LIVE BLOG RECAP: Johnson KO’s Benavidez in rematch, Faber subs McDonald
Demetrious Johnson just keeps getting better, which should be a scary thought for everyone hoping to challenge for the UFC flyweight title in the future.
Stepping into the cage with Joseph Benavidez in a rematch of the first flyweight championship bout in UFC history, Johnson left no questions that he’s the undisputed best in the 125-pound weight class and one of the most dominant forces in the entire sport. Just over two minutes into the opening round, Johnson blasted Benavidez with a pinpoint right hand that shut off the contender’s lights, ending this one before either man was able to break a sweat.
While the main event ended on a sour note for the Sacramento crowd, the co-main event brought them to their feet, as hometown hero Urijah Faber dominated Michael McDonald, earning a submission win just over two minutes into the second round.
Early in the first, Faber rocked McDonald with a blistering right hand, and though McDonald fended off Faber’s attempt to finish, he couldn’t withstand the same barrage when it came again in the second. After landing another thunderous right, "The California Kid" latched onto McDonald’s neck, sinking in his patented guillotine choke, forcing the tap to maintain his perfect career record in non-title fights.
It was an exciting night of fights at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, and you can relive all the action with our blow-by-blow account below.
Demetrious Johnson (18-2-1) vs. Joseph Benavidez (19-3)
John McCarthy with the main event assignment.
Championship rematch time – here we go.
Outside leg kick lands for Benavidez, Johnson answers inside. Outside again for Benavidez. Johnson in on a leg, Benavidez defends. High kick blocked by Johnson. Inside for Johnson, outside for Benavidez on the end of a combo. Right hand lands for the challenger. Kick glances for Benavidez. Two down, three to go. Huge right hand out of nowhere from Johnson and Benavidez is all kinds of unconscious! Monster shot for a third straight title defence and second straight finish for Mighty Mouse.
Official Result: Demetrious Johnson defeats Joseph Benavidez by Knockout (Punch) at 2:08 of Round 1.
Analysis: What a massive knockout and tremendous performance from Johnson, who should have officially silenced all of his critics with that finish. He’s such a clean, technical fighter, and when you add his unmatched speed on top of that, Johnson becomes a dominant force, despite he diminutive stature. With three title defences in 2013 – including two finishes – "Mighty Mouse" should be the Fighter of the Year.
Urijah Faber (29-6) vs. Michael McDonald (16-2)
Herb Dean with the co-main event assignment.
They touch gloves, and we’re off in the penultimate fight of the night.
High kick early for Faber, and he hits the takedown quickly, landing in McDonald’s guard. McDonald traps Faber’s left arm, Faber tries to power out with the power bomb, but can’t. Faber working the body, and he’s got the arm freed. Short, quick shots to the head from Faber, now back to the body. Two down, three to go. Call to work from Dean. Short shot from Faber over the top. Elbows from the body from McDonald, and he’s angling for an armbar, but Faber clears. Body shots from Faber and Herb Dean stands them up.
Two minutes to go. Inside leg kick from Faber. Glancing right hand over the top for Faber. Body kick from McDonald as Faber lunges in. Faber looks high with the kick, misses. Knee up the middle from McDonald, Faber catches the foot and lands a left hook. 45 seconds. Left hook just misses for McDonald. Quick combo for McDonald scores. Right hand for Faber lands stiff. 10 seconds. Left hook just before the horn hits for Faber.
10-9 Faber – controlled the opening two minutes on the canvas, landed the better hands over the final three.
Faber twitchy as always to start. Inside leg kick for Faber. McDonald misses with the uppercut. Shrugs off a takedown attempt from Faber. Left hand lands for McDonald. Left hook lead counters for Faber. Inside leg kick lands a little south of the border and time is called.
Back at it. Big right hand hurts McDonald and Faber is on the offensive. McDonald lands a big right of his own as Faber comes in, and "The California Kid" backs off. McDonald misses with the left hook, lands the uppercut, but still looks a little uneasy. Left lands for Faber. Good body kick from McDonald. Halfway point. McDonald throwing singles as he comes forward. head kick from McDonald, and Faber catches him again with a right. McDonald is rocked, Faber chasing him across the cage, pushes him over. Faber grabs the guillotine and starts squeezing. It’s tight, and McDonald taps. Tremendous showing from Faber.
Official Result: Urijah Faber defeats Michael McDonald by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 3:22 of Round 2.
Analysis: This was an outstanding performance for Faber, who once again solidifies himself as the top contender in the bantamweight division by dominating the young up-and-comer in front of his hometown fans. The guillotine was vintage Faber, and the power in his hands looks like more of the "Bang" Ludwig influence on this team. McDonald still has a bright future, but this was all Faber, who shows still one of the best in the business. He’s still never lost a non-title fight in his career; that’s insane.
Chad Mendes (15-1) vs. Nik Lentz (24-5-2)
The featherweight contenders are joined in the cage by "Big" John McCarthy.
No touch for these two. Lentz presses forward behind hands, nothing lands. Leg kicks for each of them. Big right hand inside from Mendes rocks Lentz. Another right hand lands hard. Again, and a left hook to follow. Kick to the body from Lentz gets him some space. Outside leg kick for Mendes. Another right hand clips Lentz who is starting to wear it. Hook for Lentz, Mendes hits the takedown ducking through. Two down. Lentz looking to work the butterfly, Mendes staying heavy. Mendes stands, Lentz back up, lands a knee to the body. Left hand lands for Mendes. Right hand, and a left behind it as Lentz comes in. Two minutes. Left hand lands for Lentz. Mendes hits another takedown as Lentz pushes forward. 90 seconds. Butterfly guard for Lentz. One minute. Call to work from McCarthy. Mendes just hanging out in Lentz’ guard. Back up, combo lands for Mendes. 30 seconds, and Mendes drives through another takedown. Lentz peppering from the bottom, but not much on it. HORN!
10-9 Mendes – clear speed advantage and he landed some solid shots throughout, plus the three takedowns. Interesting that he slowed and let off the gas a little in the second half of the round.
Feinting and looking for openings to start. Inside leg kick from Mendes, Lentz lands with the left. Mendes looks sluggish here, really slowed down from his normal pace. Left lands for Lentz again. Mendes with a stiff jab. Again. Body kick partially blocked by Mendes. Right hand finds a home for Lentz, jab again for Mendes. Right hand follows heavy. Mendes ducks under for the takedown, lands in side control. Halfway point. Mendes stands out, and Lentz is up. Right hand for Lentz lands, and Mendes looks like he’s tiring. Kick to the body by Lentz. Another takedown from Mendes, who is content to chill out on top. Lentz peppering from bottom again. 90 seconds. Mendes not even attacking from the top. Call to work from McCarthy. 60 seconds. Elbow over the top from Mendes. Lentz elevates him, and they’re up in space. Right hand lands for Mendes as Lentz comes in. Another takedown with just 30 seconds left. Mendes rides it out to the end of the frame.
10-9 Mendes, 20-18 Mendes overall – Lentz landed the better strikes, but Mendes had some good shots of his own, and you can’t discount the three takedowns, even if he didn’t do a ton with them because they dictate the tempo and location of the fight. Different story if Lentz is blasting him non-stop on the feet, but he’s not.
Lentz still looks fresh, Mendes slower than normal. Body kick from Lentz crashes home. High kick attempt from Lentz. Left hand coming forward lands clean down the middle. Mendes counters with the right hook, but Lentz is still pressing forward, getting the better of these exchanges now. Another body kick for Lentz, and he stuffs the takedown attempt. Another body kick. Right hand glancing for Lentz in succession. High kick attempt from Mendes, blocked. Time called for a poke. We’re good. Right hand from Lentz glances. Halfway home. Left hand down the pipe lands, follows with another body kick. Lentz gets up right away off a takedown, lands another body kick. Another takedown from Mendes, elevated, and he’s back in. Lentz breaks away and stands. Knees up the middle from Lentz. Left hand follows. Mendes coasting here, not throwing much at all. Flying knee that drops Lentz lands on cue. Mendes looking for the guillotine now. Mount. 50 seconds. Mendes just handing on here. 10 seconds. Lentz gets up, the horn sounds.
10-9 Lentz, 29-28 Mendes overall – Despite the big knee, Lentz did more in the final round, but drops the decision in the end as Mendes managed to outwork him in the first two rounds.
Official Result: Chad Mendes defeats Nik Lentz by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Analysis: Uneven performance from Mendes, who started hot, but then slowed down from the midway point of the first round. An injury could be to blame; we’ll find out later tonight. Lentz was resilient, but at the end of the day, Mendes earns his fifth consecutive victory since losing to Jose Aldo in January 2012, and maintains his position at the top of the list of featherweight contenders heading into 2014.
Joe Lauzon (22-9) vs. Mac Danzig (21-11-1)
John McCarthy back in the cage with these lightweights.
Here we go.
Lauzon tossing the jab out there to start. Lauzon crashes in behind hands, gets the takedown, lands in half guard. Climbs to mount quickly. Elbow from the top. Lauzon working for the armbar, Danzig escapes, ends up in Lauzon’s guard. Elbow over the top for Danzig now. Two down. Lauzon looking for the sweep, Danzig denies. Feet on hips from bottom for Lauzon, now another armbar attempt, but Danzig is out. Omoplata sweep for Lauzon, and they’re back up. Two minutes left, clinched along the cage. Lauzon with the elbow in close. Combo to the body, knee to the body, two elbows up top for Danzig. Lauzon reverses him on the fence. 90 seconds. High knee attempt from Danzig, and he circles off. One minute. Lauzon muscles off the fence, hits the tip takedown. Full guard. Elbow for Lauzon. 30 seconds. Lauzon muscling form the top, Danzig defending well off his back as it ends.
10-9 Lauzon – a couple takedowns, a couple submission attempts win the frame in an otherwise even battle.
Outside leg kick from Danzig. Left hook from Danzig. Nice combo from Danzig ends with an outside leg kick. Hook to the body from Danzig as he presses into the clinch. High knee from Lauzon. Elbow in tight from Danzig. Uppercuts inside from Danzig. Knee from Lauzon and they break from the clinch. Fans booing for some reason. Good hands from Danzig, landing the jab. Combo ending with the leg kick again from Danzig. Elbow from Lauzon. Halfway point of the fight. Uppercut from Lauzon, countered by Danzig. Knee from Lauzon, answered with a right over the top from Danzig. Lauzon ends up on top as Danzig misses a trip. Full guard, two minutes left. Elbow over the top opens up Danzig. Another one. Blood rushing into Danzig’s eyes, and he’s trying to blink it out. 90 seconds. Another elbow. Lauzon controlling, McCarthy calls for action. 60 seconds. Half guard now for Lauzon. Knee to the body and another two hands up top. Short elbow again for Lauzon. Postured up, Lauzon steps over after landing another big shot. Mount. 10 seconds. Armbar attempt from Lauzon to close.
10-9 Lauzon, 20-18 Lauzon through Round 2 – close to a 10-8 for the way he opened up and dominated over the final two minutes.
Both guys smiling, talking as they start the final frame. Danzig lands the 1-2 that ends with a leg kick again. Plants a right down the middle, leg kick lands on the end. Poke. Time is called. Clash of heads actually. Back at it. Danzig presses forward, digs to the body. Straight right finds a home, as does a left hook. Uppercut and other right hand connect. Elbow from Lauzon in close, hits the trip, landing in guard. Three minutes left. Lauzon steps over into half guard. Elbow up top. Steps into side control, looking for the crucifix, and Danzig is now trapped. Elbows from Lauzon up top. Lauzon into mount. Big elbow from Lauzon. Again. Now looking for the armbar. 90 seconds. Elbows to the body now. Danzig is a mess underneath Lauzon. Loses the armbar, and Danzig stands, drops into Lauzon’s guard. One minute. Lauzon pushes Danzig over as they try to stand. Half guard. 30 seconds. Beautiful pass to side control. 10 seconds. Another elbow from Lauzon. One more big shot to finish.
10-8 Lauzon, 30-26 Lauzon overall – controlled the ground game throughout, and opened up here with the mounted crucifix.
Official Result: Joe Lauzon defeats Mac Danzig by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Analysis: Strong get-right performance for Lauzon here as he ends his two-fight skid. The elbows from top position where the difference, clearly, and Danzig wasn’t able to capitalize on Lauzon’s aggressiveness when he missed the submission attempts. A fan favorite, Lauzon is always going to be close to contention, and will likely find himself in the cage with another high profile name next time out. This could be the end of the line for Danzig, as he’s now dropped three-in-a-row and eight of his last 11 in the UFC.
Court McGee (16-3) vs. Ryan LaFlare (9-0)
Herb Dean shares the cage with these welterweights in the final preliminary bout of the evening.
McGee starting quickly with hands, coming forward on the southpaw LaFlare. LaFlare in on the takedown, McGee looking for the switch. McGee stands, but LaFlare on his back, tosses him back down. High knee from LaFlare, back into space. Body kick from McGee, answered by LaFlare. Inside leg kick from McGee. 1-2 from McGee follows. Returned by LaFlare. Knee to the body from LaFlare. Left hook clean on the chin from LaFlare as well. Cut under the left eye of LaFlare. Midway point. Trading hands in the pocket, LaFlare getting the better of it right now. Inside leg kick from McGee. Two to the body from McGee ducking in, LaFlare countering up top in combination. Superman punch lands for LaFlare. McGee catches a kick, dumps LaFlare. McGee stays on LaFlare in the scramble, but he’s back up. Knees to the body from each of them. LaFlare with two good shots to the body, McGee countering up top this time. Crazy pace to this fight. 30 seconds. Body kick from McGee. LaFlare misses the spinning kick badly, McGee on his back, but LaFlare spins out. Body kick for LaFlare. HORN!
10-9 LaFlare – more strikes landed, heavier shots of the two, but it’s a close battle, and they’re both running a crazy pace.
McGee coming forward. Body kick from LaFlare. Jab for McGee lands. Again. Body kick from McGee misses. LaFlare answers, similarly blocked. Follow up lands though. Combo in tight for LaFlaree lands, another kick to the body. Quick takedown for LaFlare, landing on top, landing two elbows. McGee kicks off and stands. Two down. Inside leg kick for McGee. Another body kick for LaFlare, McGee catches, dumps him. Back up. Jabs from each. Uppercut for LaFlare as McGee dips in. Another body kick. Inside leg kick now. Right hook lands on McGee’s chin. Another kick and a knee from LaFlare who is beating McGee to the punch every time. Left hand lands for LaFlare as McGee comes forward. Body kick from McGee. LaFlare on the body lock takedown, into side control. McGee stands, and he’s gushing blood from the side of his head. 30 seconds. Inside leg kick, right hand for McGee. Body kick from LaFlare, right hand as well. McGee shoots in at the horn.
10-9 LaFlare, 20-18 LaFlare through Round 2 – he’s beating McGee to the punch every time, mixing things up well. McGee needs the finish here to get the win.
Both look ready to go another five hard minutes to start the frame. McGee coming forward, LaFlare counters with the left. McGee lands a right hand. Both land left hooks. McGee catches the kick, LaFlare denies the takedown still. Right hand down the pipe from McGee wobbles LaFlare momentarily. Inside leg kick follows. Left hand on the chin for McGee, right hook for LaFlare. Body kick follows. McGee pushing forward as LaFlare backs up. Dumps him, looking for a guillotine. LaFlare rolls out, back into space. Both in the pocket, each landing hook inside. Body kick for McGee, left hand counter for LaFlare. McGee presses in for the takedown, backs LaFlare onto the fence. LaFlare looking for the kimura, McGee defends, now spinning for an armbar of his own. Lets go and they’re up. 90 seconds. Right hand for LaFlare. Quick takedown follows, but McGee is back up. Body kick from LaFlare, right hand for McGee. Another takedown attempt from McGee, can’t finish yet. Let’s go, tries again, and dumps him. McGee again looking for the choke, seated on top here. Two big shots from top to finish for McGee.
10-9 McGee, 29-28 LaFlare overall – another entertaining back-and-forth. While McGee finished strong winning the final round, it was too little too late, as LaFlare edged him in each of the first two on my card.
Official Result: Ryan LaFlare defeats Court McGee by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Analysis: That’s three UFC wins in eight months for LaFlare, who moves to 10-0 with a gritty, hard-fought victory over a resilient opponent in McGee. He maintained the quick pace McGee likes to keep, and out-worked him in the stand-up to earn his second win in less than 45 days. Very good performance here.
Edson Barboza (12-1) vs. Danny Castillo (16-5)
Mike Beltran joins the lightweights.
Touch of gloves and we’re away. Castiloo presses in, Barboza stuffs. Barboza’s quickness is ridiculous. Barboza turns Castillo away on another tepid takedown attempt. Right hand for Castiloo as Barboza is backing up. Spinning back kick just misses. Left hook for Castillo. Right hand from Barboza. Stuffed again. Right hand for Castiloo stepping in. Another one lands, and Barboza is hurt. Castillo pressing in, completes the trop takedown into mount. Barboza gives up his back, Castillo looking for the choke. Castillo on top, opening up with strikes. Barboza closes up guard, Castillo postures and lands another big right. Again. Barboza pushes him away, Castillo dives back in, riding Barboza’s back as he tries to stand. Fishing the arm under the choke, climbing onto the back. Barboza grabs the fence. Hammerfists from the top from Castillo. Barboza swelling up and bleeding from the head. One minute. Castillo in complete control right now, steps into half guard. Barboza looking for a heel hook. Castillo still on top. Ful guard. More hammerfists. Upkick from Barboza. Elbow from Castillo, and he finishes the round resting in Barboza’s guard. Great round for the local lightweight.
10-8 Castillo – dominance from start to finish, and nearly had Barboza out on two or three different occasions.
Barboza snaps out a kick to start, sticks a jab. Outside leg kick from Barboza crashes home. Another one. Another one. Spinning back kick lands clean to the body for Barboza who looks much better here. Castillo may have tired himself out. Two more heavy leg kicks from Barboza. Just missed with the spinning heel kick that finished Terry Etim. Another big leg kick. Barboza ducks a swing from Castillo, thuds a kick to the body, follows with a left to the body. And another leg kick. Castillo hunting for a right hand. Barboza slips on a spinning kick, left lands for Castillo. Two minutes. Another leg kick. Body shot from Castillo. 90 seconds. Front kick to the body for Barboza. Left hook drops Castillo. Hammerfists from the top. D’arce choke for Barboza. Releases, but he’s in half guard. Big hammerfists from Barboza. Castillo up with 10 to go. Barboza looks high to finish.
10-9 Barboza, 19-18 Castillo through Round 2 – clear round for the Brazilian, but not as big as Castillo’s first, which could really save him from losing a decision here depending on how the third plays out.
Leg kicks to start from Barboza. Again with serious force. Left hook lunging in for Castillo. Another leg kick. Right hand from Barboza glances. Castillo presses in, Barboza avoids. Right hand misses for Castillo, Barboza content to circle right now. Push kick up the middle from the Brazilian. Castillo shrugged off again. Leg kick, twice. And a third. Right hand for Castillo, left hook follows. Halfway point. Right hand for Barboza. Fastball misses from Castillo. Left hook glances for Barboza. Spinning back kick fold Castillo over. Body kick, and Barboza is hunting. Left hook to the body. Spinning heel kick just misses. 90 seconds. Castillo still pushing forward though. Right for Castillo lands. Left hook counter shakes Castillo. Spinning back kick lands again. One minute. Barboza with the takedown momentarily, countered by Castillo, and they’re back up. 20 seconds. high kick from Castillo. Great fight. This one is in the lead for Fight of the Night so far.
10-9 Barboza, 28-28 on my card – Barboza won that round with the heavy kicks and that nasty spinning back kick, but the early 10-8 for Castillo forces the draw for me, which means these scores could be anywhere officially.
Official Results: Edson Barboza defeats Danny Castillo by Majority Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28).
Analysis: Tremendously gutsy effort from both men here, as Barboza survived a savage first round to pull out the victory. Honestly, the two 29-28 scores are awful since it means all three rounds were scored 10-9, which is a joke. Nothing for Castillo to hang his head about here, and a good win for Barboza that showcases his resolve and serves as another momentum builder for the Brazilian.
Bobby Green (21-7) vs. Pat Healy (29-17)
Herb Dean handles the officiating in this lightweight contest.
Green out quick, closing the distance. Right hand lands for Green. Healy coming forward, Green just stepping and slipping away. Green ducks under, hits the takedown, takes Healy’s back. Bam Bam back up. Outside leg kick for Green. Right hand for Green, but Healy eats it, comes forward with a couple strikes of his own. Another right lands for Green, but doesn’t move Healy an inch. Hands down for Green, who looks real comfortable here. Snaps out a jab. Body for Healy, 1-2 from Green lands clean. Another 1-2 as Green keeps the spacing really well. Halfway. Healy with a double leg along the cage, but Green defending well, stands right away. Clinched, but Green slips out. Another 1-2 lands flush. Green now southpaw, sticking jabs. Orthodox again, and another two-piece hits home. Healy in on the legs, can’t get Green down, but gets his back. Dumps him, but Green stands again. Healy on the grind along the cage. Green breaks free. 30 seconds. Right hand for Healy. Another right lands, Green counters, and snaps a combo out right before the horn.
10-9 Green – clear speed edge, and landing the bigger, more powerful shots throughout. Healy needs to close the distance and control the body, or else he’s in for a long night.
Healy a little bloodied around the mouth. Green sticks a left hook counter as Healy comes in. Green hands down, slipping punches, pot-shotting Healy. Healy can’t get an angle to cut off the cage, and Green is picking at him as he comes in. Good left down the pipe snaps back Healy’s head. Right hand on the chin from Green, but Healy never stops coming forward. Green slips under in the tie up and takes Healy down momentarily. Along the cage, elbow from Healy inside. Green backs out. Outside leg kick from Green. Healy rushes in, closes the distance, and gets the takedown. On Green’s back, Healy looking for hooks, but Green to his knees. Green stands up and presses Healy in the cage. Left lands, and Healy is red and swollen in the face. Right hand from Healy, who is slowing down. Green waves him in, and Healy obliges. Healy in on a takedown, Green avoids and counters, Healy gets out. Left hand snaps Healy’s head back. Right hand for Healy gives him an entry to the takedown. Grinding on the cage again. Elbow for Healy. Inside boxing from both. 30 seconds. Green lands a right on the break. Kick from Green and Healy eats it. Healy still coming forward. Green drives through a takedown to finish the round.
10-9 Green, 20-18 Green through Round 2 – he slowed down and Healy had more success, but Green was still landing the cleaner strikes that had more impact. Healy did nothing with the brief takedowns either. Could go the other way on the judges’ cards though.
Healy coming forward, Green looking to land those pot-shots again. Healy in on a leg, Green steps over, lands two lefts. Body shot from Green as Healy keeps pressing forward. Right hand stops Healy in his tracks momentarily. Healy pressing into the clinch behind hands, but Green puts him on the cage. Body shots from Healy in tight. Green backs out. Right hands to the chin for Green. Uppercut inside, and Healy continues to come forward. Combo lands for Green and Healy slows. Left hand and Healy eats it. Healy for the takedown, and ends up on Green’s back, looking for hooks, landing short lefts. Green comes out the back door, stands, presses Healy into the cage. 90 seconds. Break out into space. Healy coming forward, Green sticking and moving. Left for Healy scores. Right follows. Green for the takedown, stuffed, but still working. Elbows from Healy. Green completes, and steps over the legs. 30 seconds. Green climbing onto the back. Spins, and Healy ends up on top. Green kicks him off, Healy steps back in and opens up with a flurry of strikes at the horn. Fun fight!
10-9 Green, 30-27 Green overall for me – Healy was coming forward, but Green countered him and timed him well all fight. Plus, one late flurry isn’t enough to swing this round on my card.
Official Result: Bobby Green defeats Pat Healy by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Analysis: Another good performance from Green, who now has three wins in the UFC in 2013, this one easily the biggest to date. His quickness and ability to avoid the ground game served him well here, and he keeps looking better every time we see him. Healy is a tough vet and had his moments, but Green’s ability to counter and move set him apart here.
Scott Jorgensen (14-7) vs. Zach Makovsky (16-4)
This is Jorgensen’s flyweight debut, and the UFC debut for Makovsky, the former Bellator bantamweight champ. Mike Beltran is the third man in the cage.
Touch of gloves and we’re off. Southpaw for Makovsky. Jorgensen coming forward, connects with a combo, and a straight left to follow. Knee to the body for Makovsky as Jorgensen comes in. Now in on a leg, spins to Jorgensen’s back. Break from Jorgensen. Left lands for Makovsky. Jorgensen with a rights hook coming in. Clinched on the cage, Jorgensen out front. Makovsky circles off. Left uppercut stiffens Jorgensen as he steps forward. Knee to the body again, and now Makovsky coming forward. Halfway point. Left hook counter as Jorgensen comes in from Makovsky. Both slip and Jorgensen looking for the front headlock choke along the cage. Two minutes. Makovsky ducks under as Jorgensen comes in, stuffed. Left lands again for the newcomer. Body kicks exchanged. Another left wobbled Jorgensen. Makovsky staying patient. Just misses with the head kick. Jorgense with the clinch, spins Makovsky down, but he’s up right away. Clinched on the cage. Trip for Jorgensen, Makovsky up and reversal with the butterfly guard just before the horn.
10-9 Makovsky – the newcomer stiffened up Jorgensen on two different occasions with good, clean lefts. They’re the bigger moments of the round by far.
Kick to the body lands for Makovsky. Clinched in the center, Makovsky ends up with the takedown, but Jorgensen up right away, looking for the choke. Loses it, but ends up on top. Lets it go, but he’s in Makovsky’s guard. Makovsky bucks, scrambles, and they’re up. Jorgensen presses in, Makovsky uses it for a takedown of his own. Makovsky around the side as Jorgensen gets up. Back into space. Two down. Jorgensen stuffs the takedown attempt. Left hand lands for Makovsky as Jorgensen comes in. Midway point of the fight. Clinched on the cage, Jorgensen out front working knees to the thigh. Uppercut just misses for Makovsky. Jorgensen powers through a takedown, lands on top. Half guard now. 90 seconds. Body shots from top for Jorgensen. Two rights up top. Jorgensen lets him up. One minute. Clinched. Knee to the body from Jorgensen. 30 seconds. 1-2 from Makovsky glances. Head kick and Superman punch from the newcomer at the horn.
10-9 Jorgensen, 19-19 through Round 2 – Jorgensen controlled the clinch and the takedown battle, and Makovsky’s output slowed compared to the first frame. Third round decides it.
Spinning back fist attempt from Makovsky misses. Left hand lands for Makovsky. Body kick follows. Jorgensen presses in, Makovsky spins out. Left hand for Makovsky as he circles away. Knee to the body. Jorgensen into the clinch. High knee, right hand on the break. Jab for Makovsky, Makovsky with a slam on the single leg, but Jorgensen reverses to end up in Makovsky’s guard. Makovsky looks for a leg from bottom, drives through, and ends up on top. Jorgensen looking for the kimura, gives up his back in the process, but scrambles free to top position. Two minutes and they’re in space. Right hand lands for Jorgensen hard. Straight left from the newcomer. Takedown stuffed, knee from Jorgensen. Looking for that front choke again, flips Makovsky through, only to be countered with the same move. Makovsky takes his back. One minute. Hooks in. Makovsky under the chin. Jorgensen fights off the hand. 10 seconds. Horn!
10-9 Makovsky, 29-28 Makovsky overall – really entertaining fight with great scrambles. Having Jorgensen’s back at the end should seal it.
Official Result: Zach Makovsky defeats Scott Jorgensen by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Analysis: Great debut effort against a proven former bantamweight title challenger for "Fun Size." His pace slowed after the first, but for a short notice fight, this is pretty solid. Keep an eye on the former Bellator champ going forward – he’s immediately on the fringes of contention with this win, and has the ability to improve off this performance with a full training camp.
Sam Stout (19-9-1) vs. Cody McKenzie (14-3)
Herb Dean is your referee for this one.
Southpaw for McKenzie, who charges out quickly. Takedown for McKenzie, ends in half guard. Body-head form McKenzie, looking to wrap up the neck over the top. Elbow from McKenzie, Stout trying to buck. Against the cage, Stout stands, and then climbs over McKenzie, who stays on him along the cage. Knee to the body from McKenzie. Another one. Again. Stout circles off and they’re in space. Two down. Left from McKenzie down the middle lands. Head kick from Stout is blocked. Jab from McKenzie. McKenzie dives at a leg, not there. Jab from McKenzie lands again. Two minutes. Outside leg kick from Stout, who hasn’t been able to find a rhythm yet. McKenzie shoots, sprawl for Stout. 90 seconds. Body kick from Stout hurts McKenzie. High kick from McKenzie just misses. Outside leg kick again from Stout. Right hand to the body drops McKenzie. Again with a digging shot to the body. 30 seconds. Kick gets a little low, but McKenzie is good to continue. Left from McKenzie misses. Horn!
10-9 Stout – down early, he found his range and pace late in the frame to hurt McKenzie, and take the round on my card.
McKenzie closes the distance to start again. Dives on a foot, not there. Dives on a thigh, not there either. Right hand lands for Stout. Body kick connects. McKenzie in awkwardly behind a reaching jab, but Stout pushes him aside. Stout looking for the hook to the body. Sprawls away another takedown. Body kick again for Stout. Catches the kick and drives a rights home. Left hand lands for McKenzie. Two down. Body kick once more for Stout. Left hand finds a home for McKenzie, who is honestly the most awkward stand-up fighter I’ve ever seen. High kick for Stout lands partially. Another is blocked. Body kick stings him. Two minutes. Outside leg kick for Stout. Right hand to the body. McKenzie hunting some lefts, nothing there. Right hand snaps back McKenzie’s head. Takedown stuffed again by Stout. Body shot lands, upstairs misses for Stout. Jab for McKenzie connects. 30 seconds. Another body shot from Stout. Crowd starting to boo at the end.
10-9 Stout, 20-18 Stout through Round 2 – he’s controlling the striking easily and stuffing everything McKenzie tries to do with the takedown.
Left hand and a jab from McKenzie. Stout pressing forward, finishes with a kick to the body that McKenzie ducks into a little. Right hand for Stout. Kick lands again. Another to the body. Another right lands on the end of a combo as McKenzie rolls away. Takedown attempt from McKenzie, Stout stuffs, and looks for the choke himself. Knee to the body jumping onto the top momentarily from Stout. Back up. Three-piece combo to the body from Stout. Left for McKenzie. Front kick from Stout. Two minutes. Big hook to the body from Stout partially blocked. Body kick crashes home. Another hook to the body, McKenzie blocking them. One minute. Right hand lands for Stout. Fans booing, looking for a finish. 30 seconds. Takedown attempt, Stout sits into mount, McKenzie out the backdoor, but can’t find a leg. Another body shot from Stout just before the horn.
10-9 Stout, 30-27 Stout overall – easy win on the feet for the Canadian as he out-classed the former TUF contestant once it stayed standing.
Official Result: Sam Stout defeats Cody McKenzie by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Analysis: This was a solid, but frustrating performance from Stout, as he was clearly ahead on the cards and not worried about McKenzie’s stand-up, so it would have been nice to see him push the action a little more looking for the finish. Stout’s striking has always been crisp and polished, and it was again here as he distanced himself from McKenzie over the final two rounds.
Abel Trujillo (10-5) vs. Roger Bowling (11-4)
John McCarthy has the officiating duties in this one.
No touch for these two. Orthodox for both. Big right hand from Trujillo to start, and another. Bowling forward with a kick, right from Trujillo lands. Bowling counters. Takedown for Trujillo, but Bowling up right away. Down again, up again. Bowling looking for the guillotine, not there, but uses it for a front headlock sprawl. Bowling working for the choke again from top, Trujillo on his right hip. Trujillo looks to stand, Bowling keeps searching, but can’t find it. Big right and a knee on the break from Trujillo. Another right hand lands. Jab pops home for Trujillo. Outside leg kick thuds home. Uppercut and a knee to the body from Trujillo. Halfway home. Right hand counter from Trujillo as Bowling misses. Knees to the body and a right hand up top for Trujillo in close. Bowling looks a second or two slow. 90 seconds. Jab for Bowling, three stiff counters from Trujillo. Body lock takedown from Trujillo. Knees to the body along the cage. Full guard. Uppercut as Bowling tries to stand. Knee to the body. More punches and knees as Bowling gets up. All Trujillo so far.
10-9 Trujillo – great opening round for Trujillo, who landed a bunch of heavy shots that would have floored many. Bowling is tough though.
Bowling coming forward, lands an outside leg kick. Again. Trujillo dives in for the takedown, and lands in side control. Back up. Right hand down the pipe for Trujillo staggers Bowling, and Trujillo uses it for a takedown. In guard, Bowling trying to get up, now looking for that guillotine. Not there. Trujillo walking back towards the cage. Stands and blasts Bowling with a monster shot. Another one, and a left. McCarthy is looking on closely. Heavy knee to the body. Bowling stands, eats two more big shots, and McCarthy stops it.
Official Result: Abel Trujillo defeats Roger Bowling by TKO (Strikes) at 1:35 of Round 2.
Analysis: This was easily the best Trujillo has looked in the UFC, and if this guy shows up every time, he could become a contender. Tremendous power and accuracy with his striking, and having a very good wrestling base will always help him as well. Dominant effort, and one that should lead to a more high profile opportunity next time out.
Darren Uyenoyama (8-4) vs. Alp Ozkilic (8-1)
Mike Beltran (and his glorious, braided moustache) share the cage with these flyweights in tonight’s opener.
Touch of gloves and we’re underway. Orthodox for both. Inside leg kick lands for Ozkilic. Again. Returned by Uyenoyama. Left hook from Ozkilic. Uyenoyama in on a single, and drags Ozkilic down. Ozkilic back up, but Uyenoyama still on the single and completes again. Uyenoyama in guard, Ozkilic tries the armbar, forces Uyenoyama out. Back up, knee to the head from Ozkilic, and Uyenoyama drags him down again. Ozkilic scrambles to the top, into Uyenoyama’s guard. Halfway point and they’re back in space in the center. High kick from Uyenoyama. Missed the single. Front kick from Uyenoyama. Right hand from Uyenoyama, working to the single. Defended by Ozkilic, who hits a nice trip, landing in Uyenoyama’s guard. 90 seconds. Uyenoyama working his legs up high. Right hand over the top from Ozkilic. 60 seconds. Elbow from the top for Ozkilic. Right hand again from Ozkilic as Uyenoyama looks for attacks from the bottom. 30 seconds. Two more good shots and Uyenoyama gets up as Ozkilic backs out. High kick and outside leg kick from Uyenoyama. Front kick just before the horn lands as well.
10-9 Ozkilic – as much as I like Uyenoyama working off the bottom, the trip was the best takedown, and Ozkilic landed from top, while "BC" was just looking for things.
Uyenoyama looks fresh, as does Ozkilic. Uyenoyama dives in for a leg, misses. High kick is blocked, front kick up the middle to the body lands. Uyenoyama dives in as Ozkilic comes forward. Ozkilic switches and puts Uyenoyama on his back. Full guard. Uyenoyama looking, Ozkilic defending well. Two shots from Ozkilic, and then he steps out. Back up. Right hand lands for Uyenoyama. Body kick as well. Right hand from Ozkilic. Uyenoyama pulls guard. Two down, three left. Ozkilic postures up from his knees. Elbows from the bottom from Uyenoyama. Lefts land for Ozkilic, who is walking Uyenoyama back to the cage. Beltran stands them up. Two minutes. Left to the body from Ozkilic. Uppercut glances for Ozkilic. Uyenoyama dives in, Ozkilic walks out. Trading leg kicks. 90 seconds. Sprawl from Ozkilic, who enters Uyenoyama’s guard. Elbows from bottom for Uyenoyama. Ozkilic postures, lands a right and a left. Ozkilic stands, back up with 30 seconds. Right hand for Ozkilic. Left for Uyenoyama lands. Outside leg kick from Uyenoyama, twice. One inside. High blocked at the horn.
10-9 Ozkilic, 20-18 Ozkilic through Round 2 â He’s avoiding the takedowns and landing from top position, which is going to earn him the nod from the cageside officials. Uyenoyama looks like he’s frustrating him though, so Round 3 should be interesting.
High kick from Uyenoyama to open. Outside to the leg now. Left for Uyenoyama, right hand counter with power from Ozkilic. Knee stepping in for Uyenoyama, who grabs the clinch. Ozkilic working the body, and hits the trip takedown. In guard, Ozkilic bullying from top, Uyenoyama with elbows from the bottom, looking for room to work. High rubber guard, but Ozkilic slips out and stands. Flying spinning heel kick from Uyenoyama does nothing. Big right hand from Ozkilic staggers Uyenoyama. Takedown attempt denied. Ozkilic coming forward with power more here. Halfway done. Left hand lands for Ozkilic. Left for Uyenoyama lands. Right hand for Ozkilic. Inside leg kicks traded. Uyenoyama dives in, Ozkilic denies, Uyenoyama pulls guard. Elbows from the bottom for Uyenoyama. 90 seconds. Ozkilic stands out, and they’re up. High kick from Uyenoyama. Power shot from Ozkilic, moves into the clinch, and hits the trip. High guard from Uyenoyama, but Ozkilic stands right away. Ozkilic with an uppercut-cross combo. High kick from Uyenoyama. Spinning back fist misses from Uyenoyama. Superman punch. HORN!
10-9 Ozkilic, 30-27 Ozkilic overall - strong first showing for the newcomer, who didn’t have any noticeable jitters in his debut.
Official Result: Alp Ozkilic defeats Darren Uyenoyama by Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28).
Analysis: Good debut win for Ozkilic against a dangerous veteran. His hands looked good, the trip takedown from the body lock was well-timed and effective, and he did a very good job of staying out of dangerous spots with Uyenoyama on the ground. Against guys with less of a ground game, he could be very dangerous in the flyweight ranks.