By: Mike Coughlin
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to our coverage of tonight's UFC event live from Milwaukee, WI and airing on Versus starting at 9 eastern, 8 central time. (Are we in standard of daylight savings time right now? Eh.) The undercard will be starting relatively shortly, and I believe it is available on Facebook. At the very bottom of this page will be the QUICK RESULTS. Scroll down if you just want to know who won and how. Otherwise, I'll be providing your standard play by play stuffs.
I have a preview piece elsewhere on this here website of ours. If you want to check it out, that would be a good idea. If you don't, nothing I can do about that. It's not the sexiest card in terms of big names, but I really believe it could be a great night of fights.
They have completely tarped off the upper deck of the arena, but if they fill in the lower bowl it should look decent enough on TV. In the arena, there are a bunch of big giant screens which looks like it'll for a great live experience.
(There is apparently news going around that well-known MMA trainer Shawn Tompkins has passed away.)
Edwin Figueroa vs. Jason Reinhardt
Reinhardt is so beyond ripped. I'm talking pro bodybuilding like sculpted. A tiny white Cheick Kongo, if you will.
Jason is circling away and initially indicating he wants to shoot. Looks like he wants no part of standing with Edwin. Crowd started booing already as Jason is clapping his hands and verbally taunting Edwin. He's like a mini, cowardly Nick Diaz. Edwin catches him and immediately goes for a guillotine choke. Jason tries to slam Edwin, a block, but then he gets him down. Now, Jason has his back, both hooks in, and they're fighting over the rear naked choke. Good exchange. Edwin spins and ens up in Jason's guard. Jason tries an armbar, Edwin pulls out, lands some good punches, and now they're restarted on the feet. Jason with a lackluster takedown attempt, which Edwin stuffs without problem. It's clear that Jason really does not want to stand with Edwin and is doing everything he can to get this fight to the ground. Edwin on top inside Jason's guad and he's landing some good ground and pound, particularly to the body. Jason is in total survival mode, just rolling around on the mat, hoping to last the round. Jason slowly gets to his feet as the round ends.
Mike's Score: Figueroa 10-9
Jason looks battered to start the round and he's back to his circling away and avoiding all manner of standup. He desperately tried a takedown but Edwin managed to sprawl right into mounting Jason. Edwin is throwing thunderous shots, some big elbows, Jason turtles up, and it's all over. A minute or two later and Jason is still on the mat. He's responsive but he clearly took a beating.
OFFICIAL RESULT: EDWIN FIGUEROA d. JASON REINHARDT by TKO, R2
Jacob Volkmann vs. Danny Castillo
Volkmann has a "Volkmann for President" t-shirt on. He once said he wanted to beat up President Obama. Let's make the rest of this coverage be awkwardly political. So, how about those gay rights/abortion/latest war?
Castillo landing some hard leg kicks early on. Volkmann responds with a nice, easy takedown. He's looking for a d'Arce choke right away from the half-guard position. Castillo struggles and eventually rolls out, ending up inside Volkmann's full guard. Volkmann stands up, demonstrating some excellent balance in the process. Oh, sweet mercy, Castillo landed a kick to the body that makes you want to vomit it was so hard. Castillo shoots but Volkmann is sprawling well. Really good round and somewhat tough to call. Castillo landed some solid kicks at times, but Volkmann came close on the choke.
Mike's Score: Castillo 10-9
Early exchange ends with Castillo getting a solid takedown. Volkmann stands up and really sprawls well on Castillo. Great scramble with Volkmann momentarily getting a crucifix position but Castillo escaping, finally ending with Volkmann on top inside Castillo's half-guard (ed Truth?). Volkmann with some short elbows, but nothing damaging. He seems like he's more thinking about submissions and grappling than he is damaging Castilo. Again, he's threatening a d'Arce choke and against Castillo escapes. Volkmann - AGAIN - goes for the d'Arce to thwart Castillo's underhook control. Surprised Volkmann hasn't burned his arms out yet trying for the tap. Round ends with Volkmann on top.
Mike's Score: Volkmann 10-9
I have it tied a round a piece heading into the third, but this could be 20-18 Volkmann at this point.
Volkmann looks a bit fresher as we start the third. Castillo looks more intent to strike this round. Volkmann relentlessly tries for a takedown but Castillo sprawls great and the crowd gives a nice round of applause - for a sprawl. Volkmann catches a kick and ends up on top inside the half-guard of Castillo. I'll bet he thinks d'Arce choke... They're not moving, but Volkmann is in fact threatening with the d'Arce, creating a lull in the action. He's going for it but seems to be missing it just a bit. Still, he's clearly winning the round and eating away time, as we have 90 seconds remaining. Castillo muscles out but ends up back on his back, with Volkmann inside his half-guard - again. d'Arce? YUP! Thirty seconds to go, and unless something major happens, Volkmann should take this round and the fight. Castillo escapes but Volkmann takes his back and the round ends.
Mike's Score: Volkmann 10-9
OFFICIAL RESULT: JACOB VOLKMANN d. DANNY CASTILLO, judges decision 29-28 across the board
Cole Miller vs. T.J. O'Brien
lol, Miller fist-bumped Buffer during the intros. That was cute.
Early on, they're feeling one another out. I get the feeling that both guys are used to be longer fighters inside the cage and may be caught off guard a bit by facing a mirror image of themselves. O'Brien with a good combo that ends with Miller taking a solid punch to the head. Miller is on his heels so far, letting O'Brien get off first. (Insert another cliche if you'd like.) Tide has turned and Miller has O'Brien backing up now. Good double jab by Miller lands. Close round. I felt O'Brien did more early but Miller came on a bit stronger at the end. I'll lean towards O'Brien but it could go either way.
Mike's Score: O'Brien 10-9
Nothing major lands from either guy in the first 90 seconds of round two - but then Miller lands a left hook that sends O'Brien to the mat! Miller is standing over O'Brien and chopping away with leg kicks. He gets sloppy though, O'Brien gets a takedown, but Miller turns it into a guillotine choke. O'Brien rolls to his back to defend, Miller holds on and ... a tap!
OFFICIAL RESULT: COLE MILLER d. T.J. O'BRIEN BY SUBMISSION, R2
In his post-fight interview, Miller says he may have broke his hand in the first round.
Alex Caceres vs. Jim Hettes
Bruce LeRoy (Caceres) has ridiculous charisma just walking to the cage. He's dancing, clapping hands, sporting a nice little Afro - the whole nine yards. In contrast, Hettes's nickname is "The Kid."
LeRoy starts off with some aggressive striking, literally just throwing Hettes around out of the clinch. They scramble and LeRoy ends up on top with Hettes looking for a kneebar but LeRoy defends. Bruce continues with non-stop ground and pound. Pure action so far, with both fighters thinking of nothing but offense. Hettes with the takedown and Bruce immediately throws his legs up thinking triangle choke. He wasn't close, but at least he's trying. Crowd starts changing "LEROY! LEROY!" as they scramble again, with LeRoy ending up on top. He's relentless with his pounding, simply standing over Hettes and punching down at will. Hettes with a sweep attempt, LeRoy tries to run out of it but Hettes sticks with the attempt and ends up with a takedown. Hettes on top, throwing punches now. LeRoy tries an armbar, transitions into an oma plata, and then they get up, go down, Hettes tries a leg lock and Bruce escapes and answers with a few punches. Great, great action! Excellent round.
Mike's Score: Caceres, 10-9 (just due to more damage done with the ground and pound)
Hettes starts round two off with a big Judo style throw. Uh oh, he's thinking d'Arce choke - like that'll work. Bruce gets to his feet and Hettes hops on his back momentarily. Hettes drags Bruce to the ground and takes his back. Bruce escapes and ends up on the bottom, transitions into a takedown attempt, and Hettes answers with a guillotine attempt, Bruce rolls through, and Hettes transitions into a beautiful rolling mounted triangle that Bruce then escapes. This is awesome!!! Hettes with another big throw. He's on top, having put Bruce in the crucifix position, but Bruce wiggles free, gives up his back, stands up, but Hettes drags him down, slaps on a rear naked choke, and Bruce taps! An absolutely fantastic fight!!!
OFFICIAL RESULT: JIM HETTES d. ALEX CACERES BY SUBMISSION, R2
Post-fight interview reveals that Hettes sounds like he's 8 years old. I can't imagine how good he'll be once puberty hits.
Karlos Vemola(!) vs. Ronny Markes
If you shaved a bear and threw it into the Octagon, it would look like Karlos Vemola. He's coming out to the music from Terminator. Goose. Bumps. I have never loved a man more in my life!
Clinching against the fence to begin. Poor strategy by Markes - you never want to give a bear time to think... Vemola swings a mighty paw that barely misses and Markes lives a few moments more. They're throwing wildly and then Markes charges forward for a takedown. It appears that bears do not like being on their backs. Vemola stands and Markes answers by slamming him down. The Great Bear threatens with a guillotine choke - what manner of man is Markes to survive (and thrive!) in such a fight?
Mike's Score: Markes 10-9
The crowd is buzzing after that round. (Really.)
The Man Grizzly opens the second round with a punch and presses for a takedown. Markes separates and backs away. Vemola with another big right hand that got the attention of Markes, leading to the Brazilian securing a takedown. Anthony Hopkins would be proud of Markes. Markes inside Vemola's guard and little is happening. Vemola stands, grabs a single leg, but loses it in attempting to slam Markes. Scattered boos from the less enlightened members of the crowd. They know not what they are witnessing. Clinching agains the cage and little happening. Markes with another takedown and he's in side control now. I imagine the Man Bear is simply letting the silly Markes be lulled into a sense of safety before he unleashes a mighty death blow.
OK, that round pretty much sucked.
Mike's Score: Markes 10-9
The Bear Charges! (And nothing results.) Markes with a takedown and nothing ground and pound. When a matador fights a bull, they first stab the bull repeatedly out of site of the audience. This way, the crowd thinks it's a fair fight when it's really just a foregone conclusion that the bull will die, permitting the matador to essentially parade around and pretend he is a great man. I think that's what happened here: someone stabbed Karlos Vemola with a sword just before the fight began. Side control now for Markes. He's pitty-pattering Vemola's head but nothing is really happening here. There is a look of strong disinterest on the referee's face at the moment.
Mike's Score: Markes 10-9, and Markes with the fight 30-27
This fight, it wasn't so good.
OFFICIAL RESULT: RONNY MARKES d. KARLOS VEMOLA, judges decision 30-27 across the board
Of the available seating, I'd say maybe 75% is full so far. Half of the press area is empty. Hmmm. Methinks this show doesn't have a lot of interest...
Ed Herman vs. Kyle Noke
Noke tries a takedown early but Herman reverses and gets up on top. Noke gets to his feet, secures double underhooks, drives forward, and gets a takedown of his own. Herman thinking armbar, but Noke moving his hips well in response. Hermans with a triangle attempt now. Noke has both arms in to defend. Herman keeping a high and active guard and looks really close on an armbar. Noke trying to roll out, but Herman isn't letting go, but rather is straining for all he's worth. Noke gets on top and survives. He immediately passed to half-guard and starts to drop heavy elbows. He passes the guard for a second but Herman looks for a leglock. Noke moves on top, but Hermans sticks with the leg, cinches in a heel hook and OMG I THINK NOKE'S LEG AND KNEE HAVE BEEN RIPPED APART! Noke taps and it's over. Sweet crap, that is disgusting. Noke is on his feet but he's being helped out of the cage and is trying not to put any pressure on that leg.
OFFICIAL RESULT: ED HERMAN d. KYLE NOKE BY SUBMISSION, R1
Joseph Benavidez (eep!) vs. Eddie Wineland
Good kicks from Joseph early as he switches his stance up. Not a lot happening through two minutes; mostly Benavidez circling away, throwing the occasional kick, and Wineland really doing nothing. And just as I type that Benavidez lands a good punch and the crowd comes alive. Wineland is bleeding from his hairline. Benavidez is standing almost completely sideways at times. Blood coming from Wineland's nose now. Crowd isn't booing but there's a sense of restlessness growing, though the give a polite applause as the round ends. Nothing much happened, but I thought Benavidez at least landed something.
Mike's Score: Benavidez 10-9
Another leg kick from Benavidez starts the round. Joseph has stopped moving as much and is a bit more stationary now. Maybe he's baiting Wineland into overextending himself so he can secure a takedown? Benavidez looks like he caught a finger in the eye, turns his back, but the ref doesn't stop it and Wineland rushes in and ... really does nothing. They separate and are now circling again. Wineland is moving more, and throwing more feints and such, but he isn't landing at all. Benavidez tries a takedown but Wineland sprawls well. Knees in the clinch from Benavidez before they separate. Another failed takedown from Joseph results in them exchanging knees in the clinch. Benavidez badly misses a throw, momentarily ends up on his back, but springs to his feet before anything can come of it. Nice kick to the body by Benavidez and he follows that up with a non-stop attempt at a takedown, briefly gets it, before they scramble to their respective feet. Close round but I'd favor Benavidez.
Mike's Score: Benavidez 10-9
Benavidez is looking for a lead right hook but not finding a home for it at all. And then he does. Wineland is staggered. Benavidez rushes at him with a flying knee and the crowd roars in approval. With the way these rounds have been going, that may be enough for win it for Benavidez. A spinning backfist sails past Wineland's face without landing. Wineland catches a kick and fires a right hand at Benavidez but it does nothing but excite those in attendance. Benavidez shoots in but nothing comes of it. Crowd begins to rumble and cheer as the final twenty seconds of the clock tick away, almost as if they're willing something to happen. It doesn't.
Mike's Score: Benavidez 10-9, and Benavidez taking the fight 30-27
Fight wasn't terrible but it also wasn't particularly good.
OFFICIAL RESULT: JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ d. EDDIE WINELAND, judges decision across the board
They showed Dan Hardy on the big screen and the crowd booed.
C.B. Dollaway vs. Jared Hamman
Dollaway lands some big shots that don't seem to faze Hamman in the least, but then gets a takedown, which leads to a scramble and they're back up only for Dollaway to bring Hamman back down. Dollaway has the full mount, he takes the back, then transitions into an arm triangle choke. Hamman is defending but it's close. Dollaway looks to switch his grip but that tiny opening enables Hamman to escape. Dollaway standing over Hamman's guard and throwing thunderous punches down. Hamman rushes to his feet but is then taken down. Dollaway tries to take the back but gets too high and falls off. Hamman on top, inside the guard of Dollaway now. Hamman stands up, kicks the leg, then passes to side control. He mounts Dollaway with thirty seconds to go, takes the back, but Dollway escapes. They stand and Dollaway lands a BIG punch that sends Hamman staggering. As the clock expires, Dollaway is on top pounding. Great round.
Mike's Score: Dollaway 10-9 (maybe 10-8)
Conditioning may come into play later, as Dollaway looks a bit more tired while Hamman, despite taking damage, seems ok. And now they're just trading bombs. Dollaway is against the cage, eating big punches, and occasionally firing back. He's going into survival mode, diving at legs but Hamman is the fresher and sharper man. He stuffs Dollaway down, passes to side control, and is laying in knees to the body. Hamman is pounding away as CB is pressed against the fence. Crucifix now. Dollaway is in real trouble now, just minutes after seeming to have Hamman on the proverbial ropes. Hamman mounts and he's letting loose. Herb Dean looks close to stopping it but Dollaway is doing just enough to let it go on. Hamman with more pounding. This is awesome. CB will not quit but he's eating big shots. IT. IS. OVER! Hamman wins as Herb Dean steps in.
OFFICIAL RESULT: JARED HAMMAN d. C.B. DOLLAWAY BY TKO, R2
With twenty minutes to go until the TV card, I can safely say this show has been awesome. And the best is yet to come!
I just saw a guy walking around wearing a Tim Sylvia t-shirt. Yup.
***VERSUS TV CARD***
Amir Sadollah vs. Duane "Bang" Ludwig
Bang's hands look fast right off the bat. Ludwig with double underhooks in the clinch as they both knee one another. Some very nice knees by both guys to the midsection. This looks like a Muay Thai fight until Amir shoots in and reminds everyone it's MMA. Bang stuffs the shot. Bang's speed is winning exchanges at the moment. Amir is wobbled! Bang lands a nice elbow on the inside. It seems that for every one punch Amir throws, Ludwig is able to answer with three or four. Digging shot to the liver by Bang. And another! Really fun first round.
Mike's score: Ludwig 10-9
Same story repeats the beginning of round two: Bang is just too quick for Amir. Ludwig with a nice left hook and then he steps to the side and avoids a charging Amir. Body kick caused Amir to stumble (though he may have just lost his footing against the cage, to be fair). Good leg kick by Amir. Left hook catches Amir and Ludwig swarms with knees in the clinch. Amir with a failed takedown, as you can sense that he's aware he's losing the standup game. Then, out of nowhere, Bang shoots in for a takedown. Well, that was interesting. Amir sprawls. Bang has a mouse under his right eye but that was his round.
Mike's score: Ludwig 10-9
Amir's corner yelled, "Break him down!" Alrighty.
Amir out aggressive to start the round. He rushes through a takedown, gets it, but Bang immediately pops to his feet. Ludwig stuffs another takedown. They're both tiring a bit but still throwing and the story isn't changing: Ludwig throws three for everyone one of Amir. God straight right by Bang. Ludwig looks more tired at this point. Good kick to the body from Amir. Fourteen minutes into this fight and they're standing toe to toe as the crowd begins to erupt. Bang with a takedown, which may help him win a close round. Round ends with Bang landing some elbows. Closer round, could go either way.
Mike's score: Ludwig 10-9 and taking the fight 30-27
OFFICIAL RESULT: DUANE LUDWIG d. AMIR SADOLLAH, judges decision, 29-28 across the board
Charles Oliveira vs. Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone
Cowboy got a good reaction. Oliveira is a BIG heel here - guess folks remember the illegal knee from his last fight.
Cowboy looks the bigger of the two. Cowboy kicked Oliveira in the cup and sweet mercy that sounded bad. Crowd's reaction to the replay indicates they think Oliveira is faking it. So far, they've been mostly trading leg kicks and Cerrone looks to be winning that battle. Cowboy lands a liver shot and Oliveira is hurt bad. Cerrone swarms him and starts laying in with some BIG ground and pound and that's it! Referee stops the fight.
OFFICIAL RESULT: DONALD CERRONE d. CHARLES OLIVEIRA BY TKO, R1
Big win for Cerrone, who is now 3-0 in the UFC since the WEC-UFC merger. The win is all the more impressive because Cerrone is generally a slow starter. Not tonight.
For the record, the available seating is still only about 75% full.
Jim Miller vs. Ben Henderson
Miller kind of looks like a mini-Tank Abbott if Tank was ever in good shape.
Miller lands a nice elbow on the inside while clinching. Miller just jumped into an arm-triangle choke. Henderson looks calm, probably because it's impossible to tap him and manages to turn it into a takedown with him ending up on top. They stand and Miller blocks a high kick. Miller now jumping to a Kimura. He's switching it to an armbar but Henderson pulls out and responds with ground and pound. Henderson with a takedown as Miller tries a choke. C'mon now.Henderson with good elbows while on top. Love a guy who tries for the finish, but Miller is giving away position and probably lost the round by being too aggressive with the submission attempts.
Mike's score: Henderson 10-9
Henderson with a good leg kick. They swing and both land in a tight exchange. Henderson is pressure Miller and gets a big takedown. Miller looking for rubber guard (I can only imagine how Rogan is responding...). Miller dives on a leg and is looking for a kneebar. Henderson proceeds to punch - hard - Miler in the face. Miller back to the kneebar. This is ridiculous, how can Henderson not tap? The man is just not human! They scramble and Henderson ends up on top and is pounding away when Miller goes for a heel hook. Naturally, it doesn't faze Henderson. They stand, they trade, Henderson lands more, he gets the takedown, and the crowd is going crazy! People are absolutely loving this fight. Miller holding on for a Kimura, he gets it out, torques, but this is Ben Freaking Henderson: he does not tap. Good, short uppercut by Henderson. Miller's face is a mess.
Mike's score: Henderson 10-9
Henderson walked around the cage, cupping his ear ala Hulk Hogan before sitting down. Miller needs a finish.
Blood trickling down Miller's face from below his left eye. They're trading and landing punches. Henderson appears to slip. He gets up and drives forward for a takedown, ending up in side control. He's landing some heavy punches from on top and maneuvers into mount. Henderson takes his back, Miller stands, drives forward, tries to slam Henderson. Henderson goes for the rear naked choke and it's close. Miller survives but Henderson is mounted and he's landing BIG BIG elbows. Miller isn't just gonna lose, he's in danger of being finished for the first time in his career. Miller looks completely gassed and Henderson is pouring it on. Referee is taking a close look at everything. Ben Henderson is thirty seconds away from maybe the biggest win of his career . He dives for a guillotine but Miller rolls through. Crowd erupts at the finish. Holy cow!
Mike's score: Henderson 10-8, taking the fight 30-26
It's an upset on paper but the way it played out makes it look like it should've been a foregone conclusion that Henderson would win. He legitimately looked like he was in a different class than Miller and that's, well, shocking.
OFFICIAL RESULT: BEN HENDERSON d. JIM MILLER, judges decision, 30-27, 29-28, 30-26
And then in a move I've never seen before, Henderson got down on his knees and asked ... for guys from his gym to get fights with the UFC.
For the record, Judge Rick Winter gave Jim Miller the first round.
Only one fight left, Chris Lytle's retirement fight against Dan Hardy. This card has far surpassed my wildest expectations. What a great night so far.
*** FIGHT TWELVE - MAIN EVENT ***
Dan Hardy vs. Chris Lytle
They're both throwing hard shots, generally in isolation. Hardy with a nice left hook. Lytle is landing a right to the body with some regularity. "Let's go Lytle" chant breaks out. Big right hand from Lytle but it doesn't cause more than a flinch from Hardy. Fun round, with me leaning towards Lytle.
Mike's score: Lytle 10-9
Lytle lands several big shots early. Neither guy is giving an inch in these exchanges, but Lytle is getting the better of them. Hardy's acting like he smells blood. Lytle definitely got wobbled by a punch. Accidental eye-poke on Hardy. He's ok. Lytle throwing enormous shots and smiling all the while. Some hitting, some missing. Hardy lands a punch of his own and it hurt Lytle. Hardy witha failed takedown out of nowhere. OK. Lytle got his by a shot and shook his head to say, "No, it didn't hurt." Giant fastball right hand from Lytle and Hardy takes it well. This fight is exactly what you'd hope for and expect. Goodness gracious some of these punches leave a thudding impact behind. Hardy checked the clock. This is gonna be a close round but a big left hook at the end by Lytle may have stolen it. Crowd comes to their feet in appreciation.
Mike's score: Lytle 10-9
Left hook from Lytle. Lytle's right hand continues to land on the body. Hardy is trying to time a knee on Lytle, sensing that Chris is ducking down too much when he comes in. Suddenly, they're both just throwing like crazy. Hardy tries a takedown and Lytle grabs a neck and Hardy taps. Chris Lytle wins his UFC retirement fight.
OFFICIAL RESULT: CHRIS LYTLE d. DAN HARDY BY SUBMISSION, R3
- Edwin Figueroa D Jason Reinhardt, TKO, R2
- Jacob Volkmann D Danny Castillo, UD, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
- Cole Miller D T.J. O'Brien, Submission, guillotine choke, R2
- Jim Hettes D Alex Caceres, Submission, rear naked choke, R2
- Ronny Markes D Karlos Vemola, UD, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27
- Ed Herman D Kyle Noke, Submission, heel hook, R1
- Joseph Benavidez D Eddie Wineland, UD, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27
- Jared Hamman D C.B. Dollaway, TKO, R2 (ground and pound)
- Duane Ludwig D Amir Sadollah, UD, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
- Donald Cerrone D Charles Oliveira, TKO, R1 (ground and pound)
- Ben Henderson D Jim Miller, UD, 30-27, 29-28, 30-26
- Chris Lytle D Dan Hardy, Submission, guillotine choke, R3