It’s a historic evening of fights for the UFC who is planting its feet in Phoenix, Arizona for the first time! It’s a stacked card full of exciting match-ups and dangerous heavyweights – don’t miss a second! MMAFrenzy is glad to present live play by play updates right here, so don’t go anywhere and keep refreshing the page! The action starts at 3:30 pm EST!
Ian Entwistle vs. Anthony Birchak
Round 1: The bantamweights are ready to start the night off as referee Jason Herzog gets us started. Birchak comes out and takes the center immediately with a hard kick to the body that knocks Entwistle off balance. Birchak pursues the clinch and gets the fight to the ground. Entwistle, a leg lock expert, grabs the leg and starts rolling. Birchak looks to be safe, but Entwistle stays committed and latches onto it again. Going for the heel hook now as they roll into the cage. Birchak taps to save his leg, big win for Ian Entwistle.
Ian Entwistle Wins via Submission (Heel Hook) in 1:04 RD 1
Henry Cejudo vs. Dustin Kimura
Round 1: It’s now time for the highly anticipated UFC debut of Olympic gold medalist, Henry Cejudo. Cejudo takes the center of the Octagon and looks for angles. Some solid punching technique displayed by Cejudo early, but can’t find the elusive chin of Kimura. Hard kick to the body by Cejudo. Cejudo continues to pressure Kimura and land decent shots. Kimura catches a kick and thinks about taking the fight down, but it’s no surprise that he can’t. Kimura looks content to counter-striking, and counters a leg kick with a right hand. Cejudo ties up and tries to land the knee. Cejudo lands a big right hand and puts Kimura on the ground, but hesitates on entering the guard. Back to the feet. Cejudo looks to pressure and lands a flurry of punches, but Kimura defends well and exits. Big swing and miss by Cejudo. Even though he’s not landing anything clean, he’s making Kimura think and move backwards. Kimura slides out of the way of a right hand, and later lands a nice counter. The final seconds tick down and Cejudo ducks under a right hand to land his own combination and fires off a kick. Great start for Cejudo who is showing some really good striking skills. 10-9 Cejudo
Round 2: Cejudo pushes forward again and both guys are looking to land shots. Cejudo blocks a kick from Kimura and delivers a right hand. More forward movement by Cejudo who lands a lead left hook now. Very impressed with the boxing skills of Henry Cejudo. Now a kick to the body. Kimura tries to get some offense going but Cejudo moves out of the way and looks to counter with big punches. Kimura covers up well, but can’t seem to land anything despite having the reach advantage. Kimura defends a clinch attempt and they reset in the middle. Kimura flicks his jab, but Cejudo walks him down and tees off with some punches against a purely defensive Dustin Kimura. They tie up and push off. Back to the center. Cejudo ducks under a right hand and pushes forward but can’t land clearly. Kimura is trying to not give up the center of the Octagon, but gets ripped to the body. Cejudo continues to out-land Kimura with aggressive punching combinations and Kimura is now sporting a pair of cuts around both eyes. Another dominant round for Cejudo. 10-9 Cejudo
Round 3: We now begin the final stanza of what has been primarily dominated by Henry Cejudo’s stand up skills. We see more of the same from the Olympic gold medalist, but Dustin Kimura is trying to get some sort of control and respect out of Cejudo on the feet. Kimura is bleeding badly under his right eye. Cejudo powers him against the cage and lands some shots, but Kimura eats a knee and pushes off. Both guys still look relatively fresh. Cejudo changes levels and delivers a right hand on Kimura who gets grazed while exiting on an angle. Kimura lands a decent jab and is now walking Cejudo down, but is too hesitant and they circle back to the middle. Kimura with an uppercut, probably his best punch so far. Cejudo shoots for the legs, throws Kimura down, but he’s back up when Cejudo decides not to capitalize. Cejudo lands a big shot and ties Kimura up and lands some more punches, but Kimura is back up. Another takedown attempt by Cejudo who grabs a body lock, but Kimura showcasing some good takedown defense against the Olympic wrestler. They exchange again at the final buzzer. Very impressive debut for Henry Cejudo who didn’t have to use his wrestling at all, and instead out-boxed the longer Kimura. 10-9 Cejudo
Henry Cejudo wins via Unanimous Decision
David Michaud vs. Garett Whiteley
Round 1: Whiteley comes into the cage as the taller man, but the reach is “virtually identical”. Referee Al Guinee gets us started for this lightweight affair. They quickly touch gloves and Michaud takes control of the Octagon right away. Whiteley throws some straight punches but can’t land. Michaud leans in with a right hand, but gets hit on the way out. A clash of kicks. Whiteley now takes control of the center and loads up with a right hand and some kicks, but can’t land clean. Michaud now presses forward behind his lead leg. Michaud sticks his jab in Whiteley’s face and has him on the perimeter. Whiteley pushes forward, they tie up, and separate. Michaud enters the range with a right uppercut and a right hand over the top and enters the clinch against the cage. Michaud is definitely the stronger of the two as he continues to walk Whiteley down and over-power him on the feet. Whiteley snaps some punches, but Michaud is wary and makes good adjustments. A fancy spinning crescent kick by Michaud. They both land well, but now Whiteley is finding his range with his longer punches. Michaud ties him up, but eats knees to the body for his effort. Whiteley tries to take him down, but has to fend off a guillotine. Whiteley backs off, eats a right hand, and Michaud takes him down against the cage with under a minute to go. Michaud tries to take the back, but allows Whiteley up. They both stand and Michaud exits with an uppercut. Whiteley presses forward with a knee, but Michaud avoids getting hit. 10-9 Michaud
Round 2: Second round starts and Michaud takes the center. They both land punches and Whiteley knocks him down with a push kick. Back on the feet, they tie up, Michaud lands some punches in the clinch and ragdolls him to the mat near the cage. Michaud lands in side control and punishing with knees as he control the head. Some elbows from the bottom are making Michaud bleed like a faucet. The cut is on the right eye brow, and it is leaking badly. Michaud momentarily takes the mount but is pushed back to half guard. Now back in guard. Whiteley throws more strikes off his back and Whiteley is covered in blood from Michaud’s cut. Michaud now trying to get some offense going, and passes into half guard. Michaud is sticking to him like glue, but is eating some punishing shots from the bottom. Whiteley now gets him back to the closed guard and avoids a right hand. Minute left. Whiteley sets up an armbar attempt but misses it and Michaud takes side control. Looking to take the back now, and he does to end the round. Very difficult round to score because Whiteley scored the most damage, but Michaud controlled the majority on top. 10-9 Michaud
Round 3: Third and final round. Whiteley is eager to get off with his punches, and does so. Some good kicks from Whiteley now who blocks a body kick from Michaud. Whiteley is starting to use his range with his jab, and now a cross to the body, but Michaud fires back. Whiteley powers forward but eats a right hand. Whiteley pushes forward again with punches, but unable to get a response from Michaud who just eats them. Whiteley goes to the body again and they trade punches. Michaud lands another right hand on Whiteley coming on. Right hand by Whiteley forces Michaud to get a takedown. Some strong elbows by Whiteley off his back, looking to open that cut up again. Michaud tries to open up from the guard, but Whiteley’s long arms and legs keep him tied up. Statistics show Whiteley has landed the most off his back as opposed to Michaud on top. Michaud tries to pass the guard, but is unable. Ref stands them up. Whiteley tries to capitalize and power forward on Michaud who simply changes levels and puts him on the mat again. More elbows on the bottom from Whiteley who is desperate to get something going off his back. Michaud stays heavy on the hips and keeps Whiteley from wall walking. The time ticks down and we’re left with what could be a very close match-up. Michaud got the takedowns, but Whiteley did massive damage off his back. I scored this round 10-9 Whiteley.
David Michaud wins via Unanimous Decision
Joe Ellenberger vs. Bryan Barbarena
Round 1: Herb Dean starts us off for this 155lb contest. Barbarena sports the longer frame and gets busy on the outside with lots of feints from the southpaw stance. Nobody seems committed to anything, just a lot of feints as Barbarena keeps Joe on the perimeter of the cage. Ellenberger shoots for a double, elevates, and dumps Barbarena on the mat. Joe looks to control the left arm and potentially get the back. Barbarena tries to get up but gets his thigh kneed in the process. Barbarena switches Ellenberger into the cage and now they both jockey for positioning. They split up. Ellenberger gauges a nice right hand, slips around to the back, and slams Barbarena on the mat. Now tries to take the back but Barbarena escapes and they’re back on the feet. Barbarena pushes forward behind his lead hand and now pushes Joe against the cage. Ellenberger switches him and escapes but eats a right hand. One is returned by Ellenberger. Barbarena walks him down and they both exchange big shots to the end of the round. 10-9 Ellenberger
Round 2: Barbarena comes out and tries to push the pace but eats a pair of rights by Ellenberger. Bryan is looking to be much more aggressive and Ellenberger keeps him at bay with a head kick. Barbarena now attacks the lead leg and is effective. Joe jumps forward with a knee to the body. Swing and a miss by Barbarena, but lands to the lead leg again. Some right hands by Barbarena to enter the clinch, but Ellenberger lands in tight and circles off. Barbarena tries to follow him but Ellenberger is just too slick. To the leg goes Barbarena again, and now a jab. Ellenberger seems content to counter strike Barbarena, who is trying to desperately score offense. Barbarena pushes forward and they tie up after Ellenberger can’t get him down. Muscling him against the cage is Joe, but Barbarena reverses him and they break with a left hand by Ellenberger. Final seconds tick down and Barbarena tries to push forward but eats more counters for his efforts. Closer round, but Barbarena finally got his range down that round. 10-9 Barbarena
Round 3: Third and final round for this lightweight bout. Barbarena tries to clinch up immediately and Ellenberger powerfully takes him down. Barbarena makes it back up to his feet and Ellenberger wants the takedown again, but has to absorb some elbows. They split. Ellenberger appears to be slowing down now and eats some hands from Barbarena. Now a knee and Barbarena is turning it on with punches. He’s not letting Ellenberger circle off this time and drops Ellenberger with a flurry of shots. Now on top is Barbarena who knees the midsection with Ellenberger against the cage. Relentless punches by Barbarena now with Herb Dean standing on idle. Ellenberger is badly hurt, but is hanging in there as he lies pushed up against the cage fighting off the bigger Barbarena. Barberena seems one good flurry away from ending the fight, and tees off with some elbows and more punches to get the stoppage. He started out slow, but pressure and forward movement was the key for Barbarena to score the finish.
Bryan Barbarena wins via TKO (Ref Stoppage) 3:24 RD 3
Ed Herman vs. Derek Brunson
(Fight cancelled due to a stomach issue experienced by Brunson)
Jamie Varner vs. Drew Dober
Round 1: Varner comes out quickly with a lead left hook. The southpaw, Dober, looks for angles. Dober stays on the outside but can’t find the chin of Varner who bolts forward for a clinch. A knee to the body for Varner, but Dober has double underhooks. Varner repositions and tries to go for a lateral, but Dober finds himself on top. Now in mount. Dober takes the back and is immediately thinking about the choke. Dober has an arm across the chin, not under, but Dober doesn’t care and squeezes to elicit the tap out. Big win for Dober who sparks the upset. The replays show that Varner hit his head while attempting the lateral drop, which allowed Dober to take the mount and eventually his back. A huge mistake from the veteran Varner paves the way for the first round tap out victory for Drew Dober. Subsequently, Varner has announced his retirement from MMA.
Drew Dober wins via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 1:52 RD 1
Ben Saunders vs. Joe Riggs
Round 1: Saunders enters the cage with two inches of height on his opponent Riggs, but nearly seven inches of reach. Big John gets us started for the contest. Saunders takes control of the center and Riggs bounces on the outside. Some snappy feints from Saunders early. Riggs blocks some half-hearted punches and it’s Riggs who ducks underneath Saunders’ thai clinch and puts Saunders down on the mat with a big takedown. Saunders immediately throws up a rubber guard and Joe Riggs taps out while in mission control. It’s unclear what happened as Riggs is clutching his head. The replay shows Riggs injuring his neck during the takedown attempt, giving “Killa B” the victory early in the first round. Saunders now makes it 2-0 in his UFC resurgence.
Ben Saunders wins via Submission (Injury) :57 RD 1
John Moraga vs. Willie Gates
Round 1: The UFC newcomer finds himself with 4 inches of height and 6 inches of reach against the former title challenger John Moraga. Jason Herzog starts us off for this flyweight bout. They touch gloves and Gates lands a leg kick. Moraga trying to walk Gates down but Gates backs him off with some kicks, John lands one to the leg. Both land stiff jabs. Moraga lands another leg kick but eats a one two by Gates, then throws to the leg again. Gates switches to southpaw, lands a kick to the body, and lands two quick shots. Not much power behind Gates’s punches, but is definitely very quick. Moraga continues chopping Gates’s thinner legs from the outside, now goes high. Gates moves forward behind his jab and Moraga looks for the counter lead hook. Low kick grazes the cup of Moraga, action continues almost immediately. Big lead hook backs Gates up, and another. Wild overhand from Moraga comes up short and Gates backs him off with a body kick. Another shot lands to the cup and the Gates wants to continue. The ref isn’t there to pause the action and Gates blasts him with a right hand. Gates takes the back and grabs for a rear-naked. The crowd doesn’t like the potentially dirty tactic, but Moraga survives and now gets on top. Gates gets back to his feet and Moraga follows. Hard leg kick by Moraga who has Gates circling the perimeter. Lead hand from Gates misses and it looks like the leg kicks are taking away from Gates’s speed and mobility. Replays show that the ref wanted the action to continue and Moraga was slow to react. Not a dirty tactic by Gates. 10-9 Gates
Round 2: Gates and Moraga circle each other looking for more kicks. Lead hook misses by Gates. Moraga pushes forward with a wild right that comes up short, but ties up and works some knees to the body. Now to the thigh. Moraga presses Gates against the cage with an underhook. Moraga separates and tries to capitalize with big punches but comes up short. Moraga continues to pressure who received instruction from his corner between rounds to do so. Another low kick by Moraga and the fight goes to the clinch again. Moraga looks to wrap up the body, but the taller Gates is proving difficult to put off balance. Moraga trying to drag the fight down, but exits with an elbow only to tie up again. Gates is working hard to try and get Moraga off him. The ref splits them up. Gates looks for his jab and then a few left kicks. Head kick by Moraga barely misses and it’s Gates who lands a push kick. Gates lands another push kick and Moraga ties up to put him against the cage. Moraga trying to take the fight down but Gates stays up. John knees the thigh and they stalemate for the remaining seconds. Very close round, but Moraga is controlling the clinch game. 10-9 Moraga
Round 3: Both flyweights are set for the final round in what has been a close fight thus far. Moraga looks to apply forward pressure but it’s Gates that jumps in with a jab. Moraga powers Gates against the cage and goes back to work kneeing the thigh. Moraga takes some knees to the body as he tries to grind Gates in the clinch. Moraga splits with an elbow, then tries to sneak around with an elbow. Moraga lands a knee and a big right hand as Gates as nowhere to go against the cage. Moraga changes levels and Gates is working to defend another takedown. They stalemate again, but Moraga grabs a hold of the head and drags Gates down to the mat. Moraga on top in half guard working some elbows against the cage. Some big elbows now from Moraga has Gates in trouble. John takes the back and Gates is bleeding. Moraga is picking his shots careful not to hit the back of the head. Moraga flattens him out and tees off with right elbows to the head. Gates is doing everything he can to survive, but Moraga slips his right arm under the chin and cranks the choke. John Moraga gets the tap out at the end of the third round.
John Moraga wins via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 4:06 RD 3
Claudia Gadelha vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Round 1: The taller Jedrzejczyk comes into the age two inches taller and with two inches of reach against her undefeated Brazilian opponent Gadelha. Referee Al Guinee gets us started for this women’s strawweight match up. They both touch gloves and it’s Gadelha that takes the center. Some sharp hands from Jedrzejczyk miss their mark whiel Gadelha enters range and lands a right hand. Both women trying some sharp hands back and forth. Gadelha enters the range and Jedrzejczyk turns on an angle and blasts off hard punches. Gadelha powers her opponent against the cage and tries to drag Jedrzejczyk to the mat, but is unable to do so. Joanna tries to break off but eats a knee in the process. Gadelha keeps on her opponent and doesn’t her off easily. Gadelha finally is able to drag Jedrzejczyk to the mat and is in half guard. Gadelha is locking up an arm-triangle, but doesn’t have a whole lot of space against the cage. Gadelha swiftly slides Jedrzejczyk away from the cage, but lets Joanna escape. Gadelha stays on top and keeps Jedrzejczyk against the cage. Gadelha eats an elbow from Joanna and Jedrzejczyk walks back up to her feet. Still in the clinch, Joanna finds space for a knee to the body, but Gadelha has a tight body lock and tries to drag her down. Gadelha momentarily controls the head and arm on the feet, but the women exchange knees and Gadelha drops back down in search for a double leg. Joanna shows off a long base and spread out along the cage. Joanna reverses Gadelha against the cage and lands a short elbow. Now a punch and a knee to the body. They break off and Joanna looks for some front kicks. A hard lead left hand from Jedrzejczyk finds its mark and then a right uppercut drops Gadelha to the mat. Jedrzejczyk tees off with big hammer fists but the round ends. 10-9 Jedrzejczyk
Round 2: Gadelha comes forward and enters the pocket. They exchange punches and it’s Gadelha who slams Jedrzejczyk to the mat. Joanna immediately goes back to the cage and tries to wall walk. She’s up on her feet, but Gadelha is slowly slipping around to the back. Gadelha aborts the back take attempt, takes a knee to the body, and Jedrzejczyk defends another takedown. Joanna reverses and breaks off. Joanna looks for some long jabs and Gadelha enters the pocket with some knees. Joanna lands a lead hook to the body and tries to sneak in the same uppercut that dropped her opponent in the second round. Gadela powers forward trying to land her hands but Joanna stays out of range and out of position. The two women engage with punches but Joanna turns an angle and avoids the counter flurry from Gadelha. Right uppercut by Joanna but Gadelha powers her against the cage again. Joanna avoids the first takedown attempt, but Gadelha lands it the second time. Gadelha in open guard, slides her opponent up against the cage. Joanna gets up to a knee and is so far thwarting all of Gadelha’s attempt to get any offense on the ground. Joanna gets up but is immediately taken back down at the end of the round. Great display of physical strength by Gadelha. 10-9 Gadelha
Round 3: Both women look to exchange early in the third round. Gadelha ties up with a clinch and gets off some decent punches, but an accidental headbutt opens Gadelha’s left eyebrow up. The ref pauses the action to take a look at the cut. The action continues and Joanna lands a right uppercut, but Gadelha moves forward and they both land big punches. Gadelha grabs a body lock and powers Jedrzejczyk to the mat. Joanna squirms against the cage as Gadelha slips into half guard. Gadelha trying to control the longer frame of Jedrzejczyk, but it’s proving difficult. Gadelha tosses Jedrzejczyk back to the ground and lands some big right hands. Joanna makes it to her feet, but can’t unlock Gadelha’s grip on her body, and gets tossed to the mat once again. Claudia lands some good punches as both women get back to their feet. Claudia keeps her opponent stuck up against the cage, drops down for another takedown, but can’t get it. Joanna finally circles off and puts Claudia against the cage. Hard elbow by Jedrzejczyk and a knee to the body. Jedrzejczyk breaks off with a pair of punches and they return to the middle. Jedrzejczyk lands a right hand but eats one back from Claudia. Claudia and Jedrzejczyk fire off shots and Claudia lands one after the ref ends the round. Claudia claims she didn’t hear the bell, but the ref clearly separated the two. A bit of a controversial ending to a good fight that could go either way. I scored the last round 10-9 Gadelha because of her dominating takedowns and control, but Joanna showcased some good defense at the same time and got the better of the stand up.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk wins via Split Decision
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Matt Mitrione
Round 1: Referee Herb Dean gets us started for what should be an explosive heavyweight bout. No touch of gloves and Mitrione looks to bounce around the outside. Gabriel looks hesitant, but enters the range with some heavy hands, but Mitrione circles around the outside and touches him. Long left hand to the nose by Mitrione. Gonzaga pushes forward, but Mitrione slips out of the way. Gonzaga steps in with a right hand and Mitrione stumbles back off balance, but seems okay. Gonzaga doubles up a right hand that clips Mitrione. Another right hand by Gabriel penetrates the guard of Mitrione. Gabriel enters again and gets clubbed with a counter right and then a left hook while entering. Gonzaga looks hurt, and Herb steps in as Gonzaga tries to roll onto his back. Gonzaga immediately stands up and appears to be fine, but the replay shows the left hand completely take his legs out. Big win for Matt Mitrione who again showcases his great boxing skills.
Matt Mitrione wins via TKO 1:59 RD 1
Alistair Overeem vs. Stefan Struve
Round 1: The two Dutchmen touch gloves and Struve paws forward. Overeem changes stances several times and fights with the lead hand of Struve. A front kick to the knee for Overeem as he then circles away off the cage. Overeem ties up and puts Struve against the cage. A knee to the body lands for Overeem, but Struve circles off. Struve lands a kick to the body. A knee to the body from Struve lands as Overeem explodes forward. Right hand by Overeem as he enters the range, then virtually tackles Struve onto the mat. Struve keeps him at bay on the ground with his legs, but Overeem finds a right hand that pierces through. Both fighters fight for wrist control and Overeem postures over the larger man. Back to closed guard. Struve kicks Overeem off and Alistair stays patient, then enters the guard again. Overeem stand over Struve and tees off with big punches and Struve goes out against the cage. Big win for Overeem who played safe and waited for the perfect moment.
Alistair Overeem wins via KO 4:13 RD 1
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Nate Diaz
Round 1: Diaz steps into the cage with a long six inch reach advantage as well as being four inches taller. Jason Herzog starts us off for this lightweight tilt. No touch of gloves and Nate takes the center. Rafael circles around the outside and blocks a few kicks. Dos Anjos pumps his lead hand and Nate takes a kick to the leg. Rafael puts one to the body and then land a left hand over the top. Another heavy leg kick by dos Anjos. Rafael now controls the center and exchange punches. Diaz tries to up and puts a knee to the head of Rafael. A left hand over the top again grazes Diaz who puts a kick to the lead leg again. A one two is ducked by Rafael who follows with a left. Diaz gets backed up against the cage, but Diaz backs him off with a long left hand. Diaz looks to be hurting on his leg and Rafael slams another one down low. Lead right hook by Rafael barely comes up short. Diaz switches stances to avoid the punishment. Diaz looks to put a one-two down the pipe. Diaz shoots for a takedown and pulls guard. Dos Anjos gets on top and looks to be in dominant control from the top. Dos Anjos takes the back and pounds away with punches. Diaz rolls and latches onto the leg. Rafael patiently escapes and gets back on top. Rafael passes the guard and now to north-south control. Looking to isolate an arm is Rafael, but Diaz is active off his back. Rafael puts some elbows to the head of Diaz who survives till the end. 10-9 dos Anjos
Round 2: The lightweights come out and Diaz looks to put his jab on Rafael, but eats a low kick for his efforts. A one-two backs up Rafael, and dos Anjos puts another leg kick down low. Dos Anjos is teeing off and Diaz can barely stand. Rafael avoids some punches and lands a leg kick, then a straight left hand. Diaz pushes forward with a right hand but can’t maintain his forward movement. Rafael backs him up to the cage and takes him down easily. Half guard for dos Anjos. Diaz sports a cut on his right eye who then takes a big elbow from dos Anjos who is in dominant control of this fight. Against the cage, Rafael takes control of the back and drags Nate down to the ground again. Rafael puts some right hands on Diaz and stays heavy on his frame, but Nate gets back to the feet and they split up. Two hard low kicks land for Rafael and Diaz is clearly frustrated. The action is paused to check Diaz’s cut, but action continues. Rafael stalks forward and puts a kick to the body. Leg kick dos Anjos who slips a left hand from Diaz. Nate eats another kick and is forced to switch stances again. One-two misses for Diaz. Rafael misses a left hand and looks to put some hands on him. Rafael leaps forward and push kicks Diaz to the mat. Rafael takes side control and it’s becoming the RDA show. 10-8 dos Anjos.
Round 3: Third and final round now in this lightweight bout. Diaz is clearly wanting to box to but Rafael stays out of range and eats another kick. Rafael puts a kick up high and easily puts Diaz on the mat. Rafael sits in the guard of Diaz and keeps his hands on the torso and head. Some hard elbows on top by dos Anjos now. Rafael passes to half guard, but Diaz works hard to put him back to the full guard. Diaz creates some space and Rafael stands over him only to land another kick to the same leg. Diaz tries to scramble for a leg, but Rafael is wary and gets back on top. Hard left hands land over the top by Rafael. Diaz is desperately trying to get his guard game going but Rafael is clearly in control of the action. Another elbow lands for dos Anjos. Diaz is frustrated and trying to talk to Rafael, but the Brazilian keeps his cool and continues to pepper Diaz with ground and pound from the guard. Diaz begins slapping Rafael from the bottom, and Rafael tees off with big punches at the end. Dos Anjos stands up at the end of the bell and throws Diaz’s legs aside with anger. Dominating fight by Rafael dos Anjos 10-8 dos Anjos
Rafael dos Anjos wins via Unanimous Decision
Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic
Round 1: The Croatian-American steps into the Octagon with a 3 inch reach advantage as Herb Dean starts us off for this heavyweight tilt. Touch of gloves and Junior takes the center right away. Some sharp feints by dos Santos as Stipe inches forward. Overhand right grazes Stipe who then tries moves in and clinches with Junior up against the cage. A hard knee to the body by Stipe, then tries for a takedown but Junior has none of it. Junior circles him off and lands a knee to the body. Back to the center. Junior throws a slow right hand and Stipe avoids it easily. Lead hook to the body by Junior. Another right hand keeps Stipe at bay. Stipe shoots underneath a right hand and takes him down, but dos Santos get up. In the process Junior gets tagged with some punches. Junior now pushes forward and lands a sharp combo. Then a jab. Stipe moves forward now behind a jab. Stipe ducks underneath a lead hook for a takedown but bails and they reset in the middle. Juniors pushes forward with a left hook and Stipe circles off. Now it’s Stipe’s turn as he lands a big one-two and then a right hand as Junior circles off. Stipe clinches up and lands a big shot on Junior who then fires back with a left hook that buckles the legs of Stipe. Both heavyweights have cracked each other and reset. Junior pushes forward with a right hand and then another over the top that lands on the arm. Uppercut by Junior backs him up. Stipe kicks to the leg, eats a jab and slides out of a cross. Stipe pushes forward and has Junior on the run with wading right hands. They clinch up. Junior exits the clinch with an elbow and they reset again. Junior stalks Stipe who feints a level change. Stiff jab by Stipe after another level change feint. Junior moves forward with a left hook while Stipe throws the knee up the middle only to eat another left hook at the bell. Close round between these two heavyweights who have both tested each other’s chins. 10-9 Miocic
Round 2: They touch gloves and Stipe takes the center of the Octagon. A lead left hook is ducked by Stipe who then tries for a takedown but can’t get it. A kick to the body followed by a right hand hits Junior. A single leg attempt by Stipe, but struggles to get it. Junior hits him and stuffs it, then pushes Stipe against the cage. Knee to the body by Stipe and they break off. Both are looking for windows of opportunity. Lead hand by Junior lands clean who now looks for a home with his right hand. They both exchange hard shots and reset. Jab by Junior misses, Stipe looks to land the counter lead left hook but misses. Overhand right swings and misses, and Stipe clocks him with a right hand who backs up against the cage with blood all over his eyes. Stipe clinches up and lands a right hand on the break, but then they tie up again. Junior reverses him and lands a left hand of his own, they then reset. Stipe pushing forward with his jab, Junior rips him to the body . Again to the body goes Junior, and a jab. Stipe pushes forward but Junior lands a one-two. Stipe fires back with a straight right into a clinch. Elbow by Miocic against the cage. Stipe drops down and puts Junior on the mat. Junior tries kicking off but Stipe stays on him. The horn sounds the end of the round with both tied up in the clinch looking fairly fatigued. 10-9 Miocic
Round 3: Third round begins and Stipe inches forward, but Junior backs him up with some feints to the body. Stiff jab by Stipe, he tries to follow up but Junior slips his combo. Junior stuffs a takedown attempt, but Stipe gets him down with a second attempt. Junior reverses position and gets on top, but it’s short-lived as Stipe battles up. Hard right hand by Stipe in the transition. Both are breathing heavily. Lead left hook by Junior misses, but lands a jab. Both men land some good shots. Junior swings and misses, Stipe tries to counter and misses his own punches. Big swing and miss out of Junior’s uppercut. Junior is being more active but missing a lot of punches. Goes to the jab down load. Stipe lands an over hand right and moves forward right into a left hook by Junior that drops Miocic. Stipe hangs onto a leg and gets back to his feet. Stipe runs into a jab and another right hand. They reset. Junior throws to the body again, but Stipe answers with his own combo to the body. Junior’s jabs to the body really seem to be effective, but then a right hand over the top grazes Miocic. Stipe pushes forward with his jab but Junior moves well away. Again, Stipe tries moving forward but Junior’s feet carry him away. One-two to the body by Juionr and then barely misses a right hand. Junior closes the round with an overhand that misses its mark. Both men are bloodied and breathing heavily, but Junior seems the fresher of the two. 10-9 dos Santos
Round 4: Dos Santos and Miocic go back to measuring each other up and one of the only kicks Miocic throws hits Junior low. The action continues. Junior throws low and Stipe kicks the leg. Stipe ducks underneath the lead hook and takes dos Santos down but almost immediately Junior gets back up and circles off. Another right hand down low hits Stipe. Stiff jab by Junior stops Miocic who tries to push forward Junior stays slippery. A clean one-two lands for Junior who is really finding the chin now with his cleaner techniques. Stipe stays aggressive though and puts dos Santos against the cage, but Junior circles off. Uppercut just misses. Junior goes back to the body jab but eats a one-two by Stipe. Junior counters and they tie up. Stipe looks just about spent who takes another jab to the body. Right cross lands flush on Junior and now Stipe is pushing forward with big punches. Junior shakes it off and resets in the center to land a right hand on the gloves. Stipe sticks a jab high while Junior puts one low. Junior stuffs a takedown and goes back to his jab. Stipe moves forward and catches Junior with a right hand over the top circling away. Junior lands a big trip and Stipe gets put on his back. Junior stays heavy on Stipe’s leg, but Stipe finds his way back up to the feet. Junior ends the round with a flurry against the cage. 10-9 dos Santos
Round 5: The last round of this heavyweight fight starts and it’s anyone’s fight. Junior and Stipe exchange jabs, but it’s Junior that looks like the fresher fighter. Stipe tries to plant his feet but gets hit with a left hook. More jabs exchanges, Junior puts a cross to the body. Overhand right by Junior misses and Stipe fires back, but is short. One-two by Stipe but is hit with a right hand in the process. Stipe slips out of a combo by Junior and pushes forward with a takedown attempt, but Junior has none of it. Junior jabs the body again and is definitely the more active fighter this round. Cross by Stipe into a clinch and a left hook on the break. Junior goes to the body again, then a right hand over the top by Junior. They exchange jabs, and Junior goes low again. One-two misses for Junior and they both land one-twos. Junior backs him up and lands a right hand on the ear. Stipe circles and takes the center to land a clean right straight. Another by Stipe, and a third one into a clinch. Junior puts Stipe against the cage momentarily, but they break off. Stipe with a right hand and then a tie up, but it’s Junior that puts him against the cage. Junior’s takedown defense is supreme. They tie up and exchange some uppercuts, then they break. Stipe pushes forward aggressively, but a Junior left hook backs him off. Stipe thinks about a takedown, but chooses throw an uppercut and misses. They both exchange and tie up against the cage to end the fight. What an insanely close contest. Both fighters displayed great heart as they boxed each other in a technical display of striking skills. I had the last round 10-9 Miocic.
Junior dos Santos wins via Unanimous Decision