Elise Reed v. Sam Hughes
This matchup is a classic case of striker versus grappler. In the opening round Hughes chooses to strike with Reed for a bit but quickly realized that Reed is the far superior striker. Once Hughes realizes this she quickly goes to grappling. She gets a takedown and starts to control Reed from the bottom. Reed is a very talented striker but her deficit on the ground is very apparent. In fact, she is one of the most helpless fighters on the ground in the UFC. Once on the ground Reed tends to just accept the position and looks entirely helpless. Hughes wins the first round fairly comfortably. In the second round it is more of the same. Hughes gets the takedown even more quickly this time and ends up controlling the entire round. Reed is once again helpless and is forced to just stay on bottom and accept the punishment. A very clear cut round in favor of Hughes. In the third round it is more domination from Hughes. Reed is once again taken down, controlled and dominated. As talented as Reed is, it’s kind of sad to see her lose fights in this fashion knowing all the talents she has on the feet. She needs to work on her grappling and takedown defense in such a bad way. A nice win for Hughes though, which now puts her on a two fight winning streak. Hughes by unanimous decision.
Chase Hooper v. Felipe Colares
The opening round of this fight is all action. Colares has a clear advantage in the striking but unfortunately for him the opening round is an all grappling affair. Every time Colares tries to strike Hooper rushes in and latches on to him. Colares is never allowed enough distance or breathing room to take advantage of his striking edge. The whole round is spent with Hooper transitioning on the ground and constantly throwing up submission threats. Colares is skilled enough to barely survive but Hooper continues to threaten and improve his positions. A very exciting opening round but a dominant round in the favor of Hooper. In the second round it is more continued grappling intensity. The two fighters continue to roll around on the ground and constantly changing positions. It is almost like a choreographed dance. Colares is impressive at surviving, especially against someone who has the grappling caliber that Hooper does. However, it is still Hooper who is always threatening and therefore likely wins the second round as well. In the final round Hooper continues to press nonstop with the grappling. Colares finally starts showing signs of wilting after all the continued pressure and grappling efforts he’s had to put forth to survive. As the round continues and nears the end, Hooper gets in a dominant position on the back of Colares. He flattens him out and starts raining down ground strikes. Eventually Colares is just too tired to defend or escape anymore. Eventually the referee has seen enough and Hooper is able to get the stoppage. A very impressive win for Hooper and the first time Colares has ever been stopped inside the distance. Hooper by third round TKO.
Jonathan Martinez v. Vince Morales
The main theme for the opening round of this fight was leg kicks. Morales was actually finished a few fights ago strictly off of leg kick damage. A very interesting detail to that leg kick finish, was that the fighter who did that to Morales was Chris Gutierrez, a training partner of Martinez. It is no surprise that they likely discussed the leg kicks going into this fight. Morales has shown to be susceptible to leg kicks and Martinez immediately began to take advantage of it. By the end of the first round, the legs of Morales are badly compromised. One of them has a huge welt and they are frantically icing the legs in between rounds. In the second round it was more of the same. Martinez continues to damage the legs badly which then opens up the punches as well. Morales hangs in there and as usual, shows how tough he is. Unfortunately for him though, he is being completely outclassed and is sustaining a great amount of damage in the process. Another very clear cut round in the favor of Martinez. In the third round Martinez continues to dominate. Morales once again demonstrates his heart but the skill advantage of Martinez mixed with the damaged leg and compromised mobility of Morales was just too much. A very impressive performance by Martinez and another tough loss for Morales where leg kicks played a huge factor. Martinez by unanimous decision.
Omar Morales v. Uros Medic
The first round of this fight was closely contested. Morales was okay to stay on the outside and pick his shots. Medic walked forward and for the most part was the aggressor although there were times when Morales would also take that role. Both fighters landed good shots and had their moments. In the final ten seconds Medic lands a shot that wobbles Morales and perks up the crowd. He is able to survive to the end of the round but that may have been enough to steal the round for Medic. In the second round it is more competitive exchanges but as the round proceeded Medic once again lands a left hook that wobbles Morales. As the fighters continue to trade Medic lands another left that drops Morales this time. Morales hops up quickly but is hit yet another time with a flush left. This shot drops him even more violently this time and although he still was conscious the referee had seen enough. He rushes over to stop the fight. A competitive fight but a very impressive win for Medic and a tough loss for Morales. Medic by second round TKO.
Parker Porter v. Jailton Almeida
This fight was pretty short lived. Almeida makes the decision to move up in weight classes and try his hand at heavyweight. He comes in against the streaking Porter who is on a three fight win streak. As per usual in his fights, Almeida wastes no time going for his first takedown. He comes out in round one, throws a front kick followed by a punch then immediately ducks under and gets a commanding takedown. From there Almeida gets right to work. He starts landing ground strikes and continuing to keep heavy top control over Porter. After a couple minutes of domination, Porter finally starts trying to get up. During a scramble, Almeida is able to take the back and from there it is the beginning of the end. Almeida locks up the head of Porter and attempts a rear naked choke. Although the choke is not fully under the chin, the sheer power of Almeida just causes too much pain for Porter and he chooses to tap out. A very impressive win for Almeida in his move up to heavyweight and yet another first round finish. Almeida by first round submission.
Joseph Holmes v. Alen Amedovski
This was another short lived bout. Holmes comes into this fight with a six inch height advantage and a six inch reach advantage. The minute the fight starts Holmes immediately starts pumping the jab and utilizing his reach. Amedovski tries to walk him down and close the distance but the length and speed are giving him problems. After landing a few jabs and a straight right Holmes then catches Amedovski with a devastating jump knee straight up the middle. Amedovski drops immediately and Holmes rushes over him to land follow up shots. During the scramble Holmes then latches onto the neck of Amedovski. Within a few seconds of hard pressure Amedovski is left no choice but to tap out. A very fast and impressive performance. Holmes by first round submission.
Eryk Anders v. Jun Yong Park
The first round of this fight was closely contested. Anders was the aggressor who walked forward and threw mostly straight lefts. Park threw leg kicks and jabs while trying to avoid the pressure of Anders. Eventually Anders decides to clinch and hold Park against the cage while trying to land shots on the inside. While clinching, Anders would also try to drop down to secure the legs of Park in hopes of getting a takedown. For the most part Park’s takedown defense was pretty good. Although it was a very close round, the forward pressure and clinching may have given the edge to Anders in the judges eyes. In the second round Anders continues to march forward and attempt takedowns but the defense of Park starts getting better as the attempts of Anders become more predictable. Park also starts to land more of his strikes and may have done enough to edge the round out. Going into the final round the fight may be tied. As the final round begins to unfold, the fatigue of Anders starts to rear its ugly head. Anders continues his clinching and takedown attempts but for the most part Park is able defend. Park once again starts gaining momentum in the striking department and Anders is having trouble finding any success. Although Anders continues to press forward and make it scrappy, it feels as though Park has once again done just enough to edge out the round. The judges agree. Park by split decision.
Polyana Viana v. Tabatha Ricci
The opening round of this bout was a bit surprising. Viana is notorious for being a very elite level grappler. In fact, her last two fights have ended with her getting first round finishes via armbar. Despite this, Ricci showed absolutely no hesitation in taking it into the grappling realm. Ricci goes for the takedown fairly quickly in the first and secures it successfully. Viana starts attacking from her back and at one point even is fishing for an armbar in hopes of possibly securing another first round finish. Ricci however, is also very skilled in BJJ and is able to fight off all of the submission attempts. For the most part, Viana seems content staying on her back even when Ricci stands back up and just chooses to kick the thighs of Viana for nearly a minute straight. This makes it a fairly easy round to score for the judges. In the second round Ricci chooses to grapple again and continues to secure a majority of the round in top control. Viana is once again content to stay on her back and although she doesn’t sustain much damage, she once again is in the losing position which likely gives the round to her opponent once again. The third round is more of the same. Ricci continues to engage in the ground scrambles and never shows any fear of the dangers in Viana’s submission threats. Viana does continue to threaten but is never really ever to get anything very close to being locked in. As the fight comes to a close, the main story was Viana’s willingness to stay on her back which virtually makes it a no brainer in the eyes of the scoring judges. Ricci by unanimous decision.
Chidi Njokuani v. Dusko Todorovic
This fight was another first round finish but was pretty exciting while it lasted. As expected, Todorovic immediately starts trying to grapple. He starts finding success but at one point Njokuani finally gets the opportunity to escape. Unfortunately, instead of capitalizing on the escaping opportunity, he tries to show his new grappling chops. He latches on to a darce choke and although it does appear to very tight, Todorovic is eventually able to escape and ends up in top control. A very big missed opportunity to escape for Njokuani. What follows is several minutes of dominance from Todorovic. He not only lands ground strikes but more importantly, he wears on Njokuani which is quickly draining his cardio and power in his arms. Despite this, Njokuani stays patient and is careful to never get in any submission danger. Eventually Njokuani is able to get back to his feet. During a striking exchange Njokuani once again initiates a clinch, Todorovic lets his guard down for just one second but it proves to be very costly. As Njokuani separates he throws a crushing elbow that lands flush on the side of the head of Todorovic. Todorovic drops instantly and before Njokuani can even throw any follow up shots, the referee rushes over to stop the fight. A very impressive win for Njokuani adding yet another finish to his record. Njokuani by first round KO.
Santiago Ponzinibbio v. Michel Pereira
The opening round of this fight was a nail biter. Despite the fierce size advantage of Pereira, Ponzinibbio marches forward with no fear. He stalks Pereira and keeps him on the backfoot bouncing around the outside of the cage. As the round begins to unfold, it is Pereira who is landing the better shots. The power advantage is clearly in the favor of Pereira as well. Nonetheless, Ponzinibbio continuesto march forward undiscouraged. As the round comes to a close, it was closely contested but appeared to go in the favor of Pereira. In round two Ponzinibbio continues with his forward pressure. As the striking exchanges continue it still appears that Pereira is getting the slight edge and landing the better strikes. However, in the final minute or so of the second round Pereira starts showing signs of fatigue. Ponzinibbio senses this and starts picking up the pressure even more. Now Ponzinibbio starts finding success and landing his own shots. The final round was not only the most competitive but was by far the most exciting. Ponzinibbio is now landing frequently as is Pereira. Both are starting to get busted up and are bleeding as well as having several different lumps on their faces. In the final minutes both are tired but still trading shots and throwing everything they have left into every shot. The crowd is louder than it has been all night and it feels as though either fighter could get KO’d at any minute. In the end both fighters survive but put on quite the show and are both wearing the damage from this high action fight. The crowd is still cheering them on as the final buzzer expires. A very close bout but in the end the judges thought it was Pereira who had done just enough. Pereira by split decision.
Holly Holm v. Ketlen Vieira
The first round of this main event was contested mainly in the clinch. As the round begins Holm is bouncing in and out of the pocket looking to land jabs and kicks. Vieira also lands jabs but is looking to land straights and hooks as well. Eventually Holm clinches and forces Vieira to the cage where she spends the final few minutes of the round leaning on Vieira and peppering shots. Not a ton of damage inflicted by either fighter but the clinch control time was enough that the round should have been clearly given to Holm. In the second round the girls spent a lot more time in the middle of the cage exchanging strikes. Vieira starts finding her own success now and is landing some good shots that are clearly marking up the face of Holm. In the later part of the round Vieira locks in a choke that looks really tight and has Holm looking very concerned momentarily. Holm stays patient though and is eventually able to escape and survive. Another close round but this one appeared to go to Vieira. In the third round the first half was spent in the middle of the cage exchanging. After sustaining some hard shots Holm eventually decides to clinch and force Vieira against the cage again. She spends the remainder of the round here and although the round was close, this could have been enough to steal the round for Holm. In the fourth round the fighters continue to trade in the middle. Holm’s kicks are making a huge difference at adding additional strike counts in her favor. She not only scores with it but uses it to keep distance and even knock Vieira down at one point with it. Another closely contested round but this one could have gone to either fighter. In the final round Holm bites down on her mouth and possibly steals the fight with sheer tenacity. She presses forward, clinches occasionally and lands significant strikes in crucial moments. Vieira tries her best but it seems that the veteran Holm does just enough to stifle any real momentum and finds her way to coast into home base with the win. Unfortunately for Holm though, the drunk MMA judges strike again. They end up giving Vieira the nod. This sends the announcers and MMA social media into a frenzy. Poor Holm was robbed. Vieira by split decision.