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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 57
NOVEMBER 22, 2014
LIVE FROM AUSTIN, TEXAS
=====UFC Fight Pass Prelims=====
-Doo Ho Choi def. Juan Manuel Puig via TKO at :18 of the first round
Note: Choi blasted Puig quickly, not giving him a chance to hit him with anything. The quick knockdown was followed by a flurry of strikes on the ground and it was all over.
-Paige VanZant def. Kailin Curran via TKO at 2:54 of the third round
Note: What an awesome fight. VanZant was extremely active in all areas of the fight, controlling the clinch battle, threatening from the bottom when Curran managed to take her down, pulling off fantastic sweeps, landing brutal knees against the cage, and finally finishing Curran off with a takedown out of the clinch and strikes on the ground. Great debut from the 20-year-old.
=====Fox Sports 1 Prelims=====
-We're quickly to the opening fight as the broadcast starts, with a quick video preview and Akbarh Arreola already in the cage.
PRELIM FIGHT ONE: YVES EDWARDS VS. AKBARH ARREOLA (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Arreola came out aggressively, landing some strikes in combination as Edwards covered up. Edwards came back in with a few hard kicks to the body. Arreola missed a big left hand. He connected on a hard body kick. Arreola dropped Edwards with a brutal step in right uppercut. Edwards tried to recover, and managed to get to his feet as Arreola couldn't capitalize. Edwards threw a high kick, but it was caught, and Arreola slammed him, then dropped down into mount. He gave up the position to go for an armbar, and Edwards had to tap. Great performance from Arreola. Really excellent work from the outset.
WINNER: Arreola via submission (armbar) at 1:52 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**+) Just really excellent work from Arreola, but it was too one-sided to be much of a fight. Arreola pulled off an excellent armbar out of the mount, but it was all set up with that early knock down that took Yves out of things mentally.
PRELIM FIGHT TWO: JAMES VICK VS. NICK HEIN (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Vick tossed out some kicks early on, then Hein countered with a couple of strikes. Vick landed a nice kick that kept Hein at bay. Vick threw out a front kick to the body. He's using his range well early. Vick connected to the body again. Hein landed a major left hand and Vick went down. He followed into side control and tried to set up a crucifix. Vick got his wits about him on the ground and set out to defend. Vick pulled off a beautiful sweep and got on top into Hein's guard. Fantastic work to buy him time. Hein worked back to his feet and they stood. Vick threw out the front kick some more, trying to stay at range. Hein missed a couple of strikes. Vick went high with a few more kicks but they were partially blocked. Vick continued going high with the kick as Hein blocked with his left arm. He changed it and went to the leg. Vick landed a huge knee, but Hein ate it and dropped Vick with a huge counter-left. Hein got into Vick's guard, but let him up after a short moment. Vick fired back with a few strikes and tried to be aggressive late. He missed a couple of kicks before the horn.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Hein. Strong, competitive round, but Hein gets the nod for two knockdowns. Vick had more offense overall, but lost the power and damage battle that round.
ROUND TWO: Vick tried to stay long with his kicks early on. Hein popped in with a left hand. Vick threw a high kick that was again blocked. Hein missed a couple of strikes. Vick caught him in the arm again, then ate a couple of strikes in combination. Vick again went to the high kick. Vick landed a nice counter-right hand of his own, but Hein walked through it. Hein landed a left, Vick got in a nice right hand to counter it. They traded inside leg kicks. Vick went high again. Things slowed for a bit. A kick from Vick opened up a cut to the left eye of Hein. Hein seemed to have lost a bit of speed. Vick again landed a counter-right as Hein missed. Vick missed a side-kick. He avoided a rush, then popped Hein's head back with a couple of strikes. Vick again connected to the head. Hein clinched but Vick quickly escaped. They traded strikes late. Hein missed a spinning back fist before the horn.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Vick. He evened things up with similar output to the first, without getting tagged himself.
ROUND THREE: They exchanged strikes early. Hein went to a leg kick. Vick went high with his kick again, landing to the forearm. Vick nearly got tripped up against the cage, but Hein let him off the hook. Hein landed a counter left. Vick missed a strike and just barely avoided the counter. Vick landed two strikes but ate a hard left hand from Hein. Not much urgency from either guy despite the fight being all tied up here. Hein landed a two-punch combo. Hein connected on a few more strikes as he got in close. Vick avoided a spinning back fist and landed a hard right hand. Hein tried to chase Vick down, but Vick circled away nicely. Hein landed another counter strike. Vick landed a right hand that popped Hein's head back. Vick again landed a hard counter-strike. Hein tried to rush in but didn't connect on much. Hein landed to the body with a counter-strike. Vick landed a straight right that knocked Hein's mouthguard out. He tried to follow up but missed a couple of strikes. Hein connected on a couple of strikes. The ref called time with just over 30 seconds left to get Hein his mouthguard. Vick landed a hard right hand again. He avoided Hein's advances. Vick circled around as the crowd booed to end the fight.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Vick. Things slowed down after an action packed first, and Hein essentially let Vick take control through the final ten minutes as he was seeking the kill shot.
WINNER: Vick via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (**) Competitive fight, but not much to see after the first round. On a side note, I don't what in the hell that one judge was watching to give Vick the first round when he got knocked down twice.
PRELIM FIGHT THREE: LUKE BARNATT VS. ROGER NARVAEZ (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Narvaez slipped on an early kick. Barnatt landed a low blow as he ate a right hand from Narvaez. After a short break, they reset, with Barnatt moving forward. Narvaez was picking spots pretty well, landing some counter strikes. Barnatt got in a couple of kicks. Narvaez missed a head kick. Narvaez slipped again on a kick thrown to the body. The pace was fairly slow early on. Barnatt got in to the knee with a kick. Narvaez connected on a right hand. He landed another counter-combo as Barnatt stepped in. Barnatt connected on a body kick. Very little was actually happening in the round. Barnatt got in with a right hand. Barnatt landed a right hand after a kick, and he kept pressing forward. Barnatt missed a spinning back fist, then nearly turned it into a throw before the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Barnatt. I guess. Not much going on from either, but Barnatt was a bit more active and pressed the pace.
ROUND TWO: Barnatt opened up with some jabs as Narvaez tried to go high with a kick. Barnatt kept pressing forward, but again neither did much of anything in the opening minute. Very dull, plodding fight this one has been. Barnatt missed a right hand. Narvaez shot in but got stuffed. Barnatt separated and came forward with a strike. Narvaez circled away, and Barnatt followed. Narvaez missed a few strikes, then Barnatt landed with a right hand. Narvaez kept messing with the compression knee pads he was wearing. Narvaez finally connected on a counter-combo. Barnatt landed a body kick. Narvaez popped in with a right hand. They traded body kicks. Barnatt tried to get in close but ate an uppercut. Narvaez tried to circle out and avoid Barnatt, who kept trying to walk him down. Barnatt landed a right hand. The crowd got restless at the relative lack of activity in the fight. Narvaez popped in with a left after Barnatt missed. Barnatt then connected with a couple of strikes. Barnatt connected on a couple of strikes late. He got in to the body, and they traded uppercuts before the horn.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Barnatt. Narvaez doing so very little. This is just not a good fight.
ROUND THREE: Narvaez opened up first in the third, landing a left hand as Barnatt continued moving forward. Barnatt got in a spinning body kick. Narvaez landed a hard left hand. Narvaez rocked Barnatt with a head kick and tried to follow up. He knocked Barnatt down with a right hand. Barnatt tried to recover on the ground and pull him into guard. Narvaez landed some hard elbows. and tried to pass to half guard. He landed some more strikes as he kept doing damage. Barnatt gave up his back and Narvaez tried to lock on the choke. Barnatt got free, but Narvaez tried from the other side. Barnatt survived again, but Narvaez continued to work for the choke. Narvaez tried to roll into mount and Barnatt got him to half guard> He managed to pull to full guard. Narvaez slowed down as Barnatt tried to lock him up. Narvaez connected on some strikes to stay busy. He stood up and dropped in with a strike. He again tried to pass to no avail. Narvaez continued to have little luck. He finally stood and Barnatt did a backward somersault to get back to his feet. Barnatt moved forward and landed a kick, then a strike late.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Narvaez. Argument could be made for a 10-8, but Narvaez slowed down his attack and Barnatt recovered pretty well.
WINNER: Narvaez via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (*+) Bad fight for most of its duration, and I don't really agree with the decision, as Narvaez did next to nothing for the first ten minutes.
PRELIM FIGHT FOUR: RUSLAN MAGOMEDOV VS. JOSH COPELAND (HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Copeland sporting a Cole Konrad-type gut here. Magomedov landed some kicks from the outside early. He stepped in with a nice knee to the body. Copeland rushed, Magomedov stepped back, then rushed back with his own combination. Magomedov landed a big right hand that hurt Copeland, but Copeland recovered quick. Magomedov continued pressing the pace, but slowed down. Copeland popped in with a strike to the body. Copeland had Magomedov briefly on the ropes with a couple of big strikes at the cage. Magomedov barely missed a couple of strikes. Magomedov countered a rush with a huge combination. He kept moving in and landed a hard left kick to the face. Copeland again recovered on the cage. Magomedov backed off again and slowed things down, not wanting to over exert himself. Magomedov connected on another kick, but it was partially blocked. Copeland tried to score a combo. Magomedov pressed him back again. He landed an inside leg kick. Copeland swung and missed with a strike. Magomedov again went high with a kick that was blocked before the horn.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Magomedov. Big power possessed by both, but Magomedov clearly the better fighter thus far. He has to make sure not to make a mistake, though.
ROUND TWO: Tentative start from both. Magomedov was sitting at the ready for counter strikes as Copeland tried to press in. Copeland connected on a right hand. He lunged in with a left. Copeland landed a body strike. Magomedov connected on a strike. Copeland again pressed in and connected on a right hand. Magomedov pressed in with a few strikes in combination. They slowed things down again. Copeland again lunged in, but didn't connect. Copeland got in a jab, though Magomedov kind of stepped into it. Copeland landed another. Magomedov landed a kick. He threw a jumping kick that hurt Copeland. He tried to rush him at the cage, but Copeland fired back and made Magomedov back off. Magomedov threw another high kick that was blocked. Magomedov landed a kick to the body. Magomedov held off on a kick at the horn.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Magomedov. Copeland was having some more success that round than the first, but it's still almost all Magomedov as far as effective offense is concerned.
ROUND THREE: Copeland tried to press in early, but Magomedov landed a kick. More tentativeness from both men. Magomedov landed a kick to the leg and avoided the right hand from Copeland. Magomedov landed a nice superman punch as Copeland tried to close distance. They traded punches. Copeland rushed in and landed a hard left hand to the jaw and clinched. Magomedov turned him around in the clinch. They traded knees to the body. They continued that battle in the clinch. Copeland's body had toe marks from Magomedov's kicks showing up. They were finally separated with just over a minute left. Copeland missed a strike but was just out of range on a cover. Copeland rushed in but missed again. Magomedov threw a kick to the body. He missed the jumping kick. Magomedov landed a counter. Magomedov ducked down as Copeland rushed in and wound up turning it into a takedown just as the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Magomedov. Copeland scored his most significant strike that round, but that was about all he had to offer overall.
WINNER: Magomedov via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (*+) Extremely tentative fight with a few bursts of action. Copeland's got one hell of a chin, but that's about all that could be said of him in that one.
=====Fox Sports 1 Main Card=====
-After a brief intro for the crowd just tuning in for the main card, it's on to Matt Wiman's return after nearly two years out of action.
MAIN CARD FIGHT ONE: MATT WIMAN VS. ISAAC VALLIE-FLAGG (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: IVF came forward early, and Wiman landed a two-punch combo. IVF clinched and pressed Wiman to the cage. Wiman tried to get off the cage, but IVF stayed in tight in the clinch. IVF got in some hard strikes. Wiman finally got separation. IVF landed a hard body kick. Wiman got in a few hard strikes. IVF clinched again. Wiman landed a few short elbows with his back on the cage. IVF got in a few strikes. Wiman continued trying to land strikes in tight. IVF got in a few knees to the body. Wiman landed a few more elbows. IVF backed off and came right back in with a combination. IVF kept pressuring in. Wiman briefly got out, but IVF pressed him right back to the cage. Wiman landed a few hard strikes and knees, with IVF firing back. Wiman landed an elbow and finally separated. IVF connected on a combination. Wiman landed a few knees and elbows in a brief Thai clinch, but got pressed back to the cage. Wiman scored a late round takedown and quickly took IVF's back. He transitioned over to an armbar, went for a triangle, then back to an armbar attempt, but he ran out of time. Really solid battle to open this one up.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-10. Lots of offense from both guys. I think Vallie-Flagg was edging things until that final 30 seconds, but I don't know if it was enough to win the round outright for Wiman.
ROUND TWO: Wiman tried to goad IVF into an early firefight. They each landed some strikes and Wiman shot in. IVF held it off, and pressed him to the cage in the clinch. IVF dropped for a takedown, but Wiman pulled off a nice switch. He got separation and they traded close strikes. Wiman landed several short elbows, then got in an uppercut. IVF fired back with his own strikes. Wiman landed a short elbow. He got in another elbow. IVF landed one of his own and again drove him back in the clinch. Wiman tried to work out of it and ate a few strikes, then got in an elbow. IVF held onto the clinch, then tried to drop down for the takedown to no avail. Wiman landed a hard elbow and separated. IVF landed an uppercut. Wiman fired off a few strikes and IVF connected in return. They got in close again, with Vallie-Flagg landed a few uppercuts. IVF went for the takedown, but Wiman pulled off a switch and again took his back in transition. Wiman got both hooks in and tried to secure an arm. He lost the hold and IVF got back up. They traded strikes in the clinch again. IVF landed two hard strikes to the body. Wiman got out and fired off a few strikes. They kept trading and Wiman pressed IVF to the cage. They traded strikes, with Wiman ending the round with a right hand.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Wiman. IVF had a lot of offense himself, so he could take this round as well. Two close, brutal rounds thus far.
ROUND THREE:IVF landed a strike and Wiman fired back. Quick to the clinch, and the battle continued. Wiman held IVF on the cage this time. Wiman tried for a takedown and ate some hard elbows. Wiman tossed in a few shoulder strikes. They were separated. Wiman landed a big knee as IVF came in. Back to the clinch, and more strikes were thrown by each. Wiman pressed IVF to the cage again. IVF landed a knee to the body. Wiman got in an elbow. Wiman pressed him off. He threw a kick, then landed a combination. IVF fired back and landed a couple of hard strikes. Wiman tried to grab a standing guillotine, and used it for a takedown. He took IVF's back again with two minutes to work. IVF tried to throw strikes behind him as Wiman tried to find a choke. IVF continued defending well. Wiman continued working to the horn.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Wiman. Clearest round of the fight, but this could go either way here as the first two were extremely close.
WINNER: Wiman via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (**) I dug that fight. Lots of offense from both, some grueling clinch action that was a lot better than your typical wall and stall performance, and it was close from start to finish.
MAIN CARD FIGHT TWO: JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ VS. DUSTIN ORTIZ (FLYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Ortiz came straight ahead and swung out a few strikes. Benavidez fired back, but both were only grazing each other. Benavidez landed a nice kick. Ortiz pressed in but ate a couple of strikes. Benavidez connected with a hard body kick. Ortiz stepped away from a head kick. Benavidez landed a couple of strikes. Ortiz landed a left as Benavidez landed. They traded shots. Ortiz landed a jab. Benavidez landed a few punches and finished the combo with two straight kicks to the legs. Benavidez with a nice right hand. Ortiz threw a straight kick to the body. Benavidez got in with a head kick. He landed a beautiful counter-left. Ortiz landed a hard left as Benavidez stepped in. Benavidez got back in to the body with a kick. More body punches from Benavidez. Benavidez continued circling on the outside. He stepped in for a feigned shot. Benavidez landed a huge right hand to close off a combination. He landed a two punch combo. Ortiz has got a chin, give him that. Benavidez rocked him with a left. He got him to the cage and landed a knee, then got in a right hand before separating. Ortiz landed a left hand but was off balance with it. Benavidez landed a right hand to the body. Benavidez with another combination. Ortiz got in a counter left. Benavidez popped in with a straight left. Benavidez shot in and scored the first takedown of the fight into half guard. Massive speed on the that takedown. Benavidez passed to side control and got in an elbow before the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Benavidez. Close to a 10-8. Fantastic offensive work from Benavidez, who picked Ortiz apart for much of that round.
ROUND TWO: Benavidez opened up with combinations, then landed a kick. He got in a head kick after another combo. Little respect for Ortiz's striking. He drove in for the clinch and landed another combination. Benavidez connected on a couple of strikes. Benavidez got in a nice body punch. He caught him in the head, then landed a big right hand. Ortiz was hurt at the cage and Benavidez tried to follow up. He stayed patient, then slipped on a strike. Ortiz shot in as he tried to recover, and he scored a takedown. Benavidez quickly got to his feet. Looks like that wasn't a slip before, as Stann says the replay showed he got hit in the back of the head. Benavidez came up with a cut. Benavidez landed a left. He landed another. He landed a big right hand. Ortiz swung back but missed. Ortiz caught a kick and took Benavidez down, but Benavidez swept. He scrambled to his feet. He landed a big right hand. Ortiz landed a body strike. He's trying to give Benavidez everything he's got here. Benavidez landed a right hand and a knee, then slipped on something at the cage. Benavidez circled out and landed another right hand. Benavidez landed a hard body kick. He rocked him with another big right hand. Benavidez fired off another combo. Ortiz threw a right hand. He missed a left. Benavidez missed a spinning kick. He's slowed down a bit. Ortiz landed a front kick, then stuffed a takedown. Benavidez landed another hard right hand. He landed a big left, but Ortiz kept coming. Benavidez sprawled and took Ortiz's back standing late, but ate an elbow at the horn.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Benavidez. Ortiz is making a fight of this, and Benavidez has slowed down a little bit here, but he's been doing tons of damage. Ortiz has proven too tough to put away thus far.
ROUND THREE: Ortiz shot in early and Benavidez tried to grab a headlock. Ortiz scrambled to his feet and Benavidez took his back standing. Ortiz got separation. Benavidez landed a right hand. They traded strikes in close. Benavidez got in to the body. Benavidez landed a nice uppercut. He got in a knee to the body. Ortiz shot and Benavides sprawled. He tried to circle to a guillotine, but Ortiz avoided it, shrugged him off, and got to his feet with a knee to the body. Benavidez landed two more strikes. Ortiz tried to move in, but Benavidez landed another combination. Benavidez shot in, got a body lock, and tried to slam Ortiz. Ortiz stayed up initially, but got taken down. then he shrugged out again and got to his feet. Benavidez landed a punch to the body. Ortiz clinched and landed some knees. He tried to pick Ortiz up and take him down, but Benavidez turned into him and took top position. He sprawled as Ortiz rolled into him. Benavidez tried to send him down but they stood and clinched. Benavidez pressed him off with a right hand. Ortiz missed a strike and shot in again. Benavidez grabbed the front headlock but couldn't take him down. Ortiz briefly got him down. Benavidez stood back up and landed a strike. Ortiz tried to press him down but ate a hard body kick. Benavidez landed another right hand. Benavidez landed another right. He got in a left. The crowd showed their appreciation as it wound down. Benavidez barely missed a spinning kick, then got in another big combination before the horn.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Benavidez. He was just the better, more active fighter start to finish, but give Ortiz all the credit in the world for hanging in there with him and fighting to the end.
WINNER: Benavidez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (***) Great fight. Benavidez was on his game, and though Ortiz was tough as all hell tonight, Benavidez hit him with everything he had. Just another really good performance against Benavidez, while Ortiz shows he can at least survive against elite competition.
MAIN CARD FIGHT THREE: JARED ROSHOLT VS. OLEKSIY OLIYNYK (HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Rosholt landed a leg kick but ate a big right hand from Oliynyk. Rosholt threw some more kicks while Oliynyk went for the right hands. They traded big shots at the cage. Rosholt landed a huge knee and Oliynyk was hurt. Rosholt unleashed a huge flurry at the cage, and it looked like it might be over, but Oliynyk survived the rush and fired back. Rosholt grabbed a front headlock as Oliynyk came forward. Rosholt landed a few knees. Oliynyk's arms came up and he took a knee to the face. He got his head free and it became a clinch battle. Oliynyk landed a right hand, then got in some body strikes in the clinch. Rosholt landed a knee, then a series of uppercuts. He got in an elbow, and tried to set up something more, only to eat a strike in response from Oliynyk. Oliynyk landed some body strikes as the clinch battle continued. He finally backed off and Oliynyk came forward. He connected on a right hand. He landed an uppercut. Rosholt swung wildly and Oliynyk landed a counter left that sent him down! He landed one more strike on the ground and the ref was in to stop it. Wow!
WINNER: Oliynyk via KO at 3:21 of the first round
STAR RATING: (***) That was so much better than expected. Rosholt had several moments where it looked like he was going to finish Oliynyk, and then that finish came out of nowhere. The finish elevated it.
MAIN CARD FIGHT FOUR: BRAD PICKETT VS. CHICO CAMUS (FLYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Camus circled on the outside. They exchanged strikes, with Pickett getting the better of it. Camus tried to pop in with a couple. Camus popped in with a flying knee that sent Pickett's head back. Pickett shot in for a takedown, picked Camus up and tried to slam him, but Camus wound up on his feet! That was craziness. Camus smiled at Pickett. Camus landed a quick combo. he cracked Pickett with a right hand. Camus landed a hard left hand. Pickett shot in and scored the takedown this time. Camus tried to defend and work of his back, but Pickett got back on top. Pickett landed some hard elbows and punches from the top. Pickett passed to half guard. Camus pulled him back to guard. Pickett landed some more elbows. Camus kicked him off and avoided the big strike. Camus landed a few hard strikes. Pickett was cut on the bridge of the nose. Camus landed a hard left hook. He connected on another. He flew in with another jumping knee. Pickett threw a couple of kicks and failed on a shot. Camus land another counter left. Camus landed another left hook. He shoved Pickett back with a push kick. Camus stood with his hands at his sides and popped in. Camus landed a brief takedown, but Pickett got up. Camus landed another left hook. Pickett ended the round with a leg kick. Man. Hard round to score.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Camus. I've got to give him the edge despite the takedown and ground damage, because he was connecting on some damaging strikes that visibly slowed Pickett in that round.
ROUND TWO: Camus opened with a few strikes. Pickett got in a strike. Camus landed a combo. Pickett landed a hard leg kick. Camus landed a hard right hand and backed off. Camus popped in again with a left. Pickett shot in and tried to pick him up again, but Camus' balance kept him upright. Camus landed a short combo. Camus got in a hard leg kick. They traded punches. Camus landed a hard left hook. Camus with a combo. Camus landed an uppercut. Pickett tried a flying knee but Camus avoided it. Camus connected with another uppercut. Camus landed a nice superman punch with a right hand behind it. Pickett whiffed on a right. Camus kept his hands down, then landed a left hand. Camus landed another combination as he ate a counter. Camus again connected. Pickett drove in with a takedown at the cage. Camus tried to get back to his feet and did so, nearly taking Pickett down with a front choke attempt before letting it go. Camus landed a stiff jab with a right hand behind it in combination. Camus again dropped his hands. Pickett landed a good counter as Camus stepped in. Camus landed a jab and Pickett countered. Pickett shot in, but Camus held him off in the clinch. They stood facing off to the horn after separating.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Camus. He's picking Pickett apart on the feet right now, landing the most significant offense by a wide margin.
ROUND THREE: After a little back and forth, Pickett shot in, but Camus snuck out and briefly had his back standing before backing off. Pickett landed a right hand. They traded punches. Camus landed a hard uppercut in the center. Pickett landed a short left hook. They traded strikes in the center again. Camus missed a left hand as he circled out. He's slowed down when he needs to speed up his output. Pickett landed a right hand. Pickett shot in for a double leg, but Camus held it off and got free. They traded again, neither really getting an edge in these exchanges. Camus landed a hard left. Pickett got in a punch. Camus returned fire again. Camus landed a few hard strikes in combination. Camus landed a hard front kick to the chest. Camus connected on a few strikes in a nice combination. Pickett threw a spinning kick that was blocked. Pickett landed an overhand right. The crowd booed some of Camus' footwork with some inaction. He stuffed another takedown attempt. Camus landed a hard step-in knee. Pickett landed a front kick to the face. They traded late. Camus got the better of it. They traded one more time at the horn. Really hard round to score.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Pickett. Camus has an argument, as he was landing some crisp, clean combos, but he allowed Pickett to be the aggressor, and his output wasn't what it was in the first ten minutes. Really tough, but this could go either way here. My head says Camus should win, but I think Pickett's takedown in the first and constant forward movement may edge it in his favor.
WINNER: Camus via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (**+) The crowd booed the decision, but it honestly felt like the right one. He was the better striker through most of that fight as Pickett tried to rush him while missing much of what he threw. Camus was more effective in that area, and it's a good win for him.
MAIN CARD FIGHT FIVE: BOBBY GREEN VS. EDSON BARBOZA (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Barboza threw out a low leg kick. Green pawed out a few strikes. Barboza threw a straight kick to the leg. Barboza landed a hard body kick, but Green caught it and threw him down. Barboza landed an upkick and Green let him up. Barboza threw a spinning kick that missed. Barboza got in another hard leg kick. The crowd chanted for Green as he tried to walk Barboza down. Barboza landed a hard combination of strikes to the body. Barboza got in a kick to the body and Green shook his head. He put his hands down and taunted Barboza. The Brazilian fired back. He landed another combo and Green brushed his shoulder. Barboza landed a hard leg kick. He landed a few strikes in combination again. He landed a leg kick and Green continued trash talking. Green grazed him with a left. Barboza landed a big left hook. Green shook his head like it meant nothing, as blood trickled from his lip. He tried to walk Barboza down, but Barboza circled out. Barboza landed a hard leg kick. Barboza landed a left. Green connected to the body. He came forward and landed a jab. Barboza barely missed a two punch combo. They both missed a few strikes as Green tried to set up a clinch. Green missed a jumping knee at the horn.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Barboza. Green's trying to brush it all off, but he lost the round in the process.
ROUND TWO: Barboza pawed out a few strikes, then got in a leg kick. Barboza went high with a kick and Green again tried to shrug it off. He tried to move in aggressive and Barboza landed a hard leg kick. He connected on a combo. Barboza barely missed a spinning kick. Barboza cracked Green with a hard right hand. He landed a spinning kick to the back of Green's head. Green is in trouble here, but he came right back ahead at him with a right hand. Barboza landed another combination. Barboza landed a counter right and circled out. Green continued trying to press forward, and he threw a flying knee to the body. Green missed a spinning back fist after a left hand. Barboza landed a hard jab. green landed a leg kick. Barboza got in a hard kick to the body. Barboza fired off a hard two punch combo. Green again tried to shrug it off and move forward. Barboza landed a hard outside leg kick again. Green tried to clinch but Barboza pushed him off. Green got the step in knee to the body again, then landed a leg kick. Green landed a straight left. Green again got the jumping knee to the body. Barboza's attack had slowed down considerably, but he got in a leg kick by the end of the round.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Barboza. Strong first three minutes before he faded a bit, but he's comfortably ahead here.
ROUND THREE: Barboza landed a huge counter-right as Green came forward, but Green kept on him. Green kept trying to move in, and he landed a left hand. Green missed a few strikes as Barboza circled out. Green connected with a kick to the body, but missed a short combo. Barboza connected on another head kick. Then a right to the jaw. Green's got a hell of a chin. Barboza connected on a short combo again. He rocked Green with a left, but Green smiled and came back ahead. They traded strikes in the center. Both fighters were bleeding at this point. They traded punches again. Green blocked a high kick attempt. Green walked Barboza down and landed a left. They traded punches again. They traded again, with Green getting perhaps his best offense of the fight in. Barboza missed a spinning kick. Green tried to walk him down and landed a left. Green tried to goad him into a firefight and it got the crowd to boo as Barboza landed a hard left. Green got in a short combo. Barboza landed a hard kick to the body. Barboza went high with a kick but it was blocked. Barboza raised his hands and circled away from Green as the clock wound down.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Barboza. Green had more offense than in the first two rounds, but that's still Barboza's. He was more effective with his strikes from the outset, and this is one of his best, most complete performances in the UFC to date.
WINNER: Barboza via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (***-) Very good fight that would have been better without them both fading a bit. Barboza looked better than ever for much of the fight, while Green is very tough and hard to put away. Really, really promising performance for Barboza, bodes real well for his future.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT SIX: FRANKIE EDGAR VS. CUB SWANSON (FEATHERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Edgar circled on the outside early. Both felt the other out, engaging in a few short exchanges that didn't bring much force. Swanson landed a nice two punch combo just over a minute in. He landed to the body, with Edgar firing back. Edgar clinched, but missed a knee as Swanson got loose. Swanson landed two strikes and avoided the counter. Edgar landed a solid counter left. Swanson threw a leg kick. Edgar got in with a short combo. Edgar shot in but got stuffed. Swanson blocked a knee and smiled. Edgar landed a nice right hand in a short combo. Swanson blocked a high kick. Swanson landed a hard overhand right but Edgar responded. Swanson landed another combo and he had Edgar backing up. Edgar ducked under a punch and scored a takedown with a minute and a half to work. Edgar landed a few body strikes, but Swanson kicked him off and got to his feet. Swanson landed a hard jab. He connected again. He landed a body strike as Edgar landed a kcik to the body. Swanson with another jab. Edgar connected on a short combo. Edgar shot in again, then pulled off a nice trip. He landed a few strikes from the top and closed the round on top.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Edgar. Slight edge, as Swanson was doing some good damage, but Edgar had some solid striking of his own with two takedowns to take the frame barely.
ROUND TWO: Swanson landed an early uppercut as Edgar came in to clinch. Edgar backed off and looked for an opening to engage. Edgar faked a few things before throwing out a combo, but Swanson was out of range. Edgar landed a right and blocked the counter. Swanson landed a hard strike to the body. Swanson landed a big kick. Edgar landed a big overhand right that opened a cut. Swanson fired back. Edgar shot in and completed a takedown with some effort into half guard. Edgar got in a few hard punches, then went for some short elbows from the top. Edgar continued working his ground and pound game as Swanson tried to negate things. Swanson got back to a butterfly guard, but Edgar stood up, then dropped back into his guard with some big strikes. Swanson was bleeding badly as Edgar continued doing damage. Edgar passed to half guard again and continued doing damage. Swanson threw some strikes from the bottom. Edgar got in some hard elbow strikes from the top. He dropped down with another elbow. Swanson tried to escape and nearly got mounted, but Swanson kept Edgar in half guard on the other side. Edgar continued throwing strikes from the top to the horn.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Edgar. Big round for the former Champ. Lots of damage done on the ground with some impressive control to boot.
ROUND THREE: Swanson came right to the center, and pawed out a few early jabs. Edgar tossed out a couple of kicks. Edgar rushed in, got Swanson's back standing, and tried to drag him down. Swanson held it off for a time, but Edgar stayed with him, finally turning into him and throwing him off balance to complete it into guard. He quickly passed to half guard. Edgar got back to work with punches and elbows from the top. Edgar tried to pass to the mount, but Swanson held it off. Edgar continued staying busy on top, landing strikes. He hurt Swanson with an elbow and scored with a flurry of strikes. Swanson tried to escape, but Edgar kept him down and got to side control. He landed some knees to the body and tried to pass to mount, ending in half guard again. Edgar continued busting Swanson up from the top. Swanson again blocked the attempt to pass to mount, but Edgar kept working. Edgar postured up with some more elbows. He kept looking for the arm triangle, but it wasn't coming. Edgar kept battering Swanson from the top, and Swanson just didn't have an answer from his back. He tossed in some knees to the body with his loose leg and ended another round on top.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-8 Edgar. Swanson had no offense after the opening jabs, and got battered from start to finish. Strong round for Edgar.
ROUND FOUR: Swanson came out swinging 20 seconds into the round, but Edgar took the strikes. Swanson connected with a kick to the body. They traded strikes in a short exchange. Edgar timed another takedown well. Swanson rolled to his knees and worked to his feet, but Edgar stayed on his back, then dragged him down, back into half guard. Edgar again tried to pass to the mount. He nearly got there, with his foot trapped. He then opened up with a few huge elbows and got to full guard. Edgar postured up with a few strikes and Swanson escaped to half guard. Edgar kept opening up damage. Swanson tried to escape, but Edgar again stayed on top and got back to mount. Edgar opened up with more punches and elbows as Swanson just covered up. Swanson tried to escape, then gave up his back. Edgar kept doing damage, but Swanson escaped to half guard again. Edgar again mounted and pummeled him with strikes from the top. Swanson gave up his back and got flattened out, only to turn back into the mount. Swanson escaped to half guard again, then the butterfly guard. He finally escaped with 15 seconds left in the round. Edgar landed a right hand counter before the horn.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-8 Edgar. This is just a dominant performance from Edgar against a very good fighter. Damned impressive.
ROUND FIVE: Edgar landed a right hand early. Edgar with a beautiful short combo ending in an uppercut. Swanson avoided a quick shot. Edgar landed a front kick to the body. Edgar caught a leg and scored another takedown into Swanson's guard. Making it look easy. Edgar postured up, avoided an upkick, and landed some hard strikes from the top. Edgar passed to half guard. Edgar looked to set up a choke from the top. Swanson got out of it, but Edgar used it to pass to side control and went for the mount. He postured up from mount. Edgar went for the arm triangle but couldn't finish it. Swanson got out and Edgar went back to the handy ground and pound. He got to side control and landed knees to the body. Swanson tried to get out, Edgar rolled him with a guillotine attempt, then kept top control back in half guard. Swanson tried to escape, but Edgar took his back. Swanson turned back into him, but gave up his back again. Edgar continued working from the mount as Swanson turned back. More brutal strikes from Edgar as Swanson just covered up. Edgar locked on a nasty neck crank and got Swanson to tap with time running out! Incredible, incredible performance.
WINNER: Edgar via submission (neck crank/rear naked choke) at 4:56 of the fifth round
STAR RATING: (****) Amazing performance from Frankie Edgar. He kept ramping up the offensive output on the ground, and never coasted, looking for the finish until he got it in the final seconds. It was just an incredible performance, what else can you say? One of the best he's ever had, and he's had a lot of really good ones in his run.
-That's the show for tonight! Thanks for following along, and stay tuned for more reaction and analysis on the results from tonight as we move on to Thanksgiving week and a short break before UFC 181 to kick off December!
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