GROCKE’S UFC FIGHT NIGHT 121 LIVE REPORT 11/18: Werdum vs. Tybura, Rawlings vs. Clark, Means vs. Muhammad, Matthews vs. Velickovic, Theodorou vs. Kelly, Volkanovski vs. Young

NOVEMBER 18, 2017


Keep it locked here all evening for live updates of UFC: Werdum vs. Tybura. 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.

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The main event takes place in the heavyweight division where Fabricio Werdum takes on Marcin Tybura. The co-main event takes us to the women’s flyweight division where Bec Rawlings goes up against the debuting Jessica-Rose Clark.

The main card also includes Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad in what should be a very exciting fight, Australian Jake Matthews vs. Bojan Velickovic, Elias Theodorou vs. Dan Kelly and Alexander Volkanovski vs. Humberto Bandenay.


Early Prelims

(1) Anthony Hamilton (15-8) vs. Adam Wieczorek (8-1) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.

Result: Adam Wieczorek over Anthony Hamilton by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Grocke’s POV: This was a lumbering heavyweight fight that lacked action. Wieczorek looked shocked he won. Wieczorek tried to keep distance with kicks early on but he allowed Hamilton to get in and take him down. Hamilton spent the majority of the round in top position. Wieczorek caught Hamilton with a glancing head kick that caught him off balance withing the first 30 seconds of round two. Halfway through the round Hamilton made it back to his feet. Hamilton got a big takedown with 30 seconds left. The third round stayed on the feet but both fighters were gassed and neither guy landed anything of significance.    

(2) Jenel Lausa (7-3) vs. Eric Shelton (10-4) – Flyweight 125 lbs.

Result: Eric Shelton over Jenel Lausa by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-26,30-25) 

Grocke’s POV: This was a very one sided fight for Shelton. Lausa landed a big takedown halfway through the fist round but Shelton reversed him giving each fighter a takedown. Shelton shot in and landed his second takedown of the round with 30 seconds left. Shelton scored with a takedown a minute into the second round. He remained in control for the rest of the round landing ground and pound and looking for submissions. Shelton got a takedown with 3:30 to go in the third round. Shelton dominated from on top until he let Lausa up with 10 seconds left.

(3) Alex Chambers (5-2) vs. Nadia Kassem (4-0) – Strawweight 115 lbs.

Result: Nadia Kassem over Alex Chambers by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)

Grocke’s POV: That was a good fight. Both women worked hard. Kassem won all the exchanges on the feet and came close to finishing the fight on the ground several times. Congrats to her for getting her first win in the UFC.

They traded on the feet until Chambers got a takedown with three minutes left in the first round. Kassem went for heel hook but lost it allowing Chambers to get top control with a little over a minute to go. Chambers landed a few nice elbows before the round ended. Kassem cracked Chambers on the feet early in the second. Kassem kept winning the exchanges on the feet, but kept allowing Chambers to take her down. Kassem caught Chambers in a triangle halfway in to the round, she then transitioned into an armbar but Chambers was able to survive. Chambers took Kassem down with three minutes to go in the third. Kassem went for heel hook briefly then went for a reverse triangle. With a minute left they were on their feet. A huge head kick rocked Chambers with 30 seconds left. 



(4) Damien Brown (17-10) vs. Frank Camacho (20-5) – Lightweight 155 lbs.

Result: Frank Camacho over Damien Brown by Split Decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28) 

Grocke’s POV: What. A. Fight. That was incredible. Dan Hardy was standing giving them a standing ovation as the final seconds ticked off. That was a well deserved victory for Camacho.

Both guys came out throwing hands to start. Brown closed distance and the fight turned into a grappling match with both guys landing takedowns. Brown took the back and worked for a RNC with under a minute to go and somehow Camacho survived the round. The second round was a kick boxing match with both guys landing heavy shots. The third round started where the second left off. 

(5) Rashad Coulter (8-2) vs. Tai Tuivasa (5-0) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.

Result: Tai Tuivasa over Rashad Coulter by Knockout (4:35 of Round 1)

Grocke’s POV: Now that’s the way to make a debut. This looked like it was Tuivasa’s fight from the get go. Excellent win for the hometoowwn hero.

They clinched up early and grappled for position. Halfway through the round the fight turned into a kickboxing match. Tuivasa landed a big leg kick that put Coulter on his rear and as he was getting up Taivasa landed a knee that put Coulter to sleep. Tuivasa landed one more unnecessary punch before the ref can cover Coulter.

(6) Nik Lentz (29-8-2, 1 NC) vs. Will Brooks (18-3) – Lightweight 155 lbs.

Result: Nik Lentz over Will Brooks by Submission – Guillotine Choke (2:05 of Round 2)

Grocke’s POV: That was a huge win for Nik Lentz. I’m not sure why Brooks took the fight to the ground when he was tagging Lentz on the feet. Bad fight IQ right there.

The fight took place on the feet until Brooks went for a takedown with just over three minutes to go. Lentz caught him in guillotine but Brooks slipped out and the fight remained on the feet with both fighters getting shots in. Brooks started getting the better of the exchanges on the feet early in the second. Brooks took Lentz down with just over three minutes to go but got caught in a guillotine. Lentz squeezed and Brooks tappped. 

(7) Ryan Benoit (9-5) vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian (13-2) – Flyweight 125 lbs.

Result: Ryan Benoit over Ashkan Mokhtarian by Knockout (2:38 of Round 3)

Grocke’s POV: Wow, that came out of nowhere. Mokhtarian seemed to have the fight in hand until he didn’t. Big win for Benoit.

Mokhtarian tagged Benoit with a left hand, but Benoit recovered quickly a minute into the fight. Benoit is clearly having trouble with Mokhtarian’s movement. He followed Mokhtarian around the cage the entire first round. Benoit told his corner after the first round that his right hand was broken. You wouldn’t know it because he was getting the better of the exchanges on the feet early in the second round. Mokhtarian came on strong and landed some big shots in the second half of the round. The third round like the second was primarily a kick boxing affair until Benoit caught Mokhtarian with a head that put him to sleep.


Main Card

(8) Alexander Volkanovski (15-1) vs. Shane Young (11-3) – Catchweight 150 lbs.

ROUND ONE: Volkanovski took center cage and cut the cage off to open the fight. They clinch up against the cage a minute in with neither man gaining an advantage. Back to center at the 3:30 mark. They clinch again and Volkanovski lands a knee to the body. After a brief scramble he takes Young’s back but Young breaks free and they are back to center with 2:24 to go. Volkanovski lands two hard right hands and takes Young down. Young works back up quickly and they break. Back to center with a little over a minute left in the round. Volkanovski pins Young against the cage again and just misses a spinninng bacck fist on the break. The round ends with both fighters at center cage.

10-9 Volkanovski

ROUND TWO: Volkanovski has Young up against the cage 30 seconds into the round. After landing a few strikes Young breaks free and they are back to center. Volkanovski lands two leg kicks followed by a big right hand then takes Young down. With three minutes left Young gets back to his feet and breaks free of Volkanovski. Young continues to let Volkanovski press him against the cage. Big right hand from Volkanovski with Young’s back to the fence. Nice level change and Volkanovski slams Young to the mat wit ha minute to go in the round. Volkanovski lands ground and pound from top position. Young scrambles back to his feet as the round ends.

10-9 Volkanovski

ROUND THREE: Volkanovski once again pins Young to the fence as the round starts. Young catches Volkanovski by surprise and takes him down at the 3:30 mark. Volkannovski is up easily and gets Young to the mat. Volkanovski is just smothering Young while on top. Heavy pressure from Volkanovski with two minutes left. Young appears to be losing steam and takes some heavy ground and pound. With 45 seconds left Young gets to his feet only to get pinned up against the cage. That’s how the fight ends.

10-9 Volkanovski

Result: Alexander Volkanovski over Shane Young by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)

Grocke’s Point of View: All Volkanovski in this one. Young had no answers for the takedown. Kudos to Young for even taking the fight on eight days notice, but the fight wasn’t close.

(9) Elias Theodorou (14-2) vs. Daniel Kelly (13-2) – Middleweight 185 lbs.

ROUND ONE: Theodorou comes out throwing a ton of kicks. Kelly tries to close distance but Theodorou circles away. Nice kick to the body for Theodorou. With three minutes to go they clinch center cage and Theodorou catches Kelly with a kick to the body. Kelly tries to cut the cage off and he lands a right hand, but Theodorou gets out of there. Kelly is walking through body kicks in an effort to close distance and get inside. Theodorou is well aware of Kelly’s game plan is doing his best to keep circling.

10-9 Theodorou

ROUND TWO: Theodorou starts the round with two kicks. Kelly continues to follow Theodorou around the cage and finally gets the clinch. He gets Theodorou down with a judo trip, but he’s up quickly. Back to center with three minutes to go. Kelly takes a kick low, but he says OK right a way. They clinch again and trade knees. Kelly lands a big right hand, but Theodorou lands a few kicks on the break. Kelly is finding more success late in the round clinching Theodorou up and dirty boxing. With under a minute to go they clinch again. Kelly looks for a judo throw but Theodorou blocks it. Back to canter and the round ends.

10-9 Theodorou, but a tough round to score

ROUND THREE: Theodorou comes out and maintains a level of activity. More kicks from him as Kelly looks to close distance. They clinch and they both land some big shots. Kelly gets a takdown with 3:33 to go and he takes the back. He has a rear naked choke. Theodorou gives the ref the thumbs up and slips out. Theodorou gets top position briefly, but Kelly gets back to his feet quickly. With two minutes to go they separate and we are back to center octagon. Kelly is still moving forward trying to close distance. Theodorou appears to be tiring, but his conditioning is top notch. The fight ends with Theodorou on his horse and Kelly following.

10-9 Kelly

Result: Elias Theodorou over Dan Kelly by Unanimous Decision (30-28, 30-27, 30-26)

Grocke’s Point of View: Interesting fight. Theodorou definitely landed a ton more offense but he didn’t do a bit of damage. I agree with the decision, but this was another typical Theodorou fight. He keeps busy and out volumes his opponents, but doesn’t inflict much damage. He got his hand raised and that’s what matters. However, I’m just not a fan of his style. 

(10) Jake Matthews (11-3) vs. Bojan Velickovic (15-5-1) – Welterweight 170 lbs.

ROUND ONE: Matthews shoots in 20 seconds in and runs Velickovic to the fence. Matthews works in the clinch and looks for the takedown a minute in. He finally gets the takedown at the three minute mark. Velickovic is up quickly and Matthews has him pinned to the cage. Velickovic lands short left hands with his back against the cage. Matthews finally gets another takedwon with 1:15 left in the round. Nice up-kick from Velickovic and he is back to his feet. Matthews still has a bear hug on him as the round ends.

10-9 Matthews

ROUND TWO: Velickovic lands a nice swith kick and takes Matthews down as the round starts. He has a guillotine locked in. Matthews slips out but is still in a bad position. Velickovic takes his back and starts working for a RNC. Matthews is doing a nice job fighting the hands. Velickovic has both hooks in and is landing punches to Matthew’s head. Matthews slips out the back door with 1:38 to go in the round. He lands a nice elbow and the break with 1:10 left. Back to center and Matthews lands a stiff right hand. Matthews continues to come forward and is findin his range with the right hand late in the round.

10-9 Velickovic

ROUND THREE: They start the round on the feet and trade punches. Matthews grabs a single and gets a takedown 40 seconds into the round. Matthews tries to transition to the back but Velickovic scrambles to his feet and gets a takedown of his own with just over three minutes to go in the round. Velickovic takes the back and is looking to get hooks in. With 1:50 left Matthews slips out the back door and now works from on top. Matthews lands short left hands from on top that score. Velickovic tries to get up and Matthews takes his back. Velickovic scrambles and turns into Matthews and now has top position. That’s how the round ends.

10-9 Velickovic

Result: Jake Matthews over Bojan Velickovic by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Grocke’s Point of View: That was a tough fight to score. The fight was mostly a grappling match with both guys having moments. Apparently the judges thought Matthews had more moments. A hard fought win for him.

(11) Tim Means (27-8, 1 NC) vs. Belal Muhammad (12-2) – Welterweight 170 lbs.

ROUND ONE: Means comes out and lands big left hands to start. Means shows some sharp striking here. Means moves forward as Muhammad circles to the right. Means is using his reach to his advantage. Muhammad strikes back with a short left hand. Nice counter left from Muhammad. Halfway through and this has been primarily a kick boxing affair. Muhammad is starting to have success closing the distance. Stiff right hand lands flush for Muhammad. Muhammad shoots in with 28 seconds left but Means blocks it. The second half of the round went much like the first half. An evenly fought round and a tough one to score.

10-9 Means

ROUND TWO: They come and trade punches. Muhammad lands a takedown a minute into the round and workd from a dominant position. Means uses his length and is up quickly. Back to center with 3:33 to go. The fight goes back to a striking affair at the mid way point of the round. Muhammad slips on an exchange but Means can’t capitalize on it. Both guys are landing with strikes as both of their faces show it. Muhammad shoots with 52 seconds to go but Means shrugs him off easily. The rest of the round remains on the feet and is yet another tough round to score. The takedown by Muhammad could be the difference.

10-9 Muhammad

ROUND THREE: Means comes out more aggressively to start the last round and just misses with a head kick. They trade low kicks. Means starting to out volume Muhammad in the early going. The ref stops the fight to take a look at a cut under Muhammad’s eye. The fight continues. Muhammad looks to be breathing heavier than Means halfway through the final round. Both men have fighting at an extremely his pace. Means punches look to have a more snap to them here. Muhammad shoots but Means blocks another takedown attempt. Muhammad with a nice combination with 1:25 to go. Nice right hand lands for Muhammad and follows with an elbow. The horn sounds with both guys throwing punches.

10-9 Means

Result: Belal Muhammad over Tim Means by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Grocke’s Point of View: Muhammad calls out Colby Covington. Nice. This was a very close, well fought fight. Muhammad landed a few takedowns that probably won him the fight. A tough loss for Means. 

(12) Bec Rawlings (7-6) vs. Jessica-Rose Clark (7-4, 1 NC) – Flyweight 125 lbs.

ROUND ONE: Bec comes out with forward pressure and takes Clark down at 3:52. Clark reverses position and now works from a dominant position. Halfway though the round Bec tries to scramble but Clark is able to keep her down and has side control. Clark postures up and lets Rawlings up with 90 seconds left in the round. Clark lands a kick to the head and follows with a stiff left hand. A right lands for Clark. Rawlings continues to push forward. With ten seconds left both women land heavy strikes.

10-9 Clark

ROUND TWO: Rawlings comes out for this round just like the first, pressuring Clark. Bec clinches Clark up against the cage a minute in. They trade knees and Clark reverses position on the cage. They grapple and Clark blocks a takedown attempt nicely. At 2:38 they reset at center cage. A nice leg kick followed by a big lands for Clark. Clark lands a stiff right hand that rocks Bec and Clark follows up with a takedown. Clark is going for a head and arm choke. Clark has Rawling’s back and both hooks in. Rawlings is able to turn to her side but she takes some heavy ground and pound as the round ends.

10-9 Clark

ROUND THREE: Clark comes out firing punches and kicks. She is starting to out volume Bec here. Another leg lands for Clark. A minute in and you can start to see some desperation from Rawlings. Clark is landing some serious leg kicks. Bec just seems content to take a boxing approach here while Clark continues to vary things up. Both fighters are showing the damage. A big right hand rocks Clark with two minutes to go in the fight. Clark clinches and takes Rawlings to the fence. Rawlings gets a big takedown with just over a minute left. With 52 seconds left Clark is back to her feet and they clinch against the cage. Clark lands a huge takedown and will try to finish on top strong. She postures up and lands some ground and pound as the fight comes to an end.

10-9 Clark

Result: Jessica-Rose Clark over Bec Rawlings by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Grocke’s Point of View: I had a clear win for Clark and I’m glad the judges got it right. Clark did a much better job mixing up her offense. It was a more well-rounded effort from Clark. I thought she also got the better of Bec on the ground. This was a big win for her especially taking the fight on short notice. 

(13) Fabricio Werdum (21-7-1) vs. Marcin Tybura (16-2) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.

ROUND ONE: They both come out with leg kicks. A head kick is blocked by Tybura. A bit of a feeling out process to start here. With 3:15 left Werdum starts to open up his offense more landing a combination and kick. Tybura lands a nice right hand at the 2:20 mark. Not mi=uch movement from either fighter. Werdum rushes in and they clinch against the cage. Werdum working hard for a takedown with under a minute left in the round. Tybura is able reverse position and now he looks to gain control as the round ends.

10-9 Werdum

ROUND TWO: Werdum open the round with a big right hand and follows it up with a kick to the body. Jab lands for Werdum. Tybura lands a left and follows with a kick to the body. Tybura lands with a kick to the head that Werdum wears well. He goes back to it but Werdum blocks it. Both fighters using front kicks well keeping distance. Tybura lands a nice uppercut in the clinch with a minute left in the round. Werdum starts to have success late in the round with quick boxing combinations.

10-9 Werdum

ROUND THREE: Stiff combination lands for Werdum as the round starts. They trade kicks that land, but Werdum lands a nice right hand. Werdum with a head kick, but Tybura responds with one of own with 3:30 to go. Left hook lands flush for Tybura. Werdum is starting to get the better of the exchanges on the feet halfway through the round. Tybura lands a short elbow with 1:30 to go. Big combination lands for Werdum. Tybura backs to the fence and Werdum lands two solid knees. Werdum looks for a takedown but Tybura fights him off. Back to center with ten seconds left.

10-9 Werdum

ROUND FOUR: Werdum comes out and lands a big combination. Werdum looks to be picking up the pace here. He grabs a single but Tybura fights him off. They clinch against the cage. Werdum lands a knee to the body. Tybura pushes Werdum off and they fight at center octagon. Werdum clinches and lands a big knee to the body. Werdum finally lands a takedwwon with 2:20 left in the round. Heavy ground and pound from Werdum. Werdum looks for mount but Tybura is defending well from bottom. Werdum transitions to side control. Tybura scrambles and is up. Tybura shoots but Werdum has a guillotine but the round ends.

10-9 Werdum

ROUND FIVE: Tybura needs a finish. Big right hand from Tybura over the top lands flush. Tybura tries to pick up the pace. A head kick lands for Werdum. A right hand lands for Tybura but it doesn’t faze Werdum. They continue to trade on the feet halfway through the round. Big knee from Werdum with 1:30 left. With a minute Werdum comes forward with pressure and lands a nice combination. With 15 seconds to go both fighters empty the tank and the horn sounds.

10-9 Werdum

Result: Fabricio Werdum over Marcin Tybura by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)

Grocke’s Point of View: That was a boring fight to cap off a boring main card. This event was a marathon to get through. I don’t know what this win does for Werdum because if this what he has left then there’s no chsnce of him getting the belt back. I was disappointed in Tybura’s performance. Werdum didn’t look his best, yet Tybura had nothing for him. 

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