December 10, 2016
Toronto, Ontario from Air Canada Centre
Live on Pay-Per-View (10:00 PM ET)
Well this card has been completely cursed. We’ve gone from a potential return of Georges St-Pierre to half an interim title fight with Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis. Cursed or not, this should still be a fun show. So keep this page open for live updates of the pay-per-view and be sure to follow me on Twitter for more updates and analysis tonight and all week.
Dustin Ortiz defeated Zach Makovsky by split decision
Rustam Khabilov defeated Jason Saggo by unanimous decision
Lando Vannata defeated John Makdessi by knockout at 1:40 of the first round
Matthew Lopez defeated Mitch Gagnon by unanimous decision
Viviane Pereira defeated Valerie Letourneau by split decision
Olivier Aubin-Mercier defeated Drew Dober by submission at 2:57 of the second round
Misha Cirkunov defeated Nikita Krylov by submission at 4:38 of the first round
Pay-Per-View Main Card (Fighters’ MMATorch Rankings in parenthesis)
(8) Jordan Mein vs Emil Meek (Welterweight 170 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Meek came out throwing hard leg kicks but got taken down. He was up quickly and went back to work only to get taken down again, but this time took a hole of Mein’s neck. He lost that position and Mein took side control. He moved to north-south but Meek got back up. Mein caught him with a big right hand. Mein ducked under a punch to get another takedown. Meek began wincing in pain very visibly after a scramble on the mat. Meek got back up and ate some punches, began swinging back wildly and hurt Mein who retreated. Meek came in with an even more wild flying knee that missed. Two hard leg kicks by Meek as the round ended. 10-9 Meek, he had the better striking despite being taken down. Mein did little with the takedowns.
ROUND TWO: Meek came out aggressive with leg kicks and punches, backing Mein up against the cage. Meek got him down and spent some time catching his breath with some punches mixed in. Meek went for an arm triangle but Mein defended well. Meek stayed on top and worked for the arm triangle and got a few punches in while Mein tried to contain him. 10-9 Meek, 20-18.
ROUND THREE: Meek came out aggressive again with big punches and mixed in some leg kicks. Meek got him down and was in Mein’s guard, but wasn’t able to do much damage from this position. He stayed just busy enough in top position to keep from being stood up but wasn’t particularly damaging. Mein went for a late armbar attempt but Meek just played to the crowd and waited out the clock. 10-9 Meek. 30-27. Can’t see how Meek doesn’t win at least 29-28.
Result: Meek by unanimous decision 29-28 across the board
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Meek looked good in his first UFC fight. He weathered whatever injury hurt him early in the fight and was able to smother Mein’s game. Disappointing showing for Mein in front of his home country. Meek said he pulled a muscle during the scramble but he fought through it.
(9) Tim Kennedy vs. Kelvin Gastelum (#9 WW) (Middleweight 185 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Kennedy came out with leg kicks early and went for the takedown about a minute in. He took Gastelum’s back and rode him until Gastelum was able to get up but didn’t let go of his grip. Gastelum finally broke free and landed a couple good shots on Kennedy. Gastelum rocked him late in the round. Kennedy seemed to be pretty tired 10-9 Gastelum.
ROUND TWO: Gastelum came out quick to take the center of the cage. Gastelum took Kennedy’s back but Kennedy was able to reverse and get a hold of Gastelum and push him up against the cage. Gastelum broke free and let loose some combinations that connected on Kennedy. Gastelumm worked a jab and was very light on his feet. He slipped in an uppercut but Kennedy took him back down. Gastelum was able to reverse. They both got back up and they traded blows with Gastelum getting the better of exchanges. Kelvin connecting a lot late in the round. 10-9 Gastelum, 20-18.
ROUND THREE: Gastelum just swarmed on Kennedy, giving him no room to breathe. Kennedy was hurt and was retreating significantly from Gastelum’s combinations. Gastelum started to pick his shots as Kennedy was basically just a prone target at this point. Kennedy tried fora takedown but didn’t have it in him. Gastelum rocked Kennedy with a left hand and Kennedy crumbled to the mat and turtled up. The ref stopped it capping off a brilliant performance by Gastelum.
Result: Kelvin Gastelum by TKO at 2:45 of the third round
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Huge performance by Gastelum who beat a legitimate, if not a bit rusty, middleweight in Tim Kennedy. This says to me that cutting excessive amounts of weight is not necessary and doesn’t make you a better fighter. Gastelum should stay at 185 where there are a lot of big fights for him. Gastelum said he gets too heavy in between fights and that he wants to go back to 170. I disagree, but if he can fight at 170 like he did tonight, he will be a force to be reckoned with.
(10) Cub Swanson (#7) vs. Dooho Choi (Featherweight 145 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Choi got a headlock on Swanson and delivered a few unanswered knees. Swanson not afraid to stand in front of Choi. Choi landed here and there but Swanson was able to hold his own and keep coming at Choi. Swanson with some big punches and kicks, looking for the kill. Choi responded with a straight right hand. Swanson did a lot to keep Choi guessing and not expose himself too much. 10-9 Swanson, but very close.
ROUND TWO: Swanson with a spin kick and still tried to keep the heat on Choi. Swanson hurt hi with a head kick and sent Choi down. He followed up but Choi recovered. Choi ened up hurting Swanson and began teeing off on him against the cage. This was one of the most wild sequences I’ve seen in a fight. Swanson survived and took him down. He let Choi up and Choi hit a jab. Swanson with to big punches and then a cartwheel kick that connected and Swanson had a good laugh. Swanson hurt him again but Choi took it. These were big shots that would have knocked almost anyone out. Choi bounced back scary quick. One of the craziest rounds you will ever see. Words cannot do it justice. 10-9 Swanson, 20-18.
ROUND THREE: Swanson swinging for the fences immediately. Choi with a straight right then a headkick from Swanson. Cub tried for takedowns but couldn’t get them. Choi responded with a right hand and then took Swanson down. Swanson reversed. Choi with elbows from the bottom. Swanson let him up. Swanson with some huge shots against the cage and Choi somehow survived again. Cub took him down with a headlock. They traded in the center of the cage with Cub throwing huge looping punches and Choi trying to counter. The jabbed eachother and with a minute to go they both looked exhausted. Cub with his hands down looking for the knockout. He hit hi with some huge punches and knocked him down with seconds to go. He followed up on the ground as the horn went. Another wild round. 10-8 Swanson. 30-26 Swanson.
Result: Cub Swanson by unanimous decision 30-27, 30-27, 29-28
Hiscoe’s Analysis: That was one of the great fights in UFC history. My 30-26 scorecard doesn’t tell the story of how close Choi came to winning on several occasions. While Choi lost, this was still the star making performance we were all hoping he would have tonight. He’s better off in losing tonight than if he won a boring fight. Swanson showed that he still has some gas left in the tank and has to be considered a contender in the newly wide open featherweight division. If you’re reading this and you haven’t seen this fight, go watch it now.
(11) Donald Cerrone (#6) vs. Matt Brown (Welterweight 170 lbs)
Choi and Swanson just had a Matt Brown fight, now Matt Brown is about to go out and try to out Matt Brown them.
ROUND ONE: Cowboy went straight to the body kick. Cerrone worked his jab then went for a headkick. Brown landed a few good shots. Cerrone landed another high kick that hurt Brown. Brown came back and landed some more big shots. Brown slipped throwing a kick but ended up with Cerrone in a triangle choke. Cerrone got out and they stood back up. Brown landed an uppercut. Another big right from Brown at the horn. 10-9 Brown.
ROUND TWO: Brown worked a jab and then dropped Cowboy with a big right hand. Brown tried to capitalize but Cerrone recovered. Cerrone hurt him again with a headkick and Brown went down only to recover. Brown was on the run with Cowboy walking him down. Cowboy picked up the pace in the latter parts of the round, mixing jabs with leg kicks to keep Brown at bay. 10-9 Cerrone, 19-19.
ROUND THREE: They hugged to open round three. They traded shots until Cowboy knocked him out cold with a headkick. Cowboy just walked off, he knew it was done. Brown had missed a punch and leaned right into Cerrone’s left shin. Vicious knockout.
Result: Cerrone by knockout at :34 of the third round.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Another big win for Cowboy at 170 and yet another testament to not cutting weight. Cowboy has looked very good since moving up to 170. He said he wants to fight in Denver next month. That card actually needs some fights, so they should try and get him on if he can. I’d love to see Cowboy against a top contender next. Perhaps the Robbie Lawler fight we almost got can come to fruition.
(12) Max Holloway (#3 FW) vs. Anthony Pettis (#5 FW) (148 lb Catchweight for the new Interim Featherweight Championship but only for Max Holloway)
ROUND ONE: Pettis wouldn’t touch gloves. Both guys were very tentative to start. Pettis mixed in more kicks and Holloway would use a lot of body/head punching combinations. Holloway landed a nice left that tagged Pettis. Holloway countered Pettis’ flurries late in the round. 10-9 Holloway.
ROUND TWO: Holloway came out with leg kicks followed by a quick flurry. He knocked Pettis down with a right and let Pettis back up. Pettis got aggressive once up but Holloway evaded his offense. Pettis’ right eye began to swell up, and looked to be hindering his vision. Holloway continued to counter Pettis. Pettis pressed him up against the cage and worked for a takedown but didn’t get it. 10-9 Holloway, 20-18.
ROUND THREE: They showed a clip of Pettis telling his corner after the first round that he broke his right hand. Pettis was throwing a lot of kicks to start the round. Holloway kneed Pettis in the cup during a close exchange. Pettis didn’t take a very long break. Holloway took him down with a trip but let him back up. Holloway worked Pettis’ body, while Pettis was still careful not to use his right hand. Holloway mixed more head/body combos in. He got another trip takedown and went to side control this time. Some body shots by Holloway stunned Pettis and he followed up with pucnhes against the cage. Pettis covered up but didn’t defend and the fight was stopped. Holloway jumped out of the cage after the win.
Result: Holloway by TKO at 4:50 of the third round
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Solid win for Holloway and a tough break for Pettis. He had his right hand looked at as soon as the fight was done. So Aldo vs. Holloway looks to be next. I can’t say I’m overly enthused about it but Holloway could give Aldo a run for his money. Holloway was worked up after the fight, calling Aldo “Jose Waldo” and telling Dana White to give him the $50k. Pettis showed his hand to Joe Rogan and said that he’s going back to 155 after this as he simply can’t make the cut to 145. He said the had to pull him out of the sauna and he had depleted his body. A bit of a dull main event but the two fights preceding it were fantastic. Considering everything this card has gone through on paper, it turned out as well as you could hope for in execution.