UFC 209 was a long painful slog. The excitement for the card was diminished when the Ferguson/Khabib fight was called off, but I was still excited for the other high profile match ups. The distain that I feel for this card is still lingering due to the awful main event, Dominick Cruz’s stale commentating, and the stuttering stream experience via the Fox Sports Go App during the preliminary card.

Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)

Bantamweight – Albert Morales def. Andre Soukhamthath – Decision split – (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

The night started with a bantamweight fight between Albert Morales and Andre “I have the most complicated last name in history” Soukhamthath. Coming from a person with the last name of Schymanski, I have no business in complaining about weird last names, but Jesus Christ is Soukamthath a mouth full. Even Bruce Buffer had a hard time saying it showing the first of two slip ups of the night for the Buff man.

The fight ended in a decision, shocking I know, as bantamweights are known for using their sub 5’ 8’ 140 pound frames to knock people out. The first round saw both fighters landing significant strikes. Morales landed some leg kicks and a left jab while Souk landed a couple lefts, and upper cut, and a right. Morales responded by landed a counter fight on a superman punch attempt from Souk. In a up close exchange Souk landed a knee to end the round.

Morales scored a takedown in the second round after the two fighters traded jabs. The fighters got back to their feet in the clinch where Morales landed a few knees and strikes before going back to the ground. Souk landed strikes on the ground and maneuvered around looking to take the back of Morales. The fighters got back to their feet to end the second round where Souk landed a hard knee.

Souk discovered a weakness in the third round, body shots, and exploited it. He landed many left hooks to the body of Morales. After absorbing lots of body shots, Morales took the fight to the ground where he was able to take the back of the exhausted Souk. He looked for the rear-naked choke but was unable to finish Souk and controlled the ground until the final round ended.

Light Heavyweight – Tyson Pedro def. Paul Craig – TKO elbows – (RD 1 – 4:10)

Tyson Pedro and his 3 inch reach advantage brutalized Paul Craig. After trading knees in the clinch, Craig scored a takedown. The fighters quickly got back to their feet and traded more knees before Craig landed a strike in the break. Pedro responded by dropping Pedro with a powerful blow and letting him get back to his feet. The fighters clinched back up and Pedro landed more knees. Pedro scored a takedown and began his onslaught of elbows. Pedro trapped Craig’s arms and unloaded on his defense face until the TKO was called.

Preliminary Card (FS1)

Heavyweight – Mark Godbeer def. Daniel Spitz – Decision unanimous – (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Spitz has the size and reach advantage over Godbeer, but was unable to win a round. The first round began with Godbeer landing a right hand and a clinch. Spitz landed a knee in the break and then ate a body shot from Godbeer. A combination landed for Godbeer who then dropped Spitz with a hard inside leg kick. The fighters went in and out of the clinch and traded leg kicks before Spitz landed a left and Godbeer landed a right and a counter left.

Godbeer defended a takedown in the second round and connected with a uppercut and jab while breaking out of a clinch. Spitz scored a takedown and ate a knee when the fighters got back to their feet. Godbeer then unloaded on Spitz landing many strikes including knees, and jabs. Spitz was in a lot of trouble but the fight slowed way down in the end of the second round as exhausting took both fighters.

The third round was tough to watch as both fighters looked the way I do after climbing a flight of stairs. Both were slow and showed the weakness that plagues many heavyweights, endurance. Godbeer clipped Spitz and landed more strikes in the third round sealing his victory.

Bantamweight – Iuri Alcantara def. Luke Sanders – Submission kneebar – (RD 2 – 3:13)

Sanders was dominating Alcantara early. After being brought to the ground in the first round, Sanders landed rough hammer fists. The fighters got back to their feet, traded strikes and Sanders scored a takedown of his own. Sanders dropped hard strikes on Alcantara. The ground and pound was relentless and the TKO looked imminent as Alcantara wasn’t doing a lot fight back. Then Sanders landed an illegal knee to the head of Alcantara while he was down. The knee would have been considered illegal regardless of what set of rules were being used (Nevada still hasn’t accepted the new rule changes). The fight was stopped and Mark Goddard could be heard shouting “what are you doing?” at Sanders. Goddard took a point away from Sanders and asked Alcantara if he wanted to continue fighting. Alcantara nodded his head and clipped Sanders with a left to end the first round.

Both fighters came out hard in the second round connecting on attacks and going to the ground. While in the clinch, Sanders landed a powerful knee that dropped Alcantara. Sanders followed up the knee with punches and elbows. The fighters got back to their feet, went back to the ground and Sanders continued with his harsh ground and pound. Alcantara scrambled, got in position for a leg lock, and Sanders tapped quickly. Even with the point deduction Alcantara looked out matched, but he only needed on small window to submit Sanders. Impressive comeback.

Featherweight – Darren Elkins def. Mirsad Bektic – KO punches and head kick – (RD 3 – 3:19)

Elkins one up’ d Alcantara with an even better comeback in his match with Bektic. The massive and gaudy tattoo that reads “The Damage” across Elkins chest suggests the dude can take a punch. His chin has survived the onslaughts his face in his long MMA career and this fight was no exception.

Bektic crushed Elkins early. He landed a combo, scored a takedown, and used his sharp elbows and ground and pound to open up the scar tissue on the face of Elkins. As the blood painted the mat, Bektic controlled the ground fighting and just dropped bombs on Elkins. Bektic got into the crucifix position preventing Elkins from defended himself and continued destroying his face. Elkins was in rough shape at the end of the first round.

Elkins took his giant cut above his eyebrow with him to the second round. Bektic landed a combo, and scored a takedown. The fighters got back to their feet in the clinch where Elkins connected with some knees. Bektic landed another combo, level change, and scored another takedown. Elkins landed some more knees before getting back to his feet in the clinch with Bektic. The cut opened back up on Elkins and Bektic took him back to the ground. Elkins looked for a guillotine but Bektic escaped and landed consistent strikes until the end of the round.

A time stoppage was granted in the second round to allow Bektic to recover from getting kicked in the nards. After the short stoppage Bektic landed a left hook and changed levels then…the steam died. I missed a good minute or so of this round because of the incompetence and crappy product of Fox Sports. After angrily refreshing the app and cursing the worst network in all of television, I saw Elkins landing knees on the ground. The fighters got back to their feet and Elkins knocked Bektic out with a gnarly combo. He landed a few rights, threw a kick, and finished him with a fight ending right. Bektic was clearly KO’d as he fell forward and landed on his face. Darren “The Damage” Elkins will soon be called Darren “Punch Drunk” Elkins, but the strategy of taking a brutal beating until an opening appears worked out for him.

Heavyweight – Marcin Tybura def. Luis Henrique – TKO punches – (RD 3 – 3:46)

This fight between Tybura and Henrique held the title as the worst fight of the night up until the main event concluded. Henrique has one of the most unwatchable fighting styles (that Maynard dude still sits atop that throne). He clinches up against his opponent and tries to wear him down. Both fighters landed shots and scored takedowns, but the story of the fight is clinch master Henrique. He was pulled off from Tybura several times by the ref due to inactivity and the overwhelming displeasure from the crowd didn’t deter him. I was so happy that Tybura ended him with ground and pound in the third round as if Henrique won in a decision I would have let the irrational, Fox Sports fueled hatred ruin the rest of the night.

Main Card (PPV)

Heavyweight – Alistair Overeem def. Mark Hunt – KO knees – (RD 3 – 1:44)

The main card started off with a heavyweight match between two legends. I was surprised to see that this fight remained as the first on the card after the Ferguson and Khabib fight was called off.

Overeem and his giant head entered the ring with a substantial height and reach advantage over the short and stumpy Hunt. The power of the fighters was revealed early when Hunt broke his tibia in his leg after checking a kick from Overeem. His shin bled badly leaving Mark Hunt footprints all over the octagon (this card provided a lot of blood). The fighters traded a lot of kicks and Hunt stunned Overeem with a left which he followed up with a right and a high kick.

The second round saw a spinning back kick to the body from Overeem. The fighters went into the clinch where Overeem landed multiple knees. Hunt clipped Overeem with an elbow and seemed to have hurt him bad but allowed Overeem to grab him and clinch which let Overeem recover. Overeem landed an elbow and more knees before getting clipped again with more elbows from Hunt.

In the third round the fighters clinched up again. Overeem landed a knee and then a hard to watch knock out combo. He connected with an elbow, a knee directly to the face, and a final knee to drop Hunt unconscious on his face. Fucking Brutal.

Women’s Strawweight – Cynthia Calvillo def. Amanda Cooper – Submission rear-naked choke – (RD 1 – 3:19)

Calvillo couldn’t have had a better first fight in the UFC. After the Khabib fight fell off, her preliminary fight was moved to the main card. She then showed off her grappling and ground fighting skills in a quick finish of Amanda Cooper.  Calvillo caught a kick from Cooper, brought her to the ground, attempted an anaconda submission, transitioned to her back and got the rear-naked choke. She was impressive.

Middleweight – Dan Kelly def. Rashad Evans – Decision split – (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Rashad Evans made his Middleweight debut looking slim and fit against old man one leg Dan Kelly. The cut man made Kelly take something off from his knee brace before entering the ring which drew attention to his gimp knee and its rough medical past.

In the first round Kelly landed several lefts that stunned Evans. The fighters fell to the ground and got back to their feet where Evans landed an upper cut. Kelly responded with a couple more lefts. The fighters clinched up a couple of times in the first round.

In the second round Kelly went back to his left hand and clipped Evans. The fighters clinched up and Kelly tried to trip up Evans and bring him to the ground but was unsuccessful. A time stoppage was granted for an eye poke of Kelly. The fighters traded body kicks and Evans scored a takedown. The third round saw both fighters landing strikes going in and out of the clinch. Time was stopped after Evans grabbed and pulled on Kelly’s shorts so hard they ripped up to his waist. Evans threw hard punches to end the fight but they weren’t enough to earn the victory.

Lightweight – David Teymur def. Lando Vannata – Decision unanimous – (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

The replacement co-headlining fight was between David Teymur and the always exciting Lando Vannata. There were a lot of strikes thrown and landed in this fight. Teymur connected on more shots and scored four takedowns, but was unable to finish Vannata. Despite constantly being crushed with consistent blows, Vannata remained the aggressor and never let up. He threw his signature crazy kicks looking to produce a flashy knock out. Teymur was the clear winner in this fight but Vannata but on a show proving he has a durable chin eating lots of strikes.

Before the second round started Herb requested a towel to wipe down Teymur who had water dumped on him by his trainers. Other than that there isn’t a lot for this fight, it was a fast and active striking match.

Welterweight – Tyron Woodley ( c ) def. Stephen Thompson – Decision majority – (48-47, 47-47, 48-47)

The first match up between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson at UFC 205 was one of the best fights of the year. That fourth round was fucking nuts and should have been scored a 10-8 round for Woodley which would have given him the definitive victory. Unfortunately it was only scored a 10-9, Thompson won the fifth round and the fight ended in a controversial  majority draw. Woodley defeated Thompson but the draw lead to this highly anticipated rematch.

Woodley vs. Thompson 2 couldn’t have been more different than the first fight. It was so god damn boring. The first four rounds saw very little action as both fighters kept their distance trying to avoid a knockout blow. Every time Woodley charged forward (which wasn’t often) Thompson would retreat to safety while landing a kick to the gut of Woodley. Thompson landed strikes but wasn’t doing much either. The fifth round is where Woodley became more aggressive. He dropped Thompson with a heavy counter right and jumped on top landing ground and pound looking for the TKO. Thompson survived, got back to his feet, and was dropped again, but survived to the final bell.

Woodley won in a majority decision which I was glad to see as this rematch wouldn’t have happened if the first fight was scored properly. Despite getting rocked in the fifth round, I thought Thompson won this fight. Woodley keeping the belt is the outcome I wanted but Thompson won this boring unwatchable fight.

Seeing Dan Bilzerian’s random cameo in Woodley’s entourage in the octagon after the fight lifted my spirits just enough to go to bed happy.

UFC Fight Night 106 is Saturday, March 11th 2017.