UFC FIGHT NIGHT 118 LIVE REPORT
OCTOBER 21, 2017
GDANSK, POLAND AT ERGO ARENA
ON UFC FIGHT PASS
Keep it locked here all afternoon for live updates of UFC: Cerrone vs. Till. My name is Michael Grocke and I’ll have quick results and analysis of the preliminary card followed by live round by round coverage of the main card.
Be sure to check out the MMA Talk for Pro Wrestling Fans podcast where I host every Monday at 6PM CT at pwtorchlivecast.com. You can also read my columns right here at MMATorch and for you sports bettors check out my website thefightingchampion.com. Follow me on Twitter @FightChampBlog.
UFC Fight Night 117 takes place at the Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. Darren Till puts his undefeated record on the line when he steps into the cage against UFC veteran and fan favorite, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the main event.
The co-main event takes place in the women’s strawweight division where Poland’s own, Karolina Kowalkiewicz will look to put a halt to a two-fight skid against UFC newcomer Jodie Esquibel.
The main card also includes another native of Poland as Jan Blachowicz steps into the cage opposite Devin Clark and Polish born Oskar Piechota makes his promotional debut against Jonathan Wilson.
(1) Felipe Arantes (18-7-1, 2 NC) vs. Josh Emmett (11-0) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Emmett dropped Arantes 30 seconds into the fight but couldn’t capitalize. He put Arantes on the mat again with another right hand 20 seconds later, but Arantes weathered the storm. Emmett dropped Arantes for a third time with just under 3 minutes to go. Arantes survived yet again. The remainder of the fight stayed on the feet.
ROUND TWO: Arantes looked fresh to start the second round, so he may have been acting more hurt that he really was. Emmett’s output definitely dropped off in the second round. This allowed Arantes to dictate pace and range. The entire round stayed on the feet until Emmett scored with a takedown with 10 seconds left in the round. The takedown probably won Emmett the round.
ROUND THREE: The entire round remained on the feet with Emmett beating Arantes to the punch and landing the heavier shots. All Emmett here.
Result: Josh Emmett over Felipe Arantes by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-25)
Grocke’s POV: Emmett looked great in his featherweight debut. He dominated that fight on the feet dropping Arantes four times and really never looked to be in trouble at any point. Classy post fight interview as well.
(2) Lina Lansberg (7-2) vs. Aspen Ladd (5-0) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Ladd immediately pressed forward and the women fought in the clinch against the cage as the fight started. Lansberg landed some heavy knees to the body of Ladd while in the clinch. Lansberg got the better of the exchanges while in the clinch. The fight remained in the clinch until they were finally separated with 36 seconds left in the round. Lansberg immediately went back to the clinch as the round ended.
ROUND TWO: Ladd scored with a takedown 30 seconds into the round after taking multiple jabs in the face from Lansberg. Ladd transitioned to full mount with just over three minutes in the round. Ladd started dropping heavy punches in mount and the ref stopped the fight.
Result: Aspen Ladd over Lina Lansberg by TKO – Strikes (2:33 of Round 2)
Grocke’s POV: Once Ladd transitioned to full mount I knew it was just a matter of time before she got into position to land her ground and pound. While I thought it might have been an early stoppage, it was probably just a matter of time.
(3) Salim Touahri (10-1) vs. Warlley Alves (11-2) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Alves looked to be the bigger, stronger, faster fighter from the get go. He repeatedly beat Touahri to the punch and was the better fighter on the ground landing take downs. It was all Alvey in the first round.
ROUND TWO: The fight stayed on the feet with Alves hurting Touahri with a big overhand right with a little over three minutes to go. Touahri looked to have recovered well and the fight remained on the feet for the final three minutes with both fighters landing. However Alves seemed to be landing the bigger shots. Alves is doing a great job mixing in kicks with punches.
ROUND THREE: They fought on the feet until Touahri took a kick low and time was called halfway into the round.
(The crowd starting going nuts for no reason because the action inside the cage was nothing to cheer about. Apparently Conor McGregor made his entrance causing the crowd to cheer wildly. He was there to cheer on Artem Lobov.)
The remainder of the fight stayed standing with not a lot of action. Alves landed more thoiugh.
Result: Warlley Alves over Salim Touhri by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Grocke’s POV: This wasn’t the most exciting fight. Alves fought a very poised, measured fight. He landed the heavier shots throughout the fight.
(4) Artem Lobov (14-13-1, 1 NC) vs. Andre Fili (16-5) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Lobov kept pushing forward as Fili circled back and forth in the first half of the round. Lobov was clearly head hunting, looking for a quick KO. Fili worked in kicks and used his jab very well in the early going. Lobov was bleeding under his left eye early on in the fight. Lobov began dropping his hands taunting Fili to punch him towards the end of the round. Fili lands a huge head kick that dropped Lobov with 30 seconds left but was unable to finish the fight.
ROUND TWO: Lobov came out for the second round the same way he did the first. Following Fili around the cage while Fili circles back and forth. Fili continued to use his kicks well. Halfway through the round though Lobov started to figure out range and began landing at a much higher rate. Both fighters landed big punches with Lobov landing the heavier shots. Fili made a great decision by taking Lobov down with a minute to go. Lobov was able to get back to his feet with 30 seconds left in the round. The round ended with both fighters back on their feet.
ROUND THREE: Fili took Lobov down a minute into the final round and worked from top control until Lobov got back to his feet with 3:20 to go. Fili took Lobov right back down and worked to better his position with under three minutes to go. Lobov scrambled and got back to his feet, but was taken right back down with just under two minutes left in the round. With 1:2o both fighters were standing until Fili landed yet another takedown with under a minute left. Fili remained on top until the final seconds when he let Lobov up.
Result: Andre Fili over Artem Lobov by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Grocke’s POV: That was a dominate performance from Andre Fili. He just about fought a perfect fight. As long as guys can avoid the right hand from Lobov as he head hunts, he is very easy to take down. Fili took advantage of that and took Lobov down with ease while cruising to a one sided decision.
(5) Sam Alvey (31-9, 1 NC) vs. Ramazan Emeev (15-3) – Light Heavyweight 185 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Emeev landed a big right hand and went in for a takedown, but Alvey defended it well. Alvet got off to a slow start in the fight. A difficult weight cut or the fear of Emeev’s power might be the reason why. With two minutes to go I don’t think Alvey landed anything, but he has taken some big right hands from Emeev. With a minute to go Emeev went for a takedown but Alvey defended it. As Alvey was getting back to his feet he took some heavy punches that looked to hurt him as the round ended.
ROUND TWO: Emeev came out and tried for a takedown but Alvey defended against it well. Alvey just isn’t mounting any offense what so ever. Emeev continued to just push forward and follow Alvey around the cage. Time is called with 1:34 left in the round due to a lack of action. When time is back in Emeev pushed Alvey to the fence but got caught in a standing guillotine. Emeev fought out of it and the fight remained on the feet for the final 30 seconds.
ROUND THREE: Alvey needed a finish coming into the final round. Emeev came out and pushed Alvey to the fence like he did the previous two rounds. They fought in the clinch with neither fighter doing any damage until they finally separated with 3:12 left. After more clinching and takedown attempts the fight finally came to an end.
Result: Ramazan Emeev over Sam Alvey by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Grocke’s POV: That fight was awful. Nothing more.
(6) Damian Stasiak (10-4) vs. Brian Kelleher (17-8) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Stasiak really applied a ton of pressure to start the fight. He mixed up his offense very well early on that looked to have caught Kelleher by surprise. Halfway through the round Kelleher looked to have settled in and began finding his range. Kelleher caught Stasiak in a guillotine that looked to be in tight but Stasiak was able to slip out of it with under a minute to go. Kelleher remained in top position for the remainder of the round.
ROUND TWO: Kelleher came out to start the second much more aggressively than the first but was taken down by Stasiak a minute in. Both fighters were back to their feet with just over three minutes to go. Stasiak went for a single but took two big knees from Kelleher. Kelleher was able to defend the takedown and the fight continued on the feet. Kelleher caught Stasiak in another guillotine but Stasiak was able to slip out. They traded punches as the round came to an end.
ROUND THREE: Kelleher ran out and met Stasiak across the cage and put the pressure on him early in the round. Kelleher defended another takedown attempt and they fought at center octagon. With 3:30 to go the fight went to the ground with neither fighter gaining control. Back on the feet Kelleher went for a takedown and got it with under three minutes left. Stasiak was able to get back to his feet but he looked gassed. Kelleher kept the pressure on and dropped Stasiak with a short left hand. Kelleher pounced and finished Stasiak with strikes.
Result: Brian Kelleher over Damian Stasiak by TKO – Strikes (3:39 of Round 3)
Grocke’s POV: That was a fun fight. Kelleher looked in this one and got back in the win column. Stasiak is one tough SOB fighting basically the entire fight with a broken nose.
(7) Marcin Held (22-7) vs. Nasrat Haqparast (8-1) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Both fighters came out with high energy looking to throw hands. The fight stayed on the feet with both guys landing until Held went for a takedown with two minutes left in the round. Haqparast defended the takdown for a bit, but Held was finally able to finish it. With a minute to go Held was working from top position. Haqparast defended well from his back and avoided taking any serious damage.
ROUND TWO: Held’s work rate id higher, but Haqparast is landing the higher quality shots. Held was dropped by a right hand a minute in but he was able to get back to his feet quickly. Held shot in but Haqparast defended it. After a scramble Held was able to gain top position with a little over two minutes to go. Held remained in top position landing ground and pound for the rest of the round.
ROUND THREE: Held went right for a takedown 15 seconds into the round and got it. Haqparast tried to scramble but got caught in a heel hook. He fought out but Held remained in top control. Halfway through the round Held remained working from on top. Held went for an arm bar but Haqparast fought out and they fought on the feet for the first time in the round. Held went for another takedown but Haqparast sprawled nicely. Held looked gassed as Haqparast tried to pour it on in the final seconds.
Result: Marcin Held over Nasrat Haqparast by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Grocke’s POV: Marcin Held finally gets his first win in the UFC. This was a much tougher fight than expected. The scores were 30-27 across the board but Haqparast should be proud of his performance.
(8) Oskar Piechota (9-0) vs. Jonathan Wilson (7-2) – Middleweight 185 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Both fighters come out apprehensive during an extended feeling out process. After two minutes nothing of significance has landed for either fighter. Finally Piechota gets a takedown with two minutes to go. Piechota takes the back while Wilson is standing. Piechota works for the rear naked choke but Wilson is defending the hands. Piechota gets Wilson to the ground and still has the back. Piechota has the rear naked but Wilson fights it off as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: Piechota defends a takedown attempt from Wilson. The fight stays on the fight halfway through the round with not a whole lot of action. Finally with just over two minutes to go both guys decide to throw hands. Piechota looks to be the more accurate striker and he is also throwing more. Wilson goes for a head kick and slips but Piechota is unable to capitalize as Wilson is back to his feet quickly. Nice counter from Wilson with 30 seconds to go. A big right hand drops Wilson just as the horn sounds. Wow.
ROUND THREE: Wilson needs a finish from my perspective. Surprisingly Wilson isn’t showing much aggression or urgency. A really low output from Wilson all fight, and his corner can’t be happy about it. With three minutes to go they stand and trade punches. Piechota has been getting the better of the exchanges all fight. Piechta drives Wilson to the cage and gets the takedown with 2:15 left in the final round. Piechota works ground and pound from top position. Piechota has full mount. Wilson turns to his side, now gives up his back. Piechota transitions to an arm-triangle. Wilson circles away from it but is in jeopardy of giving up his back. Piechota sets up the triangle choke, Wilson scrambles and Piechota now has an arm bar just as the horn sounds.
Result: Oskar Piechota over Jonathan Wilson by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Grocke’s Point of View: That was an excellent debut for Piechota. He dominated that fight in all areas. For whatever reason Wilson never seemed to get out of first gear and it cost him the fight.
(9) Jan Blachowicz (19-7) vs. Devin Clark (8-1) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.
ROUND ONE: They clinch against the cage as the fight gets underway. They reverse position along the fence with neither getting the upper hand. The ref breaks them up with 3:20 left. Clark is bouncing on his toes looking for an opening. He charges forward throwing wild punches with nothing landing. Blachowicz catches a kick and lands a right hand. Blachowicz runs Clark to the fence and lands some nice knees. Clark gets Blachowicz off of him and lands a big left hand that rocks Blachowicz. Clark tries to pressure but it looks as though Blachowicz recovered quickly. They continue to trade on the feet for the remainder of the round.
ROUND TWO: Clark comes out and lets his offense fly but nothing of significance lands. Blachowicz lands a heavy kick to the body that Clark definitely felt. Clark shoots in but Blachowicz sprawls and ends up on top of Clark. Blachowicz works from top position with three minutes to go. Clark pushes Blachowicz off with his legs and scrambles back to his feet. Clark shoots in and Blachowicz catches him in a standing guillotine. Clark taps instantly!
Result: Jan Blachowicz over Devin Clark by Submission – Rear-Naked Choke (3:02 of Round 2)
Grocke’s Point of View: That was another fun fight. The fight was very close up until the submission. Clark presented some trouble for Blachowicz, especially his speed and power. That was a hell of a submission for Blachowicz. It was all or nothing in that instance and it worked out for him.
(10) Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-2) vs. Jodie Esquibel (6-2) – Strawweight 115 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Karolina comes out and pushes the pace to start. The fight starts out on the feet with both fighters trying to gauge distance. Esquibel seems to be having trouble getting inside. Every time she moves in Karolina hits her with the jab. Karolina stands center cage as Esquibel circles around her. Karolina continues to pick Esquibel apart with the jab. Esquibel catches a kick and lads a nice right hand. The entire round took place on the feet with Karolina getting the better of Esquibel on most exchanges.
ROUND TWO: The second starts off on the feet and Karolina catches Esquibel wwith a nice right hand. Karolina is starting to mix in a heavier dose of kicks here in the early going of the second round. Karolina really starts to up the pressure and starts landing strikes as she runs Esquibel to the cage. Karolina goes up top and lands a head kick. Esquibel is still coming forward though and she has Karlina pinned to the cage. She isn’t able to land much offense as Karolina pushes her off. They trade punches at center cage. Karolina gets a takedown with 30 seconds to go and she looks for an arm bar. The horn sounds and Esquibel survives.
ROUND THREE: The fight remained on the feet until Esquibel shoots in for a takedown but Karolina defended it easily with 3:30 to go. Karolina continues relentless pressure walking Esquibel down. Esquibel has been back pedaling the last round and a half. They continue to trade punches at center cage with Karolina getting the better of the exchanges.
Result: Karolina Kowalkiewicz over Jodie Esquibel by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Grocke’s Point of View: Esquibel’s game plan seemed to go out the window when she realized she wasn’t going to be able to get inside. Esquibel was all smiles waiting for the decision, apparently just happy to have gone the distance with Kowalkiewicz. This was a one sided fight throughout as expected. Karolina did what she had to do and left no doubt that she’s the third best strawweight in the world.
(11) Donald Cerrone (32-9, 1 NC) vs. Darren Till (15-0-1) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Cerrone goes for at takedown but Till shakes him off as the fight starts. Till lands a left and follows with a kick. Cerrone rushes in throwing punches but nothing lands. Cerrone with a takedown at 3:40 but Till is up quickly. They clinch against the cage. They separate and stand at center cage. Till has a noticeable size advantage. Till is doing a nice job cutting off the cage and keeping Cerrone’s back to the cage. Till lands a left hand over the top. Cerrone with a straight right to the body lands flush. Cerrone gets rocked from a left hand and is in trouble. Till sees it and lands another big punch. He lands heavy shots as Cerrone covers up against the fence. Cerrone goes down and Till lands more shots to a grounded Cerrone. The ref stops it.
Result: Darren Till over Donald Cerrone by TKO – Strikes (4:20 of Round 1)
Grocke’s Point of View: As a fan of Donald Cerrone this was hard to watch. I don’t understand why he kept backing backing into the cage. BUT, what a coming out party for Darren Till. He just might be the real deal, and this guy is marketable as all hell. He wants Mike Perry and Mike Perry he should get. That would be a fantastic fight.
Thanks for joining me today. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @FightChampBlob
NOW CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE: UFC FIGHT NIGHT 118 PREDICTIONS 10/21: Grocke’s updated odds & predictions for every fight
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