UFC Fight Night 108 was a microcosm of the current state of the UFC. There were brutal knock outs, boring decisions, technical submissions, fighters upset with their unfair treatment in the organization, and transparent ignoring of fighter rankings leading to a peculiar main event.
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Flyweight – Hector Sandoval def. Matt Schnell – KO punches – (RD 1 – 4:24)
I have made my displeasure for the flyweight division known. I have said there are few guarantees in life but one of them is a flyweight fight going to a decision.
Hector Sandoval ruined the validity of those statements I have made in the past. He knocked his opponent out in the first round while weight just 125 pounds. Schnell had a 6 inch height and reach advantage which was eliminated during a couple Frye like up close exchanges between the two fighters. The fighters traded blows and takedowns. Late in the first round Sandoval caught a kick from Schnell and Schnell jumped on top of Sandoval and latched onto him while placing him in a guillotine choke. With all of his energy he pulled Sandoval to the ground putting an insane amount of pressure on the guillotine. Sandoval responded by standing up while in the choke and slamming Schnell to the ground while slamming his own head at the same time. This allowed him to break free and hammer fist Schnell to sleep.
Welterweight – Bryan Barberena def. Joe Proctor – TKO knees and punches – (RD 1 – 3:30)
Barberena and Proctor both taunted each other after trading strikes. Proctor lifted his arms in the air taunting Barberena who dropped Proctor with a right hook. Barberena landed a flurry of blows consisting of knees and punches to receive the TKO. Taunt with caution.
Women’s Bantamweight – Alexis Davis def. Cindy Dandois – Decision unanimous – (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
The first decision of the night was between bantamweights Davis and Dandois. Making her UFC debut, Dandois hung tough with the veteran Davis while receiving advise from Miesha Tate in her corner and in between rounds.
Dandois started the fight off strong in the first round scoring a takedown and controlling the ground game. Davis looked for an arm bar and after having their limbs intertwined for several minutes, Davis transitioned to full mount where she landed some ground and pound.
The fighters kick boxed for a large portion of the second round. As Brian Stann pointed out, it was obvious who was the more experienced striker. Dandois looked awkward and uncomfortable striking with Davis. Dandois took the fight to the ground where she is more comfortable twice and connected with limited ground and pound.
In the third round Dandois scored several more takedowns. Late in the round (final 20 seconds) Davis locked Dandois in a tight arm bar. Dandois survived the late submission but lost in a decision to Davis. Watching the fight live and after rewriting my notes, I thought Dandois did enough to earn the win but the judges saw it differently.
Preliminary Card (FS2)
Women’s Strawweight – Danielle Taylor def. Jessica Penne – Decision unanimous – (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
One of the first UFC fights I ever watched was between Jessica Penne and Jessica Andrade. Ever since I have been a fan of both and was rooting for Penne to win.
Penne is a huge strawweight and had a 7 inch reach advantage over the short Taylor. I remember watching Taylor overcoming a reach disadvantage in her last fight which she did again over 14th ranked Penne. In the first round Penne threw a lot of kicks keeping her distance from the powerful Taylor. Taylor connected with a left and threw kicks of her own.
In the second round the fighters traded strikes before going into the clinch. Penne landed knees in the clinch and after breaking free, ate a over hand right from Taylor. The leg kicks from Taylor took their toll on Penne who was visibly in pain after absorbing them. Taylor clipped Penne with a left, right combo. Penne connected with some knees to the body before the second round ended.
Taylor continued with leg kicks in the third round and Penne landed another knee. Taylor lunged forward to eliminated the reach disadvantage landing a right. Penne landed more knees before connecting with a right counter off from a Taylor leg kick. Penne scored a takedown and got a body lock but Taylor was able to wiggle free. Penne landed a right and struggled to get another takedown at the very end of the fight. This was a close match that my biased opinion thought Penne won. Taylor continues to defy her little arms and wins another UFC fight.
Lightweight – Scott Holtzman def. Michael McBride – Decision unanimous – (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Scott Holtzman also overcame a height and reach disadvantage to brutalize Michael McBride.
In the first round the fighters went into the clinch where Holtzman landed a knee to the head of McBride. The fighters went to the ground where McBride attempted an unsuccessful kimura choke. The fighters got back to their feet and Holtzman connected with a few leg kicks before dropping McBride which a gnarly combo. Holtzman clipped McBride with a body shot, a left, and a right hook combination. Holtzman let McBride stand up and dropped him again with a spinning back kick that brought his shin and the nuts of McBride to a violent meeting. After the time stoppage McBride landed some leg kicks and a body left hand combo. The fight went the ground again at the end of the first.
McBride lost his mouth piece in the second round before landing an overhand right and scoring a takedown. The fighters got back to their feet and the leg kicks from Holtzman began to take their damage on the legs of McBride. Later in the second McBride scored a takedown and Holtzman was able to land some rough ground and pound.
In the third round Holtzman landed a right hand and ate a leg kick from McBride. The exhausted McBride whiffed on a takedown attempt. The much more energetic Holtzman continued to land consistent strikes on McBride and controlled the ground game with ground and pound filled with elbows.
Flyweight – Brandon Moreno def. Dustin Ortiz – Technical submission rear-naked choke – (RD 2 – 4:06)
Brandon “baby murderer” continues his successful run through UFC flyweights.
Moreno and Ortiz went into the clinch in the first round where Moreno looked for a Kimura choke. Ortiz threw Moreno to the ground and immediately made it difficult for Ortiz to keep him there. Moreno got back to this feet and landed a body kick before being brought to the ground again. Moreno struggled his way back to his feet and Ortiz threw him down for a third time. Moreno maneuvered to mount position and was thrown off by Ortiz. The fighter went back to standing and Ortiz drug Moreno to the ground one last time in the first.
The fighters traded kicks in the second round before Ortiz scored another takedown. The fighters got back to their feet and Moreno dropped Ortiz with a high kick, Moreno jumped on the woozy Ortiz, took his back and got the rear-naked choke.
Middleweight – Thales Leites def. Sam Alvey – Decision unanimous – (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
The title for the worst personality in MMA is held by Smilin’ Sam Alvey. He was the participant in yet another “worst fight of the night” along with Thales Leites.
The first round was slow and boring and saw Leites destroy the integrity of the legs of Alvey. His leg kicks did obvious damage to Alvey who limped the rest of the fight.
The second round saw more kicks from Leites. Alvey wasn’t able to land anything as he stumbled around the ring. He eventually landed a jab before being taken to the ground. A time stoppage was granted in the third round for a nut shot and an eye poke on Alvey. After the second stoppage Alvey could be heard calling Big John “Big Sexy John”. The fight wasn’t close and it wasn’t great to watch.
Main Card (FS1)
Welterweight – Mike Perry def. Jake Ellenberger – KO elbow – (RD 2 – 1:05)
Part of the rush of watching MMA is putting yourself in the position of the fighters and getting a little taste of the rush they feel when locked in a cage with another fighter. Part of the horror of watching MMA is genuinely worrying about the health of a fighter after being knocked out. The Perry knock out of Ellenberger was horrifying awesome.
Let’s just jump to the knock out. Perry dropped Ellenberger with a left hook but he was able to recover and get back to his feet. Perry then crushed the jaw of Ellenberger with a right elbow which stiffened Ellenberger and dropped him like a board. His unconscious head snapped back and hit the mat just as hard as the elbow hit his face.
After the KO, Perry wiped blood off from his face, conducted a break dance routine, and laid on the ground with his hand on his head staring at the immobile Ellenberger. Buh – roo – toll.
Lightweight – Stevie Ray def. Joe Lauzon – Decision majority – (29-27, 28-27, 28-28)
Stevie Ray defeat Joe Lauzon with a strange collection of score cards. All three judges saw the fight different and even though it was extremely close, the right fighter was awarded the victory.
In the first round Lauzon caught a kick from Ray and used the leverage to score a takedown. Ray got back to his feet but was quickly brought to the ground again by Lauzon. After landing an elbow, Lauzon took the back of Ray and got both hooks in. He transitioned to full mount and landed elbow filled ground and pound.
The second round started slow. Lauzon already looked gassed and landed a left hook before eating some body shots from Ray. Lauzon ate several combos before scoring a takedown where kept the fight trying to burn time and save energy.
In the third round Lauzon had zero energy left. He whiffed on a takedown attempt and ate elbows from Ray. Lauzon eventual drug Ray to the ground who landed significant strikes from his back. Lauzon didn’t do much on the ground and when the fight went back to standing, Ray unloaded. The tired Lauzon didn’t get finished but he ate a lot of shots in the third. Lauzon had a great first round but used up all of his stamina and couldn’t do much in the second half of the fight.
Bantamweight – John Dodson def. Eddie Wineland – Decision unanimous – (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
John Dodson is not fun to watch. The little short smiling magician has earned a lot of victories but in a unwatchable style.
There isn’t a lot to write about regarding this fight. Dodson beat Wineland pretty defiantly. He landed more strikes than Wineland and barely got hit all fight. Wineland couldn’t connect on many strikes and ate way too many. This was a boring fight.
Catchweight (210 LB) – Ovince Saint Preux def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima – Submission von flue choke – (RD 2 – 2:11)
Lima was overweight, again, giving 30% of his purse to OSP regardless of the outcome. Lima looked overweight in the ring while OSP looked shredded compared to his last fight. In the first round Lima connected with leg and body kicks while landing a left hook and a right hand. OSP landed a couple kicks of his own and failed on a takedown attempt.
In the second round OSP scored a takedown after catching a kick from Lima. He landed some rough ground and pound turning the face of Lima into a bloody mess. OSP got into position to submit Lima with the unique and rare von flue choke (this is the second time OSP submitted a fighter via a von flue).
Lightweight – Al Iaquinta def. Diego Sanchez – KO punches – (RD 1 – 1:38)
Iaquinta dropped Sanchez with a right early in the fight. Sanchez got back to his feet and looked determined to survive but was dropped again with another right and fell to the ground hunched over his lifeless body.
After learning he didn’t receive any bonus money for his performance, Iaquinta freaked out on twitter directing insults towards the UFC. I agree with a lot of what Iaquinta had to say (performance bonuses are a way to control fighters, fighters aren’t paid well enough and treated fairly etc.) but he wasn’t the most mature in his arguments on social media.
Featherweight – Cub Swanson def. Artem Lobov – Decision unanimous – (49-46, 49-46, 50-45)
Cub Swanson’s victory of Doo Ho Choi was the best fight I have ever watched in the UFC or MMA in general. Swanson is crazy powerful as a featherweight and after that decision win over Choi he moved up to the 4th ranked featherweight. Either a title shot or a fight with a top 15 featherweight was all but inevitable.
Instead the UFC matched him up with Artem Lobov, a featherweight not ranked in the top 20. Overall this wasn’t a bad outcome for Swanson as he was likely to win and then wait for the winner of Holloway and Aldo. But in typical UFC shady fashion Lobov was given the headlining fight against Swanson. I wonder why such a low level fighter was given such a good spot on a card?
Is it because he is the sparring partner for McGregor? Did McGregor use his leverage to get his buddy a fight? Is it weird that Artem “the Russian Hammer” Lobov’s fans swung inflatable hammers in the colors of the Irish flag? The answer to all of these question is yes.
The 5 round main event was the 6th fight on the card didn’t start until after 1 am east coast time. The fight went as expected. Swanson only lost one close round and Lobov showed his toughness surviving the 5 round bout with a top level fighters. A cut opened on the eyelid of Lobov in the 3rd round where he looked the most vulnerable wobbling around after absorbing many hard shots.
Swanson vs. Lobov is just another example of a fight that shouldn’t of happened but at least the right fighter won and wasn’t upset.
UFC 211 is a loaded card just a few weeks away on Saturday, May 13th 2017.