FEBRUARY 28, 2015
LIVE FROM LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
=====UFC Fight Pass Prelims=====
-Masio Fullen def. Alexander Torres via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Note: Wild fight with both getting hurt badly a few times throughout the 15-minute frame. Not a ton of high-level skill from either, just a straight up brawl.
-Valmir Lazaro def. James Krause via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Note: Good performance from Lazaro. He picked Krause apart for a good portion of the fight, doing some significant damage and just beating Krause to the punch throughout the 15-minute bout. Surprised Krause got two rounds there. Very solid win.
=====Fox Sports 1 Main Card=====
-Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan opened up the broadcast running down the card and highlighting the four women topping tonight’s event. Fairly quick shift to our first televised fight of the night.
PRELIM FIGHT ONE: DERRICK LEWIS VS. RUAN POTTS (HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Potts landed a leg kick to open things up. Lewis got in a kick to the body. Potts got in a kick to the body awkwardly. Lewis slowly stalked ahead. Lewis missed a punch and Potts clinched. Lewis tripped him down and landed a punch, but Potts popped to his feet. Lewis got in a knee to the groin and the action was halted to boos in the crowd. Potts took a short amount of recovery time before they restarted. Potts landed a couple more kicks. Potts got knocked down off balance and Lewis tried to attack. Potts caught his leg and went for a kneebar, Lewis circled out of it and finally escaped. He tried to stalk, but allowed Potts to take him down and get on top. That was bad. Potts tried to work from half guard with a few short elbows. Lewis didn’t offer up much from his back as he just tried to hold him down. Potts went for a kimura, but Lewis used it to reverse and he landed a big right hand. Lewis fought off another attempt and landed another big right hand. He landed some elbows as Potts turned into him and stood up. Potts went for a late double leg, but Lewis held it off to the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Lewis. He gave Potts too much opportunity, but his big power strikes still did the most damage in the round. Potts’ submission attempts weren’t enough to negate that.
ROUND TWO: Potts went for a high kick but got hit. Potts went for a takedown, but Lewis stuffed it and landed a bunch of strikes, forcing Potts to turn over. Lewis stood above him looking for an opening and landed a hard elbow as he dropped into Potts’ guard. Potts tried to throw his legs up for something, but Lewis passed over to half guard. He landed a few strikes, but again allowed Potts to hold his posture. Lewis landed more strikes and Potts rolled and covered up. Lewis tried to look for an arm triangle choke. Terrible attempt. He mounted Potts with it, though, postured up, and landed strikes. Potts grabbed a hold of him, Lewis took a breath. He postured up and kept raining down strikes and the ref finally stepped in. Could have stopped that significantly sooner as Potts just stopped fighting back. Bad fight.
WINNER: Lewis via TKO at 3:18 of the second round
STAR RATING: (*) Bad heavyweight MMA is bad. Lewis probably should have finished it sooner, Potts is bad at fighting, and there just really isn’t much in the way of redeeming qualities in a fight like that.
PRELIM FIGHT TWO: DHIEGO LIMA VS. TIM MEANS (WELTERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Means landed a couple of hard leg kicks as Lima tried to move forward. Means pressed back and they traded kicks. Lima connected on a body kick, then avoided the return flurry from Means. Means backed Lima up and landed a big combination. Means rocked Lima with a knee to the face. Lima tried to defend and got his wits about him to stand again. Means landed a vicious elbow that rocked Lima again. Lima backed him off with a couple of strikes. Means landed another hard punch that buckled Lima’s knees. He got in another knee, then slowly stalked to the cage. Means landed a big combination with some pinpoint strikes and Lima went down again, forcing the stoppage. Excellent performance from Tim Means.
WINNER: Means via TKO at 2:17 of the first round
STAR RATING: (***) Really beautiful work from Means. Great technique and patience in his striking game, just picked Lima apart.
-They go to the desk up in the arena with time to kill. Ariel Helwani then passed along news that the California State Athletic Commission is administering blood and urine tests to every fighter on the card tonight, the first time they’ve ever done that.
PRELIM FIGHT THREE: ROMAN SALAZAR VS. NORIFUMI “KID” YAMAMOTO (BANTAMWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Yamamoto came out quickly with a strike. They then got a bit tentative as they moved around the cage. Salazar got inside with a leg kick as Yamamoto threw a right hand. Salazar overstepped a strike and ate a counter-right hand. Salazar tried to rush in but Yamamoto avoided it. Salazar got in a leg kick. Yamamoto countered another missed kick with a right hand. They traded punches. Salazar tried to clinch, then landed a right hand as Yamamoto separated. Yamamoto landed an inside leg kick. Yamamoto stepped in with a nice uppercut. Salazar missed a head kick. Yamamoto missed a follow up uppercut, but took an eye poke in the process. After the restart, both missed a few strikes again. Yamamoto got in a short combo at the horn. Some boos from the crowd due to a relatively action-light round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Yamamoto. Not a lot of offense from either, Yamamoto got in some solid counters during the frame.
ROUND TWO: Salazar shot in immediately and took Yamamoto down, but he couldn’t keep him there. Yamamoto landed a nice counter right as Salazar missed a strike. Salazar connected on a left hand. Yamamoto landed a nice body punch. He missed another uppercut attempt. Salazar got a clinch and landed a knee. Yamamoto accidentally landed an eye poke of his own and they were halted briefly. Yamamoto continued working from the outside, countering as Salazar engaged. Yamamoto threw a right hand, and Salazar reacted to an eye poke. Yeah, on replay, that was brutally blatant. Take points away already. After a lengthy delay, Salazar can’t continue and the fight is called.
WINNER: No contest at 2:37 of the second round
STAR RATING: (n/a) The fact that they still will not penalize eye pokes means this is just going to keep happening. McCarthy misread how the eye poke happened live, and the replay showed it clearly to be Yamamoto shoving his extended fingers in Salazar’s eyes. Take a point away for a first eye poke, two points for a second, and start disqualifying fighters when an eye poke ends things; that’s the only way you’ll get fighters to start closing their fists.
PRELIM FIGHT FOUR: MARK MUNOZ VS. ROAN CARNEIRO (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Clear that Carneiro’s not a middleweight. Munoz looks quite big in comparison. Carneiro sprawled on a brief shot from Munoz and got on top into side control. Munoz tried to turn into him. Munoz tried to scramble, but Carneiro took his back and got on the rear naked choke. Munoz went out, but the ref didn’t stop it for several seconds. Absolutely shameful work on his part. The replays are just scary, as Munoz’s eyes were rolling back in his head.
WINNER: Carneiro via technical submission (rear naked choke) at 1:40 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**+) Great work from Carneiro. Munoz has to be done in the UFC now.
-Time left for the UFC to fill with the quick finish, so they go to the desk, and also to Dana White and Rogan doing their typical “yell at the screen” final sell.
=====Pay-Per-View Main Card=====
-Goldberg and Rogan again welcome the viewers, and again the top two fights are featured before they run down the undercard still to come.
MAIN CARD FIGHT ONE: TONY FERGUSON VS. GLEISON TIBAU (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Tibau slipped on an early head kick, but he bounced up before Ferguson could take advantage. Ferguson connected inside on a leg kick. Tibau landed a two punch combo. Ferguson got back in with a couple punches of his own. Ferguson got Tibau down again briefly. Tibau got back to his feet. Ferguson hurt Tibau with a hard right hand. Tibau stumbled to the ground. Ferguson tried to finish with a choke but Tibau got free. Ferguson took his back and locked on a rear naked choke. Tibau was forced to tap. Excellent performance from Ferguson for his fifth straight win.
WINNER: Ferguson via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:37 of the first round
STAR RATING: (***) Just fantastic work from Ferguson. He hurt Tibau on the feet and finished him on the ground. Great win.
MAIN CARD FIGHT TWO: ALAN JOUBAN VS. RICHARD WALSH (WELTERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Jouban avoided a couple of early kicks from Walsh. Jouban landed a right but ate a hard kick to the body. Walsh tried to rush Jouban, but Jouban circled out. Jouban landed a hard inside leg kick. He got in a body strike and a left. Walsh rushed in and clinched. Jouban circled around. He ate a couple of knees, but got in a hard kick to the body. Walsh got in a right hand. Walsh went high with a kick. Jouban missed a couple of strikes. He went for the spinning back fist but missed. Walsh got in a hard body kick again. Jouban landed a hard body kick of his own. Jouban landed a solid straight left. Walsh got in close, but Jouban countered. He hurt him bad on the cage and quickly finished him off with a brutal combination that forced John McCarthy to step in while Walsh was out on his feet. Great flurry from Jouban to finish that off. On the replay, that started with a perfect elbow to the temple.
WINNER: Jouban via TKO at 2:19 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**+) It was competitive in the early going, then Jouban pulled off that finishing sequence kind of out of nowhere. Great flurry starting with that elbow.
-Side note: Brock Lesnar’s in attendance tonight, sitting by Dana White and Co. That will certainly fuel further discussion of a potential comeback.
MAIN CARD FIGHT THREE: JAKE ELLENBERGER VS. JOSH KOSCHECK (WELTERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Ellenberger landed an early right hand. Koscheck tried to be the aggressor. He landed a few jabs. Ellenberger barely missed a right hand. Koscheck shot in and scored a takedown. Ellenberger tried to walk up the cage. Koscheck took his back, but Ellenberger got to his feet. Ellenberger got in an elbow and kept fighting the takedown attempt. He continued to hold off the attempt as Koscheck tried to stomp his feet. The crowd booed the wall and stall tactic from Koscheck. He got in a knee to the body. Then another. Ellenberger finally circled out. Ellenberger tried to stalk. Ellenberger landed a solid combination and Koscheck stumbled back a bit. Koscheck went high with a couple of kicks but they were blocked. Ellenberger landed a jab. Koscheck circled on the cage. Ellenberger got in a couple of jabs. He stuffed another takedown attempt and landed a right hand. He landed another right. Then a left. Ellenberger landed another good right hand. Koscheck circled some more before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Ellenberger. He had Koscheck hurt there, and was more effective on the feet.
ROUND TWO: Koscheck immediatey shot in and tried for the takedown on the cage, much to the crowd’s chagrin. Ellenberger stuffed it again, but Koscheck kept him on the cage. The ref finally separated them a minute and a half in. Koscheck landed a jab. Ellenberger tagged him with a right hand. Ellenberger continues to hurt Koscheck but not take full advantage. Ellenberger got in with a jab. He landed a hard two-punch combo. Koscheck landed a couple of left hands of his own. Ellenberger tagged him again and Koscheck kept pawing at his eye. Ellenberger landed a couple more. Ellenberger had Koscheck off balance on a strike but Koscheck got back up. Koscheck shot in again but got shrugged off. He went right back to it on the cage.Ellenberger caught Koscheck in a choke and Koscheck desperately tried to escape. It turned into a bit of a north-south choke as Koscheck couldn’t escape. He flailed a bit and then finally tapped. That started as a guillotine standing, and he just held the pressure on. Sick choke.
WINNER: Ellenberger via submission (north-south choke) at 4:20 of the second round
STAR RATING: (**-) It was a bad fight with a really good finish. Ellenberger gets his first submission win in the UFC, and first submission win in nearly nine years.
MAIN CARD FIGHT FOUR: HOLLY HOLM VS. RAQUEL PENNINGTON (WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Pennington tried to press in as Holm circled on the outside. Pennington landed an outside leg kick. Holm rushed in with a kick and Pennington grabbed a clinch. Holm held her off and separated. Holm got in close and Pennington briefly clinched again. They traded strikes. Holm popped in with a left. Pennington scored with a leg kick. Holm threw a stepping side kick. Pennington landed a left. She tried to shoot in but got stood up. Holm landed a knee to the body. Pennington ate a couple of kicks and shot in. Holm again stuffed her. Pennington landed a few punches. She got in an outside leg kick. Pennington caught a kick and tried to score the takedown but failed. She drove Holm to the cage and they traded knees in the clinch. They separated again. Both threw a short flurry of strikes. Holm landed a hard punch to the body. Pennington grabbed another clinch but Holm again separated quickly. She landed a solid combination. Holm went high with a kick but it was blocked. Pennington tried to rush in but couldn’t connect. Pennington landed a right hand. Both missed some strikes late.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Holm. Competitive round, but Holm’s doing better work so far and avoiding Pennington’s takedown attempts.
ROUND TWO: Pennington landed a kick to the body. She ducked under Holm’s head kick attempt. Holm pressed in with a short combo. Pennington clinched and landed a right hand. She got an outside leg kick in. Pennington landed a left hook. Some tentative action from both. Pennington got in a right hand. She blocked another head kick attempt. Holm got in a knee and a side kick to the body. Holm again went high with a kick a short time later but didn’t connect. Pennington slipped on a kick. Holm got in a couple of punches. The crowd got a little restless on the relatively uninspired striking. Pennington tried to clinch but got shrugged off. Pennington landed a straight kick. She got in a short combo. She tried to push Holm back and got in a couple of strikes. Holm continued to try setting up that head kick. Holm landed a quick combination. Holm landed a short strike and they clinched. They traded knees. Pennington got in a right hand. Pennington rushed late with a strike.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Holm. She’s doing more than Pennington, which hasn’t proved to be much at this point.
ROUND THREE: Holm pressed early again. Pennington landed a solid leg kick. Holm fired back. Holm landed a hard right hook on Pennington. Pennington connected to the body. Holm threw a few leg kicks. She got in a left hook. Pennington landed a hard right hand. Holm missed a spinning back kick. Pennington connected on a hard right hand. Holm went for the head kick to no avail. Holm got in a short combo. Holm threw a few jabs as she circled on the outside. She got in a knee to the body. The crowd was a bit restless on the lack of urgency here. Pennington landed a hard right hand that stunned Holm and dropped her, but Holm quickly recovered and got to her feet for a clinch. She landed a few knees. Pennington got in a good right hand on the break. Holm landed a couple of strikes. Pennington fired back. Pennington landed a right hand. Then another. Pennington got in a good counter-left. She tried to press in late. Holm landed a couple of strikes. She blocked the head kick again. Holm landed a short combo. Pennington landed a short combo. They traded punches late before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Pennington. Another competitive round, and Pennington was a bit more aggressive and effective that frame to take the round.
WINNER: Holm via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (*+) Not a great fight. Solid, but unspectacular debut from Holm. She wants to get more experience before a title fight, and the UFC should oblige given how this performance played out for her.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT FIVE: RONDA ROUSEY VS. CAT ZINGANO (WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP)
ROUND ONE: Intense, sustained staredown before the bell. Ronda with an amazing throw right off the bat, and she spiders Cat’s arm into an inverted omoplata/straight armbar for the tap! Even faster than the Davis win. Jesus, man.
WINNER: Rousey via submission (straight armlock) at :14 of the first round
STAR RATING: (***) Seriously, now. Fastest finish in UFC Championship history. Tied for fastest submission win in UFC history. Rousey’s now won her last two fights in a combined 30 seconds.
-Rousey said she’d trained a version of that armlock recently. She said she wants to test herself against Holly Holm’s boxing, and wants to hand Bethe Correia her first loss as well.
-Zingano was at a loss for words, could only muster “I want to do it again. F***.” She dropped a few more f-bombs, and really couldn’t believe what just happened. She seemed like she wanted Joe Rogan to get the hell away from her.
-That’s the show for tonight! We close out a tumultuous February with one hell of a highlight, and we’ll have plenty more to say on it as we keep the train rolling into another busy month in March!