UFC 218 LIVE REPORT
DECEMBER 2, 2017
DETROIT, MICHIGAN AT LITTLE CEASARS ARENA
ON UFC FIGHT PASS, FS 1 AND PPV
Keep it locked here all evening for live updates of UFC 218. 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 6 p.m. 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.
After an exciting Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale on Friday night, the UFC returns tonight with a loaded UFC 218 card. The main event is rematch between Jose Aldo and Max Holloway. The two first met at UFC 212 in a featherweight unification bout. Max Holloway defeated Aldo by TKO to become the undisputed featherweight champion.
The co-main event poses as a title contender eliminator between Alistair Overeem and fast rising start Francis Ngannou. Also on the main card is Henry Cejudo taking on Sergio Pettis. TUF 26 coaches Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje square off in what should be an all-out brawl and a fight that most likely won’t make it to the judge’s scorecards. In the main card opener Tecia Torres takes on Michelle Waterson.
(1) Justin Willis (5-1) vs. Allen Crowder (9-2, 1 NC) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.
Result: Justin Willis over Allen Crowder by Knockout (2:33 of Round 1)
Grocke’s POV: Now that’s the way to start the show! You can tell from the get to it was just a matter of time before Willis put Crowder to sleep. Crowder’s defense is horrible as Willis was landing at will. Willis is quite the character saying he is too damn pretty during his post fight interview.
(2) Jeremy Kimball (15-6) vs. Dominick Reyes (7-0) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.
Result: Dominick Reyes over Jeremy Kimball by Submission – Rear Naked Choke (3:39 of Round 1)
Grocke’s POV: Kimball brought the fight to Reyes early but eventually the skill of Reyes showed. He got a takedown against the cage, locked in a body lock and at that point it was just a matter of time before he got under Kimball’s chin.
(3) Sabah Homasi (11-6) vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan (7-1) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
Result: Abdul Razak Alhassan over Sabah Homasi by TKO – Punches (4:21 of Round 1)
Grocke’s POV: Oops, Herb Dean knows he made a mistake there. That fight should not have been stopped. Dean is one of the best referees in the business, but this was not his best moment. That was an incredible fight with both guys throwing bombs and landing. Both guys were hurt multiple times during the fight, it’s a shame it was stopped prematurely.
(4) Amanda Cooper (3-3) vs. Angela Magana (11-8) – Strawweight 115 lbs.
Result: Amanda Cooper over Angela Magana by TKO – Strtikes (4:34 of Round 2)
Grocke’s POV: After some back and forth in the first half of the first round, it was all Cooper in the second half. Cooper is having her way with Magana on the ground. Cooper took Magana down in the first 20 seconds of the second round and pummeled her until the ref finally stopped it. I don’t think Magana landed a single punch or kick in the round.
(5) Felice Herrig (13-6) vs. Cortney Casey (7-4) – Strawweight 115 lbs.
Result: Felice Herrig over Cortney Casey by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Grocke’s POV: That was not a good fight and a tough one to score. They gave the win to Herrig, but I would have been just fine with it going the other way too. Jeez, Rose would destroy these women. Casey was getting the better of the exchanges on the feet the first half of the first round. Herrig took Casey down at the midway point of the round. They were back to their feet with a minute to go with both women landing. The entire second round was fought on the feet. Both fighters had their moments, and it was a very evenly fought round. The third round went exactly like the second.
(6) David Teymur (6-1) vs. Drakkar Klose (8-0-1) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
Result: David Teymur over Drakkar Klose by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Grocke’s POV: This was an odd fight and not one of Drakkar Klose’s better performances. A strange first round. Herb Dean gave Teymur a warning for stepping backwards too much. Yet Klose wasn’t doing anything besides dropping his hands taunting Teymur. Teymur was the busier fighter and landed a big takedown towards the end of the second round. Klose finally got aggressive in the third round and won it in my opinion.
(7) Alex Oliveira (17-3-1, 2 NC) vs. Yancy Medeiros (14-4, 1 NC) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
Result: Yancy Medeiros over Alex Oliveira by TKO – Strikes (2:02 of Round 3)
Grocke’s POV: Oliveira got his nose broken a minute into the first round and looked like he was done. He survived and dropped Medeiros at the three minute mark. Oliveira hurt Medeiros again with two minutes to go, yet somehow the fight went to the second round. The second round was fought on the feet until Medeiros landed a takedown and landed some heavy ground and pound with 40 seconds left. Something happened to Oliveira halfway through the last round and just covered up on the ground until the ref stopped the fight. What an incredible fight!
(8) Charles Oliveira (22-7, 1 NC) vs. Paul Felder (14-3) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
Result: Paul Felder over Charles Oliveira by Knockout (4:06 of Round 2)
Grocke’s POV: Felder got caught in a choke and fought it for what seemed like the entire round. He finally got out of it and landed some heavy ground during the last minute of the round. The second round was all Felder from the opening horn. He dominated in top position and wore Oliveira down with all the nasty ground and pound. This was an excellent win for Felder.
(9) Tecia Torres (9-1) vs. Michelle Waterson (14-5) – Strawweight 115 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Torres pushes forward as the fight starts. Waterson fans on two straight kicks. Waterson shoots and takes Tecia’s back, but she fights the hands and gets out of the position. Back to center at 3:45. Waterson lands a big kick that looks to have cut Torres on the cheek. They exchange on the feet with 3:00 on the clock. Torres lands some heavy knees and elbows in the clinch. Tecia continues to apply pressure on Waterson against the cage with two minutes to go. They finally separate with 1:08 left to go. They exchange on the feet and Torres presses Waterson against the cage. Waterson circles out and back to center with 20 seconds to go. Torres presses to the cage again and lands some heavy elbows that hurts Waterson as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: Torres got the better of the exchange on the feet in the early going. Waterson lands a take down a minute in and works to better her position. Torres shows excellent defense from bottom. Waterson isn’t doing much with the dominant position. Torres works for a Triangle from bottom but Waterson sees it and defends it. Torres switches to an armbar but Waterson is able to pull her arm out. After a scramble Torres gets back to her feet. Waterson spent four minutes in top position in the round.
ROUND THREE: Waterson opens with a nice combination. Torres responds with a head kick that just misses. Waterson lands a big right hand but Torres runs her to the cage and clinches her up. Torres just misses with a right hook on the break. With 3:20 to go they reset at center cage. Nice right hand over the top by Michelle, but Tecia responds with a big combination. The left eye of Waterson is almost closed due to strikes. The pave has definitely slowed with two minutes to go in the fight. A right drops Waterson but she lands an up-kick as Tecia rushes in. Torres tries to take the back and gets it. She flattens Waterson out and is landing heavy ground and pound. Waterson scrambles and gets back to her but there isn’t enough time left on the clock to do anything.
Result: Tecia Torres over Michelle Waterson by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Grocke’s Point of View: Outstanding performance from Torres. Her conditioning was incredible and moves one step closer to a title shot. Good win.
(10) Eddie Alvarez (28-5, 1 NC) vs. Justin Gaethje (18-0) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Both fighters open with leg kicks. Both fighters land punches on the feet but Gaethje is landing those leg kicks. Nice right hand over the top from Eddie. They trade on the inside and Gaethje lands another leg kick. With three minutes to go Eddie is having problems with his lead lead from all the kicks. Another leg kick. Alvarez goes for take down but Gaethje rolls through. Eddie with a hard straight right followed by multiple shots to the body. Eddie is starting to find his range. Justin responds with a right hand with a minute to go. The whole first round is fought on the feet with Alvarez doing a great job staying within himself and starting to find his range.
ROUND TWO: Eddie comes out and lands a heavy leg to open the round. Leg kick from Gaethje followed by a nice right hook from Eddie. Both guys bleeding. Both guys are just teeing off on each other now. Alvarez seems to be getting the better of the exchanges and he is moving his head much better. Alvarez starts working the body. Justin comes back with a heavy leg kick. The amount of punches thrown in this fight is just ridiculous. Alvarez works the body some more. Justin eats a big knee just as the horn sounds.
ROUND THREE: The amount of punishment both men have taken is astonishing. Eddie’s cheek is so swollen it looks like he has a baseball in it. The lead leg of Alvarez is tore up. Eddie tries to pull guard but Justin walks away and isn’t having it. Watching Eddie take these leg kicks is hurting me. A huge uppercut rocks Eddie. Alvarez lands big upppercuts. This fight is crazy. Both guys are wobbly for the final minute. A huge knee drops Gaethje and that’s it he’s out. The fight is over.
Result: Eddie Alvarez over Justin Gaethje by TKO (3:59 of Round 3)
Grocke’s Point of View: Well that lived up to the hype. What an incredible fight. The amount of punishment these guys took in this fight will take years off their lives. Alvarez’s face is a mess during his post fight interview. Wow, that was just crazy.
(11) Henry Cejudo (11-2) vs. Sergio Pettis (16-2) – Flyweight 125 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Cejudo takes center. Pettis lands an inside leg kick. Pettis gets the better of a brief exchange on the feet. Cejudo lands a take down with just under four minutes to go. He works to side control. He takes the back with 2:45 remaining. Cejudo tries landing left hands but Pettis blocks them. Cejudo is a master on the mat. He is controlling Pettis on the ground, buy Pettis is defending himself well here too. Cejudo lands big hammer fists and a knee just as the horn sounds. Cejudo basically controlled Pettis on the ground for four minutes.
ROUND TWO: They trade heavy kicks to start the round. The fight is a kick boxing match until Cejudo lands a right hand and follows up with a take down with 3:40 to go. With three minutes to go Cejudo works to better his position. Pettis continues to defend well from bottom. Cejudo takes the back with 1:40 left. Pettis finally works back to his feet with a minute left. They separate with 37 seconds to go. The rest of the round is fought on the feet with neither fighter doing much.
ROUND THREE: Pettis opens with some success on the feet. Cejudo takes Pettis down again and it’s basically rinse and repeat for three straight rounds. Cejudo has spent almost the entire fight on top. Pettis finally gets to his feet with 1:28 left. They reset back at center with 1:18 to go. The rest of the round is fought on the feet with not much of anything happening. Surprisingly Pettis didn’t show much urgency in the final minute.
Result: Henry Cejudo over Sergio Pettis by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Grocke’s Point of View: That was a clinic. Not much more to say about this one. Pettis just isn’t in Cejudo’s league at this stage of his career.
(12) Alistair Overeem (43-15, 1 NC) vs. Francis Ngannou (10-1) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Overeem comes out a lunges forward and misses with a right hook. They clinch against the cage 20 seconds in. Both fighters urged to work. They are broken up with 3:37 on the clock. Back to center. They trade with neither fighter landing. Overeem misses with a big left hook and NNgannou absolutely destroys Overeem with an uppercut that puts him sleep.
Result: Francis Ngannou over Alistair Overeem by Knockout (1:42 of Round 1)
Grocke’s Point of View: O M G! That was un-f’n-believable. I think Overeem was lifted off of his feet from that left hook. Words can’t do justice to just how spectacular that knockout was.
(13) Max Holloway (18-3) vs. Jose Aldo (26-3) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Max comes out and circles around Aldo throwing jabs. Aldo stands at center cage. Max rushes in but Aldo gets on his horse and gets away. A slow start from Aldo but he lands a nice right hand. He now starts throwing a few leg kicks. Aldo seems to be pacing himself early. Max continues to pepper Aldo with jabs. There’s some swelling under the right eye of Aldo already. Max doing a little show boating. Aldo’s punches are a just out of range and even when he lands Max is moving away. Aldo blocks a head kick with under to go in the round. Aldo lands a big uppercut as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: They trade jabs. Holloway lands a nice combination. Aldo responds with a hard leg kick. Nice combination from Aldo with just under four minutes to go. Holloway continues to press forward behind a ssolid jab. Aldo goes to the body with a left hook. The fight continues on the feet with three minutes to go. Heavy leg kick from Max. And another one. They clinch with two minutes to go, but Max pushes off. Holloway sticks the jab and gets out. Max mixing things up to the head and body. With 30 seconds left they throw heavy hands. Max just misses with a flying knee, but comes right back and lands it. Holloway is landing at a higher pace.
ROUND THREE: Holloway appears to be picking up the pace here. Aldo goes back to the leg kicks. They clinch briefly and Aldo lands an elbow on the break with just under four minutes to go. A nice exchange with 3:30 to go saw both fighters land heavy strikes. Aldo blocks a head kick with 2:34 to go. Aldo’s mouth is wide open and he’s looking tired. Holloway starts landing big shots and he goes to the body. Aldo looks to be fading. Holloway is teeing off on Aldo now. Max gets a take down with just under a minute left. Holloway is landing huge ground and pound. Aldo’s face is a bloody mess and finally the fight is stopped.
Result: Max Holloway over Jose Aldo by TKO – Strikes (4:51 of Round 3)
Grocke’s Point of View: That was an ass kicking. Unfortunately Jose Aldo is a shot fighter which is so sad to see. He gassed badly in the second round and got beat down in the third. Max Holloway is going to be tough to beat. He has endless cardio, throws strikes from every angle and is fast as hell. Impressive win.
That will do it for me. Thanks for following along tonight. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @FightChampBlog
NOW CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE: UFC 218 PREDICTIONS 12/2: Grocke’s updated odds & predictions for every fight