Erik Koch defeated Kyle Stewart, UD
- Eric Koch was scheduled to fight Aldo for the title seven years ago, and never did. Now he's kicking off the UFC prelims at age 30 hoping to hold on to his gig. A big fight for him.
- Erik Koch doesn't look like a world beater or anything, but he took this fight pretty well. He pins Kyle Stewart with ease and landed ground and pound, but Stewart escaped from the arm triangle well.
- The third round was the most impressive for Koch, who really put the pain on Stewart on the ground.
- Koch, a former featherweight and lightweight who has lost 5 of last 7 fights across the divisions, wins his welterweight debut.
SRS' Rec: Nope
Gillian Robertson pounded out Sarah Frota, TKO R2
- Robertson has been training with Din Thomas since she was 16.
- Robertson took down Frota and battled off a reverse triangle and an arm triangle from the bottom.
- Anik asking Rogan the difference between an arm triangle from the bottom and an Ezekiel choke was good TV that can educate the casual MMA fan watching.
- Robertson just started throwing down heavy ground and pound and won to a great ovation.
- Robertson is only 7-3, but she's 4-1 in the UFC with four finishes, all before the third round.
- She should be ranked this week.
SRS' Rec: Robertson is worth watching
#4 Deiveson Figueiredo defeated #3 Alexandre Pantoja via UD
- Figueredo vs. Pantoja is a big fight for the Flyweight division. Unfortunately, not much of anyone cares. Pantoja should be right behind Benavidez in line with a win.
- Pantoja rolls from the body to the head with his combos. These guys are just slugging it out, which results in Pantoja picking things up big time at the end of the round.
- This fight ruuuuuuuuuuuuules. They're chucking and ducking, and Figueiredo is getting the best of it, even dropping Pantoja during the second round.
- Figueiredo is so much more composed and accurate than Pantoja, and it's really paying off.
SRS' Rec: This was a fun, top five fight. Watch it.
Gavin Tucker clutch taps Seung Woo Choi RNC R3
- Tucker's response to a loss will be telling.
- Tucker has a point taken away for an illegal knee, which Tucker said was intentional. Well, okay.
- Tucker's corner wisely advises him that this is really just a one round fight.
- Choi is able to land some nice strikes, but gets dragged to the ground. Tucker isn't willing to leave it to chance, he taps out Choi out with a rear naked choke.
SRS' Rec: No, but Tucker could end up being something.
Hakeem Dawodu violences Yoshinori Horie via head kick, R3
- If you want to see Horie hop around an Dawodu struggle to chase him down until the third round, this is the fight for you.
- Dawodu does eventually chase him down and beats him up accordingly against the cage. Once Hakeem closes that distance, he makes it really hard to get away and pours it on from all angles.
- Punches, elbows, kicks, knees, everything he can possibly throw from the clinch is being thrown, but somehow Horie gets out of it.
- A great knee to the body and head kick wins it for Hakeem. Wow.
SRS' Rec: Third round is a damn good one.
Viviane Araujo defeated #7 Alexis Davis, UD
- Araujo is one of the most interesting fighters on this card. She's a 115 pound fighter who debuted in the UFC at 135 pounds, and is now competing at 125 pounds.
- Araujo got put on her ass, but isn't really letting that affect her.
- In round two, Davis is able to put Araujo on her back, and the latter doesn't have much of an answer besides closing her guard like it's 2008.
- Araujo has outstruck Alexis Davis in the opening and closing rounds, which is a hell of a thing to do.
- Araujo didn't even really fight as a pro until she was like 29. She's won fights in three different divisions in less than a year.
SRS' Rec: You don't need to watch this fight, but you probably need to keep your eye on Araujo.
Krzysztof Jotko defeated Marc-André Barriault, via SD
- I cover MMA for my job and I don't have a clue who Marc Andre Barriault is. Probably because he's 0-1 in the UFC.
- There are several sloppy ass slams in this fight. One where Jotko puts Barriault on his dome, which is technically illegal.
- Barriault slam himself into a Jotko mount.
- I would imagine the UFC is feeling kid of silly putting this fight on the main card instead of the top 5 Flyweight fight at this point.
- Jotko has won two in a row, Barriault is 0-2 in the UFC.
SRS' Rec: No, don't waste your time. This shouldn't have been on the pape.
Arman Tsaryukan defeated Olivier-Aubin Mercier, UD 29-28s
- Arman Tsaryukan is nowhere near as exciting as the Street Fighter Shoryuken.
- OAM lands a nice body kick and a punch in round one, and that's it. In round two, OAM connects with a knee.
- OAM leaves his guard down throwing a kick and gets cracked with a punch.
- OAM is on his back and throwing elbows. Okay. Pretty easy 29-28 Arman.
SRS' Rec: No. Dispose of this. This card really sucks, man.
Geoff Neal obliterates Niko Price, R2
- Neal gets a nice belly-to-back suplex.
- Price lucks out a bit with a clash of heads that allows him to set up a left punch that looks like it has Neal in danger.
- They start slugging it out, and the crowd is PUMPED.
- Price grabs a guillotine, but this is the UFC so no Von Flue choke when the spot presents itself. Did OSP go to every UFC fighter and say "Hey brother brother, don't use my Von Flue Choke finish, brother?" Because probably the last ten times I've seen someone in position for it, they don't do it.
- Geoff Neal ends up beating Price from within his guard with heavy GNP. Nasty.
- Neal is now 4-0 in the UFC, and 5-0 including Contender Series. It's time for a top 15 opponent.
SRS' Rec: Yeah, this was good. Finally.
Cris Cyborg mollywhopped Felicia Spencer, UD
- The last fight on Cris Cyborg's UFC contract is up next. She's taking on the undefeated (and huge underdog) Felicia Spencer.
- Cyborg is throwing some heavy strikes. Spencer is doing okay moving away and manages to cut Cyborg with an elbow.
- Spencer has the stance and footwork of a ten-day vet of the cage.
- Spencer is eating a ton of strikes, but hasn't been put on her ass once, which is about as promising as it gets against Cyborg if you're a straight grappler.
- Spencer quite dumbly pulls a tired Cyborg to the ground where she can rest and throw nasty punches.
- The cut on Cyborg is pretty nasty, but she's still beating Spencer by a pretty wide margin.
- Spencer has gotten NOTHING going in the clinch or on the ground, but at least she can take a punch.
- Spencer can take a punch, and that's all I've learned from this fight. I look forward to Budd vs. Cyborg.
- Cyborg fought exceptionally well tonight. Wild when she needed to be, technical when she needed to be. Varied up her game, got better at keeping her distance as the fight went on.
- The fact that Spencer not getting put on her ass once in three rounds is her stock going up tells you all you need to know about the alleged existence of that featherweight division
SRS' Rec: Yeah, this was a ball.
UFC Featherweight Championship
Max Holloway (c) defeated Frankie Edgar, UD.
- Frankie Edgar has lost four straight title fights leading into this bout. This is the longest layoff of his pro career by far.
- Holloway is using his range, but Edgar is still able to land over the top here and there.
- Through the first two rounds, the first strike that really gets anyone's attention is a beautifully set up spinning body kick from Holloway. The duration of the ten minutes was long distance sparring and excellent footwork.
- Max lands a nice hook that causes Edgar to get on his bicycle, but oddly enough allows Edgar to land a takedown.
- I'll give Holloway credit, he went for the finish in the closing seconds of the fight when he didn't need to, but I didn't really see that urgency out of him at other points. However, he's facing one of the toughest fighters ever, so that's probably why.
- Frankie Edgar is done at the championship levels of the UFC, barring some unforeseen injury.
- Alexander Volkanovski is at the venue and made weight in the event that someone fell out of this fight, because the card was so thin they wouldn't dare try to continue without it. He's next in line.
SRS' Rec: It's high level, but if you're in a jam, watch the highlights. Holloway was never in danger of losing this fight.