UFC on FOX 24: Live coverage of main card headlined by Demetrious vs. Reis for UFC Flyweight Championship

By Cole Henry, MMATorch contributor


Fox Panel: Curt Menefee, Dominic Cruz, Daniel Cormier

Play-by-Play: Jon Anik, Brian Stann

Fight Pass Prelims

(1) Ketlen Vieira def. Ashlee Evans-Smith by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

(2) Zak Cummings def. Nathan Coy by Technical Submission (Guillotine Choke) Round 1 ( 4:21)

(3) Anthony Smith def. Andrew Sanchez by Knockout (Knees and Punches) Round 3 (3:52)

(4) Devin Clark def. Jake Collier by Unanimous Decision (30-27,30-27,30-26)

(5) Aljamain Sterling def. Augusto Mendes by Unanimous Decision (29-28,29-28,29-28)

Fox Prelims

(1) Tim Elliott def. Louis Smolka by Unanimous Decision (30-27,30-27,30-27)

(2) Rashid Magomedov def. Bobby Green by Split Decision (29-28,28-29,29-28)

(3) Tom Duquesnoy def. Patrick Williams by TKO (Elbow and Punches) Round 2 (0:28)

(4) Alexander Volkov def. Roy Nelson by Unanimous Decision (30-27,30-27,20-27)

Main Fox Card

(1) Jeremy Stephens vs. Renato Moicano (Featherweight 145)

Betting Favorite: Jeremy Stephens (-180)
Round 1: Moicano lands first, with some quick legs kicks, while Stephens searches for his range. Moicano is continuing to land, Stephens is still searching for his rhythm. Moicano is the more composed fighter, Stephens is lunging trying to make something happen, but Moicano is easily avoiding the strikes. Moicano connects with a groin kick, Stephens brushes it off and they continue fighting. Moicano gets an easy takedown, and Stephens isn’t doing much to get up, just throwing punches from his closed guard. Stephens attempts a kimura, but Moicano is in a good position to avoid it, and the round ends. Probably 10-9 Moicano, he landed the better strikes and had the takedown. Stephens needs to get something going.
Round 2: Stephens comes out with some heavy strikes, but Moicano manages to avoid them. Stephens shoots a takedown, but Moicano avoids it, and they are back standing in the center. Stephens throwing some heavy strikes, and they are starting to land. Much better round for Stephens. Moicano seems a bit more hesitant. More of the same, Stephens throwing punches and Moicano doing his best to avoid them, but not returning many. 10-9 Stephens, he landed the better strikes and controlled the pace. Moicano seemed a bit hesitant.
Round 3: Moicano immediately attempts, and executes a body lock takedown, and he is in Stephens closed guard. Lots of hand fighting, neither seems to be trying to change the position, and just like that they are back on the feet. Neither guy is landing much, but Stephens is controlling the pace. Final 30 seconds. They both landed nice punches as the fight ends. Probably 10-9 Moicano, and 29-28 overall in his favor, but it was close and I won’t be surprised either way.
Result:  Winner Renato Moicano by Split Decision (29-28,28-29,29-28)
Henry’s Analysis: It was what it was, a decent fight with some okay moments but nothing more. The crowd didn’t like the decision, and it was certainly close, but I’m interested to see what Moicano can do in the future. Stephens is always exciting to watch and I personally would like to see him fight Doo Ho Choi next.  

(2) Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Robert Whittaker (Middleweight 185)

Favorite: Ronaldo Souza (-210)

Round 1: Souza quickly closes the distance and gets a takedown, but can’t keep it, and Whittaker is up. They are trading in the center, both landing jabs. Souza attempts a clinch, but Whittaker shakes it off. Both are throwing light punches as the round ends. 10-9 Whittaker, probably but not very much happened. The big thing is that Whittaker was able to avoid the ground for the most part, and was able to get up from the only completed takedown.

Round 2: They are circling and Whittaker lands a HUGE strike that sends Souza down, but he quickly gets back to his feet. More strikes landed by Whittaker, and Souza is wobbly. Whittaker lands a headkick, and Souza is wobbled again. They are circling, Whittaker is controlling the pace, and landing nice shots. Souza lands a wild left, but Whittaker cracks him, and Souza is down, he’s in trouble, and it’s all over!!!

Result: Robert Whittaker via TKO Round 2 (3:28)

Analysis: Wow! Very nice performance by Robert Whittaker, and a huge, huge win in terms of his standing in the division. Souza just never got going, and it seemed like a matter of time once Whittaker landed his first big shot.

(3) Rose Namajunas vs. Michelle Waterson

Favorite: Rose Namajunas -135

Round 1: My breaker blew and I missed most of the first round, I do apologize for the inconvenience. From what I saw it was mostly contested on the feet, but I didn’t see anything notable take place.

Round 2: The round starts with both women looking to land shots. Rose lands a nice head kick that sends Waterson crashing down to the mat. Rose takes top control, lands a few hard elbows, and Waterson pushes up against the fence, and attempts to stand. She’s back on her feet, but Rose gets her down and lands more punches and elbows, Rose takes the back and locks on a rear naked choke, and Waterson is forced to tap. Just a dominate performance, Thug Rose is just an absolute monster, and I think it’s about time she gets a title shot.

Result: Rose Namajunas via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 2 (2:47)

Analysis: Rose Namajunas looked really good in a fight I thought would be much tougher for her. Waterson is a solid fighter, but Rose was bigger, longer, and just on point tonight. She keeps improving with each fight, and I really think its time that she gets a shot at the belt.

(4) Demetrious Johnson vs. Wilson Reis

Favorite: Demetrious Johnson -800

Round 1: Tentative start, a bit of a feeling out process. They’re both throwing, good back and forth action. Reis gets a takedown, but Johnson gets right back to his feet and they’re back to circling the center of the octagon. Reis with some good movement, he’s making Johnson miss and landing a few in return. He attempts a takedown, but can’t get it, and Johnson pushes him against the fence. They quickly break and are back to circling the center. Johnson lands a few nice right hands, and the round ends. Close round: 10-9 Johnson

Round 2: first minute on back and forth action, followed by a failed takedown attempt by Johnson. Reis is mostly covering up on the feet, and though he’s moving forward, he’s not landing much. Johnson using his speed well, he’s moving in and out and tagging Reis in the process. Tentative action, Reis is chasing but just can’t seem to make anything happen. Johnson is defending everything well, and getting out of the way of Reis strikes. Johnsons speed is giving Reis all sorts of problems, and he isn’t making many adjustments, Johnson is landing more and more. Johnson lands a big knee, Reis goes down, Johnson looks to finish, but Reis manages to survive as the round ends. Clear round: 10-9 Johnson

Round 3: A lot of the same as the round starts, Reis chasing but not doing much. He attempts a takedown, but Johnson easily sprawls. Reis using more movement, attempts a takedown, but again Johnson sprawls. Johnson lands a nice body kick, but Reis keeps coming forward. Another nice body kick, and Reis is going to have to figure out how to stop those. He returns a body kick of his own, but Johnson brushes it off. Reis is throwing more strikes, but still not landing much. Johnson continues to stick and move, and then shoots for a takedown. Reis is down, and Johnson is in the north/south position. He moves to side control, Reis is trying to work but Johnson is controlling him well. Reis gets an under hook, can’t do anything with it, and Johnson maintains control. Reis gets half guard, but Johnson is applying heavy pressure. Johnson dropping bombs, Reis covers up, Johnson attempts the armbar and Reis taps!!! First time he has been submitted, and Johnson has just matched Anderson Silva’s record for title defenses.

Result: Demetrious Johnson via Submission (Armbar) Round 3 (4:49)

Analysis: Johnson was just the better man. The setup for the submission was brilliant, and he probably could have finished it with punches just as easy. Reis was game for as long as he could be, but Johnson is just too much for everybody it seems. That was the first submission loss for Reis, who is a BJJ Blackbelt, and it adds another impressive scalp to the already impressive resume that Johnson has. I’m not sure who he fights next, but they have to find somebody that can compete with him. All in all, it was a good fight, on top of a pretty entertaining fight card, and history was made.

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