UFC Fight Night 92 was a long peculiar card. There were 12 fights in total, 10 of which were on the movie advertising, only showing 2 fights per hour network known as Fox Sports 1. The main card had 6 fights which is one fight too many in my opinion.
The preliminary fights on FS1 started out with three straight KO’s and then six of the last 7 fights ended in decisions. A combination of the long card and fights that went the whole 15 – 25 minutes made for a long night.
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Heavyweight – Justin Ledet def. Chase Sherman – Decision Unanimous
Featherweight – Cub Swanson def. Tatsua Kawaijiri – Decision Unanimous
Preliminary Card (FS1)
Featherweight – Teruto Ishihara def. Horacio Gutierrez – KO Punches
Ishihara is very comfortable in his own skin and brings his cockiness all the way from Japan. He knocked out Gutierrez in the first round after absorbing several kicks from Gutierrez. Ishihara tagged Gutierrez which staggered him and forced him to fall under his buckling legs. Ishihara ran atop Gutierrez and landed multiple strikes trying to finish him off. Gutierrez showed a lot of strength by attempting to get back up but left his face exposed in doing so and Ishihara landed another big blow, bringing Gutierrez back to the ground forcing the ref to call the fight.
Lightweight – David Teymur def. Jason Novelli – KO Punches
The first round of the Teymur/Novelli fight was active, but the most destructive blow wasn’t even noticed by me in real time. The replay in between the rounds showed a knee that Novelli landed directly to Teymur’s head. It is remarkable how he was able to absorb the knee and stay upright. Teymur responded in the second round by landing combinations of punches which knocked out Novelli.
Heavyweight – Marcin Tybura def. Viktor Pesta – KO Head Kick
Many heavyweight matchups involve fighters with jiggly midsections and the Tybura/Pesta fight was not an exception. The first round saw the two fighters basically competing in a boxing match with a couple of kicks mixed in. They traded punches, Tybura threw a couple of kicks that didn’t connect. Pesta attempted a takedown and was also unsuccessful. The second round saw more of the same but one of Tybura’s kicks landed. He dodged a punch and threw a counter kick that immediately brought Pesta to the ground. Watching a guy that weighs around 250 pounds knock out his opponent with a counter kick is remarkable. Even the big guys have moves.
Welterweight – Court McGee def. Dominique Steele – Decision Unanimous
The headlining preliminary fight between McGee and Steele was fairly boring especially after watching 3 straight KO’s. The fight started off with McGee tagging Steele in the first seconds which brought Steele to the ground. It looked like it was going to be a 10 second KO but Steele was able to stay conscious and fight off several submission attempts from McGee. Steele became aggressive at the end of the first and in the second round, but every time he drove in to do damage, McGee would grab him and clinch up. McGee slammed Steele to the ground but was not able to keep him there for long. The third round saw more clenches and the fight stalled to the point where the ref had to separate the fighters. McGee had an open wound that bleed all over Steele while they were clenched up. It looked like Steele may have been the better fighter but he fell behind early and couldn’t land anything significant in between the clinches.
Main Card (FS1)
Women’s Strawweight – Maryna Moroz def. Danielle Taylor – Decision Split
I wasn’t surprised when Moroz was declared the winner after this fight with Taylor, but I was surprised when I heard it was a split decision. I watched this fight on a 23”monitor while my friends were playing video games in the background so I wasn’t 100% locked in, but I didn’t think this fight was that close. Moroz is a very tall strawweight fighter standing 5’7” and had a massive reach advantage over the 5’ Taylor. Taylor is stocky while Moroz is lanky, they almost looked like they should be in different weight classes. Throughout the match Taylor had problems making contact with Moroz. Taylor could only get punches off in counter attacks most of which didn’t reach Moroz. Taylor landed a heavy punch to the head of Moroz in the second round, but Moroz took it in stride and didn’t seem to be affected. Moroz controlled the pace, the center of the ring, and almost everything else about the fight. Taylor took Moroz to the ground at the end of the 3rd round but didn’t have enough time to do anything significant. Moroz won, but I thought the decision would be unanimous.
Middleweight – Trevor Smith def. Joe Gigliotti – Decision Unanimous
He may be a great dude and a great fighter but after watching him fight Gigliotti for 15 minutes I have developed a dislike for Trevor Smith. I don’t like 98% of the UFC nicknames and I don’t understand why it seems to be a requirement to have one. I have heard many a bad alias in the UFC, but Trevor “Hot Sauce” Smith is the most dreadful. This guy is bald with a beard and looks exactly like the conservative former military, strongly opinionated, post workout photo taking, Hillary Clinton bashing high school friend that I haven’t communicated with since Freshman year of high school on Facebook. I cannot see a possible connection with him and the name Hot Sauce and when a nick name is that terrible I demand an explanation on the telecast.
In addition to his appearance and nick name, I wasn’t a fan of his fighting style. I can put aside the illegal fence grabbing and knee to the head while Gigliotti was on the ground, but his fighting style made the fight unwatchable. I know I am a new comer to this sport, but every time Gigliotti was a threat to do damage, Smith clinched him or took him to the ground. Smith was constantly latched onto Gigliotti not allowing him to do much of anything. Trevor “Hot Sauce” Smith definitely controlled and won this fight, but damn he is unlikable.
Welterweight – Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Zak Cummings – Decision Unanimous
It is probably a result of watching Hot Sauce before, but the Ponzinibbio/Cummings fight was active and entertaining to watch. Ponzinibbio has effective take down defense, and when he was brought to the ground he got back to his feet quickly. The fight was stopped in the first round after Ponzinibbio was kicked in the nuts, and he took his time catching his breath and adjusting his cup. Both fighters touched gloves once the fight started back up. The second round was more of the same, and the third round saw a lot of attacks from both fighters but nothing significant landed. Both fighters were active and actually fought straight up, unlike Hot Sauce (I really dislike Hot Sauce) and Ponzinibbio won in a unanimous decision.
Middleweight – Thales Leites def. Chris Camozzi – Submission Rear-naked choke
Camozzi didn’t do a lot of fighting in this match, he spent most of his time trying to get Leites off from him. Both fighters went to the ground early in the first round and Camozzi was able to get to his feet. But while he was on his feet, Leites was latched onto his back like a face hugger in the movie Alien. Leites landed punches while getting a piggy back ride forcing Camozzi to use a lot of energy to stay upright. The second round was more of the same as Leites continued to force Camozzi to fight for every inch of movement. Towards the end of the round he looked completely gassed. The third round started with both fighters trading punches but Leites took Camozzi back to the ground and performed a rear-naked choke.
Featherweight – Dennis Bermudez def. Rony Jason – Decision Unanimous
Coming into the fight with the disadvantage of having two first names, Rony Jason had a lot to overcome. In the first round he was taken to the ground by Bermudez who landed a heavy elbow to his forehead. This opened up Jason’s head and began bleeding profusely similar to when Sasha Vujacic elbowed Shane Battier in 2009. Jason was bleeding bad, but the cutman cleaned and closed up the open wound in the short time between rounds.
Jason was able to take Bermudez to the ground in the second round and had a chance at a guillotine choke but was unsuccessful. Bermudez controlled the rest of the round.
At the beginning of the third round the two fighters greeted each other before continuing the fight. The fight goes to the ground where Jason was on top looking for a submission, but the round ended with Bermudez maneuvering to the top position and reopened Jason’s head wound. This was a good bloody fight but Bermudez dominated most of the fight.
Featherweight – Yair Rodriguez def. Alex Caceres – Decision Split
After complaining about the uncreative nicknames most UFC fighters have, I acknowledge my hypocrisy when I say I like Caceres nickname of Bruce Leeroy. It is dumb, but it works.
I remember Caceres at UFC 199 where he was able to get out of several tough submissions and win in a decision. I predicted Rodriguez to win after watching his crazy flip kick highlights and because I didn’t like Caceres afro. There is a lot of cerebral analysis that goes into my UFC predictions.
This fight went the distance. Both fighters looked extremely tired in the fifth round after 20 minutes of fighting. This fight was close and I didn’t know who was going to win after the final bell was rung. Most of the time I can tell who won the fight before the score cards are announced but I had no idea with this fight. Both fighters landed blows but made mistakes in all 5 rounds. The fight started out active but slowed down a lot towards the later rounds. There isn’t a lot to say about it other than Rodriguez threw some cool kicks and that Caceres is a competent fight who could have won this fight if a few combos that he threw landed in the rounds that he lost.
Rodriguez won in a split decision and I look forward to seeing him throw and land a flip kick in a future fight.