UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Browne
February 19, 2017
Halifax, Nova Scotia from Scotiabank Centre
Live on UFC Fight Pass (6:30 PM ET) and Fox Sports 1 (7:00 PM ET)
Fight Pass Prelim
(1) Gerald Meerschaert vs. Ryan Janes (Middleweight 185 lbs)
Result: Meerschaert by first round submission
Fox Sports 1 Preliminary Card
(2) Jack Marshman vs. Thiago Santos (Middleweight 185 lbs)
Round 1: Both guys come out nice and mobile. Santos has some real power but I’ve never seen much of Marshman. Both guys exchange hard and Santos lands a leg kick on the break. Man they exchange again and two left hooks land for Santos. He shoots in right after the exchange and lands the take down. Marshman working off of his back. Santos lands some ground and pound and then stands up, only to return back into Marshman’s guard. They’re back up and exchanging in the center. Both guys are trading punches here. Santos seems to be looking for the head kick. Big body kick and the counter over hand right from Marshman. Big Overhand from Marshman and Santos drops. He’s back up quick but wobbly and they’re trading hard. Man Santos is tough. Both guys for that matter. 10-9 Santos. Could’ve been stolen from the drop at the end of the round but Marshman was hit on the feet and controlled on the ground for most of that round.
Round 2: Both guys rush back to the center and Santos lands a head kick. Marshman comes in with a body shot and over hand but Santos counters back with a body kick. Another right from Marshman. Good body kick again from Santos. They trade along the fence and both guys land. I like the kicks from Santos but he’s being risky with the wild exchanges. Wheel kick from Santos whoooooaaaa and he drops Marshman and quickly rushes in but the ref knew his time was up and stopped the fight. Mannnn crazy wheel kick landed perfectly for Santos. Wow.
Decision: Thiago Santos via KO Round 2. Marshman was never out cold and got up right away to question the ref. Brian Stann seems to think it was an early stoppage as well. It’s to judge that situation because the kick was so heavy and Santos was able to land a couple shots as Marshman went down. Justified in my opinion.
(3) Aiemann Zahabi vs. Reginaldo Vieira (Bantamweight 135 lbs)
Round 1: 6-0 for Zahabi, the younger brother of expert coach Firas Zahabi, with all 6 wins coming in the first round. Despite the record the previous fight set the bar pretty high. Here we go. They both touch gloves and Zahabi immediately puts the pressure on. Zahabi looks very comfortable as he takes an inside leg kick from Vieira. Vieira is swinging wild. and Zahabi wobbles him with a right and then a head kick. They exchange and zabai is pressuring along the fence. Very good striking from Zahabi and Vieira is just trying to head hunt with haymakers. Vieira rushes in with punches and lands a takedown. Zahabi works back to his feet and they exchange on the break. Zahabi eats a right hand but lands a body kick of his own. Nice uppercut from Vieira. Vieiera is landing here and just scored another takedown as the round comes to a close. 10-9 Zahabi. Vieira started to find his groove in the last 90 seconds or so landing a couple takedowns and punches of his own but Zahabi hurt him earlier and was able to control the pace and the distance of most every exchange.
Round 2: Zahabiback to controlling the distance and slips a big right hand from Vieira. Vieira just landed two big shots in the exchange and tries for the takedown but Zahabi defends and they exchange again with Zahabi landing the better. Good jab from Zahabi. Vieira shoots but is stuffed and Zahabi has his back to the fence now. Vieira breaks with a knee and starts swinging. Zahabi counters and Vieira shoots again but is stuffed again. Zahabi gets off the fence and takes the offensive. He’s pressuring Vieira and lands big punches but misses the head kick. Zahabi rushes and hurts him bad with right hand and Vieira goes down. Zahabi looking to finish but Vieira is saved by the bell. 10-9 Vieira. Zahabi was too patient in the earlier half of the round allowing Vieira to land some shots of his own. The final 30 seconds however were all Zahabi and had there been 30 more seconds he likely would have finished this fight.
Round 3: Vieira still looks a bit wobbly and Zahabi counters nicely hurting Vieira again. They exchange again but both men miss. Zahabi is stalking and looking to land the perfect shot. Zahabi goes for the wheel kick but misses. Vieira is throwing single shots from a mile away and looks like he hasn’t quite recovered all the way. Zahabi takes a right hand but counters back. Vieira shoots but can’t land it and Zahabi is teeing off on Vieira against the cage. They both exchange and Vieira lands a couple good shots. Zahabi hurts him again and Vieira holds on as the fight comes to an end. 10-9 Zahabi. He probably could have finished the fight had he been a bit more aggressive but he should have done enough to take the decision here.
Decision: Aiemann Zahabi by Unanimous Decision. Good fight and solid debut from Zahabi. I expect him to take a lot away from this fight and to come back with a big statement later this year.
(4) Carla Esparza (#5) vs. Randa Markos (Strawweight 115 lbs)
Round 1: They both take the center and try to gauge the distance. Markos is throwing a long jab out in Esparza’s face. Both are still a bit tentative. Markos lands a nice jab and Esparza sneaks a right hand over the top. Esparza lands again and Markos goes back to the long jab. Both ladies exchange big shots and Markos lands on the break. Esparza shoots and grabs a single leg and lands the take down transitioning from side control to north south right away. Markos reverses and threatens with the arm bar. Markos is landing hard shots to the side of Esparza’s head as the round ends. 10-9 Markos. Not much to that round but Markos reversed the positions on the ground and was able to land the biggest shots of the round while looking for the submission.
Round 2: Both girls take the center and Markos is using the long jab again. She looks much longer than Esparza. Carla rushes in but doesn’t find a home for the punches. Markos shoots in with a nice right hand and Esparza lands a left on the counter. The both exchange and land in the pocket. Another big exchange and both girls land. Esparza rushes in but doesn’t land. Nice right hand by Esparza but is countered by Markos. Big right hand by Esparza. Markos lands the jabs beautifully as Esparza rushes in. Big shots from Markos as she comes forward aggressively. Esparza shoots and lands another single leg takedown. Esparza has an arm triangle locked up but can’t finish as the bell rings. 10-9 Esparza. Much better display of striking and nearly had the submission there at the end.
Round 3: Markos comes out looking to get aggressive. She defends Esparza’s shot and takes the center again. Big exchange and both girls land. Markos clearly knows this is a pivotal round. Big right hand from Markos in the exchange. Nice right hand from Esparza and they trade again. Carla shoots and is stuffed but lands a knee on the break. Big exchange and Markos lands the better shots. Markos using the jab nicely and angling off to avoid the rush of Esparza. Markos stuffs another takedown and lands in the exchange but got too aggressive and is taken down. They get up and Esparza lands a big knee cutting open Markos. Big final minute here and apparently the knee Esparza landed was illegal but the ref missed it. Randa lands a big shot and they start trading shots. Esparza lands a takedown as the fight closes. 10-9 Markos. Very close round and very close fight that could easily go either way. In my humble opinion Markos seemed like she wanted it more there at the end and showed more of a killer instinct. Who knows though.
Decision: Randa Markos Def. Carla Esparza via Split Decision. Very close fight and I do think the better fighter won here.
(5) Nordine Taleb vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (Welterweight 170 lbs)
Round 1: A lot of hometown heroes on this card tonight, so if history repeats itself we will be seeing another Canadian victory. Here we go. They touch gloves and immediately begin moving. Tentative at first but Taleb has taken control of the center. Nice leg kick from Taleb. Switch kick to the body lands as well. Another nice switch kick lands for Taleb. Ponzinibbio just can’t seem to find the range yet. Two switch kicks in a row again for Taleb. At least check them for Pete’s sake. Ponz throws a nice kick but it’s caught and Taleb pushes him back to the cage. Ponz circles off and lands a nice jab. Switch kicks again for Taleb and he’s had great success with his kicks so far. Nice check for Ponz but Taleb is continuing to throw the same kick as the round ends. 10-9 Taleb. His kicks were the contributing factor in his success that round and he’d be a fool to stop using them. They are prohibiting Ponzinibbio from closing the distance and have seriously disrupted the game plan of the Ponz.
Round 2: Back to the kicks from Taleb and Ponz is looking to get more aggressive. Nice jab for Ponzinibbio and he’s got Taleb circling on the outside. Good body kick for Ponz and he’s landing the jab beautifully now. Taleb’s nose is as red as Rudolph’s. Much better job of avoiding the kicks as well this round. Big 1-2 combo for the Ponz and he drops Taleb following into his guard and looking for the ground and pound. Taleb wraps him up and controls the posture. Ponz is looking to pass the guard and tie up an arm triangle but not enough time to finish as the round ends. 10-9 Ponzinibbio. Big, Big round for the Ponz there. Whatever advice he got between rounds certainly paid off because he came out having almost a near perfect understanding of Taleb’s range and distance control and manage to get in nicely with his jab and boxing.
Round 3: Both take the center and Ponzinibbio is going back to the jab. Good leg kicks for Taleb here at the start and the ref warns him about his fingers pointing out. Ponz lands another jab as Taleb is looking to speed things up. He’s getting caught by the hands of Ponzinibbio and his kicks are being timed and countered every time now. Taleb needs to use his punches now to set up the kicks but Ponz is putting some nice pressure on here. Both trade jabs in the center of the cage. Hard leg kick by Taleb and another one right after. Swithc kick to the body lands and Ponz is now bleeding under his right eye. Good jab by Taleb and he lands another. Final minute and both are looking hard for the finishing shot. They trade and both men have success as the round ends. Excellent third round and a very good fight. 10-9 Ponzinibbio. Very close fight and both men found great success in different areas but Ponzinibbio seemed to figure out the range of Taleb in the second round and took a slight advantage throughout the remainder of the fight.
Decision: Santiago Ponzinibbio Def. Nordine Taleb via UD 29-28×3. Justified decision in an excellent fight and perfect send off into the main card. The adjustments that the Ponz made in between the first and second rounds were flawless and he came out with a clear cut answer to the kicks of Taleb that completely reversed the momentum of the fight. Anyway, that’s all for me here on the prelim card. Be sure to check out Michael Hiscoe’s live updates for the main card coming up next.
Fox Sports 1 Main Card
Big thanks to Adam for doing a great job covering the prelims tonight. Mike Hiscoe with you for the rest of the evening. Mixing things up tonight, we have Todd Grisham on play-by-play for the first time and Joe Martinez doing the ring announcing.
(6) Paul Felder vs. Alessandro Ricci (Lightweight 155 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Felder’s eye looks to have healed well from the nasty cut in the fight with Francisco Trinaldo last year. We’ll see how easy it is to break again and if Ricci tries to exploit it or not. Felder caught him with a left right away that staggered Ricci briefly. They traded leg kicks. No one even pretending to want to go for a takedown here. Felder looked to counter every time Ricci would come in. Ricci checked a leg kick. Felder went for leg kick followed by two quick punches a couple of times but didn’t connect cleanly. Ricci landed a jab and tried to follow up with a combo. Ricci landed a body kick followed by a left hand. Ricci landed another jab but Felder countered with an elbow and pounced on him immediately. Ricci covered up and Felder followed up with a knee punches on the ground and the fight was stopped with seconds to go in the first round.
Result: Felder by TKO at 4:44 of the first round.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Good return to form for Felder. Ricci is a lower level of competition but kept up with Felder until he looked to have broken his nose. Felder can come back with a ranked opponent in his next fight. Felder looked to have tweaked his knee somewhere in the fight there. He dedicated his win to anyone battling cancer.
We got a UFC 209 promo focusing on the Woodley-Thompson main event. The story they’re telling is that the first fight was very close but that Woodley got robbed. That’s not really what I took away from that fight, but it’s a good promo nonetheless.
(7) Sara McMann (#8) vs. Gina Mazany (Catchweight 139.5 lbs)
Mazany missed weight by 3.5 pounds but McMann is going ahead with the fight. McMann a big favorite here, her only losses are to Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, and Amanda Nunes, so she’s just a notch below the very top level. She’s also 36, which means her wrestling may not be what it once was making her ripe for the picking to the much younger Mazany.
ROUND ONE: McMann took her down in seconds. She worked for full mount while landing punches. She took her back and worked for a rear-naked choke. Mazany stood up but McMann took her back down and went right to mount. She locked in a head and arm choke and she tapped just like that.
Result: McMann by submission at 1:14 of the first round.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Huge, dominant win for McMann who is clearly among the elite at bantamweight, even at 36. She has a loss to Nunes so it will take a couple more wins against top ranked opponents to get her to title contention but she should get a tougher fight next for sure.
A promo package for Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson aired.
(8) Elias Theodorou vs. Cezar Ferreira (Middleweight 185 lbs)
I have to say, after a rough 2016, Elias’ hair is back on point.
ROUND ONE: Elias came out aggressive but got tagged early. Ferreira went for a head kick that was caught and he almost paid for it. Elias slipped on a kick but no harm was done. Theodorou stayed very busy, rushing in with combos and using kicks to keep Ferreira outside. This is a similar strategy to what he used against Sam Alvey in a win last year. Theodorou caught a kick and pushed Ferreira against the cage. They broke and Theodorou continued to stay busy but didn’t land much of consequence. Ferreira countered a body kick with a right hand late in the round. 10-9 Ferreira just because he landed the most significant strikes of the round.
ROUND TWO: Ferreira caught a flying knee and took Theodorou down and took his back immediately. Theodorou walked him to the fence and was able to get up. He pushed Ferreira against the cage but Ferreira took him down. Theodorou stood up and they stayed clinched. Theodorou went for a takedown and got it but found himself in a guillotine but he got out easily. Theodorou worked body shots from top position. He backed up and rushed in for another takedown and was caught in another guillotine. Ferreira squeezed hard but Theodorou got out. He worked more body shots from the top but Ferreira got up. Theodorou looked tired as he whiffed on a couple of kicks. Ferreira with a leg kick that Theodorou tried to counter unsuccessfully. Nice left hand from Theodorou late. 10-9 Theodorou, 19-19.
ROUND THREE: Theodorou went for a head kick early. He looked to have his wind back and threw lots of kicks from the outside, but nothing big. Ferreira may be tired as he did very little. He went for a half-hearted takedown attempt that missed. Theodorou landed a left at the end of a long combination. Ferreira rushed in and took him down and took his back. He looked for a reak-naked choke but couldn’t get it under the chin. With about a minute left he continued to work for that choke. Theodorou escaped and went for a takedown but Ferreira scrambled out. 10-9 Theodorou, 29-28.
Result: 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 Elias Theodorou by unanimous decision.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Not a great fight. Theodorou is a very tactically skilled fighter that can beat most of the middle of the pack type of fighters. He has enough wins and enough of a name now where it would be nice to see him against a bigger name on a pay-per-view instead of on the mid-card of Canadian based Fight Nights. He talked about a fan who tweeted him saying he would get an Elias Theodorou tattoo if he said his name on the air. He may get the tattoo on his face, but I’m not sure.
They talked to Derrick Lewis’ coach.
(9) Sam Sicilia vs. Gavin Tucker (Featherweight 145 lbs)
Nice reaction for Tucker as he walked out in front of his hometown crowd. Real boos for Sicilia when he came out. A KO win for Tucker, which is possible here, would really get this crowd going.
ROUND ONE: Tucker is very quick. Big body kick from Tucker followed by an inside leg kick. Lots of fakes as they sized each other up. Tucker slipped in a left hand then a right hook. Tucker with a couple of body kicks to Sicilia’s abdomen. Sicilia blocked a high kick. Tucker landed a leg kick. A left from Tucker landed then he barely missed on a huge right hand. 10-9 Tucker
ROUND TWO: More kicks from Tucker to start as he looked very confident coming out. He landed a left hook and more leg kicks. Tucker very busy and Sicilia whiffed on everything. Tucker goaded him on after a big miss. Tucker started landing more frequently as Sicilia started to get lazy and desperate with his striking. Sicilia’s chin held up well to Tucker’s shots thus far. Tucker with a high kick as the round ended. All Tucker 10-9, 20-18.
ROUND THREE: Sicilia’s corner told him to just go for it which is good advice. Sicilia came out more aggressive and started landing more immediately but Tucker was able to counter as well. Nice uppercut from Tucker. Sicilia caught him with a right that got Tucker’s attention. Sicilia initiated a clinch against the cage and Tucker got out. Sicilia started throwing big punches, mostly missing and they clinched again. Tucker rushed in for a takedown out of nowhere and it worked. He went for a leg lock and Sicilia got up. Tucker landed a straight left. Sicilia ate a combo from Tucker. Sicilia started to fade and didn’t have much behind his punches anymore. He swung for the fences but Tucker was quick to dodge. Tucker started getting cocky, talking to his opponent in the cage. 10-9 Tucker, 30-27
Result: 30-27 across the board for Gavin Tucker by unanimous decision.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Great win for Tucker in his debut. He’s very quick and mixed his kicks in with punching combinations very effectively. He may need to keep the cockiness in check as he goes along but he was in front of his hometown for his UFC debut so I can understand how he must feel. Sicilia was never really in the fight.
(10) Johny Hendricks vs. Hector Lombard (Middleweight 185 lbs)
This is, of course, Hendricks’ debut at middleweight.
ROUND ONE: Leg kick from Hendricks as they felt each other out. Hendricks looks fresher than he has his last few fights after tough weight cuts. Lombard caught a kick and landed a left hand and some hard punches when they broke apart. Lombard sprawled hard at the slightest hint of a Hendricks takedown attempt. Lombard caught a kick and Johny went down. Lombard took his back standing and delivered some knees. Lombard worked some body shots in the clinch against the cage. They broke and the round ended. 10-9 Lombard.
ROUND TWO: Lombard ducked a big early punch from Hendricks. Lombard kept trying to catch Hendricks’ kicks. Hendricks landed a flush left hand. Lombard clinched him against the cage but Hendricks pushed off. Lombard kneed Hendricks in the groin and the action was stopped. Lombard landed a right when they started back up. Lombard landed more shots in a clinch. He caught a Hendricks knee and landed some more. Big left from Lombard. Hendricks landed a left knee but Lombard caught it again and pushed him against the cage. The ref warned Lombard for grabbing the fence and restarted the fight. Hendricks landed some knees and started connecting during exchanges. He landed another knee at the end of the round. Close round, 10-9 Hendricks, 19-19.
ROUND THREE: Lombard connected with a right hand right away. Hendricks worked his jab and looked light and confident. They traded leg kicks but Lombard was very flat-footed. Lombard ate but caught a knee and Hendricks punched him until he let go. Lombard landed an uppercut. Hendricks went over the top with a left. Hendricks faked a takedown and nearly landed a big uppercut. Hendricks with another knee and some punches in tight. Two let hands from Hendricks connected. Lombard caught a knee and tripped Hendricks down but Hendricks got right up. Hendricks with a big leg kick. Lombard rushed in with 10 seconds left and Hendricks wisely danced away to run the clock. 10-9 Hendricks, 29-28
Result: 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 Hendricks by unanimous decision.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Great rebound fight for Hendricks. He didn’t look like the Hendricks of old but he did show that he can still compete. This is yet another example of moving up a weight class benefitting a fighter. It’s healthier and you get better results. I don’t expect Hendricks to make a title run at middleweight, but he will be able to extend his career. He was very thankful and happy during his post-fight interview. He talked about how much energy he has now at middleweight. He was shaking his left hand, so it may be hurt which would explain all of the knees. Something to watch for in the coming days.
(11) Derrick Lewis (#6) vs. Travis Browne (Heavyweight 265 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Lewis came out swinging but Browne countered. Heavy leg kick from Browne. Lewis with a leg kick of his own. Something hurt Lewis as he started covering up his midsection but Browne didn’t capitalize. He landed a kick to Lewis’ stomach and another leg kick. Lewis sent him reeling with a right hand. A body shot from Browne had Lewis on retreat. He recovered but Lewis is holding his hands near his stomach still. Travis Browne going right after Lewis’ mid-section with kicks. They traded leg kicks but Browne’s are more effective. Lewis got a right in at the end of the round. 10-9 Browne.
ROUND TWO: Lewis’ corner asked if he was hurt and he said no. Big leg kick from Browne. Lewis looked very tentative early in the round. His corner asked him to get inside but he was on the outside. Browne came in with a kick and Lewis started throwing wildly and connecting. Lewis landed huge uppercuts on Browne who was covering up but not fighting back. Lewis threw big haymakers but couldn’t put him away. Lewis got him down and was in half-guard. He landed an elbow and held him down. Lewis rag dolled Browne back to the ground. Lewis got mount and landed some right hands. Browne got up and went down after a Lewis right hand. Lewis followed up with massive punches on the ground and put him away. Violent stoppage for Lewis.
Result: Lewis by knockout at 3:12 of round 2
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Huge, gutsy win for Lewis, who fell to the mat and held his mid-section after the fight. He easily could have given up on the fight after some tough body shots in the first round. Very entertaining fight, one of the best fights this year so far. Lewis cemented his place as a top heavyweight with this win. Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum are both without opponents right now, so Lewis against either of them would be fantastic. Good ending to a fun card. Lewis said that with all of the training and all of the sex he’s been getting that he needs some time off. Thanks for reading and be sure to follow me on Twitter @MikeHiscoe for more thoughts throughout the week and check back with MMATorch for follow-up on all of the fallout from tonight’s event.