UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio is one of the strangest cards I have watched. Poked eyes, douchey trainers, embarrassing post-fight interviews, and the mauling of a former wrestler all took place at 203. My FS1 complaints remain unchanged, my Sony Live Events Viewer didn’t crash, and Papa John’s had a deal on large pizzas. It was a good night.
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Welterweight – Yancy Medeiros def. Sean Spencer – Submission rear-naked choke – (RD 2 – 0:49)
Medeiros stunned Spencer in the first round when he landed a kick to his head. Spencer blocked the kick with his arms, but the leg of Medeiros forced Spencer’s guard into his head essentially causing Spencer to punch himself. Spencer survived and after a taunt from Mederios, both traded blows in the last 10 seconds of the first round.
It wasn’t long into the second round when Mederios landed another kick into Spencer’s guard which brought him to the ground. Mederios collapsed on Spencer, attempted a guillotine and re-positioned into a rear-naked choke. The ref missed the initial tap out, forcing Spencer to tap twice.
Preliminary Card (FS1)
Lightweight – Drew Dober def. Jason Gonzalez – KO Punches – (RD 1 – 1:45)
This fight was stopped in the first round when Gonzalez absorbed a blow to his groin. Shortly after the fight started up again, Dober landed a combo which put Gonzalez up against the cage. Dober landed more blows to his head until the cage couldn’t support Gonzalez anymore. Gonzalez fell to the mat and Dober continued attacking his head. The ref ran in to stop the fight as Gonzalez was clearly out, but right before he stopped Dober, Dober landed one last blow that sent Gonzalez’s mouth piece flying out of his mouth. Brutal scene.
Catchweight (158 lbs) – Nick Lentz def. Michael McBride – TKO Punches – (RD 2 – 4:17)
McBride had a big size advantage over the shorter Lentz. McBride looks like a red neck street fighter out of the movie Out of the Furnace. Lentz tried to keep the fight on the ground, when the two fighters were clenched up against the cage, Lentz would trip McBride. In the second round McBride clipped Lentz which brought him to the mat. McBride got on top of him on the ground where Lentz maneuvered himself and attempted a guillotine. Lentz then got on top of McBride and threw a flurry of punches to his face and the ref stopped the fight. My enjoyment for this fight was severely degraded due to the Hulk Hogan tweet Fox threw on the screen. God I hate it when they put tweets from “famous” people on the screen during the fights.
Middleweight – Brad Tavares def. Caio Magalhaes – Decision Split (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
This split decision wasn’t the most eventful fight. The first round saw the fighters clinched up against the cage, and the second round started with the fighters swinging, and then they went back to the clinch. The third round saw more attacks thrown. The after the fight replay showed Tavares throw a super man punch and land a punch to the sternum of Magalhaes.
Women’s Bantamweight – Bethe Correia def. Jessica Eye – Decision Split (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Similar to the fight before it, this fight went all three rounds, but not a lot happened, or at least that I noticed or can explain. My favorite aspect of this fight is the nick name of Jessica Eye. She has one of the few creative MMA nick names, Jessica “Evil” Eye. This fight saw the typical trading of blows and clenches. Just a slow grind hoping to edge each other out in the score cards. I feel guilty not having a lot to say about this fight, I don’t remember anything significant and my notes reflect that. I remember Correia had lime green compression shorts under her yellow UFC shorts. I am going to stop before I just start reciting pervy things about the women.
Main Card (PPV)
Women’s Strawweight – Jessica Andrade def. Joanne Calderwood – Submission Guillotine Choke – (RD 1 – 4:38)
This fight was dope, the fight of the night in my opinion. Andrade has dropped weight to get out of the loaded bantamweight division and to dominate the strawweights. It shows because she looks thick and jacked for a strawweight. She brought Calderwood to the ground via a slam. While on bottom on the ground, Calderwood wrapped her legs around Andrade. Andrade then showed off her strength by standing up with Calderwood attached to her and slammed her on her back. Andrade then throws body and head strikes softening Calderwood up. She maneuvers into a tight guillotine which forces Calderwood to tap out. Andrade was dominate.
Bantamweight – Jimmie Rivera def. Urijah Faber – Decision Unanimous (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
In the second round Rivera was hit in the groin and the fight was stopped. As Rivera let the agony flow through him, the mic picked up the ref (who looked like a little Brock Lesnar) saying, “take your time, you have 5 minutes.” I didn’t know that there was a set time limit for recovery of nut shots, and 5 minutes seems long. This fight was dominated by Rivera, his leg kicks to Faber being the deciding factor. Faber’s leg was clearly injured from absorbing many powerful leg kicks. Both got their jabs and punches in, but Rivera controlled Faber by continuing to kick his injured leg. In the third round Faber poked Rivera in the eye and according to Joe Rogan, after the fight he was shouting “I’m blind, I can’t see out of my right eye.” After being announced the winner in the post-fight interview, he told Rogan he still cant see out of his eye.
The next day reports came out that Rivera suffered a cracked retina. Currently he is still unable to see out of it, only blurry images. The doctor in Cleveland state he does not know when or if he will get full vision back. That is rough, eye injuries in UFC are dangerous.
Welterweight – Mickey Gall def. CM Punk – Submission Rear-naked Choke – (RD 1 – 2:14)
This fight was highly anticipated for many wrong reasons. CM Punk the former WWE wrestler signed a contract with UFC almost 2 years ago, and this was his first fight. Most of his fellow UFC fighters were angry that he gets a fight on a main card for his first fight, they believed he didn’t deserve it. They are right, but promotion is half of the draw of UFC. CM Punk is a big name, therefore he receives different treatment.
Gall destroyed Punk is just 2 minutes. He brought Punk to the ground immediately and hammered on him until he was able to get behind him and his arms around his neck. Gall exposed Punk as a beginner and confirmed that Punk isn’t ready to fight in the UFC.
This fight was hard to watch. It isn’t fun watching someone get the shit beat out of them by a much better fighter. Punk had been training for this moment for two years, said all of the right things in the media, and gets obliterated, that’s rough.
Punk talked to Gall after the fight and in the post-fight interview he said this was the second best day of his life (the first being the day he got married). He wanted to try MMA, that was his goal, at least attempt a dream of his. He got wrecked, but you have to respect him for trying, and I do. I like CM Punk.
Heavyweight – Fabricio Werdum def. Travis Browne – Decision Unanimous (29-28, 29-27, 30-27)
This is the weirdest fight I have watched. Two top 10 heavyweights squaring off. Brown just lost to Cain Velasquez and Werdum just lost his belt to Miocic. As soon as the fight started, Werdum came out flying and landed a kick to the face of Browne. A few minutes later Werdum threw a punch that dislocated a finger on the hand Browne was using to guard. Browne then turned his back and pointed towards his finger as he walked towards the ref. The fight should have been called right there. When a fighter turns their back, that is forfeiting. But Browne was looking for a time stoppage and when the ref didn’t stop the fight, Werdum went in and attacked Browne. The ref (lil’ Lesnar) separated the two fighters and stopped time to look at Browne’s hand. That shouldn’t of happened. A hand injury isn’t worth of stopping time. Lil’ Lesnar fucked up.
When the fight started again, Werdum clipped Browne who fell to the mat. He survived the attack and got back to his feet. Browne’s right hand was clearly compromised as he mainly threw lefts the rest of the fight. Before the third round his trainer could be heard yelling “fuck your hand” egging him on to fight. After the illegal stoppage of time, the fight sucked. Browne poked Werdum in the eye, something Browne is famous for, and Werdum fought conservatively knowing he had a big lead in the fight.
After the fight, the ring filled with trainers and people. Browne’s trainer approached Werdum and said something that I assume was awful because Werdum responded by kicking him. The ring then went crazy and lil’ Lesnar looked overwhelmed and told everyone to separate. After announcing Werdum as the winner, Browne and his training staff immediately left the ring. Just a weird situation that was inches away from turning into an all-out brawl.
Heavyweight – Stipe Miocic ( C ) def. Alistair Overeem – KO Punches – (RD 1 – 4:27)
This fight was crazy. The new belt holder, Miocic fighting in front of him home town Cleveland facing Overeem who has an insane resume looking to finally get his UFC belt. Overeem has a perfect body, tall, proportional muscles, and a six pack. Miocic is in shape, but doesn’t look as intimidating and Overeem. Early on, Overeem clipped Miocic which brought Miocic to the ground. Overeem collapsed on top of Miocic and went for a heavy guillotine. Miocic survived, got to his feet and started delivering heavy blows to Overeem. Overeem began to stumble, fell to the mat, and Miocic knocked him out with several heavy blows. I couldn’t believe Miocic survived and finished with a KO.
In the post fight interview Miocic claimed the punch that brought him to the ground didn’t hurt him. He then played to the crowd by shouting “O-H” and the crowd replied with “I-O!”
Overeem was also interviewed by Rogan. He told Rogan that he through Miocic tapped out in the guillotine and that is why he let go. Rogan then asked the crew to pull up the replay on the big screen for the whole audience to see and showed that Miocic didn’t tap. Overeem was clearly embarrassed and Rogan mercifully ended the interview. That was hard to watch.
After the fight and on Twitter, Rogan stated he think the post fight interview for the loser who was knocked out shouldn’t continue in future fights. Rogan clearly felt bad for Overeem and defended by explaining that he was knocked unconscious just minutes before.
This was a weird card. I was wired afterwards and stayed up until like 3 am before I could fall asleep.
UFC 204 is on October 8th, with a Fight Night card on every Saturday inbetween.