UFC on Fox 22 was a stacked event with 4 great match ups on the main card, and few fun fights in the preliminary cards. I enjoyed the fights and was appreciative of the earlier start time, but I am unable to fully explain the extent of the hatred I hold towards Fox.
I have made my thoughts on Fox clear but they took their shittyness to another level during this event. I am numb to the normal bullshit that comes with a Fox broadcast (bad graphics, crowd shots of famous people promoting shows, invasive advertising, etc…) but two horrific events during the main card were impossible to ignore. After the Faber/Pickett fight, Dominick Cruz and Cody Garbrandt faced off in a Bellator-esque shit talking match promoting their fight on UFC 207. The two said nothing interesting and half of the exchange was not heard during the broadcast as it had to be bleeped out to avoid exposing the children who were tuned in to watch people beat the hell out of each other, from swear words.
That segment between Cruz and Garbrandt was awful but its stink quickly wafted away with a great fight between Mickey Gall and Sage Northcutt. Then Fox laid a turd so big and so potent, I can still smell it days later. Right before the headlining fight, Fox plastered the fake mug of Skip Bayless on the screen. I have no idea what he said as I screamed at the top of my lungs to drown out his “hot takes” until I located the remote and muted the TV. I can only assume he was saying something designed to aggravate viewers and to promote his new show that has horrendous ratings but according to Fox is the “fastest growing sports show.”
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Welterweight – Sultan Aliev def. Bojan Velickovic – Decision split – (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
The night started off with a welterweight match between Aliev and Velickovic. Both fighters were able to get some shots in which lead to one judge ruling in the favor of Velickovic, but it was obvious to everyone else that Aliev won the fight. In the first round both fighters traded leg kicks and Aliev scored a takedown. While on the ground Velickovic attempted an armbar that Aliev wiggled out of. Aliev threw some elbows and landed some shots when the fighters stood up in the clinch.
The second round was fought at a much faster pace. Aliev scored two more takedowns in this round and escaped a guillotine choke attempt from Velickovic. Aliev landed some ground and pound and survived a triangle submission from Velickovic to end the round.
Aliev had a wound open up on his head from an inadvertent head but going into the third round. He brought Velickovic to the ground about half way through the round and kept him there until the fight ended. He prevented Velickovic from being able to land anything significant. The judges took forever getting the score cards tallied up.
Flyweight – Hector Sandoval def. Fredy Serrano – Decision unanimous – (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Sandoval showed off a wide range of skills in his unanimous decision victory over the head handed Serrano. In the first round Sandoval showed his dominance by lifting Serrano above his shoulder and slamming him to the mat. Serrano whiffed on an illegal kick that was directed towards the head of the grounded Sandoval. Sandoval responded by clipping Serrano with a jab and later in the round with a left hook.
In the second round Sandoval dropped Serrano with a heavy blow and jumped on top of him looking for a guillotine choke. Serrano survived and landed a body kick once he got back to his feet. He tripped Sandoval and whiffed on yet another illegal attack to the head of a grounded opponent. Sandoval got back to his feet and landed a left on a counter attack.
Sandoval brought Serrano to the ground early in the third. Serrano struggled back to his feet where he landed multiple kicks. He also connected with an overhand right and taunted Sandoval at the end of the round asking him to kick his leg. This was a dominate win by Sandoval.
Bantamweight – Eddie Wineland def. Takeya MIzugaki – TKO punches (RD 1 – 3:04)
I enjoy watching Wineland fight as he has a unique fighting stance. He used his unpredictable stance to rock Mizugaki with a right. He jumped on Mizugaki looking for the TKO but her was able to get back to his wobbly feet. Wineland clipped Mizugaki again with the same right and received the TKO.
Preliminary Card (FS1)
Women’s Bantamweight – Leslie Smith def. Irene Aldana – Decision unanimous – (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
This match between Smith and Aldana was the fight of the night in my opinion. I recognized Aldana from Invicta FC 19 and Smith is a veteran striker in women’s MMA. This was a brutal slug fest that saw both fighters land knock out worthy blows. Smith dropped Aldana with a right counter punch and used up a lot of energy throwing wild hammer fist looking for the TKO.
In the second round Aldana hurt Smith with a combo but ate a combo from Smith to end the round. The third round saw more of the same slug fest with Smith being the aggressor and landing more strikes. Both fighters traded blows in all three rounds. At times both fighters threw wild flurry of attacks not concerned with defense, just looking for the final KO shot. This fight is hard to recap as so much happened, fun fights like this one are rare.
Lightweight – Josh Emmett def. Scott Holtzman – Decision unanimous – (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
The first round of this match up saw two time stoppages. The first coming after Emmett took a shot to the groin, and the second after Holtzman suffered an eye poke. Both fighters scored takedowns and blows making the first round tough to score.
The second round was also close as both fighters landed shots and scored takedowns. Emmett charged Holtzman as he threw a kick, forcing him to the ground. Emmett connected multiple jabs and tried a heel hook while on the ground. He looked exhausted at the end of the round.
The third round turned into a slug fest as both fighters traded blows. Emmett clipped Holtzman twice but Holtzman recovered and taunted Emmett. Both fighters looked exhausted in the second half of this round. Emmett scored a couple more takedowns to end the fight.
Welterweight – Alex Morono def. James Moontasri – Decision unanimous – (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
The first round of this fight between Morono and Moontasri saw lots of kicks from both fighters. In the second round both fighters landed jabs. Morono did a lot of damage in the clinch, landing knees and short elbows opening up the eye of Moontasri. In the third, Morono clipped Moontasri who retreated against the cage. This allowed Morono to unleash a flurry of attacks at a TKO pace. The rest of the fight saw Morono teeing off on Moontasri landing elbows, jabs, and body kicks. Moontasri looked exhausted but he prevented the finish and landed a body kick of his own at the end of the fight.
Welterweight – Colby Covington def. Bryan Barberena – Decision unanimous – (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Covington’s win over Barberena can be described in one series of events. Covington brought Barberena to the ground, Barberena struggled to his feet with Covington latched onto his back. The fighters would separate, Covington would land shots, and then repeat for three rounds. Barberena didn’t have a chance in this match as he had no answer to the effective strategy of Covington.
Featherweight – Mizuto Hirota def. Cole Miller – Decision unanimous – (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Cole Miller is a huge dude for a featherweight. He looked very thin and lanky compared to his opponent Mizuto Hirota. His height and reach advantage didn’t help him much in this fight as Hirota easily won all three rounds.
In the first round Miller tagged Hirota and ran him down, trying to get to him before he could recover. Hirota did recover and scored two takedowns of his own. In the second round Hirota brought the fight to the ground again landing effective ground and pound. Miller attempted an arm lock but Hirota was able to escape and continue accumulating significant strikes. The third round saw Hirota controlling the ground again, sealing his unanimous decision.
Light Heavyweight – Paul Craig def. Luis Henrique da Silva – Submission armbar – (RD 2 – 1:59)
Craig made quick work of Silva in this match, submitting him in the second round with an armbar. As soon as the fight started, Craig quickly descended on Silva who was holding a hand up to high-five. Craig did not touch gloves with Silva and began attacking right away. He scored two takedowns in the first round touching up Silva’s face which bled heavily.
After escaping a guillotine attempt in the first round, Silva couldn’t escape an armbar after being brought to the ground by Craig.
Main Card (FOX)
Welterweight – Alan Jouban def. Mike Perry – Decision unanimous – (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
The dislike these two fighters have for each other was highly publicized in the days leading up to this card. Jouban wanted to fighter a higher ranked welterweight but was accepting of this match up as he wanted to ruin the perfect record of the polarizing Mike Perry.
The first round was the closest as both fighters traded kicks. Perry landed a knee while Jouban scored a takedown. The rest of the fight was controlled by Jouban. He dropped Perry at the end of the second round and taunted Perry in the third by shaking his head in disappointment. Perry’s lead leg was bruised from the leg kicks of Jouban. Perry was clipped after eating a head kick late in the third.
Bantamweight – Urijah Faber def. Brad Pickett – Decision unanimous – (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Faber was great in his 44th and final MMA fight earning the rare 10-8 round. He crushed Pickett in the first round and it looked like he was going to get a first round finish. He dropped Pickett with a heavy left hook and followed it up with hard ground and pound. He took the back of Pickett and attempted a rear-naked choke.
Picket survived and started the second round with a calf kick on Faber. Faber scored multiple takedowns in the second and third rounds. Pickett attempted a guillotine and dropped Faber with a jab in the third round, but Faber controlled the ground. Pickett’s face was bleeding from the consistent ground and pound and stayed tough surviving to a decision and landing some significant shots of his own.
The reign of the butt chin is over.
Welterweight – Mickey Gall def. Sage Northcutt – Submission rear-naked choke – (RD 2 – 1:40)
Mickey Gall made quick work of the very amateur looking CM Punk and called out the “corny” Sage Northcutt. I was looking forward to this fight as I wanted to see if Gall is a top level fighter as CM Punk didn’t offer up much resistance. Northcutt is a 20 year old phenom, a tough opponent for the 3-0 Gall.
Gall seemed to get under Northcutt’s skin before the match baiting him into uncharacteristically shit talking in the media. This bleed into the fight when Northcutt was seen shouting at Gall when Gall was on the ground and Northcutt was on his feet. Gall scored two takedowns in the first round and attempted a guillotine choke.
The second round saw Northcutt drop Gall with a left leaving an open wound above his eye. Gall was able to recover, eat another left and then drop Northcutt with an over hand punch. He jumped on top of the staggered Northcutt on the ground and got into position for the rear-naked choke.
The impressive win for Gall lead to a stale fart of a call out to Dan Hardy, a retired fighter. Gall also stated he is going to cut weight and move down to lightweight which I think will be a great move for him. He will be a large and powerful fighter at 155.
Women’s Strawweight – Michelle Waterson def. Paige VanZant – Technical submission rear-naked choke – (RD 1 – 3:21)
It didn’t take Waterson long to defeat the popular VanZant. She took VanZant to the ground and maneuvered to her back. Waterson wrapped her arms around the neck of VanZant getting under her chin. I don’t know how VanZant lasted as long as she did as the choke was tight. When it became apparent that VanZant was going to resist until she passed out, Big John jumped in and called it. Impressive submission skills from the Karate expert.
UFC 207 is on Friday, December 30th.