UFC FIGHT NIGHT 70
JUNE 27, 2015
LIVE FROM HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA
=====Fox Sports 2 Prelims Quick Results=====
-Sirwan Kakai def. Danny Martinez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Note: Solidly competitive opener. First round was fun enough, though sloppy as all hell, while thing slowed a bit down the stretch action wise. They did finish strong, swinging punches at one another for the final 20 seconds.
-Tony Sims def. Steve Montgomery via TKO at 2:43 of the first round
Note: Very fun short fight. Montgomery rocked Sims with a knee that staggered him badly, but Sims recovered, and then floored him with a left, ending it with a few more strikes on the ground.
-Leandro Silva def. Lewis Gonzalez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-27)
Note: Really bad fight. Less said about it the better.
-Alex Oliveira def. Joe Merritt via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Note: Not up to Oliveira’s past performances. Quite sloppy overall, Oliveira kept losing position and putting himself in bad spots, but didn’t do a ton offensively.
=====Fox Sports 1 Main Card=====
-After a brief intro from Jon Anik and Kenny Florian, it’s time to get to the fights.
FIGHT ONE: HACRAN DIAS VS. LEVAN MAKASHVILI (FEATHERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Dias played the aggressor early, backing Makashvili up to the cage and following him around. He landed a few punches and leg kicks. Makashvili connected on a decent counter strike, but Dias continued to move ahead. Tentative opening here. Dias threw out a few punches that missed the mark. He missed an overhand right two minutes in. Dias popped in with a solid straight right to the body. Makashvili tried to rush in but was out of range. The crowd rained down boos as things didn’t really pick up. Makashvili shot in but got stuffed easily. He drove Dias to the cage. They jockeyed for position and finally separated. Makashvili popped in with an overhand right. Dias scored a takedown with under a minute left. Makashvili tried to quickly get up, but Dias held position and avoided his attack from the bottom. Dias ended the round on top to some boos.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Dias. Not a good round. Not a ton happening from either, but Dias will edge that out.
ROUND TWO: Makashvili tried to liven things up with an early rush, but he took the worst of the exchange. He quickly got a takedown off that, though. Dias attacked from the bottom and tried to isolate Makashvili’s left arm. Dias swept out for an armbar attempt then took Makashvili’s back, but Makashvili smartly backed out and got up. However, he then dropped into Dias’ guard and got locked up in a triangle attempt. Makashvili got loose, then got free entirely after picking him up and dropping him. Makashvili got back into Dias’ guard. He didn’t get much offense in before Dias got loose and back to his feet. Dias then scored a takedown of his own. Makashvili got his back on the cage. He exploded up to his feet and they jockeyed for position in the clinch. Makashvili tried for a takedown again but failed. He held of a Dias takedown attempt with a trip attempt of his own. They separated and Dias advanced. He shot in well and scored another takedown. Makashvili landed a couple of strikes off his back. Dias barely did anything with that as he rode out the round to the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Dias. There’s really not much of consequence happening in this one, but a couple of sub attempts and a couple of takedowns give Dias the edge here.
ROUND THREE: Makashvili landed a groin strike right away, halting the action for a bit. Upon restarting, Makashvili landed a couple of quick strikes and drove Dias to the cage. They separated again and Makashvili connected with a few strikes. Dias landed a jab. He shot in and got held off, so it was back to the clinch battle. Makashvili threw out a series of knees, while Dias didn’t do much. The crowd booed. Makashvili got in an elbow. They were separated midway through the round. Dias then immediately shot in to more boos. Makashvili turned him around and drove him to the cage. They continued the clinch battle. Dias held off a takedown attempt but briefly gave up his back standing. He got turned back around and went for a takedown. Makashvili stuffed it. More boos. Dias one more time tried for the takedown to no avail. Makashvili continued to hold off the attempt on the cage. Makashvili then countered and nearly got Dias down. Finally he picked him up and completed the takedown. He ended the round with a couple of strikes and the crowd booed, rightfully, what was an awful fight.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Makashvili. He really didn’t do much of anything, Dias just somehow did less. Really bad fight.
WINNER: Dias via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (-*) Dias celebrated like he accomplished something massive there. Just a really dull, not good, entirely forgettable fight. That third round was one of the worst of the year.
FIGHT TWO: THIAGO SANTOS VS. STEVE BOSSE (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Bosse tried to move forward early on, and as soon as I start typing Santos just destroys Bosse with a kick to the head. Wow! That was fantastically violent. They show the replay, which is every bit as brutal as it was live, and which Kenny Florian describes as an “oh shit!” kick on the broadcast.
WINNER: Santos via KO (head kick) at :29 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**+) That kick was a thing of beauty to bring some excitement to what’s been a fairly dull card so far. That was just an absolutely sick finish from Santos.
FIGHT THREE: ANTONIO CARLOS JUNIOR VS. EDDIE GORDON (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Gordon avoided an early strike and landed a hard punch of his own. Carlos Junior landed a hard kick as he came in for a clinch. Gordon turned him around on the cage. The clinch battle continued for a bit. Carlos Junior threw him aside, and took advantage of Gordon being off balance to score a takedown into half guard. Gordon worked his way up the cage. Carlos Junior landed several knees to the body as he kept Gordon up against the cage. He got in some more. Gordon tried to break free of the clinch but was stuck on the cage. He finally turned Carlos Junior around and went for his own takedown, but had to give it up when Carlos Junior threatened a choke. The crowd booed a little. Carlos Junior turned him back around and got in a punch before they continued switching position. Carlos Junior tried for another takedown but got stuffed. Carlos Junior then pulled off an excellent foot trip to take Gordon to the ground. He landed some punches to the body in Gordon’s guard. He landed several elbows and punches and started doing significant damage. Gordon tried to attack from the bottom, but Carlos Junior passed to half guard. He landed several big punches and got in a knee to the body. He landed a few more before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Carlos Junior. Big round for him; if he can keep that up, Gordon’s not going to have much left into a third round.
ROUND TWO: Carlos Junior came ahead early. He landed a high kick early and continued to press forward. He grazed Gordon with a front kick. Gordon landed a left. Carlos Junior threw out an overhand right. He landed a kick to the body. He landed a few jabs from the center. Carlos Junior continued to tag him with the jab. He landed a nice counter as Gordon popped in. He got in a hard kick to the body. Gordon clinched up as he got close. Gordon tried for a single leg but got stuffed and shoved off. Carlos Junior landed a few more jabs. They traded jabs. Carlos Junior landed several strikes and avoided some offense from Gordon. Very different strategy from Carlos Junior in this round. He landed a counter strike, got in a front kick, and shot in, scoring the takedown into half guard. Gordon avoided damage early, but Carlos Junior landed some big strikes as he continued on top. He went for a late leg lock but didn’t have time for it before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Carlos Junior. Gordon’s mostly out of this fight right now, but hopefully Carlos Junior doesn’t just coast in the third.
ROUND THREE: Gordon got in an early jab but Carlos Junior countered. Carlos Junior landed a hard leg kick. Gordon rushed in swinging wildly but missed each of his strikes. Carlos Junior shot in. Gordon held him off on the sloppy takedown attempt. Carlos Junior went for a guillotine standing, but things stalled out on the cage and he let it go. The crowd got restless on the clinch. Gordon tried to separate, but Carlos Junior took him down. Gordon landed some elbows off his back as he tried to set up a triangle, but he got easily passed. Carlos Junior snuck in behind Gordon and tried to set up the rear naked choke. Gordon tried to turn into him, but Carlos Junior continued to attack. He held off the choke, but Carlos Junior still had lots of time. Carlos Junior wasn’t finding himself able to get under Gordon’s chin, but he continued looking for it. Gordon kept grabbing his gloves, but Carlos Junior got the hold on tight this time and Gordon was forced to tap.
WINNER: Carlos Junior via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:37 of the third round
STAR RATING: (**+) I liked that fight from Carlos Junior. Good performance in his drop to middleweight, and he’s back on track in a weight class that seems to suit him. He’s got some upside to him, for sure.
-Satellite interview time with Conor McGregor. “To be honest it’s been a familiar week in the fight business. As you know, many people sign on the dotted line and don’t show up.”
-McGregor says he’s got his whole team in Las Vegas with him training with his team. He thinks he’s got the evolution of fight camp here, bringing his guys along with him, those who have gotten him to this point in the first place.
-McGregor says Aldo’s injury doesn’t affect his approach, and he doesn’t plan on targeting the injury the same way Aldo did against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.
FIGHT FOUR: SANTIAGO PONZINIBBIO VS. LORENZ LARKIN (WELTERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Ponzinibbio took the center and Larkin circled early. Larkin tossed out a high kick but it was blocked. Ponzinibbio tried to get in close but Larkin did a good job keeping hijm off with some pawed out kicks. He landed a hard punch and backed Ponzinibbio up with a short flurry. He landed some hard leg kicks. Ponzinibbio connected on a couple of strikes, but Larkin avoided major damage. Larkin landed a hard leg kick again to the outside of the lead leg. He landed a few hard jabs. Larkin connected on a nice push kick. Larkin continued pawing out the jab from the outside. Ponzinibbio tried to back him up, but wasn’t able to land much. Both missed a couple of big strikes. Larkin landed another really hard leg kick. He got in with a right. Ponzinibbio landed a kick. Larkin went back to the lead leg. Ponzinibbio missed several strikes and then clinched looking for a takedown. He got in a knee but Larkin continued to hold him off. Ponzinibbio separated with a couple of strikes. Larkin threw a jumping spin kick to the body. He landed a hard leg kick, then a left hook. Larkin barely missed a superman punch. Ponzinibbio landed a couple of strikes and shot in, but Larkin stuffed it well at the cage. Ponzinibbio was desperate for the takedown but couldn’t take him down. Larkin got in another leg kick and a punch. Larkin landed a hard straight right. He caught a high kick. Larkin landed another leg kick. He got in an uppercut at the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Larkin. Very good opening round. Welterweight suits him damned well at this point, and his takedown defense has improved a bit on top of how well his striking game continues to translate.
ROUND TWO: Larkin opened with a spinning back kick to the body. Larkin got in an uppercut. He backed him up with a right hand. He landed a left and just missed a right as Ponzinibbio countered. Larkin threw a spinning kick to the leg. He lit Ponzinibbio up with a left. He got in a hard right. He got in another jumping kick to the body. Larkin barely missed a winging right. Ponzinibbio scored with a few strikes as he backed Larkin up. Larkin landed a big left. Ponzinibbio got in a strike as Larkin slipped. Larkin again barely missed a couple of heavy strikes. Ponzinibbio continued moving forward despite Larkin out-striking him in a big way. Larkin got in a leg kick. They traded big shots. Ponzinibbio landed the right hand. Larkin landed a left hook. Then a right. He got in an elbow. Larkin dropped him with a huge two punch combo and started landing on the ground. Ponzinibbio tried to get to his feet, getting lit up massively, and Herb Dean finally stepped in. Just absolutely fantastic work from Lorenz Larkin there. That was a great performance.
WINNER: Larkin via TKO at 3:07 of the second round
STAR RATING: (***) That was a ton of fun to watch. Larkin was so fluid with his striking, and he kept it varied, had real solid head work and movement, and then finished that fight when he had Ponzinibbio hurt. Awesome performance, and he should get another step up at welterweight to keep this run moving.
-Larkin says he never wants to be in the position he was in at the end of his middleweight run, like a cat in the corner.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT FIVE: LYOTO MACHIDA VS. YOEL ROMERO (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Machida went high with a kick early. The crowd loudly chanted for Machida. They each pawed out kicks at one another. The Romero contingent chanted back in his favor. Romero threw a jump kick to the body. Machida connected to the body with a kick. Somewhat tentative start despite some early minor offense. Machida circled a bit on the outside. Romero tried to stalk and close the distance, but Machida backed him off with a feint. Both waiting for the other to make a move. Machida got in a hard leg kick. They traded body kicks. Lengthy feeling out process with all of this. Machida got in to the body with a kick and avoided a rush from Romero. Romero got in a leg kick. He landed a hard knee to the body off a kick in close. They traded shots. Romero got in a punch and Machida slipped a little bit and he gave Romero a bit of a reaction. Machida landed a knee to the body. He got in a straight right. Some in the crowd booed a little of the inactivity, but there were big chants on both sides. They traded body punches. Machida landed one low but they fought on. Machida landed a hard body kick. He got a left hand while Romero countered just before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Machida. Not a ton of offense that round, and both were quite wary of making the first move, but Machida got in a bit more overall.
ROUND TWO: More circling and advancing. Each landed hard strikes simultaneously. They traded kicks. Romero continued to stalk but missed a thrown head kick. Machida landed a couple of kicks to the lead leg. New round of Romero chants. Machida landed a front kick to the body. Romero threw a wild jumping kick and Machida barely missed the counter. Machida landed a hard left hand. Machida got back in with the body kick. Lots of faking from both looking for an opening. Romero got in close and tried to throw a big jumping knee but was off the mark out of a brief clinch. Machida stepped in with a solid left hand. Romero rushed in with a short combo. Machida stayed a bit out of range. Romero closed distance and landed the left hand. Machida got in a couple more kicks. Romero landed another hard combination. Machida got in another front kick to the body. Romero landed another counter left hand to the jaw. Romero barely missed a big swinging punch. Machida landed a nice kick combination to both of Romero’s legs. Romero rushed with a punch off the cage and tried for a late takedown, but the horn sounded.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Machida seemed to be getting an edge in the exchanges, but Romero’s power stole it back. Fight still hasn’t kicked into that next gear.
ROUND THREE: Romero stalked again early and Machida avoided a strike. He landed a couple of kicks. Machida missed a couple of strikes. Machida kept looking for kicks. Romero stayed patient and tried to back up up. They clinched and Romero tripped Machida up. He unleashed holy hell with a series of elbows and Machida went out cold. Jesus, man.
WINNER: Romero via KO at 1:38 of the third round
STAR RATING: (***) That finish was incredible. What followed was not.
-In an asinine post-fight interview, Romero scolds the US, saying “what happened to you USA” and rambling about Jesus in broken English about going in for “Jesus, not for gay Jesus.” May have been “forget Jesus.” Hard to say. Either way, just undid a lot of the goodwill he would have gotten from that career win.
-On that note, that’s how we close out the pre-Reebok run for the UFC. It’s a holiday weekend next week, and then we kick off a very different era in the organization in 14 days with UFC 189. We’ll be awaiting word on Jose Aldo’s status this week, so stick with us for more reaction on these fights and more into a completely packed run of events kicking off on July 9!