UFC.

Frankie Saenz is 3-2 in the UFC but on a two fight losing streak, granted those losses are to Urijah Faber and Eddie Wineland but he needs a win to avoid that dreaded three fight losing streak. Saenz was considered a prospect not too long ago and desperately needs a win here if he’s going to make good on that promise. Augusto Mendes is coming off of the first loss of his career when he was starched in the first round by current bantamweight king Cody Garbrandt, Mendes is looking to prove that loss was the exception not the rule and get his first UFC win here. Saenz has a notable edge in the odds at -165 while a Mendes win stands at +135.

Bantamweight Bout: Frankie Saenz (11-4, 135 lbs.) vs Augusto Mendes (5-1, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height, Saenz has an inch of reach on Mendes. Saenz circling early, Mendes flashing the jab. Saenz lands an inside leg kick. Mendez lands a bit of a left hook. Saenz lands a right to the body then a bit of a left. Saenz tries a jumping knee that misses and Mendes lands a counter right. They trade then clinch and Mendes avoids letting Saenz complete a trip and they break. Saenz misses a left hook. Saenz with a left to the body then a right hook. Mendes lands a leg kick. They trade hooks in close. Saenz lands a leg kick. Mendes lands a couple of rights in close but eats a hard leg kick. Saenz lands a right then a knee to the body but Mendes lands a right as Saenz was trying to disengage. Saenz lands a right that wobbles Mendes for a second. Saenz again with a left to the body. Mendes lands a right then gets a body lock takedown. Saenz quickly to the fence and looking to wall walk. Mendes tries to pass too soon and Saenz escapes and they start trading, Mendes lands a couple of good rights and they clinch again. Mendes has Saenz on the fence looking for another trip. Saenz lands an elbow. Saenz lands a knee from a Thai clinch and they break with some punches from Mendes. Mendes lands a bit of a leg kick, Saenz returns it. Mendes has a head kick blocked, Saenz misses a head kick as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Mendes

ROUND TWO: They clinch briefly and Saenz lands a knee to the body as they break. Saenz lands a low leg kick, they trade punches and both land well but Saenz is wobbled a bit. Mendes pushes into the clinch and has Saenz on the fence. They break without incident. Saenz lands a bit of a left. Saenz lands a knee to the body but Mendes takes him down. Saenz quickly back to his feet against the fence and Mendes trips him down again. Saenz back up immediately but still in the clinch. Saenz rocks Mendes with an elbow, Mendes drops to his back and Saenz follows him down. Mendes has full guard, Saenz lands some rights to the body. Saenz stands and makes Mendes join him. Mendes still a little wobbled, Saenz misses a right. Mendes tries a head kick that’s blocked, Saenz misses a high kick of his own. Saenz lands a leg kick. Saenz lands a bit of a right. Saenz again with a leg kick. They trade again, Saenz working the body but isn’t getting his hands back to defend or moving his head enough. Mendes lands a couple of hooks. Saenz lands a flush right that wobbles Mendes. Mendes retreating, they trade rights again. Mendes tries a double leg, Saenz avoids it and lands a knee to the body then an elbow from the clinch. Saenz just misses an elbow as they break. Mendes lands a body kick. Saenz lands a right, tries a double leg but Mendes defends and lands a right. Saenz tries to switch to a single leg but Mendes stays upright as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Saenz, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Rights go back and forth early, Mendes lands a good one, Saenz returns it but Mendes wobbles him with a left. More Rock ’em Sock ’em robots from theses two before Saenz tries for a takedown and gets Mendes on the fence. Saenz lands a couple of right elbows. Mendes gets his back off of the fence but Saenz puts him back there. Saenz lands a knee to the body. Saenz lands an elbow, Mendes lands a knee and they break. Rights go both ways again. Saenz clobbers Mendes with a right and a knee but Mendes remains upright. Saenz lands an inside leg kick then a right. Saenz lands a short left. Mendes lands a right. Mendes lands a right, tries a double leg but can’t keep Saenz down so he pushes him into the fence. Saenz spins Mendes into the cage. Saenz lands an elbow. Saenz lands a few short blows as they separate. Saenz eats a left and lands an inside leg kick. Mendes tries another takedown, he gets Saenz down but Saenz is back up instantly on the fence. Saenz spins Mendes into the fence, lands an elbow and they break. Saenz misses a jumping knee as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Mendes but could see that one going either way, 29-28 Mendes overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Augusto Mendes via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

Yeah, that one could legitimately have gone either way. Fun fight. Mendes on the mic now. He gives glory to God first and foremost then puts over Saenz as a really tough fighter. He says his last fight was on five days notice against the current champion and this time he had a full camp and this is more what he can do, then thanks the fans and people of Phoenix. He says he was rocked in the second but that he’s been hurt worse in training and wasn’t going to let down his camp. He thanks the people in Brazil and notes he was the first Brazilian to fight in the UFC in 2017 and closes by speaking some Portuguese for the people in Brazil and then does his own translation saying he’s happy to have gotten the first Brazilian win of the year and hopes more Brazilians will keep that momentum going.

Devin Powell was featured on the most recent Dana White lookin’ for a fight and brings a six fight winning streak into his UFC debut here, and as the adage goes you only get one chance to make a first impression so Powell will be looking to make a good on here. Drakkar Klose is undefeated as a professional and also making his UFC debut, and just like Powell he’s trying to make his debut a successful and memorable one. Klose has a notable edge in the odds at -270 while Powell’s +210 payout will tempt the value bettors out there.

Lightweight Bout: Devin Powell (8-1, 155 lbs.) vs Drakkar Klose (6-0-1, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Powell has three inches of height and reach on Klose. Powell circling early, Klose lands a jumping knee and a flurry of punches then gets the clinch. Klose lands a knee then an elbow, Powell tries to spin him but can’t and Klose lands two hard knees to the body. Powell throwing back to the body. Klose lands another knee to the body then an elbow. Klose is keeping Powell on the fence. Knees to the body going back and forth, Klose lands an elbow. Klose lands another knee to the body. Powell getting controlled here. They trade more knees then break. Klose might be a little winded, Powell moving well and Klose trying to taunt him into a brawl. They trade rights, Klose lands a right after catching a kick then gets the clinch and takes Powell down. Klose standing over Powell, lands a leg kick, then another one. More leg kicks from Klose and the ref stands Powell back up. Powell lands a leg kick. Klose stalking forward, Powell circles out and Klose expresses frustration at his inability to keep him pinned. They trade punches, clinch up, and Klose lands a knee to the body as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Klose

ROUND TWO: Powell bouncing, Klose pushing forward. Klose lands a knee to the body, they scramble and Klose makes Powell stand back up. Powell lands a leg kick but eats a counter right. Another right from Klose and he gets the clinch on the fence. Klose with an elbow and some knees to the body. Knees to the body go back and forth, Klose is getting the better of it. Klose lands a couple of rights as they break. More punches from Klose, he’s landing well and Powell pushes into the clinch. Klose lands a knee to the body and a left. Powell lands a couple of elbows as they break. Klose lands a couple of rights to counter a leg kick and gets Powell back on the fence. They break without incident. Powell lands a leg kick. Klose lands a right. Klose lands an elbow that wobbles Powell then another couple of punches. Klose lands a right then a jumping knee into the clinch. Klose is proving the superior fighter in the clinch, he’s landing knees to the body and thigh. The ref separates them after they stall a bit. Powell lands a leg kick and just avoids a counter right. Klose lands a right. Klose gets a double leg, he stands in the guard and lands a right then an elbow and makes Powell stand as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Klose, 20-18 Klose overall

ROUND THREE: Klose lands a right and is backing Powell towards the fence again. Powell lands a leg kick. Klose just avoids a right then a left. Klose lands a left body kick then a right and has the clinch again. Klose lands a couple of elbows, Powell is now bleeding from under the right eye. Klose with with knees to the thigh. The ref separates them. Powell misses a head kick. Klose lands a right but eats a back fist. Klose lands a leg kick. Klose trying to get Powell to stop moving, lands a bit of a right and a left body kick. Powell lands a right uppercut. Klose lands a low leg kick then a knee to the body. Klose again with the calf kick then a right that lands flush but Powell just eats it. Powell lands a body kick, they clinch up again and Klose has Powell on the fence. Klose with knees to the thigh. The ref breaks them again, Powell lands a left as the last blow before time runs out.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Klose, 30-27 Klose overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Drakkar Klose via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Those Lookin’ for a fight guys have terrible records. Klose only has time to answer one question, which he kind of ignores to say he plans on knocking out the next guy he fights and getting the crowd a little more pumped. That’s it for prelims, still on Fox Sports 1 for the main card though.

John Moraga has fought for the flyweight title before but is on a two fight losing streak currently, the first such streak of his professional career, and needs to get back on the winning side of things here if he wants to start another run towards the title. Sergio Pettis is on a two fight winning streak and if he can move that to three in a row here at the expense of a former title challenger he’ll move up the rankings and get closer to a title shot of his own. Pettis is the favorite at -150 while Moraga’s comeback sits at +110.

Flyweight Bout: #8 John Moraga (16-5, 126 lbs.) vs #15 Sergio Pettis (14-2, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height but Pettis has three inches of reach on Moraga, Moraga is also nine years older than Pettis. Pettis fighting southpaw, and they touch gloves. Moraga lands a straight right then an inside leg kick. Moraga lands a low inside leg kick. Pettis lands a one two combination. Moraga lands a right. Another right from Moraga lands. Pettis trying to get his jab working. Pettis lands a bit of a left. Moraga lands a left and they clinch. Moraga gets Pettis on the fence and lands some knees to the thigh. Moraga misses an elbow, Pettis lands a left as they break. Pettis misses a high kick. Moraga lands a reaching right but eats a couple of counters. Pettis lands a right hook. Pettis lands an inside leg kick then has a head kick blocked. Moraga lands a one two combination. Both guys doing a lot of stance switching. Pettis lands a bit of a straight left. Moraga lands an inside leg kick. Moraga wobbles Pettis a bit with a right. Pettis tries a single leg, Moraga grabs a guillotine choke and uses that to regain his feet but Pettis has him on the fence. Moraga breaks the clinch and separates. Pettis lands a one two combination. Pettis blocks a high kick. Moraga lands a hard right but Pettis hurts him with a left. They get close and start swinging, Pettis is more technical though and is landing straight punches. Pettis drops Moraga with a straight right just before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pettis

ROUND TWO: Moraga showing the jab early, Pettis lands a left. Moraga lands the inside leg kick. Pettis doing a good job of slipping then countering with volume. Moraga tries a double leg, Pettis thinks about jumping for a guillotine but Moraga gets his head free and is on top now. Pettis kicks Moraga off but doesn’t regain his feet. Moraga lands a leg kick, Pettis scrambles to his feet though. Moraga lands a right, Pettis then avoids a takedown attempt. Moraga lands a couple of lefts. Pettis lands a couple of counters. They trade in close. Moraga grabs a single leg and pushes Pettis into the fence. Pettis breaks free and just misses a couple of punches. Moraga tries a takedown that stalls on the fence, Pettis is holding a front head lock and uses that to break the clinch. Pettis has a high kick blocked. They trade a couple of punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-10 DRAW, 20-19 Pettis overall

ROUND THREE: Both men jabbing to start the final round. Moraga lands a right to the body. Pettis lands a glancing left hook. Moraga lands a left hook and avoids the counters. Pettis misses a wheel kick. Moraga lands a bit of a right. Moraga lands a right uppercut, Pettis lands a right. Pettis lands a jab. Moraga blocks a head kick and just misses a right. Moraga tries a takedown, it stalls on the fence though. Moraga gets a takedown and Pettis fights to get back to guard. Pettis trying to set up a guillotine, decides against it though. Moraga lands a bit of an elbow. Pettis trying to get his legs involved, Moraga drops back for a heel hook. Pettis avoids that and gets on top. Somewhat baffling decision there by Moraga. Pettis tries to get the back, Moraga back up and they’re clinched again. Pettis has Moraga on the fence. Moraga avoids a takedown, Pettis to his knees and Moraga is back up. They break the clinch without incident. Pettis tries a jumping body kick, it lands. They both miss punches and Pettis avoids a double leg attempt. Pettis lands a bit of a right. Moraga lands a right. Pettis ducks a right and gets a double leg takedown. Moraga throws up rubber guard as time expires.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pettis, 30-28 Pettis overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sergio Pettis via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)

Pettis on the mic now. He puts over Moraga as tough and thanks him for taking the fight on short notice. He says he feels he’s progressing as a martial artist and he feels like he’s getting better all the time. He says he felt the cardio was with him and that he didn’t push quite as hard as he could have. He thanks the fans back in Milwaukee and says he wants to get the fight with Formiga rescheduled for the upcoming UFC 209 because he spent a lot of time preparing for that and wants to beat him.

Court McGee is 3-2 in his last five fights but has been trading wins and losses while doing so, he’s coming off of a win though and looking to get his first UFC winning streak going since 2013. Ben Saunders is coming off of a win outside of the UFC over Jacob Volkmann but his last UFC appearance was a loss to Patrick Cote, he’s looking to get back on the winning side of things here. The odds are with McGee at -140 to the +110 on Saunders.

Welterweight Bout: Court McGee (18-5, 170 lbs.) vs Ben Saunders (20-7-2, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Saunders has three inches of height and two of reach on McGee. Saunders fighting southpaw. McGee lands an inside leg kick. McGee pushes into the clinch and they trade punches and knees then break apart. Saunders lands a body kick. McGee lands a leg kick, Saunders lands a body kick. They clinch briefly the break with a right from McGee. McGee lands an inside leg kick, Saunders lands a body kick. They trade again in close then break with a body kick from Saunders. McGee lands an inside leg kicks then a couple of short uppercuts. Saunders again with a body kick. McGee lands a head kick then a right, Saunders lands a counter punch. Body kicks go back and forth. Both guys are missing a lot while they try to find the range. Saunders lands another body kick. They clinch up and then break with a knee to the body from Saunders. Solid defense from both men so far. Saunders lands a body kick. Another body kick from Saunders. They trade in close, Saunders lands a body kick then eats a leg kick. Rights traded and McGee lands a body kick to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Saunders but arguments either way

ROUND TWO: McGee lands a couple of uppercuts in close, Saunders lands a right hook. McGee lands a right to the body. They’re both staying pretty active, just trying to find consistent openings. McGee lands a couple of punches, Saunders lands a body kick. McGee lands a combination and is turning up the pressure now. McGee lands a right to the body then a body kick. Saunders just misses a knee in close. Saunders lands a left. McGee lands a right and gets the clinch. Saunders breaks the clinch with a knee to the body then lands a body kick. Saunders lands a bit of a head kick. McGee lands a bit of a right, they then trade a bit in close. Saunders lands another body kick. McGee lands a bit of a right. They clinch up and McGee lands an uppercut then Saunders lands some knees and they break. McGee lands a right in close. McGee slips a couple of punches. McGee lands a right in close and gets the clinch. McGee has Saunders on the fence. McGee lands a knee to the head. Saunders is bleeding from the right ear now. McGee landing more rights and they break. McGee lands a right, Saunders lands a body kick. McGee lands a body to head combination in close and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 McGee, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: McGee lands a right and is back to moving forward. McGee eats a left then a right. Saunders lands a body kick. More body kicks from Saunders, McGee fires one of his own. McGee lands a bit of a right then an inside leg kick. McGee lands a straight right that briefly wobbles Saunders. McGee lands a bit of a head kick then an uppercut in close. Saunders might be hurt more than first thought. McGee lands a right to the body. McGee has a spinning back fist blocked. McGee shoots a double leg, it stalls on the fence but McGee is sliding around to the rear waist lock. Saunders is after the double wrist lock to break that grip, McGee ignores it and takes him down landing in half guard. McGee lands an elbow. Saunders working to full guard, McGee postures and lands an elbow. McGee stands, tries to punch into the guard. McGee lands a right, Saunders to rubber guard for a moment but McGee postures through it. McGee lands another elbow. More elbows from McGee. Saunders to rubber guard again, he’s working on a Dead Orchard but the arm position is all wrong to finish it. Saunders bails on that and McGee elbows him a few times. More punches from McGee and he passes to half guard. Hard elbows from McGee but Saunders will hold on until the final horn.

SCORECARD: 10-9 McGee, 29-28 McGee overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ben Saunders via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Pretty firmly disagree with that, I didn’t think Saunders had much claim on the second. Saunders on the mic, he puts over McGee and thanks his coaches. He’s pretty gassed here, he’s speaking in monosyllables between heavy breaths. He puts over McGee again, and says this was the type of fight he expected. He says he’ll be back stronger and hopes the fans were entertained and promises to be better next time. The crowd wasn’t happy with that decision but politely applaud him anyway. Good for you Phoenix.

Joe Lauzon (26-12) is a longtime veteran of the UFC in particular, he’s been trading wins and losses recently and is coming off of a somewhat controversial loss to Jim Miller. Lauzon is trying to prove he’s still a fighter to be reckoned with and avoid a two fight losing streak. Marcin Held (22-5) had a good run in Bellator but lost his UFC debut to Diego Sanchez, Held needs a win here pretty badly as going 0-2 is a less than ideal way to get your UFC career going. Lauzon is the favorite here at -130 to the +100 comeback on Held.

Lightweight Bout: Joe Lauzon (26-12, 155 lbs.) vs Marcin Held (22-5, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lauzon is an inch taller but the reach is identical. Touch of gloves to get things going. Held flashing the jab early. Lauzon lands a bit of a right. Held lands a bit of a right uppercut in close. Held circling now, lands a jab. Lauzon lands a right then a left and they clinch. Held tries to drop but Lauzon lands the Travis Browne elbows, Held drops, Lauzon tries an armbar but the fence blocks him and Held regains his feet then eats a right. Held lands a quick combination of punches. They clinch again, Lauzon gets Held on the fence. Held is able to spin Lauzon. Held gets a quick takedown into the guard of Lauzon. Lauzon elevating Held, Held passes to side control though. Held lands a short right, Lauzon tries to hip bump but can’t get enough motion going. Held lands an elbow and some rights. Lauzon walks over the fence and regains his feet but Held pushes him back into the fence. Held lands a hard knee to the head and drops for a double leg. Lauzon defends and they separate. Lauzon lands a right and gets the clinch. Lauzon lands a knee to the body. Held spins Lauzon into the fence. Held tries a spinning elbow, he slips though, falls to his back and Lauzon lands a right into his guard, Held tries an armbar as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lauzon

ROUND TWO: Held pushing forward, misses a wheel kick. Lauzon lands a jab. Held tries a double leg, gets it but Lauzon nearly rolls him over the top, Held ran into the fence though and spins into half guard on top. Lauzon to his knees, Held spins to his back. Held gets both hooks in, Lauzon fighting them off though and trying to turn. Lauzon spins into Held, Held up against the fence while Lauzon is after a double leg. Lauzon gets the takedown, Held back up immediately and misses and elbow then Lauzon tries a standing arm triangle that just winds up as a clinch. They jockey for position and Lauzon gets Held on the fence. Held lands a knee as they break. Held gets a takedown into half guard. Lauzon to full guard pretty quickly. Held lands a bit of a left. Lauzon tries for an armbar, Held trying to defend, Lauzon extends the arm but has no control over the wrist so Held rotates to keep the elbow safe then lands a punch and gets back on top. Held lands a couple of short elbows. The round ends with Held on top.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Held, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Held circling again, lands a bit of a one two combination. Lauzon plodding forward. Held lands a short left hook. Lauzon lands a bit of a right. Held working the jab now, Lauzon lands a left and they clinch but Held gets Lauzon on the fence. They break without incident though. They clinch again and Held has Lauzon on the fence. Held gets a double leg into the guard of Lauzon. Held stands out of the guard and Lauzon is back up. Held lands a bit of a right. Lauzon lands a right and they trade some jabs. Lauzon pushes into the clinch and they jockey for position. Lauzon gets Held to a knee and spins to the rear waist lock but Held spins into him quickly then turns Lauzon into the cage. They trade knees to the body then break. Lauzon pushing forward, Held hits a double leg into the guard of Lauzon. Held working to posture up, he stands and tries to spin around for mount, he can’t quite secure that though as time expires.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Held, 29-28 Held overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Joe Lauzon via split decision (27-30, 29-28 x2)

Boo that decision. Lauzon on the mic shaking his head and immediately says he that that was the wrong decision and that this was Held’s fight, he felt he got screwed his last fight and doesn’t wish that feeling on anyone. He says he though he finished Held in the first but Held survived and fought smart, he again says Held won that fight. Nice to see a fighter acknowledge Clucky’s influence. Even Daniel Cormier is baffled by that decision.

 photo Foghorn clucky_zpsidsltk9q.jpg

Freaking chicken, ruining my sport one fight at a time.

Yair Rodriguez is unbeaten in the UFC and has been drawing high praise as the next big prospect in the division, tonight he could add one of the legends of the sport to his list of victims and take a big step towards title contention. BJ Penn is an absolute legend in MMA, one of only three men in UFC history to hold titles in two different weight classes and his record for most consecutive title defenses at lightweight still hasn’t been bested. Penn also hasn’t won a fight since 2010, before Rodriguez even fought professionally, hasn’t fought since July of 2014, and is coming out of retirement for this fight while riding a three fight losing streak. But Penn’s career has been predicated on accomplishing what most thought impossible, or at least improbable, and if he can get a win over a top fifteen featherweight his name value alone gets him closer to a title shot and just maybe even more history. The odds are not with Penn though, Rodriguez is a nearly prohibitive -375 favorite while Penn’s +285 payout is probably temping the degenerate gamblers out there.

Featherweight Bout: #10 Yair Rodriguez (9-1, 145 lbs.) vs BJ Penn (16-10-2, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rodriguez has two inches of height and one of reach on Penn. Biggest difference is age, Penn is fourteen years older than Rodriguez. Rodriguez opens southpaw but will switch frequently. Rodriguez lands a left body kick and goes to orthodox. Rodriguez lands a leg kick, tries a spinning back kick but Penn smothers it and gets the clinch. They trade some body work and Rodriguez spins free. Rodriguez lands a bit of a head kick then a leg kick. Penn lands a left hook and avoids a jumping switch kick. Rodriguez lands a knee to the body. Rodriguez fighting long and keeping distance from Penn. Rodriguez lands a right, Penn lands one of his own. They clinch again, Rodriguez lands a knee to the body and breaks. Rodriguez has a head kick blocked but Penn still got wobbled a bit. Rodriguez misses a wheel kick. Penn slips a high kick. They clinch briefly, Rodriguez lands a knee to the body as they break. Rodriguez lands a bit of a head kick then a body kick. Inside leg kick lands for Rodriguez and drops Penn to a knee for a moment. Penn looks seriously out classed thus far. Rodriguez lands a tornado kick then a jumping front kick to the face, Penn wont fall but ate those flush. Penn lands a right hand that gets Rodriguez to slow down a bit. More kicks to the body and head from Rodriguez. Rodriguez lands some inside and outside leg kicks. Penn blocks a high kick but he’s getting tuned up. They trade in close, Rodriguez lands a right then a leg kick to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Rodriguez

ROUND TWO: Rodriguez knocks Penn down with a right, he’s swarming punches on the mat while Penn tries to recover from his guard. That’s the first time Penn has ever been knocked down, Rodriguez keeps swarming him, Penn trying to defend but can’t get him off of him and the ref saves him from taking more damage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Yair Rodriguez via TKO, punches, at :24 of Round 2

That was painful to watch, Penn was never in that fight. Not for one second of it. Rodriguez on the mic now. He starts with Spanish then does his own translation, he thanks everyone for coming and for their support. He says Penn deserves more respect than he could give him, and puts Penn over again. He glossed over thanking his coaches when he made that translation, and apparently also told Trump to build the wall just so he could kick it down. Asked who’s next he says his boss is sitting cage side in a black sweater and he’s here for whatever the UFC wants. He aplogizes for his English, which really isn’t that bad, and promises to keep practicing for his next fight.

Here’s the finish in case you missed it.

Well that’s it for UFC Fight Night 103. Thanks for being here, for reading and sharing if you’ve got friends who are into the sport. Next Sunday at 8pm eastern standard time the 411 Ground and Pound Radio Show will be reviewing this event plus previewing UFC on FOX 23. I’ll be back on Saturday the 28th for that card, I hope you’ll be back for that one too. Until then thanks again for being here, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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