Jones lands a takedown immediately. Sonnen gets back to his feet and connects with a couple dirty boxing punches. Jones has Sonnen pressed against the fence. Sonnen is on his back and Jones is throwing dangerous elbows. Sonnen is back to his feet but Jones isn’t letting go. Jones is wearing down Sonnen. Jones throws a spinning back elbow but Sonnen doesn’t react. Jones SLAMS Sonnen to the ground. Bones is postured above Sonnen and connects with a shot. Jones goes for more elbows. Sonnen almost positions himself with an armbar but loses it quick, and his back is to the champion. Not good. Jones rushes him and knees his body, and follows up with a bunch of other punches. Referee stops the fight. The deed is done. Jones retains, fight over.
Official Result: Jones wins via TKO at 4:33 in Round 1.
Michael Bisping vs Alan Belcher
The opening seconds of this round is a bit more active than the last two, which is a good thing. It’s bringing this crowd back to life. Just as I type that, things slow down. Bisping’s overhand right is doing work. It’s not that the action is slow, because it’s not. Both men are doing work, but they’re just not connecting much. Bisping catches Belcher twice in a row. Painful sounding right from Bisping. Bisping locks up Belcher and pushes him against the fence, but within seconds they asre separated. Bisping throws a hook and looks like he caught Belcher’s eye bad. Belcher is on the ground, writhing in pain. He’s bloodied. Referee calls it. Fight over. Three doctor stoppages in one night? FUN!
Official Result: Bisping wins via technical unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Once again, both men are quick to get to the center of the octagon. Belcher gives Bisping a nice body kick. Belcher connects with a body shot and Bisping answers with a punch of his own. Belcher’s leg receives a decent kick. Belcher went for a big overhand right but overshot Bisping, and got popped with a nice 1-2. Bisping throws his nicest combination of the bout, but nothing really connected; all he hit was hand. Bisping nails Belcher with a right and a left, which temporarily stops the crowd from booing. Belcher shoots, but gets stuffed. A lot of punches thrown in the last ten seconds, and Bisping connected with a majority of them.
Score: 10-9 Bisping, 20-18 Bisping
Long feeling out process where not much connects besides a shot to the balls. Belcher gets inspired by the USA chants and connects with an overhand right. Oblique kick to Bisping. Those always looks painful. Another minute passes without any solid shots and the crowd starts to boo. Bisping is cornering Belcher a lot. He pops Belcher with a straight. Belcher accidentally pokes Bisping in the eye. Fight is resumed after a brief pause. Bisping pops Belcher after Belcher throws a kick and he stumbles back, but nothing comes of it. Horn sounds.
Score: 10-9 Bisping
Roy Nelson vs Cheick Kongo
Cheick Kongo may be one of the scariest human beings I’ve met. He is built like a monster, but is very polite. Fight starts and Kongo’s back is already against the fence. Nelson isn’t even working for anything here. Now he’s looking for a trip takedown but doesn’t have any success with it. Referee breaks them up and the action is back in the middle. Nelson CRACKS Kongo with an overhand right! Fight OVER.
Official Result: Nelson wins via KO at 2:03 in Round 1.
Phil Davis vs Vinny Magalhaes
Davis is very confident at the opening of this round, as he is throwing combinations freely. Nothing major happens for a good minute until Davis threw Magalhaes to the ground. About three minutes into the round, Davis finally bobbled Magalhaes’ head with a hard hook. Then a straight right. Magalhaes has a good chin, so I don’t think these punches are going to do much to him. Davis is going to have to catch him off guard with a good shot. Magalhaes goes for another takedown, Davis runs away, Magalhaes invites Davis to the ground and Davis declines the invitation. Back to their feet. Not much happens after that. Horn sounds. Phil Davis, all night.
Score: 10-9 Davis, 30-27 Davis
Official Result: Davis wins via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Davis really wants to land the overhand right. Davis is looking to take down Magalhaes, which is an interesting move. He lands the takedown and lets him back up. Davis finally connects with a straight right. Magalhaes hits a leg kick, but gets popped with a counter jab that makes him rethink his distance. Magalhaes softly pats Davis on the head with a hook— not much damage done with that one. Davis punching from a lot of different angles that is catching Magalhaes off guard and it’s rather impressive. In a scramble, Magalhaes tried to grab Davis but the sweat makes it slippery and nothing comes of it. Horn sounds, crowd half cheers and half groans.
Score: 10-9 Davis, 20-18 Davis
Both men are throwing heavy hands. Magalhaes hits a leg kick. Magalhaes’ back is against the cage and Davis hits body shots. Magalhaes nails another leg kick. Davis connects with a shot that sends Magalhaes back a bit, but he bounces off the cage and recovers. Magalhaes blocks a hook. Magalhaes catches Davis’ leg and drags him down and has his back! Davis is in a bad place. Not for long, however, as he escapes and stands back up. Referee brings them back to their feet. Davis is dictating where this fight is going; Magalhaes constantly has his back against the fence. The crowd is offering very good advice, like “touch that body”. Davis connects with a straight kick to Magalhaes’ body. Magalhaes says he got poked in the eye but the referee didn’t see it; the fight goes on without a pause. The round ends with Magalhaes backing up.
Score: Davis 10-9
Cole Miller vs Pat Healy
The crowd is on their feet, ready for the round to start. Miller stuffs a takedown. A bit of a scramble takes place, but nothing comes of it and they’re back on their feet. Just as Healy lands a hook, Miller finally succeeds with the leg-kick/hook combo he’s been looking for. Healy lands a takedown. He is 4 for 5 tonight. Healy eventually passes into full mount. Miller tries to twist out of there, but Healy has him where he wants him. Miller is trying to wall-walk up but he’s leaving his head susceptible to shots. Healy has Miller’s back and it looks like he has a rear naked choke locked in. He wrenches, blood is pouring out of Miller’s face and the referee puts a stop to the fight.
Official Result: Healy wins via submission (RNC) at 4:02 of Round 3 (despite Bruce Buffer’s brief mistake).
From the first few seconds their strategies are clear: Miller is looking for headshots and Healy is looking to take the fight to the ground. Healy nails an elbow after separating from a clinch. Miller is looking to repeat the success of his leg kick/hook combination he had early on in the first round, but he hasn’t been successful since. Healy throws Miller down to the ground. Miller had an arm locked up for a bit which caused a lull in action. Both are struggling to lock in anything serious. Healy looks like he has a choke synched in but Miller escapes and is now on top of Healy in a north-south position. Miller is tenderizing Healy’s sides with body shots. Horn sounds with Miller’s back against the cage.
Score 10-9 Healy, 19-19 even
Miller connects the first shot of the fight with a right straight. Miller sweeps Healy’s leg out from under him with a kick, but he recovers. Miller connects with a right hook. Healy gets taken down and Miller jumps on top of him, and is now in Healy’s open guard. Healy works on locking in an armbar, but Miller escapes. Good scramble and Miller is on top of Healy’s back, working some kind of armbar or kimura. He’s in good position for an armbar. Miller doesn’t has it, so he lets it go and they are back to their feet. Healy hits a decent uppercut after ignoring a leg kick, then lands a takedown. Healy has Miller’s back, however he has no hooks in. Miller makes it back to his feet only to get slammed down hard! Healy now has Miller’s back, but Miller turns around and ends up on top! Miller clobbers Healy at the end of the round, almost thought that one was over.
Score: 10-9 Miller
Rustam Khabilov vs Yancy Medeiros
Yancy is coming in with his strikes in very good angles. He hits a good leg kick. Rustam is picking his shots carefully. Yancy nails a leg kick, Rustam kind of counters with a hook but he turns it into a takedown and he has Yancy’s back. Not for long however, as they are both back on their feet after a scramble. Fight pauses, and fight is called off. Yancy’s finger looks to be broken? Maybe a dislocation? Either way, fight is over. Called off.
**Upon further review, that thumb is BEYOND broken. Ouch.
Official Result: Khabilov wins via TKO (ref stoppage due to injury) at 2:32 in the first round
Gian Villante vs Ovince St. Preux
St. Preux clobbers Villante with a hook, but accidentally pokes him in the eye. This looks bad, it’s already swelling up. Referee calls the fight, the crowd is pissed.
Official Result: St. Preux wins via majority technical decision due to eye poke stoppage (30-28, 30-29, 29-29)
St. Preux has a bit of a scare after getting knocked down, but he gets right back up. Villante is making the leg kicks a big part of his offense. Both fighters are cautious of each other’s power, which is leading to each man picking-and-choosing their shots carefully. Every single time someone is pinned against the cage, the crowd yells "KNEE". It’s cute. Villante feigns a superman-punch that seems like it would have connected. Villante is sticking with the leg kicks as we are four minutes into the round. St. Preux connects with a left hook to silent the crowd as they start to boo. St. Preux hits a nice body shot. St. Preux whiffs on a spinning back kick. Slow round.
Score: 10-9 St. Preux, 20-18 St. Preux
Villante and St. Preux trade leg kicks. St. Preux goes for a body kick but it’s caught. Villante pushes St. Preux against the cage. St. Preux stuffs the takedown with the assist of grabbing the top of the cage. Villante connects with the first hard hit of the fight which is a headkick, but St. Preux comes back with a fury of his own! Villante pushes St. Preux against the cage but gets hit with a knee to the gut and then has the tables turned on him. Villante pushes off St. Preux and they are back in the middle of the octagon. Fight pauses to cut some unwrapped wrist-wraps. Fight resumes but not much action happens afterwards. I’d give the round to St. Preux, he dictated where the fight went more.
Score: 10-9 St. Preux
Sara McMann vs Sheila Gaff
McMann opens up the round with an explosive takedown. After that, not too much action happening. Nobody is advancing. McMann postures up and tries to throw some shots but nothing dangerous connects. Three minutes in, now, and McMann is still in the same position. We have the first boos for a women fight in the UFC. Referee stands them up and Gaff is very active. McMann eats a bit of a knee and lands another takedown, she has Gaff in the crucifix and is throwing bombs. Gaff is eating shot after shot and she is trying to defend herself but is trapped. She eats one shot too many and the fight is over! McMann gets the victory. First TKO of the night goes to the girls. Good job, ladies.
Official Result: McMann wins via TKO stoppage (strikes) at 4:06 of Round 1
Bryan Caraway vs Johnny Bedford
Caraway hits a nice straight about a minute into the round, then gets his eye poked. Referee doesn’t stop the fight and there’s no mention of it. Odd. Bedford almost keeps getting cracked with counters but pulls back just in time. Caraway shoots, Bedford defends and is on top. Scramble, and now Caraway is on top. Bedford almost locks in a triangle and an armbar but Caraway is aware and safely escapes. Caraway is not trying to advance with purpose. A fan tries to start an ECW chant, but fails. Wrong event, buddy. Back to the fight, Caraway is still on top. Caraway sinks in a guillotine out of nowhere and Bedford submits! Game over, man.
Official Result: Caraway wins via submission (guillotine choke) at 4:44 of Round 3
Caraway opens with a shoot, and Bedford almost clobbers him with a countering knee. No dice, though. Bedford hits a leaping hook, first hard shot of the round. They collide heads a bit as they separate from a clinch. The action is back to how it was early on in the first; both keeping their distance and not connecting much. Bedford is not hopping around like he was in the first. Caraway shoots and successfully earns a takedown. He makes a swift and nice transition to side guard only to go back into Bedford’s half-guard. Not much striking has happened in the last three minutes. I’m surprised the weird NJ crowd hasn’t started to boo yet. Horn sounds, round ends with Caraway on top swinging.
Score: 10-9 Caraway, 20-18 Caraway
Bedford is bouncing around a lot and is fighting on his toes. Both throw shots but none of them are rock solid and won’t do any damage. Caraway is keeping his distance. Bedford goes for a shoot, Caraway backs off and hops of his back. Both hooks are in, Bedford needs to think two steps ahead of every single move he tries to make. Bedford makes it back to his feet and they’re in the middle of the octagon. Bedford hits a right hook, body kick, and another right hook that brings the crowd to life a bit. Caraway acts like he’s going to shoot, but changes it up to a high kick just like Leonard was doing last fight. Didn’t work then and didn’t work now. Caraway lands a takedown with ten seconds left. Horn sounds.
Score: 10-9 Caraway
Leonard Garcia vs Cody McKenzie
Round 3: Garcia charges to the center of the octagon and lands a head kick. He’s being smart and keeping his back away from the cage. Garcia is Garcia-ing and throwing punches all the way from Grandma’s house. It’s working, oddly enough. McKenzie is being more cautious. McKenzie keeps connecting with a leaping jab. Garcia keeps missing these wild shots and McKenzie just chuckled and put his hands behind his back, dodged two shots and connected with three. Two minutes left at this point and things are evening up. McKenzie grabs a leg and lands a takedown. The way Garcia fell, it looks more like he slipped down. Doesn’t matter; McKenzie is on top and is going to grind a decision victory. Impressive performance on his end.
Score: 10-9 McKenzie, 30-27 McKenzie
Official Result: McKenzie wins via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
McKenzie now seems to be on the upperhand of every grappling scramble. Little action has been seen while standing. Garcia is being taken out of his element and it is evident; he is gasping for air. McKenzie is latched onto Garcia’s back with a body triangle. Garcia stands up and SLAMS McKenzie on his head. Loud thud. That’s about all the offense Garcia saw this round. Horn sounds.
Score: McKenzie 10-9, 20-18 McKenzie
Garcia and Cody open up the bout with quite the grappling contest. A few scrambles in the round which saw each man in a dangerous position. Cody saw the most favorable position of the round, however it was toward the end. He had Garcia locked in a triangle position before time expired. Close round.
Score: 10-9 McKenzie
Steven Siler vs Kurt Holobaugh
Both fighters are, once again, very active at the start of the round. Siler has his back against the cage and ate some bodyshots, but nothing too serious. Siler separates after giving Holobaugh a nice knee to the face. Siler overshoots on a high kick and Holobaugh caught him off guard with a counter right. After a scramble, Siler has Holobaugh’s back again. Body triangle locked in. Looks like it’s locked in. Siler is wrenching pretty hard but Holobaugh isn’t going to give up without a fight. He pivots his body in a position to where he can push off the fence, but it goes nowhere. The round ends with Siler on Holobaugh’s back, swinging.
Score: 10-9 Siler, 29-28 Siler
Official Result: Siler wins via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Within ten seconds of the round, Siler almost gets locked in a guillotine but he escapes and is now on top. Holobaugh pops up and is standing over Siler, but gets knocked down after being in Siler’s high guard. Both fighters are bloody. Holobaugh is standing over Siler again with Siler throwing upkicks. Two minutes is killed with Holobaugh trying to get in an advantageous position on top before Siler makes it back to his feet. Siler connects with a nice two punch combination. Siler is just getting the better of Holobaugh. Siler, in a sense, pulls guard and you can see him trying to sweep. Too late, end of the round. Very close round, and Holobaugh spent a lot of it on top. I’m giving it to him.
Score: 10-9 Holobaugh, 19-19 even
Holobaugh is active in the opening minute and is throwing some wild punches that is leaving him open for counters. Holobaugh pressed him up against the fence and is connecting with some good elbows, and they separate. Holobaugh pushes him up again on the fence but Siler is connecting with nice knees. Siler slams Holobaugh on his head and eventually gets his back. Both hooks are in. Holobaugh is protecting his neck well, but he has two more minutes to defend. Holobaugh makes it back to his feet and is looking to dump Siler, but Siler is hanging on tonight. Holobaugh tries to roll through, Siler sticks on and sinks in a choke. Holobaugh looks to be a goner but somehow escapes after he spits up a lot of blood— that didn’t look good. Siler now has a body triangle locked in. Horn sounds.