COLE’S UFC FIGHT NIGHT 123 REPORT: Results and analysis of the Swanson vs. Ortega headlined card

Cole Henry, MMATorch Contributor

UFC Fight Pass Prelims:

Alejandro Pérez def. Iuri Alcântara by decision (unanimous) 

Davi Ramos def. Chris Gruetzemacher Submission (rear-naked choke)

Trevin Giles def. Antônio Braga Neto KO (punches)


FS1 Prelims:

 Alexis Davis def. Liz Carmouche Decision (split) 

 Andre Soukhamthath def. Luke Sanders TKO (punches)

Alex Perez def. Carls John de Tomas Submission (anaconda choke)  

Frankie Saenz def. Merab Dvalishvili Decision (split) 

Round 1:
Albert Morales vs. Benito Lopez (Bantamweight)

Okay my computer died so I’m a bit behind, but the fight started with Lopez attacking and both landing big shots. Lopez dropped Morales with a flying knee and then attempted a mounted guillotine, but Morales survived. The round ended with Morales landing short shots against the fence. Lopez used a lot of energy looking for the finish, the second round should be interesting.
10-9 Lopez
Round 2:
The round was mostly contested on the feet, and not much notable happened aside from Morales landing a nice liver kick.
10-9 Morales
Round 3:
Morales is having success with a right body kick. Lopez just doesn’t have an answer. They have slowed a bit here, but it’s still a high paced fight. Morales is bleeding. Lopez with a nice head kick, Morales is a bit sluggish. Whoever turns it up here will probably win the fight. Lopez misses with a leg kick and Morales makes him pay with a nice combo. Lopez is starting to just throw strikes, not much form. Morales is putting the pressure on, and I think he’s going to win here if Lopez doesn’t do something quickly. As I say that he lands a nice knee, but I don’t think it will be enough.
10-9 Morales (29-28 Morales)
Result: Benito Lopez def. Albert Morales via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: I thought Morales did enough but it was a close one so I can see it either way. It really slowed after the first round, but still it was fun while it lasted. Lopez is good, but he definitely is raw and needs to round some things out. He seems like he could be a popular fighter if he is able to keep winning.

Marcus Perez vs. Erik Anders (Middleweight)

Round 1:
Not much happening in the beginning. Perez took this fight on short notice, looks to be in good shape though. Anders lands a nice left hand, and then a right. He closes the distance, but is quickly reversed. They’re wrestling against the fence, but neither man is doing much. The ref just told them to work. Perez is looking for a takedown, but Anders isn’t going to be easy. He gets it though, slammed him down hard. He’s looking for a darce, and Anders might be in trouble here. Perez lets go, and Anders is on top, but they quickly get back to the feet. Anders is really looking for a big punch here, but is starting to look desperate. He lands a nice knee just as I say that. Anders looking for a suplex, but Perez is fighting it. Perez is running away here, kind of strange. Anders chases him, and gets taken down as the round ends.
10-9 Anders
Round 2: 
Perez isn’t really engaging here, and Anders is charging in and landing. Perez returns fire but misses, he’s been doing a lot of that. Perez is acting like he has something better to do tonight. Anders with a nice kick, he’s cornering Perez and landing shots. Perez really needs to figure something out here. Perez is starting to button mash…I think you know what I mean by that. Anders is stalking, and landing, but nothing notable. Perez is down, not sure what happened, but he is getting hammered in the face. Perez is just offering up nothing in return. He looks tired here, and Anders seems to have noticed. The crowd is behind Anders here. Perez gets back to his feet, but Anders gets him right back down.
10-9 Anders
Round 3:
Anders attacks early and gets Perez down. Anders with shots from the top, but they are light, and Perez isn’t doing anything. Perez looking for something, but Anders just stands up. Anders made Perez look bad tonight. 10-9
Anders (30-27 Anders)
Result: Eryk Anders def. Marcus Perez via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Not much of a fight really, but it was a dominant win by Anders. Perez looked really bad and that’s really all that I can say about that. Eryk Anders called out Lyoto Machida after the fight…not really a good look considering the fact that he just got starched, but then again, I guess anybody that calls out Lyoto Machida is a badass.

Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher (Lightweight)

Round 1:
Not sure what’s going on with Darrel Horcher’s hair. Holtzman comes out hot, and gets Horcher against the fence. Horcher is the guy that fought Khabib on short notice some time back. Not sure what he’s done since then, but Paul Felder keeps mentioning a motor cycle wreck. Holtzman continues to control him against the fence, and gets an inside trip to bring the fight to the ground. They are talking up Holtzman’s athletic resume, impressive stuff. Former pro hockey player apparently. Holtzman is maintaining top control, he’s is landing much but he is dominating the grappling exchange. Horcher is trying to work his way up the cage, but Holtzman isn’t having it. Horcher is pinned against the fence, taking a beating, he works his way to his feet, eats a knee, and puts Holtzman on his back. They scramble, huge knee by Holtzman misses, he slips and hits the mat. Horcher is on top now, with less than a minute left in the round. Holtzman working the hips, trying to get up, but Horcher is controlling him. Holtzman works his way up the cage, and reverses the position. They separate as the round ends.
10-9 Holtzman
Round 2:
Horcher stuns Holtzman to start the round, and then again and again. Holtzman needs to move. Horcher is connecting with most of what he’s throwing. Holtzman shoots, and gets it. Bit of a momentum shifter right there. Holtzman is on top, mostly just applying pressure. Charles Bennett would be very uncomfortable right now. Horcher is working, but Holtzman has all of his weight on him. Holtzman is the better wrestler, that seems clear. Horcher knows what he needs to do, but Holtzman is resilient. They are back on the feet, clinched against the fence, but Holtzman quickly trips him down again. Holtzman is a guy that I didn’t think would be around long but he’s not a bad fighter at all and I enjoy his fights. He’s landing some big elbows from the top here. Ref stands them up anyway…very strange stand up, can’t say I agree with it. Still though, Holtzman gets him right back down. He’s landing some big shots as the round ends.
10-9 Holtzman
Round 3:
They clinch early and Holtzman gets him against the fence. He lands a nice elbow, but Horcher returns fire. Holtzman is looking for the takedown again. Seems like they haven’t thrown many strikes on the feet here tonight. They are working in the clinch, neither really getting control. Holtzman lands another nice elbow, but Horcher eats it. They’re back against the fence, with Holtzman in control, and he gets a trip. According to Felder it’s the forth of the fight. Holtzman is frustrated, and getting beat up. The commentators are criticizing his corners advice, and I’ll say it’s pretty damn generic. The ref stands them up again, and this one was weird also. Seems like the ref is hearing the crowd here. Holtzman isn’t doing much, but he’s doing enough. Doesn’t matter though, because he gets Horcher right back down. He’s looking for a kimura here as the round ends, but he won’t get it.
10-9 Holtzman (30-27 Holtzman)
Result: Scott Holtzman def. Darrell Horcher via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Scott Holtzman dominated with his grapping, but that’s about all he did. Still it was a good win for him and that’s back to back wins in the UFC for the first time for him.

Marlon Moraes vs. Aljamain Sterling (Bantamweight)

Round 1:
They exchange early, and Moraes lands a nice shot. Aljamain Sterling is down, but they stand back up. Sterling appears to shoot for a take down, but Moraes lands a huge knee that puts Sterling out cold and I mean out COLD! Damn that was crazy! Sterling shut down like a damn robot and keeled over. Just super impressive stuff here by Marlon Moraes.
Result Marlon Moraes def. Aljamain Sterling via K0 (Knee) 1:07
Analysis: I think I said all I need to say already. Just crazy stuff but Moraes and I can’t wait to see him fight again.

Jason Knight vs. Gabriel Benitez (Featherweight)

Round 1:
Jason Knight is rocking knee pads…always exciting. Benitez is looking good early, landing some nice body kicks and jabs. Knight gets a takedown, but Benitez quickly gets up. The ref separated them, not sure why. They are sent to the neutral corners…not sure what’s going on. They just took a point from Knight for biting…wow. Mississippi is proud. Knight gets a body lock, gets a takedown, but Benitez reverses and get on top. They are back on the feet with about two minutes left. Benitez lands a nice left hand. Knight with another takedown attempt, but he can’t get it. Knight doesn’t look like he’s getting in gear. Round ends with him missing out on another take down.
10-8 Benitez
Round 2:
Benitez comes out swinging, and Knight just still doesn’t look like he’s in rhythm. Just as I say that he gets a takedown, but can’t keep Benitez down. Knight has him in a body lock, but Benitez rolls him and puts Knight on his back. Benitez doesn’t play, and stands up allowing Knight to do the same. I’m really impressed by Benitez here tonight. Knight lands an eye poke, maybe the most effective thing he’s done since the bite. I’ll go ahead and call it bite-gate, before somebody else does. The doctor is in the cage, looking at Benitez eye. He’s taking his time. Knight isn’t having a good…night. The doctor is going to let him fight. They should drug test the doctor, the man is huge. Benitez is quickly back on the offensive, and Knight is continuing to struggle. This is a really strange fight, and I get the feeling that Knight underestimated Benitez. Just a feeling. Knight is starting to look like he’s been on the receiving end of a ten-minute beating.
10-9 Benitez
Round 3:
Benitez lands a nice head kick to start the round. Knight lands an uppercut, but he needs to do more. Knight is landing with more frequency, but he’s down two rounds and needs to do more still. Benitez is landing his own shots, and side steps and over aggressive Knight who runs into the cage. Rough night for Knight. Benitez is walking him down at this point. Jason Knight got beat up tonight. 10-9
Benitez (30-26 Benitez)
Result: Gabriel Benitez def. Jason Knight via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Feels like Benitez pulled off an upset here. He looked really good, and pretty much beat Knight from bell to bell. I think he will get Knights 15th spot in the rankings, and he should get a top ten opponent next.

Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega (Featherweight)

Round 1:
They exchange low kicks early. Cub opens up, but Ortega makes him miss. Both men seem a bit tentative, can’t say I blame either of them. Ortega lands a shot, and Swanson returns a shot of his own. Still though, they are keeping a slow and steady pace. Ortega is doing well on the feet, but it’s clear so far that Swanson is the more diverse striker. Swanson is looking loose now, and he’s starting to throw with a bit more heat. Nice right hook by Swanson. He has a big speed advantage over Ortega. Ortega limitations on the feet might be exposed here, it’s still early though. Nice right hand by Swanson. Ortega goes for the clinch, and is looking for a guillotine, maybe a ninja choke, hard to tell. The round ends but that was close, Swanson was in a tight spot there.
10-9 Swanson
Round 2:
Ortega with a left hand to start the round. He’s chasing Swanson, which I don’t like but I’m sure Ortega is fine without my advice. Swanson is targeting the body, just as he did in the first round. He’s landing lots of shots here, Ortega should consider a takedown, but he won’t. He lands a head kick, but Swanson managed to cover up. Ortega pushes him against the fence, and I really think he could use a takedown here. It’s a close fight but he’s definitely losing. Ortega jumps guard and goes for a guillotine and holy sh** Cub Swanson just tapped! Wow I spilled my coffee!! Real question is why am I drinking coffee at midnight! Damn Brian Ortega deserves a title shot, I just don’t see a reason for him to fight anybody else until then. He stood with Cub, and any time he attacked with his grappling, he was threatening, and it was only a matter of time. He is just a monster with his jiu-jitsu, and I’m going to buy a T-City shirt! I’ve been on the band wagon for a while, but I’m officially trying to fight my way to the front!
Result: Brian Ortega def. Cub Swanson via Submission (Guillotine) 3:22
Analysis: Well I’ve said all I need to say. Brian Ortega is a beast and deserves a title shot. Thank you, folks, I’m going to sleep! I hope everybody enjoyed these fights as much as I did! 

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