UFC Fight Night: Tsarukyan vs. Gamrot
Jinh Yu Frey v. Vanessa Demopoulos
Frey comes into this fight looking like she has put on some muscle. Demopoulos still looks to be the bigger fighter though. As the opening round begins Frey starts getting the better of the striking exchanges. She lands good jabs, straight punches and hooks. Demopoulos eventually gets tired of being hit and blitzes for a takedown. She lands the takedown successfully but Frey works her way back up fairly quickly with minimal damage. A close first round but it appeared to go to Frey. In the second round Demopoulos tries to increase the aggression and get on the inside but Frey makes her pay each time she lunges in. Demopoulos lands a couple of good punches in the round which are her best thus far in the fight. However, Frey still out lands her and appears to edge the round out once again. In the final round Demopoulos starts the grappling early. She clinches and forces Frey up against the cage while landing knees and shots on the inside. She eventually lifts up Frey for a takedown but Frey shows excellent balance and is able to get her feet back down before Demopoulos can complete the takedown. Despite the failed takedown attempt Demopoulos is able to stay clinched up and keep Frey pinned against the cage. For most of the round she is able to mute the offense of Frey. A much better round which may have gone to Demopoulos, despite Frey landing two very hard and flush strikes in the last ten seconds. The judges varied in their decisions and surprisingly two of them gave more credit to Demopoulos for the very few takedowns over the more frequent and powerful strikes landed by Frey. Demopoulos by split decision.
Mario Bautista v. Brian Kelleher
This fight was over quickly. Bautista comes out very aggressive as per usual in his fights. He blitzes forward with lightning fast strikes at full power. He throws three and four punch combinations with no respect or fear of what Kelleher might throw back at him. He lands a shot or two that are decent but after a minute or so he shoots in quickly for an aggressive takedown. He completes the takedown and controls Kelleher for about a minute and eventually is able to lock up the neck of Kelleher during transition. Kelleher doesn’t fight the hands and taps out immediately. A very impressive performance for Bautista in the best win of his UFC career so far. Bautista by first round submission.
Cody Durden v. JP Buys
This was another very short lived fight. Durden comes out pretty aggressive and starts lighting Buys up with the strikes. Buys gets wobbled and Durden blitzes in after landing to try and initiate the grappling. Buys survives and is able to escape the grappling but this time he appears to be awake now. He comes out swinging heavily and lands a pretty good shot. The fighters separate briefly and Durden then blitzes in with another heavy combination. He lands more hard and flush shots that once again wobble Buys. He drops to the canvas and Durden rushes after him throwing heavy follow up shots while Buys is on all fours. The referee is close to stopping it but then for a second it looks like Buys might actually survive and work his way back to the feet. Durden lands more shots that put Buys back in a submissive position and after about ten more unanswered shots the referee has no choice but to stop the fight. Durden by first round TKO.
Raulian Paiva v. Sergey Morozov
This opening round of this fight was all action. Paiva comes out immediately and starts throwing shots at full blast. He really sits down on his punches and starts landing flush pretty quickly. Morozov starts getting rocked after being blasted with such hard shots and eventually starts the grappling attempts. Paiva is quick with his hips and is able to defend nicely. He gets right back to work throwing heavy shots. After a couple more failed grappling attempts the fighters just start trading heavy shots instead. Morozov lands a nice shot or two but for the most part it is Paiva landing hard and often. By the end of the round Morozov’s face is showing a good amount of damage. Morozov definitely showed his toughness and the strength of his chin but it was a clear cut round in favor of Paiva. In the second round Morozov gets to the grappling quickly. He catches Paiva coming in aggressively and ducks under with perfect timing. He locks his hands and gets Paiva down with no problem. From there he controls Paiva for a good amount of time. He lands some good ground strikes and later lands a good knee while Paiva is struggling to stand back up. Paiva fought back with tenacity but the second round belonged to Morozov. Going into the final round the fight is tied. In the third round Morozov starts landing his strikes. It appears that this is due to Paiva now being more worried about the takedowns. Paiva eventually settles and starts landing things of his own again. The final minutes of the fight are very competitive and are nonstop action. Each fighter is fatigued now and are fighting like they know the fight is on the line. They take turns swinging momentum back and forth. In the final ten seconds Paiva lands a takedown that appears very important as it could have been the difference maker to swing the round in his favor. The judges disagree. Morozov by unanimous decision.
TJ Brown v. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke
This fight was the most competitive bout of the night up to that point. Both fighters are very strong and tenacious with excellent grappling skills. For the first half of the opening round neither fighter tried to grapple and it was an all striking affair. Nuerdanbieke starts getting the better of the exchanges and is landing extremely hard punches that are flush and even wobbles Brown at one point. After losing in the exchanges Brown finally starts the grappling attempts. Nuerdanbieke is slick with his defense and his good sweeps to reverse positions. He also is extremely strong so everything Brown is doing gets met with extreme resistance. The final minutes of the first round are much closer than the beginning but it still appears to be a clear cut round for Nuerdanbieke. In the second round Brown finds more success with his grappling. He is on the back of Nuerdanbieke at times and even threatens several different submissions. Nuerdanbieke is always fighting his way out eventually but after a lot of heavy grappling the second round appears to go to Brown. In the final round Nuerdanbieke starts landing good punches again and then follows his success with a very heavy takedown. From there he gets over two minutes of control time and is peppering shots from top control. Brown eventually gets back up and finds moments of success but the round appears to once again go to Nuerdanbieke. A very competitive and exciting fight but the judges agree that Nuerdanbieke did the better work. Nuerdanbieke by unanimous decision.
Tafon Nchukwi v. Carlos Ulberg
This fight was over with the blink of an eye. Nchukwi comes out and is walking forward stalking Ulberg. Ulberg stays patient and keeps the distance while backing up. He throws a couple of shots here and there that barely miss. Eventually he lands one flush that rocks Nchukwi badly. Ulberg stays patient and waits for his chance again. He follows up with more heavy shots and eventually Nchukwi is completely out of it and not showing any signs of recovering. The referee rushes in to stop the fight. The most impressive win of Ulberg’s career thus far. Ulberg by first round TKO.
Chris Curtis v. Rodolfo Vieira
This fight was very competitive. Vieira is the very elite grappler and Curtis is a very elite striker. In the opening round Vieira surprisingly starts winning the standup battle, which nobody saw coming. He lands flush and rocks Curtis with some heavy strikes. Despite having success in the standup he eventually starts trying for takedowns but has no success. Curtis is doing very well with the takedown defense. The round is still competitive but it feels like a clear cut round for Vieira. In the second round Vieira increases the takedown attempts heavily but still has zero success. For a fighter who has been known to gas in the past, these nonstop takedown attempts seem risky business for Vieira. When the fighters are on the feet and exchanging it is competitive. Each fighter has their moments. This is very impressive and clearly shows the improvements in the striking game of Vieira. In the final round the cardio is clearly starting to slow for Vieira. Curtis starts to out land him considerably and Vieira is still trying for takedown attempts. He never lands a single one. Curtis goes 17 for 17 in defending the takedown attempts of Vieira. A very close and exciting fight but in the end the judges felt that it was Curtis who had done just enough to get the nod. Curtis by unanimous decision.
Umar Nurmagomedov v. Nate Maness
Nurmagomedov comes into this fight an extremely heavy favorite by the odds makers. As the fight begins to unfold it becomes quickly apparent why. In the opening round the fighters start off calmly and exchange some light hearted strikes. After a few minutes Nurmagomedov eventually gets a takedown. Once the fight hits the ground the skill gap is obvious and wide. Nurmagomedov controls Maness with heavy pressure. He lands good ground strikes and is constantly improving his position and even threatening submissions at time. Maness survives the round but it is a clear cut round for Nurmagomedov. In the second round Nurmagomedov gets the takedown within the first 30 seconds. He spends the entire round dominating Maness and leaving him fighting for survival. Nurmagomedov once again improves positions non stop, threatens submissions and even lands some heavy elbows. Maness somehow survives to the end of the round. In the final round Nurmagomedov once again dominates. Maness tries his best but he’s losing the striking exchanges and eating heavy shots. Then Nurmagomedov gets another takedown and Maness is dominated down there again. The fight is completely one sided and as good of a fighter as Maness is, Nurmagomedov makes him look like an amateur. Another very impressive and dominant performance. Nurmagomedov by unanimous decision.
Thiago Moises v. Christos Giagos
This fight was short lived and went as many predicted. The fighters start off on the feet and are exchanging. Each fighter lands a jab or two but Moises is waiting for his opportunity. During a scramble Moises quickly gets behind Giagos and jumps on his back. Giagos remains calm but is forced to carry the weight of Moises. While riding on the back Moises is also patient. He throws shots from behind and is slowly trying to find his way around the neck of Giagos. The attempts are fought off for a decent amount of time but eventually Moises is slick and is able to sneak an arm under the chin. Giagos is forced to tap out within seconds. A very nice win for Moises against a good caliber opponent. Moises by first round submission.
Josh Parisian v. Alan Baudot
This fight was very high action for being big boys. Baudot comes out and starts displaying his clear speed advantage. Parisian is a little more aggressive this fight and marches forward with heavy pressure. Eventually Baudot lands a very heavy shot that wobbles Parisian badly. He hits the canvas and Baudot rushes in behind with follow up shots. He starts landing shot after shot and it feels like the fight is going to be stopped any second. Out of nowhere Parisian starts slowly struggling to stand up while taking shots. He somehow makes it to his feet and immediately clinches to stop the onslaught. He survives the chaos and in the last 30 seconds of the round he gets a nice takedown. Once Baudot hits the ground he sits with his back against the cage while Baudot rains down shots. Baudot shows no effort in trying to get up. The body language and image looks very bad but the fact that the shots are mostly rabbit punches the referee allows the fight to keep going and Baudot survives the round. In the second round Parisian gets another takedown and for Baudot it’s all downhill from there. Parisian starts landing heavy ground strikes and Baudot looks like a fish out of water on the ground. Baudot gives zero attempts at getting up and has absolutely no answer to the attack. The referee steps in to stop the fight. A nice win for Parisian in a roller coaster of highs and lows. Parisian by second round TKO.
Neil Magny v. Shavkat Rakhmonov
Rakhmonov comes into this fight with 15 wins and zero losses. He has finished every fighter he’s ever faced. Magny will be the most battle tested fighter he has ever faced. In the opening round the fighters start exchanging and Magny is doing okay until he throws a body kick. Rakhmonov catches the leg and forces Magny to the ground. From there he keeps Magny on the ground for the remainder of the round. Magny does well to minimize the damage and occasionally throw up kicks but he clearly loses the round. In the second round Magny makes the same mistake again. He throws a body kick that is once again caught by Rakhmonov who then forces him to the ground. From there it is more of the same. Control on the ground. Magny once again does well to minimize damage but in the final ten seconds Rakhmonov latches onto the neck. He fights through it and his coaches yell at him when he gets to the five second mark. Unfortunately for him he doesn’t hear them or just cannot make it, he taps out with two seconds left. Another dominant and impressive win for the surging prospect. Rakhmonov by second round submission.
Arman Tsarukyan v. Mateusz Gamrot
This fight was absolutely insane and one of the most exhausting displays of cardio to ever witness. Both fighters were so highly skilled in the grappling and every round was a nonstop scramble for positions. In the opening round, the strength of Tsarukyan was giving Gamrot trouble. Also the kicks of Tsarukyan were devastating which were thrown with lightning speed and devastating power. Gamrot never once showed any concern or signs of being discouraged. Every grappling exchange was nonstop acrobats of tumbling and sprawling. The second round was more of the same and every inch was fought for tooth and nail. Each fighter landed occasional good shots but it felt like Tsarukyan was landing the better strikes and was slightly more the aggressor in the grappling exchanges. Going into the third round it felt like Tsarukyan was up by two rounds. In the third round Gamrot started finding success. He lands some good shots and starts finding some control time in the grappling. He clinches Tsarukyan against the cage and peppers shots while keeping his offense neutralized. As the round comes to a close it feels like Gamrot has won this round. In the fourth round the insane pace continues. Gamrot starts increasing the grappling exchanges. Tsarukyan continues landing his blistering kicks but Gamrot is landing some good punches. Gamrot completes a couple more takedowns and by the end of the round Tsarukyan is looking up at the clock. This is the first sign of either fighter possibly showing signs of fatigue. Going into the final round it feels as if the fight may be tied at two rounds a piece. In the final round Gamrot continues with his wrestling pressure. He clearly is trying to just out pace Tsarukyan. He starts landing more takedowns again. Tsarukyan still shows good resistance but every time it’s just slightly less resistance. Tsarukyan continues with the kicks and Gamrot with the punches. In the final minutes Gamrot lands a couple more important takedowns and as the fight comes to a close it feels like he may have stolen the fight after losing the first two rounds. The crowd is on their feet. It was the highest pace of cardio in memory. It was even exhausting to watch. What a fight. In the end the judges felt that Gamrot had done just enough to edge it out. Gamrot by unanimous decision.