So fight fans: did you miss the fireworks yesterday, to celebrate Independence Day in the US? Well, you’re in luck.
It’s fight night in Las Vegas tonight, with two UFC championships on the line in what would appear to be one of the biggest and best MMA shows of the year.
In the main event, Chris Weidman will defend his UFC middleweight title against former light heavyweight kingpin Lyoto Machida. At co-main, Ronda Rousey will defend her bantamweight strap against contender Alexis Davis.
The undercard is highlighted with names like the ever-popular “California Kid” Urijah Faber; and the return of heavyweight Stefan Struve.
The action will begin at 7 pm EST/ 4 pm PST. Please join us for blow-by-blow account of the action! Hit the refresh key often for the latest update.
Preliminary card (to be broadcast on UFC Fight Pass)
Middleweights: Kevin Casey vs. Bubba Bush
Much is made of Casey’s black belt under Rickson Gracie by the commentators, but I think he actually got it from Rickson’s son Kron. “Fighting Texas Aggie” Bush is a -200 betting favorite here.
Round One: Big two punch combo from Casey drops Bush. Left hook landed hard! Casey drops elbows in half guard. Bush stunned, the blows keep coming and the ref steps in. It’s over one minute into the round. Rogan hails it a “perfect performance.”
Kevin Casey defeats Bubba Bush by TKO at 1:01 of round one.
Middleweights: Luke Zachrich vs. Guilherme Vasconcelos
TUF Brasil 3 contestant Vasconcelos is 3-1 in MMA, and listed as a BJJ World Champion. Ohio’s Zachrich is 13-3, a vet from TUF 7. Rio native Vasconcelos is a -185 favorite.
Round One: Both guys tentative to start. Zachrich shoots some straight punches, including a nice jab to the body. Left high kick from Vasconcelos is blocked. Nice, fluid punches and moving from Zachrich. Leg kick from Vasconcelos. 3-2 lands solidly for the Ohioan, who is bouncing in with his left hook. Leg kick from Vasconcelos. 3-2 and a leg kick from Zachrich. Uppercut ends the combo for Zachrich, double-jab from Zachrich. Vasconcelos hits a good right, but Zachrich is out-boxing him at every turn. 10-9, Zachrich.
Round Two: Zachrich moves in well with more punching and kicking combo’s. He eats a right as he stays still, but goes right back to striking and moving well. Vasconcelos finally tries a takedown after almost two minutes in the stanza, but it’s shrugged off easily. Two and three punch combo’s keep coming in, plus the ocassional leg kick to finish, from Zachrich. Vasconcelos shuffles about, moves forward for hard power punches, misses, and gets hit. Zachrich also slips well. Another big round for the Ohio boy. 10-9, Zachrich.
Round Three: Zachrich with more of the same, moving off the center-line as BJJ standout Vasconcelos has no answer. It’s shades of Andy Wang at TUF 5, except Vasconcelos’ corner doesn’t seem to see anything wrong with the strategy. Zachrich’s combo’s keep coming — he never seems to shake his opponent, who lands a nice knee to the body down the stretch. 10-9, Zachrich.
Luke Zachrich defeats Guilherme Vasconcelos by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Preliminary card (to be broadcast on Fox Sports 1)
Bantamweights: George Roop vs. Rob Font
Newcomer Font is 10-1 and of New England. 6’1″ Roop is the tallest bantam in the division and enters a -210 favorite, but that hasn’t gone well so far tonight…
Round One: Font bouncing around the Octagon, trying to get around the reach advantage. Roop with jabs and a high kick. They clinch against the cage but action goes nowhere. Nice leg kick from Font, and Roop returns with a leg kick. Font moving in and out, HUGE overhand right lands! Down goes Roop! Font follows up with a few shots on the mat and it’s all over.
Rob Font defeats George Roop by KO (punches) at 2:19 of round one.
Middleweights: Chris Camozzi vs. Bruno Santos
6’2″ Camozzi has a big reach advantage over 5’9″ Santos and enters a -225 favorite. That didn’t work so well for our last fight. Underdogs 3-0 so far tonight, in fact.
Round One: Camozzi moving around well hitting kicks to the body and jabs. Santos trying leg kicks, gets rocked by a straight right. Bruno recovers and clinches Camozzi against the cage. Nice knee to the body from Camozzi. They disengage. Santos looking for another clinch. Santos trying an inside trip as they pummel against the cage. Good elbow shot from Camozzi. 10-9, Camozzi.
Round Two: Santos with a left hook. Santos clinches immediately and whips Camozzi to the mat. Santos trying to strike, but struggles with Camozzi’s full closed guard. Pretty knee-slide guard pass from Santos. Camozzi trying to scramble to his feet while Santos looks for mount — and Camozzi re-positions guard. Camozzi in butterfly guard looking to sweep. Good elbow from bottom from Camozzi. Another pretty knee-slide guard pass from Santos. He’s struggling to strike, but doing enough to win the round… probably. 10-9 Santos.
Round Three: Santos landing better in standup now, a left hook and a few leg kicks. Camozzi with a double jab and a straight left. Huge double leg takedown from Santos. Still anyone’s fight. Santos with a few punches as Camozzi tries to isolate his arm and complains to the ref. Camozzi escapes but is taken down again. Santos may have this won without doing much damage. 10-9 Santos.
The judges make the right call:
Bruno Santos defeats Chris Camozzi by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Welterweights: Kenny Robertson vs. Ildemar Alcântara
Rangy Alcantara is a -135 favorite and has been all over the scale, even light heavy. Robertson has a wrestling background.
Round One: Alcantara shows his southpaw right hook right away. Robertson clinches up looking for the takedown. They end up against the cage. Robertson drives him to the mat. Punches in half guard from Robertson… then looks for D’Arce choke. Big elbows as Robertson postures up. Alcantara escapes to closed guard, but the punches keep coming. Short elbows too. “He’s getting mauled here,” says Joe Rogan on commentary. No kidding — Alcantara struggling to stop any strikes, but he doesn’t look close to being stopped as he keeps looking to move around. 10-9 Robertson.
Round Two: Robertson missing lots of punches but Alcantara looks tentative to get close — rightfully, he’s concerned about the takedown. Alcantara with a nice punching combo and gets taken down immediately. Robertson punching as Alcantara gets to his knees and back up. Nice knee to the body from Alcantara. Robertson with another takedown — into mount, for more punches. Big punches as he postures up. Robertson looking for an Americana (keylock) — ends up in side control and knee on belly position, where he goes to hammer-fists. Ugly, hard elbows from knee-on-belly position as time expires. 10-8 Robertson.
Round Three: They clinch up and Alcantara is hit by a low knee. They restart, exchange hand combo’s, and d’oh! It happens again. Ref says he’ll take a point next time. They restart again. Straight right from Robertson. Nice straight punches from Alcantara who steps in for a nice inside trip. Robertson holds close in half guard, and scrambles to take top. Alcantara struggles to maintain full guard. Robertson threatening pass. They’re stood up again — Robertson lands a few punches as time expires. 10-9, Robertson.
Kenny Robertson defeats Ildemar Alcântara by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Bantamweights: Urijah Faber vs. Alex Caceres
“Bruce Leroy” Cacares looks to keep the underdog streak alive (it’s 5-0 now!). Former WEC kingpin Faber is a -800 favorite.
Round One: Both guys darting in and out with strikes from all angles. Faber catches a Caceres kick and whips him to the mat, but Caceres scrambles to his feet. Good right from Caceres as Faber tries for another. Faber gets the clinch though, and gets the takedown against the cage. Short elbows in Caceres’ full guard. Pressed to the cage, Faber actually picks Caceres up and slams him back down. More nasty elbows. Caceres weathers the storm but that’s about it. 10-9 Faber.
Round Two: 2-3 combo rocks Caceres who is immediately taken down. Caceres scrambles to his feet, lands a beautiful lead uppercut/straight left combo. They pummel back and forth in clinch, Faber finally getting the advantage (back) and the takedown. Caceres up right away again! High side kick from Caceres. Knee to the body in clinch from Faber. Beautiful hip throw from Faber, but Caceres rolls through and is back up again. Faber still (mostly) dominating the action with strikes and takedowns but Caceres hanging in there, with a better round. 10-9 Faber.
Round Three: Faber catches a kick, gets his takedown and immediately rolls to take the back. Rear naked choke ends the night for “Bruce Leroy.”
Urijah Faber defeats Alex Caceres by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:50 of round one.
Main Card (PPV)
Bantamweights: Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane
ATT’s Brimage making his debut at bantam; he’s a -110 favorite. Doane is another prospect from Hawaii.
Round One: Brimage lancing with a jab and inside leg kick lands. Doane with a nice takedown. Doane with a pretty guard pass. Brimage in turtle — Doane rains down punches and looks for the back. Doane keeps back control to go for the choke. Brimage finally escapes with less than a minute left. A few shots but that’s it. 10-9 Doane.
Round Two: They exchange combo’s but big right hand lands for Brimage. Hard leg kick from Brimage, then another. Doane looks to be limping — actually seems to switch stances to avoid more kicks. Doane shoots a takedown. Brimage escapes up to his feet. Good front kick to body from Doane and a few knees in the clinch. Doane looking for another takedown, Brimage rolls out beautifully. They exchange to the bell, Brimage getting the best of it. 10-9 Brimage, for the more & more effective shots this round.
Round Three: Doane continuing to struggle with the injured leg, and Brimage landing the leg kicks effectively. Nice front kick from Doane, who switches stances again. A nice exchange of leg kicks. Doane tries to rock back for a guillotine but no dice. Brimage keeps advancing with rights and the leg kick. Doane with punching combo’s. 10-9 Brimage. Could go either way.
Russell Doane defeats Marcus Brimage by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Welterweights: Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos
Round One: Santos trying to establish the leg kick. Hall spinning back fist. Santos going for leg kicks. Big straight right from Hall. Left hook rocks Santos. Hall dominant here but he’s eating a lot of leg kicks. 10-9 Hall
Round Two: Hall clearly has injured his toe, it’s bloody and bent at a strange angle. Santos trying to reestablish the leg kick but somehow, Hall seems to be moving better this round (?). Hall with a spinning back kick. Straight right from Hall as they exchange hand combinations. More spinning attack and a somersault into a kick, “rolling thunder” as Rogan calls it. 10-9 Hall.
Round Three: More of the same, as Hall dominates the action with spinning attacks, this time working in a jab. Santos lands the leg kick but not near enough. 10-9 Hall.
Uriah Hall defeats Thiago Santos by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
Women’s Bantamweights: Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis (for Rousey’s UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship)
Round One: Big overhand right hand from Rousey. Rousey with a big hip throw to drive Davis to the mat. Rousey with punches to the head in kesa-gatame (side headlock) position. Ten or so get through, Davis goes limp, and the ref steps in.
Ronda Rousey defeats Alexis Davis by knockout (punches) at 0:16 of round one.
Middleweights: Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida (for Weidman’s UFC Middleweight Championship)
Round One: Weidman looking for leg kicks to begin. Machida bouncing in and out of range. Weidman looking for front kicks (!) and pawing with a jab. Nothing landing hard yet. Weidman shoots for a takedown but is shrugged off. Leg kick from Weidman, straight left from Machida. Roundhouse kick to the body lands from Weidman. Weidman misses with a high kick, then a right. Weidman, 10-9.
Round Two: Weidman advancing with punches. Machida evades and eventually lands a left. Weidman with punching combo’s — his jab is landing more now — and leg kicks. Lyoto hits his overhand left again. Weidman finally gets the takedown with a minute left. Weidman lands punches with Machida’s head pressed against the cage. Lyoto scrambles to his feet. Weidman attacks with a guillotine, but Machida slips away. Weidman, 10-9.
Round Three: Weidman with a few jabs. Machida opening up with right hooks and left roundhouse kicks to the body. Weidman shoots in for a takedown — Machida sprawls but Weidman eventually turns the corner and completes. Machida in open guard, spins to his feet as Weidman tries to take the back. Back up, Weidman lands a right and left hook. Machida is bloodied now. Nice knee to the body from Machida. Weidman scores another takedown. More shots and Machida is a bloody mess. Machida scrambles to his feet and looks for the head kick. 10-9, Weidman.
Round Four: Tentative start. Nice kick to the body by Weidman. Left hook from Weidman, then a knee to the body. Straight left from Machida lands. Weidman shoots for a takedown — Machida springs to his feet and scrambles away. Big left from Lyoto. Halfway through the round. Lyoto finally backs Weidman up with a 1-2. Right hook seems to hurt Weidman, who backs to the cage! Lyoto with a roundhouse kick to the body, and again. A shuffle and a left from Lyoto, and Weidman seems confused. A “Ma-chi-da!” chant from the crowd as he keeps trying his kicks. Machida shrugs off another takedown and presses forward with punches. Flying knee from Weidman glances. Big left stuns Weidman as the round ends. 10-9 Machida.
Round Five: Machida keeping Weidman guessing, switching between straight punches and roundhouse kicks. Machida lands a nice round kick to the body and straight left upstairs. Machida shrugs off a Weidman takedown. Weidman with a big overhand. Elbow from Weidman stops Machida in his tracks — Machida is now bleeding from both sides of his face. Weidman with a takedown, works to the back and flattens Machida out. Machida escapes and lands a solid left. Bell sounds on an excellent fight. I’m calling it an even round — so, I’ve got it 49-46 Weidman.
Chris Weidman defeats Lyoto Machida by unanimous decision (49-45, 49-46, 48-47)
Thank you very much for joining us. We’ll see you next time!