Okay fans, it’s fight night!
UFC 173 is on tap tonight from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV with a UFC Bantamweight title fight serving as headliner: TJ Dillashaw (of California’s vaunted Team Alpha Male) challenging pound-for-pound entrant Renan Barão (of Nova União in Brazil).
Backing up the main event is light heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier fighting a legend in Dan Henderson and a battle of two top-ten ranked welterweights in Robbie Lawler and Jake Ellenberger.
The action starts at 7 pm. Please join us for play-by-play coverage of the main card, and hit refresh to enjoy our latest update!
Preliminary Card Results (Aired on UFC Fight Pass):
Welterweights: Li Jingliang defeated David Michaud by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Featherweights: Sam Sicilia defeated Aaron Phillips Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Lightweights: Vinc Pichel defeated Anthony Njokuani by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Preliminary Card Results (Aired on Fox Sports 1)
Lightweights: Mitch Clarke defeated Al Iaquia by submission (D’arce choke) at 0:57 of round two.
Bantamweights: Chris Holdsworth defeated Chico Camus by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Lightweights: Tony Ferguson defeated Katsunori Kikuno by KO (punch) at 4:06 of round one.
Lightweights: Michael Chiesa defeated Francisco Trinaldo by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Main Card (PPV)
Lightweights: Jamie Varner vs. James Krause
Krause rocking his BJJ gi (with a brown belt), a pretty sweet samurai design on a T, and some Caribbean rhythms on the ring walk. He’s a +160 underdog. Former WEC champ Varner is looking cut and focused as ever.
Round One: Both orthodox. Krause with a good leg kick and a hard right. Front kick and jab from Krause. Varner flops to the mat! (Did he injure a leg?) Krause looks to take the back but Varner spins back up. Varner limping away — something’s up. Varner shoots for a takedown but Krause rolls him into half guard. Slowing down now as Krause struggles to pass. Two and a half minutes left. Varner with a nice sweep. Varner with an elbow. Krause spins to his feet. Varner with an elbow in the clinch but he can barely stand!!! Krause brings him to the mat again, but lets him back up. Krause with leg kick and a right again. Varner’s leg just giving out on him now. Krause holds him in a front headlock as time expires.
Ref looks like he’s going to stop the fight and not let the second round start. Ankle looks broken… and yes.
James Krause defeats Jamie Varner by TKO (injury) at 5:00 of round one.
Bantamweights: Takeya Mizugaki vs. Francisco Rivera
+135 undedog Rivera uses that sweet RHCP “Soul to Squeeze” on his ring walk. Mizugaki is intro’d as a Muay Thai stylist but he has more of a boxing style in his standup.
Round One: Nice straight right from Rivera to begin. Uppercut to the body from Rivera. Mizugaki with a big right counter! Uppercut to follow-up drops him! Rivera struggles to keep Mizugaki in guard. Mizugaki in Rivera’s half guard, lands an elbow, but mostly struggles to pass. Rivera escapes to his feet. They press against the cage. Rivera with a quick knee to the body and drops for a takedown, but Mizugaki back up. Leg kick from Rivera who seems to have 100% recovered. Rivera with a nice takedown and an elbow to a grounded Mizugaki, as time runs out. 10-9 Mizugaki.
Round Two: Mizugaki swinging for the fences. Great high kick from Rivera. Big right from Rivera. Both guys pacing about, then throwing a huge power shot. Left hook from Mizugaki. Mizugaki shoots in and they tumble to the mat. Rivera rocks back for a guillotine in half guard. Mizugaki escapes and takes the top position. Rivera looks tired. Good punch from Mizugaki, who looks to take the back. He stays on the back until time expires. 10-9 Mizugaki.
Round Three: Mizugaki lands a 3-2 combo. They’re pacing about with Mizugaki landing the better punches. Takedown from Mizugaki. Rivera in his guard but not threatening at all. Mizugaki landing little punches here & there. Slow, slow ground-and-pound from Mizugaki. And more. And more. Even Joe Rogan calls the action boring here. Wow. About a minute left and they’re finally stood up. Rivera swings for the fences now. Mizugaki hanging out in the pocket with him. Neither landing much — not exactly Ward/Gatti 1 but not bad. 10-9, Mizugaki.
Takeya Mizugaki defeats Francisco Rivera by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).
Welterweights: Robbie Lawler vs. Jake Ellenberger
Commentators stressing Ellenburger’s up-and-down career. His last appearance was such a letdown but he’s got some big, big wins. Lawler, a two-to-one favorite here, is coming off an unsuccessful title bid. Both guys are among the top ten in the world.
Round One: Both guys moving in and out, seeming to look for the jab. Great left high kick from Lawler. And another! The orthodox Ellenberger not circling away effectively. Leg kick from southpaw Lawler. Ellenberger looking defensive as Lawler looks for punching combo’s. Jake finally gets aggressive, looking for a jab-uppercut combo. Lawler slips and lands a knee to the body. Jab from Lawler landing. Lawler with a right hook. Left kick landing all day — body and legs — for Lawler. Straight left lands for Lawler. Bell sounds. 10-9, Lawler.
Round Two: Lawler wades in with roundhouse punches and hits a knee to the body. Ellenberger circles away. Lawler with a jab. Ellenberger with a duck under, takes the back standing. Lawler disengages and Ellenberger glances a high kick. Straight left from Lawler. Big punching combo’s from Lawler, mixing in the uppercut nicely. Right to the body from Lawler. Ellenberger getting picked apart. Ellenberger drops for a takedown. Lawler spins out and hits a huge knee to the body. Hard punches to a downed Ellenberger. Lawler trying to take Ellenberger’s back. Punches from Lawler. Ellenberger with another takedown. Lawler in guard, about a minute left. He accomplishes little. Lawler fights to his feet ands the round ends. 10-9, Lawler.
Round Three: Big knee to the body from Lawler. Nice right hand Ellenberger. Jake swinging for the fences and the right connects again! Lawler circles away and lands a jab. Ellenberger trying to slip and land an uppercut. Nice 1-2’s from Lawler who is stalking Ellenberger again. Big knee and Ellenberger crumbles to the mat. Punches from Lawler and the ref steps in.
Robbie Lawler defeats Jake Ellenberger by TKO (punches) at 3:06 of round three.
Light Heavyweights: Daniel Cormier vs. Dan Henderson
Two Olympians here. The undefeated Cormier is a huge, as much as a ten-to-one favorite against the old warrior Henderson. Hendo, of course, will not have testosterone replacement therapy here. Amazingly, Cormier began MMA training at 30.
Round One: Cormier shows the high kick to begin. Hendo with a leg kick. DC slips Hendo’s overhand right and whips him to the mat, “rag-dolling” him with a lateral drop. DC in side control. Hendo in kind of a crufix from the bottom, and DC actually lifts him a little to free his arms. DC slips into full side control again. Punch to the body from DC. Hendo re-positions into half guard. Hendo looking for a leg lock, eats some more punches. Cormier with punches in half, then north-south. Hendo spins to look for a leg lock again and gets to his feet in the transition. Cormier avoids a Hendo takedown easily. 10-9 Cormier.
Round Two: Cormier easily avoids Henderson’s punches and gets another big takedown. Crowd boo’ing as Cormier takes side. Big punches as Hendo turtles. Cormier in Hendo’s half guard then North-South again. Big body punches there. DC takes side control. DC goes to his knees and punches. DC looking for mount. This is not competitive. DC in side control. More punches. Wash rinse repeat. Crowd boo’ing a totally dominant Cormier round. Hendo cut but not terribly hurt as time expires. 10-9 Cormier.
Round Three: Hendo looking for the hand combo’s and DC avoids them easily. Cormier picks Hendo up a body-slams him like no one has, ever. DC with the same side control to north south and back to side control. DC looking to take the back. Short punches and heavy pressure carry the day as time wears on. DC takes the back, lifts him and rocks back for a rear naked choke. Ref steps in — Hendo is unconscious and it’s all over.
At UFC 173, Daniel Cormier defeated Dan Henderson by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:53 of round three.
Main Event: (Bantamweights) Renan Barão vs. T.J. Dillashaw (For the UFC Bantamweight title)
TJ is a +580 underdog. This is the last bout with Duane Ludwig serving as coach for Team Alpha Male. Barão is listed at -825 by last tally. It would be nice to see a back-and-forth bout to end this show, as we haven’t really seen one yet… but looks unlikely.
Round One: Barão stalking to begin. Dillashaw with a leg kick. Barão misses a jab. TJ with another leg kick, looking loose. Nice uppercut from TJ, switching from southpaw to orthodox nicely. Inside leg kick from Barão. 1-2 misses from Barão. Halfway through now. Right hand lands for Barão. Nice feints from TJ. Leg kick lands again for TJ. “Best TJ Dillashaw we’ve ever seen,” says Joe Rogan, and I agree. Jab from Barão lands. Huge overhand right lands from TJ!!! Barão down!! Barão looking for a leg lock as the punches rain down. TJ looking for a choke! Barão narrowly escapes as time expires. 10-8 Dillashaw.
Round Two: Barão lands a 1-2. Dillashaw letting him come in now, lands a knee to the body. Barão misses a high kick. TJ grazes a right hand. Left hook from Barão. Barão with a head kick. TJ with big punching combo’s, right hand – uppercut combo’s to head and body. He’s moving around the Octagon well again. TJ shoots in for a takedown but is shrugged off. TJ tries a guillotine but Barão escapes. A Barão leg kick lands in the groin and the action is halted. Restart and they’re exchanging again, with Barão landing a nice counter right. Great jab in the southpaw stance from TJ. TJ with a round kick to the body. Inside leg kick from TJ. Barão bleeding from the mouth. 10-9, Dillashaw.
Round Three: TJ moving around loosely, landing more hand combo’s. Barão finally hits a leg kick, a technique he seems to have abandoned. TJ switching stances nicely. Leg kick by TJ. 1-2 by TJ. Right hook by TJ. Totally dominant now. TJ steps in for jab. 1-2 and a kick to the body by TJ. TJ so fluid here. TJ with a head kick. Barão bloodied. Straight left from TJ. TJ apologizes for a poke in the eye. Big punches by TJ as Barão is against the cage. TJ drops for a takedown but is shrugged off. Knee to the body by TJ. The horn sounds on another dominant round. 10-9, Dillashaw.
Round Four: TJ takes a single leg to begin, but Barão spins away. More punching combo’s from TJ in the southpaw stance. Tj with a kick to the body. Jabs from TJ and another body kick. Big straight left. Barão just surviving here. Barão finally lands a jab. TJ switches back to orthodox. 1-2 from TJ. They clinch against the cage, but it goes nowhere. TJ with a semblance of the Ali shuffle. TJ with straight punching. They tumble to the mat. Barão trying to roll for a leg lock. Light ground-and-pound from TJ as time expires. 10-9, Dillashaw.
Round Five: TJ switching stances for his jab. Barão with a left hook. TJ dominating the action. Big right drops Barão! TJ stands over him for more punches! Referee Herb Dean stops it!!!
At UFC 173, TJ Dillashaw defeated Renan Barão at 2:22 of round five to earn the UFC Bantamweight Championship.
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