UFC FIGHT NIGHT 64
APRIL 11, 2015
LIVE FROM KRAKOW, POLAND
As noted, we’ll be bringing quick results to today’s prelims with some additional commentary, with full play by play for this afternoon’s main card.
=====UFC Fight Pass Prelims=====
-Taylor Lapilus def. Rocky Lee via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Note: Lee was out of his depth in the striking department here. Lapilus had better takedown defense than expected, and picked Lee apart for much of the 15 minute fight. Solid enough work from Lapilus, but Lee doesn’t belong in the UFC, even on a card as low down as this one.
-Stevie Ray def. Marcin Bandel via TKO at 1:35 of the second round
Note: Bandel as one dimensional as his Bellator namesake Marcin Held, but not nearly as talented on the ground. He got beat up by Ray on the feet, he got out-worked on the ground and nearly submitted in the first, then got mounted and took a further beating in the second. Nice work from Ray against a lesser opponent.
-Aleksandra Albu def. Izabela Badurek via submission (guillotine choke) at 3:34 of the second round
Note: Though Albu’s record coming into this one was debated (many spots have this listed as just her second fight, while the UFC listed her at 5-0 coming in), she looked pretty impressive throughout. Her striking was crisp, entertaining, fast, and mostly technical, and she had some solid takedown defense as well on the cage. She locked up the guillotine as Badurek tried to bowl through her on a double leg, and the tap came pretty quickly. All in all a nice performance from the debuting Moldovan.
-Anthony Hamilton def. Daniel Omielanczuk via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Note: Ugly heavyweight MMA. Not surprising, but not fun to watch, either. Omielanczuk nearly finished the fight in the second, but he let himself get controlled in the first on the ground, then on the cage in the third. Sloppy, ugly, not very entertaining action.
-Yaotzin Meza def. Damian Stasiak via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Note: Competitive grappling affair, but not a ton done offensively by either fighter. Just a “kind of there” fight that was ultimately forgettable.
-Sergio Moraes def. Mickael Lebout via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Note: Moraes couldn’t get the fight to the ground until the third frame, but managed to do enough early to take one of the other rounds. Lebout equated himself well in his UFC debut.
-Bartosz Fabiński def. Gareth McLellan via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Note: Another mostly forgettable fight that just seemed to drag on. Fabinski was the better fighter in each round, but there wasn’t a ton of attention-grabbing action during the fight at all. Fabinski does get the first win for a home fighter on the card, though.
-Leon Edwards def. Seth Baczynski via KO at :08 of the first round
Note: Perfect counter-left from Edwards as Baczynski stepped in for a knee and Edwards walked off after two punches on the ground. Fantastic stuff for a bit of a wake up after several dull and draining fights.
=====UFC Fight Pass Main Card=====
-A Mike Goldberg-narrated video package opens up the main card before throwing to John Gooden and Dan Hardy cageside. Hardy’s expressing way too much excitement for the Cro Cop-Gonzaga rematch.
MAIN CARD FIGHT ONE: JOANNE CALDERWOOD VS. MARYNA MOROZ (WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Calderwood landed an early kick. Moroz tossed out several strikes. Calderwood landed a solid hook, then a couple of kicks. Both already showing some facial damage. Moroz landed a big combination. She hurt Calderwood with another combination and Moroz followed to the cage. Moroz pulled guard and attacked for an armbar. Calderwood tried to get her arm out, but she couldn’t, so she tapped! Woooooow. That’s a significant upset, but an absolutely great performance from the newcomer Moroz.
WINNER: Moroz via submission (armbar) at 1:30 of the first round
STAR RATING: (***) Shocking upset. Moroz looked excellent in her striking, and she hurt Calderwood before getting it to the cage and pulling guard to attack for the armbar. Awesome performance from the newcomer, who immediately establishes herself as a contender.
MAIN CARD FIGHT TWO: PAWEL PAWLAK VS. SHELDON WESTCOTT (WELTERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Westcott swung wildly to close the distance and get a clinch. Pawlak tried to avoid the takedown but Westcott managed to get him down. That was short-lived, though, as Pawlak popped to his feet quickly. The clinch battle then commenced, with Westcott holding onto the body lock. Pawlak couldn’t quite shake him, but still managed to avoid getting fully taken down. Westcott wasn’t doing a ton offensively, other than the occasional strike to try opening up a takedown attempt. This battle continued, with Pawlak trying to get in some knees to the body with his back on the cage. Pawlak finally scored a reversal for a takedown, but as he tried to take Westcott’s back, Westcott exploded to his feet and went back to the body lock. Things stalled out in the clinch battle. Westcott got Pawlak to a knee briefly, but Pawlak stood. They traded knees.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Westcott. I guess. Very little happening as Pawlak defended much of what Westcott wanted to do.
ROUND TWO: Pawlak came ahead with some strikes. He landed a huge knee that dropped Westcott, but Westcott recovered and clinched. Westcott just blanketing Pawlak at the cage, and this wall and stall is going to get old quick. Westcott nearly got a takedown, but Pawlak countered as they went down and immediately got back up. The crowd started booing Westcott as he wasn’t advancing. Pawlak continued to defend every attempt, but Westcott kept up the clinch battle. They were finally separated to the delight of the crowd. Pawlak got in a couple of strikes, but Westcott immediately closed the distance and blanketed him some more. Ugh. They were separated again. Pawlak landed a kick to the head. He landed a few more strikes. Westcott dropped to a knee and shot in. Pawlak circled out that time. Pawlak got in a strike, then just threw an exhausted Westcott to the ground. He landed some strikes and then Westcott scrambled to his feet. Pawlak scored another takedown and did some damage before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Pawlak. Westcott’s playing the role of wet blanket, but Pawlak managed to do more than enough to take the round.
ROUND THREE: Pawlak landed some big strikes early on in the round. He got a brief thai clinch but that let Westcott slow it down in the clinch. The fans booed. Westcott still doing nothing against the cage. I hate wall and stall. Westcott finally scored a trip, but Pawlak immediately popped to his feet. Westcott held the body lock and Pawlak couldn’t break free. Pawlak then pulled off a fantastic throw into half guard. Pawlak passed to side control with over two minutes to work. He got to a north-south position and landed some elbows. He put his knee on the neck of Westcott for a bit. Westcott rolled to his knees and Pawlak went to take his back. He lost position and Westcott got to his feet in the clinch. Westcott dropped down for a takedown but was slow moving, leading to more boos. He failed on the attempt. The round wound down with Pawlak escaping and landing a few strikes.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Pawlak. Westcott did absolutely nothing worthwhile down the stretch. Bad fight.
WINNER: Pawlak via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (*) Pawlak had some nice moments spread throughout the 15-minute bout, but it was mostly a dull, ugly affair, in line with much of the event before it.
MAIN CARD FIGHT THREE: JIMI MANUWA VS. JAN BLACHOWICZ (LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Blachowicz landed a solid opening jab. Manuwa tried to stalk. He got hit by a jab, then threw out an inside leg kick. Tentative work from both. Manuwa landed a solid left hook. He got in a hard punch to the guy, then clinched. He landed some hard knees to the legs. Blachowicz fired some knees to the body himself. More strikes exchanged in the clinch. Manuwa finally separated away. He threw a high kick that was blocked. Blachowicz tossed out a couple of strikes. Manuwa threw a kick. Blachowicz caught it and drove forward. Manuwa clinched and it was back to knees to the leg and body. Neither was doing much else outside of the short knees. Easily could have been separated already. They finally were. Manuwa came forward again. Blachowicz ducked under a strike and shot in, and it was back to the clinch. More stalling on the cage. They jockeyed for position. Blachowicz finaly backed off with a punch. Manuwa came back ahead with some strikes. Blachowicz landed a short combination. Manuwa landed a hard leg kick. Manuwa missed a strike. He got in one more leg kick before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Manuwa. Tentative first round. Blachowicz didn’t have much offense overall, and though Manuwa didn’t have much more himself, he was also the aggressor throughout.
ROUND TWO: Another slow start with Manuwa trying to find the distance. He took an eye poke and things came to a halt. Blachowicz landed a kick to the body after they restarted. Blachowicz landed another hard body kick, but missed his follow up punches. Manuwa tried to stalk and close the distance again. He threw a body kick, ate another hard one in return, then clinched. The clinch battle commenced and went on for some time, featuring very little action for quite some time. Blachowicz finally got in a strike to separate. Manuwa landed a punch. They both missed several strikes. Blachowicz landed a short uppercut, then it was clinch city again. The crowd booed. They were separated after more stalling. Manuwa landed a couple of kicks as he pressed in, finally opening up a bit. Manuwa got in a right hand. Manuwa missed a left. Blachowicz landed a knee with a punch behind it. Manuwa got in a body punch and clinched. Ugh. This is kind of a garbage fight right now.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Blachowicz. He had some offense early and late. Manuwa just not throwing much of anything. Not a good fight.
ROUND THREE: Manuwa closed in early, landing a couple of short strikes. Blachowicz got in a kick to the body. Manuwa landed a hard counter-right hand. Blachowicz landed a couple of jabs. He got in a leg kick. Manuwa landed a hard leg kick but missed a follow up left hand. Annnnnd another clinch. This card has been filled with wall and stall, and it’s awful every damn time. Manuwa got in some knees but wasn’t doing much else. Blachowicz finally turned him around and broke with a high kick. He landed some jabs as Manuwa pressed in. Blachowicz landed more jabs, then Manuwa scored on a two-punch combo before it was back to the clinch. They were separated, but Manuwa immediately closed the distance and it was back to the clinch. Blachowicz finally separated, but Manuwa came right back in with a couple of strikes to clinch again. Blachowicz turned around and backed off. Manuwa pressed in again, landing a couple of kicks. Blachowicz got in a short combination. Manuwa pressed him back, landing a couple of strikes before once again clinching. This is just garbage. They separated again. Manuwa landed a right hand. He stuffed a shot, then got in a few knees and punches just before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Manuwa. He had more offense overall, but the frequent bouts of stalling on the cage just really made this fight drag on. Just a dull fight with only a couple of real moments standing out.
WINNER: Manuwa via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (*) Just not an entertaining fight at all. It was frustrating throughout, and the clinch “battles” on this card have made it seem like an event that just won’t end.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT FOUR: GABRIEL GONZAGA VS. MIRKO CRO COP (HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Both circled around early. Gonzaga popped in with a quick straight right. He backed off, but that left a mark. Gonzaga landed another right hand that connected hard. Gonzaga missed a couple of strikes. Both a little tentative and things slowed down. Gonzaga connected on a body kick. More tentative action. Cro Cop’s not engaging much, while Gonzaga’s rushing in spurts. Gonzaga finally shot in and nicely timed a quick takedown. Cro Cop tried to lock Gonzaga’s body down. It didn’t take Gonzaga long to pass to mount, and he looked to posture up and do damage. Cro Cop bucked out and went for an ankle lock, but Gonzaga went for one of his own. He rolled out, then dropped a right hand into Cro Cop’s guard. The attacks slowed a bit, and Gonzaga ended the round on top.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Gonzaga. Not enough offense overall for a 10-8, but that was all Gonzaga in the opening five minutes.
ROUND TWO: Cro Cop circled around, but neither threw anything in the first 25 seconds until a grazing kick from Gonzaga. They collided in the center. Cro Cop went for the head kick, but Gonzaga ducked under it and shot in. They clinched, and Gonzaga landed a groin shot for a brief stall in the action. Cro Cop didn’t take much time at all and they restarted. Both continued moving slowly, not doing much of anything. Gonzaga then scored a trip takedown into half guard with three minutes left. Gonzaga briefly got mount, but Cro Cop put him back to half guard. Cro Cop just held onto Gonzaga’s body. He tried to explode out. He landed some short strikes from the bottom that did a little damage, but Gonzaga held position. Gonzaga then got to mount again. He wasn’t in a rush to do much. He postured up in a high mount and rained down some strikes, but didn’t really land a ton. Gonzaga tried to set something up, but gave up on the attempt. He postured up and landed a big elbow to the nose. Then another big elbow, and Cro Cop was cut open. He did some more damage as the round came to a close.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Gonzaga. Again close to 10-8, but not much to this one so far.
ROUND THREE: Another very, very slow start to the round. Neither did much of anything. They clinched. Gonzaga got hurt from a short elbow. Cro Cop finally exploded with strikes and Gonzaga staggered and wound up on his back with Cro Cop in his guard. Cro Cop landed some big elbows from the guard. He unleashed a huge flurry of elbows. He started landing some more strikes and Gonzaga was forced to cover up. The ref stopped it. Well then. There’s that. Gonzaga was bleeding badly after the stoppage.
WINNER: Cro Cop via TKO at 3:20 of the third round
-Cro Cop said their game was to essentially not worry about the first two rounds, and he thought he’d get the finish in the third or fourth, and that’s what happened.
STAR RATING: (**) Would have been nice if we didn’t have to sit through the 12 minutes of nothingness to get to that final sequence, but that was a completely brutal TKO win for Cro Cop to avenge that eight-years-old loss.
-Thanks for following along with us today, we’ll have more on today’s event during the week and we move ahead to next week’s UFC on Fox 15 event.