UFC ON FOX 17
DECEMBER 19, 2015
LIVE FROM ORLANDO, FLORIDA
The final UFC show of 2015 hits Orlando tonight, with four fights coming to network television on the main card. Rafael dos Anjos sets out to make the first defense of his UFC Lightweight Championship against Donald Cerrone, the second title fight on Fox for the year, while former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos meets Alistair Overeem in the co-main event. We’ll have live round by round coverage of tonight’s televised fights, starting with the Fox Sports 1 prelims at 5PM ET, and we’ll have quick results for the UFC Fight Pass prelims beginning at 3:30PM. Stick with us all day to follow along with the event!
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=====UFC Fight Pass Quick Results=====
-Francis Ngannou def. Luiz Henrique via KO at 2:53 of the second round
NOTE: Excellent finishing sequence from the Frenchman in his UFC debut. He hurt Henrique with a combination on the cage and put him out with an uppercut. Great work overall.
-Vicente Luque def. Hayder Hassan via technical submission (anaconda choke) at 2:13 of the first round
NOTE: Awesome work from Luque. Rocked Hassan with a strike that forced him to shoot in, and he latched on to the anaconda choke from that sprawl. Hassan tried to fight it off but went out cold. Excellent work.
-Kamaru Usman def. Leon Edwards via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
NOTE: Usman controlled much of the grappling action in the fight, not a ton more to this fight than that.
=====Fox Sports 1 Prelims=====
PRELIM FIGHT ONE: COLE MILLER VS. JIM ALERS (FEATHERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Alers scored some early leg kicks. Miller connected on a nice jab. Miller pressed forward and they traded strikes in a nice exchange. Miller landed a straight right. Alers popped in with a left hook. He landed a solid side kick to the body. Miller threw a couple hooks. Alers got back in with an inside leg kick. Miller landed a solid right hand. Alers landed a hard right after Miller missed. Alers again with the left. Miller tossed out some kicks to the body. Miller worked the jab again. Miller landed a counter right as Alers reached in. Miller missed on an axe kick attempt. Alers landed a hard inside leg kick again. Miller landed a nice left hook. He landed a jab after avoiding a return exchange. Alers connected to the body. Miller landed a good jab. Alers clinched and landed a knee to the body. Miller separated with an elbow before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Miller. Close round, lots of offense from both, but Miller was a bit more effective in his strikes and landed some cleaner, harder blows overall.
ROUND TWO: Alers has a cut on the right eyelid that brought attention from the doctor, but he was allowed to continue. Miller landed some jabs while Alers continued to work the leg kick. Miller got in an outside leg kick. Alers landed a solid left hook behind Miller’s defenses. He connected on a counter right as Miller missed a few. Miller landed a nice body kick as he walked Alers down. He landed a strike to the body as Alers threw out a few. Alers landed a nasty eye poke, and Miller couldn’t open his eye. The fight’s going to be called a no contest even though it completely deserves to be a disqualification. Garbage call.
WINNER: No contest at 1:44 of the second round (eye poke)
STAR RATING: (n/a) If we’re going to continue treating eye pokes as accidental or unintentional, this is going to keep happening. It happened last week and Kevin Casey needed surgery on his eye. Eye pokes need to be punished. They’re not “accidental” or “inadvertent” or “unintentional” when the fingers are extended and pushing into someone’s face. Fighters keep doing it because they know they can get away with it with relatively little repercussions, as we see here yet again. Disappointing.
PRELIM FIGHT TWO: NIK LENTZ VS. DANNY CASTILLO (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Castillo switched his stances back and forth a bit. Lentz closed distance, clinched, and got in a solid knee to the body before Castillo broke out. Castillo landed an inside leg kick. Castillo landed a hook and Lentz countered with a body kick. Castillo got in a straight left but Lentz landed another body kick in return. Castillo shot in and got stuffed. Lentz landed a nice left. They traded punches and clinched. Lentz landed a nice combination. Castillo got in close and Lentz pulled off a beautiful throw into side control. Castillo worked up to his feet and Lentz grabbed for a guillotine. Castillo stayed standing and Lentz had to loosen it up. He tried to drag Castillo down with the hold. He lost it as they got to the ground and Castillo got on top. Lentz went for it again but Castillo got out. He tried to pass, but Lentz defended. Castillo tried to explode for an arm triangle, but it was quickly and easily defended. Lentz kicked him off and popped back to his feet. Castillo looked tired. Lentz missed a head kick, but scored a few strikes in combination. They traded kicks. Lentz landed a hard right hand. Castillo got stuffed on a takedown, but landed a hard right hand. They traded strikes late. Castillo nearly scored a takedown, but Lentz got behind him and landed a couple knees late. Competitive round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Lentz. Both tired themselves out a bit that round, but Castillo looked the worse for wear by the end. Solid fight right now.
ROUND TWO: Lentz checked a kick early. Castillo landed a jab. Castillo went high with a kick that was blocked. He followed up with a few strikes. Lentz landed a short combo. They traded strikes. Lentz landed a front kick, then a punch behind it. Castillo landed a jab. Lentz landed a nice left hand. He shot in at the cage but got held off. They traded body kicks. Lentz landed a good body kick. Castillo got in with the jab. Lentz landed a nice two punch combo. Castillo missed and just barely got out of the way of some counter strikes. Lentz landed a nice right hand, then a left. He got in a body kick, clinched, and scored a takedown. Nice sequence for Lentz there. Lentz let him up and grazed him with a knee. Lentz landed a body kick. Lentz landed a right hand. Castillo got stuffed on a shot and Lentz landed a couple knees out of the sprawl. They clinched and Lentz landed another combo. Lentz grabbed a front headlock in a clinch. He landed some knees and tried to lock up the choke. He fell to his back as he lost it. Castillo landed in side control. Mistake on Lentz’s part, but he quickly regained guard. He easily got to his feet and came back ahead. Lentz landed a left. Castillo got one in of his own. Lentz landed a short combo to the body. He continued to press forward. He blocked a head kick. Castillo landed a jab. They traded strikes again before the horn. Both look exhausted.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Lentz. Both are just plodding at this point, but Lentz again was much more active offensively.
ROUND THREE: Lentz came straight ahead. Castillo landed a few strikes but Lentz fired back. He got in a leg kick. Lentz fired back again. Castillo got in kick. He shot in but got countered. Lentz had him down briefly but Castillo scrambled up. Lentz continued moving forward. He landed a nice body kick. Castillo pawed out his jab, but Lentz got through and moved ahead. Lentz scored a few strikes and went for the guillotine as Castillo got in close. He lost it and wound up on his back. Lentz scrambled up and ate a knee. Castillo left his fingers open and Lentz yelled at him to watch the eyes. They reset and Castillo poked him again. Ridiculous. Lentz kept moving ahead. Castillo did it again. Asinine. Lentz didn’t take any breaks. He ate a knee and a strike. Castillo scored a brief takedown, but Lentz got right back up. Lentz tried to press forward. They traded strikes. Lentz landed a nice combination in close. He clinched but got stuffed on a takedown attempt. He got in some nice clinch strikes and tried to get Castillo down. Castillo countered to stay up. Lentz landed a combination and Castillo looked dead tired. Lentz landed a left hand. He landed another combination. Lentz came forward again with a right hand. He landed to the body. That was the last strike of the fight.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Lentz. Came on strong late to negate the takedowns. Castillo also should have had a point taken away for continued attempted eye pokes.
WINNER: Lentz via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (**) Would have been better had they not gassed a bit, but it was a solid, competitive fight. Still, 29-28 Castillo’s an awful scorecard, and Castillo getting away with those eye pokes is ridiculous as well.
PRELIM FIGHT THREE: JOSH SAMMAN VS. TAMDAN MCCRORY (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Samman opened with a leg kick, and they scrambled to the ground. Neither had an edge and they worked up to the clinch on the cage. McCrory held control and landed a hard knee to the body. Samman finally got him turned around and scored a takedown. He moved into half guard and tried to score from the top. McCrory tried to get space to scramble out but Samman held position. McCrory pulled him into guard. McCrory tried to attack for an armbar. He transitioned to a triangle but Samman scrambled out. McCrory used it to transition to the top, but Samman escaped and got back on top himself. Nice battle here. Samman scored a few strikes, but McCrory went for a kimura and used it to sweep. He then scrambled to take Samman’s back. He locked up an arm as Samman escaped but Samman got out and into half guard. McCrory again tried to sweep. Samman held position and landed some hard strikes. Samman landed some more as McCrory got to his feet and they ended in the clinch. Very good opening round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Samman? Real hard to score. Lots of good ground work from both, and though McCrory was attacking from the bottom, Samman continued to get free and get back to superior positions.
ROUND TWO: Samman came out throwing spinning kicks before shooting in. He got a body lock and scored the takedown, though McCrory locked him up in the guard. McCrory did a good job locking Samman up to avoid the ground and pound. He tried to scramble out but Samman held position well. McCrory went for the omoplata, but Samman got free. However, he grabbed the underhook and used it to sweep. He tried to take Samman’s back, but Samman scrambled to get to the cage. McCrory got in some strikes as Samman tried to cover up and work to his feet. McCrory held him down and landed some hard elbows. He postured up and landed several strikes. Samman tried to sit up to improve his position. McCrory opened up with some strikes as Samman tried to get to his feet. McCrory continued to keep him down, standing to drop down more strikes. Samman threw some strikes from his back, landing several hard elbows in short space. McCrory returned fire. McCrory attacked for a kimura from half guard, though Samman defended well. He managed to avoid the hold and make it to the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 McCrory. McCrory did a lot of good work from top position, but Samman’s defense remains commendable.
ROUND THREE: McCrory opened with a body kick. Samman returned one high and shot in. McCrory stuffed and wound up on top. He landed a big strike and nearly dropped into mount. Samman turned back in to keep him in half guard. McCrory landed a few strikes. Samman pulled him to guard, but McCrory postured up and landed a big combination. Samman tried to lock McCrory down. McCrory tried to sneak out to side control, but Samman kept a foot locked up. He finally popped out, but Samman nearly scrambled out. He got his back to the cage, but continued to eat strikes. Samman finally reversed and got on top himself as McCrory tried to grab something. Not much time for Samman on top. McCrory went for an omoplata. On a scramble he got the triangle locked on. He tried to lock up the arm as Samman tried to defend, and McCrory landed several elbows. He locked up the opposite arm to add further pressure. He locked it on tighter and Samman was forced to tap. Great UFC return from McCrory.
WINNER: McCrory via submission (triangle choke) at 4:10 of the third round
STAR RATING: (***) Really liked this fight. Samman’s strategy wasn’t his best, and he played with fire trying to make this a ground battle, but the big story is McCrory’s return, and how good he looked even as he doesn’t think it was his best performance. He’s been on fire since returning from a five year hiatus, and he’s got the game to be a force in this middleweight division.
PRELIM FIGHT FOUR: SARAH KAUFMAN VS. VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO (WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Shevchenko landed a hard right hand as Kaufman threw a leg kick. Kaufman tried to close in and landed a few strikes. Shevchenko fired off a few of her own. They clinched up with Shevchenko pressing Kaufman back. Shevchenko worked in some knees to the body. They traded strikes again in close. Shevchenko then pulled off a trip takedown. That was surprising. Kaufman tried to lock down an arm as she closed her guard. Shevchenko stepped out and Kaufman got to her feet. Shevchenko landed a hard kick to the body. Kaufman closed in, but got reversed as she went for a takedown and got briefly mounted. She escaped and got Shevchenko into her guard. Kaufman got back to her feet, but ate several punches on the way up. Shevchenko landed another hard body kick as Kaufman got in close. Kaufman went for a heel hook and nearly had it before Shevchenko got her leg loose. Shevchenko took Kaufman’s back standing, but Kaufman got turned into her. Shevchenko got in a hard knee. She landed a short elbow. She got some more and Kaufman landed a knee and punch before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Shevchenko. The short notice newcomer really impressed in that first round. Good work.
ROUND TWO: Kaufman landed a couple strikes and clinched up. They traded knees. Shevchenko landed a hard elbow inside. Shevchenko landed a spinning back kick to the body. Kaufman landed a strike. Shevchenko kept pressure against the cage, though neither was doing a ton. Shevchenko got in another hard elbow and Kaufman turned her around. Shevchenko separated out. Kaufman clinched but got thrown; she scrambled but wound up on her back. Shevchenko landed some strikes. Kaufman threw out some elbows off her back. Kaufman tried to lock her down in guard, and Shevchenko laid on top a bit. Kaufman threw some punches and elbows from her back, blocking some attempts from Shevchenko. She finally kicked Shevchenko off and stood up. Shevchenko landed a spinning back elbow to the face, then a knee as Kaufman came in for a clinch. Kaufman held her against the cage, landing a couple knees. Kaufman failed on another takedown attempt. They traded knees in the clinch, and that’s how the round ended.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Shevchenko. Kaufman shockingly getting out-worked on the ground and in the grappling game, and she’s got to be in desperation mode in this final round.
ROUND THREE: Shevchenko threw out a few front kicks that didn’t land. They clinched up and Kaufman got briefly taken down. She got to her feet with double underhooks, but couldn’t do much as she pressured. Shevchenko spun her around, landed a few strikes, and clinched again. Shevchenko scored a takedown off a body lock, though Kaufman immediately worked up. Shevchenko separated with a strike. Kaufman moved in and again clinched up, despite this not working for her all fight. Kaufman landed a body punch. She went for a single leg and scored the trip, getting into side control. Best position of the fight for her, and she landed some elbows. Kaufman tried to isolate an arm. Shevchenko got her feet on the cage and Kaufman transitioned to get her away from it. Kaufman went for the americana but lost it. She held side control on the other side, throwing elbows to the head and body. Kaufman went for the americana again, but lost it. Shevchenko defended the attempts well. Shevchenko tried to attack from the bottom. Kaufman again looked for the armlock. She transitioned to the mount and landed some late strikes. She went for the armbar, lost it, and both stood. Shevchenko landed a strike at the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Kaufman. Too little, too late, unfortunately, for the former Strikeforce Champ. This is going to be a rough loss for her, and she’ll drop to just 1-2 with one no contest in her four UFC bouts.
WINNER: Shevchenko via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (**) Really good debut from Shevchenko. The clinch work dragged it down slightly, but it was a mostly entertaining fight and a surprisingly well rounded performance from the newcomer, as she out-worked Kaufman on the ground when it was her striking game that was lauded coming in.
PRELIM FIGHT FIVE: CB DOLLAWAY VS. NATE MARQUARDT (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Dollaway immediately took to the center, though Marquardt pressed right back. Dollaway landed an outside leg kick. Tentative opening from both. Dollaway landed a nice kick to the body. Marquardt got in a punch to the body. Dollaway landed a hard outside leg kick. They traded left hands. Dollaway landed a hard jab. He barely missed a right hand. He avoided a counter, then ate a big kick to the body. He came back with a body kick of his own. Dollaway went high with a kick that was blocked. Marquardt landed a hard leg kick, then a straight kick to the body. Marquardt landed a solid left hook. Things got real tentative as neither looked to engage first. Dollaway rushed with a combo and hurt Marquardt. Marquardt slowed it down briefly, but he got tagged in that flurry. Marquardt landed a few hard leg kicks. Dollaway ate a right hand in close and shot in, but Marquardt stuffed it and landed a knee to the body. Dollaway landed a body kick. Neither landed a strike for the final 20 seconds until just at the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Dollaway. Marquardt got in some offense, but Dollaway was more effective.
ROUND TWO: Dollaway was trying to be the aggressor early, and as he chased Marquardt down he got knocked out cold! He got sloppy and got caught with a huge right hand. Wow. Alright then. Bad loss for Dollaway.
WINNER: Marquardt via KO at :28 of the second round
STAR RATING: (**+) Crazy finish. Dollaway got reckless and got slept. Marquardt still doesn’t have a ton left, but power’s always the last thing to go. He’s kept himself alive in the UFC for now, but it still seems likely to be short-lived.
PRELIM FIGHT SIX: CHARLES OLIVEIRA VS. MYLES JURY (150 LB CATCHWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Jury circled on the outside early. Jury caught a kick and landed a strike. Oliveira countered with a right hand. Oliveira landed a front kick. Jury landed a jab. Oliveira got in with a hard inside leg kick. He connected on the outside. They traded strikes. Jury landed a hard kick, but Oliveira caught it and drove him to the cage, picking him up for a takedown. Oliveira landed a strike. Jury nearly escaped with an armbar attempt, but Oliveira took his back in the transition. Jury tried to scramble out, but Oliveira held position. Oliveira tried to lock down an arm, but Jury continued defending. Jury worked up to his feet. Oliveira locked on a tight guillotine and hopped to guard with Jury still standing. He had it locked on tight and Jury tapped. Well then. Back on track after the esophageal tear this summer, though missing weight as badly as he did hurts his standing. Rough featherweight debut for Jury.
WINNER: Oliveira via submission (guillotine choke) at 3:05 of the first round
STAR RATING: (***) Fantastic transition to the choke to begin with as they got to their feet, and absolutely nasty execution with the hold to give Jury nowhere to go. That grip as sick, and it’s another massive win for him.
=====Fox Main Card=====
-Aaaaaand we start the main card with an awful movie tie-in for the new Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg film. Ok then.
MAIN CARD FIGHT ONE: RANDA MARKOS VS. KAROLINA KOWALKIEWICZ (WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: They traded punches right off the bat in the center. Kowalkiewicz landed a big combination and Markos winced afterward. They traded again, this time Markos connecting with a couple herself. Markos pressed in and both scored a few strikes. Markos tried to lock up a clinch, but Kowalkiewicz nicely got separation. She connected on a right hand as she came back ahead. They traded strikes in the center again. Markos this time got the clinch she was seeking before and grabbed double underhooks at the cage. Kowalkiewicz tried to hold off the takedown attempt and they battled on the cage. Markos tried for a trip but got held off. The crowd booed the extended clinchwork. Markos finally tried to pull guard to bring it down, but as they got up she got hit hard. Markos landed a strike. She got in a solid right hand as she stepped in. Kowalkiewicz landed a solid kick to the body. They traded leg kicks. Markos rushed in. They clinched and Markos landed several strikes. Kowalkiewicz connected. They traded late just before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Kowalkiewicz. Close. Easily could go the other way, but the newcomer had some significant power in her strikes.
ROUND TWO: The newcomer landed several early kicks. She landed a solid right hand 40 seconds in, countering Markos. Markos landed a right hand as they traded in the center. Kowalkiewicz landed a hard two-punch combo. Kowalkiewic landed several strikes. Markos went for a takedown, but ate an elbow as Kowalkiewicz kept herself upright. Markos tried to take her back standing, and Dragged her down to the ground. Nice work to get where she wanted. Kowalkiewicz stood but Markos held position and locked on the body triangle. Kowalkiewicz tried to work a straight armbar, but lost it. Markos then locked up an arm and tried to stretch Kowalkiewicz awkwardly. Kowalkiewicz tried to buck her off but got dragged down with Markos still on her back. Markos tried to open her up for the choke, but Kowalkiewicz defended well. Kowalkiewicz landed some strikes to Markos behind her. Markos held down position, but lost it late just before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Markos. Good round for the UFC vet. She’s tied it up or she’s up two rounds to none.
ROUND THREE: Kowalkiewicz landed a nice right hand to start. They traded and Kowalkiewicz got the better of it. She tried to press Markos back and she landed a nice short combination. Kowalkiewicz did it again. She landed a jab. They traded again, Kowalkiewicz continuing to get the better of it. Markos finally got in a solid right hand, but she continued to throw one strike at a time. Kowalkiewicz connected on a few. She continued to press forward. Kowalkiewicz landed a nice body strike and stuffed a takedown attempt. Kowalkiewicz landed another combination. She landed a hard spinning back fist, but Markos reacted nicely with a couple strikes and closing in to clinch. Kowalkiewicz held off the takedown attempt and they traded knees in the clinch. Kowalkiewicz backed out, then came ahead with a short combo. Markos landed a kick. Markos shot in and scored a trip, but Kowalkiewicz rolled through and wound up on top. She trapped an arm and landed some strikes, then passed to the mount. Kowalkiewicz attacked from the top, landing some significant strikes. Markos tried to escape to half guard, but she ate some big strikes as she did so. Kowalkiewicz landed a couple knees to the body. Markos scrambled out and to her feet, her face starting to bleed. Kowalkiewicz came in and threw a few strikes. Markos returned fire before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Kowalkiewicz. Very good final round from the newcomer who, win or lose, made an impression in this debut.
WINNER: Kowalkiewicz via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (**+) That’s a huge entrance into the UFC from Kowalkiewicz. Strong finish and a mostly strong overall performance, and though I don’t agree with the 30-27 mark in her favor (second was pretty clear for Markos), that was a very impressive victory for the undefeated Polish strawweight.
MAIN CARD FIGHT TWO: MICHAEL JOHNSON VS. NATE DIAZ (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Both came out to the center to start, looking to establish range. Johnson landed a right hand. Diaz got in a leg kick. Johnson landed a hard leg kick. They traded punches. Johnson landed to the body and ducked under a counter. Johnson threw out a bunch of strikes that were way off the mark. Diaz landed a solid inside kick. Johnson landed a left. Diaz checked a kick. Johnson landed a nice left hand, then went back to the leg kick. He landed to the body. Johnson just a lot more active early. Johnson landed another leg kick, then a punch to the body. Diaz landed a right, then connected on a left. He landed a side kick to the lead leg. Diaz landed a jab. Diaz landed a nice overhand left stepping in. Johnson landed the leg kick. Diaz landed a hard straight left and smiled. He missed and just avoided a counter. Johnson landed a good punch to the body. Johnson landed a punch after a kick. Both swung and missed. Johnson got in another hard leg kick. Johnson landed a hard body kick. He landed a couple more strikes. He landed to the body. Diaz popped out a few short jabs. Johnson got in with a short combo. He swung and missed. Diaz landed a couple late. They traded just before the horn. Close round.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Johnson. Diaz had a strong minute in the middle of the round, but slowed the attack down and allowed Johnson to accumulate more offense. Close either way.
ROUND TWO: Johnson pressured and landed a left, followed by a kick. He landed another combination. Diaz switched stances briefly after a big leg kick. Johnson landed a hard left hand. Diaz landed a right hand. They traded strikes in the center. Diaz landed a couple and smiled. They traded again, with Johnson ending on a left hand. They traded in the center. Johnson scored a big left hand in a center exchange. Diaz landed the jab. They traded again. Both connecting on a lot of strikes in this one. Johnson landed a big left. He landed another that sent Diaz’s head back a bit. Diaz stepped in with a short combo. Johnson landed another left hand in combination. Diaz fired back. They traded. Diaz started taunting. They traded again. Diaz landed a big left hand and covered up as the cunter came. He pressured and landed another combination. He pointed and laughed. He landed another combination, then pointed and laughed. Johnson fired back with a strike. Diaz again landed. He landed another one-two. Diaz again landed the two punch and backed out. Johnson landed a hard left hand. He landed another. He rocked Diaz with a combination to the body and head. Diaz fired back. He landed another on the cage. He threw his arms out and taunted. He threw a head kick. They traded in the center. Diaz landed another hard left, then a right hook. Diaz got in some hard knees. He went for a late headlock and separated with a combo before the horn. Wild, crazy round. That was fun.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Diaz. Johnson connected on a bunch, but Diaz hurt him, and landed even more overall. Crazy round.
ROUND THREE: Johnson moved straight ahead and they traded. Johnson got in a hard left hand. Diaz pawed out the jab. Diaz covered up. He landed a left. They traded again. Johnson landed a leg kick followed by a punch. Diaz landed a hard two punch combo and Johnson fired a few counter strikes. Johnson landed a left hand. Johnson landed another hard left hand down the middle. Diaz covered up. He landed a two punch combo. He rocked Johnson with a left hand. He went high with a kick that was partially blocked. He landed a left hand again. He landed a jab with a left behind it. He got in a Thai clinch and landed a few knees. Johnson pressed him to the cage to get a break. Diaz came back ahead with a combo. Diaz landed a couple strikes. He landed another left hand. Diaz landed a huge right hand at the tail end of a combo. Johnson landed a right hand. He tried to pressure in with kicks. Diaz landed a push kick with a combo behind it. Diaz with another jab. Johnson landed a hard right hand. He got in a few more and Diaz fired back. Johnson landed a few strikes and Diaz shrugged it off. Diaz landed another big combo. He slipped. Johnson landed a combo in counter as Diaz landed a strike. Diaz again landed and JOhnson fired back. Diaz landed more jabs on the outside. He got in with the straight left. Another jab from Diaz with punches behind it. Johnson landed a kick with a right hand behind it. Diaz landed a push kick with a combo. Diaz fired off and Johnson scored a big combination. Diaz landed a couple more. Johnson shot in with a late takedown and their legs got locked up at the horn. They were still locked up and Johnson landed some heel kicks well after the horn before they were finally separated. Looks like it was because Diaz grabbed a knee bar at the horn and didn’t immediately let go. Justified for Johnson then.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Diaz. His output was ultimately too much for Johnson. Really good fight.
WINNER: Diaz via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (***+) Really good fight. Diaz was relentless with his striking, he took Johnson’s best shots, and kept coming back. Real fun fight. His entire post-fight interview essentially was censored as he dropped f-bomb after f-bomb seemingly calling out Conor McGregor.
MAIN CARD FIGHT THREE: JUNIOR DOS SANTOS VS. ALISTAIR OVEREEM (HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Dos Santos took the center and looked to move forward. Neither threw a strike in the opening minute, leading to some contention in the crowd. Dos Santos threw out a kick that missed. Both extremely tentative early. It continued well into the second minute with neither wanting to be the first to engage. Dos Santos finally pushed in and threw a right hand. They traded kicks to the body two minutes in. Dos Santos went high with a kick that was blocked. Dos Santos landed to the body. Overeem landed an inside leg kick. Overeem missed a left hand. Dos Santos closed distance, ate a knee to the body, and landed a jab that popped Overeem’s head back. Overeem landed an extended left but it wasn’t flush. Overeem threw the overhand left. He landed a much harder one in the next exchange. He landed another short combo in the center. The crowd booed as they both slowed down again. Dos Santos’ nose was busted up from that one big exchange. Overeem landed to the body. Dos santos went for a spinning kick late but telegraphed it and was blocked before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Overeem. So little happened that the significant exchange damaging dos Anjos’ nose was the difference.
ROUND TWO: Dos Santos landed a low kick that halted things immediately. Overeem took a minute before restarting. Dos Santos came back ahead. He landed a body kick after taking one to the legs. The crowd booed as they once again seemed hesitant to engage. Overeem landed a body kick. He tossed out a couple more to the legs and body as dos Santos tried to move ahead. Overeem landed another body kick. Dos Santos missed the wheel kick as he closed distance. Dos Santos landed a good right hand as Overeem missed. He got in a knee to the head by the cage. Dos Santos landed a hard leg kick. Overeem returned fire. Overeem landed another hard leg kick. Again he landed the leg kick. He missed a few strikes, then connected with a kick to the body. Dos Santos stepped in with a right hand that was partially blocked. Overeem landed some kicks. Overeem rocked dos Santos with a two punch counter combo. Dos Santos was cut open by the right eye. Overeem got back in to the body. Dos Santos backed Overeem up and landed a few strikes to the body in combination, but he let Overeem circle out. Overeem knocked dos Santos down with a left hook! He landed a few more hammerfists on the ground and Dan Miragliotta stopped it. Dos Santos was upset with the stoppage, but he wasn’t intelligently defending himself there, he was hurt bad. Well then.
WINNER: Overeem via TKO at 4:43 of the second round
STAR RATING: (**) All for the stoppage. That was a bad fight, dos Santos looked the worst he’s looked in his entire career, and Overeem just took him out with a huge left hook. Overeem’s going to get a significant pay bump after that. His biggest win ever.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT FOUR: RAFAEL DOS ANJOS VS. DONALD CERRONE (LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP)
ROUND ONE: Cerrone came straight to the center and circled around. Dos Anjos threw out a kick to the body. Dos Anjos landed a big left hand to start. Cerrone threw a few strikes in return but that affected him. Cerrone landed a leg kick. Dos Anjos landed another big left. He hurt Cerrone badly with a body kick and started rushing him with a flurry on the cage. That body kick hurt Cerrone badly. Cerrone stayed alive but turtled up as he tried to shoot in. Dos Anjos landed several more on the ground and Herb Dean finally stepped in. Well then. Statement win in his first title defense. Wow.
WINNER: Dos Anjos via TKO at 1:06 of the first round
STAR RATING: (***) That was a masterful performance from dos Anjos. He hurt Cerrone almost immediately with the left hand, then started targeting the body with combinations. He hurt him first with a big knee, then landed that kick and didn’t let up against the cage. That flurry was just incredible work, and though Cerrone managed to survive briefly, he didn’t let up, and forced Herb Dean to step in.
Dos Anjos called out Conor McGregor as well after the announcement:
“Mr McGregor: If you want to come to the lightweight division, this is my division, man. It’s better to stay in the featherweight division. I will fight you in Brazil, I’ll go to Ireland to face you, whatever one, man. I’m here to stay.”
That closes out the UFC’s 2015 schedule! We’ll have lots of reaction to this during the week into the holiday, and we’ll close out 2015 with some year in review at MMATorch the following week, so stick with us to finish out the year as we head in to another big year in 2016!
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