Tonight, New Jersey hosts UFC on FOX, featuring a match-up of two of the world’s top middleweights: Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida and Luke Rockhold.
Not only is the bout a great contrast of styles between two lifelong martial artists — the winner of the match is positioned for the next shot at the UFC’s 185 lb. title.
Also on the card is another top middleweight contender, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, who faces Chris Camozzi; and a pairing of two of the world’s top featherweights: Max Holloway and Cub Swanson.
We’ll have all the action here, plus a little word on the street from inside the arena from our own Jim Genia, starting with the FOX preliminary bouts at about 6 pm ET / 3 pm PT. Please join us, and hit refresh often for the latest update!
Preliminary Card Results (to air on UFC Fight Pass, 4:30 pm ET, 1:30 pm PT)
Middleweights: Chris Dempsey defeated Eddie Gordon by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Featherweights: Diego Brandão defeated Jimy Hettes by TKO (doctor stoppage) at 5:00 of round one.
Welterweights: Tim Means defeated George Sullivan by submission (katagatame) at 3:41 of round three.
Preliminary Card Play-by-Play (to be televised on Fox, 6 pm ET / 3 pm PT)
Bantamweights: Takeya Mizugaki vs. Aljamain Sterling
The 10-0 Sterling a big -400 favorite here against the elder Japanese vet.
Round One: Both bounce in and out, Sterling presses Mizugaki against the cage. Sterling drops for a shot but Mizugaki defends well. A few knees to the body from Sterling, otherwise this is all wrestling. Two minutes left and the ref finally separates them. Mizugaki looking for the jab. Sterling with a good body kick. Mizugaki lands a left hook in an exchange. Sterling with a counter right, shoots in again — and gets it. Mizugaki right back up — but back down again. Mizugaki absorbs another knee or three and they’re back up, as time expires. 10-9, Sterling.
It’s a sparse New Jersey crowd:
Aljamain Sterling has 18 siblings. They make up for half the crowd right now. #UFCNewJersey
— MMA Roasted (@MMARoasted) April 18, 2015
Round Two: Sterling initiates the clinch, gets another takedown after a struggle, Mizugaki scrambles up. He sprawls out of another takedown attempt. Sterling with a front kick. Nice right from Mizugaki. Slow round about halfway done. Nice single leg from Sterling who transitions nicely to the back! Body triangle from Sterling, looking for the choke… but no dice. Round ends in back mount. 10-9, Sterling.
Round Three: Mizugaki coming forward with punching combo’s, Sterling (mostly) avoiding and landing a front kick. At one point he stumbles to hands and knees, freezes there as Mizugaki knows he can’t kick his head off. Hate that, but rules are rules. Sterling shoots in and gets the takedown. Mizugaki reverses, but Sterling gets a katagatame/arm triangle from bottom and Mizugaki taps!!!
Aljamain Sterling defeated Takeya Mizugaki by submission (arm triangle) at 2:11 of round three.
Light Heavyweights: Corey Anderson vs. Gian Villante
Undefeated, TUF winner Anderson is a -400 favorite here, a battle of Jersey-based 205’ers.
Round One: The big guys exchange kicks from range and lance with jabs to head and body to begin. Gian with some heavy leg kicks. Big punching combo from Anderson, all glancing but he’s really winding up. Big “question mark” kick from Anderson lands high, but he’s still eating leg kicks. Villante bloodied by one of those hand combo’s. Anderson seems quicker but he keeps eating the leg kicks. 10-9, Villante.
Round Two: Villante working in hand combo’s with the leg kicks and becoming increasingly dominant. Anderson gets a right, catches a kick and lands another. But he’s still kind of a sitting duck for that leg kick; not checking it or circling away. Anderson eats another and hits a hard hand combo. More leg kicks, no adjustment from Anderson, and about a minute left. He advances for a 1-2 and does well when they’re in that range, but is getting eaten by the leg kick. 10-9, Villante.
Anderson is known as “Beastin’ 25/8″ but right now he’s:
— Mookie Alexander (@mookiealexander) April 18, 2015
Round Three: More of the same, Villante ending his combo’s with leg kicks — he’s landed close to 30 now. Anderson has scored more strikes to the head at a two to one ratio though. Anderson lands a knee to the body well to mix in with his brawling hand combo’s. Villante lands a big right that stuns him, though — and Anderson is out!
Gian Villante defeated Corey Anderson by KO (right hands) at 4:18 of round three.
Light Heavyweights: Ovince Saint Preux vs. Patrick Cummins
Cummins is a -125 favorite here.
Round One: OSP showing the round kick to leg and body. Cummins catches one for a takedown but St Preux scrambles right back to his feet. Cummins clinches him against the cage but OSP out, lands a good knee to the body. Straight left, spinning back kick to body lands from OSP. Big takedown from Cummins, but OSP right back up again. OSP cracks him with a left uppercut — and Cummins down! St Preux pounces for hammer-fists and it’s all over!!!
Ovince St Preux defeats Patrick Cummins by knockout (punches) at 4:54 of round one.
OSP is one awkward dude to fight, big power, wild, and lanky
— Ryan Bader (@ryanbader) April 18, 2015
Lightweights: Jim Miller vs. Beneil Dariush
Rafael Cordeiro’s rising star Dariush is a -140 favorite here, against the grizzled old vet from right here in New Jersey. Interesting match.
Round One: They exhcange hand combo’s, and a good leg kick by Dariush. Good knees to the body by Dariush, and he’s going for a takedown. Beautiful roll into Kimura by Miller, then a switch to triangle. Dariush escapes, looks for arm triangle on top, from half guard. Miller escapes, looks for rubber guard. Elbow shot from Dariush as time winds down. Dariush 10-9.
Round Two: Dariush in on a single. Miller scooting around in half guard and Dariush looks for arm triangle again. Miller spins into a guillotine in transition, but Dariush escapes — and moves into mount. Back mount, and Dariush threatens with a rear choke for several minutes. Dariush, 10-9.
Round Three: Dariush with a quick takedown and moves to dominant position. Dariush spends most of the round in back mount but can’t quite sink the choke. Dariush, 10-9.
Beneil Dariush defeated Jim Miller by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Main Card (to be televised on FOX, 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT)
Women’s Strawweights: Felice Herrig (115) vs. Paige VanZant (115)
Round One: Good knees to the body from Herrig who swarms in with punches to hands and body. VanSant with a throw but Herrig takes the back and looks for the choke. Herrig transitions to armbar, VanZant spikes her on her head. OUCH! Herrig gets on top, but VanSant spins to her feet. Halfway through the round. VanZant with a good knee to the body in the clinch. Nice throw takes Herrig to the mat again. Herrig looking for the armbar but VanZant cracking her with punches. I’ve got it even after a great first round. 10-10.
Round Two: Pace stays up, and they battle in the clinch. Foot stomps, knees to the body from each, good elbow from VanZant. Takedown from Herrig, VanZant rolls her nicely. Herrig with a half guard sweep and they’re up. Herrig forces her to the cage. They scramble to the mat again and VanZant gets on top in side control. Herrig looks for armbar after re-positioning guard, but no dice and she eats some punches. 10-9, VanZant.
Round Three: VanZant with the takedown and just slashes down with punches. Her pace is looking like just too much. Hammer-fists are landing well. Herrig kicks her legs up looking for armbars but not even close. She just pours it on as Herrig hangs on. A graphic is shown which has VanZant landing 123 ground strikes to Herrig’s 6. Ref lets them go as nothing is too to damaging, but it’s a clear VanZant win. 10-8, VanZant.
Paige VanZant defeated Felice Herrig via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26).
Featherweights: Cub Swanson (145) vs. Max Holloway (146)
Sawnson a -155 favorite in this match of two top ten FW’s.
Round One: Holloway taking center Octagon, aggressively. Good left, and knee to the body too. Long jabs, sliding out of Swanson’s counters. Good body kick from Swanson in an exchange. Holloway backing him up more often than not. Good left hook from Swanson, but he’s getting out-landed. 10-9, Holloway.
Round Two: Swanson looking for kicks from range. Holloway switching stances, hits a left jab/right round kick to body combo. He’s much busier as Swanson keeps looking for a check hook. Holloway working in a spinning back kick to his combo’s as Swanson seems to wait for an opportunity. Holloway with a flying knee to the body of Swanson as time winds down. 10-9, Holloway.
Round Three: Holloway spinning around the Octagon hitting his full arsenal now. Holloway begins a flying knee at one point, and as Swanson evades, he switches to a leg kick. Punches and kicks keep landing. They scramble to the mat, and Holloway slips through guard and almost gets an arm triangle. Back up, Holloway rocks him again and rolls him into a guillotine! Swanson is getting cranked at bottom of Holloway’s mount — and finally taps!
Max Holloway defeated Cub Swanson by submission (guillotine choke) at 3:58 of round three.
Middleweights: Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza vs. Chris Camozzi
Jacaré is a -1600 favorite. Whoa!
Round One: Jacaré advancing for his overhand right. Camozzi hits a jab. Body kick from Jacaré, then a double leg shot. Camozzi in guard. Jacare passes like a knife through butter. Textbook armbar from side control ends it!
Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza defeated Chris Camozzi by submission (armbar) at 2:33 of round one.
Middleweights: Lyoto Machida vs. Luke Rockhold
Wow, 68% of viewers who answered a survey from FOX predict Machida will win. Rockhold is a -165 favorite.
Round One: The southpaws start out slow, Rockhold hits a leg kick. Good 3-2 by Lyoto. Good right hook from Lyoto, moving in and out as usual. Rockhold lands a shot and grabs a guillotine. Lyoto out, Rockhold moving into mount. Good elbows to ribs from Rockhold as Machida repositions guard. Good punch as they press against the cage from Rockhold. Big punches on top from Rockhold as he goes from mount to back mount. Rockhold looks for rear naked choke as time expires. 10-9, Rockhold.
Round Two: Rockhold lands a couple of leg kicks. Machida with a 1-2 which glances. Machida is essentially pushed to the mat. Rockhold ties him up on the mat, moves right to mount. Punches start raining down in back mount, and Rockhold sinks the rear naked choke! Lyoto taps!!!
Luke Rockhold defeated Lyoto Machida by submission (rear naked choke) at 2:31 of round two.
That’s it for a good night of fights! See you next time.