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By Rich Hansen, MMA Torch Columnist
UFC ON FOX: SHOGUN VS. VERA
AUGUST 4, 2012
LIVE FROM LOS ANGELES, CA
FIGHT ONE: ULYSSES GOMEZ VS. JOHN MORAGA (FLYWEIGHTS)
ROUND ONE: Herb Dean is the referee for this fight (WORK! COME ON, LET’S WORK!) Both fighters come out trading jabs and leg kicks early. Moraga lands a right hook and grabs a thai clinch, but Gomez lands an uppercut and presses Moraga into the fence. Moraga got cut from that uppercut. Moraga with a really hard leg kick. Moraga’s right leg kick is finding a home, and Gomez is feeling it. Looks like Gomez is cut as well. Left hook to the body by Moraga. Body kick by Moraga. He’s the better wrestler, and is using that to keep this fight on the feet at distance. Gomez has a single to a high crotch against the cage. Moraga got away, and we’re back to the middle. Nice right hand by Gomez. Moraga looks really comfortable. Nice knee to the body by Moraga. Moraga lands a huge standing left elbow and Gomez is on rubber legs. A couple more shots send Gomez straight down, and this fight is over. That was impressive.
WINNER: John Moraga by KO at 3:46 round one.
STAR RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS: (**+) Moraga’s standup is very diverse. He landed punches, kicks, knees, and elbows very effectively. The finishing sequence was beautiful. It was a methodical and explosive performance. Moraga has a future.
- Please note that some really nasty weather is coming through my neck of the woods, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a power outage here.
FIGHT TWO: MANVEL GAMBURYAN VS. MICHIHIRO OMIGAWA (FEATHERWEIGHTS)
- Bring on the judo!
ROUND ONE: Luis Cobian will referee this fight. Omigawa spends the first minute circling on the outside, with both guys landing a leg kick or two. Out of nowhere Gamburyan throws a flying knee that just missed. 20 seconds later Omigawa dropped Gamburyan with a straight left. Gamburyan got right back up, and he appears to be clear headed. Manny rushes in right big combinations, but they were glancing at best. Gamburyan lands a right to the body which sent Omigawa back a couple steps. Omigawa is throwing lefts to the body with some effectiveness now. Omigawa’s slowed down considerably, but that might be by design since it’s early. Gamburyan with a hard left leg kick that Omigawa didn’t check. Omigawa with a left hook to the head, and follows up with a left hook to the ribs. Nice. Gamburyan shoots a doube, but nothing comes of it. 10-9 Omigawa I guess.
ROUND TWO: Both fighters storm to the center early, but Omigawa ate a right hand and a left hook. Omigawa is firing back, landing a couple big shots himself. Omigawa’s finsing a home with his straight punches and his tighter hooks. Gamburyan shoots a double, but Omigawa has his neck trapped. Omigawa gets his neck free, and Gamburyan is really working hard for the double against the cage. He’s got it, but Omigawa got to his feet within a second. Omigawa with a belly to back suplex that again got Omigawa down, but again Omigawa got back up in less than a second. Gamburyan has his back and gets a third takedown, and this time Omigawa can’t get back up. Gamburyan is working for the choke, but Omigawa has Gamburyan’s wrists controlled very well. Two minutes left in the round. Omigawa wriggled away, and Gamburyan winds up inside full guard. Omigawa easily gets back to his feet, but eats a big right hand as they disengage. Back to the center of the cage now with a minute remaining. Uneventful final minute. 10-9 Gamburyan I wouldn’t be surprised if Gamburyan also took the first round. Omigawa should try to finish.
ROUND THREE: Both guys start the round trading single punches until Gamburyan lands a big right head kick that put Omigawa on his bike. Gamburyan stalking but can’t get his range, then he lands another big right head kick. Omigawa has a hell of a chin. Gamburyan couldn’t land anything else of significance and Omigawa is getting his bearings back. Damn! Gamburyan might have blow his gas tank out, because Omigawa is starting to land at will. Omigawa presses Gamburyan into the cage and Gamburyan is trying to tie him up to get his wind back. Omigawa disengages and we’re back to the middle of the cage with three minutes left. Gamburyan lands a big right. Nice counter punches by Omigawa. Omigawa is pressing forward very aggressively. Gamburyan presses Omigawa into the fence trying to get a takedown. He got it, but Omigawa got back up inside of five seconds. Gamburyan working for another takedown, but Omigawa pulls guard with a guillotine. He didn’t have it and Gamburyan got free immediately. Omigaw’s working to get back to his feet, but Gamburyan lifted Omigawa over his head and slammed Omigawa down to the canvas. Omigaw gets back up, and Gamburyan does it again! Into side control. But Omigawa gets back up again, and now he has a downed Gamburyan pressed against the cage. 45 seconds left, and Omigawa is working for a neck crank. Nope. Back to the middle, and Gamburyan lands another head kick with ten seconds left. What a great round! 10-9 Gamburyan. 29-28 Gamburyan
WINNER: Manvel Gamburyan by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
STAR RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS: (***) That was fantastic, especially rounds 2 and 3. Omigawa didn’t win that fight, but I hope like hell the UFC keeps him on the roster. (that said, he’s 1-6 in the UFC, so, um… never mind)
FIGHT THREE: PHIL DE FRIES VS. OLI THOMPSON (HEAVYWEIGHTS)
ROUND ONE: John McCarthy is the third man in the cage for this heavyweight fight. DeFries has a seven inch reach advantage, which he uses to his advantage to land a counter right on a charging Thompson. Thompson presses DeFries into the cage, but DeFries reverses. DeFries is trying to work for the takedown, and he definitely wants this fight ot get to the ground. Not much going on here. Thompson is actually landing more while his back is on the cage than DeFries is landing. McCarthy pulls them apart. Overhand right by Thompson, but DeFries presses Thompson back into the cage. Already I sense that by the end of the night I will be campaigning for a raise, Jamie… Back to the (in)action. DeFries drops down and woks for the single. He gets the takedown, but Thompson gets back up. DeFries gets Thompson back to the fence. It’s technical grueling, but hard to enjoy. The crowd is booing. Oli reverses and is working for a single. DeFriens reverses, and then McCarhty pulls them apart with a minute left. Nice leg kick to the thigh by Thompson. DeFries shoots a double with no set up, and Thomson winds up with his back into the cage. The crowd immediately whistles in derision. 10-9 DeFries It’s not like Thomson did anything…
ROUND TWO: Two more rounds of this, and we’ve got a lesser viewed Kongo vs. Jordan, folks. Thirty seconds in DeFries lands a right hand that drops Thompson. DeFries swarms and lands rights and lefts on the downed Thompson, but Thompson gets back to his feet,. DeFries has Thompson against the cage now. Oh well. A minute later DeFries backs off but eats a hard right. DeFries lands a standing knee followed by a big left hand that sends Thompson straight back. DeFries gets Thompson down in the middle of the cage, and he climbs on top of his back. No hooks in, but he’s riding him heavy. Thompson is turtled up, but DeFries is being patient, preferring to control than blitz Thompson. Thompson is landing the occasional left under the armpit of Thompson, and now he’s got the hooks in with fifty seconds left. He’s got the choke and Thompson tapped in a split second.
WINNER: Phil DeFries by submission (rear naked choke) at 4:16 of round two.
STAR RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS: (**) Nothing wrong with that second round, not at all. DeFries fought very smart tonight, wearing out the muscled Thompson in the first and capitalizing in the second. Any fight can afford one bad round, so it’s very easy to ignore round one and be impressed by round two. That said, DeFries isn’t going to make waves at heavyweight unless he works on his striking.
FIGHT FOUR: JOSH GRISPI VS. RANI YAHYA (FEATHERWEIGHTS)
- It’s worth noting that Grispi is five inches taller and posses a six inch reach advantage here.
- It would be totally dope if Yahya assumed the nickname RaceCar. Someone’s going to get that reference and Tweet me some praise. Good for you!
ROUND ONE: Herb Dean is the third man in the cage. This really looks like lightweight versus bantamweight. Yahya shoots from way outside and eats a knee. Another shot, this one successful. Yahya is inside Grispi’s full arm. Grispi has full control with an overhook on the right arm. Yahya can’t get to an upright position, and whenever he tries Grispi grabs his wrists. Yahya works to his feet and drops down with a hammerfist. Yahya working hard to get to side control, but Grispi doesn’t allow it. As I type that, Yahya passed to side control. Well done by Yahya. Yahya is spinning trying to get to north south position, and he’s there, looking for a north south choke. Yahya continues to spin, which is tightening the choke, and he’s got it. Grispi tapped to the north south choke.
WINNER: Rani Yahya by submission (north south choke) at 3:15 round one.
STAR RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS: (***-) Rust, thy name is Grispi. It’s impossible to know how good Yahya was, and how out of sorts Grispi was. Grispi’s got a ton of demons, and hopefully a UFC release won’t be added to the ledger. Yahya is a tough return fight. As to Yahya, he’s phenomenal on the ground (do DOOOO do do do Menomena), and he do what he do in the land of Race Car Yahya’s, where you can’t change lanes. Again, someone’s going to get that.
FIGHT FIVE: PHIL DAVIS VS. WAGNER “QUAID: START THE REACTOR” PRADO (LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS)
- Davis is two inches taller with a five inch reach advantage. Prado is a middleweight fighting at 205.
ROUND ONE: Luis Cobian is back to referee his second fight tonight. The southpaw Prado is pawing a lot of jabs, trying to measure distance. Davis lands a front kick to Prado’s jaw, but it has little effect. 70 seconds in, I don’t think anything has landed so far. Prado lands a slapping right hook that put Davis on his bike. Davis fires a punch, but a finger got in Prado’s eye, and this fight is being paused. I must say, the replay showed it was not at all a punch, it was an open palmed finger strike. That maneuver needs to be banned. He didn’t try to punch him, he reached out with five open fingers. Prado is bleeding from his right eye, and this fight has been stopped. Prado is literally screaming in emotional anguish. I hope this is a victory for Prado, because while the poke might not have been intentional, per se, when you reach forward with five fingers, where in the hell do you think those fingers are going to go?
WINNER: This fight was officially ruled a No Decision
FINAL THOUGHTS: Here’s how you stop the Koscheck from happening. If you reach out with an open palm and poke an eye, fight’s over, you lose. There, I solved the Koscheck epidemic.
FIGHT SIX: COLE MILLER VS. NAM PHAN (FEATHERWEIGHTS)
- Miller is seven inches taller than Phan, and possesses a six inch reach advantage
ROUND ONE: Big John McCarthy is in charge of this fight. Miller starts with a jab and a front kick, trying to keep Phan at distance. Another jab and front kick by Miller. Phan missed a hook by Garcia-esque proportions, thereby guaranteeing him the round on Cecil Peoples’ card. Phan worked his way inside and landed a hook to the body. Miller continuing to work the jab, but he shouldn’t be letting Phan ever get inside on him if he throws enough jabs. Phan landed a nice hook that Mike Goldberg ignored while he read of a list of the top featherweights in the UFC.Phan is having massive success with his left hook and overhead right that Goldberg is ignoring. Miller knows he has to throw the jab, but isn’t sticking with it. Everytime he stops, Phan pounces with that hook. Phan got inside again and went body-head yet again. Miller’s not throwing high enough volume to keep Phan on the outside. Miller comes inside again and lands a big left. 10-9 Phan Miller knows what he has to do, but isn’t doing it consistently.
ROUND TWO: Phan ducks under an early left hook by Miller. Miller working the jab now. Left head kick by Miller. Miller with a left hand to the body. Miller’s having a much better time of it right now. Miller’s starting to come forward now, for some reason. He’s playing with fire. Nice combo by Phan on the inside. Miller just caught Phan with a hook to the jaw. Phan didn’t like that one at all. Nice left hook by Miller, who is fighting much better this round. Phan is punching a lot of air, which means Cecil Peoples will give him the second round. Miller working the jab again, but Phan lands over the top of it. Whenever Phan gets Miller near the cage he’s landing left hooks as Miller spins away. Miller with another left hook, which is starting to land consistently now. Big right by Miller. He’s utilizing his length much better now. Phan outstruck Miller after one round, but Miller now possess the lead in that category. Phan landed a nice left hook there. Superman punch by Miller as the round comes to a close. 10-9 Miller This fight is tied on my card.
ROUND THREE: Phan comes out fast, and staggered Miller with a left hook. Miller shook out the cobwebs and landed a nice left of his own. Phan is being very aggressive in trying to get inside. Miller shoots a weak double leg, but Phan shook him off and was never in danger of getting taken down. Phan with a nice left to the body. Miller’s stopped jabbing again, and Phan’s starting to tire. There have been lots of missed punches by both fighters so far in the third. Miller lands a glancing standing knee strike. Phan lands a nice head-body combo there. There’s been more action in the third, but it’s much sloppier, and many more missed strikes. Miller has pretty much given up on the kicks that were keeping Phan off of him in the earlier stages of the fight. Miller’s starting to pick up the pace with one minute left. Miller ends the fight with a few front kicks to keep Phan from ending with a flurry. 10-9 Miller. 29-28 Miller Any score card from 30-27 Phan to 29-28 Miller would be fine.
WINNER: Nam Phan by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
STAR RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS: (**) Typical Nam Phan fight, other than Miller’s ability to keep Phan at distance occasionally. Neither guy does anything for me, other than Miller when he’s working on the canvas.
Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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Frank Hyden - Rich Hansen
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