Here we are in beautiful Seattle, WA for UFC on FOX 8. I'll be doing updates on the fights. Dave is also doing play-by-play and my guess is his will be far more in-depth than mine in terms of blow-by-blow.
1. Yaotzin Meza vs. John Albert. Albert fights out of Puyallup, WA, which is baffling to me. Albert nearly got an armbar but Meza stacked him and escaped. Some nice grappling. This is the first prelim and the place is largely empty so the fans who are here are the hardcores, and since Seattle has a fairly strong grappling scene everyone knew the MOMENT that Albert escaped a tight guillotine attempt and popped big. Fun round. Fist fight started round two. Albert came so close to a triangle it wasn't even funny, but he squeezed so hard he blew himself up and Meza immediately took his back upon escaping. Meza flattened him out and choked him into submission. Albert took a big risk giving absolutely everything he had on the triangle and when it didn't pay off he was spent. Fans were deflated but that was a great opener.
Albert so exhausted that he needed help leaving the cage.
2. Aaron Riley vs. Justin Salas. Yes, Aaron Riley is still fighting. He has literally, and this is no exaggeration, been fighting for HALF HIS LIFE. Riley's strength is his stand-up, and every time Salas got a takedown or came close he didn't establish any control so Riley was back on his feet immediately. Same deal early in the second. Salas was connecting standing and Riley's nose was all busted open. Not a bad fight but not particularly exciting heading into the third. Riley got an eye poke but the fight continued after a recovery period. The ring girls were busy texting during this fight. Last minute was exciting, particularly a Riley high kick that popped the crowd. Scores were 29-28 Salas, 29-28 Riley and 29-28 for Salas. It was close so no problem with that. Very minor booing, virtually nonexistent.
Next fight a little after 5 EST for FX.
Backstage interview with Miesha Tate here. Questionable audio quality but the best that could be managed under the circumstances.
FX starting now.
3. Julie Kedzie vs. Germaine de Randamie. They clinched for like three straight minutes, the fans began to boo thunderously, and the ref separated them to a big pop. They proceeded to clinch more. Not the best round to open TV. There is a guy in the crowd shouting literally the worst advice I've ever heard to Kedzie as they battle in the half guard. My conclusion is that he has confused the two women and so he's trying to give advice to Germaine, but he's calling her Julie. This is better than the fight at this point. Turned into a pretty good fight by the end of the third round but it was a while getting going. Randamie won the split decision. Again, some boos, but they were minor. 30-27 Germaine, 29-28 Kedzie, 29-28 Germaine were the scores.
4. Ed Herman vs. Trevor Smith. Smith comes out to Nirvana. He's billed from Tukwila, WA. That's impossible. Herman is billed from Vancouver, WA, which is practically Oregon. You're going to get the Washington version of Do You Know the Way To San Jose from the last Observer Radio. Herman rocked him and then did the old, "I'm not going to follow up and try to finish at all" routine. So then Trevor recovered and started done whoopin him. Very crowd-pleasing fight. Herman rocked him again and only slightly better follow-up. Both guys look tired and we're 4 minutes into round one. People are doing the Ric Flair "WHOOOO!" Last minute was a back and forth battle. Standing ovation. Big takedown by Trevor in the second. This dude doesn't quit. That's why he's the HOT SAUCE. Fun, active round. They ended up on the ground. This crowd is smart enough that they realized a head-and-arm attempt from side control was more dangerous than a head-and-arm from mount. That's pretty impressive. Trevor escaped both attempts. More Ric Flair "WHOOO!" chants. Don't know why. Huge head kick by Trevor, and a left hand. A BATTLE. This was a really good fight. Scores were 30-27 Smith, 30-27 Herman and 29-28 Herman.
Since I mentioned Ric Flair, there is a pic of Rob Feinstein with Shawn Michaels here, and you must click to see Shawn's MASSIVE Daniel Bryan beard. I'm not kidding.
Apparently Joe Rogan referred to the last fight as a SLOBBERKNOCKER on TV.
Salas on his win: 'That’s the fight I’ve been waiting for. I wanted to go out there and show the world I’m a fighter. My last fight I was really disappointed that I didn’t get to show who I am and how I fight. But, I’m getting more and more comfortable in there. I’m just going to keep working and getting better and keep developing my game. I knew he was tough and I felt like we were going to get into a battle because we both have similar styles. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to keep evolving. This is what I’ve been dreaming of my whole life and now that I’m here, I don’t want to leave. I want to be here and I want to keep climbing the mountain."
5. Yves Edwards vs. Darren Cruickshank. Darren out to KUNG FU FIGHTING. Someone should do a study to see how many people who use wacky ring music win versus lose. Tentative first round. Tentative applause. More "WHOOOOOO!" So far, no exaggeration, Ric Flair is the most over person in the building tonight. Certainly more over than either fighter here. Second round same as the first. Cruickshank's corner told him, "He's getting frustrated." So is the crowd, so effective strategy. There are boos in the third and a very vocal dude yelling, "YOU GUYS FUCKING SUCK." So not a crowd-pleaser. Scores were 30-27 Cruickshank, 30-27 Edwards and 30-27 Cruickshank. LOL a night of split decisions. More boos than usual for this one.
Germaine on her win: "I wanted to leave with a little bit more. But, I’ve been out for a year and I feel that I started off a little bit stiff in the beginning. I have to say, Julie is a veteran, and all the respect to her. This is amazing, and it’s a dream come true that I’m the first Dutch women to step into the Octagon."
Herman on his win: "It was a battle, he was tough. He rocked me a few times and he was definitely testing me throughout. He was taking my punches a lot better than I thought he’d be able to. I’m just happy I got the win and glad to get out of here in pretty good shape. I’m going to take a few weeks off and then get back to it.
Meza on his win in the opener, which was a really fun fight: "We knew he was going to go out there and that we were going to have a strong first round. I’ve seen his videos and he always comes out strong in the first round then dies off. I knew I just had to get passed the first round. I had him in that tight guillotine and he got out. I just kept trying to push the pace. I heard him getting tired. Going into the second, we got into a little scramble and we ended up in that triangle. When he got me in there, I wanted to pick him up and throw him but I knew I was going to get tired. So, I put him back down and I was able to remain calm. I felt his legs starting to get tired and when he gave me a little breather, I was able to get out. Once I got out, I felt his whole body was dead, so I was able to control him. I wanted to keep hitting him but then I figured we might as well just get it over with. So I took control and finished it off." Pretty much exactly as I'd figured when watching it.
6. Melvin Guillard vs. Mac Danzig. Still a surprisingly empty building. Over 6,500 tickets were sold but by the looks of things, at least so far, it looks like almost no comps were given away. Maybe it'll fill up around FOX time. Round was a slightly better version of any of the three given rounds in the last fight. That was something else. Melvin caught him with a shot and Danzig went down. It looked like he'd recovered and was trying to defend but Melvin smelled blood, pounced and finished him off. Danzig was OUT. So the fight was called off and guys rushed in to tend to Danzig. He was on the ground writhing around and they were trying to hold him down. He was in a bad way. He pretty much broke free to his feet but then stumbled and fell down again. Now more guys hit the Octagon to control him. They had cops lined up outside the cage door at this point, although they usually always head over there after fights to escort guys to the back. Herman finally got his bearings about him and everyone applauded. Took quite awhile though.
Cruickshank on his win: "I feel the crowd may not have seen it, but it was actually a very technical fight. I shut Edwards down, he didn’t know what to do against me. Every time he came in, I hit him three or four times. I was on the retreat because he put a lot of pressure on me and I wasn’t just going to stand there in front of him. But, when I was in front of him, I hit him."
7. Tim Means vs. Danny Castillo. Good back and forth grappling match in the first round with some crowd-pleasing striking thrown in for good measure. These guys are working hard. Castillo outwrestled him in the last minute of the second round. Every time Means ends up on the ground in the guard he puts on a body triangle which is baffling to me since it takes his legs out of the game. Whatever his strategy is with it, it's not working out for him. He also does the gimmick where is opponent punches him smack dab in the face and he responds by asking them to bring it on. Some hard knees by Means in the third. Castillo took him down but ended up on the bottom of side control, which is not, in fact, the idea behind a takedown. He got out. Judges UNANIMOUSLY (seriously) gave it to Castillo 29-28.
8. Michael Chiesa vs. Jorge Masvidal. This is the main event on FX but due to time contraints neither guy got an entrance. I remember back in the day when UFC TV shows used to go past the top of the hour and people told me that this was A REAL SPORT and therefore it was IMPOSSIBLE to guarantee a show would end on time. Which is, of course, preposterous, particularly given there hasn't been one UFC PPV that went over its alloted time this century. Anyway, Chiesa got the first real superstar reaction on this show. Chiesa rocked him, tried to finish on the ground, tried his guillotine of doom finisher (actually his finish is the rear-naked), and Jorge survived it all. Great scramble and a good first round. Masvidal almost got a guillotine but Chiesa got his head out. Chiesa was just being POUNDED in the guard. Keep in mind why it's called the "guard". Arianny just returned to her chair with a look on her face that seemed to read, "I am SO exhausted from the work I have done so far today." Masvidal put on a D'Arce and with one second left Chiesa tapped. Chiesa was so upset he stormed out of the cage afterwards. A ref tried to stop him at the door and I believe Chiesa said, "FUCK THAT" or something to that effect, pushed past him and walked straight backstage. Don't think that was a smart idea. There were irate fans screaming "ONE SECOND!" but also a lot of fans applauding him as he left. Masvidal booed like crazy during the announcement and played it up big, cutting a promo into the camera. I have no inside info but wouldn't be surprised if Chiesa got cut for his post-fight performance, or at least gets chewed out.
We are live on FOX TV.
Melvin on his win: "I wasn’t really trying to do anything except fight my fight. He just ran into a stiff jab. Adjusting and putting that jab out there was key. Me and my coaches have been working on it and it worked out great tonight. This win means a lot to me. It means I can put those two losses behind me. I can get back to winning and get back to the top five. There’s no pressure, as long as I’m well prepared and train hard, no one can beat me at 155. This is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders."
9. Jessica Andrade vs. Liz Carmouche. This was the first-ever lesbian vs. lesbian fight in UFC history. I didn't even know that until it was over so they didn't do a great job building it up. Slam by Liz early, then a leg trip takedown. Sweet reversal by Andrade. Liz shot a double and got caught in a closed guard guillotine. She chilled out and delivered knees to the ass of Andrade until time ran out. They showed Rhonda Rousey and everyone cheered. Big pop for Liz getting the mount. Andrade gave up her back. Basically Liz went from mount to back to mount to back, punching in betwewen. The ref finally stopped it. Andrade is really short, looks like she should fight at 125 or 115 but UFC doesn't have those divisions.
Masvidal on his win: "It was a good fight but I didn’t like my performance. I was so mad when I realized I got clipped that I said if he doesn’t put me to sleep here then I knew I’d get him. It didn’t hurt me, it just stunned me. He did a level change and it was beautiful. He faked a shot and threw the straight left and I didn’t see it. I just want top ten guys from here on out."
Usually they send a quote from the loser as well but there was no quote from Chiesa so who knows where he's at right now.
ANOTHER WILD HBK PIC HERE.
10. Robbie Lawler vs. Bobby Voelker. WHY IS EVERYONE GOING "WHOOOOO"?!?!? Lawler just took him apart standing. I'm sure one judge will be kind enough to give the round to Voelker given the numerous split decisions tonight but that would be preposterous. Lawler KTFO'd him early in the second, then extended his arms and posed as the fans went nuts. That was an awesome reaction to his win. Dude amazes me, he's been around forever and looked awesome here. Great match for TV.
Not a single post-fight promo tonight. Dunno why.
Did I really pick Voelker? LOL.
They're playing a song asking "WHERE'S SEATTLE AT?" They're not here.
Carmouche on her win: "I knew no matter what, even if she had it sunk in all the way, I was not going to tap. It’s not in my nature. The problem was, she had it so tight, and she has short arms so it was difficult for me to try and pry her hands apart. But, it was just a matter of me trying to pop my head out and get free."
11. Rory MacDonald vs. Jake Ellenberger. This is the real main event tonight. Rory booed MIGHTILY. He's the biggest star of the night thus far by a pretty decent margin. Loud "USA!" chants. Virtually nothing of note happened in round one. Some jabs. That's about it. Lots of boos. More of the same in the second. Jake tried one takedown which failed and there was a brief brawl in the clinch. Are these dudes aware this is a three-round fight and not a five-rounder? Rory just stayed out of range and jabbed him. Over and over. For fifteen minutes. Jake did manage to finally get a takedown with 50 seconds left, which quelled a potential right, at which point Rory held him there and Jake did nothing. Fans booed like CRAZY when it was over. This was ugly. I have zero desire to see either of these men fight for any title, ever. Scores were 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 for Rory. Crowd booed unmercifully. Sweet fight guys.
Lawler on his win: "I’m excited. Camp went really well and I felt really good with the weight cut. They really woke me up at American Top Team. I’m happy, but I want to go home and see my family. I’m healthy so I want to get back in there and train, but I just want to spend some time with my family right now."
I vote for Lawler to get GSP next. Or Minoru Suzuki.
12. Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga. Demetrious got a big ovation from the people who are here. Fans chanted "MIGHTY MOUSE!" Johnson got a takedown and after the last fight people went nuts. The Mouse dominated the round. Big double leg in the second and another big pop. Moraga tried a reverse triangle but that wasn't about to happen. Johnson tried a Kimura from the side. The Mouse was trying hard to finish and redeem both the show and this town. Great round and the crowd gave it a standing ovation. Another big takedown. Mighty REALLY wanted a Kimura and almost had it but lost his position. Moraga was just getting completely outclassed here. Moraga's problem was that he had nothing to lose in this fight but he fought like he did. There was an accidental knee to the head of a downed opponent by Johnson but ref Herb Dean didn't see it. Johnson got clipped right in the nose near the finish of the fourth but got an immediate takedown and recovered. May have busted his nose. Johnson's double legs are so awesome. Johnson finished him with an armbar in the fifth and then did a series of jumping spinning kicks. Place went nuts. MIGHTY MOUSE FINISHED THE FIGHT! Great ending to the fight and this saved the show.
Rory on his win: "I obviously look to finish fights, but he’s a good fighter, so what can you do? I think I had him worried with the elbows because he didn’t want to come near me after that. That wasn’t my game plan, but I accomplished what I needed to do. I think I’m a better fighter than him. I definitely want to fight again before the end of the year. I don’t really have an opponent in mind, but we’ll see what doors open."
Dave and I will be back later tonight with a brand new Wrestling Observer Radio, and it'll be a fun show as always so check it out~!