Journey Newson v. Fernie Garcia
The opening round of this fight was very competitive. Newsom was the aggressor who walked forward and often chose to be the first to strike during the exchanges. Garcia seemed content to stay back and be the counter striker. Every time Newsom would enter with strikes he would get blitzed with 3 and 4 punch combos at lightning speed. Both fighters found success and had their moments making it a very tough round to score for the judges. The only thing that might have given Newsom the edge was the fact that he did get a takedown, although not much was done with it. In the second round Newsom continued to be the aggressor and had an even higher output than the first round. Newsom started landing much more frequently and although Garcia had his moments still, he waited a little too long to do enough in the round. The second round appeared to be a little more easy to score and probably went to Newsom. In the final round Garcia started walking forward a little more after being scolded by his coach in between rounds. However, the speed of Newsom is what continued to give Garcia some problems throughout the fight. The footwork of Newsom accompanied by his lightning fast striking was frustrating Garcia and in the final minute of the round Newsom landed some of his best strikes of the fight. A competitive fight but as the fight progressed Newsom started to pull away with it. The judges agreed. Newsom by unanimous decision.
Lupita Godinez v. Ariane Carnelossi
The first round of this fight was a grinding approach from Godinez. From the opening bell she immediately went to the grappling and stayed relentless for the entire round. Carnelossi continued to fight back and try to constantly reverse positions but Godinez was like a backpack that was just glued to Carnelossi the entire time. As the round came to a close, Carnelossi had been on the defense the entire round making it a very clear cut round in the favor of Godinez. In the second round Godinez lands a flush punch early in the round that instantly wobbles Carnelossi. Immediately after, Godinez ducks under and lands a commanding takedown with authority. At this point we are halfway through the fight and Carnelossi has had virtually zero offense the entire time. For the second half of the round Godinez stays on top and in control landing ground strikes repeatedly. Another very clear cut round in the favor of Godinez and now Carnelossi will need a finish if she wants to win this fight. Unfortunately for Carnelossi, it takes only ten seconds into the final round for Godinez to get yet another takedown. From there she once again just completely dominates for the entire round. This was an absolutely incredible performance for Godinez who basically had her way with Carnelossi for the entire fight. Complete and total domination. Godinez by unanimous decision.
Kleydson Rodrigues v. C.J. Vergara
Vergara started off this fight by walking forward nonstop with relentless pressure on Rodrigues. Rodrigues was fine with being the stalked fighter as he would rapid fire shots to keep Vergara back but each time Rodrigues landed, Vergara would continue to walk forward. It appeared that Rodrigues landed the higher quantity of shots with as well as the more powerful shots. That fact paired with his takedown made it appear that he would win that round in the judges eyes. In the second round Rodrigues went for another takedown quickly but during the process Vergara was able to flip Rodrigues immediately and reverse the position. Vergara ends up on top and from there he is able to stay busy enough with strikes that the referee allows him to stay in this position for a majority of the round. With nearly a full round of top control and nonstop ground strikes, this made it a very clear cut round for Vergara. The third round was the most exciting round of the fight as it involved nonstop back and forth scrambles. Each fighter had their moments of reversing position and landing their strikes with power. In the final minutes both fighters were exhausted, wobbled and throwing with full strength. Each fighter gave a great account of themselves but in the end, the judges felt that it was Vergara who had done just enough. Vergara by split decision.
Tracy Cortez v. Melissa Gatto
This fight was very competitive and although Cortez was the favorite coming into the fight, Gatto gave her all she could handle and more. Gatto looked to be the better striker on the feet and even the better grappler when it came to the BJJ. However, it was Cortez who used her relentless wrestling to stay in the fight. In the first round Cortez landed a couple takedowns but every time the fight hit the floor Gatto was attacking the whole time forcing Cortez to be in constant defense mode, even though she was in top control. In the second round Gatto started attempting takedowns of her own and once again she was constantly attacking on the ground, whether she was on top or bottom. Cortez stayed relentless with the wrestling and although she was in danger several times she always seemed to escape just in time. In the final round Gatto really started to dominate on the ground but once again Cortez stayed relentless and finally was able to work her way back into top control. The skill level gap was clearly in the favor of Gatto but what costed her in this fight was her willingness to accept the bottom position. Although she was constantly attacking from bottom she was never able to pull off any submissions which in turn still left Cortez in top control. This was actually Gatto’s fight to lose and will be a great learning experience for her in the future. Cortez by unanimous decision.
Andre Fialho v. Cameron VanCamp
This fight was very short lived. Fialho and VanCamp are former training partners so they started the fight off patient and feeling each other out. Once they started to throw though things heated up quickly. Both fighters landed good strikes as Fialho was landing good jabs and VanCamp landed some good leg strikes. As they got near the fence, VanCamp landed a shot that wobbled Fialho briefly. VanCamp started pursuing with quickness and got stung himself by Fialho. This then made VanCamp start backing up and calmed his aggression. As the fighters met in the middle and started to engage again, Fialho lands a flush left hook that drops VanCamp immediately. Fialho rushes in to throw a follow up shot while VanCamp was on the ground but it was unnecessary. The referee was already rushing in to stop the fight. A very impressive knockout making that two in a row now for Fialho. Fialho by first round TKO.
Blagoy Ivanov v. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
The opening round of this bout was a game of inches. Ivanov was constantly trying to inch inside to initiate his grappling but every time he got close de Lima would throw his blistering hard punches that he’s so famous for. Ivanov was lucky enough to stay out of the way of most of them even though they came within inches of his face. As the round progressed Ivanov was finally able to get a body lock and force de Lima to the fence where he could finally start his clinch work along the fence. A close first round and could have gone to either fighter. In the second round Ivanov was able to do a little more grappling this time as de Lima’s punches had slightly less on them and Ivanov was able to figure out the timing a little better now. However, de Lima was still landing the higher numbers. Another tough round to score. Going into the third round it is anybody’s guess as to who is winning the fight. In the final round de Lima actually starts doing some grappling of his own. He clinches Ivanov and forces him against the cage landing occasional knees. When de Lima lowers and tries to get a double leg, Ivanov latches onto the neck and starts threatening a choke. After holding the neck for a while, referee Marc Goddard decides that the stale mate is taking too long and he decides to separate the fighters. When the fighters meet back in the middle of the cage they start throwing with full blast strikes again. Ivanov is able to eat everything that lands and keeps the fight close. However, in the final 30 seconds of the fight, de Lima picks Ivanov up high off the ground and gets an emphatic takedown. De Lima was already ahead in the strike count and if there was any hesitancy in the judges mind, one would think this takedown might have been enough to give the final edge to de Lima. However, much to the surprise of the crowd and the announcers, the judges end up giving the fight to Ivanov. A borderline robbery but a win nonetheless. Ivanov by unanimous decision.
Brandon Royval v. Matt Schnell
This fight was another short lived one, as was probably expected. Both fighters blitz across the cage and immediately start engaging in a wild fight. Schnell was throwing heavy combo’s early and really bringing it to Royval. Royval tried to evade and counter but Schnell’s pressure was overwhelming and eventually allowed him to land a flush strike the dropped Royval. However, the mistake that Schnell made after that was choosing to engage in the grappling with Royval. The fighters start rolling on the ground and trading dominant positions. Schnell latches onto the neck of Royval but goes a little too hard for a choke that wasn’t really there. Royval eventually escapes, reverses and then latches onto the neck of Schnell. Royval’s choke is very tight though. After only a couple seconds, Schnell is left no choice but to tap out. A hard loss for Schnell after recently dealing with the death of his mother. A very impressive win for Royval though. Royval by first round submission.
Macy Chiasson v. Norma Dumont
The opening round of this fight was very interesting. Chiasson normally dominates her opponents with heavy grappling but Dumont is so strong with such a powerful base that Chiasson chose to stay on the feet. Chiasson was landing some occasional jabs while Dumont was throwing heavy hooks and overhand rights. Both fighters had their moments and the round was fairly close but in the final ten seconds Dumont misses with a punch and Chiasson is able to duck under and get a quick takedown. The round ended right after but this could have been enough to give Chiasson the edge in the round. In the second round Dumont starts walking Chiasson down and being more aggressive. Chiasson stays crafty with constant footwork and switching of the stances. Eventually Chiasson clinches and forces Dumont against the cage. From there Chiasson is able to get another takedown but it is short lived and Dumont immediately reverses and ends up on top. Chiasson escapes immediately as well and the fighters end up back on their feet clinching against the fence. For the remainder of the round Chiasson hangs onto a body lock and continues to take Dumont down repeatedly. Dumont hops right back up every time but this still might be enough to win the round for Chiasson. In the third round Dumont comes out with much higher aggression but Dumont ducks under and gets another takedown. Dumont hops back up quickly again but Chiasson continues with the clinching, forcing Dumont against the cage. Chiasson lands some occasional knees while clinching but for the most part there’s not a lot of damage being done. Regardless, the clinching and control is neutralizing the offense of Dumont and winning the round for Chiasson. As the round comes to an end Chiasson has controlled a majority of the round in the clinch. It wasn’t the most exciting fight but a fairly clear cut win for Chiasson. Chiasson by unanimous decision.
Francisco Trinaldo v. Danny Roberts
In the opening round Trinaldo was the aggressor who walked down Roberts throwing big shots. Roberts was smart though and utilized good footwork to evade while taking advantage of his height and reach to counter from the outside. Each fighter landed some good strikes but neither were really bothered too much by any of them. A close first round which was made exciting with the extreme aggression of Trinaldo. In the second round Trinaldo gets right back to the aggression but in this round he is able to do some serious damage. He lands a flush shot to the head of Roberts which immediately starts making him do the chicken leg dance. Trinaldo blitzes after him and clinches along the cage which actually might have been a mistake. This clinch allowed Roberts time to recover. However, shortly after the recovery Trinaldo then lands a flush hook to the body that hurts Roberts badly again. He folds over and Trinaldo blitzes after him again with a furious flurry. As badly hurt and battered as Roberts is, he somehow is able to survive and make it to the end of the round. In the third round Roberts is able to revive himself and continue making it a fight but the damage just seemed to keep coming. He gets hit hard again with several flush shots and is once again wobbled temporarily. He fights on and shows his tremendous toughness but in the end it was a runaway victory for Trinaldo. Another impressive win for the ageless forty three year old. Trinaldo by unanimous decision.
Randy Brown v. Khaos Williams
The first round of this fight was high action. Williams always has that devastating power that leaves the spectators holding their breath with the knowledge that the fight can end at any minute. Brown seems calm and poised even knowing that Williams has that kind of power. He is able to evade the blistering bombs that Williams throws for the most part although one short punch does land halfway through the round that slightly wobbles him temporarily. Towards the end of the round Brown locks onto the neck of Williams but time expires before he can really do much with it. A close opening round but it may have gone to Williams simply for the brief moment he had Brown hurt. In the second round Brown comes out looking even more loose and confident than he already had in the first. He dances around, switching stances and is the much smoother fighter with his footwork and striking. It appears to start frustrating Williams as he is the fighter loading up with his shots and continuing to miss his target. As the round comes to a close it appears that Brown has done enough to win the round. In the third and final round Brown comes out smooth again with his absolutely beautiful footwork. He picks apart Williams from the outside utilizing his reach. Williams continues to try and blitz with full powered shots that continue to miss. Brown starts sitting down on his punches and lands heavy hooks and straight rights that are now starting to hurt Williams. Each time Brown hurts Williams he stays calm and doesn’t rush. He continues to pick apart Williams being mindful of the power that can come back at him any minute. He finishes out the fight putting on a beautiful performance showing his growth and poise while dodging the devastating power of Williams. Brown by split decision.
Ovince St. Preux v. Mauricio Rua
The first round of this bout was a measured affair. St. Preux chose to throw kicks for a majority of his attacks. Most of the kicks were to the body of Rua but he also threw some leg kicks and occasional kicks to the head as well. Rua mostly threw punches with his squared up style throwing hooks from both sides. Neither fighter did much damage but each did land and had brief moments of success. In the second round it was another calm and measured round. Neither fighter ever really blitzed with a lot but instead chose to stay on the outside and pick at each other with kicks and single punches. It was a close round and when the striking numbers were shown on screen the fighters were nearly dead even. Going into the final round it was anybody’s guess who was winning the fight. The third round was more of the same. St. Preux continued to throw kick after kick to the midsection of Rua. Rua blasted leg kicks and continued to throw his occasional punches. For the most part, both fighters threw single shots for a majority of the fight. It wasn’t the most exciting of fights and the crowd began getting restless at times but both fighters did well for their age. St. Preux by split decision.
Michael Chandler v. Tony Ferguson
This fight was heart breaking and possible the end of a legend’s career. In round one Ferguson comes out stalking and looking very good. He starts picking Chandler apart from the outside. Chandler throws back with his usual heat seeking missiles but Ferguson evades most of the heavy shots. As the round progresses Ferguson is starting to confuse Chandler with the wide variety of strikes he’s throwing. Strikes are coming from all different limbs and from all different angles. He starts to piece Chandler up and eventually lands flush and drops Chandler briefly. After taking a beating for a while Chandler finally decides he’s had enough. He shoots in and lands one of the most dominating takedowns you’ll ever see. He starts trying to go to work from top control but in typical Ferguson fashion he starts throwing slicing elbows from the bottom and cuts Chandler. Ferguson also is throwing submission threats repeatedly but as time passes Chandler finally starts mounting up and landing some bombs. As the round expires it’s tough to say who will get the nod in the judges eyes. Ferguson has been in a slump lately after having a 12 fight win streak so to see him show up in his old form is beautiful to watch. In round number two both fighters come out and the crowd is on their feet. They start to exchange and the excitement resumes. Then out of nowhere it happens. Chandler fires an Anderson Silve type kick straight up the middle that catches Ferguson flush on the chin. The placement and power of the kick along with the fact that Ferguson never saw it coming was just too much to take. Ferguson falls flat on his face and is knocked out cold. Something we have never seen. It is devastating to watch and could be an end to a career. Hopefully not but either way, this is a huge win for Chandler to get him back on track. Chandler by second round KO.
Rose Namajunas v. Carla Esparza
This fight was one of the most uneventful title fights of all time. In the opening round both fighters just stared at each other throwing half hearted punches into the air where they were never actually intended to land. Namajunas was giving far too much respect for the wrestling and was hesitant to ever sit down on any strikes at all. As the round came to an end the strike count was 3 strikes a piece. In the second round it was more of the same. Both fighters staring at each other and hesitant to ever commit. Then in the third round it was once again the exact same thing. By this point the fans are starting to boo and it is completely understandable. This is the least amount of action we have ever seen in a title fight. The fourth round was more of the same. It’s hard to say anything other than that. Occasionally Esparza would attempt a takedown but most of the time Namajunas would evade. In the few times Esparza did land a partial takedown, Namajunas was right back up immediately. In the final round it was continued boredom. In the final 30 seconds Namajunas lands a very unexpected takedown but it was probably enough to win the round. As the fight finally comes to an end the fans are furious and the announcers are baffled. Although this fight had absolutely zero action, the judges somehow thought that Esparza had done just enough to win three out of the five rounds. And new, Carla Esparza. Wow, just wow. Esparza by split decision.
Charles Oliveira v. Justin Gaethje
This fight was another short lived fight. However, any action at all was highly appreciated after the absolute stinker that just took place in the co-main event. Oliveira comes out aggressive as per usual in his fights. He marches down Gaethje and chooses to stand in the pocket and trade with Gaethje. This was the one approach that people felt was most dangerous for Oliveira. As the two begin to trade they both land flush and wobble each other. Oliveira lands first and wobbles Gaethje but he quickly recovers and then lands a brutal punch that drops Oliveira. Gaethje lets Oliveira back up and then they begin to trade again. You would think at this point that Oliveira will start trying to utilize his wrestling and BJJ. Nope, he marches right back into the pocket and chooses to continue trading. Only a few moments later Gaethje lands the hardest punch of the fight at this point. The punch that lands would knock most fighters unconscious. However, Oliveira takes the punch, lays on his back a few seconds while the blood now rushes from his eye and recovers. He stands back up and marches right back into the fire. This time though, Oliveira now lands his shot and drops Gaethje. It is at this point that Gaethje is in trouble because Oliveira now follows Gaethje to the ground and begins his BJJ. This is one of the departments where Gaethje has a weakness and unfortunately for him, he is up against one of the greatest BJJ finishers to ever grace the Octagon. It doesn’t take long before Oliveira has a choke locked in and Gaethje is forced to tap out just before he started to go unconscious. Another absolutely beautiful display of violence and skill by Charles Oliveira. Oliveira by first round submission.