-Jon Anik and Kenny Florian welcome fans to the broadcast and discuss tonight's main event. Florian's uniquely qualified to analyze the bout between Gray Maynard and Clay Guida, as he's faced off against both men during his career. After a brief discussion, it's time to get to our first of four fights on tonight's main card.
FIGHT ONE: ROSS PEARSON VS. CUB SWANSON (FEATHERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Pearson landed an early leg kick as he came to the center. They pawed a few jabs at one another. Swanson landed a right. He got in a solid body kick. Pearson tried to walk Swanson down and threw a big knee, but it was partially blocked. They each missed punches and avoided counters in close. Pearson ducked under a punch and scored a takedown on Swanson. He tried to posture up and Swanson got to his feet. He landed a couple of knees and separated. Pearson went up high with a kick after they each missed a couple strikes. Swanson landed a right that caught Pearson off balance and Pearson stumbled around before getting to his feet. Swanson landed a short elbow. Pearson got in with a kick. Pearson landed a jab. Swanson nearly connected on an uppercut. Swanson landed a capoeira-esque kick to the neck of Pearson, but he wound up on his back, with Pearson landing a few big punches down onto him. Swanson got back to his feet as Pearson backed off. They traded punches in the center. Pearson landed a leg kick and a jab. Swanson landed a jab. Pearson ducked under another punch and went for a single leg takedown, but Swanson held it off. Pearson landed a punch. Pearson landed another left. Swanson connected on a jab as the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Pearson. Close round. Wouldn't argue too hard against giving it to Swanson, but Pearson had a takedown, scored some hard punches in guard later in the round, and landed some other good strikes in the exchanges.
ROUND TWO: Pearson pressed in straight ahead and they traded strikes. Pearson landed a few hard jabs. Swanson landed a big right. He went for the spinning high kick. He started connecting on Pearson's head with several jabs and hooks, opening him up. Pearson then shot in. Swanson went for a switch but Pearson took him down. Swanson scrambled to his fee but Pearson kept moving forward. Swanson landed a few more jabs. Pearson connected on a hard uppercut. Pearson connected on another nice short combination. They traded jabs again. Swanson went for a flying knee, but Pearson caught it and threw him on his back. He avoided an up kick and dropped down into Swanson's guard with a strike. Pearson postured up and threw down some big strikes. Pearson continued landing with punches and elbows in the guard. He went to the body and continued the attack as he passed to half guard. Swanson scrambled again and got to his feet. He landed a couple of strikes. Pearson caught a high kick and pressed Swanson back. Swanson landed a couple of jabs, then sent Pearson down with a huge punch to the jaw, and the ref stepped in to stop the fight. Huge KO for Swanson as Pearson rushed him down.
WINNER: Swanson via KO at 4:14 of the second round
STAR RATING: (***+) That was just a great, great fight. Both Pearson and Swanson were doing damage back and forth, and Pearson was coming close to going up two rounds to none before Swanson unleashed that excellent three punch combination, two of which came while he was on one foot. That fight was just a ton of fun, and Swanson's now got two straight knockout wins in the UFC.
FIGHT TWO: BRIAN EBERSOLE VS. T.J. WALDBURGER (WELTERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Ebersole faked a shot early. He landed a short combo as he pressed in. Waldburger then dropped him with a huge left right to the face! Waldburger got into Ebersole's half guard, but Ebersole recovered and grabbed a hold of his body. Waldburger passed to mount. Ebersole tried to buck him off, but Waldburger held position. Ebersole scrambled, but Waldburger locked on the D'Arce choke as Ebersole got to side control. Ebersole's face turned purple, but he rolled out, and managed to scramble out and to his feet. Crazy recovery. Ebersole landed a hard body shot. Waldburger landed a leg kick. Ebersole grabbed a Thai clinch and looked to land a knee, but Waldburger defended. He separated with a few nice elbows in close. Waldburger landed a hard body kick. Ebersole landed a hard kick high with the knee landing, then landed a few more punches. Waldburger landed a hard straight right. Ebersole landed a left. Ebersole tried to rush in but Waldburger avoided him. Waldburger landed a hard body kick. Ebersole grabbed a clinch and pressed Waldburger to the cage. The round ended in the clinch.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Waldburger. He was immensely close to ending the fight with that D'Arce choke, but Ebersole's a very savvy veteran, and he came back to make it a close round. Good start to the fight.
ROUND TWO: Waldburger landed a few after taking a jab. He ducked under and shot in, scoring a takedown. Ebersole stayed with his back to the wall, then turned it around as Waldburger tried to take his back and Ebersole scored the takedown. Waldburger went to a high rubber guard and went for the omoplata shoulder lock. Ebersole got loose and dropped another punch down into guard. Ebersole landed a couple of elbows. Waldburger shot his legs up and attacked for an armbar. Ebersole patiently defended, then got his arm free. Waldburger then tried to attack a knee, but Ebersole landed a few strikes. Waldburger then attacked for a triangle choke as Ebersol landed some more strikes. Ebersole again got out and landed some strikes. Ebersole landed a few more hard punches from the top as Waldburger tried to stay active on his back. Ebersole was definitely doing damage. Ebersole rocked Waldburger, but got locked into a triangle choke. Ebersole broke out and rained down some more big strikes. Ebersole then got Waldburger's back. Waldburger rolled through but Ebersole stayed on top and landed a few more big strikes to finish the round.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Ebersole. Waldburger continued attacking from his back, but Ebersole was doing a lot of damage from top position, especially at the end, to even things up. Great fight thus far.
ROUND THREE: Ebersole tried to engage early and ate a couple of counter strikes. He grabbed a Thai clinch and again looked for the knees, but Waldburger avoided it. Ebersole went for his cartwheel kick, but it didn't come close to landing. He grabbed a clinch and pressed Waldburger to the cage. Ebersole landed a shoulder strike in. Waldburger brook free. Ebersole got him back to the cage again, then went for a single leg takedown and got Waldburger to his back. Waldburger again got his legs up for a triangle choke attempt, but Ebersole continued patiently defending. He landed a punch from the top as Waldburger tried to tighten the hold. Ebersole stayed patient and they traded strikes. Ebersole finally broke free and went back to the top attack. He passed, and almost got Waldburger's back, but Waldburger turned back over. Ebersole continued landing punches from the top. Waldburger tried to scramble, but Ebersole kept him on his back. Ebersole landed some short forearms, then postured up with several big strikes. Ebersole continued landing strikes on top as the round came to a close.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Ebersole. Waldburger just didn't have enough energy there to tighten the triangle, and Ebersole's defense remained the story in this fight. Waldburger controlled the first two and a half minutes, but Ebersole came back and made it his fight the rest of the way. Good battle, though.
WINNER: Ebersole via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (***-) The first two rounds were fantastic, with Waldburger coming close to several submissions, but Ebersole patiently and intelligently defending throughout. The third round was more of a grinding five minute stretch with both tiring, but the first ten minutes were fantastic.
FIGHT THREE: SAM STOUT VS. SPENCER FISHER (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Both fighters exchanged strikes right off the bat. Stout got in a hard strike to the body. Fisher landed a fast flurry. They traded strikes again. Stout landed a couple hard strikes but took a low blow that halted action for a moment. Fisher landed a hard leg kick as they restarted. Fisher landed a hard right that slightly rocked Stout. He snapped Stout's head back with a left hook. Fisher landed a kick that slipped Stout up. Stout landed a left. Fisher got in another hard right. Stout then shot in for a takedown and put Fisher on his back. Fisher landed a couple punches from the bottom and kept Stout in his guard. Stout tried to land strikes from the top, but Fisher defended well initially. Fisher kicked him off and then got to his feet. Fisher immediately moved forward. Stout then shot in and completed a brief takedown, but Fisher popped right back up. Fisher looked to engage again and they traded leg kicks. Fisher landed a spinning back fist as the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Fisher. He's probably not going to get the nod on the scorecards because of that takedown, but Stout didn't land much of anything there, and Fisher was scoring much more in the exchanges on the feet.
ROUND TWO: Fisher continued where he left off as he came forward looking to exchange. He landed a hard right as Stout missed a punch. Fisher landed a few more. Stout shot in for a takedown, but Fisher held it off. Fisher landed a hard left as Stout connected to the body. Fisher missed a spinning back fist. Fisher landed a left. They exchanged strikes. Stout landed a hard overhand right. Stout landed the body shot. He got pressed back but another combo from Fisher. Stout landed another hard body shot. Fisher landed another flurry. Stout connected on a strike. He took another kick low. As they restarted, Stout scored another takedown. He landed an elbow. Fisher held body control and avoided some damage. Stout landed a few punches to the body. Stout ended the round with a few elbows.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-10. Stout actually did some damage on the feet, and once he scored the takedown. Fisher did score early in the round himself though.
ROUND THREE: They exchanged flurries early and often again. Fisher landed a spinning elbow. Fisher pressed Stout to the cage in a clinch and landed a couple of knees, then avoided a takedown attempt and backed off. Fisher landed another flurry. Stout connected with a body punch. Stout landed a body kick. Fisher landed another flurry. Stout landed a hard straight left. Fisher continued connecting to Stout's right eye. Fisher continued pressing in as Stout tried to hold him off. Fisher landed two more hard strikes to the face. Stout ate another couple. Fisher continued to connect on strikes. Stout shot in again and scored another takedown with two minutes left. Fisher got to a knee on the cage and tried to stand. He got to his feet and broke free. Stout landed a left. Stout shot in again, this time Fisher held him off initially, but then he finished the takedown. He passed to half guard. The fight was stood up fairly quickly. Stout landed a few hard strikes. Fisher came in with a big flurry. Both were bloodied up as the fight came to an end. Scores could be all over the place here.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Fisher. He was just landing a lot more than Stout, and the takedowns weren't effective for much in this fight. I'm wholly expecting a Stout scorecard here, but I think it should be Fisher's fight.
WINNER: Stout via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (**-) There was nothing in that fight to differentiate it from any run-of-the-mill fight. It was a whole lot of flurries and exchanges with little damage done, and inconsequential takedowns ended up ruling the day for Stout. Not surprising at all, though I didn't necessarily agree with it. That said, it's not as if Fisher was doing a ton to take the fight clearly for himself.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT FOUR: GRAY MAYNARD VS. CLAY GUIDA (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Guida danced into the center and tried to close the distance. Maynard missed a couple of short strikes. Guida connected with a jab. Guida blocked a left hook from Maynard. Maynard landed a left as Guida popped in. Maynard's nose was cut open from Guida's short jabs. Guida landed a right. Maynard landed a hard left hook. Guida missed a few strikes as he continued hopping around. Maynard landed a right and backed away. They dancing continued from Guida with very little happening in the round. Guida landed a kick. Maynard stood in the center as they continued to stand off.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-10. A few punches were exchanged in the first minute, then nothing happened. This is going to be a long fight.
ROUND TWO: Guida poked Maynard in the eye early on. Maynard was alright to continue. Maynard pawed out a few jabs. Both continued pawing out strikes without actually landing anything. Maynard tried to close the distance, but Guida continued circling back to and fro on the outside. So little was happening in the fight. The crowd began booing the complete lack of anything resembling a fight. Maynard threw a couple of high kicks to try to change things up but they didn't land. Maynard continued to press in, but he couldn't figure out the distance. Maynard landed a right, finally. Guida just smiled and nodded his head. He landed a head kick, but it was partially blocked. Maynard popped in with a couple strikes at the end and the crowd booed.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-10. A couple of punches and kicks were thrown, but so very little is happening in this fight.
ROUND THREE: Guida landed a short knee. Maynard got in and landed a right hand that backed Guida up. Guida then continued to bounce and avoid contact. Guida continued to dance around and circle, still without doing much of anything. Maynard tried to chase him, but was having no success. He shot in finally, but Guida stuffed him. Maynard landed a jab. Guida tagged him back. Guida briefly grabbed a leg but got stuffed himself. Maynard put his arms up in frustration as Guida continued dancing to boos. Maynard missed an overhand right. He rushed after Guida, then flicked him off and mouthed "f*** you." The frustration continued as Guida continued to circle and dance. Maynard landed a jab. Maynard got a brief clinch and landed a couple of knees. The round ended and Maynard flipped the double bird to Guida.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Maynard. That's for the triple birds and a couple of knees in there, along with a couple of good punches. Guida's doing nothing but dancing around and running in this fight, and it's successful in frustrating Maynard but he's not doing anything offensively.
ROUND FOUR: Maynard continued to stalk, and Guida finally tried to engage with a few short strikes. Maynard grabbed a clinch and landed a couple of knees and then Guida backed off. The dancing continued. Maynard finally landed a right. Guida connected on a couple of strikes. Maynard missed a high kick. Guida continued to literally run out of the way when he was nearly cornered. Maynard landed a right and Guida ran across the cage. Maynard flicked Guida off again. He grabbed a clinch and landed a few knees. Maynard begged Guida to hit him. He sat and let Guida hit him three times. Guida then shot in and Maynard grabbed a guillotine choke. Guida slammed it a couple times and popped out. He tried to pass and got to half guard as the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Maynard. Guida got out of that guillotine, but it was Maynard who dropped into it after sprawling the attempt. Guida is turning everyone off tonight.
ROUND FIVE: Maynard pressed in early and they traded strikes. Maynard landed a right. Maynard landed another right. He got in a knee to the body. Maynard landed a right again. Guida landed a head kick that hurt Maynard, then landed a couple strikes. That hurt Maynard. Maynard landed a big right. Guida landed a few jabs as Maynard tried to press in. He grabbed for a leg but Guida got away. Maynard chased again and landed a right. Maynard continued to try to chase down Guida, who again was literally running away. Miragliotta gave Guida a warning for running. As they restarted, Maynard rushed in and landed a few big right hands. Maynard shot in and tried to score the takedown. He got Guida to his knees. He landed a few knees to the thighs, and tried to drag him down. He landed a hard knee to the body. He landed some more knees to the thighs. Guida got to his feet and Maynard landed a couple of knees before Guida broke away. They fight ended in another standoff. Guida did some more laps around the cage.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Maynard. That final minute of clinch damage, along with several other exchanges and Guida's running throughout the fight, give the round to Maynard for me. I'm just glad it's over.
WINNER: Maynard via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)
-Maynard said "I thought Guida was coming to fight." He added "He's a tough kid, he came in with a gameplan, whatever it was." He was still frustrated, he said he wanted to be respectful, but the stuff got old. He called for a fourth fight with Edgar.
STAR RATING: (-*) That's among my least favorite fights ever. I've made it no secret that I've never been a fan of Clay Guida or his style, and this fight just completely affirmed every feeling I've had on that subject. This was an awful fight, and though Maynard deserves his share of criticism for a lack of action early on, it was Guida who will rightly get the lion's share. That was just a terrible, terrible fight.
Well, thanks for joining us for another night of fights (even though we ended on a sour note). Make sure to join us tomorrow night for our live coverage of UFC 147 from Belo Horizonte in Brazil!
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