Ronnie Lawrence v. Saidyokub Kakhramonov
Lawrence comes into this fight with a lot of hype after two very impressive wins in his first two UFC performances. However, Kakhramonov comes into this fight and absolutely dominates from the very beginning. In the first few striking exchanges, Kakhramonov lands a good punch that hurts Lawrence and bloodies his nose. Lawrence turns to his grappling where he usually dominates but Kakhramonov reverses in an almost effortless fashion. Kakhramonov uses his judo to get Lawrence to the ground and begins to dominate with control and ground strikes. In addition to the bloody nose Kakhramonov now has swollen up the right eye of Lawrence. No matter how many times Lawrence tries to get up he is just over powered and thrown back to the ground instantly. The first round is a very clear cut round in the favor of Kakhramonov. In the second round Lawrence tries to initiate his offensive wrestling but every time he is over powered and the tables are turned, forcing Lawrence into a defensive wrestling approach. Lawrence is once again dominated and controlled on the ground. No matter what he tries he just can’t seem to find an answer to get any momentum going in his favor. Another clear cut round in the favor of Kakhramonov. In the third and final round the coaches of Lawrence have stressed to him that he must have a finish to win this fight. He comes out looking decent for about 30 seconds. He lands some good strikes but it doesn’t take long before Kakhramonov is once again controlling him in the grappling again. Once the fight hits the ground Lawrence is once again drowning. The final round doesn’t end up any better for Lawrence and this ends up being a fight that is absolutely one sided from start to finish. A tough loss for Lawrence but he will go back to the drawing board and learn from this. Kakhramonov by unanimous decision.
Kennedy Nzechukwu v. Karl Roberson
In the opening round of this fight Nzechukwu is mostly dominating with the grappling. This is surprising as he is usually known for his striking prowess but once he realizes he can control Roberson he decides to stick to the grappling. Nzechukwu is threating the chokes many different times in the first round but Roberson is able to survive. Despite his survival he is dominated and this is a clear cut round for Nzechukwu. In the second round Roberson lands a few good shots in the first 30 seconds but Nzechukwu closes the distance and is able to land another takedown. From there he once again begins to dominate and control Roberson. He lands good ground strikes and is constantly staying focused on maintaining good dominant positions. Roberson stays patient and continues to try to work his way back up but the size and patience of Nzechukwu is proving to be too much for Roberson. The second round is once again all Nzechukwu and going into the final round he has a very clear lead in this fight. In the final round Roberson knows he needs a finish but Nzechukwu once again walks forward and gets the back of Roberson against the fence. Once it’s there Nzechukwu throws a couple of distracting punches and ducks under again to get another takedown. From there it’s just more dominance and control. After attempting a few more chokes he finally just mounts Roberson and starts dropping vicious elbows that get the attention of referee Herb Dean. After several unanswered shots he finally steps in to stop the fight. A very impressive win for Nzechukwu showing his new wrestling skills. Nzechukwu by third round TKO.
David Onama v. Garrett Armfield
This bout is a rematch between these two fighters who have fought in the past during their amateur careers. In the opening round Onama is focused on the striking and Armfield is mostly focused on the wrestling. Armfield does a good job to force the grappling but Onama is strong and skilled at his defense. The round is closely contested but with Armfield forcing the grappling and constantly wearing on Onama, he may have been able to slightly edge out the round. However, a case could be made for either fighter in the eyes of the judges. In the second round Onama finally starts to implement his own offensive wrestling. Sometimes this is the best approach rather than just being forced into defensive wrestling. Onama lands a takedown and is able to get good top control. He lands a couple strikes and then during a scramble he is able to lock up a choke. The fight appears to be seconds from being over but Armfield somehow is able to free himself and survive. However, shortly after that exchange, Onama locks up another choke that is a very tight arm triangle. After a few seconds of this tight choke it becomes apparent that Armfield has now been choked unconscious. The fight is stopped immediately. Another very impressive finish for Onama making that two in a row now. Onama by second round submission.
Antonina Shevchenko v. Cortney Casey
The opening round of this bout was contested entirely on the feet. Shevchenko was doing good to utilize her reach. Casey was having trouble closing the distance especially when it came to the long kicks of Shevchenko which helped to constantly force the separation. It appeared that Shevchenko landed more strikes on the feet but Casey’s strikes did the better damage. By the end of the round Shevchenko had a good amount of blood coming from her nose. Tough round to score for the judges. In the second round Shevchenko went back to her long distance punches and kicks but as the round progressed Casey starts blitzing and finding ways to close the distance. In the final minute she does well to land some good shots and the blitzing is clearly starting to work in her favor. Another close round but Casey could have possibly stolen the round with her flurries towards the end. Going into the final round Casey continues with her blitzes and is now closing the distance with much better success. She forces Shevchenko to the fence and Casey finally gets her first takedown. Casey stays on top of Shevchenko landing good ground strikes and controlling her for a decent amount of time. Shevchenko eventually works her way back to the feet but Casey stays aggressive and closes the distance once again. She lands another takedown and finishes the fight in top control. This was the most clear cut round which definitely belonged to Casey. The deciding factors will be how the judges viewed the first two rounds. In the end, the judges felt that it was Shevchenko who had done just enough in the early rounds. Shevchenko by split decision.
Cody Brundage v. Tresean Gore
This fight was a short lived affair. Brundage comes out and pressures Gore with the striking. Once Gore starts to counter strike Brundage times a takedown to catch Gore sitting down on a punch. He gets the takedown with authority and starts to land ground strikes. Gore eventually works his way back to the feet and starts landing some good leg kicks. Brundage has his mouth open and it appears that he might already be tired after only one wrestling exchange. Gore keeps chopping at the leg and Brundage seems to already be compromised on his lead leg. Brundage keeps his back against the cage as Gore pressures him and waits for Gore to enter again with strikes. This time he waits for the next leg kick and throws a hard counter right hand. He catches Gore flush on the chin and drops him instantly. Brundage rushes over to him and stands over him landing several more flush shots. After a couple more land Gore goes out. The referee waves off the fight. A very disappointing loss for Gore which makes two in a row. He came into the UFC with some hype but has not lived up to it in the slightest bit. Brundage by first round KO.
Michael Johnson v. Jamie Mullarkey
The opening round of this fight was all action. As the fight begins the fighters meet in the middle and are cautious from range. They throw careful jabs and kicks until they feel they have the timing figured out. About halfway through the round Johnson lands a two punch combo that drops Mullarkey instantly. Johnson rushes over to follow him to the ground but Mullarkey is smart and latches onto the arms of Johnson. Johnson complains that Mullarkey is holding his gloves but either way Mullarkey has bought himself enough time to recover. The fight resumes on the feet and in the final minute Mullarkey then lands his two punch combo. This one drops Johnson now and Mullarkey follows him to the ground just like Johnson did. Johnson latches on and buys himself time to recover as well. In the final ten seconds the fighters are just throwing haymakers and barely missing each other. The crowd and announcers erupt and we have ourselves a banger of a fight. In the second round Mullarkey starts picking up some momentum. He starts busting open the face of Johnson. There are several moments in the second round where Johnson is on wobbly legs. Johnson ends up surviving the round but it is a very clear cut round in the favor of Mullarkey. In the final round Johnson pulls it together and starts to rally. Mullarkey still has his moments but Johnson is looking really good again. He lands his flush shots and every time Mullarkey shoots for a takedown Johnson sprawls to defend with lightning speed. In the final minutes it feels like Johnson is getting the slight edge in the striking exchanges but both fighters are exhausted now and the exchanges are a little more sloppy. This was absolutely the fight of the night and both fighters left everything they had in the Octagon. What a fight. It was a very close fight but in the end two of the judges felt that it was Mullarkey who had done just enough to edge it out. Mullarkey by split decision.
Aiemann Zahabi v. Ricky Turcios
The first round of this fight was one of the more measured rounds we have seen from Turcios in a while. He’s usually a wild man that comes out like a tazmanian devil. Although the output of Turcios was still a good amount, it was nowhere near the usual chaotic frenzy that we usually see from him. Zahabi was the more patient fighter in the first round who was comfortable to hang back and try to be the counter striker. It appeared very clear that he was expecting the wild blitzes as well but seemed a little thrown off by the more measured approach from Turcios. The first round was a close one but it felt that Turcios may have done enough to edge out the round. In the second round Turcios stayed somewhat measured. He still was the aggressor who walked forward but Zahabi may have done the better work by just hanging back and countering the forward aggression. It was another close round but Zahabi may have edged out the second. In the final round the fight played out just the same as the previous two rounds. Turcios walks forward and throws more shots but lands less than Zahabi. Despite Turcios being more measured in this fight, he still threw over 200 strikes. The problem was that he just didn’t land many of them. The fight goes the distance and it feels like Zahabi may have out landed Turcios and done enough to get the nod. The judges agreed. Zahabi by unanimous decision.
Jared Vanderaa v. Chase Sherman
The opening round of this fight went about as expected. Neither fighter has ever been known for huge action and they both kind of circled each other in the cage trading occasional shots. The one thing that became apparent in the first round was the clear speed advantage for Chase Sherman. Both fighters had their moments and landed flush but both were able to eat the shots and keep pressing forward. Vanderaa did land some good shots that could prove to be an investment later in the fight. In the second round Vanderaa continued with his leg kicks. Sherman continued to enjoy his speed advantage and was landing decent punching combinations. Both fighters landed flush throughout the round but once again neither was ever phased too much by the strikes. Going into the final round it’s tough to know which fighter is in the lead, if any. In the final round they pick up the pace and start trading haymakers in the middle of the cage. The punches and defense are a little more sloppy by this point but during one of the exchanges Sherman lands a shot that finally wobbles Vanderaa. After being hit by the shot Vanderaa is spun around facing the wrong direction while wobbled. Sherman blitzes him with follow up shots and lands more flush shots. Vanderaa stumbles towards the fence and Sherman closes the distance to land his final blows. After a few more flush shots Vanderaa shells up and falls to the canvas. The referee knows that this body language is saying Vanderaa no longer wants to be in the fight. The fight is called off. Sherman by third round TKO.
Said Nurmagomedov v. Douglas Silva de Andrade
In the first round of this bout Nurmagomedov once again displayed why he has so much hype behind him and why he was a heavy favorite in this fight. The technical skill displayed in his striking is such a sight to behold. He throws several spinning head kicks that barely miss their mark and leave Andrade looking shook. Nurmagomedov also throws lightning fast spinning body kicks that land flush and blast the body of Andrade. He even throws several question mark kicks that get Andrade’s attention every time. The skill deficit between the two fighters is very apparent and although Andrade kept pushing forward it was a clear cut round in the favor of Nurmagomedov. In the second round Andrade still plows forward with the pressure but the skills of Nurmagomedov once again are just too much. He continues to out class Andrade throughout the round and does it with style points. However, in the final 30 seconds Andrade lands a surprising spinning back fast that lands flush and drops Nurmagomedov. He rushes to follow up with more shots but doesn’t land too much. It was a short lived period of momentum for Andrade but there’s the slightest of chances that it may have stolen the round for him in one or more of the judges eyes. In the final round Andrade does have some moments in his favor. He keeps the pressure and at one point has Nurmagomedov on the ground while Andrade stands over him blasting hard leg kicks. Andrade also has some decent moments on the feet. Nurmagomedov also has his moments but this round felt like it may have been edged by Andrade. It was a fun fight to watch but in the end the judges felt that the elite striking of Nurmagomedov did more than enough to win. Nurmagomedov by unanimous decision.
Caio Borralho v. Armen Petrosyan
The first round of this looked like it usually does in a Caio Borralho fight. He comes out, throws a few strikes and then blitzes in for the takedown. Once the fight hits the ground you ever see a Borralho opponent ever make it back to the feet. Borralho dominates the entire first round with supreme top control. He takes the back and threatens submissions but for the most he just dominates the position and is always threatening with strikes and submissions. A very clear cut round for Borralho. In the second round Borralho does more of the same. He strikes for a very small portion of the round then blitzes in for the takedown. Once on the ground he absolutely dominates. Petrosyan does his best to get up but never can. He does survive the round though. In the final round Borralho chooses to strike for a little bit longer but after a few of Petrosyan’s strikes come close to landing Borralho has had enough. He blitzes in once more and lands the final takedown. This is enough to continue the fight in dominant fashion and run away with a very clear cut fight. Borralho by unanimous decision.
Rafael Dos Anjos v. Rafael Fiziev
In the first round of this main event Dos Anjos comes out looking very aware of the striking dangers that are in front of him. He stalks forward patiently and exchanges strikes with Fiziev but once Dos Anjos saw his chance he started the grappling. He was unable to land any takedowns but was able to clinch Fiziev against the fence on two different periods throughout the round where he landed good clinch strikes. Fiziev landed some good heavy shots towards the end of the round but it was still a very close round. In the second round the fighters once again trade in the middle and Dos Anjos does a good job of avoiding the heavy strikes from Fiziev. Dos Anjos tries the grappling again but right now Fiziev still has enough power to fight it off. Dos Anjos remains patient. Another close round and going into the third round it could be anyone’s fight. In the third round Dos Anjos stays patient once again with the forward pressure and continues to test the takedown defense and cardio of Fiziev. Each time they engage Dos Anjos is forcing Fiziev to work. Dos Anjos wants to see how the power and cardio of Fiziev can hold up over a five round fight. It is another close round and we have a very competitive fight. In the fourth round the pressure of Dos Anjos finally starts to wear on Fiziev. Dos Anjos lands a takedown and stays in top control for several minutes. By the end of the round Fiziev looks fatigued for the first time. This felt like the first clear cut round to be won by either fighter. In the final round Fiziev comes out looking refreshed. He’s bouncing around and now has some sting back on his punches. The two lunge in for a striking exchange and Fiziev lands a blistering left hook flush on the chin of Dos Anjos. His legs stiffen up and he falls. Fiziev rushes after him and lands one flush follow up shot and the referee runs in to call off the fight. A decisive win for an otherwise very close fight. This keeps Fiziev surging up through the rankings and he will continue to be a problem for this division. Fiziev by 5th round TKO.
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