Live blog recap: T.J. Dillashaw shocks Renan Barao by TKO in historic UFC title upset

T.J. Dillashaw (right) shocked the UFC by finishing Renan Barao in the fifth round by TKO to win the bantamweight title.

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

UFC president Dana White will have to rewrite his pound-for-pound rankings.

In one of the biggest upsets in UFC history, massive underdog T.J. Dillashaw dominated Renan Barao and finished him by TKO at 2:26 of the fifth round to become the new UFC bantamweight champion. Barao, White’s pick coming in as the best fighter on the planet, had not lost since 2005 when he was 18 years old.

Barao, 27, was nearly a 10-to-1 favorite in some sports books and was undefeated in his last 33 fights. Few gave Dillashaw, 28, any chance, but he almost finished Barao in the first round and then completed the job in the fifth. Dillashaw is the fourth Ultimate Fighter alum to become a UFC champion.

In the co-main event, Daniel Cormier earned a light heavyweight title shot by dominating Dan Henderson and submitting him in the third round. Robbie Lawler earned a big win by finishing fellow welterweight contender Jake Ellenberger via TKO.


Renan Barao vs. T.J. Dillashaw


Barao is dancing on the way to the Octagon. Think he’s relaxed?

Dillashaw is a huge underdog. Does he have any chance against the UFC bantamweight champion, who has not lost in about a decade? That’s a tough one.

Herb Dean is your referee for this title bout.

Bruce Buffer says Dillashaw is a "monkey style" fighter. Is that from the In N Out burger hidden menu?

Well, here goes nothing.

Dillashaw isn’t showing much fear, to his credit. Uppercut attempt. Leg kick.

Head kick attempt by Dillashaw. He does not look like he doesn’t belong in there.

Uppercut by Dillashaw! Nicely done. Barao eats it.

Dillashaw lands two more punches. He’s confident, man.

More punches landed by Dillashaw. Barao looks a little stunned. The crowd is kind of surprised, too.

Dillashaw lands a huge overhand right! Barao is down. Dillashaw looking for a finish!

Barao is looking for a leg lock. DIllashaw pouring it on!

Rear naked choke? Dillashaw is close to ending it. Nope. Barao is out and up.

That’s the round. Holy moly. Wow!

10-9 Dillashaw — Overhand right almost ended the damn fight. Dillashaw was so close to finishing a guy who hasn’t been beaten in nine years. Unreal. Barao was hurt badly. Badly. 


Good knee by Barao. Dillashaw is wading in and he might pay for it.

Dillashaw is bleeding near his right eye.

Good counterpunching from Dillashaw. This is a fight boys and girls. A real fight.

Lot of big swings.

Dillashaw shoots for a takedown. Barao shrugs it off.

Barao lands a kick below the belt. Ouch. 

Both guys are landing punches. Dillashaw backs up Barao with a right. This is fun.

Dillashaw looks so confident and loose. So impressed with him.

Big combination by Barao. Dillashaw back with a kick to the body. Awesome.

Dillashaw lands a combination as the round ends.

10-9 Dillashaw — Yep, another one. Dillashaw is really feeling it. He’s found a new gear and a new level and Barao doesn’t know what’s going on. This is his fight to lose, right now. That’s right, I said it. Dillashaw looks great.


Dillashaw goes for a head kick and Barao counters with a left.

Dillashaw is switching stances nicely.

Combination lands by Dillashaw. And a head kick. Dillashaw picking him apart now. Barao is in trouble.

Dillashaw is honestly having his way.

Left head kick by Dillashaw! Barao eats it. This is crazy.

Barao thinks he got poked. Dean doesn’t acknowledge it. Dillashaw takes advantage with a combination. Has Barao up against the cage now.

10-9 Dillashaw — Not only is T.J. Dillashaw beating Renan Barao, he looks better than Barao. It’s pretty remarkable. What a performance. But of course, this thing isn’t over yet.


So, Barao probably needs a finish. Can he get it?

More Dillashaw combinations. More damage. More points. Lot of the same early in the fourth.

It looks like Dillashaw switching stances has Barao confused.

Dillashaw pushing Barao against the cage.

Dillashaw has a big smile on his face, dancing around. All the cardio in the world.

Barao trips. Dillashaw on top. Dillashaw in side control.

Barao looking for submissions. Dillshaw slipping out. Dillashaw drops some ground and pound as the round ends.

10-9 Dillashaw — This is clean sweep so far and it’s incredible. Dillashaw looks like the huge favorite, not the other way around. Barao needs a finish or this is an easy decision call for Dillashaw.


Barao looks like he might have gotten a second wind. More snap in his punches and kicks.

Gorgeous body kick from Dillashaw. 

Massive head kick. Barao is hurt!

Dillashaw pouncing.  That’s it! He finished it! Unbelievable

T.J. Dillashaw is the new UFC bantamweight champion. You read that correctly. 


Official result: T.J. Dillashaw def. Renan Barao by TKO at 2:26 of the fifth round

Analysis: Wow. What is there to say? Dillashaw was given absolutely no shot against the guy UFC president Dana White has been calling the best fighter in the world. He went out, dominated and finished him.

One of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Incredible stuff. And why this sport is so great.

Daniel Cormier vs. Dan Henderson


Henderson is a massive, massive underdog and for good reason. But man, it would be silly to completely count the man out. He’s 43, but he’s been there with the best in the history of the sport and held his own. 

Cormier is a legit challenger to Jon Jones’ title. So, this one has a chance to be very interested. And he’s sprinting to the Octagon.

Yves Lavigne is the referee for this light heavyweight bout. 

Big takedown by Cormier. Like real big. Cormier in side control.

Henderson is tying up Cormier’s arms. Imagine Henderson wins by submission? Craziness.

Cormier is safe now. He’s still in side control. Working for a mounted crucifix. Really dominant on top rigght now. In half guard. Almost in mount, but not quite. 

This is exactly what Cormier wants here. He’s grinding away on a smaller man.

Henderson is turtled. Cormier is landing punches.

Henderson is back up after a leg lock attempt.

Henderson now looking to take Cormier down. Doesn’t work. The round ends with them against the cage.

10-9 Cormier — Dominant round from Cormier. Exactly what he wanted. He’s executing his strategy perfectly, now allowing Henderson to get off any big right hands. Expect more of that.


Another takedown from Cormier. Way too easy. He’s looking for a submission now. And now some ground and pound.

Henderson is turtled. Cormier throwing big rights. He might be looking for a kimura.

This is domination. Henderson can’t do a damn thing. 

Now, Cormier is looking for a mounted crucifix. More punches. Henderson looks like he’s drowning. This is no fun.

This is hard to watch. Cormier is just putting on a wrestling clinic and beating the crap out of Henderson.

10-9 Cormier — I don’t even want to watch this third round. Henderson needs an H-Bomb in the worst way. And then maybe a trip to the hospital. Cormier is winning this in a rout.


Head kicks from Cormier, because why not? Then a slam from freakin’ hell. He threw Henderson over his head. Over his head! This is ridiculous.

Cormier has Hendo’s back. Can someone put a stop to this? Throw in the towel? Something?

Cormier continues his onslaught. Yves Lavigne? Might want to step in here, bud.

Cormier looking for a choke. And he gets it. Mercifully. Henderson is unconscious. Man, that was no fun to watch.

Official result: Daniel Cormier def. Dan Henderson by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:55 of the third round

Analysis: Yeah, Cormier is ready to fight for the light heavyweight title. He’s right there with Jones and Alexander Gustafsson among the best 205-pounders in the world. I dare you to argue. Henderson had no chance in this fight from the beginning. Terrible matchup. I’m certain he’ll want to return, but against someone a little more realistic.

Robbie Lawler vs. Jake Ellenberger


Both these guys can wrestle. Both these guys can knock people out. This is a fight fans’ dream matchup. Thanks, Joe Silva. Winner gets close to a title shot and I think if Lawler wins big, he can earn a rematch with champion Johny Hendricks.

Herb Dean is the referee for this welterweight fight.

Lawler hits Ellenberger with a head kick. Not totally clean, but that hurt. 

Lawler looks really sharp here. Nice, smooth combinations.

Lawler has a speed advantage. That much is clear. Ellenberger has not done much.

Big combination by Lawler.

Ellenberger lands a right, but Lawler counters with a left.

Ellenberger lands a body punch and looks much better at the end of the round.

10-9 Lawler — Those first two head kicks to start the round sent a pretty clear message right away. Ellenberger took awhile to mentally come back from those. Lawler landed more, but Ellenberger is very much still in this fight.


Ellenberger goes for a takedown. First of the fight. He does not get it.

Ellenberger has a body lock on Lawler. They separate and Ellenberger tries a head kick. Goes off Lawler’s hands.

Good left by Lawler. Ellenberger is bailing. Lawler is boxing him up.

Ellenberger cut on his nose. He goes for a takedown and gets it. Lawler is laughing. And he’s back up.

Big knee to the sternum from Lawler! That hurt.

Ellenberger is turtling. Lawler hitting him with punches. Ellenberger might be in some trouble.

Ellenberger shoots for a takedown and lands it. Lawler is on his back. And he’s back up.

That’s the round.

10-9 Lawler — Lawler looked great. Outboxed Ellenberger, landed that huge knee to the sternum and did damage with ground and pound. Ellenberger needs a finish.


Ellenberger is landing big! Wow. He’s throwing everything at Lawler. 

Lawler landing too. What a sequence.

Ellenberger might have hurt his right hand. He’s favoring it.

He’s still landing it, though. 

Lawler lands some combinations. Good jab. Knee by Lawler. Ellenberger goes down in a heap. Lawler pounces. That’s it.

Ellenberger looked hurt badly. Man.

Official result: Robbie Lawler def. Jake Ellenberger by TKO at 3:06 of the third round

Analysis: In my eyes, Robbie Lawler is still the No. 1 contender for the welterweight title. He should get the Hendricks rematch. All due respect to Rory MacDonald and Tyron Woodley, but Lawler is better. He looks awesome right now. Ellenberger didn’t look like himself except for that one stretch in the third round. He’s still one of the top 10 best welterweights in the world, regardless of this result. 

Takeya Mizugaki vs. Francisco Rivera


The winner of this fight will be close to a title shot in the bantamweight division. Also, they both like to stand and bang, so don’t blink here. Really.

Yves Lavigne is your referee.

Mizugaki drops Rivera with a right hand after some feeling out. Rivera is hurt and on the bottom. Mizugaki pouncing and pounding away from the top. 

Mizugaki is in half guard. Rivera is getting time to recover here. 

And Rivera is up. The crowd cheers.

Rivera with a trip takedown. Mizugaki bounces right back up, though.

Mizugaki lands a combination. Rivera sneaking in some knees in the clinch.

Rivera takes down Mizugaki. Wild sequence at the end with Rivera swinging from his knees. Round over.

10-9 Mizugaki — Rivera looks OK now, but it wasn’t like that early on. Mizugaki hurt him badly with a right hand and some ground and pound before he somehow recovered. Good first round from the Japanese fighter.


Mizugaki finds Rivera’s jaw with a right hand. He eats it.

Rivera lands a head kick. Mizugaki is bleeding. It’s a brawl now. Holy violence.

Rivera jumps for a guillotine. Doesn’t look like he’s going to get it. Mizugaki wanted a takedown, because he was getting hurt standing.

Mizugaki out and on top. Rivera is showing no urgency in trying to get back to his feet. Why? He had an opportunity. Mizugaki has his back now. Working for a choke. Or a neck crank.

That’s how the round will end.

10-9 Mizugaki — Bad job by Rivera. He went for the guillotine, which was silly, and then he just kind of laid there. He was winning the round before that. Really weird.


Rivera wobbles Mizugaki with a right hand. Mizugaki has cuts over both eyes.

Big right hand by Mizugaki downs Rivera. Mizugaki on top now and Rivera needs to do something here.

Rivera continues to do absolutely nothing on the bottom. Mizugaki isn’t doing any damage, but he’s winning this round. Rivera holds his hands out in exasperation.

Lavigne stands them up.

Both dudes are throwing! Rivera stops. And then starts again. He needs a KO! He won’t get it.

10-9 Mizugaki 10-9, Mizugaki 30-27 — Weird fight by Rivera. He lost every round, meanwhile he could have won the last two with some more urgency. Clearly, Mizugaki’s fight.

Official result: Takeya Mizugaki def. Francisco Rivera by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Analysis: Mizugaki is a title contender, which is crazy since he went nine fights in a row between the UFC and WEC alternating wins and losses. Now, though, he has won five in a row. It’s him and Raphael Assuncao right now among the top contenders at 135. Rivera could have been there. That was his first loss in seven fights. Has to work himself back up now.

Jamie Varner vs. James Krause


Varner and Krause have this thing where they’re not involved in boring fights. So, this one is sure to be unwatchable.

Jason Herzog is the referee for this lightweight bout.

Krause is using his reach advantage already, landing some combinations. Nice front kick to the face by Krause.

Varner is down and hurt. It didn’t look like it came from a blow from Krause. He just went down. 

Varner messed up his leg. He’s trying to fight with it. Varner takes him down.

Krause sweeps and he’s on top. Varner is in serious trouble here. He’s basically fightong on one leg.

Varner sweeps and he’s in side control. Varner blasting away.

Krause is up and Varner is swinging for the fences, trying to end this.

Varner can’t even stand up at this point. Herzog has not noticed it.

Krause has him turtled. Krause letting him up. Lord Varner is tough. My lord.

Varner’s leg buckles again. Krause landing elbows.

10-9 Krause — Can we stop this fight? Varner is hurt badly. The man can’t stand up. 

Yep, that’s it. Varner said his ankle is broken. He fought almost an entire round with a broken ankle. That’s insanity.

Official result: James Krause def. Jamie Varner via TKO after the first round 

Analysis: Varner is probably too tough for his own good. Some heart on him, though. Krause looked solid early, but this wasn’t a real fight. Both guys are really solid and fun to watch. Hopefully Varner is OK.

PRELIMS (FOX Sports 1)

Michael Chiesa vs. Francisco Trinaldo


Contrary to popular belief, Chiesa is not actually Cody McKenzie.

Both of these guys are TUF alums, though the shows were in different countries.

Herb Dean is the referee for this lightweight matchup.

Trinaldo hurts Chiesa with a knee to the body. Chiesa is backtracking like hell.

Trinaldo lands a body punch. Chiesa is going for takedowns and he lands it.

Chiesa pounding away and now he’s in mount. Elbows to the face. Serious ground and pound. Wow. This is vicious. Trinaldo is getting crushed.

How the hell did he survive that?

10-9 Chiesa — Chiesa was in a load of trouble after that early body kick. But once he landed that takedown, he had Trinaldo exactly where he wanted him. That was some savage, brutal ground and pound from mount. Dean could have easily stopped it.


Trinaldo hurts Chiesa with a left hand and jumps for an arm-in guillotine! He has it tight. Nah. Chiesa is OK and now he’s back on top. Uh oh.

Trinaldo working for a sweep. Looking for a leg lock maybe. Chiesa transitions back to the top. Half guard. 

Chiesa has a weird mounted crucifix and he’s landing elbows. Not hard, but annoying.

More elbows from Chiesa as the round ends. Another dominant round. Love his performance so far.

10-9 Chiesa — His grappling is really impressive and he’s doing damage with ground and pound, unlike Holdsworth. Trinaldo needs a finish here. And he’s capable of it.


Trinaldo lands a knee to the groin. That’s one way to end the fight. Chiesa is OK though.

Chiesa times a takedown perfectly and lands it. Trinaldo needs to actually get up this time. 

He’s not. Same story. Chiesa mauling. 

Trinaldo going for an armbar! No way. Really?

Chiesa is out. That was crazy. Would have been one of the biggest comebacks ever. But now it’s nothing and no one will ever even remember it. Sorry, Francisco.

This one is over. Chiesa rides it out. 

10-9 Chiesa, 30-27 Chiesa — Complete effort by Chiesa. He looked great on the ground and came back from adversity. Nicely done.

Official result: Michael Chiesa def. Francisco Trinaldo by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)

Analysis: Chiesa has won loss in his career and it was against Jorge Masvidal, a ranked lightweight. It’s time Chiesa is considered in that same breath. At 26, he isn’t even in his prime yet. "Maverick" is a dude nobody wants to face. Total grinder and skilled. Trinaldo is 35 years old. He has won three of five in the UFC, but he has yet to carve out a real niche.

Tony Ferguson vs. Katusnori Kikuno


Kikuno is entertaining as hell. His kicks are lethal. And Ferguson has some power in this hands. This one should be good. The Vegas fans need to wake up after that last fight combined with partying at Marquee Dayclub today.

Kikuno is landing, because Ferguson has no idea what that stance is all about. 

Ferguson rocks Kikuno, but he gets his legs under him. 

Kikuno is running away. Ferguson is teeing off. Dude. Kikuno is eating some bombs. Unreal.

Huge elbow against the cage from Kikuno. Kikuno is awesome at blocking punches with his face.

Ferguson slams him down and has his back. Looking for an armbar. Doesn’t get it. Goes for a d’arce choke. Nope. He can’t get it. Wow. Still a minute left in the round.

Ferguson crushes Kikuno with a right and he’s unconscious. Nuts. That was frightening. Kikuno’s head bounced like a basketball against the ground.

Official result: Tony Ferguson def. Katsunori Kikuno by TKO at 4:06 of the first round

Analysis: Injuries are Ferguson’s biggest enemy right now. He’s won five of six in the UFC and is starting to creep closer to top-15 status. The lightweight division is loaded, but he’s versatile with power in his hands. There are plenty of guys he can beat. Kikuno? Well, he’s interesting to watch. Look for him on the Japan card in September against someone not very good.

Chris Holdsworth vs. Chico Camus


I don’t know if Holdsworth’s nickname has always been "Holds It Down," but someone should talk to him about that. At 26, the TUF alum is a pretty solid prospect in the bantamweight division.

Camus has won two in a row and three of four in the UFC. Not too bad. But he’s giving up almost a half of a foot in height to Holdsworth.

The referee for this 135-pound fight is Mark Smith.

Camus comes out landing punches. He’s picked up some skills over the years at Roufusport.

Holdsworth drops Camus with a left. Camus is back up. He’s fine.

Holdworth takes Camus down. This is where Holdsworth is at his best. He’s a tremendous grappler. And he’s in mount. Camus hip-escapes out of that. But he’s still on the bottom.

That’s how the round ends.

10-9 Holdsworth — Camus had some moments standing up, but once things got to the ground Holdsworth was pretty smothering. Easily won that round.


Holdsworth works to get Camus down again. And he’s in mount again. Camus is having a hard time with Holdsworth’s jiu-jitsu.

Holdsworth goes for an arm triangle. Camus slips out and stands up. Not for long, though. Holdsworth takes him down once again. And he’s back in mount. Wow.

Working again for that arm triangle. Camus is flopping around like a fish out of water. Holdsworth has his back.

That’s the end of the round.

10-9 Holdsworth — Complete domination from Holdsworth. I’d like to see him go hard for the finish in the third, but I understand why he would not. Camus has nothing for him on the ground. At all.


Camus lands a combination. Holdsworth is OK, though. Camus is trying to make it into a brawl now.

Holdsworth takes him down and he’s dropping elbows and punches. Holdsworth takes Camus’ back. And now back to mount. Holdsworth really wants that arm triangle.

He won’t get it. That’s the fight. 

10-9 Holdsworth, 30-27 Holdsworth — Not even close. You might even be able to throw a 10-8 or two in there. Holdsworth looked really good. He’s a legit prospect.

Official result: Chris Holdsworth def. Chico Camus by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Analysis: Before you say Holdsworth is the next Jake Shields, remember he’s only 26 and this is really his first non-TUF fight in the UFC. He has a world of potential and trains out of Team Alpha Male, one of the best gyms in the country. Camus is experienced and no slouch and he totally dominated him.

Al Iaquinta vs. Mitch Clarke


Iaquinta walks out to "New York" by Ja Rule, because he’s awesome. And from Long Island. Chris Weidman’s teammate has won three straight. He’s also the star of an MMA TV show.

Clarke has lost two of three and a win here would be significant for the MMA Lab product. His nickname is "Danger Zone" and it’s fantastic.

The referee for this lightweight bout is Jason Herzog.

Big right hook by Iaquinta drops Clarke. Iaquinta on top. Matt Serra is yelling. When is Matt Serra not yelling?

Iaquinta dropping some ground and pound. He bounces Clarke’s head off the canvas. Nasty. Clarke is in a bad way.

More bombs being dropped from Iaquinta. Less than a minute left in the round and Clarke is back up.

Iaquinta takes him down with a front headlock. The kid from Long Island looks pretty good. He’s all over Clarke.

10-9 Iaquinta — Dominant round for Iaquinta. He dropped Clarke with a right hook and landed some big punches on the ground. Clarke doesn’t seem to have an answer.


Iaquinta takes Clarke down. Somehow Clarke sneaks his forearm underneath Iaquinta’s neck and pulls a D’arce choke from nowhere. Iaquinta is out. It’s over. Wow. 

That was a pretty slick technique.

Official result: Mitch Clarke def. Al Iaquinta by submission at 0:57 of the second round

Analysis: Iaquinta was absolutely rolling before Clarke pulled that submission out of his "Danger Zone." Clarke just caught him and now he has won two straight. His stand up looked elementary, but hey, jiu-jitsu. Iaquinta is probably the better fighter, but he got surprised by a superior technique.

Anthony Njuokuani vs. Vinc Pichel


Pichel was given his nickname — "From Hell" — by his mother, per Mike Goldberg. Guess that means he wasn’t a good kid. Kudos for staying true to his nickname, though, and coming out to ACDC. "Highway to Hell" indeed.

Njokuani’s knockout of Chris Horodecki in the WEC is still one of my favorite KOs ever because of its sheer ridiculousness. I still don’t know what Horodecki was doing with his back turned, running away.

Pichel pokes Njokuani in the eye. Doesn’t look very good. Hope this one doesn’t end because of that. Doctor said he’s OK, but Njokuani is still rubbing it. Oh and it’s swollen. Cool.

Huge slam from Pichel. Njokuani works his way back up. Pichel puts him up against the cage again. He’s going to make this ugly, isn’t he? He should.

Njokuani gets hit with a knee to the ground. Dude, Pichel is cheating. Cut it out, bro. This has been a rough first round for Njokuani. The man just wants to Muau Thai. Let him Muay Thai!

Njokuani lands a left hand near the end of the round. That’s about it.

10-9 Pichel — He dictated where the fight took place. He also poked Njokuani in the eye and kneed him in the jewels. So there’s that.


Njokuani is making Vinc Pichel look like Cael Sanderson. Just getting ragdolled.

Pichel lands some big right hands on the ground. Njokuani looks hurt.

Pichel is just throwing Njokuani around and landing punches on the ground. Happened for basically all five minutes.

10-8 Pichel — Yeah, it was that bad. Pichel just dominated that round. Njokuani did absolutely nothing. He got suplexed twice and was nearly finished.


Njojuani is actually standing up here, but not really landing anything of significance. Pichel continues to push the pace. Njokuani can’t even plant his feet.

Pichel takes him down, because of course he does.

More grinding and punching and ragdolling from Pichel. He gets mount a couple of times, too. Njokuani has nothing.

10-9 Pichel, 30-26 Pichel — Pichel is not a great wrestler. But Njokuani made him look that way. Nine takedowns from Pichel. He executed his strategy perfectly and just dominated "The Assassin." Total rout.

Official result: Vinc Pichel def. Anthony Njokuani by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Analysis: Well, that was something. If Pichel wasn’t 31, I’d say he has potential. But really he’s just another a guy in the division with some versatility. Njokuani is extremely fun to watch in the right fight. This was not it.

Sam Sicilia vs. Aaron Phillips


Aaron Phillips’ hero per Mike Goldberg is Dustin Poirier, because like Poirier, he is from Louisiana. OK.

If you don’t enjoy watching Sam Sicilia fight … well you wouldn’t be reading this right now, so never mind. Carry on.

The referee for this featherweight bout is Jason Herzog.

Phillips goes for a superman punch off the cage. Sicilia laughs to himself and pounds him with a hard combination.

Phillips lands a really nice lead leg to the body. Sicilia is frozen in his tracks and now backtracking. Phillips lands another one.

Sicilia takes Phillips down and lands some ground and pound. Phillips is back up.

Phillips drops Sicilia with a knee to the body. Sicilia was coming in. That looked like it hurt.

Phillips goes for a guillotine, but c’mon. That was silly. Sicilia on top.

Sicilia ends the round in top position. Very tough round to call. Damn

10-9 Phillips — Sicilia landed some big punches, but Phillips hurt him with a body kick and dropped him with a knee to the body. That has to be enough to give him the round. Right?


Sicilia clobbers Phillips with a left and he’s back on top pounding away.

Some wild transitions here on the ground. Phillips takes a lot of risks and I’m OK with that.

Phillips gets mount, then Sicilia’s back, but loses them both very quickly. Sicilia back on top.

Sicilia gets Phillips’ back and gets a neck crank in. Looks bad, but Phillips gets out. Sicilia ends the round on top with some ground and pound.

10-9 Sicilia — This was pretty clear. Phillips gave up position so many times and to Sicilia’s credit, he took advantage. The third round should be very interesting.


Sicilia chases Phillips down and ends up on top. Again. He’s grounding. He’s pounding. He’s successfully made this thing ugly and that’s why he’s winning.

Phillips gets up with 1:04 left in the round, but Sicilia takes him down again. He spends almost the entire time on top, just grinding. Not pretty, but extremely effective.

10-9 Sicilia, 29-28 Sicilia — Phillips looked good at times in the first round on his terms. But when Sicilia started dictating the fight, putting Phillips on his back, everything changed. There’s little doubt he won this won.

Official result: Sam Sicilia def. Aaron Phillips by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Analysis: Sicilia roughed up the young kid in the second and third rounds. That was the fight he needed it to be and he made the necessary adjustments after losing the first round. Sicilia is a tough-as-nails gatekeeper type at 145. I’m looking forward to seeing Phillips again. At 24, he showed some potential.

David Michaud vs. Li Jingliang


Michaud comes out to Kesha. That usually spells a loss.

Jingliang, from China, has a four-inch height advantage. His nickname is "The Leech," which is awesome.

Both men are making their UFC debut. The referee for this welterweight bout is Mark Smith.

Michaud lands some big punches early. Jingliang countering well. Really nice exchanges.

Michaud lands a massive slam and follows with some ground and pound. Jingliang is back up and then he takes Michaud down. Michaud seems to be in pain. Did he hurt his leg there?

The round is over. Michaud limps back to his corner.

10-9 Michaud — Really entertaining round. Lingjiang countered really well, but Michaud landed more and with power plus that incredible slam. Fun stuff.


Big exchanges continue. Jingliang seems to be getting the better of them. Michaud has a cut underneath his left eye.

With a little over a minute left in the round, Michaud gets a takedown and snares side control. He transitions to Jingliang’s back and is close to a rear naked choke. The round ends with Michaud on Jingliang’s back. 

Good round

10-9 Michaud — Jingliang was getting the better of the striking, but it was close. That takedown by Michaud and near submission pushed the round in his favor. 


Combination by Li hurts Michaud. Michaud immediately shoots for a takedown.

It took a bit, but he lands it. Michaud is bleeding all over Jingliang and then opens up Jingliang himself with some elbows. Quite a bit of blood out there now.

Jingliang sweeps and now he takes Michaud down. Wow. He has a chance to make a little comeback here. Jingliang pounding away now. M

Michaud pulls a guillotine out of nowhere and almost gets it. But he was in half guard. He gave up position and Jingliang is back on top throwing punches and elbows. Gets side control. That’s how the round ends.

10-9 Jingliang, 29-28 Michaud — Really close fight. The first two rounds really could have gone either way. The third, too. Michaud had the round until the final two minutes or so when Jingliang ended up in top position.

Official result: Li Jingliang def. David Michaud by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

Analysis: Well, it definitely wasn’t 30-27 for Jingliang, but you could make the argument he won two out of three. Both guys showed some promise and the UFC really needs some standout Asian stars. Jingliang is only 26. Maybe he ends up being a solid 170-pounder since he’s training at Syndicate MMA with John Wood and Ricky Lundell.