2RS returns with tons of UFC and WEC coverage from the last few weeks, Strikeforce Evolution report, and most recent headlines in the sport
I know, its been a long time since you’ve heard from me. After much holiday celebration and vacationing I’m back with The 2nd Round Submission. There’s been a lot of action since my last blog so I’ll run it all down from most recent to most distant.
UFC Fight Night
Nate Diaz took on Gray ‘The Bully’ Maynard at the top of the card. These fighters faced off during TUF 6 with Diaz getting the victory by guillotine choke. Since that time Gray has been more successful in his UFC career, going undefeated while Diaz had gone 2-2 in his last 4 fights. With an impressive win Maynard was expected to get a shot at BJ Penn for the lightweight title in the near future.
In the first round ‘The Bully’ made it clear that he had no interest in taking the fight to the ground. Both looked to work their boxing but early on Maynard had the advantage. Gray didn’t do much damage but enough to out point Diaz and take the round 10-9.
The 2nd round was more of the same with the fight staying upright. From the clinch Diaz attempted to get a takedown or pull guard but Gray just shoved him off. Nate began to working leg kicks along with pumping his jab. Maynard scored with a few good body punches in retaliation. Close round here. I’ll gave the advantage to Maynard since his strikes appeared stronger and cleaner. 10-9 Maynard
During the 3rd Nate’s boxing began to shine. He repeatedly landed jabs and hooks while Gray missed with his attempts. Its possible Maynard had tired from trying to dictate the pace in the early going. Late in the round ‘The Bully’ landed a strong right that stumbled Diaz however he was unable to put him away. Despite the damage Diaz won the round 10-9
Final word from the judges was (28-29, 30-27, 29-28) for the winner by Split Decision Gray ‘The Bully’ Maynard. Gray got his victory but he didn’t show me enough to warrant a shot against the champ BJ. If he was to step in with ‘The Prodigy’ any time in the near future Mr. Maynard would receive the ass kicking of his life.
Other fights on the show:
Nick Catone def. Jesse Forbes via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Gerald Harris def. John Salter via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 3:24
Rafael Dos Anjos def. Kyle Bradley via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Rory MacDonald def. Mike “Joker” Guymon via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 4:27
Thiago Tavares vs. Nick Lentz declared majority draw (28-28, 28-28, 29-27).
Rick Story def. Jesse Lennox via majority decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Chris Leben def. Jay Silva via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Amir Sadollah def. Brad Blackburn via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Aaraon Simpson def. Tom Lawlor via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Evan Dunham def. Efrain Escudero via submission (armbar), Round 3, 1:59
The main event to unify the lightweight championship saw the champion Jamie Varner taking on the interim champion Ben “Smooth” Henderson. Varner had been sidelined recovering from a hand and foot injury. While he wasn’t recovering he spent time doing interviews, improving his overall skills, and hanging out with me in Newport, RI and The Landing. In the meantime, Ben Henderson defeated Donald Cerrone in October to become the interim champion in the fight of the year for 2009.
Both men started cautious then Varner rushed in and scored a strong takedown. Jamie controlled Henderson on the ground with a front face lock and eventually moved to a standing guillotine along the cage. Varner continued to hold Ben down and landed some knees to the body but the fighters were separated do to lack of action. Jamie apparently was poked the eye but the action was not stopped. “Smooth” rushed in but Varner was able to take his back along the cage. Varner took this round with takedowns and cage control. 10-9 Varner
In the 2nd round Varner pressed the action coming forward with jabs and leg kicks. Ben threw strikes sparingly, sitting back and picking his shots. Henderson rushed forward with a flurry and landed a side kick but Varner caught it and dumped him to the ground. Smooth attempted a shoot and got stuffed. Varner pinned Ben against the cage and the 2 exchanged knees, Jamie landing with more force. Takedown off the cage by Varner to end the round. Henderson landed some hard strikes but didn’t do enough to win the round. 10-9 Varner
3rd round opened with Varner coming forwards and pinning Henderson against the cage. The fighters looked more aggressive in this round, throwing each strike with more force although neither landed anything flush. Jamie then rushed in for a shoot but Henderson landed a knee to the body and locked in a standing guillotine. Varner quickly tapped at 2:41. Winner and unified lightweight champion Ben ‘Smooth’ Henderson.
Urijah Faber made his long awaited return to the cage after recovering from two broken hands to take on Raphael Assuncao. The winner of this featherweight match up was expected to be next in line for Jose Aldo’s title. Neither man gained a clear advantage in the first round. A lot of clinching long the cage, mainly controlled by Assuncao. Each fighter landed an occasional strike but I gave the round to Assuncao as a result of his clinch control. 10-9 Assuncao
The 2nd saw Faber use his quickness to control the fight. He grabbed a single and got the takedown into Raphael’s guard. Urijah struck with some elbows and locked in a guillotine but Assuncao got back to his feet. The two went back and forth with strikes then ‘The California Kid’ dropped Assuncao with big right hook. Faber jumped on him but Raphael was alert enough to pull guard and attempt a triangle. At the very end of the round Assuncao was able to get to his feet but the damage was done. 10-9 Faber
Urijah opened the 3rd with another takedown but Raphael was right back up. He attempted his own shoot but Faber sprawled to defend it. Following a clinch and some missed punches ‘The California Kid’ put Assuncao on the canvas with a straight right. Urijah pounced on him but Raphael pulled guard. Assuncao then tried to scramble to his feet however Faber immediately locked in the hooks and secured a tight rear naked choke for the tap at 3:49.
Faber will now take on champion Jose Aldo in what could be WEC first ever PPV. This fight will be worth the price of the show alone.
Other WEC 46 outcomes:
Will Campuzano def. Coty “Ox” Wheeler via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Eddie Wineland def. George Roop via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mark Hominick def. Bryan Caraway via submission (arm-bar) – Round 1, 3:48
Wagnney Fabiano def. Clint Godfrey via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Charlie Valencia def. Akitoshi Tamura via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Over the last several months UFC 108 had become the injury coursed show. Many of the shows top fights were canned or changed because of fighters being hurt. This left us with the main event ‘Suga’ Rashad Evans taking on Thiago Silva. This was Evans first fight since losing the light heavyweight championship to Lyoto Machida. Silva came in following a victory over Rashad’s best friend and fellow Greg Jackson trainee, Keith Jardine. Suga seeking revenge for his friend’s loss added to the build of this contest.
The first two rounds of this fight were very similar. Rashad controlled both rounds by going back to his wrestling roots. Evans repeatedly took Silva down with little resistance. Although little damage was done ‘Suga’ repeatedly scored with each successful shoot. Both of these rounds went to Evans 10-9.
The third round opened similarly. Thiago stuffed a take down attempt but then was quickly takedown there after. When back on their feet Silva landed a big right hand that wobbled Rashad. Thiago rushed in and looked to finish the fight but was unable to before running out of steam. Eventually Evans recovered and the fight ended without any significant action in the last 90 seconds. Silva won this round 10-9
Winner by Unanimous decision Rashad Evans (29-28 across the cards)
Here are other results from 108:
Rafaello Oliveira over John Gunderson by Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Cole Miller over Dan Lauzon by Submission (Reverse Triangle/Kimura) at 3:05 in Round One
Jake Ellenberger over Mike Pyle by TKO (Strikes) at 0:22 in Round Two
Martin Kampmann over Jacob Volkmann by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 4:03 in Round One
Mark Munoz over Ryan Jensen by Submission (Strikes) 2:30 in Round One
Junior dos Santos over Gilbert Yvel by TKO (Strikes) at 2:07 in Round One
Jim Miller over Duane Ludwig by Submission (Armbar) at 2:31 in Round One
Sam Stout over Joe Lauzon by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Paul Daley over Dustin Hazelett by KO (Left Hook/Strikes) at 2:24 in Round One
WEC 45 featured the main event of Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone taking on Ed ‘9mm’ Ratcliff in an assumed #1 contender bout for the 155 lbs. title
In the first round Cerrone moved forward quickly and both men battled for position along the cage. A takedown by Ratcliff but Cerrone got back up quickly. 9 mm came out with impressive striking. He rocked Cowboy with a straight right then swept his leg with a kick. Cerrone was off to his typical slow start then gradually turned it up. He began scoring with some powerful knees along the cage and from the muy thai clinch. Donald looked to throw high and low kicks as opposed to using boxing. Cowboy then got a little careless and landing two knees to Ratcliff’s man region. One point was deducted by referee Herb Dean. Off the cage Cerrone scored a take down and tried for a guillotine as the round ended. 9 mm controlled the early going but Cerrone did enough in the later stages to win the round. With the point deduction it was an even 9-9 round
Cerrone came out in the 2nd round continuing with his kicks. Ratcliff used a unique tactic of avoidance by jumping over a leg kick and threw a counter punch in mid air. 9mm was doing better with the boxing but Cowboy was chopping away with the powerful kicks. Cerrone began controlling the pace with combos of punches, kicks, and knees. While moving forward and going for another clinch, Donald hit a knee to the groin. Again Herb Dean subtracted a point. Following the deduction Cerrone looked very hungry to make up for the illegal knees. Ed appeared to have slowed substantially from the first round. Ratcliff caught a body kick then dropped Cowboy with a right hand. 9mm then got Cerrone’s back in the standing position but Donald used a kimura sweep to gain dominant position. Another guillotine attempt to the close the round but Ratcliff was saved by the bell.
Jumping knee attempt by Ratcliff missed to start round 3. Big jumping knee by Cerrone then a left, right combo did damage to 9mm. Ed went for a take down but Cerrone grabbed the cage to gain the mount. Dean stopped the fighters and made them stand because of the illegal action. Cowboy looked confident and aggressive with his movement. Donald gained underhooks along the fence then established back controll. Cowboy got the takedown into mount but 9mm rolled giving away his back. Cerrone then locked in a reverse triangle, leg lock type of maneuver but 9mm wiggled free only to be taken back down. Once again cowboy was on Ed’s back. This time he was able to finish the fight with a rear naked choke at 3:48 in the 3rd round.
WEC 45 results:
Erik Koch def. Jameel Massouh via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Brad Pickett def. Kyle Dietz via submission (Peruvian necktie) – Round 2, 4:36
Brandon Visher def. Courtney Buck via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:45
Chad George def. John Hosman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Zach Micklewright def. Muhsin Corbbrey via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Bart Palaszewski def. Anthony Pettis via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28)
Scott Jorgensen def. Takeya Mizugaki via Unanimous Decision (29-28)
Joseph Benavidez def. Rani Yahya via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:35
Anthony Njokuani def. Chris Horodecki via TKO – Round 1, 3:33
The co-main event of the night pitted Josh ‘The Punk’ Thompson against Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez for the lightweight title. This was the much anticipated, long delayed rematch between these two. The Punk won the first match up to gain the championship in a unanimous decision victory.
This match was AWESOME, a clear match of the year candidate. There was way too much action to run down so I’ll summarize. The fight opened with Thompson landing various strikes and gaining the early advantage. This slowly began to change in the 2nd round into Melendez’s favor. Gilbert won wild striking exchanges and began picking apart ‘The Punk’ with varied offense. As each round went on ‘El Nino’ began to get stronger and stronger while Josh faded. In the end Melendez won the unanimous decision (49-47, 49-46, 49-46)
The headliner fight of the evening saw Scott ‘Hands of Steel’ Smith taking on former middleweight champion Cung Lee.
Smith came out aggressively while Lee was patient and looked to score with various kicks. Suddenly a spinning back kick to the chest dropped smith and Lee began grounding and pounding from side control. Smith did his best to defend the onslaught of hammer fist. John McCarthy seemed very close to ending the fight but he let Smith work through. Scott was able to scramble to his feet and rushed forward. Another spin kick sent smith stumbling but he quickly regained his footing. Lee connected with a big round house to the head but smith ate it with missing a beat. Another spin kick sent smith backwards. Smith has landed this round, Lee dominated. 10-8 Lee.
Once again smith came out moving forward. Lee went back to work with a mix of kicks. Lee then worked his boxing, landing a nice straight right hand. Then a spinning back kick to the body dropped Smith. Lee moved in and was locked in Smith’s guard. Cung tried for a rapist choke but did no damage. Scott did a good job of controlling Lee’s body in the guard so he is unable to do damage and McCarthy stood the two up. Along the cage Lee tried a judo sweep unsuccessfully. Lee’s gas tank had noticeably been drained from the first round. Smith landed a nice elbow along the cage to end the round but Cung still took the round 10-9
Smith looked patient as the 3rd began. 2 spin kicks by Lee but Smith stayed on his feet. Scott finally avoided a spin kick by but then seconds later another connected. Both fighters looked drained as the round went on. 2 jabs, spinning back fist, then spin kick combo by Lee damaged Smith. He then followed with a powerful takedown. A left rocked Lee momentarily then again Smith dazed him. He rushed and dropped Cung. Scott with a some ground and pound the fight was stopped. INCREDIBLE comeback by Smith. He literally got his ass kicked the whole fight and out of no where he got the Hail Mary win in true Scott Smith fashion.
Rundown of other fights:
Alex Crispim def. A.J. Fonseca via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Justin Wilcox def. Daisuke Nakamura via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Antwain Britt def. Scott Lighty via TKO (cuts) – Round 1, 5:00
King Mo def. Mike Whitehead via KO – Round 1, 3:08
Ronald “Jacare” Souza def Matt Lindland via submission (arm triangle) – Round 1, 4:18
A new series called ‘Best of Pride’ will premiere this Friday at 10 on Spike TV. It will feature some current UFC stars before they stepped in the Octagon
Junior Dos Santos vs Gabriel Gonzaga on UFC’s debut on Versus network
UFC sold 10% of their company Flash Entertainment
UFC 112 is likely to feature co-main events of BJ Penn vs Frankie Edgar of the lightweight title and Anderson Silva vs Vitor Belfort
Clay Guida will take on Sean Sherk on UFC Fight Night 21
Hermes Franca has retired from MMA
No official word on Brock Lesnar’s condition but a few reports I’ve heard state that he will not need surgery and should be able to return to the octagon this year
UFC will make its debut in Vancouver on June 12th
Takanori Gomi has signed with a UFC. Kenny Florian and Spencer Fisher are both vying for the first shot at Gomi
That’s enough for this edition.
Ben Henderson guillotine choke on Anthony Njokuani
About the Author
Written by Martin Foster
Martin H. Foster is the author of "The 2nd Round Submission" and host of "Verbal Submission Radio" Follow him at www.twitter.com/MHMFoster