Khalid Taha defeated Bruno Silva, Submission, R3.
Silva is making his UFC debut, while Taha is attempting to put together a two-fight winning streak. Taha almost kicked Silva in the head while he was down. If nothing else, this was an exciting fight, between a couple of guys who had some sloppy but exciting grappling exchanges.
SRS' Rec: Sure, watch this one.
Ji Yeon Kim schlaps up Nadia Kassem, TKO R2
Nadia Kassem made some key errors here, namely the dickheaded attempt to kick during a fist bump intro and got DROPPED. Kim turns the heat on big time and is relentless. Kassem should not be fighting in this weight class, and needs to move up. She got too tired, too fast. Kim swams Kassem, and honestly, I was surprised that this didn't get stopped sooner. Kassem got brave towards the ends of the round, but it backfired on her and Kim knocked her mouth piece out. A couple of outstanding body shots. Kim has won three of her last four fights. Kassem has lost two in a row.
SRS' Rec: This was pretty good.
Megan Anderson taparoos Zarah Fairn, R1, SUB
Fairn just wails away and swings, and gets taken down. Anderson gets full mount, gets swept, applies a triangle and wins. This felt much shorter than it actually was. Megan Anderson really, really needed a big win here. A win would have been fine, but an emphatic one really helps.
SRS' Rec: Watch the finish
Brad Riddell def. Jamie Mullarkey by unanimous decision IN A SLAPPER
This third round is WILD. They're chucking and ducking, slugging it out. At this point they're going for the win and some kid of bonus. Mullarkey connects with the best of the wild shots. Back up on the feet, Riddell returns the favor and is throwing until he drops Mullarkey. This is an incredible slugfest in the third. Riddell cracks Mullarkey again, and Riddell looks like he's trying to bust Mullarkey's ear. This is an outstanding fight and the third round is just absolute batshit insanity.
SRS' rec: MUST. WATCH. FIGHT.
Callan Potter def. Maki Pitolo by unanimous decision
The point of this column, blog, briefing is to tell you if you should care about these fights. You should not care about this fight. Potter is 1-1 in the UFC now, knocking off a Contender Series prospect in Pitolo. As good as the latter looked on Contender Series in July, and in Bellator last year, it just wasn't there tonight.
SRS' Rec: Avoid this.
Jake Matthews def. Rostam Akman by unanimous decision
Take everything I said in the first few sentences of the last fight and apply it here. This isn't good. It's glorified sparring, and fails to capture the interest of anyone. Mathews is at least a young, effective prospect who has won four of his last five. I dunno that putting him against a 6-1 fighter with no UFC wins was a really smart move, but to be fair, Akman had a TON of amateur fights, so the experience is a little misleading.
SRS' Rec: No way.
Yorgan De Castro Knocks Out Justin Tafa, KO, R1
Woo boy, this changed the trend. A lot of this is fought in the clinch. Tapa squares up and steps in, but De Castro throws an amazing counter knockout right hand. This was one of the best knockouts of the year at heavyweight at the very least. An unbelievable finish. De Castro is still undefeated, and wants to fight in December. He's emotional. Tafa should not have even been in there. He had three pro fights.
SRS' Rec: The finish is a must-see.
Dhiego Lima def. Luke Jumeau by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
This is all Lima's fight. Jumeau is down two rounds, and to his credit, he does his best to get back into the fight, but Lima is just better, faster, stronger, has better technique and footwork. Lima has some great sweeping leg kicks that changed the entire fight and caused Jumeau to react from the get-go. That low calf leg kick has really changed MMA and allowed strikers to attack the legs with a little more safety than we've seen in past years. Somehow Jumeau gets a scorecard. I'm not sure how.
SRS' Rec: If you need to prioritize on this card, pass it up.
Serghei Spivac taps out #14 Tai Tuivasa, R2 SUB
It's just starting to look like Tuivasa isn't very good. He's worn down, outclassed, and stomped out. Tuivasa came into the UFC on a roll and seems like he bought his own hype. Hardly a fair diagnosis since I don't know the man, but the lack of improvement in his game after the early success seems to indicate that. Spivac drags him to the ground and wins with an arm triangle. Spivac evens up his UFC record.
SRS' Rec: Just watch the highlights
#14 Dan Hooker topples #6 Al Iaquinta, UD
I wasn't sure how Iaquinta would emerge victorious in this one unless he took Hooker down. Dan Hooker was landing with leg kicks often and really changing up Al's game plan. When Iaquinta goes for a take down, he eats a ton of elbows. Iaquinta improves in round 2, but gets dropped. Hooker just turns it on in round three like he needed to in order to put an exclamation point on things. After the fight, he calls out Dustin Poirier. Brilliant to do that.
SRS' Rec: Watch the highlights, but the full fight wouldn't hurt since it's one of the only high level fights on the show.
Undisputed UFC Middleweight Championship
Israel Adesanya (IC) defeated Robert Whittaker (C) via TKO, R2
Not a lot at all lands in the first round until Adesanya FLATTENS Whittaker in the final seconds. If that went any longer, he wins that fight. Adesanya turns it up in round two and puts the pressure on him with combos. Whittaker was able to implement some effective strikes as well, mixing up hooks and kicks. It didn't much matter though, Adesanya cracked Whittaker with a big right hook and won the fight.
It's REAL refreshing to hear a champion actually call out the top contender instead of some dudes that don't fight or don't win.
SRS' Rec: A MUST WATCH