Stephanie Egger v. Mayra Bueno Silva
This fight ended in a very interesting way. In the opening round the two fighters meet in the middle and begin trading. After a few exchanges Silva moves in and tries to clinch which is always dangerous against a fighter with the judo prowess of Egger. As expected, Egger hip tosses Silva. However, during the toss Silva remains clinched and as both fighters fall, Silva ends up on the back of Egger. Within a matter of seconds Egger is able to twist around and now be in top control facing Silva. Silva immediately begins attacking submissions and quickly has Egger in an armbar. The submission attempt looks very deep and appears to be a situation where Egger’s arm could break if she doesn’t tap. Before any resolution can be determined the referee steps in and stops the fight. What happens after is where all the weirdness takes place. The referee then asks Egger if she tapped and she quickly says she did not. From there the referee heads over to the side of the cage to consult with the judges and other officials. They are all confused as are the commentators and viewers. It is unclear if they reviewed footage or not but eventually the referee is talking with one specific judge who says they 100% saw a tap. The judge takes this as enough evidence and stops the fight. However, no matter how many times they showed the slow motion replays afterward, no tap was ever seen. A very weird scenario and the most intriguing aspect was the question as to whether or not the fight may have had any potential at all to be restarted. That would’ve been a very strange situation that would’ve been highly debated in the MMA community. Regardless, this fight will still be talked about a lot in the coming weeks. Many will debate what should have taken place. Silva by first round submission.
Cory McKenna v. Miranda Granger
This fight was a fairly one sided affair. As the first round begins the two fighters exchange a few jabs. McKenna is at a considerable height disadvantage and a ten inch reach disadvantage, which is unprecedented for a straw weight fight. Naturally, it doesn’t take long for McKenna to close the distance and pursue the wrestling. She quickly gets a takedown and immediately starts her ground and pound. McKenna keeps heavy top pressure and Granger is never close to getting back up. She spends the entire round on her back while taking ground strikes from McKenna. At the end of the round McKenna has a choke that looks very close but Granger is able to survive to the bell. In the second round McKenna gets another quick takedown and gets right back to work. Within a minute she is already attacking another submission. She locks on a Von Flu choke and this time Granger is not so lucky. She feels the intense pressure and quickly taps out. Another very impressive win for the young up and comer. Granger by second round submission.
Bryan Battle v. Takashi Sato
This fight was over very quickly. Battle moves down in weight this time to try his hand at welterweight. He comes out looking lean and much taller than Sato. The two meet in the middle and start feeling each other out. Battle throws jabs and straight punches to keep Sato at distance. Sato tries his blitzes to close the distance and get on the inside. Before a minute of time can even play out, Battle throws a straight right hand which slightly lowers the guard of Sato. Immediately after the punch Battle throws a blistering head kick that lands flush. Sato drops instantly and is already knocked out on his way down. Battle lands one follow up punch that is not needed and the referee rushes over to stop the fight. An emphatic win for Battle’s welterweight debut that comes in the form of a devastating knock out. Battle by first round KO.
Michal Oleksiejczuk v. Sam Alvey
This fight was so one sided that it almost didn’t seem fair. Oleksiejczuk comes into this fight after moving down from light heavyweight. From the very first exchange the speed advantage was beyond apparent. Not only did he have the speed advantage but he showed absolutely no respect for the counter strikes that could potentially come back from Alvey. It doesn’t take long before Oleksiejczuk to land flush and drop Alvey. Oleksiejczuk rushes after him with nonstop ground strikes trying to put him away. Alvey hangs on for dear life and is somehow able to survive for about another 30 seconds but eventually the barrage is just too much. The referee finally has no choice but to stop the fight. It is yet another loss for the bloody Sam Alvey who has not picked up a win for nine fights in a row now. One would think that this is likely the last time we see him in the UFC. However, the MMA community has been thinking that since several fights ago. Hopefully this will be the last straw as it is becoming harder and harder to see him take this kind of damage. Oleksiejczuk by first round TKO.
Terrance McKinney v. Erick Gonzalez
There is something in the air tonight because this fight was yet another first round finish. McKinney promised to pace himself and be more controlled in this fight but even with those intentions, he still only needed a matter of minutes. The fighters begin to exchange and McKinney starts to land immediately. Gonzalez starts backing up and McKinney walks forward with confidence. Although McKinney is landing viciously, Gonzalez doesn’t seem phased in the slightest bit. In fact, he seems fueled by it. He starts throwing back and even lands a flush counter that momentarily wobbles McKinney. The moment doesn’t last though and McKinney gets right back to work landing vicious punches and kicks. Eventually McKinney sees his opportunity and takes the back of Gonzalez while standing. He jumps up on the back and locks on with a body triangle then immediately starts attacking rear naked chokes. Gonzalez does his best to fight off the submission but McKinney gets fully underneath the chin and there is no escaping. After a few tightly squeezed seconds Gonzalez is forced to tap out. Another dominant and explosive first round finish for McKinney who continues on his surge through the division. McKinney by first round submission.
Sergey Spivak v. Augusto Sakai
Once again we have another finish. Spivak comes out in this fight and uses the exact approach that was expected. He exchanges only one or two strikes before he quickly ducks under and forces the wrestling. He gets a takedown and starts the ground strikes. Sakai surprisingly is able to get back up several times but he always ends up right back on the ground. Each time the fight hits the ground Spivak is slowly accruing points and damage by sneaking in ground strikes. Sakai is able to make it out of the first round but he has now spent a lot of energy. In the second round Spivak lands a few very stiff jabs that quickly bloody up the nose of Sakai. Once Sakai is now biting on the striking again, Spivak quickly takes it to the ground again. Now Sakai no longer has the energy to hop back up which means more damage being landed while on the ground. Eventually the referee starts warning Sakai to defend himself. Unfortunately for him, he is not able to improve his position and Spivak takes this cue to increase his ground strikes. The damage is now pouring on while Sakai is dripping blood all over the canvas. The visual is not good and the damage just keeps coming. Eventually the referee has seen enough and the fight is stopped. Another convincing and dominant win for the polar bear. Spivak by second round TKO.
Juliana Miller v. Brogan Walker
This fight was the TUF finale for this years female crop of fighters. Miller is known to be the better BJJ fighter while Walker is known to be the better striker. As the opening round begins to unfold the two fighters exchange punches. Eventually, Walker decides to clinch which is surprising and proves to be a mistake. Miller waits for her chance and then get a nice trip to take Walker down to the canvas. Once the fight hits the ground it is all Miller. She controls Walker from the top and sprinkles in her strikes when the chances presented themselves. The entire remainder of the first round is spent on the ground with Miller on top which clearly wins her the round. In the second round the two fighters exchange again and Miller surprisingly is doing just fine against the “better striker”. Once again, Walker chooses to clinch and once again it backfires on her. Miller waits for her chance and finds another trip to get the fight back to the ground. From here the round repeats just like the second round. Miller controls and lands ground strikes but at a heavier rate this time. After two rounds it is pure control and dominance from Miller while Walker has a badly busted up eye. In the final round Miller puts an exclamation point on her already dominant performance. She once again gets the fight to the ground and lands more punches and elbows. Eventually the ground strikes become so frequent that the referee starts warning Walker to defend herself. After continued damage coming down on Walker the fight is finally stopped. A very impressive and dominant performance for the now winner of this season’s TUF. Miller by third round TKO.
Zac Pauga v. Mohammed Usman
This fight did not go as expected. Pauga comes into this fight as a huge favorite due to his clear striking and speed advantage. Unfortunately for him he changes up his style this fight in search of a highlight finish. If he was smart, he would stay on the outside and pick Usman apart to showcase his clear striking advantage. Instead Pauga chooses to blitz in over and over throwing heavy shots to try and get the KO. This was literally the only way he could get beat and he chooses to fight this way. From the opening bell Pauga is jabbing nicely but it doesn’t last. He starts his blitzing techniques and is swinging for the fences. He is out landing Usman but with every chaotic entry he is giving Usman the chances he needs to eventually land that one devastating shot. Pauga continues to gamble and eventually he gets bitten. Usman lands one good counter strike and Pauga drops instantly. Usman rushes over to him and lands one follow up hammer fist and Pauga is now immediately unconscious. This makes Usman the male TUF winner for this season. Usman by first round KO.
Vicente Luque v. Geoff Neal
The opening round of this fight is all Neal. He hurts Luque on several occasions. He lands flush shots that no other fighter would’ve been able to take. Somehow, Luque is able to survive and show enough life that the referee allows him to continue. As the round progresses Luque continues to land flush shots and Luque continues to wobble and drop. His nose might even be broken but in true Luque fashion, he continues to walk forward the minute he gets his feet back under him. The first round is clear in the favor of Neal and could have easily been a 10-8 round in the eyes of the judges. In the second round Luque starts to do better. He begins finding his rhythm and is digging in the stomach of Neal as well as butchering the legs with kicks. Neal still lands his share of shots but it appears that Luque may have done enough to win the round. Regardless, there’s a good chance the first round was 10-8 so Luque would still need a finish if he wants the win. In the final round Luque tries to continue with his slight momentum. Unfortunately for him, Neal just got chewed out heavily by his coach in between rounds. Neal comes back out laser focused and looking sharp and deadly once again. He lands another flush shot and wobbles Luque. Neal follows him towards the fence and begins landing more follow up shots. Luque is somehow still standing but he is bleeding badly and very hurt. Neal lands a couple more flush shots and the final blow sends Luque falling forward onto his face. We have never seen anyone knock out Luque in this fashion. A very unexpected and dominant win for Neal to put the division on notice. Neal by third round TKO.
Jamahal Hill v. Thiago Santos
Santos comes into this fight against a surging contender in Jamahal Hill. Santos has had a hard time finding a win lately but he’s been facing nothing but champion level fighters. As the first round begins to play out the two fighters are sizing each other up and throwing shots from distance. Hill has his moments but so does Santos. Eventually Santos finally starts using his fight IQ and begins to grapple. This grappling would be his path of least resistance if he could ever get Hill flat on his back and in the center of the cage. Unfortunately for Santos, every time he gets a takedown Hill shows extreme urgency and is right back up with lightning speed. Santos continues to grapple and is finding ways to accrue control time. The first round is close and may have been edged by Hill but the next few rounds would be stolen by the grappling of Santos. In round two Santos gets right back to the wrestling. When the two fighters would exchange on the feet Santos was hanging right in there and landing shots of his own. The closely contested striking mixed with the grappling and control time of Santos would win him the second round. In the third round it was more of the same. Santos continues to take Hill down and although Hill is always getting back up, he is having to work nonstop. This approach mixed with his fair share of shots landed on the feet would win the third round for Santos as well. In the fourth round Santos comes out and continues to make Hill work. Santos is giving him all he can handle and has both of his eyes swollen. The continued pressure and pace is doing very well for Santos but out of nowhere Santos appears to hit a brick wall with his cardio. It’s unfortunate to see considering how well he was doing in a fight he was never expected to win. It appears that father time may have just caught up with him. Once he finally slows down Hill realizes this and presses ferociously. He starts landing punch after punch and Santos eventually falls. The cardio is clearly not there because he is so tired that he never has the energy to get back up. Instead he has to lay there and take punch after punch until referee Herb Dean finally stops the fight. It was a hard fought battle and had to be earned but Jamahal Hill finds a way to get another win and continue his surge through the division. Hill by fourth round TKO.