UFC FIGHT NIGHT 103
JANUARY 15, 2017
AIRED LIVE ON FS1
PHOENIX, ARIZ. AT TALKING STICK ARENA
Check in after each match tonight for results and fight analysis…
Also, check out our two Fight Card Previews and follow along with our predictions:
(1) Cyril Asker def. Dmitry Smoliakov TKO RD1
(2) Joachim Christensen def. Bojan Miajlovich TKO RD3
(3) Walt Harris def. Chase Sherman KO RD2
(4) Nina Ansaroff def. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger Submission RD3
(5) Tony Martin def. Alex White UD RD3
(6) Alexey Oleynik def. Viktor Pesta Submission RD1
(7) Augusto Mendes def.Frankie Saenz SD RD3
(8) Drakkar Klose def. Devin Powell UD RD3
MAIN CARD RESULTS…
(1) SERGIO PETTIS vs. JOHN MORGANA
Round 1: Pettis comes out looking real relaxed. They both exchange jabs. Pettis is pushing Moraga back and taking the enter. Moraga throws and pettis with the nice left hook counter. Big exchange and Moraga pushes Pettis to the cage. Pettis with a nice left hook on the break and a head kick just out of range. Moraga is throwing single punches, no more than two and pettis can counter nicely. Another head kick by Pettis and he rocks Moraga with a right hand. Pettis is looking excellent. Moraga just cracked Pettis and that got his attention. Pettis shoots in and Moraga goes for a guillotine but gets back to his feet. Pettis is now leading the clinch against the cage and breaks free. Pettis back to the center and a couple of nice kicks from Pettis. Big exchange and they bother got crakced. theyre exchanging big now as the round is ending and Pettis drops him with a big straight right hand!!! Man that was a crazy last minute. So many typos on that I bet. Round 1: 10-9 Pettis. Sergio Pettis came out looking great and though Moraga found success in the exchanges at times it was Pettis landing the better shots and even got the drop as the round ends.
Round 2: Here we go and Pettis back to the center and looking for the counters. Jabs from both. Inside leg kick from Moraga and they exchange again with Pettis landing. His head movement is slick enough to slip off the line just a hair and land his counter. Moraga rushes in for the takedown and Pettis jumps for a guilllotine. Pattis back up and they meet in hte middle. Pettis lands a head kick as Moraga comes back with a hard jab. Pettis slips and lands a nice four punch counter. Moraga is covering up and back pedaling. They exchange again and are back in the center. Pettis fires a head kick and Moraga locks in a single and pushes Pettis back to the fence. Pettis breaks and lands an over hand on the way out. Moraga shoots again and Pettis stuffs it. They’re on the fence and Pettis is looking for the choke but breaks free. Pettis lands a beatiful switch kick as the round ends. Round 2: 10-9 Pettis. Moraga recovered nicely after being dropped but he still couldn’t get Pettis to the ground and managed to continue getting countered on the feet. He’s not entirely out of this though.
Round 3: Back to the center and they both trade jabs. Big exchange and Moraga lands a nice left hook. Pettis pushes back with a jab and whips a massive wheel kick that would have ended the fight had it landed. Moraga avoided and they’re back to the center. Another big exchange and Pettis landed a nice head kick. Moraga engages the clinch and pushes Pettis back to the cage. He’s got one hunder hook and lifts Pettis up and lands the take down. Very nice. He’s now in Sergio’s full guard. Moraga is looking for the heel hook and Pettis stands up and breaks free. They’re both up and they engage before Pettis clinches and takes it back to the fence. They break free and back to the center. Big front kick by Pettis and they exchange. Moraga shoots but Pettis defends. Good jab by Pettis and a nice head kick. The striking of Sergio Pettis has never looked better. Pettis lands a big double leg as the round ends. This fight should be his but we are also in Moraga’s hometown of Phoenix. Round 3: 10-9 Pettis. His striking was on point and he defended the majority of Moraga’s take down attempts. Clearly his best performance in the UFC. Sergio Pettis looks to really have turned a corner now.
Result: Sergio Pettis defeated John Moraga by Unanimous Decision RD3. Excellent Fight by Pettis. I was really impressed with his striking and fitness. His head movement and countering was sharper than it’s ever been.
(2) BEN SAUNDERS vs. COURT MCGEE
Next fight up tonight folks is Ben Saunders vs. Court McGee. Saunders being an Orlando native it would be my pleasure to see him victorious here tonight. His striking coach Bobby Robare, who is the older gentleman in his corner tonight, was my original Muay Thai instructor when I first started.
Round 1: Well alright. Quick inside low kick for Court right away and he engages in the clinch. Nice knee from killa B. Big kick excahnge and Saunders takes the center. They trade big body kicks again. Saunders checks a leg kick ad ducks a big over hand. Good defence so far as he lands a big body kick. McGee throws a head kick and Saunders comes back with a nice head kick of his own. Saunders lands some beatiful knees from the Thai clinch. McGee with a nice two punch combo. Big body kick again from Saunders. Head kick by McGee and Saunders countered. Another body kick by Saunders. They engage and Saunders lands a body kick. Best strikes of the fight by far are these body kicks. THey’re already leaving their mark on Court. They trad ebody kicks again. Big body kick by Saunders again. They trade big shots along the fence and Saunders lands another body kick as the round ends. Round 1 10-9 Saunders. Pretty even round honestly but Saunders landed some big, big body kicks and also controlled with the Thai clinch as well. Court McGee had his moments undeniably too.
Round 2: Theyre back to the center and trading again. McGee is pushing Saunders back and taking the center. They exchange and Saunders lands a hook on the counter. Court McGee is really turning up the pressure now and Saunders is looking for heavy knees and body kicks. McGee shoots and Saunders defends and lands a big body kick. Bg exchange and they both land. Saunders still finding success with the body kick. McGee is looking for a takedown but Saunders attacks the Thai clinch and forces McGee to break. Big exchange and Saunders with another body kick. McGee pushes forward and clinches on the cage. Not much action here as the crowd boos. They break free and exchange punches as the round ends. Round 2 10-9 McGee. Court McGee really recovered well between rounds as he came out strong in the second and turned the heat up on Saunders big time there. Killa B still found great success with the body kicks and I don’t know how many more of those McGee can take.
Round 3: Saunders looking to be recovered and lands big kicks again. McGee is just eating kicks here. Court is trying to pressure with punches and he lands a big shot on Saunders that may have rocked him a bit. Take down attempt for McGee and Saunders is looking for the Kimura. McGee lands the take down and thats big here in the third round. Saunders is looking to stand up but McGee is in control. McGee landing some ground and pound and his cardio is looking to run away with the fight here. Round ends with McGee on top landing baby punches. He likely sealed the deal with that. Round 3 10-9 McGee. Saunders opened the round aggressive but ultimately couldn’t maintain the pace McGee was forcing on him. Could have been his fight but just wasn’t fit enough.
Result: Ben Saunders defeated Court McGee Unanimous Decision RD 3. Wow, wow, wow. As much as I love Ben Saunders I’m not sure how much I agree with those judges. He definitely found massive success in many moments of that fight but then again so did Court McGee. Interesting decision but nonetheless a great fight. The body kicks were no doubt the deciding factor and overall were the heaviest strikes of the fight.
(3) JOE LAUZON vs. MARCIN HELD
Lauzon is credited with 17 first round finishes which is pretty amazing.
Round 1: Here we go. They rush in and Lauzon is looking to get aggressive. Lauzon lands a big right hand and Marcin pushes for the takedown against the fence. Lauzon is landing big elbows and hurts Held. They break and Held is wobbled as he shoots again and Lauzon defends. He rolls for an armbar but loses it. Theyre back up and Held clinches and locks in an underhook. He controls JLau against the fence and lands a big takedown. Marcin Held passes guard into side control. Held with some big ground and pound. Lauzon is back to his feet. Held presses against the cage. They break and Held lands a big right hand. They engage and Lauzon presses against teh cage. Held turns him around and but Lauzon breaks free and throws him down. He jumps in with a big right hand as the round ends. Round 1 10-9 Lauzon. He had Held hurt bad early on but the youngster stayed composed and came back strong with some big strikes and take downs of his own. I still think Lauzon did enough to win the round.
Round 2: Big wheel kick from Held to open up. Lauzon blocks and they exchange. Held shoots in and lands the takedown. Joe rolls and Held looks to take his back. Held has both hooks in and is looking for the rear naked choke. He won’t get it as long as his head is pressed against the cage. Lauzon escapes and gets back to his feet. Very nice from JLau and he lands a take down of his own. Held is bak to his feet and the clinch against the cage. Held breaks with a nice knee from the Thai clinch. Held shoots in for a nice double leg and gets another take down. Lauzon is in full guard and Held is attempting to pass to half. Lauzon may have an armbar here. Held with some excellent defense and forces Lauzon to bail on it. Held is back on top landing punches as the round ends. Round 2 10-9 Held. He landed many a take down and displayed excellent top control. He did narrowly escape a nasty submission attempt from Joe Lauzon but he’s timing Lauzon’s strikes perfectly now with the double leg.
Round 3: They’re both back in the center and Lauzon is hesitant as he knows the take down is likely coming. Held lands a nice left hook. Held with some nice jabs and Lauzon finally engages landing a hard right hand. Joe avoids the clinch and brings it back to the center. Held loses his mouthpiece in an exchange but lands a takedown. Held let’s him back to his feet. They trade jabs and Lauzon is getting aggressive with the pressure. They clinch on the cage and both land some punches as they spin along the fence. Held breaks free and Lauzon presses forward with a right hand. Held times another right hand perfectly with a double leg and takes the fight back to the mat. Held is 5/6 on his take downs tonight. Fight ends with Held on top looking to transition into mount. Round 3 10-9 Held. The take downs were the deciding factor here. He got the timing down early and whenever Lauzon went to throw a straight right hand he ducked perfectly landing the double leg. Lauzon had success just not enough to defend the take downs and couldn’t find the submission.
Result: Joe Lauzon defeated Marcin Held Split Decision. Lauzon himself is admitting he lost that fight. Crazy decision by these judges. One gave all 3 rounds to Held and the other two had it 29-28 for Lauzon. That’s worse than the Saunders-McGee decision.
(4) B.J. PENN vs. YAIR RODRIGUEZ
BJ Penn and Yair Rodriguez. Not sure how I feel about seeing BJ compete again, especially against such a young and explosive guy like Yair. I’ll never count out BJ Penn but this is a real tough fight for him. Yair Rodriguez is a legit striker. He’s very athletic and very unpredictable. He attacks from all angles and he’s looked better in every fight. My heart is pulling for BJ but my mind is telling me to side with youth on this one.
Round 1: Oh Boy here we go. BJ takes the center and Yair lands a big body kick. BJ looks to pressure an dget close. Yair spins but BJ rushes and clinches on the cage. BJ looks faster than I’d expected him to. Yair breaks free from the clinch and backs BJ up with a kick. BJ lands a nice left hook and Yair throws a switch kick. Nice knee from Yair. BJ lands a right hand in a big exchange. Yair clinches and breaks with a knee he lands a big head kick that rocks BJ bad. Another one and I can’t believe BJ is still standing. Wheel kick lands and Yair is getting loose. BJ is still wobbled. Big kicks by Yair. These kicks are devastating and they exchange big and BJ lands a big right hand but Yair eats it. These kicks are the real deal. Another head kick. BJ has no answer for these kicks. BJ lands a right hand as the round ends. Round 1 10-9 Yair. BJ looked better than I thought and his durability has surprisingly held up but Yair is setting off fire works right now and I don’t know how much longer BJ can take this.
Round 2: Penn dropped immediately and its stopped. Wow, that’s crazy. Excellent performance by Yair Rodriguez. He caught BJ Penn with a perfect front kick to the face and a punch behind it. BJ took some crazy shots and even in defeat he exceeded my expectations. He did look fast and powerful and found some success of his own in the striking exchanges but Yair Rodriguez is one legit fighter. He will be contending for a title here in the very near future.
Result: Yair Rodriguez def. BJ Penn via TKO RD2. Went pretty much how I thought it would but BJ did come out looking pretty sharp at first. Yair is a special athlete and he definitely deserves a top 5 opponent next.
Post-Fight: A very gracious Rodriguez said his words can’t do justice to what an honor it was to fight Penn. He called him a legend. On commentary, Daniel Cormier said he’s “the real deal” and “a star is born.”
FS1 POST-FIGHT SHOW
Todd Grisham asked Kenny Florian if Yair is the real deal. Florian said: “That was just sad to see. B.J. Penn, a guy who hasn’t done well since he came back, looked like he was confused out there. He was getting hit with pretty everything Yair had to offer.”
Tyron Woodley countered that it wasn’t Penn’s being confused, it might have been the same result with whoever was standing opposite of Yair tonight.
We’ll have more post-fight coverage this week along with all the day’s big stories in our Daily News Digest, plus Trivia, Flashbacks, Roundtables, and more exclusive features you won’t find elsewhere.