UFC Fight Night Recap: Dos Santos gets decision win
Junior Dos Santos and Stipe Miocic thrilled the Phoenix crowd with an incredible five-round slugfest Saturday night in the main event of UFC Fight Night. In the end, the judges awarded a strangely lopsided unanimous decision win to Dos Santos, with two judges somehow believing that the former champ had managed to win four rounds.
Miocic appeared to exceed most expectations by taking it to the Brazilian in the first two rounds. "Cigano" took back the next two rounds, and it appeared as though the fifth and final round would decide the bout. Not so, according to the judges.
The co-main event was not close at all, as Rafael Dos Anjos dominated Nate Diaz on the feet and on the ground, en route to a unanimous decision win. Alistair Overeem and Matt Mitrione both managed to take their heavyweight opponents out early in the first round of their main card bouts.
For all the detailed action, read on below!
Junior Dos Santos (16-3) vs. Stipe Miocic (12-1)
Dos Santos kicks things off with a big overhand right, flush. Stipe shoots in for a take down, gets stuffed but lands some punches from the clinch. Nice jab from Miocic. Dos Santos wings a big overhand, Miocic ducks under and gets a takedown, but Dos Santos is up to his feet.
Miocic lands shots on separation. Dos Santos answers with two hooks to the head. Another jab from Miocic. Miocic shoots in again, gets stuffed but again connects on separation. Dos Santos lands a big left hook. An overhand right lands for Miocic!
Miocic has Dos Santos on the run! Miocic lands another big shot. Dos Santos is hurt but has his wits about him and takes the center of the ring. Dos Santos lands a one-one-two combo to the head and then another big overhand right. Dos Santos hits a right uppercut.
Dos Santos lands a straight right. Stipe lands a leaping right hook that stands Dos Santos up against the cage. The former champ is hurt and bleeding but gets back to the center of the ring. Dos Santos ends the round with three nasty left hooks!
Dos Santos switches stances and lands a jab to the face. Miocic lands a body kick and then shoots in again. Dos Santos stuffs it and stands Miocic up and presses him against the fence.
They break and go to the center of the ring. They trade stiff jabs. Step-in left hook from Dos Santos. Miocic standing in front of Junior before landing a big overhand right.
Counter left hook to the head for Miocic. Nice jab from Miocic and a big miss from Dos Santos on an overhand. Miocic lands two more overhand rights!
Dos Santos is bleeding badly. Miocic ties up Dos Santos again against the cage and then lands a leaping right hook on separation. Dos Santos lands a nasty left hook on separation the head of Miocic.
Nice body hook from Dos Santos. Nice jab from Dos Santos. He's more worn but also lighter on his feet. Jab to the sternum from Dos Santos. Miocic catches Dos Santos walking away, again, with a right hand, and clinches up against the fence.
Miocic hits the takedown with under thirty seconds left in the round. Dos Santos gets back to his feet at the end of the round.
Miocic backing up Dos Santos with his jab. Miocic shoots in for a take down but gets switched up and Dos Santos gets on top before Miocic gets back to his feet. Left hook to the head from Dos Santos. Jab to the gut, from Junior.
Dos Santos lands a one-two to the head. Junior misses with a big uppercut. Dos Santos targeting the body of Miocic with straight punches that land. Miocic with another big right hand.
Dos Santos lands a left hand that stuns and drops Miocic! Dos santos lands a jab. Miocic is cut open now. Miocic shoots in for a shot and Dos Santos gets away. More body shots from Dos Santos. Dos Santos setting up his overhand right with more straight punches to the body. Miocic misses with a big overhand right.
Dos Santos throws an overhand right that is mostly blocked, but was still surely jarring. Thirty seconds left and Miocic chases after Dos Santos and misses with looping shots. Dos Santos hits another overhand right to the face.
Miocic connects with a body kick and Dos Santos pretends it hit him low. Replay shows that it did not. Miocic shoots for a single leg and scores it but Dos Santos gets back up to his feet and lands a straight punch to the gut. Dos Santos connects with a left hook.
Dos Santos' right eye is swelling. Miocic lands another jab. Dos Santos switching up his stance, back and forth. Stipe stalking Junior, presses him against the cage. Dos Santos just misses with a big uppercut.
Dos Santos lands a left hook. Miocic lands two overhand rights to the head. Dos Santos with another left hook and then a glancing overhand right. Another overhand from Miocic, and another one, and another one!
Dos Santos is hurt, but he lands an overhand of his own! Dos Santos stuffs a takedown attempt from Miocic. Miocic still stalking but still standing in front of Dos Santos. Miocic lands another overhand right hand and clinchces. From the clinch Dos Santos gets a trip takedown!
Miocic is against the fence, on the ground. Miocic hits a switch and gets back to his feet.
The right side of Dos Santos' face is badly swollen and bleeding.
Both men shake hands at the start of the round and then begin trading jabs to the face. Dos Santos lands a glancing overhand right. Dos Santos going to work at the body once more with straight punches. He lands another overhand right to Miocic's head. Dos Santos answers a left hook-straight right combo from Miocic with another overhand right.
Dos Santos rips a body-head punch combo. Miocic shoots in and gets stuffed. Dos Santos' punching speed is picking up and he's throwing more combos. Miocic lands a big overhand right. Dos Santos lands his own, and then a jab. Stipe lands a jab, Dos Santos a right, then a big left hook.
Dos Santos lands a double jab to the head and body. Miocic lands a huge overhand right, then a hook-cross combo. Another huge overhand right from Miocic! Dos Santos falls backwards to the cage, which keeps him upright. Dos Santos with the jab, Miocic with another right hand.
They clinch up against the cage with a minute left. A right hook, left hook combo from Miocic lands. Miocic presses Junior and the former champ answers back witha left hook! Miocic lands another right hand and Dos Santos a jab. The round ends with Dos Santos landing a knee to the body.
The judges give the unanimous decision to Junior Dos Santos with scores of 49-46 (twice) and 48-47.
Rafael Dos Anjos (22-7) vs. Nate Diaz (18-9)
Leg kick, body kick and then an overhand left land from Dos Anjos. Dos Anjos finding more leg kicks and another overhand left hand. Big left hook lands for Dos Anjos and he lands another leg kick. Diaz's lead leg is getting eaten up and hurt badly.
Diaz eats another leg kick and gets hurt badly. Diaz is limping hard. Dos Anjos lands another left hand. The Brazilian has a big speed advantage with his punches. Dos Anjos gets a takedown and works from Diaz's half guard, and then his butterfly guard.
Diaz turtles up and eats punches. He rolls again and goes for a half-hearted leg lock before Dos Anjos passes and goes to the "I" position, then knee on stomach and then half guard again. Dos Anjos ends the round landing big punches. Diaz is saved by the bell.
Dos Anjos landing more leg kicks again and Diaz seems helpless to stop them. Dos Anjos follows up with a cross and an inside leg kick.
Dos Anjos hits a takedown and plenty of ground strikes, opening up a cut over Diaz's eye. Diaz gets back to his feet and eats a big straight left. The referee steps in to pause the fight and have the doctor take a look at Diaz's cut.
The doctor does, and lets i't continue. Dos Anjos has landed 21 leg kicks up to this point. Diaz with a one-two punch combination. Dos Anjos hits Diaz while he's on one foot with a jumping kick that drop Diaz.
The round ends with Dos Anjos in side mount, landing more strikes onto Diaz.
Rogan says that the referee actually brought the doctor in to look at Diaz's leg, last round. Wow. He eats more at the start of this one, then a head kick, and then gets taken down.
Dos Anjos in Diaz's full guard with one minute left in the round and fihgt. Dos Anjos lands nasty short elbows to the head. Dos Anjos safely stands up and out of the guard before coming back down and passing to half guard. Diaz has full guard again but isn't able to mount any offense, as Dos Anjos lands repeated elbows.
Diaz tries to angle out to begin to set up an armbar, but Dos Anjos centers up and resumes his striking attack from inside the guard. Under a minute left and Dos Anjos continues to land elbows from inside the guard. Diaz begins taunting Dos Anjos and slapping him while saying "do something."
Dos Anjos obliges him by slapping back and finishing the round by raining down huge punches.
Rafael Dos Anjos wins a dominant unanimious decision with scores of 30-26 (twice), and 30-27.
Alistair Overeem (37-14) vs. Stefan Struve (29-6)
Overeem shoots in for a takedown, doesn't get it but presses Struve against the cage. The seven footer gets free and they are back in the center of the cage.
Overeem shoots again and gets the takedown. Overeem landing sparing but hard shots. Overeem now unloading with big shots and gets the TKO finish.
Alistair Overeem wins via TKO (ground strikes) at 4:13 of the first round.
Gabriel Gonzaga (16-8) vs. Matt Mitrione (8-3)
Gonzaga blasts Mitrione with a straight right that drops him to the mat. Mitrione recovers and lands a left hook that drops Gonzaga to the mat!
Mitrione follows up with strikes on the ground and forces the referee to stop the fight!
Matt Mitrione wins via TKO (strikes on the ground) at 1:59 of the first round.
Claudia Gadelha (12-0) vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (7-0)
Claudia lands a straight right hand to the head. Claudia with a big overhand right hand to the head. Claudia hits a punch combo to Joanna's face before clinching up and looking for a take down. Excellent takedown defense at first but the Brazilian continues with it, gets her down and works for an arm-triangle choke.
Joanna defends and gets her neck out. Joanna begins to cage walk but Claudia has her right leg trapped and is so far preventing her from getting back to her feet. Joanna gets back to her feet but Claudia continues to press her against the cage with good head position and double underhooks.
Joanna reverses and presses Claudia against the cage for a bit before Claudia breaks free. Joanna lands a monster uppercut to the jaw of Claudia that drops her with ten seconds left! She survives and gets to a second round.
Claudia gets a big double leg take down but Joanna starts standing right away. Claudia begins to work to take the back but the cage is assisting Joanna in stopping from advancing position.
Claudia gives up on the back take attempt and works for another takedown. Joanna lands a left hook to the liver. Joanna lets another head punch combo rip and then angles out as she has been all fight. Claudia lands two punches to the head afterwards, however.
Joanna lands a nasty straight to the chin but then gets bull-rushed bu Claudia and taken down. Claudia briefly gets another takedown but Joanna gets back up to end the round.
An accidental headbutt opens up a cut above Claudia's left eye. The ref pauses the action for the doctor to look at it. Action re-starts and Joanna goes back to work with punch combos. Claudia hits another takedown and Joanna scoots herslef backwards to get to the cage to begin another walk-walk.
Claudia refuses to let Joanna up, continues to re-stablish position on the ground and lands a few hard strikes. Joanna fighting hard, gets back to her feet. Claudia drags her down again. Claudia working for an arm-triangle choke while standing, but lets it go. Joanna back up to her feet and lands a knee to the body.
Claudia changes levels to try and get another take down. She doesn't and Joanna gets free with under thirty seconds left. Joanna stalking her now but Claudia keeps swinging. The round ends and Claudia slaps Joanna after the bell.
In a surprise decision, Joanna Jedrzejczyk wins a split decision with scores of 29-28 (twice) and 28-29.
John Moraga (15-3) vs. Willie Gates (11-4)
Gates not showing any hesitation in his UFC debut. Already, we can see that he's got fast hands. Gates with an accidental low blow from an inside leg kick.
Moraga lands a huge, looping left hook on Gates. Moraga complains of another low blow, the referee tells them to continue. Instead, Moraga turns his back and continues to complain. Gates is smart and punches and jumps on Moraga, capitalizing on his mistake.
Gates goes for a rear naked choke. Moraga reverses position and begins to work out of Gates' guard. Moraga working to pass, Gates goes for a leg lock and Moraga stands up.
Moraga pressing Gates against the cage, from a clinch. Gates gets free, but Moraga continues to swing big on him, mostly missing. Moraga presses Gates against the cage again. Moraga landing a strike or two from the clinch but mostly looking for a takedown.
Time ticks away as Moraga continues to grind against Gates. The referee separates them and re-starts them in the center of the cage. Gates with a front kick to the face, and a jab. Side kick from Gates makes Moraga stumble backwards.
Moraga presses Gates against the cage, working knees to the body and legs before trying for a failed takedown.
Moraga lands a nasty lead right hand, goes for a take down, but is fended off by Gates, who swings and misses with a big hook. Moraga presses Gates against the cage again, looking for a takedown. Gates gets free, but eats a knee and right hand to the head.
Moraga using his head position well to keep Gates pressed against the cage. Moraga gets a front head lock and trips gates to the ground to get his first clean takedown of the fight. Moraga now on top from inside Gates' half guard, who is pressed against the cage.
Moraga unleases with elbows and punches. Gates turns his back, Moraga gets both hooks in and continues to elbow and punch his head and shoulders before flattening him out. Gates turns, Moraga continues to land punches with a minute and a half left. Gates turns again and Moraga takes the back again and sinks in a rear naked choke for the tapout!
John Moraga wins with a third round submission win via rear naked choke.
Joe Riggs (28-9) vs. Ben Saunders (17-6-2)
Saunders lands a head kick and Riggs storms him and gets a double leg takedown. Saunders goes straight into a rubber high guard and Riggs taps out! Looking at the replay, we see that Riggs injured his neck badly on impact as he slammed Saunders to the ground.
He tapped out immediately upon hitting the ground. Neck injuries are scary. Hopefully Riggs recovers fully, and quickly.
Saunders wins via submission (injury) at 57 of the first round.
Jamie Varner (21-10-1) vs. Drew Dober (14-6)
Varner with a nasty left hook that lands to the head of Dober. A two-three punch combo from Varner. Rogan talking about Dober's meaty legs. The man has a point.
Dober clinches up with double underhooks and gets the takedown and mount. Varner mounted against the cage. Varner turns and gives up his back. Dober working for a rear naked choke, and he gets the tap out submission!
Rogan reports that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva tells him that Varner knocked himself out when he got taken down by Dober on his own attempted throw attempt. Varner with some rough luck in his last two bouts. Credit to Dober, though, for doing what he had to.
Varner announces his retirement from MMA. "I had planned this a long time ago," he said.
"I can't keep up with these young kids anymore...It's been an absolute dream, you guys...I've done things I never thought I'd do."
Drew Dober wins with a rear naked choke submission victory at 1:52 of the first round.
Joe Ellenberger (15-1) vs. Bryan Barberena (9-2)
Ellenberger strikes first with an overhand right hand. Ellenberger fakes another overhand right and shoots for a takedown. He gets it and presses BB against the cage. Barberena gets back to his feet and turns to face Ellenberger before turning and pressing Ellenberger against the cage.
Ellenberger lands another right hand, then gets a belly-to-back suplex slam. BB gets back to his feet, and lands some elbows to the head. Ellenberger lands another straight right to the face. He has a 24 to 11 total strikes advantage up to this point. BB stuffs a takedown attempt from Ellenbgerger.
Barberena more aggressive at the start of this round with punches and kicks. BB finding a home for an inside leg kick to Ellenberger's lead. Ellenberger with a flying knee to the body!
They trade punches int he pocket and then BB lands another inside leg kick the makes Ellenberger stumble. Barbarena has landed 11 total leg kicks, so far. Ellenberger appears a bit fatigued. He catches a kick to the body from BB and attempts a take down that is well-defended from the Arizona native.
Benson Henderson shouting out instructions to his teammate Baraberena. BB still lighter on his feet, stalking and swinging on Ellenberger. The horn sounds and he raises his hands up in the air. One round a piece, ladies and gents.
Ellenberger takes BB down immediately but Barbarena listens to the coaching, cage-side of his teammate Benson Henderson, and manages to stand up. BB hurts Ellenberger with punches and a knee. He drops Ellenberger!
BB working from inside the open guard of Ellenberger. Henderson shouting out guard passing instructions to BB. He listens, passes and takes the back of Ellenberger. Ellenberger turns around, but is pinned against the cage and eats big punch after big punch to the head with no defense.
Referee Herb Dean threatens to stop the fight unless Ellenberger fights back. BB attacking with elbows now, as well as punches, and Dean stops the fight at the 3:23 mark of the first round.
Bryan Barberena wins via TKO from ground strikes at 3:23 mark of the first round.
David Michaud (7-1) vs. Garett Whiteley (8-2)
Whiteley kicks and punches his way inside and then unloads with knees to the body. Whiteley the more active until Michaud lands a spinning crescent kick.
Michaud lands a couple uppercuts and then presses Whiteley against the cage and looks for a take down. After stunning Whiteley with a strike, Michaud gets the double leg take down against the cage with under a minute left.
Michaud takes Whiteley's back as he stands up. Whiteley throws and misses with a knee to end the round.
Whiteley the more active until Michaud closes the distance and gets a takedown. Michaud in side control, landing knees to the body from on top. Michaud cut badly on his forehead, though, blood spurting out all over his opponent and the mat.
Whiteley gets half, then full guard and gets elbowed in the head. Whiteley's own elbows from off his back are what cut Michaud open. More strikes from the bottom from Whiteley to Michaud's head. Michaud hits back from on top with his own. Michaud passes to half guard. Whiteley doing more damage from his back than Michaud is from on top.
Whiteley shoots for an armbar, Michaud slips right out and goes into side mount, before moving to the back of Whiteley. Both hooks in for Michaud with under thirty seconds left. Whiteley turns around and gets his full guard back as the round ends.
Whiteley the more active with strikes on the feet, where the first couple minutes of the round take place. Overhand right and body kick from Whiteley before Michaud gets a take down. Whiteley starts elbowing Michaud again from off his back. Michaud is on top but has landed fewer ground strikes than Whiteley has from the bottom.
Michaud trying but having trouble passing Whiteley's butterfly guard. The referee stands them up but Michaud takes him down again, proving the futility of referees trying to artificially dictate fights.
The round and fight end with Michaud in Whiteley's full guard, pressed up against the fence.
Judges give a unanimous decision win with scores of 29-28 (twice) and 30-27 to David Michaud.
Henry Cejudo (6-0) vs. Dustin Kimura (12-2)
Olympic wrestling gold medalist Henry Cejudo finally makes his UFC debut today, folks. Young veteran Dustin Kimura welcomes him. This is a weight class above what Cejudo had originally planned to fight at.
Let's see how sharp he looks at 135 pounds, and if he's ready for the UFC! The home town hero Cejudo gets introduced second, despite being a rookie.
Good left hook from Kimura, Cejudo answers with his own. Cejudo lands a lead, left kick to the body then storms Kimura with more punches. Cejudo lands a rear roundhouse leg kick. The wrestler is pushing the pace. Kimura grabs a leg and works for a single leg takedown but gets defended.
Cejudo throws a one-two punch combination and the cross lands big and drops Kimura! Cejudo follows him to the ground, throwing punches, but then stands up and walks away with two minutes left. Both men back on their feet. Cejudo lands a nasty punch combination on the inside. Kimura answers with a knee.
Cejudo has a 25 to 3 strike advantage at this point. Cejudo counters with a straight and hook that both land. Cejudo ends the round with a high kick.
Cejudo catches a kick from Kimura, and lands two right hands. So far, Cejudo hasn't looked for a single takedown up to this point. He lands another hard cross. Kimura throws an overhand right but it's largely blocked.
Cejudo ducks under a jab, and comes back up with a left hook that lands to the head. 48 to 10 total strike advantage for Cejudo, at this time.
Lead left hook from Cejudo snaps back Kimura's head. Lead right hand to the punch from Cejudo, followed by a left body kick. Cejudo is working the body hard, having landing 17 total, so far. A three-two combo from Cejudo connects to the head. Kimura really frozen up by Cejudo's speed. Kimura is cut open in two places on his head.
Kimura lands a leg kick to Cejudo's lead. Cejudo landing multiple punch combinations. Cejudo lands a leg kick then follows up with a bull-rush punch combination. Still no takedown attempts from Cejudo up to this point. 74 to 19 total strike advantage for Cejudo at this point in the third round. Stunning.
Cejudo punches his way in with punches and then lands knee strikes to the mid-section from the Thai plum clinch. Counter straight right from Cejudo lands to the head. Under a minute left. More knees from the clinch, followed by an overhand right from Cejudo.
Kimura throws a flying knee that Cejudo side-steps. Cejudo shoots for the first time and is stuffed by Kimura. Cejudo throws a knee to the head. Both men are swinging as the round and fight ends.
All three judges score the fight 30-27 for Henry Cejudo.
Anthony Birchak (11-1) vs. Entwistle (8-2)
Birchak punches into a shot and gets a take down off the bat. Entwistle eats punches but then moves to a heel hook submission and forces the tap out submission!
Ian Entwistle wins via heel hook submission at 1:04 of the first round.