UFC Fight Night: Grasso vs Araujo

Mike Jackson v. Pete Rodriguez

This fight was short lived.  Jackson comes into this fight looking fairly confident but up to this point in his career he really has no reason to be.  The first round begins and Rodriguez starts walking forward and throwing heavy shots.  Jackson looks calm as he tries to evade but Rodriguez eventually starts to land.  Jackson only throws back occasionally but for the most part he is on the defensive and constantly under attack.  As Rodriguez forces Jackson against the cage he starts throwing barrages and begins to connect.  He throws straights, hooks and uppercuts but eventually lands a flush knee that drops Jackson immediately.  Once Jackson lands his legs are bent awkwardly but he is out.  Rodriguez lands a couple more shots, but they are not needed.  The fight is over, and Jackson is out cold.  Rodriguez by first round KO.

C.J. Vergara v. Tatsuro Taira

The first half of the opening round mostly belongs to Taira.  He is the offensive fighter who is constantly keeping Vergara on the defensive.  Taira lands a couple of takedowns and is attacking submissions.  Vergara is forced to scramble to survive numerous times.  Once Vergara returns to the feet, he lands some decent shots.  At the close of the round Vergara is now finding some decent success.  In the second round the fighters exchange a few strikes on the feet but the fight eventually ends up back on the ground with Taira on top.  He eventually takes the back of Vergara and starts chasing rear naked chokes.  Vergara stays patient and defends for long periods of time despite having his jaw crushed.  Eventually a scramble ensues, and Taira is able to snatch up a quick armbar.  Within seconds Vergara is quickly tapping and the fight is over.  Another very impressive win for Taira via finish.  Taira by second round submission. 

Sam Hughes v. Piera Rodriguez

The opening round of this bout is closely contested.  Hughes presses forward and tries to be the aggressor but Rodriguez is bouncing around and countering nicely.  Eventually Rodriguez is able to land a takedown but doesn’t do anything with it.  Hughes is back up quickly and engages in the striking again.   Both fighters have subtle moments of success so it will be a tough round to score for the judges.  In the second round Rodriguez continues to land takedowns but doesn’t ever do much with them.  Hughes is always getting back up quickly.  Both fighters once again have their moments, and the round is close which may mean the takedowns could be the difference in that round.  In the final round Hughes stays aggressive and tries to force the issue knowing she is likely behind.  Rodriguez continues to use the wrestling to hold off the pressure of Hughes.  The round is once again close, but it seems like a clear winning round for Hughes.  Despite this it is not enough, and Rodriguez is able to edge out the fight.  Rodriguez by unanimous decision.

Joanderson Brito v. Lucas Alexander

In this fight we are once again treated to another explosive first round finish by Brito.  He comes out aggressive as per usual and is putting Alexander on the backfoot immediately.  Brito lands a couple shots and continues the combinations to get Alexander distracted.  From there Brito grabs a body lock, lifts Alexander into the air and then slams him down extremely violently.  Alexander scrambles up quickly but is once again slammed down violently in the exact same fashion.  Brito wants to attack a submission, but Alexander is able to get up quickly again.  This time Brito jumps on his back while standing and immediately starts attacking rear naked chokes.  Alexander defends briefly but Brito throws punches from behind until he gets Alexander distracted enough to sink the choke under the chin.  Once under the chin he pulls backwards with his weight and they both fall to the ground.  Within seconds Alexander is tapping because the choke is extremely tight.  Another dominant first round finish on behalf of Brito.  Brito by first round submission.

Nick Maximov v. Jacob Malkoun

The opening round of this fight is very competitive and for the first half it is mainly a striking affair.  Eventually Malkoun starts forcing Maximov’s back to the cage which is the place where he specializes in getting takedowns.  He forces Maximov to the ground, but Maximov is up again quickly.  The same process repeats but as the round progresses, Maximov is now grimacing and is in an extreme amount of pain.  It appears that during one of the grappling exchanges he has badly hurt his right knee.  He grimaces for the remainder of the round but survives.  In the second round he decides to come back out and fight on.  Malkoun sees the pain and continues to force the heavy pressure onto his wounded opponent.  Maximov grimaces the entire round but hangs in there.  Even more surprising is how many times he is taken down but is able to get back up by pushing off on that extremely wounded knee.  In round three it is more of the same.  Malkoun with heavy pressure, throwing combinations and repeated takedowns.  Maximov shows his extreme toughness and never quits, but he is clearly losing the fight which can be expected given his condition.  The judges see it as a clean sweep.  Malkoun by unanimous decision. 

Mana Martinez v. Brandon Davis

The first round of this fight starts off with a couple of pauses in the fight due to a low blow by Davis and then an eye poke by Martinez.  Once the fouls are out of the way the fight starts finding its rhythm.  Davis is marching forward and throwing straight kicks to the body while Martinez is continuously looking to land the left hook.  Both fighters have their moments, and the first round is very close.  In the second round Davis continues his forward pressure while Martinez hangs back and looks to land the slick counters.  Davis starts throwing leg kicks along with his punching combinations and front body kicks.  Martinez continues to search for the left hook but also adds some more variety to his strike selection.  The round is once again close and looks to be anyone’s round but in the final 15 seconds Martinez lands a spinning backfist that hurts Davis.  He drops and Martinez blitzes with follow up shots that have Davis in all kinds of trouble.  Davis barely escapes the round and Martinez now clearly becomes the winner of the round.  In the final round Davis gets right back to his forward pressure.  He makes it competitive once again and in the final minute he lands a takedown and gets top control.  He lands good ground strikes and possibly even steals the round, but it will not be enough.  The judges felt that Martinez had done just enough to edge out the fight.  Martinez by split decision.

Misha Cirkunov v. Alonzo Menifield

This fight was another emphatic win for Menifield.  He’s been known to dominate early in fights to get quick finishes while Cirkunov has been known to crumble early, especially to extremely aggressive and powerful opponents.  All those ingredients looked like the perfect recipe.  As the fight begins, Menifield is stalking forward and lunging with full power shots when he sees openings.  Cirkunov is able to evade and land a couple of nice jabs.  Eventually Menifield is able to connect though.  He drops Cirkunov violently and then with a follow up shot Cirkunov is out cold.  Another violent first round win for Menifield and violent first round loss for Cirkunov.  Menifield by first round KO.

Raphael Assuncao v. Victor Henry

This fight was a very intriguing matchup.  Assuncao has always been an elite fighter but has fallen on tough times lately.  However, his losses have only come to opponents who are also the top of the elites.  Henry on the other hand, has been surging on his way up and picking up some great wins.  In the opening round the fighter’s exchange strikes and Henry marches forward.  He chooses to stay in a phone booth range which is extremely dangerous against the striking power and skill of Assuncao.  Both fighters land some decent strikes, and the first round is very close.  In the second round Assuncao starts finding success and landing some very good shots.  Although he is landing very flush and powerful shots, Henry just eats them and keeps marching forward.  The round is still close but will likely go to Assuncao after the beautiful flush shots landed.  In the final round Assuncao continues to land flush shots that would likely put out other fighters.  Somehow Henry eats them and keeps pressing forward.  Henry rallies in the final minute and puts together some good shots but it is not enough.  The judges give the win to Assuncao who is able to turn back the clock and finally pick up another very emotional win.  Assuncao by unanimous decision.

Jordan Wright v. Dusko Todorovic

This fight was an all-action barn burner.  To absolutely everyone’s surprise, Wright comes out and starts wrestling.  He lands a takedown which catches Todorovic completely off guard.  Even more surprising is how proficient Wright looks on the ground.  He is doing everything correctly and transitioning from position to position, keeping him one step ahead of Todorovic.  Wright lands some nice ground strikes as Todorovic continues to squirm and tries to better his position.  After some very impressive grappling from Wright, he controls a majority of the five minutes and clearly wins the round.  In the second round Todorovic comes out like a rocket.  He blitzes forward throwing nonstop punching combinations.  He does this so aggressively that he even is getting sloppy with how aggressive he is being.  Wright evades a decent amount of the barrage, but Todorovic begins to land some good shots.   Eventually he rocks Wright, and the fight hits the ground.  Todorovic gets in full mount and by this point Wright is so exhausted that is unable to explode anymore.  He is forced to accept the terrible position and is eating shot after shot.  The referee gives him a warning but Wright has no more energy to escape.  The fight is called off and Todorovic pulls off a big win in a very exciting fight.  Todorovic by second round TKO.

Cub Swanson v. Jonathan Martinez

This fight was Swanson’s attempt at moving down a weight class.  He draws a tough opponent to welcome him to the bantamweight division.  As the first round begins Swanson is walking forward with his hands down and looking to time his blitzes to create car crashes.  He lands some decent shots, but Martinez is landing as well.  Martinez starts blasting the legs and body of Swanson with vicious kicks which are clearly an investment to pay dividends later.  Swanson just eats the strikes but these are the types of strikes that you can only take so many of.  As the round progresses Martinez starts finding momentum and Swanson is having trouble.  In the final ten seconds Swanson gets hit flush in the face with a knee that drops him.  Martinez follows him to the ground with a barrage of ground strikes.  The referee is extremely close to stopping the fight but Swanson is somehow able to survive.  In the second round Martinez continues to land horribly hard leg kicks and body kicks.  These strikes are really starting to hurt Swanson now.  He drops several times and then after being dropped with a couple of consecutive leg kicks, he eats one more and drops down for good.  He curls up in a ball which tells the referee that he no longer wants to carry on.  The fight is stopped and Martinez picks up the biggest win of his career.  Martinez by second round TKO.

Alexa Grasso v. Viviane Araujo

The opening round of this main event fight is very competitive.  Araujo looks very good in the first and is marching forward with stiff jabs until she is able to force some grappling.  She lands a brief takedown, but Grasso gets right back up and continues the striking exchanges.  The round may have been edged by Araujo, but it was so close that nothing is guaranteed.  In the second round Grasso starts picking up some steam and is landing a much heavier volume of strikes.  By the end of the round, she has practically doubled the number of strikes landed by Araujo.  In the third round Araujo lands a takedown and is able to pick up some control time.  On the feet Grasso is still staying disciplined and the fighters are exchanging nice jabs.  In the fourth round everything plays out on the feet.  The fighters continue to trade jabs, but it is Grasso who is sneaking in some other straights and hooks.  In the final minute Araujo forces some clinch exchanges along the fence but the round still may have been edged out by Grasso.  In the final round it is more tactful striking in the middle of the cage by both fighters.  The fight stays close the entire time and as it comes to an end it will be interesting to see how the judges will lean for this one.  In the end, the judges felt that it was Grasso who had done more than enough to pick up the win.  Grasso by unanimous decision. 

Categories: UFC

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