|DJ secures an armar in the 5th round against Moraga.|
- Yaotzin Meza and John Albert had a crazy entertaining submission grappling battle until Albert decided to quit mid armbar. He gave up his back and lost what was an exciting fight up to that point. I hope for his sake it was an injury he sustained and not a lack of heart, because Albert's UFC life depended on that fight. Big win for Meza via RNC. Lost job for Albert.
- Justin Salas and Aaron Riley were the first of 4 consecutive split decisions in a row. Crazy close fights make for entertainment, but the crowd grew restless of bad judging. Salas via split decision in an entertaining yet disappointing match. Salas needs to do more fighting and less running next fight.
- Germaine de Randamie looked outstanding against Julie Kedzie despite a debatably boring strategy. I would argue Kedzie could have won the fight, but I like the judges giving good striking the edge over a takedown with no damage done on the ground. Huge win for Germaine.
- Ed Herman and Trevor Smith put on a show thanks to their stupid chins. Herman has as much head movement as a statue with his boxing. He also has as much footwork as a man walking in quicksand. Nevertheless he took the hard hits of Smith and threw a few of his own. It was the clinch game uppercuts and knees that gave Herman the edge in the 3rd consecutive split decision of the night.
- Yves Edwards was aggressive and quick. Daron Cruickshank used masterful kicks and counter striking to do more damage and take home a split decision. This is a huge win for Daron who took this fight on short notice against a UFC veteran like Edwards.
- Melvin Guillard looked like the champion caliber fighter again, as his roller coaster careers goes on. The always exciting Guillard took home a bonus check for his vicious hammer fist KO of Mac Danzig.
- Tim Means lost another fight because he is content to fight from his back. Not a bad showing from Means but Castillo was the better fighter on Saturday. Castillo is just another beast training with team Alpha Male in California, watch out for all of those guys.
- Jorge Masvidal and Michael Chiesa was #4 on my 10 fights you cannot miss that might be going under the radar list. I think it did an excellent job being both entertaining and important. It was funny because the fight went the absolute opposite way I thought it would. Chiesa got the better of Masvidal on the feet despite Masvidal being a top level striker. Chiesa had him rocked and had a huge round 1. Round two saw the "striker" Masvidal dominating with wrestling and securing a submission against an undefeated submission artist. Chiesa tapped literally as the horn went to a d'arce choke that did not seem too tight. It was a weird ending to a great fight similar to the Albert/Meza fight. I think Chiesa could use this as a learning experience although he clearly needs to not be a baby if he loses again. Chiesa has a lot of talent, but from what I saw in that fight he seems like a guy that cannot take a hit. Like Rousimar Palhares, he turtles up and looks in tremendous distress every time he gets hit. He needs a tougher chin if he expects to win against top guys like Masvidal. Jorge looked amazing despite being dropped. I think Masvidal is a legit contender in the UFC lightweight division, but not quite top 10 yet. Have Masvidal fight Melvin Guillard next???
- Liz Carmouche won her fight against Jessica Andrade basically the same was Ronda Rousey beat her. Andrade had a very tight guillotine choke on Liz but Carmouche weathered the storm and survived round 1. Carmouche dominated with ground and pound in the 2nd by transitioning from the mount to Andrade's back very quick and smooth. She never landed that hard shot to end it, but the accumulation of hundreds of little punches and elbows made Herb Dean step in and give Carmouche a well deserved first UFC win. Andrade looked great despite the loss, don't count this 21 year old out of being a future contender.
- Robbie Lawler may be a more mature fighter, but he still has his killer instinct. Lawler took home his second KO and almost took home a bonus check for it too. Dana White said there was a fight back stage over who deserved it but it ultimately went to Melvin. Lawler is a monster. His striking looked crisp as ever and Voelker had no chance in this one. Great win for Robbie who is without a doubt a top 10 welterweight within the UFC now.
- I almost want Jake Ellenberger to go from 3rd on my welterweight rankings to completely out of the top 10 after that awful performance. Jake refused to engage Rory and just stood there taking jab after jab to the face. MacDonald won a decision but shame on Rory for doing nothing else to make this fight exciting, but Jake deserves more of the blame. Jake is sliding down the welterweight ladder and needs a few more knockouts before he gets his title shot. Rory deserves no title shot either. Look for Demian Maia or Matt Brown to jump in front of Rory if GSP should emerge victorious at UFC 167.
- The main event absolutely made up for the snoozer of a co-main event. John Moraga came into this fight a relative unknown but I felt he could get the job done against Johnson. I was wrong. DJ looked like a fighter on a mission. He took down Moraga at will, despite Moraga having the better wrestling on paper. Moraga worked admirably from his back and defended off submission after submission. Joe Rogan called the fight a great learning experience for John Moraga and then suddenly he tagged DJ square in the nose. It looked like Moraga might pull off a huge upset and finish Mighty Mouse in the 4th round but again Johnson shot for a takedown and rode out the 4th round. Rather than take it easy in the 5th and win another decision, DJ went out and secured a kimura transition into an armbar that won him the fight and Submission of the Night honors and the record for latest finish in a UFC fighter ever. DJ looks great in there and continues to be undefeated at flyweight, yet I cannot come around to pick him to win. I picked Benavidez, Dodson, Moraga, and I plan on picking Benavidez to win the rematch if he gets it. Benavidez vs Formiga is likely a top contender fight so tune in for that to see who DJ will face next.
Picks entering event: 95/164=58%
Picks for event: 5/12
Pick Totals: 100/176=57%
Brutal Sports Awards:
Beatdown of the Night: Lawler
Sketchiest Decision of the Night: The judges going 30-27 then 27-30 a bunch of times. de Randamie over Kedzie seemed like the sketchy one in my books
Upset of the Night: Meza
The cut list:
- John Albert
- Mac Danzig
- Robbie Lawler
- Demetrious Johnson
- Melvin Guillard