JANUARY 31, 2014
LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
=====UFC Fight Pass Prelims Quick Results=====
-There’s been a delay to the start of the card, as Jimy Hettes fell ill backstage, canceling his fight with Diego Brandao later tonight. That is massively disappointing.
-Thiago Santos def. Andy Enz via TKO at 1:56 of the first round
Note: Excellent performance from Santos. He hurt Enz with a body kick, followed up with a rush of strikes on the cage, got him to the ground, and forced the referee to stop it with a relentless assault.
-Ildemar Alcantara def. Richardson Moreira via split decision(29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Note: Entirely forgettable fight. Nothing more to say.
=====Fox Sports 1 Prelims=====
-Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan open up the prelims broadcast discussing Anderson Silva’s return from injury and run down the card’s other highlights. Time for some fights!
PRELIM FIGHT ONE: TOM WATSON VS. RAFAEL NATAL (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Natal threw some kicks as he circled around Watson. After landing a few, Watson got in a couple of his own I return. Natal went back to the leg kicks. He kept circling on the outside and landing. He caught a body kick from Watson and punched him to the ground. He landed a couple on the ground but Watson scrambled up. Natal continued pressing with his kicks. Watson tried to come forward, but Natal did a good job staying out of range. Watson connected on a good right hand. Natal landed a couple of hard leg kicks with a punch behind them. They traded kicks in the center. Natal rushed him with a combo and Watson was sent to the cage. He tried to taunt and Natal got in for the clinch. Watson backed him off with a knee. Natal got through with a front kick. Watson threw a kick but got taken down. He briefly got to his feet, but Natal dragged him back down. Watson again got to his feet, but immediately got taken down once more, ending the round on his back.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Natal. Solid opening round for the Brazilian, who was much more active than Watson the entire round.
ROUND TWO: Natal picked up with his kicks and punches early. Watson got him back in the opening minute with a couple of hard strikes of his own. Watson had a nasty lump on the top of his right foot, but kept throwing kicks. Natal caught another kick and took him down. Watson scooted back to the cage and tried to get up. Natal stepped back and landed a short flurry before Watson got to his feet. Watson tried to come forward, but wasn’t landing much offensively. He landed a few kicks and got in a punch. Natal rushed him and briefly tripped him, but in a sloppy exchange Watson got to his feet. He came back forward and landed a nice left hand. They traded punches again. Watson landed a kick. Natal grabbed a body lock and drove Watson to the cage. Watson held off the attempt, and eventually got separation. Watson missed a strike, Natal ducked under, and scored the takedown, once again ending the round on top.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Natal. Watson just hasn’t done much offensively in this one.
ROUND THREE: Natal landed a good right hand early on. Watson tried to walk him down, but again Natal was avoiding damage. Natal went for a spinning back fist, but he was out of range a bit. He just missed another attempt. They traded kicks in the center. Natal shot in but got stuffed. Watson tried to return fire, but he was getting cracked by jabs on the outside. Watson landed a leg kick, but ate two right hands over the top. Natal again got in with a couple of strikes. Natal got in a left hook as Watson moved forward. Natal hurt Watson with a few strikes, rushed him to the cage, and took him down. Watson popped to his feet, but Natal stayed on him and dragged him down. Watson again got to his feet, but only briefly as Natal picked him up and slammed him. He ended the round once again on top.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Watson. Clearly his fight here tonight, shouldn’t be any question about that.
WINNER: Natal via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
STAR RATING: (*) Not much to that one. Natal fought pretty well and had a few moments, but when he had Watson hurt he didn’t really take advantage, going for quick takedowns that halted his assault.
PRELIM FIGHT TWO: IAN MCCALL VS. JOHN LINEKER (CATCHWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Lineker landed a leg kick to start things off. McCall connected on a couple of hard leg kicks to Lineker’s lead leg. They traded leg kicks. Both missed a couple of strikes. Lineker landed a hard right hand. McCall popped in and out with a jab to the body. Lineker took a kick and landed a right hand. McCall shot in and scored a good takedown. Well-timed shot there. He passed to half guard and landed some punches from the top. McCall tried to pass further, but Lineker locked him down. McCall kept trying to stay busy. McCall got in a couple of short forearm strikes. Lineker continued to defend most of McCall’s attacks and things stalled a bit. Lineker tried to attack for a leg, but McCall rolled out and defended. Lineker continued to attack, but McCall stayed out. He stood and landed a few strikes, but Lineker nearly caught him late in the round with a kneebar before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 McCall. Smart round for “Uncle Creepy,” but Lineker showed some dangerous ability off his back there too late in the round.
ROUND TWO: Lineker pressed forward early and landed a few hard strikes. McCall tried to shoot in but Lineker got out. Lineker jumped for a guillotine that was really tight, but McCall got free. Lineker wound up on top, but McCall scrambled and got to his feet before taking too much damage. Very close for Lineker there. Lineker landed a hard body punch back on the feet. Lineker landed a punch low, but McCall wasn’t given any time there. Lineker landed a nice two punch combo with a left hook over the top. McCall pressed in and headbutted Lineker and John McCarthy paused things to give them each time to recover. Lineker went back to work on the body. He landed another left. McCall circled around. Lineker again landed a hard punch to the body. McCall shot in but Lineker stuffed him with a choke attempt. Lineker landed another right hand. He landed a few more hard strikes. McCall landed a solid body kick. Lineker hurt McCall with a left hand. He pressed in again with a right. He rocked him with another. McCall shot in and Lineker went for the choke again. He tried to mount him with the attempt, but McCall got out. Lineker landed a few hard hammer fists to end the round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Lineker. Big comeback round for Lineker. Coming down to this last round.
ROUND THREE: Slow start to the third, as neither was trying to engage off the bat. Lineker pressed forward and landed a right hand. Lineker grazed him with a short combination. McCall popped in with a quick jab. Lineker landed a good body shot. McCall circled out and got in a body kick. Lineker got in a left hand. He just barely missed a wild haymaker. McCall shot in and got stuffed, but landed a hard body kick back on the feet. Lineker tried to close the distance and caught McCall with a hard left hand at the cage. McCall landed a hard kick. Lineker dropped McCall with a hard left. He started teeing off and McCall fired back. McCall was wobbly but circled out. Lineker stalked. He landed another hard left. Lineker connected to the body. He kept pressing in. McCall shot in but again got stuffed. McCall again got stuffed on a shot attempt. Lineker taunted McCall. Lineker landed another big combination. They teed off on one another to end the fight.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Lineker. McCall was a little busier overall, but Lineker did a lot more damage and had him hurt badly there. Disappointing he couldn’t bring himself to make weight.
WINNER: Lineker via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (***-) Lots of fun violence there in that second and third round, and McCall’s got one hell of a chin. Of course, the flyweight division still doesn’t have a challenger now, because Lineker isn’t getting a shot after missing weight once again.
PRELIM FIGHT THREE: ED HERMAN VS. DEREK BRUNSON (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Brunson rocked Herman with an early left hand, rushed him to the cage, unleashed a bunch of punches, and that was it. Two huge left hands had Herman hurt bad, and Brunson unloaded to finish it off. Good win.
WINNER: Brunson via TKO at :36 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**) Really nice quick finish from Brunson. Really well placed left hand, followed with another, and he finished that off easily. Big win to keep him moving on in the middleweight field.
PRELIM CARD FIGHT FOUR: MIESHA TATE VS. SARA MCMANN (WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: McMann landed a couple of early strikes as Tate tried to press in. Tate landed a good leg kick. They traded right hands. McMann connected on a hard counter-right. McMann again countered a kick with a right. McMann knocked Tate down with an overhand right and followed her to the ground. Tate recovered, but McMann was on top of her in half guard. Tate regained guard. McMann continued to work from the guard, while Tate did a solid job locking her down. McMann stepped over to half guard. McMann passed further to side control. Tate tried to sneak behind as McMann held a headlock, but couldn’t. McMann tried to trap Tate’s left arm, but lost it. McMann got in a short forearm as Tate wouldn’t let her pass. Tate went for an inverted triangle from the bottom and used it to keep McMann neutralized until the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-8 McMann. Big knockdown with four minutes of top control made for a dominant round in McMann’s favor.
ROUND TWO: McMann got back to work with her punches early. She landed a hard leg kick. Tate landed a jab. McMann grazed her with a few strikes. They traded hard punches in close, then McMann got in a couple of hard knees to the body as well. Tate ducked in for a shot but it was easily stuffed. Tate moved forward and got hit hard with a right hand. Tate got in a front kick, then a jab. McMann hit her hard with a combination but she held off the rush with a few solid strikes of her own. Tate got in a hard leg kick. McMann landed a couple of hard strikes and clinched. She got in a few knees to the body. She separated with an elbow. They traded strikes. Tate connected hard. McMann shot in but Tate grabbed a guillotine. She used it to turn McMann over. She tried to lock it up but McMann got her hand loose. Tate tried to finish the choke with one arm. McMann held it off, though, and survived to the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Tate. She stole it with that final flurry and the serious choke attempt. Tate needs to finish or she may be fighting to a draw in this third round at best. Oh, who am I kidding, these judges didn’t give McMann a 10-8 first.
ROUND THREE: They traded strikes but Tate then clinched. McMann threw her and got on top, but Tate reversed and wound up on top in half guard. Tate tried to advance her position, but McMann did a solid job defending from the bottom. Tate passed to side control. She landed some elbows to the body. Tate was trying to set up for an arm triangle. Tate continued to stay busy, landing a few forearms and elbows from the top. Tate trapped an arm and did some damage. McMann tried to escape off the cage, but Tate stayed on top in north-south. She got McMann trapped and landed some elbows to the face. McMann rolled back around and regained half guard. McMann tried to reverse, but Tate held her down. Tate landed a few hard elbows to hold onto the position. Tate passed to side control again. She went for a kimura with time running out but lost it just before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Tate. She finished very strong after nearly getting knocked out in the first. We’ll see how judges had that swing round in the second and whether anyone had a 10-8 for McMann in the first.
WINNER: Tate via majority decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-28)
STAR RATING: (**) McMann gave that fight away. While she arguably could have taken the second herself, she just let Tate take control after nearly having her finished in the first and out-striking her for a few minutes in the second.
-We get Joe Rogan and Dana White in their scream-fest final sell for the pay-per-view card.
=====Pay-Per-View Main Card=====
MAIN CARD FIGHT ONE: JORDAN MEIN VS. THIAGO ALVES (WELTERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Mein took the center and opened with a leg kick. Mein jumped in with a knee. He went for an overhand right that was partially blocked. He avoided a kick, then backed Alves up with another right hand. Mein connected with a nice combination. Alves fired back. Mein landed a hard leg kick. Mein landed a nice quick left hand. Alves stepped in but Mein connected again. Mein backed away from a strike and landed a nice right hand. Mein landed a solid jab. Mein landed a nice elbow in close. Mein ate a kick but connected with a hard elbow. Alves threw out a couple of kicks but Mein stepped out of range. Mein landed another combination. Alves got in a couple of leg kicks. Mein landed a nice uppercut in the midst of a combination, pressing Alves back. Mein tried to sneak in an upwards elbow, then landed a right hand. Alves tried to rush in and he landed a left hand. Mein threw some wild strikes. He hurt Alves with an uppercut and backed him to the cage. He started unloading on Alves at the cage, but Alves took the shots. Mein teed off on him some more. Mein landed a step in elbow again. He rocked Alves again. He connected on a few more strikes. Alves clinched and turned him around, but missed a few strikes to the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-8 Mein. That was all Mein on the feet there. Very impressive opening round.
ROUND TWO: Alves came out aggressively. He hurt Mein with a brutal body kick and Mein collapsed to a knee in pain! Alves rushed him and Mein could only cover up, forcing Herb Dean to stop the fight! Craziness!
WINNER: Alves via TKO at :39 of the second round
STAR RATING: (***+) Just an awesome comeback from Alves after a bad first round. Just crazy beautiful violence from both guys, and that’s a huge win for Alves to get back into the mix here at welterweight.
MAIN CARD FIGHT TWO: THALES LEITES VS. TIM BOETSCH (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Leites pressed forward early. Boetsch landed a leg kick. Leites pressed back with a short combo. Boetsch swung wildly and backed Leites up. Leites accidentally landed an eyepoke that halted things for a moment. Boetsch was alright to continue. Boetsch pressed in for a clinch. Leites connected on a few hard strikes. Boetsch returned fire as they separated. Leites landed a nice right hand. He landed a left. Leites landed a solid inside leg kick. Boetsch connected on a few strikes in a brief clinch, including a hard uppercut. Boetsch threw a few more wild strikes. Leites backed him to the cage with a couple of hard strikes. Boetsch landed a kick. Boetsch ran in, but got cracked by a two-punch combo. Leites landed another right hand. They traded strikes in the center. Leites got Boetsch to back up and he clinched. Leites tried to drag Boetsch down but got stuffed. Leites landed a right hand. Boetsch tagged Leites in return fire and Leites went down! Boetsch followed him to the ground, but Leites recovered and held on to the horn. Competitive round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Boetsch. The big knockdown there in conjunction with some competitive exchanges gave him that round. This is a close one, though.
ROUND TWO: Leites pressed in and landed a hard outside leg kick to the lead leg. Leites got in a left hand. He landed a right and a hard left hand that rocked Boetsch. Boetsch came right back. He landed a hard overhand right and Leites clinched to get a breather. He gave up the takedown attempt and backed away. Boetsch tagged Leites with another right hand. Leites landed a nice knee with a right hand behind it. He landed another hard leg kick. Leites connected on a few strikes. Boetsch hurt him in the exchange and pressed back. Leites instinctively ducked down and scored a big takedown. He passed quickly to the mount. Boetsch got him to half guard, but Leites locked on an arm triangle and stepped to side control. Boetsch got free though! Leites passed right back to mount, though. He went for the arm triangle on the other side and Boetsch went out!
WINNER: Leites via technical submission (arm triangle choke) at 3:45 of the second round
STAR RATING: (***) Another really entertaining fight. Leites got himself in trouble there by brawling with a really heavy hitter, but he reacted well with the takedown and used his clear advantage to finish that one. Great comeback.
-We get a preview of the new UFC 184 main event between Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano, with further thoughts on the matchup from Rogan and Goldberg.
MAIN CARD FIGHT THREE: JOE LAUZON VS. AL IAQUINTA (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Lauzon moved forward early, but Iaquinta tossed out strikes to back him up. Iaquinta tossed out big flurries but wasn’t connecting on a ton. Lauzon then rocked him with a counter and followed up with more. Iaquinta recovered pretty quickly, though. Lauzon did a good job covering up from Iaquinta’s strikes. He partially blocked a high kick. Lauzon tried to stay aggressive, but Iaquinta was doing a solid job countering. Lauzon landed a right hand, but ate a hard inside leg kick. Lauzon landed a couple of good right hands. Iaquinta connected on a few strikes in a decent combination. Lauzon threw a hard knee but Iaquinta caught it and took him down. He went for a guillotine, but Iaquinta was in side control and got to his feet. Iaquinta landed several strikes to the body in combination. He tossed in a head kick. Iaquinta landed a couple more strikes and shot in late. Lauzon stuffed it and landed an elbow at the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Iaquinta. Lauzon did some damage in the round, but Iaquinta was much busier with plenty of effective offense connecting as well.
ROUND TWO: Lauzon tried to press forward with short elbows and uppercuts in the round’s opening minute. Iaquinta tossed out some strikes that were blocked. Lauzon landed a few hard jabs. Iaquinta connected on a hard leg kick. He threw out several strikes, but they were mostly blocked. Iaquinta continued to stay busier overall, but a lot of what he was throwing was getting blocked. Lauzon shot in for a single but Iaquinta got loose. Iaquinta landed a few body punches. He tagged Lauzon with a couple jabs. More to the body and a hard right hand landed for Iaquinta. He rocked Lauzon with a few big right hands. Lauzon went down and Iaquinta stood up after a few strikes and forced him to stand. Lauzon was stumbling around the cage as the ref just kept letting him take punishment. Iaquinta continued beating him up on the feet and Lauzon was just barely staying upright. The assault kept going and Marc Goddard finally stepped in to stop it after another brutal shot had him leaning up against the cage to stay upright. Probably could have stopped it a little earlier.
WINNER: Iaquinta via TKO at 3:34 of the second round
STAR RATING: (***) Another entertaining fight with another really good performance. Iaquinta kept throwing, and though it took him a little while to get through Lauzon’s defense, he took full advantage once he did.
-A pre-taped interview between Joe Rogan and Ronda Rousey aired to hype up UFC 184. Co-main event time, and I’m still worried about Kelvin Gastelum fighting here after being hospitalized yesterday.
MAIN CARD FIGHT FOUR: KELVIN GASTELUM VS. TYRON WOODLEY (CATCHWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Woodley tossed out an early high body kick that was blocked. Woodley circled around. He landed a solid right hand. Gastelum tried to close the distance, but Woodley kept circling around to keep space between them. Things weren’t really going anywhere, which brought some boos from the crowd. Woodley landed an overhand right as Gastelum got in close. Woodley barely missed a couple more hard right hands. Gastelum landed a leg kick. More tentativeness from both, bringing more boo birds from a restless crowd. Woodley popped in quick with a short combo. He avoided a follow up rush from Gastelum. Gastelum landed a leg kick. Woodley landed another couple of strikes. Woodley landed a good leg kick. Woodley got in another couple right hand strikes as Gastelum moved forward. He avoided a few more strikes. Still very little going on outside of the slight bursts of offense. Gastelum got in a body kick. More loud boos as the round ended.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Woodley. Gastelum didn’t score with much offense, and though there wasn’t much going on, Woodley did more.
ROUND TWO: More tentative action in the opening minute, and then things got stalled for an eyepoke to Gastelum. Upon restarting, Woodley landed a hard body kick. Gastelum tossed out a hard combination, but it was partially blocked. They traded kicks. Woodley landed a short combo, then hurt Gastelum with a big right hand. He came ahead more aggressively and landed a body strike. He upped his output a bit. Woodley hurt Gastelum’s lead leg with a leg kick. Gastelum recovered and came back ahead. Woodley landed another big overhand right as Gastelum stepped in. Gastelum landed a series of leg kicks. Things slowed down again and the crowd got on their cases once more. Gastelum came in with a rush, but got cracked with another right hand before clinching. They traded knees before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Woodley. Another round for Woodley, but there’s still quite a bit of inaction in this one.
ROUND THREE: Gastelum pushed in early and they traded strikes. Woodley landed a couple more counter-strikes. Gastelum connected on a few strikes. Woodley returned fire. Gastelum landed a knee to the body at the cage. Gastelum kept pressuring in. He landed a kick to the body. He got in close and clinched briefly. Woodley pressed back. Woodley landed a couple of hard right hands. Gastelum got in and landed a kick. Woodley landed a couple more counter-strikes. Gastelum connected on a left. They traded punches. Woodley landed another right hand. Gastelum missed and they clinched. The crowd booed. Gastelum got in some body punches. They separated and each threw wildly, though didn’t really land. The crowd booed heavily as the horn sounded. Not a good fight.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Gastelum. I suppose. Dull round to end a dull fight. I suppose we should just be happy Gastelum didn’t suffer any further severe damage.
WINNER: Woodley via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (*-) Just a dull, tentative fight, which is oftentimes worse than just an outwardly terrible fight. Expected more from Woodley here.
-Woodley said after the fight he didn’t want the 30% from Gastelum and didn’t want to take money out from him. He also said he was happy with his performance and wasn’t looking to knock Gastelum out.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT FIVE: ANDERSON SILVA VS. NICK DIAZ (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Diaz came out already jawing at Silva. He landed a lead leg kick as he tried to goad Silva to engage. Silva tossed out a leg kick. Silva threw out a two punch combo and Diaz just dropped his hands and said something to Silva. Diaz laid down on the ground and kept jawing at Diaz. More trash talk. He stood in the center and let Silva walk around him. Diaz wanted Silva to play his normal part. Silva popped in with a couple of strikes. Diaz got in close and Silva landed a couple of strikes. Diaz landed a hard leg kick. He pressed in with a few strikes and landed. Diaz landed to the body. He got in another combo and Silva fired back. Silva threw a hard leg kick. Diaz got in with a couple of strikes. Diaz popped in with a couple of punches as Silva covered up. Things slowed a bit. Diaz landed a left but ate a counter strike. Silva got in a knee and tried to keep Diaz at the cage. Diaz pressed in and ate a left. Silva landed another jab. Silva landed a big combo at the cage. He landed a couple of big right hands. Diaz tried to press him off. Silva landed another combo. Diaz threw a spinning kick that missed, then a head kick that missed at the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Silva. Very interesting start. Diaz tried to do the clowning, but Silva did more overall offensively.
ROUND TWO: Diaz again took the center and kind of pointed his lead elbow at Silva. Silva moved side to side for a bit. Neither engaged in the opening minute. Silva threw a side kick but Diaz was out of range. Diaz tried to close the distance but Silva circled out. Silva stepped in with a solid left and right combination. He got inside with the leg kick. Diaz got in a good kick. He landed a couple more to Silva’s lead leg. Silva landed a hard outside leg kick. Very little thrown halfway through the round. Diaz shot in but Silva sprawled. Diaz got in a strike as they popped up. Silva circled around hands down and avoided a few kicks. Silva rushed with an elbow and it was blocked. Diaz landed a leg kick. Diaz landed a hard left. Silva responded. Diaz connected on another strike. Silva landed a hard leg kick to start a combo of his own. Silva landed a hard straight left. Diaz connected on a couple of strikes. Silva landed a hard body kick. Silva walked through a couple of right hands and they both dropped hands and stared at each other. Silva got in one more right hand at the end. They jawed at each other as the round ended.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-10. Both got about an even amount of offense, and there wasn’t much of it to speak of.
ROUND THREE: Diaz walked forward early, but Silva came back ahead and landed a few strikes. Silva landed a nice straight left. He tried to back Diaz up. He threw a head kick that was blocked and Diaz said something to him. Silva backed up and reset. He landed a side kick to the shin. Diaz popped in with a couple of strikes. Silva landed a hard inside leg kick. Diaz landed a good counter-right as Silva came forward. Diaz tried to press as Silva circled. Diaz covered up as Silva threw a few strikes. Diaz landed some kicks as Silva tried to press in. Silva landed a hard right hand. He landed a stepping knee. Diaz got in a right hand. Silva let Diaz kick his leg as he stood in front of him. Silva landed a hard body punch. He got in a knee and a left hand. Silva blocked a few strikes. Diaz landed a left. Silva landed another good inside leg kick. He landed a front kick to the leg. Diaz got in a few leg kicks. Silva landed a hard left hand as Diaz came forward. Silva got in a hard body kick. He landed a couple of punches and barely missed a spinning high kick. Diaz got in a body punch. He landed a couple more. Silva countered. They stared each other down as the horn sounded.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Silva. Diaz is getting in a little offense, but not nearly as much as Silva at this stage. Kind of a fascinating fight given their somewhat similar approaches tonight.
ROUND FOUR: They traded kicks. Silva landed a side kick to the leg. Diaz tried to press in but Silva circled and landed a couple of jabs to avoid him. Diaz got in a couple more kicks. Diaz connected on a couple of strikes and avoided a counter. Silva retook position and landed a couple of kicks. Very little thrown again through the half point in the round. Diaz landed an inside leg kick. Silva landed a solid kick with a right hand behind it. Diaz got in a few hard elbows in a clinch. Silva came back at him and tossed out a front kick that missed. Silva landed a couple of jabs. Silva landed a hard outside leg kick. Diaz rushed in but missed a few strikes. Diaz threw a telegraphed high kick and Silva side-stepped it. He danced around a little bit. Silva landed a right with a kick behind it. The crowd actually booed as there wasn’t a ton of offense in the round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-10. Just like the second round, very little happened, and they could have gone to either fighter depending on the judge. So it could be even into the fifth, 3-1 Silva, or 4-0 Silva.
ROUND FIVE: Silva circled and landed a couple of kicks. Diaz danced around in the center and wanted Silva to engage. Silva came in with a strike and ate a counter-right from Diaz. Silva landed a couple of strikes as Diaz tried to press in. Silva landed a side kick. Diaz tried to press in and got a few strikes in. He landed a couple in a clinch. Silva landed a head kick, then a couple strikes of his own. He backed off. Diaz got in a good left. Silva cracked him with a right. Silva landed a short combination. Diaz landed a leg kick. Silva got in a decent combo that was partially blocked. Diaz returned fire. Silva cracked him in response. Silva threw a jumping knee, then missed a spinning kick. Diaz’s face was busted open. Silva landed a right hand. They traded leg kicks. Diaz got in a hard elbow. Silva landed another short combo. Diaz tried to press in late with kicks. Silva circled out and raised his hand at the horn. Diaz then raised his hands, but there’s no way he won that fight.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Silva. He was just a lot more effective overall. Perhaps not quite what everyone hoped for, but a win Silva needed after the demoralizing injury in 2013.
WINNER: Silva via unanimous decision (49-26, 50-45, 50-45)
-Silva broke down in tears after the decision was announced and collapsed to the ground. Diaz came over, picked him up, and raised his hand, telling him ‘you don’t cry, you’re the man.’ Powerful moment. Silva said his kids keep telling him to stop fighting, so he’s not sure what’s next. Diaz told Rogan he though he won every round. Because of course he thinks that.
STAR RATING: (**+) Just a really strange fight, to be honest. Diaz wanted to taunt for most of it, and he just wasn’t managing to do much effectively outside of his leg kicks. Silva busted him up late, but it was clear he was tentative through a lot of the fight and not all the way back.
That’s all for this report, folks! Thanks for joining us here for the event, stick around for more reaction, commentary, and more this week on this card, and we’ll move on to an injury ravaged month of February!