UFC FIGHT NIGHT DENVER LIVE REPORT: Real-time results & analysis of 25th anniversary event featuring Korean Zombie-Yair Rodriguez

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Credit: UFC Fight Pass

UFC Fight Night Denver
November 10, 2018
Denver, Colorado from Pepsi Center
Live on UFC Fight Pass (7 PM ET), and FS1 (8 PM ET)

Fight Pass Prelims

They opened the broadcast with old school UFC music and graphics. Brendan Fitzgerald and Paul Felder are on the call tonight.

(1) Mark de la Rosa vs. Joby Sanchez (Bantamweight)

ROUND ONE: Even the canvas has the old UFC logo. Nice touch. Fast action from the start. Sanchez countered a leg kick with a nice right hand. De la Rosa went for a single leg takdedown but Sanchez showed good defense, using his hand to push de la Rosa’s head down to defend. De la Rosa landed a nice flurry that stunned Sanchez temporarily. De la Rosa peppered in some outside leg kicks. 10-9 de la Rosa.

ROUND TWO: Sanchez whiffed on a big right hand and de la Rosa countered. Sanchez went for a takedown but almost gave up a guillotine in the process. Sanchez kept him pressed against the fence and landed some short punches. Nice high kick from de la Rosa. De la Rosa grabbed a single leg but Sanchez threw some punches to defend. Sanchez still showing strong takedown defense here. Lots of body punches from Sanchez against the cage. De la Rosa walked forward throwing punches and threw another high kick with some low kicks mixed in. They traded some shots in the center of the cage as the round ended. Close round, but I’ll go 10-9 de la Rosa, 20-18.

ROUND THREE: Both guys came out swinging. Sanchez looking to get some counters in as de la Rosa continued to walk him down. Sanchez with a right hand and he began to pick up the pace with two minutes to go. He a punch from de la Rosa. Sanchez defended a late takedown attempt. 10-9 Sanchez, 29-28 de la Rosa but it could go the other way.

Result: 29-28, 28-29, 30-27 Mark de la Rosa by split decision

Hiscoe’s Analysis: Decent opener. De la Rosa showed enough aggression to get the win in a short notice fight. I was impressed with Sanchez’s takedown defense. 

(2) Joseph Morales vs. Eric Shelton (Flyweight)

ROUND ONE: Both guys were throwing heavy shots early on. Shelton countered a body kick with a right hand. Shelton went in for a takedown and got Morales down but couldn’t keep him there. Jab from Shelton. He changed levels quckly and got another takedown but left his neck exposed. Morales worked for a guillotine but it wasn’t tight enough. Shelton escaped and was on top, in Morales guard as the round ended. 10-9 Shelton.

ROUND TWO: Shelton  got an early takedown. He didn’t do much with it and then scored another throw takedown soon after. Again Shelton got caught in a guillotine off the takedown. He escaped but this one was tighter. Shelton was on top in Morales’ guard and mixed in body shots with head shots while working to pass. Shelton landed a third takedown and almost got caught in a triangle this time. Crazy how this keeps happening. 10-9 Shelton, 20-18.

ROUND THREE: Morales with some body shots and a takedown of his own after ducking a Shelton punch. Shelton ended up on top and escaped another guillotine. Shelton landed a big knee as they were standing up. Another takedown from Shelton. Morales worked hard to get up but Shelton did a good job of keeping him on the mat. Morales landed a big punch on a standup but it was too little too late. 10-9 Shelton, 30-27.

Result: 29-28, 27-30, 30-27 Shelton by split decision

Hiscoe’s Analysis: Shelton showed some good takedowns there and strong cardio but wasn’t able to come even close to finishing. He’ll have to be careful about getting caught in submissions when he takes the fight to the ground as he moves up in the division. 

Fox Sports 1 Prelims

(3) Devonte Smith vs. Julian Erosa (Lightweight)

ROUND ONE: Smith knocked him out early with a huge counter and followed up on the ground. Erosa came to and didn’t know what happened. That’s how you make a statement in your UFC debut. Erosa was moving in, going for a leg kick and Smith nailed him with a left and a right that dropped him hard.

Result: Devonte Smith by knockout at :46 of the first round

Hiscoe’s Analysis:  That’s how you make your debut. Lightweight is a stacked division but Devonte Smith is off to a good start. 

(4) Davi Ramos vs. John Gunther (Lightweight)

ROUND ONE: Ramos with a takedwon right away. He took his back and worked on a rear naked choke. Gunther defended for a while but Ramos cinched it in tight and got the tap.

Result: Davi Ramos by submission 1:57 of round one

Hiscoe’s Analysis: This fight went just about exactly as planned. Gunther was a sacrificial lamb here. Ramos looked like a beast here and might be someone to watch at lightweight. 

(5) Chas Skelly vs. Bobby Moffett (Featherweight)

ROUND ONE: They traded shots early on and Skelly went for a takedown. He had Moffett’s back and looked for a rear naked choke. Skelly rode his back for a while waiting for an opening. He threw a lot of punches while riding Moffett’s back. Moffett was preventing Skelly from getting a choke, but he couldn’t get him off his back until the last few seconds of the round. 10-9 Skelly.

ROUND TWO: Nice uppercut from Skelly. Moffett got a takedown. He worked into side control but Skelly swept to get top position. Moffett countered that into a D’arce choke and the ref stopped the fight thinking that Skelly was out. Skelly got up right away and protested the finish. Looking at the replay, it was a really close call. It looked like one of Skelly’s arms may have gone limp momentarily. After commercial, the ref was looking at the finish of the fight on replay. In the replay you can see how Skelly’s arm went limp for a second. He took a long look at the replay, but seemed to want to confirm the call he already made.

Result: Bobby Moffett by TKO at 2:43 of round two.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: That’s a tough call with the referee erring on the side of protecting the fighter. You don’t want to see fighters pass out unnecessarily. Skelly was doing well up until that point, so this loss will hurt. Nontheless, a good, resiliant win for Bobby Moffett.

(6) Ashley Yoder vs. Amanda Cooper (Strawweight)

ROUND ONE: Cooper the aggressor early on. Yoder threw a high kick and Cooper countered with a combination. They traded some big shots but Cooper moved forward. She rushed in and pressed Yoder against the cage and took her down. She passed to side control and Yoder trapped her head in a triangle. It wasn’t going to choke her but prevented Cooper for putting out any offense temporarily. Yoder reversed and took top position. She landed a couple shots while postured up to end the round. 10-9 Cooper

ROUND TWO: Cooper came out swinging again and pressed Yoder against the cage. Yoder ended up on top on the mat but Cooper got up. She pressed Yoder against the cage again. She dragged Yoder down and was in full guard. Cooper got a knee on her belly and landed some big punches and passed to side control. Yoder went for the triangle again but the horn sounded. 10-9 Cooper, 20-18.

ROUND THREE: Cooper landing some punches and Yoder with some kicks. Nice knee from Yoder. Punching combo from Cooper followed by a takedown but Yoder reversed and ended up on top. Cooper worked for submissions while Yoder looked to advance her position. Yoder rolled into a knee bar which Cooper turned into an armbar attempt. Yoder got out and worked to secure a rear naked choke. She couldn’t get it in and a wild round ended. 10-9 Yoder, 29-28 Cooper.

Result: 29-28 Yoder, 30-27 Cooper, 29-28 Ashley Yoder by split decision

Hiscoe’s Analysis: That was a pretty fun fight and it could have gone either way. Yoder gutted it out in the final round and was always working whether she was on the top or the bottom. Cooper still looked good in losing. 

Fox Sports 1 Main Card

(7) Michael Trizano vs. Luis Pena (Lightweight)

ROUND ONE: Trizano with a pair of leg kicks to open. Trizano countered Pena with a right hand. Pena looking to land some jumping knees. Pena went in for a takedown but Trizano defended. Pena landed one of those jumping knees finally. Pena worked for the takedown, Trizano tried a guillotine but Pena ended up on top. They got up and Trizano worked for a takedown as the round ended. 10-9 Pena

ROUND TWO: Pena with a body kick and Trizano throwing leg kicks. Trizano began lighting him up a bit and Pena missed some takedown attempts. Pena took his back and was riding him looking for a choke. Trizano sat down with Pena still on his back. Pena threw punches from the back while looking for the choke. Trizano managed to turn and was on top in Pena’s guard. Trizano landed some nasty hammerfists with Pena’s head on the mat. Pena looked for an armbar late. Tough round to score, put I’ll go 10-9 Trizano, 19-19.

ROUND THREE: Big right hand from Trizano right away. He landed a left soon after. Trizano with more leg kicks. Trizano mixing in body punches as well. Pena landed a big knee and they went to the ground with Trizano on top. Pena got up and tried to get Trizano down but couldn’t do it. Pena threw some big punches that didn’t connect. Trizano landing punches and leg kicks. Trizano landed more as the round ended. 10-9 Trizano, 29-28.

Result: 29-28 Pena, 29-28 Trizano, 30-27 Trizano by split decision.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: Trizano really turned it up in the third round to pull out the win. He showed sharp striking when standing and was competent on the ground when he needed to be. Pena is a tough guy though and both will have a future in the UFC. 

(8) Maycee Barber vs. Hanna Cifers (Strawweight)

ROUND ONE: Barber throwing kicks to start. The clinched and Cifers tried to take her down by Barber bounced up. Barber clinched against the cage and they each threw knees. They broke apart and Barber missed a big high kick. More clinching against the cage and they would go back and forth who had the dominant position. Cifers threw a lot of knees while Barber went for a takedown. Barber landed a nice axe kick and then a big right hand against the cage. 10-9 Barber

ROUND TWO: Barber busy out of the gate. She landed a couple nice elbows before they went to the ground. Barber op top landed some huge elbows. She landed several big punches while Cifers grabbed a leg looking for a submission. Barber rained down on her until the ref finally stopped it.

Result: Maycee Barber by TKO at 2:01 of the second round

Hiscoe’s Analysis: Good win for Barber who seems to have some star potential. She had some words with Dana White who was sitting cageside. Maycee Barber is one to watch at strawweight in 2019. She called out Mackenzie Dern, which is a smart move.

(9) Beneil Dariush vs. Thiago Moises (Lightweight)

ROUND ONE: Dariush with a body kick to open. Moises pulled a guillotine but couldn’t get it in. Dariush landed some punches from the top. He landed some knees while Moises tried to get up. Once up, Moises landed a nice elbow. Moises couldn’t get the takedown and tried for teh guillotine again. Dariush got out and had top positioin. Dariush landed some punches. They got up and Dariush pressed him against the cage. Dariush got him down and landed some short punches. He got mount with about 10 seconds to go. 10-9 Dariush.

ROUND TWO: Dariush with a headkick. Dariush got him down and was in half guard. Moises got back to full guard and Dariush threw some punches while postured up. Moises got up but Dariush had his back. Dariush threw some knees to the legs. Dariush took his back fully and sunk in a choke. Moises worked to defend as the clock wound down and he survived the round. 10-9 Dariush, 20-18.

ROUND THREE: Moises landed a nice uppercut as Dariush was coming in. Dariush got him down and took his back again. He looked for the choke but with two and a half minutes to go this time. Dariush threw punches while Moises tried to defend the choke. Moises turned out of the choke but Dariush stayed on top. Moises turtled up while Dariush pummeled him until the horn. 10-8 Dariush, 30-26.

Result: 30-25, 30-25, 30-26 for Beneil Dariush by unanimous decision

Hiscoe’s Analysis: Moises looked a little out of his league here. Dariush is a big step up in competition for a guy coming off the Brazilian version of Contender Series. Nontheless, it’s a good win for Dariush to get back on track after a bit of a rough patch. 

(10) Raquel Pennington vs. Germaine de Randamie (Bantamweight)

ROUND ONE: Pennington aggressive from the start. She missed a takedown attempt but got a clinch against the cage. Some short punches and knees from Pennington against the cage. They trade knees and de Randamie gets away from the cage. Pennington landed a couple shot uppercuts while in the clinch. They broke apart with 30 seconds to go. Pennington rushed in again but de Randamie got the advantageous position against the cage. Close round 10-9 Pennington

ROUND TWO: Leg kick by Pennington. Big right hand from de Randamie snapped her head back. De Randamie working her jab and keeping Pennington at a distance. Head kick attempt from de Randamie. She countered a Pennington leg kick with a hard jab. Pennington rushed her against the cage. Short elbow from Pennington against the cage. Pennington tried to get her down but couldn’t. 10-9 de Randamie, 19-19.

ROUND THREE: Pennington more willing to trade with de Randamie this round, likely looking for a finish. Strong leg kicks from de Randamie. Pennington threw some knees and punches from a clinch against the cage. She’d drop down to get the take down but de Randamie would be right there to stop it. Pennington rushed in the push her against the cage right away after a short stoppage for a low blow. Pennington worked for a takedown but ate some shots in failing. 10-9 de Randamie, 29-28.

Result: 30-27 x 3 for Germaine de Randamie by unanimous decision

Hiscoe’s Analysis: Not much of a fight. De Randamie utilized her kickboxing well and was able to neutralize Pennington’s takedown attempts. This was not a great comeback from the Nunes fight for Pennington. De Randamie looked good but I wouldn’t really consider her a top contender at 135 either. 

(11) Donald Cerrone vs. Mike Perry (Welterweight)

ROUND ONE: The clinch in the middle of the cage and Perry threw some knees. Two sharp jabs from Cerrone. Another linch in the middle and some knees from Perry. Leg kick from Cerrone. Perry got a takedown and was in side control. Cowboy gave up his back and reversed to gain top position. He took Perry’s back but lost position and Perry was on top. Cerrone grabbed an armbar, Perry slammed him down but Cowboy didn’t let go and Perry tapped to the belly down armbar. Wild sequence and great finish.

Result: Cerrone by submission at 4:46 of the first round

Hiscoe’s Analysis: Cowboy asked that his infant son be brought into the cage. He held him up and the crowd ate it up. This is one of those great UFC moments that this show really needed. Cerrone finishing Perry that way, along with the drama of the camp switch is a great story. Cerrone was like the sensei with one last lesson for his pupil. I loved it. Cerrone said he wants to move back to 155 and asked for Khabib. 


(12) Chan Sung Jung vs. Yair Rodriguez (Featherweight)

ROUND ONE: They traded leg kicks to start. Jung stormed in with a flurry but didn’t hurt Rodriguez. Another flurry from Jung. Rodriguez looking flat footed in the early minutes here. Some bit shots including some uppercuts from Jung. Leg kick followed by a front kick from Rodriguez. Jab caught Jung coming in. Big left from Zombie. Rodriguez got tripped up in an exchange and Zombie stormed in to land some punches. 10-9 Jung

ROUND TWO: Left hand followed by a body kick from Jung. Jung clinched him against the cage. Yair kneed Zombie in the groin and the action was stopped. Big head kick from Yair when the restarted. Jung rushed in and Rodriguez landed a spinning elbow. Zombie, appropriately, walked right through it and went for a takedown. Jung continued to press forward. Both guys standing in front of eachother waiting for the other to make a move. Nice left from Rodriguez. Jung with some jabs followed by a right hook. Rodriguez going after the knee. Two big shots late by Zombie, One more right before the bell. 10-9 Jung, 20-18

ROUND THREE: Crazy spin kick from Yair. He tried a cartwheel kick too. Zombie slowing down a bit but he’s still throwing shots. Nice right hand from Jung. A left from Jung sent him reeling. Right hand and a head kick from Rodriguez landed. Rodriguez landed some jabs. Zombie with a big flurry right before the bell. 10-9 Jung, 30-27

ROUND FOUR: Yair with a couple inside leg kicks. Spinning back first from Rodriguez got a piece. Zombie lost his balance as Rodriguez rushed in. A body kick from Rodriguez may have hurt Jung. Jung’s punches don’t have much behind them anymore. Two jabs from Rodriguez. Double right hand from Zombie. Another right hand stunned Rodriguez. Rodriguez and Jung were acting like there was a low blow but the ref had them continue fighting. Right hand over top from Jung. 10-9 Jung, 40-36

ROUND FIVE: Straight right from Jung. Rodriguez with a couple jabs and a big right counter from Jung. They traded left hands. Rodriguez came in for a takedown and missed and ate a right hand for his efforts. Rodriguez retaliated with a right of his own. Both fighters take a break to pose for the crowd. Seriously. Zombie landed a punch that stunned Rodriguez. Big spinning backfist from Rodriguez. Some kicks from Rodriguez. Several leg kicks from Yair. Zombie rushed in. More posing with ten seconds to go. Zombie rushed in and there was a flurry and Zombie was KO’d cold with a second to go. No joke. What a way to end a great fight. It was just a random elbow, possibly by accident but either way it put him out. One of the craziest finishes you’ll ever see.

Result: Yair Rodriguez at 4:59 of round five

Hiscoe’s Analysis: What a ridiculous finish to a great fight. Rodriguez just put that elbow out there and it landed perfectly. It’s a must see. Rodriguez was exhausted after the fight, he needed to be held up. Yair’s corner man is happier than anybody with this win. He said he hurt his foot in the first round. 


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