UFC 124 round-by-round
FOXSports.com's Ariel Shnerer provides round-by-round analysisis from all of Saturday night's action from the Bell Centre.
Main bouts (on pay-per-view):
Georges St. Pierre (21-2) vs. Josh Koscheck (15-5)
The long-awaited rematch for the welterweight title is finally here as the national hero St. Pierre meets the A.K.A. product Koscheck. As expected, St. Pierre receives a thunderous ovation from the Bell Centre crowd. Koscheck, meanwhile, enters hostile territory as he is greeted by resounding boos from the passionate fans in Montreal. St. Pierre has Greg Jackson, Phil Nurse, John Danaher and Firas Zahabi in his corner, while Koscheck is cornered by Dave Camarillo, Bob Cook, Javier Mendez and Daniel Cormier. Referee Herb Dean will oversee the action. They meet in the center of the octagon. St. Pierre immediately shoots in and gets a takedown, but Koscheck wall-walks back to his feet and they separate. St. Pierre lands a solid right hook. Koscheck comes forward and he stuffs another St. Pierre takedown attempt. St. Pierre effectively pumps out the jab, while Koscheck is looking for one big punch. Koscheck stuffs another takedown attempt and knees St. Pierre in the clinch. St-Pierre connects with several stiff jabs and a nice right hand. Koscheck misses wildly with a looping right hand. Koscheck shoots in for a single-leg, but St. Pierre doesn't budge. The American switches to a double and puts St. Pierre on his back with about 15 seconds left in the round. FOXSports.com sees the first round 10-9 St. Pierre.
Koscheck's right eye is badly busted up to start the second round. St. Pierre continues to work his jab and he mixes it up with a nice high kick and a stiff leg kick. Koscheck misses with a wild looping punch and St. Pierre answers back with several jabs. St. Pierre grazes him with a superman punch. A nice combination lands for St. Pierre, who is beginning to tee off on the American challenger. The frenzied fans are on their feet. A nice uppercut finally lands for Koscheck, but St. Pierre doesn't seem fazed. St. Pierre is hunting Koscheck with his hands as the second round comes to an end. Another excellent 10-9 round for the champion.
A nice hook lands for St. Pierre to start the third round. He misses a Superman punch, but connects with several leg kicks. St. Pierre shoots in for a takedown, which is blocked by the former NCAA Division I champion. St. Pierre is trying to wear Koscheck down in the clinch with knees to the inside thigh. Koscheck is still trying to time one big punch, but St. Pierre seems too quick on his feet and more accurate with his hands. They clinch up again and St. Pierre is the busier of the two fighters. Koscheck misses with a wild hook, but eats a nice combination from the champion. A high kick attempt from Koscheck doesn't even come close and St. Pierre dodges a shot attempt. St. Pierre is now picking Koscheck apart with accurate combinations and FOXSports.com scores another 10-9 round in his favor.
The ringside physician has a close look at Koscheck's eye before the start of the fourth period, but he is allowed to continue and the crowd is ecstatic. St. Pierre immediately takes the center of the octagon and unloads with sharp combinations. St. Pierre catches Koscheck off balance and secures a nice takedown. The hometown hero immediately takes Koscheck's back, but the challenger gets to his feet. St. Pierre's arms are still wrapped around the Koscheck's body and he is working him over in the clinch. They separate and St. Pierre continues to mix up his assault. Koscheck is winging his right hand, but St. Pierre is getting the better of each and every exchange. A stiff left hook lands for St. Pierre, which he follows up with a series of jabs. Koscheck's eye is a mess. St. Pierre's punches continue to land cleanly and Koscheck doesn't seem to have any answer. FOXSports.com scores another round 10-9 for St. Pierre.
St. Pierre connects with a punishing left hook. Koscheck tries to shoot in, but St. Pierre easily defends. A right hook finally grazes St. Pierre's head, but the champion is not fading. Chants of "GSP" are echoing through the arena as the champ pummels Kosheck with everything in his arsenal. St. Pierre counters a Koscheck right hook attempt with a strong left hook of his own as he backs the American up against the cage. St. Pierre tries to shoot in for a takedown, but Koscheck continues to exhibit excellent defense against the champion's highly touted wrestling. But St. Pierre is dominating him all over the octagon. St. Pierre finally gets a double-leg takedown. Koscheck gets back up, but St. Pierre puts him right back down. With 10 seconds left, St. Pierre unleashes one final flurry to cap off an immaculate performance. FOXSports.com scores the final round 10-9 St. Pierre and the fight 50-45 for the defending champion, who continues to cement himself as one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in the sport's history.
Georges St-Pierre def. Josh Koscheck via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
Stefan Struve (21-4) vs. Sean McCorkle (10-1)
The only heavyweight bout on the card is up next as Struve collides with McCorkle in a clash of gargantuan competitors. McCorkle has Internet MMA sensation Reggie Warren Jr. in his corner. Struve throws a few punches and McCorkle slams him down with authority. McCorkle immediately works for a kimura from the half-guard. Struve uses the cage to escape and McCorkle ends up in side control. The Dutch "Skyscraper" nearly reverses the position, but the unbeaten powerhouse stays on top and drops hammerfists. Struve throws his long legs up for an armbar, but he can't sink it in. Struve finally reverses him and secures the full mount where he proceeds to rain down punches, prompting referee Yves Lavigne to step in, calling a halt to the contest at the 3:59 mark.
Stefan Struve def. Sean McCorkle via TKO (Punches) at 3:59, Round 1
Jim Miller (19-2) vs. Charles Oliveira (14-1)
In a quality lightweight matchup, the unbeaten Oliveira takes on the durable Miller. Oliveira tries a quick high kick before attempting a single-leg, which is easily blocked by Miller. Oliveira tries another high kick and Miller takes him down, landing in his half-guard. Oliveira is staying busy off his back, using the high guard to set up submissions. Oliveira attempts an armbar and switches to a triangle. Miller escapes and sees an opening to go for a kneebar. He capitalizes on the opening and Oliveira tries to fight it off at first, but Miller sinks it in deep, forcing him to tap out at the 1:59 mark. After the first-round submission victory, Miller, who is on a six-fight winning streak in the UFC, says he wants his shot at the lightweight title.
Jim Miller def. Charles Oliveira via Submission (Kneebar) at 1:59, Round 1
Joe Stevenson (31-12) vs. Mac Danzig (20-8-1)
Lightweights are on tap as two former winners of "The Ultimate Fighter" square off with referee Dan Miragliotta overseeing the action. Stevenson misses with a few looping right hooks as Danzig circles the octagon. Stevenson starts to target the body, but Danzig lands a quick knee from the clinch. Stevenson keeps moving forward and Danzig catches him with a brutal left counter hook, rendering the Greg Jackson pupil unconscious at 1:54 of the opening period.
Mac Danzig def. Joe Stevenson via KO (Left Hook) at 1:54, Round 1
Thiago Alves (17-7) vs. John Howard (14-4)
We kick off the pay-per-view portion of the card with explosive welterweights. Great reception for "The Pitbull" in Montreal. Alves lands several crisp punches and leg kicks before stuffing Howard's takedown attempt. Alves wraps his hands around Howard and drops him to the mat. In Howard's half-guard, Alves drops elbows. The Boston native attempts a heel hook, but Alves escapes and the fighters return to their feet. Alves is landing numerous leg kicks and he connects with a powerful left hook. Alves lands a knee to the head and gets the Muay Thai clinch. He unloads with knees before the fighters separate. Howard lands a leg kick of his own before running into an Alves counterpunch. Howard is getting tagged and he clinches up briefly before separating. Alves misses with a head kick and goes back to the legs. Howard moves forward with looping hooks, but nothing significant lands and the first round comes to an end. FOXSports.com scores it 10-9 Alves.
Alves goes back to work on the legs of Howard, who keeps looking to land his big looping hooks. The leg kicks are visibly taking their toll on Howard, whose movement has slowed substantially. Alves catches Howard with some counterstrikes coming in before connecting with a high kick. Howard keeps moving forward on the Brazilian, who shoots in and emphatically slams him to the canvas. Howard defends well on the ground and prevents Alves from passing his guard. Alves finishes on top, taking another 10-9 round on the FOXSports.com scorecard.
Alves continues his assault on the legs, while Howard is still head hunting. Howard shoots in for a single-leg, but he doesn't get far on the Muay Thai machine, who separates and goes back to work with his kicks. Alves drops Howard with a straight right hand, but the resilient Boston native immediately gets back up and initiates the clinch. They separate and Alves circles patiently, waiting for openings and constantly going back to work on Howard's legs. They are swinging wildly with 15 seconds left and Alves attempts a flying knee. In a sign of mutual respect, they embrace as the bell sounds. FOXSports.com scores the final round 10-9 Alves and the fight 30-27 for the American Top Team prodigy.
Thiago Alves def. John Howard via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Dan Miller (13-4) vs. Joe Doerksen (46-14)
The fans are solidly behind the well-travelled Canadian veteran Doerksen as he is set to square off with a fellow BJJ black belt in Miller. Doerksen lands two looping right hooks early, but Miller stays composed and wastes little time getting a double-leg takedown. Miller rolls for a guillotine choke attempt as Doerksen tries getting back up and he lands in the half-guard of the Winnipeg native. Doerksen closes up his guard to neutralize Miller's offense. The round ends with Miller landing short punches in Doerksen's guard. FOXSports.com scores the first frame 10-9 Miller.
Doerksen lands a nice left hook and Miller shoots in for a takedown. Doerksen reverses the position, postures up and reigns down strikes. Miller closes his guard and Doerksen is unable to inflict any significant punishment from the top. Miller gets back up and takes Doerksen down immediately. Back in the Canadian's closed guard, Miller is landing short punches. Doerksen targets the arm and tries to sink in a kimura off his back. It looks deep, but Miller exhibits great patience to escape the hold and he stays on top. Miller maintains the position for the remainder of the round, though little damage is being done. FOXSports.com scores the round 10-9 Miller.
Doerksen looks for the looping right hand, but Miller answers back with an uppercut. Sensing a clear weakness in his takedown defense, Miller shoots in successfully and continues to hammer away on Doerksen inside his guard. Doerksen is landing short elbows off his back and both fighters are now bloody and battered. Doerksen is trying to get back up, but Miller is sticking to him like glue. Miller is unable to do much from this position and the crowd is getting restless. Surprisingly, referee Marc-Andre Cote is not standing the fighters back up or telling them to improve their position. The final frame ends just like rounds one and two and it's another 10-9 round for Miller, who takes the fight 30-27 on the FOXSports.com card.
Dan Miller def. Joe Doerksen via Split Decision (29-28 Miller, 29-28 Doerksen, 29-28 Miller)
Dustin Hazelett (12-7) vs. Mark Bocek (9-3)
Two high-level submission specialists are set to face off as the Canadian Bocek meets the Ohio-based grappler Hazelett. Bocek is the aggressor early on and he secures a quick takedown. Bocek passes Hazelett's guard and moves to full mount. He locks in a deep top-side triangle choke and flips around to sink it in. Hazelett has nowhere to go and he is forced to submit at the 2:33 mark. Very impressive submission victory for the Canadian fan favorite. Post-fight, Bocek says he has the best BJJ in the lightweight division and he challenges Australian title contender George Sotiropoulos to a bout at the UFC's inaugural event in Toronto slated for Apr. 30 at the Rogers Centre.
Mark Bocek def. Dustin Hazelett via Submission (Triangle Choke) at 2:33, Round 1
Rafael Natal (12-3-1) vs. Jesse Bongfeldt (21-7-1)
After cornering Ricardo Almeida for his bout with T.J. Grant, Renzo Gracie is back doing double duty as he is in the corner of the Brazilian Natal. Bongfeldt makes his ring entrance to Jimmy Hendrix' Voodoo Child with Canadian pioneer Lee Mein in his corner. Natal catches a kick attempt from Bongfeldt and easily trips him to the mat. Bongfeldt nearly flips him over to reverse the position before scrambling back to his feet. The Ontario-based fighter charges in on Natal, but he is easily taken down again. Natal passes Bongfeldt's guard and takes his back. Bongfeldt reverses him momentarily before Natal regains the dominant position and tries to take his back again. Bongfeldt defends well for about a minute, but Natal eventually gets his legs around the Canadian's body and sinks in the hooks. Bongfeldt reverses him, but Natal tries for a heel hook off his back. They return to a vertical base before Bongfeldt gets a quick takedown and briefly moves to mount. The round ends with Bongfeldt trying to secure the full mount. FOXSports.com scores the opening frame 10-9 Natal.
Bongfeldt stuns Natal with a looping shot and pounces on him with a wild flurry. Natal instinctively throws up submission attempts off his back as Bongfeldt desperately tries to finish him with punches. Natal returns to his feet and referee Dan Mirogliotta breaks up the clinch and separates the two fighters. Natal secures a nice takedown and lands in side control. As soon as Bongfelft flips over, Natal takes his back and gets the hooks in. Natal is unable to get his arms under the neck of Bongfeldt, so he briefly moves to full mount and drops some punches. The more powerful Canadian scrambles and escapes the position. Back on their feet, Natal stuffs another takedown attempt and fishes for a submission. With 10 seconds left in the round, he nearly gets his arms around Bongfeldt's neck for a rear-naked choke, but the Canadian survives the round. Another 10-9 round for Natal on the FOXSports.com card.
Bongfeldt is stalking the BJJ black belt and punishes him with a knee to the body as they clinch up. Natal is clearly tired as he is now struggling to take Bongfeldt down. Natal appears to be on wobbly legs and Bongfeldt flurries in with blows to drop him to the floor. Bongfeldt takes the full mount and tries to posture up. He finally creates some distance and reigns down punches and elbows. Natal nearly escapes the predicament, but Bongfeldt maintains control from the top. The Canadian passes to side control and takes Natal's back before mounting him again with 20 seconds left. The one-sided round ends with Bongfeldt dropping punches from the top, but it may not be enough to win him the fight. FOXSports.com gives Bongfeldt a 10-8 round, making the final score a 28-28 draw.
Rafael Natal vs. Jesse Bongfeldt declared majority draw (28-28, 28-28, 29-28 for Natal)
Matt Riddle (5-2) vs. Sean Pierson (11-4)
Referee Yves Lavigne is overseeing the action for this welterweight encounter. Riddle misses with a wild flurry and Pierson makes him pay with some vicious power punches. Pierson pressures him in the corner and unloads with bombs as the fans begin to chant his name. Pierson gets a hold of Riddle and connects with a series of knees inside the clinch. Pierson continues to apply pressure and Riddle misses with a flying knee, which allows Pierson to drop him with a devastating right hook. He charges in for the finish, but Riddle manages to survive. Pierson doesn't give him any time to recover as he takes the back and suplexes him back down to the canvas. Pierson moves to side control and lands several knees before taking Riddle's back again. This time, however, Riddle manages to return to his feet. Pierson is clearly the superior striker as he continues to punish Riddle with his hands in the center of the octagon. Audinwood lands with a late flurry, but the round clearly belongs to Pierson, 10-9.
Pierson stuffs a takedown attempt from his taller, rangier foe. He starts carefully picking his shots, gunning for the knockout. Riddle is hesitant to let his hands go and Pierson is starting to slow down, showing possible signs of fatigue. Nonetheless, Pierson is staying the busier of the two fighters on his feet and he is landing the stronger punches. Riddle finally catches Pierson with a looping right hand and tries to capitalize with a guillotine choke attempt, but the Ontario native survives and creates some distance, giving him time to recover. Riddle is starting to land with his combinations and Pierson shoots in for a takedown attempt. Riddle stuffs it and gets the advantageous position on the canvas. Riddle fishes for submissions on the ground, but the round ends with him winging wild punches inside Pierson's guard. FOXSports.com scores a much closer round 10-9 Riddle.
Pierson catches Riddle with a right hook as he charges in with a flurry. Pierson's eyes are swelling up and Riddle has become the aggressor. Pierson is landing with constant counters and repeatedly connects with a stiff right jab. They are swinging wildly at this point and the fans are on their feet. Blood is streaming down from a cut under the eye of Pierson, but he continues to pick Riddle apart with his accurate right hand. With one minute left in the round, Pierson stuffs Riddle's takedown attempt and tries to roll for an anaconda. Riddle returns to a vertical base and they are back to trading wild haymakers as time expires. The crowd gives both warriors a standing ovation. FOXSports.com scores the round 10-9 Pierson and the fight 29-28 in his favor.
Sean Pierson def. Matt Riddle via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ricardo Almeida (13-4) vs. T.J. Grant (16-5)
Great ovation for the Nova Scotia-native Grant. Almeida lands a solid inside leg kick and immediately shoots in for a single-leg takedown, which he lands. Grant defends well from the bottom, not allowing the BJJ black belt to pass his guard. Almeida postures up and lands some punches and elbows. Grant uses the butterfly guard and tries to sweep Almeida, who postures up and lands some punches from the top. Grant finally scrambles back to his feet, but Almeida sticks to him and puts his back against the cage as he lands another takedown. He continues to pummel Grant on the ground and finally passes the guard. Grant impressive regains the butterfly guard, but he remains trapped underneath and continues to eat short punches and elbows. FOXSports.com sees the first round 10-9 for Almeida.
Almeida circles before shooting in for a strong takedown. He quickly passes the guard, but Grant demonstrates his improved ground game and regains the closed guard. Almeida passes again and postures up as Grant tries up kicks off his back. Almeida keeps improving his position, but Grant's defensive work off his back is preventing Almeida from threatening with submissions. Grant finally scrambles back up and tries a takedown of his own, but Almeida uses his weight to fall on top and regain the dominant position. Grant gets back to his feet, but eats a quick knee. Almeida shoots in for a takedown, but this time Grant stuffs it and secures the top position. The crowd erupts as Grant reigns down blows, but it's not enough to steal the round. FOXSports.com sees another 10-9 round for Almeida.
Almeida pumps out the jab and shoots in for yet another successful double-leg takedown. Almeida moves to his opponent's back and sinks in the hooks. Grant moves his hips and improves to half-guard and eventually closes the full guard. Grant is able to do very little against Almeida's smothering top game, but he avoids any dangerous predicaments on the ground. Almeida passes to full mount and drops punches and Grant rolls over to his back. Almeida sinks in the hooks and begins to hammer Grant with short punches. Once again, however, Grant defends well and improves to half-guard. Almeida passes to the full mount again and takes the back. As Almeida tries to sink in a body triangle, Grant takes the opportunity to reverse the position and land in Almeida's guard. They quickly scramble back to their feet and Almeida gets Grant down again as time runs out. FOXSports.com scores the round 10-9 and the fight 30-27 for the Renzo Gracie BJJ ace Almeida.
Ricardo Almeida def. T.J. Grant via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
John Makdessi (8-0) vs. Pat Audinwood (9-2-1)
The lightweights touch gloves and we are off. Audwinwood circles and Makdessi lands a nice body kick. Audwinwood uses his reach to throw strikes from the outside, but nothing significant is landing. The hometown hero Makdessi makes him pay with another body kick and he misses with a spinning back fist. Makdessi lands an axe kick, which gets a strong response from the Montreal crowd. Audwinwood flurries with some combinations, but Makdessi keeps the pressure on. Makdessi drops him with a big left hand and pounces for the finish, but Audwinwood defends well and returns to his feet where he eats another powerful combo. Makdessi keeps pushing Audinwood back and connecting with stiff punches. Another series of body kicks stuns Audwinwood and Makdessi stuffs a takedown attempt. He allows Audinwood back to his feet and Makdessi lands another flurry as time expires. FOXSports.com sees the opening stanza 10-9 Makdessi.
Makdessi keeps the pressure on and continues to target the body of his taller adversary. Audinwood grazes Makdessi's chin with a push kick and eats another stiff kick from "The Bull" for his efforts. The Tristar Gym product keeps pushing Audinwood back against the cage and landing stiff combinations. Audinwood eats a sharp flurry of punches in the center of the octagon and his face is beginning to swell up. Audinwood desperately shoots in for another takedown and Makdessi pancakes and gets back up. Makdessi is finding a home for his looping right hand and Audinwood slips momentarily. Audinwood eats two punishing left hooks as time expires. FOXSports.com scores the round 10-9 Makdessi.
Makdessi continues throwing flashy kicks and Audinwood answers back with a powerful outside leg kick. Audinwood runs into a combination from Makdessi, who is now stalking the New Yorker around the octagon. Audinwood lands his best combination of the round, but Makdessi is not fazed. Another series of flashy kicks lands from Makdessi. Audinwood misses with a superman punch and a wild head kick. Makdessi grazes him with a head kick and continues to apply pressure. Audinwood runs into a looping left and Makdessi lands another spinning back kick. A stiff left jab connects for Makdessi, who follows up with a flying spin kick attempt to the delight of the crowd. A beautiful right cross lands for Makdessi with 10 seconds left in the round. Tremendous debut performance for Makdessi, who wins this fight 30-27 on the FOXSports.com card.
John Makdessi def. Pat Audinwood via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)