FIGHT BLOG RECAP: Barao finishes Faber, Aldo retains title
FEB 01, 2014 5:21p ET
Renan Barao put a big stamp down on his reign as UFC bantamweight champion with a one-sided TKO victory over Urijah Faber to cap off UFC 169 on Saturday night while Jose Aldo put on an equally impressive performance to dispatch of Ricardo Lamas in what could potentially be his final fight in the featherweight division.
Barao now sits atop the 135-pound division with the list of challengers extremely thin outside of former champion Dominick Cruz -- if he can ever return healthy. As for Aldo, he may have made his last title defense at 145 pounds if he really is interested in going up to lightweight and challenging champion Anthony Pettis for his next bout.
In other action the card, Alistair Overeem did his part to climb back into the heavyweight title picture by bloodying and beating up former UFC champion Frank Mir, and the UFC flyweight division may have a new top contender as Ali Bagautinov closed out his night with a win over John Lineker. The pay-per-view started with a bang as well with Abel Trujillo flattening former WEC champion Jamie Varner with a one-punch knockout after a spectacular war between the two lightweights.
Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber
Barao controlling the center of the Octagon and landing some good overhand rights as Faber jumps in for an attack. Barao clips Faber with a straight shot that sends him to the mat and the Brazilian swarms. Huge knees and punches, but Faber survives. A few moments later Barao tags him again with another huge right hand and Faber drops face first to the mat. Barao drops and starts dropping hammer fists although Faber appears to be blocking the bulk of them although he's not fighting back much. Referee Herb Dean has seen enough and steps in to stop the fight. Faber pops up and protests the stoppage, but it's already over.
Official result: Renan Barao def. Urijah Faber by TKO at 3:42, R1
Analysis: The stoppage seemed to come a little early as Faber was okay during the barrage being landed by Barao but then again he wasn't offering up much resistance as the champion rained down shots from above. Barao is the real deal, folks. He's been undefeated for eight years and hasn't lost in 33 fights. The only real mountain left for him to climb at bantamweight is to finally face former champion Dominick Cruz, but that almost seems unfair at this point following a two-plus year layoff for the former bantamweight king. If Jose Aldo bumps up to lightweight, Barao could consider a move to featherweight and challenge someone like Chad Mendes to crown a new champion. His challenges at 135 pounds are minimum at best right now. As for Faber, it's another tough title loss. He's undefeated in non-title fights so don't doubt that he won't get back there again but it won't be against Barao, who he has now lost to on two occasions.
Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas
Ricardo Lamas enters first to "De Mexico a la Habana" by Sonora Santanera. The champion Jose Aldo to "Run This Town" by Jay-Z/Rihanna/Kanye West. Keith Peterson is the third man in the Octagon
Lamas starts by circling away from Aldo's power lead leg while throwing a few of his own kicks. Aldo quietly stalking him around the cage before unloading a big right kick to Lamas' thigh. Aldo tosses a spinning kick to the body but only glances Lamas' midsection. Lamas fires back with a shot to the body and Aldo swarms trying to land a knockout punch, but the challenger avoids damage. Aldo jumps for a flying knee just as the round comes to an end. Lamas doesn't try for a single takedown in the first round.
Round 1 10-9 Jose Aldo
Lamas still throwing head kicks but nothing is landing, just looks slower than Aldo right now. Aldo goes up top with a one-two combo and then down to the leg with a shot to Lamas' thigh that sounds like a bomb exploding. Aldo tears to the body with a right hand. Aldo starting to unload the leg kicks as Lamas' body turns away from the shots, noticeably wincing from the pain. Aldo counters with a quick left to Lamas' chin as he stumbles back and then takes another big kick to the leg. Aldo in complete control thus far.
Round 2: 10-9 Jose Aldo
Aldo fires up top and then just brutalizes Lamas' leg again. For the first time in the fight, Lamas finally tries for a takedown but comes up with nothing. Aldo just tenderizing Lamas' leg with those kicks over and over again. Lamas is still firing back and not backing down but he's not landing much. Aldo slows a bit as the third round comes to a close. We are headed to the championship rounds.
Round 3 10-9 Jose Aldo
Lamas shoots in for the takedown, grabbing at Aldo's leg but he is struggling to get him down. Aldo switches position and gets the body lock on Lamas against the cage. Aldo actually lands a trip takedown to put Lamas down on the mat. Aldo looking for an arm triangle but he lets it go, now sitting in Lamas' half guard. Aldo moves and takes Lamas' back, going for a rear naked choke. Lamas escapes and gets up, looking for a takedown of his own now. Aldo starts to open up with some elbows to the side of Lamas' head as the round comes to a close.
Round 4 10-9 Jose Aldo
Lamas comes out swinging so Aldo grabs him, pushes him against the cage and takes the fight to the ground. Aldo moves to mount, laying on top of Lamas with all of his weight. Lamas does a good job of pushing off the cage to reverse position and land on top in Aldo's guard. Lamas looking to land elbows from the top but he's not putting enough punishment on the champion to get a finish, which is the only way he can win at this point. The fight comes to an end and Jose Aldo will retain his title
Round 5 10-9 Ricardo Lamas
FOX Sports scores the fight 49-46 for Jose Aldo
Official result: Jose Aldo def. Ricardo Lamas by unanimous decision (49-46 on all cards)
Analysis: Jose Aldo once again dispatches of another contender although it appeared at some points during the fight that he could have possibly gunned for a finish to put Lamas away but didn't take those chances. At the end of the day, Aldo was completely dominant and his choices now appear to be one of two things – either move up to lightweight and face champion Anthony Pettis or gear up for a rematch against No. 1 contender Chad Mendes. The popular choice seems to be Aldo vs Pettis but only time will tell if it will actually happen.
Alistair Overeem vs. Frank Mir
Alistair Overeem smiling on his way to the Octagon, bouncing to some European techno music while Mir comes to the cage to Jay-Z's 'Forever Young'. Dan Miragliotta in as referee for this heavyweight showdown.
Overeem not over aggressive to start the fight, allowing Mir to step forward for the first minute or so. Mir gets in the clinch and leaves his head open and Overeem makes him pay for it. Overeem lands a huge knee to the head followed by a punch as Mir falls to the canvas. Overeem dives in for more punishment, but it's controlled mayhem so he doesn't blow all of his oxygen. He unloads some nasty knees to the body but Mir survives and somehow gets back to the feet. Overeem gets close again and Mir drops down for a leg lock, but comes up with air and the round ends with Overeem on top, landing a few shots inside his opponent's guard.
Round 1 10-9 Alistair Overeem
Overeem shrugs off an early takedown from Mir, just tossing him to the mat. Overeem allows Mir back up and he starts working from the clinch against the cage. The referee separates them after a lull in action. Mir finally ducks under and grabs Overeem's legs and gets him to the ground. Mir on top and grabs for a guillotine but Overeem pops out and starts to unload some elbows from Mir's half guard. Overeem has Mir's right eye busted up and bleeding now. Overeem hammers down again with another big elbow. The round comes to an end.
Round 2 10-9 Alistair Overeem
Didn't imagine we'd see a round 3 in this fight, but here we are. Overeem gets a quick takedown to start the round and lands in Mir's guard, but he backs out and lets him back to the feet. Mir dives for a takedown but Overeem sprawls and fires back with a big left before landing in the grappler's half guard. Mir gets full guard again but Overeem just punishing him with punches. Mir has a big hematoma over his right eye now. Overeem clubbing down with right hands, Mir just holding on as blood flows down into his eyes. Mir shifts his hips maybe looking for a submission, but Overeem bounces back up and invites him to stand. Overeem cruises to victory in this one
Round 3 10-9 Alistair Overeem
FOX Sports scores the fight 30-27 for Alistair Overeem
Official result: Alistair Overeem def. Frank Mir by unanimous decision (30-27 on all cards)
Analysis: Overeem with a completely dominant victory over a former UFC champion in a win he desperately needed after two losses in a row. The best part of his performance was Overeem's controlled aggression – he showed patience and strong cardio through all 15 minutes after gassing out in those two fights he lost. When he got on the microphone, Overeem said he heard former champion Brock Lesnar was thinking of coming back to the UFC. His response – "I'll be waiting". As for Mir, that's four losses in a row and he has to seriously consider where he wants to go from here. It's hard to tell if the UFC will cut him or not, but he has to be hanging on by a very thin thread if he still has a job after Saturday night.
John Lineker vs. Ali Bagautinov
Lineker actually has to get his fingernails trimmed by the cage side cut man before he's allowed to enter the cage. With open fingered gloves, long fingernails can be very bad in a fight. Your referee is Keith Peterson
Bagautinov wastes no time getting this fight to the ground and starts working from inside Lineker's guard. Bagautinov landing some good ground and pound from the top. Lineker traps a leg and goes for a heel hook and to counter Bagautinov goes for an inside heel hook of his own but instead both fighters end up releasing their holds and back to the feet we go. Lineker looks for a head kick, but Bagautinov catches it and throws him back down to the mat. Lineker tries for a kimura from the bottom but Bagautinov maintains control with a few more punches before the round ends.
Round 1 10-9 Ali Bagautinov
Lineker looking to find an opening for his strikes while Bagautinov tries for the clinch to avoid the power from the Brazilian's hands and knees. Lineker finding his range now, opening up with some huge shots to the body. Bagautinov wants no part of this stand up, but Lineker is forcing him to stand and trade by blocking his takedowns. Lineker comes back with a very strong second round after spending the majority of the first on his back.
Round 2 10-9 John Lineker
Bagautinov opens the third with a nice takedown, Lineker works up but the Russian has the body lock and he tosses him right back to the mat again. Lineker going for a kimura from the bottom while Bagautinov unloads with elbows to the body. Lineker works up to the feet and immediately Bagautinov plants him back to the ground for his third takedown already this round. Lineker survives the onslaught and he gets back up only to have Bagautinov grab a leg and put him down again. Bagautinov starts to celebrate knowing he's wrapped up a victory
Round 3 10-9 Ali Bagautinov
FOX Sports scores the fight 29-28 for Ali Bagautinov
Official result: Ali Bagautinov def. John Lineker by unanimous decision (29-28 on all cards)
Analysis: Ali Bagautinov should be the next challenger for the UFC flyweight title after his win over John Lineker. Bagautinov is undefeated in the UFC, but it's not going to be an easy task to beat incumbent champion Demetrious Johnson. To his credit, Bagautinov is a tough as nails Sambo player with powerful takedowns and strong boxing but Johnson will certainly be a tall order to tackle. Lineker gets eliminated from title contention for the time being and it's probably better for him considering he's struggled mightily to make weight in all of his bouts in the UFC. Lineker really needs to either consider a move to 135 pounds or get Mike Dolce on speed dial to help him with his cut down to 125 pounds.
Jamie Varner vs. Abel Trujillo
The two fighters are swinging heavy leather on the feet with Trujillo getting an early advantage with a big shot that rattles Varner. It doesn't take Varner long to recover and he's back winging punches before snapping a takedown. Varner moves around and grabs a north-south choke and Trujillo is in trouble. Trujillo is okay and Varner eventually gives up on the hold and they are back up again. Trujillo comes out swinging and connects with another shot as Varner counters and backs away from the cage. Fantastic first round from both competitors
Round 1: 10-9 Jamie Varner
Varner commented between rounds that his right arm is tired after attempting to finish that choke in the first. Trujillo ultra aggressive and he gets clipped by a powerful left counter from Varner. As he swarms, Trujillo fires back and Varner's hurt this time! Varner gets his legs back and starts stalking Trujillo, landing a few huge shots against the cage dropping him to the mat. Varner starts to unload a barrage of strikes including a few nasty knee strikes. It looks like Trujillo is almost done but as he circles away and Varner pursues, he uncorks huge right hand that face plants his opponent on the mat. What an insane finish to an incredible fight!
Official result: Abel Trujillo def. Jamie Varner by knockout at 2:32, R2
Analysis: It's going to take an awful lot for anyone on the card to steal the 'Fight of the Night' from these two guys. Varner had Trujillo in trouble a couple of times in the fight, but somehow the Blackzilian fighter survived. Trujillo's right hand had to be one of the nastiest knockouts we've seen in the last few months, putting Varner face first down on the mat. Following a lackluster preliminary card, Trujillo and Varner brought the fire to kick off the pay-per-view. Trujillo is certainly a fun prospect to watch and while Varner has fallen to defeat in his last couple of fights, he's not going anywhere after taking this fight on short notice and putting on a stellar performance albeit in a losing effort.
John Makdessi vs. Alan Patrick
Patrick goes for a takedown right away but Makdessi avoids it. Patrick goes for a spinning back first, but misses completely. Patrick goes for it again but Makdessi sees it coming without any problem. Patrick is still firing shots including a few kicks and punches as well as a knee to the body. Makdessi isn't taking much damage but he's also not firing back with much offense of his own. Patrick runs in and drives forward to finally land the takedown but Makdessi works back to his feet in quick order.
Round 1: 10-9 Alan Patrick
Patrick gets a takedown after some early standup from Makdessi but can't do anything with it as the Canadian works back to the feet without much trouble. Makdessi lands a nice left hook counter with Patrick rushing in. Makdessi hits a nice spinning back kick to Patrick's midsection although the Brazilian was moving to the side so he doesn’t take the brunt of the power from the strike. Makdessi pop shots Patrick to the body as well as the crowd gets restless once again.
Round 2: 10-9 John Makdessi
Patrick still showing aggression but he's not landing very much at all. Makdessi using good punches to keep Patrick at bay, but the Brazilian manages to unload a nice high kick that cracks the Canadian right in the head. Makdessi absorbs it and fires right back without problem while stuffing yet another takedown from Patrick as well. Makdessi hits a nice counter left again and all Patrick can do is drive for another takedown, but he still can't get it. Patrick keeps stepping in and gets pop shotted for his troubles as the fight finally comes to an end
Round 3: 10-9 John Makdessi
FOX Sports scores the fight 29-28 for John Makdessi
Official result: Alan Patrick def. John Makdessi by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Analysis: Judging comes into question for a less than spectacular fight. Maybe Patrick knew something we didn't because as soon as the final horn sounded, he ran around the cage with his hands in the air, celebrating what he believed was a victory. When the scores were read, Makdessi didn't even seem all that upset so obviously he didn't think he did enough to win either. Overall, very lackluster fight from both fighters but Patrick gets the controversial win.
Chris Cariaso vs. Danny Martinez
Martinez storms forward with punches and looks for the takedown right away. Cariaso gets free and starts tossing out a bevy of kicks to the head and body. Martinez wades in for another takedown attempt, but Cariaso blocking effectively. Cariaso lands a nick body kick followed by a right hand while Martinez again shoots in for a takedown. Martinez finally gets him to the mat but Cariaso pops back to the feet. Martinez shoots back in and clasps his hand under Cariaso's butt, lifts him in the air and turns away from the cage before slamming him to the mat.
Round 1: 10-9 Danny Martinez
Cariaso using more effective standup to start round two, but he's not landing with any real power yet. Martinez powers forward to look for another takedown against the cage, but Cariaso defending well. Back to the center and Cariaso starts to put together his combinations with some good kicks including one to the head. Martinez blasts through and gets Cariaso to the ground. Martinez can't maintain control and Cariaso is back up again. The round ends with the crowd booing and Martinez still trying to get the takedown. Not much action at all, very close round.
Round 2: 10-9 Chris Cariaso
Cariaso pops Martinez with a nice punch to start the round. Martinez isn't slowing down, however, and he's going for a takedown yet again. Cariaso hitting some strong punches from distance, goes for a head kick, but Martinez catches it and takes him to the ground. He can only keep him there for a few seconds and Cariaso is up again. Cariaso taking over with his striking, punches and kicks landing and Martinez not countering as much now. Cariaso quick on his feet and all Martinez can do is try for another takedown that doesn't land.
Round 3: 10-9 Chris Cariaso
FOX Sports scores the fight 29-28 for Chris Cariaso
Official result: Chris Cariason def. Danny Martinez by unanimous decision (29-28 on all cards)
Analysis: Chris Cariaso picks up his second win in a row, but there probably won't be many replays of this one. Cariaso was quick with his striking, but he never really put any power behind anything to hurt his opponent. Martinez took the fight on short notice so he gets a slight pass for a poor performance, but unless he can come up with a better strategy than constantly shooting for takedowns and not getting them, his UFC career won't last that long.
Nick Catone vs. Tom Watson
Herb Dean is your referee again.
Watson obviously wants this one to stay standing so he's putting his punches and kicks out from a distance, not closing in much early. Watson throws a right high kick and Catone counters with a punch right down the middle. Catone cracks Watson with another nice counter right. Watson is using his leg kicks effectively to back Catone off. Almost three minutes in, Catone finally shoots in but Watson is able to block the takedown. Watson still landing the leg kicks to Catone's lead leg. Watson throws a knee and Catone finally gets a takedown. Catone drives and finally gets Watson on his back just before the round ends.
Round 1: 10-9 Nick Catone
Watson again throwing out the leg kick to cut Catone off, but the New Jersey native fires back with an overhand right. Watson seems content to throw leg kicks as the crowd starts to get restless as Catone finally gets in for another takedown. Watson quick back to his feet as he works from the clinch against the cage before they separate. Catone bursts forward with an explosive double leg takedown putting Watson down against the cage. Watson doing a great job of playing defense and getting up again, but he's not mounting much offense at this point.
Round 2: 10-9 Nick Catone
Eye poke to start the third round that has Catone flinching a bit, but Herb Dean doesn't see it so the fight continues. Watson is plodding forward with leg kicks and punches and Catone is starting to look tired without much offense being generated at all. Catone finally drives through the strikes and gets the takedown but Watson works up to his feet almost immediately. Watson still landing his kicks but he can't put together any combinations to really hurt Catone. Catone again gets the takedown and he gets Watson's back. Watson is scrambling and works up again but Catone may have already closed this one out.
Round 3: 10-9 Nick Catone
FOX Sports scores the fight 30-27 for Nick Catone
Official result: Nick Catone def. Tom Watson by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)
Analysis: Catone moves back to middleweight after a brief experiment at 170 pounds and while he didn't win by a blowout, he definitely needed the victory and got the job done. His wrestling remains his strongest asset but the work he's been doing with boxing coach Mark Henry did help him at points during the fight. Watson drops his second straight fight and third out of four fights in the UFC. It's clear Watson's weak point is his takedown defense and if he can't fix that, he won't be fighting in the Octagon for very much longer.
Al Iaquinta vs. Kevin Lee
Iaquinta with both Ray Longo and former welterweight champ Matt Serra in his corner. The referee for this one is Herb Dean.
The fighters start out on the feet with both looking for huge punches but it's Iaquinta with a straight left that knocks Lee down on the mat. Iaquinta jumps on him looking to finish the fight, but Lee recovers and gets back to the feet. Lee goes for a takedown and Iaquinta hooks the leg and jumps into a beautiful heel hook submission as he drops to the ground. Lee gets out and the fighters separate, back to the feet. Both fighters exchange punches before the round ends
Round 1: 10-9 Al Iaquinta
Iaquinta with a nice body shot followed up by an overhand right. Lee slips in for the takedown and gets Iaquinta's back ultra fast. Lee has his arm deep under Iaquinta's neck with both legs wrapped around his body. Iaquinta survives but Lee has the body triangle and he's in control. Lee continues his attack with some great elbows to the side of Iaquinta's head. Very creative strikes from the back with Iaquinta just playing defense. Lee cranking on Iaquinta's face but can't get the finish before the round ends. Complete reversal of fortune from the first five minutes
Round 2: 10-9 Kevin Lee
Iaquinta opens with a huge right hand that rattles Lee to start the round. Lee goes for a takedown and Iaquinta tries for the same heel hook as the first round, but this time his opponent is ready for it. Lee hammer fists down busting up Iaquinta's nose before the fighters work back to the feet. Iaquinta goes for a takedown and Lee tries to jump and kick him with the other leg but can't connect. Lee shoots in and Iaquinta shrugs him off. Iaquinta closes out the last minute with some great combinations including a nice punch right to Lee's gut followed by an overhand right. Close round up until the end but Iaquinta edges it out.
Round 3: 10-9 Al Iaquinta
FOX Sports scores the fight 29-28 for Al Iaquinta
Official result: Al Iaquinta def. Kevin Lee by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-27)
Analysis: What a great scrap by two impressive young lightweights. Iaquinta started out very strong but showed some serious gumption in the second when he was literally spitting out of his mouth from the pressure of Lee's rear naked choke attempt. The New Yorker still showed great cardio in the third round to pull out the decision. Lee didn't get the win but he made a great showing for his first fight in the UFC. The 28-27 score by one judge means Iaquinta had to both win and lose a round by a 10-8 score. Both of these guys have a ton of potential in the shark pit that is the UFC lightweight division.
Clint Hester vs. Andy Enz
Andy Enz out to "Ten Thousand Hours" by recent best new artist Grammy winner Macklemore. Clint Hester to "Head Bussa" by Lil Scrappy
Gasper Oliver your referee for the third straight fight. Hester aggressive early and cracks Endz with a nice body kick. Hester snaps off a huge punch that putz Enz down. Hester swarms and he's looking for the finish but somehow Enz survives and continues to look for a takedown. Hester pops him again but Enz is still able to scramble and get out of trouble. Hester slowing down a bit to pace himself as Enz shakes off the cobwebs. Enz is firing back now and actually lands a nice punch and head kick combo that rattles Hester a bit. Hester wins the round but Enz isn't going away easy.
Round 1: 10-9 Clint Hester
Hester gets a nice takedown to start the round, moves to side control and starts to punch away as Enz gets back up to his feet. Enz is pressing forward but Hester lands another quick takedown. Enz gets his guard and pushes Hester away but on the way up Hester unloads a great left hook cracking his opponent on the chin. Second round much closer than the first, but Hester is still landing the better shots. Enz has a great chin but needs a finish if he's going to have a chance to win
Round 2: 10-9 Clint Hester
Enz is peppering Hester this round with a good mix of jabs and kicks, but he's not putting any real damage on his opponent. Hester uncorks a big right that pops Enz in the side of the head. Hester with a nice body shot that had to feel bad on Enz's ribs. Hester landing the much better power shots throughout the round as Enz can only put together a few combinations with none of his punches doing any real damage. The third round was the best for Enz, but still not good enough to push Hester to the breaking point
Round 3: 10-9 Clint Hester
FOX Sports scores the fight 30-27 for Clint Hester
Official result: Clint Hester def. Andy Enz by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Analysis: Clint Hester with another strong performance, his third straight since appearing on The Ultimate Fighter. Hester is a very powerful puncher, but he has to be careful of not over extending himself because he started to slow in the third round so cardio could be an issue for him against the better middleweights in the division. Enz certainly showed he can take a punch, but didn't show any real desperation in the third round after his coaches told him specifically he had to finish to win the fight.
Tony Martin vs. Rashid Magomedov
Gasper Oliver is your referee. Neither fighter engaging for the first 45 seconds of the fight. Martin finally shoots in, gets double underhooks, but Magomedov is defending well. Martin switches and gets a beautiful throw, landing in side control on the Russian. Martin landing short shots from the top but ends up in Magomedov's half-guard. Martin goes for the kimura and traps Magomedov's head and arm. Martin transitions to a straight arm bar as Magomedov shrieks in agony but he somehow twists and turns and gets out to put the fight back on the feet. The fight stalls for the last minute before the round ends. The submission was as close as you can get to a finish in that round.
Round 1: 10-8 Tony Martin
Martin gets the clinch against the cage, pressuring Magomedov looking for the takedown. Martin goes for another takedown but lost the position and Magomedov ends up on top. Magomedov unloads a huge left hand that busts up Martin's eye. Martin reverses and gets back up again. Magomedov controlling the stand up this round with a good mix of kicks and knees. Martin is circling constantly but not landing much in the way of strikes at all. Round closes with Magomedov pursuing Martin.
Round 2: 10-9 Rashid Magomedov
Magomedov tags Martin with a great counter shot to open the round. Martin pressing again looking for the takedown. Magomedov appeared to grab the cage while blocking the takedown but the referee didn't notice. Martin still looking for a takedown and Magomedov grabs a guillotine and drops down looking for the finish. Martin slips out using a good butterfly guard, but Magomedov swarming with punches and kicks. Martin desperately looks for the clinch to stop the punishment. Martin does a good job surviving, but Magomedov clearly in control. Martin bleeding badly from his face now as the referee separates them. Martin shoots and he gets cracked by Magomedov for his troubles. Magomedov blasting away at Martin with knees to the body again as he shoots in for a takedown. Magomedov closes it down with a completely dominant round
Round 3: 10-8 Rashid Magomedov
FOX Sports scores the fight 28-27 Rashid Magomedov
Official result: Rashid Magomedov def. Tony Martin by unanimous decision (29-28 on all cards)
Analysis: Tony Martin looked great in the first round while grabbing an armbar that had Magomedov in agonizing pain, but the Russian somehow survived. From that point, Magomedov took over with nasty standup and some ground and pound that busted up Martin's eye. Magomedov gets huge credit for a fantastic comeback after a first round that saw him nearly submitted with an armbar that could have easily done serious damage.
Neil Magny vs. Gasan Umalatov
Magny catches an early kick from Umalatov and looks to flurry, but the Russian defends well. Magny overextends and Umalatov gets under and scoop him for a big takedown landing in side control. Umalatov is looking for a guillotine, but Magny gets out with a big upkick and they are on the feet again. Magny again landing good combinations, Umalatov looks for a takedown but again the Colorado native stuffs the attempt to keep the fight standing. Magny gets a late takedown of his own and takes Umalatov's back but the round comes to an end before he can get a submission
Round 1 10-9 Neil Magny
Magny again looking to use his reach to keep Umalatov away with the Russian trying to push forward through his punches. Umalatov traps Magny against the cage and uncorks a big overhand right, but his opponent blocks effectively. Magny gets Umalatov in the clinch against the cage as the fighters jockey for position. Umalatov swarms with punches and looks for a takedown but against Magny counters well before taking the Russian to the mat, taking his back, flattening him out and punching before the round ends.
Round 2 10-9 for Neil Magny
Magny keeping Umalatov at the end of his punches. Magny up 60 to 16 in total strikes up to this point in the fight. Magny tagging Umalatov from distance but the Russian finally gets in the clinch and drags him to the mat. Umalatov trying to get Magny's back but cannot and again the former Ultimate Fighter competitor slips out. Umalatov winging big punches but not landing much of anything. Magny goes for a jumping knee but Umalatov goes under and takes the fight down, but within seconds they are back up again. With under a minute to go, Umalatov goes for another takedown despite the fact that he has to know he's down two rounds at this point. Fight comes to an end with Umalatov pressing the pace, but nothing doing.
Round 3: 10-9 Gusan Umalatov
FOX Sports scores the fight 29-28 for Neil Magny
Official result: Neil Magny def. Gusan Umalatov (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Analysis: It was a must win situation for Magny after two straight losses, but this was by far his best performance inside the Octagon. Magny did a great job using his long reach – which he happens to have the longest in the entire welterweight division – and his two takedowns in the first and second rounds were strong against the former Sambo fighter. Umalatov fought flat and just couldn't get going, but some of that could get chalked up to Octagon jitters for his first fight in the UFC.
Early prelims: 6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT on UFC Fight Pass
Clint Hester vs. Andy Enz
Tony Martin vs. Rashid Magomedov
Neil Magny vs. Gasan Umalatov
Prelims: 8pm ET / 5pm PT on FOX Sports 1
John Makdessi vs. Alan Patrick
Chris Cariaso vs. Danny Martinez
Nick Catone vs. Tom Watson
Al Iaquinta vs. Kevin Lee
UFC 169 main card: 10pm ET / 7pm PT on Pay-Per-View
Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber - Bantamweight championship
Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas - Featherweight championship
Frank Mir vs. Alistair Overeem
John Lineker vs. Ali Bagautinov
Jamie Varner vs. Abel Trujillo