Jessica Penne v. Emily Ducote
Ducote is an Oklahoma City fighter who makes her UFC debut in this fight. She draws a very skilled and experienced opponent in Penne. In the opening round the two fighters exchange jabs until they get comfortable and start throwing hooks. Once Penne starts planting heavier on her lead leg Ducote starts landing beautiful calf kicks that are flush and immediately start bruising up the leg of Penne. As the round progresses, Penne lunges in several times and tries to initiate the grappling but Ducote shows beautiful defense and is able to keep the fight standing where she is doing well. It appears she does enough to edge out the first round. In the second round Ducote continues with the damaging calf kicks and nice straight punches mixed with hooks. The damage continues to accrue on the leg of Penne and becomes more and more visually apparent. This leads to Penne starting to try and force the takedown attempts. Ducote is wise to it though and keeps Penne at 0 for 7 in her attempts. Another nice round for Ducote and it feels like she has done enough to edge out another round. In the final round the calf kicks of Ducote really start to produce a beautiful return on her investment. As the round progresses, Penne is having trouble even planting weight on it anymore. She begins hobbling and backing up to the fence as Ducote is still landing additional kicks. This opens up the punching as well for Ducote. There are moments where the fight feels close to being finished but Penne is tough and shows why she is a hard nosed veteran. The final round is the most clear cut and Ducote produces a flawless performance in her UFC debut. Ducote by unanimous decision.
Dwight Grant v. Dustin Stolzfus
In the opening round Grant wastes no time and immediately is throwing bombs. The crowd has loud reactions every time he throws as the power is obvious and with lightning speed. Stoltzfus does a good job to stay just out of the way of the big power. As the round progresses Stozfus starts finding his moments and landings some good counter strikes. He appears to hurt Grant at a couple of different moments. Grants stays poised though and never gets in too much trouble. The round is close and will be a tough one to score for the judges but it appears that Stolzfus may have done enough to edge it out. In the second round the fighters continue to trade on the feet. As the round reaches the final minutes Stolzfus blitzes in and clinches with Grant, forcing him to the fence. With 60 seconds left Stolzfus gets a takedown and immediately starts going to work. He blasts Grant with heavy shots and quickly is able to take the back of Grant. From there he is blasting shots from behind and threatening rear naked chokes. The crowd erupts but Grant stays tough and finds a way to survive to the end of the round. A very clear cut round in the favor of Stolzfus. In the final round Stolzfus continues to do well and begins to walk forward with confidence. He lands good jabs and keeps Grant on the back foot. In the final minutes Stolzfus lifts Grant high into the air and slams him down in he middle of the cage. From there he lands good ground strikes and tries to improve his position. Stolzfus does good work but Grant is able to survive once again. Another clear cut round for Stolzfus making it an easy fight to score for the judges. Stolzfus by unanimous decision.
Dustin Jacoby v. Da Un Jung
This fight was short lived and gave the wild New York crowd the finish they had been craving. As the fight begins Jacoby is inching forward slowly and looking to find his openings. Jung hangs back like a sniper and waits for his moments to land his precision counter strikes. Both begin to land grazing shots and each time Jacoby enters the pocket Jung is throwing his laser counters that are lightning fast. Jacoby clearly is aware of his opponent’s striking prowess and his eyes are very wide as he enters showing that he is on high alert. A couple minutes into the round the fighters enter the pocket and start throwing at the exact same time. Jung misses and Jacoby lands his second shot which is a straight right hand directly down the pipe. Jung drops immediately and tries to hop back up but the referee rushes over to call off the fight. The crowd erupts as does Jacoby and his team. A very nice performance for Jacoby making that 6 UFC performances now where he has gone unbeaten. Jacoby by first round TKO.
Bill Algeo v. Herbert Burns
This fight was another short lived one. As the first round begins the two fighters exchange briefly and then Burns blitzes in to initiate the grappling. He gets an emphatic takedown and then quickly has Algeo in trouble. Burns gets him in a triangle and the crowd erupts. Algeo remains calm though and slowly trying to work his way out. Burns also starts attacking the armbar while Algeo is still in the triangle. He then starts throwing elbows as well. Algeo is somehow able to survive and eventually works his way out of the triangle. The crowd erupts again. From this point on Burns is showing absolutely terrible body language. The more time passes the more lazy he looks. As the round ends, he just lays on his back and doesn’t get up. He takes 20 seconds before he even makes it to the stool and his corner is screaming at him due to the fact that his body language is showing he has already given up. As the second round begins Burns tries one last takedown attempt. He is unsuccessful and ends up on his back again. Algeo lands a couple of ground strikes and then hops back up. Burns just lays on his back and never gets back up. He quits while just laying there. It will be very surprising if we see him fight in the UFC again. This type of performance is not usually tolerated. Algeo by second round TKO.
Ricky Simon v. Jack Shore
The first round of this fight is very interesting. Simon comes out very aggressive. When he is not striking he’s blitzing in for takedown attempts. If he cannot get the takedown he clinches Shore against the fence and accrues points with clinch striking. For the first couple minutes he appears to overwhelm Shore even though Shore remains calm throughout it. However, in the final minute of the round Shore starts to gain momentum. He stuffs the takedowns and starts to find his rhythm with the striking. A close round but it may have been slightly edged out by Simon. In the second round Simon comes out with the same aggression. He strikes briefly and then starts forcing the clinching and grappling. Shore stays composed and fights it off but eventually Simon is able to drop down low and lock his hands behind the thighs of Shore. This allows him to finally pick Shore up high into the air. He carries Shore across the cage to his corner. The crowd erupts. Shore eventually works back to the feet again. During one of the exchanges that follow, Simon lands a flush punch that wobbles Shore badly. Shore is still coherent but the punch throws off his equilibrium and his legs are stumbling until he falls. Simon blitzes over to get on top of him. He lands a quick strike or two but then quickly locks up a head and arm choke. Shore tries to survive but eventually is forced to tap out, giving him his first loss. A beautiful performance by Simon and one of the biggest wins of his career. Simon by second round submission.
Punahele Soriano v. Dalcha Lungiambula
This fight was high action. Every time Lungiambula fights the spectators hold their breath anytime he swings. He brings such power as he has more muscle than almost any fighter in the UFC. That power comes with a cardio cost however. As Soriano is staying just out of the reach of the power, he is looking for opportunities to counter strike. He also shoots some takedown attempts just to keep Lungiambula guessing and forcing those big muscles to work. In the final minute of the round there is a grappling exchange and Lungiambula ends up in the better position. However, when the buzzer sounds and the round is over, Lungiambula is seen grabbing towards one of his ribs that is clearly protruding. He comes back out to start the second round despite the very clear compliations with the rib that is still protruding. The fighters get back to exchanging but this time it doesn’t last long. Soriano throws a one-two. The two lands flush and drops Lungiambula immediately. Soriano quickly rushes over to take the back. He lands a couple more strikes but the body language of Lungiambula shows that he no longer wants to be in this fight. The referee quickly calls it off. A very nice win for Soriano in front of a wild New York crowd. Soriano by second round TKO.
Lauren Murphy v. Miesha Tate
The opening round of this bout was a very competitive one. Each of the fighters had their moments. As the round begins and the two begin to exchange strikes, it is very apparent that Tate is the much slower striker. Murphy has the faster strikes and therefore starts to land first. Tate stays poised though and eventually is able to start forcing the clinches. Murphy displays her strength and Tate is having a hard time handling her as easily as she often does her other opponents. As the round progresses Tate is able to land a few good strikes despite being slower. She also lands a takedown eventually but Murphy is right back up quickly. A very close round and will be tough to score for the judges. In the second round Tate gets her nose busted and is bleeding pretty heavily within the first minute. Tate remains tough and presses forward despite this. The fighters continue to trade shots in the middle with occasional clinches and takedown attempts mixed in. In the final 30 seconds Tate lands a blistering elbow flush to the face of Murphy. The sound is loud and is the clear sound of bone on bone. As the round comes to a close the face of Tate is covered in blood and her eye is extremely swollen. She may have a broken orbital. Despite this Tate still presses on and shows her toughness. She continues to go for takedowns but each time she gets one Murphy is right back up. Murphy’s strength is giving Tate problems. By the end of the round Tate’s face is a complete mess. Her heart cannot be questioned though. It is a great fight but it appears that Tate’s comeback is once again falling short. She has likely lost and is very badly damaged. The judges agree. Murphy by unanimous decision.
Shane Burgos v. Charles Jourdain
This fight comes with a lot of hype for a potential Fight of the Night contender. The opening round does not dissappoint. Early in the round it is all Burgos landing good shots and blitzing in for clinches and heavy movements that appear to overwhelm Jourdain. Burgos eventually is able to do a slick back take and is threatening heavily with a rear naked choke. The New York crowd is erupting and cheering on their local fighter, Burgos. Jourdain hangs tough and starts to do better later in the round. He begins to land his own shots and by the end of the round it is a back and forth affair as expected. This opening round could have gone to either fighter but if feels as if Burgos may have slightly edged it out. In the second round Burgos gets back to marching forward. During a scramble on the feet Burgos is able to jump on the back of Jourdain while still standing. Jourdain elects stays on his feet and is carrying the weight of Burgos. Burgos attempts several different chokes but Jourdain is able to fight them off. Burgos continues to hang on Jourdain and slowly drain his power. Jourdain never gives up and continues to fight through this terrible position. Although Burgos was never able to secure the submission, he was in a dominant position for a majority of the round and very clearly wins this round. Going into the final round it is possible that Jourdain could need a finish to get the win. However, it is also possible that the fight is tied at one round a piece. In the final round the fighters continue to trade in the middle of the cage. Burgos lands beautiful jabs that continue to give Jourdain problems. When Jourdain throws he fires several shots at once. The head movement of Burgos is doing well to dodge most of the attacks. About halfway through the round Jourdain starts catching fire. He has Burgos against the cage and throws about 50 different strikes within half a minute and is giving Burgos all that he can handle. The momentum is now switching heavily in the favor of Jourdain. Burgos is being bombarded with such an onslaught that the only thing he can do is try to dodge and stay alive. With 30 seconds left in the round it is a very clear round in the favor of Jourdain. Burgos clinches and takes the back of Jourdain while standing but is not able to mount much offense to rally back and steal the round. A clear cut round and the fight will now be determined by which fighter the judges thought won the first round. Two of the three judges felt that it was Burgos who had done just enough to edge out the first round and thus the fight. Burgos by unanimous decision.
Matt Schnell v. Sumudaerji
The first round of this fight had a lot of action. Schnell comes in and is marching forward confidently. Sumudaerji is hanging back and looking to counter strike like the precision sniper that he is. Schnell continues to march forward and eventually is able to perfectly time one of Sumudaerji’s counter strikes. He ducks under and is able to secure a beautiful takedown. From there he has Sumudaerji in serious trouble. He drops hard ground strikes and is continuing to threaten submissions. Sumudaerji stays slick in his ground defense and is able to survive the round but it is a clear winning round for Schnell. In the second round we get one of the most exciting rounds of the year so far. It is nonstop action with momentum swings back and forth. Sumudaerji starts to connect flush on the feet. He hurts Schnell badly on about 4 different occasions. Schnell wobbles every time and even falls to the ground on two of them. The referee looks to be seconds away from stopping it every time but somehow Schnell hangs tough and keeps getting back up or getting his feet back under him. He continues to fire back and is somehow hanging in there. Then out of nowhere he gets a takedown and starts going to work. He lands elbow after elbow and now has Sumudaerji bleeding badly. The crowd is louder than they have been all night. The cheers are almost deafening. The announcers are losing their minds too. How has Schnell endured all that damage and now he’s on the ground in top control and totally dominating Sumudaerji. After nonstop damaging strikes Schnell then locks in a choke. Sumudaerji is bleeding everywhere and tries to survive but eventually he is done. An absolutely amazing fight and one of the best comebacks we’ve seen in a long time. Schnell by second round submission.
Jingliang Li v. Muslim Salikhov
In the opening round of this fight Salikhov is mostly having his way. He’s landing nice punches and his beautiful spin kicks. Li is too focused on single strikes and is having a hard time finding Salikhov. He needs to start throwing combinations but instead continues to hunt the single strike knockout. Salikhov is getting the better of the striking exchanges and then ducks under and lands a beautiful takedown to add emphasis. As the round comes to a close it is a clear winning round for Salikhov. In the second round Li starts to get things going. He lands a flush punch on Salikhov that clearly wobbles him. The crowd erupts but Li stays patient and doesn’t rush anything. He continues to stalk forward looking for his next strike. He throws a few different strikes and another one of them lands flush. Salikhov is wobbled once again. Li still stays patient and presses forward now sensing the finish with the crowd roaring in the background. He lands once again and Salikhov falls. Li rushes over top of him and starts throwing an onslaught of ground strikes. Salikhov tries to survive but eventually the blitz is too much. The referee rushes over to stop the fight. A very nice win for Li which has him emotional in his post fight interview. Li by second round TKO.
Michelle Waterson v. Amanda Lemos
Lemos comes into this fight as a heavy favorite. In the opening round Waterson is doing exactly what she needs to do to pull off the huge upset. She’s using the sidekicks, footwork and her other various tactics to keep the distance. She then blitzes in at the perfect time to land an emphatic takedown. From there she rides out the rest of the round in top control. This may have been enough to steal the first round in her favor. In the second round she continues the same tactics. She keeps the distance and then once again blitzes in at the perfect time for another takedown. She gets in deep and lands the takedown but during the scramble Lemos latches onto the neck. The choke is extremely tight and you can see the urgency in the body of language of Waterson. She tries her best to escape but eventually the squeeze was just too much to withstand. Waterson taps out and Lemos gets another great win to get her back on track. Lemos by second round submission.
Brian Ortega v. Yair Rodriguez
In the opening round of this main event fight Rodriguez gets right to work. He starts landing flush shots that clearly display his striking precision and speed advantage. Ortega once again displays his granite chin and starts landing a couple of his own. Eventually Ortega finds his chance and initiates the clinch. He forces Rodriguez against the cage and begins peppering with clinch strikes. Ortega continues to hold the body lock and search for takedowns. He is unable to ever complete the takedown and eventually Rodriguez is able to break away. The fighters meet back in the middle and continue the striking exchanges. Rodriguez lands a few more flush strikes until Ortega is eventually able to land his first takedown. Ortega begins to try landing ground strikes while searching for a more dominant position. We know that Ortega will attack a submission the minute he sees the opportunity. Rodriguez is doing well with his defense up to this point and actually attacks an armbar. Ortega stays calm and is pulling with great force to try and escape. He eventually does escape but the minute he does he immediately falls to the ground and is grabbing at his shoulder. Rodriguez is a classy and does not attack. The shoulder is clearly dislocated and the referee has no choice but to stop the fight. A very sad way for the event to end after having such a great card up to this point and a highly anticipated main event. Rodriguez by first round TKO.