UFC FIGHT NIGHT 60
FEBRUARY 14, 2014
LIVE FROM BROOMFIELD, COLORADO
=====Fox Sports 1 Prelims=====
-Newcomer Cody Pfister is in the cage as Jon Anik and Brian Stann open up the broadcast.
PRELIM FIGHT ONE: JAMES MOONTASRI VS. CODY PFISTER (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Moontasri landed a hard knee early as Pfister closed the distance. Pfister grabbed a clinch and tried to drag Moontasri down, to no avail. Moontasri got a little space and landed a hard knee to the face that rocked Pfister. He got pressed back to the cage in the clinch. Pfister essentially used it to recover, as he wasn’t getting anywhere there on the cage. Pfister got in an elbow, but Moontasri tagged him with a hard knee to the body. Things stalled out on the cage. Moontasri got free, landed a huge spinning back kick, then jumped in with a brutal knee. Pfister tried to grab for his ankle and Moontasri swarmed. Moontasri kept tossing out strikes as Pfister tried to slow things down. Phister worked back to his feet, but he was exhausted. Moontasri landed a couple of strikes. Pfister landed a brief trip, but Moontasri got back up. He held off another takedown attempt. Pfister landed a couple of elbows behind him. Moontasri got in a few elbows of his own before the round ended.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-8 Moontasri. He nearly had that fight stopped a couple of times. Pfister barely kept himself alive, but he’s not offering up much offensively.
ROUND TWO: Pfister moved ahead early and landed a couple of strikes. He got close but got cracked by a standing knee. Pfister landed a hard jab that popped Moontasri’s head back. Pfister failed on a shot, but avoided the return strike from Moontasri. However, Moontasri followed him to the cage and took his back after he stumbled. Moontasri locked on the rear naked choke, flattened Pfister out, and forced the tap.
WINNER: Moontasri via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:49 of the second round
STAR RATING: (**+) There was a lot of nice offense out of Moontasri in this one. His instincts with those knees were fantastic, and he took advantage in that second round of a scrambling Pfister to get position and finish the choke. Unfortunate he missed weight, but that was a very solid performance.
PRELIM FIGHT TWO: ZACH MAKOVSKY VS. TIM ELLIOTT (FLYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Elliott dove in with a somersault early. Makovsky got in a kick. Elliott tried a flurry as he got in close, but Makovsky scored an easy takedown. Elliott tried to score a straight armbar from the bottom, but failed. He tried to scramble out, but Makovsky dragged him back down. Makovsky passed to half guard briefly but lost it. Elliott got to his knees and to his feet. Makovsky landed an accidental eye poke but Elliott just stood in front of him. Makovsky ducked down and scored another solid takedown. Elliott tried to be active from his back. He scrambled, but Makovsky got north-south position, and he went for the choke from that position. Makovsky held the position briefly, but Elliott got free. Back on the feet, he tried to rush in with a few strikes, but didn’t connect on much. Makovsky landed a hard straight punch. He connected on a couple more strikes. Makovsky shot in again and took Elliott down again. Elliott landed some elbows from the bottom. Makovsky scored a punch from the top. Elliott went back to the elbows and punches. Makovsky passed out to side control and right to a mounted crucifix. He landed some big strikes. He kept the assault going as Elliott tried to get his head out of the way. Makovsky ended the round on top as Elliott tried to land knees to the body from the bottom.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Makovsky. Elliott was quite active off his back, but Makovsky’s top work was a bit better, and he did some solid work there as well.
ROUND TWO: Elliott closed the distance, and held off the first takedown attempt, but Makovsky stayed vigilant and got him down. Elliott scrambled out of half guard and got to his feet. He got in close and landed a hard uppercut, but Makovsky clinched. Elliott got separation, then stuffed a takedown attempt. Elliott landed a hard outside leg kick. Elliott sprawled as Makovsky shot in, then tried to grab a choke. He lost it, then Makovsky swept him to get back on top. Makovsky tried to pass but got held in Elliott’s guard. Makovsky ate a few strikes, but then landed a couple more. Elliott scrambled back to his feet. He pressed in but had a few strikes blocked. Makovsky got in a body strike. He landed a knee. Makovsky with a right hand. Elliott landed a knee. Elliott swung a wild left hand. Makovsky shot in again and scored yet another takedown. Elliott threw some elbows off his back. He kept trying to stay busy as Makovsky looked to pass. He briefly got to half guard, but Elliott regained guard quickly. Elliott tried to lock him down and they were stood up. Elliott came right in and clinched. He got in a couple of knees. Makovsky landed a nice left hand. He got in a knee. Elliott failed on a throw attempt at the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Makovsky. Elliott was again trying to stay busy off his back, but he wasn’t doing a ton offensively that was all that effective.
ROUND THREE: Elliott got in on Makovsky early. He sprawled as Makovsky shot in. Elliott landed a knee that looked borderline illegal. Makovsky turned it into a takedown. He tried to pass but couldn’t. He dragged Elliott back down, then got to mount and immediately took Elliott’s back. He tried to set up the rear naked choke. Elliott got to his feet and flew backward, but Makovsky stayed on his back. Elliott again tried to roll out. Makovsky trapped Elliott’s right arm and tried to set up the choke. Elliott did a good job defending, but Makovsky stayed on the attempt. Makovsky let go of the arm trap but locked on a body triangle. Makovsky lost position briefly, but stayed on top and got to side control. Elliott got to his feet with Makovsky in a bad position, and Elliott threw him backward in another awkward slam. Elliott tried to get on a choke, but Makovsky looked to escape and sweep again. Elliott got in an elbow, but Makovsky locked him down as the round ended.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Makovsky. Elliott didn’t do enough to steal it late, but very nice ground work from both guys there.
WINNER: Makovsky via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (**+) Solid, if unspectacular, fight. Good ground work from each of them, with Makovsky’s offense somewhat getting off-set by Elliott’s defense. Entertaining stuff, especially in the third.
PRELIM FIGHT THREE: CHAS SKELLY VS. JIM ALERS (FEATHERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Skelly opened with a quick overhand right. Alers connect on a strike. They traded strikes in a heavy exchange. Alers missed an uppercut. Skelly landed a hard body kick, but it was caught, and Alers took him down. Skelly tried for a leg, but Alers countered to go for one himself. Skelly escaped, but Alers remained on top. Skelly looked for his own leg lock but Alers defended. Skelly landed some heel strikes to Alers’ back as he tried to get the leg. Alers continued fighting it. Skelly eventually used it to scramble back to his feet. Alers landed a solid jab as Skelly tried to move ahead. Alers connected on several strikes. They swung wildly. Skelly landed a hard left. He pressed Alers back with another hard strike. Alers landed a solid strike and Skelly ducked down for a takedown attempt. Alers turned him around on the cage and they traded knees to the body. Alers continued to hold him at the cage until the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-10. Even round there. Both had some good offense on the feet, both did solid work on the ground, they ended it even as well. No one took full control.
ROUND TWO: Alers landed an early right hand as he moved ahead. They both missed a couple of strikes but then Alers landed a knee to end the exchange. Alers landed an inside leg kick and a right hand. Skelly landed a hard right. He rocked Skelly back, but got hit by an even harder right hand. Skelly stayed on him with another right hand, but then ducked for a takedown. Will never understand shooting for takedowns after hurting an opponent on the feet. Skelly allowed Alers to recover with that takedown attempt. Alers continued to hold off the attempt, and Skelly was just wearing himself out going for it. He finally backed off with just over two minutes left in the round. Alers countered a strike, then landed a hard jab. Alers landed an inside leg kick. Skelly grazed Alers with a left. Skelly shot in, but ate a few strikes as he drove Alers to the cage. Skelly couldn’t complete the takedown attempt yet again. Alers separated with a right hand. Alers landed a good counter-right. Skelly landed a right hand. They traded big right hands. Skelly walked Alers down and landed the right hand. He got in a knee. He kept landing strikes and Alers dropped down. As he seemed to get to a knee Skelly landed what seemed to be an illegal knee and the ref stopped the fight. Not sure if they have replay, but that may need to be looked at. Skelly’s being called the winner. Upon the replay, that final knee was completely illegal and the referee missed it.
WINNER: Skelly via TKO at 4:59 of the second round.
STAR RATING: (**) Skelly’s now hit two opponents with illegal knees like that. It was done already with his other strikes, which is what makes it all the more unfortunate that he threw it, but there’s no question it should have been dubbed a foul.
-Brian Stann passed along that the commission claims the referee was moving in to stop it before the illegal blow, thus negating the illegality of said knee. However, the replay clearly showed he didn’t move ahead until the knee was landed. Not a good look regardless.
PRELIM FIGHT FOUR: EFRAIN ESCUDERO VS. RODRIGO DE LIMA (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Very tentative opening 45 seconds. They traded strikes after that, then backed off again. De Lima landed an inside leg kick. Escudero landed to the outside. De Lima got in an outside kick. He landed a solid uppercut. Escudero missed an overhand right. They traded leg kicks. Escudero hurt de Lima with a right hand. He followed up with a knee, but de Lima got him to the cage in a clinch. Escudero initially held off the attempt, but de Lima finally worked him to the ground and tried to take his back. Escudero snuck out of harm’s way and got back to his feet. He landed a two-punch combo. He landed a nice uppercut, then another strike. He hurt de Lima with a left hand strike, but as he engaged, de Lima scrambled and tried to take advantage on the ground. He landed a knee to the body, then another as Escudero got to his feet on the cage. De Lima dragged Escudero back to the ground and tried to pass from half guard. Escudero held him in half guard to the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Escudero. De Lima was hurt badly in two spots there, and though he had some offense on the ground, the damage done by Escudero wins out there.
ROUND TWO: De Lima moved forward early. Escudero landed some counter strikes. De Lima caught Escudero with an eye poke and the action was briefly halted. De Lima tried to move back ahead. He again got caught with a couple of counter-strikes. Escudero landed another hard right hand. De Lima ate a couple more, then got a clinch. Escudero held off a takedown attempt, but de Lima stayed on him. Escudero landed a couple of hard elbows. De Lima essentially pulled guard, but left himself open for a few strikes from Escudero. Escudero landed some more damage from the top. He postured up with several big right hand strikes. Escudero continued to land from the top as de Lima did nothing with the position he put himself in. He looks awful in this fight right now.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Escudero. Not sure what de Lima’s issue is tonight, but he’s not very good against a guy who hasn’t been all that good himself for quite some time.
ROUND THREE: De Lima landed a counter-jab, but then Escudero fired off several strikes. De Lima is running at a snail’s pace, and Escudero backed him up and just started teeing off. De Lima then shot in, picked his ankle, and took him down. Bad misstep for Escudero, but he scrambled and got back to his feet. De Lima pawed out an ineffective strike. Escudero then shot in and scored an easy takedown on the exhausted de Lima. Escudero didn’t do much early as de Lima got him to guard. De Lima ate a few strikes as he tried to briefly set up a strike. Escudero just stayed busy from the top. Escudero should have stayed standing and finished this fight. He was closing in on it, and instead he’s riding out an ugly round in de Lima’s guard and not doing anything impressive. He remained on top through to the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Escudero. Bad fight, and I don’t think Escudero helped his image in that last round, because he could have and probably should have done a lot more than he did.
WINNER: Escudero via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (*+) Really ugly fight. Escudero did a lot of damage in a few select moments, but he let de Lima off the hook and didn’t impress with what he ultimately did down the stretch.
Time for a short break and then it’s on to the main card!
=====Fox Sports 1 Main Card=====
MAIN CARD FIGHT ONE: RAY BORG VS. CHRIS KELADES (FLYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Kelades tried to close the distance early. Borg landed a body kick and Kelades clinched. Borg changed levels and easily took him down. Kelades tried to tie him up and slow down any attack. Borg landed a short strike. Kelades tried to work from the bottom, but Borg side stepped him and got to side control. Kelades reversed, avoiding a choke attempt and getting on top himself. Borg tried to scramble out. He finally got free and to his feet. Borg went for another takedown, picked Kelades up and slammed him down. Kelades got to the cage, but Borg lifted him up, drove across the cage and slammed him down. Borg transitioned to the mount. He landed a couple of hard strikes, then went for an arm triangle choke late but ran out of time as the horn sounded. Good finish after a lackluster start.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Borg. Good round for the young flyweight.
ROUND TWO: Kelades got in close, but Borg clinched up and landed some hard strikes in close. Borg drove him violently to the ground in a slam. Kelades tried to work a high guard off his back, but Borg avoided anything serious. Borg landed a hard right hand and avoided more from Kelades. Borg got in a hard knee to the body, then tried to posture up for short forearm strikes. Borg landed another hard strike. He scrambled to Kelades’ back as Kelades tried to escape. Borg landed some strikes as he tried to work towards his second hook. Borg continued landing hard strikes as he tried to open Kelades up. He moved to the front side and got in a knee to the body. Borg went for a guillotine, then transitioned to a D’Arce choke attempt. Kelades defended well and Borg let it go. Borg went for another late submission attempt with a rolling guillotine, but again the horn sounded.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-8 Borg. He’s in complete control, but Kelades is defensively sound here.
ROUND THREE: They met in the center and Borg immediately scored a single leg takedown. Kelades tried to work for a front choke, but Borg patiently worked out of it to keep top position in half guard. He landed a couple of hard elbows. Kelades locked him down for a bit. Borg kept working patiently from the top, looking for openings. Kelades tried to scramble out, but Borg stayed with him and got back into half guard. Borg went for a kimura on Kelades’ left arm and tried to step over his head. Kelades tried to defend by blocking the leg. Borg got his leg loose over Kelades’ head and wrenched the kimura, forcing a quick tap. Really good performance from Borg.
WINNER: Borg via submission (kimura) at 2:56 of the third round
STAR RATING: (**+) Borg is fun to watch. He’s young and extremely talented, and I suspect we’ll be seeing him in the Octagon for quite some time.
MAIN CARD FIGHT TWO: KEVIN LEE VS. MICHEL PRAZERES (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Lee opened with a few kicks. Prazeres caught one, but Lee went for a front choke. Prazeres scrambled out and tried to take Lee’s back. Lee stood up and shook him off at the cage, then tried to defend in the clinch. He got separation. They traded wild strikes and Prazeres seemed to connect. Lee stuffed another takedown attempt and got in a kick. Prazeres caught a body kick and Lee’s corner told him to stay away from the body kicks. Prazeres landed a jab. Lee landed a nice combination. He connected again. Prazeres got in a counter. Lee scored with a few more strikes. Lee landed a body kick. He connected on another flurry. Prazeres slipped on a body kick and Lee landed a couple of hard leg kicks. Lee landed a nice strike before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Lee. Solid opening round for the younger fighter.
ROUND TWO: Prazeres got hit with a low kick early. They traded strikes. Lee stayed aggressive, and they each landed strikes. Prazeres clinched, but Lee backed him off. Prazeres shot in for a single leg but Lee stuffed it and held him off on the cage. Prazeres stayed with him and brought him down. Lee worked back to his feet. He then turned into Prazeres and scored an easy takedown into half guard to negate getting taken down himself. Prazeres tried to turn into him. Prazeres escaped and got to his feet. Lee landed a body kick. Lee landed an uppercut but ate a counter. Lee ducked under a punch and scored a takedown. Lee held that position doing a minimal amount of damage to the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Lee. Prazeres is tiring out here, and Lee’s taking control, though that wasn’t the most entertaining round.
ROUND THREE: Lee came out aggressively, but ate a few counters as he tried to land strikes. Lee landed a hard left hand. He landed another right. Prazeres got in with a strike of his own. Lee briefly clinched and got in some knees to the body before they separated. Prazeres landed a couple of strikes. Lee dropped his hands and jawed at Prazeres. They traded strikes. Prazeres shot in but Lee stuffed it at the cage and landed several hard elbows to the side of the head. Prazeres tried to stay on the attempt but finally had to let it go. Lee cracked him with a couple of strikes. Lee tossed in a head kick that was partially blocked. He shot in and scored an easy takedown. Prazeres rolled to his knees and ate a big series of strikes. He tried to roll back to him, but Lee continued delivering strikes. Prazeres scrambled to his feet, but got taken down again. He wasn’t doing much to defend himself. Lee went for a rear naked choke late and tried to finish it, but Prazeres made it to the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Lee. Solid round. He got himself a good win here, but he definitely has room for improvement.
WINNER: Lee via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (*+) Not a really good fight, but a solid performance from Lee nonetheless. Prazeres didn’t do a ton effectively at all, and Lee left himself open to a lot of offense he probably should have avoided.
MAIN CARD FIGHT THREE: DANIEL KELLY VS. PATRICK WALSH (191 LB. CATCHWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Walsh tried to play the aggressor, tossing out jabs. Kelly not as comfortable on the feet. Walsh continued to land strikes. He landed a couple more and kept pressing in. Walsh continued to find a home for his strikes, while Kelly inexplicably continued to stand in front of him. Kelly finally connected on a hard left. Walsh missed a couple of wide strikes. Kelly connected a counter strike. Walsh then rushed in and scored a takedown of his own before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Walsh. Not sure why Kelly wasn’t trying to get this to the ground. He has the edge there. Not a good fight so far.
ROUND TWO: Walsh again came forward. Kelly landed a few jabs. Walsh hurt Kelly with a couple of strikes. Kelly fired back, but Walsh continued firing. The fight was halted to get Kelly’s mouthpiece back in. Kelly tried to stalk in on the restart and he landed a hard left. Walsh came back at him. More sloppy striking from both. Kelly landed an uppercut. They traded punches. Ugly, ugly, ugly fight here. Walsh shot in again but got shrugged aside. They came back to the center and threw strikes. I guess you can call them strikes, anyway. Walsh then lost his mouthpiece. This is just absolutely terrible. The crowd booed after that brief halt. Kelly landed a jab. He got in a decent left. Both swung and missed. They swung wildly to the horn again, with neither landing much.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Kelly. Maybe? I don’t know. This fight’s just bad, and neither guy is doing a whole lot.
ROUND THREE: Really sloppy exchanges early on, very little landing. This fight is really bad. Kelly tried to move in, then got backed up. Walsh missed a whole lot of strikes. Kelly managed to connect on some. The crowd booed them heavily midway through the round. Midway. That means there’s still two and a half minutes left. Ugh. Walsh swung and missed some more. Kelly landed a jab. Walsh actually landed a couple. More boos from the crowd. Walsh connected on a couple more. Kelly fired back with a couple strikes. More rightful boos as nothing was actually landing. They finally connected on a couple. More garbage. Horn. Fight’s mercifully over.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-10. Can we go 0-0? Not sure either deserved much of anything for the last five minutes.
WINNER: Kelly via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (-) Amongst the worst fights the UFC’s allowed to take place in their Octagon. No redeeming qualities to that one at all.
MAIN CARD FIGHT FOUR: NEIL MAGNY VS. KIICHI KUNIMOTO (WELTERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Magny moved forward and ate a right hand. Kunimoto tried to circle around and find spots to step in. Magny landed a right hand. They clinched briefly and Magny landed a lowblow knee, bringing a halt to things. This is just going to be an unbearably long night, isn’t it? They restarted and Magny came forward. He got in a solid right knee. Magny landed a short flurry and rushed Kunimoto, but he allowed Kunimoto to turn him around and clinch while looking for a takedown. Magny continued to defend the attempt. Magny turned Kunimoto around and went for his own takedown to no avail. He got in a good knee to the body. He landed a couple of knees to the leg and body. They finally separated and Magny landed a couple of strikes. He came back ahead and clinched. He landed a few strikes in the clinch before the horn sounded.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Magny. Another slow moving fight tonight. This is just not a good event tonight.
ROUND TWO: Magny came ahead once again and landed a few strikes, then things slowed down for a bit in the clinch. They briefly separated, but after a few missed strikes it was clinch time again. Kunimoto then scored a trip takedown at the cage. Magny tried to work for something off his back, and eventually used that to get to his feet. He hurt Kunimoto with a flurry on the cage, then slipped. However, he grabbed a brief takedown, but Kunimoto popped up. Magny took his back standing and took Kunimoto down. Kunimoto tried to grab a kimura, but Magny defended and got his arm free. He landed a bunch of strikes to the body to let that happen. Kunimoto gave up his back and Magny tried to flatten him out. He landed a bunch of hard strikes and Kunimoto just covered up. Magny slowed the attack down, though, and the fight is going to round three.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Magny. This isn’t a very good fight, and Magny’s lack of killer instinct hurt him there. He had Kunimoto hurt, but couldn’t follow through.
ROUND THREE: Magny moved Kunimoto right to the cage, landed a few strikes, took Kunimoto down, and took his back. Magny tried to flatten Kunimoto out to do more damage. Kunimoto wasn’t doing much to defend himself, and he ate a bunch of strikes. Magny then went for the rear naked choke and finally forced the tap.
WINNER: Magny via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:22 of the third round
STAR RATING: (**-) Not a very good fight, but nice work from Magny to get the finish he should have in this one. Kunimoto’s not very good, and Magny had more moments to finish before finally taking advantage there in the third, but he did what needed to be done.
-Jon Anik interviews Cat Zingano ahead of her fight with Ronda Rousey at UFC 184 later this month.
MAIN CARD FIGHT FIVE: MAX HOLLOWAY VS. COLE MILLER (FEATHERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Holloway landed a hard outside leg kick. Miller avoided the next attempt. Miller got in a decent leg kick of his own. Miller landed a kick inside. Miller landed a hard body kick, and avoided a takedown after Holloway caught it. Holloway landed a body punch and they traded kicks. Holloway landed a hard body kick. He avoided the spinning back fist in return and landed a right. Holloway went back to the body kick. Miller landed a leg kick. Holloway connected on a couple of head strikes. Miller closed the distance and got in a knee to the body, but Holloway turned him around. Miller landed a hard elbow to the shoulder/neck area. Holloway backed off. Holloway landed a nice combination as Miller got in close. Miller grabbed a clinch and landed an elbow as Holloway drove him to the cage. Miller tried to pull off a sneaky move as he dropped to the ground. He grabbed for a leglock after Holloway got on top. Holloway rolled out of it and defended well, landing a few strikes before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Holloway. Good opening round for the young featherweight there. Miller did some damage in a few spots, but that was Holloway’s round without question.
ROUND TWO: They each landed some kicks early. Brief pause as Miller took an eye poke. More kicks from both. Holloway landed a hard spinning back kick to the body. Holloway landed a couple of punches and circled away. He landed a couple more while avoiding counters. Miller shot in but failed, so he tried to grab a leg lock. Holloway backed off and made him stand. Holloway landed a nice spinning back fist with a couple of fights behind it. Miller went down in a heap and got cut open from an accidental head butt. Replay showed clearly it was a head butt that did the damage. Miller got some time to recover before they restarted. Holloway missed a couple of strikes as they got back to it. Miller got in a left hand. Holloway went high with a kick, ate a counter, then landed a counter to the counter with a solid right hand. Holloway connected on a couple more strikes. Miller got in one in response. Miller got in a body kick. He landed another hard kick to the gut. Holloway tried to throw out a bunch of strikes but he didn’t land much. Miller landed a leg kick. Holloway missed on a jumping knee and they clinched. Holloway landed a takedown to end the round. Miller was complaining that he got head butted again.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Holloway. The head butts are affecting Miller mentally now, as he got very frustrated at the end of the round.
ROUND THREE: Holloway rushed in early and landed a few strikes. He kept the pressure on and landed a nice flurry that wound up sending Miller briefly to the ground. He let him stand back up. Holloway landed a strong flurry of strikes. Holloway again with a big combination. Miller’s got a tough chin here. Holloway had a spinning back fist attempt blocked. He hurt Miller with a hard left hand. Holloway attacked to the body as he backed Miller up to the cage. Miller continued to come back ahead, but Holloway kept attacking. Miller shot in, then dropped for an attempted leg lock, only to find Holloway in his guard. Holloway landed a couple of strikes and backed out to make Miller stand. Holloway went for a late capoeira kick, then threw out a big flurry of strikes and just missed a couple more flashy kicks. He tripped, and Miller dropped down with a right hand at the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Holloway. Fun stuff from the Hawaiian. It wasn’t all effective, but he was trying a lot of things and Miller was kept on his toes throughout the round.
WINNER: Holloway via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
-Jon Anik tells Holloway that Sean Shelby’s got a fight with Cub Swanson on the table for him at UFC on Fox 15 if he wants it. Interesting.
STAR RATING: (**+) Good work from Holloway. He’s getting very good, and this was another nice step up in the division for him. If that fight with Swanson is indeed next, it’s a chance for him to get over the hump in fights against top level competition, as those are the only guys he’s lost to at this point in his UFC run.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT SIX: BENSON HENDERSON VS. BRANDON THATCH (WELTERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Henderson moved on the outside and landed a couple of leg kicks. Thatch tried to close the distance. Henderson missed a body punch. Henderson connected on a jab. Thatch landed a nice straight right. Henderson popped in with a good body punch. Thatch got a knee in a brief clinch. He landed a short combo. Henderson blocked some of it. Thatch stayed the aggressor. Henderson tossed out a couple of kicks. Thatch landed a hard left hand. Henderson with another leg kick. He landed another nice body punch. Thatch connected to the body. Then to the head with a right hand. Thatch landed a hard inside leg kick. He pressed Henderson to the cage, but Henderson backed him off with a push kick that put him off balance. Thatch went high with a kick that was partially blocked. Henderson popped in with another body punch. They traded kicks. Henderson again landed the body punch. Thatch got in a knee, then a kick to the body. Henderson landed a step-in knee to the body. Thatch got in the knee to the body again, then a head kick that was blocked but sent Henderson backward. Henderson got in outside with a kick. Henderson got in another body punch. Thatch landed a hard right hand. Henderson got in another kick at the horn, and Thatch leaves the first round for just the second time in his career.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-10. Really close everywhere, neither made it theirs entirely.
ROUND TWO: Thatch came forward, landing a couple of strikes. Henderson fired back. They briefly clinched. Henderson just barely avoided a big knee on the break. They trade strikes. Henderson landed a good outside leg kick. Thatch got in a jab and avoided a counter. He landed a couple of leg kicks. Henderson got in to the body. Thatch fired back with a body punch. Thatch went high with a kick and backed Henderson up. He landed a hard spinning back kick to the body. Henderson circled out and landed a good body punch. Thatch landed a couple of hard jabs and tried to press forward. He got in a good left hand. Henderson got in a solid jab, then a punch to the body. Thatch landed a solid strike, then pressed in with a big kick to the body. He got back in to the body with a kick. Henderson got in a couple of leg kicks. He hit Thatch with a left. Thatch backed him up and landed a combo. Thatch landed a big strike and shoved Henderson to the ground out of a clinch. He landed a few strikes but Henderson scrambled up. Thatch kept pressuring and landed some more strikes. He tripped Henderson back down, landed a few leg kicks, and let Henderson stand. Henderson got in a good body punch. Thatch missed the spinning back kick to the body. Henderson missed an uppercut before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Thatch. Very good round for the hometown fighter there. Henderson’s tough as hell.
ROUND THREE: Thatch landed a good right hand early. He pressed Henderson back and Henderson tossed out a high kick, then a few right hands. Henderson popped in with a nice right hand to the body. Thatch landed a good body kick, then went for the head kick and a right hand behind it. Henderson pawed out a jab. Thatch landed a few hard strikes, stuffed a takedown attempt, and landed a couple more strikes. Henderson shot in again, but Thatch held it off well at the cage. Henderson stayed relentless and pulled Thatch to the ground. Henderson got his back! He got both hooks in and tried to trap an arm. Henderson got in some heel strikes to the gut. Thatch continued defending. Henderson locked on the body triangle. Thatch tried to turn, but Henderson held position with the body lock. Henderson landed some elbows. Henderson kept back position, which brought some boos from Thatch’s home crowd. Henderson went for an armbar but Thatch easily escaped and got to his feet. He tried to press in, but Henderson avoided him as the round ended.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Henderson. That was a great round for the former Lightweight Champion, and he’s got a very real chance to win this as he drags Thatch into deep waters for the first time ever.
ROUND FOUR: Thatch pressed in and landed a few strikes. He got in a hard leg kick. Thatch is tiring here. Henderson landed a good left hook. He landed another jab. Thatch landed a couple of jabs. Henderson connected to the body. Thatch got in a couple of knees in a clinch. Henderson shot in for a single leg. Thatch held it off. Henderson got in a jab. Thatch missed two strikes. Thatch got in a knee. Henderson landed a nice body punch. They traded punches in the center. Thatch landed a few strikes. Henderson got in the leg kick. They traded jabs. Henderson timed a takedown beautifully, and immediately got to half guard. He passed to side control easily, and Thatch gave up his back again. Thatch scrambled, but Henderson stayed on top in half guard. Thatch got to his knees again. Henderson stayed on top and landed some punches and knees. Thatch got to his feet briefly but got dragged right back down, with Henderson taking his back. Henderson locked on a rear naked choke and pulled Thatch back! He had it on tight! Thatch taps! Holy hell. That was a freaking incredible performance from Benson Henderson.
WINNER: Henderson via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:58 of the fourth round
STAR RATING: (****) Just fantastic. Thatch was doing really well in the first 12 minutes or so of that fight, but Henderson’s body strikes really started to take their toll, and he just pulled off a fantastic takedown to take control in that fourth round. This doesn’t reflect poorly on Thatch, Henderson just proved what he’s capable of doing in that cage. Seriously incredible win from the former UFC Lightweight Champion.
That’s our report for tonight! Thanks for joining us through what was a very long night to get to that main event bout, we’ll have more reaction to this and more on next weekend’s event as we go through the week, so stick with us at MMATorch.com!