UFC 227 Live Report

Cole Henry, MMATorch Contributor

Marlon Vera vs. Wuliji Buren (Bantamweight/135)

Round 1: Frank Trigg is the referee for this fight. Fun fact there. Buren opens up early with a big spinning wheel kick that misses. Lots of kicking early but not much commitment. Hard low kick lands for Vera, he’s landing those as well as some front kicks to the body. Buren closes the distance and secures a front headlock. Hard elbow lands for Buren as they separate. Vera’s kicks are making it difficult for Buren to get inside with anything. Hard left-hand lands for Vera, and another! Buren certainly felt those shots. Buren secures an under hook and forces the fight against the fence, he’ll have some time to clear his head. Buren completes an inside trip and Vera is down. (10-9 Buren) Vera landed some good shots but that takedown at the end should win the round for Buren.

Round 2: Vera comes out with a nice combination. Buren grabs a leg and completes a takedown. Buren is controlling from inside of Vera’s guard but its not enough for the referee and we see a stand up. Vera lands a big left hand, but Buren quickly grabs a body lock. Hard right-hand lands for Buren. Vera scores a takedown of his own and is now in side control. He’s landing some hard elbows, but Buren is climbing to his feet. Vera is landing some hard shots and Buren is down and its over! Looks like he got him with a punch to the liver.

Marlon Vera def. Wuliji Buren via TKO (Punch to Body) Round 2, 4:53

Weili Zhang vs. Daniele Taylor (Strawweight/115)

Round 1: Zhang is scoring early with head kicks. She will enjoy a four-inch height advantage in this fight. Zhang lands a stiff left hand and Taylor seemed to feel it. Zhang secures a clinch and completes a trip takedown. She is now in control from the top. Taylor catches a kick late in the round and attempts a takedown. Zhang defends it, but Taylor lands a big right hook as the round ends. Zhang appeared a bit dazed there at the end of the round. (10-9 Zhang)

Round 2: Zhang lands a hard-left hand and follows it up with a low kick. She’s starting to pick up the pace a bit. Taylor lands a right hook to remind us that she’s still in the fight. Taylor is just looking to land big shots while Zhang is taking a more measured approach. Lots of low kicks are landing for Zhang. Zhang lands a left hand, but Taylor lands one of her own as the round ends. (10-9 Zhang) Zhang is throwing a wide variety of strikes and they are landing but Taylor is occasionally getting through with big shots of her own. Good fight so far.

Round 3: Zhang lands a hard-low kick, Taylor tries rushing in to make her pay but eats two hard right hands for her efforts. Taylor appears to be fine but those were some hard shots. Taylor lands a right hook as they appeared to bump heads. Danielle Taylor has 30 seconds to make something happen. She rushes in with a left and misses but lands a right on her way out. (10-9 Zhang) (30-27 Zhang) It was a fun fight, but Taylor had a hard time dealing with the size difference. She had her moments but this one should go to Zhang.

Result: Weili Zhang def. Danielle Taylor via Unanimous Decision

Jose Torres vs. Alex Perez (Flyweight/125)

Round 1: Perez is swarming early and landing some big shots! Torres is doing nothing but defending. Big right-hand lands for Perez. Torres returns a big right hand of his own. They are both landing. Torres lands a nice over hand and follows it up with an uppercut. He’s starting to open up a bit and looks more comfortable as the round progresses. Another hard-right hand lands for Perez. If Perez can keep this pace up this will be an interesting fight. Torres lands a right hook to the body, Perez eats it and lands a knee! Perez lands another big shot and Torres is hurt! Perez is swarming like an angry dog! Perez is eating lefts and rights to the head and body and Torres is down and out! What a fight for Alex Perez! He was going 100 mile an hour from start to finish! One of the best performances I have seen from a flyweight prospect in a long time!

Result: Alex Perez def. Jose Torres via KO (Punches) Round 1, 3:36

FX Prelims

Matt Sayles vs. Sheymon Moraes (Featherweight/145)

Round 1: Lots of quick exchanges early on. Sayles connects with a solid right hand. They clinch briefly and Moraes lands a head kick as they separate. Moraes connects with a right straight and a left hook follows it up. Sayles closes the distance with a clinch but can’t do anything with it. Sayles connects with a grazing right hand but misses the follow up shot. They’re wrestling against the fence but nothing much is happening. Sayles lands a left hook and then changes levels for a single leg but Moraes lifts him back up with an under hook. (10-9 Moraes) It was a sloppy round for Sayles and its unclear what he’s really trying to accomplish in this fight. He’s thrown a few big shots but doesn’t really seem to be committing to anything. Moraes appears very composed and comfortable on the feet and if Sayles can’t get this fight to the ground I don’t see any reason the second round will be different from the first.

Round 2: Moraes lands a nice body kick to start the round. Sayles closes the distance with a flurry and nearly completes a takedown but couldn’t quite manage it. Moraes just poked Sayles in the eye but the break in the action only last a couple seconds. Sayles lands a short spinning back fist, he’s thrown several of those tonight. Sayles is starting to look better on the feet, his defense is holding up well and he’s starting to land shots even if they aren’t very powerful. Jab lands for Sayles. We see another break in the action due to an eye poke but this time Moraes is the victim. Joe Rogan really like the way that Sayles moves in the octagon. Sayles changes levels for a takedown but Moraes manages to keep himself up. (10-9 Sayles) As the round progressed

Round 3: Sayles is coming out aggressively early in the round. Moraes shoots for a takedown but Sayles doesn’t allow it. Moraes is showing signs of fatigue. Sayles is turning up the pressure and avoiding everything that Moraes is throwing at him. Sayles connects with a hard-right hand, and then a left hook. Sayles is attacking with about 10 seconds left! He lands a left hook and ends the round with a low kick. (10-9 Sayles) (29-28 Sayles) The second round will be the decider. Moraes clearly won the first, and Sayles clearly won the third. Sayles appeared to get better as the fight progressed and it will be interesting to see him again even if he doesn’t get the win.

Result: Sheymon Moraes def. Matt Sayles via Unanimous Decision

Ricardo Ramos vs. Kyung Ho Kang (Bantamweight/135)

Round 1: Good exchanges early. Ramos lands a big right hand against the fence that seemed to stagger Kang a bit. Kang shoots for a takedown but Ramos has great balance and manages to keep himself up. Ramos throws a spinning elbow but Kang ducks and scores a takedown but can’t do much with it before the round ends. (10-9 Ramos) Ramos was the aggressor through out much of the round but Kang had his moment and that late takedown could help him in the eyes of the judges.

Round 2: Kang scores a takedown early and is controlling the fight from the guard of Ricardo Ramos. Ramos is looking for an ankle lock or perhaps a knee bar. It’s a kneebar and he nearly had it but Kang escapes! Good exchange there on the ground. They’re back on the feet with roughly a minute left in the round. Ramos lands a nice front kick to the body as the round ends. (10-9 Kang) For some reason I am sensing a draw. This is a very close fight.

Round 3: Ramos lands a right hook against the fence. Kang attacks the body with a hook and avoids a counter from Ramos. Kang connects with a low kick but neither guy has really looked to do anything other than land single shots. Not much for combos so far. Kang lands a right hook with about a minute and a half left in the round and follows it up with a right straight. His out put is winning the fight for him at the point. They trade left hooks and it appeared that Ramos got the better of the ordeal with 20 seconds remaining. (10-Kang) (29-28 Kang) Not bad but it wasn’t very good either. Just a back and forth and sloppy affair. Kang should take it, but it could go either way.

Result: Ricardo Ramos def. Kyung Ho Kang via Split Decision

Ricky Simon vs. Montel Jackson (Flyweight/125)

Round 1: Simon looks to change levels early, but Jackson keeps him up with a pair of under hooks. Simon is rushing in with hooks but each time he does so Jackson just steps back and counters. Great composure being displayed by Jackson so far. Simon considered a takedown for a moment but thought better of it. He goes back in and this time completes the takedown, but Jackson is right back up. Simon connects with a body hook but eats a straight right for his efforts as the round ends. (10-9 Jackson)

Round 2: Simon is fighting hard for a body lock takedown early. He briefly gets it, but Jackson sweeps and takes his back! Simon is up but Jackson still has a body lock in completes a takedown of his own! Simon is up and now looking for a takedown of his own. Simon moves in and lands a right hook and completes a takedown! He has the back of Montel Jackson with no hooks, but he does have an over/under. He has one hook now and could have the second but isn’t taking it for whatever reason. (10-9 Jackson)

Round 3: Jackson opens up with a left high kick and a jab, straight right combination. Simon completes a takedown and takes the back, but Jackson shakes him and is now in control against the fence. Simon reverses position and has the back against of Montel Jackson. Jackson is flattened out and could be in trouble here. Jackson rolls, and Simon is now in mount, but Jackson manages to get back to his feet anyway. Simon is working for another takedown against the fence, he lifts Jackson up and slams him down. Ricky Simon is in complete control, but he might need a finish here if he wants a win. He has the back of Jackson but is just maintaining control right now. Jackson works his way up with 10 seconds left and lands a hard elbow! Simon returns a left hand as the round ends. (10-9 Simon) (29-28 Jackson) Ricky Simon dominated the third round but I think Jackson did enough in the earlier rounds to win a decision here. The second round was relatively close though so this one is a tossup.

Result: Ricky Simon def. Montel Jackson via Unanimous Decision

(14) Brett Johns vs. (9) Pedro Munhoz (Bantamweight/135)

Round 1: Munhoz is landing some big shots early. Johns is looking for a takedown but settles for a couple right hands instead. Munhoz is very aggressive with his strikes early on but Johns is doing a good job of defending. Johns lands a hard-right hand as he avoids a takedown attempt from Munhoz. Munhoz lands a let hand in the clinch. They are staying in very close and trading shots with about a minute left in the round. Johns lands a left hook and shoots for a takedown but Munhoz sprawls. Johns has a cut across the bridge of his nose. Munhoz lands a couple shots to the body as the round ends. (10-9 Munhoz)

Round 2: Munhoz lands a right hook in the first exchange of the round. Munhoz is landing low kicks that are starting to damage the leg of Brett Johns. Johns is limping a bit and he’s not hiding it. Munhoz lands a shot to the liver and Johns is down! Munhoz is attacking but Johns is defending himself well enough to stay in the fight. Munhoz is attacking with a guillotine but Johns defends and is now in control against the fence. Munhoz creates some separation and lands another low kick to Johns injured leg.  Munhoz lands another and Johns is down! He’s up but he is hurt! Johns lands a left hook but Munhoz lands another body kick! Johns is tough as nails but he’s taking some shots! Johns fires back with several big hooks of his own! They are exchanging shots in the center! Johns is down again! (10-9 Munhoz) This is a round of the year candidate. Incredible stuff by both guys and how Johns is still in this fight is a mystery to me.

Round 3: Johns is landing some good punches early. He lands a hook to the body and Munhoz returns a left kick to the body! Munhoz has the neck of Brett Johns and is looking for a guillotine but Johns escapes! Munhoz is still looking for a guillotine but Johns is safer than he was before. Munhoz is landing some short shots likely in an attempt to get Johns to open up a little bit. Two minutes remain in the round. Munhoz might be looking to pass the guard here into side control. Munhoz is controlling the wrist and arms of Johns and just isn’t allowing him to do anything. Great performance her tonight by Munhoz. (10-9 Munhoz) (30-27 Munhoz)

Result: Pedro Munhoz def. Brett Johns via Unanimous Decision

UFC 227 PayPerView

Thiago Santos vs. Kevin Holland (Middleweight/185)

Round 1: They are on the ground early. Holland is attacking with an armbar and its deep! Santos escapes and is throwing some huge strikes on the ground! Holland is eating some big shots here. Santos is electing to let Holland stand up, but Holland is throwing some wild up-kicks. Santos drops back down into guard and is again throwing some pretty fierce strikes. Holland is throwing some nice elbows from his back but still he should get moving. Santos lands a few more shots and then lets Holland up. Holland has a swollen mass above his left eye. Hard body shot lands for Santos. Kevin Holland is just surviving. He is laughing and is acting a bit weird considering that he is getting beat up. (10-9 Santos)

Round 2: The round begins with mutual groin kicks. Interesting exchange there…Holland lands a quick high kick and then another. Santos lands a head kick of his own and completes a takedown. He’s looking for a head and arm triangle from mount, but Holland manages to escape to his feet using the cage. Nice escape there. Santos lands another head kick and then they clash heads. This is an absolute brawl. Santos just landed a terrifying kick to the body. Takedown by Santos, this is one of the most complete performances of his career. Holland is up, and he lands a big right hand that stuns Santos! Wow this is an epic fight. Santos has a body lock and is controlling the fight against the fence. Holland scores with a takedown and moves into side control. He is landing some hard-short elbows! Santos is tired, and he could be in trouble here. (10-9 Holland) Santos is tired but Holland just said he can’t see as he stood up.

Round 3: Santos lands a heavy left high kick to start the round. Holland lands a body kick but eats a right hand for his efforts. Santos scores with a takedown and is the half guard of Kevin Holland. Santos is looking for a head and arm triangle from mount but really, he should consider passing into side control and applying the same choke. He lets go and is now landing some ground and pound. Santos elects to stand, and Holland follows. Holland shoots in for a takedown, but Santos sprawls and has a front head lock now. He transitions to back side mount and is landing shots from there. Holland rolls and Santos is now in side control. Santos is looking for the head and arm triangle again, but Holland rolls out of it. Nice defense there. (10-9 Santos) (29-28 Santos) Great fight and this is my choice for fight of the night so far. Holland is an interesting character and he put up one hell of a fight against an established vet in Thiago Santos. Great performance by both guys.

Result: Thiago Santos def. Kevin Holland via Unanimous Decision

JJ Aldrich vs. Polyana Viana (Strawweight/115)

Round 1: Aldrich is controlling the action early with her wrestling. She scores a takedown and is working from inside the guard of Viana. Viana is shifting her hips and briefly went for an Omoplatta but couldn’t find it. Aldrich is just pressuring and controlling and managed to win the round that way. (10-9 Aldrich)

Round 2: Aldrich connects early with a right hook. Viana is keeping her left hand down by her side in a bit of a boxer’s stance and its allowing Aldrich to land those shots. Viana is rushing in with strikes but keeping her chin up high. Viana went for a takedown but Aldrich stuffed in and is now controlling the action against the fence. Big right-hand lands for Aldrich as they separate, and then another and then a left! Viana seems very out of sync and doesn’t seem to be committing to anything. Viana manages to get the fight to the ground and takes the back of JJ Aldrich. Aldrich rolls and Viana takes side control. Aldrich sweeps, and she is now in top position with 10 seconds left in the round. (10-9 Aldrich)

Round 3: Viana pulls guard early. Aldrich is just fine with that though and is just sitting in Viana’s guard. Viana was starting to look for something from her back so Aldrich elected to stand up and allow her opponent to do the same. Viana just took a look at the clock and she is clearly showing signs of fatigue. Aldrich is pressuring with strikes and lands a solid jab, straight right combo as the round ends. (10-9 Aldrich) (30-27 Aldrich)

Result: JJ Aldrich def. Polyana Viana via Unanimous Decision

(10) Renato Moicano vs. (5) Cub Swanson (Featherweight/145)

Round 1: Swanson moves in early with a wide left hook but Moicano easily side steps it. Swanson is utilizing low kicks early. Swanson connects with a nice right hand. Moicano drops Swanson with a jab! Moicano follows him to the ground and lands a few shots! Swanson gets to his feet but Moicano takes him right back down and moves into mount. Swanson recovers half guard but Moicano quickly takes the back and he has a rear naked choke and its over!

Result: Renato Moicano def. Cub Swanson via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 1, 4;15

©Demetrious Johnson vs. (1) Henry Cejudo for UFC Flyweight Championship

Round 1: Cejudo is in a karate stance early on. Something is wrong with his ankle, he’s wobbling, Cejudo is hurt but Johnson hasn’t landed a strike. It reminds me of the Michael Chandler/Brent Primus fight from Bellator. He seems to have recovered a bit but that was a very strange start to the fight. Johnson lands a big head kick but Cejudo appears to be alright. Johnson connects with a left hook and Cejudo returns a right of his own. Johnson connects with a hard kick to the body. Cejudo hasn’t really landed anything of note. Cejudo connects with a left hand and Johnson may have been hurt there for a minute but he’s recovered. (10-9 Johnson) Weird round. Cejudo seemed to just be waiting the round out once his ankle gave him problems.

Round 2: Johnson is looking for a single leg early but Cejudo is defending well. Johnson lands a hard-low kick but Cejudo returns a hard punch of his own. Cejudo connects with a short-left hand as Johnson tried rushing it. Fast paced fight so far. Johnson connects with a hard body kick. He clearly remembers the first fight and seems to be targeting Cejudo’s body a bit. Cejudo completes a takedown! His first of the fight. Cejudo is controlling the fight on the ground with his wrestling. This is a very tough round to score. (10-9 Cejudo) Close round but the takedown was the most significant moment of the round. We have ourselves a fight here.

Round 3: Johnson attacks the body early with kicks. Cejudo lands a body kick of his own. Cejudo completes another takedown and he has the neck as well. Johnson escapes as they get back to the feet and he is now controlling against the fence. Johnson lands a knee and a left hand as they draw in close. Cejudo counters a low kick with a stiff left hand. Johnson continues to attack the body this time with another kick to the midsection. Cejudo grazes Johnson with an uppercut and eats a left hook for his trouble. Johnson gets a clinch and completes a takedown, but Johnson wins the scramble and they are back on the feet with a little less than minute left in the round. Cejudo shoots for another takedown but Johnson rolls through it as the round ends. (10-9 Johnson) Johnson had a very good round. He defended the takedowns well once they hit the ground and didn’t allow Cejudo to hold him there.

Round 4: Johnson just misses with a right hand early. Cejudo lands a nice right hand and trips Johnson down! Johnson pops right back up and they are right back at it. Low kick lands for Johnson. Johnson lands a hard body kick. Cejudo goes for another takedown and completes it! Johnson is planted on his back! Johnson has an over/under. Johnson is attempting to regain half-guard but Cejudo is glued to him. Johnson moves his hips to escape but Cejudo moves with him and maintains control. Cejudo has a tight head lock that looks like a guillotine, but I don’t think it is. Johnson attempted a butterfly lift but Cejudo stayed with him and is maintaining control with 20 seconds left in the round. (10-9 Cejudo) This is such a close fight in some areas, but Johnson is dominating in others. It’s a hard fight to call. As weird as this sounds Johnson could be up 4-0 or it could be tied at 2-2. Its very hard to call right now.

Round 5: Low kick lands for Johnson. Johnson lands a nice body kick. Cejudo really needs to work. They may have just bumped heads, but it was hard to tell. Cejudo grabs a clinch but Johnson shakes him off. According to the commentators it was not a clash of heads. They flurry towards each other and Johnson lands a hard-left hook. Cejudo scores a takedown! Johnson is up but Cejudo has a back clinch with a minute and a half remaining. Johnson reverses the position with just over a minute left in the fight. Cejudo scores a takedown! Johnson is back to his feet! Cejudo lands a hard-left hand! This fight is nuts!! Johnson grazes Cejudo with a head kick! Cejudo trips but still has an under hook! (10-9 Cejudo) I don’t know what to say. I think Johnson out fought him overall, but the takedowns make things very confusing. This could be a draw or anything. Cejudo may have just won the Flyweight Championship.

Result: Henry Cejudo def. Demetrious Johnson via Split Decision to become the NEW UFC Flyweight Champion of the World

Post-Fight Analysis: They have to fight a third time and that’s for sure. That was an absolutely incredible fight from start to finish. Cejudo had the ankle problems in the beginning and came back and won. Demetrious Johnson successfully defended his Flyweight Championship 11 times and Henry Cejudo just ended the streak. Seeing Johnson lose was one of the most surreal things I have ever seen. I still have chills.

©TJ Dillashaw vs. (1) Cody Garbrandt for UFC Bantamweight Championship

Round 1: Lots of good defense by both guys early on. Nice kick to the body lands for Dillashaw. Garbrandt lands a right and I think Dillashaw was wobbled there for a moment. Garbrandt cracks Dillashaw but Dillashaw drops Garbrandt with a huge shot! Garbrandt is up but he is still wobbly. That was a nice recovery there by Garbrandt. They both rock each other with big shots! Dillashaw connects with a big right hand and Garbrandt is in trouble! He’s stumbling towards the fence! Dillashaw scores a takedown but Garbrandt stands up. Dillashaw is pouring on the shots! Huge knee lands for Dillashaw!! This fight is over! That was a whirlwind of a fight. Both guys were landing big shots and both guys hurt the other multiple times. Dillashaw was just a bit crisper and once he had Garbrandt hurt with that last flurry it was only a matter of time. Garbrandt didn’t ever go down and the fight was called off with him still on his feet, but his soul had left his eyes. Great stuff tonight and it was a great card over all. It’s probably safe to say that this is the end of the Dillashaw/Garbrandt rivalry, at least for now.

Result: TJ Dillashaw def. Cody Garbrandt via TKO (Knee and Punches) Round 1, 4:17 to retain the UFC Bantamweight Championship

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