Johnson vs Moraga fight card recap
Hometown star Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson finished highly touted challenger John Moraga with a beautiful armbar in the main event FOX UFC Saturday: Johnson vs Moraga.
Recap all the UFC action in the FOX Sports fight breakdown.
Main Event: Title Fight
Demetrious Johnson (17-2-1) vs. John Moraga (13-1-0)
Round 1: Herb Dean has the honors in the championship main event. Moraga pressing forward right away. Leg kick from the challenger. Johnson switching stances. Moraga looks for a shot to the body. Johnson slipping away from everything Moraga throws. Kicks from both men. Still getting a feel for each other. Feints and movement. Leg kick from DJ. Moraga rips a right but misses. Big leg kick from Moraga, and again. Body punch from Moraga. DJ ducks a hook, responds with a right. Clinched in the center, Moraga drives Johnson back to the fence. Johnson turns him, knees the thigh. Johnson hits the takedown, lands in side control. Elbow from Johnson. Traps an arm, looks to slip to mount, but Moraga regains half guard. Moraga looking at a kimura, Johnson IDs and gets out. Johnson controlling the wrist, stands, and grabs a front headlock as Moraga tries to stand. Knees to the shoulder from Johnson. 10 seconds. Late guillotine attempt from Johnson at the horn.10-9 Johnson. In addition to the takedown and control on the ground, Johnson was able to avoid most of what Moraga offered in the first. His speed is such a weapon.
Round 2: Moraga out harder to start the second, throwing kicks. Johnson avoids, times a takedown perfectly, hits it hard. Moraga in closed guard, elbows from the bottom. Left hands from Johnson on top. Passes to side control with ease. Elbows from Johnson on top, Crucifix momentarily, but Moraga gets out. Shoulder thrusts from Johnson. Knee to the body. Moraga spins, looks for a triangle, but Johnson pops out, lands in half guard, and slips out to side control again. Looking for a kimura. Punches to the body from Johnson. Elbow to the face. Moraga spins to his belly, Johnson lands punches, but Moraga is up... momentarily. Big scoop from Johnson, but Moraga works to his feet again. Moraga grabs a leg along the cage. They break to the center, and get a pop from the crowd. Johnson in on a quick takedown again; Moraga can't stop it. Right to side control, looking for the crucifix. Moraga defending, regains half guard. 30 seconds. DJ looking for the straight armbar, Moraga defends, Johnson opens up with punches to close out the round. Crowd is loving this one. 10-9 Johnson, 20-18 through Round 2. Moraga has no answer for Johnson's speed and his takedowns.
Round 3: Both look fresh to start the third. Moraga lands a clean punch. DJ fakes the takedown; snaps a leg kick. Moraga reaching on his punches. Johnson ducking out of the way of everything; Moraga could land a headkick or a knee if he times it right. Johnson in on another speed takedown. Closed guard. Elbows from Johnson. DJ stands, dives in with a punch. Into side control. Working on the arm, Moraga gives up his back. Johnson with one hook in. Moraga shakes him off, and they're back up. Moraga crashes in behind a knee. Clinched along the fence. Two minutes. Moraga looks for a body lock takedown, but Johnson reverses it, landing in half guard. Looking for the arm again. Kimura attempt from Johnson. Crowd loving it. Moraga rolls through with it, and DJ lets go. Moraga now on top along the fence. DJ back up quickly. Great fight so far. Moraga on a single leg, puts Johnson down. Johnson quickly out, and back to his feet. 10 seconds. Moraga with a spinning roundhouse attempt, slips. HORN! 10-9 Johnson, 30-27 through Round 3. Champ is dominating with his speed, showing off a new side with his submission attempts as well.
Round 4: Both guys looks fresh like it's the first round. Low kick from Johnson. Moraga reaching with hooks, Johnson backs away. Body kick for each guy. Johnson times the takedown again, completing with ease. Half guard, looking for the kimura again. Moraga rolls forward, Johnson grabs a headlock. Johnson tries to take the back, but Moraga won't have it. Standing. Johnson lands a body kick. Another body kick from Johnson. Moraga can't find a rhythm. Presses forward, but Johnson circles out before he's there. Johnson on another takedown, completes, lands in guard. Moraga throwing his legs up, looking for a triangle. Johnson stands, Moraga jumps to his feet. Clinched on the cage. Knees and body shots from Johnson. Moraga reverses, ducks or a takedown, eats a knee. Johnson sprawled as Moraga looks for the takedown. Knee to the body from the champ. Another one. Moraga stands up, and they're back in space. Johnson ties a headkick; nothing there. 30 seconds. Moraga connects, backing up Johnson, but as he rushes in, Johnson takes him down again. Punches from the top for Johnson, and a pass to side control at the horn. 10-9 Johnson, 40-36 for the champ right now. Takedowns are the story so far. Let's see if Moraga can build off the stiff right that staggered Johnson late in the fourth.
Round 5: Crowd shows their appreciation. Both guys bouncing like they haven't just gone 20 hard minutes. Johnson bleeding form the mouth. Moraga looks for an uppercut. Leg kick from Johnson. Ducks under for the takedown, sticks it. Postured up in guard, stacks Moraga, moves to side control. Moraga bucks, rolls, Johnson with a headlock. Another takedown as Moraga tries to get up. Side control again for Johnson. Moraga rolls forward, Johnson sprawls out. Knees to the body from the champ. Three minutes left. Knees to the shoulder now. Moraga trying to stand, and does. Clinched in the center of the cage, Johnson drags it to the canvas again, and lands in side control once more. Elbows from the top for Johnson. Knee to the body. Two minutes. Moraga trying to roll out, but Johnson is heavy in top control. Short elbows from DJ. Looking at the kimura again. Switches to an armbar. Moraga tries to roll free, Johnson extends, and Moraga taps. Only the fourth fifth-round stoppage in UFC history if I'm not mistaken.
Final Decision: Demetrious Johnson defeats John Moraga by Submission (Armbar) at 3:43 of Round 5.
Tremendous performance from "Mighty Mouse," who moves to 4-0 at flyweight. Takedowns were explosive, submission game is a new wrinkle future opponents will have to contend with.
That's it for the action here at the KeyArena. Stay tuned to FOXSports.com for more post-fight coverage from UFC on FOX 8.
Rory MacDonald (14-1-0) vs. Jake Ellenberger (29-6-0)
Round 1: Herb Dean with the assignment. No touching gloves here, folks. Jab from MacDonald lands. Another. Ellenberger swings a big right but misses. Still feeling each other out here. Lots of feints on both sides, not many punches thrown, and by not many, I mean none in the last 30 seconds. Body shot by MacDonald. And a jab. Ellenberger with a left. Kick from Ellenberger blocked. MacDonald commanding the center of the cage. Ellenberger presses forward. Two minutes left. Crowd annoyed. Two jabs from MacDonald. Two more jabs and a kick from MacDonald. Ellenbeger closes the distance, lands a quick flurry of short punches. Back in space. One minute left. Jab lands again for "Ares." Right-left hook combo from Ellenberger; neither land flush. Double jab from MacDonald continues to land, following with headkick the last two times. 10 seconds. Boos. Clinch. Horn. 10-9 MacDonald. The jab kept landing, nothing much connected for Ellenberger. Cautious, tactical fight so far.
Round 2: MacDonald out to the center of the cage quickly. Front kick blocked by Ellenberger. Boos resume. Jab lands again for MacDonald. Left hand connects for Ellenberger, but he can't put more with it. MacDonald controlling the spacing. Crowd really getting frustrated. Jab continues to land for MacDonald. Ellenberger in for a takedown, MacDonald defends. Ellenberger lands on the way out. Feints from both sides. Two minutes left. Tough round to score. MacDonald looks for a takedown, Ellenberger defends. 90 seconds. Right hand from Ellenberger glances. Headkick from MacDonald. Front leg body kick follows. Ellenberger looking to shake in, but MacDonald having none of it. One minute. Fans are not happy. 30 seconds. Jab connects for MacDonald. Ellenberger presses in, MacDonald avoids. Front kick from MacDonald misses. Fans boo at the 10-second horn, and through the end of the round. 10-10 in Round 2, 19-18 MacDonald heading into the third.
Round 3: Fans aren't happy as we start the final frame. Back to the center of the cage. MacDonald snaps out a front kick that misses. Ellenberger looks for the hook, but can't find a home. Jab lands for MacDonald. Two more. Ellenberger can't close the distance without getting a jab in the face. Headkick attempt from MacDonald misses. Front kick glances. Jab lands. Body shot from MacDonald. Ellenberger can't seem to get his punches off. Crowd booing again. Ellenberger lands a weak hook. Front kick to the body from MacDonald. Ellenberger pressing forward, but can't land. MacDonald slips, but is up quickly. More jabs from MacDonald. Two minutes left. More boos. Lots of boos. Front kick from MacDonald to the body. 90 seconds left. Jab from MacDonald. Ellenberger in on a takedown at the one-minute mark. In MacDonald's guard. MacDonald with butterflies, elevates Ellenberger, controlling his wrists and posture. MacDonald looks at a late shoulder lock attempt, Ellenberger defends, and the horn sounds. Crowd not happy with this one. 10-9 MacDonald for a 30-28 win for "Ares" on my scorecard. Have to see what the judges say.
Final Decision: Rory MacDonald defeats Jake Ellenberger by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).
Lots of complaints and boos from the crowd (and Twitter), but MacDonald was able to keep pumping out the jab effectively. Not the barnburner many expected, but they can't all be crazy wars. This was a good, technical performance from the young Canadian, who has now won five straight, and continues to climb the welterweight rankings.
Robbie Lawler (20-9-0, 1 NC) vs. Bobby Voelker (24-9-0)
Round 1: Dan Miragliotta the official here. Southpaw for Lawler, orthodox for Voelker. Should be fun. Feeling out, finding range. Left from Voelker, right from Lawler, neither land. Leg kick for Voelker. Kick to the body from Lawler. In tight, Lawler hits a takedown, lands in half guard. Knee to the body as Voelker works back to his feet. Clinched along the cage. Another knee to the body from Lawler. Now one up top. Fighting right in front of press row. Inside knee to the thigh from Lawler. Another to the body. Uppercut from Lawler. Voelker smiles as he backs out. Voelker bleeding from the nose. Quick right hook inside from Lawler as Voelker comes in. Two minutes. High kick from Lawler, blocked. Voelker presses forward, pawing. Another headkick from Lawler just as Voelker dips. Voelker still coming forward though. Leg kick from Voelker. 30 seconds. Lawler stalking, slipping out of the way of Voelker's punches. Body shot from Lawler that looks like it hurt. Swinging for the fences at the end of the frame. Crowd loves it. 10-9 Lawler. Really strong round for "Ruthless" in the first; looks renewed back in the UFC and fighting at 170.
Round 2: Voelker coming forward. Dude is so durable, so game. Lawler lands a massive headkick and this one is all over! Voelker bounces back to his feet almost instantly, which is crazy because he just got blasted with a beautiful headkick.
Final Decision: Robbie Lawler defeats Bobby Voelker by KO (Headkick) at 0:24 of Round 2.
Lawler now has a pair of impressive knockout wins since returning to the UFC. After looking like he was on the downside of his career while alternating wins and losses during his Strikeforce run, "Ruthless" is now on the fringes of contention in the welterweight division. With his experience and nasty power, there won't be many people rushing to accept a fight with the re-focused veteran.
Liz Carmouche (7-3-0) vs. Jessica Andrade (9-2-0)
Round 1: Herb Dean with the honors. Leg kick for Carmouche to open it. Andrade pressing in with a big punch, Carmouche steps out and counters. Pressed along the fence, Carmouche controlling. Scoop takedown into side control for Carmouche. Andrade to her knees, and back to her feet, taking minimal damage on the way up. Carmouche controlling along the fence. Andradre reverses. Knee upstairs from Carmouche, who switches out, putting Andrade back on the cage. Carmouche dips fro a takedown, Andrade digs punches into the ribs. Carmouche kicks her feet out, and puts Andrade on her back next to the cage. Andrade bucks, Carmouche controls, and moves to side control. Two minutes left. Andrade rolls to her knees, Carmouche gets dumped to the canvas as she comes out the back door. Carmouche back in, Andrade grabs a guillotine, closing guard to tighten her squeeze. Carmouche seems OK for now. Knees to the buttocks from Carmouche, Andrade content to hold on to the choke. Carmouche with more knees as the round ends in the same position. 10-9 Carmouche. The choke wasn't tight, and Carmouche controlled most of the rest of the round.
Round 2: Carmouche throwing front kicks to start, and snaps a body kick. Andrade pushing forward behind right hands, Carmouche dumps her to the canvas, landing in half guard. Elbows to the body from Carmouche, moves to side control, and now mount. Reigning down strikes, Andrare rolls to her stomach. Carmouche flattens her out. Elbows to the side of the head. Now big punches. Carmouche laces the arm under the neck, looking for the rear naked choke. Andrade tries to roll out, fights off the hands, but Carmouche ends up back in mount. Andrade rolls again, Carmouche flatters her out again, and continues dropping strikes. Elbows to the side of the head bring Herb Dean in for a closer look, but Andradre still trying to escape. Carmouche back into mount, more strikes. High mount here, could spin for an arm if she wanted. Andrade rolls again, giving up her back. Carmouche resumes the striking onslaught, and Herb Dean steps in to wave this one off. Dominant performance from Carmouche.
Final Decision: Liz Carmouche defeats Jessica Andrade by TKO (Strikes) at 3:57 of Round 2.
Very impressive outing for Carmouche, who remains in the thick of the title chase in the women's bantamweight division. Depending on what the UFC wants to do next, a showdown with either the Sarah Kaufman/Sara McMann winner or Cat Zingano when she returns seem to make sense.
Michael Chiesa (9-0-0) vs. Jorge Masvidal (24-7-0)
Round 1: Dan Miragliotta is the third man in the cage. No touch for these two. Left hand down the middle for Chiesa. "Maverick" in for a takedown, working a single. Masvidal defending well, looking to work around to the back. Chiesa picks the ankle and puts Masvidal on the canvas right along the cage. Masvidal stands, Chiesa still in on the hips. Masvidal turns out, Chiesa with an overhook on the right side. Elbow inside from Chiesa, and Masvidal is down. Chiesa follows with punches, then looks for a guillotine. Masvidal escapes, rips a kick to the body. Chiesa presses back in - the Key is loving this. Masvidal reverses along the cage, and they're back into space. Jab and an elbow from Chiesa. Masvidal seems tight, not throwing anything, just looking to counter. Chiesa pressing forward with strikes; nothing landing. Combo from Masvidal. Another jab lands for Chiesa. Body kick for "Gamebred." Left hand lands for Chiesa. Masvidal presses in, lands a right hand. Chiesa counters seconds later. Right hook from Masvidal lands. Body shot follows. Chiesa throws another right, Masvidal slips. 10-9 Chiesa.
Round 2: Chiesa bouncing, Masvidal straight up and almost static. Chiesa in on the legs, scoops Masvidal, and dumps him to the floor. Masvidal grabbing a guillotine, but Chiesa pops out. Back to their feet, Chiesa in deep on a single. Masvidal trying to hop clear, gets to the cage, Chiesa still pressing in for the takedown. Masvidal goes over the top, stands, and digs a couple shots the body. Right hand lands flush for Masvidal. Kick to the body connects as well. Seems like "Gamebred" has woken up. Masvidal catches a kick, Chiesa tries a spinning kick and lands on the ground. Masvidal into his guard in the center of the cage. Chiesa looking to control an arm from bottom. Masvidal unloading punches and elbows. Chiesa looking for butterflies to kick out, but Masvidal back on top of him. Chiesa rolls to his knees, knee to the body from Masvidsal. Masvidal throwing punches in bunches from top position. 60 seconds left. Loose half guard. Chiesa to his knees, Masvidal on his back, lands a big shot. Masvidal looking for a D'Arce choke with 20 seconds left. Grabs the bicep, rolls, and tightens the choke. Chiesa taps right before the horn, and immediately walks out of the cage and into the back.
Final Decision: Jorge Masvidal defeats Michael Chiesa by Submission (D'Arce Choke) at 4:59 of Round 2.
Really entertaining fight, and a heartbreaking defeat for Chiesa, the first of his career. Masvidal with a strong second round, and a much better performance overall here than in his initial UFC appearance. Seems like it took him a round to get loose and find a rhythm, but when he did, he was too much for the local favourite. The former Strikeforce title challenger is a sleeper in the lightweight division; really well rounded, and tough to put away.
Danny Castillo (15-5-0) vs. Tim Means (18-4-1)
Round 1: Dan Miragliotta with his first appearance in the cage this evening for this lightweight contest. No touching gloves for these two. Means with a serious height/reach advantage, catches Castillo, but the Alpha Male rep hits the takedown, and ends up in guard. Means with a body triangle from the bottom, looking for elbow. Castillo drops an elbow, Means clinching up from bottom now, looking for a restart. Castillo with the can opener, pulling on Means' neck. Elbows over the top from Castillo, and counters from Means on the bottom. Castillo stands in his guard, Means with light punches to the body. Castillo with another elbow, and another, and another. Two minutes left. Means trying to wall walk, back to his feet, but Castillo around to his back, scoops him, and dumps him, taking his back. Means escapes, throws a knee on the way up, but misses. Left hand from Means backs Castillo up with a minute to go. Body kick from Means lands. Another big scoop takedown from Castillo who lands in half guard. Means to full guard with the body triangle. Elbow from Castillo, and now one to the body. Another to the head as the horn sounds. 10-9 Castillo; very strong first round from the Team Alpha Male lightweight.
Round 2: Kick from Castillo is blocked. Castillo lunging in behind a right hand, Means avoids. Means pressing forward, Castillo dips for the takedown. Means stuffs, lands a knee. Castillo lunging behind hands again, Means backs out. Long body punch from Means. Castillo presses forward, lands a right hand. Means looking to counter, but not finding anything. Halfway point of the round. Right hand lands to the side of the head for Castillo. Outside leg kick on the left side lands as well. Short notice might be having an impact on Means here, who missed weight by five pounds yesterday. Body shot for Castillo. Means looks for a back elbow, but nothing there. Castillo in on Means' legs, crashes him to the canvas in front of us. Means locks up the body triangle from bottom. Castillo looking for elbows again. 60 seconds. Means trying to turn off the cage, but Castillo not having it. More elbows from top for "Last Call." Castillo stands, jumps back in, and takes Means' back as he stands. Dumps him to the ground awkwardly right before the end of the round. 10-9 Castillo, 20-18 through Round 2. Conditioning and Castillo's wrestling are winning this fight so far.
Round 3: Means needs a finish to get the win as we start the final frame. Body kick from Means 30 seconds in is the first action of the round. Castillo looks for a takedown, but Means avoids. High kick attempt from Castillo is blocked. Means not throwing, and he needs to in order to have a chance here. Castillo to the body. Means looks for a headkick, but misses. Means connects with a short left hook as Castillo presses forward. Stepping knee from Means lands to the body, backs up Castillo. Trading shots, Means connects with a left as Castillo lands an uppercut inside. Left hook to the jaw for Castillo. Kick from Castillo. Means lands as Castillo comes in, but Castillo still moves forward, cinching his hands around the waist. Castillo with the trip, but Means reverses, landing in side control. Knee to the body from Means, who stands, lands a long left hand. Means jumps in with a punch, misses, and Castillo is back up. Right hand from Castillo. And again. 20 seconds. Castillo lands the final shot as the horn sounds. 10-9 Means in the final round, but not enough to get the decision. 29-28 on my unofficial scorecard.
Final Decision: Danny Castillo defeats Tim Means by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Finally - a unanimous decision! A solid effort from Means on short notice, but Castillo was clearly in control during the first two rounds, using his wrestling to nullify Means' advantage in the stand-up. A solid performance for the former WEC vet, who has quietly gone 6-2 in the UFC.
Mac Danzig (22-10-1) vs. Melvin Guillard (47-13-3, 1 NC)
Round 1: Steve Newport gets the assignment for this bout between two veteran lightweights with TUF ties. High fives, and we're fighting. Guillard with a long jab that lands. Digs a hook to the body. Inside leg kick fro Danzig. Guillard counters down around the ankle. Danzig again to the thigh. Guillard swings a right hand that Danzig ducks. Pressed into the cage in front of us. Knee to the body from Danzig before he circles into space. Guillard reaching with a right hand; nothing there. "The Ric Flair" starts again in the Key. Right hand from Guillard wobbles Danzig as he was coming in. Leg kick from Guillard. Danzig presses in, Guillard clinches, and turns him into the cage. Back in space, two minutes down. Leg kick from Danzig. Guillard wings a right that misses. Jab connects for Guillard who is fighting with much more patience than normal. Danzig ducks in for a takedown, ends up in the clinch. Nothing doing. 90 seconds. Kick from Danzig nearly caught. Inside left hook from Danzig lands, but not hard. Guillard with another stiff jab. Sharp left from Guillard lands. Danzig pressing forward, lands to the body. Guillard with a kick to the body right before the bell. 10-9 Guillard - a couple good, stiff jabs that connected gets him the nod from me.
Round 2: Both look fresh and ready for more. Danzig with a little cut on the bridge of his nose. Kick from Guillard is blocked. Danzig in on the legs, around to Guillard's back, but Melvin shirks his way out. Quick left lands for Guillard. Guillard ducks under a couple punches from Danzig. Guillard backs up Danzig with a pair of punches, Danzig shakes it off. Danzig pressing forward, but Guillard is too quick, ducks out of the way with ease. Two down, three to go. Kick from Guillard lands with a snap. Leg kick from Danzig. Right hook misses, but a left hand lands, and Danzig is down. Guillard pounces, drops a series of heavy shots. Danzig is out. This one is done.
Final Decision: Melvin Guillard defeats Mac Danzig by TKO (Punches) at 2:47 of Round 2.
Sharp finish for Guillard, who needed a win in a big way. It will be interesting to see if this is the start of (another) resurgence for "The Young Assassin," who has always had the talent and raw tools. The left hand that dropped Danzig was sharp, quick, and on the money, and Guillard has always had solid finishing instincts.
Yves Edwards (42-19-1) vs. Daron Cruickshank (12-3-0)
Round 1: Steve Newport is the referee. Touch gloves, and we're off. Southpaw for Edwards, orthodox for Cruickshank, but his usual tae kwon do stance. Body kick for Cruickshank, followed by a body shot, and a kick upstairs. Edwards looks for a headkick, but misses. Outside leg kick for Edwards, and he's the one pressing forward behind hands. Looks for a leg kick, Cruickshank backs up. Edwards pawing with the right, looking to find his range. Cruickshank snaps off a kick that is blocked, Edwards answers in kind. Body kick for Edwards is caught on the forearms by Cruickshank. Headkick from Cruickshank blocked. Still lots of pawing from both sides. Edwards fires a left but misses. Kick from Edwards is blocked. Cruickshank seems hesitant. Edwards presses in, lands a left. Right hand connects for Edwards. 60 seconds left. They exchange body kicks, and move back to the center. Edwards still stalking, Cruickshank circling, looking to counter. Exchange near the cage, neither lands anything crisp. 10-9 Edwards - he was the more aggressive of the two, but neither really landed much that really registered.
Round 2: Edwards still the one coming forward, but both still mostly pawing. Cruickshank looks high with a kick, but misses. Body shot from Edwards as he moves in, Cruickshank counters with a left that lands. Edwards seems to be waiting on the left hand. Exchange along the cage, Cruickshank lands to the body, circles out, but we're right back to the same pattern. Headkick lands for Cruickshank, but Edwards shakes his head to say it didn't land hard. More circling and stalking. Little, quick flurries from both, but neither really landing. Edwards presses forward looking for the left, but only grazes. Headkick response form Cruickshank that doesn't have much on it. 90 seconds. Cruickshank lands to a kick to the body, Edwards a right hand to the head, and then a kick to the body of his own. Front kick from Edwards to the body. Lots of feints from Cruickshank, but he doesn't pull the trigger. Sidekick attempt from Cruickshank. Kick upstairs lands as the round ends. 10-9 Edwards for me. 20-18 for the veteran heading into the third.
Round 3: Close fight again here at the KeyArena as we head into the final three minutes. Edwards back to being the aggressor, Cruickshank floats out, feinting, but not throwing. Edwards with a kick, Cruickshank catches it, counters with a left hand. Looks upstairs with a front leg headkick, but misses. Edwards pulls the trigger on a left, Cruickshank avoids. Headkick from Cruickshank. Edwards pressing forward still, lands a couple punches, but nothing with much jam on them. Cruickshank tries an axe kick, but misses. Sidekick from the tae kwon do fighter. Headkick snapped off that Edwards blocks with his forearms. Another. Two minutes. Gonna be another split decision I think or at least scores that are all over the place. Edwards continues pressing forward, lands an inside leg kick. More kicks from Cruickshank, but nothing landing flush. 90 seconds. Outside leg kick for Edwards. Cruickshank tries a spinning back kick but misses. Headkick from Edwards doesn't land. Front leg roundhouse from Cruickshank parried away. Sidekick to the body. Edwards stalking into the final 20 seconds as the crowd boos. Cruickshank looking for some Street Fighter II kick at the close of the round, but doesn't fire. 10-9 Edwards for me in Round 3, and 30-27 overall for the vet, but as I said, I can see the scores being all over the place here.
Final Decision: Daron Cruickshank defeats Yves Edwards by Split Decision (30-27, 27-30, 30-27).
That was an awkward fight. Edwards pressed the action throughout with Cruickshank looking to counter, throwing mostly kicks. I'm not a "the guy coming forward wins" type of unofficial scorer, but the exchanges looked pretty even from my seat. Will be interesting to see what the final fight stats for that bout were. After a collection of entertaining scraps to start, you knew a bit of a clunker had to come at some point. Hopefully we're back to fireworks going forward.
Ed Herman (20-7-0) vs. Trevor Smith (10-3-0)
Round 1: "Short Fuse" versus "Hot Sauce" in this one. Herb Dean is our referee. No touch, and Herman out firing. Smith clinches, presses him into the cage. Inside uppercuts from Herman, knee from Smith. Herman digging to the body, Smith with another knee. Herman with a knee of his own. Lots of action in the clinch already. Uppercut from Herman, plus a knee to the body; Smith counters with a knee of his own, followed by a couple lefts. Trading knees on the cage. Herman fires and lands on the break, backing Smith up. Fighting in a phone booth, Herman lands heavy. These two are slinging it. Smith cracks Herman as he comes forward. "Short Fuse" is shaky. Smith not pressing in though. Uppercut lands for Herman. Leg kick for Smith. Herman catches a kick, presses forward, both land. Herman with a collar tie, lands a couple punches. Smith clinches, lands a knee, turns Herman into the cage. Herman with two uppercuts from the clinch, and a knee; Smith follows with an elbow. Fans are loving it with a minute left. Winging left for Smith lands, but Herman presses forward. Jab for "Short Fuse." Clinched again, both land - Herman with the uppercut, Smith with an elbow. Herman working the collar tie upper cuts. Smith cut above the left eye. Herman stands in the center of the cage at the horn; the crowd loves it. 10-9 Herman for me; landed more heavy shots, more effective in the clinch.
Round 2: Crowd is fired up to start the second. Smith with a body kick. Herman presses in, ends up with a front headlock. Smith lands a kicks as the two stand. Left hand from Smith connects, but Herman still pressing forward. Left from Smith, followed by a kick. Herman catches it, presses in, Smith turns him along the cage. Herman reverses, lands an elbow on the break. Jab connects for Herman. Poke, and Herman is rubbing his eye, but no stoppage. Body kick from Smith. Another glancing poke, and Herb Dean cautions Smith. Herman presses forward, eats a body kick. Smith looks for the takedown, and completes it against the cage. Two minutes left. Herman back to his knees, and back to his feet, breaking free. Trading shots, Smith landing the heavier blows, including a good knee to the body. Herman presses the action into the cage, 60 seconds left. Smith turns out, eats a short knee to the body, counters with one of his own upstairs. Knee from Herman, who drops for a takedown and completes it. Smith grabs a guillotine, but Herman is not in danger. 10-9 Smith, all even at 19-19 heading into the third.
Round 3: Both men call on the crowd for noise and get it. Touch gloves. Final round. Leg kick from Smith, right hand from Herman. Right hand over the top connects for Smith. Herman with a takedown, completes to side control, but Smith grabs the guillotine again, just like the end of the second. Herman out, looking to move to mount. Half mount for "Short Fuse" with an arm triangle attempt. Smith defending well, and Herman lets it go. Smith gets to his feet, the crowd roars and we've got three minutes left in an entertaining scrap. Smith with a leg kick, then a left. Herman still pressing forward. Smith looks for the takedown, Herman stuffs, turns him into the cage. Knee from Smith. Two minutes. Body shots from Herman, and they break. Knee from Herman misses. Weak, looping left from Smith lands soft. Inside leg kick catches Herman in the cup, and we're taking a minute. Back at it. Smith lands an outside leg kick, Herman counters with a right hand. Herman hunting for a takedown, Smith stops it. Herman lands a right along the cage. Back into the clinch. Herman digging uppercuts, Smith doing the same. Knee from Smith. Gruelling battle here. More uppercuts from Herman. 20 seconds. Crowd roars in appreciation. Both swing and miss to end it before embracing in the cage. 10-9 Herman on my card for a 29-28 win for the former Ultimate Fighter finalist. Have to see what the judges say.
Final Decision: Ed Herman defeats Trevor Smith by Split Decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28).
Close fight. Normally, I'd have all kinds of complaints about 30-27 scores on either side, but this doesn't feel that bad. Both middleweights were chucking knuckles (and knees and elbows) the whole time. Much-needed win for Herman, who had gone without a win in his last two. Nice debut for Smith, but that's three straight losses overall. Should get another shot in the UFC in my opinion; always entertaining.
Julie Kedzie (16-11-0) vs. Germaine de Randamie (3-2-0)
Round 1: Randy Corley gets a third straight assignment. Here we go. Feeling each other out. Nothing thrown yet. Kedzie presses in, de Randamie slips, the end up in the clinch along the cage. De Randamie pressing Kedzie into the fence, knee to the body. Body shots from Kedzie, de Randamie looks to go upstairs with a knee. Kedzie spins out, de Randamie reverses back. More knees inside from both. Dangerous spot for Kedzie against the former Muay Thai world champion. Halfway through the round, been a clinch battle so far. Kedzie reverses along the cage. Switch again, de Randamie appears stronger in the clinch so far. Lands another set of knees, goes upstairs with one. Boos from the crowd, ref in to break it up on cue. Kedzie bruising on the left side of her face from the knees. 60 seconds left. Kedzie catches a kick, looks for the takedown. de Randamie maintains balance, pushes her into the fence. Kedzie reverses. de Randamie switches back, lands a series of knees along the cage to end the action in the first. 10-9 de Randamie.
Round 2: de Randamie looks fresh; Kedzie a little bruised but ready to go. Inside leg kick from de Randamie. Right from Kedzie falls short, de Randamie maintaining distance well. Jab for "The Iron Lady," followed by a right hand. Body kick from Kedzie. Inside leg kick from de Randamie. Kedzie lands an uppercut inside. de Randamie staying out of range so far. Kedzie presses in for a takedown and completes, lands in half guard along the cage. de Randamie holding on as Kedzie looks to advance. Kedzie with a left hand. Crowd is getting restless. Kedzie looks for elbows; de Randamie clinching from bottom, looking for a stand up. Kedzie working the body. Round ends with "Fireball" on top. 10-9 Kedzie; 19-19 heading into the third.
Round 3: De Randamie fires a front kick down the pipe than just misses. Kedzie presses in for a takedown, gets it briefly off a slip, but de Randamie back up. Clinched along the cage, de Randamie landing short knees to the thigh and body. Kedzie reverses, looks for the takedown, but nothing there. de Randamie switches out again, returns to the knees. They break to the center of the cage. Three minutes left. De Randamie with a right hand that lands flush. Kedzie lands a jab as de Randamie presses in. Body kick from Kedzie. de Randamie connects with the right again, and just misses with a headkick. Two minutes left. Spinning back kick attempt from Kedzie just misses. She looks for a takedown, but nothing there. 90 seconds. de Randamie with a headkick attempt, not there. Neither women pressing hard here in the closing minute. Leg kick from de Randamie, caught, and Kedzie completes the takedow into guard. 30 seconds left. Closed guard. Kedzie lands a left, de Randamie landing elbows off her back. Horn sounds, both women raise their hands believing they're the victor. 10-9 de Randamie for a 29-28 win for "The Iron Lady" on my scorecard. We'll see what the judges say.
Final Decision: Germaine de Randamie defeats Julie Kedzie by Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28).
Close fight where both women seemed to be a little hesitant at times. De Randamie was more effective overall in the third in my opinion, landing a pair of straight rights that shook Kedzie, and working elbows off her back to close out the fight. As she continues to improve, the former Muay Thai world champion could become a contender in the shallow, but growing women's bantamweight division.
Aaron Riley (29-13-1) vs. Justin Salas (10-4-0)
Round 1: First of five lightweight bouts on the night. Randy Corley the third man in the cage. Southpaw versus southpaw. Salas circling as Riley looks to close the distance and connect. Salas comes forward with a big overhand that misses. Riley ducks another punch and throws a headkick that misses. Salas already swelling around his left eye from one of Riley's early punches. Salas with a left, continuing to circle and look for angles. Veteran Riley doing a good job of avoiding Salas' punches, continues stalking. Brief exchange, both land, and Salas hits a quick takedown. Back up right away, and back to Riley trying to walk him down behind punches and kicks. Salas forward with an overhand, lands a big left kick to the body. Riley seems unaffected, keeps pressing forward. Salas with a good right counter. Riley connects with a right of his own. Salas shoots and completes the takedown, but they're up right away. Riley pressing forward, Salas lands a headkick, but not much force to it. Salas wings a right hand, but misses. Riley red around the left eye as well, blood trickling out, stuffs a late takedown attempt. Salas with a jumping knee attempt. Riley continues to press forward, Salas getting the better of the exchange at the horn. 10-9 Salas.
Round 2: Riley out quickly, Salas continues countering well. Takedown for Salas, Riley kicks him off, and we're standing again. Riley still pressing the action, but not landing as much as Salas, who is throwing in bunches to Riley's single shots. Salas with a left to the body, ducks under a shot looking for a leg, but nothing there. Riley bleeding from the nose now. Salas continues circling, connects with a big with a big left. Salas presses Riley into the cage, Riley responds with a knee to the body, and they're back in space. Salas doing a good job of not getting pinned down, countering well. Dumps Riley off a caught kick, but the veteran gets back to his feet. The crowd applauds the non-stop action. Good right hand from Salas inside connects. Riley bloody, but still pressing forward. Center of the cage, Salas looks to cut angles, connects on the counter. Salas keeps landing the right hook as Riley presses in behind a 1-2. Left lands for Salas, Riley connects with a leg kick. Salas continues to circle, looking for his spot; Riley content to press forward. Left hook lands for Salas. 10-9 Salas, 20-18 through Round 2 for the Grudge Training Center product.
Round 3: Ovation from the crowd as the third gets underway. Riley lands a kick to the body. Back to the same circling/stalking dance. Salas presses forward behind a combination. Salas grabs a leg, Riley rolls out, literally. Riley with another kick to the body, but not much on it. Jab for Riley as he looks to close the distance, Salas counters with a right to the head. Salas wings an overhand right that Riley blocks. Upstarts with a headkick, blocked as well. Riley continues pressing forward, landing more here, but mostly because Salas seems content to circle out. Body kick from Riley lands. Salas not throwing much this round. Eye poke stops the action momentarily. Riley set to continue. Headkick from Riley. Another to the body. He's pressing the action here in the third, but needs a finish. Salas ducks for a takedown, stuffed. 60 seconds left. Salas on his bike a little here. Knee lands coming forward, Riley connects with a headkick in return. Salas looks for a suplex, slips. Superman punch fro Salas who turns it up in the final 30 seconds. Both men are bloody as the final horn sounds. 10-9 Riley in Round 3, but 29-28 Salas on my card.
Final Decision: Justin Salas defeats Aaron Riley by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Entertaining scrap from these two lightweights. Riley is as durable as they come, but Salas was effective with the counters throughout. If the whole night continues on like this, we're in for a great night of fights here in Seattle.
John Albert (7-4-0) vs. Yaotzin Meza (18-8-0)
Round 1: Touch of gloves and we're underway. Albert fires a leg kick early and pushes forward. Meza ducks under for a takedown and completes it into Albert's guard. Albert looking to work from bottom, Meza trying to pass. Albert looking to trap and arm, but Meza stands, grabs a guillotine as Albert gets up. Albert flips to side control, looking to climb to mount, but Meza defends with a knee up. Albert spins for an armbar attempt, Meza defending. Now belly down, Meza still defending properly as they move along the cage. Meza's arm is still trapped, but he's got Albert on his back now, holding on to the submission attempt. Albert lets go, Meza lands a right, ends up in half guard. Albert looks to scramble out, Meza lands rights. 60 seconds left. Albert defending from half guard still as Meza looks to land punches and elbows. Meza grabs a guillotine choke, Albert looks to defend, but Meza uses it to sweep to mount in the dying seconds. Albert bucks, gets to side control as the horn sounds. Very entertaining round. 10-9 Meza.
Round 2: Albert urges the crowd on as the second begins. Meza with a leg kick, Albert responds, and Meza shoots for a takedown. Albert grabs a guillotine, and transitions to a triangle attempt as they scramble for position on the canvas. Meza stands up, but Albert maintains the hold, adjusting, looking to add the armbar. Both on the canvas now, Albert firing punches from the bottom, continuing to sink in the choke, pulling down on the head. Meza trying to slip out the back and does, getting Alberts back in the process. Meza working for the choke, Albert defending the hands. Meza flattens him out and starts unloading punches. Looks for the choke again, and Albert taps in the center of the Octagon.
Final Decision: Yaotzin Meza defeats John Albert by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 2:49 of Round 2.
Entertaining start to the night. Meza with a strong rebound performance after a short-notice loss to top-ranked featherweight Chad Mendes in his UFC debut. There were some close moments, but he defended effectively, and capitalized when he got Albert's back in the second. That's four-straight losses for "Prince Albert," who missed weight yesterday. Could be the end of the road in the Octagon for the local favorite.