UFC ON FOX 15
APRIL 18, 2015
LIVE FROM NEWARK, NEW JERSEY
=====UFC Fight Pass Prelims=====
-Chris Dempsey def. Eddie Gordon via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Note: Gordon disagreed with the decision, but he faded as the fight wore on and allowed Dempsey to have more success than expected. Not a robbery decision, and not a good enough fight to matter. Or, as Rich Hansen put it just noe, pretty good quality for an RFA undercard fight.
-Diego Brandao def. Jimy Hettes via TKO (doctor stoppage) at 5:00 of the first round
Note: Really disagree with that stoppage. Hettes’ cauliflower ear got busted up by an elbow, and though it was a nasty gash, his ear was attached entirely, and that absolutely should not have led to a stoppage. Really unfortunate for Hettes there.
-Tim Means def. George Sullivan via submission (arm triangle) at 3:41 of the third round
Note: Sullivan started off with a competitive opening round, but it was all Means from there. He beat him up in the second round, then got him to the ground and eventually worked to the sub in the third. Good performance on short notice.
=====Fox Preliminary Card=====
After a brief intro from Goldberg and Rogan, our first fighters for the TV prelims are in the cage.
PRELIM FIGHT ONE: TAKEYA MIZUGAKI VS. ALJAMAIN STERLING (BANTAMWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Sterling circled on the outside, getting in a couple of kicks. He ducked under a strike and clinched Mizugaki to the cage. Mizugaki snuck behind him and took his back standing. Sterling turned back into him. He barely missed a big strike and shot in for a takedown. Mizugaki defended it well. Things stalled and the crowd booed a little bit. Mizugaki got in a knee but dropped down, quickly getting to his feet. Sterling continued to work for the takedown to no avail. He started throwing some knees to the thighs. They were finally separated. Sterling landed a hard kick to the body and ducked under the counter. Mizugaki landed a couple of hard punches in another exchange. Sterling landed a counter right hand as Mizugaki pressed in. He ducked down and shot in for a single leg, this time briefly getting Mizugaki down. He tried to take his back as Mizugaki stood. He dragged him down again, but only briefly. Mizugaki turned into him and ate a knee. Mizugaki got in a knee. Sterling spun out and landed a couple of punches at the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Sterling. Not a great round, but it had a few exciting moments. Mizugaki doing a lot defensively, but that’s about it.
ROUND TWO: Sterling threw a high kick to start off and avoided the counter. He shot in and dragged Mizugaki to the ground. Mizugaki worked back up to his feet fairly quickly though. Sterling got in a hard knee to the body. Sterling separated with an elbow. Sterling got in a push kick to the body. Sterling shot in but Mizugaki sprawled. Sterling got in a kick. Mizugaki missed a step in strike. They traded strikes. Sterling landed a nice push kick with a right hand behind it. Sterling scored a nice trip off a single leg, but Mizugaki worked back up. Sterling dragged him back down and took his back. Mizugaki tried to scramble out, but Sterling stayed on him and again took his back and got in a body lock. He landed some hard heels to the inside of the thigh. Mizugaki tried to roll out but Sterling held position. Mizugaki continued to defend to the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Sterling. He’s doing a lot more than Mizugaki so far, but Mizugaki continued to defend well.
ROUND THREE: Mizugaki scored a couple of punches. Sterling landed a hard kick to the body and a right hand behind it. Mizugaki landed a left hand to the body. Sterling shot in for a leg. He got Mizugaki to the cage and dragged him down. He wound up taking Mizugaki’s back again with a lot of time to work. Sterling locked on an arm triangle choke from the bottom. He held it on tight and Mizugaki tapped! What?! Crazy finish. Fantastic win for Sterling.
WINNER: Sterling via submission (arm triangle choke) at 2:11 of the third round
STAR RATING: (**+) Started slow, but Sterling continued to wear Mizugaki down and simply force his will in that fight, ultimately scoring a really slick finish. Great step up for Sterling into the mix in this division.
PRELIM FIGHT TWO: COREY ANDERSON VS. GIAN VILLANTE (LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Anderson circled on the outside early, and pawed out several strikes. He stepped aside from a strike and landed a right. Villante landed a leg kick. Anderson landed a solid right hand. Then he got in to the body. Villante landed a couple of hard leg kicks. They traded strikes. Anderson landed the jab. Villante got in a knee as he stuffed a takedown attempt. Villante landed another hard leg kick. Anderson came forward with a flurry after eating a strike. He landed a short uppercut. Anderson caught a kick and landed a couple of hard right hands. Villante got in a couple of jabs. Anderson landed a right hand. Villante got in the kick to the leg again. He tossed it up high and it almost got through. Villante landed another leg kick. Anderson fired out a few strikes. Villante landed another leg kick. Anderson came forward and ate another leg kick. Anderson landed a few strikes and ate another kick.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Anderson. Despite Joe Rogan’s commentary only focusing on the leg kicks, Anderson did more offensively in the round.
ROUND TWO: Villante moved ahead with a kick. Anderson tossed out some strikes that were blocked. Anderson landed a combination to the body. Villante landed a hard kick. Anderson landed a left hook. Villante back to the kick a few more times. Anderson landed another combination. Anderson landed a straight right hand. He caught a kick but couldn’t capitalize. Anderson landed a right hand to end a combo. He caught another kick and landed a few strikes. They traded strikes in the center. Villante covered up as a few more punches were thrown. Anderson landed a few strikes again. He landed a jab and Villante fired out the kick again. Villante landed a right hand and kick. Anderson landed another left. Anderson landed another hard two punch combo. They traded jabs. Anderson threw a kick to the body. Villante covered up to block a few strikes. Anderson landed a right, then got in a jab. Villante landed a few leg kicks. Anderson caught one and threw out several strikes. He got in a jumping knee to end the round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Anderson. He’s doing a lot more on the feet, but all Rogan can talk about in this one is the leg kicks.
ROUND THREE: Weird opening as Villante had tape he needed cut off his glove. Anderson landed a combination after taking a leg kick. They traded short hooks. Anderson landed another two punch combo. He grazed Villante with a hook, then popped his head back with a jab. Anderson landed another punch, then ate a couple of leg kicks. They traded strikes again. Anderson got in with a couple of strikes. He threw a spinning back elbow that missed. Anderson landed several strikes. Anderson continued staying active with punches. He landed a flying knee to the body. Anderson got in a hard right hand, then a jab. He landed another hard right hand. Villante landed a weaker leg kick. Anderson landed another combination. Villante landed a left. Anderson continued to stay busier. Villante landed a couple jabs. Anderson shot but gave it up right away. Anderson landed a short hook. Villante landed a left. Anderson landed another combination. Villante landed a hard right hand and Anderson was out on his feet. He stayed up but didn’t know where he was. Villante pounced on the cage with a big right hand and a couple more strikes and the ref stepped in.
WINNER: Villante via TKO at 4:18 of the third round
STAR RATING: (**+) Solidly competitive fight with a great finish in a fight I think Villante was losing. Despite Villante scoring the finish, Rogan’s commentary was just bad, focusing only on the leg kicks and not the near 90 head strikes Anderson had been landing throughout the bout. Still, Villante came back and took the win by force late, handing Anderson his first loss.
PRELIM FIGHT THREE: OVINCE ST. PREUX VS. PATRICK CUMMINS (LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: St. Preux took the center and stalked. He popped Cummins’ head back with a jab. St. Preux landed a hard kick to the body. Cummins shot in after eating a grazing head kick and scored a takedown, but St. Preux immediately got back to his feet. Cummins shot in and St. Preux tried to reverse it, but still got to his feet. Cummins pressed him to the cage in the clinch. He landed some knees to the thigh. St. Preux pressed him off. St. Preux landed a brutal knee to the body. He stuffed a takedown and landed some more strikes. St. Preux with a couple more kicks. St. Preux landed a hard spinning kick to the body. Cummins picked him up and slammed him, but St. Preux immediately popped up. Cummins landed a right hand. They traded big strikes. St. Preux landed a few punches, but missed a couple as he swung wildly. Cummins landed a leg kick. St. Preux landed a couple of hard counters as Cummins tried to press in. St. Preux shot in, but got stuffed and ate a couple of hammerfists. St. Preux dropped Cummins with a short left as he rushed in and landed a bunch of strikes on the ground to force the late stoppage! Just as he was slowing down he lands a huge uppercut to the chin.
WINNER: St. Preux via KO at 4:54 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**+) Fun one round fight. St. Preux has some clear flaws, and started to fade late in the round, but he’s got such power and great finishing instincts once he has his opponents hurt that he’ll continue to be a force. No idea how far he can go, but that power will continue to work in his favor moving forward.
PRELIM FIGHT FOUR: JIM MILLER VS. BENEIL DARIUSH (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Dariush scored an early jab. Miller tried to play the aggressor, and scored a hard leg kick. He covered up from a couple of strikes and took a leg kick. Miller landed an inside leg kick and connected on a couple more strikes. He got through with a hard right hand. Dariush landed a hard outside leg kick. Dariush grabbed a thai clinch in close and landed a good knee. He got it again on the cage and landed a couple more knees. Miller tried to tie him up and they traded knees. Dariush dropped down for a single leg but got stuffed. Miller used a kimura attempt to sweep. He turned it over to a triangle attempt that was close to being locked on, but Dariush escaped to Miller’s half guard. He tried to set up an arm triangle choke, but Miller avoided it. Miller tried to work from the bottom with rubber guard and an elbow. He locked up Dariush’s head and made him back off. Miller scrambled and Dariush sprawled. Dariush landed an elbow and some hammerfists to end the round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Miller. The submission attempt got it to the ground, and he did more offensively on the feet. Close, though.
ROUND TWO: Dariush threw out a few strikes. He clinched early and tried to get Miller down. He stayed with it and planted him. Dariush again tried to set up the arm triangle, but Miller stuffed the attempt. Miller swept, then pulled for a guillotine. Dariush popped out of it. Dariush successfully passed to mount. Miller gave up his back and Dariush locked on the body triangle. Miller defended well. Dariush passed back to mount, still looking for the arm triangle. Miller again got free. Dariush unloaded a few elbows. He went for the rear naked choke and dropped back, but Miller again got out of it. Miller continued to defend as Dariush tried to find an opening. Miller tried to kick off the cage, then got to his feet and did a front flip with Dariush on his back to end the round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Dariush. Good round for Dariush there, but Miller proving still very hard to put away.
ROUND THREE: Miller came straight ahead, but Dariush ducked under a punch and shot in. Dariush landed a knee and a punch and clinched. Miller landed a short uppercut. Dariush scored a takedown into half guard. Miller threw a couple of punches from his back, but Dariush smothered him from the top. The crowd booed. Dariush continued trying to set up the arm triangle. He wound up passing to side control. Miller tried to scramble, and got him back to half guard. Dariush snuck back to mount again. Dariush landed an elbow. Miller gave up his back up and stood up, again doing a flip with Dariush on his back, but Dariush held position with the body triangle. Miller again got to his knees but got dragged back down. Miller again got to his feet and face planted them both to end the round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Dariush. Miller just got out-worked through the last ten minutes. Really solid work from Dariush on short notice to continue his run in the lightweight division.
WINNER: Dariush via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (***) Really entertaining ground fight, and another good performance from Beneil Dariush. Miller’s not the fighter he once was, but he’s still very tough, and Dariush dominated the last ten minutes of that fight.
=====Fox Main Card=====
-They introduce the show with a tie-in of clips from Paul Blart 2. Ok, bye everyone. See you next week…
-At the desk in the arena, Curt Menefee welcomes in Brian Stann and Daniel Cormier to discuss the fights before a video package on our first bout for the main card.
MAIN CARD FIGHT ONE: FELICE HERRIG VS. PAIGE VANZANT (WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Herrig landed a right hand. She closed distance but VanZant grabbed a thai clinch and landed several knees. After a clinch, VanZant pulled off a head and arm throw, but Herrig took her back from there. She worked for a rear naked choke and VanZant tried to defend. VanZant wound up scrambling out and got on top. She ate an upkick and Herrig got to her feet. They clinched and Herrig tried to throw her, unsuccessfully. The clinch battle continued. They traded punches as they separated. Herrig threw a front kick. VanZant got another thai clinch and landed a few knees. The clinch went to the cage and VanZant got in a few strikes. They continued battling in the clinch and VanZant scored a throw for a takedown. She landed strikes from the top and avoided some upkicks as she dropped down even more. VanZant trapped an arm and landed a big elbow. Herrig regained guard and tried to lock VanZant down. VanZant stood and landed a punch. She dropped for a late heel hook but the horn sounded.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 VanZant. Despite Herrig getting back control at one point, VanZant was a lot more active, got a takedown of her own, and did damage on the ground and in the clinch.
ROUND TWO: Herrig landed a push kick early. She tried to rush in the clinch but VanZant scored a few knees. VanZant landed some more knees as they continued to fight it out in the clinch. VanZant landed a short elbow in close. She landed another knee. She took Herrig’s back standing. She tried to pull her backward, but wound up on her back, only to reverse and get on top. She landed some strikes from the top. Herrig reversed and got to her feet. VanZant landed some strikes as Herrig tried to use her body lock. They jockeyed for position. VanZant landed a knee, but it was caught, and Herrig took her down. VanZant rolled through and got on top, passing to side control herself. Herrig tried to tie up a leg. Van Zant landed some more strikes and scrambled out. She got back into side control and landed more punches. Herrig tried to get an armbar, but VanZant popped out and got into north-south. VanZant landed a big flurry of strikes to finish the round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 VanZant. Much stronger round than the first for VanZant.
ROUND THREE: Herrig moved straight ahead, but VanZant bullied her around and pressed her to the cage. She got in some knees. VanZant scored another trip takedown and postured up with a knee on the body. She landed some strikes. Herrig nearly rolled, but VanZant continued the assault from top position. Herrig tried to attack a leg, but VanZant kept throwing down. Herrig continued trying to attack VanZant’s leg, to no avail. Herrig snuck around and took Van Zant’s back, but VanZant quickly turned into her. She stood up again. She landed a bunch of pitter patter strikes. She locked up an arm and landed more elbows. Herrig tried to scramble out, but VanZant continued to stay in control with position and strikes. Herrig tried to defend, but VanZant continued to throw down strikes. Herrig finally got to guard. The horn sounded and VanZant raised her arms up and went back to her corner crying happy tears.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-8 VanZant. Utter domination. Herrig got her ass kicked after a ton of trash talk.
WINNER: VanZant via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
STAR RATING: (**+) Wild ground work, mostly entertaining, and a good overall performance from VanZant. Herrig got shut up pretty convincingly.
MAIN CARD FIGHT TWO: CUB SWANSON VS. MAX HOLLOWAY (FEATHERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Holloway landed a push kick, then followed shortly after with a body kick. Holloway popped in with a jab. Swanson missed a couple of strikes. Holloway went high with a kick that was blocked. Holloway got through with a right. Swanson went capoeira with a high kick, then got in a solid strike behind it. Holloway landed a couple of short strikes. Swanson landed a jab. Holloway landed a flying knee to the body with a punch behind it. He countered a rush from Swanson with a couple of strikes. Swanson connected on a couple of strikes. Swanson landed three punches in combination. Holloway landed another combination. Holloway landed a spinning back kick to the body. They traded kicks. Holloway landed a couple of punches. Holloway got in a body kick. Swanson landed a right. Holloway again got in with a couple of strikes. Holloway missed a big spinning kick to the head. Holloway landed a short combo and Swanson fired back at the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Holloway. Really good round for the kid. Very impressive.
ROUND TWO: Swanson opened with a kick and a short combination. Swanson landed a leg kick. He went high with a kick that was blocked. Holloway landed a good body kick. Holloway got in to the body with a kick. He got in with a short combination. Holloway landed a couple more body punches, then got in with the kick again. Swanson landed a strike, but he’s only getting in one at a time while Holloway strings strikes together. Swanson landed a hard left hook, but Holloway took it. Holloway landed a step-in knee. Swanson got in a hard leg kick inside. Holloway grabbed a front head lock and then landed a knee. They traded punches in the center. Holloway connected with a right hand. He pawed out a few more. Holloway landed another nice combination. Swanson blocked a head kick attempt. Holloway landed a good leg kick. Another combination. Holloway started taunting a bit. Holloway landed another combination. He circled around. He landed a stiff jab. Swanson got in a kick to the body. Swanson threw a spinning kick that was blocked. Holloway landed another combination and avoided a few counters. Holloway continued to stay busy as Swanson threw out a strike here and there. Holloway landed a hard left hand and followed with a couple of strikes. He missed a spinning kick as the horn sounded.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Holloway. Another good round. He’s putting together a lot of strikes, while Swanson’s failing to connect on anything significant.
ROUND THREE: After a few strikes early on from both, Swanson clinched. Holloway separated and landed a big combination. Swanson connected on a left hand. Swanson slipped on a spinning kick. Holloway landed some hard kicks to his legs before letting hi up. Holloway landed a hard knee to the body. He landed some punches to the body and Swanson was hurt. He landed another kick and punches and Swanson went down. Holloway locked up an arm triangle choke in a scramble, but couldn’t finish it off. Swanson scrambled to his feet. Holloway missed a couple of strikes. Swanson landed a jumping kick to the body. Holloway landed a left. Holloway landed a big combination and Swanson looked hurt again. Holloway powered him down with a guillotine into mount. Swanson tried to fight out of it but then desperately tapped after grimacing badly. What a fight from Max Holloway.
WINNER: Holloway via submission (guillotine choke) at 3:58 of the third round
STAR RATING: (***+) Awesome performance from Holloway start to finish. He beat Swanson up at his own game on the feet, then scored that late submission to solidify things. Breakout win.
MAIN CARD FIGHT THREE: RONALDO “JACARE” SOUZA VS. CHRIS CAMOZZI (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Souza stalked early. He landed a couple of big strikes as he backed Camozzi up. Camozzi landed a jab after eating a right hand. Souza landed a right hand, then shot in and scored an easy takedown. He slowly worked to pass off the cage. He got to side control. Jacare snaked for an armbar. Camozzi tried to fight it off, but had to tap. Completely expected there.
WINNER: Souza via verbal submission (armbar) at 2:33 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**+) Completely one-sided, but Jacare is must-see television even in a squash match. Maybe especially so, because that transition was slick as hell.
-They go to the desk to waste more time to get us to the overrun, and apparently I missed this earlier but Daniel Cormier – currently at the desk – is going to be cornering Luke Rockhold tonight. They have other UFC analysts for these Fox shows, no? There are already plenty of conflicts of interest in having fighters covering teammates, but that’s just ridiculous.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT FOUR: LYOTO MACHIDA VS. LUKE ROCKHOLD (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Machida pressed forward with a couple strikes as Rockhold advanced. Rockhold slowly tried to walk him down. Big “Machida” chant from the crowd. Machida landed a left and a right hook behind it. Rockhold nodded his head. Machida landed another left. Rockhold fired out but ate another shot. Rockhold sent Machida down with a right and he went for a guillotine. He didn’t have it locked in and let it go, but he was on top. Machida landed some elbows from the bottom. Rockhold tried to power his way to pass. Rockhold landed some big elbows to the bod from the top as Machida turned into him. Machida got him to guard. Rockhold postured up. He wound up getting Machida turtled up, but couldn’t get hooks in. Machida stood up, but Rockhold nicely dragged him back down and took his back. Machida scrambled but ate a right hand. Rockhold drove him to the cage and postured up. Machida scrambled but Rockhold stayed on him. Machida got to his feet but kept a hand down. Rockhold landed a knee to the thigh and dragged him back down as he had his back. He got a hook in and landed a few strikes. He got the other hook in and started raining down strikes. Rockhold went for the rear naked choke. He had it tight briefly but Machida got out. He landed another hard elbow to end the round. Huge round for Rockhold.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-8 Rockhold. Just dominant ground work. He took some shots early, but dominate the fight once it hit the ground.
ROUND TWO: Rockhold landed some early jabs to Machida’s swelling up eye. Machida threw out a couple of strikes. Rockhold landed a couple of hard kicks to the body. Rockhold landed a leg kick with a punch behind it. Rockhold landed another hard right hand. Rockhold landed another left. Rockhold sent Machida down and immediately got on top. He tried to roll Machida over. Machida tried to escape, but Rockhold wound up taking his back with both hooks in. He locked on the rear naked choke and forced the tap. Yeah, Rockhold gets the next shot.
WINNER: Rockhold via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:31 of the second round
STAR RATING: (***) Just fantastic work from Rockhold. He’s fighting at the highest level of his career, and he’s the deserving next challenger.
That’s the card tonight! Thanks for joining us throughout the day. We’ll have more thoughts on the event throughout the next week as we move ahead to UFC 186!
[Photo (c) Joe Camporeale via USA Today Sports]