411’s UFC on FOX 24 Report 4.15.17
Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on FOX 24. I’m Robert Winfree, your host for the afternoon/evening, and I’ll be calling the action just as I see it. This is a pretty stacked free TV card with a title fight and two title eliminators on the main card. The main event was supposed to take place at UFC 201 but Demetrious Johnson suffered an injury and then was scheduled to face the winner of that season of TUF. Wilson Reis has won twice since then and now we’re getting that title fight. Demetrious Johnson has an eleven fight winning streak going as well as nine consecutive title defenses, if he can defend the belt again here he’ll tie Anderson Silva’s record at ten and have a chance to break it down the road. Wilson Reis is of course trying to wrest that title from the flyweight king and start forging his own legacy. Also on this card Rose Namajunas and Michelle Waterson square off for a likely title shot and a really awesome middleweight fight, that should be five rounds, between Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Robert Whittaker goes down. If the middleweight title were being defended in a reasonable time against legitimate contenders the winner here would be getting a shot at the winner of Bisping vs. Romero, but that isn’t the world we live in right now. There’s some good stuff on the prelims as well, Alexander Volkov taking on Roy Nelson as well as the debut of Europe’s hottest bantamweight Tom DuQuesnoy. This is the UFC first event in the state of Missouri and comes to us from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, USA with Jon Anik and Brian Stann on commentary.
Of note is that the Missouri Athletic Commission hasn’t yet adopted the changes to the unified rules of MMA, so anything besides the soles of your feet on the mat means your a downed opponent and the language on 10-8 rounds is still a tad archaic. Hopefully we don’t get any crazy situations like the last event.
Ashley Evans-Smith is 2-1 in the UFC and on a two fight winning streak, she’s trying to make that three in a row and crack the top ten rankings at bantamweight en route towards possibly becoming a title contender. Ketlen Vieira is undefeated as a professional and coming off of a successful UFC debut, if she could unseat the ranked Evans-Smith she could claim a top ranking of her own. The odds are with Evans-Smith at -160 to the +130 on Vieira.
Women’s Bantamweight Bout: #13 Ashlee Evans-Smith (5-1, 136 lbs.) vs. Ketlen Vieira (7-0, 136 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: These two are the same height and Vieira has half an inch of reach advantage. They both miss rights quickly, Evans-Smith blocking most offense and they clinch up. Evans-Smith lands a few knees to the body while Vieira gets her to the fence. They spin then disengage without incident. Vieira lands a straight right. They trade in close and Vieira definitely got the better of that one. Vieira has backed Evans-Smith into the fence and is looking to find counter combinations. Evans-Smith doing a better job of covering up after trying offense. Vieira mostly working counters. They clinch up again and Evans-Smith is on the fence. They jockey for position then Evans-Smith lands an elbow as they break. Vieira still throwing counter combinations, she’s freezing Evans-Smith when she counters. Evans-Smith lands a leg kick, that’s been her main offense and she’s covering up after landing them. Vieira is having a hard time getting through the guard of Evans-Smith but she’s throwing in volume. They clinch again, Evans-Smith lands a knee to the body and Vieira gets her on the cage again. Vieira tries for a double leg, Evans-Smith grabs the top of the fence to block it, which is illegal but the ref didn’t seem to notice it. They break with a right from Evans-Smith. Evans-Smith lands an inside leg kick and eats a counter right as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Vieira but could go either way
ROUND TWO: They meet in the center of the cage again, and Vieira is back to slapping hooks and backing up Evans-Smith. Vieira lands a right to the body in combination. Vieira blocks a double leg attempt. Evans-Smith pushes into the clinch, they spin for a bit and Vieira has her on the fence. Vieira has a body lock, she’s trying to spin to the back and set up a misdirection takedown, and there it is. Vieira into the ride position as Evans-Smith stands, Vieira now has the rear waist lock. Evans-Smith able to spin into her and lands a knee to the body before they break. Evans-Smith lands a leg kick. Evans-Smith doing a better job of avoid the counters and setting up her offense this round, she lands another leg kick and eats a glancing right hand counter. Vieira lands a couple of stiff rights and Evans-Smith is backing up now. Vieira lands a left then a right, she’s finding the holes in Evans-Smith’s guard now. Vieira lands a flurry, she’s starting to feel a finish developing. Evans-Smith is able to fight through that position but she keeps ducking into a right uppercut. Evans-Smith lands a body kick. Vieira blocks a double leg, lands a right then a body kick to close out the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Vieira, 20-18 Vieira overall
ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Vieira lands to the body, Evans-Smith lands a right. Circling, they trade rights and Vieira drops for a second, might be more balance, and Evans-Smith rushes forward but Vieira clinches and then spins to her back. Vieira has the rear waist lock and is working foot stomps and knees to the thigh. The ref separates them for stalling out and we’re at distance. Vieira lands a combination. Evans-Smith eats a combination. Vieira is leaning a bit on the uppercut counter now, and Evans-Smith is keeping a better distance. Vieira lands a right to the body then a left to the head. Vieira blocks a spinning back fist and has a counter blocked. Evans-Smith lands a leg kick, she’s starting to take over in terms of volume. Vieira lands a right but she seems to be a little fatigued. Evans-Smith lands a leg kick. They trade in close and Vieira wobbles Evans-Smith with a couple of rights as time runs down.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Vieira but another close round, 30-27 Vieira overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ketlen Vieira via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
No issues with scoring yet. No interview though.
Zak Cummings is 3-2 in his last five fights and is coming off of a win over Alexander Yakovlev, he’s trying to get another winning streak going tonight and continue to prove his consistency as well as possibly earn a step up in competition. Nathan Coy is 1-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a win and is looking to get a winning streak of his own going, and taking out a respectable veteran like Cummings would indicate bigger things in his future. The odds don’t favor him though, they lean at an almost prohibitive -500 for Cummings while Coy’s +350 payout is a tempting prospect for any heavy gamblers out there.
Welterweight Bout: Nathan Coy (15-6, 171 lbs.) vs. Zak Cummings (20-5, 170 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Cummings is two inches taller and has five and a half inches of reach on Coy. Both of these guys fighting southpaw. They circle and trade some jabs, Cummings lands a hard inside leg kick. Cummings working the double jab now, neither of these guys caring for defense so far. Coy lands a low calf kick. They trade in close but Cummings lands a left hook as Coy exited with his head high. Coy lands a straight left. These two came to swing, Cummings lands a straight left and Coy responds. Cummings lands an inside leg kick. There’s some head position issues with both guys being hittable, Cummings lands another leg kick. Coy lands a jab to the body. Cummings lands a solid left that stuns Coy, then another exiting the pocket. Coy lands a jab. More jabs showing from both guys, Coy lands a left then gets dropped to a knee off of a stiff jab, he was a tad off balance as well. Cummings lands a couple of lefts in close, he’s finding the target reliably now. Coy lands another calf kick but eats a left. Coy ducks a left and tries a single leg, Cummings sprawls, Coy sticks with it but gives up a guillotine as he does so, Cummings sticks with that choke, pushes Coy over and lands in mount holding the choke, Coy goes out and the ref takes a few seconds too long to call it.
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Zak Cummings via Technical Submission, guillotine choke, at 4:21 of Round 1
The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Cummings for his work this evening. Commentary tells me Coy actually tapped before going out and the ref just missed it. Bad angle for the cameras I guess because I didn’t see him tap. Cummings on the mic now. He says this is the second fight of the night but the place is rocking and asks the UFC why it took them so long to come to Kansas City or Missouri and says he loves his state and city. He puts over Coy, then demands respect from the pundits and wants a top fifteen spot and a post fight bonus. I agree with him about being a little under appreciated when talking about the welterweight division. Commentary buries the ref again for taking so long to stop that one, I agree, bad job in that instance. But feel free to judge for yourself, here’s the finish.
— UFC (@ufc) April 15, 2017
Anthony Smith is 2-1 in his current UFC run and is coming off of an impressive finish via standing elbow strike, he’s looking to keep that momentum going and take out a noted prospect here. Andrew Sanchez is 2-0 in the UFC and looking to keep an overall four fight winning streak going. Sanchez has had some talk around him after his two UFC fights and he’s looking to begin making the transition from prospect towards contender here. Sanchez is heavily favored to do just that at -335 to the +255 on Smith.
Middleweight Bout: Andrew Sanchez (9-2, 184.5 lbs.) vs. Anthony Smith (26-12, 186 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Smith is three inches taller and has two inches of reach on Sanchez. Touch of gloves to get us going. Sanchez circling on the outside, both guys showing feints early. Sanchez misses a windmill right. Smith lands a front kick to the body. Sanchez pushes Smith over with a right to the shoulder and gets the clinch then takes Smith down against the fence. Sanchez landed in half guard and he’s working to secure the position. Sanchez passes to side control and lands some knees to the body. Smith lands an elbow from the bottom. Sanchez with some rights to the body then an elbow. Smith trying to bridge or shrimp, he gets to a loose half guard and is trying to wall walk again. Smith hits a sweet sweep and is now on top in half guard, thing of beauty there as I don’t think I’ve seen that sweep before. Smith lands a few short rights, Sanchez controlling his posture so far. Smith working for a pass but Sanchez has that leg locked down and the ref stands them up, felt really quick to me. Smith lands a right. Sanchez lands a right but eats a body kick then a stiff left hook. Sanchez circling again to regain his bearings. They trade a few jabs then Smith blocks a head kick. Inside leg kicks get traded then Smith misses a right and eats a couple of sharp counters. Smith lands a leg kick then eats a spinning back fist counter. Sanchez lands a jumping front kick to the body. They both land rights and clinch then trade knees to the body as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Sanchez but could see an argument for Smith
ROUND TWO: Touch of gloves for the second round. Sanchez off balances on an ugly right and Smith kicks him in the body. Sanchez lands a bit of a leg kick. Sanchez pushing forward, lands a bit of a one two. Smith lands a leg kick, Sanchez catches it but can’t convert a takedown. Smith blocks a right then lands a right, Sanchez is really winging that right in the ugly overhand style. Sanchez bulls into the clinch and has Smith on the fence. Smith lands a knee to the body and then spins free. Sanchez lands a glancing right, then another right. Smith fails on a single leg attempt. Sanchez lands a left in close and tries for a double leg against the fence but Smith is defending. Sanchez sweeps a leg and gets Smith to a seated position on the cage. Sanchez in half guard again and lands some short rights. Sanchez looking to take the back as Smith is trying to wall walk. Sanchez into the ride position but Smith is back up, Sanchez kicks a leg out and has the ride position again as Smith is turtled up. Sanchez lands some lefts, Smith trying to explode but Sanchez rides him back down. Sanchez with more lefts, Smith back up but Sanchez picks an ankle and is on top again. Sanchez lands a left elbow. Sanchez lands another few lefts, Smith lands an elbow as the round ends with Sanchez on top.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Sanchez, 20-18 Sanchez overall
ROUND THREE: Sanchez might be breathing a little heavier, let’s see if Smith can capitalize. They circle, Smith lands a knee to the body and a right from a quick clinch. Smith lands a standing elbow after blocking a combination. Smith lands a jab then a delayed right, Sanchez fails on a reactive takedown attempt. Smith pushing forward now, Sanchez lands a left hook in close. Smith blocks a weak double leg attempt. Sanchez misses that awful windmill right again. Smith lands a bit of a right. Smith lands a right. Sanchez misses another one two, then fails on a takedown attempt. Sanchez might be slowing, if anything his technique is going away. They both miss rights. Smith lands a knee to the body. Head kick is just blocked by Sanchez. Smith lands a right and is still backing Sanchez up. Smith lands a glancing jab. Sanchez lands a bit of a right. Smith lands a right then a flurry and a head kick! Sanchez goes limp legged and falls, Smith follows up against the fence and the ref stops this one.
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Anthony Smith via KO, head kick and hammer fists, at 3:52 of Round 3
The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Smith for his work this evening. Numerical upset there, big big win for Smith who’s on the mic now. He’s emotional and says he feels good, says he’s been through a lot the last six months and sometimes doesn’t think he can do it but he loves the fans. He talks us through the finish, says his coaches called for the head kick. He puts over Sanchez as being a much bigger challenge on the feet than he thought he would be, says Sanchez is the toughest guy he’s fought by far to close the interview. Here’s the finish, that knee on the head kick landed flush. Lovely combination, especially late in a fight. Also note this is why you don’t back up in a straight line, Smith read his motion all the way to the cage setting up that kick.
— UFC (@ufc) April 15, 2017
Devin Clark is 1-1 in the UFC, his debut was his first loss, but he’s coming off of a win and trying to get his first UFC winning streak off of the ground tonight. Jake Collier is 2-2 in the UFC and has been trading wins and losses in that time, but he’s coming off of one of the best finishes of his career and is also after his first UFC winning streak. Collier is also making his light heavyweight debut here after being a middling middleweight. The odds lean towards Clark at -150 to the +120 on Collier.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Devin Clark (7-1, 205 lbs.) vs. Jake Collier (10-3, 205.5 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Collier has three inches of height and three and a half of reach on Clark. Touch of gloves to get us going. Clark fires a right and pushes into the clinch immediately. Clark has Collier on the fence, Collier spins free and just misses a left high kick. Collier lands a couple of punches then a head kick and they clinch again. Collier has Clark on the fence, Clark spins him, Collier spins him back. They trade knees to the thigh while fighting for arm position. Collier lands some knees to the body, Collier breaks the clinch with spinning back kick to the body. Clark lands a bit of a right as he bulls into the clinch but he’s not finding a ton of success here. Clark has Collier on the fence but Collier gets double under hooks and spins him. Clark needs a plan B because the clinch isn’t going his way so far. They trade in the clinch, Collier landed a spinning elbow and Clark lands an elbow. Collier lands an elbow and just misses a spinning back fist on the break. Clark rushes again and finally hits a double leg after drawing Collier’s guard up with a combination. Clark in half guard now, Collier looking to elevate and gets to butterfly guard. Clark gets away with what looked like an illegal knee to the head. Collier eats some more knees to the body but gets up. Clark lands a right, Clark hits a lunging left into the clinch and has Collier on the fence. Commentary tells me that knee was to the chest and legal, good to know. Collier spins Clark and lands a knee to the head. They break without incident. Collier lands a left body kick. They stare away for a bit, Clark tries a half hearted double leg that stalls on the fence as time expires.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Clark but could go either way
ROUND TWO: Collier comes out southpaw this round, has a head kick blocked and goes back to orthodox. Both men a little more cautious, they both miss in close and Collier lands a right. Clark lands a bit of a right and they clinch in space. Collier lands an elbow, Clark lands one as well and they separate. They split jabs and Clark has the rear waist lock, Collier was trying to spin, and Clark pushes him into the fence. Collier breaks the grip with a double wrist lock then spins into Clark. Collier moves Clark into the cage and Clark lands a knee to the groin of Clark. We’ve got time for Collier to recover, replay confirms that knee went straight into the groin. Clark gets a hard warning, next groin strike will result in a point deduction, and Collier is ready to continue. Collier misses a combination then eats a left. Clark blocks a spinning attack then lands a hard left body kick. Collier lands a right uppercut as Clark pushed into the clinch, Collier spins to his back and drives him into the fence. Collier with knees to the thigh. Clark spins into him and Collier lands to the body then avoids a head kick. Collier lands a glancing leg kick. Clark stuffs a spinning attempt and has the rear waist lock and drives Collier into the cage. Collier quickly fights into him and lands a knee to the body then breaks and misses a spinning elbow. They clinch again, Clark slips behind him and trips him down, landing in the ride position. Clark lands a few lefts, Collier back up and they break. Collier lands a leg kick then a bit of a left, Clark lands a body kick. Clark lands a leg kick as the last blow of the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Collier, 19-19 overall
ROUND THREE: Clark misses a left high kick to start the third. Collier lands a right that stuns Clark a bit. Clark bulls for a double leg and gets Collier down again. Collier after a kimura, Clark gets his arm free quickly though. Collier looking to wall walk, Clark passes to half guard. Collier to his knees and back up, Clark holding a rear waist lock. Collier breaks the grip and spins into Clark. They break, Clark misses a right and Collier has the rear waist lock now, tries a trip but Clark slips free and lands on top in half guard. Ill advised takedown attempt there. Clark lands a few short punches. Clark lands a few elbows. Clark passes to full mount, Collier rolls to his belly, then to a hip. Clark lands a few punches but he’s flattened out now. Collier moving back and forth, gets to his knees but eats some lefts from Clark as Clark moves to the ride position and pushes Collier back to the mat. Clark in half guard again landing short blows. Clark with some elbows to the body. Collier to the fence and trying to wall walk, Clark tries for a choke but he’s got no position to finish it. Clark to the ride again and lands knees to the body. Collier up but Clark slings him down yet again and resumes landing short offense from the ride position. Collier trying to get up but Clark has his number now and lands more lefts. Collier finally back up, lands a knee to the body then misses a spinning attack as time runs down.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Clark, 29-28 Clark overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Devin Clark via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27 x2)
I can see a 10-8 for Clark in the third as he closed strong, and I’m not standing behind that second round scoring at all at the moment. No interview as we’re a little pressed for time.
Aljamain Sterling is in a must win situation here. Sterling initially went 4-0 in the UFC and even garnered a top ranking, but he’s lost his last two fights and while he’s still considered a top ten bantamweight he absolutely cannot afford to drop three in a row as hitting the dreaded 0-3 mark has spelled the end of many a fighters UFC tenure. Augusto Mendes is 1-1 in the UFC, that loss was a decision to current champion Cody Garbrandt, is coming off of a win over Frankie Saenz and has a big opportunity here. If Mendes can knock off a top ten opponent he’ll launch himself into the official rankings making this one of the biggest opportunities of his career. Sterling is a prohibitive favorite, something of a trend for this event, at -450 while Mendes’ pays at +325.
Bantamweight Bout: Augusto Mendes (6-1, 135 lbs.) vs. #8 Aljamain Sterling (12-2, 135.5 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Streling is an inch taller and has a significant six inch reach advantage as well. Touch of gloves to get us going. Sterling just misses a front kick to the face. Mendes lands a few inside leg kicks, Sterling lands a leg kick. Sterling misses a windmill right. Sterling lands another front kick to the body, Mendes lands a body kick. Sterling lands a jab. Mendes lands a bit of a right, he’s starting to crowd Sterling along the fence. Sterling lands a right to the body. Sterling ducks a right and hits a double leg and Mendes is sitting on the fence. Sterling has mounted the legs and is trying to get Mendes flat. Mendes staying on the fence while they jockey for position. They trade some body shots, Mendes throws up an omoplata, spins to a knee bar and Sterling grabs the top of the fence a bit before getting free. Sterling lands some leg kicks while Mendes is on his back until the ref makes Mendes stand. Mendes lands a right that wobbles Sterling, Mendes tries for a guillotine that Sterling slips out of but Mendes now has a triangle choke position, Sterling gets his other arm in to block then Mendes hits an omoplata sweep and is on top, Sterling is able to roll him though and hit a double leg from his knees to get on top again. Sterling in half guard now. Sterling lands some rights to the body, those are pretty hard. Sterling lands a few punches then a hard right. Mendes to full guard, they trade a bit and the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Sterling but there’s an argument for Mendes
ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Both guys feinting, Sterling lands a weak body kick. Mendes lands a leg kick, Sterling lands a right to the body. They both miss left hooks. Sterling lands a front kick to the body. Sterling lands a right. Sterling lands a leg kick. They clinch up in space, Sterling lands a knee to the body and pushes Mendes into the fence. Sterling lands some foot stomps and knees to the body. Mendes is struggling to get out of this position, he finally gets some motion and spins Sterling into the fence. More knees going back and forth and Mendes tries for an outside reap but can’t finish it. Mendes gets the trip and Sterling is back up but Mendes still has a body lock. They break with a knee from Mendes. Sterling lands a quick jab then avoids a right and lands a right. Sterling ducks a left and lands a right. Mendes is a little fatigued, Sterling is pushing the pace now. They clinch up and Sterling hits a bodylock takedown into the guard of Mendes. Sterling lands some elbows then a few hammer fists. Mendes tries to get his legs in play but eats a couple of hammer fists to close out the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Sterling, 20-18 Sterling overall
ROUND THREE: They touch gloves again. Sterling lands a jab to the body, he’s done a good job of fighting at his range rather than that of Mendes. Sterling lands a leg kick then avoids a couple of punches from Mendes. Sterling lands a left then a couple of front kicks to the body. Sterling lands to the body then a left to the head. Sterling with more front kicks to the body, Mendes lands a right. Mendes grabs a guillotine position as Sterling ducked, Sterling gets free quickly and then clinches and pushes Mendes into the fence. They jockey in the clinch, Mendes is able to spin Sterling. The ref breaks them as they’d stalled out a bit. They both miss some rights, Sterling lands a front kick to the body. Mendes misses a right but gets a clinch off of the motion and has Sterling on the fence. They fight in the clinch but not a lot is coming of it and Sterling spins Mendes. Sterling lands a knee to the body. Sterling tries for a single leg and gets Mendes down but Mendes scrambles back up immediately. They trade some more hooks. Mendes is throwing back but he’s on the wrong end of the offense. Sterling lands a right then a body kick. Sterling lands a couple of lefts as time runs out.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Sterling, 30-27 Sterling overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Aljamain Sterling via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Round 1 could have gone to Mendes without issue. No interview as we’re a little over time to start the main card on FOX. Speaking of, that wraps up Fight Pass, and the UFC should be thanking Zak Cummings for keeping them from going over more, and on to FOX for the rest of the afternoon.
Tim Elliott is coming off of a failed bid to take the flyweight title off of Demetrious Johnson, despite that loss his performance earned him a top ten ranking and if he wants to work back towards another title shot he needs to get his first UFC win since he beat Louis Gaudinot in 2013. Louis Smolka is in a bit of a rough spot, he had a solid four fight winning streak snapped by Brandon Moreno and then couldn’t quite keep up with Ray Borg putting him on a two fight losing streak. Smolka cannot afford a third straight loss if he wants to retain hope of challenging for the title in the near future. The odds are with Elliott here at -210 while the +170 payout on Smolka is a tempting value bet.
Flyweight Bout: #9 Tim Elliott (13-7-1, 126 lbs.) vs. #12 Louis Smolka (11-3, 126 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Smolka is two inches taller and has two and a half inches of reach on Elliott. They touch gloves, Elliott will switch his stance. Elliott jabs into a double leg and gets Smolka down landing in half guard. Elliott trying to get a guillotine, Smolka blocking so far. Elliott after it again, he passes to side control still holding that position. Elliott might switch to a north/south choke. Smolka breaks the grip and regains his feet, Elliott lands some knees and elbows before they break. Smolka lands a right. Elliott punches into the clinch again, Smolka hits a throw but loses position and Elliott scrambles up now with a rear waist lock. I wish I had better grappling accumen to describe these kinds of scrambles. Elliott hits a takedown into half guard again, Smolka to his knees and they break at distance. Elliott does a decent impression of Dominick Cruz, hits a knee tap but Smolka sweeps him to get on top, Elliott uses butterfly hooks to elevate and sweep, Smolka tries a roll from his knees but Elliott is with him and nearly has the back. Smolka to his knees, back up and Elliott lands in the clinch then breaks. I love flyweights. Elliott hits a left to the chest then a double leg. Smolka gets the back with one hook in, Elliott breaks the grip and scrambles to top position. Smolka back up and Elliott punches him and stays in the clinch then breaks. Smolka lands a left to the body but Elliott pushes for a takedown and lands in side control. Elliott lands a short elbow that opens up Smolka around the corner of the right eye. Another scramble and Smolka has the back now. Smolka has both hooks in and lands some punches, he gets too high and Elliott escapes out the back, then misses a jump spinning back kick, eats a right, and the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Elliott
ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Smolka moving forward now, lands a body kick and a few punches. Elliott misses a few punches and hits a double leg but Smolka uses a guillotine to roll into top position and tries for the guillotine again. Smolka has the guillotine and is looking to mount, Elliott blocks the grip and Smolka lands as Elliott regains his feet but Elliott trips him from the clinch. Smolka back up immediately and they both miss in close before separating. Elliott tries a takedown, Smolka rolls through but Elliott rolls to the back, tries the choke but there’s an arm in play and Smolka is trying to turn into Elliott but Elliott gets a crucifix then full mount. Smolka gets his legs up and rolls for a straight ankle lock. Smolka still after that lock, he lets got and spins for the top position but Elliott read that and passes to side control. Smolka immediately bakc up but eats a few knees. Smolka lands a body kick. Smolka lands a bit of a right. They trade in close. Elliott lands a left and hits a knee tap, Smolka after an armbar immediately. Elliott gets his arm free and passes to half guard. Smolka rolls with a guillotine attempt but Elliott bucks his hips free and gets side control again. Elliott has knee on belly, trying to control Smolka now. Smolka to his knees, Elliott pushes him over with a guillotine attempt, tries the one arm variation but Smolka gets the arm out from under his chin to avoid the choke. Elliott lands some lefts to the body, Smolka scrambles up and Elliott holds a half cradle position as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Elliott, 20-18 Elliott overall
ROUND THREE: They touch gloves again. Elliott lands a front kick to the body. Smolka showing the jab. Smolka lands a left to the body. Smolka with another body attack but Elliott hits a double leg into side control, but Smolka immediately rolls to his knees. Smolka back up and they break. Smolka again with a left to the body. Elliott with some nice head movement to avoid some offense from Smolka. Smolka lands a leg kick but Elliott hits another takedown, Smolka back up quickly and they roll but Elliott is holding a butterfly arm position to roll and control, Smolka flexes through it and regains his feet. They trade again in close and Elliott tries a knee tap, switches to a hip toss and passes to full mount almost immediately. Smolka looking to get his feet on the cage, Elliott has a body triangle from the top to control him. Elliott lands a few elbows and punches. Smolka trying to get motion going but Elliott seems to have him controlled, and as I type that Smolka explodes and gets on top. Smolka has a d’arce attempt, Smolka looking to mount with it, Elliott blocks that and Smolka spins towards the back then hits a suplex as Elliott was upright. Smolka has one hook in from the ride position. Smolka landing offense, Elliott to his knees and spins towards the back, gets top position again and Smolka again rolls to his knees and regains his feet. This is an awesome fight. Elliott hits another knee tap into side control but Smolka rolls through and is up. They trade some elbows, Smolka lands a head kick, Elliott hits a knee tap but Smolka grabs a guillotine attempt, rolls through, moves to north/south holding the choke but time runs out before he can really tighten it up.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Smolka, 29-28 Elliott overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tim Elliott via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Really good fight, lots of energy. I don’t think there was a boring stretch of even 30 seconds in that fight. I disagree with Elliott getting the third round, his takedowns didn’t mean much and Smolka was more effective with his offense. Elliott on the mic now, says he’s surprised at just how loud this was and puts over the fans for that. He puts over Smolka as tough, thanks his new coaches and camp and says he’s still integrating his old game with his new skills, then pimps his after party.
Bobby Green is on a two fight losing streak, though those losses are to top contenders Edson Barboza and Dustin Poirier plus he had an impressive eight fight winning streak going before running into Barboza. Green has struggled with injuries, he went around 18 months between his last two fights, but seems to be back on a regular schedule now and he’s looking reassert himself as a player in the lightweight division while avoiding a possibly disastrous third consecutive loss. Rashid Magomedov just had an massive twelve fight winning streak, including four UFC wins, snapped by top contender Beneil Dariush and he’s looking to rebound from that. Magomedov is trying to avoid what would be his first ever losing streak and similarly assert himself as a future contender. Magomedov is a significant favorite at -335 to the +255 on Green.
Lightweight Bout: Bobby Green (23-7, 156 lbs.) vs. Rashid Magomedov (19-2, 155.25 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Green is an inch taller and has half an inch of reach on Magomedov. Touch of gloves to get us going. Both men showing feints, Green lands an inside leg kick. Magomedov lands a stiff jab then a right. Magomedov lands a counter right in close. They clinch up, Green lands a couple of knees to the body and gets Magomedov on the fence. They trade knees to the body, Green complains of a groin strike and we’ve got time. Green has five minutes to recover, replay confirms the low blow but Green walks it off quickly and we’re back to fighting. Magomedov misses a side kick to the head, Green lands a leg kick. Both guys still feinting, looking for a read on the other guy. Magomedov jabs the body then the head and lands a body kick. Green lands a body kick but gets knocked down by a left, he’s back up immediately but that was a perfectly timed left from Magomedov. Green lands a left then a leg kick, he’s switching his stance frequently. Magomedov lands a couple of counter blows, he’s reading the forward aggression of Green. Magomedov misses a head kick. They clinch then break without incident. Magomedov lands a left, they clinch up and trade short blows as Green gets Magomedov on the fence. Green tries for a trip, can’t finish it but he keeps the waist lock, Magomedov stays upright through a slam attempt and Green gets him on the fence again. Green with a few knees to the leg and the round ends in the clinch.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Green but a close round
ROUND TWO: Touch of gloves for the second round. Magomedov lands a front kick to the body, Green lands a leg kick. Magomedov lands a bit of a body kick. Magomedov lands a sharp left. Green lands a bit of a jab. Magomedov lands a jab. The defense from these two is impressive. Magomedov lands a left to the body then a leg kick. Magomedov lands a right to the body, he might be changing targets because of Green’s head movement. Green complains of an eye poke, replay says it was a legit punch. The crowd boos and Green is cut around the eye now. That was a legal blow, error by the ref in taking the word of Green on the poke. Magomedov lands a couple of punches, he seems annoyed by that last pause. Magomedov lands a leg kick. Magomedov lands a stiff one two then a left. Green tries a takedown, that stalls out in the clinch on the fence. Green with knees to the thigh and body, Magomedov lands an elbow as they break. Magomedov lands a body kick. They clinch again, Magomedov hits a takedown but Green scrambles back up immediately. Magomedov lands a leg kick. Magomedov working the body kick again. Magomedov lands a straight right. Green lands a jab. Magomedov with another body kick. Green is breathing a little heavy, and Magomedov just misses a wheel kick then lands a body kick to close the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Magomedov, 19-19 overall
ROUND THREE: Touch of gloves for the final round. They trade some leg kicks. Magomedov lands a bit of a right. They trade in close, both men landing well. Magomedov lands a counter left. Magomedov lands another body kick. They both land lefts. Magomedov lands a body kick and avoids a takedown attempt. Green lands a jumping knee to the body. Green lands a knee to the body, Magomedov lands a right. Magomedov slips a jab and just misses a left counter. Magomedov lands a left to counter a right. Magomedov lands a left body kick. They trade lefts, both landed solid. Green jabs the body a couple of times. Magomedov lands a right and a body kick. We get time for an accidental groin kick, and Magomedov is ready to go almost instantly. Magomedov again with that left body kick, that’s a money shot for him. Magomedov lands a left to the body that would make Bas Rutten proud. Magomedov lands a jab then a delayed right. Magomedov lands a leg kick then a combination of body kicks, Green fires back. They clinch again and Green gets Magomedov on the fence. Green with some knees to the thigh, Magomedov is able to spin free. Magomedov just misses a wheel kick but lands a superman punch. Magomedov lands a counter left then a knee to the body as time runs down.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Magomedov, 29-28 Magomedov overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Rashid Magomedov via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)
Magomedov may not be your favorite fighter, but he’s technially solid and one of the more under appreciated fighters in the best division in MMA. No interview for Magomedov.
Patrick Williams is 1-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a win, he’s trying to get his first UFC winning streak going while turning back one of the hotter prospects that the UFC has brought into the division. Tom DuQuesnoy has been tearing up the European fight scene, he hasn’t lost since fighting Makwan Amirkhani back in 2013, and brings a ten fight unbeaten streak into the cage with him for his UFC debut here. DuQuesnoy has been noticed by hardcore fight fans and is trying to make a big impression here. The odds say he will as DuQuesnoy is the biggest favorite on the card at a nearly ridiculous -1100 while Williams’ +650 payout will tempt anyone who just bets the longest odds possible.
Bantamweight Bout: Tom Duquesnoy (14-1 1 NC, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Patrick Williams (8-4, 136 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Williams is an inch taller and has five inches of reach on Duquesnoy, Duquesnoy is also much younger. They touch gloves to start, Duquesnoy fighting southpaw but switching frequently. Duquesnoy avoids some offense from Williams. Williams misses a high kick. Williams misses a double leg, Duquesnoy lands a knee to the body. They clinch again, Williams hits a takedown into the guard of Duquesnoy. Duquesnoy back up and he eats some knees and an uppercut before Williams backs off. Duquesnoy moving forward now, lands a right to the body. Duquesnoy lands a knee to the body and just avoids a head kick. Duquesnoy lands a knee to the body in close. Williams doing a lot of backing up, Duquesnoy lands a heavy leg kick, Williams catches it and gets Duquesnoy to his knees against the fence. Williams in the ride position, Duquesnoy back up though and just misses an elbow. Duquesnoy still the aggressor. Williams lands a straight right that puts Duquesnoy to a knee. Williams lands a couple of follow up blows but Duquesnoy breaks free. Duquesnoy lands a leg kick, he lands a nicely timed uppercut as well. Duquesnoy lands a knee to the body in close. Williams sucking wind now, Duquesnoy lands an elbow and his body work is paying off. Another knee to the body from Duquesnoy then a leg kick. Williams lands a right then an uppercut. Williams is doubled over, Duquesnoy lands an uppercut. Yeah Williams is gassed already, Duquesnoy lands a knee to the body then an elbow. Duquesnoy lands another knee to the body in close then collapses Williams with an elbow just at the end of the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Duquesnoy
ROUND TWO: Williams was saved by the bell there, five more seconds and Duquesnoy probably would have finished him. Williams still gassed, but throws a few rights. Williams lands a right but Duquesnoy is coming forward and lands offense, he floors him with an elbow behind the ear, lands a couple of follow up blows to prompt the stoppage.
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tom Duquesnoy via TKO, elbows, at :28 of Round 2
Nice debut there, overcame some adversity and brought the violence when he could. Duquesnoy on the mic now. He thanks Williams for the fight and puts him over, then says he’s got a lot of work still to do but he thanks the UFC for the opportunity. He talks us through the finish, says he loves the elbows especially against the wrestlers because of their clinch game, then also says knees are a good weapon. He doesn’t have a next opponent in mind but he plays on returning to work soon with the goal of getting the belt.
While the UFC airs a video package dedicated to the anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball here’s that finish again, lovely elbow work from Duquesnoy in close quarters.
— UFC (@ufc) April 15, 2017
Alexander Volkov is on a three fight winning streak that includes a successful UFC debut, he’s trying to further cement his status as a top heavyweight tonight at the expense of a recognizable veteran and possibly move up the rankings. Roy Nelson is a well known heavyweight but he’s a pitiful 2-4 in his last six fights, though he is coming off of a win over Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and he’s trying to get his first UFC winning streak going since 2013 while proving he’s still got some gas left in the tank. Volkov is a slight favorite at -155 to +125 for Nelson.
Heavyweight Bout: Roy Nelson (22-13, 262 lbs.) vs. #11 Alexander Volkov (27-6, 245 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Volkov has seven inches of height and eight of reach on Nelson. Nelson is also 12 years older. Nelson circling early, Volkov feinting with the lead leg. Nelson blocks a head kick, they clinch and trade body work then break without incident. Nelson moving forward now, misses a right. Volkov lands a body kick. Volkov switching his stance a bit now, looking for angles. Volkov lands some leg kicks and body work at distance, Nelson pushes into the clinch and has Volkov on the cage. Volkov trying to work knees, Nelson smothering him though. Volkov able to turn Nelson into the fence and lands a hard knee to the body. Volkov lands a few knees to the thigh, Nelson gets a knee tap takedown to a knee. Volkov looking to wall walk, he’s back up but Nelson picks an ankle to keep him seated. Volkov fighting to wall walk again, Nelson keeping him sitting on the fence. Nelson lands a few short lefts, Volkov to half guard and he’s looking to get full guard again. Mostly control from Nelson so far, not much damage. The ref stands them up, not sure I agree but I can see it. Volkov lands a right that wobbles Nelson, he pushes close and lands punches and knees, then an elbow but Nelson lands a right and they trade again as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Volkov
ROUND TWO: Nelson tries to push forward and Volkov circles and lands a jab. Another jab from Volkov then a right. Nelson is making faces, his chin is incredible. Volkov still circling intelligently. Volkov lands a body kick but Nelson gets the clinch and has Volkov on the fence. Volkov blocking Nelson’s takedown attempts, and he lands to the body as they break. Volkov lands a body kick. Jab from Volkov, Nelson kind of plodding forward. Nelson lands a leg kick and tries a double leg that Volkov blocks. Volkov lands a front kick to the body. Nelson lands a right to the thigh. Volkov with more long kicks and jabs. Nelson lands a bit of a right. Nelson lunging with punches now. Volkov lands a double jab then a right. Volkov lands a right to the body. Volkov has a bad habit of backing up in a straight line when engaged, a better fighter might take advantage of that. Volkov still fighting long, he’s got a good jab going at this point. Nelson whiffs on another overhand right. Volkov lands a right and combination in close. Volkov lands a knee to the head, Nelson still coming after him as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Volkov, 20-18 Volkov overall
ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Volkov throwing the jab early, and lands a body kick. Nelson has a couple of wide punches blocked. Nelson lands an inside leg kick, fails on a takedown and Volkov lands a combination in close then separates before Nelson can instigate a brawl. Volkov working the jab again, Nelson can’t close the distance. Volkov lands a front kick then a head kick. More front kicks to the body from Volkov then a stiff three punch combination. Nelson has an uppercut smothered. Volkov landing the jab almost at will along with some inside leg kicks. Volkov lands a couple of body kicks. Nelson leans for a double leg, stopped by Volkov who lands a knee to the head. Nelson trying for a double, Volkov pushes him off and lands a bit of a head kick. Volkov circling well, Nelson breathing hard and plodding ahead but Volkov is moving and sniping him. Volkov lands a couple of uppercuts then a heavy leg kick. Nelson lands a right to the body. Volkov lands some leg kicks, Nelson wings one final right that has no impact as time expires.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Volkov, possibly 10-8, 30-27 Volkov overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alexander Volkov via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Nice stuff from Volkov, some of those combinations he landed would have finished lesser men. Volkov on the mic now. He says he’s worked a lot on his wrestling then wishes everyone a Happy Easter. He says he worked the body intentionally but Nelson was dogged, he then thanks the crowd for supporting Nelson because Nelson was always pushing forward looking for the fight. Asked who he wants next he says he wants to spend some time with his family in the immediate future but he’s coming for the belt. That’s it for prelims, we’ll still be on FOX for the main card though.
Jeremy Stephens is just 2-3 in his last five fights but those losses were to Charles Oliveira, Max Holloway, and Frankie Edgar so he hasn’t been losing to just anyone and retains a top five ranking despite coming off of that loss to Edgar. Stephens needs a win here to retain that ranking and prove he’s still an elite featherweight. Renato “Moicano” Carneiro has yet to taste defeat as a professional and is 2-0 in the UFC, but Stephens represents a significant step up in competition from his previous opponents, of course a significant opportunity comes with that risk. If Carneiro can take out a top five opponent he’ll vault himself from unranked towards possible title contention with just one fight. The odds here lean towards Stephens at -185 to the +150 on Carneiro.
Featherweight Bout: Renato “Moicano” Carneiro (10-0-1, 145.5 lbs.) vs. #5 Jeremy Stephens (25-13, 146 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Carneiro is two and a half inches taller and has an inch of reach on Stephens. They clash on leg kicks to start things out. Carneiro trying to fight long with kicks, Stephens looking to close distance. Carneiro lands a leg kick and checks a return one from Stephens. Carneiro lands another leg kick and avoids the counter from Stephens. Stephens trying to corner Carneiro but Carneiro is moving well and using leg kicks. Carneiro lands another leg kick and blocks a right. Hard inside leg kick from Carneiro, Stephens is switching his stance a lot here. Carneiro lands a right in close. Carneiro lands a couple of inside leg kicks and avoids a couple of punches. Stephens lands a leg kick. Stephens lands a right that wobbles Carneiro, Carneiro recovers but he got buzzed. Stephens lands a leg kick then a right in close quarters. Stephens lands a leg kick, Carneiro returns it. Carneiro ducks a right and gets a double leg into the guard. Carneiro passes to half guard, Stephens is looking for a kimura sweep but not a lot is coming from that effort. And the round will come to an end in that position.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Carneiro
ROUND TWO: Carneiro misses a leg kick to start the second. Stephens needs to close distance more effectively this round. Stephens lands an inside leg kick. Stephens tries a double leg, Carneiro is able to block it. They trade in close, Carneiro lands a solid right. Stephens lands an uppercut in close, Carneiro isn’t as mobile this round and Stephens is starting to find him with his offense. Stephens lands a leg kick. Stephens lands another low leg kick and a jab. Carneiro lands a body kick but he’s getting walked down. Stephens gets close and lands an uppercut but Carneiro slips free. Stephens lands another leg kick. Carneiro lands a leg kick. Stephens lands an inside leg kick. Carneiro lands a counter right. Stephens just misses an uppercut and a wild left hook. Carneiro lands a left hook but eats a left. Stephens lands a few leg kicks then a body kick while Carneiro circles off of the fence. Stephens lands a bit of a right. They trade rights, Stephens also lands to the body. Carneiro lands a stiff jab, he’s maximizing the reach advantage he has. Stephens lands a quick counter right. Stephens lands a bit of a body kick. Stephens misses a few punches then lands a heavy inside leg kick, and one more leg kick to close the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Stephens, 19-19 overall
ROUND THREE: Stephens lands a leg kick. Carneiro lands a left hook, Stephens lands a jab. Carneiro gets the clinch and gets a takedown into the guard of Stephens. Carneiro passes to half guard, Stephens escapes to his feet though. Carneiro lands a body kick. Stephens lands a leg kick. Stephens lands a bit of a jab then a body kick. Stephens lands a leg kick. Carneiro still on his bike, tries a double leg that Stephens blocks. They split jabs then Carneiro blocks a couple of hooks. They clinch again and break without issue. Stephens lands a leg kick, Carneiro lands a couple of good ones and Stephens is a little compromised on that left leg. Carneior lands another leg kick. Stephens tries to get close but Carneiro is starting to turn him on those rushes. Stephens eats an uppercut and a left hook. Stephens lands a straight right. Stephens still falling just a bit short with is offense as he tries to walk down Carneiro. Stephens digs a right to the body. Stephens lands a leg kick. Carneiro lands a right then a left hook. Stephens still moving forward, Carneiro ducks a left and circles free. Carneiro can’t hit a double leg and they trade a bit as time expires.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Carneiro, 29-28 Carneiro overall
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Renato “Moicano” Carneiro via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)
No interview, but not a bad case study in how to stick and move against a superior power puncher. All came down to round three.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has been one of the very best middleweights in the world for sometime now, his only loss in the UFC was a controversial split decision to Yoel Romero and prior to that he hadn’t lost since 2011. Souza is currently on a two fight winning streak as he’s finished Vitor Belfort and Tim Boetsch, he’s also just inked a brand new eight fight deal with the UFC and a loss here would devastate his chances of ever claiming the middleweight title, assuming that belt ever gets defended against a top contender. Robert Whittaker has been on a tear recently, he’s on a six fight winning streak and is 5-0 at middleweight. Souza represents a big risk as well as a big opportunity for Whittaker, if he can take out arguably the best middleweight in the world here he’ll have the biggest win of his life and make a significant case for getting a title shot. That’s still predicated on the title ever being defended against a deserving contender, something that hasn’t yet happened since Bisping won the title, but it would still be a massive win. The odds favor Souza at -240 while the +190 on Whittaker is another tempting value bet.
Middleweight Bout: #3 Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (24-4 1 NC, 186 lbs.) vs. #6 Robert Whittaker (17-4, 185.5 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Souza is an inch taller but Whittaker has an inch and a half of reach on him. Whittaker is also eleven years younger, he’s just 26. Man what have I done with my life? Touch of gloves to get us going. Whittaker circling early, Souza managing distance. Souza trying to back Whittaker into the fence, Whittaker working to keep his back off of the cage. Whittaker lands a left hook. They clinch, Whittaker breaks out quickly. Whittaker misses a right. Souza lands a front kick to the body. Both men still finding the range, Souza has a wheel kick blocked. Souza pushes into the clinch and has Whittaker on the fence. Souza lands a few lefts to the body. Souza lands a knee to the body then drops for a single leg, he rolls Whittaker over but Whittaker scrambles back up immediately. Souza hits an inside trip, Whittaker scrambles to his knees but Souza tries to take his back. No hooks though and Whittaker slips Souza off and Whittaker separates. Whittaker lands a bit of a jab. They trade mostly blocked punches, Souza slips to a knee for a moment but Whittaker doesn’t follow up. Whittaker lands an uppercut, he’s moving rather well so far. Souza lands a bit of a right, another right clips Whittaker. Souza has a front kick blocked. They both miss in close, Souza is swinging hard with his right. Whittaker lands a left to the body. Whittaker lands a left hook. And that’ll be the last blow of the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Souza
ROUND TWO: Touch of gloves for the second round. Whittaker circling again, starting to get his lead hand going. Whittaker lands a cracking right that drops Souza! Whittaker follows him down, Souza ties him up and Whittaker backs out and makes him stand again. Whittaker avoids a bad double leg attempt. Whittaker lands a right uppercut, Souza is wobbled now. Whittaker stalking him along the fence, lands a head kick but Souza is still upright. Whittaker sticks a jab through the guard of Souza. Whittaker lands a left, he’s finding the target reliably now. Souza misses a left hook. Whittaker lands a left hook while avoiding a clinch, the speed difference in favor of Whittaker is really on display here. Whittaker lands a jab, Souza’s got some swelling around his right eye. Whittaker lands a left, another head kick wobbles Souza again. Whittaker lands a right, Souza is down again. Whittaker on top landing punches, Souza rolls to his knees and the ref waves it off!
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Robert Whittaker via TKO, head kick and punches, at 3:28 of Round 2
That’s the first time Souza’s been finished since Gegard Mousasi knocked him out with an up kick way back in DREAM. Absolutely massive performance from Whittaker, pity he’ll not get a title shot until next year. That second round from Whittaker was phenomenal, no one has ever done that to Souza. Whittaker on the mic now. He says he worked hard with his coaches and if he didn’t put him out he was ready to make him get back up and do it again. He puts over his coaches again, says he trained a lot of worst case scenarios. He says he knew he had hurt Souza, and again puts over his coaches for getting him ready and being patient. Asked who’s next he says as a fan he’s gutted to see Souza lose but he and Bisping were supposed to fight in 2015 and he feels Bisping owes him a fight.
Here’s the finish again, that’s such a sophisticated set up for that high kick. Lovely violent stuff.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) April 16, 2017
Rose Namajunas just had a three fight winning streak snapped by Karolina Kowalkiewicz, a loss that cost her a shot at the title. She’s trying to rebound from that setback here and prove she’s still a viable contender. Michelle Waterson is 2-0 in the UFC and is coming off of a high profile win over Paige VanZant if she can follow up on that with another impressive win tonight she could make herself the number one contender, pending the outcome of the upcoming title fight between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Jessica Andrade. Namajunas enjoys favored status here at -130 to +100 for Waterson.
Strawweight Bout: #4 Rose Namajunas (5-3, 116 lbs.) vs. #6 Michelle Waterson (14-4, 114.5 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Namajunas is two inches taller and has three inches of reach advantage. Waterson comes out southpaw but can switch as necessary. Waterson using side kicks to the thigh early, trying to keep distance. Waterson lands a right, Namajunas returns it. Both women still feeling the distance, Waterson lands a side kick to the thigh then one to the face. They clinch and Waterson hits a head and arm throw but Namajunas reaches around and nearly has the back with one hook in. Namajunas gets her head free and has the back now and is after the choke. Waterson breaks the grip, Namajunas has a full nelson, Waterson gets to half guard, now full guard. Waterson to rubber guard and thinking about setting up an armbar. Namajunas lands an elbow. Waterson still trying to angle her hips for an armbar, Namajunas keeping tight. Namajunas lands a couple of elbows, Waterson tries an armbar but Namajunas blocks it easily. Waterson after the arm again, Namajunas blocks it again and moves to half guard. Waterson wall walks and Namajunas lands a knee. Namajunas lands an elbow as they break the clinch. Waterson lands a side kick to the knee. Namajunas lands a right after a clinch. More side kicks to the leg from Waterson. They clinch, Waterson lands a knee and Namajunas hits a takedown. Waterson tries to get her legs in play but the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Namajunas
ROUND TWO: Waterson misses a wheel kick, Namajunas misses a jumping front kick. Waterson side kicks the lead leg again. Waterson lands a body kick. Namajunas just misses a right. Namajunas lands a leg kick. Waterson lands a right, Namajunas lands a right then a head kick that drops Waterson. Namajunas follows her down, she’s on top in north/south position, now side control. Waterson tries for an armbar, Namajunas moves into her guard and lands a series of hard blows. Waterson has swelling above the right eyebrow now. Namajunas lands some lefts as she passes to half guard. Waterson kicks her off and regains her feet, Namajunas spins to the back and gets the choke, she’s got it and forces the tap.
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Rose Namajunas via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:47 of Round 2
Here’s the head kick that basically led to the finish, similar to the one Holm landed on Rousey in many ways. Namajunas on the mic now. She says she was surprised at the power Waterson had and she can’t quite see straight but beyond that the fight went according to plan. She talks us through the head kick and says her right kick is strong but she hasn’t had a chance to show it yet. She says she thinks she can get to the belt, says she wants Joanna or Jessica depending on who wins that fight.
Here’s the finishing sequence, and many thanks to whoever is running the UFC on FOX twitter account for stuff like this. We kill some more time at the analyst desk after the last couple of finishes to set up the main event.
Watch the final two minutes of tonight's co-main event as Rose Namajunas sets up her finish over Michelle Waterson. Amazing work by THUG! pic.twitter.com/dRNUCXJ7iG
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) April 16, 2017
Demetrious Johnson has a chance to make history tonight. He’s the only flyweight champion that the UFC has ever had and he’s had nine consecutive successful title defenses to this point, if he can defend it again here he’ll have equaled the UFC record held by Anderson Silva at ten. He’s also considered one of the two best fighters in the world from a technical standpoint, the best if you disqualify Jon Jones, and while he’s a massive favorite here he’s got everything to lose but history to gain. Wilson Reis is hoping to spoil that party though. Reis is no pushover as his only loss at flyweight is to Jussier Formiga and he brings a three fight winning streak into the cage with him, he’s trying to claim his first UFC title and end the historic reign of Johnson. Continuing tonight’s trend of somewhat lopsided odds, Johnson is a massive -750 favorite against the +475 comeback on Reis.
Flyweight Title Bout: (c) Demetrious Johnson (25-2-1, 124 lbs.) vs. #3 Wilson Reis (22-6, 124 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Reis is an inch taller but Johnson has an inch of reach on him. Reis is fighting southpaw, Johnson will switch frequently. Both men paw the jab early, Johnson lands an inside leg kick. Reis misses a left, Johnson has a high kick blocked. Johnson lands a bit of a right. Both guys still probing, Johnson lands another inside leg kick. Johnson has a head kick blocked. Johnson lands a right. Johnson sticking with orthodox right now. Johnson lands a heavy body kick. Johnson moving and striking, he’s trying to make Reis work early. Johnson lands a bit of a left. Johnson lands an inside leg kick, Reis takes him down but Johnson is up instantly and lands a knee to the body before they break. Johnson misses a right, lots of movement from both men so far. Johnson lands a right, he’s sticking and moving so far. Johnson lands a front kick to the body. Reis isn’t landing much, he’s struggling with the movement of Johnson. Johnson lands a heavy inside leg kick. Quick flurry from Johnson and a leg kick. Johnson lands a straight right, he’s finding that punch kind of regularly. Reis tries a double leg, Johnson sprawls and lands a body kick as they break. Johnson lands another straight right, similar to the punch he landed over and over again on John Dodson. Johnson lands a couple of rights after turning Reis. They move for the last five seconds of the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Johnson, arguable 10-8 based on Reis landing less than five blows that round
ROUND TWO: Johnson comes out showing the jab. They clinch up, Johnson lands a knee to the body and disengages. Johnson lands a body kick. Inside leg kicks go back and forth. They trade rights. Johnson lands a right, grabs a single leg then switches to the back and lets go as Reis was fighting the grip. Johnson lands a knee to the body. Reis misses a jumping knee, Johnson lands a body kick. Johnson lands another straight right. Johnson lands another body kick then an inside leg kick. Reis is following Johnson too much, Johnson is running circles around him. Another couple of rights from Johnson land. They clinch, Reis rolls out and Johnson lands another kick. Johnson lands a bit of a left. Reis misses a takedown attempt and Johnson lands a jab from the southpaw stance. Reis has swelling around his eye now. Reis lands a left, Johnson lands a right. Johnson again with that straight right, his timing is impeccable. Johnson lands a body kick. Johnson lands a combination. Johnson with another straight right. Johnson is so much quicker than Reis, he lands a flush left hook. Johnson lands a body kick and just misses a couple of follow up blows. Johnson lands another inside leg kick. Johnson lands a knee to the body, Reis drops and Johnson lands hammer fists and elbows from side control, Reis rolls to his knees, flops to his back and eats a hard right as the round ends.
SCORECARD: 10-8 Johnson, 20-17 Johnson overall
ROUND THREE: Reis seems to have recovered. Johnson circling, Reis lands a body kick and Johnson lands an inside leg kick. Johnson again with the straight right. Johnson darting in and out, sprawls on a double leg and makes Reis get up. Reis lands an inside leg kick. Reis’ right eye is swelling visibly, and Johnson lands another straight right. Johnson lands another right, and sprawls on a bad shot attempt. Johnson lands a hard body kick then a straight right. Another right from Johnson lands. Johnson again with the body kick. Reis misses a couple of hooks, but lands a body kick. Reis just blocks a high kick. Johnson lands a bit of a head kick. Johnson with another body kick. Johnson avoiding the offense of Reis, lands a right and gets a quick takedown. Johnson in side control landing some blows. Reis onto a hip and then his knees, Johnson uses a guillotine to force him back to his back. Johnson has the mounted crucifix for a moment, lands a few elbows before Reis gets his arm back. Reis hip escapes to half guard, Johnson lands an elbow. Reis to full guard, Johnson lands some punches then a couple of elbows and Reis is bleeding from the forehead. Another couple of elbows from Johnson and he passes to half guard again. Johnson is mauling him from top position, he mounts now and starts teeing off with blows. Hammer fists, into the armbar and Reis has to tap!
OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and STILL UFC Flyweight Champion – Demetrious Johnson via Submission, armbar, at 4:49 of Round 3
That’s the first time Reis has been submitted in MMA, and he has a decorated jiu-jitsu background. Johnson just put on a clinic. Johnson, who’s now tied Anderson Silva’s record, gets an interview now. He says this was an important win, thanks the crowd for being awesome, they cheer him. He wishes his son a happy birthday, shouts out his Twitch supporters and his coaches. He thanks his coaches and says he did things a little differently and felt better than ever. He says GSP and Anderson were great but he’s the best and he can do it all. He thanks his coaches by name for making him the best. Asked about possibly fighting at bantamweight for a title fight, he says he told Dana White he needs seven figures for that and the next time he steps into the Ocatgon he’s breaking the record.
For posterity, here’s that finish to tie the record. That was glorious, the way he moved from striking to grappling, the right strikes to set up the armbar, then makes a legit black belt tap. I’m in awe.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) April 16, 2017
Alright, on that note we’re done with UFC on FOX 24. Some big upsets, some awesome finishes, and a little history. Can’t ask for much more from a free event. Thanks to everyone for reading, live or after the fact, I’m more than aware of how many places you could go for this service and am perpetually humbled that you choose mine. We’ll be breaking down this event Sunday at 8pm eastern standard time on the 411 Ground and Pound Radio Show. That show takes live callers at (323) 657-0901 if you’ve got a question or comment you’d like addressed on air. We’ll also be previewing UFC Fight Night 108 where Artem Lobov gets a main event spot against Cub Swanson. I’ll be back for that event, I hope you’ll return as well. Until then thanks again for reading and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.