JUNE 13, 2015
LIVE FROM MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
=====UFC Fight Pass Prelims=====
-Gabriel Benitez def. Clay Collard via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Note: Violent opener that dragged in the third. Collard got beat up badly with shots to the body and it completely zapped his energy. Add in this event being at altitude and the third was a bit ugly. Still, mostly impressive work from Benitez on the feet to control the fight and earn the decision victory.
-Cathal Pendred def. Augusto Montano via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Note: One of the worst fights in UFC history. Better to forget it happened.
-We get an intro from Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan, running down the stakes in tonight’s Heavyweight Championship unification bout main event.
PRELIM FIGHT ONE: FRANCISCO TREVINO VS. JOHNNY CASE (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Case came out aggressively, landing some combinations as he pressed Trevino back. Trevino smiled at him, but case kept on him. He tried to goad him in, but Case patiently landed a few more strikes. Case landed another short combination to the body as Trevino tried to step out. Case continued to connect with strikes while mostly avoiding return fire. Very solid early work. He landed a hard punch to the body, then got in with a leg kick. Case continued targeting the body. Trevino landed a solid right hand as Case tried to set up a big strike. Case landed a hard outside leg kick. He backed Trevino to the cage and landed two great right hands to the head. He landed a counter uppercut as Trevino connected with a strike. Case kept up the attack. Trevino landed a leg kick and a bad eye poke that sent Case reeling and screaming. That’s not good. The lead hand just grazed across his eye. Dammit. Case takes some time, and John McCarthy gives it to him, and despite the eye closing up and not looking good, Case continues. He immediately took Trevino down. He went for a mount, but got swept. He went for a guillotine and swept back to the top. Trevino threw a few elbows from the bottom. Trevino attacked for an armbar, but Case easily got out and ended the round on his back.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Case. He had a very good round, and hopefully that eyepoke doesn’t change the direction of this fight entirely for him.
ROUND TWO: Case came ahead and landed a couple of hard body kicks. Trevino slapped his side and goaded Case to keep hitting him there. Case landed a counter right. Case landed a solid combination. He caught a kick and tripped Trevino, but let him stand. Case scored a takedown and avoided a sub attempt from the bottom to wind up in side control. Then the feed went in and out a couple of times, with Case taking Trevino’s back as it came back. Trevino tried to escape, but Case held position. Trevino escaped and Case went for a guillotine. He lost it, and Trevino wound up on top. Case turned into him and Trevino sprawled. Case worked to his feet and they separated. Case landed a combination. They got to the ground again and Case got to Trevino’s back again. He landed some strikes, but Trevino tried to turn back into him for a takedown attempt. He worked to his feet and they ended in the clinch.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Case. Not a great round, but Case accomplished more overall.
ROUND THREE: Both landed a few grazing strikes early. Much more tentative start to the round than the previous two. The crowd got a little restless and tossed out some boos. Case landed a hard straight punch with some others behind it. Case got in an uppercut but missed a follow up hook. Trevino was doing very little, while Case was barely doing more midway through the round. Case shot in and scored a takedown. Trevino got full guard and tried to isolate an arm. Case used that to pass over to half guard nicely, getting his arm free. He landed a couple of elbows. Trevino got him back to guard. Case postured up and landed a strike. He took Trevino’s back in the half guard. He nearly got on a mounted triangle but Trevino escaped. Case looked for a front choke but Trevino snuck behind him. He landed a couple of knees to the thighs. Case landed an elbow behind him. Case shove him aside. He landed a short combo. They both missed strikes. Trevino got in a counter right late before the horn, and the crowd booed the end. Case put his hand up to the eye that got poked in the first as he walked to his corner.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Case. Trevino didn’t do much of anything, while Case was clearly hampered by the status of his eye down the stretch. Disappointing final ten minutes, but Case was clearly affected by that eye poke.
WINNER: Case via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (*+) Started off well, and Case was doing a lot of things really well in his striking game. Unfortunately, the eye poke changed the dynamic of the fight considerably, and he just did his best not to make any stupid mistakes.
PRELIM FIGHT TWO: ALEJANDRO PEREZ VS. PATRICK WILLIAMS (BANTAMWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Williams rocked Perez immediately with a huge right hand. He rushed him to the cage, locked on a tight guillotine choke, and Perez went to sleep! Shut the crowd up something fierce there.
WINNER: Williams via submission (guillotine choke) at :23 of the first round
STAR RATING: (***) Must see work from Williams in a short time. Officially the fastest submission in UFC/WEC history in the bantamweight division. That was fantastic.
PRELIM FIGHT THREE: EFRAIN ESCUDERO VS. DREW DOBER (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Escudero tripped Dober up with an inside leg kick. He locked up a front guillotine choke and drove Dober to the cage. He tried desperately to finish as Dober desperately tried to escape. Escudero won out, and Dober tapped! Wow. That’s big for Escudero, crushing for Dober.
WINNER: Escudero via submission (standing guillotine choke) at :54 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**+) Really well done by Escudero. He tripped Dober up with the inside leg kick and immediately grabbed that front headlock. Great instincts there to get the type of win that has eluded him for a long time.
PRELIM FIGHT FOUR: HENRY CEJUDO VS. CHICO CAMUS (FLYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Cejudo threw an early front kick but got countered by Camus. He faked a shot and ate another counter. He landed a hard two punch combo as he pressed Camus back a bit. Camus came forward and they clinched. Cejudo drove Camus to the cage and landed some knees to the thighs. Camus got some separation and pressed Cejudo back. Cejudo landed a couple of strikes. Camus got in a right hand. They clinched and Camus got out with a knee to the body. Cejudo landed a two punch combo. Camus came straight ahead. Cejudo shot in but got stuffed. Camus landed a knee to the body. He got separation and ate a strike on the way out. Cejudo missed a couple of strikes. Cejudo landed a hard jab. He got in a knee to the body but ate left hook in return. Cejudo clinched again and pressed Camus to the cage. He dropped down for a single leg but Camus broke free. Camus landed a solid combination. Cejudo came forward, but Camus landed another short combo and stuffed another takedown attempt. Things stalled a bit in the clinch and they were separated. Camus shoved Cejudo’s face aside on the break and got a warning. He came ahead and landed a right hand. He sprawled on another takedown attempt. He caught a kick and landed a right hand as Cejudo clinched again. He tried to go for the single leg, then landed a right before clinching again. Camus landed a couple of elbows. He got picked up and dropped, but popped right up and landed a hard strike before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Camus. Despite Cejudo’s time in the clinch, Camus stuffed pretty much all of his attempts, and landed the better strikes that round.
ROUND TWO: Cejudo came forward aggressively. They traded punches. Cejudo landed a hard body kick. He landed a solid right hand. Camus popped in with a jab. Cejudo landed a hard combination. He connected on another right hand. He’s having a lot more success this round in his striking. He got in a push kick and clinched, putting Camus’ back on the cage. He got in a foot stomp and a knee to the gut. He dropped down for a single leg. He backed off after it was stuffed and landed a right hand. Camus fired out a combination. Camus landed another solid counter strike. They traded punches. Camus landed a strike. Cejudo came back with a few hard strikes. He shot in and again got stuffed into the clinch. Camus got in an elbow, and circled out of the clinch. Cejudo landed a couple strikes, but Camus fired back. They traded punches again. Camus stuffed another takedown. Cejudo clinched and landed some footstomps and knees. Camus pushed him off. Camus landed a nice combination. Cejudo grazed him with a few strikes. They both missed some strikes. Camus caught a kick but Cejudo popped out of his grip. Camus swung and missed on a few strikes. They traded punches in close. Cejudo pressed him back at the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Cejudo. Close round, but Cejudo did more offensively than he did in the first, while Camus allowed himself to get backed up too much. Scores could wind up all over the place in this one.
ROUND THREE: Cejudo landed an early left hook then a solid right hand. He got in a body kick. Cejudo landed a left. He’s connecting on a lot more here. He got in a clinch and tried for a takedown, but Camus again stuffed it. Camus grabbed his eye as if it were poked but Yamasaki didn’t see it initially. On the replay it was either a thumb or the punch that hit him. Camus took a few moments but was able to continue. He landed a strike. Cejudo shot in again and got stuffed. Camus landed a nice counter combination. Cejudo tossed out a left hook. He landed a body kick. Camus got in a knee. They traded knees in the clinch and Cejudo drove Camus to the cage. Cejudo backed off with a nice elbow. He got in a good jab. Camus looked like he got poked again but kept going. Cejudo landed a short combo. They clinched again, but Camus got in a knee and separated. Cejudo landed a solid combination, getting in a good kick to the body. They traded punches. Camus grabbed a clinch and put Cejudo’s back on the cage. They traded knees. Camus tried to drop down for a takedown attempt but it got stuffed so he backed out. They both missed strikes and Cejudo clinched. He wsn’t able to do much there, but he held position. The crowd booed a little and Camus circled out. They traded punches. Camus landed a hard left hand. He got in a kick to the body. Camus with a solid right hand. Cejudo shot in and tripped Camus up. He threw out a kick towards Camus’ head, and then got on top. Camus tried to kick him off and got to his feet at the horn. Another close round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Cejudo. Very close round, and again scores could be all over the place in this one.
WINNER: Cejudo via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (**-) Close, competitive fight, but it wasn’t great. Cejudo eeked it out (and I don’t think he won all three rounds, though each was close), and I don’t think that should have him jump the line at flyweight. He’s not ready for Mighty Mouse yet, and there’s no reason to kill his upside right now.
-Time for some LOUD NOISES from Dana White and Joe Rogan to give the hard sell on the pay-per-view broadcast.
=====Pay-Per-View Main Card=====
Face the pain. Black and white sit downs. Yep, it’s pay-per-view time. Goldie and Rogan welcome fans to the broadcast before running down the fights still to come tonight.
MAIN CARD FIGHT ONE: TECIA TORRES VS. ANGELA HILL (WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Torres opened with an inside leg kick. She avoided a few pawed out strikes and got in a few more kicks. Hill tried to walk her down against the cage. They traded punches. Hill landed a solid right hand. Torres continued circling out around the outside. Torres shot in for a takedown but Hill held it off into a clinch on the cage. Torres got in a few hard strikes, ending in a knee to the body from the clinch. Hill turned her around on the cage and got in a knee to the body. They traded knees as the continued to jockey for position. Torres backed out with a right hand. Hill came straight ahead and closed the distance again. Torres shot in and scored a nice trip takedown into half guard. Hill briefly got her guard back, but Torres passed back to half guard. She tried to sneak out her other leg, but Hill kept her in half guard. Torres tried to land some strikes and get an opening to do more from the top. Hill locked her up a bit. She landed some decent body punches and threw some to the head. Hill continued to lock her down and block her attempts to pass. Hill got back to guard and landed an elbow from the bottom. Torres postured up and landed a few strikes, some of them blocked, to end the frame.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Torres. Solid enough opening round. Not a ton of offensive output from either, but Torres edged the round.
ROUND TWO: Hill closed distance quickly. Torres threw a side kick. She shot in and landed a knee as Hill held off the clinch. Hill got in a strike. Torres connected on a right hand. She landed a few more in combination. They traded strikes, then Torres perfectly timed a takedown attempt into side control. Hill got her to half guard quick and tried to lock Torres down. Torres tried to snake her leg out to get to side control again, but Hill kept it locked down. Things stalled out as Hill continued to lock Torres down. Torres finally completed the pass to side control. Hill tried to escape, but Torres worked to mount. Hill immediately escaped to half guard. She locked it down some more, and the action stalled out again. Hill’s doing a great job neutralizing the top game, but neither is doing much else. They were stood up with 40 seconds left. Torres clinched and Hill tried to bully her to the cage to land a knee. Torres got in a knee. Hill stuffed a double leg and landed some elbows. They traded knees to the horn. Not really a good fight here.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Torres. Hill’s not getting any offense in, and though her defense has been solid enough, she’s been stuck on her back a long section of this fight.
ROUND THREE: Hill tried to walk Torres down again early. They traded strikes. Torres got in a right hand. Hill countered with a grazing strike. Hill landed a right hand. Torres got in a decent strike. Both continued plugging away, but neither was landing much of anything. The crowd booed the tentative nature of the fight. Both missed strikes. Hill continued trying to press in. Torres clinched and pressed Hill to the cage. The crowd rained down some boos as Torres tried for the takedown attempt. With nothing happening in this fight, Goldberg and Rogan started talking about the Browne-Arlovski fight from last month. They were separated with just over a minute left. Torred came in and Hill landed a counter-right. Torres grabbed a clinch, ate a knee, and tried to score a takedown. Hill held it off. She landed a couple of strikes. More boos from the crowd. Hill stuffed another takedown attempt, and continued to do so to the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-10. Neither deserved to take the round as almost nothing at all happened. Bad fight.
WINNER: Torres via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (*-) Not much of an actual fight. Neither was able to do much of anything as far as effective offense is concerned, so the fight just dragged considerably.
MAIN CARD FIGHT TWO: YAIR RODRIGUEZ VS. CHARLES ROSA (FEATHERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Rosa came out the aggressor, while Rodriguez threw a few strikes to try to keep him at bay. He landed a nice jumping kick. He messed up on a flying knee attempt, but went for a triangle choke as Rosa got on top. Rosa tried to stand up to get some space, but Rodriguez had the hold on. He exerted a lot of effort to finish the hold, but Rosa continued to defend. Very tough battle here. Rosa continued to defend and try to break himself free. Rodriguez held on, but Rosa finally got free. Rodriguez threw up some kicks. Rosa came back down into his guard with some big strikes. Rodriguez turtled up and Rosa took his back with a hook in. He tried to get his second hook in. Rodriguez defended well. He tried to explode up to his feet and Rosa let the hook go. Rodriguez turned back into him in the clinch, but Rosa dropped him with a nice suplex. Rosa avoided the upkicks and got into his guard with some big elbows. Rosa went for a leglock late but Rodriguez got out and stood up. He landed a kick as he got up. Rosa lost his mouth piece and things were halted. Rosa tried to move forward and the horn sounded. Great round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Rodriguez. Rosa had some good offense on top, and a little on the feet, but Rodriguez got in better strikes and had that tight triangle attempt. Good start to this one.
ROUND TWO: Rosa tried to close the distance early. Rodriguez caught a kick and landed one in return. Rodriguez kicked out Rosa’s leg. He threw a high side kick to keep Rosa off. He got in a head kick as Rosa tried to close distance. Rodriguez shoved aside a takedown attempt. Rodriguez threw a nice spinning kick to the body. He landed a side kick to the knee. Rosa shot in and Rodriguez pulled away. Rodriguez landed another side kick to the knee. He landed a couple of jabs. Rosa having trouble getting in range here. Rosa shot in again, but Rodriguez stuffed it and landed an elbow. Rodriguez landed a solid left hand. He missed a spinning strike, but countered a takedown attempt into a near mount, then stood and walked out. Rosa got cut badly somewhere and it started trickling down. Rosa shot in and Rodriguez stuffed it. Rogan oversold Rodriguez by comparing him to Jon Jones and Anthony Pettis. Yamasaki halted things to check the cut, but let it go quickly. Rosa’s gassed here. He tried to chase him down but Rodriguez just got free. Rodriguez landed another hard leg kick. Rosa shot in again to no avail. Rosa got in a left hand. Rodriguez landed a push kick and a punch. Rodriguez missed a head kick. Rosa got in close and rolled for a leg lock, but Rodriguez landed some hard punches and stood up. Rosa got in a right hand and scored a takedown, but Rodriguez rolled through to get on top, landing a big flurry of strikes to end the round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Rodriguez. Close to a 10-8 for Rodriguez. Damned impressive work in this fight so far.
ROUND THREE: Rosa quickly closed distance and worked for the takedown, this time completing it. Rodriguez landed some hard elbows that opened the cut back up. Rosa tried to posture up. Rodriguez stuffed his pass attempt, but Rosa postured up and landed some strikes. He tried to stay active in the guard. Rosa got in a good elbow from the top. He postured up again and landed some hard strikes from the top. Rodriguez locked up the triangle and landed some hard elbows. Rosa popped his head out and passed. Rodriguez held off the attempt, but Rosa got him turtled up with half the round left. Rosa went for a crucifix but lost position and Rodriguez popped up. Rosa missed a right hand. Rodriguez landed a hard leg kick. Rosa landed a solid strike. He shot in again and went for side control, but Rodrigue rolled out. Rosa got back to side control with time to work. Rodriguez kicked him off and got him back to guard. Rosa did some damage from top control. He landed a big elbow. Rosa missed a punch and hit the mat. He landed a hard series of hammerfists. Rosa postured up with a big elbow. Rodriguez threw strikes from his back, but Rosa rained down strikes to the horn. Great fight.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Rosa. Big round to finish up, and it’s going to come down to the first round and how that triangle attempt was scored.
WINNER: Rodriguez via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (***) Really, really good fight. Rodriguez coming out of the “TUF: Latin America” tournament played against him, as the talent on that season was lacking, but he opened some eyes with this one. Rosa’s a very tough fighter, and Rodriguez impressed with his striking and constant movement on the ground. Really great stuff, and Rosa’s resilience and strong finish should boost his stock at the same time.
MAIN CARD FIGHT THREE: KELVIN GASTELUM VS. NATE MARQUARDT (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Gastelum pressed forward and tried to walk Marquardt down early. He tossed out a leg kick that was checked. Marquardt popped in with a right hand. He landed a kick to the body. Gastelum scored with a left hand. Gastelum landed a hard knee to the body. He backed away from a punch. Gastelum kept Marquardt backed up and landed a good left. He landed another. He connected on several strikes in a row. He got in a knee to the body. Marquardt pressed back and scored a right hand. Gastelum got in a nice combination out of a clinch. Gastelum with another combo. Marquardt’s face was getting lit up. Marquardt landed. Gasteum fired back a hard combination. Gastelum kept the pressure up. He ducked under a strike and clinched. Marquardt scored with a knee. They clinched up again and Marquardt put Gastelum’s back on the cage. They traded knees. Gastelum separated with an elbow. He landed a solid jab. Marquardt missed a couple of strikes and they clinched again. Gastelum landed a few knees and avoided a takedown. He shot in for his own and took Marquardt down. Marquardt gave up his back after a couple of strikes. Marquardt tried to roll for an arm and used it to stand, but he ate a big right hand. Gastelum landed a hard body kick following a jab. Gastelum landed a nice uppercut. He landed a flurry against the cage late. Marquardt covered up but missed a counter strike before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Gastelum. Nice work from Gastelum throughout the round. A lot more active on the feet.
ROUND TWO: Gastelum landed two hard inside leg kicks and Marquardt was hobbled a bit. Gastelum popped his head back with a jab. He landed a short combo. Marquardt got in with a punch to the body. They traded body punches and clinched in the center. Gastelum separated with an uppercut. Marquardt tried to press in with a combination. Gastelum landed a few hard strikes. Gastelum landed a nice jab. He got in a hard combo. He tossed out a head kick that was partially blocked. Gastelum started picking Marquardt apart on the cage. He landed a big knee to the body and dropped him down. He landed a ton of strikes on the ground as Marquardt tried to keep himself in the fight. Gastelum’s assault slowed. Marquardt tripped him and got to his feet. Gastelum grabbed a front head lock and Marqurdt just dropped down. Gastelum got behind him as he turtled up and landed some strikes. He tried to set up a choke. Marquardt tried to sweep but Gastelum wound up in his guard. Gastelum postured up and easily passed to side control. Marquardt turtled, then rolled out. Gastelum got on top and tried to smother and land elbows and punches. Marquardt turtled up again. Gastelum landed some big body strikes. He landed an elbow, then tried to attack Gastelum’s leg. Gastelum stood up before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-8 Gastelum. Absolute domination that round, and surprising that it didn’t get stopped. Very easily could have been.
-Marquardt got to his corner and said he had nothing left. His trainer, Trevor Wittman, called the fight for him, telling the doctor and ref it was done. That’s fantastic work to save his fighter from further damage. It really is.
WINNER: Gastelum via TKO (corner stoppage) at 5:00 of the second round
STAR RATING: (**) Great work from Gastelum, but a bit of a sad end for Marquardt. I have a hard time believing he’s going to fight again after that. Still, while it’s sad we need to recognize it as an anomaly, Trevor Wittman just showed every cornerman in this sport what needs to be done in that situation. He made the right call as tough as it may be, saving Marquardt from even more damage over another round.
MAIN CARD FIGHT FOUR: GILBERT MELENDEZ VS. EDDIE ALVAREZ (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Alvarez wasted no time moving ahead, but they started off a little tentative as they circled. Alvarez struck first with a short combo. They traded strikes with Alvarez getting the better of the exchange. Melendez popped him back with a few jabs. Melendez landed a hard strike. Alvarez got backed up to the cage. Melendez connected on some big jabs. Alvarez landed a hard leg kick, but he ate another jab. They traded strikes in the center. Melendez again popped his head back with a jab. Alvarez got in a good combination to the body. Melendez landed a solid two punch combo. Alvarez seemed wary to engage. Melendez missed a few hard strikes. Alvarez circled around as things slowed way down. Alvarez landed a hard leg kick. He got in a good body kick. Melendez got in a late jab. He missed a right hand late. The crowd got a little restless to the slowed action. Alvarez’s eye was badly swollen as the round ended.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Melendez. Alvarez’s nose is broken. Melendez’s elbows did a bunch of damage. Alvarez’s eye is almost closed after he blew his nose. Big mistake.
ROUND TWO: This may need to get stopped. Melendez hit him in that eye and it swelled up worse. His eyelid is just bulging out right now. Melendez walked him down and landed a right hand. Alvarez landed a left hook. Alvarez’s eye is horrifying right now. Alvarez landed another hard left. He shot in and drove Melendez to the cage. Melendez stuffed the attempt. Alvarez got in a knee to the groin and they were separated. They showed a slow-motion replay of him blowing his nose and the eye just swelling up. Jesus. Thy restarted and Melendez got in a jab. Alvarez has to try to finish this round because this may get stopped between rounds. Alvarez landed a hard leg kick. Melendez shot in, got stuffed, but landed a knee to the body. Melendez landed a jab to the eye. Things got a bit tentative again. Alvarez landed the leg kick. The crowd booed a little. Melendez landed a right hand. Alvarez ducked under and took Melendez’s back standing. Melendez turned into him and held him off in the clinch. He dropped for a double leg and completed a takedown. Melendez turned into him and stood. Alvarez landed a knee to the body. They traded knees. Alvarez went for another takedown. He landed a spinning elbow just before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Alvarez. Melendez seemed to slow down and back off, which made no sense given the status of Alvarez’s eye here.
ROUND THREE: Alvarez quickly shot in for a single leg, but Melendez stuffed it and landed some short punches. Alvarez stayed on him and completed a takedown. Melendez worked up to his feet, but Alvarez stayed on him. Things stalled a bit in the clinch. They each landed a couple of strikes. Alvarez landed a punch. He came ahead after they separated and shot in. Melendez grabbed a headlock and stuffed it. Alvarez landed a hard right hand. Melendez landed a left. The crowd continued to get a little restless at some of the tentative spots. They traded strikes. Alvarez tripped Melendez up briefly, but Melendez worked right back to his feet. Alvarez tried to secure a single leg, but Melendez stuffed it. Alvarez stayed on him with knees. He dropped again, but Melendez continued to hold off the attempts. Alvarez then completed one. Melendez popped back up. He separated with a minute and a half left. They traded jabs. Melendez landed another hard jab. Melendez landed a few more jabs. Alvarez got in a kick to the body. He pressed in and they traded strikes. Alvarez landed a hard spinning elbow. He landed a right hand. Melendez was cut open badly. Alvarez rocked him with a couple of late strikes. Some of the crowd booed the end.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Alvarez. Melendez was doing a bit more on the feet, but the late offense from Alvarez, along with the takedowns, I think gives him a slight edge. It wasn’t an overall great fight, but this could really go either way here. I can see justification for both.
WINNER: Alvarez via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (**) It was a decent fight. It wasn’t as good as many hoped, and they really need five rounds to settle things here. The decision is absolutely fine, and would have been fine going the other way to Melendez. Last two rounds were quite close, and I think Alvarez’s late spurt of offense in the third along with the takedowns edged it for him. It wasn’t definitive, so let’s give them a five round rematch on Fox Sports 1 here in five to six months.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT FIVE: CAIN VELASQUEZ VS. FABRICIO WERDUM (UFC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP)
ROUND ONE: Werdum landed a right hand as Velasquez threw a kick. Werdum tripped up and went to his back, but Velasquez backed off. Velasquez closed distance and they traded strikes on the cage. Werdum tried to get a Thai clinch as Velasquez pressed him to the cage. Velasquez got in a combo. Werdum returned a knee. They traded shots in the clinch. Velasquez landed a knee to the body. Werdum cut Velasquez with something. Werdum went for the Thai clinch and Velasquez took him down into side control. Velasquez let him roll out and made him stand. Velasquez moved forward, landed a few, and they clinched. Werdum went for a throw but got held off. They traded big strikes. Velasquez landed three big punches. He clinched, got in a few strikes, and went back for the clinch. Werdum caught a knee and scored a takedown. Velasquez got up, but ate a knee on the way up. Velasquez grabbed a body lock and pressed him to the cage. Werdum failed on a trip. Velasquez backed off. He moved back in. Werdum landed a good inside leg kick. They traded punches. Velasquez landed a couple of leg kicks. Werdum landed a couple of right hands, and Velasquez clinched. This is a freaking scrap here. Velasquez got in an uppercut. Werdum threw a knee and landed a couple of punches. Velasquez tripped Werdum up hard, but backed out and made him stand. Werdum clinched briefly, but Velasquez got out. Werdum landed a front kick. Werdum landed a hard right hand. They traded punches. They traded shots again late.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Velasquez. Werdum’s absolutely in this fight. Violent, grueling first round.
ROUND TWO: Velasquez came ahead with leg kicks, and Werdum landed a hard jab and a left hook. Werdum connected on another exchange. Velasquez got in a short combo with leg kicks. They traded kicks and both looked tired. Werdum landed a hard uppercut. Velasquez returned fire. Werdum landed a push kick. They traded punches again. Velasquez landed a leg kick. He landed another hard one. Werdum connected on a hard body kick. Werdum got in a big knee. He rocked Velasquez with a combination and backed him up. Velasquez fired back. Werdum hurt him with another right and grabbed a Thai clinch. Werdum landed another combination! Velasquez tossed out some strikes. Both were cut up a bit. Velasquez landed a few, but Werdum returned fire. Werdum landed a big combo and stuffed a takedown. He landed a big uppercut. He got in a knee in the Thai clinch. He turned Cain around on the cage. Werdum landed another combination. Werdum landed another big combination. This fight is nuts. Velasquez looked massively labored in his strikes. Werdum landed a hard right hand. He landed another combination. He landed another. Werdum rocked Velasquez with a knee. He landed another uppercut. He got in another knee! He hurt him again at the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Werdum. He took too much damage himself for a 10-8, but holy hell this is the most damage anyone’s ever done to Velasquez.
ROUND THREE: Velasquez tried to come out a little quicker, but Werdum landed a few jabs and circled out. Velasquez shot in but nearly got swept on the attempt. Velasquez stood up and threw some kicks to Werdum’s legs. Werdum barely missed an upkick. Werdum got to his feet. He landed a hard jab. He landed another. Werdum looks like the better fighter tonight. Velasquez went high with a kick. He ate a knee. Werdum went for a standing guillotine. Velasquez got out, but Werdum landed a big combo and ended with a knee. Velasquez moved forward, but got tagged by some more jabs. Werdum missed a head kick. Velasquez shot in and Werdum caught him in a guillotine! Velasquez tapped! We have a new undisputed champion!!! That was amazing!
WINNER: Werdum via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:13 of the third round
STAR RATING: (****+) That was an unbelievable fight, and an incredible performance from Werdum. Velasquez gutted it out through some brutal combinations from Werdum, who was tagging him nonstop in the second and third to the point Velasquez’s corner told him to take it to the ground. He listened, and got tapped. Werdum now has submission wins over Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Cain Velasquez, three of the greatest heavyweights in the history of this sport. Werdum just launched himself to a new level entirely.
That’s our report for tonight! Thanks for joining us here throughout the night; make sure to tune in tomorrow morning to MMATorchLivecast.com at 11AM ET as Todd Martin and I break down all of tonight’s action in a UFC 188 review show!