By Gil Kuta Jr.
Take a Bow Fellas
Kai Kamaka III vs. Tony Kelley
This was a fantastic opener for a Pay Per View. Neither of these fighters had much of a reason or a desire to go to the ground very much. They both got their shots in, but the majority of the flurries were for Kamaka. The impressive part of this fight was that neither man seemed to ever be on the verge of being knocked out. There was a lot of great tagging back and forth in this one. The decision was unanimous for Kamaka, who certainly got more good shots in than Toy Kelley.
Result: Unanimous Decision for Kai Kamaka III
Debut for the Ages
Chris Daukaus vs. Parker Porter
This one didn’t take long. Porter never seemed to have his feet under him in this fight, he was hoping for that initial feeling out period. Unfortunately for him, Daukaus wasn’t having any of that. Chris came in strong and hit Porter with heavy hands and a big knee to the face, the knee brought him down, the punches put him out. Not a bad way to bring your name into the UFC.
Result: 1st Round TKO for Chris Daukaus
Ashley Yoder vs. Livinha Souza
Souza never lost control of this fight, but it seemed the striking side of things could have gone Yoder’s way. The ground game was impressive from Souza, and she caught Yoder enough times to make it count. Not the most interesting fight to watch I will admit, but Souza found a strategy that worked for her and stayed with it.
Result: Unanimous Decision for Livinha Souza
Worth The Wait
TJ Brown vs. Danny Chavez
Danny Chavez had to wait a long time to finally get his shot in a UFC octagon, and it turned out to be well worth it. The first round wasn’t what Danny was looking for, as Brown landed a pretty serious punch on Chavez. Chavez got control for the rest of the fight by almost knocking out Brown in the second round. The third was a lot of back and forth and ended with a couple well executed throws by Chavez. This is how you make an impact when you get the call to fight in UFC.
Result: Unanimous Decision for Danny Chavez
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 101
Felice Herring vs. Virna Jandiroba
This fight was very quick and to the point, Jindiroba took it to the ground, it stayed there, and Herring had no answers. Jandiroba locked in an amber very easily and got Herring to tap. Jandiroba’s ground game could easily elevate her to the next level in the Strawweight division.
Result: 1st Round Submission for Jandiroba (Armbar)
Straight From Hell
Jim Miller vs. Vinc Pichel
This fight featured a stunning turn of events. Jim Miller started things off by breaking the record for most fights in the UFC with 36. Miller got the fight to the ground in the first, which is normally advantageous for him and it was, for that round. Pichel then took a very surprising strategy and tried to beat Miller at jiu-jitsu, which many would think is crazy given Miller is extremely proficient at it. Pichel proved everyone wrong, and ran the ground for the next two rounds. Miller almost caught Pichel with a guillotine in the 3rd, but Pichel made him pay with elbows after he escaped. For Jim Miller, this fight truly was straight from hell.
Result: Unanimous Decision for Vinc Pichel
Georgia on my Mind
John Dodson vs. Merab Dvalishvili
That crazy guy from Georgia, not the state the country, has a tough name to pronounce, but we all need to learn it and get used to it, because he’s an animal. He simply owned the clinch game this entire fight. Dodson was up against the cage the entire first round. Merab changed things up and scored a few takedowns in the second round while mixing in some fancy fakes and feints. The 3rd round was more of the same except that both fighters decided to scream at each other before they went at it. Once again, Merab Dvalishvili, remember that name.
Result: Unanimous Decision for Merab Dvalishvili
Beat you at your own Game
Herbert Burns vs. Daniel Pineda
This was another reversal of fortune on the ground. The better ground fighter on paper was clearly Burns, but Pineda wanted to prove those numbers wrong. Pineda kept Burns under wraps for the whole first round, easily racking up points. The 2nd round was different, as Burns took the fight to the ground on his own accord despite what happened in the first. Pineda again turned the tides, and thanks to a few well placed forearms and elbows the ref brought the fight to a stop. Pineda showed some serious skill and adaptability in this fight.
Result: 2nd Round TKO for Daniel Pineda
He Came from Suriname
Junior Dos Santos vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
This was a classic heavyweight slugfest. There would be no wrestling for these two giant human beings. The first round was a bit of a feeling out round with some good hands from both Rozenstruik and Dos Santos. There was a break in the action when Dos Santos got hit with a low blow. The 2nd round showed what kind of ridiculous power Rozenstruik has. Junior Dos Santos is not an easy man to take down, but Rozenstruik did it. I don’t know about all of you, but I think we’re due for the ultimate face off between power heavyweights, Rozenstruik vs. Derrick Lewis.
Result: 2nd Round KO for Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera
This fight never really got off the ground, and I don’t mean it was a lot of wrestling. O’Malley rolled his ankle and clearly hurt himself in the first round. He was clearly favoring his right foot, but he continued the fight. Vera didn’t show mercy, he went after O’Malley taking him down and starting to ground and pound. Referee Herb Dean didn’t take very long to stop it as he clearly knew that O’Malley was injured and wasn’t doing much to protect himself despite being conscious. Vera celebrated his win with vigor. Just to give my two cents, a win is a win, but I will hesitate to put you on a pedestal if your opponent rolls his ankle while he was 5 feet away from you less than 3 minutes in.
Result: 1st Round TKO for Marlon Vera
Not the DC we know
Stipe Miocic(C) vs. Daniel Cormier
This was a very entertaining fight, but there were two things I just couldn’t get past. First, why didn’t DC more actively try to take Stipe to the ground? That’s where he makes his money, that’s why he was one of the most dominant UFC fighters of all time. Secondly, the body language and facial expression of both fighters fundamentally changed about halfway through. The first two rounds DC was fighting, he was all business, had a plan, and trying to find a way to execute it. Stipe on the other hand was in a fight, he seemed a bit out of place, and was trying to get his bearings. Then Stipe almost KO’d DC at the end of the second round. That’s when their faces changed and DC was in a fight while Stipe was fighting. There’s a big difference between fighting and being in a fight. If you’re fighting, you want to be there. If you’re in a fight, you don’t, and it looked like after the big shots in the 2nd that DC just didn’t want to be there anymore. This was not a befitting exit of one of the greatest of all time. Cormier reaffirmed his desire to walk away from UFC in his post fight interview stating: “I only want to fight for titles and I don’t see any title fights coming.” Miocic had a very different demeanor. When Rogan asked him how he felt after defending his title he simply said: “Tired, I wanna got home.” This was in a very joking manner and Miocic had nothing but praise for his opponent. This was a clash of two of the greatest heavyweights of all time, and Miocic might not be done yet.
Result: Unanimous Decision for Stipe Miocic, who retains his Heavyweight Championship