UFC Fight Night: Till vs. Masvidal
March 16, 2019
London, England from O2 Arena
Live on ESPN+ (Prelims 1 PM ET, Main Card 4 PM ET)
Mike Grundy vs. Nad Narimani (Featherweight/145)
Favorite: Nad Narimani -130
Round 1: Narimani is landing some short hooks early in the round. Grundy staggers Narimani with a big straight right hand! Narimani returns a grazing left hand and follows it up with an uppercut. Grundy drops for a takedown and completes it. Narimani turtles in an attempt to get to his feet but Grundy makes him pay for it with some hard-right hands. Narimani drops for his own takedown but Grundy sprawls as the round ends. 10-9 Grundy: It was even on the feet for the most part but the takedown for Grundy will likely give him the round.
Round 2: Grundy connects with a right hand to start the round… nice shot there. They collide in the center, hard to tell who landed what. Grundy is looking for a takedown, but Narimani backs against the fence to avoid the mat. Narimani lands a shot and Grundy might be hurt here! Narimani throws a high kick and it lands! Grundy returns a shot of his own and Narimani might be hurt! Grundy is attacking with hooks! Narimani is in a great position to counter here but he is hurt, and Grundy is seconds away from a win here!
Result: Mike Grundy def. Nad Narimani via TKO (Punches) Round 2, 4:42
Analysis: I missed a bit of the second round, and I regret it… Mike Grundy appeared to be getting tired, and he was certainly hurt for a moment but once he hurt Narimani he never let up.
Molly McCann vs. Priscila Cachoeira (Flyweight/125)
Favorite: Molly McCann -190
Round 1: They’re going at it right out of the gate. Molly McCann is very aggressive here. They’re trading and both landing. McCann connects with a low kick and moves right in for a takedown but can’t find it. McCann is alternating shots to the head and body. She changes levels and takes Cachoeira down to the mat. Cachoeira attempts a sweep but McCann grabs a head and arm triangle. Cachoeira pulls out of it and takes top position, but she falls right into an armbar. Cachoeira is defending but McCann is not letting go of the arm. McCann transitions to side control just as the round ends. 10-9 McCann
Round 2: McCann is working to get this fight down to the ground. She is getting inside and looking to work from the clinch but Cachoeira is allowing it. She’s separating and landing short punches and elbows. Cachoeira eats a hard elbow and her nose is looking like a faucet. McCann is a bit faster at this point, she lands with a hook to the body and then to the jaw. Cachoeira returns a knee to the body but she appears to be growing sluggish. McCann drops for a takedown but Cachoeira sprawls. McCann connects with a front kick to the body but eats a hard-right hand for her efforts… give and take, give and take… McCann scores with one more big right hand just as the round ends. 10-9 McCann
Round 3: Cachoeira is aggressive early on in the round. She is tagging McCann early and often, and McCann’s eye is starting to grow. McCann isn’t having much luck landing anything. McCann connects with a short right hook but Cachoeira catches her several times in a flurry. We have a brief break in the action while a doctor checks on McCann’s eye and wow it’s a wreck… She’s back at it though and they are right back to trading. The ESPN stream has been shaky during this fight and the last ten seconds were a blur… what can you do. 10-9 Cachoeira (10-9 McCann)
Result: Molly McCann def. Priscila Cachoeira via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: McCann looked very good in the first two rounds but slowed considerably in the third. She suffered quite an injury to her eye but still won and in the process became the first English born female fighter to win inside of the octagon.
Dan Ige vs. Danny Henry (Featherweight/145)
Favorite: Dan Ige -190
Round 1: Ige moves in early with a lunging left hook and Henry is down! Ige lands a flurry of shots on the ground but Henry recovers! Ige keeps control though and takes the back of Danny Henry. He sinks in a rear naked choke and Henry is forced to tap! Brilliant stuff by Dan Ige there!
Result: Dan Ige def. Danny Henry via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 1, 1:17
Analysis: Dan Ige closed the distance and dropped Danny Henry without wasting much time. It was quick and that’s really all you can say about it.
Nicole Negumereanu vs. Saparbeg Safarov (Light-heavyweight/205)
Favorite: Nicole Negumereanu -230
Round 1: Safarov moves in with some wide hooks and uses them to secure a clinch. He’s working against the fence to secure a takedown but Nicole counters with an attempted kimura and brings the fight to the ground. Nicole loses the submission but recovers guard. Safarov has been deducted a point for grabbing the fence. He’s done it about ten times, and he deserved it. He also landed an illegal elbow as the ref separated them to take the point… bad look for Safarov there. Back to the action and they are back in the center. The commentators are absolutely roasting Safarov for his cheating antics… I mean they’re blasting him and basically openly cheering for his opponent. Funny really… 9-9 Draw: Remember Safarov was deducted a point, but I do think he won the round.
Round 2: Nicole is chasing Safarov down early and looking to land but he’s very sloppy. Safarov changes levels and scores with a double leg takedown. Nicole is looking for a heel hook and Safarov is again grabbing the fence… Dan Hardy is nearly screaming into the commentator’s headset. Safarov drops into Nicole’s guard and lands some big punches. Nicole is now grabbing the fence… Safarov is connecting with some big punches here. Shame Safarov can’t stop grabbing the fence because he has otherwise looked very good. Safarov moves into mount and he is just beating Nicole senseless at this point… Not sure why the ref let that go on, but he did. 10-9 Safarov
I’m calling this fight off… lets see if the ref or doctor agrees. He doesn’t… well we’re all wrong sometimes.
Round 3: Nicole is on wobbly legs, his right eye is an absolute wreck, and Safarov just took him down again. Safarov is looking to isolate an arm, perhaps to set up a kimura. Safarov moves into side control, he has slowed down considerably but he is still in dominant position and in absolute control. 10-8 Safarov: He dominated the round from start to finish. (29-26 Safarov)
Result: Saparbeg Safarov def. Nicole Negumereanu via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Safarov committed come fouls, but otherwise dominated the fight. Nicole had a rough night and his corner should have pulled him out of this fight after the second round.
Joe Duffy vs. Marc Diakiese (Lightweight/155)
Favorite: Joe Duffy -190
Round 1: After a brief exchange on the feet we see Duffy complete a double leg takedown. Diakiese works his was back to his feet though. Good stuff there by Diakiese to get back up. Diakiese connects with a nice low kick and Duffy briefly hits the mat. Diakiese is targeting the lead leg. The low kicks are keeping Duffy from being able to set up much of anything. Diakiese connects with a kick to the body and then a hard lead elbow! Duffy is down! Diakiese lets him up with half a minute left in the round. 10-9 Diakiese: Duffy got hurt with low kicks and that lead elbow. He isn’t landing much of anything and Diakiese is starting to pick him apart. Great stuff by the Brit.
Round 2: Diakiese opens up with a kick to the body. Diakiese attempts a takedown but Duffy sort of pulls guard at the same time. We see a stand up after a brief moment of inaction… Diakiese connects with a low kick and then a kick to the body. Duffy is taking a beating here, he looks absolutely terrible. Duffy seems to want o box now, he’s moving inside and throwing tight punches. Diakiese scores with a takedown and he’s looking to take the back with just under a minute left in the round. 10-9 Diakiese
Round 3: Diakiese lands a nice combo to start the round. He continues to be the faster and more accurate fighter. Joe Duffy seems lost. Diakiese takes Duffy down again but the Irishman climbs right back to his feet. It feels like the layoff has to be affecting Duffy here. With that being said Diakiese looks absolutely phenomenal. He takes Duffy down again and moves into side control. Diakiese is attempting to take the back, he has one hook, but Duffy has his back against the fence. 10-8 Diakiese: Third round was completely one sided.
Result: Marc Diakiese def. Joe Duffy via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Marc Diakiese is very emotional post fight. He snapped a three-fight losing streak with this win and he has likely saved his job with that performance. Fantastic stuff by the bone crusher.
Arnold Allen vs. Jordan Rinaldi (Featherweight/145)
Favorite: Arnold Allen -190
Round 1: Rinaldi is looking for a takedown but so far, no dice. Rinaldi trips attempting a takedown and he’s on his back with Allen standing over him. Allen connects with a few hard kicks to the leg before the ref finally stands Rinaldi up. Allen lands a nice jab as Rinaldi tries closing the distance. Allen is landing his jab at will here. Rinaldi is not having luck with anything, mostly because of the movement used by Allen. 10-9 Allen
Round 2: Jordan Rinaldi continues to struggle to land punches and close the distance. Allen connects with a right hook as Rinaldi pressures forward. Rinaldi is missing with nearly everything he throws, but Allen isn’t really capitalizing. He’s instead just using his speed and elusiveness. Very effective performance but it doesn’t give me much to talk about… Rinaldi shoots for yet another takedown but he’s using the same jab, or 1-2 combo to set up his takedowns and Allen is moving out of range right as he shoots. Allen attacks with a flying knee and a flurry of punches in the final seconds of the round. 10-9 Allen
Round 3: Rinaldi eats a counter right hand to start the round. Allen continues to not be in the place that Rinaldi is throwing his punches. Allen lands a big right hand and follows it up with a flurry. Rinaldi grabs a leg, but Allen backs away. Very methodical performance by Arnold Allen here tonight. Rinaldi connects with a left hook, but Allen wears it well. Allen turns it up in the final seconds of the round, but Rinaldi will survive. 10-9 Allen (30-27 Allen)
Result: Arnold Allen def. Jordan Rinaldi via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: We’re seeing a lot of very good performances tonight. Arnold Allen looked great defensively and did well with job jab as well. He wasn’t very aggressive, but he was highly effective.
John Phillips vs. Jack Marshman (Middleweight/185)
Favorite: Jack Marshman -190
Round 1: Phillips opens up with a low kick and a big, looping left hook! Marshman does a good job of using under hooks to avoid any more damage after the initial shot. Marshman changes levels for a takedown but Phillips avoids it and drops Marshman with a big right hook! He doesn’t follow him to the ground though, and instead bows and allows Marshman to get back to his feet. Jack Marshman looks like Ray Liotta… Marshman lands a straight right just as the round ends. Phillips just took the shot and stood staring at Marshman, like a complete psycho path. 10-9 Phillips
Round 2: Phillips lands a big left hook to start the round, but Marshman does manage to return a kick to the body during the exchange. Phillips connects with a right hand but eats a left hand from Marshman and he’s down! Phillips is back up and back to stalking Marshman against the fence. 10-9 Marshman: Phillips controlled the octagon but wasn’t able to land many punches. Marshman isn’t doing much damage but he is landing his shots and he’s really starting to rip into Phillips’ body.
Round 3: Marshman connects with a kick to the midsection to get things going. Marshman is doing lots of circling. Phillips connects with a shot to the body and a left hook. Marshman returns a left hook of his own. Phillips charges forward with a right hook that lands but he eats a left hand for his efforts. We’re seeing a bit of a sense of urgency from Phillips here with about a minute left. Phillips lands a big shot! Marshman is circling away and lands a shot to the body! 10-9 Marshman (29-28 Marshman)
Result: Jack Marshman def. John Phillips via Split Decision
Analysis: The fans didn’t like the decision but Marshman was the better boxer and that won him the fight. Phillips is fun but very limited.
Danny Roberts vs. Claudio Silva (Welterweight/170)
Favorite: Claudio Silva -165
Round 1: Silva connects with a heavy low kick to start the fight. Silva throws some big hooks in an attempt to close the distance, but Roberts steps out of the way. Silva secures a body lock and takes Roberts down to the mat. Roberts is holding on from the bottom. Silva passes into half guard, this looks like a nightmare… he moves into mount, and then into side control. Silva is looking to isolate an arm, but Roberts is defending. Roberts has absolutely zero room to breathe here, Silva is just glued to him. Silva moves into mount, and he is starting to open up with some punches. He set up a nice arm triangle trap there, he lured Roberts into bucking and then attacked with the submission. Roberts escapes though and takes top position! He lands several hard shots just before the round ends! 10-9 Silva
Round 2: Roberts lands a right hand to start the round and Silva is hurt! Silva drops for a takedown but Roberts sprawls! Silva scrambles though and winds up on top. Bad news for Roberts… Silva moves into mount and attacks the arm! The ref just stopped the fight because Danny Roberts has his toes in the fence. Looks like it caused Silva to lose a potential submission. Roberts scrambles and takes top position with just under two minutes left in the round. Silva is up, but he looks a bit wobbly. Roberts connects with a big left hand! He appears to be trying to take Silva down, but instead nails him with a knee! Silva drops for a takedown, and he gets it… wow. Claudio Silva is a very good fighter. He takes the back, and Roberts has the wrist, but Silva is looking for the neck with the free arm. Silva nearly pulled off a triangle in the final moments of the round, but Roberts pulls out! This is a fantastic fight! If you are a BJJ fan you have to check this one out. 10-9 Silva
Round 3: Roberts connects early! Silva is down and Roberts follows him to the ground! Silva is looking to work off his back, but Roberts is controlling him well so far. Silva is looking to isolate a leg and he somehow manages to do it… What the hell… Claudio Silva has some crafty BJJ. Roberts is defending the leg though, and Silva gives up on it to recover guard. Roberts is attacking the body, but Silva is attacking the arm! Wow! Roberts verbally taps… I think? The ref stopped the fight and I certainly hope it was a verbal tap or it was a bad stoppage… The replay doesn’t clear anything up. Hopefully we get an explanation.
Result: Claudio Silva def. Danny Roberts via Verbal Submission (Armbar) Round 3, 3:37
Analysis: Well… I guess maybe we aren’t going to get an explanation. I really don’t know if it was a verbal submission or a poor stoppage. Silva is talking about a slum in Brazil and didn’t answer the question clearly when asked if he heard a verbal submission of any kind. They’re interviewing Roberts now, and he’s saying he may have made a noise, but he didn’t verbally tap. I could be wrong, but I believe that a verbal noise of any kind during a submission attempt is considered a verbal submission.
Nathaniel Wood vs. Jose Quinonez (Bantamweight/135)
Favorite: Nathaniel Wood -300
Round 1: Wood opens things up with a big right hand! He ducks beneath a kick and nearly takes Quinonez down, but the Mexican defends and forces Wood against the fence. Quinonez completes a takedown and lands in side control. Wood sweeps Quinonez and regains his footing. Good work there by the British fighter. Woods connects with a left hook that knocks Quinonez down! Wood drops for a Darce choke and Quinonez is in trouble here! He is rotating for the legs, but Quinonez scrambles out of it. Nice work by both fighters there. Hard low kick lands for Wood. Quinonez has landed several low kicks of his own and Woods leg is starting to show it. Wood competes a takedown just as the round ends. Great fight. 10-9 Wood
Round 2: Quinonez is looking for a takedown early. He tried securing a body lock takedown, but Woods separates, and they are back in the center. They are back in the clinch and Wood scores with a trip takedown. He takes the back and sinks in a rear naked choke! Quinonez taps and its all over!
Result: Nathaniel Wood def. Jose Quinonez via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 2, 2:46
Analysis: Nathaniel Wood looked very good and his performance should own him a bonus. Quinonez looked very good as well but made a mistake and it cost him.
BREAKING NEWS: Michael “The Count” Bisping has been announced as the first member for this years Hall of Fame. Bisping is of course a pioneer of UK MMA and MMA in general. He was the first British fighter to win the Ultimate Fighter, and to win a UFC World Championship. He beat the best, and at times he may have been the best. I remember seeing Bisping coach against Henderson, and to know that the same guy went on to win the World Title is something to think about. He was absolutely polarizing, and he will always be remembered.
(8) Dominick Reyes vs. (6) Volkan Oezdemir (Light-heavyweight/205)
Favorite: Dominick Reyes -240
Round 1: Reyes connects with a head kick to start things off. He is much bigger than Oezdemir, I didn’t expect that. Reyes connects with an inside low kick and Oezdemir briefly falls before jumping right back up. Oezdemir connects with a fierce low kick and Reyes is down! Oezdemir briefly stacks him but Reyes hips out and gets back to his feet with the aid of the fence. Oezdemir takes Reyes down with a trip from the clinch, nice work by the former title challenger. Reyes connects with a short-left hook but Oezdemir returns a right hand that catches him on the chin. 10-9 Oezdemir
Round 2: Reyes lands a nice low kick to start the round… I really need to add some variety to the way that I start these paragraphs… I’ll work on it. Anyways back to the action… Oezdemir is chasing Reyes down while spamming left hooks. Reyes shoots in for a single leg but Oezdemir shakes him off. Reyes circles away from Oezdemir and connects with a clean left hook. Oezdemir returns a knee and a right hand to Reyes and he seems to be bleeding from his nose because of it. Reyes moves in for a bit of a desperate trip takedown attempt, but Oezdemir shakes him. Inside low kick lands for Oezdemir. Reyes has definitely slowed down a bit. Oezdemir lands a couple of hooks as the round ends. 10-9 Oezdemir
Round 3: Oezdemir takes Reyes down early, but Reyes gets back up with some help from the fence. He is clearly exhausted and Oezdemir looks like he’s doing just fine. Reyes connects with a knee and Oezdemir might be hurt! Take down attempt by Oezdemir gets stuffed by Reyes with just over a minute left in the round. Oezdemir is just coasting at this point but Reyes isn’t showing much urgency. 10-9 Reyes? It could go either way and it will probably go to Oezdemir, but Reyes was a bit more active even if it was mostly because Oezdemir just didn’t engage. (29-28 Oezdemir)
Result: Dominick Reyes def. Volkan Oezdemir via Split Decision
Analysis: Totally disagree with this decision… Normally I just roll with the decisions but that was bullshit in my opinion. Reyes just mentioned Jon Jones post fight… just no… not happening anytime soon. It was close, but not close in the sense that Reyes should have won.
(10) Leon Edwards vs. (13) Gunnar Nelson (Welterweight/170)
Favorite: Leon Edwards -160
Round 1: Nelson connects with a kick to the body to start the fight. Nelson is now looking for a takedown against the fence and Edwards is down. Edwards tries to kick out, but Nelson takes him right back down. Edwards is up and he takes Nelson down! Edwards has one hook in, and he doesn’t appear nervous at all to engage with Nelson on the mat. Good control here so far by Edwards, he is threatening with a rear naked choke and its keeping Nelson from doing anything in terms of attempting to escape. Nelson pops out and they are back on the feet with just under 20 seconds left in the fight. 10-9 Edwards
Round 2: They exchange head kicks to start the round. Very tedious round so far. Edwards is almost waiting for Nelson to attack and then he just reacts. Nelson connects with a lead elbow as they separate from a clinch. Nelson moves in with a hook to close the distance and he’s now working for a takedown against the fence. Nelson is looking for a clinch but Edwards tags him! Nelson is down! It was an elbow inside of the thai clinch that sent Nelson down. He clearly has a broken bone near his eye… he has quite a mass underneath. 10-9 Edwards
Round 3: Nelson secures a body lock early on and he’s looking for a takedown, but Edwards is defending. Nelson lunges in with a hook and he’s again looking for a takedown, but Edwards just won’t give it up. Edwards is looking for a takedown of his own now, and Nelson is down. Nelson is back up, but Edwards is just beating him up. Nelson connects with a right hand and scores with a takedown! Nelson moves into mount, but he only has 30 seconds to make something happen. 10-9 Edwards (30-27 Edwards)
Result: Leon Edwards def. Gunnar Nelson via Split Decision
Analysis: Edwards grappling looked great. Nelson had moments in the first and third which likely led to the split decision but Edwards absolutely deserved that win.
(3) Darren Till vs. (11) Jorge Masvidal (Welterweight/170)
Favorite: Darren Till -220
Round 1: Jorge Masvidal just ran across the cage and kicked Darren Till directly in the groin… I am not even kidding. We have a brief break in the action so that Till can make sure everything is in place. Till lands a big straight left and Masvidal is down! Till stacks him! Masvidal scrambles and they are back on the feet. Till lands a big left hand and then another! Till lands another left hand! Till lands an elbow over the top! Masvidal is tough but he is getting beat up here. Masvidal moves in with a big hook and connects! Masvidal is starting to land and Till isn’t really covering up. Till closes the distance and forces the fight against the fence. He lands an uppercut as Masvidal attempts to circle off the fence. 10-9 Till
Round 2: Masvidal scores early with a takedown but Till gets right back to his feet. Masvidal has two under hooks and he’s looking for a trip. Till separates though and they are back in the center. Masvidal connects with a big left hook and then a right! Till returns a left hand of his own! Masvidal connects with a left hook and Till is out! Wow! Jorge Masvidal makes it two straight losses for Darren Till! Wow!
Result: Jorge Masvidal def. Darren Till via KO (Punch) Round 2, 3:05
Analysis: Jorge Masvidal just picked up a massive win and snapped a two-fight losing streak in the process. Darren Till just suffered a massive loss in his home country in front of his fans… tough. He called for a title fight sometime this year, but he needs a few more wins I’m sure. Perhaps a fight with Ben Askren is in order.
My Performance Bonuses:
Performance of the Night: Jorge Masvidal
Performance of the Night: Nathaniel Wood
Fight of the Night: Claudio Silva vs. Danny Roberts
Thanks for joining us for coverage of Fight Night London and come back this week for further coverage.