UFC 166 is on from Houston, Texas tonight, featuring a huge main event: Cain Velasquez defending his UFC Heavyweight title against the only man to ever knock him out, former champion Junior Dos Santos.
The PPV broadcast begins at 10 pm EST/ 7 pm PST. Our coverage will begin with preliminary bouts at 6:15 pm EST / 3:15 pm PST. Please join us!
Preliminary Bouts (Broadcast on UFC Official YouTube/Facebook):
Dustin Pague vs. Kyoji Horiguchi (Bantamweights)
Pague enters to “Return of the Mack,” which is pretty hilarious. Horiguchi, a protege of Kid Yamamoto (Goldie calls him a “prodigy of Yamamoto,” which is pretty hilarious), is a -145 favorite.
Round One: Horiguchi throwing leg kicks out of a wide stance. Pague clinches and works to go to back — ends up taking Horiguchi’s back standing back with hooks. Pague stays latched to back for several minutes but no choke. Horiguchi finally is able to face and muscle Pague to the cage. Pague misses an elbow, lands a right. Knee in the clinch from Pague. Horiguchi with a right hand. Pague with a big takedown, but time runs out before he can capitalize. 10-9 round, Pague.
Round Two: Horiguchi with a huge left hook to drop Pague! Pague struggles to scramble out but Horiguchi stands over, landing shot after shot. Dean looks close to stopping bout. Pague able to pull Horiguchi in and sweep. Horiguchi scrambles to his feet, gets a trip takedown of his own. Horiguchi landing punches in Pague’s half guard. Horiguchi postures up in Pague’s full guard and lands punch after punch. Pague unable to control Horiguchi’s posture, Horiguchi tees off and gets the stop at 3:51.
Kyoji Horiguchi defeats Dustin Pague by TKO (Punches) at 3:51 of round two.
Jeremy Larsen vs. Andre Fili (Catchweight of 148.5 lbs — Fili failed to make weight)
Round One: Fili scores a head kick and leg kick, coming aggressive with 1-2 punches as well. Fili shrugs off a Larsen single leg attempt, and hits big knees to the head in the clinch. Larsen drops a hand to stop the onslaught. They clinch against the cage.
Larsen is bloody and shaken, the ref stops to chat with a doctor, but they decide to continue.
Larsen comes back on restart — with a nice overhand right, and jab. Fili lands a right in an exchange. They clinch against the cage. Leg kick from Fili, overhand from Larsen, and Fili stumbles to the mat. Fili looking for omo plata and triangle, uses the omoplata to sweep and they scramble to their feet.
Big left hook from Fili. Fili stalking as time expires. 10-9 round, Fili.
Round Two: Right hand from larsen lands. Fili with a right to the temple which has Larsen doing “chicken dance.” Fiji pounces on Larsen to land more punches. The fight is stopped at 0:53.
Andre Fili, a Bang! Muay Thai and Team Alpha Male product, reveals in his post-fight interview that he took the fight on less than two weeks notice — and was forced to cut from 178 lbs. Ouch!
Andre Fili defeats Jeremy Larson by TKO (Punches) at 0:53 of round two.
Tony Ferguson vs. Mike Rio (Lightweights)
Ferguson is one of the night’s biggest betting favorites at -420. He looks really relaxed, dancing his way up the aisle. Rogan mentions he’s been training with Reign and 10th Planet, and it’s said his grappling is much improved.
Round One: Rio jabs, catches Ferguson with a clubbing left hook. Ferguson sprawls out of a takedown attempt to land a lead right, and another. Rio bleeding from the nose, tries another shot, but Ferguson sprawls again. Ferguson lands a knee to the shoulder of Rio. Ferguson disengages, switches orthodox to southpaw and back, lands a big left hook. Ferguson snares the D’Arce choke as Rio drops to his knees, and falls back to finish. Rio taps at 1:52 of round one.
Tony Ferguson defeats Mike Rio by submission (D’Arce choke) at 1:52 of round one.
TJ Waldburger vs. Adlan Amagov (Welterweights)
Chechnya’s Amagov is seen incorporating a dynamic kicking game in his highlight reel, but he’s said to be a SAMBO specialist. Young jiu-jitsu stylist Waldberger, of Temple, TX, gets a warm ovation from the Houston crowd.
Round One: Waldburger with a pair of leg kicks as the two circle to begin. Amagov misses a jab to the body and a wheel kick. Waldburger switching leads but neither striking much. Waldburger tries shooting for the takedown but is shrugged off. And again. And again. Amagov with a solid body shot. Amagov with a hard spinning back kick to the body. Amagov snaps left hands as Waldburger hangs on to a single leg. Waldburger shaken up. Left hook drops Waldburger. Big punches on the ground and Waldburger is out cold!
Adlan Amagov defeats TJ Waldburger by KO (punches) at 3:45 of round one.
Preliminary Bouts (Broadcast on Fox Sports 1)
George Sotiropoulos vs. KJ Noons (Lightweights)
Noons listed as a (-150) favorite, which surprises me a bit — but I did think Noons beat Ryan Couture…
Round One: Both guys circling and circling to begin. Crowd begins booing after more than a minute with no action. Jab from KJ lands. Jab to body from KJ… and again. Right from Georgie. Halfway through the round, KJ lands the jab to body again. Left-right combo from George. Jab to body keeps landing from KJ. George blocks a KJ left hook. KJ leans in for another jab to the body, George reaches and it’s an accidental eye poke to stop the “action.” At the re-start, KJ stalking and lands a good right. Both guys winging punches, awakening the crowd as time expires. 10-9 round for KJ.
Round Two: KJ stalking George, lands a right in an exchange to begin. George counters a missed KJ uppercut with a good right. Noons with a straight right to the body. George misses a wheel kick and fails with a double leg takedown. Good uppercut from KJ. George with a takedown. KJ scrambles to his feet, George misses a front kick. Good left hook to the body from George. Straight right to body from KJ. Action has been slow but better than the first. Left hook from George as KJ leans in, snapping KJ’s head back for the first time. Close, possibly even round but I’ll give it to George, 10-9.
Round Three: Both guys darting in and out, George hits a straight right to the chin. KJ jabs to the body and face — George is cut over eye. Big right hand from KJ staggers George. KJ backs away (oddly). KJ stuffs a George shot. Right hand from KJ finds its mark again. Nice leg kick from George as the pace slows again. George trying establish jab, lands a series of leg kicks. George with a solid head kick! KJ seems flat-footed. KJ lands a right hand which snaps George’s head back. Spinning back fist misses from KJ. Neither terribly effective as the round ends.
KJ Noons defeats George Sotiropoulos by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, and 30-27).
Sarah Kaufman vs. Jessica Eye (Bantamweights)
Eye appears to have the words “Peanut Power” emblazoned on her top.
Round One: Eye darts out the gate firing her jab. Kaufman misses a 1-2, trying to time her advances. They clinch, both looking for the Thai neck vice. They disengage, good leg kick from Eye. Nice jab from Eye who seems a step quicker than Kaufman. They clinch — Kaufman lands several hard uppercuts to Eye’s face. Both land rights and knees as they clinch. Big left from Jessica. Kaufman with a 1-2 but she’s mostly getting out-landed. Right from Sarah lands. Eye with a left round kick to the body. Inside leg kick from Kaufman, and time expires. It’s close but Eye has out-landed for the majority of the stanza. 10-9 Eye.
Round Two: Both look for the clinch, and Kaufman lands an elbow and a knee to the face. Overhand right from Kaufman to counter the Eye jab. Jessica scores with the jab. Two right hands land from Kaufman. They clinch and Jessica looks for foot stomps. They disengage but clinch again as action slows. Kaufman with a good knee to the body. They both land 1-2’s. Inside leg kick from Kaufman who seems to have turned the tide as time winds down. Kaufman checks a leg kick, lands a jab. Jessica missing her jab now. Time expires. 10-9 Kaufman.
Round Three: Kaufman keeps landing the overhand right, taking off right where she left off. Eye circling away, finally lands a right after a leg kick. Kaufman responds with a 1-2. They clinch and Sarah lands a right on the break. Another good leg kick from Jessica… and a body kick. Good pace here. Kaufman out-landing by a small margin as they exchange hand combinations. A clinch goes nowhere but Eye lands a right on the break. Kaufman with a big right to rock Eye! Kaufman tries following up but they’re clinched up against the cage with one minute left. Disengage and Kaufman lands another right. Both ladies with swelling around the eyes. Bell sounds on a nice standup fight. I’ve got it 10-9 Kaufman and 29-28 for Kaufman overall.
But it’s not to be. The crowd mostly boos the decision.
Jessica Eye defeats Sarah Kaufman by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Nate Marquardt vs. Hector Lombard (Welterweights)
Intriguing match here; Lombard is a (-160) favorite in his welterweight debut.
Round One: Lombard showing the southpaw jab to begin, Marquardt circling to his left. Marquardt with a front kick to the body of an advancing Lombard. Marquardt with a nice straight right. They clinch and Lombard lands a couple of hooks. Marquardt trying to circle away but gets blasted with a right hook. Left and rights from Lombard and Marquardt goes down! Hammer fists from Lombard leave Marquardt out cold.
In his post-fight interview, Lombard admits he was wrong about cutting to welter — it was ZUFFA’s idea and he was against it, but it was the right thing to do. He quotes Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Hector Lombard defeats Nate Marquardt by KO (punches) at 1:48 of the first round.
Tim Boetsch vs. C.B. Dollaway (Middleweights)
Dollaway a (+175) underdog here.
Round One: Boetsch swinging a little wild and Dollaway looking for the jab. Boetsch catches a Dollaway kick and dumps him to the mat. Dolloway scrambles up and circles away. Boetsch lands a right. Dollaway lands a leg kick. They clinch, and a nice left hook and knee to the body lands from Boetsch. Boetsch takes Dollaway down with a double leg but he bounces right back up. Dollaway circling away, lands a jab. Boetsch with a left. Dollaway with the Thai neck vice and several knees find their home. Nice 1-2 from Dollaway. Boetsch clinches for an uppercut. Boetsch trying to stalk as time expires. 10-9 round, Dollaway.
Round Two: The two clinch almost immediately and exchange strikes there. Dollaway drops down for a single leg and completes the takedown. Dollaway advances to half guard, looking for elbow strikes. Dollaway looking for a choke in transition but Boetsch escapes, gets back to his feet. Boetsch tries a guillotine but Dollaway escapes. Boetsch on top, lands a few punches. Dollaway scrambles to his feet, and scores with elbows and uppercuts in the clinch. Right by Boetsch after they disengage. Big double leg takedown right into side control for Dollaway. Boetsch entangles Dollaways arm in Kimura position as time expires. 10-9 Dollaway.
Round Three: Leg kick from Boetsch. Dollaway skips forward to measure a kick, and pokes Boetsch in the eye. The round is halted and Boetsch is actually bleeding from the eye. On restart, Boetsch is stalking Dollaway, lands a right out of a crouch. Dollaway with a leg kick. Action is halted for another eye poke! Lombard gets a point deducted. On restart, Boetsch lands a left-right combination. Boetsch looks for a guillotine in the clinch, Dollaway avoids and gets on top… eventually working to mount. Boetsch gets up with a bridge escape. The two scramble up, looking tired. Nice right from Boetsch. Short chopping counter right from Dollaway. Boetsch reverses a Dollaway takedown and rolls for a guillotine, but Dollaway escapes. I’ll call the round for Boetsch, but it’s close. With the point deduction it’s 10-8 Boetsch. This could be a draw.
Tim Boetsch defeats C.B. Dollaway by split decision (30-26, 27-29, 30-26).
Main Card (Pay-Per-View)
John Dodson vs. Darrell Montague (Fliyweights)
Underdog Montague slowly enters the ring to the tune of Ice Cube’s “It Was A Good Day.” Dodson bounces up the aisle dancing to his music. It’s an interesting contrast…
Round One: Both fighting out of the southpaw stance — Dodson looking for a 1-2, Montague with inside leg kick. Montague lands, may have hit the groin, but they continue. Nice leg kick from Montague. Dodson straight left rocks Montague. Montague backs up and Dodson lands combo’s including a big uppercut. Montague looks out on his feet. Overhand from Dodson. Montague collects himself, hits a leg kick. Dodson with a big straight left and Montague falls face-first! Knockout victory for Dodson.
John Dodson defeats Darrell Montague by knockout (punch) at 4:13 of round one.
Gabriel “Napão” Gonzaga vs. Shawn Jordan (Heavyweights)
Jordan walks down the aisle to “Hurt” by Johnny Cash. He’s a (-175) favorite, another somewhat surprising line to me.
Round One: Both big guys moving back and forth, measuring punches. Straight right from Gonzaga glances Jordan. Big right overhand from Gonzaga! He pounces with hammer fists for the TKO victory.
Gabriel “Napão” Gonzaga defeats Shawn Jordan by TKO (punches) at 1:33 of round one.
Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez (Lightweights)
Latino pride on display with the ringwalks, Sanchez walks to the cage to the tune of “La Raza” by Kid Frost, Melendez to “Oye Como Va” by Santana. Love it. Melendez a huge favorite here (-570).
Round One: Sanchez comes out aggressive. Melendez tries a kick which Sanchez catches, and works to the back, but Melendez escapes and rips a right hand to the body. Melendez pawing with the jab, and Sanchez circling away now. Melendez with a right body shot. Melendez stuffs a Sanchez shot and hits an uppercut to the chin. Sanchez tries a head kick but Melendez catches and backs him up. Right hand from Melendez, and Sanchez is cut. Nice right from Melendez. Sanchez lands a body shot, but is dropped by a right. He’s bloodied, but back up. Both guys swinging wildly at the bell. The crowd comes to its feet. 10-9 round for Melendez.
Round Two: Gilbert with a right hand to begin, and goes back to the jab. He catches Sanchez coming in with a right. Diego with a right hook. They’re exchanging rapidly. Melendez mixes in a front kick. Sanchez bleeding badly now. The action is stopped to examine the cut, but the fight is allowed to continue. Melendez stalking Sanchez with hand combinations to head and body. Sanchez with a three punch combination, 1-2-3, with the hook landing. Sanchez slips, gets right back up. Nice body kick by Diego, who now has blood over his chest and arm. Big right from Melendez. Melendez bounces right back up from a Sanchez takedown to land a right hand as Sanchez advances. Big knee to the head from Melendez after a failed Sanchez takedown. Melendez outlanding Sanchez but there’s no quit in “The Dream” as time expires. 10-9 Melendez.
Round Three: The quicker Melendez with a nice combination to begin, landing a left hook as Sanchez advances. Sanchez keeps advancing and the two are blasting away like “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em” robots! Crowd chants “Diego!” as the TUF1 winner lands his straight left. Melendez is out-landing him but not by much. The bout is again stopped to examine the cut, but allowed to continue. Body kick by Sanchez. Big right from Melendez. Right hand from Sanchez. Sanchez scores a knockdown off a a right uppercut! Sanchez tries to take the back, but Melendez slipping away. Sanchez tries falling back for a guillotine but no dice. Crowd is going nuts! Melendez back up and is backpedaling. Sanchez with a pair of front kicks to the body. The two slug it out a la Ward Gatti 1 as the time expires on what Joe Rogan calls “the greatest fight I’ve ever seen in my life.” 10-9 Sanchez.
Gilbert Melendez defeats Diego Sanchez by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
Daniel Cormier vs. Roy Nelson (Heavyweights)
Both guys are considerably slimmer than their last UFC appearances. Nelson, introduced as a “kung fu fighter,” is one of the night’s biggest underdogs at +450.
Round One: Nelson taking center of the Octagon to start, with Cormier circling away. Cormier with a simgle leg takedown into Nelson’s butterfly guard. Cormier cradles Nelson, stands over him and lands an uppercut. Nelson struggles to his feet and entangles Cormier’s arm, but Cormier wrestles him back down. The clinch against the cage, where Cormier lands a knee to the body and an uppercut to the body. Another knee to the body, but the blow lands in Nelson’s groin. Bout is stopped. At restart, Nelson is stalking, and finally lands a right. Cormier rushes forward to land a 1-2. Cormier ducks several Nelson punches as time expires. 10-9, Cormier.
Round Two: Nelson advancing with a jab and left hook that both miss. Cormier circling away. Cormier misses a left hook, feints a takedown. Right hand lands for Cormier. Nelson shrugs off a takedown but is pressed against the cage. Knee to the body from Cormier. Cormier gets a single leg takedown, but Nelson bounces right back up. Cormier with punching combo’s — left hand is landing at will. Leg kick from Cormier. Leg kick from Nelson. Nelson looking a little tired. Cormier with a left hook, misses a right. Time expires on another 10-9 round for Cormier.
Round Three: Both guys pawing ineffective punches to start. The crowd is booing. Cormier lands a jab and a leg kick. Cormier lands a 1-2 and another leg kick. Nelson plodding forward, eats a round kick to the body. Nelson lands an uppercut in an exchange, and misses an overhand right as they’re circling each other. Bob Cook yells for “pressure!” Cormier scores a takedown but Nelson bounces right back up. Leg kick from Cormier. Head kick from Cormier. Nelson taunting Cormier. They exchange jabs. Nelson with a few punches in the clinch. Big left hook from Cormier. Leg kick from Nelson. Bell sounds on another 10-9 round for Cormier.
Daniel Cormier defeats Roy Nelson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC 166.
Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos (For Velasquez’s UFC Heavyweight Title)
Round One: Dos Santos lands a solid left hook which seems to shake Cain right after the opening bell. Cain tries a standing guillotine but JDS slips out, scores with right hand. Cain responds with a right of his own. They clinch against the cage, then break. Velasquez scores a takedown, lands in JDS’s half guard and hits a good elbow. Dos Santos slowly is able to scramble to his feet, but Cain scoring little punches in the clinch. Round ends, 10-9 Velasquez.
Round Two: Cain clubs Dos Santos with a left hook, pulls Dos Santos to the mat. Dos Santos bounces right back up. Cain with kicks to the legs in the clinch. Velasquez steps back for a 1-2 but JDS evades. They disengage, and Cain scores a jab. Cain gets the clinch again, and lands an uppercut and knees to JDS’s legs. Cain jabs his way in again, and takes the clinch. JDS is bleeding from the mouth. JDS with a sudden takedown (!), but Cain bounces right back up and connects with a hard right hand. Cain gets the clinch again, knees to the body and legs follow. Punches from Cain, but JDS counters with an overhand right and short left elbow which both connect hard. Still, 10-9, Velasquez.
Round three: Dos Santos lands a right to begin the round, but Cain shoots in for a leg and gets the clinch again. Little uppercuts and roundhouse punching in the clinch as the crowd grows restless. JDS lands a little elbow and knee, but fails to stop the plodding onslaught. Right hand from Velasquez drops JDS hard! Cain standing over JDS throwing punches but he rolls away and the fight continues. Dos Santos totally defensive as Cain clinches him against the cage. Big right hand from Cain. Cross-left hook lands for Cain. Somehow, JDS has survived. 10-8, Velasquez.
Round Four: Big right hand from Cain. JDS is breathing hard and bleeding. Cain teeing off with left hooks. Cain leaning JDS against the cage. JDS desperately tries to swing back at him, but Cain evades easily and clinches again, landing a left hook. Cain hits a left hook. JDS with an elbow. JDS with a right hand and an uppercut. He still seems to have some pop — amazingly. Elbow from Cain to JDS’s face. Ref stops the bout as JDS is a bloody mess. Cain is also bleeding, probably from that elbow. On the restart, they exchange jabs, and Cain lands a right. Cain able to clinch again. JDS with the elbow again, and a left hook. Cain clubs him with a right. Time expires on a grueling round. Much closer than the others, but still 10-9 Velasquez.
Round Five: Dos Santos lands a right to begin, but Cain takes him down. Cain keeps JDS close as he scrambles up, landing short right hooks to his face and body. Cain makes space momentarily and they exchange 1-2’s, but then the onslaught continues. Cain mixes in knees to the legs and body. Big right from Cain. JDS reaches in for a guillotine, but Cain slips out. JDS lands face first and Cain punches down at him — and the ref steps in. TKO victory for Cain!
Cain Velasquez defeats Junior Dos Santos by 3:19 of round five to retain the UFC heavyweight title.
Dana White would describe the show, “the greatest night of fights we ever put on.”
It was a great night of fights and a pleasure to bring them to you. Thank you for joining us! We hope to see you next time!