Youssef Zalal v. Da’Mon Blackshear
In the opening round both fighters spend the first minute feeling each other out. Then out of nowhere Zalal gets a clean takedown, which is surprising to see considering he usually doesn’t take that approach. Zalal holds good top control for a bout a minute and lands some strikes but eventually Blackshear starts attacking submissions from the bottom. He gets Zalal in some compromising positions and eventually uses it to reverse the position and end up on top. A close first round that could have gone to either fighter. In the second round Blackshear comes out and immediately starts his own wrestling. He gets in top control and lands some strikes but eventually Zalal is able to escape. The two fighters then go through a couple minutes of grappling reverses back and forth which is a pleasure to watch. The fighters finally get back on their feet in the final 90 seconds. They clinch along the fence and take turns landing some nice clinch strikes. Another close round which will be tough to score. In the final round Zalal starts doing some of his best work. The two fighters keep it standing for the most part this round and Zalal starts butchering the body. He starts hurting Blackshear very badly and eventually lands a body shot that ends up dropping him. Zalal rushes on top of him and is raining down shots rapidly looking for the finish. Blackshear finds a way to survive but it was a very clear round for Zalal. Surprisingly, the fight ends up being a draw. Which means the judges gave Blackshear the first two rounds and Zalal scores a 10-8 in the final round. A very competitive fight that was very entertaining. It’s very possible these fighters will meet again one day. Fight ends in unanimous draw.
Jason Witt v. Josh Quinlan
This fight was very short lived. Quinlan is known to be a very lethal striker. In the opening minute Witt does a good job to evade the big strikes and eventually lands a nice takedown. Quinlan stays composed and eventually works his way back to the feet. As the two fighters begin to engage again Witt makes a huge mistake. He steps in for a kick but does not keep up his defense as he throws the kick. Quinlan steps in and throws a blistering left hook that lands flush. Witt is knocked out instantly and violently falls to the floor. Quinlan is mid air to land a devastating follow up punch but is a classy man and is able to pull the strike back before it lands. He sees that Witt is out cold and no further damage is needed. A very impressive win for Quinlan as he begins to put the division on notice. Quinlan by first round KO.
Ode Osbourne v. Tyson Nam
This fight was also a bout that was over very quickly. In the first couple minutes Osbourne is showing off that wildly fascinating speed that he always uses to frustrate his opponents. He’s landing decent strikes and is so fast that Nam not only hasn’t landed but hasn’t even seen an opening to throw anything. Eventually Osbourne starts getting more risky since he is having so much success. Nam sees his opportunities and starts throwing now. He lands a couple nice strikes and although he’s still getting out struck he’s now finding his confidence. As Nam backs Osbourne up against the cage Osbourne makes the mistake of doing a jump knee to back Nam up. While Osbourne is mid air Nam sees his chance and plants his feet to throw a devastating punch that greets Osbourne right on the chin as he lands. The shot drops him instantly and follow up shot knocks him out cold. A very impressive win for a highly emotional Nam coming back from a 19 month layoff due to injury. Nam by first round KO.
Gabriel Benitez v. Charlie Ontiveros
This fight was absolute fireworks. From the minute the fight started Ontiveros comes out on fire. He’s throwing blistering punches and horrifying axe kicks that come within inches of Benitez’s face. For the first couple minutes Ontiveros is lighting Benitez up and giving him all that he can handle. Benitez stays tough and composed though and continues to press forward. He eventually starts landing his own shots and then lands the big one. He lands a flush left hook that sends Ontiveros stumbling backwards. Benitez rushes in and gets a quick takedown. He hops on top of the already hurt Ontiveros and starts landing heavy ground strikes. He eventually lands a flush elbow takes all the scrambling survival wind out of Ontiveros’ sails. He finally starts just covering up and turns on his side which signals to that he no longer wants to be in there. The referee stops the fight and the entire arena is on their feet and the loudest they have been all night. What an action packed fight and great win to get Benitez back on track. Benitez by first round TKO.
Nina Nunes v. Cynthia Calvillo
The opening round of this bout is closely contested. Nunes stalks forward while Calvillo bounces around on the outside. Calvillo uses a mostly punching attack but Nunes is landing a considerable amount of leg kicks. After a few of them land flush they clearly begin to bother Calvillo. By the end of the round Calvillos is now reaching down when the leg kicks are coming. This is always dangerous as it is usually a matter of time before one of those kicks goes up high instead. The round is close but the leg kicks may have been enough to edge out the round for Nunes. In the second round the fighters continue to pick at each other from distance. The round is very competitive once again. However, Calvillo finally is able to land a takedown. She doesn’t do much with it in the form of damage but with the round being close it may have been just enough to edge the round in her favor. Going into the final round the score could be tied at one round a piece. In the final round it is once again very close. However, in the final 90 seconds Nunes starts really picking up the pace and taking more risks. She pushes hard and is doing just enough to slightly overwhelm Calvillo and it ends up being just enough to edge out the round for her. This in turn edges out the fight for her as well. In her post fight interview she lays down her gloves on the canvas and announces that she is retiring. She wants to have more babies and pursue coaching fighters in the future. This may be what propelled her to really turn it up in that final 90 seconds. A very nice win for Nunes to wrap a very commendable career. Nunes by unanimous decision.
Lukasz Brzeski v. Martin Buday
The majority of the opening round in this fight belongs to Brzeski. The size difference is jaw dropping as Buday looks to be 40 pounds heavier at the very least. However, this results in a huge speed advantage for Brzeski who takes full advantage of it. He lands shot after shot and by the end of the round he has landed at least 50 times more than Buday. A very clear cut round in the favor of Brzeski. In the second round Brzeski continues utilizing his speed advantage and is once again landing the higher volume. Buday eventually starts having his moments but it feels like another clear cut round in the favor of Brzeski. In the final round Brzeski continues to put out high volume. In the final minutes Buday is now waving him forward and wanting to have a phone booth fight for the finale. The crowd is erupting as the two fighters exchange to make for some wild final moments. Buday once again had a couple moments but the round appeared to go to Brzeski once again. As the judges score cards are being announced it appears to be a very clear cut 30-27 round in the favor of Brzeski. However, much to the surprise of the audience and commentators, Buday somehow is given the split decision. The crowd roars in shock and Daniel Cormier gives a huge smile before he does the post fight interview. It is a shocking win for Buday and a devastating loss for Brzeski. Buday by split decision.
Angela Hill v. Lupita Godinez
The first round of this fight is a closely contested one. The opening few minutes are going in the favor of Godinez as she is landing flush punches that are taking Hill by surprise. Godinez usually has a heavy wrestling attack which is likely what Hill had prepared for so the punches are catching her off guard. In the final minute Hill starts having some successful moments of her own. However, the round still appeared to be won by Godinez. In the second round Hill starts to rally. She lands some good strikes and has the nose of Godinez bleeding pretty badly. In the final minute Hill also gets a takedown and is able to take the back of Godinez. She lands some good strikes from behind and then attacks the neck in the final seconds. Hill appears to have done enough to win this round so the fight could very well be tied going into the final round. The opening moments of the final round appear to be edged out by Godinez but once again Hill starts to rally. The round ends up being a back and forth and in the final minute Hill starts landing some flush shots of her own. As the fight comes to a close it as another very close fight which always seems to be the case for Angela Hill. Unfortunately for her though, she has been on the wrong end of so many close decisions in her career. However, this time she finally gets the nod and the result brings her to tears. A nice exciting win for Hill to get back on track. Hill by split decision.
Gerald Meerschaert v. Bruno Silva
The first few minutes of round one play out on the feet for these two fighters. Silva stalks forward but appears way more tentative which is likely for his fear of the grappling and submission prowess of Meerschaert. Both fighters land occasional strikes but nothing too flush or damaging. Later in the round Meerschaert times one of Silva’s attacks and ducks under to get a clean takedown. From there he stays on top to accrue some decent control time and then in the final seconds of the fight he postures up and rains down a nice flurry of strikes. This should be enough to clearly win him the opening round. In the second round Silva begins opening up more with his strikes. He does okay at first but slows down as the round progresses. Meerschaert then starts landing his own and by the end of the round Meerschaert has once again landed more strikes than Silva. For Meerschaert to win a decision via striking in this fight was something that very few people on planet earth would have predicted. Silva appears off in this fight and never really seems to be able to find any momentum. His output is nowhere near enough and he is losing a striking battle. In the final round Silva likely needs a finish. He moves forward with a little more urgency but the only thing he’s really having luck with are his kicks. Most of his punches are missing.
Ariane Lipski v. Priscila Cachoeira
This fight did not last long at all. From the opening bell Cachoeira starts walking forward with her heavy pressure like she always does. She immediately starts throwing bombs. Lipski was the heavy favorite in this fight and that was mostly due to her grappling prowess. However, instead of grappling she makes the mistake of engaging in the slugfest with Cachoeira. It doesn’t take long before Cachoeira lands flush and has Lipski hurt. The crowd erupts as Cachoeira follows up with more of her aggressive onslaught. She lands blow after blow and eventually the attack is just too much. The referee steps in to call off the fight as the crowd is now in a frenzy. Cachoeira by first round TKO.
Devin Clark v. Azamat Murzakanov
In the first round of this bout Clark surprisingly does not wrestle. He chooses to engage in the striking which is the most dangerous approach against this particular opponent. Murzakanov lands some good flush shots but Clark takes them well. He hangs in there and even lands a couple of his own. Late in the round Clark lands the most devastating strike of the round via a beautiful flush head kick. Murzakanov wobbles but clinches and is able to survive. The round is close but the head kick could have been enough to steal it for Clark. In the second round Murzakanov really starts finding success. He hurts Clark on several occasions and there are multiple instances where it feels like the fight is seconds from being stopped. Clark somehow survives but it is a very clear round in the favor of Murzakanov. In the final round Murzakanov keeps up the heavy pressure on Clark. He backs Clark against the cage and lands yet another heavy body punch. This one finally buckles Clark. He falls over and curls up as Murzakanov chases him with more heavy shots. The referee gives Clark every chance in the world to survive but eventually the onslaught is just too much and Clark is not improving his position. A nice win for Murzakanov who continues on his nice momentum through the division. Murzakanov by third round TKO.
Yazmin Jauregui v. Iasmin Lucindo
The opening round of this fight is all action. From the very beginning the girls meet in the middle and just start throwing with full blast intensity. The fighters just plant their feet and throw with full power every single time. Amazingly both fighters somehow make it out of the first round as neither of them ever got hurt too badly. It is a close round and will be a tough one to score for the judges. In the second round both fighters continue on with the same vicious intensity, if not more. They once again just bite down on their mouth piece and throw with nonstop reckless abandon. Jauregui lands more flush shots but every time she does it has absolutely zero effect on Lucindo. Lucindo’s chin is made of granite and she never once seems bothered by anything she’s ever hit with. It is another close and exciting round but this one appeared to be edged out by Juaregui. In the final round it’s more of the same. Both fighters continue to trade with insane power and although Lucindo seems to be hit flush more often, she’s never once affected by any of them. By the end of the fight the crowd is on their feet and so is the UFC President, Dana White. It was a wildly entertaining fight which officially puts the division on notice that both of these fighters are coming. Although the fight was close it felt like Juaregui did enough to edge it out. The judges agree. Jauregui by unanimous decision.
David Onama v. Nate Landwehr
The opening round of this bout was absolutely insane. As wild and exciting as the female fight was that preceded this, these gentlemen somehow found a way to steal the show. In the first few minutes the fight is close but then all hell breaks loose. Onama lands flush and has Landwehr hurt badly. He follows up with more vicious strikes and Landwehr hits the ground violently. Then Onama makes the mistake of continuing to punch him because Landwehr was unconscious and one of the follow up punches wakes him back up. When Landwehr wakes up he immediately starts fighting back. The crowd is erupting and although he was hurt badly, Landwehr survives the round. Furthermore, Onama is now showing some signs of fatigue. In the second round Landwehr starts finding some momentum. Onama is still fatigued and Landwehr starts landing flush. He starts landing nonstop shots on Onama and is starting to melt him with pressure. Onama is badly rocked and badly fatigued. There are several instances where the fight could be stopped but right before it does Onama shows just the right amount of movement to keep himself in it. The round is a clear win for Landwehr and could possibly have been a 10-8. The damage and exhaustion for Onama was so bad that his coach asks him in between rounds if he wants to keep fighting. He says he does so the fight carries on. In the third round it was more absolute chaos. Onama never finds his energy again. Landwehr never quits pressuring him and continues to land flush and wobble him. Onama is just too tired to do any head movement at all. Every time Onama falls from damage and exhaustion Landwehr follows him to the ground and lands a few strikes then just gets up and walks away. He could easily end the fight on several occasions but he’s having too much fun. He continuously stands back up and walks away while waving his arms to the erupting crowd. Onama is allowed to survive and stands back up. This happens at least four times. Somehow this fight goes the full distance but it could have been ended so many different times. What an amazing fight. In my personal opinion, this is my favorite fight of all time. I will never ever forget this fight. In the end, the judges felt that it was Landwehr who had done enough. Landwehr by unanimous decision.
Marlon Vera v. Dominick Cruz
When this main event starts Cruz comes out like a rocket. He blitzes immediately and starts throwing intense flurries at Vera. It appears to catch Vera off guard but he adjusts quickly. He remains poised and looks for his openings. Cruz continues his nonstop blitzing and crazy evasive movements. Vera doesn’t have much activity in the first but he never allows much damage despite all the blitzes that were coming his way. Regardless, Cruz clearly wins the first round based off of activity alone. In the second round Cruz continues with his heavy activity. He once again throws way more than Vera and likely lands more than Vera but he gets dropped by a Vera shot at one point. This alone makes the round more interesting. Despite this, it feels like the heavier volume may have done enough to edge out the round for Cruz again. In the third round Vera starts finding momentum. He drops Cruz again but this time it’s more violently. Cruz once again survives but the damage by Vera is violent enough that it will definitely outweigh the heavier volume of Cruz. This round will be won by Vera and although Cruz has been dropped twice now he’s still in this fight and is throwing with everything he has. In the fourth round Cruz is still utilizing his heavy movement and volume but eventually tragedy strikes. Out of nowhere Vera lands a head kick that is so flush it sounds like a baseball bat hitting a homerun out of the park. Cruz falls violently on his face and tries to keep moving but Vera blitzes after and lands a couple more strikes that weren’t even going to be necessary. Cruz was too far gone from the head kick. We’ve seen Cruz lose very few times in his career, but we’ve never seem him this badly damaged from strikes. It was a very hard thing to see. When the replay is shown in slow motion you can see the nose of Cruz instantly break when the kick lands. It is a hard loss for Cruz who could possibly be on his last run and an emphatic win for Vera, who is still on his wild rise. Vera by fourth round TKO.