|Three contenders, two titles.|
All-American Chris Weidman (12-0) faces UFC veteran Vitor Belfort (24-10), who made his UFC debut at UFC 12, which means he has been in MMA for the last 175 PPV bouts and has 22 more fights of experience. But Weidman is a fierce warrior who in only 12 fights has established dominance over the division and his position as the champion.
After several tribulations, Light Heavyweight king Jon Jones was stripped of his title. With the title now vacant, the #1 and #3 ranked contenders Anthony "Rumble" Johnson and Daniel "D.C." Cormier will fight to claim the greatest prize in the division. It's a classic match-up of a talented boxing striker in Rumble and an Olympic level wrestler in former bronze medalist contender Cormier.
Fight Pass Prelims-
Scoggins v Sampo:
Round 1: Scoggins pretty well in control this match. Controls the space and keeps Sampo on the outside with a mix of high kicks and jabs. Great heel kick to the head.
Round 2: Sampo lands a knee to the midsection and follows up with some uppercuts, but Scoggins pushes off and seems to have taken no damage. Scoggins lands a few jabs to hold him back, but Sampo is able to grab the head and bring in a knee. Scoggins lands a straight kick to the face, and Sampo backs off. Sampo is bleeding a bit above the nose. Scoggins brings Sampo down after a hard-fought takedown, but is not able to enter a mount position.
Sampo took 18 strikes to the head, and 16 to the body in this round.
Round 3: The corner is telling Scoggins to handle his cardio. Make sure he doesn't gas out in the final five minutes.
Scoggins uses a reverse roundhouse kick to the head and a series of jabs to keep the distance and hold Sampo back. Sampo rushes in for a high-bodied takedown attempt and Scoggins pushes him off. Superman punch attempt whiffs. Scoggins attempts another high kick and Sampo trips him up to make him pay for it. Sampo mounts and rains punches down on Scoggins' body. Scoggins earns a takedown in the final 15 seconds of the match.
Official decision: Unanimous decision for Justin Scoggins
Makhachev v Kuntz
Round 1: Both men begin circling. Kuntz lands a stiff right hand counter to hold back Makhachev. Makhachev drives Kuntz into the cage wall and pins him down. Back to center of the octagon, Makhachev lets loose with a flurry of punches. Brings Kuntz down and mounts onto his back. Makhachev attempts to flatten Kuntz out and lock in a submission, but Kuntz is able to slide out and escape. Makhachev is the aggressor for the majority of this fight. Kuntz rushes in and Makhachev lands a sharp strike behind Kuntz's left ear. Kuntz now throws out wide sidekicks. Makhachev hooks the arm and brings Kuntz down again. Kuntz locks arms around Makhachev to prevent him from capitalizing.
Round 2: Makhachev opens the round with a pair of headstrikes. Kuntz applies a clinch and Makhachev pushes it off with a series of blows to the ribs. Makhachev is able to climb onto Kuntz's back and flattens him out. He is attempting to lock in a rear-naked choke and earn the submission. Kuntz is changing position to avoid the submission, but can't shake Makhachev off. Series of strong punches to the head while in the mount, which opens Kuntz's arms up so he is able to get the choke. Kuntz submits in the second round.
Official decision: Islam Makhachev wins by submission at 2:38 in second round.
UFC 187 Prelims-
Covington v Pyle
Kicking off the prelims with a match reffed by Herb Dean!
Round 1: Covington immediately attempts to take Pyle down, forcing him against the cage. Pyle showing excellent takedown defense. An illegal low-blow struck by Covington. Pyle is shaking it off. Pyle is ready to go. Pyle hits a right hand counter to Covington, but it is shrugged off and Covington again goes for the takedown. Pyle is pinned to the cage and still holding off the takedown, and attempts a kimura lock, but Covington rolls through. Covington gets his takedown on the third attempt and buries his face into Pyle's chest, trying to sap his strength. Covington dominating the control of the round, but that unfortunate low-blow mars it. Pyle showing excellent defense, but unable to show any sort of offense.
Round 2: Covington takes another shot at a takedown, but Pyle defends again. Covington is able to get behind Pyle and drags him down for his second takedown of the fight. Pyle attempts an armbar, but Covington avoids and begins pushing down on him. Covington is trying to throw punches from the mount position, but Pyle has a bodylock triangle preventing him from getting any distance behind his strikes. They are broken up and begin to trade blows for the first time in the match. Covington nearly slips, but recovers and time runs out.
Round 3: A flying knee starts off the action, and Covington capitalizes and gets another takedown. Still having trouble getting around Pyle's defense, but has the points heavily in his favor at this point. Covington is getting in rough strikes on Pyle while in the mount. Most strikes coming for the head in a hooked angle, but Pyle is limiting the distance and force. After suffering several strikes, Pyle is able to escape! He takes the back and gets the choke. Covington is able to escape and slides out of position, reversing the position and getting back onto the top at the end of the round.
Official decision: Unanimous decision for Colby Covington.
Hall v Natal
Round 1: Match starts off and the first hit is a low blow. Terrible start. After the break for recovery, both men circle and try to get inside with blows. Uriah favoring the high kicks, while Natal is using leg kicks and overhand punches. Natal gets an inside leg kick on Hall, and Hall counters with a kick to Natal's head. Spinning back fist attempt by natal misses, then both men throw kicks and clash back. That'll hurt the shins. Natal shoots the takedown and presses Hall to the cage, and lifts Hall for the takedown. Hall rises up quickly, but the takedown is sealed already. The round goes out with Natal trying to bring him down again.
Seems Natal won the round, but the illegal strike could cost him heavy.
Round 2: Both of these men throwing out forceful strikes off the bat. You can feel the bad blood between them. After a trade off of strikes, Natal bowls Hall over with a double leg takedown. Natal shoving his head into Hall's chin and pinning him down. Hall is trying to strike back from underneath to help escape. Hall is able to stand up, but Natal is now behind him and has the space control, pinning him to the cage wall. Natal shoving knees into the back of Hall's legs. That will affect Hall's kicking ability throughout the rest of the match. Hall gets off the wall and returns to the center of the octagon. Both men circle and don't strike. Hall shoots the midsection for a takedown. He doesn't have great position, Natal is holding him off. Hall is able to take the back and lifts him up for a takedown. Natal stands up quickly, and the clock runs out on round 2.
Round 3: Final round, both men starting with strikes. Natal shoots a low ankle pick, trips up Hall, but not able to take him down. Hall is jumping back from Natal's feints and not pressuring enough to show aggression, while Natal is slowly gaining hits and takedowns through the match. Natal lands an overhand right and rocks Hall. Hall is wobbly, but holds off the takedown. Hall is groaning while pushing off Natal now. Natal has done an incredible job of wrapping around his opponent a withering his strengths this round.
Natal should win by Unanimous Decision, but it is sad such a great performance is marred by that opening cheap shot.
Official decision: Rafael Natal wins by Split Decision.
Kim v Burkman-
Round 1: Burkman rushing in with punches and forces Kim to the wall. Kim tries to get his foot in for a judo throw, but Burkman fights it off. Kim locks onto Burkman and cuts off Burkman's flurry of strikes. Burkman is able to take the back and nearly gets a takedown, but is not able to capitalize. Kim now has climbed onto Burkman's back and locked in a triangle, which is forcing Burkman to hold all of his weight and draining his strength. Kim locks in a choke, but Burkman fights it off and begins to shake off Kim. Kim is no longer locked onto his back, but he has tied up the leg, preventing a full escape.
Round 2: Burkman attempts a takedown, but shoots too high on the thighs to get any kind of power to drive him down. Kim's position is allowing himself to defend the takedown without taking the brunt of the weight, just costing more energy to be spent by Burkman. Kim now has taken this back and mounted. Kim is throwing punches onto the top of Burkman's head. Kim is not putting much behind the punches, but he has over 90 punches landed now. Burkman is in serious danger of having the fight stopped. Now Kim is getting full windup behind his punches at the end of the round and just punishing Burkman.
Round 3: Burkman comes out with fury. Flying knee followed up by a one-two punch combination. Kim is rocked, but steps back and recovers. Rushes a takedown, but Burkman grabs a guillotine choke on Kim. Kim breaks it and now smothers Burkman's prone body. Kim is now attempting and armlock, and gets the submission.
Official decision: Dong Hyun Kim wins by submission with an arm triangle at 2:13 of round 3.
Just announced: BJ Penn will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame for 2015!
Dodson v Makovsky-
Our second match reffed by Herb Dean.
Round 1: Both men back-and-forth pressuring each other. Dodson the quicker of the two. Makovsky has landed a few nice counters with his right hand. Makovsky tags a straight left, grabs Dodson's leg, and follows up with a kick to the head. Nice combination there.
Round 2: Dodson and Makovsky are trading punches. Makovsky grabs the leg but is not able to capitalize. Dodson swings hard at Makovsky and Makovsky ducks. Dodson leaves himself open and is taken down, but he gets up lightning quick and returns the favor by slamming Makovsky down. Makovsky tries to lock a legbar, but Dodson is away and takes control at the end.
Round 3: Dodson is avoiding Makovsky and circling the ring. He is reacting with counterpunches enough that he may have this round in hand. The crowd is unhappy with the slower pace. Dodson gets a takedown with 50 seconds left. Both men get up and the clock runs out. Uneventful last round.
Official decision: John Dodson wins by Unanimous Decision
UFC 187 Main Card:
Benavidez v Moraga-
|A tremendous and bloody fight.|
Round 1: Moraga goes for a high kick to the head, and Benavidez catches the leg, brings him down, and begins to unleash a deluge of punches. Benavidez now takes the top position in a mount. He is working towards a guillotine choke. Moraga is able to push out of it after one minute of being nearly choked, but Benavidez puts him down again. Moraga gets up more quickly this time and actually reverses position and puts Benavidez against the cage wall. Benavidez returns to the controlling position and drives knees into Moraga's legs. Moraga turns and throws Benavidez with a beautiful belly to belly suplex. Benavidez returns the favor with a powerful slam to the ground and pins him on the ground against the cage.
Moraga had good hits, but Benavidez had control. Moraga's corner tells him to "avoid that wrestling shit."
Round 2: Benavidez has a gorgeous combination of a leg kick and a one-two shots to the head. Stiff kick to the stomach of Benavidez. Both men enter a clinch and bumped heads. Moraga is busted open and his face covered in blood. Benavidez drives him down and smothers his body. Holds him down and runs out the round.
Benavidez's corner tells him that "[Moraga] may come out with fire because he knows he has lost, just extinguish that shit."
Round 3: Moraga goes for a jumping knee, but Benavidez hits him with a knee to the stomach. Moraga's corner closed the cut, but it quickly reopens and he is bleeding again. Benavidez shoots a takedown and runs Moraga over. Benavidez pins Moraga down and smothers while throwing the occasional punch. The blood is coating the canvas. Moraga survives the timer and the fight goes the distance. Incredible match.
Official decision: Joseph Benavidez wins by Unanimous Decision
Browne v Arlovski-
Round 1: Both men approach slowly. Browne hits a hard right to the stomach of Arlovski. Arlovski snaps a shot to the face and Browne buckles. Arlovski gets a combination and rushes, but Browne recovers and pushes him away. Browne tags a nice left hook. Arlovski rushes in with punches and makes Browne wobble again. Browne is trying to shake it off. Browne whiffs a spinning kick. Arlovski tries to rush in, but doesn't get any hits. Arlovski misses with a big right, but lands a huge backhand then rushes in. Browne fires back with a right hook and knocks Arlovski down. Arlovski gets up and hits a knee on Browne followed by a rush of punches, and the ref stops the match.
|A brutal series of hits against the cage ends the match.|
Official decision: Andrei Arlovski wins by standing knockout at 4:41 in round 1.
Cerrone v Makdessi-
Round 1: Cerrone works the space with high kicks, while Makdessi hits leg kicks to wear those down. Both men rush in a trade blows for a moment. Cowboy hits the Bull with a stiff kick and follows with a punch to the head. Makdessi backs off and avoids a roundhouse kick by Cerrone. Another kick by Cerrone, but Makdessi catches it and Cerrone backs off on the frequency of kicks. Cerrone now swiping out with his left to put Makdessi in position for kicks again. Makdessi is doing a fantastic job at staying in the perfect space to negate Cerrone's kicks without being close enough to be hit hard by punches. Time runs out for the round. Very close round.
Round 2: Makdessi comes out with a pair of high kicks at Cerrone. Cerrone comes back with two shots to the head, but misses with the follow-up head kick. Cerrone jabbing while Makdessi uses leg kicks. Makdessi is bleeding above the nose from a knee strike. Makdessi uses his left hand to land two great shots to Cerrone's head. Cerrone pushes in and hits two elbows to Makdessi's head then continues with a knee. Makdessi takes a bad kick to the jaw and calls for a time out, ending the match.
|Brutal kick ends up breaking Makdessi's jaw|
Makdessi's jaw was broken and the match ends by TKO.
Official decision: Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone wins by TKO at 0:16 in round 2.
|Cerrone was confused when Makdessi called for a time out.|
In the post-fight interview, he said they just might give him the Lightweight Championship by default.
UFC Middleweight Championship: Weidman (c) v Belfort-
And now for our first Title Match of the night!
|Both men want to bring the title back to their country.|
Our third match reffed by Herb Dean!
Round 1: Weidman starts off with a kick to the head, Belfort blocks with his hand. Weidman tries the high kick again and misses. Weidman slips and Belfort capitalizes, then Belfort slips and Weidman rushes in with a flying knee. The Phenom pins Weidman to the cage wall with a series of punches. Weidman fights back and slams Belfort down. In the mount, Weidman drops hammer fists and crushes down on Belfort. Weidman is bleeding down, but Belfort rolls onto his back and tries to punch back. Weidman continues to rain blows down onto Belfort. The referee stops the match. Chris Weidman wins with a first round KO! The crowd comes alive with USA chants!
Official decision- Chris Weidman is still UFC Middleweight Champion by KO at 1:13 of round 1.
|Chris Weidman wins by KO in Round 1.|
Tells the haters they need to join his team, because he's not going anywhere.
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship: Anthony Johnson v Daniel Cormier-
|A fantastic throwback. A talented striker versus a top-level wrestler|
Round 1: Match starts off with Cormier getting an eye poke on Johnson. Rumble hits a heavy right hand and knocks DC to the ground. Johnson runs in and Cormier moves around and gets the takedown and holds onto Johnson's back. Cormier holds Johnson's leg and pins him to the cage wall. Johnson tries to spin out, but Cormier locks on again and pins him back to the wall. DC won't let go of the leg. Cormier transitions to a headlock, but Johnson is able to slip out. Johnson throws a pair of head kicks. Cormier pins Johnson back to the wall and leans his head in on him to grind him down. Cormier tries to throw strikes with Rumble, but backs away before Rumble throws any back.
Round 2: Rumble starts off throwing hard kicks. After taking three tough kicks, Cormier grabs the leg and lifts Johnson up and slams him down. Cormier is now on top of Johnson and rubs his forearm across his face. Cormier now drops a few hard elbows. Cormier begins cranking Johnson's arm and throwing strikes to the face. 2:20 left in the round and Johnson doesn't look close to escaping from Cormier's mount. Cormier stops going for the arm and shifts to the ground and pound. Clock runs out with DC still in control.
Round 3: Johnson comes out with hard punches, but loses his feet and slips. Cormier immediately capitalizes locks onto him. Johnson gets up and takes DC down, but Cormier gets up quickly. Cormier grabs the leg and lifts him up, but Johnson begins throwing right hands to make him let go. Cormier gets behind him and almost grabs a rear-naked choke, but Johnson fights it off. Cormier begins punching him from behind and goes for the choke again. Cormier has the choke, as Johnson is dripping blood on the canvas. Johnson taps out. Daniel Cormier is the new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.
Official decision: Daniel Cormier is the new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion after winning by submission due to rear-naked choke at 2:21 in round 3.
|D.C. with the swagger after winning the belt|
An excellent night of fights. In my opinion:
KO of the night: Andrei Arlovski
Submission of the night: Daniel Cormier
Fight of the Night: Joseph Benavidez v John Moraga
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