APRIL 23, 2016
LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS
Jon Jones finally returns to the cage tonight, taking on Ovince Saint Preux in the main event of this five-fight pay-per-view. The UFC Flyweight Championship is also on the line tonight as Demetrious Johnson takes on Henry Cejudo, and former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis hopes to get back on track as well. We’ll have results, commentary, and more throughout the night in our report here tonight, so make sure to follow along with us as things kick off at 6:30PM ET tonight!
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=====UFC Fight Pass Prelims Quick Results=====
Kevin Lee def. Efrain Escudero via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Marcos Rogerio de Lima def. Clint Hester via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 4:35 of round 1
Walt Harris def. Cody East via TKO (punches) at 4:18 of round 1
=====Fox Sports 1 Prelims=====
GLAICO FRANCO VS. JAMES VICK (LIGHTWEIGHT)
Round One: Hi! It’s time for the James Franco fight. You’d think that would be a bigger deal. Two quick leg kicks from Franco, and then he eats a big right had and gets taken down. Bad start for Vick, but at least he managed to get Franco into his full guard. Vick scoots back to the cage and gets to his feet. Franco maintans the body lock and gets another takedown, to an open guard. Vick’s legs are wide open. Franco steps over to half guard. Vick is defending well, but can’t get to his feet. Vick manages to bring Franco back to that wide open guard again. Vick is controlling posture very well. Vick scoots back to the cage again and gets to his feet. Franco still has the body lock on Vick, though. The referee separates them with just over a minute left in the round. Franco got poked in the eye, but Big Dan couldn’t care less. He’s eating shots to that eye from Vick. Franco is covering up and Vick’s teeing off. Vick gets out of control, allowing Franco to duck under and land the easiest takedown in history. 10-9 Franco
Round Two: Big Dan tries to start round two, but then decides that now would be a peachy keen time to call in the physician. The replay show the eye poke to be as blatant as humanly possible, to which Rogan sees only an inadvertent accident. The doctor, negligently, only asks questions and doesn’t you know, examine the guy. And we’re back. Franco misses a hook and gets caught with a left from Vick. Go figure. Vick lands a 1-2 as Franco lands a knee to the body. Big left from Franco. Uppercut to the body. Vick’s teeing off, and Franco’s fighting as if her were, oh, I don’t know, blind. Franco can’t see even the straightest of jabs. Spinning back fist from Franco lands, and he looks for a takedown. He gets it, although Vick almost reversed position on the way down. Vick looking to elevate with a butterfly guard. Vick scoots backwards to the cage and will hope ot wall walk back to his feet. Both guys are pitter pattering away. Vick gets back up, but still being controlled. They separate. Nice knee and right hand from Vick. Vick’s boxing is on point. Lead uppercut. Good jab. Vick is circling away anytime Franco gets close. Up the middle with a straight kick. Franco goes back to the well and misses a spinning backfist. Franco looks completely confused now. Nice jab and leg kick from Vick. Franco with s desperation shot and gets thrown aside like a sack of potatoes. Vick’s avoiding almost everything Franco throws. 10-9 Vick. 19-19
Round Three: Vick triples up on the jab, follows up with a left hook. Franco with a nice straight right six inches away from Vick’s head. Oh well. Vick has landed 97 strikes to the head so far, per UFC stats on FS1. Another triple jab. Franco responds by windmilling a spinning backfist that comes within 9 feet of landing on another human being. Franco shoots and gets stuffed, but in the scramble he maintains clinch position. Vick has Franco against the cage this time, though. big Dan doesn’t like it, so he starts telling them to work. They disengage on their own. Another missed spinning backfist; each one worse than the one before it. Franco’s loading up in hopes that the wind will cool off Vick or something when he misses by a foot and a half. Nice jabs again from Vick. Flying knee from Vick. Didn’t hit super-hard, but it looked sweet. Vick feints it and lands a jab. 1-2 from Vick, but this time Franco responds a big overhand right. That was his best punch tonight, easily. Goldberg’s trying to say this is anyone’s fight now. It’s not. No Goldy. Franco looks like a rank amateur in the standup game. Vick lands a snap front kick to the face of Franco. Sweet. the fight ends in a clinch along the cage. 10-9 Vick, and 29-28 Vick.
Result: James Vick by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Star Rating: (**) Vick looked good against someone who only knew how to walk straight ahead, throw wild punches, and shoot for the same damn takedown every time. But a win is a win. Moving on.
CARLA ESPARZA VS. JULIANA LIMA (STRAWWEIGHT)
Round One: Unsurprisingly, Esparza will have a 4 inch height and 2.5 inch reach disadvantage to overcome here. If only Rin Nakai could make 115. The fighters don’t get within 5 feet of another for the first 45 seconds, when finally Lima feints a right hand. Super. Esparza comes in behind a right hand, but Lima grabs her and tries to take her down. Esparza stays on her feet, but she’s got her back on the cage with Lima throwing a couple of knees to her midsection. Esparza gets out of dodge, and then charges in and gets a solid takedown. Loma off her back is throwing elbows while looking for an armbar. Now looking for a triangle. Esparza moves to a better position, but isn’t doing anything from the top here. Half-guard obtained, though. Rsparza is trying hard to get to mount or side control, but gets caught and ends up in full guard. Lima isn’t taking any punishment here. Esparza’s trying to punch, but looks like she’s got alligator arms here. Esparza stands for a moment and eats a couple of upkicks to the face before diving back into guard. Carla stands and tries to seak to side control. Just half-guard. Another upkick from Lima, but then Esparza gets back on top and opens up with some decent ground and pound. Esparza spent four minutes on top and probably landed 30 strikes, so… 10-9 Esparza
Round Two: Again, the first round starts with both fighters standing a mile and a half away from one another. Esparza doesn’t want to engage with strikes at all, and it’s not like Lima is a big striker. Esparza catches a front kick and trips Lima down. That was stupid from Lima. She got impatient and served up a takedown on a silver platter. Full guard. Esparza’s doing a better job of finding openings to throw here, and she has landed several right hands to the head of Lima. Loose half-guard, seeing Esparza close to side control position even if their legs are tangled. Esparza is landing a lot of right hands here, but it’s hard to tell if they’re hurting Lima. They’re scoring though, which is all that matters. Esparza stands up and eats another upkick to the nose. She dives back in. Full guard. Two minutes left in the round. A slam from Esparza; that took a lot of strength. Lima’s throwing her legs up, but I don’t think she’s going to find a triangle on the diminutive former champion. Another pick up slam from Esparza. Esparza is fighting a very smart fight now that the fight is on the mat. Lima grabs a leg and uses it to get a sweep. Esparza was ready and got to her feet. Lima takes her down, but Esparza bounces back up immediately. Esparza’s bleeding from her head somewhere. 20-18 Esparza
Round Three: Esparza ducks under a sloppy hook and gets a takedown right in the middle of the cage. I think it’s safe to put the Blackhawks game on and check back in 4 minutes. Um…. 3-1 St. Louis? Crap. I’m back. Esparza in full guard. Esparza is defending well and still looking for something to grab on to, but Esparza’s too compact and too smart on the mat. Nice short elbow from Esparza. Esparza stands up and eats yet another upkick. Lima gets back to her feet, and Esparza shoots from 5 feet away, with no setup, and Lima’s on her back again. Methinks Lima is too comfortable being on her back. Esparza gets back up, Esparza shoots a single, takes her down. Side control. This isn’t good news for Lima. Lima’s sucking wind. Elbows from Esparza to the ribs of Lima. Esparza hit a great switch and got to side control herself! That was incredibly fast. Esparza tried to hit the same switch, but couldn’t make it happen. Lima tried to go from side control to mount and got caught at side control. Lima is pounding on the ribs of Esparza, but it’s way too little, way too late. Easy 30-27 fr Esparza
Result: Carla Esparza by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Star Rating: (**) It was fine. It was just what Esparza needed. She’s incredibly tentative on the feet, but she’s really damn smart and rugged on the ground. Lima can be dangerous off her back, but Esparza neutered Lima’s offense off of her back. Other than begging to be upkicked in the face too many times, and other than that beautiful switch late in the third, she was never in any trouble. This was smart matchmaking for Esparza.
DANNY ROBERTS VS. DOMINIQUE STEELE (WELTERWEIGHT)
Round One: Steele looks like a LHW. Steele shows of his power by dropping Roberts with one punch. Steele gets on top and slams Roberts. Side control for Steele. This dude is freaking huge for 170. Roberts manages to tie up one of Steele’s leg. Nice short elbows from Steele. Crowd is quiet, as you can hear Steele’s corner calling for body body head. Full guard. Roberts is constantly maneuvering looking for anything Steele gives him. Roberts is on his feet, but is being pressed against the cage. Roberts is cagy, and lands a nice knee to get Steele off of him. Roberts lands a front kick to the midsection. Misses another one that Rogan thinks hit. Leg kick and a left hand from Roberts. Roberts staggered briefly from that punch, and Roberts shot in for a takedown. He got Steele against the cage, and landed a couple of nasty knees a few seconds apart. Steele reverses position on the cage and drops down. He lifts Roberts up and slams him down. Fun! Not for Roberts, mind you. Fast pace in this round. Roberts is trying his hardest to walk up the wall. Steele backs up, and as soon as Roberts stands, Steele hits him with a knee and clinches up again. 10-9 Steele. That was a hell of a round. If this goes fifteen minutes, though, the third round is going to be like 15% the pace of the first.
Round Two: If Steele can train his body to fight 15 minutes like that and not just 5, he’s got a bright future. Steele lands a nice knee in a clinch. Lots of grappling in the first minute, but not much has come of it yet. They clinch, stalemate, disengage. Roberts lunges in with a jab and gets clinched. Roberts slipped on the disengage, but Steele’s momentum took him away from Roberts. Too bad for Steele. Had he been moving forward he would have done some damage. Nice kick to the forearm from Roberts. That backed up Steele pretty far. Steele lands a nice knee. This is devolving into a really sloppy brawl. Roberts has Steele pressed into the cage, and Roberts lands three wild hooks. Knee and back elbow from Steele. Clinch knee from Roberts, and a solid elbow as well. They clinch, swing, disengage, breather hard, and do it all over again. Steels gets on Roberts’ back in this clinch and runs him into the fence. Steele’s too tired to do any damage, though. Very hard round to score here. 10-9 Roberts, I guess
Round Three: Roberts hurt Steele with a left hand, but Steele managed to pick up and slam Roberts! Roberts reverses position and is landing sharp elbows to the head. Roberts got to his feet, but Steele is still on him. They disengage. Straight kick from Roberts. Steele shoots and lands a knee before they tie up. This fight is being far far from where Roberts wants to be. Steele shoots in. He follows through all the way across the octagon and gets stuffed on all fours. Roberts is too tired to capitalize, and Steele is too tired to get out. Steele finally finagles a better position, but he can’t throw any strikes from here, either. Roberts trying his damnedest to get to his feet as Herb Dean begs the fighters to work. That’s so freaking disrespectful. Dean breaks them up as Roberts is landing good elbows. 90 seconds remain. Roberts lands a couple front kicks then goes high. Steele tags Roberts with a left. How did that not drop him? Unreal chin! Steele tries to take Roberts down but gets stuffed, more or less. Dean warns Roberts 2 or 3 times to not grab the fence. Nice knees to the body and face from Steele as Roberts struggles to get to his feet. That’s a hell of a gritty fight, and I have no idea how to score this round. 10-9 Steeberts? Can I do that? No? Screw it. 10-10. 29-29
Result: Danny Roberts by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Star Rating: (**+) It was really sloppy, but the grit and determination Roberts and Steele put on display was really something to witness. These are a couple of tough men, and they put on a memorable fight. I copped out by giving a 10-9 in the third, but I think I leaned Steele, for what it’s worth. All 3 rounds were tossups.
SERGIO PETTIS VS. CHRIS KELADES (FLYWEIGHT)
Round One: Five seconds in, Sergio has changed stances 42 times. Double right jab from Pettis. Left jab from Pettis. No way I can keep up with the stance changes here, oy vey. Hard leg kick from Pettis. Oettis is on his movement game. Stick and move, stick and move. Kelades has no idea where the next punch is coming from. Kelades is trying hard to get inside to drag Pettis down, but hasn’t managed to get a grip yet. Nice right from Pettis. And a leg kick, that was a beauty. Kelades grabs a leg and Pettis hops his way backwards to the cage. Kelades is in deep on this clinch. Big knee, but Pettis spins off the cage. They’re clinched in the center of the octagon, and a Pettis takedown attempt gets Kelades to retreat. Kelades gets inside, but eats a knee to the face as he separates from Sergio. Pettis catches a kick and kicks Kelades’ back leg out and Pettis is on top. Kelades is trying to work the butterfly guard. Pettis sensed danger and got way out of dodge. Pettis catches a charging Kelades with a nice right. 10-9 Pettis
Round Two: Nice jab form Pettis snapped Kelades’ head back. Pettis is doing a job job of preventing Kelades from cutting off the cage. Kelades gets inside and takes Pettis down. Pettis goes for a triangle, but lets it go right away. Half-guard. Pettis almost gets up, Kelades muscles him back, but Pettis rolls through and gets on top. Nice butterfly sweep that was Joe. Pettis is trying to stand, but his left arm is trapped. Kelades can’t hold it and Pettis tries to stand. Kelades holds on to Pettis’ ankle and reels Pettis into a clinch on the cage. Kelades has his back and his throwing knees to the thigh. Kelades almost had a million dollar dream on Pettis, but Pettis didn’t cooperate and walked out of it. Back to the middle. Nice right from Kelades, countered by Sergio. Pettis catches a high kick from Kelades and then Sergio presses Kelades into the head. A real stalemate here. Nice high kick from Pettis on the break. Pettis landed a right behind Kelades’ ear as the round ends. 20-18 Pettis
Round Three: Kelades comes out swinging. nice jabs from Pettis to keep Kelades at bay, but Kelades gets in the clinch anyhow. Pettis gets out of danger. Pettis takes down a swinging Kelades. Half-guard for Pettis. He got there as Kelades was trying to get a butterfly guard. Pettis lands some nice right hands to the head of Kelades. Kelades gets up but Pettis controls Kelades’ posture. Ref calls time out to return Pettis’ mouthguard to him. Pettis lands four or five punches to the forehead of a charging Kelades. Pettis presses Kelades into the cage. It’s interesting to see Pettis fight Kelades’ game and have some success at it. Credit Kelades for constantly staying inside. They disengage. Jab from Pettis to keep Kelades off of him, but Kelades walks through it. Nice right from Kelades. Pettis looks for a takedown. 30-27 Pettis but much closer than my score reflects. Probably 29-28 either way on all 3 cards.
Result: Sergio Pettis by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Star Rating: (**) Shows what I know. Hah! Pettis looked like the better fighter, Kelades looked like a pitbull (in a good way). The card ran right to the top of the hour, so let’s get to the PPV!
=====UFC 197 Main Card=====
YAIR RODRIGUEZ VS. ANDRE FILI (FEATHERWEIGHT)
Round One: Hard low kick from Rodriguez early. Rodriguez just missed a spinning head kick that would have made every highlight reel ever. Low thrust kick from Rodriguez. Rodriguez catches a Fili body kick and throws Fili down hard. Rodriguez jumps into full guard. Big strikes from Rodriguez! He catches an upkick from Fili and is wrenching for a submission. He lets it go, but stays in dominant top position. Fili is controlling Rodriguez’ head from half-guard. No movement for 15 seconds. Rodriguez postures up and hammerfists are coming. Rodriguez is slowly finding better position, and he jumps to side control. Fili is scrambling, trying to escape. Rodriguez is staying chest to chest, waiting for an opening to present itself. He’s looking for a mount, but doesn’t get it and he’s standing. Fili gets back up. Nice leg kick from Rodriguez. This is a fantastic performance from Rodriguez so far. And as I say that, a nice left hand from Fili. Fili showboars a little, while getting dominated and breathing heavily. Smart. 10-9 Rodriguez
Round Two: Rodriguez’ corner told him to lay off the fancy stuff a little. Aww… Rodriguez lands on his ass after missing on a flying head kick. Good man! Rodriguez ducks under a jab and immediately gets a takedown by the H-D logo. Rodriguez is trying to stack Fili up to force Fili to carry all his weight. Hard elbow from Rodriguez just missed. Fili is holding on for dear life until Rodriguez steps out. Rodriguez just missed another high wheel kick. Nice jab from Rodriguez. WOW! JUMPING ROUND KICK! FILI IS OUT COLD! That was reminiscent of Machida’s finish on Couture, but from in tight. That was beautiful!
Result: Yair Rodriguez by $50,000 Knockout at 2:15 of round 2.
Star Rating: (***-) So, I hear UFC 200 is looking for a new main event. Yair Rodriguez vs. literally anybody would work from me.
ROBERT WHITTAKER VS. RAFAEL NATAL (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
Round One: Whittaker is flicking the jab out there early to keep the elite BJJ black belt off of him. High kick from Whittaker, but Natal avoids it. Natal counters with a slapping leg kick. Nice right hand from Natal a few seconds later. Whittaker gets close and Natal tries to grab a clinch. Whittaker got out of there in a hurry. Another leg kick from Natal. Nice left from Whittaker. Right hook from Natal. Whittaker can’t find his safe range yet. Apparently he goes to UC-Davis. Another leg kick from Natal. His beautiful girlfriend must be happy. Good leg kick by Whittaker. Whittaker staggered Natal, and then Whittaker got caught on one by himself. Might have been a slip, but it was a slip after getting tagged. Whittaker lands a short uppercut right before the horn. Nice comeback by Whittaker, but, 10-9 Natal
Round Two: Whittaker comes out smelling blood, and both fighters are trading bombs. Whittaker’s leg is swollen and beet red from the first round leg kicks. Natal has landed three more leg kicks in the first minute of this round, and Whittaker’s movement is limited. Another leg kick from Natal, but I think it hit the back leg. Whittaker’s left thigh is a horror show. ight hook and left jab from Natal. Whittaker’s nose is busted as well. Whittaker briefly changes stance, but he’s back to orthodox. Natal aught him with a hook. Midway point of the fight now. Whittaker telegraphs a hook and Natal gets out of harm’s way. Whittaker is landing a lot of punches, but he can’t kick and can’t move laterally. Front kick to the guy from Natal. Lunging jab from Natal. Nice leg kick again from Natal. You’d think Whittaker would circle away from it, but whatever. No one learns from the lesson of Michael Moorer against Georfe Foreman. Whatever. Nice push kick to the knee from Whittaker. Another leg kick by Natal, but that one was soft. Natal’s punches look slow, but his kicks are on point. Whittaker lunges in with a jab. Flying switch kick from Whittaker grazes Natal. Whittaker is tough, but 20-18 Natal
Round Three: Whittaker complained to his corner that his right hand is hurting. Broken? Rogan thinks Whittaker won the first round. Maybe? anyhow, on to the action. And the action is stopped due to a kick to Natal’s cup. His beautiful girlfriend will be sad tonight. Back to the fight after a minute or so of timeout. Whittaker is working the southpaw stance now. His leg must be killing him. He doesn’t look comfortable from it, though. Whittaker missed with a high kick and then with a left hand. Whittaker back to orthodox stance now. Nice switch kick to that horror show of a leg from Natal. Double jab by Whittaker. Whittaker misses with a wild heat seeking missile of a left hook. Natal ducked down and flew out of town to avoid that one. Nice front kick to the body by Whittaker. And then to the leg next. Whittaker just tagged Natal with a left hand, which is the one weapon Whittaker can throw at 100% still. He has no legs, and a potentially busted right hand. Natal lands a nice right on a charging Whittaker. Whittaker is getting closer to finding a home for a left hand kill shot punch, though. Leg kick from Whittaker. Natal hasn’t done much in this round, and only a minute remains. Nice leg kick by Natal. And another. He’s really refocusing on it as the fight winds down. High kick from Whittaker briefly drops Natal! He gets back up, and they circle until the horn. 10-9 Whittaker, but 29-28 Natal. It all depends on how you score round one, I guess.
Result: Robert Whittaker by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Star Rating: (**+) That was a decent fight, but I don’t at all understand 30-27 Whittaker. He did not at all win the second round. Whatever. Fun fight. Natal slowed down int he third and lost focus when he had Whittaker in trouble.
ANTHONY PETTIS VS. EDSON BARBOZA (LIGHTWEIGHT)
Round One: I gots chills. I predict a kick or two will be thrown. Every second. Yep. There’s one. A bit of a feeling out process in the first minute here. Pettis circling, Barboza holding the middle. Barboza lands a body kick. It might have hit the arm. Uppercut from Pettis. Pettis is circling in both directions looking for an angle. Barboza hasn’t done much of anything, other than a leg kick and a couple of short hooks. Barboza lands a nice left hook when Pettis got in close. Best punch of the fight so far. And another one 20 seconds later. Pettis should stay out of that distance. Pettis misses an overhand right and eats a leg kick. Barboza with a jab to the body. Nice overhand right from Barboza. Then a leg kick on Pettis’ lead leg. Pettis misses a high round kick. nice jab by Pettis. Spinning back kick to the gut from Barboza. Pettis tries to take him down, but there was nothing there. Barboza misses a left hook on the separation. Loud leg kick by Barboza. 10-9 Barboza The round started out Pettis, but Barboza easily wont the second half of the round.
Round Two: Jumping round kick from Pettis. Didn’t land hard, but he’s starting to feel it. Leg kick by Barboza. Pettis gets inside and ate another left hook. Nice right hook by Pettis. Pettis’s right eye is very red now. Pettis misses a wild punch and ate a kick to the forearm. Front kick up the middle from Pettis. And a second one right after. Midway point of the fight. Nice leg kick from Barboza. Pettis lands a 1-2 to the grill of Barboza. Pettis barely avoids another left hook. Pettis lands a left hand and right kick to the body and Barboza fleed out of their fast. Liver kick Pettis. Pettis eats another left hook. He’s throwing a million of them. Barboza goes to the body. Pettis gets stuffed on a takedown attempt. Wasn’t much heart in it. He was just trying to make Barboza think about something different. Pettis eats a hard kick to the stomach. Right hook from Pettis misses, but the counter left hook from Barboza didn’t miss. Pettis misses crazy capoeira at the horn. 20-18 Barboza
Round Three: Pettis is going ot need a finish here. Barboza has outstruck Pettis about 2 to 1 in total strikes. Pettis eats a jab and a couple of inside leg kicks. A Barboza leg kick knocks Pettis down briefly. Nice jab from Barboza. Pettis misses on a big right hook. Barboza lands a sharp jab. Leg kick from Barboza, checked by Pettis, but still. Pettis took a kick to the cup, and the fight is paused. It sounded like a leg kick, but we’re back to action before they can cue up a replay. Jab from Barboza. Leg kick, and a sharp body kick from Barboza. Inside leg kick. And another. Pettis has nothing for Barboza. The inside of Pettis’ left leg is badly bruised. Pettis can’t get in close enough to punch, and he’s too slow to stop the kicks from Barboza. Pettis misses badly with a left hand and eats another inside leg kick. Pettis lands a high kick that Barboza shrugged off. Left hook from Barboza. Pettis almost went down again from another kick. Pettis is bleeding from the right eye, and internally his left leg is bleeding. Another left hook. If Pettis gets dropped by anything, Barboza has done enough to get a 10-8 here. Pettis lands a nice 1-2. Barboza lands a wheel kick. Pettis misses one of his own, and then misses a flying knee. The fight is over. 30-27 Barboza
Result: Edson Barboza by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Star Rating: (**+) Edson Barboza showed the world that he’s the far superior striker. Pettis has now lost to dos Anjos’ pressure, Alvarez’ grappling, and Barboza’s striking. He’s in danger of fighting Ben Henderson next. Or Justin Gaethje. who would have thought that 14 months ago when he was on the Wheaties cover. Barboza just destroyed Pettis. The first round was close. The second round was Barboza’s. The third round was almost 10-8. Great night for Barbza, and a bad night for Pettis. Lots of questions, but no answers right now.
DEMETRIOUS JOHNSON VS. HENRY CEJUDO (FLYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP)
Round One: Kim Winslow is your referee. Just kidding. It’s John McCarthy. Johnson comes out fast with a leg kick and an over hand right. Cejudo grabs a clinch and lands a knee to the body. Short elbow from Johnson. Nice right from Johnosn on the break. Johnson lands a couple overhand rights before getting a clinch in the middle of the cage. Cejudo gets the takedown and it was easy. Johnson eventually got up. Cejudo held on to his leg, but Johnson has great balance. Another clinch. More knees from Johnson. Cecjudo let go as a result, but Johnson grabbed another clinch and threw more knees. there’s a couple more. And one to the head. More knees. And an elbow. Those knees hurt Cejudo. Cejudo’s down, Johnson pounces and unloads! It’s over. That was ridiculously easy.
Result: Demetrious Johnson by TKO (strikes) at 2:49 of round one.
Star Rating: (***+) That was the most fun Demetrious Johnson fight ever. It was an elbow and two knees in the clinch that started it. He broke, Cejudo was almost out on his feet. Johnson charged, landed another knee in the clinch and Cejudo crumpled and covered his head. Two punches on the mat, and McCarthy had seen enough. Johnson absorbed a takedown from the gold medal winning wrestler, but he fought Cejudo’s game and slaughtered him. Slaughtered.
JON JONES VS. OVINCE SAINT PREUX (INTERIM LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP)
Round One: OSP looks nervous. Jones looks joyful. Both men in southpaw. Spinning back kick to the body from Jones lands flush. then a front kick to the body from Jones. That’s one way to start the fight. OSP misses a kick and lands a lunge jab to the body. Nice leg kick from OSP. Jones kicks low and almost trips OSP. Both guys are very tentative. No circling, very little moment. OSP misses a jab to the body. Side kick to the body from Jones. Jones is keeping his fingers extended. Oh how I’ve missed you, Jon Jones fingers. Jones is working on those super low kicks that no one else throws. Jones isn’t throwing much, not is OSP, but OSP is constantly backed against the cage. He’s not moving at all. Jones with a side kick to the body. Side kick to the thigh from Jones. Crowd is starting to hoot at the lack of action. Can’t say that I blame them for that. OSP charges in for a jab but gets taken down with a foot sweep. Jones lands a knee. 10-9 Jones OSP did nothing. Nothing.
Round Two: OSP’s right eye is a little swollen, but he didn’t take any ice. OSP is fighting with his hands way low. Jones caught a high kick, but Jones couldn’t take him down. Jones ate a few punches in that exchange, too. Jones is more aggressive in the 2nd. Hard high body kick from Jones. OSP flicks a couple back fists. Weird? Yeah, weird. OSP with a soft left hook, but it landed at least. Jones spins, but no strike came after. Jones eats a double jab and clinches. OSP with a knee to the body of Jones before they separate. Jones gets the clinch and goes to the dirty boxing. And a knee. There’s a couple elbows. OSP fires off a knee with his back on the cage. Jones backs out. Jones got tagged with a hard roight hand. That forced him to cover up. Jones faks a low kick and lands on OSP’s shoulder. Jones with a lateral kick to the lead knee of OSP. Spin kick to the body from Jones. OSP almost caught the kick. Hard right from OSP. Hes landed a few of those in this round. Low kick from Jones, and another. OSP misses that right cross. Jones with a high wheel kick, and OSP lands a left hand. OSP is looking tired. 20-18 Jones Bad fight so far.
Round Three: Nice jab from OSP. And another. OSP lands a nice 1-2 that forced Jones to cover up. And a jab. there’s a right. Jones is trying to get inside. Spinning backfist from Jones grazed OSP. Make it a spinning back actually. OSP is fighting orthodox now. Side kick from OSP, but it didn’t land. Jones works the body with a right hand. Both guys in orthodox now. Leg kick from Jones. OSP checked the next one. Halfway through the scheduled fight time nwo, and it’s been a really bad , stilted, disjointed fight so far. The crowd is starting to turn. Had leg kick by Jones. He’s landing at will, but not throwing often. More than OSP, though. Jones goes high with a kick and a straight punch behind it. The kick may have been blocked, but getting kicked int he arm hurts, too. OSP goes to the body, but doesn’t follow up. OSP is keeping his hands way low right now. Nice 1-2 from OSP. Another front leg side kick by Jones, which explains why OSP is fighting as a righty so often. Every time he changes stances, Jones greets the new lead leg with a kick to the knee. Both guys throw as the horn sounds. 30-27 Jones
Round Four: Good kick to the ribs from OSP. Straight kick up the middle from Jones. Another low kick from Jones. Jones gets inside on OSP, and Jones pushes him into the cage. Jones lifts him up and slams him, but OSP scramble out and only takes a knee to the thigh out of all that. Daniel Cormier’s cheerleading on commentary is hysterical. Crowd is turning hostile. Nice elbows from Jones. OSP is backed into the cage again. Jones picks him up and slams him down. Side control. OSP has successfully avoided this all night long, but now he’s in danger. OSP is mushed against the fence with Jones looking to tie up an arm. Short elbows galore from Jones. Elbow. Hellbow. Jones is looking for an arm, and OSP manages to get up, or about 2 seconds. Jones has a mount. OSP gives up the back as Jones looked for an elbow. Huge left punch from Jones. Cormier is screaming BACK OF THE HEAD! Joens stands. Kick the body. Bog punch. Another. That fight was 10 seconds away from a stoppage. 10-8 Jones. 40-35 Jones
Round Five: OSP working the jab, Jones flicking the low kick. Hard body kick from Jones. OSP walked into a spinning back kick to the body. Jones is cutting off the cage very well. OSP doing nothing in the fifth. He just wants to make it to the horn. He can’t throw his kicks, because now he knows how bad it is to be on the canvas against Jones. Jones has OSP back against the cage. He’s git the double. He carried OSP to the middle of the cage and slammed him. SOCCER KICK! To the ribs, mind you. He let OSP up. OSP is in pain. That slam or the soccer kick really screwed him up. Jones working another takedown against the cage. One minute left. Jones is coasting, and OSP is glad to let him do so. Back elbow from Jones. OSP is just playing defense. He’s turtling up. Jones lets him go. OSP chases him with a right jab. His left arm is dragging. The crowd boos to the horn, as well they should. 50-44 Jon Jones
Result: Jon Jones by unanimous decision (50-44, 50-45, 50-45)
Star Rating: (**-) Jones is a golden God, but this was to be expected. OSP was never a threat as long as Jones didn’t walk into something stupid. I can’t imagine him fighting so tentatively against Cormier. nobody in that cage wanted to be there, and Daniel Cormier didn’t want to be there, either. All in all, that was the worst case scenario that this fight could have been. But with that said, Jones shook off the rust, and Daniel Cormier’s in trouble.