Last night’s UFC on FOX 13 in Phoenix offered a very different product than ZUFFA’s last offering, the prior evening’s The Ultimate Fighter Finale in Las Vegas.
Where the TUF 20 Finale featured a lineup of fighters in the lighter weights, with every combatant under 155 lbs — UFC on FOX featured two heavyweight attractions at the top of the card.
In fact, the main event at TUF 20 crowned a new champion in her first official UFC appearance, while the main event at UFC on FOX 13 presented a former champ looking to regain his old form. The former was a technical bout which saw grappling take center stage, the latter was a bloody standup war.
And while the TUF 20 Finale ended with a definitive conclusion — with Carla Esparza fighting her way to a rear naked choke finish of Rose Namajunas to earn the promotion’s first women’s strawweight Championship — last night’s UFC on FOX ended in a disputed decision.
At the end of last night’s five-round slug-fest, Junior Dos Santos had defeated Stipe Miocic to keep alive his hopes for another championship run, earning scores of 49-26, 49-46, and 48-47 from the cageside judges. But it was a back and forth affair which many scored for Miocic, including our own Dana Becker.
Dos Santos appeared to struggle with Miocic’s combinations early in the bout. Miocic also scored takedowns in the first two stanzas. But Dos Santos hung tough and kept with his classic boxing style — dropping Miocic with a left hook late in the bout.
Observers agreed that they had witnessed a great fight but disagreed on the scorecards.
What a fight. I’ve got it 48-47 for Miocic. That was incredible.
— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) December 14, 2014
Tough fight to score, and I wouldn't complain about either man winning, but 49-46 for Dos Santos? I don't see it.
— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) December 14, 2014
But the decision stands, and Dos Santos improves to 17-3 overall in MMA. Miocic drops to 12-2.
In earlier action, Rafael Dos Anjos dominated longtime lightweight contender Nate Diaz to earn a unanimous decision victory. Dos Anjos’ win was carved out with effective striking combinations, including a damaging leg kick, and a ground-and-pound attack. Diaz, who missed the lightweight limit by a staggering five pounds at Friday’s weigh-ins, was bleeding badly as the fight wore on.
The bout was scored 30-27, 30-26, and 30-26. Diaz has now lost three of four bouts to drop his MMA record to 17-10. Dos Anjos, who has now won three in a row, improves to 23-7.
Click here for a full play-by-play account of the action.