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NICK PENNER VS. CODY DONOVAN, LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS
First round: Return of Joe Martinez as ring announcer makes me think back to all those fun WEC shows in Sacramento. Donovan pushed him into the frence. Penner reversed the position. They separated. Penner decked him with a right and is now on top throwing punches. Donovan grabbed a full guard and went for an armbar but didn’t have anything. Donovan went for a triangle. Penner backed off and went back to his feet. Body kick by Donvoan. Penner with an uppercut knocked him down again. Both up again. Donovan got the takedown. Donovan did a double sledge to the back. That’s something you don’t see very often in MMA. Donovan dropped Penner with a left and ground and pounded him until ref Marc Goddard stopped it. All action very good fight.
MIKE WILKINSON VS. BRENDAN LOUGHNANE, LIGHTWEIGHTS
First round: Low kick by Loughnane. More low kicks by Loughnane. Side kick by Loughnane. Wilkinson got the takedown. Loughnane landing shots from the bottom. Wilkinson on top with a few short elbows. Loughnane back up. Both throwing short knees from the clinch. Loughnane with a right. Wilkinson tried a second takedown and couldn’t get it. Great high kick mostly blocked by Loughnanne. Loughnane landing . Wilkinson landed a good punch late. Close round, Wilkinson 10-9.
Second round: Wilkinson trying running punches and a few landed. Wilksinon tried a takedown but Loughnane blocked it. Wilkinson bleeding over the right eye. Loughnane landed a left. Now a low kick. Body kick by Loughnane. Left jab by Laughnane. Wilkinson landed a nice shot to the body. Wilkinson landing to the head and low kicks. Wilkinson landed and again failed to get a takedown. Knee by Loughnane. Good right by Loughnane. Wilkinson got behind him. Knee to the head by Wilkinson. Several more knees to the head by Wilkinson. Wilkinson got his back. They traded punches. Another close round 20-18 Wilkinson.
Third round: Now Loughnane accidentally poked Wilkinson in the eye. Hard right by Loughnane. Left landed by Wilkinson. Front kick by Wilkinson and side kick by Loughnane. Loughnane with a left. Wilkinson working for a takedown but still can’t get it. Trading punches. Knee short by Loughnane. Wilkinson with a right. Body kick by Loughnane. Wilkinson landed a hard right and again going for a takedown. Knee by Wilkinson. Wilkinson can’t take him down, though. Trading knees from a clinch. All three rounds are close here. Loughnane dropped him with a right with the best shot of the fight. Loughnane on top. He landed a few shots. Wilkinson back to his feet. Wilkinson again working for a takedown and again can’t get it. Wilkinson with a knee and Wilkinson with punches. Knee by Loughnane from the clinch. Both trading big punches. Really a hell of a fight. The two hugged after. Loughnane’s round clearly, only clear round but I’ve got Wilkinson 29-28. Either could win.
Scores: All three have it 29-28 Wilkinson.
MANUEL RODRIGUEZ VS. BENNY ALLOWAY, WELTERWEIGHTS
First round: Rodriguez rushed in for a takedown. Rodriguez got his back. Rodriguez landign some shorts to the side of the head. Rodriguez keeping Alloway on the ground. Alloway up wiht1:17 left. Left by Alloway. Rodriguez called the fight off a low blow. The ref Steve Percival didn’t see it. He called the fight as a knockout. He then went to the commission and asked to reverse the decision and the ref did so. Rodriguez landed a good shot. Body kick by Alloway and a front kick knocked him down and finished him with punches on the ground. Really another great fight.
SETH BACZYNSKI VS. MIKE PIERCE, WELTERWEIGHTS
First round: Pierce got the takedown right away. Baczynski got to his shi feet. Baczynski has a big height edge being a 6-2 welterweight. Pierce landed a left. Baczynski threw a kick, Pierce caught the leg and took him down agian. Baczynski almost got up and Pierce slammed him back down. Baczynski with some elbows off his back. Pierce with an elbow from the top. Short right by Pierce. Now body shots by Pierce. Pierce 10-9.
Second round: Another takedown by Pierce. Pierce landing short punches. Baczynski tryingto get up. Another takedown but this time Baczynski got up right away. Baczynski up and separated. Baczynski went for a knee and landed another knee. Baczynski went for a guillotine, and then a front kick. Baczynski missed a knee. Baczynski with a body kick. Right by Pierce and another takedown. Baczyanki landed some punches when he escaped Pierce’s takedown attempt. Baczynski starting to land. Pierce tied him up and landed uppercuts including one that put Baczynski down. Baczynski threw a knee, lost balance and fell to his back with Pierce on top. Baczynski is the one landing from his back. Pierce turned it into a cradle as time in the round ended. Pierce’s round 20-18.
Third round: Baczynski with a high kick and a knee. Another knee. Pierce is in trouble now. Pierce’s face swelling under the right eye. Baczynski landing knees. Left hook landed by Baczynski. Knee to the body. Takedown by Baczynski. Pierce took him back down. Pierce landing some punches. Pierce landed an elbow. Baczynski landing a lot from the bottom. Ref Marc Goddard stood them up with 1:00 left. Pierce moving in for a takedown attempt. .Pierce took him down. Pierce keeping him down but Baczynski throwing a lot of elbows. Now Pierce throwing punches. Time ran out. Not as good as the previous fights. Close round, I’d give it to Baczynski so 29-28 Pierce but no way Pierce doesn’t take the decision.
Scores: 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 for Pierce
IGOR POKRAJAC VS. JOEY BELTRAN, LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS
Hello everyone, James Shannon picking up the action here. Igor came out to the first AC/DC of the night. Three out of four fights so far have been great. But typical Aussie crowd, quick to cheer, quick to shut up.
Igor started timing against Beltran and worked him back against the cage with a combination. Igor now clinching Beltran against the cage but Beltran turned him. Beltran continued to smother, landing an occasional foot stomp and short uppercut to the body. One of Beltran's punches landed absolutely flush for the third groin stoppage of the night. They touched gloves as they returned in the centre and Beltran grabbed a Thai hook and landed a really good series of uppercuts before working him to the cage again. Another round with a lot of time against the cage, but there's enough bursts of action thrown in to keep it interesting. Closer round, but Beltran's again so 20-18.
Igor nearly landed a head kick and he's been best with distance, but he positioned Beltran against the cage, only to again be turned and be held with his back to the cage. They separated with three minutes to go and Igor landed a good left hook, the dropped his hands, tempting Beltran to throw. It worked for Igor as he was landed as Beltran's combinations fell short. He couldn't get a takedown and again found himself against the cage. Beltran worked a single against the cage with two minutes to go, but changed levels and the clinching resumed. Brief distance saw Beltran lands uppercuts, before grabbing a front facelock. Nothing came of it and with twenty seconds to go they separated and Igor got the better of the final flurry but it won't be enough. That round could go either way, but probably Beltran's again.
Winner: Joey Beltran
Judges score: all three 30-27
Beltran gave the crowd their first “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi! Oi! Oi!”. Beltran said he didn't want to gas, because you can't knock Igor out. He said Igor was like him, but from Croatia. He thanked his coaches, family, mother and wife.
Chad Mendes Vs. Yaotzin Meza, Featherweight.
Meza was wearing the Australian TUF shorts. Big reaction for Mendes.
Round One: They traded leg kicks early, with Mendes getting the best of them. Not much action until until Mendes stalked him to the cage, dropped him with an overhand right and put him out with another three in a flash on the ground, though only one was needed. Great finish.
Winner: Chad Mendes, KO. 1.55, R1.
Meza got an applause when he got to his feet. Mendes thanked Meza for taking the fight short notice, after he thought he would be off the card. He was super pumped to come to Australia and said he was going after that belt. He said the overhand was planned for when Meza dropped his hand.
This is the first fight on FX. It's been said a thousand times before, but if you haven't been to a UFC show live, it's worth it for Baba O'Riley alone. Big cheers for Whittaker and even bigger for Sotiropoulos when they were shown on the big screen. Lots of empty seats around the arena.
Hector Lombard Vs. Rousimar Palhares, Middleweights.
Lombard was born in Cuba, but is an adopted Austrian and has fought on the local scene for years, so expect a good reaction for him. And hopefully a better performance than his debut, where injury may have explained a weird performance against Boetsch. He will be hoping his Judo will keep it standing to avoid Palhares' signature leg locks.
Round One: Lombard already more active than his debut. They traded heavy kicks and Lombard had Palhares backing up. Palhares landed a good leg kick and continued moving away. Lombard was getting frustrating with Palhares retreating. He moved Palhares to the fence and Palhares fired a head kick. Lombarfd landed and Palhares may have played possum going to the ground, but Lombard told him to get up. Lombard looked for the big overhand right and he landed a series with a left hook, this time he followed Palhares to try to finish but was well and truly wrapped up. Palhares looked for nothing and the crowd got into Lombard's antics of showing nothing was happening. He got up and landed a huge series and this time Palhares was down and out. It was an overhand that caused Palhares to cover, which gave Lombard the license to throw.
Winner: Hector Lombard, KO. 3.38 R1.
Lombard tried to get an Australian flag from someone in the crowd but security stopped it. They threw it back to the crowd member, who launched it to Lombard who was hanging over the fence. This was so loud for such a small crowd. They all chanted “Hector” and a star was may have been born in Australia.
Lombard took the mic and gave a huge “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Oi! Oi! Oi!”. He said all of his fights are for Australia. He called out Bisping to a big reaction.
TUF Smashes Lightweight Finale: Colin FREAKSHOW Fletcher Vs. Norman Parke.
TUF Smashes Lightweight Finale: Colin FREAKSHOW Fletcher Vs. Norman Parke.
For those who haven't seen the the Smashes leading up to this, watch out for Fletcher the Freakshow's entrance. He is super charismatic. He's whacky, and completely comfortable in his own skin. As a fighter he is very long for lightweight, being 6'2, and uses his limbs well for chokes. His stand up is full of energy. Parke on the other hand is completely unassuming and grinded his way to the finale, but very well rounded.
Parke gained the clinch against the fence and sucked out Fletcher's hips, but Fletcher got straight back up. Parke got a body lock takedown and Fletcher tried to attack the neck, but was never close. Parke controlled the position but Fletcher threatened for an armbar. Not a lot of action, and an Aussie/Oi chant broke out. Parke threw two good elbows and went back to grinding on the position. Parke got to side control, then north south. He again went to side control but Fletcher exploded and ended up on top. Parke did well to tie him up and Fletcher only had the last 20 seconds to work from side control. Not a lot to the round, with Parke seeking control for the 10-9.
Fletcher started aggressively, with lots of twirls, before Parke was back to clinching him against the fence and got another takedown. Fletcher attacked Parke's leg from the bottom but Parke ended back in the north south. More scrambling led to Parke looking for a guillotine on top, then ended in mount. Parke's control is just too strong for Fletcher. He took Fletcher's back but Fletcher got to his feet as Parke looked to transition to mount. Two minutes left. Fletcher was looking for wild shots from the outside. Parke landed more though by getting inside. Parke got another takedown with five seconds to go. Parke 10-9.
They started the final round with a hug and someone in the crowd asked if they wanted to be a fucking fighter. Fletcher landed some leg kicks, but may have clashed heads when trying a spinning backfist. Parke continued to circle away and pick hist shots, getting more through than Fletcher. Fletcher started adding more combinations and had more success, landing a good body shot. Fletcher hit a spinning back elbow but Parke went back to the wrestling, took him down and got his back. Fletcher stood with Parke still in the body lock but there was only ten seconds left and the fight ended. This was the closest of the rounds, but the takedown and control near the end probably got it for Parke.
Winner Ultimate Fighter: Norman Parke.
Judges: 30-27, 30-27, 29-28
Parke thanked Fletcher and said he was one of the best men you'd ever meet. He said it had been the best experience of his life, apart from meeting his fiance. He too gave an Aussie/Oi.
TUF Smashes Welterweight Finale: Robert Whittaker (Aus) Vs. Brad Scott (UK).
This is the only Aus Vs. UK fight tonight. Scott, from UK, is well rounded and was a level above everyone he fought during the show. His best asset is fitness, as he pushes the pace and tests the tank of his opponent. He has an attacking guard but there are holes in his stand up defence, which is where Whittaker, the stand out Australian for the show, will look to attack. He finished both of his fights in the house quickly in the first round by KO/TKO.
Round One: Scott did well by slipping several wild shots from Whittaker before pressing him to the cage. Big boring chant immediately as the Australian fighter was in a bad position. They traded a few knees and Whittaker managed to break away. Scott landed a good knee to the body and managed to avoid Whittaker's big strikes. Whittaker dropped him with a hook and pounced, but Scott did well to cover and regain his feet. Scott then started swinging back at Whittaker. Whittaker landed a head kick but Scott kept moving forward to press him against the cage. Whittaker tagged him again with 20 seconds left with a good hook and ended the round with a push kick to the head. Really good action after the last fight. Whittaker 10-9.
Round Two: Big “let's go Robbie” chant. Scott tried to interact with the crowd but was booed, to both his and Whittaker's amusement. Scott went back to the wrestling but Whittaker defended well. Whittaker landed the fourth groin shot of the night for a break. Upon the break Whittaker landed a series of hooks when Scott grabbed a clinch, but was tripped down and Scott searched for hooks as he had the back. Scott threw a few short shots to the back of the head as Whittaker searched for wrist control. Scott got his hooks in as Whittaker looked to move to the cage and there was 90 seconds left to work. Big ovation as Whittaker got back to his feet, but was quickly back against the fence. He managed to circle out but the round ended. Scott managed to implement his gameplan much better that round and takes it 10-9, so 19-19.
Round Three: Whittaker is not used to the third round, but he got the clean shot in first. He then landed a strong right uppercut, then another good combination ending in a head kick. He defended a takedown when it came and landed another good pair of hooks. Scott may be tiring worse than Whittaker. Whittaker started attacking with overhand elbows and defended another takedown. There may be something wrong with Whittaker's right hand as he's solely using elbows now and lefts. He is timing the left well though as Scott moves forward. Crowd surging for Whittaker now that it's the last minute and he's picking his shots well. Scott too tired to try the wrestling game that won him the second round. Whittaker cementing the round with more combinations as Scott moves forward and the building is such a rumble that the siren was silent. Great fight for both and great atmosphere. Whittaker 10-9, Whittaker 29-28.
Winner and new Ultimate Fighter: Robert Whittaker.
Judges: All three 29-28.
Whittaker said the contract was a bonus, the real win was making his country proud. Big reaction for the Australian.
Main Event: George Sotiropoulos Vs. Ross Pearson, 5 Round Lightweight Fight.
So we enter this fight UK:1 Aus:1. The coaches have the rubber match. No boos for Pearson as he entered, but they were there for the intros. Martinez is as excellent back up for Buffer for the UFC to have in their back pocket.
Round One: No touch of gloves, and this one scheduled for 5 rounds. Georgie chant to start. Both hesitiant to start, gauging distance. Once clean shot from Pearon and Sotiropoulos' legs were jelly. That's the concern. But in the charge Sotiropoulos grabbed a hold of him and got him to the fence. He never got him down though and he's still in trouble. Big overhand by Pearson, followed by a headkick. Sotiropoulos still hasn't got his bearings all the way back. A leg kick dropped Sotiropoulos and Pearson kicked him once on the ground then had him stand back up. Every time Pearson touched Sotiropoulos he seemed to do damage. Sotiropoulos did land a stiff jab that back Pearson up but he couldn't use it to get it to the ground. Crowd are still behind Sotiropoulos and he grabbed a double to get Pearson to the fence and down. Ross back up but straight back down and Sotiropoulos had his back. Crowd went wild with 30 seconds left. Pearson stood with Sotiropoulos still on his back with the choke. Ten seconds were left and Pearson face planted to get George off him and survive the round. Still had to be Pearson's round with having George on the ropes for so long, Pearson 10-9.
Round Two: Sotiropoulos had some speed back and was moving well. Pearson looked for overhands, but Sotiropoulos circled well. George landed two good combinations as he changed angles. Half way through the round and Sotiropoulos had yet to go for a takedown. George used his distance and length better this round, and landed a glancing headkick. He landed another combo ending with with a left head kick but was dropped by Pearson's first good hit of the the round. He got back up and looked to clinch but couldn't hold him. Pearson landed another big left hook. George landed far more that round, but Pearson's two good shots did more damage. Pearson 10-9, 20-18.
Round Three: Another left hook and that should be it. Pearson didn't want to play on the ground so he let Sotiropoulos back up, landed two more good combinations and the ref stopped it as George dropped again. It was a straight left, right hook that ended the show.
Winner: Ross Pearson, TKO, 0:41 R3.
Pearson got a blue belt around his neck. He said it had been a long time coming, as they started filming in June. He said he was pacing himself and picking his shots rather than going crazy like normal.
They talked to George. He said nothing.