HISCOE’S UFC 202 LIVE EVENT REPORT
AUGUST 20, 2016
LAS VEGAS, NEV.
LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW
Fight Pass Prelims
(1) Alberto Uda vs. Marvin Vettori (Middleweight 185 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Vettori got a takedown a little more than a minute into the round. He worked ground and pound the entire time until getting a guillotine from the bottom of 4:30 of the first round.
Result: Vettori by submission at 4:30 of the first round.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Not a terribly exciting fight but a very impressive performance by the debuting Vettori. Joe Rogan noted that Uda is a jiu-jitsu black belt, so being able to get the guillotine from bottom position is that more impressive. At 22 years old, Vettori may be one to watch. (**)
(2) Colby Covington vs. Max Griffin (Welterweight 170 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Covington got it to the ground early, and was all over him, passing him nearly at will, getting to mount and working some submissions while softening Griffin up with punches and elbows. Dominant enough for long enough to score it 10-8 Covington.
ROUND TWO: Covington hurt him early and took it to the ground 30 seconds in and took Griffin’s back. Covington hit lots of punches underneath and got full mount at the midway point of the round. Griffin bucked out but Covington would not let him up and took his back immediately. Griffin got up momentarily but got dragged down right away. Rogan called it a mauling and he’s not wrong. Covington let him up with 10 seconds to go and got some quality punches in to close the round. Another 10-8, 20-16 Covington after two.
ROUND THREE: Griffin got taken down 30 seconds in yet again. Covington literally dragged him into a desirable position and took his back. Covington tied up Griffin’s arm with one hand and barraged him with punches with the other that Griffin couldn’t defend. Ref stopped the fight by TKO as Griffin wasn’t fighting back. They weren’t devastating shots, but Griffin had no answer.
Result: Colby Covington by TKO at 2:18 of round three.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Covington put his money where his mouth is after touting his grappling skills after his fight at UFC Ottawa. He completely dominated Griffin on the ground and had his way with him. The only critique is he could have been more aggressive going for submissions. (**)
(3) Neil Magny vs. Lorenz Larkin (Welterweight 170 lbs.)
Magny’s on a roll but Larkin is a good test so this should be a fun fight.
ROUND ONE: Larkin wobbled Magny with an oblique kick in the first minute. He did it again and it put Magny to the mat. Larkin landed leg kick after leg kick, and mixed it up with body kicks and punches. Magny pulled guard after eating more kicks to his left leg but Larkin got up Magny tried for a takedown but Larkin stayed up and delivered elbows to Magny’s head and the fight was stopped.
Result: Larkin by TKO at 4:08 of the first round
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Larkin made Magny look like a bum fighter and he’s not at all. Larkin’s strategy of using leg kicks to slow down the lengthy Magny was an effective one. Very impressive performance. (***)
Fox Sports Prelims
Goldberg and Rogan talk about tonight’s main event to open the TV prelims. They then turn focus to the featured prelim, Garbrandt vs. Mizugaki
(4) Randa Markos vs. Cortney Casey (Strawweight 115 lbs.)
Markos has been inconsistent in her UFC run and is back after a quick two-month turnaround so we will see if she can keep her momentum going
ROUND ONE: Both fighters tentative at first but Casey slightly more aggressive. Markos got a takedown and a headlock on Casey on the ground. Markos delivered some punches but Casey reversed and took Markos’ back. Casey landed big elbows from top position. Markos got top position briefly but Casey was able to get an armbar forcing Markos to tap verbally.
Result: Casey by submission at 4:34 of the first round.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Markos can’t put two wins together to save her life. She showed her wrestling is there but Casey was resilient in getting out of bad positions and waiting for her opportunity to get the submission. (**)
(5) Artem Lobov vs. Chris Avila (Featherweight 145 lbs.)
This fight sees McGregor and Diaz’s respective teammates go head to head.
ROUND ONE: Huge 7-inch reach advantage for Avila. Lobov put pressure on early and landed a couple hard body punches. Lobov landed leg kicks, hurting Avila’s lead leg. Avila initiated a clinch but did nothing with it. Lobov landed another body kick late in the round. 10-9 Lobov.
ROUND TWO: Lobov came out with more leg kicks early. Avila tried another clinch that got him nowhere. Lobov kept the pressure on. Avila’s reach advantage not translating as the fight plays out. Lobov mixed up punches to the face and body. Lobov dodged punches and landed more leg kicks. Avila’s leg showed visible signs of trauma by the end of the round. 10-9 Lobov, 20-18 after two.
ROUND THREE: Rogan confirmed Avila is losing the fight. The ref paused the fight to have the doctor take a look at a cut after the fighters butted heads accidentally. After the fight restarted, Lobov continued to bleed from the forehead but Avila did not take advantage. Lobov slipped on a kick attempt and Avila tried to capitalize but Lobov got back to his feet after a brief exchange on the ground. Both men missed big punches to end the fight. 10-9 Lobov, 30-27.
Decision: 30-27 across the board for Lobov by unanimous decision.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Not a very exciting fight and a disappointing showing by Avila, who had some hype coming in tonight. Lobov used the leg kicks well, not as effectively as Larkin earlier but clearly earned the decision. Lobov will live to fight another day after losing his first two UFC fights. Hopefully the main event is more exciting than this fight was. (*)
They go to the Fox Sports desk to break down the main event. Brian Stann says Diaz needs to taunt McGregor as a key to victory. He might be right, as McGregor could be ripe for a mental breakdown.
(6) Raquel Pennington vs. Elizabeth Phillips (Bantamweight 135 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: They spent a lot of time clinched against the cage. Phillips landed knees while trying for a takedown unsuccessfully. They broke with over a minute to go. Phillips countered Pennington’s strikes. Pennington got a takedown even though Phillips was grabbing the fence. Pennington stood up and delivered some shots to close the round. 10-9 Pennington.
ROUND TWO: Pennington continued pushing the pace at the round start. Phillips tried for a takedown against the cage and got it but Pennington had a hold of her neck. She gave it up eventually and they got back to their feet with Phillips holding her against the cage. Pennington landed a knee to the body against the cage. Phillips continued to look for a takedown but could not finish it. Pennington landed another knee and got a takedown of her own. She got some elbows on the ground as the round ended. 10-9 Pennington, 20-18.
ROUND THREE: They clinched up against the cage again and Pennington got a takedown and then takes Phillips’ back. Pennington looked for a choke but it wasn’t there. She ended up on top and then Phillips was able to get top position. Pennington got to her feet while Phillips tried to get her back down. Close round 10-9 Pennington, 30-27.
Decision: 30-27 Pennington by unanimous decision.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: This was a much closer fight than the scorecards indicate. Not a great fight to watch but Pennington proved again that she is a gritty fighter who can compete with just about anyone in the division. I’d like to see her put against a top name in her next fight. (*)
(7) Cody Garbrandt vs. Takeya Mizugaki (Bantamweight 135 lbs)
They’re close in the rankings (8 and 11) but I expect this to be a showcase for Garbrandt.
ROUND ONE: Garbrandt blitzed him, knocking him out in less than a minute. He dropped Mizugaki with a right hand and followed up on the ground. He never stood a chance.
Result: Garbrandt by TKO at :48 of the first round. He called out Cruz who was in the stands working at the Fox desk. Cruz looked like he was game.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: This is exactly what they needed from Garbrandt tonight. This was a memorable, highlight tape worthy performance. Perfect as Rogan put it. He’s a future champion and could give Cruz a run for his money if the fight ever happens, and it should. Soon. (***)
They showed a trailer for the next season of TUF with a tournament for a shot at Demetrious Johnson.
At the desk, Cruz complimented Garbrandt’s win but implied he hadn’t faced top competition. They break down the Johnson vs. Teixeira fight.
Dana White and Joe Rogan gave final hype for the main event to close out the Fox portion of the show.
Pay-per-view Main Card
The opening video refers to the first fight as “a beautiful display of martial arts.” I’m not arguing but it’s a stark contrast to most of the buildup for this fight. No Face the Pain music video, they go straight to the arena and Mike Goldberg.
(8) Tim Means vs. Sabah Homasi (Welterweight 170 lbs.)
Means is a big favourite and coming off a mini drug suspension.
ROUND ONE: Both fighters met in the middle of the cage well before the fight officially started. Means rocked him early with a counter left. Homasi kept him at bay with some leg kicks. Homasi got a takedown but Means was able to get up. Homasi tried some big punches as Rogan noted how tired he is looking. Homasi got another takedown but Means got up again. Means with a knee and some elbows that cut Homasi. Means landed a jab that Homasi may not have seen through the blood. Means with a knee and more elbows as the round ended. 10-9 Means
ROUND TWO: Means came out strong against a tired Homasi to start round two. Means was patient and picking his spots, landing knees and punches against the cage. Homasi looked very bloody at the mid-way point. Herb Dean stopped the fight standing as Homasi was not fighting back.
Result: Tim Means by TKO at 2:56 of round two.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Means was on point and probably fighting a guy well below his level tonight but it was good for him to get back on track. (**)
(9) Hyun Gyu Lim vs. Mike Perry (Welterweight 170 lbs)
I’m calling for a Perry upset win here, but I’m not doing well on my picks here tonight. Also while we have a break here, huge shoutout to Jamie Penick who is ending his tenure at the Torch here tonight. I’ve been following his work here for many years and hope I make him and everyone reading proud as he passes the torch, so to speak.
ROUND ONE: Lim looked to be the much bigger fighter as they met to start the fight. Perry countered and knocked Lim down about two minutes in. He worked for mount but ended up in side control with a mounted crucifix. He landed punches while Lim scrambled to his feet. Perry knocked him down again with a huge right hand. He landed punches on the ground but John McCarthy let the fight continue. Lim got back up and Perry caught him again and that’s it. Glad to say I called it but even still I’m surprised how dominant that was.
Result: Mike Perry by TKO at 3:38 of the first round.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Lim isn’t a world beater but this is a huge win for Perry on the biggest stage possible. He looked so much smaller but rocked Lim several times in a very convincing and exciting win. (***)
They ran down the UFC 203 card for next month and CM Punk is fighting third from the top. I was expecting him to open up the main card. They also ran a teaser for UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden, no fight announcements though.
(10) Donald Cerrone vs. Rick Story (Welterweight 170 lbs.)
Cerrone has looked great recently at 170 but Story loves to play spoiler and is tough to finish.
ROUND ONE: Cerrone got the early takedown but wasn’t able to establish any position and Story got up. Story got a trip takedown but Cerrone immediately began working for a triangle. Story got out and took Cerrone’s back. He landed a hard knee to the body but couldn’t get much else so Cerrone got back up. They traded leg kicks for a while. Cerrone started to land more combinations as they round went on. Competitive round but 10-9 Cerrone.
ROUND TWO: Story missed a takedown attempt early. Cerrone throwing quick combinations frequently but didn’t connect clean. Stor ducked right into a Cerrone head kick and Cowboy followed up on the ground and finished him.
Result: Cerrone by TKO at 2:02 of round two.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Cerrone is legit at 170. It’s clear that he’s not undersized for the division and the weight cut must be so much easier for him. That said, he wants to fight Eddie Alvarez at 155 at MSG. Can’t blame him for wanting the title fight but it’s been fun seeing him work his way up the welterweight ranks. It would be a shame to watch him have to sulk back to 170 after losing another title fight at 155 but he does have a win over Alvarez so it’s not an outlandish fight to make. (***)
They showed another promo for The Ultimate Fighter coming up later this month. The hook is all of the contestants are champions in smaller promotions. It adds a bit of weight to the show and the stakes feel real. This is one I will have to watch.
This is shaping up to be an all-time great UFC show. If these last two fights deliver, and on paper they almost have to, this will be one of the best UFC PPVs ever.
(11) Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira (Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.)
ROUND ONE: Johnson rocked him hard, so hard with an uppercut about 10 seconds in and Teixeira was done. Unbelievable knockout. Teixeira tried to wrestle the ref but he lost that too.
Result: Johnson by death (KO) at :13 of the first round
Hiscoe’s Analysis: That was a definite knockout of the year right there. Teixeira is a tough, durable fighter and Johnson took him out with one shot. Daniel Cormier might be hoping for a Jon Jones comeback right about now. There’s no doubt that we need to see Johnson get another shot at Cormier though. Rogan said “That’s a terrifying man,” and I don’t disagree. (****)
They aired a promo for CM Punk’s fight next month. I have to say that I’m impressed that this fight is even happening after all the injuries and how rough it looked for him in his early training. He was billed as Phil Brooks in an on screen graphic but referred to as CM Punk in every other context.
(12) Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor (Welterweight 170 lbs.)
It looks like there’s extra security in the cage just to make sure this fight actually happens in an official sense.
UFC doesn’t always mic the crowd well but Conor didn’t seem to get as big a reaction when he walked out as he has in the past. Diaz was mostly booed as he entered the cage. It’s time.
ROUND ONE: Conor doesn’t look noticeably any bigger than he did last time so all that talk of bulking up might not play in here. Conor came out right away with leg kicks and not throwing big bombs like he did last time. Nate started throwing some kicks of his own to the legs and body of McGregor. Diaz got rocked by a straight left and went down but Conor let him up. McGregor definitely not trying to gas himself out this time. Very patient. Nate Diaz showed signs of the leg kicks hurting him. The leg kick had Diaz thinking about it as he’s checked kicks that weren’t coming. That could open him up to be exposed for punches down the line. Diaz landed a straight right that didn’t hurt McGregor. Conor countered and landed cleanly on Diaz. The stare down as the round ends. 10-9 McGregor.
ROUND TWO: Conor went right back to leg kicks and knocked Diaz down twice in the first minute. Diaz hurting on that right leg but began to ope up mid-way through the round. Conor remained patient. Diaz might have hurt Conor as he turned away briefly and Diaz turned up the heat a bit. He knocked him down with less than a minute left. Diaz throwing hands up against the cage but Conor got out. History may repeat itself. Conor lasts the round but the momentum may have just shifted. 10-9 Diaz, 19-19.
ROUND THREE: Conor came out breathing heavy and Diaz pointed and laughed at him knowingly. He engaged Conor in the clinch which can’t help his cardio. Conor caught him after they break but Diaz ate it. Diaz acted like Conor’s shots can’t hurt him. They clinched again and McGregor defended at takedown. After they break Conor runs away twice. Diaz not quick to capitalize. Diaz with a nice high kick but Conor countered over top. Another clinch but Diaz started to unload late in the round. Big knee. More punches against the cage. Conor escapes the round again. 10-9 Diaz, 29-28.
ROUND FOUR: Conor exhausted in his corner and has never seen a round four in his career. My recap for this round and next appears to have been lost. Nate was bleeding from his right eye, rubbing it frequently. Lots of clinch work, Diaz started getting tired. McGregor won exchanges when not in the clinch. McGregor’s round 10-9, 38-38.
ROUND FIVE: Conor ran from Diaz drawing some boos. Conor landed a nice combo and missed a flying knee. Nate got him against the cage. Conor able to stuff multiple takedown attempts from Diaz. Diaz got the better of Conor while in the clinch. Diaz got a takedown at the end of the round and landed some punches right up to the horn. 10-9 Diaz, 48-47 but it could go either way.
Decision: 48-47, 47-47, 48-47 McGregor by majority decision.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: An entertaining fight that maybe waned a bit in the second half. Not the classic that Goldberg and Rogan were trying to sell it as and not as memorable as the first fight. That said, I’d definitely like to see a rubber match. Conor said he’d like it at 155 and maybe that’s fair but he should really defend his title first. What’s notable from this fight is that Conor still got tired early but he was able to stay in the fight since Diaz wasn’t as aggressive as he was last time he saw Conor tire. Diaz hinted something may have gone wrong in his camp, perhaps an injury that could have affected his cardio. You can’t really argue the decision as most rounds were very close, and neither fighter had the other close to being finished at any time. A good fight to cap off a great UFC pay-per-view. (***)