UFC 205 had so much hype leading up to it and even though the Cerrone fight fell through due to Gastelum missing weight, it lived up to it. Three title fights on one card and the first two fights featured former belt holders in Meisha Tate and Chris Weidman.The preliminary cards were loaded and even though I missed the first 3 FS1 prelim fights because Fox sucks at everything, I barbarically enjoyed every fight I watched. My excitement was lubricated by cheap vodka, but a sober bad mood wouldn’t have dampened the thrill of watching these fights. Madison Square Garden was given the best UFC has to offer.
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Women’s Bantamweight – Liz Carmouche def. Katlyn Chookagian – Decision spilt – (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Carmouche looked insane physically for this fight. Just shredded. She used those toned muscles to slam Chookagian to the mat twice in the first round. In the second round Carmouche slammed Chookagian down again and attempted a guillotine choke that Chookagian escaped from. Things became more interesting in the third round when Chookagian clipped Carmouche with a head kick. Carmouche immediately clinched up to recover. Carmouche scored two more take downs on Chookagian late in the third to seal her victory. Carmouche was the better fighter in the match but Chookagian held her own and the blood that was pouring from Carmouche’s nose was evidence of that (even though it was announced that Carmouche broke he nose in training so it was more vulnerable to damage.
Catchweight (162.6 LB) – Jim Miller def. Thiago Alves – Decision unanimous – (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Alves missed weight by a lot for this fight which required Miller to rehydrate and gain some weight back to even allow this fight to happen. In the first round Miller brought Alves to the ground after catching his kick. While on the mat Alves squirmed his way over to the fence so he could use it as leverage while fighting with Miller on the ground. Both fighters got back to their feet where Alves landed some knee attacks and Miller landed hard kicks. After falling to the mat and surviving a flurry of attacks from Alves, Miller scored a couple more take downs and attempted a guillotine choke. Alves escaped the submission and got on top of Miller where he landed some ground and pound to end the fight.
Preliminary Card (FS1)
Welterweight – Vicente Luque def. Belal Muhammad – KO punches – (RD 1 – 1:19)
I bet this fight was awesome. I wouldn’t know because during the day of the best UFC card ever, the Fox Sports Go App didn’t work. Fuck Fox.
Middleweight – Tim Boetsch def. Rafael Natal – TKO punches – (RD 1 – 3:22)
Fox Sports Go App still didn’t work.
Lightweight – Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Michael Johnson – Submission kimura – (RD 3 – 2:31)
After firing off angry tweets at the Fox Sports Go App help twitter account and drunkenly cursing Fox Sports, I attempted to pull up the prelims again and the stream finally worked at the end of this fight. All I saw was Nurmagomedov take Johnson to the ground and get the kimura submission. Once these first three FS1 prelim fights are no longer blacked out on UFC Fight Pass I will watch them.
Featherweight – Frankie Edgar def. Jeremy Stephens – Decision unanimous – (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
The headlining prelim fight went the distance and Edgar was able to get a unanimous decision win. The booze was settling in at this point and I was furious with anger over the incompetence of the “fastest growing sports network” during this fight. Edgar attempted some take downs in the first round but was stuffed by the good defense from Stephens. The ref stopped the fight due to Edgar getting poked in the eye but it didn’t take long for the doc to clear him and for Edgar to get back to the action. Another time stoppage occurred in the second round when Stephens was kicked in the nuts. Edgar scored a take down in the second but Stephens was able to get up right away and stun Edgar with a head kick. Edgar kept his distance after absorbing the kick bouncing around the ring trying to recover. To end the second round, Edgar took Stephens to the ground and attempted two guillotine chokes that Stephens was able to escape from. The third round saw more of the same with Edgar adding several take downs to his score sealing his victory.
Main Card (PPV)
Women’s Bantamweight – Raquel Pennington def. Miesha Tate – Decision unanimous – (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
This fight was crazy. Tate’s former under study Pennington beat her straight up in a 3 round fight which lead to Tate announcing her retirement. In the first round Pennington landed several jabs that shook Tate. Pennington then got Tate in a guillotine choke while standing that looked too tight to get out of. Tate jumped in the air to relieve pressure from her neck and then ran across the cage to try to get out of the death grip. He determination and effort paid off and she escaped the first round submission attempt. In the second round Pennington landed more punches and upper cuts to the body of Tate. Knowing that she was losing, Tate came out strong in the third round. She attempted a triangle and an arm bar submission which lead to her getting in a neck crank controlled by Pennington. Tate maneuvered to better position and attempted a heel lock but was unsuccessful.
This frantic style looking for submissions from Tate reminded me of her third round with Holly Holm back at UFC 196. She took the belt from Holm in that fight, but only after a rear-naked choke in the third round which came as a result of desperation due to losing the first two rounds to Holm. After the fight Tate gave Pennington a kiss on her fore head and announced that she was going to retire. I did not expect that, but knowing that she is now 30 years old, lost two fights in a row which could have easily been three and that her chances of getting another title shot are slim, it makes sense. Meisha Tate will go down as one of the pioneers in Women’s MMA for what she had done in Strikeforce and the UFC. I will miss watching former bantamweight title holder Meisha Tate fight.
Middleweight – Yoel Romero def. Chris Weidman – KO flying knee and punches – (RD 3 – 0:24)
Weidman suffered one of the most brutal defeats I have seen in MMA. All of the action for this fight took place in the second round when it started with a bit of a controversy as it appeared Romero doused himself in water making him very wet and slippery. After the fighters went to the ground several times, Weidman attempted a take down, lowering his head going for the legs of Romero. At the same time, Romero charged forward and landed a knee to the head of Weidman. Weidman collapsed and Romero finished him off with hammer fists. After the ref jumped in to stop the fight, you could see blood pouring out of Weidman’s head. The momentum from both fighters charging at each other and the sharp edge of Romero’s knee lead to a dangerous moment. Weidman was still on the ground getting looked at as Romero was announced the winner.
Romero’s next fight will most likely be a title shot for the middleweight title against Michael Bisping. Bisping was in the building covering the fight for the network who couldn’t keep its streaming service running, and watched from his suite high up in MSG. Romero called out Bisping in his post fighter interview with Rogan which Bisping responded with a thumbs down, double middle fingers, and pretending to inject something into his butt implying that the muscular Romero used steroids. Bisping’ s reaction was awesome and I will definitely watch the fight between him and Romero next year.
Women’s Strawweight – Joanna Jedrzejczyk ( c ) def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz – Decision unanimous – (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
The battle of the pollocks. I think that is offensive but I am polish so I can say it. This was an entertaining fight that last all 5 rounds. As I have mentioned in the past, long eventful fights are hard to write about and give a blow by blow breakdown because so much happened. The huge knot that each fighter had above both of their right eyes was proof that they both landed strikes. They stunned each other in the 4th round but both were able to recover. Even though Kowalkiewicz held her own and proved she deserved to be in the ring with the best strawweights, Jedrejczyk was the aggressor and the better fighter. This was a stand up striking match that saw spinning back fists, knees to the body, and brutal combinations. Jedrejczyk deserved the unanimous decision and continues her run of dominance in MMA.
Welterweight – Tyron Woodley ( c ) def. Stephen Thompson – Draw majority – (47-47, 47-47, 48-47)
Slug fest is an awful way to describe a fight where both fighters beat the shit out of each other. But this was a slug fest. Woodley is carved out of marble with insanely powerful punches, while Thomson is taller and lankier but can get hit by a truck and survive. Both fighters traded blows in all 5 rounds but I felt Woodley had the edge over Thompson which was reflected in the score cards. Thompson clipped Woodley in the third round with a right punch but Woodley annihilated Thompson in the 4th. He stunned Thompson 3 different times and performed a tight guillotine that Thompson somehow survived. Not only did he survive the onslaught from Woodley, he got in full mount and landed punches on the ground at the end of the round. This round was incredible. The 5th round saw Woodley play good defense and stay aggressive enough to keep the score card on his side.
The decision for this math came under strange circumstances. Bruce Buffer left the ring to go back to the scores table to clarify something and then announced the 47-47, 47-47, 48-47 score as a spilt decision, which is inaccurate. Rogan began talking to Woodley who had the belt placed around his waist and then Buffer did his Steve Harvey impersonation and stated a correction needed to be made. Woodley became visibly upset and Rogan did a good job of calming him down saying that he still defended his title. The decision was changed to a majority draw which the scores Buffer read off implied. What a strange situation, but an amazing fight.
Lightweight – Conor McGregor def. Eddie Alvarez ( c ) – TKO punches – (RD 2 – 3:04)
Conor McGregor was looking to become the first UFC fighter to hold two belts simultaneously. Eddie Alvarez was looking to finally expose McGregor for the high profile mediocre fighter that he is. I honestly though McGregor was going to lose this fight and his run of dominance would be stopped. I was wrong. Weeks of promotion and trash talking ended with McGregor finishing Alvarez in the second round with a TKO. Similar to Lahat in the Bellator card the night before, after hearing the Irish fans chant and scream for McGregor at the volume that they did, there was no way McGregor was going to lose. I can’t Imagine that adrenaline rush. McGregor clipped Alvarez twice in the first round and after taunting Alvarez in the second, he clipped him again and finished him with an amazing 3 hit combo.
After the fight McGregor was given the lightweight belt and requested that he be given his featherweight belt as well. I was surprised that they didn’t have both belts ready so they could show him sporting both belts on each shoulder. I thought that was the whole point of this fight was to possibly get that image. Dana White ran out of the cage an grabbed Woodley’s belt so McGregor could strut around with two championships.
McGregor is insane and earned both of his belts despite favoritism that Dana White showed him. His trash talking and persona feel genuine and he becomes a different person in the ring. The smiling promoting well-dressed guy seen out of the ring is completely different than the stone faced killer seen in the ring. He does let it fly when he gets confident in the ring like he did in this fight when he taunted the injured Alvarez in the second round by holding his own hands behind his back. McGregor is a boss.
UFC Fight Night 99 and 100 are Saturday, November 19th. So much MMA.