Welcome to Frenzy’s coverage of UFC 177 – a pay-per-view card that’s been whittled down by last-minute changes so much, it resembles not so much a PPV as maybe something you’d see on Fight Pass. MAYBE. Anyway, after much shuffling, the main event features bantamweight king TJ Dillashaw against promotional newcomer Joe Soto, was going to be fighting on the prelims until former champ Renan Barao crapped the figurative bed during his weight cut.
In terms of co-main event, there’s TUF 13 winner Tony Ferguson against Danny Castillo… because screw market saturation, let’s just put anyone at the top of these cards.
Anyway, stay tuned for some keen observations during this play-by-play, and don’t forget to keep hitting “refresh”.
Prelim card – FOX Sports 1
-Chris Wade vs. Cain Carrizosa
Round 1: Wade, a champ in the Northeast promotion Ring of Combat, while Carrizosa is a white guy with enough tattoos to be a member of the Yakuza. At the referee’s signal, they waste no time in mixing it up, with Carrizosa claiming the real estate in the center of the cage and throwing punches at his foe’s head. Wade responds with a sweet head/arm throw, and from the scarfhold position owns Carrizosa. Carrisoza tries to scramble, but the Long Island native slides into a guillotine, and in no time Wade has put Carrisoza to sleep.
Result: Chris Wade defeats Cain Carrizosa via Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:12, R1
-Ruan Potts vs. Anthony Hamilton
Round 1: In a battle that would embarrass even the worst Bellator heavyweight, Potts and Hamilton come out giving away their game plans – Potts wants to throw leather and Hamilton wants to wrestle him to the canvas – and yet neither can do much else. Hamilton scores takedown after takedown, getting the South African horizontal at will. But once there, the American does nothing, and even stands back up to beckon Potts to join him. Meanwhile, Potts throws some leather to no avail.
Round 2: Hamilton kicks up a notch, getting Potts down and actually incorporating some ground and pound to the body – so much so that the referee gets very vocal about Potts needing to defend himself. Thankfully, he doesn’t, and the referee calls the bout because of too many unanswered body blows.
Result: Anthony Hamilton def. Ruan Potts via TKO (Punches) at 4:17, R2
-Derek Brunson vs. Lorenz Larkin
Round 1: Brunson eschews all notions of defense in his pursuit of the tie-up and takedown, which means from the outset Larkin is pegging him with a plethora of kicks and punches. But Brunson succeeds in latching on midway through the round, and what follows is a serious beating and submission assault as Larkin struggles like a fish out of water. The striker does manage to survive to the bell, though.
Round 2: Larkin lands a pretty solid kick to his opponent’s body before Brunson gets the takedown, and with three minutes left in the round you just have to assume that the striker is going to be absorbing more punishment. And guess what? You’d be right! Larkin escapes to his feet briefly before getting taken down again, and throughout he eats fists and forearms.
Round 3: The takedown comes in 45 seconds, and once more Brunson is grinding Larkin into jelly. Larkin has one attempt at a leglock, and he’s never in any danger of tapping out, but it’s all Brunson, all the time. Time expires with Larkin throwing desperate strikes on the feet and the judges marking off Brunson as the winner.
Result: Derek Brunson def. Lorenz Larkin via Unanimous Decision
Main card results – Pay-Per-View
-Yancy Medeiros vs. Damon Jackson
Round 1: Jackson is reckless in coming in and Medeiros feeds him some knuckles, and then the jockey for position against the cage, trading knees until Medeiros plants one square in his opponent’s junk. After a brief break, they resume, and Medeiros gets looser and looser with his boxing, displaying some beautiful technique with his hooks and uppercuts. The round ends with Jackson completely unsuccessful with his takedown attempts and Medeiros looking deadly.
Round 2: Desperation breeds error, which means Jackson goes for a clinch, leaves his neck exposed, and falls prey to a reverse guillotine choke – the first submission of its kind in the Octagon. Wow.
Result: Yancy Medeiros def. Damon Jackson via Submission (Reverse Guillotine Choke) at 1:54, R2
-Ramsey Nijem vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
Round 1: Ferreira has two modes: wild swinging with reckless abandon, and ultra-dangerous jiu-jitsu black belt. We see both, and since Nijem is bigger with more Octagon experience, the TUF runner-up seems to get the better of the Brazilian in the early half of the round. But eventually Ferreira lands a punch and stumbles Nijem, and then on the ground Nijem is no longer the hunted but the hunted. Ferreira sweeps him and threatens with a kimura and a triangle choke, and the bell rings.
Round 2: Ferreira clips his foe and goes for a guillotine, but Nijem escapes back to is feet. However, more desperation (see above) comes into play, and when Nijem comes in swinging hard, Ferreira blasts him on the chin with a right and TKOs him. Nice debut for the Brazilian.
Result: Diego Ferreira def. Ramsey Nijem via TKO (Punches) at 1:53, R2
-Shayna Baszler vs. Bethe Correia
Round 1: Baszler chases the Brazilian down and forces the grappling game, with the American working her guard and threatening with an armbar and triangle that Correia has to worry about. Correia escapes, but the submission dangers continue. The round ends with Baszler working a neck crank and Correia counting down the seconds.
Round 2: Whatever vim and vigor Baszler possessed in the first is completely gone by the start of the second round, as evidenced by Correia trapping her against the fence and unloading with about two million elbows, rights and lefts. Baszler is transformed into a human punching bag, and “Big” John McCarthy steps in to bring an end to the slaughter.
Result: Bethe Correia def. Shayna Baszler via TKO (Punches) at 1:56, R2
-Tony Ferguson vs. Danny Castillo
Round 1: Castillo’s got one weapon – a right hand he can uncork to great effect – and he tries to employ it liberally. Meanwhile, Ferguson’s got solid boxing defense, ace footwork and strong kicks, all of which he uses to rack up points. The TUF winner switches gears mid-round and goes for a D’Arce that he willingly falls to his back for, and after almost a minute Castillo escapes. The round ends with the Team Alpha Male rep on top.
Round 2: The frame begins with more of the same, with Castillo at least incorporating his left hand into the action. But a split-second lapse by Ferguson has Castillo almost behind him, to which Ferguson rolls into a leglock attempt – an attempt that Castillo foils by scrambling and bringing the weight of his hips down fully on him. Aside from a sweet sweep, Castillo rides out the round on top.
Round 3: Castillo does a great job of getting Ferguson down and keeping him there. Sadly, he doesn’t do much more than hold him there, and Ferguson goes for Kimuras, a leglock and a triangle over the course of the round. Time expires with the Team Alpha Male-er going for a head/arm choke, but is it enough offense to merit the decision?
Result: Tony Ferguson def. Danny Castillo via Split Decision
-Joe Soto vs. TJ Dillashaw
Round 1: Soto is of course tentative as hell – wouldn’t you be if you’d been slated for a prelim fight and were suddenly fighting in the main event instead? Said tentativeness has Dillashaw on his back hunting for a choke after just a minute has passed, but because Soto is experienced, he weathers the storm and spends the rest of the round gaining confidence on the feet. The round ends with Soto actually acquitting himself pretty well courtesy of some badass head-movement and a counter-right.
Round 2: Soto’s output decreases significantly as fatigue sets in, which enables the champ to throw an exponentially greater number of punches. Yet the challenger’s defense is impeccable, and every now and then his he lands a set of knuckles to Dillashaw’s face that reminds us he’s still viable. Dillashaw takes the round by a longshot, but damn is Soto still in it.
Round 3: Dillashaw’s barrage is never-ending, and Soto’s offensive retort is minimal. Still, the occasional right hand from the challenger finds an opening and the champ’s head gets knocked back. In terms of dominance, it’s all Dillashaw, and that fact is punctuated by a successful takedown he scores.
Round 4: The champ slows a bit, and in reply, the challenger turns up the pressure. For his part, Dillashaw keeps throwing tons of leather, but much of it is blocked, so he goes for – and gets – another takedown. The round ends with them on the feet.
Round 5: Soto goes for a takedown that Dillashaw easily stuffs, and after much dancing and trying to catch their respective breaths, the champ nails him with a sweet head-kick. Soto wobbles, and Dillashaw finishes him with a left hand. All hail the champ, and mucho credit to the challenger for putting up a heck of a fight.
Result: TJ Dillashaw def. Joe Soto via KO (Kick) at 2:20, R5