THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER – A TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS FINALE
DECEMBER 3, 2016
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA FROM THE PALMS
LIVE ON UFC FIGHT PASS (7:00 PM ET) AND FOX SPORTS 1 (8:00 PM ET)
Good evening fight fans. We will have some quick hit results and analysis for the early fights tonight and round by round detailed coverage of the main card. The main event tonight features MMATorch.com’s pound for pound king, Demetrious Johnson taking on the TUF tournament winner, Tim Elliot. Be sure to check out Matt Ecochard’s preview to get primed.
Fight Pass Prelims
(1) Joshua Stansbury vs. Devin Clark (Light Heavyweight 205 lbs)
Result: Clark by unanimous decision, 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28
Hiscoe’s Analysis: They’re fighting in the smaller, 25 foot cage, so we should see more knockouts tonight. They split the first two rounds with not a lot going on. Lots of clinching and leaning on eachother. They both opened up in the last couple of minutes of the fight with Clark getting the better of it, winning 29-28 on my card. Neither guy showed me enough to think they could be a potential contender down the line.
(2) Elvis Mutapcic vs. Anthony Smith (Middleweight 185 lbs)
Result: Smith by TKO at 3:27 of the second round.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Matapcic won the first round, holding Smith against the cage on the ground. Smith went for some submissions but Mutapcic controlled him. Smith turned it up in the second, peppering him with punches and opening up a big cut on Mutapcic’s head. He knocked him out with a big elbow followed by some hammerfists on the ground. Smith is someone to watch at middleweight. He’s been somewhat inconsistent in his UFC runs but when he’s on, he’s on.
Fox Sports 1 Prelims
(3) Kailin Curran vs. Jamie Moyle (Strawweight 115 lbs)
Result: Moyle by unanimous decision 30-27 across the board.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: The first two rounds were very close, with Curran taking a slight striking advantage and Moyle getting a couple takedowns. Curran opened up Moyle pretty bad in the second, she was bleeding heavily. Curran took much of the third round standing but again was taken down late in the round. It was a very close fight but I had it 29-28 for Moyle. Moyle’s takedowns were solid, which could see her stay competitive in the division and she stood up to Curran’s best shots. Curran hasn’t been able to string much together in UFC, unfortunately.
(4) Dong Hyun Kim vs. Brendan O’Reilly (Lightweight 155 lbs)
Result: Kim by unanimous decision, 29-28 across the board.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: This is, of course, the smaller, lesser known Dong Hyun Kim. Kim won the first round clearly both standing and on the ground. Kim did land a knee while O’Reilly had a hand on the mat, but the ref didn’t call it as a foul. Kim was in control for most of the second round on the ground but O’Reilly did get some good elbows in when they were standing late in the round. Third round saw O’Reilly push Kim up against the cage and deliver short elbows. Kim got a late takedown and got to mount briefly before being reversed. I had the fight 29-28 for Kim. Kim has some promise and is someone I would be interested to see against higher ranked competition his next time out.
(5) Rob Font vs. Matt Schnell (Bantamweight 135 lbs)
Result: Font by TKO at 3:47 of the first round.
Hiscoe’s Analysis:Font knocked him silly in the first round with a huge standing knee. Schnell went down but the fight kept going. Font took his back and flattened him out and knocked him out cold on the mat with punches from the top. Big statement win for Font. He looked great and showed good power and versatile striking attacks. Schnell was fighting up a weight class on short notice so he’ll probably get another crack at the UFC.
(6) Gray Maynard vs. Ryan Hall (Featherweight 145 lbs)
Result: Hall by unanimous decision, 30-27, 20-27, 29-28
Hiscoe’s Analysis: I had it 30-27 for Hall. First round saw Hall go for many rolling takedowns, which were really frustrating Maynard. Hall kept Maynard away from him with kicks when standing. Hall would flop anytime Maynard rushed in with punches to try and get the fight to the mat. Hall worked more kicks in the second, connecting with some head kicks. The crowd and Maynard became very frustrated with Hall’s style but it won him the first two rounds on my card. Maynard was really frustrated s the third round started and became more aggressive, engaging a bit more with Hall when he would go down. Maynard refused to slap hands with Hall when it was over. Hall has a very unorthodox and often boring style, but he executed it perfectly tonight. At least for Maynard, he wasn’t badly knocked out tonight. He probably should have retired minimum two years ago, but he’ll probably live to fight another day.
Fox Sports 1 Main Card
(7) Brandon Moreno vs. Ryan Benoit (Flyweight 125 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Moreno caught an early headkick, rushed in and took Benoit down. Benoit got up. They traded shots in the center of the cage. Moreno kept pressure on, getting a waist lock and kneeing Benoit’s lets, waiting for a takedown to present itself. They stopped after Moreno low-blowed Benoit. They went back and forth for the rest of the round. Close call but 10-9 Moreno.
ROUND TWO: Benoit immediately went for the takedown as the round began but didn’t complete. Moreno really swung for the fences. Benoit was holding back a little more, being more patient with his striking. Benoit caught him with a left that dropped Moreno but he recovered quickly. Moreno got a big takedown and worked some ground and pound against the cage. 10-9 Benoit for the knockdown. 19-19
ROUND THREE: Benoit landed some early punches and then Moreno went for a takedown but Benoit escaped. Moreno landed a nice combination that backed Benoit up. Moreno looked to be the fresher fighter with two minutes left. Benoit looked for the knockout punch but couldn’t find it. Benoit grabbed the fence to avoid a takedown. Moreno avoided Benoit’s big punches and got some counters in. 10-9 Moreno, 29-28 Moreno
Result: Moreno by split decision, 29-28, 28-29, 29-28
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Moreno showed that his first win over Louis Smolka wasn’t a fluke. He’s young and has a bright future in the flyweight division, where a couple good wins can get you a title shot. He will see top ten competition surely in his next bout.
They announced the Super Bowl weekend show from Houston that will be headlined by Chan Sung Jung vs. Dennis Bermudez.
(8) Sara McMann (#8) vs. Alexis Davis (Bantamweight 135 lbs)
ROUND ONE: McMann with some combinations early. Davis looked very tentative coming off her layoff. McMann got the takedown and worked to get her hands free as Davis worked on a triangle from the bottom. McMann broke free from the triangle and got some punches in on the ground and landed a few big ones. Davis responded with little shots from the bottom that didn’t do much. Davis went for another triangle that looked pretty good but didn’t get the tap. 10-9 McMann
ROUND TWO: McMann told her corner that she can’t feel half her fae and wanted to go for a takedown right away. She got the takedown about 30 seconds in. Davis immediately went for submissions. McMann moved to a better position and went for a head and arm choke. She got it in tight and Davis was forced to tap.
Result: McMann by submission at 2:52 of round two.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Good win for McMann who saw herself in some trouble on the ground with Davis but was able to pull out the submission win. It wasn’t the kind of win that makes me think she’s top 5 in the UFC, she’s probably borderline top 10 but she does have the skills to compete with most in the women’s bantamweight division.
(9) Ion Cutelaba vs. Jared Cannonier (Light Heavyweight 205 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Cutelaba got right in Cannonier’s face during the intros. Cutelaba rushed in early and got some big shots in. Cutelaba landed big shots and would follow up but Cannonier would just eat everything. Cannonier got a clinch against the cage to slow things down. Cutelaba got a takedown but didn’t do much on the ground. Back standing, Cannonier landed a jab but got taken down again shortly after. Cutelaba nearly landed a huge headkick just as Cannonier was standing up. 10-9 Cutelaba
ROUND TWO: Cannonier landed a right early and followed up with a nice combination. Cutelaba took him down and landed some shots before letting him up. Cannonier with an uppercut and some bit shots that rocked him. Cutelaba went back to the takedown and got it. He was in trouble there before. They got back up and Connonier was able to take Cutelaba down. Cannonier landed a few shots on the ground but not a lot. 10-9 Cannonier, 19-19.
ROUND THREE: Cannonier landed a big right hand a minute in. Cutelaba threw big shots as well but looked to be getting tired and was missing a lot. Cannonier able to counter Cutelaba’s wild punches easily. Cannonier was just walking him down midway through the round. Cutelaba went for a takedown but missed. Cutelaba landed a big left but Cannonier just stood there and stared at him like something out of a movie. Cannonier taunted him, showing no respect. He landed some big shots as the fight ended. 10-8 Cannonier, 29-27 Cannonier
Result: Cannonier by unanimous decision, 29-28 across the board.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Really fun and intense fight. Cannonier took a lot of punishment early and dished it out late. Light heavyweight is a wide open division right now so a guy who can take a shot like Cannonier and has some power in his hands has the potential to make a mark in a weaker division.
(10) Jake Ellenberger vs. Jorge Masvidal (Welterweight 170 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Masvidal caught a kick and unloaded several punches and kicks while holding Ellenberger’s leg. Masvidal backed him up and just unloaded on him while Ellenberger turtled on the mat. The ref let it go and Ellenberger got up and recovered. Masvidal looked confident at this point. He worked his jab and waited for a chance to pounce. Ellenberger got a couple shots in but Masvidal smiled at him and laughed. There was a weird finish when Ellenberger rushed in and I guess Ellenberger got his toes caught in the fence. The ref called it off but it was actually a time out by the ref but then he soon officially called off the fight. Ellenberger’s foot was caught in the cage and he ate some shots while trying to get his foot out. Weird finish but the right call.
Result: Masvidal by TKO at 4:05 of round one
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Unfortunate loss for Ellenberger but he was on his way to losing the fight likely anyway. At the very least, he deserves another fight or possibly a rematch because of the weird finish. Masvidal looked good as it was and should continue to fight ranked competition if they don’t do a rematch. Masvidal called out Cowboy Cerrone after the win.
(11) Joseph Benavidez (#2) vs. Henry Cejudo (#3) (Flyweight 125 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Cejudo caught him early with an early flurry. He then rocked him with a body kick shortly after. Cejudo low-blowed him and they took a break. Back underway, They both threw fast and hard Cejudo caught a kick and followed up with a right. Cejudo with another low blow and they took a point away. Cejudo stayed aggressive but with less kicks. Cejudo took him down but Benavidez got up. Benavidez got a knee in. 9-9 Cejudo with the point deduction.
ROUND TWO: Cejudo countered with a right hand at the start of the round. Benavidez was the busier man while Cejudo laid back, waiting to counter at the advice of his corner. Big right hand from Benavidez landed. Both guys took turns advancing and landing combinations. This is a very close round. 10-9 Benavidez 19-18 Benavidez
ROUND THREE: Cejudo’s corner told him he’s winning the fight. He could be but it’s very close at best. Leg kick followed by a left hand from Cejudo landed. Benavidez landed some body punches. He went in for a knee and Cejudo missed when trying to counter punch. Cejudo rushed in and landed a few shots. Cejudo went in with a body kick. Benavidez landed a tight combo to Cejudo’s head. Both guys landed late in the fight. This one is really hard to call, no clear winner here. 10-9 Benavidez, 29-27 Benavidez but I could see this going in any direction.
Result: 29-27 Cejudo, 30-26 Benavidez, 29-27 Benavidez by split decision
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Very good, evenly matched fight. I’d be happy to see this fight again so we can get a clear winner. If Benavidez could beat Cejudo twice, he would definitely deserve a third crack at Demetrious Johnson. Besides that, Kyoji Horiguchi is a logical next fight for Benavidez. It’s good that the point deduction didn’t play into the final decision.
(12) Demetrious Johnson (#1, #1 P4P) vs. Tim Elliott (Flyweight 125 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Johnson with a leg kick immediately. He got a quick takedown and worked hard for an armbar. Elliott rolled out of it and got top position. Elliott got a guillotine in and DJ tried hard to get out, but Elliott had it in tight. Elliott had to let it go and Johnson made him pay, wasting no time in going after him. Johnson took him down and worked on a guillotine of his own. Elliott got up. Elliott was exhausted and put his hands on his knees. Elliott caught Johnson and dropped him temporarily and then got a takedown. He landed an elbow on the ground while trying to pass. 10-9 Elliott
ROUND TWO: DJ with leg kicks early. Elliott not doing a lot. Elliott rushed in but DJ was able to duck and take him down. He took his back but Elliott kept fighting back throwing punches behind his head. Johnson ended up in side control, working for a kimura that didn’t pan out. Johnson got the crucifix position then went for an armbar but Elliott fought back relentlessly. They got up but DJ still had a hold of him. 10-9 Johnson, 19-19.
ROUND THREE: Johnson ducked an Elliott punch and took his back and took hi down to the mat. He almost got a choke in but Elliott escaped. Johnson had one of Elliott’s legs and Elliot punched him like 10 times in the head but DJ didn’t let go and finished the takedown. Lots of scrambling on the ground but not a lot of action. 10-9 Johnson. 29-28 Johnson.
ROUND FOUR: Elliot just stood still in the center of the cage to try and throw Johnson off. Johnson got a takedown. He went for a choke again but let it go. He went for it again and it was tight. Elliott tried to pry Johnson’s hands off and DJ let go. He moved to side control and delivered many punches to the head with Elliott’s arm trapped. He went for a kimura that looked good but still couldn’t finish the fight. They got up just as the round ended. 10-8 Johnson. 39-36 Johnson.
ROUND FIVE: Elliott got a big takedown early. Johnson scrambled out and took Elliott’s neck and then got side control. He didn’t do much and was threatened with a standup. They let it go as DJ continued to try and pass and look for submissions. DJ dominant on the ground even though he’s not striking much at all but Elliott is neutralizing him well enough to survive. 10-9 Johnson, 49-45 Johnson
Result: Johnson by unanimous decision, 49-46, 49-46, 49-45
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Fun fight, especially early on. Johnson may not have taken Elliott seriously early on but he still pulled off a fairly convincing win. Johnson is so good on the ground, even though he didn’t get the submission, he was constantly working for it and transitioned nicely between positions in order to keep control of Elliott. Elliott proved he belongs in UFC and a fight with a Louis Smolka type.
Good show, if not a little long. Can’t complain about a title fight on free TV though.