Ecochard’s Live UFC on Fox 52 Report 7/22: Weidman vs. Gastelum, Bermudez vs. Elkins, Cummins vs. Villante

UFC on Fox 25: Weidman vs. Gastelum
July 22, 2017
Uniondale, New York
Airing on Fox

The UFC returns to Fox tonight with an action packed card stacked with hometown New York fighters. The main event sees Chris Weidman trying to get back to his former glory against one of the bigger prospects there is in Kelvin Gastelum. Some new faces appear on the card and the majority of the matchmaking was really solid for this one. We will have a live play by play of the entire card tonight staring with the UFC Fight Pass prelims first, then we go to Fox for the televised prelims and main card following that.


(1) Frankie Perez vs. Chris Wade (Lightweight 155 lbs)

ROUND ONE: Wade comes out with a left head kick, he pushes forward and clinches against the cage. Perez can’t keep it standing and gets taken down here early. Perez goes to stand up, but Wade starts to sneak onto the back of Perez. Three minutes to go and he shoots back up to his feet and they are fighting in the clinch against the fence again. Two minutes of Perez shooting for a takedown and trying to hold him down. Wade is back up but gets dropped to the mat once again. They get back up and Wade gets a headlock and slams down Perez with it to end the round. Close round overall.

ROUND TWO: The second round is a little different from the first as there isn’t any takedown attempts for the first couple minutes. Even trading on the feet until Wade lands a nice head kick then pushes in for the takedown. Wade is really heavy on top and Perez is having a hard time getting up with a few minutes to go in the second round. Technical difficulties make me miss about a minute, but the last thirty seconds had shown Perez getting back up, but still being held against the fence.

ROUND THREE: Perez is doing at the start of the round, landing some nice small combinations. Clinch initiated by Wade, Perez spins him and then pushes off. Wade lands a nice right hand, but Perez time in a takedown. Wade locks in a guillotine briefly off the takedown attempt and uses it to get on top. Perez is just laying on his back and Wade isn’t doing much on top either. Perez gets back to his feet, but isn’t doing much and is stuck in the clinch with Wade. Thirty seconds left and he lands a knee, but Wade just goes in for the takedown again. Wade likely gets the win, but it wasn’t terribly exciting.

Result: Chris Wade via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x2, 30-27)

Ecochard’s Analysis: Pretty good fight competitive between both men, but Wade just had the better wrestling. Perez needed to do more off his back, but really didn’t show any urgency. Wade gets the win in front of his hometown crowd.

(2) Shane Burgos vs. Godofredo Pepey (Featherweight 145 lbs)

ROUND ONE: Pepey comes out with a spinning wheel kick then a spinning back kick, neither land. A straight jab lands for Pepey, but Burgos comes forward through it. Pepey goes to drop in for a false takedown, but Burgos doesn’t take the bait. A 1-2 for Burgos on the inside. Takedown attempt for Pepey, but he eats a big knee and gets dropped, but Burgos makes him stand up. Four hard strikes knock down Pepey hard and makes him get up again. Takedown attempt for Pepey and he buys his time holding him against the fence for now. They seperate and a minute and a half remains. Burgos is landing some nasty hooks and crosses. Big spinning attempt from Pepey and Burgos counters with a hard right. Burgos stuffs the takedown, they strike a little more and then Pepey ends the round clinching Burgos. Great round for Burgos.

ROUND TWO: Let us see how Pepey does here cause he is using a lot of energy. Burgos is really crisp with his defense and stick and move, strong boxing skills. Pepey pulls guard and Burgos stands there looking at him and waits for the referee to stand him up. Pepey shoots in and pulls guard, Burgos stands up and and the crowd starts to boo Pepey for the constant guard attempts. Three jabs in a row for Burgos, each snapping back the skull of Pepey. Pepey tries to pull guard again. On the feet, they start to trade, Pepey is putting everything into his strikes and landing some, but Burgos is landing the cleaner shots. Pepey pulls guard, but Burgos lands hard on him a few times before the bell.

Pepey’s corner poured a lot of water on the ground and it bought him about thirty more seconds in between rounds.

ROUND THREE: Pepey comes out a little more relaxed (I wonder why) and lands some good power shots. Burgos stuffs a takedown and keeps hitting hard with some stiff jabs. Another hard jab pushes back the head of Pepey. Brian Stann and Dominick Cruz on commentary talk about how Burgos needs to land more body shots and I agree because Pepey wouldn’t have anything left if he ate an extra 10-15 body shots. Pepey shoots against the cage and Burgos stops it. One minute left in the bout. Burgos lands a crippling body shot and it drops Pepey, Burgos makes him get up again. Three right hooks in a row drop Pepey. Burgos hops into the guard and starts smashing on Pepey. The horn sounds as Burgos is laying it on him!

Result:  Shane Burgos via Unanimous Decision (30-26 x2, 29-28) 

Ecochard’s Analysis: Exciting fight from two exciting fighters! Pepey needs to throw more combinations so he tire out like that and make himself predictable. Burgos is just a nasty striker with crazy speed. That one body shot looked like its going to hurt Pepey for a couple days. Can’t wait to see Burgos again maybe against a top 15 opponent. 

(3) Timothy Johnson (12) vs. Junior Albini (Heavyweight 265 lbs)

ROUND ONE: Johnson rushes forward and lands about six small peppering shots. Johnson pushes forward again and holds Albini against the cage. Three nice knees to the gut for Albini, but he still has his back against the fence. Johnson misses with a big uppercut. Albini is landing some solid shots, but he keeps adjusting his shorts, they definitely don’t fit right. Albini drops Johnson! Wow! He gets the win against a ranked fighter in his debut! The speed of that shot was crazy. The left followed from a giant right.

Result: Junior Albini via KO Round 1 (2:51)

Ecochard’s Analysis: Albini was very impressive as the first moment he had some space he just teed off on Johnson. Johnson was fighting his fight until that point, but just got tagged hard and couldn’t recover. Albini’s hands looked really good here and he should be interesting to watch going forward.

(4) Brian Kelleher vs. Marlon Vera (Bantamweight 135 lbs)

ROUND ONE: Vera is throwing the kicks while Kelleher is landing the punches. Kelleher lands a nice body shot, clean and is getting in and out. Vera is holding tight onto the arm of Kelleher as he tries to separate. Kelleher goes for the takedown and transitions to the armbar and gets the tap!

Result: Marlon Vera via Submission Round 1 (2:18)

Ecochard’s Analysis: Marlon Vera shocked me here. I really didn’t think he would get the submission against Kelleher here, but he followed through from takedown transition. Kelleher was doing really well so it’s a shame he made a mistake and got caught out.  

(5) Kyle Bochniak vs. Jeremy Kennedy (Featherweight 145 lbs)

ROUND ONE: Bochniak comes out with a hook and Kennedy shot in and took him down instantly. Kennedy doing more on top and Bochniak struggling to create space. Bochniak is just being controlled and Kennedy is throwing some continuous ground and pound. Bochniak gets up with about a minute and a half to work with. Kennedy pours it on him on the feet, lands a knee and takes him down again. Bochniak needs space in the second round or else he is just gonna be controlled again.

ROUND TWO: This time Bochniak lands a right hand, but Kennedy decides to move forward and pressure for a takedown. Kennedy is on top with four minutes to work now. Kennedy is just dominating this bout so far, halfway through the second and he is getting picked apart on the mat. Bochniak goes to move and he just gets dragged to the floor again. Kennedy doesn’t seemed interested in the finish but is certainly winning this bout.

ROUND THREE: First minute of this round has Bochniak hurting Kennedy against the fence! A small clash of heads, but not even worth stopping the fight. A kick to the cup from Bochniak will give Kennedy a break. They resume and meet in the center of the octagon and trade. Kennedy starts to go in for the takedown, a scramble happens and it ends with Kennedy on top. This looks to be over with a fight that was almost perfect for Kennedy except for the first couple minutes of round three.

Result: Jeremy Kennedy via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)

Ecochard’s Analysis: The wrestling game of Kennedy was just light-years ahead of Bochniak. Almost zero offense from Bochniak and it leads to Kennedy winning three in a row in the UFC and is still undefeated. The striking is getting slightly better for Kennedy, but still needs improvement. Kennedy needs a step up in competition next time out. 

FOX PRELIMS (6:00 PM ET / 3:00 PM PT)

(6) Damian Grabowski vs. Chase Sherman (Heavyweight 265 lbs)

ROUND ONE: Sherman is landing the crisper shots here early, and is moving just a little bit faster. Grabowski just can’t seem to find the timing yet and is getting hit with a few small shots here and there. Sherman is landing some small leg kicks here and there. A nice combination counter from Sherman. A straight left and a hard leg kick for Sherman. Shots are starting to add up for Sherman. One nice overhand for Grabowski. A nice left and right, mixed in with some body and head shots. Everything is landing for Sherman here and he looked good in the first five minutes.

ROUND TWO: Sherman is landing well here again to start the second round. Sherman’s kicks are landing well here and fairly often. Sherman is listening to his corner well here. He is looking really sharp tonight and part of that is because of the training camp at Jackson-Wink in New Mexico. Sherman lands a nice head kick partially. Sherman is really picking apart Grabowski over time here and still has another minute left in the second round. Uppercut starts a combination for Sherman.

ROUND THREE: Grabowski goes for a takedown for the first time here, but nothing comes from it. Sherman lands a few more hard shots, clipping the head and body. Grabowski needs to do something here as he is definitely not winning this fight and there are only two and a half minutes left in the fight. Sherman is really getting tired here, but he isn’t stopping. Grabowski lands a big right hand, but luckily Sherman’s chin is strong. Sherman put Grabowski against the cage and lands a few stiff hooks. A knee at the end of the round and this was just all Sherman.

Result: Chase Sherman via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x2, 30-26)

Ecochard’s Analysis: Sherman looking way better here tonight than we have ever seen him before. His striking was crisp and he was patient. No war from here tonight, but he was smart and needed a win like this going the distance to keep improving. Grabowski needed to go to the mat where most of his wins come from, but he just didn’t attempt it more than once. Fun fight, but nothing spectacular happened.

(7) Ryan LaFlare (14) vs. Alex Oliveira (Welterweight 170 lbs)

ROUND ONE: LaFlare takes the center of the octagon and pushes the fight towards the cage. LaFlare gets the takedown, Oliveira tries to take the back, then an armbar attempt but LaFlare escapes both and ends up on top in North-South position. Knees from LaFlare to the side of Oliveira. LaFlare is grinding out Oliveira here and keeping complete control. It seems boring, but is the safe option here and is doing a great job against the dangerous Oliveira.

ROUND TWO: LaFlare lands a nice right hand, but gets countered with a bigger right from Oliveira. LaFlare comes in for a left hand, but a HUGE UPPERCUT LANDS FOR OLIVEIRA.  WOW!

Result: Alex Oliveira via KO Round 2 (1:50)

Ecochard’s Analysis: LaFlare was winning that fight easily the entire first round. LaFlare couldn’t get in as easy in the second round and he paid for it with a huge shot. Good on Oliveira, but he gets booed because he just comes off as cocky and rude in a lot of his fights and not in an entertaining way. Oliveira should move into the welterweight rankings now and get another top 15 opponent next time out.

(8) Rafael Natal vs. Eryk Anders (Middleweight 185 lbs)

ROUND ONE: Anders making his debut against a tough opponent here, but takes the center the octagon quickly. Anders is being patient pushing forward looking for a well timed strike. Natal comes forward, but he eats two solid hooks in a row and gets stunned slightly. A big left hook landed for Natal this time. Anders keeps coming forward, Natal looks for a takedown, gets stuffed and Anders lands a big head kick. He chases Natal towards the fence and clips him again. Anders on top of Natal and he is slowly getting a dominant position, but Natal gets up. Two straight lefts and he drops Natal! Unbelievable is the power of Anders.

Result: Eryk Anders via KO Round 1 (2:54)

Ecochard’s Analysis: Short notice debut against a veteran in the middleweight division and Anders couldn’t have done any better. Looking into the pre-fight facts where Anders fought a five round fight just under a month ago, got injured and still got this fight in with that showing is incredible. There is a new potential star at 185 lbs and his name is Eryk Anders.

(9) Lyman Good vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (Welterweight 170 lbs)

ROUND ONE: Dos Santos comes out and gets a takedown right away, but Good gets up and his back is taken from Dos Santos on the feet. Good spins out and scrambles to stop another takedown attempt. Good gets a little space to work and lands a nice right hand. Big leg kick hurts Good but he recovers quickly. Another leg kick lands well. Good gets the takedown off the third low kick attempt. Dos Santos gets back up to his feet and both men land near the fence. This is a really competitive first round. Good lands a couple nice shots, but Dos Santos is throwing while he is backing up. Fun first round.

ROUND TWO: Good comes out and lands some hard shots. The punches of Good are really heavy and he hits himself to hype himself, this man is nuts. Dos Santos goes for a single leg but instead clinches against the cage and Good turns it around. Dos Santos has stopped throwing leg kicks since he got taken down before. Both men are standing and trading with each other here, but Good is just landing the jab over and over and he is setting up nice rights from it. A huge knee from Dos Sants, but Good eat it and comes forward. Another good round here from both, but Good is getting ahead here.

ROUND THREE: Dos Santos tries to push forward here, but Good hits him hard. Dos Santos is landing better now as the round goes on! Apparently Good’s corner said go for the knockout or get knocked out. Half way through the final round and the fight is pretty close still. Both men wearing some blood as they trade. Dos Santos is throwing some ranged kicks and keeping Good at bay. They trade hard and Good is hurt but stands and bangs with him. They touch gloves after the horn for a well done fight.

Result: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos via Split Decision (30-27 x2, 28-29)

Ecochard’s Analysis: Both men gain a lot from that. A long layoff for Good and to come out with a performance like that was going to raise his stock win or lose. Dos Santos had some trouble in the first half of the fight, but started pouring it on the longer it went. Exciting and fun fight that both men come out looking good. Great job by Dos Santos here and really started to turn it on when both got tired. 

FOX MAIN CARD (8:00 PM ET / 5:00 PM PT)

(10) Jimmie Rivera (4) vs. Thomas Almeida (9) (Bantamweight 135 lbs)

ROUND ONE: This is gonna be an intense match. Both men meet in the middle of the cage and start the feeling out process. Rivera is the one in the center more, but is eating a lot of leg kicks from Almeida. Rivera drops Almeida. Almeida back to his feet they clinch, Rivera’s mouthpiece slips out, they break and begin again. Both men trade in the center and both land. Rivera drops Almeida again with a right. A kick to the body as they stand up. Almeida’s nose is turning into a mess. Almeida landed some nice shots that round, but Rivera landed the harder ones that dropped him twice.

ROUND TWO: Rivera came out quick, Almeida lands a knee to the body. Both men are standing and swinging real hard. Rivera lands again and clips him. I don’t know how many shots like that Almeida can take. Two lefts land for Rivera here. Almeida stuns Rivera and is tearing up his lead leg. Almeida comes forward, but a little too wild. Almeida is turning it on with some solid accuracy and timing. This is probably one round a piece going into the third, but the first round should likely be a 10-8 with Almeida being dropped twice.

ROUND THREE: Rivera came in quickly and got a fairly easy takedown. Almeida makes his way back to the feet and pushes it back into the center of the octagon. Rivera lands a nice shot and keeps moving. Less action this round as both men are nervous. Two combinations in a row with both featuring hits to the body. Rivera pushes in and gets the body lock but nothing much comes from it. Rivera shoots in with a well timed takedown. Almeida gets back to his feet and puts the pressure on Rivera. What a competitive fight this has been. Almeida is trying to finish here, but both men land well.

Result: Jimmie Rivera via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-26, 30-27)

Ecochard’s Analysis: Entertaining main card opener. Both men fought reckless early on and tried to fight smarter as the bout went on. Rivera looked really good and fought a smart game plan in the third round. Rivera is now 5-0 in the UFC and looks like he could be champion material. 

Rivera called out TJ Dillashaw or Dominick Cruz for his next fight at MSG in November. Either would be entertaining and are the right fights to make for him.

(11) Patrick Cummins (12) vs. Gian Villante (13) (Light Heavyweight 205 lbs)

ROUND ONE: Villante throws a kick which might not be a good idea against a good wrestler. Cummins shoots in for a takedown, but Villante defends it. Another shot for Cummins, Villante defends and lands some hammer fists against the fence. Villante hurts Cummins! They reset and Cummins comes in looking for a takedown again. Cummins has a cut on his head, likely from a headbutt. A break for Cummins might help him here, but the announce team talks about how that was a smart break from Big John on the referee end of things. Heavy kick under the arm from Villante. Cummins clinches against the fence and they show Villante’s corner telling him to use the jab. Right hand from Cummins followed with a takedown attempt that just leads to clinch work.

ROUND TWO: Villante stuffs a takedown from Cummins early this round. Villante needs to move a little more and start landing some mixed strikes. Cummins is just stopping Villante from getting  any real offense going. Cummins lands a nice combination. Not a whole lot happening in this round as both men are starting to tire a bit and neither landing much of significance.

ROUND THREE: Villante’s corner told him he is throwing the fight away. His corner is telling him he needs to work. Two big rights land for Villante and stiffen up Cummins who shoots in for a takedown but gets stuffed. Cummins is hurt here fairly badly, but Villante doesn’t have enough gas to keep the pressure on him. Two minutes left in the final round. Cummins comes forward and lands a couple nice shots and a knee to the body. Cummins clinches into the cage to exhaust and control Villante. Big John separates with thirty seconds left. Villante lands a nice left but Cummins returns. Fun fight, Cummins looks way worse, but he may have gotten the win. Very close fight.

Result: Patrick Cummins via Split Decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)

Ecochard’s Analysis: Cummins landed way more strikes (over double that of Villante) but Villante landed the harder shots that stunned and dropped Cummins a few times. While I don’t agree with it due to damage done and being hurt a few times, Cummins did a lot more and didn’t tire so good for him. Villante just isn’t elite as he tires after the first round in every fight and doesn’t listen to his coaches. 

(12) Dennis Bermudez (10) vs. Darren Elkins (12) (Featherweight 145 lbs)

ROUND ONE: Bermudez comes with a flying knee to start, but counter left from Elkins. Both men are landing some clean shots early. Bermudez is coming in really hard with some wild shots and winging hooks. Elkins is countering nicely as he comes in. Bermudez slipped and Elkins tries to take his back. Bermudez gets to the fence, but Elkins stays on him. and drags him back to the mat. Bermudez is up and gets taken down again. Back up once again, Elkins is peppering him with knees to the thigh and short shots. They break and Bermudez tries a superman punch. Elkins ducked a shot and takes the back and has a body triangle on Bermudez. Elkins loses the position and Bermudez comes forward and puts him against the cage. Elkins gets the position back though, picks up Bermudez and slams him. Strong combination from Bermudez followed by a choke attempt for Elkins before the bell.

ROUND TWO: A little more caution to start the second round for Bermudez. Elkins initiates the clinch against the cage, but Bermudez turns it this time. They separate, Bermudez is landing some strong shots. Very good back and forth for both fighters. Bermudez is landing the better shots, but Elkins has a couple of takedowns in the round. Elkins hasn’t been in much trouble but has controlled the fight at a few different moments with the takedowns. Bermudez slips near the end of the round and Elkins gets his back with only 10 seconds to work.

ROUND THREE: Elkins leaches onto Bermudez, but then Bermudez lands a nice combination.. He leans in and Elkins gets the clinch again. Elkins holds on but not much is happening. Neither fighter has really controlled this round and isn’t doing much to impress in it. The second round is much like this one and the judges could really go either way with this one. Bermudez is pouring it on now with a few minutes to go. Bermudez is stealing this round easily now. Close fight, wasn’t all that exciting though.

Result: Darren Elkins via Split Decision (29-28 x2 , 28-29)

Ecochard’s Analysis: Neither man looked amazing here. Neither man gets a big step up or down from the win or loss. The result seems fair as he really did control a lot of that fight with multiple takedowns. If Bermudez kept the fight on the feet a little more he may have won.

An interview between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier is happening. Cormier says Jones needs to try to wrestle him a lot faster. Jones says “this is my era”. Cormier says that he is the champion and will remain the champion after next weekend. Cormier says that Jones isn’t a champion because he beat himself. Jones said “that shit doesn’t matter” and that Cormier hasn’t beaten him. Cormier just wants to fight and says he doesn’t care about anything else between them. Stann asks if they could squash the beef after the fight. Jones says “F*** DC”. Cormier says he will respect Jones’ talent but has no interest in being friends. One week to go folks!

(13) Chris Weidman (5) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (8) (Middleweight Main Event – Five Rounds 185 lbs)

ROUND ONE: Gastelum looks a whole weight class smaller here. Weidman keeps distance to start and is trying to measure it out. A quick right hand from Weidman using his 7 inch reach advantage. Gastelum is trying to set up his right hand but he can’t. Weidman gets a takedown, a triangle attempt from Gastelum, but Weidman is riding his back right now holding the arm of Gastelum. Weidman drags him back down, but Gastelum is doing a good job of getting back up. Weidman gets him down to the mate again and is holding him in side control. Weidman is threatening a kimura. Gastelum gets up out of it and both are back on their feet. One minute left in the round. The quickness of the strikes of Gastelum are his greatest key, but he needs to get it going here. Gastelum rocks Weidman with one single shot wow! The horn might of saved him there.

ROUND TWO: Gastelum comes out fast this round to try to minimize on the recovery time of Weidman. Clinch initiated by Weidman with both men even in the clinch so far. Takedown from Weidman here and jumps on the back of Gastelum. Gastelum gets up, but Weidman drags him to the mat again and is on his back. Gastelum back up, but Weidman is trying to take him down again. Weidman gets him down and is landing some strikes from the guard. Chris stacks Gastelum with 10 seconds to go. He takes the back but doesn’t have enough time to do anything.

ROUND THREE: Coming out swinging, Gastelum was told he was losing two round and he listened. An eye poke from Gastelum makes Weidman mad. Couple huge shots from Weidman. Lefts and rights landing, but Gastelum says bring it on! Big right hand from Weidman lands. Weidman pushes it to the fence and goes in deep for a double leg and gets it. He pressures the back, but Gastelum gets back up. Gastelum gets taken down again for about the 7th time. Weidman has his back again and drags him to the mat. Spinning, Weidman stays on the back. Weidman goes for the arm triangle and it looks tight! He gets it and Gastelum taps!

Result: Chris Weidman via Submission Round 3 (3:45)

Ecochard’s Analysis: This was a great showing for Weidman, he got clipped once, but he just dominated the smaller man with his wrestling. The striking was going well for him too in the third round, but went back to the wrestling and forced the submission onto Gastelum. If Weidman needed confidence to get back into things, he definitely got some here stopping the prospect Kelvin Gastelum. 

Thanks for joining me for the play by play and coming to the website. We will have previews, predictions and play-by-play for the big UFC 214 card next weekend featuring Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier in a rematch as well as two other title fights. Good night all!

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