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411’s UFC Fight Night 91 Report: Lineker Wins

July 14, 2016 | Posted by Robert Winfree

MAIN CARD (FS1, 9 p.m. ET)
#8 John Lineker (136 lbs.) vs. #5 Michael McDonald (135 lbs.)
#3 Tony Ferguson (155 lbs.) vs. Landon Vannata (155.5 lbs.)
Tim Boetsch (186 lbs.) vs. Josh Samman (186 lbs.)
Aleksei Oleinik (243.5 lbs.) vs. Daniel Omielanczuk (248 lbs.)
Keita Nakamura (171 lbs.) vs. Kyle Noke (170.5 lbs.)
Ben Nguyen (125 lbs.) vs. #12 Louis Smolka (125.5 lbs.)

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 7 p.m. ET)
Katlyn Chookagian (135 lbs.) vs. #13 Lauren Murphy (135.5 lbs.)
Sam Alvey (185.5 lbs.) vs. Eric Spicely (185 lbs.)
Cortney Casey (116 lbs.) vs. Cristina Stanciu (114 lbs.)
Scott Holtzman (155.5 lbs.) vs. Cody Pfister (155 lbs.)

PELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6 p.m. ET)
Matthew Lopez (136 lbs.) vs. Rani Yahya (135 lbs.)
Devin Clark (185 lbs.) vs. Alex Nicholson (184 lbs.)


Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC Fight Night 91. I’m Robert Winfree, back in the saddle again after three consecutive nights of coverage last week and here for you on a special Wednesday card. While you’re here I’m also in the latest edition of Fact or Fiction, the link is right Here if you haven’t already read and voted please do so. Even if it’s not for me you should still participate. Tonight is the UFC’s debut in South Dakota and this event comes on the heels of the huge news that Zuffa has agreed to sell the UFC for a massive price tag of $4 billion. The actual sale hasn’t taken place yet, but it should in the next few weeks. Most of the current staff, including UFC President Dana White, will remain on in their current positions but that’s still huge news. This event suffered a set back a few weeks ago when the original main event fell through. We were supposed to get a top contenders match between Tony Ferguson and Michael Chiesa, then Chiesa got injured and Ferguson accepted a new opponent in new comer Landon Vannata. The former co-main event got promoted to main event and bantamweight contenders John Lineker and Michael McDonald will square off to see who moves into the discussion of possible title challengers and who has to start all over again. This event comes to us from the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with Jon Anik and Kenny Florian on commentary.

Devin Clark is undefeated as a professional fighter and making his UFC debut here, he’ll be trying to keep that momentum going and make a good first impression. Alex Nicholson lost his UFC debut rather famously up a weight class to Misha Cirkunov when Cirkunov audibly broke his jaw with a neck crank, but Nicholson took that fight on short notice and is getting a second shot here at his natural weight class and is after the all important first UFC win.

Middleweight Bout: Devin Clark (6-0, 185 lbs.) vs. Alex Nicholson (6-2, 184 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Nicholson has four inches of height and two and a half of reach on Clark. Circling to start, Nicholson misses a leg kick. Nicholson lands a jab. Clark lands a weak body kick, Nicholson lands a leg kick. Clark hits a quick right hand. Nicholson lands another leg kick, then another one. Nicholson lands a jab and a body kick but Clark hits a double leg takedown off of it. They trade some blows, neither has much on them and Clark passes to half guard. Clark lands a couple of short elbows. Clark trying to set up an arm triangle choke, gets the mount with it and passes to the dangerous side to try and finish it. Nicholson trying to defend, Clark digging and squeezing it but Nicholson breaks free and lands a knee to the body as he regains his feet. Nicholson lands a left body kick, might have gone to the groin and we’ve got time for Clark to recover. Clark is good to continue and we’re back to fighting. Clark lands a sharp counter left hook, Nicholson drops for a moment and Clark now has the clinch against the fence. Clark has the back standing now, he’s got one of Nicholson’s wrists handcuffed, Nicholson gets it free and we’re in the clinch proper. They trade some body work while jockeying for position. Nicholson lands some knees to the body, eats a left then lands a spinning elbow as they break. Nicholson lands a leg kick. Clark lands an overhand right. Nicholson lands another leg kick. Clark lands a jab but eats a body kick that hurts him, a right that drops him, then Nicholson follows up with a couple of short lefts and Clark goes out!

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alex Nicholson via KO, body kick and punches, at 4:57 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Nicholson for his work. He gets some mic time now, puts over the crowd and the city, says he’s here to take over the division. He says Clark hit him hard but he’s got a hard head and he grew up in a crazy area and he’s been hit with plenty of inanimate objects as well, says his jaw is healthy now and reiterates he wants to take over the division.

Rani Yahya is on a two fight winning streak, though his last win was influenced by Clucky to no small degree, and has been a high level bantamweight for several years now. A third consecutive win here for him would likely see him crack into the top fifteen rankings. Matthew Lopez is unbeaten as a professional but Yahya is easily the stiffest competition he’s had to face yet, but a win in his UFC debut over a respected and talented veteran would be huge and announce his presence in a big way.

Bantamweight Bout: Matthew Lopez (8-0, 136 lbs.) vs. Rani Yahya (21-8 1 NC, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lopez has an inch of height and two of reach on Yahya. Yahya lands a leg kick then a one two combination. They get close and trade from the pocket. Rights are traded, Lopez has some power. They clinch and Yahya starts looking for a takedown. Yahya hits a trip but winds up on bottom with full guard. Lopez stands, eats a bit of an up kick and then makes Yahya stand. Yahya lands a body kick. Yahya lands a leg kick. Lopez lands a left body kick, he’s playing around with the southpaw stance now. Yahya lands a left. Lopez lands a leg kick. Lopez lands a right, Yahya lands an inside leg kick that briefly drops Lopez to a knee. They clinch again, Yahya lands some punches as they break. Lopez lands a right that drops Yahya, they scramble and Lopez goes for an armbar. Yahya breaks it and passes to side control. Yahya lands a couple of elbows, goes into half guard. More elbows from Yahya, he tries to drop for a guillotine but can’t get it and scrambles to get a leg. They move again, Yahya tries a sweep but eats a couple of rights then they scramble again with Yahya winding up on top. The round eds with Yahya on top.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lopez but a very competitive round

ROUND TWO: Lopez comes out southpaw this round. Yahya lands a straight right as Lopez tried a jumping knee, Lopez goes back to orthodox and eats a leg kick. Yahya gets close and Lopez hits a takedown, Yahya tries an armbar and while he doesn’t finish uses the motion to get on top but Lopez grabs an inverted triangle in the transition. Yahya gives the thumbs up and Lopez winds up bailing on the attempt. Yahya on top in north/south position. Yahya with some elbows to the body and moves to side control. Yahya moves into half guard to avoid being rolled and starts landing short lefts. Yahya lands a couple of elbows. Yahya’s top game is smothering Lopez now. Yahya lands a hard couple of rights. Lopez to the turtle position and Yahya in the ride. Lopez back up and able to avoid a takedown and wind up in the sprawl position. Lopez misses an uppercut as they both regain their feet. Rights traded, then Yahya wobbles Lopez with a jab and hits a double leg. Lopez thinks about a guillotine but Yahya easily blocks it and gets to side control. Yahya into full mount and moves to S mount for an armbar attempt. Yahya going for the armbar, Lopez trying to defend and will keep Yahya from finishing the armbar before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Yahya, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Lopez comes out southpaw, eats a hard inside leg kick. Lopez lands an inside leg kick. They clinch and spin to the mat, Lopez winds up on top. Yahya throws up a triangle attempt that Lopez stands out of and we’re back upright. Yahya moving forward, hits a single leg against the fence and gets top position. Yahya in half guard and Lopez is just kind of holding onto his head. Yahya gets his head free and lands an elbow. Yahya lands a couple of rights and passes to side control. Lopez trying to push off of the cage, Yahya moves to north/south position. Lopez able to get to full guard but eats a couple of elbows for his trouble. Yahya lands a couple of lefts. Lopez tries for a lockdown, Yahya gets his arms free with a slam. Yahya working rights to the head. Lopez finally able to wall walk but gives up his back and Yahya drags him back down with just one hook in. Lopez turns into him but Yahya scrambles to top position in half guard. Some really great scrambles from this fight. Yahya trying to set up an arm triangle, he gets the grip and passes to side control. Lopez hangs on for a moment or two then has to tap as Yahya tightens up the choke.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Rani Yahya via Submission, arm triangle choke, at 4:19 of Round 3

Fun grappling fight there, we’re two for two in terms of good fights tonight. Mic time for Yahya, who’s speaking English tonight. He puts over Lopez as a prospect and undefeated wrestler who would push him. He says he wanted to strike to surprise him, but the grappling was very natural for both of them. He mentions always looking for the finish and says when he got the mount he knew they were both tired and says winning is the best feeling in the world. He asks to fight in Brasilia, Brazil later this year as it’s his home town.

That wraps up the Fight Pass portion of tonight’s event, now to Fox Sports 1 for the duration of the evening.

Scott Holtzman is 1-1 in the UFC and coming off of a loss to Drew Dober, tonight will show if he turned that loss into a learning experience and can rebound from it or if he’s going to flounder in the waters of the lightweight division. In a similar position is Cody Pfister, who’s 1-2 in the promotion and coming off of a loss to Sage Northcutt and needs a win here just to get his UFC record back to the .500 mark and try to stay with the promotion.

Lightweight Bout: Scott Holtzman (8-1, 155.5 lbs.) vs. Cody Pfister (12-5-1, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Pfister has an inch of height and four of reach on Holtzman. Pfister comes out jabbing, eats a counter left hook from Holtzman. Pfister lands a bit of a left. Holtzman lands an overhand right. Holtzman just misses an overhand right after eating a jab. Holtzman doing a good job of slipping and making Pfister miss. Holtzman tries a flying knee, Pfister grabs a single leg after it lands and Holtzman works to break free. They wind up on the fence, Holtzman breaks but eats an elbow from Pfister as they break that briefly drops him. They clinch again, Holtzman tosses Pfister off of him with authority and we’re at distance again. Holtzman lands a bit of a left hook. Holtzman lands a body kick. Holtzman lands a leg kick. Holtzman lands a right and a left. Pfister lands a jab. Holtzman lands a leg kick then they clinch and he lands a knee to the head. Holtzman blocks a takedown and lands a right from the clinch. Holtzman lands a knee to the body, and another one. Holtzman hits an inside trip and gets on top. Pfister tries to sit into him, gets to the turtle position and regains his feet but eats a knee as they break. Holtzman moving well, digs a hard left to the body. Holtzman making Pfister miss and is landing counters. Holtzman lands a leg kick. Holtzman lands a body kick, avoids a single leg attempt land lands a couple of knees to the head while Pfister was bent over and they end the round standing.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Holtzman

ROUND TWO: Touch of gloves for the second round. Pfister misses a right badly. Holtzman moving forward, lands a bit of a right. Holtzman lands a right to the body. Holtzman lands a right head kick that drops Pfister. Holtzman on top now, lands a couple of punches before Pfister gets crosswise half guard. Kenny Florian calls it a leg drag position, Holtzman passes into full mount now. Holtzman looking for the arm triangle choke, Pfister gets his arm out of danger. Pfister is able to hit a head and arm roll and get on top in the guard of Holtzman. Holtzman lands an elbow while moving towards the fence. Holtzman back to his feet and lands an elbow in the clinch. Pfister keeping the clinch but this is starting to get away from him. Holtzman limp legs out of a single leg attempt and lands an uppercut as he gets the clinch. Holtzman hits a double leg and lands in half guard. Holtzman pounding lefts to the body and elbows to the head. Holtzman lands a right elbow. Holtzman into mount now. Pfister just hanging on, Holtzman landing some punches. Pfister able to push Holtzman over again and gets on top. Holtzman tries for a triangle choke, Pfister avoids it. The round ends with Pfister on top.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Holtzman, borderline 10-8 in a couple of ways, 20-18 Holtzman overall

ROUND THREE: Holtzman lands a leg kick quickly. Pfister tries a takedown, easily sprawled by Holtzman. They trade rights in close, Holtzman lands a body kick as well. Holtzman lands a leg kick. Holtzman just misses a high kick. Holtzman sprawls out of double leg. Holtzman grabs a single leg and takes Pfister down and lands in half guard. Holtzman lands a couple of elbows. Holtzman going for the arm triangle again, Pfister defends it. Holtzman lands a couple of elbows. Pfister gets to full butterfly guard, kicks Holtzman off and lands an illegal up kick. We get time and Pfister gets a stern warning then we restart in the same position. Holtzman stands, lands a leg kick and is holding one of Pfister’s ankles to discourage his get up. Pfister gets up anyway and from the clinch gets a takedown, Holtzman tries a guillotine but has no body control and bails on it as Pfister passes to half guard. Pfister lands an elbow. Holtzman to full guard now. Holtzman wall walks, Pfister gets the back though with one hook but Holtzman spins into him and gets on top in half guard. Holtzman lands an elbow. Holtzman landing some lefts now. Pfister working to stand now, he’s sitting on the fence but Holtzman spins him and lands some more lefts. Lefts to the body and head from Holtzman. Holtzman pours on the offense as time expires.

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

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

Not a bad fight. Mic time for Holtzman, he says he needed a win since he was coming off of a loss and this is the toughest organization in the world. He says he had trouble with his accuracy and needs to get better at that. He talks about needing to win in the UFC and thanks the fans, asked who he’d like next he has no opinion but says he’ll be ready to go again in three months.

Cristina Stanciu is one of the few Romanian fighters with the UFC, she might be the only one currently, and is a multiple time medalist in the European and World WUSHU SANDA championships. Stanciu lost her UFC debut in a competitive fight but needs a win here to avoid the dreaded 0-2 UFC start. Cortney Casey is 0-2 in the UFC with losses to Joanne Calderwood and Seo Hee Ham, she desperately needs a win here because going 0-3 in your first three UFC fights usually means getting your walking papers.

Women’s Strawweight Bout: Cortney Casey (4-3, 116 lbs.) vs. Cristina Stanciu (5-1, 114 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Casey has four inches of height and three of reach on Stanciu. Touch of gloves to get things going. Casey flashing the jab early, Stanciu lands an inside leg kick. They get close and trade rights, Casey landed the better blow. Stanciu lands a leg kick. They clinch, Stanciu lands a knee to the body but Casey hits a trip and lands in full mount. Casey lands an elbow, Stanciu trying to buck her off. Stanciu hip escapes to half guard, eats another elbow then Casey stands and lands a leg kick then lets Stanciu regain her feet. Casey lands a left kick to the body. Stanciu lands a left, they clinch again and again Casey hits an easy trip takedown. Casey into full mount again and starts teeing off with elbows until the ref stops the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Cortney Casey via TKO, elbows, at 2:36 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mrs. Casey for her contributions to the evening. Casey gets an interview now. She says she feels great, that this was a bit shorter notice than she prefers but she’s always down to fight. She talks about needing to get off to a faster start tonight, hopes she’ll get a performance bonus then thanks her coaches and the island of Maui. She talks us through the finish, noting that her grappling would slow down the striking of Stanciu. Asked who she’d like next she just says she hates boring fights and boring fighters, and if any of them want to break that habit she’s happy to fight them.

Here’s Casey finishing Stanciu.

Sam Alvey is 3-3 in the UFC and at one point had a three fight winning streak going, but is now on a two fight skid and coming off of a boring fight against Elias Theodorou, he’s trying to undo the memory of that fight here and break his current losing streak. Eric Spicely is undefeated as a professional and looking to keep that streak alive in his UFC debut here, and get the all important first UFC win.

Middleweight Bout: Sam Alvey (26-8 1 NC, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Eric Spicely (8-0, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Alvey has an inch of height and two and a half of reach on Spicely. Alvey fighting southpaw, they touch gloves to start things off. Both men range finding, Spicely lands a right to the body and tries a double leg that stalls out on the fence. Jockeying for position going on, Alvey gets the Thai clinch and uses that to break free. Alvey lands a stiff right hook that wobbles Spicely for a moment. Alvey lands a counter left that briefly drops Spicely to a knee. Spicely slips on a kick, tries to get a takedown as he regains his feet but can’t get Alvey down. Alvey has Spicely on the fence in the clinch now, lands a knee to the body. Another knee from Alvey lands to the body. Spicely able to spin Alvey into the fence, lands an elbow as he tries to break free. Alvey grabs a front choke from a standing position, pushes Spicely into the fence to prevent him dropping to his back to escape and Spicely has to tap out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sam Alvey via Submission, front choke, at 2:43 Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Alvey for his efforts this evening. Mic time for Alvey, he says getting the submission was awesome and thanks the crowd as he came to South Dakota. Alvey says that Dan Henderson will take the belt from Michael Bisping, will defend that title more than anyone else before losing it to himself hopefully before Henderson turns sixty. He calls out Oluwale Bamgbose, says he wants to fight anyone in Europe in his weight class, says his next baby is due in ten days and wants a post fight bonus, asks Mr. White and Mr. Shelby to help a brother out to close the interview. Sam Alvey just became the best post fight interview of the last several weeks.

And here’s the Alvey finish, note how he engages his hips and positions Spicely to get maximum leverage and prevent him from escaping.

Lauren Murphy is 1-2 in the UFC, though one of those was a Clucky decision, but is coming off of a win via TKO and looking to build on that momentum here and start moving up the division. Katlyn Chookagian is undefeated and making her UFC debut here, a win over a top fifteen opponent would be the perfect way to get her UFC run underway.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Katlyn Chookagian (7-0, 135 lbs.) vs. #13 Lauren Murphy (9-2, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Chookagian has four inches of height but just one of reach on Murphy. Circling to start, Murphy flashing the jab. Chookagian lands an inside leg kick. Chookagian lands a left body kick. Chookagian landing decent counter strikes and circling away from the pressure of Murphy. Chookagian lands a leg kick, Murphy is struggling to find her range. Chookagian lands an uppercut but Murphy closes the distance and gets the clinch on the fence. Murphy lands a knee to the thigh, Chookagian lands a knee to the body. Chookagian able to spin Murphy and separate. Chookagain lands a straight right. Chookagian lands a leg kick. Chookagian lands a right then a left, she’s just scoring consistently at distance. Murphy misses a couple of rights. They both miss rights. Chookagian lands a counter right. Leg kick from Chookagian lands. Murphy starting to swing wild, eats a couple of counters. Chookagian lands a bit of a right, eats a counter leg kick. Murphy lands another leg kick, Chookagian lands one of her own. Murphy blocks a weak double leg and lands a leg kick to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Chookagian

ROUND TWO: Chookagian lands a left body kick, she’s also using the jab to keep Murphy at distance. Chookagian lands a left body kick. Chookagian lands a left hook. Jab lands for Chookagian. They clinch, trade knees to the body and Murphy drops for a double leg against the fence. Chookagian fighting to stay upright, Murphy finally completes the double leg into the guard of Chookagian. Chookagian keeping Murphy locked down, Murphy has very little offense going here. Murphy gets Chookagian to the fence and lands a short elbow. Murphy with some rights to the body. Murphy finally able to posture up and lands a right elbow. And the round comes to an end with Murphy on top.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Murphy, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Chookagian working the jab early, lands a couple of leg kicks. Murphy’s eyes are swelling a little, not bad but bears watching. Murphy lands a leg kick. Chookagian lands a jab. Leg kick from Chookagian and an uppercut. Chookagian lands a right. Stiff double jab lands for Chookagian. Chookagian lands a right. Chookagian lands a counter right, and a knee as Murphy was ducking down. One two lands for Chookagian, Murphy is struggling this round with Chookagian’s movement. Jabs get traded. Chookagian lands a right uppercut and a leg kick. Murphy lands a bit of a leg kick. Murphy pushes for the clinch, Chookagian spins her into the fence. They trade some knees to the body then break cleanly. Chookagian still working the jab and circling away. Chookagian lands a knee as Murphy dropped her head, Murphy got the clinch but that was a hard knee. Murphy trying for a single leg, Chookagian defending. Chookagian landing short punches and elbows while Murphy is bent over. They trade knees again and Chookagian lands a hard left hook to exit the clinch, and that proves to be the last blow of the fight.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Katlyn Chookagian via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Nice UFC debut for Chookagian, good striking fundamentals. Chookagian gets an interview as well here. She says she wanted a finish but is just happy to win. Asked about the adjustments between rounds two and three she says nothing much happened on the mat and she was ready to reset and trains with a lot of wrestlers. She says this felt like just another fight, no excessive nerves, and credits her coach Mark Henry for keeping her grounded despite the bright lights.

That’s it for the prelims, now for the main card still right here on Fox Sports 1.

Louis Smolka is 4-1 in the UFC and on a three fight winning streak, if he can extend that to four here he’ll likely crack the top ten rankings at flyweight and be well positioned to make a run towards the top of the division. Ben Nguyen is 2-0 in the UFC and riding a massive nine fight winning streak overall, a win over Smolka here would certainly launch him into the top fifteen rankings and move him up in competition for his next fight.

Flyweight Bout: Ben Nguyen (16-5, 125 lbs.) vs. #12 Louis Smolka (10-1, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Smolka has four inches of height and three and a half of reach on Nguyen. Touch of gloves to get things going. Smolka lands a lead leg side kick to the body, Nguyen pushes after him, lands a head kick and they clinch then Smolka tries a throw but lands on his own head and Nguyen passes into full mount. Smolka bridges to his feet and hits a trip from the clinch into side control. Nguyen to half guard now, Smolka lands a couple of lefts. Nguyen up and transitions to the back with both hooks in. Sweet transition, he’s looking for the choke now. Nguyen into full mount now as Smolka tried to escape. Smolka to his knees rolls and gets on top of Nguyen. Nguyen goes for an omoplata, uses that to sweep and get on top in half guard. Smolka tries to attack with a heel hook, Nguyen rolling and landing punches when he can. Smolka to his knees and sweeps to top position. Smolka in half guard, Nguyen tries to spin and sweep again, Smolka reads this one and gets to full mount. Smolka with some elbows, Nguyen to half guard but Smolka is landing punches now. Nguyen to his knees, Smolka sets up a d’arce choke but can’t keep the grip so he lands some elbows and Nguyen tries to stand but Smolka grabs the d’arce position again and drags him back down. Nguyen elevates him, Smolka grabs a ninja choke but Nguyen blocks it and Smolka is in mount now landing elbows. Smolka trying to finish him, Nguyen moving enough to keep the fight alive. Smolka with more punches, Nguyen hip escapes to half guard, now full guard and while Smolka keeps swinging Nguyen will see the end of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Smolka, borderline 10-8

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Smolka moving forward quickly. Smolka lands a switch kick high, tries a takedown but Nguyen nearly gets the back, Smolka rolls forward and spins into top position on half guard. Nguyen to full guard, Smolka tries for a guillotine as Nguyen sits on the fence. Smolka tries for the high elbow guillotine but Nguyen rolls to his back and Smolka bails on the choke to land blows from half guard. Nguyen to full guard, tries an omoplata but he’s fading and Smolka lands some body shots. Smolka to half guard and lands hammer fists. Nguyen to full guard again, Smolka sits back for a straight ankle lock but Nguyen pulls his leg out and Smolka pushes back into top position. Smolka can out scramble Nguyen now that Nguyen is fading. Smolka landing some lefts as Nguyen rolls to his knees. Nguyen back up, Smolka knees him and takes him down and lands more rights. Smolka stands, lands a couple of hard knees to the body before Nguyen is up and Smolka takes him down again. Nguyen back up again, Smolka tries a double leg that Nguyen defends, Smolka jumps for a guillotine but Nguyen gets his head free. Smolka quickly tries a triangle choke but Nguyen rolls free, Smolka scrambles to keep top position and gets full mount. Smolka lands an elbow, Nguyen gives up the back again, Smolka has the arm under the neck and is going for the choke. Smolka trying for it but Nguyen keeps half of his neck safe so Smolka bails and starts wailing on him from full mount. Smolka with punches and elbows, Nguyen just can’t escape this time and a final wicked elbow prompts the ref to stop the fight at the same time Nguyen’s corner threw in the towel.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Louis Smolka via TKO, punches and elbows, at 4:41 of Round 2

I freaking love flyweights, and that fight should tell you why. Smolka gets an interview now. He says he feels great, says he’ll fight Wilson Reis for the interim flyweight title since Demetrious Johnson is injured. He says he was scared for this fight, got caught a little in the first round but stayed strong and kept a good presence in the scrambles and listened to his coaches. He says that elbows from the deep half guard position are a great technique and while he wont end you with one shot he’ll hurt you with enough of them. He closes by saying hello to his family in Hawaii.

Here’s the finish to the flyweight fight, it doesn’t do the totality of the fight justice.

Kyle Noke is 3-3 in his last six fights and coming off of a loss to Alex Morono, he’s looking to rebound from that here and get back on the winning side of things. Keita Nakamura is 1-1 in this, his second UFC stint, and coming off of a competitive loss to Tom Breese. Nakamura is also looking to bounce back from loss and start moving back up the ranks of the division.

Welterweight Bout: Keita Nakamura (31-7-2 1 NC, 171 lbs.) vs. Kyle Noke (22-8-1, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Noke has two inches of height and three of reach on Nakamura. Nakamura fighting southpaw, both land lead had hooks and we’re brawling for a second or two. Noke using an outside leg kick now, Nakamura moving forward. Noke lands a body kick. Noke lands a side kick to the thigh. Noke lands a bit of a one two combination, then a stiff jab after they separate. Nakamura lands a bit of a left. Noke lands an oblique kick, Nakamura lands a bit of a hook. Nakamura has a high kick blocked. Noke lands a rear leg front kick to the body. Nakamura misses a left. Nakamura lands a bit of a head kick, and a straight left behind it. Noke lands another right front kick to the body. Nakamura lands a straight left. Nakamura lands a couple of rights, Noke gets a body lock takedown but Nakamura is back up immediately and they break. Nakamura’s pressure might be getting to Noke a little here. Noke lands a lead hand back fist, then they trade in the pocket. Nakamura lands an outside leg kick. Nakamura lands a couple of rights. Noke lands that rear leg front kick to the body again. Nakamura lands a good straight left. Noke misses a high kick. Noke lands a jab and a body kick to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Noke

ROUND TWO: Noke lands a bit of a high kick, Nakamura tries to return it and it’s mostly blocked. Nakamura tries a double leg, Noke sprawls quickly and lands a couple of punches before standing out of his sprawl. Nakamura moving forward again, Noke lands an inside leg kick. Nakamura lands a body kick. Noke lands a hard jab. Noke still using the right thrust kick to the body to great success. Noke misses a back elbow, then avoids a possible single leg attempt from Nakamura. Nakamura lands a bit of a one two combination. They trade kicks, Nakamura’s to the inner thigh and Noke’s to the body. Nakamura lands a body kick. Straight left lands for Nakamura, he might have hurt Noke there. Nakamura lands another body kick. Noke drops for a double leg and gets Nakamura down against the fence, Nakamura back up and Noke has the rear waist lock. Noke with some knees to the thigh and a left as he exits the clinch. Nakamura still moving forward. Nakamura lands a body kick then an inside leg kick. Nakamura lands a quick combo if rights then a knee to the head that drops Noke. Nakamura on top, in the mount landing rights to Noke. Nakamura looking for the finish, goes for the rear naked choke as he gets the back, Noke taps just before the horn sounds!

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Keita Nakamura via Submission, rear naked choke, at 4:59 of Round 2

Mic time for Nakamura now after that impressive buzzer beater. He says he’s so happy he can’t even form words. He talks us through the finish, says he’s been practicing a lot even though his striking needs work. He closes by saying this was the biggest win of his career.

In lieu of Nakamrua’s words here’s the finish to that fight.

Daniel Omielanczuk is 3-2 in the UFC and on a two fight winning streak coming into this fight, a third win would likely get him into the top fifteen of the division. Aleksei Oleinik is on an absurd winning streak of eleven fights including going 2-0 in the UFC and is coming off of a big win when he knocked out Jared Rosholt in the first round. Oleinik hasn’t fought since that fight though, in November of 2014 due to knee injuries, but another win here would remind people how good he is and likely get him back into the top fifteen rankings.

Heavyweight Bout: Aleksei Oleinik (50-9-1, 243.5 lbs.) vs. Daniel Omielanczuk (18-5-1 1 NC, 248 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Oleinik has two inches of height and six of reach on Omielanczuk. Touch of gloves to get things going. Oleinik comes out hard with punches, then get close and trade in the pocket before Oleinik drops for a double leg. Omielanczuk defending so far. Oleinik now going for a single leg, hits a low version of it and gets Omielanczuk down. Omielanczuk sitting on the cage, Oleinik in half guard keeping him close. Oleinik now has the legs mounted. Omielanczuk still trying to wall walk but Oleinik is smothering him. Oleinik in mount now, Omielanczuk trying to control his posture. Oleinik lands a couple of lefts, Omielanczuk able to get back to half gaurd. Oleinik working for an ezekiel choke from half guard, decides against it and pulls Omielanczuk away from the cage. Oleinik lands some elbows. Oleinik landing some hammer fists now, Omielanczuk gets his back on the fence and wall walks to his feet but he’s still in the clinch. Oleinik lands a knee to the body and some body shots. Oleinik lands an elbow then drops for a double leg. Oleinik gets the double leg into side control. Oleinik lands some lefts, gets the back as Omeilanczuk tried to stand. Oleinik has both hooks in and closes the round looking for the choke.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Oleinik

ROUND TWO: Omielanczuk is fighting southpaw, lands a left and a quick combination that gets Oleinik to pull half guard. Omielanczuk lands a couple of body shots. Oleinik rolls for a knee bar, switches to a heel hook but can’t quite finish it. Oleinik uses that motion to get on top in side control and locks up the scarf-hold headlock but Omielanczuk gets his arm free and spins into top position. Omielanczuk in half guard, Oleinik trying to work a deep half guard game. Omielanczuk lands some short lefts. Oleinik to his feet, gets Omeilanczuk against the fence and starts looking to secure top position. Oleinik lands some rights to the body. Omielanczuk back up, still in the clinch and then they break. Omielanczuk lands a left, Oleinik pushes into the clinch and gets another double leg position against the cage. Oleinik gets the double leg and is immediately in mount. Omeilanczuk able to get a loose half guard, mostly it’s 3/4 mount for Oleinik. Oleinik grabs an armbar as Omielanczuk tried to roll, Oleinik switches to a triangle choke as Omielanczuk is on top. Omielanczuk landing some hammer fists now. Oleinik tries one more time for the submission but Omielanczuk will just land some more hammer fists as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Omielanczuk, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Oleinik is bleeding from the face, and his right eye is swollen, both men tired but Oleinik is borderline gassed. Oleinik pushes into the clinch immediately and begins looking for a takedown. Omielanczuk trying to defend, landing some short lefts. Oleinik falls back into half guard, now full guard. Omielanczuk working short blows from top position. There’s not much going on here, the ref should stand them up shortly. And there’s the stand up, Oleinik will also get his mouthpiece back. Oelinik eats a couple of rights as he pushes into the clinch. Oleinik lands some rights to the body and a knee to the body. Oleinik drops for a double leg, has to work for it but gets Omielanczuk down. Omielanczuk tries to roll but gives up his back to Oleinik. Oleinik has both hooks in, trying to set up either a move to mount or an arm triangle choke. Omielanczuk able to spin into him and wind up in his guard. They trade some more short punches. We get another stand up, they stalled so it’s fair. We get the restart, and Omielanczuk lands a right, Oleinik lands one of his own then Omielanczuk hits a takedown as time expires.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Daniel Omielanczuk via majority decision (28-28, 29-28 x2)

I can see a 10-8 for Oleinik in round 1 so no issues there. No interview for Omielanczuk.

Josh Samman is 3-1 in the UFC and just had a three fight winning streak snapped by Tamdan McCrory, but with all three of his wins being some form of stoppage a rebound win here over a recognizable fighter like Boetsch would get his career right back on track. Tim Boetsch is in his second UFC stint but it’s likely coming to a close soon as he’s just 1-4 in his last five and on a three fight losing streak with losses to Thales Leites, Dan Henderson, and Ed Herman and a fourth consecutive loss here would all but guarantee his second pink slip from the promotion.

Middleweight Bout: Tim Boetsch (18-10,186 lbs.) vs. Josh Samman (12-3, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Samman has three inches of height and five of reach on Boetsch. Samman opens southpaw, might change it up as the fight goes on. Boetsch tries a front kick, Samman catches it and they clinch on the fence. Samman lands a knee to the body. Samman with some knees to the thigh, Boetsch lands a couple of body shots then hits a takedown into the half guard of Samman. Samman trying to wall walk, Boetsch landing short lefts. Boetsch lands a couple of rights. Samman still trying to wall walk, Boetsch standing and landing some punches. Samman up to his feet now and pushes Boetsch into the fence. Samman lands a bit of a right as they break. Samman switching his stance now, lands a leg kick then a couple of punches and clinches again. Samman gets the back standing, tries to climb to the backpack position but can only get one hook and Boetsch turns into him. They trade more body work in the clinch. Samman has a body lock now, can’t finish an outside trip though. They break with rigths from each man. They trade in the pocket a little. Samman lands a left body kick. Boetsch lands a leg kick. They trade a couple of more punches, Samman lands a bit of a head kick and they clinch again. They break without much incident, then Samman lands a leg kick. Samman lands a high kick and they trade lefts in close as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Boetsch

ROUND TWO: Boetsch is moving forward this round, Samman circling. Boetsch lands a couple of body shots. Samman has a high kick blocked, lands a couple of punches and a body kick but Boetsch catches that last kick and gets a takedown. Samman tries to hit a triangle choke, Boetsch able to get his arm back in play and avoid it. Boetsch lands a couple of rights while postured up. Samman tries to sweep him, Boetsch winds up in mount and Samman quickly regains half guard. Boetsch with some elbows to the thigh and gets the double wrist lock. Samman working to the fence, Boetsch holding the position but not moving to finish. Boetsch bails on that grip and lands a couple of rights to the body. Boetsch lands some more punches from the mount, he lands several rights and Boetsch is looking for the finish. Punches and elbows from Boetsch, Samman trying to move and cover up. Samman gives up the back but eats more rights and the ref stops this one.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Time Boetsch via TKO, punches and elbows, at 3:49 of Round 2

Mic time for Boetsch now, he talks about working on that specific position against the fence and he knew if he got there he could finish it. He thanks the fans in Sioux City and says there’s still two great fights coming up that he hopes the crowd enjoys. He says he was happy when Samman went into the clinch because that’s where his strength is. He says he’ll stay at middleweight and he plans to stay there until he’s done, and he’s not done yet.

To tide you over here’s the finis to Boetsch and Samman.

Landon Vannata took this fight on short notice when Michael Chiesa fell to injury, while he’s undefeated thus far in his career a win over the number three lightweight contender in his UFC debut would be the biggest win of his life. Tony Ferguson is on a seven fight winning streak that has earned him the number three spot on the UFC’s rankings, while a win over his original opponent would have possibly given him a title shot he must win tonight to maintain his top ranking in the most competitive division in all of MMA.

Lightweight Bout: #3 Tony Ferguson (20-3, 155 lbs.) vs. Landon Vannata (8-0, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ferguson has two inches of height and five and a half of reach on Vannata. Ferguson switches his stance constantly. They touch gloves to start things off. Ferguson moving forward, lands a quick jab and a leg kick. Vannata lands a front kick to the face. Ferguson lands a body kick. Vannata lands a spinning back kick to the body then a right hand. Ferguson took a kick to the groin so we get a brief time out. Ferguson is good to continue and we’re back to fighting. Ferguson lands a hard inside leg kick. Ferguson lands a body kick and three follow up punches then they trade in close. Ferguson drops Vannata with a jab, Vannata back up quickly. Vannata lands a spinning back fist that rocks Ferguson, but Ferguson recovers. They clinch, Ferguson tries to grab a choke but Vannata gets free. Vannata lands a series of rights, Ferguson is rocked but lands a spining back elbow that wobbles Vannata. This is crazy, Ferguson lands a body kick and slips on it. Ferguson lands a jab and a counter one two. Vannata ducks a spinning attack and tries a takedown that Ferguson blocks. Ferguson lands a couple of jabs and a leg kick. Ferguson lands a double jab, he’s starting to find his range. Ferguson lands another body kick. Vannata uses a front kick to the body, Ferguson lands a hard one two combination and an inside leg kick. Vannata tries a takedown, Ferguson tries to snap him down with a head lock but they break. Ferguson lands a couple of rights, Vannata lands a high kick that wobbles Ferguson! Ferguson is down trying to roll for a knee bar, sits back for an inside heel hook now. Vannata stands out of that, Ferguson trips him down but Vannata gets on top in his guard. Ferguson tries an armbar, it’s tight but Vannata is able to roll through as the round ends. That was five minutes of insanity.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Vannata

ROUND TWO: Circling to start, Ferguson lands a stiff jab then a left uppercut. Ferguson lands a leg kick. Vannata misses a wheel kick. Ferguson lands another couple of jabs. Ferguson slipping better now and countering. Vannata’s movement is nothing to sneeze at either. Ferguson lands a couple of body shots and jabs. Ferguson jabbing the nose of Vannata. Vannata just misses a head kick and Ferguson lands two hard left body kicks. Ferguson lands a straight right, Vannata has a chin of some metal not previously known to man. Ferguson following him now, lands a counter left. Ferguson lands another couple of lefts and grabs a standing guillotine, tries to transition to a d’arce choke, he’s got it locked and drags him down looking to finish him. Ferguson really tightening that up and Vannata finally has to tap. Utter insanity.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tony Ferguson via Submission, D’arce choke, at 2:22 of Round 2

I love watching Tony Ferguson fight, he’s a wild man. Mic time for Ferguson. He gives respect to Vannata then thanks the crowd for showing up and being awesome. He talks about being happy to just get a fight after some injuries forced changes recently. He puts over the crowd again, then says he wanted a fire fight and wanted to get hit a few times because he missed his last fight due to injury and missed the feeling of getting hit. He says he’ll fight whoever signs on the dotted line, says he thinks Eddie Alvarez wants to fight him, but if Alvarez wants an easy fight he can take on Conor McGregor. He closes with some shout outs to his family at home.

That was crazy, several videos to follow.

John Lineker is on a four fight winning streak including being 2-0 since officially making his way to bantamweight in the UFC, he missed weight several times while competing at flyweight, and a win here over McDonald would not only continue his ascent up the ranks of the division but enter him into possible title contender territory. Michael McDonald is a former bantamweight title challenger, he took on Renan Barao for the interim title just before Barao was promoted to full championship status, and recently returned from a little over two years off to submit Masanori Kanehara. Tonight he could get his first UFC winning streak in four years going and defend his top ten ranking.

Bantamweight Bout: #8 John Lineker (27-7, 136 lbs.) vs. #5 Michael McDonald (17-3, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: McDonald has six inches of height and two and a half of reach on Lineker. Touch of gloves to get the main event started. Circling to start, McDonald moving forward while Lineker stays out of his striking range. Lineker lands a bit of a leg kick. McDonald lands a front kick to the body. They both miss rights, Lineker lands a bit of a follow up left though. Lineker moving forward now, lands a left to the body. Lineker working the body when he gets close, McDonald lands a straight left. They both miss rights, they’re ducking and throwing when they get close. Lineker lands a right that drops McDonald, they brawl in close and McDonald survives somehow, backs up and they brawl again with McDonald landing a good right. McDonald lands a good right, Lineker landed a right uppercut. McDonald is backed against the fence, they trade in the pocket again. Lineker lands a right to the body and a follow up left right on the jaw that floors McDonald, a couple of follow up blows and McDonald goes out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – John Lineker via KO, punches, at 2:43 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Lineker for his work this evening. Lineker gets an interview now. He says he’s glad to have been in the main event and came to please the crowd and he thinks they enjoyed it. He says he loves God, wishes his love to his wife, then closes in English saying he’s coming for Dominick Cruz.

And here’s the finish for the last fight of the evening.

You know, I think of all four events I’ve covered over the last seven days that was top to bottom the most entertaining. That sentiment alone further proves what a crazy sport this is. Thank you all for being here tonight, I know it wasn’t a heavily promoted card but man that was fun and I thank you all again for participating or just reading along. We’ll be talking about this event this Sunday at 8pm eastern standard time on the 411 Ground and Pound radio show which takes live callers at (323) 657-0901 if you’ve got a question or comment you want on the air. I’ll be back next Saturday for UFC on FOX 20 on the 23rd of July, I hope you’ll all come back for that one. Until next time keep checking 411mania for all your pop culture needs.

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