OCTOBER 3, 2015
LIVE FROM HOUSTON, TEXAS
=====UFC Fight Pass Prelims Quick Results=====
-Derrick Lewis def. Viktor Pesta via TKO at 1:15 of the third round
Note: Pesta controlled Lewis through the first nine minutes or so, but Lewis hurt him late in the second, then finished him off early in the third. Not a great fight, but solid comeback for Lewis after getting taken down numerous times through the first two rounds.
-Sergio Pettis def. Chris Cariaso via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
Note: Pettis had a nice overall performance, but gave away the third round as he faded a bit. Still, he scored a slick knock down in the first round, he worked his takedowns well through ten minutes, and got in a nice upkick in the third from his back as well. Good return to flyweight for him.
-Sage Northcutt def. Francisco Trevino via TKO at :57 of the first round
Note: Northcutt looked great here. Trevino slipped, Northcutt swarmed with a flurry on the cage, dropped down for a nice takedown, and busted him up with elbows to the side of the head before forcing the finish with some more strikes. All in under a minute. The 19-year-old’s got a future. As an aside, Trevino pushed Dean after the stoppage in protest, and is likely done in the UFC.
=====Fox Sports 1 Prelims=====
-After a brief intro from Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan, we move to our first televised prelim of the evening.
PRELIM FIGHT ONE: ROSE NAMAJUNAS VS. ANGELA HILL (WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Namajunas tried to press early and they exchanged some strikes. Hill got in some solid strikes and they clinched. Hill got in a nice strike and just missed a knee out of the clinch. Hill connected on a couple as she blocked punches from Namajunas. Hill landed a hard leg kick. Namajunas scored a nice step in takedown off a lead strike. She went to work from half guard. Hill gained guard, but Namajunas easily passed. Hill gave up her back. She got to her feet but Namajunas locked on a tight standing rear naked choke. Hill went down, trying to tap as she went out. Great transition to that choke from Namajunas.
WINNER: Namajunas via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:47 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**) Decent early exchanges, then a nice takedown from Namajunas, and a great transition as Hill gave her an opening. Officially Namajunas’ first UFC victory.
-They smartly replay Sage Northcutt’s prelim win over Frank Trevino from the Fight Pass prelims.
PRELIM FIGHT TWO: ADRIANO MARTINS VS. ISLAM MAKHACHEV (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Makhachev scored a short early combo and followed with a nice body kick. He landed a solid left hand and tried to walk Martins down. He scored a few strikes in a flurry. Makhachev shot in but got stuffed. Martins rushed in with a few strikes though didn’t seem to fully land. Makhachev missed several strikes as he tried to jump in. Martins then knocked Makhachev out cold out of nowhere! He woke him up with a strike on the ground but the referee stepped in. Wow. What a strike from Martins.
WINNER: Martins via KO at 1:46 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**+) Great, great strike from Martins after avoiding several from Makhachev. Fantastic finish and a big highlight for the Brazilian.
PRELIM FIGHT THREE: ALAN JOUBAN VS. ALBERT TUMENOV (WELTERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Tumenov threw out a hard combination and threw Jouban to the ground early. Jouban popped to his feet and blocked a couple strikes. Things slowed down considerably. Jouban pawed out a few strikes but missed. Tumenov got in a couple of counter strikes. He landed a hard right hand. He went high with a kick that was blocked, but followed with a punch. Jouban landed a couple of jabs, then got tagged by a counter. Jouban landed a head kick but it was absorbed. He went for the body but hit Tumenov low and things were stalled. They restarted and Tumenov came out swinging. Jouban scored a nice counter combination. Tumenov connected with a kick to the body. Tumenov rocked Jouban with a head kick that was only partially blocked. He followed him to the cage and landed a few strikes and face planted Jouban with a huge left hand in the midst of a flurry on the cage. The referee got in almost immediately to stop it. Jouban tried to protest as he got to his feet but he was very clearly hurt badly. Great performance from Tumenov.
WINNER: Tumenov via TKO at 2:55 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**+) Not long enough to be a great overall fight, but this was a fantastic performance from Tumenov overall. Really excellent work.
PRELIM FIGHT FOUR: DANIEL HOOKER VS. YAIR RODRIGUEZ (FEATHERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Rodriguez threw an early side kick to the legs. That was essentially the extent of action in the opening round. He got in another early in the second minute as Hooker circled around the cage. Hooker got tripped up on a kick and ate a few strikes. Rodriguez threw a nice jumping spin kick, but Hooker was out of range. Hooker caught a kick and shot in. Rodriguez tried to grab a choke on the cage. Hooker got his head free, and Rodriguez scored a beautiful counter-thrown and passed right into mount. Hooker escaped to the feet and tried to take Rodriguez’s back standing. Rodriguez turned into him and they battled in the clinch. Rodriguez got in a couple of nice knees as they kept trying to get a better position. Rodriguez landed a nice short combo as they separated. Hooker pressed in late and had to step back from a somersault kick from Rodriguez at the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Rodriguez. Lots of movement and some solid striking gives him the round fairly easily.
ROUND TWO: Rodriguez went for a spinning back fist early but it was blocked and off target. Rodriguez tripped Hooker up briefly. Rodriguez landed a hard spinning strike after missing a kick. Hooker landed a left hand. They clinched and Hooker pressed Rodriguez to the cage. Rodriguez dropped down and attacked a leg. Hooker tried to get on top but got swept and they were back to their feet. Rodriguez went high with a kick and missed the follow up strike. Rodriguez threw a jumping backwards somersault kick and it landed! He got in a combination on Hooker. Rodriguez again scored with a couple of strikes. Hooker tried to get in close and they traded strikes. Rodriguez landed a hard body kick. He avoided a rush from Hooker. He scored an easy takedown, nearly got a throw on a scramble, and backed off. Hooker closed distance late and grabbed a clinch. Rodriguez got loose with a couple of strikes, then landed a kick to the body. Hooker landed a left. Rodriguez threw some wild strikes as he looked a bit tired. Just as that’s written, Rodriguez shot in and scored a solid takedown before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Rodriguez. All the offense is coming from him and him alone right now.
ROUND THREE: Rodriguez missed an early spin kick. They clinched, and Rodriguez got hit with a low blow on the break to halt the action. Hooker tried to press on the restart, but Rodriguez avoided his attacks and tossed out some strikes. Hooker got Rodriguez to the ground, but Rodriguez attacked off his back. Hooker got himself free in order to pass, but took an elbow that cut him open. Rodriguez landed some offense on his back while Hooker threw wildly. They traded strikes on the ground. Hooker landed some strikes, but they were rather ineffectual. The crowd booed the slowed down action in the third on the ground. They were stood up with 40 seconds left. They brought the doctor in to check the cut. The doctor let it continue. Hooker scored a late takedown just before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Rodriguez. Just not nearly enough offense for Hooker to take any round here. Good performance from Rodriguez overall.
WINNER: Rodriguez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
STAR RATING: (**-) Decent fight. Rodriguez was the better fighter start to finish, was much more effective in his strikes, and put on a good overall performance for the win.
-Time for the late push into the pay-per-view main card.
=====Pay-Per-View Main Card=====
-Goldie and Rogan run down what’s to come on tonight’s main card before looking at the women’s bantamweight rankings ahead of our first main card bout.
MAIN CARD FIGHT ONE: JESSICA EYE VS. JULIANNA PENA (WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Eye came out aggressively and started firing. Pena fired back quickly. They both traded shots. Early clinch and things slowed down. Pena tried to pull the fight to the ground but got on her back. Pena looked to move out and got to her feet, driving Eye to the cage. Eye grabbed for a front choke, but used it to land a knee. They jockeyed for position on the cage. Things stalled out a bit in the clinch. Pena scored a takedown and held off a reversal attempt. Eye got to her feet. Pena got in a couple of knees to the body. After Eye turned her around, Pena scored a nice trip takedown into side control. Pena got in a few elbows and tried to open Eye up for more offense. She got in some more, and rode out the round on top, scrambling to Eye’s back before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Pena. Solid opening round. Competitive, but Pena clearly edged it.
ROUND TWO: Pena closed the distance, scored a few strikes, and grabbed a clinch. Eye turned her around and they traded shots in close. After a break Pena tried to press in. Eye scored a takedown of her own off a knee. Eye got in some body strikes from the top as she controlled Pena on the ground. She passed to side control Eye tried to sneak behind Pena for the choke. She got on a side choke and tried to pass back. Pena defended the arm triangle attempt, and Eye was forced to let it go. They both threw body punches and elbows from their respective positions. Pena tried to get up, but Eye went for a choke. She lost position and Pena wound up in north-south. The ref called a knee to the head as Eye landed one from the bottom. The ref stood them up. He deducted a point from Eye and restarted them on top. Wow. Really bad from the ref. Eye landed a right hand before the horn after restarting.
Penick’s Scorecard: 9-9. The point deduction cost Eye the round, but the ref restarting them on the feet there was completely idiotic.
ROUND THREE: Pena grabbed an early clinch, and scored a takedown into Eye’s guard. Pena got warned for back of the head strikes. Pena tried to pass. Eye went for an inverted triangle from the bottom. Pena threw some knees to the body. Pena escaped. She got Eye’s back in a scramble. Pena went for the rear naked choke, and it was looking tight, but Eye escaped. Pena remained on top in half guard. Pena landed some strikes but Eye regained guard. Eye attacked for a triangle choke from the bottom, but Pena escaped easily and passed. Pena went for a choke from the top, but wasn’t in the right position. Pena tried to finish the guillotine with one arm, but Eye survived to the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Pena. Good work from the TUF winner overall. The point deduction from round two is ultimately meaningless, as Pena clearly won rounds one and two.
WINNER: Pena via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
STAR RATING: (**) Not a great fight, but it was solidly competitive throughout and another good win for Pena.
MAIN CARD FIGHT TWO: JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ VS. ALI BAGAUTINOV (FLYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Benavidez took the outside early. He popped in with a nice overhand right that connected. Benavidez landed a solid jab. Benavidez got the better of a couple of early exchanges, avoiding counter-strikes. Benavidez landed a solid kick high. They traded kicks. Benavidez got in a couple of kicks to the body in a row. Bagautinov connected on a few strikes as Benavidez tried to score a takedown. He got cut open in that flurry. Benavidez scored with a few strikes. Benavidez missed a couple of kicks. He shot in but was held off in a scramble. He landed a right hand off a shot. Benavidez missed a couple of strikes. Benavidez tossed some wild strikes out. Both missed a few. Benavidez connected to the body late.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Benavidez. He landed more overall, though he did absorb some significant damage with that cut.
ROUND TWO: Benavidez got in with a couple of strikes early. They both missed as they swung wildly. He connected on a few kicks to the body and head in succession. Benavidez landed a nice straight left. Benavidez landed a hard kick to the body after missing a left hand. They both swung but neither connected. Benavidez got in with a few punches and kicks to the body and legs. Neither guy was overly eager to press in. Things slowed down significantly over the next minute. Benavidez threw out several kicks but didn’t connect. Benavidez landed a strike. Bagautinov caught a kick but couldn’t get Benavidez down. Bagautinov caught a kick and scored a brief takedown, but Benavidez scrambled out. Neither threw anything before the horn and the crowd booed a little bit.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Benavidez. He’s doing more overall, but neither is doing much, so these scorecards could be going either way right now.
ROUND THREE: Bagautinov landed an early right hand. Benavidez landed a nice two punch combo. Both connected in an exchange. Benavidez got in a knee and got briefly tripped up. Benavidez landed a right hand. He blocked a kick. The crowd booed the still tentative action. Benavidez got in a solid knee off a brief clinch. Things slowed down again to boos. Benavidez missed a couple of strikes. Benavidez popped in and scored on a few. Still, the offense came with plenty of delays in between, leading to more boos. Bagautinov scored a brief takedown, but Benavidez scrambled to his feet and landed a few strikes to separate. Benavidez landed a few strikes. He circld out, and landed a hard late knee. Bagautinov missed a couple of strikes late. Benavidez got Bagautinov to the ground just before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Benavidez. Bagautinov just did very little overall in this one. Should be his fight, but again, first two rounds were close enough to see something screwy from the judges here.
WINNER: Benavidez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (*) It wasn’t much of a fight. Benavidez was better it seemed, but neither did much of anything in that fight start to finish. It was unfortunately dull, but Benavidez has now won four straight fights in the flyweight division.
MAIN CARD FIGHT THREE: SHAWN JORDAN VS. RUSLAN MAGOMEDOV (HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Magomedov worked on the outside early as Jordan took the center. They clinched just over a minute in and jockeyed for position. Jordan dragged Magomedov to the ground against the cage and stayed heavy. Jordan tried to keep him down, and stayed on the attempt as Magomedov managed to get to his feet. Magomedov attacked for a kimura and used it to secure separation. Jordan pressed forward again. He missed a couple strikes. Magomedov scored a couple of kicks with a few punches behind them. Magomedov connected to the body. Jordan missed a strike and ate one. Neither landed a strike down the stretch.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-10. They offset each other. Jordan was doing more in their early exchanges, but Magomedov came on in the latter half, and neither established themselves as the better fighter that round.
ROUND TWO: Jordan told his corner between rounds his ribs were hurt, but he came out firing in the second. He rocked Magomedov with a couple, then shot for a takedown which slowed things down. Not the best move here. They clinched. Magomedov connected with a couple before backing off. Jordan closed the distance, missed a strike, and shot in. Magomedov held it off, but Jordan stayed on him. He nearly got it on the attempt. Magomedov caught Jordan in the eye with a kick. Jordan tried to recover in real time. He was clearly bothered, but kept coming forward anyway. They traded left hands. Things has slowed again so the crowd booed some more. They tried to get the better position on the feet in the clinch, though neither connected much down the stretch.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Jordan? Another really close round that could have gone either way.
ROUND THREE: Jordan came out firing, then looked for a takedown. Magomedov held a front head lock as Jordan went for the takedown attempt. Jordan got in some knees. Magomedov got him turned around and they traded. Magomedov landed several hard strikes, one of which cut Jordan’s other eye open. Magomedov connected on several strikes. Jordan walked forward but didn’t connect on much. He threw a nice high kick. Jordan was just trying to stay alive despite losing his sight somewhat. Jordan swung wildly and clinched. Neither got in much offense as the round wore on. Magomedov backed out following a kick. Jordan pressed in for a brief clinch. They were separated and Jordan moves straight in with a combination. They traded before the horn and the crowd rained down some boos.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Magomedov? He seemed to connect on more that round overall, though it wasn’t an egregious number.
WINNER: Magomedov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (*) Another not very good bout. Hard to entirely disagree with the decision given how little actually happened in the fight.
MAIN CARD FIGHT FOUR: RYAN BADER VS. RASHAD EVANS (LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Bader pressed in and Evans landed a left hand. Bader tossed out a leg kick. Evans actually looks small compared to Bader here. Bader landed a body kick. Bader landed a nice right hand. He got the better of another exchange. Bader landed a decent jab. Evans popped in a left as he ate a body kick. Evans stuffed a shot and landed a couple strikes. Evans missed a few winging strikes. Bader landed a nice right hand. He just missed an overhand right. Evans tried to close in but Bader got in a few jabs to keep him off rhythm. Evans got in a jab. They traded strikes in a slightly wild exchange. Bader tossed out punches as Evans tried to close in. Evans got in a couple strikes and shot in. Bader held him off and broke free with an elbow. Evans closed in late and they traded punches late.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Bader. Solid opening round. Evans clearly rusty.
ROUND TWO: Bader connected a couple of times early. He got in a solid side kick to the body. Bader shot in and scored a takedown. Evans gave up his back but got to his feet. Bader stayed on him standing and dragged him back down. Evans again popped up, and this time turned into him. Bader backed off. Evans just missed a big right hand. Evans tried to close in. He landed the right hand, but Bader clinched and circled out. Evans tried to get in close, Bader got in a body shot. Evans tossed out a few strikes. Bader fired back. Evans shot in, but Bader held it off. They clinched to end the round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Bader. Evans just not having much success at all here.
ROUND THREE: Evans tossed out a couple early leg kicks. Bader landed a short hook. Bader got in to the body. Evans swung wildly and closed in for the clinch. Bader separated with an elbow. Bader landed a kick to the body. Evans closed in and missed a couple of strikes before dropping for a takedown. Bader stuffed the attempt. The crowd booed. Bader separated with a nice elbow. Bader tossed out a couple of jabs. He connected on a right hand, then a jab behind it. He landed another jab. Evans tried to walk him down, but kept eating strikes for even getting close. Bader rushed in and scored a brief takedown, but Evans scrambled up. Evans landed a couple strikes late; Bader grabbed a clinch and that’s how the fight ended.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Bader. Evans just wasn’t able to do much effectively in this fight, and Bader should get his fifth straight win as a result.
WINNER: Bader via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (*+) Not the worst Ryan Bader fight. He was clearly the better man tonight, and I’m not sure exactly what it means for Evans’ future given it was his first fight in 23 months.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT FIVE: DANIEL CORMIER VS. ALEXANDER GUSTAFSSON (LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP)
ROUND ONE: Gustafsson circled on the outside early. Cormier threw an inside leg kick. They traded kicks from there. Gustafsson got in to the body. Cormier shot in for a single leg. He picked Gustafsson up and flipped him to plant him on the ground. Cormier had side control briefly, but Gustafsson pulled him to half guard. Cormier landed a few strikes. Gustafsson got him to full guard. Cormier looked to stay busy to hold position. Gustafsson tried to kick him off to pop up, but Cormier kept him on the ground. Gustafsson did a solid job avoiding damage while on the bottom. Cormier connected to the body with a number of strikes, but nothing was looking extremely effective. Gustafsson attempted a triangle, but Cormier used it to pass. Gustafsson continued working defensively on the ground, but Cormier passed to side control. Gustafsson scrambled out to his feet with over a minute left. Gustafsson got in a leg kick, then one to the body. Cormier barely missed a right hand. Gustafsson landed to the body but the kick was caught. Gustafsson shot late. Cormier slipped on an attempted knee just before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Cormier. Ground control from Cormier gave him the opening round edge.
ROUND TWO: Gustafsson threw some early kicks. He missed a couple of winging punches. Cormier tried to walk him down. Gustafsson landed a nice body punch. He cut Cormier open with something. Cormier tried to rush him but Gustafsson ran out and got separation. Gustafsson landed a nice step in knee and stuffed a takedown. Gustafsson then scored a takedown of his own. They popped up. They traded uppercuts. Gustafsson got in a nice knee and Cormier shot in. Gustafsson held it off and landed a hard elbow. Gustafsson got separation and reset. Gustafsson landed to the body. Cormier landed a body kick. Gustafsson pawed out a jab. He landed a knee to the body. Cormier landed a couple strikes. They traded strikes. Cormier landed several hard uppercuts in a clinch. Gustafsson connected to break. Cormier landed a solid combination. Gustafsson pawed out a few strikes. Gustafsson landed a few strikes. Cormier fired back. He missed a strike. Cormier landed a right hand. Gustafsson returned fire. They traded punches. Cormier landed a few hard punches in the center. Gustafsson scored another takedown on Cormier. He took Cormier’s back, but Cormier stood. Gustafsson landed a few knees to close the round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Gustafsson. Cormier had a lot of offense in the round as well, wouldn’t argue him being up two here, but that was a good, close round.
ROUND THREE: Cormier walked forward, but Gustafsson opened up with a right. Cormier continued pressing and landed a leg kick. Gustafsson landed a hard uppercut. Cormier came back with some pawing strikes. Cormier landed a good right hand. He landed another and tried to close in. Gustafsson was bloodied up from the attack. Gustafsson landed a two-punch combo. Cormier got in a few hard uppercuts in a tie up. Gustafsson pushed Cormier’s legs out but Cormier popped up. Gustafsson landed a left. Both missed some strikes as they continued to circle around. Cormier landed a nice strike, then opened up with another run of close uppercuts. Gustafsson tried to fire back but ate a ton more. Cormier landed several more uppercuts. He gave Gustafsson little space and fired off some more uppercuts. Gustafsson rocked Cormier with a knee! Cormier went down after a couple of punches, but he recovered with a takedown attempt. Gustafsson tried to take advantage, but Cormier slowed it down and circled out. They separated before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Cormier. Gustafsson nearly stole it late with a perfect knee and strikes behind it. He needs to find that again in the championship rounds. Very good fight on our hands here right now.
ROUND FOUR: Gustafsson opened with a couple hard kicks. Gustafsson started picking up his attack. He landed a hard right hand. Gustafsson shot in and drove Cormier to the cage in the clinch. Cormier pressed him back with an uppercut. Gustafsson landed a kick to the body. Cormier threw out some punches. Cormier landed a few as he chased Gustafsson. Gustafsson landed a hard right. Cormier got in with a left. Cormier tried to rush in but didn’t land much. Gustafsson scored a combo. Gustafsson connected to the body. Gustafsson got in a knee. Cormier rushed and scored a right hand. They clinched and traded strikes. The crowd booed a bit. They traded kicks. Cormier pressed in late with a short flurry. Close round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Gustafsson. Close round, but the challenger evened it up, I think.
ROUND FIVE: Cormier pressed the pace through the first half of the round, and Gustafsson’s attacks slowed. Gustafsson shot in to no avail. They traded clinch uppercuts. Gustafsson was busted open badly. Cormier landed a few hard strikes. Cormier landed another flurry in close. Gustafsson just looked drained as the fight went down the stretch. Cormier continued to have success in close in the clinch. He went back to the uppercuts. He landed several strikes. Gustafsson stuck with him, but couldn’t score much late. Cormier landed a few more uppercuts before the horn and he should move on to the Jones rematch next.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Cormier. Somewhat close, but Cormier seemed to take over in the final few minutes and should have at least three of these rounds.
WINNER: Cormier via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 49-46)
STAR RATING: (***) It was a good fight. It was a close fight. Gustafsson gave Cormier a significant challenge and hurt him at times in this one, but Cormier took that damage and came back strong. I think both still lose to Jon Jones in rematches, but this was a good main event fight between the two of them.
-Cormier thanked Gustafsson and said the Swede made him a better man and fighter tonight with that performance.
-That’s another event in the books! The UFC is off until Oct. 24, but we’ll have plenty in reaction to this event and coverage of other MMA action in October as the month rolls on, so make sure to stick with us at MMATorch!