Saturday, July 11, 2015

KO Coverage By A KO Look-A-Like: UFC 189- Mendes vs McGregor

It is International Fight Week for the UFC and with Fan Expo and smaller events such as the Invicta FC 13 showing building up to it, the huge fight card of UFC 189 looms near!  With the champion Jose Aldo being a no-go due to a rib injury preventing him from being able to do the workouts needed to make the Featherweight limit, top-ranked fighter Chad "Money" Mendes has stepped in to face rising star Conor McGregor for the Interim Featherweight Championship. As he is known to do with his loudmouth, trash-talking style, McGregor took little time to build animosity between them by saying a plethora of insults to Mendes.

Mendes, McGregor, Lawler, MacDonald
Two titles are going home in two match-ups too close to call
Fighting for the Welterweight Championship is defending champion Robbie Lawler against Rory MacDonald, who previously fought Lawler to a split decision and is a protege of legend George St Pierre.  Also, Matt Brown and Tim Means face each other in an exciting Welterweight match-up.

UFC Fight Pass Prelims

Yosdenis Cedeno v Cody Pfister

Round 1: Cedeno comes in quickly with high kicks at Pfister.  Cedeno is hammering the legs now with attempted sweeps.  A heavy sweep almost causes Cedeno to trip himself for a moment. Both men grapple up, but break away and we are back to the stand up striking.  Pfister is absorbing a lot of hits but is not looking fazed.  Cedeno does a high roundhouse, but misses, and Pfister throws a fist (or in his case a Pfist?)right into Cedeno's mouth.  Pfister is now showing some aggression, but Cedeno is now landing harder legkicks to keep him back.

Round 2: Cedeno using his hands more at the start of this round.  Throws a legkick, but Pfister shoots through it and gets a solid takedown.  He hooks in and takes the back, but is not able to hold onto the submission attempt with any grip.  Cedeno is able to reverse and roll into a mount, but a tightly closed guard keeps any serious punches from landing. Ref breaks up the mount for not having enough action.  Soon as they are stood up, Pfister shoots another takedown. He is not able to get on top and Cedeno is hooking the arm, trying to turn it into a kimura-type armlock.  Pfister is able to get his arm free and take the back. He attempts a choke, but Cedeno rolls again, but Pfister is able to remain on top and get some ground and pound in the mount.

Round 3:  The final round begins and Pfister immediately shoots a takedown.  Cedeno shows a bit better takedown defense, but still goes down.  Cedeno is seated against the cage and Pfister is told to break it off by the ref.  Pfister again goes for the takedown and slams Cedeno with his most solid takedown yet.  Cedeno grabs a guillotine attempt to counter, but Pfister escapes and delivers several strikes.  Pfister takes the back and has a tight grip on Cedeno to prevent another escape.  Cedeno uses a gramby roll type of escape to spin out and grabs Pfister's head.  Pfister pulls loose and pushes down to smother Cedeno.  Pfister grabs an arm over Cedeno and tries for the rear-naked choke, but is unable to grasp him. Cedeno explodes out and delivers big dropping strikes to close out the final round.

Official decision: Cody Pfister wins a unanimous decision.

Neil Seery v Louis Smolka

Round 1:  Lot of Irish pride cheering for Seery to start this round off.  Smolka trying for some long-range punches and kicks, but Seery gets in close and tries to swarm with punches. Smolka grabs his head and multiple knee strikes.  Both men bump heads, and the referee warns them against the headbutts.  Seery gets an overhand punch that knocks Smolka down and gets on top with several strikes.  Seery is able to hook a one-handed guillotine and choking Smolka.  Smolka is able to get loose, and is able to now return the favor by hooking his own guillotine on Seery.  The crowd is electric with chants to give energy to Seery.  Seery breaks loose, but Smolka is trying to keep him on the ground.  Smolka climbs high on top of Seery and is punching downwards.  Seery gets to a kneeling position with Smolka still on his back as the round ends.

Round 2:  Smolka kicks upwards as Seery rushes in with a series of punches.  Seery takes him down, but Smolka uses his positioning to keep Seery from fully mounting or taking his back.  Smolka wears Seery down and takes his back.  This round is grinding both men down.  Smolka has hooked a choke and Seery is refusing to let him get his grip in.  Smolka is trying to hold the choke, but Seery begins to punch over his own shoulder and is hitting heavy shots. Smolka lets go and tries to roll Seery again, but Seery spins over. Seery tries to grab Smolka's head, but is too worn out for the guillotine attempt.  

Round 3: Seery opens with strikes again, but Smolka is able to take him down.  He mounts, but Seery is hammering elbows right on the top of Smolka's skull to get him off. In the stand-up, Seery strikes as Smolka shoots a takedown, but Seery defends masterfully with a precision shifting of body weight to flatten out.  Seery has hooked a guillotine on Smolka and looks like he now has the submission, but Smolka reverses and begins to choke Seery.  Smolka is now on top and wearing him down.  Smolka slams Seery, but Seery gets up quickly and now dumps Smolka down.  Seery gets another guillotine attempt and holds onto it, but Smolka is able to get up.  Smolka slams Seery and locks an arm triangle. Seery is punching the ribs of Smolka to close out the round.

Official decision: Louis Smolka wins by unanimous decision.

UFC 189: Fox Sports 1 Prelims

Cody Garbrandt v Henry Briones

Bit more of a conservative match between these two.  Garbrandt used superior control and a majority of strikes to earn a unanimous 30-27 victory to remain undefeated.

Cathal Pendred v John Howard

Round 1: Pendred opens with a knee strike.  Some trading of strikes in the center, then Pendred pushes Howard to the cage wall.  Pendred rushes again with hooks at the head of Howard.  Howard holds Pendred back with his body to the side, but Pendred is still striking.  

Round 2:  Pendred starts with a knee again, hitting the body.  Howard clinches with Pendred and gets tagged a few times, with his legs crossing over.  Howard gets some shots to the body, then initiates a grapple with Pendred.  Both are holding each other and trying to gain position.  Pendred works a knee in and the grapple breaks up.  Pendred goes for a leg kick, and Howard is using tight, quick snapping punches.  Little damage from those, but several stinging hits that can help to swell Pendred for later.  Howard finally gets some big shots at the very end of the round.

Round 3:  Heavy leg kick from Howard to Pendred.  Howard moves in and strikes to the chest.  Howard is much more aggressive this round.  He wants to ensure he gets this final round.  Pendred using fewer kicks, but grappling well with Howard.  Howard attempts the takedown, but Pendred gets the guillotine.  Howard is able to power out and they return to the stand up.  Pendred tries a takedown, but is immediately smacked off.  Pendred and Howard trade blows as the round ends.

Official decision: John Howard wins via split decision 

Alex Garcia v Mike Swick

Round 1:  Some quick trade-offs, then Garcia takes Swick down and drops a forearm to Swick's face.  Garcia delivers a few hooks to the body, but Swick is able to get up.  Garcia takes him down again and now has Swick pinned to the cage wall.  Swick is mounted, but moving around and is able to escape without too much damage.  In the final minute, little striking and mostly circling for position. Trying to find an opening.

Round 2:  Garcia takes Swick down, but Swick gets up again.  Garcia explodes with an overhand right, but misses and Swick tries to counterpunch with jabs.  Garcia throwing a lot of overhand punches.  Garcia rushes with a wide left hook that misses, but tags Swick with an equally wide right hook to the face.  Garcia swings wide and stumbles forward from the momentum, but Swick does not capitalize on the situation.  Moments later, Garcia grabs and slams Swick down.  Garcia is mounted and throwing hooks to the body.

Round 3:  Garcia is swinging harder and bringing Swick where he wants him.  Some trading of punches, but Swick cannot get anything significant.  Garcia gets yet another takedown and holds him.   Swick is being punched from the mount and cannot escape. Garcia is hammering.  Swick escapes with few seconds left and Garcia ends the round by kicking at him while on his back.

Official decision: Alex Garcia wins by unanimous decision.

Matt Brown v Tim Means

Round 1:  Means opens with a head kick.  Some quick strikes from each fighter.  Means is striking with fury. Brown gets some shots to the body.  Means' eye is scratched and the ref pauses them for a moment.  They open back up with more trading of strikes and then Brown underhooks the arms and drives Means to the cage wall.  Brown gets a pair of rights to the face.  Brown gets a head kick then shots to the body.  Means tries to take Brown down, but it is defended. Brown now takes Means down.  Means is striking upwards and fights Brown off of his back.  Both mean throw a forward kick and Brown rolls backwards for a moment.  Means throws an elbow to the face of Brown and knocks Brown back.  Brown now recovers and hits Means with his own elbow strike.  Brown takes Means down and hooks in a guillotine choke and submits Means for the win.

Official decision: Matt Brown wins by submission via guillotine choke at 4:44 of round 1.

UFC 189 Main Card

Thomas Almeida v Brad Pickett

Round 1:  Pickett tags Almeida several times and bloodies him.  Pickett is smacking him quickly with punches.  Almeida lands a straight of his own and puts Pickett on his back.  Pickett gets back up and both men continue to trade strikes.  Set of hooks from both men slam in, but Pickett gets the better of it with a shot to the face.

Round 2: Match opens up and Almeida throws a flying knee strike to the face and KOs Pickett.

Official decision:  Thomas Almeida wins by a knockout  due to a knee strike at 29 seconds of round 2.

Brandon Thatch v Gunnar Nelson

Round 1:  Some circling off with a few kicks from Thatch.  Nelson gets a few punches in as a counter.  Nelson gets a huge straight to the face and floors Thatch.  Nelson is on top of him and pinning him down.  Nelson is reaching for the arm, but Thatch avoids.  The crowd heats up for McGregor's training partner.  Nelson now grabs the rear-naked choke and taps Thatch out!

Official decision: Gunnar Nelson wins by tap out due to rear-naked choke at 2:54 of round 1.

Dennis Bermudez v Jeremy Stephens

Round 1:  Bermudez is taken down by a strong shot from Stephens, but Bermudez hits a shot that bloodies Stephens around the eye.  Bermudez with a few more sharp strikes before pushing Stephens to the cage and eventually driving the takedown.  Bermudez has mounted and is throwing hooks to the face of Stephens.  He has excellent position and Stephens is unable to defend most strikes.  Blood is leaking everywhere. Stephens stands up, but Bermudez is on him again, grinding him against the cage.

Round 2:  Bermudez opens with a head kick, but doesn't get all of it.  Stephens got his cut closed up and is landing good shots.  Stephens hits a huge uppercut and downs Bermudez.  Bermudez holds the legs, but Stephens gets more shots to the face.  Stephens works in some knees with his punches, but Bermudez is able to clinch him and prevent some big shots for a moment.  Bermudez is hit with a huge hook and is knocked down but bounces up instantly and knocks Stephens down with a forward kick, and tries to follow up with a flying knee.  Stephens hits another punch, then knees Bermudez, but Bermudez returns with a superman punch and knocks Stephens down.  Bermudez attempts a takedown, but Stephens is able to defend.

Round 3:  Nice respect to start off the final round.  Bermudez has a hard leg kick. Stephens strikes a huge hook and puts Bermudez out.  He hammers on him until the referee is able to get between them.  Huge knockout.

Official decision:  Jeremy Stephens wins by TKO at 32 seconds of round 3.

UFC Welterweight Championship: Robbie Lawler v Rory MacDonald

Last time these two fought, Lawler won a split decision victory.

Round 1:  The fighters touch gloves and stand at middle distance.  Some big USA chants go up for Lawler.  MacDonald gets a leg kick, followed by some light jabs to the head.  Rory goes in with a headkick attempt, but Lawler sways back from it.  Robbie is pacing calmly this round so far.  Both men close in and trade quick shots, but avoid the majority.  Rory throws a sharp punch and shoots for a takedown, but Lawler defends against the takedown.  Lawler gets a nice right hand at Rory's face.  Lawler gets a few more punches before the first round ends.

Round 2:  Lawler comes out much more aggressive, starting out with jabs at the face of MacDonald.  Both men being very conservative and thinking out their shots again.  Rory continually jabbing now, with Lawler trying for countershots.  Sharp strike by MacDonald stings Lawler, but misses with a follow-up hook.  Lawler lands a series of punches to Rory's face.  Rory is bleeding from the nose.  Both men with much more movement going now.  Rory is kicking out at Lawler, but Lawler is tagging several more shots.

Round 3:  MacDonald goes for a big overhand punch, but Lawler counters with another shot to the face.  Lawler's jab is nailing Rory constantly.  Rory tries for a takedown and Lawler defends completely.  Rory has his entire face covered in blood. Rory returns with some huge kicks and staggers Lawler. Rory is raining kicks and knees.  Rory throws elbows and makes the comeback.

Round 4:  Rory straight in with headkicks and strikes.  Hammers him against the cage.  Rory is mashing elbows into Robbie's face. Robbie is trying his jabs again, but Rory throws another head kick. Rory has wobbled Lawler.  Rory is pacing in for a minute and now throws a head kick followed by a superman punch attempt.  Robbie lands a few solid punches back at Rory.  They clinch in and break each other off.  Stiff jab from Lawler.  Headkick attempt from Rory and a straight punch from Robbie.  Robbie still has his takedown defense solid as he fights Rory's attempt off.  Both men pretty bloody.  Rory tries for a huge elbow, but Lawler blocks.  

Round 5:  Robbie opens with some of those stiff jabs.  He knocks Rory down  and gets a series of strikes to get the TKO early in the final round.  Robbie Lawler defends his Welterweight Championship in an amazing fight.

The ferocity of this match is shown by the shape
the challenger was left in afterwards

Official decision:  Robbie Lawler wins by TKO due to punches at 1 minute of the 5th round.

UFC Interim Featherweight Championship: Chad Mendes v Conor McGregor

Both men were ready to go at the weigh-in

Round 1:  Conor opens with a spinning kick. Mendes takes him down, but Conor escapes and taunts him.. Mendes moves in with a straight shot.  Conor now nails a spinning kick then a hard fist.  Conor is now striking at Mendes and keeping him cornered. Mendes lands a few of his own, but Conor gets a few in return.  Mendes shoots the takedown and lifts Conor to drop him on the back.  Mendes with the elbow to strike. Conor stands up and Mendes gets a big shot to bloody Conor's eye.  Conor is using body shots.  He gets a strike to the head and staggers Mendes, but Mendes recovers to try and strike back.  Mendes gets another takedown and covers Conor's face.  Several shots to the face keep Conor down.  Two warnings to Mendes about watching his fingers to the eyes. The round ends with Conor bloody with Mendes on top of him.

Round 2:  Conor gets a few nice shots that chase Mendes back, but Mendes returns the favor by taking Conor down again.  Mendes is smothering Conor to try and weaken him from his wild style.  Mendes drops the elbow on him.  Conor is striking upwards and fighting to get Mendes off, but can not get out.  Another dropping forearm onto Conor, but Conor grabs the head and lashes out with elbows to the head of Mendes.  Mendes continues to drop forearms and elbows on Conor, and now goes for a choke on Conor and that allows Conor to escape.  Conor gets a sharp uppercut. Mendes tries the takedown and Conor now defends.  Conor strikes back furiously and knocks Mendes down.  Conor is on top, striking Mendes against the cage and the referee stops the fight.

Official decision:  Conor McGregor wins the Interim Featherweight Championship by TKO at 4:57 of round 2.

Keep up with the hits of KO CoverageFight Night Berlin & Bellator 138UFC 188: Velasquez vs WerdumFight Night 68: NOLAUFC 187: Johnson vs Cormier and Fight Night 67: Goiania

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